Wednesday, September 28, 2016

De Viribus Herbarum - Macer Floridus

The first printed herbal!

De Viribus Herbarum
Macer Floridus

Opening line in Herbal claims it was written by Macer.
Only Macer connected with Herbal writing died in 16 BC
Most scholars believe Odo, Bishop of Meung was the true author.
Odo’s name appears on a 12th Century Manuscript of De Viribus Herbarum, located in Dresden.
A 13th Century Manuscript is titled, De Viribus Herbarum acutore Odone dicto Macro Floridio or Of the Power of Herbs, the author being Odo, Called Macer of Flowers.
Others that could have been the author include, Odo Veronesis, Odo Muremundensis and Hugo of Tours.

Original Manuscript, De Viribus Herbarum, not extant.
Earliest extant Manuyscript, Opus Macri Physici de Viribus Herbarum, now in Vienna.
1st Edition Published in 1477 by printer Arnaldus de Bruxella in Naples.
Written in Latin Verse.
First Edition was unillustrated.
Contained originally 77 Herbs
First edition with illustrations published in 1482 in Milan.
Some versions contain 86 plants, and some as many as 97.
 The Latin Verse it is written in, a hexameter, a poetic verse form, that some believe was used as a mnemonic device for physicians and apothecaries.
Most of the content is derived from Pliny, but also included are Dioscorides, Oribasus, Hippocrates and others. (23 in all according to Ludwig Choulant)

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