French translation of classic hippiatry treatise now online

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 1st, 2017 in General

“Le Naceri”, Nicolas Perron’s (1798-1876) classic translation into French of the masterpiece of Andalusian author Abu Bakr Ibn Badr Eddine Ibn al-Mundhir al-Baitar, who was master of horses and head veterinarian of Mamluk Sultan Al-Nasir ibn Muhammad ibn Qalawun (1245-1341) is now available in Gallica, the digitalized archives of the French National Library. The publication of Perron’s translation caused quite a sensation in nineteenth European equestrian horse circles, and helped spread the idea that Arabic veterinary science and horsemanship was the most advanced of its time.

The full reference to the book is “Abu Bakr ibn Badr, Le Nâçerî. La perfection des deux arts ou traité complet d’hippologie et d’hippiatrie arabes. Traduit de l’arabe d’Abou Bekr ibn Bedr par M. Perron. Paris, Bouchard-Huzard, 3 vol., 1852, 1859 et 1860.”

The original manuscript titled “kitab kashif al-wayl fi ma’rifat wa ‘ilaj amrad al-khayl” appears to have been written in Cairo for the Mamluk Sultan in 1333 AD, and is available somewhere in Istanbul. A later copy from the XVIIIth turned up at Christies’ a few years ago, and my friends Yahya Eliwa al-Tahawi and Muhammad Saud al-Tahawi have two later copies from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, done by a Syrian copyist.


One Response to “French translation of classic hippiatry treatise now online”

  1. This illustration is fantastic! I wish I could read Arabic!

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