101 folios on paper, watermark, flower with eight petals, Briquet 6592 (Bergamo 1430, Milan 1434, Palermo, 1434, Lucca, 1440, Bergamo, 1442), Online Piccard 126713, o.O, 1436, cf. also Online Piccard 126702, Como, 1428, 126708, o.O., 1433, 126711, Pavia, 1447 etc., 126703, Germasino, 1427, contemporary foliation in ink top outer corner recto, f. 94 [blank leaf from quire nine glued at the beginning], 2-90, 92-93, 95-103, wanting outermost bifolium of first quire, and five leaves from quire eight, three of which were likely blank (collation: i12[-1 and -10, with loss of text, blank f. 94 glued in at the front] ii-vii12 viii12 [-2, leaf after f. 84, -5, leaf after f. 86, -10, 11, 12, most likely cancelled blanks, one numbered f. 91] ix12 [-1, f. 94, blank leaf now glued to quire 1, 10, f. 101, single]) horizontal catchwords center lower margin, some leaf and quire signatures with a letter designating the quire and an Arabic numeral the leaf, ruled very lightly in ink with full-length single vertical bounding lines in hard point, (justification, 146-145 x 110-106 mm.), copied in a small humanistic bookhand with cursive features in two columns of thirty lines, each entry numbered in the margin in red Arabic numerals, red paragraph marks, a few majuscules within the text stroked with red, two-line red initials, f. 84 loose and mostly detached, f. 69, large stain (no loss of text), worming and slight staining to a number of leaves, else good condition. CONTEMPORARY BINDING of red leather over fairly thick wooden boards, cut flush with the bookblock, front and back covers decorated as many as 437 decorative nails, forming complete outer borders on both covers and a star within a circle with arms radiating out from it, spine with two raised bands, bordered along both vertical sides with rows of decorative nails, rows of nails decorate the edges of the board along the fore edge and the edges at the head and tail, remains of large brass clasp decorated with foliage on back board, “secreti naturali” in ink in a later hand, lower edge of the bookblock, minor scuffing, some thongs split at front and back, but solid, dark red modern fitted case labeled “Liber Secreti Naturali, ca. 1390, Ms” on spine. Dimensions, 210 mm. by 150 mm.
This is a diverse and well-organized recipe collection with more well more than 520 different recipes on topics ranging from alchemy and medicine to solutions for simple household problems such as fleas, designed from the outset to be used with its extensive alphabetical subject index. Its outstanding (unique?) contemporary binding adds to its interest. The direct ancestor to sixteenth-century Books of Secrets, collections such as these appear to be still little-studied in the scholarly literature.
1. Watermark evidence, together with the script, suggests an origin in Northwestern Italy, possibly in Bergamo, Milan, Pavia or Como, between 1427 and 1447; the date, 22 December 1438, copied inside the front cover may or may not be the date when the manuscript was completed, but it does suggest the manuscript was copied before that date.
The binding is contemporary, but the outer two leaves of the first quire are now missing, and a blank leaf from quire nine is glued at the beginning before f. 2; the contemporary foliation in Arabic numerals is continuous from f. 2, so must have been added after the removal of the original twelfth leaf.
In a contemporary hand, inside back cover, “Sum seruulus et <ero?> et hoc unum est quid cupio”; same hand, inside front cover, records the metals, gold, silver, lead, and mercury (“living silver”), and their corresponding planets: “Aurum Solem, Argentum Luna, Plumbum Saturni, Argentum vivum mecurii.”
2. The manuscript includes no marginal additions or changes to the content of the recipes, but soiling and other signs of use throughout suggest it was put to practical use.
3. Belonged to Antonio “il gual”; his seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century ownership inscriptions on ff. 102v and 103v. Crude sketches on ff. 90v-94v, 101v-103v: on f. 90v a crowned globe with an animal inside lettered “m” “s” at the top, and other drawings, apparently unfinished, related to this on ff. 102v-103, f. 92v, a figure with a long nose and hat, and a mounted figure in dots, f. 102v, word square, f. 103, figure, labeled “madalena.” These additions (possibly by a child?), may support the idea that the book was functioning then as a “House book” of remedies, kept conveniently at hand for consultation.
4. “Secreti naturali” written along the lower edge of bookblock in an eighteenth-century(?) hand.
5. Owners’ and dealers’ notes, in pencil, f. 103v, “cat. Tenschert, Leuct. Mittelalter I, no. 17, BPH 112”, “10090/U6FET”, inside back cover, “REE”, “8409 BPH MS 112”, and “W 12.”
