This anonymous treatise on compound remedies and therapies for horses begins with a confused preface. In it, it is stated that the treatise was written originally in Armenian and was carried off to Egypt in 1266 by the Egyptian ruler al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Dīn Baybars (ruled 1260-1277). It was then translated from Armenian into Arabic by Maḥbūb and Abū al-Faraj, and subsequently edited by one Muḥammad ibn al-Khalīfah Ya‘qūb with the assistance of a philosopher named Sa‘d al-Dīn ibn Zāhir al-‘Ajamī. No information is available on any of the figures named as translators or editors.
Following the preface there is a detailed table of contents outlining 182 chapters (babs) in the treatise.The NLM copy has only 48 of the chapters.
The treatise is preserved in a number of copies and would merit further attention from scholars. See London, British Library, OIOC, MS Or. 3133; Gotha MS 2087; Sbath MS 1201 (present location unknown); and Paul Sbath, 'Manuscrit arabe sur la pharmacopée hippiatrique', Bulletin de l'Institut d'Egypte, vol. 14 (1931-2), pp. 79-81 and plates i-iii.
Arabic. 40 leaves (fols. 1b-40b). Dimensions 21.4 x 15.4 (text area 14.5 x 10.5) cm; 21-23 lines per page. The title is given on fol. 11a, line 1, at the start of the first bab following the table of contents. There is no author given.
In a confused preface on fols. 1b-2b and the first chapter on fol. 11a, it is stated that the treatise was written originally in Armenian and was carried off by the Egyptian ruler al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Dīn Baybars in 1266/665. It was then translated from Armenian into Arabic by Maḥbūb and Abū al-Faraj, and subsequently edited by one Muḥammad ibn al-Khalīfah Ya‘qūb with the assistance of a philosopher named Sa‘d al-Dīn ibn Zāhir al-‘Ajamī.
The manuscript is undated. The date of 19 Rajab 608 (= 28 December 1212) given on fol. 2b, lines 2-3, refers to an incident in a story being related by the author. The appearance of the paper, ink, and script suggests an 18th-century date.
It is an incomplete copy. It contains 48 of the 182 chapters listed in the table of contents. The preface occupies folios 1b-2b, line 5. The table of contents begins line 6 of fol. 2b and ends on fol. 10b.
The ivory, stiff paper has a nearly matte finish and fine vertical laid lines with single chain lines (no watermarks detected). It is water-stained and browned near the edges and at the front and back of the volume. It is also stained through thumbing. The first and last leaves have been repaired and strengthened.
The volume consists of 40 leaves. Fol. 1a was a title page but is now so damaged that it can no longer be read; on it are two later owner's notes and a penciled form of the title.
The volume is bound in brown leather over pasteboards with an envelope flap (possibly an 18th or 19th century Indian binding). The covers and envelope flap have scalloped mandorla panel stamps impressed over (dark-green ?) leather (or possibly paper) cut to conform to the contours of the panels. These are all now much defaced, so that neither the colour of the paper nor the design decorating the inner fields is certain. The frames on the covers and envelope flap are blind-tooled simple fillets. The spine, hinge, and edges are later restorations in darker-brown leather. There are dark-pink paper pastedowns and envelope flap lining. There are also modern endpapers.
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A. S. Yahuda (ELS No. 2354; Med. 137). No further information is available on its provenance.
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. MSS., entry A 4, p. 298.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-110 no. 4
This fragment consists of a table of contents (fihrist) only for a treatise titled Kitāb ma‘rifat al-furūsīyah. According to this table of contents, the treatise would have consisted of 75 sections.
The treatise itself is not included in this volume, and the author of the treatise is not given.
No other copies have been identified.
All the items in the volume appear to have been transcribed by the same copyist. This first item in the volume was completed toward the end (fi awakir) of Rajab 1241 (= 11?21 March 1826) by the copyist Maḥmūd ibn Muḥammad al-Ībī al-Ḥanafī. Hamarneh reads the copyist's name as al-Alfi al-Ḥanafī (Hamarneh, "NLM", p. 98).
The fragment (table of contents) is written in a medium-large North African (Maghribi) script, probably from the same workshop of copyists as produced NLM MS A 85.
The volume consists of 18 leaves. Fols. 4b-6b, 17b and 18ab are blank. Item 1 (fols. 1b-4a) is a treatise on haemorrhoids by Maimonides (MS A 90, item 1). Item 2 (fols. 7a-16b) is Kitāb al-Sard fī ‘ilāj al-dawābb wa-al-baqar wa-al-ghanam wa-adwiyatihā, possibly by Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq (MS A 90, item 2); and item 3 (fol. 17a only) is the table of contents, Fihrist kitāb ma‘rifat al-furūsīyah, here catalogued. On fols. 1a and 7a there are short titles added in a later hand saying that each is a Risālah fī ‘ilm al-ṭibb (A Treatise on Medicine); on fol. 1a the word aydan ("also") is added, indicating that there were additional treatises bound with these items at one time.
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library presumably from A. S. Yahuda. No definite information is available regarding provenance.
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. MSS., entry A 90 item 3, p. 328.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-129 no. 7