Notes and Documents
Daniel of Morley
Especially since Halliwell and Thomas Wright printed the preface and other brief extracts from a treatise by Daniel of Morley entitled 'Philosophia sive Liber de Naturis Inferiorum et Superiorum', and Valentin Rose reprinted the preface with the conclusion and made what has been called 'the fundamental study on Daniel' in his 'Ptolemaeus und die Schule von Toledo', allusions to Daniel have been not infrequent in treatises on twelfth-century England or medieval learning. His studies in Spain with Gerard of Cremona, the translator of the Almagest, his strictures upon the law professors of Paris, his allusion to himself as the sole Greek among Romans, his interest in the doctrines of the Arabs and in astrology, and the 'abundant supply of precious volumes' with which he returned to England—these points have made him as interesting a figure to modern students as he was to his contemporary, John, bishop of Norwich (1175–1200), who asked him many questions concerning his studies at Toledo and the marvels of that place, as well as concerning astronomy and the rule of the superior bodies over our sublunar world.
But the sole source of information concerning Daniel has remained a solitary treatise by him of which the best-known manuscript is Arundel 377, of the thirteenth century in the British Museum. Sudhoff has recently printed the text after this manuscript, and there is another well-known manuscript
- J. O. Halliwell, Rara Mathematica, 1839; Thomas Wright, Biogr. Brit. Lit., London, 1846, ii. 227–30.
- C. H. Haskins, 'The Reception of Arabic Science in England', ante, xxx. 67, n. 2.
- In Hermes, viii (1874), 327–49.
- Arundel MS. 377, thirteenth century, a well-written small quarto, fos. 88–103, 'Philosophia magistri danielis de merlai ad iohannem Norwicensem episcopum … | … Explicit liber de naturis inferiorum et superiorum'.
- Karl Sudhoff, 'Daniels von Morley Liber de naturis inferiorum et superiorum nach der Handschrift Cod. Arundel 377 des Britischen Museums zum Abdruck gebracht', in Archiv für die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik, Band 8, 1917. The text is edited from photographs, and apparently without further reference to the manuscript itself. Birkenmajer has already suggested that Sudhoff sometimes renders the contractions and abbreviations incorrectly.