This early collection of medical recipes includes prayers to God, the Creator of man, and of ‘all the trees, plants and minerals’, for assistance with mixing and dispensing medicines. It also includes part of a Psalm and two musical treatises. Among the medical texts is the Antidotarum, or Book of Antidotes and a recipe for expelling ‘melancholia or phlegm and bile’.
This book was originally brought from St Denis, near Paris to Bury St Edmunds abbey in Suffolk by Baldwin, a French monk who became abbot there in 1065 and was Edward the Confessor’s doctor. Bury became an important centre of medical study under Baldwin and several scribes added to this book during the 11th century to produce a reference collection perhaps used in the infirmary.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Taylor McCall
- Science and nature, History and learning
Understanding of the human body and the treatment of illness in the Middle Ages derived from the works of classical authors as well as contemporary scholars. Taylor McCall examines popular medical texts and their circulation before 1200.