"Serapion the Younger
... is called "the Younger" to distinguish him from Serapion the Elder, aka Yahya ibn Sarafyun
, an earlier medical writer with whom he was often confused. Serapion the Younger's Simple Medicaments
was likely written in Arabic, but no Arabic copy survives, and there is no record of a knowledge of the book among medieval Arabic authors.
The book was translated to Latin in the late 13th century and was widely circulated in late medieval Latin medical circles.
Portions of the Latin text make a good match with portions of a surviving Arabic text Kitab al-adwiya al-mufrada
attributed to Ibn Wafid
(died 1074 or 1067).
The entire Latin text is very heavily reliant on medieval Arabic medicinal literature; and it is essentially just a compilation of such literature. It is exceedingly clear that the book was not originally written in a Latin language.
"In the title Simple Medicaments
, "simple" means non-compound: a practical medicine most often consisted of a mix of two or more "simples". The work was written for physicians and apothecaries
. In the book's early part, Serapion the Younger classifies substances according to their medicinal properties, and discourses on their actions.
The remainder and largest part of the book is a compendium of information on individual medicaments quoted from Dioscorides
, and numerous named medieval Arabic writers on medicaments, with relatively brief supporting remarks by himself" (Wikipedia article on Serapion the Younger, accessed 5-2020).ISTC No. is00467000
. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link