Lot 101
  • 101

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (known as Rhazes or Rasis, d.925 AD), Kitab al-taqsim wa al-tashjir, a treatise on medicine, signed by Sa’ad ibn Sa’id ibn Lutfallah ibn Sa’ad al-Katib al-Misri, Egypt, Abbasid, dated 641 AH/1243-44

15,000 - 20,000 GBP
90,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • ink on paper with leather binding
  • 18.8 by 15.4cm.
Arabic manuscript on paper, 156 leaves (1st 5 later contents pages), 13 lines to the page, written in naskh script in brown ink, catchwords, occasional marginal notes and numbering, later brown morocco binding

Catalogue Note

Kitab al-taqsim wa-al-tashjir is a treatise on medicine by the great physician-philosopher of the ninth-tenth century, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi. The present work begins with a section on the treatment of pregnant women and the abortion of the foetus, and ends with a section on the symptoms and cure of smallpox and measles. An interesting aspect of the manuscript is the later binding which incorporates fragments of folios with Christian text, written in Karshuni or Coptic, indicating that the manuscript may once have been in the library of a Maronite monastery in Mount Lebanon or a Coptic monastery in Egypt.

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi was a famous alchemist and physician of the Middle Ages, and the founder of iatro-chemistry. He was born and studied in Rayy, and worked in Baghdad. He was also a philosopher and mathematician, known in Medieval Europe by the names of 'Rhazes' and 'Abubater'.

Another copy datable to the thirteenth century, ADD 5932, is in the British Library, London (see C. Baker (ed.), Subject-Guide to the Arabic Manuscripts in the British Library, London, 2001, M.3, p.366.) See also Brockelmann, GAL, I. 234, p.269.