Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

MS. Laud Or. 139 (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)

Oriental Manuscripts Laud Oriental Collection

Contents

Summary of Contents: The volume contains 171 leaves plus two preliminary leaves and two end leaves. Folio 171b has 24 lines of casually written recipes useful, amongst other things, for the pain of gnashing teeth, for producing a peaceful sleep, for increasing sexual enjoyment, for toothache, and for throbbing pain. The preliminary and end leaves are blank except for (on the second preliminary leaf) the ex libris of Archbishop Laud dated 1635 and a statement in the same Latin hand that the volume contains Galen’s commentary interpreted by ‘Harim Ben Isaac’.
1. from="1" to="170">ff. 1r-170v
Title: Arabic translation of Galen ʼs commentary on the Prognostica of Hippocrates
Incipit: يسم الله … المقالة الاولي من تفسير جالينوس من كتاب ابقراط في تقدمة المعرفة قال ابقراط انّنى اري ((انه)) من افضل الامور ان يستعلم الطبيب سابق النظر قال جالينوس من البين ان ابقراط
Explicit: كما قال فى بعض الامراض الحاره . وما يحدث عنها وقد دل على الوقت الذى ياتي فيه بحرانها فقال في بعضها ان حد ذلك اليوم العشرين. وفي بعضها اليوم الاربعين وفي بعضها اليوم الستين . تمت المقالة الثالثة من تفسير جالينوس لكتاب ابقراط فى تقدمة المعرفة و تم بتمامها الكتاب . والحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله علي محمد خاتم النبيين وسلم تسليما

The copy is unsigned and undated. The appearance of the paper, ink, and script suggest a dating of before the end of the seventh/thirteenth century, possibly in Syria or Egypt.

It is a complete copy. The second maqālah begins on folio 72a and the third on folio 92b.

Dimensions 25.3 × 18.2 (text area 19.6 × 12.8) cm; 15–17 lines per page. The author, commentator, and title are given in the colophon. On the title page (folio 1a) the title is repeated with a slight variation in the order of the words (Kitāb fīhi taqdimat al-maʿrifah li-Buqrāṭ tafsīr Jālīnūs) and the additional information that it is a version (ikhrāj) prepared by Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq ibn Sulaymān ibn Ayyūb al-Shammās. Occasionally Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq is quoted in the text itself, as on folio 7a where his opinion on a passage is given.

The text area is frame-ruled. The layout of the text area on most of the folios is unusual in that the bottom line of the text is only half a line in width and is centred; this pattern is not consistently followed, however, for approximately a third of the pages do not have the layout and no rationale for its employment has been detected. The text is written in a large Naskh with occasional vocalization. Dense-black ink was used on folios 1a–86a and from 96a to the end; folios 86b−95b are written in brown ink of varying density. The large headings are in red ink. The letters sīn and rāʾ have háčeks, and the letter ḥāʾ usually has a minuscule letter beneath, with occasional minuscule letters under the letter ʿayn. There are frequent ligatures of alifs with following letters. There are text-stops of open circles filled with red. On folio 101a, between two sections of text, there are some curious letter forms and undeciphered writing.

The copy has been collated (collation notes on folios 15b, 19b, 23b, 34b, 38a, 43a, 49a, 54a, 63a, 75a, 78a, 120b, 127b). There are frequent scribal corrections in the margins as well as later marginal corrections and annotations, some marked by the letter ظ or صح. Several of the folios have been incorrectly foliated using European numerals; for example, on folios 24b−25a a Western hand has written 23a at the bottom of 24b and 23b at the top of 25a. On folios 38 and 160−7 there is evidence of marginalia, written vertically, having been cut off when the edges were trimmed for rebinding.

One owner has written on folio 1a that it is the end of Kitāb al-Miftāḥ, perhaps suggesting that a now unidentified treatise preceded the present one. In the middle of the title page there are five lines extolling the benefits of eating celery (karafs).

The talismanic expression yā kabīkaj (O buttercup), used to repel bookworms, occurs at the top of the title page.

