NLM has in its collections the only preserved copy of an Arabic treatise on anatomy written in Egypt in the 18th century by an encyclopedist named Aḥmad ibn ‘Abd al-Mun‘im al-Damanhūrī. In the colophon of the manuscript it is stated that the treatise was completed on 19 Jumadá II 1154, which is equivalent to AD 2 August 1741. The treatise is divided into a prologue (muqaddimah), two chapters (babs), and an epilogue (khatimah). It is an important potential source for the knowledge of anatomy in the early-modern period, when some early-modern European influences were occasionally mixed with medieval medical and anatomical concepts.
The copy at NLM was transcribed from the autograph of the author a year after its composition.
The treatise has not been published in a modern translation or edition.
al-Qawl al-ṣarīḥ fī ‘ilm al-tashrīḥ (MS A 54)
The colophon of a unique copy of the anatomical treatise by Aḥmad ibn ‘Abd al-Mun‘im al-Damanhūrī, where it is stated that the treatise was completed on 19 Jumadá II 1154 (= 2 August 1741). The date is given in a form referred to as "fractions", that is, it reads: 19th day of 5th month [=Jumadá II] of 4th [units, i.e. 4] and 6th [tens, i.e. the period 51-60] and 12th [hundreds, i.e. the period 1101-1200]. This copy, according to the colophon, was transcribed from the autograph of the author and completed on 14 Rabi‘ I 1155 [= 19 May 1742].
Arabic. 69 leaves (fols. 1b-69b). Dimensions 21.0 x 15.0 (text area 15.1 x 9.2) cm; 17 lines per page. The title is given in the text (fol. 1b, line 10) and on the title page (fol. 1a). The author's name is given as Aḥmad al-Damanhūrī on fol. 1a (title page), fol. 1b line 6, and fol. 69b line 15.
The copy is dated in the colophon (fol. 69b), where it says that it was transcribed by an unknown copyist from the autograph of the author, with the copy completed on 14 Rabi‘ I 1155 [19 May 1742]. It is also stated that the treatise itself was completed on 19 Jumadá II 1154 [2 August 1741]. The dates in the colophon are given in "fractions". That is, 19 Jumadá II 1154 is given as "19th day of 5th month [=Jumadá II] of 4th [units, i.e. 4] and 6th [tens, i.e. the period 51-60] and 12th [hundreds, i.e. the period 1101-1200]".
A complete copy. The treatise is divided into a prologue (fols. 1b-8b), two chapters (babs, fols. 8b-67b), and an epilogue (khatimah, fols. 67b-69b). The text is written in medium-small naskh script in black ink with headings in red. There are catchwords.
There are illustrations of the cranial sutures (fols. 10b-11a), the optic chiasma (fol. 25a), and the muscles of the shoulder blade (fol. 46a).
The volume consists of 69 leaves.
On fol. 1a, a defaced owner's note is dated 1184 [1770-1771], a second of owner Muḥammad ibn al-shaykh Ḥasan al-Kātib al- Shāfi‘ī is dated 1293 , and a third of owner al-Ḥājj Muḥammad ‘Alawānī is dated 1333 [1914-1915]. Another owner's undated stamp occurs twice on fol. 1a and again on fols. 7a, 40a, and 59a.
The volume was purchased by the Army Medical Library in 1941 from A.S. Yahuda, who acquired it in Cairo (ELS 1706, Med. 60, former Y65).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A54, p. 315.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-123 no. 1