MS. Ashmole 399
Summary Catalogue no.: 6743
Summary Catalogue no.: 7018
Summary Catalogue no.: 7745
Texts and illustrations relating to medicine, prognostication and arithmetic; England, late 13th-early 14th century
Bound for Ashmole, with his arms on the spine, quarterly in the first quarter a fleur-de-lys.
Provenance and Acquisition
Several booklets brought together in the early fourteenth century.
'By me hugh nalynghurst' (?) (fol. 72r, erased, 16th cent.)
'Sum Johannis Gibbon. e coll. sancte et individuae Trinitatis Oxon : et ejusdem coll. convictoris. Anno Domini 1628 men: Maij nono' (fol. 72v).
Bequeathed by him to the Ashmolean Museum.
Transferred to the Bodleian Library in 1860.
MS. Ashmole 399 - Part 1 (fols. 1-32, 35-71)
Items 8, 11, 12, 13 and 14 were copied from Oxford, Pembroke College, MS. 21 (England, late 13th century); see M. Green, in Scriptorium 50 (1996) p. 163 n. 97. For the Pembroke MS., which is digitized, see N. Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries III (1983) 689-93.
Ed. R. Foerster, Scriptores physiognomonici, II (1893), 3-145, collated as MS. A. The order here is: (fol. 1ra) cc. 1-24; (fol. 4ra) cc. 105-133; (fol. 6vb) cc. 49-102 (omitting 50), 104, 103; cc. 25-48 do not occur.
Added in probably three hands: (a) items i, ii (b) item iii (c) item iv. Items i and ii in part cipher, 1 = a, 2 = e, 3 = i, 4 = o, 5 = u/v.
Full page diagram of the female reproductive system (see decoration and cf. item 6 below) with texts added in some of the empty space. Texts are described according to 'columns' formed by the diagram, from left to right.
Followed by erasure.
Foetus-in-utero illustrations with accompanying text, a section of Muscio's text which circulated independently; M. Green, Women's Healthcare in the Medieval West (Ashgate, 2000), appendix pp. 21-22, with references; cf. Sorani Gynaeciorum vetus translatio latina, ed. V. Rose (1882), pp. 84-9, sections 13-25, and plates. In the present MS. ten illustrations:
Cf. Rose, p. 86, section 17.
Cf. Rose, p. 86, section 18.
Cf. Rose, p. 87, section 20.
Cf. Rose, p. 87, section 21.
Cf. Rose, p. 87, section 22 (?).
Text lacking for the sixth diagram.
Cf. Rose, p. 87, section 22 (?).
Cf. Rose, p. 88, section 23.
Cf. Rose, p. 89, section 25.
Cf. Rose, pp. 88-9, section 24.
Siglum A ('a poor text riddled with careless errors') in M. Green, 'The De genecia Attributed to Constantine the African', Speculum 62 (198), 299-323 (at 312-23). Incomplete, text breaks off at ed. cit. l. 141 (p. 319).
Siglum B in C. S. F. Burnett, 'The earliest chiromancy in the West', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 50 (1987), 189-95 (at 192-5); here ending in section 31 of printed text.
Anatomical diagrams with (fols. 18v-21v) accompanying text (Ps.-Galen, Figura incisionis), and other texts (items 7-8) added in the margins and other empty space. On relationship between items (a) and (b), and the diagram at fol. 13v above, see Y. V. O'Neill, 'The Fünfbilderserie-A Bridge to the Unknown', Bulletin of the History of Medicine 51/4 (1977), 538-49 (in relation to a similar series of illustrations in Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS. 190 (223)); O. Kurz, in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942), 137-8; T. McCall in Trans. Cambridge Bib. Soc. 16 (2016), 1-22.
The so-called 'Fünfbilderserie': full page anatomical diagrams (drawings and wash) of male figures, with explanatory text on the facing verso (text facing fol. 18r missing due to a missing folio before fol. 18). Siglum Ash in K. Sudhoff, 'Abermals eine neue Handschrift der anatomischen Fünfbilderserie', Archiv fur Geschichte der Medizin 3 (1910), 353-68 (at 361-6).
