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A Lion, Lioness, And Bull, In A Collection Of Medical And Herbal Texts

A Lion, Lioness, And Bull, In A Collection Of Medical And Herbal Texts

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1195

Shelfmark: Sloane MS 1975

Item number: f.80v

Length: 31.3

Width: 21.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This manuscript lists herbs and other plants, animals, and birds, and their medicinal uses. Each is illustrated, but the representations were apparently copied from other manuscripts, rather than from life (it would usually be very difficult to identify the subjects of the miniatures without the aid of the text). This manuscript is related to several others, which seem to have been made in the north of England, perhaps Durham. These three miniatures depict a lion, lioness, and a bull. Eating the flesh of a lion was supposed to cure apparitions; lion's suet could be used to cure earache and pain in the knee joints. Smearing ones face with bull's blood was said to remove blemishes and marks such as liver spots.

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