Old English Illustrated Pharmacopoeia

Old English Illustrated Pharmacopoeia

Canterbury (United Kingdom) — Third quarter of the 9th – first half of the 17th century

Old English Illustrated Pharmacopoeia

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Old English Illustrated Pharmacopoeia

Vernacular medical works appeared in Anglo-Saxon England earlier than in the rest of Europe and the Old English Illustrated Pharmacopoeia or Old English Herbarium is a compendium of texts bound together for Sir Robert Cotton that includes the only surviving illuminated Anglo-Saxon medical work, a translation of the Herbarius Apuleii and Medicina de quadrupedibus. Altogether, the compendium includes texts in Latin, Old English, Anglo-Norman, and Greek ranging from the 9th to the 17th centuries. The large-format codex was created for practical purposes and has signs of occasional use across the centuries, during which time it was most likely stored in a monastic library. It is adorned by more than 200 illustrations, making it unique among the manuscripts of these works. The other texts in the manuscript include the Compendium in Genealogia Christi by Peter of Poitiers, the Saturnalia by Macrobius, and medical recipes copied in the 1st half of the 17th century by William Harvey, the physician who discovered the circulation of blood.


Alternative Titles
Altenglisches illustriertes Arzneibuch
Size / Format
170 pages / 26.0 × 18.0 cm
Third quarter of the 9th – first half of the 17th century
Anglo-Saxon minusclue

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 Old English Illustrated Pharmacopoeia

Commentary: 1 volume by Maria A. d'Aronco and Malcolm L. Cameron
1 volume: This facsimile is not complete. Reproduction of folios 11-85 of the 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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