Detail map of Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain,Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain Overview map of Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain,Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain

A: Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, B: Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain

Gerard of Cremona Becomes a Leading Translator from the Arabic

Circa 1150 to 1175
Ptolemy, Almagest. In Latin. Translated by Gerard of Cremona. Parchment. Thirteenth century
Ptolemy, Almagest. Translated from Arabic into Latin by Gerard of Cremona. Parchment. Thirteenth century


Between 1150 and 1175 Gerard of Cremona, in Toledo, Spain, translated Ptolemy's Almagest from Arabic into Latin. He also edited for Latin readers the Tables of Toledo, the most accurate compilation of astronomical data available in Europe at the time. The Tables were partly the work of Al-Zargali, known to the West as Arzachel, a mathematician and astronomer who flourished in Córdoba in the eleventh century.

"The most productive of the Toledo translators at that time was Gerard of Cremona,[36] who translated 87 books,[37] including Ptolemy's Almagest, many of the works of Aristotle, including his Posterior AnalyticsPhysicsOn the Heavens and the WorldOn Generation and Corruption, and Meteorologyal-Khwarizmi's On Algebra and AlmucabalaArchimedesOn the Measurement of the CircleAristotleEuclid's Elements of GeometryJabir ibn Aflah's Elementa astronomica,[30] Al-Kindi's On Opticsal-Farghani's On Elements of Astronomy on the Celestial Motionsal-Farabi's On the Classification of the Sciences, the chemical and medical works of al-Razi (Rhazes),[13] the works of Thabit ibn Qurra and Hunayn ibn Ishaq,[38] and the works of al-ZarkaliJabir ibn Aflah, the Banu MusaAbu KamilAbu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, and Ibn al-Haytham (but not including the Book of Optics, because the catalog of the works of Gerard of Cremona does not list that title; however the Risner compilation of Opticae Thesaurus Septem Libri also includes a work by Witelo and also de Crepusculis, which Risner incorrectly attributed to Alhacen, and which was translated by Gerard of Cremona).[39] The medical works he translated include Haly Abenrudian's Expositio ad Tegni Galeni; the Practica, Brevarium medicine by Yuhanna ibn Sarabiyun (Serapion); AlkindusDe GradibusRhazesLiber ad Almansorem, Liber divisionum, Introductio in medicinam, De egritudinibus iuncturarum, Antidotarium and Practica puerorumIsaac Israeli ben Solomon's De elementis and De definitionibus;[21] AbulcasisAl-Tasrif as ChirurgiaAvicenna's The Canon of Medicine as Liber Canonis; and the Liber de medicamentis simplicus by Ibn Wafid (Abenguefit).[23] At the close of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th centuries, Mark of Toledo translated the Qur'an (once again) and various medical works.[40] He also translated Hunayn ibn Ishaq's medical work Liber isagogarum. (Wikipedia article on Latin translations of the twelfth century, accessed 9-2020).

Timeline Themes

Related Entries