The production of manuscripts can be an indication for the scientific, linguistic or medical interests of a community. In this paper the author argues that Parisinus Graecus 2293, a bilingual Greek-Arabic manuscript, containing parts of the first three books of Paul of Aegina's medical encyclopaedia, was produced in Sicily or Southern Italy, probably in Palermo during the reign of the Hohenstaufen. It is thus a testimony to the fervent scientific and medical interest of the Swabian court which promoted cultural exchange between the East and the West. The purpose of the manuscript was not so much to help medical practice but rather to further bilingualism by giving the reader a tool with which he could improve his knowledge of either language. © 2003 Cambridge University Press.