Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Or 15963 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Oriental Manuscripts

Medical treatise


1 copy of Vāfiyah

Title: Vāfiyah
Title: وافیه

A summary in Persian, together with a commentary, of Qānūnchah, the well-known medical treatise in Arabic by Maḥmūd ibn Muḥammad Chaghmīnī (8th/14th century). For the Qānūnchah see GAL I p. 457; Storey PL II/2 E. p. 219. Vāfiyah comprises ten maqālahs, which are subdivided into faṣls. The author, who is anonymous, mentions in his preface that he was among those who suffered much hardship following the death of the Tīmūrid ruler and patron of learning Shāh Rukh (reg. 807-50/1405-47).

The subjects of the maqālahs, the folios on which they begin, and the number of subdivisions in each are as follows. 1 (3r): Dar bayān-i umūr-i ṭabī ‘ī: medicine and the human phsique. 5 faṣl. 2 (14v): Dar tashrīḥ-i a‘z̤ā: the parts of the body. 7 faṣl. 3 (34v): Ṣiḥḥat va faraz̤ (sic, i.e. maraz̤) kih dar aḥvāl-i tan-i mardum ast az tandurustī va bīmārī va sababhā-yi ān: illness, wellness, and their causes. 5 faṣl. 4 (45v): Dar aḥvāl-i āb kih aṭibbā ānrā nuqrah gūyand va dalīl-i ghayr va Tāziyān bawl gūyand: urine as indicative of health. 6 faṣl. 5 (54r): Dar nigāhdāshtan-i tandurustī va tadbīr-i tandurustān va ‘ilāj-i bīmārān bi-ṭarīq-i kullī: generalities on maintaining good health and treating illness. 10 faṣl. 6 (64r): Dar bīmārīhā-yi sar: ailments of the head. 13 faṣl. 7 (72v): Dar bīmārīhā-yi andāmhā kih az sīna tā zīr-i nāf ast: ailments affecting the body from the chest to below the navel. 18 faṣl. 8 (85v): Dar bīmārīhā-yi bāqī-i andāmhā: ailments of the remaining parts of the body. 9 faṣl. 9 (90v): Dar bīmārīhā’ī kih dar tan ẓāhir bāshad va dar ḥimāyat va mu‘ālajat-i ān: ailments whose effects appear in the body, and their prevention and treatment. 8 faṣl. 10 (101v): Dar shinākhtan-i quvvathā va khāṣṣīyathā-yi ṭa‘āmhā va sharbathā-yi ma’lūfa: the characteristics of familiar food and drinks. 13 faṣl.

The present work is not included in FNKhF I. Storey PL II/2 E. p. 219, records only two other manuscripts, and the Cambridge copy (see Browne Handlist 1392 (2)) lacks both the beginning and the end. In the present manuscript, additions and/or amendments have been made by the copyist in the margins.

 f. 1v, title inscription; front flyleaf, inscription in a good copperplate hand: ‘C.W. Boughton Rous/ A Treatise upon Physic according to the Practice of the Greeks.’

 Colophon, f. 109r.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Rather thin off-white paper; the wormholes occasionally affect the text, and there are a few poorly made patch repairs.
Extent: 109 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 249 × 154 mm.
Dimensions (written): 170 × 82 mm.



15 lines.


Nastaʻlīq. Copyist: a Bilgrāmī whose first name is difficult hard to decipher but as written slightly resembles Ḥabīb Allāh or Qarīb Allāh.


 Red headings and overlinings.



Original Indian black goatskin binding, extremely worn, with remnants of small central medallion and pendants and margin lines at back and front.


Origin: 5 Jumādà l-sānī 1152 AH; 9 September 1739 CE 22nd year of the reign of Muḥammad Shāh Ghāzī.

Provenance and Acquisition

C.W. Boughton Rous (Rouse-Boughton in1794, on becoming 9th Baronet of Langford)


Purchased at Bonhams sale 1 May 2003, lot 86.

Record Sources

Based on unpublished description in M.I. Waley, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts acquired 2000-2014.


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Funding of Cataloguing



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