6. Belonged to Joost R. Ritman (b. 1941), the Dutch businessman and distinguished collector of art and books; acquired fromTenschert cat.21 (Leuchtendes Mittelalter I),1989, no. 17; Bibliotheca Philosophia Hermetica MS 112 (bookplate, inside front cover); briefly described in Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections (Online Resources.
[ff. 2-89v, Recipes, arranged in 520 numbered sections; f. 1 now lacking, with sections 1-3]; f. 2, incipit, “//est plumbum bene purificatum quod operator ad a[ur]um faciendum de quo superius fecimus mencionem”;
f. 2, 4, [title from index: Qualiter argentum transmutatur in aurum, c. 4], incipit, “Uidimus de transmutatione saturni scilicet plumbi in aurum. Nunc autem vidimus transmutationem argenti siue lune in aurum siue solem. Accipe ergo ampullam et eam tunica luto sapientie et …”;
How to change silver into gold.
f. 2, 5, incipit, “Si uis facere lutum sapientie. Recipe terram bene tenacem …”;
f. 2, 6, [title from index: Purificatcio argenti uiui], incipit, “Uideamus nunc qualiter argentum uiuum purificetur. Recipe argentum et laua ipsum …”;
Purification of mercury.
f. 2rv, 7, [title from index: Qualiter argentum uiuum transmutatur in fixum argentum], incipit, “Superius uidimus qualiter plu[m]bum siue saturnus transmutatur potest in aurum siue solem et qualiter …. Nunc autem vidimus transmutationem argenti viui siue mercurii …”;
How to change mercury (living or quicksilver) into solid silver.
f. 2v, 8, incipit, “Uidimus de transmutatione mercurii siue argenti uiui in argen[tum] fixum siue lunam. Nunc autem videamus transmutationem saturni siue plumbi in fixum argentum siue lunam …”;
How to change lead into silver.
f. 2v, 9. incipit, “Sal armoniacis fit …”;
f. 2v-3, 10, incipit, “Si vis facere alebrot. Recipe salis communis purifcati …”;
f. 3rv, 11, incipit, “Capitulum hermetis sapientis de arbore qui dicitur borissa id est lunatica …, Recipe ergo hanc herbam et eius sucum extrahe …”;
Discussion in five sections of the properties of the tree, here called “borissa”; circulated in the so-called Alchemical Herbals and in the Hermes latinus (writings composed in the Hellenic era, and attributed to Hermes Trismegistos); cf. Hermes latinus, p. 18 (cited in In principio, reference 51365); and London, Wellcome Library, MS 261, ff. 45v-46. See also, Lucentini, 2003, pp. 479-80, 485, and 636; and Chrysopœia 7 (1987), p. 148.
ff. 3v-4v, 12, incipit, “Queritur vtrum unum metallum possit ure in aliud per artem et transmutari. Dico que hec questio dependet ex ista vtrum metallam specie[?] differant …. Frater egidius dicebat quod metalla non possit ad inuicem transmutari quia unum quidque generatum habet proprium locum sue generationis …. Dico quod hec ideo nulla est sed quod facit dubium est quia …”;
Long passage discussing the question of whether it is possible to turn one metal into another through “art”; brother Aegidius (Giles) is mentioned as one who denies it; the defender of the idea uses the first person.
ff. 4v-5, 13, incipit, “Hec sunt uirtutes aque uitis primo quod omnes <panes?> in corpore …”;
The Virtues of Aqua Vitae (distilled wine, or alcohol); seventeen short sections, describing the properties of alcohol, including producing tinctures of herbs, and for treating various diseases of the eyes, teeth, to make fire burn more intensely, and for the alchemical work (“opus”).
ff. 5-6, 14, incipit, “Aque uitis alia simplex alia composita. Simplex est quando sine alicuius rei mixtione …”;
ff. 6-7, 15, incipit, “Aqua uitis bona sana et multum utilis que est in communi usu sic fit. Recipe de bono vino rubeo sano et claro et bene potenti quartum uis qui pro quarto plus per se est bonum tanto plus est utilius et melius ad omina in odore et sapore et virtute laudata. Illud uinum preparatum …”;
Long section detailing twenty common uses for Aqua vitae, beginning with a recipe for using it to produce “Good red wine”, that is “more useful and better than all in fragrance” and other virtues.
f. 7rv, 16, incipit, “Uirtutes aqua uitis in prima distillatione ardet et non conburit substantionem ….; Uirtutes prime distillationis est quod sunt ter in die laueris et faciem et nares et in naribus …”;
Further medical uses for Aquae vitae.
