23 June 1999
AVICENNA (Abu 'Ali al-Husain ibn Sina; 980-1037). Canon, Book IV (only Fen 1 and Fen 2; medical encyclopedia; with Moses Maimonides' letter on poison). MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Italy, 15th century]
4o (195 x 140 mm). 131 leaves (apparently imperfect at the end, see contents). Brown ink. Italian semi-cursive script. (Corners and bottom margins of fols. 103, 116 and 117 damaged affecting single letters, cropped with loss of marginal notes and scribal additions, some dampstaining). Modern maroon calf, spine gilt, blue paste-patterned edges, three modern paper flyleaves and an additional old flyleaf (with listing of the manuscript's content in a later hand on the verso) at the front and two modern paper flyleaves at the back.
The Canon of the Moslem physician and philosopher Avicenna is an encyclopedia of medicine and was used by physicians until after the Renaissance. It was translated into Hebrew by Nathan ha-Meati in Rome in 1279. Cf. M. Steinschneider, Die hebrischen bersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher (Berlin 1893) p. 683.
On fols. 118r-131v of the present manuscript there is a copy (the end missing) of Ma'amar ha-Nikhbad, Moses ben Maimon's medical treatise on poisons, translated by Moses ibn Tibbon. Cf. M. Steinschneider, ibidem, p. 764.
Both works have been published and are well represented in other manuscripts.
REFERENCES: Neubauer, no. 139, p. 42; Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem, F 4800.
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