This manuscript contains an eleventh-century liturgical text that is very important for the study of the hymns of Byzantine and Melkite Christianity. The manuscript's value is further increased by the fact that it is a palimpsest, with an older and very significant undertext. The undertext dates back to approximately the ninth century, and contains Syriac translations of Greek medical texts. Preliminary investigations have identified several leaves from Galen's major pharmacological treatise, known in Latin as De Simplicium Medicamentorum Temperamentis et Facultatibus, and in the Syriac and Arabic traditions as the "Book of Simple Drugs". The translation seems to be by Sergius of Resh Ayina, the great sixth-century scholar who was the first to translate the Greek medical corpus and who laid the foundations for the transmission of Greek science into the Islamic world. Part of the same text has been preserved in a British Library manuscript, which is useful for comparison, but the palimpsest is much larger. For further reading, see S. Bhayro, "Syriac Medical Terminology: Sergius and Galen's Pharmacopia" in Aramaic Studies 3 (2005), pp. 147-165.
The Syriac Palimpsest data is released with license for use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Access Rights. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to The Curator of Manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.
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