f. 7v, 17, incipit, “Uirtutes roris marini numero 25. Primo recipe flores eius et liga in panno …”;
Twenty-five virtues of roris marini (Rosemary); Cf. Wolfenbüttel, Herzog-August-Bibliothek MS. August 2841 [83. 7. Aug. fol.], fifteenth century, 1432.
ff. 8v-9, 18, incipit, “Pulcra saporatio. Recipe folia papaueris …”;
f. 9rv, 19, incipit, “Aqua que ferrum dissoluit et cetera metalla mercurium congellat et ardet sicut aqua ardens. Recipe nucis muscatis garofilorum …”;
Singer, 1928-31, no. 480.
ff. 9v-10, 20, incipit, “Potus et vnctio faciens dormire cito illum qui uigilat uel qui dormire non potest …”;
Potion or ointment to help one sleep.
f. 10rv, 21, incipit, “Ut quis cito et facille possit inebriari studiose siue per solacium siue per aliam casum. Recipe de optimo uino puro …. Valet hec experimentum Comiti marchioni pro suo magistro solatio et etiam homini qui delectatur uidere talem locum”;
Recipe providing relief when one has “quickly and easily” become inebriated (concluding with a statement that a certain count tried this method).
f. 10v, 22, incipit, “Ad delendum litteras sine lesione. Recipe lac ficuum et pone in uase uitreo et in corpora …”;
To delete letters without a lesion.
[continuing, ff. 10v-11, with a series of short recipes on various topics, numbered 23-31.]
ff. 11v-12, 32, incipit, “Ad dolorem aurium et auditus. Recipe moliciem panis ordei quoniam estrahitur de furno … ad meditatem et de illo//”
For illness of the ear and poor hearing.
f. 12, [Leaf missing following f. 11 with the conclusion of section 32, sections 33-46, and the beginning of section 47, so that f. 12 now begins imperfectly with the conclusion of entry 47], incipit, “//vnguento super botium et super sero fulas …”;
f. 12, 47, incipit, “Ad liberandum canes a malo sticie. Recipe aqua cicute et laua bene canem …”;
f. 12rv, 48, incipit “Aqua faciens capillos blandos et pulcros. Recipe cineris uitis bene sedatiate …; Item alia aqua faciens capillos aureos et blandos …; Item alia aqua ad idem mellis …; Item capilli mullierum et virorum …; Item alia aqua capillos pulcrificans …; Item alia aqua faciens capillos blandos …; Item vnguentum faciens capillos canos esse nigros uel rubeos. Recipe saponem tenerum et calcem uiuam …; Item aqua faciens capillos flauos …; Item ut capillo fiant pulcherimi. Recipe puluerem croci orientalis …”;
Sixteen recipes for beautifying (or changing) the hair.
f. 13, 49, incipit, “Oleum de uitellis ouorum que capillos nasci facit …”;
f. 13rv, 50, 51, 52, further recipes related to the hair.
f. 13v, 54, incipit, “Ut non fiat caluicium siue caluicies vnge caput cum urina canis …”;
[ff. 13v-25v, continuing with sections numbered 55-129, including remedies for diseases of the eyes, nos. 55, 56, and 57, and teeth, no. 58; cosmetic recipes, no. 59; to encourage vomiting, no. 70; to staunch a bloody nose, no. 80; to encourage breast milk, no. 84; against spleen, no. 85; for scabies; for illnesses of the intestines, nos. 92, 93, 94; to kill doves, no. 124, and to make them come to you, no. 125, and so forth.]
f. 26v, 130, incipit, “Ut equis uel alia bestia pinguis et pulcra appareat et sit tamquam mortua …”;
A recipe to fatten horses and other animals and make them appear beautiful even if they are on the point of death.
f. 26v, 131, incipit, “Ut male bestie fungiant de domo tua …”;
A recipe to make “evil beasts” flee from your home.
f. 26v, 132, incipit, “Ad bugnonem siue clauellum durum ut aperiatur …”;
ff. 26v-27v, 133, incipit, “Confectio candele que si semel accendatur numquam extinguetur. Et si fuerit aqua rorata uel balneata furtius ardebit …;
A section with eleven recipes related to candles.
