MS A 79 is a nearly complete copy of the longer version of the treatise on prophetic medicine which can with some assurance be attributed to al-Dhahabī, though the author is not actually given in the manuscript. A penciled note in Latin characters on fol. 1a attributes this treatise to Dā’ūd ibn Abī al-Faraj, possibly following the attribution of Berlin MS We. 1200 (Ahlwardt, Berlin, entry no. 6298), which contains a similar text. Sommer accepted this attribution and catalogued the manuscript under Dā’ūd ibn Abī al-Faraj (Schullian & Sommer. Cat. of incun. & MSS, p. 323) .
The copy is lacking the opening paragraphs. The treatise is divided into three chapters (fanns): on general principles, on drugs and foodstuffs, and on the therapy of diseases.
The final page of the treatise on Prophetic Medicine by al-Dhahabī (d. 1348/748). The copy is dated in the colophon (the bottom two lines) 14 Dhu al-Hijjah 868 (= 19 August 1464). The scribe is not named, but the appearance of the paper, ink, and script suggest that it is a Syrian/Egyptian copy. Later notes have been written vertically across the lower half of the page.
Arabic. 102 leaves (fols. 1a-102b). Dimensions 17.5 x 13 (text area 12.2 x 9) cm; 17 lines per page. The title is not given in the manuscript text; it is taken from a penciled note in Latin alphabet on fol. 1a: al-tibb al-nabawi. The author is not named in the manuscript. The text of this manuscript corresponds to that printed in the margins of Cairo editions of Tashil al-manafi‘ fī al-tibb wa-al-hikmah, by Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al-Azraq, published in 1887 (p. 2-185) and 1948 (p.2-203), in which the author is identified as bū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn ‘Uthmān al-Dhahabī.
The copy is dated in the colophon (fol. 102b, line 15): 14 Dhu al-Hijjah 868 (= 19 August 1464); the scribe is not named.
It is a nearly complete copy of the longer version of the treatise on prophetic medicine, lacking the opening paragraphs.
The text is written in a careful, medium-small, widely-spaced naskh script using dark-brown ink with headings in red and red highlighting. There are catchwords. The handwriting and paper of fols. 1, 8, 9, and 10 are different from the rest of volume and are probably replacements. The appearance of the script, paper, and ink suggest that it is a Syrian/Egyptian copy. Some folios are numbered with Coptic numerals. The volume contains numbered quires of 10 leaves, the first quire having only 9 leaves; the initial leaf was missing before numbering.
There are scattered marginalia, mostly textual corrections.
The biscuit paper (except for fols. 1, 8, 9, and 10) has a matte-finish and no visible laid lines, though on some leaves traces can be seen of chain lines in groups of 3's. Fols. 1, 8, 9, and 10 have horizontal laid lines, single chain lines, and watermarks. The paper is slightly wormeaten and is waterdamaged near the edges and soiled through thumbing.
The volume consists of 102 folios.
The binding consists of pasteboards covers and envelope flap with brown leather edges, fore-edge flap, and spine. It is badly deteriorated. The paper pastedowns are worm eaten and have miscellaneous scribblings, poems, and jottings, and a repetition of the date of the copy, all in later hands. There are modern endpapers.
The volume was purchased in 1941 from A.S. Yahuda who acquired it in Aleppo (ELS 1747 Med. 55).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A79, p. 323, where the author is given as Dā’ūd ibn Abī al-Faraj .
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-127 no. 3