Manuscripts of al-Ṣūfī’s Book of the Images of the Fixed Stars

Due to its great popularity, a large number of manuscripts of al-Ṣūfī’s star atlas have been preserved which are currently dispersed over various libraries in the Middle East, Europe and North America. The following tables list the currently known manuscripts in chronological order.

A. Arabic Manuscripts

The earliest manuscripts (to 700 H)
date / place library / manuscript notes & references
Rabī‘ I 519 H
[April 1125]
Baghdād
Doha, Museum of Islamic Art
MS.2.1998.SO [= ms. MI-02-98-90]
Copied by ‘Alī ibn ‘Abd al-Jalīl ibn ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad from a 1036 AD manuscript copied by Hibatallāh ibn Bishr al-Sham‘ī, which in turn was copied from a manuscript of al-Ṣūfī’s assistant Faraj ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Habashī; the sections on Cygnus, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Aries and Taurus are replacements from the Ottoman period; King et al (1998); Turkmani (2012) 67 & 72-73; Savage-Smith (2013).
519 H
[1125/26]
Mārdīn
Istanbul, Süleymaniyye
Ms. Fatih 3422
[ISMI link / WIID link]
Copied by Hibatullāh ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbār ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Sādaqah ibn ‘ālī ibn Yūsuf ibn Basām al-Jabalī; Krause (1936) 463 [dates manuscript to 529 H]; Holter (1937) A.3; Destombes (1959) 309.
10 Ṣafar 525 H
[12 January 1131]
Mosul
Istanbul, Topkapısaray
Ms. Ahmet III 3493
[ISMI link / WIID link]
148 fols.; copied by Wāthiq ibn ‘ālī ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Ḥusayn; former owners were Sālih ibn Yūnus ibn ‘Azīz al-Mutatabbib, the Mosul physician Mas‘ūd ibn ‘Abdalmalik ibn Salāma ibn al-Fadl al-Hanbalī, Abū-l-Fadl ibn Muzaffar ibn Abī Nasr al-Isrā’īlī and others; incomplete [Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Draco, Corvus, Centaurus & Lupus missing; Triangulum inserted at the end of Hydra]; Krause (1936) 463; Holter (1937) A.2.
566 H
[1170/71]
Mosul
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Ms. Huntington 212 [= Uri 899]
[ISMI link / Fihrist link]
174 fols.; dedicated to Sayf al-Dīn Ghāzī II, the Zangid Atabeg of Mosul (ruled 1169-1180); Uri (1787) 195 [dates manuscript to 966 H]; Holter (1937) A.h.
c. 575 H
[late 12th cent.]
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Ms. Marsh 144 [= Uri 926 = Arch. o. d. 10]
[ISMI link / WIID link / Fihrist link]
209 fols.; claimed to be copied by al-Ṣūfī‘s son al-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ‘Umar ibn Muḥammad in 400 H [1009/10] – recent research indicates that the colophon is a later addition; the manuscript was acquired in 1641 in Istanbul by Christian Ravius (1613-1677) who probably had the missing pages (the first eleven folios) replaced, later it was in the possession of Jacob Golius (1596-1667) and it was acquired in 1696 by Narcissus Marsh (1638-1713); Uri (1787) 201; Holter (1937) A.1.bis; Wellesz (1959, 1965); Sezgin (1986); Brend (1994); Soudavar (1999); Carey (2001); Dekker (2013) 291-307; Savage-Smith (2013); the sections on Cancer and Leo are inserted between Scorpius and Sagittarius.
c. 600 H
[c. 1203]
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek
Ms. or. qu. 704 [= Ahlwardt 5659]
[ISMI link 1 / ISMI link 2 / SBB link / ECHO link]
Incomplete and bound in disorder; Ahlwardt (1893) 146; Hauber (1918); Holter (1937) A.5.
621 H
[1224/25]
Ceuta
Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Ms. Rossiano 1033 [fols. 1r-103v]
[ISMI link / WIID link]
Incomplete [Cassiopeia, Sagitta & Lupus missing]; bound with Abū ‘Alī ibn al-Ṣūfī’s Rajaz fī Ṣuwar al-Kawākib [fols. 105v-120r]; Levi Della Vida (1935) 280; Fontana (1998) 34-35, 44 & 92; Piemontese (2009) 277 & 296-298 [nr. 24].
Dhū ’l-Qa‘da 630 H
[August/September 1233]
Mosul
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek
Ms. Landberg 71 [= Ahlwardt 5658]
[ISMI link 1 / ISMI link 2 / SBB link / ECHO link]
Nearly complete [first page missing]; copied from a manuscript dated 404 H [1013/14]; Ahlwardt (1893) 145-146; Hauber (1918); Holter (1937) A.4; Sievernich & Budde (1989) 651-652.
mid 13th cent.
Ceuta(?)
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Arabe 2488 [= Ancien fonds 1111]
[ISMI link / GALLICA link]
De Slane (1883/95) 441; Holter (1937) A.8.
665 H
[1266/67]
Syria(?)
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Arabe 2489/1 [= Ancien fonds 1113]
[ISMI link / GALLICA link]
De Slane (1883/95) 441-442; Holter (1937) A.9.
c. 1260-1280
Marāghā(?)
London, British Library
Ms. Or. 5323
[ISMI link / WIID link / Qatar Digital Library link]
86 fols.; incomplete [start of the preface missing, missing constellation figures: Corona Borealis, Hercules, Virgo & Pisces]; Martin (1912); Holter (1937) A.7; Carey (2001, 2007).
c. 700 H
[c. 1300]
Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Mīqāt  390
[ISMI link]
Incomplete; King (1986) 41.
Manuscripts from 700 H to 900 H
date / place library / manuscript notes & references
early 14th cent.
Aleppo(?)
Tehrān, Muze-yi Melli
Ms. 3777
 
