Volume XV · Autumn 1959 · Number 1
--MARGARET K. TOTH
A herbal has been defined as a book about plants which describes their appearance and medicinal value. Also, herbals usually contain directions for gathering and storing these plants, and recipes for their use to cure the ills of man and beast. Studies of the uses of plants in animal husbandry will not be considered here, but these applications are nearly as fascinating as the ones considered in this article with reference to homo sapiens.
A few months ago the Library purchased with income from the Hiram Olsan Fund Herbals of Five Centuries, by Claus Nissen, a contemporary German botanist. One hundred copies of this book, which is in two parts, were published in Zurich in 1958. The main part of the work consists of fifty plates gathered from incomplete herbals in the stocks of three antiquarian booksellers, who pooled their resources and selected the leaves which were most representative and attractive. Thus we have a set of fifty original woodcuts and etchings illustrating the development of plant illustration and typography from the fifteenth to the middle of the nineteenth centuries. Every set of illustrations has been assembled individually so that no single copy matches the others. The second part of the book, the text, was written by Dr. Claus Nissen and contains a history of herbals, a list of reference works about herbals, and a complete description and bibliography for each of the fifty plates which make up the first part.
The acquisition of Herbals of Five Centuries led to an examination of the holdings of Rush Rhees Library and the Edward G. Miner Library at the University's School of Medicine and Dentistry. We found several interesting and attractive herbals which we felt merited detailed description. These and others, including some excellent eighteenth- and nineteenth-century publications, will be in the exhibit cases in the foyer at Rush Rhees Library during the month of December.
The earliest herbal in our collection is the German translation of Leonhard Fuchs' De historia stirpium. The original work in Latin first appeared in 1542 to be followed by the New Kreüterbuch/in welchem nit allein die gantz Histori/das ist/Namen/Gestalt/Statt vnd Zeit der Wachsung/ Natur/Kraft vnd Würckung/des meysten Theyls der Kreüter so in teütschen vnnd andern Landen wachsen/mit dem besten Vleiss beschriben/sonder auch aller derselben Wurtzel/Stengel Bletter/Blumen/Samen/Frücht/vnd in Summa die gantze Gestalt/allso arlich vnd kunstlich abgebildet vnd contrafayt ist/das dessgleichen vormals nie gesehen/noch an Tag komen... printed in Basle by Michael Isingrin in 1543. The book is fifteen inches high, contains 854 pages, four portraits, and over five hundred woodcuts by Veit Rudolff Speckle. It is in the original binding of wooden boards covered with stamped vellum, with decorative metal mountings on the corners and in the center of the front cover. At one time there were metal clasps to hold the volume together but only a part of one of these remains. The printer's mark appears on the title page and is repeated on the last leaf. A full-length portrait of the author appears on the verso of the title page, and at the end of the work is a page containing three named portraits: Heinrich Füllmaurer, who drew the plants from nature, Albrecht Meyer, who copied the drawings onto the wood, and Veit Rudolff Speckle, who actually cut the blocks.
Leonhard Fuchs was born in Bavaria in 1501. He became a student at the University of Erfurt and is said to have received a bachelor's degree from that institution when he was only thirteen years old. After teaching school for a short time he resumed his studies, this time for a master of arts degree from the University of Ingolstadt. Still later he turned his attention to the study of medicine, took his doctor's degree, and became a practicing physician. As a physician and as a teacher he was in great demand and became especially well known for his work as a physician. In spite of his professional activities he found time to produce one of the greatest botanical masterpieces of his era. Fuchsia was named in his honor. His New Kreüterbuch is particularly important for the beauty of the illustrations, which are characterized by exquisite attention to detail and a superior quality of execution. His illustrations were a strong influence on botanists who came after him, many of them copying his drawings exactly or even using his wood blocks to illustrate their works. Fuchs, whose work appeared almost two centuries before Linnaeus' Systema naturae, and Genera plantarum, made no attempt at a natural grouping of plants but simply arranged them in alphabetical order, which makes his herbal unimportant in the history of systematic classification. This book was purchased for the Medical Library from the Edward Wright Mulligan Gift Fund.