Diagrams of the brain, internal organs, and male reproductive system.
Preceded by list of chapters, inc. 'Quot sunt in choitu'. Ch. 9 is repeated (fols. 19rb-va), chs. 14 and 15 are combined. Constantini Liber de coitu, ed. E. Montero Cartelle (1983), not using this MS.
Ed. Green, pp. 70-114.
Cf. section 305, ed. Green, p. 188.
The opening sections of the pseudo-Galienic De spermate, varying from the text pr. Galeni opera omnia VIII (Basel, 1542), 133-5.
Siglum A in K. Sudhoff, ed. 'Der 'Micrologus'-text der 'Anatomia' Richards des Engländers', Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin 19 (1927), 209-39 (at 212-34)
E. Montero Cartelle, ed. Liber Constantini De stomacho: El tratado ‘Sobre el estómago’ de Constantino el Africano. Estudio, edición critica y traducción (Valladolid: Ediciones Universidad de Valladolid, 2016); this ms. listed p. 50, not used for the edition.
Added medical recipe and remedy for haemorrhoids
La Practica de Plateario, ed. V. R. Muñoz (Florence, 2016), pp. 246-71.
L. Choulant Aegidii Corboliensis Carmina medica (Leipzig, 1826), pp. 1-18
Fol. 52v: text continues from fol. 47r.
Twelve recipes for syrups followed by a remedy 'ad ydropicum'.
Fol. 53v blank.
Prefatory verse, cf. Thorndike-Kibre 94M.
Regula I D (Burnett, p. 112), omitting l. 3.
Prima versio tabularum (Burnett, pp. 103-5
Text, second version, Thorndike-Kibre 633E; unprinted. Lacks responses 9-24, implying four folios of text missing between fols. 57v and 58r.
Cf. Burnett's Associated tract 1; cf. C. Burnett, 'The Eadwine psalter and the Western tradition of the onomancy in Pseudo-Aristotle's Secret of Secrets, Archives d'Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Âge, 55 (1988), 143-67, text B (pp. 154-5)
Same text as fols. 16v-17r above.
Fol. 61r-v blank except for four lines of faint text visible at the top of fol. 61v.
Pr. in Articella seu Opus artis medicinae (Venice, 1483; ISTC ia01143000)
Extracts from De ornatu mulierum; added, early 14th century.
Section 301; ed. Green, p. 186
Cf. section 305, ed. Green p. 188
Section 304, ed. Green pp. 186-8.
Unfinished diagrams, see Decoration.
Ed. R. Steele, The earliest arithmetics in English, London, 1922, pp. 72-80. The section on multiplication (from 'Articulum si per reliquum uis multiplicare', l. 143, to 'Multiplicandorum de normis sufficient hec', l. 174) here comes at the end of the text, as in some other manuscripts (e.g. Cambridge, Trinity College, MS. O.2.45).
Lacks ch. 11 of the printed text
Ed. J. O. Halliwell, Rara mathematica (London 1839), 1–26; ed. F. Saaby Pedersen, Corpus philosophorum Danicorum medii aevi 10/1 (Copenhagen 1983), 174–201; Thorndike/Kibre 991.
Added medical recipes and notes
Added medical recipes and verses
Written twice, once in the upper margin, once in the left margin.
1-2 cols., c. 180-230 × c. 60-70 mm. , c. 34-60 lines.
The scribe of texts on fols. 14r-15r, 16v-17r, 17v (?), 18v-21v (the Fünfbildserie texts), and 25-29 has been identified as the principal scribe of the Hereford Map (Parkes, 2006).
Fine historiated diagrams, borders. Good miniatures (coloured marginal drawings), initials. (P&A iii. 472, pl. XLVI)
Coloured drawings, coloured initials, rubrics.
(fol. 1r), miniature: seated figure in physician's cap. Figure in long robe pointing to the text.
(fol. 13v), miniature: diagram showing female reproductive organs, including womb with foetus inside.
(fols. 14r-15r), miniature: drawings showing different positions of a child in the womb, illustrating an extract from Muscio's Gynaecia.
