Discourses on diet and the medicinal value of various foods was of course part of general treatises on regimen as well as general medical encyclopedias and comprehensive manuals on pharmaceutics. Some treatises, however, focused upon the matter of food, and these have been selected for inclusion in this section though they might just as well have been placed in some other categories.
A very important, in fact unique, copy of a poem on diet and foodstuffs written in the 13th century by a famous astronomer al-Marrākushī was catalogued in the section dealing with medical poetry (MS A 85, item 3).
NLM has two short anonymous tracts concerning foodstuffs and eating and drinking, one an Arabic fragment and the other a short Persian treatise written in the margins of a manuscript. In addition, there is an anonymous poem on fruits (MS A 85 item 4) that was catalogued with the medical poetry.
This is a brief fragment of a treatise on foodstuffs, with neither title nor author supplied in the preserved fragment.
No other copy has been identified.
Arabic. 1 page (p. 44, lines 8-21 [old 58]). Dimensions 21.5 x 15.7 (text area 16.5 x 10.5) cm; 21 lines per page. No title or author are given.
The copy is undated and unsigned. It appears to have been made by the same copyist who wrote the first item in the volume (which continues to line 7 of this page) as well as item 5 in the volume; the latter item in the volume was signed (p. 96 bottom left corner) with the name Salīm. The appearance of the paper, script, and ink suggests a date of the 18th century.
The volume has been paginated rather than foliated. The volume has been recently repaginated in Western numerals. There is an early pagination in Arabic numerals which places the numeral 15 on the first page of the present volume, with some mistakes and omissions. Therefore, it is evident that the first 14 pages of the manuscript are now missing. According to this earlier pagination, there are also leaves missing after pp. 44 (old 58), 182 (old 186), 188 (old 194), and 220 (old 227). There are also section numbers (nos. 40-694) in the margins, and this marginal numbering is continuous, unbroken by missing leaves, except at the beginning, indicating that it was written after the missing leaves, except opening leaves, had disappeared. The page references are to the Western pagination, followed by the old pagination.
The same paper has been used throughout the volume. It is a thick, glossy, light-beige (darkened near the edges) paper with laid lines, single chain lines, and watermarks. The paper is greatly soiled by thumbing and with grime, and is waterstained near the edges. The edges have been repaired on several leaves.
The volume consists of 268 leaves. Item 1 (pp. 1-44) is the Mu‘alajat al-amrāḍ al-khaṭirah al-bādiyah ‘alá al-badan min khārij by Ibn al-Kattānī (MS A 91, item 1). Item 2 (p. 44 lines 8-21) is the item here catalogued; item 3 (p. 45) an untitled and anonymous collection of compound remedies (MS A 91, item 3); item 4 (pp. 46-91) is a therapeutic mujarrabat manual by Muḥammad ibn Khamrah (MS A 91, item 4); item 5 (pp. 91-96) an anonymous treatise titled Risālah fī khawāṣṣ al-panzahr (MS A 91, item 5); item 6 (pp. 97-103) contains recipes (MS A 91, item 6); item 7 (pp. 103-106) is an anonymous discourse titled al-Qawl fī faḍl al-fatīḥah (MS A 91, item 7); item 8 (pp. 106-109) an anonymous essay titled Ṣifat ma‘jūn nāfi‘ lil-ma‘idah (MS A 91, item 8); item 9 (pp. 110-119) in an essay on Prophetic traditions by al-Shaykh Abū al-‘Abbās known as Ibn al-Mīlaq, or Ibn Maylaq (MS A 91, item 9); item 10 (pp. 120-182) an anonymous treatise Kitāb al-Khawāṣṣ (MS A 91, item 10); item 11 (pp. 183-188) on medicinal plants, untitled and anonymous (MS A 91, item 11); item 12 (pp. 189-253) on compound remedies (MS A 91, item 12); item 13 (pp. 254-262) is al-Jawhar al-fard fī mufākharat al-narjis wa-al-ward possibly by Abū al-Ḥasan ‘Alī ibn al-Musharraf al-Māridīnī (MS A 91, item 13); and the final item (pp. 262-268) are anonymous recipes (MS A 91, item 14).
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A. S. Yahuda who acquired it from a dealer in Damascus, Syria (ELS 1700 Med. 31).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A91, p. 329), this item is not described.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-130, no. 1
NLM has one manuscript (MS P 29) that has 35 short Persian treatises written in the margins, surrounding the main Persian text in the center of each page, which is a copy of the Persian version of Kitāb ‘Ajā’ib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharā’ib al-mawjūdāt (Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing) written in the 13th century by Zakarīyā’ ibn Muḥammad al-Qazwīnī. Amongst these 35 marginal treatises is one concerned with foodstuffs and drinks.
No author is supplied for this essay on food and drink.
No other copy has been identified.
