Early images of the body

Mansur ibn Ilyas (active 1394–1409)
Tashrih-i mansuri
ca 1600

This, the second of Mansur ibn Ilyas’s anatomical treatises, was written in 1386 CE and is the first known Islamic anatomical text to include full-body illustrations. The characteristic stylised figure with an inverted head strongly resembles those found in Latin sources from as early as the twelfth century. The figure illustrates the opening of five sections of the manuscript concerning the five systems that formed the core of the Galenic anatomical tradition. This fine seventeenth-century manuscript copy was presented to the Library by the Persian scholar E.G. Browne (1862-1926), Professor of Arabic in the University.

MS Browne P.21(10), ff. 69v–70r and 83v–83r

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