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Catalogue: Medical Poetry

Blue arrow pointing to the right Manzūmah fī al-ibb   (MS A 36)
(A Poem on Medicine)
منظومه فى الطب

No author is given for this Arabic medical poem. It is stated at the end of the poem that its date of composition (tar'ikh) was the month of Rajab in "the year 12 after 700", that is, 712 H, which is AD 1312-1313. The copy itself appears to have been made in the 18th century, and consequently the date cannot refer to the completion of the copy.

Sommer ascribed the authorship to Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) and stated that the text included the commentary by Ibn Rushd (Averroes); see Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A36 p. 309. A comparison with other manuscripts does not, however, support this ascription. A comparison with Ibn Sīnā's major poem in the NLM copy (MS A 34, item 1), as well as Oxford, Bodleian MS Arab.f.49 and MS Hunt. 375, show no similarity. The first four words are the same as Berlin MS Dq. 104, but there after it diverges completely (see, Ahlwardt, "Berlin", no. 6268). In addition, a comparison with the commentary by Ibn Rushd (Averroes) in NLM (MS A 59) also shows no similarity to this manuscript. Moreover, if the date given at the end of the poem refers to its composition, then neither Ibn Sīnā or Ibn Rushd could have been the author.

No other copy is known.

Manzūmah fī al-ibb   (MS A 36)

Physical Description

Arabic. 3 leaves (fols. 1a-3b). Dimensions 21 x 16.5 (text area 17 x 14) cm; 27 lines per page. The title is taken from the preliminary folio [1], where it is written in purple ink, in a recent hand. No author is given.

The copy is undated and unsigned. The appearance of the paper, script, and ink suggests a date of the 18th century.

Apparently a complete copy. The text is written in a medium-small naskh, in four columns to a page. The text area does not appear to have been frame-ruled. Black ink fading to gray. There are red and green overlinings and red text-stops. There are catchwords.

There are later marginalia written in quite a small script. In one of them (fol. 3b) Galen (Jalinus) is cited.

The light-brown paper has laid lines, single chain lines, and watermarks. The paper is water-stained near the edges and is stained through thumbing and with thumb prints.


The volume is bound in a modern library binding of brown leather over pasteboards. There are modern paper pastedowns and endpapers.


The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A.S. Yahuda (ELS no. 1100).


Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry A36 p. 309, where the authorship is ascribed to Avicenna and it is incorrectly stated that the text includes a commentary by Averroes.

NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-119 no. 3

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