Latin in Medieval Britain - Sources, Language, and Lexicography

Gilbertus Anglicus, Compendium medicinae

While some dictionary sources have to be researched in original manuscripts, others are quoted from early printed sources, like this 1510 edition of Gilbertus Anglicus’s medical treatise Compendium medicinae

Gilbertus Anglicus (Gilbert the Englishman) was one of the most celebrated physicians of his own time – and after: he is one of the authorities known to Chaucer’s Physician.

Wel knew he the olde Esculapius,
And Deyscorides, and eek Rufus,
Olde Ypocras, Haly, and Galyen,
Serapion, Razis, and Avycen,
Averroes, Damascien, and Constantyn,
Bernard, and Gatesden, and Gilbertyn.

For all his fame, very little is known for certain about Gilbertus’s life. From his name he is English, but he studied on the continent (probably at Paris or Montpellier) and probably became a regent master of medicine (possibly at Montpellier). His major work, the Compendium Medicinae, (written probably in the 1250s), was a comprehensive overview of the medical knowledge of his day. This quotation recommends a treatment for ‘arthetica passio’ (gout, or a similar ailment) of beef made into a broth, it can found in first line of the third paragraph of the left-hand column.

Gilbertus may also have worked in the Kingdom of Jerusalem – one passage describes an eye-salve successfully used by the author on a Bertram of Jubail there, ‘de cujus curatione tam sarraceni quam christiani suriani diffidebant illustres’ (‘of whose cure famous doctors, both Saracens and Syrian Christians, despaired’), as our quotation says. This may however be a later addition to the Compendium.

The image is from Gilbertus Anglicus, ‘Compendium medicinae’, Lyon, 1510, f. 315v (image courtesy Google Books)

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1510 edition of Gilbertus Anglicus, Compendium medicinae

DMLBS slip for 'juscellatus' (made into broth)

DMLBS entry for 'juscellatus'

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