The manuscript (P 29) which contains these three items is undated but signed by the scribe, Sayyid Ḥusayn Yazdī. There is a portrait of a scribe immediately below the colophon giving the scribe's name (fol. 173a). The volume must have been completed before 1546/953 H, when an owner's stamp for one ‘Imād al-Dīn Zakarīyā’ ibn Muḥammad ibn Maḥmūd Limūnī was placed in the volume. It appears to have been copied in India.
The text is written in the same hand as the main text in the volume. The marginal text is written in a small, compact, professional, and elegant ta‘liq tending toward naskh script using black ink with headings in red and red overlinings. There are catchwords for the central text, which is enclosed in frames of blue, red, gilt, and black lines. The marginal text is written in short diagonal lines between the frame enclosing the central text and a larger frame of blue, gilt, and black lines.
The glossy yellow-brown paper is moderately thin with only laid lines visible. There is some water damage near the edges, and the edges have been trimmed from their original size. Folios 1 and 173 have been reinforced.
There are 173 leaves in the volume. Fols. 1a and 173b are blank. The main item in the volume, occupying the central text area of fols. 1b-173a is ‘Ajā’ib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharā’ib al-mawjūdāt by al-Qazwīnī (MS P 29). There are 35 distinct treatises written in the wide margins of the folios. The marginal items are: MS P 29, marginal item 1: (fol. 1b) Dar ḥaqīqat-i ‘ālam, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 2: (fols. 2a-3b) Risālah-i qiyāfah by Sayyid ‘Alī Hamdānī; MS P 29, marginal item 3: (fols. 3b-10b) Risālah-i ḥifz al-ṣiḥḥah by al-Jurjānī; MS P 29, marginal item 4: (fols. 10b-12a) Muqaddimah-i nabz, anon. ; MS P 29, marginal item 5: (fols. 18a-19b) Muqqadimah-i ‘ishq, anon. ; MS P 29, marginal item 6: (fols. 19b-22b) sharḥ-i pat , anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 7: (fols. 23a-25b) Dar ‘ishq, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 8: (fols. 26a-29b) Risālah-i ṭarīqah-i naqsh-bandīy, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 9: (fols. 33b-33b) on astronomical principles, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 10: (fol. 41a) on the zodiacal sign of Cancer, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 11: (fols. 42b-45a) on ancient authorities, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 12: (fols. 45b-46b) Ḥaqīqat-i ṭūl-i va ‘arḍ-i aqālīm, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 13: (fols. 52a-53b) on astrology and magic, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 14: (fols. 54a-56b) Risāla dar khāṣṣīyat-i zanān, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 15: (fols. 57a-62a) on magic squares and talismans, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 16: (fols. 62a-63b) Risālah dar hawāṣṣ, attributed to Ibn Sīnā; MS P 29, marginal item 17: (fols. 63b-66b) Muqaddimāt-i ḥisāb, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 18: (fols. 66b-70a) on numerology and lunar mansions, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 19: (fols. 70a-73b) on occult properties, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 20: (fols. 73b-77b) Muqaddimah-i raml, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 21: (fol. 77b) Muqaddimah-i ganjifah, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 22: (fol. 77b) Muqaddimah-i shaṭranj, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 23: (fols. 78a-80b) on magical alphabets, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 24: (fols. 81a-88b) Khulāṣah-i tawārīkh, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 25: (fols. 88b-91a) Khulāṣah-i rājāwatī, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 26: (fols. 92a-93a) on wonders among world rulers, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 27: (fols. 96a-99a) reports and sayings of learned Sufi shaykhs (untitled), anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 28: (fols. 99a-101b) Dar akhlāq-i ḥamīdah, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 29: (fols. 101b-108a) Tuḥfat al-wuzarā' , anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 30: (fols. 108b-109b) on magic, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 31: (fols. 114b-129a, 132a-140a, 141a-147a, 148a-162a) on medical-magical procedures (untitled) by Ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; MS P 29, margin item 32: (fols. 162a-165a) is here catalogued; MS P 29, marginal item 33: (fol. 166a) Dar ḥisab-i siyāq-i ḥayawanāt, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 34: (fols. 167a-167b) on compound recipes, untitled, anon.; and MS P 29, marginal item 35: (fols. 169a-172b) Khawāṣṣ-i jafrāt, anon. There are no marginal texts on fols. 12b-17b, 30a-31b, 34a-40b, 41b-42a, 47a-51b, 91b, 93b-95a, 110a-114b, 129b-131b, 140b, 141b-142a, 147b, 165b, 166b, 168a, 168b [only marginal corrections], and 173a.
The volume is bound in pasteboards covered with dark-brown leather. On the covers there are gold-tooled frames filled with acanthus leaves, with flowers or a star in the center and corners. The spine has gold-stamped flowers and a border. The binding is not original. There are modern pastedowns and endpapers.
There is an owner's stamp dated 1546/953 H with the name ‘Imād al-Dīn Zakarīyā’ ibn Muḥammad ibn Maḥmūd Limūnī (folio 173a).
The volume was purchased from R. Thomas Heller, New York, on 3 August 1949. No further information is available on the provenance.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 55-41 no. 3