Bald's Leechbook

Bald's Leechbook is a compilation of medical texts likely composed in the ninth century. It gets its name from a Latin colophon: Bald habet hunc librum Cild quem conscribere iussit - Bald owns this book which he ordered Cild to compile. While the manuscript is collectively known as Bald's leechbook, the inscription occurs after the first two books, while a collection of 73 medicinal recipes appears after it. These are known as Leechbook III.

The term 'leechbook' is a slightly misleading modernisation of 'læceboc', where 'læce - doctor', and 'boc - book'. It has nothing to do with leeches.

Bald's Leechbook survives in only one manuscript: British Library Royal MS 12 D XVII. The following is a transcription from f.20v of that manuscript.

Return to Text Selection Continue to Text