An interesting compilation of early medical writings: Medici antique omnes, qui latinis diversorum morborvm genera & remedia perfecuti sunt, undique con quisiti, & uno uolumine comprehensi, ut eorum, qui se medicinae studio dediderunt, commodo consulatur. . . bears the imprint "Apud Aldi fihios, Venetiis, 1547." This large volume, bound in boards covered with vellum, is a fine example of the work of the Aldine Press. The title page and end page show the printer's mark used by this press to identify its publications. Of the thirteen early Roman writers represented, two have the greatest interest for a study of early herbals. Antonius Musa, physician to the Emperor Augustus, wrote a treatise on betony, an herb much prized by the ancients and, according to Musa, useful in the treatment of twenty-nine different ailments, and good for man's soul as well as his body. This treatise is entitled Libellvs vtilissimus de betonica. It is said to have been abridged and used in the Herbarium of Apuleius Barbarus. De herbarvm virtvtibus is a medieval Latin poem ascribed to Aemilius Macer, a contemporary of Virgil and Ovid, which extolls the virtues of seventy-seven plants. In this compilation we have the poems with added commentaries by John Acronius, evidently reprinted from an edition which first appeared in Basle in 1527. There is some question as to the date of the edition containing the Acronius commentaries because, according to several biographical dictionaries, Acronius, a Dutch physician, was born in 1520 and he would hardly have had a hand in such a work at the age of seven, no matter how precocious. There is also question as to the authorship of the poems themselves, some authorities believing that they are wrongly ascribed to Aemilius Macer, and that they are really the work of Floridus Macer. The title as given in Medici antiqve is as follows: Aemilius Macer De herbarvm virtvtibvs, cum Ioannis Atrociani commentariis longe vtilissimis.
These few lines from "De hysopo" may be of interest:
"Est hysopum siccum, calidumquoque. Tertius illi
Est in utroque gradus: eius decoctio facta
Sic, ut cocta simul sint mel, ficus quoque sicca,
Prodest non modicum patientibus hausta catarrhum."
The prime use of this aromatic plant known to us as hyssop seems to have been for catarrh, the prescription being to mix the herb with honey and dried figs.
This title was also purchased for the Medical Library from the Edward Wright Mulligan Gift Fund.
Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek botanist of the first century A.D., was the author of the celebrated Materia medica in which more than five hundred plants were described or named. For sixteen centuries his work was considered the highest authority for medical students and botanists. The only extant copy of this work is known as the Juliana Anicia codex in the Österreichische National Bibliothek at Vienna. This contains several works, among them a book on birds, as well as a section of Materia medica which has illustrations added to Dioscorides' text. This codex is said to have been copied and illustrated in 512 A.D. by a Byzantine at the expense of Juliana Anicia, the daughter of the Emperor Flavius Anicius. The great influence and importance of Dioscorides' work is shown by the fact that over the centuries there have been many printings of it in varying forms. We have a 1549 edition from the press of Arnold Birkman in Paris, Dioscoridis libri octo graece et latine. Castigationes in eosdem libros. Although there are no illustrations in our copy there are several interesting features worth notice. It contains Greek and Latin text in parallel columns, the Latin translation having been done by Jean Ruel, a French physician and botanist, born at Soissons in 1479, whose De natura stirpium was published in Basle in 1536. In addition, there is a section at the end of the volume entitled "Castigationes," containing corrections or errata which are the work of Jacques Goupyl, a French physician of the sixteenth century, who edited several Greek works and was himself responsible for a Latin translation of Dioscorides' Materia medica. In 1655 John Goodyer translated the Dioscorides herbal into English but his work was never printed. It was not until 1933 thatThe Greek Herbal of Dioscorides, was published by the Oxford University Press. This modern edition contains black-and-white illustrations taken from the Juliana Anicia codex and the English translation of John Goodyer. It was edited by Robert Theodore Gunther, an English scientist, whose special interest was the history of science, and who was largely responsible for the founding of the Oxford Museum for the History of Science.
I have already mentioned the work of Leonhard Fuchs; my justification for describing his New Kreüterbuch first being that in point of time this book is the oldest herbal in our collections. I would like to go back now to the German botanists who, like Fuchs, belong to the first half of the sixteenth century. Otto Brunfels, Leonhard Fuchs, and Hieronymus Bock have been called the "Fathers of German Botany." In their work we find a breaking away from the conventionalized aspects that had become traditional in the very early herbals and a real return to nature. Plants were represented more naturalistically. We do not own any of Brunfels works, but we have an edition of Bock's Kreütterbuch which was published in Strassburg by Josias Rihel in 1577. This first appeared in 1539 under the title New Kreutterbuch. The first edition was published without illustrations but the second and subsequent editions with a shortened title contained many woodcuts, some of which were copied from Fuchs' herbal. Others, including a portrait of Bock, were executed by David Kendal. In our copy the illustrations have all been colored by hand. In the third part of the book, which deals with trees, the artist introduced figures of animals and people to give more interest to his illustrations. The picture of the oak tree includes a swineherd and his swine, the swine feeding on the fruit of the oak. Bock's descriptions were so clear that illustrations were not really necessary for a complete understanding of his work. He was said to have been a keen collector and also to have described only the plants which he had personally observed. His independent judgment of the real values of the plants he described and his unwillingness to accept the magical properties ascribed to certain plants made his work extremely valuable.
