كتاب اختصار الستة عشر لجالينوس تلخيص يحيى النحوي Kitāb ikhtiṣār al-sittat ‘ashr li-Jālīnūs talkhīṣ Yahyá al-Naḥwī

Arundel Or 17

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The record is made up of Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. ii.141.iii. It was created in 615. It was written in Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: Oriental Manuscripts.

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Epitome of the Sixteen Books of Galen, treatises by Galen for beginners selected to form the primary medical curriculum in late-antique Alexandria. The title page (f. 2) reads: كتاب اختصار الست عشر لجالينوس تلخيص يحيى النحوي ('Epitome of the Sixteen Books by Galen summarised by Yaḥyá the grammarian'). Yaḥyá the grammarian is the usual Arabic rendering of John Philoponus, the Christian philosopher of Alexandria (d. ca 570s). It is not known whether this John Philoponus is intended here or another character with a similar name. This copy contains only fifteen treatises, which is perhaps explained if we assume that Galen's two treatises on the pulse, mentioned separately in the introductory chapter (f. 2v, lines 6 and 9) have been combined in the كتاب النبض ( Kitāb al-Nabḍ [' Book of the Pulse '], ff. 9r-17r).

The copy was completed on Wednesday 25 Jumādá II 615 (18 September 1218; see colophon Section at the end of a manuscript text. f. 140, line 14, transcribed below).


  • باب في ترتيب الستة عشر وتفصيلها وانحصارها في هذا العدد ( Bāb fī tartīb al-Sittat ‘Ashar wa-tafṣīlihā wa-inḥiṣārihā fī hādhā al-‘adad ['Chapter on the order and division of the Sixteen Books ], and their limitation to this number', ff. 2v-3a);
  • كتاب الفرق وعدد الفرق وأسماء أهلها (Kitāb al-Firaq wa-‘adad al-firaq wa-asmā’ ahlihā [' Book of the Sects, their Numbers and the Names of their Members '], i.e. Περὶ αἱρέσεων or De sectis , ff. 3r-5v);
  • كتاب الصناعة الصغيرة ( Kitāb al-Ṣinā‘ah al-ṣaghīrah [' Book of the Little Art '], i.e. Τέχνη ἰατρική or Ars medica ; ff. 5v-9r);
  • كتاب النبض ( Kitāb al-Nabḍ [' Book of the Pulse '], i.e. Περὶ τῶν σφυγμῶν or De pulsibus , ff. 9r-17r);
  • كتاب إغلوقن ( Kitāb Ighlawqūn [' Book of Glaucon '], i.e. Πρὸς Γλαύκωνα θεραπευτικὰ or Ad Glauconem de medendi methodo , ff. 17r-41v);
  • كتاب الأسطقسات ( Kitāb al-Usṭuqussāt [' Book of the Elements '], i.e. Περὶ στοιχείων καθ' Ἱπποκράτην or De elementis secundum Hippocratem , ff. 41v-45v);
  • كتاب المزاج ( Kitāb al-Mizāj [' Book of the Mixture '], i.e. Περὶ κράσεων or De temperamentis , ff. 45v-52v);
  • كتاب القوى الطبيعية ( Kitāb al-Quwá al-ṭabī‘īyah [' Book of the Natural Faculties '], i.e. Περὶ δυνάμεων φυσικῶν or De facultatibus naturalibus , ff. 52v-58r);
  • كتاب التشريح ( Kitāb al-Tashrīḥ [' Book of Anatomy '], i.e. Περὶ τῆς Ἱπποκράτους ἁνατομῆς or De Hippocratis anatomia [?], ff. 58r-69v);
  • كتاب العلل والأعراض والأمراض ( Kitāb al-‘Ilal wa-al-a‘rāḍ wa-al-amrāḍ [' Book of Illnesses, Symptoms and Diseases '], i.e. Περὶ διαφορᾶς νοσημάτων or De differentiis morborum [?], ff. 69v-80v);
  • كتاب تعرّف علل الأعضاء الباطنة ( Kitāb Ta‘arruf ‘ilal al-a‘ḍā’ al-bāṭinah [' Book of the Identification of Diseases of the Internal Organs '], i.e. Περὶ τῶν πεπονθότων τόπων or De locis affectis , ff. 80v-100r);
  • كتاب الحميات ( Kitāb Ḥummayāt [' Book of Fevers '], i.e. Περὶ διαφορᾶς πυρετῶν or De differentiis febrium , ff. 100r-105r);
  • كتاب البحران ( Kitāb al-Buḥrān [' Book of the Crisis '], i.e. Περὶ κρίσεων or De crisibus , ff. 105r-111v);
  • كتاب أيام البحران ( Kitāb Ayyām al-buḥrān [' Book of Critical Days '], i.e. Περὶ κρισίμων ἡμερῶν or De diebus decretoriis , ff. 111v-115r);
  • كتاب تدبير الأصحاء ( Kitāb Tadbīr al-aṣiḥḥā’ [' Book of the Regimen of the Healthy '], i.e. Ὑγιεινῶν or De sanitate tuenda , ff. 115r-126r);
  • كتاب حيلة البرء ( Kitāb Ḥīlat al-bur’ [' Book of the Method of Healing '], i.e. Θεραπευτικῆς μεθόδου or Methodi medendi , ff. 126r-140r);
  • Notes by three different hands including a poem addressed to Amīn al-Dawlah Abū al-Ḥasan Hibat Allāh ibn Ṣa‘īd known as Ibn al-Tilmīdh (d. 560 AH/AD 1165), chief physician at the ‘Aḍudī Hospital in Baghdad and court physician to the Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtafī (reg. 1136-1160) (f. 140v).

