Tractatus de Herbis - Egerton 747

Tractatus de Herbis - Egerton 747

Salerno (Italy) — Ca. 1280–1310

Tractatus de Herbis - Egerton 747

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Tractatus de Herbis - Egerton 747

Founded during the 9th century in the southern Italian city of Salerno, the Schola Medica Salernitana was the first and most important medical school in Western Europe. It was here that Greek and Arabic medical texts were first translated into Latin before being copied and disseminated across the continent. One of the most popular and influential of these texts was the Tractatus de herbis, a pharmacopeia consisting of 524 chapters combining the knowledge of various other works concerning the medicinal uses of substances derived from plants, animals, and minerals. An exceptionally artistic manuscript of the work originating from Italy ca. 1300 is stored under the shelf mark Egerton 747 in the British Library. It is the oldest surviving and probably the original manuscript of the Tractatus de herbis and for the first time since Late Antiquity, the illustrations of the plants appear to be based on direct observation, probably from a botanical garden. These miniatures have no equal among contemporary works of art – not even panel paintings and murals from the period can rival them.


Alternative Titles
Abhandlung über Heilpflanzen - Egerton 747
De Simplici Medicina
Circa instans
Antidotarium Nicolai
Size / Format
147 folios / 36.0 × 24.0 cm
Ca. 1280–1310
6 full-page miniatures with titles; Large miniatures throughout the Tractatus de herbis illustrate each plant or substance described; 2 historiated initials; Initials in red and blue; Border decoration
Collection of medical texts: Tractatus de herbis, text on forecasting with a lunar calendar, Antidotarium Nicolai, De dosibus medicinarum, a substitution list in case a certain ingredient is not available, 3 texts on weights and measures, synonyms for pla
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Reverend John Josias Conybeare
Sir Frederick Madden

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 A Medieval Herbal

Commentary: 1 volume by Minta Collins and Sandra Raphael
Language: English
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Facsimile and commentary are housed in one volume in this edition, with the commentary printed in a separate section. 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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