The text is divided into ten sections (maqalat) and subsequent chapters (bab), which are listed in the first seven fly-leaves of the current manuscript, and deals with different aspects of breeding horses. Interestingly, the author gives a good deal of space to their medical treatments, an aspect which had often been neglected in previous equine treatises. The sources are varied, both Arabic (most notably Ibn Akhi Hizam) as well as non-Arabic (the Byzantine scholar Theomnestus, Hellenistic scientists as Aristotle, Galen and Hippocrates, as well as Indian, Persian and Turkish sources).
This text is probably one of the greatest achievement of hippology as throughout the whole manuscript the author maintains a critical approach, commenting on all the remedies mentioned by his sources and advising on their effectiveness or possible improvement. He also lists his personal remedies, improving significantly on the previous knowledge of horse veterinary science. As Shehada underlines, "it is the medicines and various medical preparations that he used in treating animals that testify to Abu Bakr’s originality and to the personal knowledge that he learned from his father” (Shehada 2013, p.169).
The colophon of this manuscript names Mahmud al-Said al-Baytar and states that it was copied in the stables (al-astabalat) in Syria. An autograph copy of this text dated 722 AH/1322 AD is now in the Topkapi Palace Library, inv. no.Ahmet III 1956 (Alexandrer 1996, p.120). Other copies are recorded in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (Ms Arabe 2013, dated 875 AH/1470 AD); British Library, London (Ms Add.19448(994), dated 1159 AH/1746 AD); Qatar National Library (inv. no.17603, dated 1316 AH/1801 AD); Bodleian Library, Oxford (Ms Hunt 136); Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (inv. no.3680) and Dar al-Kutub, Cairo (inv. no. Furusiyya Taymur 4,5). The title is also recorded in Brockelmann GAL. II 136.
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