Medical compilations in the 12th century tended to be reference volumes, consisting of a variety of important medical treatises bound together. This is a typical English medical collection of the period, containing works by the two renowned Greek physicians, Hippocrates (b. c. 460, d. c. 375 BC) and Galen (b. 129, d. c. 216). It also includes an anonymous treatise on diet and various medical charms and recipes, including a cure for gout.
The majority of the texts are in Latin but a charm added at the end contains some words in Old English. There are no illustrations, but the beginnings of texts are marked by decorated initials, with elaborate interlace patterns incorporating plant and animal motifs, some with human figures.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Full title:
- English collection of medical treatises
- 1st half of the 12th century, Canterbury or Rochester, England
- Latin / Old English
- Usage terms
Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.
- Held by
- British Library
- Royal MS 12 E XX
- 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.