Bald’s Leechbook

Bald’s Leechbook Facsimile Edition

Winchester (United Kingdom) — Mid 10th century

A large, important Old English collection of medical remedies ranging from Late Antiquity to contemporary Anglo-Saxon sources

  1. Its name is a modernization of the Old English lǣce-bōc or “book of medical prescriptions”

  2. The patron, Bald, is identified in the colophon along with the name of the scribe, Cild

  3. One of the remedies has even shown promise for treating the antibiotic-resistant MRSA virus

Bald’s Leechbook

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Bald’s Leechbook

Bald’s Leechbook is a large Old English collection of medical remedies ranging from Late Antiquity to contemporary Anglo-Saxon sources. This important work survives in only one manuscript and its name is a modernization of the Old English lǣce-bōc or “book of medical prescriptions” in combination with the name of the man who patronized the manuscript. The text created in the 9th century, possibly as part of the educational reforms of King Alfred the Great, and the manuscript itself originates from the mid-10th century. The work is organized from head-to-foot: the first book covers external maladies, the second internal disorders, and the third is a text comprising Anglo-Saxon medical practices predating the influences of Mediterranean sources. Recent research indicates that one of the remedies found in the manuscript, known as “Bald’s eyesalve”, has promise as a treatment for the antibiotic-resistant MRSA virus.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Balds Arzneibuch
Bald's Laeceboc
Size / Format
256 pages / 27.0 × 19.0 cm
Date
Mid 10th century
Style
Language

Available facsimile editions:
Rosenkilde and Bagger – Copenhagen, 1955
Facsimile Editions

#1 Bald’s Leechbook

Rosenkilde and Bagger – Copenhagen, 1955

Publisher: Rosenkilde and Bagger – Copenhagen, 1955
Commentary: 1 volume by Cyril E. Wright and Randolph Quirk
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) 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.
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