“The binder ate my homework!”

This manuscript may be the earliest surviving copy of the works included. The works were previously attributed to Arnald of Villanova (and others), but now is thought to have been composed by unnamed people, likely in the area surrounding the University of Montpellier during the early 14th century. The first text relates how to care for (and perhaps cure?) a woman’s infertility, while the second and third texts discuss how to cure diseases of the eye. The texts are written on paper, rather than parchment.

The pages of the manuscript were trimmed at some point. On some pages, the text and not just the margins have been sliced off. Trimming manuscripts was not uncommon, especially if they were rebound in later centuries into ‘more fashionable’ bindings.

Folio 6 verso shows a later reader’s notes – or the original scribe’s demarcations – with the first bits of the phrases cut off.


f. 6v, Anonymous, De cura sterilitatis mulierum and De infirmitatis occulorum, mid-14th century, 10a 135