This mini-course is a general introduction to both to medieval medicine and to the value of using manuscripts. Professor Y. Tzvi Langermann presents a case study that builds from a unique 15th-century volume in which three important medical manuscripts in Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic (Arabic in Hebrew characters) are sewn together. He will not only walk the student through the basics of medical knowledge training and practice in the Jewish Middle Ages and beyond, but he will also show how clues gleaned from the particular elements of a manuscript (such as marginal notes, mistakes, and handwriting) allow us to learn a great deal that we could not have gleaned from a pristine printed version. The course is made up of eight short video lectures (5-7 minutes each) that explore the fascinating highlights of an extraordinary manuscript.
While no previous knowledge is required, this course will be of most interest to advanced students of Jewish and medieval medicine studies in that it introduces a rare and fascinating medical text from the University of Pennsylvania’s manuscript collections.