The Persian physician Manṣūr ibn Muḥammad ibn Ilyās, who flourished around 1384, came from a family of physicians and other intellectuals living in the city of Shiraz in present-day Iran. Tashrīḥ-i badan-i insān (The anatomy of the human body), usually known as Tashrīḥ-i Manṣūrī (Manṣūr’s anatomy), is his best-known work. It contains the earliest surviving Islamic anatomical illustrations of the whole human body. They include full-page figures, drawn in pen using various colors of ink. The treatise consists of an introduction followed by chapters on the bones, nerves, muscles, veins, and arteries. A concluding chapter is on compound organs, such as the heart and brain, and on the formation of the fetus, and includes a figure representing the arterial system of a pregnant woman. The work is dedicated to Sulṭān Pīr Muḥammad ibn ʻUmar ibn Tīmūr, ruler of the Fars region of Persia circa 1393–1409 and grandson of Timur, known to Europeans as Tamerlane. This manuscript was copied in 1709 in a medium-sized naskh script on brown laid paper with catchwords and headings in red. There is some Indian stylistic influence. The manuscript was a gift of John Farquhar Fulton and forms part of the Cushing collection of rare books at the Medical Historical Library in the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, Yale University.
Title in Original Language
Type of Item
35 folios ; 20.2 x 30 centimeters
- Historical Medical Library: Cushing Persian Ms. 14.
Last updated: February 18, 2015