MS. Arab. b. 10 (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)
Portions of 2 medical works (al-Ḥāwī and al-Fākhir) by Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakarīyā al-Rāzī.
This is a large private notebook or commonplace book into which al-Rāzī placed extracts from earlier authors regarding diseases and therapies and also recorded interpretations and clinical cases from his own experience. Following al-Rāzī’s death, Ibn al-ʿAmīd, a statesman and scholar appointed vizier to the Būyid ruler Rukn al-Dawlah in 327/939, purchased from al-Rāzī’s sister the notes comprising the Ḥāwī. He then arranged for the pupils of al-Rāzī to put the notes in order and make them available. The material comprising the Ḥāwī is arranged under headings of different diseases, with separate sections on pharmacological topics, corresponding to twenty-three volumes in the modern printing published in Hyderabad.
This treatise has been falsely attributed to al-Rāzī. It is likely that the Kitāb al-Kunnāsh, known also as Kitāb al-Fākhir, was compiled after al-Rāzī’s death, drawing upon various writings, including the Ḥāwī. It was not considered to be genuine by Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿah (IAU, i. 31815−20). For a discussion of the treatise’s authenticity and sources, see Lutz Richter-Bernburg, ‘Pseudo-Tābit, Pseudo-Rāzī, Yūḥannā b. Sarābiyūn’, Der Islam, 60 (1983), 48–77.
Written in one column throughout; 26 or 27 lines per page; the text area has been ruled.
Script: Written in a medium-small and professional Naskh, though in some sections the script is inconsistent and rather casual (as, for example, on folios 324−5). There appear to be at least three copyists involved; folios 491–2 and 527–8 illustrate the change in script within one section. The text is written in black ink with larger black headings or with red headings; there are also red text-stops and red and black overlinings. Gaps for headings have been left unfilled on a number of folios.
- Marginalia: There are very occasional marginal corrections of the copyists (e.g., folio 318). Folio 533a has a later marginal circular diagram, casually executed. There are some interlinear notes (e.g. folio 18b).
- Catchwords: There are catchwords, but on folios 675−83, 692, 694, 696-9, and 707−10 they are missing.
The volumes are bound in recent European library-bindings of pasteboards covered with dark-blue cloth with dark-blue leather corners and spine. There are modern pastedowns and endpapers.
Provenance and Acquisition
An owner’s note dated 1069/1658−9 occurs on the first folio. An oval owner’s stamp, dated 1254/1838−9, with Persian notes, occurs on folios 1b, 2a, 63a, 101b, 128a, and 308b. At the bottom of folio 1a, there is a circular stamp dated 1070 (1659−60) which is repeated twice, once with an an additional note, and a later Indian stamp dated 1327 (1909). A leaf from a small manuscript has also been pasted onto folio 1a, and on this leaf there is recorded a transfer by legal sale from Aḥmad ibn ʿUmar al-Baghdādī to one ʿAlī ibn Khāṭir ibn ʿAlī ibn Sayf al-Dīn al-Sahājī al-Taghlibī which took place in Rabīʿ II 1033 (26 Jan.−12 Feb. 1624); it is stated in the note of transfer that it took place around the time of the conquest of Baghdad in 1033/1623 by the ‘Pride of the Sultans of the World and the Alexander of the Age’ Shāh ʿAbbās ibn Muḥammad Ṣafavid’. It seems unlikely, however, that this transfer of ownership applies to the present volume.
Bought from T. Bahrami, July 1948.
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