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A Tract on the Plague

Author: [unknown]

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Winifred Wulff

translated by Winifred Wulff

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by Beatrix Färber

Funded by School of History, University College, Cork

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 5435 words


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    MS sources
  1. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1435 (E 3. 30) pp 200–202. This was used for the main text. Digital images of this manuscript are available on the ISOS Project, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, see:
  2. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1326 (H. 3. 7) pp 111–113. This was used for variant readings. A catalogue description and digital images of this manuscript are available on the ISOS Project, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, see:
    Select bibliography
  1. Carl Gottlob Kühn, Claudii Galenii opera omnia, (Lipsiae [Leipzig] 1821–33; repr. Hildesheim: Olms 1985).
  2. Norman Moore, John Mirfeld (1393), and medical study in London during the middle ages. The FitzPatrick Lectures for 1905, delivered in the Royal College of Physicians, November 14th and 16th, British Medical Journal (November 18, 1905) 1332–1339. [Printed in full in: The history of the study of medicine in the British Isles; the Fitz-Patrick lectures for 1905-6, delivered before the Royal College of Physicians of London (1908).]
  3. Norman Moore, The history of the study of medicine in the British Isles (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1908).
  4. Charles Plummer, On the colophons and marginalia of Irish scribes, Proceedings of the British Academy 12, 11–44. Separately printed, 34 pp. (London [1926]).
  5. Winifred Wulff, 'De amore hereos', Ériu 11 (1932) 174–181: 175.
  6. Vivian Nutton, 'The chronology of Galen's early career', Classical Quarterly 23 (1973) 158–171.
  7. Owsei Temkin, Galenism. Rise and Decline of a Medical Philosophy (Ithaca/London 1973).
  8. Edward Grant (ed.), A source book in medieval science. (Cambridge, Massachussetts: Harvard University Press 1974).
  9. Luke E. Demaitre, Doctor Bernard de Gordon: Professor and practitioner [Studies and Texts 51]. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies 1980).
  10. Nessa Ní Shéaghda, 'Translations and Adaptations in Irish' (Statutory Lecture 1984, School of Celtic Studies), (Dublin: Institute for Advanced Studies 1984).
  11. Faye Getz, 'John Mirfield and the Breviarium Bartholomei: the medical writings of a clerk at St Bartholomew's Hospital in the later fourteenth century', Soc Hist Med Bull 37 (1985) 24–26.
  12. Luis García Ballester, Roger French, Jon Arrizabalaga and Andrew Cunningham (eds), Practical medicine from Salerno to the black death (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1994).
  13. Carol Rawcliffe, Medicine & society in later medieval England. [1066–1485] (Stroud: Alan Sutton Publications 1995).
  14. Faye Getz, Medicine in the English Middle Ages. (Princeton 1998).
  15. Mirko D. Grmek, Bernardino Fantini, (eds) Western Medical Thought from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. [Translated from the Italian by Anthony Shuugar.] (Cambridge, Massachussetts: Harvard University Press 1999).
  16. Mark Grant, Galen of Food and Diet (London 2000).
  17. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, 'Winifred Wulff (1895–1946): beatha agus saothar,' in: Léachtaí Cholum Cille 35 (2005) 191–250.
  18. Bernadette Williams (ed. and trans.), The Annals of Ireland by Friar John Clyn (Dublin 2007). [Richard Butler's edition of Clyn's Annals (Dublin 1849) is available on CELT. For reference to the plague outbreak see entry 1349.4.]
  19. Samuel Kline Cohn, Cultures of plague: medical thinking at the end of the Renaissance (Oxford: OUP 2010).
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Winifred Wulff, A Tract on the Plague in Ériu. , Dublin , Royal Irish Academy (1926–1928) volume 10page 143–154: 143–152


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The present text represents Wulff's Introduction; the Irish text, and the English translation. Footnotes are retained and integrated into the apparatus.