Although Jacob Theodor's herbal did not appear until almost the end of the sixteenth century, he should be mentioned here with the other German herbalists. His work is not considered to be of great importance, but he was closely connected with the "Fathers of German Botany," having studied under both Brunfels and Bock. Theodor, who called himself Tabernaemontanus in his books, was a physician who studied botany as a hobby. He planned a herbal for many years but was unable to publish it because he could not afford the cost of the illustrations. However this difficulty was overcome, and in 1588 his Neuw Kreuterbuch appeared. We have a much later edition, entitled Neu vollkommen Kräuter-buch, published in Basle by Johann Ludwig König in 1731. This is a very large, profusely illustrated book, containing very fine woodcuts. The unfortunate thing about the woodcuts is that most of them are not original, having been used before by Bock, Fuchs, Dodoens, de l'Ecluse, and de l'Obel, and still later for Gerard's Herbal which was published in England in 1578. This book was presented to the Medical Library by Dr. C. B. Von Spiegel of Utica.
Christopher Plantin was a famous printer of Antwerp during the latter half of the sixteenth century. He had a large printing establishment, employed many printers to run his twenty presses, and utilized the work of several artists in illustrations for his books, which ranged from his famous polyglot Bible to botanical works of three of the most important Dutch botanists of the period. In 1576 Plantin published a book containing two works of Matthias de l'Obel in a single volume. De l'Obel (in whose honor the little garden flower lobelia was named) was born in Lilie in 1538. He studied medicine at Montpellier under Guillaume Rondelet, who left him his botanical manuscripts. At Montpellier he became acquainted with Pierre Pena, with whom he later collaborated to produceNova stirpium adversaria. When his school days were over, de l'Obel went to Antwerp, where he practiced medicine and became physician to the Prince of Orange, a post he held until that gentleman's untimely demise by an assassin's hand. De l'Obel then went to England where he became botanist to James I. He died in England in 1616. His chief work was Stirpium adversaria nova, which was published in England by Thomas Purfoot in 1571. The title page of the 1576 edition by Plantin reads: Nova stirpivm adversaria, perfacilis vestigatio, lvcvlentaqve accessio ad priscorum, praesertim Dioscoridis, & recentiorum, materiam medicam: auctoribus Petro Pena et Matthia de Lobel. . .Quibus accessit appendix cum indice variarum linguarum locupletissimo. Eodem M. de Lobel auctore. Additis Gvillielmi Rondellettii aliquot remediorum formulis, nunquam ante hac in lucem editis.Antverpiae, apud Christophorum Plantinum architypographum regium. M.D.LXXVI. Most authorities agree that Plantin purchased what was left of Purfoot's edition of 1571, and added to it the new title Plantarum seu stirpium historia and brought out the volume under his own imprint. He had also purchased Purfoot's wood blocks, so presumably the illustrations in the first title within the volume are the same as those in the 1571 edition. At any rate, although we do not have Purfoot's title page, which is said to be one of the earliest engraved title pages in an English book, his colophon appears at the end of the Nova stirpium adversaria: "Londoni. 1571. Calendis Ianuarijs, excudebat prelum Thomae Purfoetij, ad Lucretie symbolum." De l'Obel's reputation as a botanist rested on his system of classification, the main feature of which was the separation of plants into groups by differences in leaf structure. This gave rise to some curious groupings according to present-day classification. This volume of over one thousand pages is profusely illustrated with very attractive woodcuts. On some of these we are very conscious of the limits placed on the designer by the size of his block, because there often seems to be an unnatural squareness at the top part of the illustration.
Plantin also published the works of Rembert Dodoens and Charles de l'Ecluse, who with de l'Obel make up a trio of famous botanists of the Low Countries. These three men were intimate friends and made a practice of freely exchanging information and observations, so it is not unexpected to find much of the same information in the works of all three. Also, since Plantin was their publisher, and since he provided the wood blocks or, rather, paid for them, there was an agreement between Plantin and the three authors that their illustrations were to be treated as common property. This accounts for the fact that there are many identical illustrations in these works. Rembert Dodoens is represented in our collection by Stirpium historiae pemptades sex, printed by Plantin in 1583. It is a large volume of nine hundred pages, fourteen inches high. There is a beautiful cut of Plantin's device and motto "Labore et constatia" on the title page. It is bound in vellum and is stamped with the initials "G. S. D." (perhaps the initials of a previous owner) and the date 1583. Dodoens was a physician, professor of medicine, and a botanist. In the Pemptades, the botanist comes to the fore, because there is very little about the medicinal uses of the plants he describes.
