St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 403, Front cover on Flickr.

Manuscript title: 12th Century Breviary from the monastery of Disentis

Manuscript summary: This is a collection of liturgical works from the monastery of Disentis, written in the second half of the 12th century, most likely around 1200. In sequence, the volume contains a calendar (pp. 2-13), a psalter (pp. 15-90) and a hymnary (pp. 91-110), a (mixed) capitulary and collectarium (pp. 116-186), as well as an antiphonary, a lectionary, and a homiliary (pp. 203-638). Highlights from the point of view of manuscript decoration include the initial “B” at the beginning of the psalter (p. 15) and a picture of the crucifixion (p. 89). This breviary is one of the very few surviving medieval manuscripts from the monastery of Disentis. The manuscript came to Kempten around 1300; as early as the 15th century, the Disentis Breviary was held in the Abbey Library of St. Gall.

Origin: Disentis Monastery (Switzerland)

Period: 1150/1200

Image source: St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 403: 12th Century Breviary from the monastery of Disentis ( )

Non Magic Medicine In Thedas

A talk with “Surgeon” in Skyhold nets a good look at the state of medical science in Thedas. It’s quite interesting because for all that the world of Dragon Age seems to have healing magic it’s ideas about medicine seem to be quite primeval.  

Surgeon tells us that Magic can’t cure everything, and that she believes that science is the way of the future

Here is where things get interesting. Apparently Thedas believes in the idea of the Humors! History lesson time!

Belief in the four humors and their effects on the body was a system of medicine that started with the Greeks and lasted through most of history since then until the start of modern medicine (the discovery of germs and such) in the 1800s

Basically the idea is that the body is filled with four different humors. When these were in balance the body was healthy but if one had too much or too little of one type it caused illness

treatments included things such as bleeding to get rid of the excess blood.

To clarify bleeding meant cutting a patient or sticking leaches on them.

I also think however that, despite believing in humorism, people like surgeon would have had a major advantage over their real world counterparts that I think would have made non magical medicine in Thedas a LOT more successful. 

People in Thedas did not to deal with the actions of the christian church!

For one thing witch hunts would likely not have destroyed centuries worth of herbal knowledge by killing those who used herbs to heal. Herbalism is a skill that is established and respected in the world of dragon age. I mean we see the use of potions, and poultices in the games. So chances are a good deal of Surgeon’s herbal tonic’s would work if she also has some not based on the concept of humorism. 

Then there is the fact that from what I have seen I think it is unlikely that the Chantry has placed a ban on dissecting the human body, Or even if it has I find it difficult to believe that healing magic does not require a basic understanding of how the body works, and thus that it is highly unlikely people like Surgeon are going around with the impression that human’s have four stomachs because the closest thing to a human they have ever dissected or heard of the distinction of is a cow.

I think what Thedosians do not understand when it comes to medicine is what causes illness. They do not have microscopes to see germs! Magic has likely given them a decent understanding of how the body works. What they do not understand is why it stops working. “Magic can’t cure everything” “Good Health is not magic”

Ancient Egyptian Handbook of Spells Deciphered

Researchers have deciphered an ancient Egyptian handbook, revealing a series of invocations and spells.

Among other things, the “Handbook of Ritual Power,” as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat “black jaundice,” a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.

The book is about 1,300 years old, and is written in Coptic, an Egyptian language. It is made of bound pages of parchment — a type of book that researchers call a codex.

“It is a complete 20-page parchment codex, containing the handbook of a ritual practitioner,” write Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner, who are professors in Australia at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, respectively, in their book, “A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power”. Read more.


Codex Borbonicus, Aztec, Mexico ca. 16th century via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Background via Wikipedia, Codex Borbonicus:

The Codex Borbonicus is an Aztec codex written by Aztec priests shortly before or after the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The codex is named after the Palais Bourbon in France. It is held at the Bibliothèque de l'Assemblée Nationale in Paris. In 2004 Maarten Jansen and Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez proposed that it be given the indigenous name Codex Cihuacoatl, after the goddess Cihuacoatl.[1]

The Codex Borbonicus is a single 46.5-foot (14.2 m) long sheet of amatl "paper”. Although there were originally 40 accordion-folded pages, the first two and the last two pages are missing. Like all pre-Columbian codices, it was originally entirely pictorial in nature, although some Spanish descriptions were later added. There is dispute as to whether the Codex Borbonicus is pre-Columbian, as the calendar pictures all contain room above them for Spanish descriptions.

Codex Borbonicus can be divided into three sections:

The first section is one of the most intricate surviving divinatory calendars (or tonalamatl). Each page represents one of the 20 trecena (or 13-day periods), in the tonalpohualli (or 260-day year). Most of the page is taken up with a painting of the ruling deity or deities, with the remainder taken up with the 13 day-signs of the trecena and 13 other glyphs and deities.

With these 26 symbols, the priests were able to create horoscopes and divine the future. The first 18 pages of the codex (all that remain of the original 20) show considerably more wear than the last sections, very likely indicating that these pages were consulted more often.

The second section of the codex documents the Mesoamerican 52 year cycle, showing in order the dates of the first days of each of these 52 solar years. These days are correlated with the nine Lords of the Night.

The third section is focused on rituals and ceremonies, particularly those that end the 52-year cycle, when the “new fire” must be lit. This section is unfinished.


Threshcone Intensifies