Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts

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LJS 459 - Sirr al-asrār
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Illustrations: 
Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection: LJS 459 - Sirr al-asrār
Title:
Secretum secretorum. Arabic.
Sirr al-asrār.
Origin:
[Mosul?, Iraq, between 1193 and 1211]
Physical description:
127 leaves : paper, col. ill. ; 190 x 127 (120 x 65) mm. bound to 190 x 140 mm.
Summary:
Early copy of the long form of this popular treatise presented as a letter from Aristotle to Alexander the Great on statecraft, astronomy, astrology, magic, and medicine. The ending of the manuscript is missing; the text breaks off during a discussion of magical alphabets.
Notes:
Ms. codex.
Title from introduction (f. 1v).
Foliation: Paper, i + 127; 1-127, later foliation ink, upper left recto.
Layout: Written in 9 long lines.
Script: Written in naskh script, with some headings in a larger naskh and some in thuluth; opening bismillāh in Early Abbasid style script (f. 1v); occasional marginal notes in a later hand.
Decoration: Illuminated name and titles of Nūr al-Dīn Arslān Shah (f. 1r); bismillāh in blue ink outlined in red (f. 1v); open octagon in gold, red, and blue, with text running around the edge (f. 80r); geometric illustration in black, gold, and red (f. 108v); tables outlined in red ink with headings in red and green ink (f. 114v-117r); names of the planets in colored inks (f. 124r); significant words, phrases, and punctuation in red ink.
Binding: 15th-century blind-stamped morocco with flap (Type II), different but coordinating stamps on each board and flap; repaired.
Origin: Probably written in Mosul, Iraq, between 1193 and 1211 (reign of owner named on f. 1r).
Cite as:
UPenn LJS 459.
Manuscript location:
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts University of Pennsylvania LJS 459
Vernacular script:
سر الاسرار.
نور الدين ارسلان شاه، former owner.
 
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