Latin Dioscorides

Latin Dioscorides

Italy — ca. 1400

Depictions and information concerning 600 plants: a masterful Dioscorides manuscript in the possession of Pope Alexander VII

  1. This manuscript was owned by Pope Alexander VII (1599–1667) and is stored today in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

  2. The text can be traced back to Pedanios Dioscorides Anazarbeus (ca. AD 40–90), a Greek doctor in the Roman Army

  3. Information on and depictions of 600 plants, 90 minerals, and 30 animal products

Latin Dioscorides

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  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Latin Dioscorides

The Latin Dioscorides is an outstanding specimen of the famous Dioscorides manuscripts. Based on the ancient text De materia medica by the Greek physician Pedanios Dioscorides Anazerbeus, it presents a comprehensive overview of medicinal plants and other natural remedies, their effects, and their application. The Latin Dioscorides, the possession of Pope Alexander VII and stored today in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, probably originated ca. 1400. It enchants with its gorgeous, colorful full-page depictions of the medicinal plants presented and offers a fascinating glimpse into the medicine and botany of antiquity.

Latin Dioscorides

The Latin Dioscorides is an outstanding specimen of the famous Dioscorides manuscripts. Based on the ancient text De materia medica by the Greek physician Pedanios Dioscorides Anazerbeus, it presents a comprehensive overview of medicinal plants and other natural remedies, their effects, and their application. The Latin Dioscorides, the possession of Pope Alexander VII and stored today in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, probably originated ca. 1400. It enchants with its gorgeous, colorful full-page depictions of the medicinal plants presented and offers a fascinating glimpse into the medicine and botany of antiquity.

One of the Most Influential Works of Medicine and Pharmacy in History

The fundamental text of pharmacopeias is referred to as the Dioscorides, which was of great significance from the 2nd century through the Middle Ages. This medicinal-botanical text was referred to in the Greek-, Latin-, and Arab-speaking worlds by those interested in informing themselves about natural remedies. The text’s name comes from the Greek physician Pedanios Dioscorides Anazarbeus. Having served as a military doctor for the Romans, he became famous due to his magnum opus with the title De materia medica. In this pharmacology, Pedanios Dioscorides Anazarbeus assembles information about 600 plants, 90 minerals, and 30 animal products, which are helpful for the healing and treatment of a wide range of illnesses and ailments.

Systematized Medical Knowledge in Gorgeous Pictures

Each of these medicinal herbs, plants, and various other remedies are presented in an illustration in the Latin Dioscorides. The gorgeous, full-page, terrifically colored, and naturally designed depictions are accompanied by a respective text, in which the therapeutic effect are described. In addition to trees, herbs, vegetables, and other plants, it presents minerals and animals, e.g. reptiles, insects, and birds are listed and presented. The outstanding quality of the drawings, both in their technical execution as well as in their gorgeous coloration, make the Latin Dioscoridesunique among the Dioscorides manuscripts.

A Manuscript from the Papal Library

The manuscript probably originated in Italy ca. 1400. In the 16th century, ten pages with an alphabetical table of contents of the remedies presented were finally appended to it. The manuscript follows the example of the famous Latin Dioscorides, which was gifted in the year 512 to Anicia Juliana, a late-antique Roman noble, and is stored today in Vienna. The magnificent manuscript of the Latin Dioscorides found itself in the possession of Cardinal Fabio Chigi, the later Pope Alexander VII (1655–1667), who was famous for his impressive private library.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Dioscórides Latino
Lateinischer Dioskurides
Size / Format
488 pages / 28.3 × 19.8 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
ca. 1400
Style
Language
Illustrations
600 plants, 90 minerals and 30 animal products, with a drawing of each one and a note of its therapeutic properties
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Cardinal Fabio Chigi, the later Pope Alexander VII (1599–1667)

Available facsimile editions:
Latin Dioscorides – Chig. F. VII. 158 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2003
Facsimile Editions

#1 Dioscórides Latino

Latin Dioscorides – Chig. F. VII. 158 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Latin Dioscorides – Chig. F. VII. 158 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2003
Binding: Hand sewn in red goatskin stamped in gold; with gold hardware faithful to the original design.
Commentary: 1 volume by Miguel Ángel González Manjarrés and María Cruz Herrero Ingelmo
Language: Spanish
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.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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