Green, Monica H.. Female Religious Institutions Owning Medical Books

[Female Religious Institutions Owning Medical Books]
Note: This list includes all books with medical content that I have thus far found in the holdings of female religious institutions. My researches have included published material for Catalonia, France, the Low Countries, Italy, and Majorca, though aside from the last no comprehensive studies of these regions have yet been published.1 I would welcome receiving notice of newly-discovered material or published studies that have escaped my notice.

ENGLANDInstitution
Medical BooksTotal Number of Books
2Type3 and Date of Source[1] Benedictine house of St. Marys, Nunnaminster, Winchester1) the nuns may have copied several Old English medical remedies into a book containing private devotions in Latin and various prayers2/4M/early 11th cent.42) A religious and computistical compendium, composed in the early 11th century for a male recipient, had a single medical recipe in Old English added shortly after its composition; the manuscript probably passed into the hands of a woman in the twelfth century, perhaps an abbess at Nunnaminster M/12th cent.5[2] the Minories, a womens religious house in London1) in her will, Elizabeth Wellys requests that an herbal she had already loaned to the Minories should remain there for the nuns common use1/??B/15206

GERMANY7Institution
Medical BooksTotal Number of BooksType and Date of Source
[3] Augustinian canonesses of Schwarzenthann1) written by the canoness Guta in 1154, a liturgical manuscript includes a series of hygienic precepts as part of its Martyrology; the manuscript remained in the possession of the house until at least the 14th century1/??M/11548[4] Benedictine house of Rupertsberg1 + 2) Johannes Trithemius, abbot of the nearby abbey of Sponheim, visited Rupertsberg in the 15th century, and reports having seen copies of both of Hildegard of Bingens medical writings; it is possible that these were the original copies that had been produced at Rupertsberg during Hildegards lifetime (1098-1187)2/??O/ca. 1487-969[5] Dominican nuns in the Rhine area101) owned a psalter into which was added an exorcism for the diseased uterus1/??M/13th cent.*[6] Dominican convent of St. Marien in Lemgo1) owned a collection of texts in Latin and Low German on plague, phlebotomy, charms, herbs, and care for the dead1/5M/14th-16th cent.11[7] Cistercian convent of Lichtenthal in Baden-Badenowned two miscellaneous manuscripts with medical contents; when exactly they came into the convents possession is not clear:

2/ca. 1281) a 13th- and 14th-century collection of philosophical and natural philosophical texts, including some materia medica and recipes, in German and LatinM/13-14th cent. 2) a collection of recipes together with a German translation of Bartholemeus Practica made in 1462M/an. 146212[8] Brigittine double monastery of Elbing bei Danzig (Elbl/a/ag near Gdansk)owned three Latin books with medical contents:

3/39M/14th-15th cents.131) a 14th-cent. copy of Mesues tract on medicinal simples together with two antidotaries;

2) a 15th-cent. copy of some Questiones medicinales;3) a late 14th-cent. volume with sections of Avicennas Canon, plus a copy of Galens De morbo et accidente[9] Dominican convent of St. Katharinas in Nurembergtwo medical manuscripts are listed in its 15th-cent. catalogue:

