Manuscript Number: ljs024

Version: Mar/10/2003

[Medical Miscellany], Johannitus, Introduction Ad Artem Parvam Galeni; Philaretus, Liber de Pulsibus; Aegidius Corboliensis, De Pulsu; Isaac Judeus, De Dietus Universalibus, de Dietis Particulares, Liber Febrium, Liber Elementorum, Liber Urinarum Translated by Constantinus Africanus, in Latin. Manuscript on Vellum.

[Paris, s.XIIImed]

149 folios, first and last three folios cancelled, lacking one folio after f.84 and one bifolium after f.90, collation: I14 (-1), II2, III10, IV-VII12, VIII12 (-1), IX12(-2), X-XIII12, XIV10 (-3), some catchwords and signatures, 2 columns, 44-46 lines, written in dark brown ink in a Gothic bookhand, ruled in plummet, with spaces left blank for headings, red and blue paragraph marks, decorated initials throughout mostly 2-line, alternately red and blue with contrasting penwork, three large illuminated initials (two 7-line and one 11-line) in designs of entwined Gothic vine stems and ivy leaves (one also with a bird and a dragon) in full colors and burnished gold with cusped leafy extensions, small miniature and eleven historiated initials also within Gothic initials in colors and highly burnished gold, two with opening of text in white letters on a colored panel beside the miniature, some medieval marginalia including a recurring and distinctive ‘nota’ mark with a hooded peasant with his tongue out, binding of early eighteenth-century mottled calf, gilt, Dysart arms on covers, red morocco title label on spine gilt ‘M:S: THEORETICA PRACTICA’, red edges. 290 x 193 (190 x 125) mm.

Incipit: MEDICINA dividitur in duas partes id est in theorica et practicam…/…Iam ergo remonetur ab elementalitate procul dubio/explicit liber elementorum ysaic ysr[ae]lite filii salomonis (TK 856).

Incipit: (Philaretus, Liber de Pulsibus), Intentcionem habemus in presenti conscriptcione de pulsuum negocio.

Incipit: (Aegidius Corboliensis), liber pulsu, Quatuor sunt membra principalia.

Incipit: (Isaac, Dietis Universalibus) Quod in primis coegit antiquos disputate.

Incipit: (Isaac, Dietis Particulares) Complevinius in primo libro.

Incipit: (Isaac, Liber urinarum), non cocta mixtam.

Incipit: (Isaac, Liber Febrium), Quoniam te fili karissime Johannes.

Incipit: (Isaac, Liber Elemtorum), Philosophus in plerisque suis libris.


  1. Written for use by a medical student in mid-thirteenth-century Paris.
  2. In the eighteenth century, the manuscript was in the Library of Helmingham Hall, Suffolk; with the arms of Sir Lionel Tollemache (1708-1770), 5th Baronet and 4th Earl of Dysart. The cryptic monogram on the front cover is ‘LTHD’, for Lionel Tollemache Huntingtower Dysart (1708-1770. The manuscript may be the volume of medical texts listed at Helmingham by Hershel Shenk, Biblioteca Patrum Latinorum Britannica, III, 1905, p.38, no. 4702. It was Ms. 69 (shelfmark L.J.III., later changed to L.J.VI). It was sold privately to the Robinson brothers after the death of the 3rd Lord Tollemache in 1955.
  3. Private library of Philip Robinson.
  4. Sotheby’s, 6 December 1993, lot 53.
  5. Dr. Jorn Günther Antiquariat, Mittelalterliche Handschriften und Miniaturen, Hamburg, 1995, number 4.
  6. Acquired from Sam Fogg, catalogue 16, number 46 (1995).


Ff. 1-5v: Johannitus (Abû Zayd Hunain Ibn Ishâq al-Ibadi, Hira 809/10-877 Introduction ad artem parvam Galeni), (TK 856).

ff. 6-7: Philaretus (Theophilus Protospatharios, Constantinople? Early 7th century), Liber de pulsibus.

ff. 7v-15: Aegidius Corboliensis (Giles of Corbeil, d. ca. 1220/24), De pulsu.

f. 15v: Dysart armorial stamp.

ff. 16-51: Isaac Judeus (Ishâq al-Isrâ’îlî Egypt 830/55-932/55)), De dietis universalibus, in the Latin translation of Constantinus Africanus (Kairouan, Tunisia 1017-Carthage 1087),.

ff. 51v-84v; Isaac Judeus, De dietis particulares, tr. Constantinus.

ff. 85-90v: Isaac (?), Liber urinarum, tr. Constantinus (begins and ends imperfectly, ‘...non cocta mixtam.../...quia ruffa, unum in partibus...’.

ff. 91-136: Isaac Judeus, Liber Febrium, tr. Constantinus.

f. 136v: blank.

ff. 137-149v: Isaac, Liber elementorum,,, tr. Constantinus.