703 H
[1303/04]
Aleppo
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Ms. Pococke 257 [= Uri 916]
[ISMI link / Fihrist link]
210 fols.; Uri (1787) 199; Holter (1937) A.1.bis.
14th cent.(?) Oxford, Bodleian Library
Ms. Huntington 273 [= Uri 984]
[Fihrist link]
32 fols. bound in disorder; incomplete [containing only Eridanus, Libra, Lepus, Auriga, Virgo, Capricornus, Sagitta & Leo]; Uri (1787) 215.
15 Jumādā II 765 H
[20 March 1364]
Escorial, Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana
Ms. 915
[ISMI link]
Casiri (1760) 360; Holter (1937) A.a.
c. 800 H
[c. 1397]
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek
Ms. Sprenger 1855 [= Ahlwardt 5660]
[ISMI link 1 / ISMI link 2 / ECHO link]
Incomplete [only three crudely drawn constellation figures: Pegasus, Andromeda & Triangulum]; Ahlwardt (1893) 146-147; Hauber (1918); Holter (1937) A.b.
c. 1400
Samarkand(?)
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ms. Rogers Fund, 1913 [= Acc. 13.160.10]
[MMA link]
Incomplete; Upton (1933); Holter (1937) A.d; Carboni (1997) 38-39.
c. 1430-1440
Samarkand
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Arabe 5036
[ISMI link / WIID link / GALLICA link]
From the library of Ulugh Bēgh; Blochet (1914/20) 276-277 [plates XXX-XXXIII]; Blochet (1925) 51; Blochet (1926); Holter (1937) A.c; Caiozzo (1992).
mid-15th cent.
Iran
Copenhagen, Christian Ludvig David Museum
Inv. nr. 37/2006
 
899 H
[1493/94]
India
Rampur, Raza Library
Ms. 3699 [= Acc. 595M]
Incomplete [Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Triangulum and Corona Australis are missing]; ‘Arshī (1975) 5: 46-47; Schmitz & Desai (2006) 82-83.
Manuscripts from 900 H to 1100 H
date / place library / manuscript notes & references
14 Rabī‘ I 906 H
[8 October 1500]
Bologna, Biblioteca Universita
Ms. 2953 [= Marsigli 422]
Copied from a manuscript dated Dhū ’l-Qa‘da 589 H [October/November 1193]; Rozen (1885) 94-95; Holter (1937) A.g.
910 H
[1504/05]
Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Ms. Ar. 4119
[ISMI link]
Arberry (1960).
922 H
[1516/17]
Istanbul, Arkeolojik Müze
Ms. 1578
 
