Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 9 (S.1.9)
Title: De Medicina Fen I. II
Images: [ MS Hunter 9 fol. 1r ]
Date of Creation: Between 1399 and 1499
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Husain ibn 'Abd Allah, (Abu 'Ali), ibn Sina (i.e. Avicenna), De Medicina Fen I. II.
Avicenna's Treatise on Medicine and Surgery: (Incomplete.)
Begins (1, 1 recto col. a, line 1): CAPITVLVM PRIMVM FEN PRIME DOCTRINE PRIME LI | BER PRIMI DE DIFFINITIONE MEDICINE INCIPIT FELICITER [gold capitals on a blue scroll] | D [illuminated initial, an owl on a log with two birds pulling his ears] ICO Quod [gold capitals on red] | medicina est | scientia qua humani | corporis dispositiones | noscuntur.
Ends (13, 3 recto col. b, line 50): et alumis iamem. et vngullar.
The first folio recto has floreated borders, birds and grotesque monsters on gold ground, at the bottom on a shield (gules) a flint (sable) emitting sparks (or) between two steel strikers (arg.), above and below. The device of the Order of the Golden Fleece, founded by Philippe le Bon, duke of Burgundy, at Bruges, 10th February, 1429, with the motto: Ante ferit quam flamma micat. The upper half of the page is occupied by a picture representing a University (?) lecture. In a low-ceiled room with gilt wood-work ceiling, large coloured marble panels between pilasters and floor of marble squares, under a green, gold-embroidered canopy on a three-stepped cathedra, beside a platform which supports a large revolving conical lectern with an open gilt-edged folio bound in red and with gilt clasps, sits a figure in a blue robe shot with gold, covered with an ermine-lined red and gold mantle, and blue cape similarly lined, and a red birrettum. He is lecturing from the book in which his left thumb keeps the place, while his right is slightly raised in a didactic gesture. At his right stands a bedellus (?) with a large silver mace (like that of Glasgow University) in his left, and wearing a red and gold wallet at his girdle. He wears a long sombre bluish cassock over a red undergarment, which appears at the neck. The audience, twelve in number, are similarly attired, excepting the central figure in the front row, whose robe is of cloth-of-gold, and who has an open volume, green bound, on his lap. Another green bound volume with gilt edges, studs and clasps, lies on the platform, and a third, in red, lies on the floor, where a little black poodle holds a bone in his mouth. All except the bedellus have what appear like rounded ends of bands under their capes.
The larger illuminations occur as follows:
On f. 2 recto Diagrammatic miniature of the four elements, in concentric circles. On f. 2 verso Diagrammatic miniature of the four continents and their inhabitants (a negro and negress in top one), with seas between, saltire fashion. On f. 6 recto The four "humours" represented by four figures in four-panelled gilt frame: 1. Warrior leaning on two-handed sword, with lion; 2. Falconer with ape on gloved right; 3. Doctor (?) in dress of lecturer (f. 1), with gilt wallet and lamb; 4. Franklin (?) with boar. On f. 10 recto Lesson in Anatomy. On f. 22 recto Lesson in Anatomy. On f. 30 verso Lesson in Anatomy. On f. 34 recto Discussion over a carcase. On f. 36 recto Discussion over a carcase. On f. 39 recto Lecture in hall (?same room as in first picture), lecturer on wooden canopied chair. On f. 43 verso Lecture in hall, lecturer under a green canopy. On f. 47 verso Four winds blowing at corners on a sea-girt landscape. On f. 64 recto Floreated borders and richly illuminated initial. On f. 68 verso Group of doctors (right), men and women (left), children between looking at doctors. On f. 76 recto Patient in bed, two doctors, one feels pulse, people in background, bed with red and gold canopy, green curtains, blue and gold bedcover. On f. 84 recto Woman with basket has brought a urinalis magnus which one of four doctors is about to place on a high shelf with five others.
The illuminations end f. 88 verso, but spaces are left thereafter for them.
ff. 99 verso-101 are all blank, red ruled for writing.
On ii, 4 verso is a book plate 9 1/8 x 8 3/8. "Cl. audran fecit." In chief lion passant, below eagle displayed.
On same page: Avicennae Fen I & II Inscriptio | CAPITVLVM PRIMVM FEN PRIME DOCTRINE PRIME LI | BER PALMI DE DIFFINITIONE MEDICINE INCIPIT FELICITER | DICO Quod | medicina est | scientia qua humani corporis dispositiones | noscuntur.
On iv, an étiquette pasted on: Manuscript en Lettre | Gothique avec figures en mignature, de | Medecine et Chirurgie | en Veslin en deux Marges | Reglé en Rouge In Fol | Veau Noir avec filets d'or | Tablette... 7 | Rang... 2 | Place... 1.|
[Formerly R.1.5; R.1.6].
