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Important source on mediaeval pharmacology: the fundamental Renaissance work for the study of medicinal plants

In hoc volumine haec continentu.r [!] Ioannis Baptistae Egnatii Veneti in Dioscoridem ab Hermolao Barbaro tralatum annotamenta. Quibus morborum et remediorum vocabula obscuriora in usum etiam mediocriter eruditorum explicantur ...
Venice, Francesco Barbaro & Giovanni Bartolomeo Gabiano for Giovanni & Gregorio De Gregori, 1 February 1516. 2 parts in 1 volume. Folio (22.5 x 32 cm). Later vellum with old gold-tooled red spine label. [36], “CXXXIII” [= CXXXIV], 106 ll.
€ 8,500
The first authoritative work of antiquity on the "materia medica", the branch of science treating remedial substances, based on the authors first-hand research throughout the Middle East. This is the rare first edition to include the commentary by G. B. Egnatio: the third Latin (altogether the fourth) edition of Dioscorides, the first to contain the translation of Ermolao Barbaro. The appendix contains the first edition ever of "Corollarii", Barbaros conclusions, sometimes considered a separate work by bibliographers.
"Dioscorides work is the authoritative source on the materia medica of antiquity. He described over 600 plants and plant principles" (Garrison/M.). "Very little is known about its author ..., except that he was a Cilician Greek who lived in the time of Claudius and Nero, and that he travelled widely in the Middle East, probably as a physician in the Roman army ... It is no exaggeration to say that from its publication until well into the 17th century ... all botanical studies were based on this book, and the greater part of any new botanical matter published during the 16th and 17th centuries was in the form of commentary on Dioscorides ... It is only with the rise of modern scientific botany in the 18th century that his influence began to wane" (PMM).
Occasional light browning with more noticeable brown stains in the final leaves; a few wormholes (some within the text). A small paper flaw to the lower edge of the last few pages. Provenance: 1) 17th-century ink owners inscription of Sinobaldi di Verona on title-page; 2) French bookseller Lucien Scheler (1902-99) with his collation mark "Coll. complet / L.S." pencilled on paste-down. Bird 669; Choulant, Hdb. ält. Med. 80 (erroneously stating "s. l. e. a.") & 82; Durling 1140; Edit 16, CNCE 17255; Haeser II, 9; IA 154.303, 112.852; Johnston, The Cleveland herbal, botanical, and horticultural collections (1992), 28; Panzer VIII, 429, 767; Proctor/Isaac 12338; USTC 827005; Wellcome I, 1794; cf. PMM 20; not in Adams; Lesky; Osler; Waller.
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Related Subjects:

Early printing & manuscripts  >  Medicine & Pharmacy
Medicine & pharmacy  >  Herbals & Medical Botany | Medicine & Pharmacy pre 1700
Middle east & islamic world  >  Medicine & Science