Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in The Royal Irish Academy

24 P 26

Medical Treatises

15th cent. Vellum. Quarto. 8 X 5½. Ff. 246. Scribe: Donnchadh óg O Híceadha : dated 1469 (pp. 143, 352). Bd. in white vellum, gilt; no lettering on back. 11 flyleaves front and back. Ms. consists of three parts, (1) translation of Geraldus de Solo's commentary on Rhazes, pp. 1-176; (2) a translation of De Chirurgia of Pietro d'Argelato, pp. 177-352; (3) translation of Regimen Sanitatis of Arnaldus de Villa Nova, pp. 353-489.

It was no. 4 in O'Reilly's sale-catalogue. Inside flyleaf is written the following in Reeves' hand: "This ms. was purchased by Mr. Robert Mac Adam of Belfast at the sale of Edward O'Reilly's collection by Charles Sharpe, Novem. 1830, for £2 11. 0, being no. 4 in the catalogue of Irish Manuscripts, and thus described : "4. A Quarto Vellum MS. Bound. The writing beautiful & the entire book in the best preservation except a few lines that are illegible on the last page but one, & a few other lines that are tom in the last page. This book was written in the year 1469 by Donogh Oge O'Hickey, one of the Hereditary physicians to the O'Briens, McNamaras, and other tribes of Thomond. The subject of the book is medicine & is a valuable remnant of ancient Irish learning" : (Cat., p. 53) 'I bought it in Nov., 1889, together with a large colleetion of Irish mss. from Mr. Robert Mac Adam, & it is the gem of the lot,' etc. Reeves further states that 'the volume contains 254 folios or 508 pages.' Cf. also: John Sullivan's Auction Catalogue (1892), of Bp. Wm. Reeves' Library, No. 61: (item) 853. "A splendid Quarto Vellum ms. Volume on Medicine, 254 leaves or 508 pages, a few slightly damaged.'' But there are in fact only 246 leaves, counting three of half size or less. Reeves took the figure 254 from the old foliation in the right-hand lower corner: this however passes by error from 189 to 200, repeats the number 242, and leaves unnumbered two pages, now 415 a, 415 b, and also the three slips now paged 287-8, 331-2, 465-6. This foliation must have been added after the volume was bound, or at least after the leaves had been placed in their present order, for it ignores the displacement of ff. 200-223 = pp. 381-426 (see below). There is no evidence of any leaves being lost. A pencil note dated 1.3.93. on the first flyleaf at the end of the volume states that "page 195 is loose," but this is no longer so. The scribe, Donnchadh óg Ó hÍceadha, signs his name at p. 352, with date 1469.

The ms. must have remained for over 100 years in the possession of his family, as we find on p. 278, lower marg., a note (inverted), " Toirdealbach o Diomsuidhe do sgriobh e so a mBeal Atha na Maigden 1614. leabhar Euaidri i hIceadha": and at foot of p. 337 a note (inverted), "Ex libris Donati Hickie M.D. anno Domini 1700"; also at p. 380, marg., "Is me Donatus Hicky." On p. 287 there is scribbled an "indenture" made by John Hickey, son of Roger Hickey. On p. 263, marg. sup., "is mise Seamus glas o hIciga." On p. 339 (inverted), "Derm. Hickey." On p. 143, lower marg.; "Henri Mc an tsaoir as leis an leabhar so 1788. Donnchadh óg o Hiceadha do sgriobh an leabhar so 1469,

1788 / 1469 /319":

a later hand adds "1818/1469-349."


1 . The ms. opens with a translation of the Commentary of Geraldus de Solo on the ninth book of Rhazes' Almanzor. There is another copy in the National Library of Ireland, ms. 10297, pp. 103-213, and 234-240, a description of which will be found in the catalogue of E. O'Reilly's mss. (R.I.A., 23 H 1, no. 3); and a third in T.C.D. 1326; see T.C.D. Cat., p. 353, where the headings of the sections are given. Beg. "De dolore capitis." [S]ex sunt nomina quorum quo[d] libet significat dolorem capitis .i. adeir Almasor.

151 . Pestilentia est, etc. This section is edited by W. Wulff in Eriu x. It is not in "Almanzor."

176 . The commentary breaks off incomplete in a discussion of cancer (= T.C.D. 1326, p. 126).

177 . Translation of ''Petrus,'' i.e., the De Chirurgia of Pietro d'Argelato treating of apostemata of various kinds, of wounds and bruises, ulcers, pustules, piles, etc; and of their treatment by the appropriate medicines, maturativae, repercussivae, stupefactivae, incarnativae, etc. Other copies in 444, pp. 25-126; T.C.D., 1435, pp. 1-124; King's Inns, no. 15. Cf. W. Wulff, Lia Fáil i, pp. 126-129. Beg. Cum hurnane uite bre. uitas teste Ipocrate.

239 , lower marg. "Lonn mo righ-si nual gan geis is ad lonn."

331 - 332 , a small strip of vellum: on the verso (p. 332) a charm, beg. Fidh dula fidh dala.

352 . "Petrus" ends: gerraid aturra 7 folmuigid fuil on cuid ichtaraig di ... 7 o nach gnáthach in mod so ni lenfam de. Finit.

353 to end contain a treatise on the regimen of health, of which there is another copy in T.C.D. 1315, pp. 126-186. It is a translation of theRegimen Sanitatis of Arnaldus de Villa Nova. Beg. In hoc autem opusculo quinque sunt partes principales .i. tuic co fuilet coic pairtecail principalta annsan obair big so. Note that ff. 200-223 (== pp. 381-426) are displaced. At foot of p. 457 there is a charm. On p. 401, marg. inf., three lines of Latin in a cursive hand. Pp. 489-490, a tom leaf, the verso blank.

Note.— The title ''Book of the O'Hickeys" properly belongs not to this ms. but to Nat. Lib. Irel. 10297, mentioned above. Both mss. formerly belonged to Edward O'Reilly, and the similarity of their contents, as well as the fact that both were compiled by scribes of the same family, has some-times caused the two to be confused.