Arts of the Book: Illustrated Texts, Miniatures
Manuscript Of The Taqwim Al-Sihha Of Ibn Butlan
dated 745 H/1344 CE
Materials and technique
Ink on paper
30.1 x 20.5 cm
Ibn Butlan was an eleventh-century philosopher-physician and a Nestorian Christian who wrote treatises on aspects of medicine and Christianity. He lived most of his life in Baghdad, which he left in 1049 CE to travel to Syria, Egypt and Constantinople; he became a monk in Antioch and died there in a monastery in 1066 CE. This manuscript is a dated copy (745 H/1344 CE) of his important work on medicine and diet, referred to as the Taqwim al-sihha (Almanac of Health). A medical regimen in tabular form, this work identifies the foods, drinks, environments and activities (including breathing, exercise and rest) necessary for a healthy life. The treatise was translated into Latin in the late thirteenth century under the title Tacuinum Sanitatis and later became well-known in Europe.
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