Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tacuinum Sanitatis II - Rouen



Portulaca Citarea



Mala Acetosa

Melones Insipidi



Granata Acetosa


[click images for full size versions]

The 'Tacuinum Sanitatis' is an important medieval herbal/medical health treatise based on the manual 'Taqwin al‑sihha', written by an Arab, Ibn Butlan, in the 11th century.

It is an holistic work that provides advice regarding the most important elements of life: breathing, exercise, eating/elimination, sleep and mental wellbeing. In particular it provides information about plants in terms of the their health benefits and pharmaceutical properties.

I've posted about this treatise previously but I thought this was worth revisiting as I came across a digital copy of the Rouen manuscript from the 15th century. These are the best quality images I've seen - other examples suffered from poor quality colour balance and digitization artifact.


Menachem Mendel said...

A few years ago I picked up a used copy of this wonderful book published as The Medieval Health Handbook by George Braziller, Inc. It is out-of-print but available used online. The books does not include pictures of the entire mss. page, but rather only of the illustrations themselves. The English edition is apparently based on the Italian edition by Luisa Cogliati Arano and includes an introduction discussion the various mss. of the work.

The Lone Beader said...

I love your blog. I don't where you find this stuff, but thank you so much for sharing. I find the pictures to be very inspiring...

gl. said...

i love this book! and not just because it has beautiful lettering, but because it talks about the uses of ricotta:
"it nourishes the body and fattens it... [but] it causes occlusions, is difficult to digest, and favors colic." hee!

gl. from the scarlet letters:

Elatia Harris said...

I have seen the fourth image down, with a man, basket in hand, gathering black balls, interpreted as being about truffle-finding. Can't quite believe it considering the eating of truffles was discouraged -- for most people -- at the time these images were made. Can anyone enlighten me? Truffles are my subject...

pk said...

100% correct Elatia. From the Rouen site....

Référence BI-051008-0122

Fonds Leber

Cote Leber 1088 fol. 09 v° (Ms 3054)

Catégorie Manuscrits

Titre Tacuinum sanitatis

Légende Terratufule (Truffes).

Type de document [matériel textuel manuscrit numérisé]

Auteur(s) - Contributeur(s) Ibn Butlan (10..-1066?, aut. du texte)

Publication Italie, 15e siècle

Description matérielle 53 feuillets sur vélin, ornés de 70 dessins coloriés; 243 x 162 mm (f.)

Elatia Harris said...

Fabulous, PK -- I need a really good truffle image from those centuries when they were forbidden fare. Nice big ones too. That mild-mannered looking gatherer may not have known what he was touching. I was baffled by the stem and leaf nearest the truffles not resembling an oak leaf, or a hazelnut leaf. What a contribution to botany it would be to discover that another kind of tree was once involved in the mychorrization. Thanks!

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