Begins (f. 2v, lines 2-6):

باب في ترتيب الستة عشر وتفصيلها

وانحصارها في هذا العدد.

اعلم ان الستة عشر تنقسم قسمين منها ما يجري مجري المدخل إلى النظر في علم

وعمل الصناعة الطبية وهي الأربعة الأوّل. أعني كتاب الفرق وكتاب الصناعة

الصغيرة وكتاب النبض وكتابه إلى إغلوقن ...

Ends (f. 140r, lines 8-11):

... واعلم أن يولد الشعر إنما يكون من الفضل الغليض

الدخاني وإنما نماه وٮرٮده (؟) بعد ذلك إنما هو لما يلصق به من أسفله من الدخان

الغليظ فمتى فسد هذا الغذاء الحق الشعر ضرر فإذا ذهب هذا الدخان

كله أحدث الضلع ومتى فسد حدث داء التصلب وداء الحية.

Colophon Section at the end of a manuscript text. (f. 140r, lines 12-14):

تم الكتاب بحمد الله وعونه وصلوته على أنبيائه

ورسله أجمعين وحٮى (؟) الله ونعم الوكيل

وذلك في الأربعاء الخامس والعشر من جمادى الأخر سنة خمس عشر وستمائة

Extent and format
Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. ii.141.iii
Physical characteristics

Material: Paper

Dimensions: 246 x 164 mm leaf [173 x 115 mm written]

Foliation: British Museum foliation in pencil; a leaf has been left unfoliated between ff. 101 and 102

Ruling: Misṭarah ; 21 lines per page; vertical spacing 12 lines per 10 cm

Script: Naskh

Ink: Black, with headings in red

Binding: British Museum binding

Condition: Minor water damage towards front and back, some re-inking at front

Marginalia: Marginal annotations by more than one hand; f. 1v has a line of Hebrew

Seals: f. 2r

Written in
Arabic in Arabic script

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: Oriental Manuscripts
Access conditions


Archive reference
Arundel Or 17

History of this record

615 (AH, Hijri qamari)

F. 2r (top to bottom):

  • علي ابن أبو العز الطبيب الموصلي (‘Alī ibn Abū al-‘Izz al-Ṭabīb al-Mawṣilī): His ownership statement, dated 713 (?) AH/AD 1313-14 (?);
  • ابن أبي علي المطتبب (Ibn Abī ‘Alī al-Mutaṭabbib): His ownership statement, no date;
  • Ownership statement in Arabic: Anonymous, date partially legible;
  • עלי הכוהן (Eli Ha-Kohen): inscribed with his name, no date;
  • Stamp reading 'Soc. Reg. Lond ex dono Henr. Howard Norfolciensis'.

F. 1r notes in Latin reading 'Lib. FF. Lib. 4. T. 4. Compendium medicinae Galeni a prima eius voce dictum Sedecim'.

Related material

Select Bibliography


  • Fichtner, Gerhard, Corpus Galenicum. Bibliographie der galenischen und pseudgalenischen Werke (Berlin: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2012)

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كتاب اختصار الستة عشر لجالينوس تلخيص يحيى النحوي Kitāb ikhtiṣār al-sittat ‘ashr li-Jālīnūs talkhīṣ Yahyá al-Naḥwī , British Library: Oriental Manuscripts, Arundel Or 17, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100000041053.0x000001> [accessed 10 December 2023]

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