Book of learned medical treatises with some additional practical texts (Miscellanea Medica XVIII)

Early 14th Century
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Book of learned medical treatises with some additional practical texts (Miscellanea Medica XVIII). Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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Book of learned medical treatises with some additional practical texts (Miscellanea Medica XVIII)


Leaf i r-v blank

Leaf ii r-v Index of terms in an early modern hand

Leaf iii r Inscription of Walter Harte concerning the Trotula text (s. xviii)

Leaf iii v- x v blank

1. pp. 1-6 Richard of Salerno, Anatomia

Richard of Salerno is thought to have been a twelfth-century master of the medical school at Salerno, and this text is thought to be a transcript of an oral lecture by him. See Cornelius O'Boyle, The Art of Medicine: Medical Teaching at the University of Paris, 1250-1400 (Leiden: Brill, 1998), pp. 107-108.

Incipit: 'De cognicione interiorum membrorum humani corporis ...'

Explicit: '... ideoque a dextris nascuntur masculin et a sinistris femine'.

2. pp. 6-8 Pseudo-Hippocrates, Physiognomia

Incipit: 'Hic incipit phisonomia ypocratis et philamonis. Discipuli siquidem ypocratis depinxerint ...'

Explicit: '... aspectus quasi commixtus leticie et iucumditatis'.

3. pp. 8-19 Anonymous, De conservatione sanitatis

Incipit: 'Sciendum quod homo compositus est ex oppositis elementis ...'

Explicit: '... et postea sederit paciens in illa decoctione usque ad umbilicum'.

4. pp. 19-65 Glossulae Quatuor Magistrorum (abridged and incomplete)

The end of this work is found in De Renzi, Collectio Salernitana, Vol. II, p. 697.

Incipit: 'Liber iste dividitur in prohemium et in tractatum ...'

'... Et sicut dictum est primo in genere et preterea in specie de cauteriis in quibus morbis competant.'

5. pp. 65-84 Liber Trotile

Description below taken from Green, Monica H. 'A Handlist of the Latin and Vernacular Manuscripts of the So-Called Trotula Texts. Part 1: The Latin Manuscripts', Scriptorium 50 (1996) p. 153.

pp. 65r-v Table of contents of LSM (listing 17 capp.). Cum auctor uniuersitatis deus in prima origine mundi … [The text continues to p. 72v and then from p. 63r to 64v, as pp. 63/64, 73/74 are wrongly bound]. P. 64v … ut sepa [sic], pastinate domestice et similia. Ut de curis mulierum … [the text then jumps from p. 64v to p. 75r.]. P. 76r-v: Vnde contingit quod Trotula uocata fuit tanquam magistra operis. P. 80r … postea duo oua et exinde manus frica. Ut mulier suauissima et planissima … P. 84r (309): … et boli armenici superaspergat et stringet. Text is somewhat condensed in places. Omitted are 98, 173a, 183, 197-198, 204, 207-233, 235, 237-240, 259, 267, 271, 277, 282-293, 296a-b, 306, 309a to end. Text has other peculiar features, such as the inclusion of 209a which is absent from all other copies of the intermediate ensemble. A s. xvi hand has added an index to the Trotula f. 11r-v; this same hand has also added numerous marginal annotations to the Trotula text itself.

Incipit: 'Cum auctor universitatis deus in prima origine mundi ...'

Explicit: 'Explicit liber Trotile'.

6. pp. 84-86 Theodoricus de Cervia, De aqua vitae (incomplete)

Though here attributed to 'Thomas de Bononia' this work seems to be a variant of the tract 'De aqua vitae' by Theodoric. (Cf. Singer, Catalogue of alchemical manuscripts, Vol. II, no. 1000).

Incipit: 'Aqua tripliciter potest fieri prima simplex secundea composita. tertia perfectissima ...'

Explicit '... De aqua ardente. Aqua ardens sic fit. accipe ollam ...'.

As the end of 6 and the start of 7 are wanting, it is worth postulating that there is a missing leaf or leaves between them.

7. pp. 87-90 Fragment of a treatise 'De urinis' (beginning wanting)

Opens: '... -ganius cum oxi laxatiuo et bene descamoneata ...'

Explicit: '... In senibus discolorata esse debet'.

8. p. 91 Fragment of a glossary of Materia Medica in Latin, French and English

Opens: 'Rubea maior, gallice warence. angliee mader ...'

Closes: 'Zizania nascitur in triticis siccis tempo siccis temporibus corruptis, anglice darnel'.

9. pp. 91-99 Richard of Salerno, De laxativis

Incipit: 'Medicine est scientia apponendi modum ad modum ...'

Explicit: '... Explicit iste liber'.

10. pp. 100-106 Medical receipts (in Latin and French)

At the end, 'Beviere pur festre garrir' in verse beginning 'Pernez la racine de Warence. Bugle, senigle e avence ...'.

11. pp. 107-154 Roger of Salerno, Chirurgia

Incipit: 'Incipit tractatus de prima particula. Caput diuersis modis uulnerari contingit ...'

Explicit: '... si materia sit in stomacho, ducit per vomitum. si in aliis locis consumit.'

