The James Catalogue Of Western Manuscripts


  • Shelfmark: O.1.20
  • Manuscript Title: Medica
  • Alternative Title:   Medical Miscellany including Roger of Palma, Surgical Treatise
  • James Number: 1044  View Printed Catalogue Entry
  • Date: Cent. xiii early.
  • Physical Description: 

    In single and double columns of various numbers of lines from 19 to 31. In several nearly contemporary hands. All are large and bold. The MS. has some admirable drawings.

  • Provenance: 
  • Donor: Part of the Gale collection, given to T.C.C. by Roger Gale in 1738.C. 52. No. 183.
  • Size (cms): 20.5 x 16
  • Support: Vellum
  • Language: Old French
  • Century: 13th century
  • Folio: 328 ff.
  • Collation:  18-48 54 66 7?2 88 96 106 118-148 156 166 (4-6 canc.) | 178-198 206 218 228 238 (wants 4) 248-278 286 | 298 308 314 | 328-348 | 3510 3612-3812 398 (wants 7) 406 412 (2 canc.) | 426 438 4412 | 456.
  • Second Folio:    qui il por
  • Manuscript Summary:     A medical miscellany including Roger of Palma's illustrated surgical treatise.
  • IIIF Manifest URL:
  • Online Since:     25/03/2019
  • 1. A collection of receipts in French, in double columns of 22 lines.
    f.1 The first portion is in verse, beginning
    Qui cest liure uodra entendre
    Bele raison il poireit aprendre
    Plusors choses il porreit oir
    Ki mult font bien a retenir
    Ce uous di io por cors humain
    Ki longesue poent estre sain.
    The prologue ends on f.2
    Si enuie a et il me hiet
    Moi ne chaut gueres deus le siet
    Kar en tele chose me delit
    Ke tornera a graunt profit.
    Por uertin.
    Por le uertin pernez la rue.
    The last piece in verse is on f.23.
    Espeirement de enfaunt.
    Si uous uolez sauer en ame
    Quaunt feme porte malle
    La face est plus uermaille
    Then follows an
    Esperment a plaies.
    Treis bons freres estoient ke al oient almont doliuet etc.
    and a collection of miscellaneous receipts in prose begins.
    The writing changes from double to single columns on f.33 and the hand appears to change for one leaf; then returns to the first hand.
    This collection extends to f.44b, ending with a receipt
    En contre festre sanz trencher.

    2. A tract in single lines, 22-23 to a page 45
    The first 2.5 lines carefully erased except the initial T and the title A doner medicine.
    The text begins:
    quant uodrez doner medicine a malades se regarde laquele humor li abunde el cors.
    The first few pages may be by another hand: but the first hand clearly resumes on f.49b and continues to f.52b. The last being a receipt for "oinement a goute rose."

    3. In a closer hand at first (25 lines), then becoming larger (21 lines).
    f.53 A tract on diseases and cures (Amicum Induit)
    Chascuns ueraiement et home et beste et oisel qui cuer a en soi a iiii humors.
    Different hands appear between ff. 98 and 104: but I cannot find any real beginning or ending of a separate tract until f.194(192)
    que om ait a fere por metre sor cancre
    Explicit Amicum Induit,
    followed by a receipt in another hand.
    A blank leaf follows.

    4. f.196 [194] Issi comence le sotil enseignement ypocras a ces disciples que mult li auoient requis coment il deusent uisiter li malades
    Li auctor dist au comencement de cest liure.
    19 lines to a page.
    The last words written by this scribe are on f.213b(211b)
    por oster la sauor de sa buche.
    The quire is finished in a very bold rough hand.
    f.213b(211b) Olibanuni ceo est encens
    It is on the characters of various simples.

    5. By the scribe of no. 4.
    f.216 [214] A metrical tract de secretis mulierum
    Prologe. Bien sachies femmes de ce naies dotaunce
    Ci est escrit por uoir de lor science
    Denfant auoir et de lor enfantes.
    Among authors cited are Hippocrates, Cleopatra, Galen.
    It seems to end on f.235b:
    Sor la femele plus grosse la senestre.
    The next two leaves are by the scribe of no.1. They are in verse and contain miscellaneous receipts.
    Por tecches en le uis.
    f.236 La quele que soit dame ou pucele
    Ki desire auoir la face bele.
    The last:
    f.239b Por iaunes cheueus auoir.

