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Liber medicinalis.

Avicenna, 980-1037
Thomkinson, Michael, active 1922, former owner
Willelmus, de Predioactive approximately 1450, scribe
Voynich, Wilfred Michael, 1865-1930, former owner
National Library of Medicine, Manuscript E 1
Liber medicinalis.
Uniform Title:
Qānūn fī al-tibb. 
Other Title(s):
Canon medicinae. Iibri I, fen 2-4; lib. III, fen 1-22; lib. IV, fen 1-2
Country of Publication:
[Belgium?, ca. 1450]
489 fol. : parchment ; 185 x 127 (134 x 80) mm.
De Ricci p.449, no. 1.
NLM incun. (Schullian) p. 220, no. 495.
Publication Type(s):
Manuscript codex.
Selected portions of Avicenna's Canon: Bk. 1, fen 2-4; bk. 3, fen 1-22; bk. 4, fen 1-2. The scribe mistakenly calls the section beginning on fol. 79 the second book. He correctly calls it "liber tertius" in the explicit (fol. 423r).
"Liber medicinalis" written on second free endpaper in a later hand.
Text leaves numbered 1-487 in a modern hand.
Contents: fol. i-ii: blank, except for title in a later hand; fol. 1r-78v: Book I, fen 1-4; fol. 78v: blank; fol. 79r-81v: contents of bk. 2 [i.e. 3]; fol. 82r-423r: Book 2 [i.e. 3], fen 1-22; fol. 423r-428v: contents of bk. 4; 428v-487r: Book 4, fen 1-2; fol. 487v: blank.
Book., fen, and chapter nos. written in upper margin in possibly a later hand.
Collation: parchment, fol. iii (i is pastedown) + 487 + i (pastedown); 1-612 76 8-3212 3310 34-4112 426(−4+5+6); quires 7-29 signed A-Z, quires 34-35 signed B-C, quire 38 signed F; catchwords vertical, horizontal, or horizontal framed in a scroll.
Layout: Written in 2 columns of 60 lines; ruled in ink; prickings in outer margins.
Script: Written in gothic book hand in at least 3 scribal hands: scribe 1 (fol. 1-78) ; scribe 2 (fol. 79-378); scribe 3 (fol. 379-388); scribe 4, similar or same as scribe 2 (fol. 389-460); scribe 5, similar or same as scribe 1 (fol. 461-487). Scribe 1 identified on fol. 78r: Me will[elmu]s de p[re]dio sc[ri]psit. Scribe's note on fol. 388v: hic nichil [nihil?] defiat.
Decoration: 11 and 6-line initials at beginnings of bk. I and IV; 25-line initial at beginning of bk. III left blank. 2-line (fol. 1-78, 379-388, 461-487) and 3-line (fol. 79-378, 389-460) initials at beginning of paragraphs throughout. All beautifully illuminated in gold, blue, pink, and white.
In sections written by scribe 2 and 4, initial letters on top lines are pen flourished and some decorated with heads in profile.
Origin: Written in mid-15th c., possibly in Belgium. E. Ph. Goldschmidt, Cat. 79 (1946), no. 2, identifies hand 1. in a mid-15th c. manuscript of Julius Solinus, De situ orbis terrarum, signed "Willelmus de predio me scripsit"; the same hand in Rainerius de Pisis, Pantheologia, in the Bruges town Library. "Guilelmus de Predio (=Vandevelde?) is known to us as a calligrapher at Bruges in Flanders ..." Schullian, however, dates this manuscript to the 14th century.
Item catalogued from existing description: Schullian, Catalogue of Incunabula and Manuscripts in the Army Medical Library; and in hand by National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Division, 04/2006.
Microfilm. 1 microfilm reels : negative ; 35 mm.
Exhibited: "Art is Long, Life Short: Medieval Manuscripts in the National Library of Medicine," 5-7/2000.
Cite As:
Shelfmark: Bethesda, MD, National Library of Medicine, MS E 1.
"Stated to have belonged to the Benedictines of Saint-Amand, near Valenciennes" (De Ricci); possibly the medical ms. described by Goldschmidt as having been in the A. Cavelier sale, lot 3, in 1895; book plate of Michael Tomkinson; sold to Edwards in Tomkinson sale, London, II n.1614, in 1922; notes in French on front pastedown in a modern hand, possibly by a bookdealer; several former shelfmarks.
101141493 [Manuscript]

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