Plato Tiburtinus

Plato Tiburtinus (lat.: Plato Tiburtinus, fl. 12th century : Plato of Tivoli) 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 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


  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.
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