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Pristina Medicamenta
Ancient and Medieval Medical Botany



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ISBN 9780860787730
Published March 15, 1999 by Routledge
348 Pages

 
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Book Description

Jerry Stannard assembled a legendary collection of materials on the history of botany from Homer to Linnaeus, and his mastery of the field was acknowledged as incomparable. However, his work was sadly cut short by his death, and so did not result in the ultimate synthesis he envisioned; the present volume, and its companion, Herbs and Herbalism in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, bring together his important output in articles and studies. In this selection of papers on pharmacy and medical botany, from the classical period to 1500, Stannard combined philological expertise with the scientific perspective of modern pharmacology to measure the descriptive accuracy and therapeutic efficacy of Materia Medica from Hippocrates to the Renaissance. His sources included not only the obvious technical treatises but also works of literature and the traditions of folklore especially in Italy. Three studies of the scholastic botany of Albertus Magnus form the centrepiece of the collection, and the detailed indexes cover both common and scientific names of plants.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, John M. Riddle; Bibliography of publications by Jerry Stannard; Ancient World: Hippocratic Pharmacology; Pliny and Roman botany; Medicinal plants and folk remedies in Pliny, Historia naturalis; Lucianic natural history; Materia Medica and philosophic theory in Aretaeus; Marcellus of Bordeaux and the beginnings of medieval Materia Medica; Lost botanical writings of antiquity; Byzantium: Byzantine botanical lexicography; Aspects of Byzantine Materia Medica; Medieval West: Benedictus Crispus, an 8th-century medical poet; Medieval Italian medical botany; Greco-Roman Materia Medica in medieval Germany; Albertus Magnus and medieval herbalism; The botany of St. Albert the Great; Identification of the plants described by Albertus Magnus, De vegetabilibus, lib. VI; Bartholomaeus Anglicus and 13th-century botanical nomenclature; Vegetable gums and resins in medieval recipe literature; A 15th-century botanical glossary (Huntington Library MS HM 64); Index.

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Reviews

'Pristina Medicamenta stands as one of the most outstanding contributions to the study of classical and Medieval botany currently in print' Herbs- Journal of the Herb Society 'Jerry Stannard probably did more than any man this century to kindle academic interest in ancient medical botany, yet his death in 1988 scarcely attracted more than a single obituary. So Variorum’s two selected collections, issued as a tribute to his memory, are extremely welcome...These volumes stand together as the most outstanding contribution to the study of classical and mediaeval botany currently in print.' Historic Gardens Review '... a work that belongs in every history of medicine library.' Sudhoffs Archiv