Maps, Codex, Manuscripts, Incunabula, & Book Arts Collection: Tabula festorum mobilium cum canone

This medieval “belt book,” an almanac and medical reference guide, was once carried by a physician on a cord attached to his girdle. Written on parchment, each sheet is folded in sixths, and is fastened to the others by a narrow “tail” at its base. The book includes a calendar, table of eclipses, and an anatomical sketch indicating veins for bloodletting. The physician would have used this urine chart as a diagnostic tool. Each flask shows stages of digestion and the likely prognosis—the text for flasks at the 5 o’clock position reads, “these urines signify death.”