MS. Selden superius 44 (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)
Oriental Manuscripts Selden superius Collection
The first item in the volume is a copy al-Risālah al-Shamsīyah fī al-ḥisāb by al-Ḥasan ibn Muḥammad al-Nīsābūrī (or al-Naysābūrī), transcribed in 810/1407, a year before the author’s death in 811/1408. On folio 1a, a different hand than produced the copy has written out an explanation in the first person − that is, with al-Nīsābūrī himself speaking − explaining the origins and title of the treatise and its dedication to [Shams al-Dīn] ʿAbd al-Laṭīf, one of the sons of Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl Allāh al-Ṭabīb, the Persian statesman and historian of the Ilkhanid period who was executed in 718/1318
The rectangular space left blank in the tenth and eleventh lines of this explanation of the title and dedication has been filled by a later hand with an arithmetical calculation. On the bottom half of the same folio, written diagonally, there is a verse on the multiplication of numbers below ten:
? = Ibn al-Kh.ʼs *al-R. al-Sh. fī al-qawāʻid al-ḥisābīyah]. Frag. (last 2fols.) only.
d. As in Meshed and Esc. MSS.; Brock. “Jāmiʻ”.
The copy is undated and unsigned. It appears to be a rather early copy and to predate the earliest dated item in the mixed volume of which it now forms a part; item 1 in the volume was copied in 810/1407. The appearance of the paper, ink, and script suggest a dating of the eighth/fourteenth century.
A fragment containing only the first eight aphorisms from the first book (maqālah). The text corresponds to pp. 1–4 of the edition by John Tytler.
Dimensions 23.6 × 14.2 (text area 14.7 × 8.9) cm; 23 lines per page. The title and author are given in the first line of text. The text area is frame-ruled. The text is written in a small, consistent Naskh with extended terminal strokes for the lettersض , ي , and ن. It is written in dense-black ink with headings in red. There are almost no diacritical dots and no vocalization.
The smooth, glossy, pale-biscuit paper has a thickness of 0.10–0.11 mm. It is quite fibrous, with thin patches, inclusions, and vertical laid lines; no chain lines are visible. The paper is damp-stained, worm-eaten, and slightly soiled with grime.
There is one marginal correction near the sixth line, apparently added later
Sketches for various water-lifting and mechanical devices
SEB III, entry no. 2842
The volume is bound in pasteboards covered with European marbled paper. The spine is covered with parchment, with an inked numeral 44. The endpapers are modern; there are no pastedowns.
Provenance and Acquisition
[Any information about a single identifiable episode in the life of the manuscript between origin and acquisition]
From the collection of John Selden acquired by the Bodleian Library in 1659.