[ff. 27v-50, continuing with sections numbered 134-286, including nos. 134-177 (through f. 34), all related to wine; no. 137, on f. 28, cites Macrobius; nos. 181-189, are remedies for women, including no. 181, recipes to make a woman appear a virgin, and no. 182, recipes for women who do not have sons; and so forth.]
ff. 50-51, 287, incipit, “Ad faciendum litteram que legi non potest nisi ponatur ad ignem. Recipe cepe sal et urinam ….; Item fit etiam littera que legi non potest nisi subiungatur in aqua …; Item ut littere scripte luceant de noctis et non de die …; Item ad faciendum litteram uisibiles tamen ad ignem …; Item ad faciendum litteram que de die legi non potest …; Item ad faciendum litteras que non lucent de die sed de nocte …; Item ad faciendum litteras sine enchaustro scribe cum lacis ficus et pulerim carbone …; Item ad faciendum litteras inuisiblies …; Item ad faciendum litteras que nunquam delentur …; Item aqua seu tincture uideris ad scribendum exhibere ..; Item si uis scribere in auro uel argento litteras …; Item ad faciendum litteram extraneum …”;
A series of recipes related to writing, most concerning ways of secret writing, i.e. letters that can only be read when placed near fire; letters that can only be read if submerged in water; letters that shine in the night and not in the day; letters that cannot be read in the daytime; letters that do not shine in the day but in the night; how to make letters that cannot be deleted, how to write letters in gold and silver, and so forth.
f. 51, 288, incipit, “Ad albandum manus …”;
Cosmetic recipe to whiten the hands.
f. 51rv, 289, incipit, “Ad faciendum saponem …”;
Seven recipes related to making soap.
[ff. 52-62, continuing with sections numbered 290-321; no. 293, ff. 52-54v, is a very lengthy section describing the preparation of different salts; no. 301-315, are recipes related to iron.]
f. 62v, 322, incipit, “Ad cognoscendum soles uel lunam alkimie…”;
Recipe to recognize alchemical gold or silver.
f. 62v, 323, incipit, “Ut aurum durum fiat molle et maleabile. Fac ipsum buliri cum uitrio …”;
Recipe to make gold soft and mallable.
f. 62v, 324, incipit, “Ad diuidendum aurum ab argento …”;
Recipe to divide gold from silver.
ff. 63-64v, 325, incipit, “Ad faciendam lunam de Iove ….; Item ad faciendum lunam alio modo …: … Item ad faciendum bonem [sic] lunam de mercurio …; …
Alchemical recipes for the making of metals, and for changing one into another, as well as a discussion of medical uses of metals.
[Continuing, ff. 65-85, with sections numbered 326-418, including many describing alchemical procedures and precious stones and gems, nos. 326-390; followed by medical recipes, no. 392, discusses the herb, scabioso, no. 393, diseases of the eyes, and so forth]
f. 84v, 419, incipit, “Corticis malorum grauatorum … dicitur ei ad bibendum”;
This recipe is concludes at the bottom of the page, and is complete; there is a leaf missing following f. 84, with sections 420-437.
f. 85, 438, incipit, “Ad ulnera sordida et difficilis …”;
Recipe for dirty and difficult wounds [begins at the top of the page, and complete].
[Continuing with sections nos. 439-462, continuing with recipes related to different wounds.]
f.86, 463, incipit, “Ad ulnera uirge putrida fac pul//”;
[Ends imperfectly; following leaf now missing, with nos. 464-467, and part of 468.]
f. 87, incipit, //cum omnibus circumstantiis … “;
No. 468, now beginning imperfectly.
f. 87, 469, incipit, “Pomum quod solum odorati …”;
[Continuing with nos. 470-477v; no. 476, includes a charm or prayer to recite when having a tooth pulled.]
f. 88, 478, incipit, “Ad morsum scorpiones …; Item ad morsum ominum bestium. Recipe caseum cum origano et face et metere super morsuram”;
A recipe to kill scorpions, followed by one to kill “all beasts” (apparently using cheese and oregano?);
[Continuing with nos. 479-480.]
f. 88, 481, incipit, “Ad interficiendum pulices. Recipe coloquintidam uel absinthium uel folia parsicorum uel herbam coriandri coctam in aqua et aspersa per domnum omnes moriuntur”;
Herbal remedies (including parsley and coriander) to kill fleas in one’s house.
