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MS 163: Composite manuscript containing tables and three texts, 12th-15th centuries

Identifier: MS 163


Contains three texts, and tables subsequently inserted into the volume. The fly leaves (ff. i-ii) containing the tables are by later hands, while the rest of the manuscript is by a single 12th-century hand with only the exception of f. 72, which is written by a different but contemporary 12th-century hand.
The tables on f. ir and f. iiv list three additional texts, now missing, or perhaps never copied: 'Liber urinarum a voce theophili' (Theophilus Protospatharius's, also known as Philaretus, De urinis, 'Liber pronosticorum ypocratis' (Hippocrates’ Prognostics), and 'Liber phylarecti de pulsibus' (Theophilus Protospatharius's De pulsibus). The gathering of these medical treatises, with the other ones contained in MS 163, was common and known as the Articella.
ff. ir-iiv: Tables of content and medical tables, added in the 14th-15t centuries
ff. 1r-20v: 'Ysagoge Johannicii in microtegni Galieni'
ff. 24r-71r: 'Tegni Galieni', with some light gloss
f. 72v: Prologue to 'Afforismi Ypocratis' by an unknown author, in a second 12th-century hand (inserted later)
ff. 73r- 118v: 'Aforismi ypocratis' (The Aphorisms of Hippocrates)
The texts will be described separately, under the headings listed above.
Writing A beautifully written manuscript, well spaced and with wide margins.
Illumination The ornament consists of plain red or green capitals, with blue and red or green and red filigree initials to the different books.


  • 12th-15th centuries

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

A 13th century inscription on f. 1 states that a certain 'magister bartolomeus ' gave this book to the monastery of Bury St. Edmunds Hunc librum dedit magister bartolomeus sancto edmundo. This is followed by a 14th century Tabula and an easily identified Bury St Edmunds press-mark, M. 48. On f. 2v, a Tabula has been added in the 15th century, headed by the same press-mark and the following inscription :Liber sancti Edmund Regis in quo continentur.
The next mark of ownership is a faint pencil note on the first paper fly-leaf, On vellum, from H. Spelman's Library. Sir Henry Spelman (1564-1641) was a Norfolk antiquary and author of the well-known book The History and Fate of Sacrilege. His library seems to have passed into the hands of Cox Macro of Bury, whose manuscripts were sold in 1819 to a Norwich bookseller for £150. The collection was then resold at Christie's in 1820, and purchased by Dawson Turner and Hudson Gurney for £700. That this particalar volume was bought by Dawson Turner is indicated by two marks in the manuscript: 1) Sir Francis Palgrave's description of the manuscript in 1842 on the first paper fly-leaf, Palgrave being Dawson Turner's son-in-law. 2) Laing's statement (second fly-leaf), From the Collection of Dawson Turner. Dawson Turner's collection was sold in 1859. In the sale catalogue for his collection there is a long description of the manuscript. Along with Laing's signature is a price, £3, the amount for which he bought it.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Medica.

Previous reference

Laing 183


Catalogue of the manuscript library of the late Dawson Turner (London, 1859), pp. 122-3.
Kibre, Pearl. "Hippocratic Latinus: Repertorium of Hippocratic Writings in the Latin Middle Ages (II)." Traditio XXXII (1976): 257-292.
McLachlan, Elizaveth P. The Scriptorium of Bury St Edmunds in the twelfth century(New York, 1984), p. 320.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Modern, soft boards, covered vellum, lettered 'Joannie[ii]...Medicina Varia.'

Collation: a9 (+2), b8-i8, k1 (inserted), l8-p8, q6 = 120.


24.13 cm X 16.51 cm


Secundo folio: pertinens ad
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 118 (+2 fly-leaves), 29 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379