SIMS Online Lecture: Dioscorides Disordered: Penn's Persian Kitab al-Hashayish
Marianna Shreve Simpson, Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies Research Associate
Friday, February 16 2024, 12:00 - 1:30 pm EST
Although the medieval history of the textual transmission of Dioscorides' De Materia Medica from the Greek to Syriac to Arabic is well-documented, the text's early modern translation from the Arabic (Khawass al-Ashjar) to Persian (Kitab al-Hashayish) has been little studied. Likewise, scant attention has been paid to the few illustrated copies of the Persian version known today. By good fortune, a portion of one such rare Kitab al-Hashayish--probably datable to the 17th century and with its folios totally out of textual order--belongs to the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (LJS 278). This presentation introduces the manuscript's codicology, production, iconography, and painting styles, as well as the methodology employed in an effort to reconstruct its original textual sequence. Also under consideration here is the uncertain attribution of LJS 278, a problem directly related to its provenance.