A circular diagram, now known as ‘Microcosmic Man’ or ‘Zodiac man’, appears in this miscellany of astrological and medical texts, made in England during the 15th century. This complex image illustrates how the signs of the Zodiac and the movement of the planets affect different parts of the human body. Medieval physicians would use this knowledge to determine the best time to perform treatments on their patients.
The manuscript contains a variety of different works, including tables of solar and lunar eclipses; texts on arithmetic; and medical treatises and herbals (books containing the names and descriptions of plants) attributed to the Greek physicians Galen (d. c. 216) and Hippocrates (d. c. 370 BC). The book also includes a copy of the Kalendarium by the Franciscan friar and astronomer John Somer (d. in or after 1409), a text that was widely read during the medieval period, surviving in over 40 copies.