This popular plague tract by Ṭāshköprüzāde is composed of an introduction (muqaddimah), two chapters (maslaks), a conclusion (khatimah) and an appendix (tadhyil). The introduction has four subdivisions (matlabs), and the appendix consists of six matlabs. Religious treatises and scholars are the primary source, but the third matlab of the appendix concerns the cause of plague (ta‘un) according to physicians. The final matlab of the appendix is on the treatment of plague and is divided into two maqsid: one on physical treatments and the other on spiritual treatment. For the latter, Abū al-‘Abbas Sharaf al-Dīn Aḥmad al-Bunī is given as a major source, and there are a number of talismanic designs and magic squares illustrated.
The treatise ends with an enumeration, based on the account of the Basran compiler and historian Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad al-Mada’inī (d. 843/228), of five instances of plagues in Islamic lands: (1) in al-Mada'in in the year 628/6, (2) in 'Amawas (or 'Amwas) in Syria between Ramalah and Jerusalem in the year 640/17-18, (3) the plague called the Plague of the Torrent occurring in Basra in 684/64 in which 300,000 people were said to die during three days, (4) the Plague of the Young Women occurring in 706/87 in Basra, Wasit and Kufah and Syria, and (5) a plague occurring in 749/131. For this chronology of plagues, see L.I. Conrad, "Arabic Plague Chronologies and Treatises: Social and historical factors in the formation of a literary genre," Studia Islamica, vol. 54, 1981, pp. 51-93.
For other copies, see Ullmann, Medizin, p. 249 note 3; GAL, vol. 2, p. 426 (561) no. 12; GAL-S, vol. 2, p. 634 no. 14; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Oriental Collections, MS Ouseley 106, item 1 (see Savage-Smith, "Bodleian"). The text has been printed in Cairo in 1875.
Risālat al-Shifā’ li-adwā’ al-wabā’ (MS A 77)
The opening of a treatise on the history and treatments of plague, Risālat al-Shifā’ li-adwā’ al-wabā’ , by Ṭāshköprüzāde (d. 1560/968). The title can be seen in the fifth line of this page. The copy is undated and unsigned, but appears to have been made about 1800.
Arabic. 17 leaves (fols. 1b-17b) Dimensions 21.2 x 14.8 (text area 16.8 x 9)cm; 25 lines per page. The title is given near start of text (fol. 1b line 5). On the title page (fol. 1a) a title has been added in Turkish by a later hand: Kitāb Ta‘un risalesi (Treatise on the Plague). The author's name is given on title page (fol. 1a) as Ṭāshköprüzāde, where it also states that he died in 968 (= 1560).
The copy is undated; the appearance of paper, script, and ink suggests a dating of about 1800.
It is an incomplete copy. The text breaks off abruptly after only four lines of text on fol. 17b.
There are a few marginal notes and textual corrections.
The volume consists of 18 leaves. Fol. 1a is blank except for a title and author added by a later hand. Fol. 18 is blank.
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library presumably from A. S. Yahuda. No further information is available on the provenance.
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A 77, pp. 322-3
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-127 no. 1