LJS 195 & Ms. Codex 2074: Treating Illness

On February 23 we brought out LJS 195, a 15th century German medical compilation with a particular focus on the plague, alongside Ms. Codex 2074, a 15th century French collection of advice and prescriptions for the plague, and the Kislak Center’s most recent acquisition.

In addition to the plague text, LJS 195 includes information on diseases of different parts of the body, urine, medicines, laxatives, water and wine, and the making of pigments for painting and inks for writing (f. 209r-215r). As is typical for books of this type, there are several different hands presented over many quires. The collation is unclear, but it is apparent that texts and hands overlap quires, so it isn’t the case that the book was compiled from quires written by different people. Rather, it would have been shared among different scribes.

There are also instances where it appears that empty space left by one scribe has been filled in by another scribe.

Other interesting things in LJS 195 include a few instances where recipes have been stuck out, and a list of ink recipes added at the end.

Finally, there is a lovely little manicule (a pointing hand) laid into the manuscript! The binding is also interesting, being made of a leaf from a 15th century liturgical manuscript.

While LJS 195 has over 300 leaves, Ms. Codex 2074 has only six leaves. There is no evidence that it was ever bound with more quires, but this is the type of independently written quire that might be compiled and bound with others.

Ms. Codex 2074 written in a delightful gothic cursive script, and includes a number of penwork initials and decorative line fillers.

Find out more about LJS 195 and Ms. Codex 2074 by reading their full records on Franklin:

LJS 195

Ms. Codex 2074

We host Coffee With A Codex every Wednesday at 12pm ET / 5pm GMT on Zoom. For a schedule three weeks ahead, visit our main page here.

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