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Book/Printed Material Treatise on Horses.

About this Item


  • Treatise on Horses.


  • This untitled book on the science of training horses is a treatise that has been inaccurately attributed to Wahb ibn Munabbih (654 or 655--circa 728), a rawi (narrator) of Yemeni and Persian origins known for his transmission of what is called in Islamic hadith terminology the Isrā'īliyyāt (Judeo-Christian traditions). The treatise begins with a series of hadiths in which Muhammad talked about horses. But the bulk of the work is a long ra'iyah (a poem rhyming in "r") purportedly recited in front of Sultan Salah al-Din al-Ayubbi (Saladin) by an unnamed poet identified only as "our sheikh, the sheikh of the Ansar." Impressed by the poet's knowledge, the sultan was said to have appointed him commander of all royal stables. Saladin, however, lived in the 12th century, more than 450 years after Ibn Munabbih, making the attribution of the treatise to the latter impossible. In the poem, where each line comes with its own commentary, the author describes the features and qualities of a good horse. Folio 14 includes a drawing of a black horse, with text specifying the ailments that might afflict each of its body parts. Folio 18 shows a drawing of a mare and her foal, and the drawing on folio 19 represents a white horse seemingly going up a steep hill. Folio 20 shows a drawing of Ḥaizum, believed in some sources to be the Archangel Gabriel's horse. A description of horse anatomy follows, illustrated by three drawings, one of which represents a rudimentary and inaccurate skeleton of a horse. The text then reverts back to the poem, describing the shortcomings of horses and their health, including common diseases, as well as instructions on training, the treatment of diseases, defensive and offensive weapons of riders, information on harnesses, and fighting. The treatise, which concludes with a few passages in rhyming prose, appears to have been written in Egypt around the end of the 15th century. A reference at the end of the treatise states that the unknown poet "read and memorized Kitab al-Zurduqah (The book of combat lines)," a known work by an unknown author who lived in Mamluk Egypt. The manuscript presented here is dated 1180 AH (1670).

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1670.


  • -  Egypt
  • -  1670
  • -  Anatomy
  • -  Animals
  • -  Arabic manuscripts
  • -  Arabic poetry
  • -  Domestic animals
  • -  Horses


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 100 folios : illustrations ; 33 x 22 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of France.
  • -  Content in Arabic.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021668181

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Treatise on Horses. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1670] Pdf.

APA citation style:

(1670) Treatise on Horses. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Treatise on Horses. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1670] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.