Pair of Compasses

Spare a thought for the hundred generations of people who were taught at school to draw circles with a pair of compasses. With computers to do it quicker and smarter, it's a bit pointless nowadays, but in its time it was an essential skill. Recently I noticed Calcidius, writing about 400 CE, boasting he could even draw spirals with his compasses by slowly moving the legs during the turns.

Among the codices just digitized at the Vatican Library is Vat.lat.4571, Gerard of Cremona's Latin translation from Arabic of what appears to be the lost Greek textbook on spheres by Menelaus of Alexandria. This includes several pages of very fine drawings like this, all done by see hand:

Go admire. It is one of 66 new items online in the last week:
  1. Ross.5,
  2. Ross.81,
  3. Ross.84,
  4. Ross.91 (Upgraded to HQ), book of  hours?
  5. Ross.109,
  6. Ross.113,
  7. Ross.178,
  8. Ross.257 (Upgraded to HQ),
  9. Ross.272,
  10. Ross.296,
  11. Urb.lat.339,
  12. Urb.lat.428,
  13. Urb.lat.435,
  14. Urb.lat.477, Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis
  15. Urb.lat.516,
  16. Urb.lat.522,
  17. Urb.lat.523,
  18. Urb.lat.550,
  19. Urb.lat.571,
  20. Urb.lat.576,
  21. Urb.lat.577,
  22. Urb.lat.617,
  23. Urb.lat.618,
  24. Urb.lat.620,
  25. Urb.lat.621,
  26. Urb.lat.764,
  27. Urb.lat.862,
  28. Vat.lat.2395,
  29. Vat.lat.2444.pt.1, Nicolai Florentini
  30. Vat.lat.4082 (Upgraded to HQ), dated 1401, compilation of 23 works on mathematics and astronomy, see Jordanus and  eTK 
  31. Vat.lat.4171,
  32. Vat.lat.4435,
  33. Vat.lat.4446, medical texts including an item by Bertrucius of Bologna, see eTK
  34. Vat.lat.4456 (Upgraded to HQ), Gentile da Foligno on science, see eTK
  35. Vat.lat.4462,
  36. Vat.lat.4468,
  37. Vat.lat.4481 (Upgraded to HQ), mid 13th century, Latin translations of Avicenna (Mirabile)
  38. Vat.lat.4484,
  39. Vat.lat.4492,
  40. Vat.lat.4500,
  41. Vat.lat.4520,
  42. Vat.lat.4521,
  43. Vat.lat.4525 (Upgraded to HQ),
  44. Vat.lat.4531
  45. Vat.lat.4532,
  46. Vat.lat.4534 (Upgraded to HQ), Trabezon's translations of Aristotle, see Mirabile
  47. Vat.lat.4536 (Upgraded to HQ), 
  48. Vat.lat.4537,
  49. Vat.lat.4549 (Upgraded to HQ), Averroes on Aristotle, see Mirabile
  50. Vat.lat.4550 (Upgraded to HQ), Averroes on Aristotle's Meteorology, from Hebrew. See Mirabile
  51. Vat.lat.4551,
  52. Vat.lat.4554 (Upgraded to HQ),
  53. Vat.lat.4556,
  54. Vat.lat.4557,
  55. Vat.lat.4559,
  56. Vat.lat.4562,
  57. Vat.lat.4564 (Upgraded to HQ),
  58. Vat.lat.4565,
  59. Vat.lat.4568 (Upgraded to HQ), about 1500, William of Morebeke's translation of Proclus.
  60. Vat.lat.4571, Menelaus? (above), however Jordanus gives the work and author as  De figuris spericus by Mileus
  61. Vat.lat.4572, Almanach Planetarum ab anno Domini 1243 usque ad 1303, see Jordanus 
  62. Vat.lat.4573, continuation: almanac from 1306 on, and astronomy, see Jordanus
  63. Vat.lat.4578 (Upgraded to HQ), apocryphal texts, 14th century, with Evangelium Nicodemi, ff. 35v-37v Evangelium Thomae de infantia Salvatoris, ff. 37v-44r Liber de ortu beatae Mariae et infantia Salvatoris, ff. 32r-35r (see Mirabile); also includes a mathematical text, see Jordanus
  64. Vat.lat.4587 (Upgraded to HQ),
  65. Vat.lat.4589,
  66. Vat.lat.8193.pt.2 (Upgraded to HQ), notes from 1655 in Innocent X's court on papabile
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 192. Thanks to @gundormr for harvesting. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

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