The oldest book in the Mayo Library

December 7, 2016 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

liber-serapionisThe oldest title in the Rare Book Collection of the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library is Liber Serapionis aggregatus in medicinis simplicibus (translated as The Book of Simple Medicaments) by the Arabian physician Ibn Sarabi (also known as Serapion, Johannes, the Younger), who was one of the most influential authors for the development of medical theory and practice, and for the Arabic medical tradition in general.

This title was translated from the Arabic into Latin about 1292. In the first part Serapion classifies substances according to their medicinal properties and discusses their actions. The second part is a compilation of the works of Dioscorides, an army doctor in the reigns of Caludius, Nero and Galen. There is also mention of around 40 other Greek and Arabian authors.

(Submitted by Hilary Lane, History of Medicine Library specialist)

Entry filed under: History of Medicine. Tags: .

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