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Blackwell's Herbal - Title page

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Blackwell sought the approval of leading physicians and apothecaries. This page carries a testimonial from the President and governing body of the Royal College of Physicians. It declares that they found Blackwell's illustrations to be very useful. The illustration shows the arms of the Royal College of Physicians, with the Ancient Greek writers on botany, Theophrastus and Dioscorides, sitting on either side.

Theophrastus, a philosopher of the 3rd century BC and pupil of Aristotle, wrote two major works on botany. He was the first to provide a systematic description and classification of plants. Dioscorides was a physician who wrote the first herbal De materia medica, in the first century AD. It was later copied, translated and imitated throughout Europe and the Islamic world.

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