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Created: Irish translation: Date range: 1501–1600. English translation: (1928)

Use of language

Language: [GA] The text is in (Early) Modern Irish.
Language: [EN] Front matter, Introduction and translation are in English, with some Irish phrases.
Language: [LA] Some words and phrases are in Latin.
Language: [GR] Two words are in Greek.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G600013

A Tract on the Plague: Author: [unknown]

List of witnesses


The MS. classed E. 3. 30, [=1435] a late vellum (? 16th century) in the library of Trinity College, comprises a number of medical tracts, written by various hands (Abbott-Gwynn. Cat. p. 309). The names of the scribes do not appear. The following text, which deals with the plague, occurs on p. 200, and is in a clear well-formed script, with the contractions usual in Irish medical MSS. There is another version in H. 3. 7. [=1326] (p. 111–113), a vellum of the same period, the variant readings of which are added here. For the opening passage cf. Isidor, Origg. IV, 6 sections 17, 18. I have not found the subject treated separately elsewhere in Irish medical MSS., but there are several theological dissertations on it. Although H. has the title Sillanus de Nigris in Almansorem on the back of the modern cover, this treatise is not included in the editions of Sillanus super nono Alman. op. expositionem that I have examined.

The tract appears to be translated from or based on a Latin treatise. It bears a close resemblance to the chapter De febribus pestilencialibus in the section on fevers in John Mirfield's Breviarium Bartholomei. The Breviarium exists in two MSS., one in the British Museum and one in Pembroke College, Oxford. There is also a fragment of a third copy in the British Museum. None of them has been printed (Moore: Medicine in the British Isles). John Mirfield was resident in the Convent of St. Bartholomew, with which the hospital of the same name was connected, in 1392 and 1393. He was a theological scholar as well as a physician and medical writer of repute. His famous treatise is particularly of interest on account of his association with the oldest London hospital. His account of the plague is based on the chapter on the same subject in Bernard of Gordon's Lilium Medicinae, written at Montpellier in 1305. Mirfield was a close student of the Lilium and was also acquainted with the writings of John of Gaddesden and Gilbertus Anglicus. Compare section 2 in the tract with the following description


in the Breviarium: Among the signs of approaching plague are comets and irregular seasons, etc. Also a warm and damp Summer, a time when birds desert their nests and when many reptiles appear on the surface of the earth.’’

Moore op. cit.; Lil. Med.. Part. I, Cap. X, de febribus pestilentialibus.

The language of the tract, which is early Modern Irish, is interesting, as it contains many unusual words: names of diseases, plants, and animals. The treatment of the subject illustrates the atmosphere which surrounded the study of mediaeval medicine. There is a certain amount of real medical knowledge, mingled largely with superstition and belief in astrology.

In H. 2. 15. TCD. [=1315] there is a marginal note mentioning the Great Plague of 1350, which was apparently raging in Ireland at the time: ‘. . . & isi sin indara bliadain iar tichtain na plaga i nEirinn ro scribad sin.’ A later visitation of the plague is. mentioned in a note in H. 3. 17 [=1336]: . . . in fplaigh do beth ar lasad a Crichmhuill.’’

Plummer: Colophons and Marginalia of Irish Scribes.

The great Plague is recorded in the Four Masters under the year 1349: ‘Plaigh mór in Erind . & go hairidhe i Muigh Luirg go ttugadh ár diarmhidhe ar daoínibh da bithin. Matha mac Cathail uí Ruairc décc don plaigh hisin.’ The same outbreak is recorded in the Annals of Clonmacnoise under the year 1348.



{MS folio 200a}


PESTILENTIA est morbus contagiosus crescens de uno in alium et cetera .i. amail adeir Tolameus is edh is plaig ann .i. galur gabaltach neoch gabus da ceile neach . Et adeir Galen fos curob edh is plaig ann , in duil aerdha arna h-inntodh onna mesardacht dilis a morgadh & a truailledh. Oir is e is adbur di .i. aer bren truaillighthi morgaighthi neoch eirges o dethaigib reamra talmuide arna cumusc re rannaib seimhe an aeir. No ceo reamur eirges dusgi comnaidhi mar ataid diga cathrach & inaid {MS folio 200b} ana mbid lafain & natraca neime & bethadaig ele neimneacha ana comnaidhi. Et tic si fos o maidm thalman & uair ele o aer na corp morgaighti do marbadh a troid no a cath.



Et bidh a fis agad cach meid comaentaigid na cuirp sin risna corpaibh daenna curob moide thiadhaid eg . Et tig si o chathugad na corp neamdha re ceile . Et tig si o indeochadh Dia; uair eile o thortaib & o shilaib & o luibib in talman neoch do truailled on aer adubramar. Et doniter hi ona sinaib saeba amail adeir Tolameus, da mbia in geimredh te tirim gan ferthain & in samradh fuar fliuch & errach fuar tirim, & fogmar fliuch, beith plaigh mor in bliadain sin ann, fiabris gera amail ani causon & tersiana & causonides & sinocus & a cosmaili, maille re na ndrochaicidib. Et bidh a fis agad in plaigh doniter o dethagaibh truaillighthi fliucha, curob lugha marbus na an plaigh doniter o dethaigib tirma truaillighthi.


