Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

MS. Selden superius 44 (Bodleian Library, Oxford University)

Oriental Manuscripts Selden superius Collection


Summary of Contents: The volume contains 65 leaves. Folio 54a is blank. Folio 22 has been cut out from the volume and is now missing except for a 30 mm strip still attached in the gutter. Folio 23 is blank. Folios 24a–25b are bound in upside down in the volume. Folio 26 is blank except for two lines of casually written poetry; folio 27a is blank. Folio 57a is a later fihrist to the fragment comprising item 6; folio 56b is blank. The two front and two back endleaves are blank, except for the UAM entry number.
1. ff. 1v-21v

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:

Language(s): Arabic


GAL II 200
[UAM. 1011 (1), revd. by Beeston]
2. ff. 24r, 25v

? = Ibn al-Kh.ʼs *al-R. al-Sh. fī al-qawāʻid al-ḥisābīyah]. Frag. (last 2fols.) only.

*Paris 2470.

Language(s): Arabic


GAL II 167
[UAM. 1011 [(2), as revd. by Beeston; not in Uri]
3. ff. 27v-53v

d. As in Meshed and Esc. MSS.; Brock. “Jāmiʻ”.

Language(s): Arabic


GAL I 511
[UAM. 1011 (2), with corrig. Nicoll p. 605; (3) as revd. by Beeston]
4. f. 54v

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

Incipit: بسم الله …هذا الكتاب الفصول لبقراط الحكيم وهو مشتمل على سبع مقالات وكل منها على فصول المقالة الاولى آ العمر قصير والصناعه طويله والوقت ضيق والقضا عسر والتجربة خطر وقد ينبغى لك ان لا يقتصر على توخي فعل ما ينبغى دون ان يكون ما يفعله المريض ومن يحضره كذلك والاشيآ التى من خارج ب ان كان ما يستفرغ من البدن عند استطلاق البطن
Explicit: وينبغى ايضا ان تزن قوه المريض فتعلم هل تثبت الى وقت منتهى المرض وتنظرا قوه المريض يجوبه[غير معجمة، = يحوز] قبل غايه المرض ولا يبقى على ذلك الغذاء ام المرض يحوز قبل ان تسكن عاديته
Language(s): Arabic


NCAM-1, Entry No. 1
Appendix Medicine
UAM, 219 entry MXI (1011); this treatise is not mentioned
5. ff. 55v, 56r
Author: Anonymous

Sketches for various water-lifting and mechanical devices

Language(s): Arabic


Appendix Mathematics
[UAM. 1011 [(5) as revd. by Beeston; not in Uri]]
6. ff. 57v, 65v
(Persian fragment)

SEB III, entry no. 2842

Language(s): Arabic


[UAM. 1011 [(5) as revd. by Beeston; not in Uri]]

Physical Description

Form: codex
21 fols. 2 fols. 27 ff. 1 f. 2 ff. 9 ff.


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.


Origin: 1407 CE 1487 CE 15th cent? CE n.d. n.d.

Provenance and Acquisition

The collections of John Selden.

Presented to the Bodleian Library by Selden's estate in 1659.

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


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures contact Bodleian Admissions).

Funding of Cataloguing



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