Two 13th-century English medical manuscripts, bound together from an early date, each in the hands of two scribes. Edit




  • 13th century. (Creation)


  • 1 Volumes (Whole)
    ii + 251 folios.



  • Physical Description

    0.00 linear metresii + 251 folios.200.00 x 296.00 millimetres

  • Dimensions

    200.00 x 296.00 millimetres

  • Scope and Contents

    (i) Serapion (ibn Sarābī). `Liber aggeratus in medicinis simplicibus`, translated by Simon of Genoa and Abraham Tortuosiensis, incipit `Postquam vidi librum Dyascoridis et librum Galeni in medicinis` (folio 1).

    (ii) Alī ibn al-`Abbās al-Mağūsī. `Pantegni`, translated by Constantinus Africanus (folio 123). The text is sometimes attributed to Isaac (Isḥāq ibn Sulaiman al-Isrāeli) and was printed in his ‘Opera’. This is the earliest version of Constantinus` translation; it contains all ten books of the `Theorica` but only Books I, the first part of Book II, and Book IX of the `Practica`. The `Theorica`, which wants the prologue, begins with titles (incipit `Auctoritas Ypocratis quales debeant esse discipuli. Sex sunt`) and dedication (incipit `Domino suo montis Cassienensis abbati desiderio`), incipit `Oportet qui medicine vult optinere`, explicit `Explicit theorica pantegni`. It is followed (folio 226 recto) by the first 28 lines of Ricardus Anglicus, `Signa` ( ‘Leben und Werke des Richardus Anglicus’, pages 32-42), which breaks off at the foot of the page. Folio 226 verso is blank. The second part, `Practica`, incipit `Quia in prima parte nostri libri pantegni que theorica` (folio 227).

    (i) is mostly written in textura, but a less formal hand has written folios 29-37 and 87-105. (ii) is also mostly in textura, but a more cursive hand has written folios 131-138 and 147-156 (gatherings 13 and 15). The ornamentation however is the same throughout; titles and headings in red, a blue and red border on the first page, initials in blue with red ornament, and paragraph marks in red (but blue from folio 240 on). The rubricator has omitted to work in gatherings 12 and 14, hence (ii) has no title. There are occasional marginal notes by the text-hands and various later hands. On folio i are prayers and on folio ii the end of a list of saints in order of their feast-days, in several secretary hands, 15th century. The lower paste down is part of a bifolium, perhaps from a martyrology; what can be seen deals mostly with St Cyriacus; vellum, 2 columns, more than 31 lines, width of column 75 millimetres, space between columns 13 millimetres, 13th century. Notes of the contents, in three hands of the 16th century, are on folio 2 verso and in one of the fifteenth on folio 251 verso. Incomplete heraldic shields, ?16th century, are on folios iiv and 251. On the front paste down is the mark `c/r`.

  • Arrangement

    Collation: a⁴, 1¹², 2¹⁶ (-15,16), 3¹², 4², 5-9¹², 10-11¹⁰, 12-14⁸, 15-16¹⁰, 17⁸, 18-20¹⁰, 21¹², 22¹² (-11, 12), 23¹⁰, 24⁸ (-8), 25¹² (-9, 10, 11, 12). Original foliation 1-120 in (i), beginning on the present folio 3. Signatures and folio-numbers, in crayon, ?14th century, in centre lower margins (occasionally trimmed) of gatherings 1-25 as a to z, and, and. Catch-words by text-hands in lower right-hand margin of last verso, parallel to the text, sometimes boxed and occasionally trimmed (omitted in gatherings 11-end of (i) where one is added by the hand of the signatures, and 22-end of (ii) first part). Pricking with a round awl, from the top of the folded gathering. Ruling in ink (in (i) there are 2 lines between the columns, in (ii) 3; in gatherings 13, 15 and folio 5 recto of 16 there is ruling for one line 35-45 millimetres below the text). 2 columns. In (i) 47 lines (but 45 in folios 29- 37); in (ii) 50 (gatherings 12, 14, folios 2-3 of 15, and 24-25), 44-48 (gathering 13 and folios 4-8 of 15) or 51 (folios 1 and 9-10 of gathering 15, and gatherings 16-23; only 15 is ruled for 51, in 16-23 the first line is written on top of the frame) lines. Text area in (i) 225 x 142-145 millimetres, in (ii) 200-210 x 130-135 millimetres.

  • Existence and Location of Copies

    Microfilm available: Mf.Sec.MSS.423.

  • Related Materials

    Later versions of (ii) can be found in Hildesheim, Beverin`schen Bibliothek MS.748 and British Library Add. MS.22719 (see ‘Constantine the African and ‘Alī ibn al-`Abbās al-Mağūsī’, page 340)

  • Bibliography

    Serapion (ibn Sarābī). `Liber aggeratus in medicinis simplicibus` (Venice, 1479, etc.)

    Isaac (Isḥāq ibn Sulaiman al-Isrāeli). ‘Opera’ (Lyons, 1515).

    Burnett, Charles S F and Danielle Jacquart. ‘Constantine the African and ‘Alī ibn al-`Abbās al-Mağūsī’ (Leyden, 1994).

    ‘Leben und Werke des Richardus Anglicus’, edited by H H Beusing (Leizig, 1922).

  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Vellum. Binding of brown sheepskin, tooled blind, with two clasps, 17th century.

  • Other Finding Aids

    The text of (i) is preceded by an index in a 15th-century hand.

  • 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 ex-libris of Sir James Balfour, dated 1630, is on folio 2 verso, Denmilne number 33 on folio ii, and Denmilne mark on folio 251. The volume was number 173-175 in the sale of Balfour`s library. Former pressmark: A.2.30.

External Documents