Fiarfaigter ann so cesa fhearr in t-aer seimh glan, oir adeir Galen curob aer seim solas is maith do comead na slainti, & go nglantur fuil & spiruda uadha; mas ead is aer glan is maith isan aimsir so. Item cach ni laigdiges & indarbus truailled na lennann arcena is inmolta he; mas ead o do-ni in t-aer glan & fuindeogach na neithi sin, is e is fearr ann. Item adeir Almusor cach aimsir a fagaid piasta in talman a fuachaisi & na h-inaid a mbid fo talam, mar atait lochaid & blathnada, esoga & bruic & coininedha, & na heoin bis fo talam amail ataid bonnain lena & caislain coradh , & fagaid a n-uighi & a nid & teithid o deathaighib truaillighthi in talman cum an aeir glain t-solais, amail muines in naduir doib; mas ead o thuiges naduir na n-ainmintid mbruidamail curob aer glan is fearr ann, tuigid in naduir daenna curob e is fearr ann; mas ead is aer glan is fearr annsan aimsir seo. Item adeir Gillibertinus, da mbia in t-errach fuar fliuch, maille re h-aer dorcha & re nellaib dorcha reamra duba gu minic gu signidi sin plaigh in bliadhain sin; mas ead is e a contrardha so is fearr ann. Item adeir Ipocras cach uili ni o comfurtachtaigter in craidhi, & indarbus a gallra mar ata singcopis & cardiaca pasio & a cosmaili is maith e; mas ead o do-ni in t-aer glan na cumachta so, is e is fearr isan aimsir seo. Item adeir Galen na cuirp bis arna glanad ona n-imarcrachaibh remhra, amail atait lucht lenna fuair & lenna duibh, bid slan annsan aimsir seo; mas ead iss e in t-aer glan o


ndentur na cumachta sin iss e is fearr ann. Item adeir Galen isan inadh cedna, cach neach aga mbia complex contrardha do complex an aeir pestilens nach eadh amain bid slan isan aimsir seo, ach bid ni is slaine na isna h-aimseraib eile; mas ead ose in t-aer glan is contrardha do, is e is fearr ann. Teagar ana aigid so a h-ugduras Galen a lebar na fiabras, oir adeir curub é in t-aer fliuch dorcha reamar is fearr annsan aimsir seo & dearbtur so; oir cach uile ni seimh tolltanac is e is tusca teid d'indsaige in craide & na mball spirudalda, & cach ni remur dunaidh & dallaidh na poiri & ni gabann in corp truaillid1 na {MS folio 201a} morgadh uadha, amail ata in t-aer remar, mas eadh iss e in t-aer remar is fearr and.


Item adeir Magister Ricairdi gach ni medaiges in silni remraiges na lenna isin curp, amail ataid biadha fuara mar ata lactuca & melones & ubla grainnecha & finegra & finemain abaigh & cerrbocain & biatus & borraiste & bainne almont & a cosmaili, curob maith e. Mas ead o do-ni in t-aer remar na neithi sin do remrugad & do medugad is e is fearr ann. Item aderat na doctuiri co ndleaghthar a n-aimsir in tedma teidhid a nglenntaib & a cailltib dorcha & a n-inadaib fliucha da reir sin iss e in t-aer remar is fearr ann. Item cach uili ni o folmuigthear in corp amail ata lanamnus & saethar mor & obair ceardcha & fothrugudh tirim & betha tirim & a cosmaili is olc e isan aimsir seo; da reir sin is e in t-aer remur is fearr ann. Item gach uili ni remhraigis na spiruit & toirmiscus in codlad, amail ata boltnugad na n-uball cumra & pomum ambre & sitoni & blath lili & balad coindli & musgus & blath nenufar & uiola & duillebar soileach, & blath rosa gil & blath truim, is maith e isan aimsir seo; mas ead o do-ni in t-aer remar na neithi so iss e is fearr ann, amail adeir Iohannes Mesue.


