Liber canonis [manuscript].

Avicenna, 980-1037.
Standardized Title:
Qānūn fī al-ṭibb. Latin
[England, between 1250 and 1299]
17 leaves : parchment ; 284 x 210 (184 x 125) mm. (Book 1); 287 x 213 (208 x 144) mm. (Book 2).
Medicine -- Early works to 1800.
Medicine, Arab.
Medicine, Medieval.
Materia medica -- Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Latin -- 13th century.
Manuscripts, Medieval.
Sections from Books 1 and 2 of Avicenna's 11th-century comprehensive medical work, as translated into Latin in the 12th century by Gherardo da Cremona. Book 1 addresses medicine generally; the section in the manuscript is from the first treatise and concerns the four elements. Book 2 is devoted to materia medica. A few small stemmata are drawn in the lower margins in Book 1(f. 3r-4r), and marginal notes and headings appear throughout, with marginal chapter numbers in the section from Book 2 (f. 12r-17v). Repairs to the centers of leaves in the section from Book 1, with vellum patches and text supplied in the first half of the 14th century (f. 5-11; Quaritch).
1. f.1r-2v: [Preface and beginning of table of contents]
1. f.3r-11v: [Section of Book 1]
2. f.12r-17v: [Section of Book 2]
Ms. codex.
Title from opening rubric (f. 1r).
Collation: Parchment, i (modern paper wrapper) + 17 + i (modern paper wrapper); 1¹²(-1) 2² 3⁸(-4); columns numbered in an early hand, upper outer corners, 5-40 (Book 1, f. 3r-11v) and 351-354, 371-374, 347-350, 355-358, 367-370, 375-376, 378-379 (misnumbered for 377-378; Book 2, f. 12r-17v). Possible catchword on last verso (f. 17v).
Layout: Written in 2 columns of 52 (Book 1) and 58 (Book 2) lines; frame-ruled in lead with double horizontal bounding lines in Book 1 and double vertical bounding lines in Book 2; prickings visible.
Script: Written in Gothic script by at least 2 hands (f. 1r-11v, 12r-17v); 14th-century Gothic script on repairs; 17th- and 18th-century pen trials and inscriptions (f. 12v, 13v, 17v).
Decoration: 6-line puzzle initial in red and blue with flourishing in red and blue (f. 1r); 1-line initials alternating between red and blue in the table of contents (f. 1r-2v); 2-line initials alternating between red and blue, with contrasting flourishes, in Book 1 (f. 3r-11v); running head L[iber] I in red and blue, sometimes with simple flourishes in the contrasting color (f. 1r-11v); underlining and rubrication in red throughout; manicules in brown and red ink throughout most of Book 1 (f. 3r-9r).
Binding: Sewn in modern paper wrapper.
Origin: Written in England between 1250 and 1299 (Quaritch).
Local notes:
Lawrence J. Schoenberg & Barbara Brizdle Manuscript Initiative.
Penn Provenance:
Possible 18th- or 19th-century ownership inscriptions: John Church (f. 13v); William Clarke (f. 18v).
Sold by Bernard Quaritch Ltd., cat. 1270 (2000), no. 7, to Lawrence J. Schoenberg.
Deposit by Lawrence J. Schoenberg and Barbara Brizdle, 2012.
Cited in:
Described in Transformation of knowledge: early manuscripts from the collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg (London: Paul Holberton, 2006), p. 81 (LJS 359).
Cited as:
Oversize LJS 359
Gherardo, da Cremona, 1113 or 14-1187, translator.
Clarke, William, former owner.
Church, John, former owner.
Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection (University of Pennsylvania)
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