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Medieval Medical Recipes : Medical treatises

Medieval Medical Recipes

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript begins and ends with four parchment leaves (ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(3);return false;'>1r-4v</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(323);return false;'>161r-164v</a>: Part 1) that have been taken from a late 13th- or early 14th-century legal manuscript and recycled as flyleaves for this 15th-century medical manuscript. While M.R. James dated the leaves to the 14th century, the dates of the law cases and features of the script leave open the possibility of an earlier composition around c. 1300.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The core of the manuscript (ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(11);return false;'>5r-160v</a>) consists of paper leaves with watermarks that are difficult to identify due to their poor visibility. Throughout, there are medical works and medical recipes in Latin and Middle English that were copied by various 15th-century hands, possibly with some marginal additions made in the early 16th century. Although the core of the manuscript may originate from a single milieu or location, it is possible to identify at least three parts that may have been produced separately from one and another: ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(11);return false;'>5r-69v</a> (Part 2); ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(141);return false;'>70r-123v</a> (Part 3); and ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(251);return false;'>124r-160v</a> (Part 4). That these three parts were created independently of one another is suggested by differences in their layouts, scripts, and quire numbers. Nevertheless, they were almost certainly joined together by the end of the 15th century: the same 15th- or 16th-century hands can be identified among the marginal annotations in all three parts.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>What is known about the manuscript suggests that its parts were created and owned in the East of England. While Middle English dialectal features point towards Suffolk and Norfolk [see Language(s)], the manuscript's earliest known owners may have been members of the Spelman family of Narborough, Norfolk [see Provenance]. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Clarck Drieshen<br /> Project Catalouger in Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries<br /> Cambridge University Library</p>

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