Ptolemy's Table of Kings: Editing Challenges and Textual History
The Table or Canon of Kings, composed by the astronomer Claudius Ptolemy (second century), presents a list of kings and emperors starting with Babylonian King Nabonassar (747-734 BC). He aimed to provide an efficient tool to his readers to compute Egyptian years before using his set of astronomical tables. This list has been progressively completed after Ptolemy, sometimes until the Fall of Constantinople, by Byzantine scribes and scholars, before being introduced to western Europe. This document aroused much interest among specialists of chronography since the seventeenth century and assyriologists but less among astronomers and historians of sciences. Moreover, we still do not have any critical edition. This talk will present the challenges of editing Ptolemy's Table of Kings and new insights on its textual history to show how this document travelled from second-century Alexandria to the Byzantine intellectual centers and the Italian Quattrocento, transmitted and modified by generations of antique and medieval scholars.
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