Medical manuscript, written in South France or Spain. Edit




  • 1st half of 12th century. (Creation)


  • 0.00 linear metres (Whole)
    ii (paper) + i + 129 + ii (paper) folios.



  • Physical Description

    0.00 linear metresii (paper) + i + 129 + ii (paper) folios.135.00 x 208.00 millimetres

  • Dimensions

    135.00 x 208.00 millimetres

  • Scope and Contents

    The contents of the manuscript are as follows:

    (i) `Liber febrium` by Isaac (Isḥāq ibn Sulaiman al-Isrā’ili), translated by Constantinus Africanus, in prologue and five books. The author and translator are given in the contents list only (folio 1).

    (ii) `Secretum secretorum` by Pseudo-Aristotle, the medical section translated by Joannes Hispalensis, without title (folio 82). See ‘Speculum’, volume xxxiv, page 24.

    (iii) `Micro-tegni’ by Galen, translated by Constantinus Africanus, entitled only `Tegni` (folio 85).

    (iv) `De differentia animae et spiritus` by Costa ben Luca (Qustā ben Lūqā), translated by Joannes Hispalensis, without title (folio 104 verso).

    (v) `De taxone` by Sextus Placitus (B text; ‘Corpus medicorum latinorum’, volume iv, pages 230-232), without title (folio 108 verso).

    (vi) `Liber simplicis medicine`, incipit `Simplex medicina est aut de existentibus per se` (folio 109).

    Three main hands wrote (i), (iii) and (vi) respectively; one other added (ii) and (iv), another (v). A Durham hand wrote a contents list on folio iii verso, which includes (i) and (vi) only and concludes `Volumen presens continet supra dicta`; this has been completed by a 15th-century hand.

    There are marginal notes in several hands. Headings and initials are in red (green initials on folios 126-128); the initials on folios 10 verso-11 recto have not been added; space has been left for larger initials on folios 1, 26 and 59, but these have not been added.

  • Arrangement

    Collation: 1-7⁸, 8-9⁴, 10⁸, 11-12⁶, 13-17⁸, 18⁶ (-6). No signatures or catchwords. Pricking with flat and pointed awls. Ruling in ink (1-2, intermittently thereafter) and hard point. 1 column. 31-32 and 35-37 lines in 1-12 (first hand; increase at folio 49), 32 in 13- 15 (second hand), 40-44 in 16-18 (third hand). Written area 148-160 x 80-85 millimetres in 1-12, 158 x 90 millimetres in 13-15, 158 x 95 millimetres in 16-18.

  • Existence and Location of Copies

    Microfilm available: Mf.Sec.MSS.350.

  • Bibliography

    Mynors, R A B. ‘Durham Cathedral Manuscripts’ (Oxford, 1939), number 92).

    Thorndike, L. ‘Speculum’, volume xxxiv (1959).

    ‘Corpus medicorum latinorum’, volume iv (1927).

    ‘Catalogi Veteres Librorum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Dunelm.’ (Surtees Society, 1838).

  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Vellum. Binding of green morocco, tooled gilt, 18th century.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Presented, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates to the nation on the foundation of the National Library of Scotland.

  • Custodial History

    The volume was given to Durham Cathedral about the middle of the 12th century by Magister Herebertus medicus (catalogue in ‘Catalogi Veteres Librorum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Dunelm.’, page 7); it appears again in catalogues of 1391 and 1416 (‘Catalogi Veteres Librorum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Dunelm.’, pages 33, 110). On folio iii is the note `liber sancti Cuthberti Dunelm. cuius usus conceditur domino Roberto Ebchester per d. W. ffigy`, mid 15th century. It later belonged to Sir Robert Sibbald and was sold with his library. Former pressmark: W.5.23. The volume was bought by the Advocates’ Library in 1723.