Royaume-Uni, Londres, Wellcome Library, MS.13

  • Conservé à : Londres. Wellcome Library
  • Date de fabrication :
  • Nombre de feuillets : 1 volume; 69 leaves 8vo. 16 x 12 cm. On vellum: original stamped leather binding over wooden boards, spine damaged. Leather portion of a brass and leather clasp wanting. Leaves wanting after folios 17, 51, 57, 65, 67: first leaf slightly rubbed, with loss of part of the Incipit.

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  • Database description transcribed from S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973), p. 9.


  • Semita recta. Preceded by an incomplete and unidentified al-chemical work. Written in a large gothic script, 14 lines to a page: capitals, Incipits, and paragraph marks in red.

    Fol. 1 (red) Incipit alberti [?] archanorum [?] archanum. /Cum sit nobilis quedam medicina elixir a phy/losophis nuncupata... line 9 (Text begins) Cum vniuersa uolumina phylosophie/tanquam uagabundus aberrans/perlustrassem... 17v de die in diem contricio pulueris/

    Fol. 18 (red) Incipit recta semita alkymie alberti./Omnis sapientia. est. que. a. D.O./M.I.N.O. DEO est et cum/illo fuit semper ... 19 (Text begins) Cum ergo multas regiones/et plurimas prouincias... 69v ... tunc scias quod uersum est in solem/uel lunam. (red) Explicit.

    Written by another hand inside the upper cover 'Anno 1492'.

    (Source : Wellcome Library)
  • Owing to the rubbing of the text, the precise title of the first work is not legible, and the 'Incipit' is not given in Thorndike's 'Catalogue'. It describes the processes for making the 'Elixir' and has many quotations from the 'Turba', Geber, Morigenes [Morienus?] and other Arabic alchemists. (Source : Wellcome Library)
  • For alchemical works ascribed to Albertus Magnus, including the 'Semita recta', cf. Thorndike History of Magic and Experimental Science, Vol. II, pp. 569-573; Vol. III, p.42. (Source : Wellcome Library)
  • Reverend Leander van Ess (1772-1847), OSB Marienmünster, professor of theology at Marburg university, MS. 101 in his sale catalogue Sammlung und Verzeichniss handscriftlicher [sic] Bücher aus dem VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV, etc. Jahrhundert, bestehend aus 171 Bänden auf Pergament, 19 theils auf Pergament theils auf Papier, und 190 auf Papier. Nebst einer Sammlung von alten Holzschnitten und kleinen Gemälden mit Vergoldung, die leider! aus alten Pergament-Handschriften ausgeschnitten sind, welche besitzt Leander van Ess, Theol. Doctor, vorhin Professor und Pfarrer in Marburg [Darmstadt: privately printed, 1823], p. 20; sold in 1824 to Sir Thomas Phillipps with 367 other Western manuscripts, a few Arabic manuscripts and over 900 incunabula from his collection.

    Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), baronet collector of books and manuscripts, his armorial stamp 'Sir T. P. / Middle Hill' on f. 69v; his MS. '486' (number inscribed on ff. 1r and 69v); described in Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum in bibliotheca D. Thomae Phillipps, Bt. (impressum Typis Medio-Montanis [i.e. Middle Hill]), 1837-[1871]; Facsimile reprint : [London], Orskey-Johnson [2001], with new intro. by A.N.L. Munby), I, p. 6, MS. 486.

    (Source : Wellcome Library)
  • Purchased by Sir Henry Wellcome at the Phillipps sale (Further portion of the classical, historical, topographical, genealogical and other manuscripts & autograph letters of the late Sir Thomas Phillipps ... including upwards of two hundred volumes on vellum dating from the tenth century ... pt. 14), at Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, 6 June 1910, Lot 10.

    (Source : Wellcome Library)

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