12. p. 154-184 G. Magister, Speculum medicinarum

A work with a similar Prologue in verse is entered in Thorndike's 'Catalogue of Incipits', Col. 427 and ascribed to 'Asclepius'. Here his entry also includes two other anonymous manuscripts (Prague 2673, Vienna 2505) also entitled 'Speculum medicorum' with the same Prologue in verse. The opening words of the text 'Huius opusculi series' (in our manuscript 'Opusculi huius'), are found in MS. 297 at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in which Ff. 127-135 contain 'Experimenta Magistri Will. de Sumereye'. In the Explicit the work is called 'Parvus viaticus magistri W. de Sumereye' (Cf. M.R. James, 'Catalogue of manuscripts at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge', 1912). Tanner's 'Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica', 1748, has an entry for the same manuscript at Cambridge s.v. 'Sumereya (Gulielmus de)'. This name is also recorded by Thorndike (op. cit. 304, 722) under 'William de Sumereye' in his index.

Incipit: 'Hic incipit speculum medicinarum ...'

Explicit: '... in uino bene coctum bibe in sero et mane et meridie'.

13. p. 184 Recipes in English in a later hand.

14. pp. 184-209 Nicolaus Praepositus, Antidotarium

Incipit: 'Ego nicholas rogatus a quibusdam ...'

Explicit: '... R. betonice. centauree maioris. mercurialis. ana. medium. 1'.

15. p. 209 Recipes in English in a later hand or hands.

16. p. 210 Pseudo-Hippocrates, Capsula eburnea

A pseudo-Hippocratic treatise, translated as 'The Ivory Casket', which deals with prognostication based on physical symptoms, mainly eruptions on the skin. For an English translation and further information, see Faith Wallis, Medieval Medicine: A Reader (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), pp. 43-45.

Incipit: 'Peruenit ad nos quod cum ypocras morte appropinquavit ...'

Explicit: '... desiderium ultimum vehementi desiderio. Explicit.'

17. pp. 211-237 Macer Floridus (actually Odo of Meung?), De viribus herbarum

This herbal, spuriously attributed to Macer, is possibly the work of the eleventh-century bishop Odo of Meung. The text is set in Latin verse and describes the medicinal properties of 77 plants, with large discrepancies between manuscripts. See Frank J. Anderson, An Illustrated History of the Herbals (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), pp. 30-32.

Incipit: 'Incipit liber macri de uirtutibus herbarum. Herbarum quasdam dicturus carmine uires ...'

Explicit: 'Una diagridii. sic apta solucio fiet. E.X.P.L.I.C.I.T.'

Followed by 16 lines of verse, beginning: 'Hec olus urtica cibolus canab[i]s canasca' and ending: 'Nastur. avencia curant paralicia membra.'

18. pp. 238-242 Macer Floridus, Table of diseases and herbs (7 columns, 3 columns on p. 242)

Opens: Capiti. Allia.

Closes: Scotosi. Pionia.

19. pp. 242-244 Anonymous, gloss on Macer

This item is recorded in Thorndike, op. cit., col. 63.

Incipit: 'Arthemis. in acrem secans...'

Explicit: 'Unde iudei verpi dicuntur.'

20. pp. 244-249 Miscellaneous medical receipts and notes.

21. pp. 250-251 Pseudo-Galen, Antibelomenon

Incipit: 'Incipiunt antiphalomia Galieni. Pro aloe mitte licoeum...'

Explicit: 'Pro zinzibero: pirectrum'.

22. p. 251 Miscellaneous medical receipts and notes in an early modern hand

23. pp. 251-253 Anonymous, Synonyma herbarum(Incomplete)

Incipit: 'Incipiunt cinonima herbarum. Agrimonia. idem. lappi inuersa...'.

Explicit: 'Prerogatiua, idem. excellencia meritorum'.

24. pp. 254-273 Anonymous, Fragment of a collection of medical receipts (in French)

Opens: 'Pernez auence. bugle. pigle. sanicle...'

Closes: '(Pur fere eschaufe) racine de persil e liverwort e cicore e blanc. e morele'.

25. pp. 275-276 Figures of the 'Zodiac Man' and 'Vein Man'

These diagrams are very common in medieval manuscripts. The Zodiac Man showed which body parts were linked with particular astrological signs, and the vein man indicated from where blood should be let depending on which organ of the body was afflicted. See Charles West Clark, The Zodiac Man in Medieval Medical Astrology (UMI., 2006).

26. pp. 277-283

Notes on the veins in Latin


Early 14th Century

Physical description

1 volume

10 ll. + 283 [282] pp. 8vo. 23 x 14 1/2 cm.

On vellum, with 6 paper fly-leaves [16 century] of which four are blank. Modern vellum binding.

Some leaves appear to be missing between p. 86 and p. 87, between p. 90 and p. 91, and between p. 247 and p. 248. The pagination omits p. 201, jumping from p. 200 to p. 202.

The margins of the first fly-leaves have been repaired, and the figure on p. 65 is slightly rubbed.

Pp. 254-269 are on vellum of smaller format (18 1/2 x 12 cm.), and this section and from p. 270 to the end appear to have been inserted, probably later.

There is an early 17th century foliation of 8 (p. 210) to 33 (p. 272). A new pagination has been added perhaps by a later 17th century owner, in which p. 201 has been dropped.

Pp. 63/64 is wrongly bound and should follow p. 72, and pp. 73/74 should follow p. 62.

Acquisition note

Particulars of acquisition not known.

Biographical note

The second preliminary leaf contains the signature of Walter Harte (1709-1774), and an inscription by him referring to the 'Trotula': his name and date 1729 is also found on the first leaf of the text. He was a friend of Alexander Pope, and tutor to Lord Chesterfield's natural son: see the Dictionary of National Biography.

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Finding aids

Database description transcribed from S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973).

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  • 44193