922 H
[1516/17]
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Arabe 2490 [= Ancien fonds 1110]
[ISMI link / GALLICA link]
De Slane (1883/95) 442; Holter (1937) A.e.
16th cent.
Istanbul(?)
St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Studies
Ms. C.724 [= Arabskaya novaya seriya 185]
[ISMI link]
Copied from a manuscript of which the first part (fols. 1r-44v) was copied in Cairo in 402 H [1011/12] and the second part (fols. 45r-75v) was copied from a manuscript dated to 396 H [1005/06]; from the library of Taqī al-Dīn ibn Muḥammad al-Rashīd ibn Ma‘rūf al-Misrī (1526-1585); with 17 added woodcut-printed pages from a 16th-cent. edition of the Poeticon Astronomicon of Gaius Julius Hyginus; Rozen (1877) 118-119; Holter (1937) A.1; Petrosian et al (1995).
16th cent.
Iran
Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Ms. Ar. 4222
[ISMI link]
Arberry (1962).
16th cent. London, British Library
Ms. Add. 7488
[ISMI link]
Rich (1846) 393; Holter (1937) A.f.
16th cent. Istanbul, Pertev Paşa
Ms. 375
[ISMI link]
Krause (1936) 463.
16th cent. Istanbul, Topkapısaray
Ms. Revan 1655
 
16th cent. Istanbul, Topkapısaray
Ms. Revan 1656
 
c. 1600 Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum  
1008 H
[1600/01]
Tehrān, Malek Library  
3 Dhū ’l-Hijja 1010 H
[25 May 1602]
Medina
Copenhagen, Kongelige Bibliotek
Ms. Arab. 83
[ISMI link / KBD link]
Copied by Muḥammad al-Maghribī from a copy dated 404 H [1013/14) claimed to be based on al-Ṣūfī’s own copy; acquired in 1763 by Peter Forsskål (1732-1763) or Carsten Niebuhr (1733-1815); Westergaard & von Mehren (1846/57) 2: 67-68; Schjellerup (1874); Holter (1937) A.l; Perho (2007) 1: 290-294.
11 Jumādā II 1015 H
[14 October 1606]
Nayin (near Isfāhān) 
St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Studies
Ms. Arabskaya novaya seriya 191
[ISMI link]
Copied by Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad [surname erased]; Dorn (1865) 48, 62 & 77; Schjellerup (1874); Holter (1937) A.q.
4 Ramaḍān 1015 H
[3 January 1607]
Princeton, University Library
Ms. Garrett 2259 Yahuda
[ISMI link / Princeton Library link]
No star tables; one image of each constellation; owned by Ibrāhīm ibn al-Shaykh Muḥammad in Jumādā I 1114 H [September/October 1702].
early 17th cent. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Arabe 2492 [= Supplément 964 bis]
[ISMI link / GALLICA link]
De Slane (1883/95) 442; Holter (1937) A.w.
1053 H
[1643/44]
India(?)
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Arabe 6528
[ISMI link / GALLICA link]
Blochet (1925) 288-289; Holter (1937) A.n.
mid 17th cent.
Isfahān(?)
Geneva, Aga Khan Museum
Ms. 9 [= AKM00266(?)]
[ISMI link / Aga Khan Museum link]
Arabic text with Persian translation filling the margins; from the Imperial Mughal Library of Shāh Jahān I (1592-1665); the title page bears the seals of Aurangzeb (1618-1707), dated 1103 H [1691/92], and Bahadur Shah I (1643-1712), dated 1123 H [1711/12]; in some places the folio-order is shuffled; Seyller (1997) 304.
1070 H
[1659/60]
Istanbul, Nuruosmaniye
Ms. 2928/1
[ISMI link]
Lacks constellation images; Krause (1936) 463.
12 Ramaḍān 1074 H
[9 April 1664]
London, British Library
Ms. Or. 1407
Transliterations of Latin constellation names added; Rieu (1894) 755; Holter (1937) A.o.
17th cent. Istanbul, Topkapısaray
Ms. Revan 1657
 
17th cent. London, India Office Library
Ms. 621 [= Loth 732]
[ISMI link]
Loth (1877) 1: 212; Holter (1937) A.t.
17th cent. London, India Office Library
Ms. 2389 [= Loth 731]
[ISMI link]
Loth (1877) 1: 212; Holter (1937) A.u.
17th cent. Tehrān, Majles Library
Ms. 197
 
17th cent. Tehrān, University Library
Ms. 1757
 
17th cent. Uppsala, Universitetsbiblioteket
Ms. 325 [= Nova 3]
Acquired by Matthias Norberg (1747-1826) during his 1777/81 travels in the Orient; Tornberg (1843/46) 222; Holter (1937) A.s.
late 17th cent.
Iran
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Arabe 4670 [= Supplément arabe 2512]
[GALLICA link]
Blochet (1925) 2; Holter (1937) A.p.
Later manuscripts (after 1100 H)
date / place library / manuscript notes & references
1123 H
[1711/12]
Istanbul, Beyazit Devlet Kütüphanesi
Ms. Veliyeddin Efendi 2278
[ISMI link]
Krause (1936) 463 [‘wertlos’].
1130 H
[1717/18]
Mosul, Muhammadiya Madrasa (al-Zaywānī Mosque)
Ms. 127
 
