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On display in the Exhibition(s)The Muslim West | Science and Knowledge
Arabic Calligraphy | Calligraphic Schools
Name of Object:
Manuscript from the medical treatise Kitab al-tasrîf liman ajaza an al-talîf fi al-tibb by Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn ‘Abbas al-Andalusi al-ZahrawiHolding Museum:
General LibraryMuseum Inventory Number:
About General Library, Rabat.
Height 26.5 cm, length 18.5 cmMaterial(s) / Technique(s):
Paper, brown ink, yellow and red paint.Date of Object:
Hegira 610–9 / AD 1213–23Period / Dynasty
This manuscript is the transcription of one of the 30 volumes of the encyclopaedia al-Tasrif, written by Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, known in the West as Abulcasis, who lived from AH 320 to 401 (AD 936–1016) during the Caliphate period in Córdoba. Considered the most famous doctor and surgeon of his time, he compiled the results of his medical operations in the encyclopaedia. He described and drew nearly two hundred tools that he used, many of which he invented and made himself. This important work was a basic reference book for students in north African universities. As printing did not yet exist, it was copied, like all scientific works, by professional calligraphers who were in fact the painters of their time. This specimen, whose copyist is unknown, belongs to the Almohad period and it contains 329 pages. Most of the 30 chapters cover the formulation of remedies and how to treat injuries. It is written in Maghrebi cursive script. On the page that deals with cauterisation, some surgical tools are naively depicted, painted in black, red and yellow.
View Short DescriptionHow Object was obtained:
Purchase.How date and origin were established:
The date of the copy, missing the units digit, appears on the last page (colophon) of this volume.How provenance was established:
The style of the writing and the manuscript date, which is very close to the date of the original, suggest Andalusian origin.Selected bibliography:
Abd al-Rahman, A. J., Printed Arabic Manuscripts, al-Baçra, 1981.Citation of this web page:
Al-Arabi al-Khatabi, M., Faharis al-Khizana al-Malakia, Rabat, 1982.
Al-Razi J. and Varichon, A., Maroc, les trésors du Royaume, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1999.
Benjelloun-Laroui, L., Les bibliothèques au Maroc, Paris, 1990.
Haji Khalifa, Kitab kachf al- zounoum an asâmî al-koutoub wal-founoun, Istanbul, 1941.
Naima El Khatib-Boujibar "Manuscript from the medical treatise Kitab al-tasrîf liman ajaza an al-talîf fi al-tibb by Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn ‘Abbas al-Andalusi al-Zahrawi" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2016. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;ma;Mus01_F;16;en
Prepared by: Naima El Khatib-Boujibar
Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen
MWNF Working Number: MO 18