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"A Manuscript of the Manafi al-Haiawan in the Library of Mr. J. P. Morgan"
Abraham Yohannan
Journal of the American Oriental Society, 36, 1916, 381-389
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"This magnificent codex of supreme interest and importance, and indeed one of the most precious of Oriental manuscripts, dates from the close of the thirteenth century. The treatise which it contains, entitled Manafi al-Haiawan, was written in Arabic by Abu Sa'id Ubaid-allah bin Bukhtishu in the eleventh century and later translated into Persian by Abd al-Hadi at the direction of Ghazan Khan. The work deals with the structure, form, and habits of animals, birds, reptiles, and insects, and with the medicinal properties of the various parts of their bodies. It also explains the composition of medicines, their therapeutic use, and the treatment of the parts affected. That part of the manuscript which is descriptive of animals is probably an abridged form of the work designated as Na't al-Haiawan, 'Description of the Nature of Animals,' which is ascribed to Aristotle. The Natural History of Aristotle was accepted without question by medieval authorities and imitated in the queer Herbals and Bestiaries of the Middle Ages. That part of the text, however, that deals with the medicinal properties of animals, to which the name 'Manafi al-Haiawan' properly applies, is the work of Bukhtishu himself." - Yohannan

Language: English

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