1) a collection (still extant) of German texts, including a Regimen sanitatis, portions of Ortolf of Bayerlands Arzneibuch, the so-called Macer text on herbs, and Bartholomaeus Arzneibuch; this is one of the 46 books that had been in the collection since before the Dominican Reformation of 14281/46M (an. 1398) + C/1455-6114 2) a general practica, arranged in head-to-toe order, followed by general remedies; this codex had originally been two separate volumes: the practica was the gift of Peter Kraft; the recipe collection was brought to the cloister by one of the sisters 2/ca. 500-600C/1455-6115[10] Augustinian canonesses of Inzigkofen1) owned a two-volume book of Gospels and Epistles, into which a later hand wrote three medical recipes (on, respectively, jaundice, rheumatism, and menstrual irregularity)1/52M/ca. 1443*[11] Cistercian abbey of Seligenthal in Landshut, which had a hospital associated with it since 1252three manuscripts of medical content produced in the 15th and 16th cent. seem to be connected with this house:3/81) a copy of Hiltgart on Hürnheims German translation of the pseudo-Aristotelian Secretum secretorum16M/mid-15th cent. + 2) a fifteenth-century German and Latin volume with texts on materia medica, cooking, horse medicine, and ointments and plasters may have been produced here; portions of the text on cooking and the Arzneibuch derive from Hildegard of Bingens PhysicaM/late? 15th cent. + 3) Anna Maria Stöcklin, a member of the convent in the 16th cent., was owner (and perhaps compiler) of an Arzneibuch, a collection of miscellaneous recipes (some of which derive from male physicians)M/late 16th cent.*[12] Augustinian canonesses at Cologne1) owned a 15th-century copy of Magister Bartholomaeus, a popular German medical compendium that had been composed ca. 12001/67M/15th cent.17[13] Benedictine convent in Ebstorf1) owned a manuscript of Middle Dutch devotional texts which includes, at the end, three medical recipes1/51M/2nd half of 15th cent.18[14] Brigittine double monastery in Maihingen (diocese of Augsburg)1) at some point acquired the manuscript that may have been produced at Seligenthal (item 0 above) that contained German and Latin texts on materia medica, cooking, horse medicine, and ointments and plasters1/23M/late? 15th cent.19[15] convent of Nonnberg in Salzburg1 + 2) in 1496, the nun Magdalena Haslinger made up a list of manuscripts, 36 German and 18 Latin; among the German manuscripts were two medical books (ein puch von der Ertzney and mer ein püech der Ertzney)2/54C/149620[16] Franciscan tertiaries at Wonnenstein1) owned a little book of medicine (ain klins artzatbüchly)1/ca. 200?C/s. 15 ex./16 in.21[17] Dominican convent of Altenhohau1) a list of expenses in 1513 for books mentions a German medical book called The True Art of Distilling (ein erczney puch genant der waren kunst zu distilieren) which had just been acquired by the convent1/ca. 44O/151322


1As opposed to other areas of Europe, Majorca has been the subject of an exhaustive analysis of all its medieval bookowners: see HILLGARTH, Jocelyn N. Readers and Books in Majorca, 1229-1550, 2 vols., Paris, Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1991, who finds two instances of books owned by nuns. In neither case are these medical. For France, the only national survey thus far published is GENEVOIS, Anne-Marie; GENEST, Jean-François; CHALANDON, Anne (eds.). Bibliothèques de manuscrits médiévaux en France: Relevé des inventaires du VIIIe au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Éditions du C.N.R.S., 1987.

2The first figure is the total number of medical books, the second the total number of books in the institutions library (to the extent that that number can be determined).

3C = medieval catalogue of the nunnerys library; B = bequest to the house in someones will; M = extant manuscript; O = other type of list or reference.

4The nuns may even be responsible for having creatively adapted these recipes from previously existing Old English medical books. HOLLIS, Stephanie; WRIGHT, Michael J. The Remedies in British Library MS Cotton Galba A.xiv, fos 139 and 136r. Notes and Queries, 1994, 239 (n.s. 41), no. 2, 146-47. This manuscript also contains a prose charm for curing foot ailments (f. 72r), and two recipes for restoring the body to health through prayer (f. 118rv); see HOLLIS, Stephanie; WRIGHT, Michael (with the assistance of MILLS, Gwynneth M. D.; PEDDER, Adrienne). Old English Prose of Secular Learning, Annotated Bibliographies of Old and Middle English Literature, 4, Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 1992, p. 288. On the books owned by Nunnaminster in the 11th and 12th centuries generally, see MORROW, Mary Jane. The Literary Culture of English Benedictine Nuns, c. 1000-1250, Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 1999, esp. pp. 197-202.

5See HOLLIS and WRIGHT (1992), n. d, pp. 236 and 238, re: London, British Library, MS Cotton Titus D.xxvi.

6As cited from Guildhall Library, MS 9171/9, ff. 175r-176r in PAXTON, Catherine. The Nunneries of London and Its Environs in the Later Middle Ages, Ph.D. dissertation, Lincoln College, Oxford, 1992, p. 106. My thanks to Marilyn Oliva for this citation.

7Includes all German-speaking regions, including Poland and Austria.

8WEISS, Béatrice, et al. (eds.). Le codex Guta-Sintram, manuscrit 37 de la Bibliothèque du Grand Séminaire de Strasbourg, 2 vols., Lucerne, Éditions fac-similés; Strasbourg, Éditions Coprur, 1983.

9Trithemii Opera historica [ed. FREHER], Frankfurt, 1601, as cited in SCHRADER, Marianna; FÜHRKÖTTER, Adelgundis. Die Echtheit des Schrifttums der hl. Hildegard von Bingen, Cologne and Graz, Böhlau, 1956, pp. 54-58.

10Although the specific house is not known, the manuscript can be situated in the Rhine area because of its liturgical contents.

