Happy Medieval Monday! Obsessing on my garden these days and I thought to share a little of this little handbook that I love.
I'm so proud of it that anyone might be surprised it's not an original edition! It's just that it's the sort of health handbook I appreciate, all about herbs and human temperament and natural elements. And the illustrations are beautiful!
Tacuinam Sanitatis was first published in Italy in 1976. Author Luisa Cogliati Arano chose colored plates from several different medieval manuscripts. Those manuscripts, in turn, had been translated into Latin from Ibn Butlan's eleventh century handbook Taqwim al-Sihhaa.
Isn't that amazing?
My version of the handbook is in English. It was translated in 1976 by Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook and published in New York. While I would love to know Italian, I am grateful for this translation.
The Physican Speaks:
The Tacuinum Sanitatis is about the six things that are necessary for every man in the daily preservation of his health, about their correct uses and their effects. The first is the treatment of air, which concerns the heart. The second is the right use of foods and drinks. The third is the correct use of movement and rest. The fourth is the problem of prohibition of the body from sleep, or excessive wakefulness. The fifth is the correct use of elimination and retention of humors. The sixth is the regulating of the person by moderating joy, anger, fear, and distress. The secret of the preservation of health, in fact, will be in the proper balance of the elements, since it is the disturbance of this balance that causes the illnesses which the glorious and most exalted God permits.
--Rouen, f. 1
The medieval illustrations/illuminations are accompanied by recommendations. For example, according to the The Taquinum of Paris, watermelon and cucumbers "cool hot fevers and purify the urine", but they might also "cause pain in the loins and stomach."
There's also advice as to how to minimize the danger, "with honey and oil". I'm not sure if that means to ingest honey and oil along with the cucurbits or only if they cause discomfort. But I have a feeling it would work.
I'll share more about the book next week. After all, while my hero Lachlann probably would not have been aware of its existence, his contemporaries in medieval Scotland might have shared some of the same lore.
Don't miss great posts from these magnificent medieval ladies!
Medieval Monday: "BY THE SAINTS"-FASCINATING FEAST DAYS - Barbara Bettis - Historical Romance Author
Medieval Monday | A Shift in Realms on a Journey to the Orkney Islands (marymorganauthor.com)
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!
It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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