[Continuing with nos. 482-519.]
f. 89v, 520, incipit, “Oratio ad omnes plagas et est res expertissima in principio cum uideris infirmum et plagam. Fac signum cruces super plagam et signa In nomine pater et filii et spiritu sancti amen. Postea dic tres boni fratres per vnam viam ambulabant … et non doluit nec anelauit nec aliquam caturam fecit sic non faciat plaga ista per nomen patris et filii et spiritu sancto amen. Ter dicitur cum ter pater noster et ter aue maria etc.” [ff. 90, 92-93, blank, f. 91, now missing; f. 94 added to quire one to replace the missing f. 1];
ff. 95-101v, Tabula receptorum omnium que continentur in isto libro per alfabetum, incipit, “In primis ad faciendum acetum bonum, C. 43, 449, 477 … Si zonchata fuit matricidia, c. 386.”
Alphabetical list of subjects, with subjects followed by the relevant section numbers; contemporary with the remainder of the volume, and probably copied by the scribe of the main text.
f. 102, Added text, incipit, “Ut erugo et balcula recedant de arbore vel de orto scribe hoc Carmen dauid in carta et liga super arborem ubi sint .., Ad hominem uel bestiam qui nel que habeat membrum dislognatum. Abscit virgam unius nizole …”; [ff. 102v-103v, blank leaves with added drawings, etc.; see provenance, above].
A charm to rid trees of certain diseases (?).
The description barely does justice to the contents of this collection of recipes. The manuscript is organized in 520 numbered sections that vary greatly in length; in some cases a number represents a short, individual recipe, but in many others, a numbered section includes numerous separate recipes related to the same subject, so the actual number of individual recipes is much more than 520. Four leaves are now missing: f. 1, with nos. 1-3; following f. 11, with nos. 33-46, following f. 84, with nos. 420-437, and following f. 86, with nos. 464-467. A complete analysis of the contents here would be a fascinating task (albeit a lengthy one). As indicated above, a few entries have been identified in other sources, but the lack of an identified source should not be taken as evidence that the recipe in question is unique to this manuscript.
Medieval recipes as a genre are still inadequately catalogued, and although an effort has been made here to check a percentage of these recipes in the In Principio Database, a negative result means little, given the fact that the vast majority of medieval recipes have yet to be listed (some vernacular recipes, including Middle English medical recipes, have been studied more thoroughly; see Halleux, 1979 and 1989, Voigts, 1995, and Wilson, 1939, pp. 17-20, whose remarks on the difficulty of cataloguing alchemical recipes are still largely relevant today). It does seem safe to conclude that some of the material in this manuscript is also found in other manuscripts, some may be unique -- and that almost all of it is probably still unpublished.
The contents of this collection are interesting and varied, and include important and fairly extensive sections devoted to alchemical recipes (see especially, ff. 1-7v, nos. 4-16, and ff. 62-83, nos. 320-390); for example, “Ad faciendum aurum de plumbo, 2” (To make gold from lead) [this recipe now missing; title supplied from the index], “Qualiter argentum transmutatur in aurum, 4” (How silver is transformed into gold), “Purificatio argenti uiui, 6” (The Purification of Mercury), “Ad faciendum argentum, 325, 332” (To make silver), as well as numerous others, including many related to Aqua vitae (distilled wine), and “Ad cognoscendum aurum alkimie, 322) (How to recognize alchemical gold). The opening series of recipes through no. 8 are clearly related, and read as a step-by-step process. No. 12, ff. 3v-4, is of particular interest, since it is a short dialogue, between the author, who speaks in the first person, and “frater Aegidius” on the possibility of the transmutation of metals. There are also numerous recipes related to metal working – always closely related to alchemy, for example, “Ad faciendum bronzum siue coprum, 342” (To make bronze or copper).
Other recipes are related to medicine; for example treating diseases of the eye, nos. 55-58, teeth, no. 58, fevers, nos. 67, 423, 176, and 494, and bloodletting, no. 296; the section of recipes from no. 70-80 are all medical in nature. There are also numerous recipes of a more domestic sort that would have been useful for any household, including inks with various properties, no. 287, and how to erase things from parchment, no. 22, how to make good vinegar, nos. 43, 449, and 477, or get rid or vermin [if that is meant by what “male bestie”, or evil beasts]”,Vt male bestie fugiant de domo tua, 131.” There are cosmetic recipes, such as “Vt barba fiat nigra, 276” (So that a beard can be made black), and other recipes related to caring for the hair and face.
Agricultural recipes are included, including advice on arboriculture: “Vt arbor siccutur, 38”, or “Vt arbor non abauit foliia ante festum sancti iohanni, 40” (For a tree that still has not produced leaves before the feast of St. John), and a lengthy section of wine – both its uses, and how to alter its properties (see nos. 134-177), and recipes for treating disease in animals, nos. 130, 291, 243, 264, and 409.
