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2008 articles 2008 articles

A Mirror for Deaf Ears? A Medieval Mystery

Klaus-Dietrich Fischer (notes)

Abstract

Speculum medicine (The Mirror of Medicine) is the title of several works attested in manuscripts of the High Middle Ages. The present study deals with two of them that share some material, although their exact relationship is not clear at present. The shorter and certainly older text is a compilation, based in its first part on the Physica Plinii and in the second on the medical textbook of Esculapius (both works from late antiquity and popular in the Middle Ages). The longer Speculum medicine adds many pieces from Salernitan authors, sometimes identified by name, and was translated into Middle English, although at present only one manuscript (British Library, Add. MS. 34111) is known.

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