MS. Pococke 294 (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)
Oriental Manuscripts Pococke Collection
It is an incomplete copy containing only the first three maqālahs and about two-thirds of the fourth. It is stated in the colophon to be the first part (juzʼ ) only, suggesting that the copy originally comprised two fascicles. The second maqālah begins on folio 64a, the third on folio 119b (though it is mislabelled al-sābiʻah, ‘the seventh’), and the fourth on folio 168a. The Hippocratic text is usually introduced by qāla Ibqurāṭ and the commentary by al-sharḥ, written in red ink.
The copy is undated and unsigned. The appearance of the paper, ink, and script suggests a product of the seventh/thirteenth century. If the reading of the oldest owner’s note is correct, then the copy was made within the lifetime of the commentator, for the note appears to be dated 657 (1258−9) and signed by one ʿAlī ibn Abī Muḥammad ibn Maḥmūd al-ḥakīm al-Nābulusī. The general area of Nablus, where the owner was a physician, seems consistent with the likely place of production. The manuscript was certainly produced well before 880/1475−6, when a second owner’s note was entered.
The paper is water-stained and has some foxing towards the end; it is also soiled through thumbing (with fingerprints visible on folios 30b, 48a, 52a, and 147a). Folio 2 is guarded and the edges of folios 2 and 199 have been repaired.
13 lines per page. The text area has been frame-ruled.
The text is written in a widely spaced, large, elegant, Naskh with occasional vocalization. The initial kāf is frequently missing the top stroke. The final letters of words at the end of a line are often written in the margin at a considerable distance from the ruled text area. The letters ḥāʼ and ʻayn have minuscule letters beneath, possibly added later, and the letter sīn occasionally has a háček. The text is written in black ink with headings in red.
- Marginalia The copy has been collated. At the bottom of folio 199b, alongside the colophon, in a hand slightly later than the copyist’s (using a brown ink) someone has written that it was collated from the beginning up to that point. Quires of ten leaves are numbered with Coptic numerals as well as Arabic numerals.
- Paper The smooth, semi-glossy beige paper has a thickness of 0.12–0.16 mm and an opaqueness factor of 5 to 6. It has horizontal laid lines and chain lines in groups of 3s.
The volume is bound in a nineteenth-century European library binding of tan leather over pasteboards; the covers have two blind-tooled simple frames. There are modern pastedowns and endpapers. The traces of an envelope flap from an earlier binding are visible on folio 1a.
Provenance and Acquisition
There are four notes on folio 2a. The oldest in appearance, written in faded brown ink, names the owner as ʻAlī ibn Abī Muḥammad ibn Maḥmūd al-ḥakīm al-Nābulusī (the last word has been reinked) and appears to be dated 657 (1258−9). Beneath that note, a somewhat later hand has written that it came into the possession of Nūr al-Dīn ibn ʻAlī al-ḥakīm and his brother ʻAbd al-Razzāq in the year 880 (1475−6); this same information, without the date, is repeated in a second note by a different hand. There are two additional undated notes, one of them rather illegible, though written with a calligraphic flourish, and the other defaced.
The volume is from the collection of Edward Pococke, which was mostly assembled in Aleppo in the 1630s and came into the Bodleian Library in 1692.
Funding of Cataloguing