Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: The Foundations of the true properties of remedies

Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: The Foundations of the true properties of remedies

Herat (Afghanistan) — Between 960 and 980

Ancient knowledge of the healing arts: The oldest surviving manuscript in the Persian language

  1. This book of cures is the oldest manuscript in the Persian language

  2. The manuscript’s origins are completely unknown

  3. A gem of the Imperial Court Library in Vienna since before 1820

Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: The Foundations of the true properties of remedies

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  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: The Foundations of the true properties of remedies

The Foundations of the True Properties of Remedies is the oldest preserved manuscript written in Persian and is also one of the most mysterious because almost nothing is known about its origins or its author, Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi.

Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: The Foundations of the True Properties of Remedies

The Foundations of the True Properties of Remedies by Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi, a 10th century Persian physician, is of special value because it is the oldest preserved manuscript in the Persian language. After Persia was conquered by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century, Arabic was the only written language until the 10th century. It was then that feelings of national identity began to reemerge in the courts of Persia’s dynasties, and works of poetry and science began to be written in Persian once more. It was in this time that Harawi undertook the project of creating a Persian translation of the De materia medica by Pedanius Dioscorides, a 1st century Greek physician serving in the Roman army. This original manuscript was likely created between 968 and 977. The specimen at hand was made by Asadi Toosi ca. 1026 according to a note in the introduction, which also wishes the author good health and claims that he is still alive at the time. Little is known about the manuscript’s origins, but it found itself in the collections of the Imperial Library in Vienna by 1820. The codex presents 585 remedies: 466 plant-based remedies, 75 mineral-based, and 44 animal-based.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: Das Buch der Grundlagen über die wahre Beschaffenheit der Heilmittel
Size / Format
438 pages / 19.0 × 15.0 cm
Date
Between 960 and 980
Language
Content
The manuscript is of special value because it is the oldest preserved manuscript in Persian language. Nothing is known about the origin of the manuscript. It was kept in the Imperial library of Vienna before 1820 already.

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: Das Buch der Grundlagen über die wahre Beschaffenheit der Heilmittel

Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: The Foundations of the true properties of remedies – Cod. A. F. 340 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi: The Foundations of the true properties of remedies – Cod. A. F. 340 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Binding: Half leather
Commentary: 1 volume (116 pages) by F. R. Seligmann and C. H. Talbot
Languages: English, Latin

Reprint and translation in English of the text originally published by F. R. Seligmann, Codex Vindobonensis sive Medici Abu Mansur Muwaffak Ibn cAli Heratensis Liber fundamentorum pharmacologiae, pars I, Vienna 1859, and a modern introduction by C. H. Talbot, London; 116 pp.
1 volume: 16 pages will be reproduced in colour, the other pages in black-and-white. Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding. 16 pages in color, the other pages facsimiled in black and white.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
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