11Wolfenbüttel, Herzog-August-Bibliothek, MS 146.2 Extravagantes (s. xiii med.); the charm, added by a later thirteenth-century hand, appears on f. 2r. See KRUSE, Britta-Juliane. Verborgene Heilkünste: Geschichte der Frauenmedizin im Spätmittelalter, Quellen und Forschungen zur Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte, 5, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 1996, p. 440; and BUTZMANN, Hans. Die mittelalterlichen Handschriften der Gruppen Extravagantes, Novi und Novissimi, Frankfurt am Main, Vittorio Klostermann, 1972, pp. 83-84.

12Detmold, Nordrhein-Westfälisches Staatsarchiv, MS L 110 B Tit. 3 Nr. 3; described in GERLACH, Friedrich. Aus mittelalterlichen Klosterbüchereien und Archiven, Lemgo, 1934, pp. 10-17. According to Gerlach (p. 11, n. 2), the as-yet-unpublished medieval booklist of St. Marien listed libri medicinales, suggesting that there may have been more than one volume. Cf. KRÄMER, Sigrid. Handschriftenerbe des Deutschen Mittelalters, 3 vols., Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz. Ergänzungsband I, Munich, Beck, 1989-1990, vol. 2, p. 489.

13Karlsruhe, Landesbibliothek, MSS Lichtent. 31 and 76. See ETTLINGER, Emil. Die Ursprüngliche Herkunft der Handschriften die aus Kloster-, Bischöflichen und Ritterschaftsbibliotheken nach Karlsruhe gelangt sind, rev. ed., Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 1974, pp. 10-11; and KRÄMER, n. l, vol. 1, pp. 48-50.

14Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MSS 505, 516, and 530; though not strictly medical, there is also in MS 521 a collection of religious texts that ends with a brief list of the signs of pestilence. See KRÄMER, n. l, vol. 1, pp. 202-3.

15The manuscript is now Würzburg, Universitätsbibliothek, M. ch. f. 79, an. 1398; for description, see THURN, Hans. Die Handschriften der Zisterzienserabtei Ebrach, Die Handschriften der Universitätsbibliothek Würzburg, Bd. 1, Wiesbaden, Harrossowitz, 1970, pp. 95-98. For the catalog, see RUF, Paul et al. Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz, 4 vols., Munich, Beck, 1918-1983, vol. 3/3, p. 618.

16RUF et al., n. o, vol. 3/3, p. 618.

17FECHTER, Werner. Deutsche Handschriften des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts aus der Bibliothek des ehemaligen Augustinerchorfrauenstifts Inzigkofen, Sigmaringen, J. Thorbecke, 1997, pp. 74-76; my thanks to William Crossgrove and Bernhard Schnell for bringing this study to my attention.

18Hürnheim (where Hiltgart produced her translation) and Seligenthal had the same abbot as their superior; see HILTGART von Hürnheim, Mittelhochdeutsche Prosaübersetzung des Secretum secretorum, ed. Reinhold Möller, Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters, 56, Berlin, Akademie-Verlag, 1963, p. xxv.

19Munich, Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, Cgm 288; and Augsburg, Universitätsbibliothek, MS III. 1. 2o43. On the latter manuscript, see WEISS ADAMSON, Melitta. A Reevaluation of Saint Hildegards Physica in Light of the Latest Manuscript Finds. In: Margaret Schleissner (ed.), Manuscript Sources of Medieval Medicine: A Book of Essays, Garland Medieval Casebooks, New York and London, Garland, 1995, pp. 55-80, esp. pp. 67-70. In none of these excerpts is Hildegard cited by name. The third manuscript is Bethesda (Maryland), National Library of Medicine, MS 68: Arzeney Buech warinen vill unterschidlich guete Hausmitl zo finden, ff. 1r-90r. For a description of the manuscript, see FAYE, C. U.; BOND, W. H. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada, New York, Bibliographical Society of America, 1962, p. 143.

20Darmstadt, Landesbibliothek, MS 2507; see KRÄMER, n. l, vol. 2, p. 456. On the Bartholomäus text, see KEIL, Gundolf. Bartholomaeus. In Kurt Ruh (general editor), Die deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon, 2nd ed., in progress, Berlin/New York, Walter de Gruyter, 1978- , 1:609-15.

21Ebstorf MS VI 10, f. 143r. See GIERMANN, Renate; HÄRTEL, Helmar. Handschriften des Klosters Ebstorf, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 1994, pp. 180-82.

22Augsburg, Universitätsbibliothek, MS III. 1. 2o43. See KRÄMER, n. l, vol. 2, pp. 523-24.