Written in Italian and consisting of 80 leaves, this manuscript
medicine is attributed to Giordan Ruffo
, stable master at the Italian court
of Frederick II (1194-1250), King of Sicily and the Holy Roman Empire.
It is generally considered the starting point for the regeneration of western
veterinary practice in the Renaissance. Ruffo's original work was widely
copied over the next two centuries with at least 17 Latin, eight Italian,
and three Sicilian versions identified, along with five in French and one
each in Hebrew and German. Ruffo and his important work is sometimes confused
with other early writers in the field, most notably Laurentius Rusius
a fourteenth century author and veterinarian, who incorporated whole sections
of Ruffo's work into his own, usually without acknowledgement. Confusion
is compounded by the fact that Ruffo's name has been spelled 10 different
ways and Rusius' in more than twenty-five!