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Two medical fragments

Author: [unknown]

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Winifred Wulff

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by Beatrix Färber

Funded by School of History, University College, Cork

1. First draft.

Extent of text: 3160 words


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    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 20, 17a, line 32. For details, see Kathleen Mulchrone, T. F. O'Rahilly et al. (eds.), Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy (Dublin 1926–70) vol. 2, p. 1209.Digital scans of this manuscript are available on the ISOS Project, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, see:
  2. Dublin, Trinity College Library 1294 (?) (formerly MS H 2 3), 11b (fragment A); 16 (fragment B).
  3. London, British Library, MS Arundel 333, p. 27b (fragment A); 16 (fragment B).
    Digital images of Irish text
  1. The text is available in pdf. format (as images, without OCR) on the Celtic Digital Initiative website at the Department of Early and Medieval Irish at UCC ( .
    Select bibliography
  1. Paul Diepgen, Geschichte der Medizin. II Mittelalter. (Berlin and Leipzig 1914).
  2. James J. Walsh, Medieval medicine (London: Black 1920).
  3. Karl Sudhoff, Geschichte der Medizin (Berlin 1922).
  4. Max Neuburger, History of Medicine, translated by Ernest Playfair, M.B., M.R.C.P. Vol. II. (Oxford 1925).
  5. Theodor Meyer-Steineg und Karl Sudhoff, Geschichte der Medizin im Überblick (Jena 1931). Available at
  6. John D. Comrie, History of Scottish medicine (London, published for the Wellcome historical medical museum by Baillière, Tindall & Cox 1932).
  7. C. H. Talbot, Medicine in Medieval England (London/New York 1967).
  8. Dietlinde Goltz, Mittelalterliche Pharmazie und Medizin (Stuttgart 1976).
  9. J. Fleetwood, The History of Medicine in Ireland (Dublin: Skellig Press 1983).
  10. Nessa Ní Shéaghda, 'Translations and Adaptations in Irish' (Statutory Lecture 1984, School of Celtic Studies), Dublin, Institute for Advanced Studies 1984.
  11. Nancy G. Siraisi, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine (London: Univ. of Chicago Press 1990).
  12. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, 'Irish medical manuscripts', Irish Pharmacy Journal 69/5 (May 1991) 201–2.
  13. Sheila Campbell, Bert Hall, David Klausner (eds), Health, disease and healing in medieval culture (London: Macmillan 1992).
  14. Margaret R. Schleissner (ed), Manuscript sources of medieval medicine: a book of essays (New York: Garland 1995).
  15. Lawrence I. Conrad, Michael Neve, Vivian Nutton, Roy Porter, Andrew Wear (eds), The Western medical tradition: 800 BC to AD 1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1995).
  16. Tony Hunt, Anglo-Norman Medicine. 2 vols. (Cambridge 1994–97).
  17. 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).
  18. Fergus Kelly, 'Medicine and Early Irish Law', in: J. B. Lyons (ed), Two thousand years of Irish medicine (Dublin 1999) 15–19. Reprinted in Irish Journal of Medical Science vol. 170 no. 1 (January–March 2001) 73–6.
  19. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, 'Medical writing in Irish', in: J. B. Lyons (ed), Two thousand years of Irish medicine (Dublin 1999) 21–26. Published also in Irish Journal of Medical Science 169/3 (July-September 2000) 217–20 (available online at
  20. Monica H. Green, Women's healthcare in the Medieval West (Ashgate 2000).
  21. Mark Grant, Galen of Food and Diet (London 2000).
  22. Monica H. Green (ed), The Trotula: a medieval compendium of women's medicine (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania 2001).
  23. Owen Powell, Galen: On the Properties of Foodstuffs (Cambridge 2003).
  24. Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, 'Winifred Wulff (1895–1946): beatha agus saothar', in: Léachtaí Cholm Cille 35 (Maigh Nuad [Maynooth]: An Sagart 2005) 191–250.
  25. R. J. Hankinson (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Galen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2008).
  26. Monica H. Green, A Bibliography on Medieval Women, Gender and Medicine, 82pp; published in 2010 in pdf.format, available online from
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Winifred Wulff, Two medical fragments in Irish Texts, Ed. J. Fraser and Paul Grosjean and J. G. O'Keeffe. , London , Sheed and Ward, 31 Paternoster Row (1931) fasciculus 1 page 47–51


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Created: The translation into Irish is extant in a number of variously dated manuscripts which may go back to earlier copies. Date range: c.1400–1520?.

