MS. Huntington donat. 18 (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)
Oriental Manuscripts Huntington donat. Collection
A collection of traditions on all that is forbidden to Muslims, with a Persian paraphrase
*?= Brock.ʼs Abu ʼ1-Ḥ. A.b.M. al-Maḥāmilī aḍ-Ḍabbī (GI 181)
to top lines only of f. 103v
? identifiable with known versions
An Arabic translation of a Greek compilation on prognosis and the signs of death based on skin affections, arranged in twenty-five premises (qaḍīyahs). It was written in the fourth or fifth century AD in Alexandria but spuriously attributed to Hippocrates and alleged to have been found in his tomb. Yaḥyá ibn al-Biṭrīq (d. c. 210/825) translated it into Arabic, and it circulated under several different titles, including Risālah fī al-Qaḍāyā, Risālah fī ʿAlāmāt al-mawt, Risālah al-qabrīyah, al-Qaḍāyā al-Ibuqrāṭīyah al-dāllah ʿalá al-mawt, Kitāb al-durj li-Ibuqrāṭ, and Kitāb al-sirr. Its Latin translation also went under several titles, including Secreta Hippocratis, Capsula eburnea, De pustulis et apostematibus significantibus mortem, and De indiciis mortis.
The copy is unsigned and undated. It has been added to the volume by a fairly recent hand.* A Persian text written by an earlier hand surrounds the text of the treatise on three sides. The treatise here catalogued occupies the right centre section of the verso folios and the left centre section of the recto folios. It is a nearly complete copy, but with textual differences from the edition by Kuhne. The beginning of the eighteenth qaḍīyah is missing, as is the entire twentieh one.
*in a hand much later than the rest of the MS. [= ?13th cent.]
Dimensions 17.0 × 12.1 (text area of the relevent sections 6.0 × 5.5) cm; 6–8 lines per page. The title is given as al-Qaḍāyā al-Ibuqrāṭīyah al-dāllah ʿalá al-mawt at the start of the tract (folio 96b2) and simply as al-Qaḍāyā al-Ibuqrāṭīyah at the end (folio 103b). On folio 96b3 it is also said to be called Kitāb al-bathrah.
The text area has not been ruled. The text is written in a small, casual, inelegant Naskh, written with almost no diacritical dots and a number of ligatures using dense-black ink. The qaḍīyahs are marked with an overline, without any heading such as qāla.
The smooth, semi-glossy beige/brown paper has a thickness of 0.13–0.24 mm and an opaqueness factor of 4. It is slightly fibrous, with occasional patches of thinner paper scattered throughout. The laid lines are vertical and sagging, with no visible chain lines. The paper is water-stained and worm-eaten, with slight foxing and light soiling through thumbing.
There are no marginalia.
The volume is bound in a nineteenth-century European library binding of tan leather with blind tooling. There are modern pastedowns and endpapers.
Provenance and Acquisition
[Any information about a single identifiable episode in the life of the manuscript between origin and acquisition]
The ‘Huntington donat.’ manuscripts were given to the library by Robert Huntington in 1678, 1680, and 1683. In which specific donation this particular manuscript was given is not known.