British Library, Harley MS 1585


Produced: S. Netherlands (Li├Ęge), ca. 1175
Location: British Library, London, England, UK
Type: Miscellany
Language: Latin
Folios: 92
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Script: Protogothic
Dimensions: Height: 12.5 cm Width: 16 cm
Folio 16r


A medical treatise. Includes herbals, a text on herbal medicine for women, and a text on medicinal uses of animals. Illustrated with colored drawings of plants and about 38 line drawings of animals, in black or dark brown ink with some reads, greens and blues.

The section containing most of the animal illustrations is from the, Liber medicinae ex animalibus by Sextus Placitus (folio 57r-78v). It is structured like a bestiary, except where the bestiary has a description and an allegorical interpretation of the animal, here there is a description on the use of the animal in medicine. Many of the usual bestiary animals are included, and the usual order of animals in the bestiary is more or less followed here.

Harley MS 1585 served as model to Bodleian Library, MS. Ashmole 1462, and British Library, Sloane MS 1975.

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