Book of Simple Medicines - Codex Bruxellensis

Book of Simple Medicines - Codex Bruxellensis

France — Second half of the 15th century

Book of Simple Medicines - Codex Bruxellensis

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Book of Simple Medicines - Codex Bruxellensis

Originally written in Latin by Matthaeus Platearius during the 12th century under the title Circa Instans, the Book of Simple Medicines enjoyed widespread popularity over the coming centuries and was translated into France under the title Le Livre des simples medecines. Named after its home in Belgium, the Codex Bruxellensis IV is a late-15th century manuscript of this major medieval pharmacopeia. It was written on paper in an elegant cursive script by a skilled hand using maroon ink. A total of 457 naturalistic miniatures adorn the alphabetical list of “simples” – unadulterated vegetable, mineral, or animal products with medicinal applications. The work of Platearius is appended here with knowledge from additional sources like the famous Arab physician ibn Butlan. Unlike other manuscripts, which merely copied illustrations from earlier works, the miniatures of the Codex Bruxellensis IV appear to be based on direct observation of nature by the artists, making it stand out among the two dozen surviving manuscript copies of the pharmacopeia.


Alternative Titles
Buch der einfachen Heilmittel - Codex Bruxellensis
Livre des Simples Medecines: Codex Bruxellensis
Codex Bruxellensis IV. 1024
Book of Simple Medicines
Buch der einfachen Heilmittel
Livre des Simples Medecines
Second half of the 15th century
457 miniatures (394 plants, 10 animals, 11 minerals, 42 others)
French pharmacopoeia

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 Livre des Simples Medecines: Codex Bruxellensis IV. 1024

Limited Edition: 2000 copies
Commentary: 1 volume by Carmélia Opsomer and Guy Beaujouan
Language: English
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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