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Medieval Medical Recipes : Medical texts

Bernard de Gordon

Medieval Medical Recipes

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript is a compendium of medical treatises with a particular focus on the work of Bernard de Gordon (fl. c. 1270-1330), a physician and professor of medicine at the medieval university in Montpellier, France. de Gordon's most famous work, known as the <i>Lilium medicinae</i> or just the <i>Lilium</i> is not present here, but several of his other shorter works are, and he is named throughout in the opening and closing rubrics. Other works present in the volume are popular medical texts by Alexander of Tralles and Walter Agilon as well as a version of the highly popular medical work known as the <i>Antidotarium Nicholai</i>. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The volume as it exists now bears evidence of having been rearranged since it was originally copied and bound, and the current disposition of the quires appears to be the third representation of the texts in this volume. The manuscript was foliated in ink in the medieval period, and before 1477, but this sequence now runs as: <div>- 32-87 for ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(15);return false;'>1-56</a><br />- 8-31 for ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(127);return false;'>57r-79v</a><br />- 118-125 for ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(175);return false;'>81r-88v</a><br />- two unnumbered leaves (ff. 89-90)<br />- 2-7 for ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(195);return false;'>91r-96v</a><br />- one unnumbered leaf (f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(207);return false;'>97</a>)<br />- 113-117 for ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(209);return false;'>98r-102v</a><br />- one unnumbered leaf (f. 103)<br />- and 153 for f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(221);return false;'>104</a><br /></div><br />. This sequence lacks the designations 1 and 88-112, although '1' and '112' can probably be assigned to extant leaves ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(193);return false;'>90</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(207);return false;'>97</a> respectively. The unnumbered remainder consists of a gap between 88-111, i.e., 24 leaves, probably arranged as three quires of eight leaves, or two quires of twelve leaves. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, like many others included in the Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries project was once owned or used by Roger Marchall (c. 1417-1477), a doctor and physician to Edward IV who wrote his name on ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(10);return false;'>[ii] verso</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(14);return false;'>[iv] verso</a>. In common with numerous other manuscripts he encountered, Marchall added a table of contents to the beginning of the manuscript (f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(14);return false;'>[iv] verso</a>) as well as rubrics and running headings for some of the treatises in the volume (see e.g., f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(183);return false;'>85r</a>). Marchall's ownership or use of manuscripts is very well-attested, with forty-four surviving books (including this one) bearing evidence to connect him to them in some way; six others may have been his or accessed by him, and a further twelve are recorded but not traced. Since the contents of the manuscript remain in the order that Marchall recorded them, the disrupted foliation sequence described above must pre-date his arrangement of the volume. However, the manuscript as we find it today does not survive in quite the same form that Marchall appears to have known or arranged it. Of the 17 items recorded in his table of contents, only 11 remain: the items that Marchall numbered as 12-17 were noted as 'desunt' (i.e. 'lacking') by an early modern hand. These texts are: <div>'12. Thesaurus pauperum per Magistrum Petrum Hispanum' = the <i>Thesaurus Pauperum</i> of Petrus Hispanus<br />'13. Tractatus de formacione hominis' = perhaps either <i>De opificio Dei</i> (sometimes known as 'de formacione hominis') of Lactantius or <i>De formatione humani corporis</i> by Giles of Rome<br />'14. Anothomia Magistri Ricardi medici probatisii' = probably the <i>Anatomia</i> attributed to Richard the Englishman (Ricardi anglici)<br />'15. De virtutibus aque vite' = probably the <i>De virtutibus aquae ardentis</i> (sometimes known as 'De virtutibus aque vite vel ardentis') of Arnald of Villanova<br />'16. Sinonomia medicinalia' = many of the medieval Latin 'sinonima' texts are alchemical rather than strictly medicinal in nature, but there are, nevertheless, medicinal synonym lists that have survived as hapax legomena or highly divergent texts that begin with the same lemma. This text may have resembled  <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Oxford, Exeter College, MS 35, ff. 41ra-46r</a> (eTK 0990B) <br />'17. Cirurgia cuiusdam ignoti' = there were several very popular medieval treatises on surgery available in England by the mid-15th century, it is not clear which one is indicated here <br /></div><br /></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The circumstances in which this section of the manuscript was lost are not entirely clear. Certainly, they were no longer part of the manuscript when it was recorded as no. 967 in Edward Bernard's <i>Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum</i> of c. 1697: the last item in Bernard's inventory of the manuscript is Bernard de Gordon's <i>De gradibus</i>. The manuscript was first recorded in the possession of Gonville and Caius College in Thomas James's <i>Ecloga Oxonio-Cantabrigiensis</i> of 1600, as no. 171 (which number is written in the upper margin of f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(15);return false;'>1r</a>). The <i>Ecloga</i> does record all 17 items, which, at first glance, indicates that items 12-17 must have gone missing after 1600 but before c. 1697. However, the wording of Thomas James's list is very close to Marchall's table of contents - and likewise omits the titles of texts not noted by Marchall (and only added later by a post-medieval hand): 'De medicinis ex accipitre ex libro de nature Rerum' (i.e. ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(175);return false;'>81r-84v</a>) and 'Compilationes urinarum Isaac' (i.e. ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(199);return false;'>93r-95r</a>). It is possible, therefore, that James merely copied out Marchall's table of contents and therefore cannot be relied on as a guide to the history of the manuscript's contents. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> As described by Linda Voigts, the present manuscript is one of eighteen (possibly nineteen) manuscripts at Gonville and Caius College that may be linked to Marchall, and which were probably donated by him to Gonville Hall (as Gonville and Caius then was); King's College and Peterhouse, where the study of medicine was also supported, received gifts of books from him too. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Thirteen manuscripts owned or used by Marchall (plus another that contains an inscription in a hand very similar to Marchall's) are being digitised, catalogued and conserved as part of the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''><i>Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries</i></a> project: <div>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville and Caius College, MS 59/153</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 2) <br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville and Caius College, MS 98/50</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 4) <br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville and Caius College, MS 105/57</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 5)<br />- Gonville and Caius College, MS 159/209 (Voigts 1995, no. 9)<br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville and Caius College, MS 178/211</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 10)<br />- Gonville and Caius College, MS 181/214 (Voigts 1995, no. 11)<br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville and Caius College, MS 345/260</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 12)<br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville and Caius College, MS 373/593</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 13)<br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville and Caius College, MS 379/599</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 14)<br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville and Caius College, MS 401/623</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 16)<br />- Peterhouse, MS 95 (Voigts 1995, no. 24)<br />- Peterhouse, MS 222 (Voigts 1995, no. 28)<br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Trinity College, MS O.8.31</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 29)<br />- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, University Library, MS Add. 9213</a> (possibly linked to Marchall) (Voigts 1995, no. 48)<br /></div><br /><b>References</b><div style='list-style-type: disc;'><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>See L. Voigts, 'A doctor and his books: the manuscripts of Roger Marchall (d. 1477)', in R. Beadle and A. J. Piper (eds.), <i>New science out of old books: studies in manuscripts and early printed books in honour of A.I. Doyle</i> (Aldershot, 1995) pp. 249-314</div></div><br /></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Sarah Gilbert<br /> Project Cataloguer<br /> Cambridge University Library<br /> and <br /> Dr James Freeman<br /> Medieval Manuscript Specialist<br /> Cambridge University Library<br /></p>

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