    6. f.240 A tract in prose (21 lines to a page) illustrated with admirable drawings on the lower margins of the leaves. It treats
    de tote manere de plaies ke auenent al chef
    A feiz auent que li chef est plaie en plusurs maneirs. This is identical with the beginning of the Chirurgia of Roger of Salerno, an imperfect copy of which follows it.
    Other wounds and maladies besides those of the head are subsequently treated, and the tract seems to extend as far as f.299b (Del limazun).
    E metez sur le mal al plus chaut que li malade le poet suffrir.

    7. In a quite different hand, double columns of 31 lines,
    f.300 Chirurgia Rogeri Salernitani (without title)
    Prol. Post mundi fabricam eiusque decorem
    -recipit uocabulum.
    f.300b Capitula. De cura capitis
    f.301 Text. De uulnere capitis
    Capud uulnerari diuersis modis contingit.
    Part II. begins on f.312
    Part III. on f.310.
    Part IV. seems entirely wanting.
    It ends in the chapter De fractura ossis, f.324b
    -et si os bene consolidatum fuerit unguatur.
    The last column, left blank, has been nearly filled with receipts.

    8. In a hand resembling those in the earlier part of the book, 28 lines to a page.
    f.325 A religious tract beginning
    Qui uodra bel e beaus uestu apparer deuant la face ihesu:
    il couient quil ait une robe qui a anon confession.
    Then follows an exposition of the Commandments.
    f.329b is left blank, but the text continues on f.330 and ends imperfectly with that leaf:
    Ceo sunt le deus gardeins que deu ad mis por garder ses.

    The drawings in the book are: [corrected]

    On f.24v, in outline, touched with red:
    A man with a staff, breaking the head of another on R; who has a spiky mace.
    The text treats of wounds of the head.
    This is an isolated picture. The continuous series of drawings does not begin till f.240. These are in the very finest outline, sometimes washed with brown, yellow, and green, but more commonly uncoloured.

    1. The drawing in the initial on f.240r is not by the artist of the outline pictures. It has a brownish red ground and represents a seated physician to whom a man with bound head kneels: an attendant holds up a vessel. The doctor has a round cap with peak in centre.

    2. At the bottom of the page a drawing under two round arches.
    a. On L. a doctor seated: one hand raised, the other gloved, holding the R. hand glove. Cap as in no.1. Patient reclines on R., one hand up, the other in a sling. His head is shaved and wounded: he puts out his tongue.
    b. The Dispensary. Above are two rows of jars lettered.
    Below, an attendant pounding with two pestles and mortar. On L. hang surgical instruments. In C, balances. On R. a second attendant mixing drugs with spoon(?) in large bowl.

    3. f.241v. Doctor sits with scales, on L. Below is a round dish containing various ingredients. Two attendants, one pounds with two pestles, the other stirs a pot over a fire. Between them, a bowl holding four phials. A row of jars, not lettered, above.

    4. f.242r. Doctor, hooded, in chair, smears ointment(?) on head of kneeling patient: a woman stands by.

    5. f.242v. On L. doctor applies knife to head of kneeling patient who is steadied by an attendant.
    On R. doctor puts forceps into the head of a patient held down by an attendant. A man behind produces round objects (? money) from a pouch.

    6. f.243r. Doctor reads excitedly from a book on a desk. An excited patient with swelled face and hands to head.

    7. f.243v. Doctor on L. sits and bores a hole in head of patient held between his knees, an attendant assisting to hold the body. The instrument is an auger (or trephine) held between the palms of the hands.
    On R. doctor seems to be driving a crowbar into the man's head.

    8. f.244r. Doctor with spatula directs an attendant in mixing drugs. Cusped arch above; and four tiers of jars variously shaped.

    9. f.245v. Doctor with floriated staff talks to patient in bed.

    10. f.246r. Doctor uses forceps and plug to head of kneeling man.

    11. f.246v. Doctor with balances. Attendant, full-face, pounding drugs. There are two discs on R.: one hangs on wall and shews four coats of arms, the other has drugs on it.