SAUG § 7m, p. 124 (306)

Language(s): Arabic

References

NCAM-1, Entry No. 8
GAL I 206
UAM, 128 entry DXXX (530) [with corrig. Nicoll p. 585]
NPAE, 585
The manuscript was exhibited in Oxford in 1981; see Wakefield, Doctrina Arabum, 9 no. 18
2. from="170" to="171">ff. 170v-171r
Incipit: شعر/ ضننت الهوي سهلا اذا سهله حزن فصبراً عسي ناي / المحب له [؟] ان يدنو
Explicit: وله ايضا/ [...]يد الزمان فقد شبت والبحا / واستحال الصحي دحا واستحال / الدجي ضحي

A collection of four medical poems, of which the last two are assigned to Ibn al-Zaqqāq al-Andalusī, also called al-Balansī. The collection has been carefully copied by the person transcribing Galen’s commentary on the Hippocratic treatise On Prognostics (see first entry of this volume).

The copy is unsigned and undated. The appearance of the paper, ink, and script suggests a dating of before the end of the seventh/thirteenth century, possibly in Syria or Egypt.

It appears to be a complete copy of four short poems.

Dimensions 25.3 × 17.2 (text area 18.6 × 11.8) cm; 16–17 lines per page. The author of two of the poems is named as Ibn al-Zaqqāq al-Andalusī on folio 171a10.

The text area is frame-ruled. The text is written in a large Naskh with occasional vocalization in dense-black ink with headings and text-stops (groups of 3 dots) in red ink. The letters sīn and rāʾ have háčeks, and the letter dāl has a dot beneath. There are frequent ligatures of alifs with following letters.

There are no marginalia in this section of the volume.

Language(s): Arabic

References

NCAM-1, Entry No. 93
UAM, 128 entry DXXX (530); this item is not mentioned
NPAE, 585; this item is not mentioned
The manuscript was exhibited in Oxford in 1981; see Wakefield, Doctrina Arabum, 9 no. 18

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 171 ff.

Condition

The paper is slightly worm-eaten, with some damp staining of the text area and some soiling of the margins with grime. The edges have been trimmed from their original size, and the edges of folios 1 and 171 have been repaired. Some folios (e.g., 142) are brittle and have been torn.

Additions:

Paper The stiff, slightly coarse, semi-glossy beige paper has a thickness of 0.14–0.17 mm. It has evenly dispersed fibres with an opaqueness factor of 4. There are indistinct, vertical, slightly sagging laid lines with traces only of irregular chain lines.

Binding

The volume is bound in a European (seventeenth-century?) library binding of dark–brown leather over pasteboards. Each cover has a gold stamped crest with a coat of arms. The spine has five raised bands. There are relatively recent paper pastedowns of watermarked paper (two-handled footed vase surmounted by a flower and a crescent moon). On both pastedowns there are two fragments of cloth tapes in the centre of stained rectangular areas. At one time fragments of Western manuscripts were attached in these areas, for on the back inside cover (pastedown) there is the following handwritten note: ‘Slips of paper pasted down over the four tapes have been taken out for the sake of writing which was on the underside of some of them, and will be catalogued with other Western fragments belonging to Laud. [signed] E. W. B. Nicholson, 13 Feb. 1898.’ These fragments have not been located. Edward Williams Byron Nicholson was Bodley’s Librarian from 1881 until his death in 1912.

History

Origin: n.d.

Provenance and Acquisition

There are owners’ notes in several hands on the title page (folio 1a), none dated and most of them illegible. The volume is from the collection of Archbishop William Laud (d. 1645) whose ex libris dated 1635 occurs on the preliminary folio ib. Former shelfmark: Laud A.140

Donated to the Bodleian Library by Archbishop William Laud, between 1635-41.

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on Emilie Savage-Smith; A New Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts in The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Volume I: Medicine, Oxford: OUP, 2011.

Availability

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures contact Bodleian Admissions). Contact specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (3 selected images only)
Digital Bodleian (single sample image)

Funding of Cataloguing

JISC

Subjects


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