c. 1730
south or central Asia
Washington, Library of Congress
Ms. SM 16
[ISMI link / World Digital Library link]
Copied from a manuscript copied for Ulugh Beg, dated 1 Muḥarram 820 H [18 February 1417].
1150 H
[1737/38]
Egypt(?)
Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Taymūr riyāḍa 241
[ISMI link]
Copied from a manuscript dated 948 H [1541/42].
c. 1159 H
[c. 1746/47]
Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek
Ms. Or. 11527
Lacking most of the constellation figures; Witkam (2007) 123.
1183 H
[1769/70]
Iran
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Arabe 2491 [= Supplément arabe 964]
[ISMI link / GALLICA link]
De Slane (1883/95) 442; Holter (1937) A.v.
1200 H
[1785/86]
Egypt(?)
Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Mīqāt 831,2 [fols. 16v-135v]
[ISMI link]
King (1986) 41.
1786/89 Princeton, University Library
Ms. Garrett 211 Yahuda
 
18th cent. Tehrān, Majles Library
Ms. 6091
 
18th cent.
India
Strasbourg, Bibliothèque Universitaire
Ms. 4300
Wickersheimer (1923) xlvii & 761; Buchthal et al (1940).
1312 SH
[1933]
Tehrān, Majles Library
Ms. 198
 
Other manuscripts of unknown date
date / place library / manuscript notes & references
  Beirut (location unknown)
[ISMI link]
 
  Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Mīqāt 417
[ISMI link]
 
  Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Mīqāt 904
[ISMI link]
 
  Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Mīqāt 1094
[ISMI link]
 
  Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Ṭalʿat mīqāt 258
[ISMI link]
 
  Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Taymūr riyāḍa 288
[ISMI link]
 
  Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Taymūr riyāḍa 325/2
[ISMI link]
Star tables only.
  Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Taymūr riyāḍa 352
[ISMI link]
 
  Hyderabad, Āsafīya Library  
  Istanbul, Süleymaniyye
Ms. Lālā İsmail Efendi 318
Mirzazâde Salim Efendi (??-1743), Tercüme-i Tarih-i Aynî (???)
  Istanbul, Süleymaniye
Ms. Univ. 669
[ISMI link]
 
  Mosul, Madrasa of the al-Bāshā Mosque
Ms. 343
 
  Princeton, University Library
Ms. 1984
 
  St. Petersburg, Shdanov Univ. Biblioteka
Ms. 669
 
  Tunis, University Library
Ms. Zaytūna 366
[ISMI link]
 
  Tunis, University Library
Ms. Zaytūna 2843
 

B. Persian Manuscripts

Persian translation by Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
25 Dhū ’l-Qa‘da 647 H
[1 April 1250]
Alamut(?)
Istanbul, Süleymaniyye
Ms. Aya Sofya 2595
[WIID link]
Later owned by Ahmad ibn Unways and Ulugh Beg; Krause (1936) 498; Holter (1937) A.6.
903 H
[1497/98]
Yazd
Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Ms. Persian 175
Arberry (1959/62) 2: 34-35.
late 16th cent. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Persan 773 [= Supplément persan 1551]
[GALLICA link]
Blochet (1912) 47-49; Holter (1937) A.i.
1039 H
[1629/30]
Kuwait, Jasim al-Homaizi Collection
Ms. Louisiana Revy Cat. No. 241
 
