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Catalogue: Pharmaceutics

Blue arrow pointing to the right ifat al-tiryāq al-akbar  (MS A 3/I, item 2)
(Recipe for the Great Theriac)
صفة الترياق الاكبر

This is an anonymous essay on tiryāq or theriac.

No other copy has been identified.

Physical Description

Arabic. 4 leaves (fol. 66b, line 17 - fol.69b). Dimensions 17.2 x 13.1 (text area 11.6 x 8.3) cm; 19 lines per page. The title is taken from the beginning of the text on fol. 66b. No author is named.

The copy was made by the same person who transcribed the first item in the volume, which is dated in the colophon 25 Rabi‘ I 902 (= 1 December 1496). The copyist is not named.

The copy is incomplete and breaks off abruptly at the bottom of fol. 69b.

The text is written in a small to medium-small naskh using black ink with headings in red. The text area has been frame-ruled. There are catchwords.

There are marginalia on fol. 66b that pertain to this treatise rather than the one by Ibn Tilmīdh that ends on fol. 66b. The folios have been numbered by a later hand in Coptic numerals; the volume has been recently refoliated in penciled Western numerals.

The thick biscuit paper has very indistinct vertical laid lines and traces of chain lines, possibly in groups of 2's. The paper is soiled through thumbing and damp-stained. The edges have been trimmed from their original size, occasionally cutting off marginalia.

The volume consists of 69 leaves. Fol. 1a is blank except for an unidentified note in a later hand. Item 1 (fols. 1b-66b) is the formulary by Ibn al-Tilmidh (MS A 3/I, item 1); item 2 (fols. 67a-69b) is the anonymous discourse on tiryaq here catalogued.


The collection of two treatises forming MS A 3/I is bound together with another manuscript that is considerably older (designated MS A 3/II). The 8 leaves of MS A 3/II had separate foliation in Arabic numerals and are considerably older that the manuscript here catalogued with which it is bound; were the volume to be foliated straight through, then the eight leaves constituting MS A 3/II and one end leaf would be counted as fols. 70-78 of the bound volume.

The binding of the volume incorporates the covers from a 15th-century binding made in Egypt/Syria or possibly Persia. The central design of each cover is a scalloped mandorla. The points of the mandorla have extended gilt lines with tiny flower heads, and the edges of the mandorla have been painted gold and there are gold-painted radiating lines. The field within the mandorla has a blind-stamped floral and leaf design. The frame consists of a single gold fillet with tiny gold flowerheads at the corners, enclosed by a blind-tooled frame composed of lines either side of a row of small circles. The spine and edges are brown leather replacements. For an illustration of the back cover of the binding, see. The pastedowns and endpapers are modern.


The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A.S. Yahuda, who acquired it from a dealer in Mosul in Iraq (ELS no. 1750; Med. 51).


Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A3, pp. 297-8.

Hamarneh, "NLM", p. 85.

NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-110 no. 3.

Blue arrow pointing to the right [On Theriac]   (MS P 11, item 3)

An untitled and anonymous short treatise on antidotes for poisons called tiryaq.

No other copy has been identified.

Physical Description

Persian. 2 leaves (fol. 341a, line 20 - fol. 342a).Dimensions: 30.2 x 20.8; text area 22 x 13.3 cm; 23 lines per page. The title and author are given at the start of the text on fol. 340a, where the heading reads min Qarābādhīn-i Amad-i Farrukh ('from the Formulary of Amad ibn Farrukh').

The copy is unsigned and undated. It is written on the same paper and in a hand related to that found in the first two items in the volume. The first item was competed on 5 Muharram 1248 [= 4 June 1832] by Ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azim Muammad Sami‘ al-tabib (the physician), and it is likely that this treatise was copied not long thereafter.

The text is written in a medium-small nasta‘liq script. Black ink with headings in red. There are catchwords.

The creamy, smooth, glossy paper has evident watermarks, with laid lines and single chain lines. There is water damage near the edges; the edges have been trimmed from their original size.

The volume contains 342 leaves. Fols. 1b-339b (item 1) is a medical compendium by al-Nūrbakhshī (MS P 11, item 1); fols. 340a-341a (item 2) is a formulary by Amad ibn Farrukh (MS P 11, item 2); and folios 341a, line 20,-342a (item 3) is the anonymous essay on antidotes for poisons here catalogued. Fol. 342b is blank. Between fols. 33 and 34 and between fols. 181 and 182 there are small slips of paper with jottings in a modern hand. The first 250 leaves have been numbered with Arabic numerals, with two leaves given the number 241. Consequently, the recent foliation using Western numerals differs by one, beginning with fol. 242 (old fol. 241 bis).


The volume is bound in a 19th-century Persian binding of black leather over pasteboards. Each cover has a central panel stamp impressed over tan-colored paper cut roughly to its contours. The central panel is lozenge-shaped with scalloped contours and inner field of flowers and stems. On the vertical axis there are two pendant stamps similarly impressed over tan-colored paper. The frames surrounding the design are blind-tooled and composed of simple fillets and a string of S-shaped stamps. The spine and edges have been repaired. There are blue paper pastedowns and modern endpapers.


On fol. 1b there is an owner's stamp and an owner's note on fol. 1a; neither are legible.

The volume was purchased by the Army Medical Library in 1946 from A.S. Yahuda, who acquired if from a dealer in Lahore, Pakistan (ELS 1615).


Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., p. 333 entry P11.

NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-133 no. 1

Welcome Getting started Medieval Islam Catalogue Bio-bibliographies Glossary Abbreviations Credits About the Author Concordances A 1 - A 29 A 30 - A 59 A 60 - A 89 A 90 - A 92 P 1 - P 29 Authors, Translators & Commentators Copyists & Illustrators Owners & Patrons