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Language: [GA] The text and footnotes are in (Early) Modern Irish.
Language: [EN] The front matter is in English.
Language: [LA] Some words and phrases are in Latin.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G600016

Two medical fragments: Author: [unknown]

List of witnesses


Two medical fragments

The two following fragments are taken from the Royal Irish Academy MS 23 P 20, and form passages inserted between two different sections of the text. MS 23 P 20 consists of an Irish translation of the Rosa Anglica of John of Gaddesden (Johannes Anglicus), 44 pages in all, with some few portions of other material interspersed. I have been unable to identify any Latin original for these two extracts. I have edited this entire text which has been published by the Irish Texts Society (Vol. 25), herein referred to as R. A. Part of the following fragments occurs also in Trinity College, Dublin, MS H 2 3 (H), p. 11b (A) and p. 16 (B), and in British Museum1MS Arundel 333, p. 27b (A) and p. 16 (B), the two latter greatly condensed. Variant readings and portions in square brackets are from H. All obscure words will be found in the vocabulary to R. A. A partial translation of the portion in Arundel 333 occurs in O'Grady's Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the British Museum, p. 241. These fragments should follow on pp. 118 and 160 in R. A.



RIA MS 23 P 20, p. 17a, l. 32.

Fiarfaigter in ona cosmailius no ona contrardha is cora na seandaine d' oilemain, derbtur curub on cosmailius, oir adeir Galienus co ndlighenn in áois & in coimplex d' fhollamhnugad co brach ona cosmailius & derbuidh se do reir ugdurais Ipocraid noch co ndleghtur na neithi nadurdha d' fhollamnugad ona cosmailius & is nadurdha in áois, masead is ona cosmailius is cora na sendaine d' oilemain; & adeir Galienus gurub ona cosmailius is coir na daine slana d' oilemain, & is slan na sendaine, masead is ona cosmalius is coir i n-oilemain, & derbtur do reir Galienus noch adeir mar so .i. is and adermuid nech do beith eslan an trath teit se tara naduir fein, & ni teit an senoir tara naduir fein .i. tar an naduir ina du do do reir a aoisi, masead docitur gurub slan iad, oir ata radurc & eistacht & gach ni ele is dú do do reir a aois, masead fagtur gurub trina cosmailius is du na sendaine d'oilemain. Et ata Galienus ina aiged sin mar a n-abuir se co ndleghtur gach uile ní ainmesurda do breith cum mesurdachta an ni ainmesurda & atait na senoire ainmesurda fuar tirim, & te & fliuch is contrarda don beathaid is coir d' fhollamnugad, & fedtur an resun so do daingniugad mar so, oir is slighe comlinga an t-sendacht & te & fliuch is tosach don beathaid, masead is iad foghnas and, oiris iad baccus an t-eg {Ms page 17b} & coimedas in beatha. Adermuid curub fuar tirim na senoire & gurub bec d' fhuil & do tes & do spiriduib ata indtu & gurub cumung a poire & gurub anmunn a ndilegad & is mar [sin] tuicim and so co leir nach slan na senoire c[o h-airidti] oir ní bit coidhchi gan geran2 & ni h-eslan co h-airidti iad lo do clunit siad & eistid & lo ata acu gach cungill is coir doibh , & o nach slan & o nach eslan iad, masead is nemnechtarda iad, & foillsighi Galienus sin, oir adeir se an trath bis eslainti mor [ar nech] & eirges nech aisti gurub nemnechtarda é, oir is becc d' fhuil & do spiriduib [...] [bis and & trid sin is cosmaill] iad do reir foillsighthi nemnechtarda an nech eirges a h-eslainti.