1063 H
[1652/53]
Iran(?)
Mašhad, ???
Ms. 23
 
1086 H
[1675/76]
Tehrān, Majles Library
Ms. 196
 
last decade 17th cent. Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Ms. Persian 263
Incomplete (22 fols. only); Arberry (1959/62) 3: 37.
Persian translation by Lutfallah Muhandis ibn Ahmad al-Nadir al-Mi‘mar al-Lahūrī
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
late 16th cent.
Lahore(?)
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek
Ms. 332/3 [= Sprenger 1854]
[SBB link]
Pertsch (1888) 332/3; Holter (1937) A.r.
Persian translation by Ḥasan ibn Sa‘d al-Qā’inī, for ‘Abū’l-Fatḥ Manūchihr Khān (d. 1636), governor-general of Mašhad
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
1040-42 H
[1630/33]
Mašhad(?)
New York, New York Public Library
Ms. Spencer Pers. 6
[NYPL link]
Grube (1962) ???; Welch (1973) ???; Schmitz (1992) ???; Brentjes (2014).
1043 H
[1633/34]
Mašhad(?)
Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Mustafā Fādil mīqāt fārisī 9
Edwards (1982) ???; Kunitzsch (1983); Gingerich (1986); King (1986) 41 & 165; Schmitz (1992) ???; Bibliotheca Alexandrina (2006).
Abridged Persian version by an unknown author
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
mid 17th cent.
Iran(?)
New York, New York Public Library
Ms. Spencer Pers. 25
Schmitz (1992).
Some later Persian manuscripts
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
1050 H
[1640/41]
Cairo, Dār al-Kutub
Ms. Ahmad Musa 25
Holter (1937) A.m.
late 17th cent.
Iran
Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum
ROM 971.292.13
Brentjes (2010)
c. 1690 Dublin, Chester Beatty Library
Ms. Persian 263
Incomplete; Arberry (1962) 3: 37.
18th cent.
Iran
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ms. 1975.192.2
[MMA link]
 
late 18th cent. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Persan 2370 [= Supplément persan 2021]
Blochet (1934) 303-304.

C. Latin Manuscripts

Translated into Latin by an unknown scribe for William II of Sicily (1155-1189). Although the stellar longitudes are the same as those in al-Ṣūfī’s star catalogue, various epochs such as 272 H (equivalent with AD 885/886) or 325 H (equivalent with 936/937) are mentioned at the head of the stellar tables.

Group I
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
c. 1270
Bologna
Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal
Ms. Latin 1036 [fols. 1r-49r]
[GALLICA link / WIID link]
Martin (1886) 247-248; Saxl & Meier (1953) 1: xxxii, xliv-xlv, l-lii & lxxi; Kunitzsch (1965, 1986); Gousset (1984); Lippincott (1985); Sievernich & Budde (1989) 113-115 & 651; Dekker (2013) 339.
Group II: North-Italian scriptorium
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
mid 14th cent. Prague, Památník Národního Písemnictví
Ms. Strahoviensis D.A. II. 13 [fols. 1r-48v]
[WIID link / local pdf link]
Fischer (1964); Kunitzsch (1965, 1986); Lippincott (1985)
late 14th cent. Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
Ms. 78 D 12 [= Hamilton 556]
[WIID link]
Wescher (1931) 80-83; Fischer (1964); Boese (1966) 273; Kunitzsch (1986); Lippincott (1985); Sievernich & Budde (1989) 116 & 651.
late 14th cent. Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Ms. Clm 826 [fols. 34r-41v]
[BSB link / WIID link]
Astrological codex of Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia (1361-1419); incomplete [Ursa Minor to Pegasus only]; stellar longitudes and magnitudes missing; Boll (1903) 420-424; Zinner (1925) 2502a; Fischer (1964); Kunitzsch (1965, 1968); Lippincott (1985); Sievernich & Budde (1989) 145.
1428 Gotha, Forschungsbibliothek
Ms. Memb. II 141
Acquired in 1798 from Duke Ernst II of Saxonia-Gotha-Altenburg; probably the manuscript cited by Ismael Boulliau (1667); Strohmaier (1984); Kunitzsch (1986).
Group III
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
14/15th cent. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Ms. Latin 7280 [fols. 83r-100r]
[GALLICA link]
No constellation figures; Gousset (1984). With an additional column of stellar longitudes for 1406.
15th cent. Catania, Biblioteca Comunale
Ms. 85 [fols. 7r-19v]
[WIID link]
Fava (1897) 432-435; Kunitzsch (1965, 1986); Lippincott (1985).
15th cent. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Ms. Lat. 5318 [fols. 2r-36v]
[WIID link]
Zinner (1925) 7373 & 11267; Saxl (1927) 19-20 & 132-141; Saxl & Meier (1953) 1: xlviii; Kunitzsch (1965, 1986); Lippincott (1985).
Group IV
date / place library / manuscript notes & literature
1301-1334 Kues, Stiftsbibliothek St. Nikolaus Hospital
Ms. 207 [fols. 116va-121vb + 124va-135rb]
[WIID link]
Acquired by Nicolas of Cusa in 1444; Marx (1905) 193-195; Hartmann (1919) 48-49; Beyerle (1922); Zinner (1925) 2335; Werner (1961); Krchňák (1963); Volkelt (1964); Fischer (1964); Kunitzsch (1965, 1986); Lippincott (1985); Ackermann (2009) 94-95 & 488-491; Dekker (2013) 353-356.

Bibliographical Sources Cited (chronological)