The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at Penn brings manuscript culture, modern technology and people together.

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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 2, LJS 449

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 449 – Medical and astronomical miscellany

A glimpse from the middle of our conversation, we talk about at LJS 449, a fifteenth-century German miscellany containing astronomical, astrological, and medical texts. We discuss how these three topics, considered quite separate by most people today, were part of a whole for medieval people, and we contemplate how this holistic approach might be evident in the Jedi texts as well.

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (

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Manuscript Monday: LJS 449 – Medical and astronomical miscellany

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 449. This manuscript was written in Germany, ca. 1446, in Latin and German, and it is a compilation of Latin and German texts concerning astronomy, astrology (including resources for the determination of favorable and unfavorable days and a brief treatise on the astrological properties of precious stones attributed in the manuscript to the 8th/9th-century Jewish astrologer Zaël, but also known as the lapidary of Techel), and medicine (including a brief treatise on wine used for medical purposes, attributed in another manuscript to Albertus Magnus).

See the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand.