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Medieval Medical Recipes : Works by Ambrose and Jerome

Medieval Medical Recipes

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The majority of Cambridge, Jesus Collge MS Q.B.10 (hereafter MS Q.B.10) is comprised of works by two early Christian theological writers, Ambrose of Milan and Jerome. The main texts were copied in the twelfth century, probably in England but perhaps in France, and are written and decorated in the typical early 12th century Anglo-Norman style: in single columns, in protogothic minuscule script, and with so-called 'Arabesque' major and minor initials that are either mono-coloured or in combinations of (mostly) red, yellow, and green. MS Q.B.10 has one particularly detailed major initial on f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(236);return false;'>117v</a>, a foliate interlace initial in white, yellow, red, green, and purple and with a dragon forming the sloping ascender of a stylised form of uncial 'd'. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Whether or not MS Q.B.10 was made in England, it was certainly in England by the 15th century: it has a list of plant names and a long recipe in Middle English in a hand of that period on ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(6);return false;'>2v-3r</a>, and also an ownership inscription by Andrew Doket (d. 1484), former Master of Queens' College Cambridge. Doket's ownership inscription is visible on f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(10);return false;'>4v</a>: 'Lib. Magistri Andree Doket rectoris Sancti Botulfi Cantabr.' (The book of Magister Andrew Doket rector of Saint Botolph's, Cambridge). Andrew Doket made a catalogue of the manuscripts belonging to Queens' College in 1482, but no book matching MS Q.B.10 appears on that list, so Doket, if he still owned the manuscript at that point, does not seem to have counted his personal book among the Queens' College library's holdings in the years before his death. It is not known what happened to MS Q.B.10 between Doket's ownership of the volume and its acquisition by Jesus College. MS Q.B.10 certainly belonged to Jesus College by c. 1700 at the latest as the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(2);return false;'>left pastedown</a> of MS Q.B.10 bears former several former Jesus College shelfmarks of which the approximate periods of their use are known, i.e., a pre-1700 shelfmark ('M.Z.11'), a temporary- or aborted-reorganisation shelfmark 'H.18' in use c. 1700-1705, and another pre-1705 shelfmark 'N.B.10' with the 'N' struck out and changed to 'Q' to reflect the move of the manuscripts from the 'N' to the 'Q' press c. 1705. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>References</b><div style='list-style-type: disc;'><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>R. Hanna, 'The Thomas Mans, Their Books, and Jesus College Librarianship', <i>The Library</i>, 21.1 (2020), pp. 46–73 </div></div><br /></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Sarah Gilbert<br /> Project Cataloguer for the Curious Cures Project<br /> Cambridge University Library</p>

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