    12. f.247v. Doctor with fingers in mouth of patient.

    13. f.248r. Doctor extracting a huge arrow which goes right through the patient's head. He has a markedly anxious expression.

    14. f.248v. He pulls an arrow out of the middle of a patient's back (who is prostrate and stripped to his drawers) with a forceps.

    15. f.249v. He talks to a patient sitting on the ground. An attendant behind with jar rubs or holds the patient's head. Four jars above.

    16. f.250r. Doctor talks to attendant mixing drugs : four large jars behind, with shields. Bowls on the ground.

    17. f.251v. L., doctor hammers a bar into the head of a patient.
    On R., he holds up what might be a sponge, or something taken from the head, and a cloth. The patient below, with an opening in his head.

    18. f.252r. He cuts a patient's head with a knife.

    19. f.252v. On L., he operates with mallet and knife. On R., with auger.

    20. f.253r. He pours liquid through a funnel in the ear of a prostrate patient on a mattress.

    21. f.254r. With an attendant, he pierces the stomach of a patient lying on a table.

    22. f.254v. He sews up a wound in a patient's neck.

    23. f.255r He sits on L. and talks to attendant with balances; between them is a bowl on a fire. Above, two rows of jars, and bags (of herbs) hung up.

    24. f.255v. Seated, he talks to an excited man in a close cap.

    25. f.256r. He feels the head of a patient (or anoints it): an attendant brings a jar from the uppermost of two rows.

    26. f.257v. Similar to no.24. The doctor's legs are crossed: the patient's hands raised.

    27. f.258r. He sears the upper lip of a patient: attendant blows the fire. The doctor has an iron in each hand.

    28. f.258v. He feels the swollen nose of a patient.

    29. f.259r. He sits with blank scroll. One attendant brings a plant and lays it in a dish containing others: a second pounds, a third mixes in a caldron, and holds up a plant. Fireplace on R.

    30. f.259v. On L., the doctor pulls with forceps at a man's nose. On R., a beardless doctor applies an iron to a man's upper lip.

    31. f.260r. On L., he applies an oval object to a patient's eye. On R., he operates with a knife on the eye. An attendant steadies the patient.

    32. f.260v. He handles the bandaged head of a patient. An attendant on R. sits on a cushion pounding drugs. A row of kegs and bottles above.

    33. f.261r. Seated on L. he holds balances. By him is a bowl in which are bags. An attendant pounding in C. On R., one with short rod looking at jars, of which there are four sets.

    34. f.262r. Seated with staff, he talks to a man with R. cheek swelled. On R. he operates with knife on the eye or cheek: an attendant holds the head.

    35. f.262v. Seated, he feels the bandaged face of a patient.

    36. f.263r. Seated, he holds the head of a patient who stoops over a fire. On R., he talks to a patient whose face is covered with spots.

    37. f.264r. Seated, he applies a small tool to the lip of a patient with spotted face.

    38. f.265r. Seated on L., he has a small yellow dog on his lap, and holds balances. Two attendants on R; one pounding, one stirring bowl at fireplace. Above, three shelves of herbs, bottles, kegs, horns and jars.

    39. f.265v. He applies a knife to the ear of a patient.

    40. f.266r. He pours liquid through a funnel into the ear.

    41. f.266v. He sews up a wound in the neck.

    42. f.267r. He presses his thumb into the mouth of a patient.

    43. f.268r. He sits and talks. An excited man on R. in shirt and drawers points to his stomach.

    44. f.269r. He sits and talks to an attendant mixing drugs. Three instruments, one an auger, hang above.

    45. f.269v. He opens the mouth of a patient and looks in.

    46. f.270v. He handles the face of a patient who is steadied by an attendant.

    47. f.271r. He applies a tool to the lower jaw of a patient held by a woman(?).

    48. f.272r. Door on L. Doctor sits holding herbs. An attendant pounding drugs. Another stirring in a jar which stands on the capital of a column. A third stirs a pot.

    40. f.273r. The doctor lances a round tumour on the L. shoulder of a patient held by an attendant.

    50. f.273v. By another hand. A single seated figure. A scribble by him: pater est alfa et o, filius est uita, sp. sc. est remedium.


Trinity College Library, Cambridge 2019