This thesis is concerned with the study of a version of Henry Daniel’s Liber Uricrisiarum found in Gonville & Caius 336/725. The Liber Uricrisiarum is a Middle English elaboration on Isaac Judaeus’ De Urinis, as presented in Latin by Constantinus Africanus. The aim of its author and translator, Henry Daniel, was to provide a treatise on uroscopy in English, as a help to contemporary lay doctors and public-minded practitioners of medicine. Access to books and medical literature was largely a privilege of the university educated physicians of the time, who possessed more authoritarian positions, and, in addition, mastered Latin and Greek, in which this literature was mostly written. The Liber Uricrisiarum is only one of many vernacular texts of the period which exemplify the social distinction between the lay doctors and the university educated physicians.
Uroscopy was a fundamental medical discipline in the Middle Ages, and central in the diagnosing of patients’ conditions. In order to practise the art, the doctor would have to have a good understanding of the colours and contents of urine, and of how to examine it properly. The doctor also needed to have knowledge of the patient’sphysical state, complexioun, emotional state, the humours, and also of astrology, anatomy and digestion and so on. Many manuscripts contain information from the Liber Uricrisiarum in varying length and form. The relationship between the various versions is often diffuse, and information about their origin is a science unto itself. This thesis will principally deal with a so-called short version found in MS Gonville & Caius 336/725. It will also comment on a long version found in Wellcome MS 225, and examine the differences between the two. The Wellcome version which I will use is transcribed and analyzed in a doctoral dissertation by Joanne Jasin.
The aim of this study is twofold. The first and most basic task is to transcribe and print the short version of the Liber Uricrisiarum from Gonville & Caius MS 336/725. This will make it easier to carry out the second part of the study, and it will make the text accessible to anyone interested. The text has so far only been available in itsentirety in the MS and on microfilm, in a hand that is not easily legible to the modern reader. As a part of this transcription, a glossary of terms central to the text is also made available.The second part of the study is to compare the short version mentioned above, with the long version found in Wellcome MS 225. The focus is to point out the differences between the two versions, and find out what makes one version longer, and what elements are, for instance, lacking in the other.