Magic does not seem to appear often, but there is a recipe, “Ad faciendum basciliscum, 44” (To make a basilisk), listed in the contents, although no longer extant in the volume (interestingly, recipes for making the deadly reptile have a long tradition in medieval sources; one was included in the twelfth-century treatise De diversis artibus by Theophilus; see Principe, 2013, p. 54), and the final recipe for protection against the plague straddles the borderline between a prayer and a charm. Some appear of dubious morality (see no. 130, which appears to be a recipe to fatten horses and other animals and make them appear beautiful even if they are on the point of death).
Medieval recipes were how-to instructions, usually brief, related to various crafts (including disciplines such as alchemy and medicine), as well as guides to making various things related to the household and agriculture. Alchemical recipes in particular have a very long tradition in writing. The earliest surviving alchemical texts are recipes in the Stockholm and Leiden Papyri from the third century (possibly based on even earlier texts), that record in Greek, about 250 workshop recipes related to gold, silver, precious stones, and textile dyes. In the Middle Ages the tradition was continued. The Mappae clavicula (The Little Key to the World) is one of the most famous examples; dating from the ninth century, and probably derived from Greek sources, it includes recipes related to metalwork, mosaics, dyeing, pigments and painting. Scholars now agree that the Mappae clavicula was based on a literary tradition, and did not represent actual workshop practice.
The manuscript described here, with its diverse contents, belongs to a slightly different genre. Collections of this type are the direct ancestor of the sixteenth-century printed books known as “Books of Secrets”, such as Secreti del reverendo Donno Alessio Piemontese, published in Venice in 1555. This book -- “a work very useful and universally necessary for everyone” -- included medical remedies, cosmetics, perfumes, oils dyeing, metalworking and alchemy. Long neglected by scholars, early modern historians and historians of science now recognize the value of works such as these as reflections of early modern culture and scientific practice (Eamon, 2011, and 1994). Interestingly, despite the recent interest in the sixteenth-century treatises, there appears to be no modern studies seriously investigating the medieval examples; most discussions simply mention the small number of well-known medieval craft treatises such as the Mappae clavicula. Beyond general statements that medieval recipe books are common (and numerous examples survive), there appear to be no scholarly studies attempting to classify the surviving examples, and to establish a typology of this important genre. Beyond this, studies are needed to investigate both their sources, and their influence on later sixteenth-century printed recipe books.
Corbett, J. A. Catalogue des manuscripts alchimiques latins, Paris, 1939-51.
Eamon, William. “How to Read a Book of Secrets”, in Leong and Rankins, eds., 2011 (cited below).
Eamon, William. Science and the Secrets of Nature: Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1994.
Halleux, R. “Récettes d’artisan, récettes d’alchimiste”, in Jansen-Sieben, R. (Ed.), Les 'artes mecanicae' médiévale en Europe, Brussels, 1989Les ‘artes mecanicae’ en Europe médiévale, Brussels, 1989.
Halleux, Robert. Les textes alchimiques, Typologie des Sources 32, Turnhout, Belgium, Brepols, 1979.
Leong, Elaine Y. T, and Alisha M. Rankin, eds. Secrets and Knowledge in Medicine and Science, 1500-1800. Farnham, Surrey, England, Ashgate, 2011.
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Principe, Lawrence. The Secrets of Alchemy, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 2013.
Singer, Dorothea Waley, with Annie Anderson. Catalogue of Latin and Vernacular Alchemical Manuscripts in Great Britain and Ireland Dating from before the XVI century, Brussels, M. Lamertin, 1928-31.
Smith, Cyril Stanley and John G. Hawtrhorne, ed. and transl. Mappae clavicula: A Little Key to the World of Medieval Techniques, Philadelphia, American Philosophical Society, 1974.
Thorndike, L. and Kibre, P. A Catalogue of Incipits of Mediaeval Scientific Writings in Latin, revised ed., Cambridge Mass. 1963.
Thorndike, Lynn, A History of Magic and Experimental Sciences, vols. III-IV, New York, 1934.
Voigts, Linda. “Multiples of Middle English Medical Manuscripts or the Englishing of Science and Medicine”, in Manuscript sources of Medieval Medicine: a Book of Essays, edited by Margaret R. Schleissner. New York, Garland, 1995.
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The Ritman Library (Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica)
Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections (as Amsterdam, BPH, MS 112)
In Principio, Incipit index of Latin texts
“Alchemy”, in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas