Plato Tiburtinus

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Plato Tiburtinus (Latin: Plato Tiburtinus, "Plato of Tivoli"; fl. 12th century) was a 12th-century Italian mathematician, astronomer and translator who lived in Barcelona from 1116 to 1138.[1] He is best known for translating Hebrew and Arabic documents into Latin, and was apparently the first to translate information on the astrolabe (an astronomical instrument) from Arabic.

Quadripartitum, 1622

Plato of Tivoli translated the Arab astrologer Albohali's "Book of Birth" into Latin in 1136.[2] He translated Claudius Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos from Arabic to Latin in 1138,[3] the astronomical works of al-Battani, Theodosius' Spherics and the Liber Embadorum by Abraham bar Chiia.[4] He has worked together with the Jewish mathematician Savasorda (Abraham Bar Ḥiyya Ha-Nasi). His manuscripts were widely circulated and were among others used by Albertus Magnus and Fibonacci.


To him are attributed four works in science-mathematics:

The translations from the Arabic of seven other works (five astrological, one geomantical, and one medical [now lost]) are ascribed to Plato:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charles E. Butterworth, Blake Andrée Kessel, The Introduction of Arabic philosophy into Europe, (Brill, 1994), 11.
  2. ^ Houtsma, p.875
  3. ^ Jim Tester, Astrology of the Western World, (1987), p. 54
  4. ^ David Eugene Smith, History of Mathematics, (Dover Publications, Inc, 1951), 201.

Further reading[edit]

  • Baldassarre Boncompagni: Delle versioni fatte da Platone Tiburtino. Atti dell’ Accademia pontificia dei Nuovi Lincei, 4, 1851, S. 249–286
  • F. J. Carmody: Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation: A Critical Bibliography. Berkeley, Los Angeles 1956
  • Charles Homer Haskins: Studies in History of Medieval Science. Cambridge, Massachusetts 1924
  • Charles Homer Haskins: The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1927
  • George Sarton: Introduction to the History of Science. Band 2, Teil 1, Baltimore 1931, S. 177–179
  • Moritz Steinschneider Die Europäischen Übersetzungen aus dem Arabischen bis Mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts. Graz 1956
  • Moritz Steinschneider: Abraham Judaeus: Savasorda und Ibn Esra … In: Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik. Band 12, 1867, S. 1–44

External links[edit]

  • Minio-Paluello, Lorenzo (2008) [1970-80]. "Plato of Tivoli". Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography.
  • Translators
  • Article in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography by Lorenzo Minio-Paluello