Eight Books Concerning Medicine


Under the influence of Italian humanism and of his book-collector tutor János Vitéz, the Archbishop of Esztergom, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–1490) developed a passion for books and learning. Elected king of Hungary in 1458 at the age of 14, Matthias won great acclaim for his battles against the Ottoman Turks and his patronage of learning and science. He created the Bibliotheca Corviniana, in its day one of Europe’s finest libraries. After his death, and especially after the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the library was dispersed and much of the collection was destroyed, with the surviving volumes scattered all over Europe. This codex, one of eight manuscripts originally in the Corvinus Library and now preserved in the Bavarian State Library, contains the text De medicina by the Roman author A. Cornelius Celsus. The original text, composed during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius (AD 14–37) as part of an encyclopedia (Artes), was frequently copied in the Middle Ages. Following the death of Corvinus, it was acquired by Johann Jacob Fugger, with whose library it came to the Munich court library of the dukes of Bavaria in 1571. The Bibliotheca Corviniana Collection was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2005.

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Title in Original Language

De medicina libri VIII


Type of Item

Physical Description

217 leaves, vellum : illustrations ; 28.2 x 19.5 centimeters


  • BSB shelfmark: Clm 69

Last updated: August 28, 2015