Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

MS Arabic 1 (Wellcome Collection, Wellcome Trust)

Manuscripts in Arabic


1 copy of al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb by Avicenna, 980-1037

The first, the second and the third books of Avicenna's Canon of Medicine.

Incipit: (basmala) Fol. 2b.1 بسم اللّه الرحمن الرحيم وبه نستعين ونتوكل عليه
Incipit: (tahmid) Fol. 2b.2 والحمد للّه حمدًا يستحقه بعلو شانه وشبوع احسانه
Incipit: Fol. 2b.3 وبعد وقد التمس منى بعض خلص اخواني ومن يلزمنى اسعافه فيما يسح به وسعى ان اضف فى الطب كتابًا مشتملًا على قوانينه الكلية والجزئية اشتمالًا
Explicit: Fol. 528a.12 فصل فى انتفاخ الاظفار والحكة فيها تعالج بما البحر غلسا دايما فيزول به وبطبيخ العدس والكرسنه او بطبيخ الخنثى ومن اضمدته البنبوس والزفت والتين الاصفر المطبوخ مجموعة وفرادى
Colophon: فهذا اخر الكلام من الكتاب الثالث وقد استوفينا الكلام منه حسب ما يليق بذلك وعلينا ان نشرع الان فى الكتاب الرابع حامدين لله تعالى
Language(s): Arabic

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Oriental paper of two colours: 'beige' and 'biscuit' and thickness of 0.10 mm.
Extent: 529 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 336mm × 215mm mm.
Dimensions (written): 220mm × 125mm mm.
Foliation: Arabic, original. Catchwords are written underneath the text block.


Due to the binding and the subsequent restoration, collation could not be established exactly.


Good; traces of worms and occasionally water-stained.




Script: Beautiful Naskh

Ink: Black; headings and dividers highlighted in red


Original, Oriental type; slightly worn, blind tooling. On the spine is pasted a library tag with words: طبّ حطى عربى .


Fol. 529b: Iranian censorship seal.

Accompanying Material

The manuscript is written by two copyists. Fols 2 - 269 have been written initially; fols. 1 - 3, 32 - 33, 40 - 41, 144 - 153, 206 were replaced in course of restoration; fol. 3ab was written by the first scribe and pasted down on the paper used by the second scribe. Fols. 270 - 528 have been added later by the hand of the second scribe.
Fols. 4 - 52: on the folios written by the first scribe the foliotation and pagination are added on margins. Fol. 52 onwards: only foliotation used by the first scribe is added. In the bottom of each folio the second scribe has added his foliotation, indicating hundreds and tens. Thus number "479" appears: ٤٠٠٧٠٩, i.e. 400+70+9 (cf. fol. 480)
Fols 4a, 5a, 6b, 7a, 8a - 14b, 16b, 17a, 18ab, 21b, 22b, 29b, 35a, 44a, 46a, 49b, 50a, 58a, 60a, 68b, 69ab, 70a (large), 70b - 82b, 92b, 102b, 106a, 107b, 108b, 114a, 115a (a line crossed out), 121a, 138a, 177a, 183a, 195b, 196a, 199a, 200a - 201b, 205a, 208ab, 214a, 216a, 218a, 219a, 226a, 232a, 237a, 240b, 244a, 253b, 254b, 267a contain occasional indications on the contents, additions, corrections and "left-out" parts of words.
Fol. 128 is a mistake in the original foliotation. Fol. 172 has a mistake in foliotation used by the second scribe.
Fols 35 - 38, 49, 56 - 143, 154 - 184, 186 - 205, 207 - 269 are water-stained and have evidences of restoration.


Origin: 18th - 19th cent.


    Ullmann Medizin p. 152, Iskandar Catalogue p. 162 (Shelf-mark: WMS Or. 1a)