Rebound by S. Cockerell, November 1962 - Buckram sides and vellum spine.
Binding at time of despatch to C. was ½ bd. tanned pigskin with rexine sides: not as stated in Binding information above.
Treasures from Scottish libraries: catalogue of an exhibition held in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Edinburgh, 1964): Avicenna. Canon of Medicine. Glasgow University, Hunterian Library, MS. 9 (S.1.9). Parchment. 101 ff., 415 x 294 mm. S. Netherlands, s. xv2. A manuscript of part of Avicenna's treatise on medicine and surgery, in Latin. The first folio has a border with acanthus leaves, flowers, grotesques, and birds, together with the emblem of the Order of the Golden Fleece (founded by Philip the Good in 1429). The miniatures are of considerable interest in illustrating medical education and anatomical dissection.
L. MacKinney, Medical illustrations in medieval manuscripts (London, 1965), pp. 127-128: MS Hunter 9 (15th c). Avicenna, Canon. ff. 1-84 passim. Author, Teaching: Avicenna lectures to large group of students and colleagues in medieval garb, some of whom hold books. The four Temperaments, Anatomical Dissection: dissectors incise abdomen; also thigh and arm of female cadaver (demonstrators, colleagues and students observe). Anatomical Demonstration: demonstrators expound concerning cadavers on slabs (colleagues and students observe). Diagnosis: doctor takes woman's Pulse (assistant and bystanders) (Fig. II). Diagnosis: doctors receive Uroscopy flask from servant (other flasks on shelf).
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 16¼ x 11 3/4, ff. 101 (originally 102), written in Flanders, in double cols. of 50 lines, each 11 5/8 x 3¼, ruled and margined with red, signatures, catchwords, foliation (modern), first page pictured and floreated, pictures (see Description), richly illuminated initials, capitals and running titled, rubrics, paragraph marks gilt on blue and crimson grounds alternately, initials touched with gamboge, fol. sec. huius autem. Cent. XV.
Binding: Pasteboards, covered with black calf, gold lined tooling, panelled back, gilt edges. (?) Cent. XVII.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), p. 13.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: Latin
Material Type: Treatise
Notes: Negatives (somewhat enlarged) of all miniatures in this MS. are held by Glasgow University Photographic Unit.
This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'Treasures of Scottish Libraries', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961; 'Treasures from Scottish libraries', Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964; 'The Glory of the Page', Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. 1988, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Jun.-Aug. 1988, Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Nov. 1988-Jan. 1989; 'The Magic of the Middle Ages, Part 2: Secular Manuscripts', Glasgow University Library, Sep.-Dec. 1995.
Bibliography: BMJ (British Medical Journal), vol. 238, no. 7432 (17 January 2004), p. 166, plate - reproduction of fol. 36r; Die Chronik der Medizin, hrsg. Heinz Schott (Dortmund, 1993), p. 83 - reproduction of fol. 1; L. MacKinney, Medical illustrations in medieval manuscripts (London, 1965), pp. 127-128; M.P. Meyer, Documents manuscrits,... (Paris, 1871), p. 117; National Library of Scotland, Treasures of Scottish libraries: catalogue (Edinburgh, 1961), x, 6; Ortrun Riha, 'Körperwelten: Säfte und Symbole: Konzepte mittelalterlichen Medizin', Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Spezial 2: Forschung und Technik im Mittelalter (2002), pp 48-53, including reproduction of fol. 1, p. 52; Charles Singer, The Fascicule di medicina, Venice 1493 (Florence, 1925), pl. nos. 88 and 89, with descriptions reproduced from essay by C. Singer and Streeter in Essays on the history of medicine presented to Karl Sudhoff, (Leipzig 1923); Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 61; Treasures from Scottish libraries: catalogue of an exhibition held in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Edinburgh, 1964); G. Wolf-Heidegger, Die anatomische Sektion..., 1967, nos. 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), p. 13-14.
For another work by the artist of MS Hunter 9, a single miniature of the death of Julius Caesar from a MS. of a French translation of Snetonius's Lives of the Twelve Caesars, see Bruce Ferrini and Sam Fogg, Medieval and Renaissance miniature painting, catalogue by J. Michael Heinlen, (London, 1989), no. 6.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Avicenna 980-1037
Abu Ali Al Husayn Ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina.
exhibition: Glory of the Page 1987-1989
Exhibition of medieval manuscripts from Glasgow University Library: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. …
exhibition: Magic of the Middle Ages 1994-1995
Exhibition: The Magic of the Middle Ages: Manuscript Treasures of Glasgow University Library. Part 1: Sacred Manuscripts, Glasgow University Library, 21 April-30 …
exhibition: Treasures from Scottish Libraries 1964
Exhibition, Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964.
exhibition: Treasures of Scottish Libraries 1961
Exhibition, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961.
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