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The Treasure of Khvarazm’Shah
Ismā‘īl ibn Ḥasan Jurjānī (circa 1042–circa 1136, also seen as Jorjānī and Gurjānī), known popularly as Hakim Jurjānī, was among the most famous physicians of 12th-century Iran. In the period between the Islamic conquest and the time of Jurjānī, almost all scientific books by Iranians were written in Arabic, including such famous works as al-Qānūn fī al-tibb (The canon of medicine) by Ibn Sina (Avicenna). Jurjānī's medical encyclopedia, Zakhīrah-i Khvārazm’Shāhī (The treasure of Khvarazm’Shah) was the first major medical book in post-Islamic Iran written in ...
Supplement to the Local Gazetteer of Wu Prefecture
Wujun (Wu Prefecture) is an ancient name used during the Qin and Han (221 BCE–220 CE) for the seat of Guiji (situated in present-day Suzhou). The words tu jing in the title denote an older type of local gazetteer, which first appeared during the Eastern Han (25–220 CE). It was not until the Southern Song that such works were replaced by more formal gazetteers. This printed work is a very rare Song edition. The work goes back to 1099, the second year of Yuanfu era during the reign ...
Collected Songs and Verses of Li He
Li He (790–816), courtesy name Changji, was a Chinese poet of the late-Tang dynasty, known for his unconventional and imaginative style. A native of Changgu, Henan Province, Li was unsuccessful in the imperial examination. He died at age 27, having worked, despite his distant royal ancestry, as a poor minor official. About 240 of his poems survive. Although his works were admired by the late-Tang poets, none of his poems made their way into the popular anthologies, such as Tang shi san bai shou (300 Tang poems). As indicated ...
Augmented Materia Medica
This work was compiled in 1116 by Kou Zongshi (flourished 1111–17), an official in charge of purveying and examining medicinal materials. According to a later preface by Lu Xinyuan, dated 1877, Kou also served as an official responsible for military provisions and supplies in various places and became a revenue manager. Kou Zongshi found mistakes and gaps in the works by Liu Yuxi, the author of Jiayou bu zhu ben cao (Supplementary comments to materia medica printed in the Jiayou reign), and Tang Shenwei, author of Jing shi zheng ...
Lamp of Kings
Sirāj al-mulūk (Lamp of kings) is by Muḥammad ibn al-Walīd al-Ṭurṭūshī, a Maliki imam also known as Ibn Abū Zandaqa. Al-Ṭarṭūshī was born in Tortosa in Catalonia (in what was then al-Andalus, present-day Spain) in 1059 or 1060. He died in Alexandria, Egypt in 1126 or 1127. The topic of the Sirāj al-mulūk, his most famous work, is political theory. The present edition was published in 1888−89 by Maṭbaʻat al-khayrīyah in Cairo. According to Kitāb iktifā' al-qanūʻ bimā huwa matbuʻ min ashhar al-ta'ālīf al-arabīya fī al-maṭābiʻ ...
This mid-11th century Gospel Book is believed to come from the Abbey of Reichenau, on Lake Constance in Germany, on the basis of its script and illumination. The decoration of the manuscript places it in the so-called Luithar school of Reichenau. Its ornamental motifs compare very closely with those in Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm. 4453, and its palette is nearly identical to that in the Reichenau manuscripts of the Bamberg Cathedral Treasury. The work includes full-page miniatures of Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and of the Holy Gospel of ...
This gospel lectionary was created around 1130. A lectionary is a liturgical book, which—in contrast to usual gospel books containing the full texts of the gospels—comprises only those parts of the gospels that are used for the liturgical readings during the ecclesiastical year, presented in chronological order. The book features two pen-and-ink-drawn initials, several decorated initials in gold and silver ink, and four full-page miniatures, each showing one of the four Evangelists. The style and coloring of the miniatures follow a Bavarian tradition of book illumination, the so-called ...
Pericope (Sections) from Saint Erentrud. Gospels for the Mass According to the Usual Rite, Preceding the Capitular Gospels
This book, which contains the “lessons,” or portions of scripture appointed to be read at divine service, was written around the year 1150, probably in Salzburg, a diocesan town situated near what is today the border between Bavaria and Austria. The manuscript was owned by the Benedictine convent of Saint Erentrud auf dem Nonnberg, which was founded by Saint Rupert in Salzburg in 711−12, and where Rupert’s niece Erentrud was the first abbess. With its 56 miniatures depicting scenes from the New Testament and the life of saints ...
This Gospel book from Benediktbeuern, decorated lavishly with gold, silver, and purple, was created in the scriptorium of Tegernsee Abbey in Bavaria. For stylistic reasons, e.g., the rather flat architectural frames and the linear style of the figural drawings, scholars date this manuscript to around 1100. Tegernsee Abbey, first founded in the eighth century, was one of the more important imperial abbeys as early as 817. Having been refounded in 978 during the reign of Otto II, the abbey saw the reconstruction of its library and subsequently a peak ...
