Medieval treatises containing predictions to recognise the signs of death were based on works written by Hippocrates or attributed to him. In the case of the Capsula eburnea, the original text was written in Greek and translated into Latin in the Middle Ages. The Latin translations circulated widely in different versions: a translation from Greek between the fifth and the seventh centuries and a later translation from Arabic in the late twelfth century. During the late Middle English period, they were translated into English, among other vernacular languages. The present article aims to compare and collate four fifteenth-century prognostic treatises in Middle English with their possible Latin exemplars. The analysis of the witnesses will shed light on the shadowy landscape of pseudo-Hippocratic prognostic texts in Middle English and will contribute to trace the Latin sources of these Middle English witnesses.
May 16, 2022