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August 10 , 2008

Health and Well Being: A Medieval Guide


The Tacuinum Sanitatis is a medieval handbook on Health and Well Being. First produced in Italy around 1380, it was aimed at an educated secular readership and offered concise and sensible advice on how to live a long, healthy and enjoyable life. Five handsomely illustrated manuscripts of the Tacuinum survive, all produced in Lombardy and now housed, respectively, at libraries in Rome, Vienna, Paris, Rouen and Liège. The Latin text describes in detail the beneficial and harmful properties of plants and foodstuffs, as well as considering social, physiological and psychological aspects of wellness, and is accompanied by 132 full colour images from 6th century Byzantium, 11th century Iraq and 14th century Italy.

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