Et adeir Auicenna sa cedlebar sa .uiii. caibidil dona sinaib saeba co fuilid da riaghail deg is infechsana a n-aimsir in tedma a sinaib na h-aimsire. An [ced]riagail dib, ma ta in geimreadh fuar fliuch & in gaeth anes co minic & in t-errach fuar tirim & in gaeth atuaigh co minic & in samradh fliuch gaethach, beidh plaigh mor ar lenbaib in fogmar ar cind; & beidh fos flux brond & fiabras terciana & crecta na n-indedh .i. disinteria & a cosmaili.



An .ii. riagail .i. ma ta in geimhridh gaethach fliuch & in gaeth anes & errach tirim & gaeth anairduaigh co minic beidh togluasacht & gallra imda ele ar mnaib torrcha in bliadain sin; & beidh fos galar sul, flux fola .i. disinteria & cretan & esbadha & cumgacht srona & na huili galar do-niter o rema co h-airiti. An .iii. riagail .i. ma ta in geimread tirim & in gaeth aniar tuaid & errach fliuch & in gaeth anes co minic beidh fiabrais gera & galar sul & flux brond & indrum fola sa t-samrad ar cind biaid flux epaticus .i. flux doniter ona h-aeib & is mor tegmaid na tedmanna so do mbnaib & d'fheraib ana tigernaighind complex fliuch, amail adeir Galen corub ona h-imarcrachaib fliucha do-niter na dunti & corub ona duntib do-niter in morgad isna lennaib remra nar h-indarbadh ana n-aimseraib dilsi fein. An .iiii. riagail, ma ta in samradh gaethach fliuch o mi Mai co tindscnaid na laethi re n-abur cainculares & annsein in gaeth do dul & a beith ann co cend tricha la .i. co fhuineadh na laethidh cedna, leigister uadha sin na h-uili galar fuar, amail ata fiabras cartana & idroipis & galar seilge & duinti na n-ae & gallra fuara na h-incinde, amail ata epilencia & catalepcia & analepsia & apoplexia & subeth & a cosmaili. An .u. riagail, ma ta in samradh tirim & in gaeth atuaidh & fogmar fliuch & in gaeth anes beidh galar cind & cosachtach maille re brisidh & re gairbten in gotha & re siubal rema cum na sron & cum na mball arcena isin geimridh ar gind. An .ui. riagail, da mbia in samhradh tirim & in gaeth anes & in fogmar fuar & in gaeth atuaidh beidh isin geimridh ar gind teindis cind, torman a cluasaib & gairbi in gotha, & siubal in rema cum na mball. An .uii. riagail, ma ta in samradh fuar & in gaeth anes, & in fogmar tirim & in gaeth atuaidh, beidh isin geimridh siubal in rema {MS folio 201b} maille re pascadh re cumgudh ar in incind & nescoid & cnuic arna scamhanaib & moran do drocaicidib ele. An .uiii. riagail .i. da mbia in samradh & in fogmar go fliuch & in gaeth anes co minic, beidh plaig mhor & eslaintidh imdha ele isin geimrid ar gind. An .ix. riagail in tan bis in samradh & in foghmar co tirim & in gaeth atuaidh & fognaidh co maith do mbnaib & do lucht lenna fuair & urcoidighi do lucht lenna ruaid & lenna duib & tegmaid galar sul tirim & obtalmia & fiabrais gera, frenisis & a cosmaili.



An .x. riagail, ma ta in samradh & in fogmar tirim & in geimridh fuar fliuch beidh galar fuail isin bliadain sin .i. surria & disuria & sdranguria & loscam & tirmacht na slaiti fearrdha & crecta isin les & ar slithib in fuail. An .xi. [riagail] ma ta in samrad & in fogmar co fuirtill a tesaidacht & a tirmaidacht & in gaeth anes do gnath, bidh scinantia & bolgach & bruitineach & docamlacht fuail & fastod na fola mista & cumgach anala & a cosmaili isin bliadhain [sin]. An .ii. riagail deg, ma ta in geimridh & in t-errach tirim, budh olc in bliadhain so, & beidh dith ar dhainib & ar ainmidib & ar crannaib in talman or digbaiter & indarbtur fliche in talman, neoch da budh coir buige & oilemain & mesardacht do tabairt don talmain tre tirmacht na h-aimsire adubramar, & tegmaidh gallra imda ele in bliadain sin.


