Preliminary Remarks on the Astronomical Tables of Solomon Franco


The Spanish astronomer, Solomon Franco (fl. 1375), was a student of Joseph ben Waqār’s. Both of them had diverse scholarly interests in addition to astronomy. Franco’s astronomical tables in Hebrew are deeply indebted to those of Ibn al-Kammād (fl. 1115), which do not survive in the original Arabic. The extant Latin version of Ibn al-Kammād’s tables is essentially the same as the Hebrew version by Franco, though there are significant differences. Attention is focused here on Franco’s short introduction (edited from the unique Hebrew manuscript, with an English translation), as well as on the elucidation of some aspects of his Hebrew terminology.