A Treasury of Medicine


Thābit ibn Qurrah al-Ḥarrānī (died 901) was born in Harran, present-day Turkey, and died in Baghdad. A member of the Sabian religious sect, he was an astronomer, physician, mathematician, and fluent in Syriac, Arabic, and Greek. Kitāb al-Dhakhīrah fī ʻilm al-ṭibb (A treasury of medicine) contains 31 chapters, starting with hygiene and ending with sexual intercourse. This manuscript was probably copied in the 16th century and is bound with Sharḥ Urjūzat Ibn Sīnā fī al-ṭibb by Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Rushd (1126–98), known also by the Latinized version of his name, Averroës. There is no title page. The work itself is written in a neat medium-sized naskh script. Some interlinear and marginal corrections are present and catchwords appear on the bottom of the pages. The off-white paper is glazed, and the book’s leather binding flap is blind stamped. The manuscript was a gift of Harvey Cushing (1869–1939), a Yale-educated neurosurgeon, whose collection of rare medical books forms a key part of the Medical Historical Library in the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, Yale University.

Last updated: April 3, 2018