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For a better explanation cannot be given.
[rubric:] Here speaks of the number of the stars.
With regard to the number of the stars, we will tell
you the number the way King Ptolemy counted
them in his Almagest. He named them all and said
that there were 1,022 of them, all clear and visible,
excluding the seven planets. You can count them
yourself without any difficulty (see note). In total there are only
1,029 that one can see, excluding many others that
one cannot see or distinguish clearly. That one cannot
clearly distinguish them is the same as saying that
one cannot easily recognize them. Yet whoever
wants to can see this. For no man, however much
he works or studies, can find any more. Nevertheless,
there is no man alive who can count -- or know
how to count -- them, even if he knows how to climb to a high place,
unless he has with him a nice and discerning instrument
like that which King Ptolemy invented. With it he
may recognize and count where each one is
and how many there are, and how distant they
are from each other, that is how near or far, and gain

Notes and Questions

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Marie Richards

original ms. Folio 119v
Walters ms. Folio 124v
BL Royal MS 19 A IX fols 140v-141r
Caxton, ed. Prior, pp 172-173
Gossuin, ed. Prior, 195

Marie Richards

line 8: lit. "danger" but surely he means difficulty.