(fol. 17r), miniature: chiromantic drawing of the left and right hand.
Miniatures: full page anatomical miniatures with explanatory text on the facing versos.
- (fol. 18r): drawing of human body showing veins.
- (fol. 19r): drawing of human body showing arteries.
- (fol. 20r): drawing of human body showing bones.
- (fol. 21r): drawing of human body showing nerves.
- (fol. 22r): drawing of human body showing muscles.
Miniatures: diagrammatic drawings of human organs, not here labelled, but partly identifiable from similar sequences in other MSS. (cf. Boyd, Kurz, and McCall, cited above).
- (fol. 22v): brain and eyes.
- (fol. 23r): stomach, kidneys and liver.
- (fol. 23v): internal organs including liver (again).
- (fol. 24r): internal organs, including intestines.
- (fol. 24v): male reproductive organs.
(fol. 59v): chiromantic diagram.
(fol. 63v): unfinished circular diagrams (to represent heavenly spheres?).
Three-line decorated initials in gold, blue, pale pink and green, versos of fols. 18-21.
Initials in blue, with penwork flourishing in red, throughout, in two styles, (1) fols. 1-32 (quires 1-4), (2) fols. 35-53 (quires 6 and 7). Spaces left for initials in fols. 54-71 (quires 9 and 10) not filled in.
Provenance and Acquisition
A table showing lunar cycles, dominical letters, and Easter Days on fols. 25-9 begins a continuous year-by-year table from 1292 on fol. 25v. This led Watson to suggest a date of c. 1292; however Parkes noticed a prick by the year 1299, suggesting that the Hereford Map scribe was writing at that time.
Added recipes, 14th century, beginning, fols. 46c, 47r-v, 52v-53r.
MS. Ashmole 399 - Part 2 (fols. 33-34)
Good miniatures (coloured drawings). (P&A iii. 442, pl. XL)
(fol. 33r), miniature: a female patient is swooning, supported on either side by a female figure. Little dog lies asleep at the lady's side. Physician, holding a scroll and a monk stand beside.
(fol. 33v), miniature: a female patient lies on bed with a bowl (perhaps of holy water) over her heart. Two tall candles in candlesticks stand to the rigth of the bed. Attendants, standing by woman's head, implore phisician's aid. A child, kneeling in front of the bed, lifts hands towards the phisician, imploringly. Physician, stands at the foot of the bed, holding a scroll with his left hand, and lifting up the patient's hand with his right hand. Besides him stand a surgeon, and four other figures. Crowing cocks decorate the upper right and left corners of the page.
(fol. 33v), miniature: a female patient has partially recovered; she is standing and a vessel containing the holy water is falling from her left hand. An attendant is holding something (probably a pin rolled in wool and steeped in aromatic substance) to her nostril. A child stands by her side, but apparently swooning with relief. Physician stands beside, holding a scroll and pointing at the patiend; another male figure stands behind him.
(fol. 34r), miniature: a female patient lies on bed, draped with coverlet, head propped up on a pillow. Behind the bed stand three figures: a woman, turning imploringly to the physician, a tonsured monk, and another figure, possibly a monk. Physician, accompanied by a monk, stands at the foot of the bed. He has performed a urinoscopy, and lets a urine glass fall from his right hand, while raising his left hand and lookng warningly towards the group at the woman's bed.
(fol. 34r), miniature: a female corpse has been eviscerated; different organs lie around. At the foot of the cadaver stands the dissector with a knife in his left hand and a liver (three-lobed) in his right hand. His countenance exhibits alarm and surprise, as he is interrupted by a physician and a monk. The physician touches the disector with a warning finger, his other hand raised reproachfully.
(fol. 34v), miniature: a physician, seated in a chair, is being consulted by four female patients, standing in a queue. A male figure holding a purse, presumably collecting fees, stands at the end on the queue.
(fol. 34v), miniature: a physician, mounted on a horse and holding a hawking glove, starts to ride away. He turns back towards a group of five women, who bid him farewell. At the horse's head stands a male figure, holding a hawk. Both he and the doctor raise their fingures in admonition.