Tacuinum Sanitatis

Anonymous, Germany, 15th century

  • Tacuinum Sanitatis - The Bacon Merchant
  • The Bacon Merchant

  • 15th cent. illumination
  • National Library of France

  • Tacuinum Sanitatis - The Salted Pork Merchant
  • The Salted Pork Merchant

  • 15th cent. illumination
  • National Library of France

About the Artist

Anonymous, Germany, 15th century. These images are from an illuminated manuscript copy of the Tacuinum Sanitatis, a popular treatises on medicine and health in use during the later Middle Ages. This was a Latin translation from original Arabic medical works combining Arabic and western knowledge on of foods, plants, and circumstances, with particular reference to their useful and harmful properties, and how the latter could be cured if necessary.

Much of the original Arabic text came from the writings of Albucasis (Al-Zahrawi), an Arab surgeon (936 -1013 AD) from Cordoba. His encyclopedia of surgery was the result of almost fifty years of medical education and his own experimentation. It was used as standard reference work in the subject in all the universities of Europe for over five hundred years.

Today, illustrated versions of the Tacuinum Sanitatis, yield much information on medieval daily life. Albucasis’s works are still considered important references for medicine and medical sciences as a whole.

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