Arzneibuch eines unterfränkischen Kapuzinerklosters

Augustinerbibliothek Münnerstadt


The pharmacopoeia, which probably originated in the surroundings of the Capuchin monastery Ochsenfurt (Ufr.), is an alphabetical collection of prescriptions and therapies for doctors and pharmacists. There are instructions for the production and use of remedies for various diseases that affect the general population and for wound care. Paediatrics and the healing of farm animals, e.g. cattle, are also considered. A prescription for an "eye powder" to avoid the need for glasses from now on is noteworthy, among other things.

The "Handbook" draws from several sources: for example, Oswald Gabelkover (Artzneybuch, Tübingen 1596) and Johann Nicolaus Sei[t]z, physician and "physicus" from Ochsenfurt (Hydrologia Franconiae, Würzburg 1700, with a description of the Kissingen acidulous spring) served as models. The urinary examination (uroscopy) is based on Andreas Glorez from Moravia (Vollständige Hauß- und Land-Bibliothek) and on Apollinaris, i.e. Walther Hermann Ryff (Kurtz Handbüchlein ... vieler Artzneyen, Strasbourg 1578), who died as a pharmacist in Würzburg.

The copper engravings with their depictions of saints have no relation to the content. The eight engravings by Christoph Weigel (C.P.S.C.M.) from Nuremberg are dedicated to the life of St. Norbert, an engraving by an unknown person shows St. Nepomuk and two other engravings were made by Johann Melchior Gutwein from Augsburg, who also worked in Würzburg. The engravings, probably cut out elsewhere, were glued into the pharmacopoeia, originally perhaps intended for a religious theme, coloured and framed.