Strasbourg, Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire, MS 7.141

Medical and Astrological Almanac Facsimile Edition

Our price

More Buying Choices

Request Info

Made in the mid-fifteenth century in what is presently the region between southern Germany and France, the Medical and Astrological Almanac offers a deep insight into the conceptual world of the Middle Ages. Its sumptuously decorated folios, filled with twelve medallions and twenty-three miniatures, include everything from health and nutrition advice to weather forecasts and monthly rules. Colorful book decorations and lively figures adorn each month of the manuscript, which served at the same time as a calendar, medical advisor, astrological guide, and weather forecast.

The manuscript was penned in German Swiss in the region between the cities of Basel and Strasbourg. Details of the binding suggest that it was once part of a much larger codex.

Everyday Advice Offered by the Stars

According to medieval culture, human well-being and character were shaped by cosmic forces — information about the seasons, stars' and moon's position, and weather phenomena were therefore essential to treat or prevent illnesses. The Medical and Astrological Almanac offered complex scholarly knowledge for everyday use. For instance, goat's milk should be drunk every morning together with fresh herbs in May.

It has not yet been possible to ascertain the manuscript's exact place of origin. While some of the saints' festivals in the calendar point to the diocese of Strasbourg, the style of painting is mostly that of the Upper Rhine region (Freiburg/Colmar).

The images of the monthly medallions and signs of the zodiac have long been associated with the "Master B," who also worked as an illustrator for the famous Diebold Laubers workshop in northern Alsace. However, recent studies have rejected this view.

The fine gold details and precious opaque colors suggest the codex once performed a representative function. The manuscript, which belonged to David McCandless McKell (1881-1962), is currently preserved in Strasbourg's National University Library.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Medical and Astrological Almanac": Ein Astro-medizinischer Kalender facsimile edition, published by Quaternio Verlag Luzern, 2020

Request Info / Price
Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
Please Read
International social justice movements and the debates that ensued prompted us to start considering the contents of our website from a critical point of view. This has led us to acknowledge that most of the texts in our database are Western-centered. We have asked the authors of our content to be aware of the underlying racial and cultural bias in many scholarly sources, and to try to keep in mind multiple points of view while describing the manuscripts. We also recognize that this is yet a small, first step towards fighting inequality.

If you notice any trace of racist or unjust narratives in our communications, please help us be part of the change by letting us know.

Ein Astro-medizinischer Kalender

Lucerne: Quaternio Verlag Luzern, 2020

  • Commentary (German) by Mackert, Christoph; Saurma-Jeltsch, Lieselotte
  • Limited Edition: 680 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Medical and Astrological Almanac: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.


Parchment cover with gold embossing.

Our Price

More Buying Choices

Request Info