Yūḥannā ibn Bukhtīshū‘ (or Bakhtīshū‘) was one of the members of a prominent family of Nestorian Christian physicians. He was the illegitimate son of Bukhtīshū‘ ibn Jibril (d. 870/256) who was physician to the caliphs al-Ma'mun, al-Wathiq and al-Mutawakil in Baghdad. Yūḥannā, who worked in Baghdad about 892/279, is known to have written a treatise, now lost, on astrological knowledge necessary for a physician.
It is uncertain whether he was in fact the author of this treatise on materia medica. In the NLM copy he is not named as the author, but rather it is stated that the work is 'the systemization of some of the learned non-Arabic physicians' (tartib ba‘d fudala' al-atibba' al-‘ajam). In other copies, however, it is stated to be by Yūḥannā ibn Bukhtīshū‘.
The treatise is divided into two parts (juz'), the first presenting useful drugs (al-adwiyah al-nafi‘ah) in alphabetical order by their first letter. The second part presented useful foodstuffs (al-aghdhiyah al-nafi‘ah) in alphabetical order.
For other copies, all of which give Yūḥannā ibn Bukhtīshū‘ as the author, several of which are now in Rabat, see Muhammad al-‘Arbi al-Khattabi, Faharis al-Khizanah al-Malikiyyah.II: al-tibb wa-al-saydala wa-al-baytarah wa-al-hayawan wa-al-nabat (Rabat: Mataba‘at al-Najah al-Jadidah, 1982), pp. 82-87 nos. 66-71; Ullmann, Medizin, p. 111, nt. 3; and Sezgin, GAS III, p. 258.
The treatise has not been published and merits further study and comparison with other preserved copies.
Taqwīm al-adwiyah fī-mā ishtahara min al-a‘shāb wa-al-‘aqāqīr wa-al-aghdhiyah (MS A 45.1, item 3)
The beginning of a treatise on materia medica which has been attributed to Yūḥannā ibn Bukhtīshū‘, who worked in Baghdad around 892/279. Following the title in this copy, it is stated to be 'the systemization of some of the learned non-Arabic physicians'. In other preserved copies Yūḥannā ibn Bukhtīshū‘ is given as the author. This copy is undated and was produced in North Africa, probably in the 18th century.
Arabic. 81 folios (fols. 124a-204b). Dimensions 20.5 x 14.5 (text area 15.5 x 9) cm; 23 lines per page. The title is given on folio 124a, lines 2-3, and again on folio 149b, lines 2-4. At both places it is also stated that it is 'the systemization of some of the learned non-Arabic physicians' (tartib ba‘d fudala' al-atibba' al-‘ajam). No other author is specified in this copy.
The copy is undated and unsigned. The appearance of the paper, script, and ink suggests an 18th-century date.
A complete copy. The first juz', on useful drugs (al-adwiyah al-nafi‘ah) in alphabetical order, ends on folio 149a, while the second juz' on useful foodstuffs (al-aghdhiyah al-nafi‘ah) begins on folio 149b.
There are scattered marginalia.
The thin, ivory paper has horizontal thin laid lines and vertical single chain lines; no watermarks were observed. The edges have been trimmed from their original size. The paper is now very fragile and very wormeaten.
The volume consists of 204 leaves. Item 1 (fols. 1a-81b) is al-Sha`rani's epitome of the Tadhkirah by al-Suwaydī (MS A 45.1, item 1); item 2 (fols. 124a-204b) is the commentary by ‘Alī ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Haydūr on a poem by Ibn Sīnā [Avicenna] (MS A 45.1, item 2); and item 3 is the treatise on materia medica here catalogued. All three items were copied by the same hand.
No information is available concerning provenance or when it entered the collections at NLM.
The volume is bound in pasteboards with envelope flap, covered in red leather. The covers have a blind stamped medallion with painted gilt edging design and vertical line, surrounded by three concentric frames with the inner corners marked with gilt stamped flower designs. The fore-edge flap is stamped with the same flower design. The envelope flap has a medallion and frame design similar to that on the covers. The are modern pastedowns and endpapers. The spine has been repaired.
Unpublished. Not in Schullian/Sommer.
NLM Microfilm Reel: none