Is follus ann so co fuilid tri turgabala ag gach redlaind & ag gach corp neamdha ele .i. osmicus & cronicus & eliacus. Et is ead is osmicus ann, in tan turgabtur redla no airdrindach fe grein don taib shair & t-siublaiges le grein co fuinigind grian don taib siar don doman. Cronicus immorro an tan turgabas thiar & gluaisis siar a coimidecht grene le siubal na sbere nadurtha noch timcillis in cruindi idir talam & usgi co fuinigind thoir & is uada aderar cronicus on fhocal is cronon & is inann cronon asin greig & contrarda asin gaedilg .i. tiar thurgabas & thior crichnaiges. Eliacus immorro in tan turgabas redla no corp neamdha a circaill na sbeire nadurtha no adhburda co h-imellach & gluaisis le grein isin circaill re n-abar sdodiacus & bidh a fis agad curob eadh is sdodiacus ann .i. in t-inadh a mbi grian re fedh na bliadna & roindter in sdodiacus a tricha ceimend & bidh grian tricha la & .x. n-uairi & leth uair in gach ceim dib so.


Pestilens est morbus contagiosus etc. As Ptolemy says, plague is a contagious sickness that people take one from the other. And Galen says also that plague is the aerial element turning from its proper moderation to corruption and putrefaction. For this is the cause of it: the evil-smelling putrescent air that rises from gross earthy vapours mixing with the thin parts of the air, or gross mist that rises from stagnant water such as ditches of the city and places


where dwell toads(?) and venomous snakes and other poisonous animals. It also comes from an earthquake, and sometimes from the air of putrid bodies killed in fight or battle. And know, the more these bodies are in sympathy with(?) human bodies, so much the more they will die; and it comes from the warring of the heavenly bodies one with the other. It comes from the vengeance of God, and at another time from fruits and seeds and herbs of the earth, which become corrupt from the air we have mentioned. It is caused by perverse seasons as Ptolemy says; if the winter be hot and dry, without rain, the summer cold and wet, the spring cold and dry, and the autumn wet, there will be a great plague that year, acute fevers such as causon, tertian fever, causonides, sinocus and the like, along with bad accidents. And know, the plague caused by putrid moist vapours will kill fewer than the plague caused by putrid dry vapours.


It is asked here why pure thin air is best, for Galen says thin bright air is good for the maintenance of health, and that the blood and the spirits are purified by it; therefore pure air is good at this season. Item, everything that lessens and evacuates the corruption of the humours in general is to be recommended, therefore since pure transparent(?) air does these things, it is best. Item, Almansor says whenever the beasts of the earth leave their lairs and the places where they dwell underground, such as mice and weasels, stoats(?) badgers and rabbits; and the birds that are under the ground, such as bitterns and stonechats(?) leave their eggs and nests and flee from the corrupt vapours of the earth to the pure bright air, as Nature teaches them; hence since the nature of brutish beasts understands that pure air is the best, so human nature understands that it is best, and therefore pure air is best at this season. Item, Gilbert says if the spring be cold and wet, along with dark air and often with heavy, dark, black clouds, this signifies plague that year, therefore the contrary is best. Item, Hippocrates says everything that comforts the heart and expels its diseases such as syncope, cardiaca passio and the like is good; therefore since pure air exerts these powers it is best at this season. Item, Galen says the bodies that are purging themselves from their gross superfluities, such as phlegmatic people and melancholics, will be well at this season, therefore as it is pure air from which these powers are derived, it is best. Item, Galen says in the same place, everyone who has a complexion contrary to the complexion of the


pestilential air, will not only be well at this season, but will be better than at any other; therefore since pure air is contrary to it, it is the best. This is opposed on the authority of Galen in the Book of Fevers, for he says moist, dark, gross air is best at this season; and it is proved, for every thin penetrating thing goes soonest to the heart and the organs of respiration, and every gross thing closes and blocks the pores, and the body does not take putrefaction or corruption from it; as such is gross air, therefore it is best.


Item, Magister Ricardus says everything that increases the sperm increases the humours in the body, such as cold foods like lettuce, melons, pomegranates, vinegar, ripe grapes, carrots(?) beet root, borrage, almond milk and the like, is good. Therefore since gross air fattens and increases these things, it is best. Item, the doctors say it behoves in time of plague to fly to glens and dark woods and other damp places, so according to this it is gross air that is best. Item, everything by which the body is purged, such as coition, hard labour, work at a forge, a dry bath or dry feeding (?) is bad at this season; according to this gross air is best. Item, everything that increases the spirits and prevents sleep, such as the smell of fragrant apples, ambergris, quinces, and lily flowers, the smell of mullen, and musk, nenufar flowers, violets, and sally-leaves, white rose flowers, and elder-blossoms, is good at this season; therefore since gross air does these things, it is best, as Johannes Mesue says.


