Medicine

On this page, you can learn more about the various medieval medical manuscripts in St John’s College library.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 68, fol. 1r

MS 68

MS 68 mainly consists of a copy of Aldobrandino of Siena’s Le Regime du corps, a French text on diet written in the thirteenth century. This manuscript also includes an extract from Brunetto Latini’s Li Livres dou Tresor, an early encyclopedia written in the 1260s. MS 68 was produced c. 1475, possibly in Flanders. It was donated to the college by George Bate (d. 1669), who was physician to King Charles II.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 76, fol. 6r

MS 76

This medical manuscript, which principally contains a copy of William of Parma’s Chirurgia, was produced in England in the middle of the fourteenth century. The main text is in Latin but there are added notes in both English and French. Coloured drawings of surgical implements, like the ones depicted here, were also added to the manuscript.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 85, fol. 3r

MS 85

MS 85 comprises two originally separate manuscripts, both of which were produced in England in the thirteenth century. Respectively, these manuscripts include works by the physicians Constantine the African (eleventh century) and Rhazes (ninth / tenth century).

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 108, fol. 1r

MS 108

MS 108 was produced in England c.1425 and it contains a copy of Compenium medicine by Gilbert the Englishman (d. c. 1250). A historiated initial on the opening page (shown here) depicts a physician examining a urine flask. Medieval uroscopy involved looking at urine for diagnostic purposes.

 

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 132, fol. 6v

MS 132

MS 132 contains a copy of Practica chirurgiae by John Arderne (d. 1392), an important English surgeon. This manuscript was produced in England c.1425-1450, and it includes various illustrations of diseases and operations.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

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