Tractatus de magnete et operationibus eius

tractatusWith other tracts

England, 14th century.

View the full text of this manuscript online.

Bound together in this volume are the Tractatus de Magnetate et Operationibus eius (the thirteenth-century letter on the magnet by Petrus Peregrinus); a university handbook on the theory of numbers, proportions and harmony; the seven signs of bad breeding; the seven signs of elegance; and household and medical recipes. Included is one of the oldest known surviving English mead recipes (folio 20r).The manuscript, written on vellum in brown ink with red chapter headings and red and blue initials, has 35 leaves and measures approximately 14.5 cm by 11 cm. Much of the text is in Latin, however the recipes are mostly in English. 


The recipes have been transcribed and can be viewed through the links on our Tractatus Folios page. C. Tidmarsh Major performed the original transcription, which was later revised by Peter Murray Jones (see following note). Original spellings have been maintained; no corrections or improvements have been made. 

Transcriber’s note:  "Thorn has been rendered þ, yogh has been rendered as a g.  Words within curly brackets represent the symbols for drachma and ounce.  Capitalisation and punctuation follow the manuscript, with a period representing punctus elevatus, a double slash representing a paraph mark, a single slash as found in the manuscript.  Bold lettering represents rubricated words.  Line divisions follow the manuscript." 

Peter Murray Jones, King's College, Cambridge University, October 2001.