¶2] Aderim co ndentur an follamnugad reim coimedach trit an contrardacht leth amuith don ceim in uair is ail linn raod do reim coimed[ach] [...] nach bia se ní is mesa da mbia se sa 3 ceim [...] & doniter


in follamnugad coimedach gacha dirga trít an cosmailius, & mad ail lind ní fuar tirim sa 3 ceim tai[niste] do coiméd neithi fuar tirim isin ceim cedna dleghar a tobairt doib. Et ata follamnugad ailemnach and & is ris sin aderur follamnugad mesurda ac dul cum tesa & cum fliche & is e sin fognus dona dáinibh anmanna eslana & don lucht bis ar digbail ina tes & ina spiriduibh.

¶3] Et tuic and so ca meid modh a n-abur eslainti uilidhi .i. aderur eslainti uilidhi o uilidecht gabala, & da reir sin is uilidhi in fiabras & aderur eslainti uilidhi o uilidecht condmala, & da reir sin is eslainti [uilidhi] an nescoid & in t-at, mar ata an t-atcomull & in potagra, oir aderuid na h-ughduir co connmuid siad gach uili cinel eslainti inntu fein; & aderur hi o uilidecht gan dechfir, & is mar sin is eslainti uilidhi an bolgach & in bruitinech, oir bit siad gan dechfir in gach rand don corp. Et aderur hi o uilidecht brighe, & da reir sin is uilidhi an t-allus an uair tic do reir faothuighe & tar eis comartai an dilega .i. in trath bis nert ag an brigh ar adbur na h-eslainti isin corp uili. Et aderur hi o uilidecht truaillighti, da reir sin is uilidhi in lubra. Et aderur hi o uilidecht cuisi ar son gurub bec nach cuis & nach mathair do gach uilidecht hi, da reir [sin] is uilidhi in rema, oir is cuis do gach eslainti é, & is eslainti uilidhi an tisis, oir is cuis d'eslainti uilidhi hí [.i. don]3 eitici. Et aderur hi o uilidecht doniter o moran d'eslaintib & da ballaib, & da reir sin is eslainti uilidhi an flux, oir doniter é on gaili & ona h-aoib & on incinn & ona h-indibh & on[a] ballaib ele nach labhramuid. Et aderur hí o uilidecht gortuighthi, da reir sin is eslainti uilidhi an galur tuitimnnach & a cosmailius, oir gortuighe se in corp uili ina aixis noc condmas leth an cuirp uili ina aixis isin pairilis & a pairilis na tengad no an meir no baill rannuighe. Et aderur [hi] o uilidecht oirida, da reir sin is uilidhi eslainti [an croidi mar] ata crith & anmuinde, & eslainti an cinn mar ata a teines, & eslainti na n-ao mar ata tes no {Ms page 18a} a ndunadh, & eslainti na n-uirgid mar ata in aimridecht. [Et aderur] hi o uilidecht coimcenguil .i. ar son co [ceng]land an ball a mbí sé re ball ele, da reir sin is uilidhi eslainti in gaili mar ata sgethrach & esba dilega & [gaoth]muirecht, & eslainti na n-indid mar ata gaothmuirecht & colica & ilica, & eslainti na n-arunn & in lesa mar ata cloch, oir is boill coitcinda uilidhi so noch doni serbis don corp uili. Et aderur


hí o uilidecht toitid , & tuic da reir sin co fuilid trí gneithi arin crupan .i. [te]atanus mar comtairrngter feithi in droma [& leith]e na h-aighci & is eigin donti ara mbi sin [beith] ina certsesam. Gne ele de .i. euaptostinus [mar] crapuidhter feithi na h-aighchi amain & is eigin donti ara mbi sin beith ac fecuin sis do gnath. An 3 gne .i. empetostinus mar crapuidhter feithi in droma amain & is eigin donti ara mbi sin beith ac fecuin suas do gnath, da reir sin is eslainti uilidhi teatanus mar crapuidhter na feithi do gach leth ac fecuin an leiti ele & na gneithi ele acht d' aontaoib amain. [Et] aderur eslainti uilidhi .i. eslainti coitcind uilidhi, da reir sin is eslainti uilidhi na cneada & gach uili creacht.