Calligraphic Rubbings of Jiangzhou
Jiang tie (Calligraphic rubbings of Jiangzhou) is an anthology of calligraphic rubbings, in 20 juan. The rubbings were made by Pan Shidan, a Song official in Jiangzhou, thus the title carries the name of the location. Pan was active during the reigns of Huangyou and Jiayou (1049−63) of the Northern Song. This is the earliest example of an anthology of calligraphic rubbings by a private person. The compilation was based on Chunha ge tie (The Chunhuage calligraphic rubbings), the oldest imperial anthology of calligraphic rubbings, but with additions and ...
Milestones of the Divine Revelation
Al-Ḥusayn ibn Masʻūd al-Baghawī (circa 1044−circa 1117), nicknamed muḥyī al-sunnah (Reviver of the Prophet’s traditions), was a Shāfiʻi scholar and Qur’an exegete. He was born, and possibly died, in Bagh or Baghshor, an old town that was located in Khorasan between the ancient cities of Herat (in present-day Afghanistan) and Merv (near present-day Mary, Turkmenistan). Preserved in this manuscript copy is the second and last part of al-Baghawī’s maʻālim al-tanzīl (Milestones of the divine revelation), an exegesis of the Holy Qur’an ...
Piece of the Charlemagne Chess Set: The Pawn
The famous chess set called the Jeu d'échec de Charlemagne (Charlemagne’s chess set) was once part of the treasury of the Basilica of Saint-Denis. It was made near Salerno, Italy, at the end of the 11th century. It was long thought to have belonged to Charlemagne, who was said to have received it as a gift from Caliph Harun al-Rashid. In fact, this cannot have been the case, because the game of chess was only introduced to the Western world by the Arabs two centuries after Charlemagne’s ...
Glorifications of the Prophetic Traditions
This manuscript, written by Ibrāhim bin Mustafā in 1744, is a copy of a work in Arabic by the Afghan scholar Al-Baghawi (1043-1122), written sometime between 1116 and 1122 (510-516 A.H.). It is a summary, in seven chapters, of seven collections of traditions about Muhammad, arranged according to their veracity. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet ...
Tables of the Body for Treatment
The well-known author of this manuscript, Abū Alī Yahyā ibn Īsā ibn Jazla (died, Sha’bān AH 493 [May–June 1100]), also wrote several other books, such as Al-minhāj fi al-tibb (The guide in medicine), and Taqwīm al-abdān (Curing the bodies). He was born to Christian parents but converted to Islam around 1074 (AH 466) and later wrote a rebuttal of Christianity. He had studied medicine with Saīd ibn Hibat-Allāh. In Taqwīm al-abdān fī tadbīr al-insān (Tables of the body for treatment), Abū Alī Yahyā provides information in tabular form ...
The Quintessence of Medicine
The author of this treatise, Isma‘īl ibn Muhammad al-Husayn al-Jurjānī (circa 1042–1136), also known as al-Sayyid Isma‘īl, was one of the most-famous physicians and prolific writers on medicine of his time. He was a student of the noted Persian physician Ibn Abī Sādiq Al-Nīšapūrī, who followed the teachings of Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) and was nicknamed Buqrāt al-tāni (The second Hippocrates). Thanks to his proficiency in medicine, al-Jurjānī was employed by the shahs of Khvarazm, Qutb al-Dīn Muhammad (1097–1127) and ‘Azīz b. Muhammad (1127–56). The former ...
Compendium of Astronomy
Mulahhas fī al-Hay'a (Compendium of astronomy) by Sharaf al-Dīn Mahmūd ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al-Jiġhmīnī (died circa 1221) is one of the most famous textbooks of astronomy ever produced in the Islamic world. The importance of the work is clearly indicated by the existence of thousands of copies of the text, some representing the autonomous tradition of the Mulahhas itself, others preserving the work as part of the many commentaries and even supercommentaries (commentaries on commentaries) that were produced in the centuries that followed its appearance. One well-known extensive ...
The Incoherence of Philosophers
Abu-Hamid Al-Ghazali (also known by the Latinized version of his name, Algazel, 1058–1111 AD, 450–505 AH) was born into a modest family in Tus, Khorasan, in present-day Iran. He went on to become one of the most prominent Sunni religious scholars of all time. His main fields were jurisprudence, philosophy, theology, and mysticism. Tahafut al-falasifa (The incoherence of the philosophers) is one of his major works. In this book, he opines that philosophers, both Greek and Muslim, should not try to prove metaphysical knowledge through logic, as the ...
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Ghiyath al-Din Abu'l-Fath Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Nisaburi al-Khayyami, better known as Omar Khayyam (1048–1131 AD), was a Persian Muslim mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet, whose interests also included music, mechanics, and geography. He was born and died in Nishapur, Iran, where he taught the philosophical theories of Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna, 980–1037), among other disciplines. Although Khayyam is known to later generations mainly as a poet, his work on algebra, mathematics, and calendar reform were of great importance. Khayyam is known for his rubaiyat (quatrains ...