Liber dietarium universalium et particularium


Victoria, B.C., University of Victoria Libraries, Fragm.Lat.4

Remarks by the Editor

Description for Fragmentarium produced as part of the course "In the Archives" taught by Prof. Adrienne Williams Boyarin, University of Victoria, 2021. Data based on the Master's research of James Kendrick (Fall term 2016). 

General Information

Title Liber dietarium universalium et particularium
Shelfmarks Fragm.Lat.4
Material Parchment
Place of Origin France
Date of Origin 1250–1300
General Remarks

Fragment of Constantine the African's  Liber dietarium universalium et particularium (a Latin translation of Isaac Israeli's Arabic  Kitāb al-aghdhiya) , a standard text in the medieval medical curriculum. This leaf includes the beginning of the third section on "particulars," on the medicinal and dietary uses of melon, cucumber, squash, watermelon, and lettuce.

Current Condition

Extent 1 leaf
Dimensions 255 x 150 mm
More about the Current Condition

Fragm.Lat.4 appears to have been cut out of its original codex and reused as a wrapper or binding aid, such that, in the initial assessment, the orientation of its recto and verso were misunderstood (Kwakkel, UVic, 2006). When the fragment was reused, its orientation was correctly preserved (judging by stitching holes), but it was also sloppily trimmed along the opposite margin, so that marginal corrections are cut off on both sides. The current margin measurements, before identification of the text and its order, were therefore misleading. This copy of the Liber dietarium , however, was never a pristine production: the parchment is of “mediocre quality” (per Kwakkel) and the scribe made many errors.


  • Content Item
    • Persons Constantine the African, Isaac Israeli
    • Text Language Latin
    • Title Liber dietarium universalium et particularium
    • Content Description

      The leaf records part of the Latin version of Isaac's Arabic text on diets ( Kitāb al-aghdhiya ), as translated by the eleventh-century Benedictine monk Constantine the African. The full text of the fragment - on the medicinal and nutritional uses of melon, cucumber, squash, watermelon, and lettuce - can be verified through comparison with what is still the only edition of the complete Liber dietarium , printed in the 1515 Opera omnia Ysaac in Lyon by Andreas Turinus.

    • Fragm.Lat.4 recto
    • Edition Isaac Judaeus, Omnia opera Ysaac, ff. 124r–125r (Lyon: A. Turinus, 1515).


  • Adrienne Williams Boyarin, Ravana Eagleheart, James Kendrick, Lynnea Ness, and Merridy Peters. "Medieval Manuscripts and Fragments at the University of Victoria: An Early Grant of Hubert de Burgh, Constantine the African's Translation of Isaac Israeli, and a Mendicant Breviary between Italy and Croatia." Florilegium 33 (2016): 193-232, at 200-203 [descriptive information] and 210-14 [transcription].
  • James Kendrick, "A Newly-Identified Fragment of Constantine the African at the University of Victoria," MA thesis, University of Victoria, 2016.

Other available descriptions