Dioscorides, Liber de virtutibus herbarium

Description

The Greek physician, Dioscorides (b. c. 40, d. 90), wrote a treatise on the medical properties of plants, animal products and minerals. It was translated into Latin and became a popular source for medical information. 

This copy was made in the early 9th century and is one of only three known early copies. The book was probably produced at Saint-Martin at Tours, a monastery closely associated with Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor from 800 to 814.

Though there is little decoration, the writing is a fine example of the clear, legible style that was developed by scholars in Charlemagne’s circle as part of an initiative to revive and spread learning in the Empire.

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Full title:
Dioscorides, Liber de virtutibus herbarium
Created:
1st half of the 9th century, Tours
Format:
Manuscript
Creator:
Dioscorides
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Shelfmark:
Latin 12995

Full catalogue details

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Medical knowledge in the early medieval period

Article by:
Taylor McCall
Themes:
Science and nature, History and learning

Understanding of the human body and the treatment of illness in the Middle Ages derived from the works of classical authors as well as contemporary scholars. Taylor McCall examines popular medical texts and their circulation before 1200.