These are the fundamental medical textbooks of thirteenth-century Paris. They were all on the required reading list of the earliest statutes of the medical faculty in Paris, ca. 1270-74. Johannitus’ (Hunayn ibn Ishâq al-‘Ibadi) Introduction to Galen, Philaterus on the pulse which is largely based on Galen, and Isaac Judeus’ (Ishâq al-Isrâ’îlî) Dietae Universales together ‘formed the ars medicinae of the Middle Ages’ (Rashdall, The Universities of the Middle Ages, ed. Powicke and Emden, I, 1936, p.56).

Johannitus was a physician of Baghdad, and was the principal source through which the works of Galen eventually reached medieval Europe and the greatest translator of medical texts of his time. Philaretus lived in the first half of the seventh century. Isaac Judeus, was a Jewish physician to the Fatimid caliph Ubaid Allah al-Mahdi (909-34) in Quairawan in Tunis. He wrote for the caliph, in Arabic, these texts on simple drugs, nutriments, fevers, urine and a text on the elements that mixes philosophy and medicine. Liber Febrium "was one of the best medical works available in the Middle Ages" (Singer, A Short History of Scientific Ideas, p.148). These texts were among the first to be translated into Latin and brought into the form of scholastic texts by Constantinus Africanus a monk of Montecassino. He had previously been secretary to the Norman conqueror of Salerno, Constantinus sources were mainly the Jewish writers of North African origin. The only text here of a relatively recent date is Giles of Corbeil on the pulse: he studied at Salerno and introduced its medicine to Paris. He returned to Paris as a canon of Notre-Dame and died there ca. 1220/24.


There are twelve miniatures of medical practice in thirteenth-century Paris: doctors and patients, medical students, examinations and scenes of teaching. They are painted by the Johannes Grusch atelier, a workshop active in Paris in the mid-century named after the scribe who signed a Bible illuminated in this style in 1267 (Sarnen, Collegium MS.16, cf. R. Branner, ‘The Johannes Grusch Atelier’, Art Bulletin, 54, 1972, pp. 24-30, and Branner, Manuscript Painting in Paris during the Reign of Saint Louis, 1977, pp. 82-86 and pp. 222-223). Its products included a large number of specifically Dominican texts, which suggests that it may have been one of the larger shops documented around the Dominican convent of St-Jacques in the university quarter of Paris. The miniatures in the present book frequently show doctors in Dominican habits. Of particular interest here is that at least four of the miniatures preserve in their lower margins guide sketches for the artist (ff. 65, 94v, 103v and 121v), simple diagrammatic thumbnail sketches worked up in the artist’s patternbook.

F. 1: A Dominican doctor teaching from a book on a lectern to an audience of clerics (26 x 40 mm.).

f. 6: A Dominican doctor standing feeling the pulse of a patient lying in bed (48 x 14 mm.).

f. 7v: A Dominican doctor standing explaining the different kinds of food laid out on a table (21 x 21 mm.).

f. 16: Three laymen seated at a table laid for a feast (34 x 33 mm.).

f. 65: A Dominican doctor instructing a servant who brings a tray of food to a patient sick in bed, with guide sketch in lower margin (32 x 28 mm.).

f. 91: A Dominican doctor teaching from a book on a lectern to an audience of laymen (28x29 mm.).

f. 92v: A Dominican doctor reading from a book (22 x 20 mm.).

f. 94v: A man laying a cloak over a patient lying in bed, with guide sketch in lower margin (23 x 22 mm.).

f. 98: A Dominican doctor standing explaining a point to a standing layman (27 x 20 mm.).

f. 103v: A man bringing a poultice to a patient lying propped up, with guide sketch in lower margin (28 x 24 mm.).

f. 121v: A Dominican doctor standing examining a urine flask and pointing to a patient seated before him, with guide sketch in lower margin (27 x 23 mm.).

f. 137: A Dominican doctor reading from a book (29 x 30 mm.).


Hunayn ibn Ishâq al-‘Ibadi, Isagoge Joannitii in tegni Galieni primus liber medicine, Leipzig: W. Stöcket, 1497; Galen, Gallen on medical experience: First edition of the Arabic version with English translation (from Hunayn al-‘Ibadi’s Syriac version), Oxford: Wellcome, 1994; Theophilos Protospatharios, Philareti medici praestantissimi de pulsum scientia libellus ulitis…, Basil: Petrus, 1533; Sarton, George, Introduction to the History of Science, Baltimore: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1927-31; Charles Singer, A Short History of Scientific Ideas, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1960, pp, 148-161; Christopher de Hamel, A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, 2 ed, p.134, pl. 115, as "private collection"; Dr. Jorn Günther Antiquariat, Mittelalterliche Handschriften und Miniaturen, Hamburg, 1995, number 4; Sotheby’s, 6 December 1993, lot 53; Sam Fogg, catalogue 16, number 46; Anthony S. G. Edwards and Jeremy Griffiths, 'The Tollemache Collection of Medieval Manuscripts', The Book Collector, vol, 49, no. 3, Autumn 2000, this ms. is listed as no. 64.

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