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Magdalene College : Medical texts

Magdalene College

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This compact manuscript once owned by Samuel Pepys, is, for the most part, a redaction of the popular medical text known as the <i>Antidotarium Nicholai</i>. The manuscript also contains a shorter and extensively reorganised version of the information in the <i>Antidotarium Nicholai</i> and a treatise on uroscopy that is part of the 'Dome of Uryne' group of texts identified by M. T. Tavormina. Little is known about the history of the manuscript prior to it coming into the possession of Samuel Pepys, but the palaeography and orthography of the volume suggest that it was made in England, probably in Norfolk, in the second quarter of the 15th century. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The majority of this manuscript is given over to two redactions of the <i>Antidotarium Nicholai</i>, both in Middle English, although the first retains many of the chapter headings from the Latin versions of the text. The larger of the two (ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(5);return false;'>1r-40v</a>) presents the text in a more typical form, with the medicinal preparations described in alphabetical order and each supplied with instructions for making the medicinal preparation followed by dosage instructions. The second (ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(85);return false;'>41r-51v</a>) reorganises the information and presents a list of plants arranged in alphabetical order with a description of their therapeutic uses. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The Middle English uroscopy text found at the end of the volume is a compilation of several popular uroscopy treatises for the most part ultimately deriving from Giles of Corbeil's popular Latin writings on the topic; the text has no direct parallel, but readers are directed to M. T. Tavormina's <i>Uroscopy in Middle English</i> for description and classification of this text and several related texts and manuscripts. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>References </b><div style='list-style-type: disc;'><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>M. T. Tavormina, ‘Uroscopy in Middle English: A Guide to the Texts and Manuscripts’, <i>Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History</i>, 3rd ser., 11 (2014), this MS is Pe2.</div><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>R. McKitterick and R. Beadle, <i>Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge: Manuscripts. Part I Medieval</i>, Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, 7 vols (Woodbridge, 1992), vol. 5, pp. 14-15</div></div><br /></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Sarah Gilbert<br /> Project Cataloguer<br /> Cambridge University Library </p>

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