Avicenna says in the first book, in the eighth chapter of perverse seasons that there are twelve rules that should be regarded in time of plague, concerning the seasons of the weather. The first rule: if the winter be cold and wet, and the wind frequently north, and the summer wet and windy, there will be a great plague amongst children the following autumn, and moreover flux of the belly, tertian fever, and ulceration of the guts i. e. dysentry, and the like. The second rule: if the winter be windy and wet, and the wind south, the spring dry and the wind NE. there will frequently be abortions and many other diseases among pregnant women that year; and there will also be disease of the eyes, bloody flux i. e. dysentery, and ague, scrofula, constriction of the nose and every sickness that comes from rheum particularly. The third rule: if the winter be dry and the wind NW., the spring wet and the wind frequently south, there will be acute fevers, disease of the


eyes, flux of the belly and haemorrhage, the following summer there will be flux hepaticus i. e. a flux caused by the liver, and these plagues will greatly afflict women and men in whom a moist complexion is dominant. As Galen says, from moist superfluities are formed oppilations, and from oppilations is formed corruption in the gross humours that are not expelled at their proper times. The fourth rule: if the summer be windy and wet from the beginning of the days that are called Canicular, and then the wind to go to the north and remain there till the end of the same days, there will be cured thereby all cold diseases, such as quartan fever, dropsy, disease of the spleen, oppilation of the liver and cold diseases of the brain such as epilepsy, catalepsy, analepsy, apoplexy, subeth and the like. The fifth rule: if the summer be dry and the wind north, the autumn wet and the, wind south, there will be disease of the head, and coughs along with rupture of veins in the chest and hoarseness of the voice, and passage of rheum to the nose and the members in general the following winter. The sixth rule: if the summer be dry and the wind south, the autumn cold and the wind north, the following winter there will be headaches, noises in the ears, roughness of the voice, and passage of rheum to the limbs. The seventh rule: if the summer be cold and the wind south, the autumn dry and the wind north, there will be in the winter passage of rheum along with compression, with tightening on the brain, and imposthumes, and lumps on the lungs, and many other evil accidents. The eighth rule: if the summer and the autumn be wet and the wind frequently south, there will be a great plague and many other diseases the following winter. The ninth rule: when the summer and the autumn are dry and the wind north, it avails well for women and phlegmatic people, but it harms the folk of red bile and of black; and there will come dry disease of the eyes, ophthalmia, and acute fevers, frenesis and the like. The tenth rule: if the summer and the autumn be dry, and the winter cold and wet there will be disease of the urine that year i. e. suria(?) and disuria, stranguria, and burning and dryness of the membrum virile, ulcers on the bladder and the urinary passages. The eleventh rule: if the summer and the autumn be excessive in heat and dryness and the wind south usually, there will be quinsy, smallpox, measles and retention of urine, suppression of the menstrues, constriction of breath and the like. The twelfth rule: if the winter and the spring be dry, that year will be a bad


one, and there will be want on man and beast and on the trees of the earth from the destruction and expulsion of the moisture of the ground, which should give softness, nourishment and moderation to it, through the dryness of the weather mentioned. And many other diseases will come that year.


It is clear here that every star and every other heavenly body has three risings i. e. (C)osmicus and (A)cronicus and (H)eliacus. This is Cosmicus: when a star or heavenly body rises under the sun to the east, and goes with it (the sun) until it sets on the west of the world. Acronicus moreover is when it rises to the west, and proceeds in company with the sun to walk the natural sphere which encircles the universe both land and sea, so that it sets to the east. And it is called acronicus from the word cronon, for ‘cronon’ in Greek is the same as ‘contrary’ in Gaelic, that is to say it rises in the west and finishes in the east. Heliacus moreover is when a star or heavenly body rises in the circle of the natural or material sphere on the horizon(?) and proceeds with the sun in the circle which is called Zodiac. And know, that this is Zodiac: the place where the sun is throughout the year, and it is divided into thirty degrees, and the sun is in each degree for thirty days and ten hours and a halfhour.