RIA MS 23 P20

¶1] {Ms page 23a line 41}[Q]uia dictum est primus quodh duo tractatus primi erunt de morbi[s] uineuersalibus .i. o do labrumar gustrasta ar tus co mbedís in da cedtrachtadh don lebur so dona h-eslaintib {Ms page 23b} uilidhi, da reir sin is coir duin a fis do beith againn ca minca aderur inn eslainti do beith uilidhi, oir aderur hi do beith uilidhi a moran do modhuibh & ar tus on ni tachmuing in corp co h-uilidhi & is andsa modh so aderur in fiabras ina eslainti uilidhi amail adubrumar romuinn. Item aderur uilidecht uilidhi continoidech, oir tachmuingid si gach uili cinél galuir, mar atait aitt & nescoidi & idropis & potogra. Item aderur uilidecht neimdechfrech uilidhi na mball co h-uilidhi, mar ata bolgach & gerba noch ata o uilidecht na mball , oir is neimdechfrech iad in gach rand don corp co h-uilidhi. Item aderur uilidecht na mbrigh risin n-allus in tan fo tic se deis comartha in dilega ina tigernuighid na briga deis comartha in dilega d' innarbad adbuir na h-eslainti.

¶2] Modh ele i n-abur uilidhecht uilidhi truaillighthi & is amlaidh sin ata in lubra ina h-eslainti truaillighthi gun a cuis, oir is cuis & is adbur don uili eslainti hi & is mar sin ita in réma ina cuis & ina adbur dona h-eslaintib co h-uilidhi & do moran d' eslaintib. & Ata tisis co uilidhi, oir is uilidhi a h-adbur & a h-eslainti. Item fetuid uilidecht neimdechfrech techt on gaili & ona h-aoibh & ona h-indibh, & is


mar sin ita in flux bronn & fetuid techt on incind mar sin. Item aderur uilidecht uilidhi gortuighe & is amlaid sin ata epilepsia uilidhi, oir gortuighe si in corp uili ina h-aixis. & Ata apoplexia ina h-eslainti uilidhi, oir toirmiscid si cuimne & gluasacht. & Aderur uilidecht uilidhi na méidi & is amlaid sin aderur in pairilis do beith uilidhi, oir tachmuingidh si leth in cinn a coitcindi no mer no ball ele rannuighe. & Aderur eslainti an cinn do beith uilidhi, amail ata a teindes & Aderur ni ele do beith o uilidecht uilidhi tosanuigh & is amlaid sin atait eslainti in craidhe uilidhi, mar ata tremor & singcopis. Aderur eslainti na n-áo do beith uilidhi, mar ata a tes & i duinti. Aderur [eslainti] na n-indi4 do beith uilidhi, mar ata sdirilitas. & Aderur uilidecht uilidhi salcuir, mar ata ictericia & morfea & h-enteria.

¶3] Aderur uilidecht uilidhi boill umcengul, oir cenglaid si maille risna ballaib ele co h-uilidhi, mar ata [eslainti an gaili mar ata] in sgethrach & neimdilegad no gaothmuirecht no siadumlacht, no eslainti na n-indidh mar ata colica & illica, & eslainti na n-arund & in lesa, mar atait clocha, oir is boill serbisecha don corp co h-uilidhi na boill sin.

¶4] Item aderur eslainti aontadach co h-uilidhi re titanus, oir is eslainti uilidhi sin, oir connmuidh in corp co h-uilidhi no in rand uachtarach no in rand ichtarach don corp, & dechfrigid oipicostina & oimpicostina, oir tachmuingid epicostina leth in cuil & empicostina leth na h-aighchi & tachmuingidh tetanus iad ar aon. Et aderur eslainti uilidhi ele do beith and .i. eslainti coitcind & idirdeluighter ina n-eslaintib comcosmaile & oifigacha, & sgailti na mball ndluith o lothuib & do crechtuibh, & atait eslainti ele uilidhi ann aderum isin 3 lebur inar ndiaigh do reir na ndoctuireadh.