Historical Anatomies on the Web map Introduction Browse Titles Titles to be Added Historical Anatomies Home History of Medicine Division National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health


Turn the Pages       • Bibliographic Information

Opening invocation to Allah in Arabic, inside a red double ruled border, beginning with the text, 'In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise the Lord, and He is the creator of human beings, animals, and the stars. He (the Lord) also added metals and plants. In the hands of the Lord are the beginning and ending of everything, and He is able to compose things.  Praise to the prophet Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib whom you selected for prophecy and you sent as a blessing to the world.'

Opening invocation to Allah

Invocation to Allah in Arabic, inside a red double ruled border.

Invocation to Allah

The moon, represented by a winged man standing on the backs of two running bulls, inside a red double ruled border.

The moon

A conceptual diagram of geocentric model of the universe, devised by the Hellenistic scholar Claudius Ptolemy who lived in Alexandria in the second century C.E.  There are nine heavenly spheres surrounding the earth, each containing a celestial body, including the sun, moon, planets, and fixed stars.  The figure is surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Geocentric model of the universe

The constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, or the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, represented as two yellow bears on all fours, almost resembling deer, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Ursa Major and Ursa Minor


The zodiac constellation Gemini represented as seated twin boys in yellow robes with green turbans, and the constellation Leo represented as an orange lion running; both images surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Gemini and Leo

The zodiac constellation Virgo represented as a seated young woman in a green dress holding up three sprigs of a plant in her right hand, and the constellation Libra represented as a pair of scales; both images surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Virgo and Libra

The zodiac constellation Capricorn represented as a brown seated goat with long horns, and the constellation Aquarius represented as a man in a green robe drawing water from a well; both images surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Capricorn and Aquarius

The zodiac constellation Scorpio represented as a dark brown scorpion and the constellation Sagittarius represented as a centaur firing an arrow from a bow at his own tail, which appears to be a demon with teeth and long horns; both images surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Scorpio and Sagittarius

The zodiac constellation Pisces is represented as two black fish seen from above swimming in a circle; the constellation Cetus is represented as a white bird-like creature with the head of a man wearing a crown; and the constellation Orion is represented as a man in a purple robe with a sash at the waist carrying a sword and a staff; all three images surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Pisces, Cetus, and Orion


A manuscript map of the world showing East Asia surrounded by the blue of the Indian Ocean with place names in Arabic and Persian

Map of the world

A manuscript map of the world showing North Africa and the Nile, Europe, and Mesopotamia with place names in Arabic and Persian.

Map of the world

Three winged humanoids from the island of Zaneh, one black, one green, and one pink, and seven birds perched on the ground which are yellow, red, green, and three in pink, all the images surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Creatures from the island of Zaneh

Four humanoids from the island of Zaneh; at the top of the page are two colored pink standing upright with animal heads resembling deer; at the bottom are two colored black standing upright with human heads but without mouths; all the images surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Creatures from the island of Zaneh

A sea creature with two long tusks pointing upwards, possibly a whale, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Sea monster


A large yellow spotted sea serpent lifting its head and upper body out of the water into the outer page of the margin, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Sea serpent

Two trees, the Ban tree and the Bathm tree, the former with green leaves, the latter with brown leaves, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

The Ban tree and the Bathm tree

Two trees, the Azah tree and the Amghilan tree, both with green leaves, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

The Azad tree and the Amghilan tree

Four trees, two of which are the Shiab and the Shahbalout, all with green leaves, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

The Shiab tree and the Shahbalout tree

Two trees native to the Middle East, the top one with large green leaves pointed upwards resembling a banana plant, the bottom one is shorter like a bush with red leaves, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Trees native to the Middle East


A coconut tree, tall with pinnate green leaves and coconuts, and a palm tree, tall with pinnate green leaves and dates streaming down like vines, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Coconut and palm trees

Three mathematical charts showing methods of calculating the calendar; the first chart has five rows and five columns of boxes with Arabic numbers arranged in them; the second chart has four rows and four columns, also with numbers; the third chart is placed to the left outside the regular margins of the text block with five rows and four columns, also with numbers; surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Mathematical charts

Two female humanoid demons standing upright; the top image is brown with cloven feet and the head of a strange animal; the bottom image is the Salaat, a yellow female demon with the head of a lion, who is associated with miscarriage and infant mortality; both images are surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Female demons

Six humanoid jinns, divs, and devils standing upright and lined up at the bottom of the page with text in Persian above: the first from the left is gray with a human body and head and tail of an elephant; the second is brown with a long tail and head of a deer; the third is pink with leopard spots and a tail turned to the left and addressing the brown figure; the fourth is yellow with leopard spots and tail addressing the fellow on his right; the fifth is purple with a cow’s head and tail; and the sixth is gold with a deer’s head and long tail.  The page is surrounded by a red double ruled border.

Jinns, divs, and devils

Five jinns, divs, and devils: at the top left is a brown lion-like creature with a second head growing out of its backside; at the top center is a gold humanoid creature with the head of an ox with horns and a long tail, lunging forward as if dancing; at top right is a purple humanoid creature with gold horns on its head, seated and holding a stringed musical instrument resembling a lute; at bottom left is a gray elephant with a skinny belly and claw-like talons as hind legs; and at bottom right is a brown creature standing upright with elephant-like feet but a small cat-like head.  The images are surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Jinns, divs, and devils


The top image is a large brown elephant with large white tusks and a small mammal native to the Middle East, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

African elephant and small mammal

On top is the Sironsor, a mythical creature able to make music by breathing through a number of holes in its body connected to its respiratory system.  Below it is Shadehvar, known as a Persian antelope with a single hollow branched horn, thought to be the same creature the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder described as a Unicorn, with the head of a deer and body of a horse.  Both images are surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Sironsor and Shadehvar

A large brown Asian elephant with very small ears and two large whit tusks, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Asian elephant

A gray baboon with pink face, chest, and rear end running to the left, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Baboon

Two birds: the upper one is yellow and resembles a chicken attempting to fly and at bottom a peacock with a blue body, crown of feathers, yellow wings, and an elaborate green tail laying flat on the ground unopened, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Peacock and bird native to the Middle East


The Simurgh, known in the West as the Phoenix, a very large brid taking up the upper third of the page with a blue body and yellow and red flame-like wings and tail, the tail expanding out beyond the text border and off the page at the upper left corner, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Simurgh

A brown fire-breathing dragon with a red crest extending from the top of its head half way down its tail, with a long, lizard-like body, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Dragon

The dated colophon of the manuscript with images of a brown horse with two horns and a yellow winged fox, surrounded by Persian text and a red double ruled border.

Manuscript colophon with horned horse and winged fox