Charles de l'Écluse also studied at Montpellier and came under the influence of Guillaume Rondelet, as did de l'Obel and Pena, although he did not confine his interests to botany alone. He is said to have had a wide knowledge of several languages, law, philosophy, zoology, and numismatics. His first botanical work was the French translation of an earlier edition of Dodoens' Pemptades (Cruÿdeboeck, published in Dutch by Vanderloe in 1554). De l'Ecluse's first original work was an account of plants he observed during a visit to Spain and Portugal. This was published by Plantin in 1576 and proved to be so successful that he went off on another trip, this time to Austria and Hungary. He returned to Antwerp with specimens of flora and material for another book, which is the one we have: Rariorum aliquot stirpium, per Pannoniam, Austriam, & vicinas quasdam prouincias obseruatarum historia, qvatvor libris expressa... Antverpiae, ex officina Christophori Plantini, M.D. LXXXIII. The book is bound with elaborately tooled vellum and is held together with metal clasps. The cover is stamped with the initials "I S S" and the date 1596. Unlike most herbalists, de l'Ecluse was not a physician, so he studied plants for their own sake and was not much concerned with their medicinal uses. He is said to have carried on voluminous correspondence with many botanists. He had a great interest in horticulture and, since he is said to have introduced the potato into Germany and Austria, there was a practical as well as aesthetic side to his nature.
The Italian botanists of the sixteenth century devoted themselves chiefly to interpreting the works of the classical botanists who had in their times been familiar with the same Mediterranean flora. One of the chief Italian herbalists was Pietro Andrea Mattioli, whose greatest contribution was his commentaries on the Materia medica of Dioscorides, which first appeared in Italian in 1544. It was later translated into several other languages and appeared in more than forty editions. It is said that over thirty thousand copies of the early editions were sold. Mattioli, who was born in Venice in 1501, was the son of a doctor. In his early years there was an attempt to interest him in a legal career but he became a doctor and achieved considerable fame in his profession, becoming physician to the Archduke Ferdinand and later to the Emperor Maximilian II. He died of the plague in 1577. We have a very fine copy of the 1598 edition of his book, entitled: Opera quae extant omnia: hoc est commentarjj in VI. libros Pedacij Dioscoridis Anazarbei de medica materia. . . published at Frankfurt by Nicholas Bassaeus. This complete edition of Mattioli's works was edited by Caspar Bauhin, a Swiss botanist and anatomist, and includes besides the commentaries Apologia adversus Amathum Lusitanum. The earlier editions of the commentaries were not illustrated, but Mattioli is said to have employed an Italian artist, Giorgio Liberale of Udine, to make drawings of plants from nature which were used in editions of his work after 1554. These drawings as well as some apparently copied from Tabernaemontanus' (Jacob Theodor) herbal are used to illustrate the copy that we have. The title page is quite elaborate, the title set within ornamental engraved borders.
The most important British herbalist of the Renaissance was William Turner, a physician and clergyman. He was born in Northumberland between 1510 and 1515 and was educated at what is now Pembroke College, Cambridge. Turner's first botanical work Libellus de re herbaria novus appeared in 1538. This was followed ten years later by The Names of Herbes in Greke, Latin, Englishe, Duche and Frenche wyth the Commune names that Herbaries and Apotecaries Use. His greatest work was A New Herball, wherein Are Conteyned the Names of Herbes in Greke, Latin, Englysh, Duch, Frenche, and in the Potecaries and Herbaries Latin, with the Properties, Degrees and Naturall Places of the Same. This was published in three installments, the first in London in 1551, the first and second together in Cologne in 1562, and the third part in 1568. His work records 238 English plants and also reveals a knowledge of continental flora. The illustrations are said to be copied from Fuchs' work. We are indeed sorry not to have Turner's work represented in our collections except for a plate included in Herbals of Five Centuries.
In 1578, a translation of Dodoens' Cruÿdeboeck of 1554 appeared in England. The translation, by Henry Lyte, was admittedly made from the French translation done by de l'Ecluse in 1557. Lyte was born about 1529 and became a student at Oxford. He was apparently a man of some wealth who traveled extensively. He did not do much to add to botanical knowledge; his greatest contribution was the introduction of Dodoens' work into England. The 1578 edition of Lyte's book A Niewe Herball or Historie of Plantes contained the same illustrations that had been used by de l'Ecluse, which were mostly copies of those used in the Fuchs herbal. Our edition was published in London in 1619 by Edward Griffin and contains no illustrations at all.
We are indebted to another Englishman for a later translation of Dodoens' Stirpium historiae pemptades sex. John Gerard, born in Cheshire in 1545, studied medicine but was better known as a very successful gardener. He lived in Holborn, a fashionable district of London, from about 1577 on, and, by his own admission in the preface of his Herball, had there a remarkable garden. In addition he supervised the gardens of Lord Burleigh in the Strand and at Theobalds in Hertfordshire. In 1596 Gerard published a list of the plants in his garden, which is said to be the first complete catalogue of the plants in any garden, public or private. Gerard is most noted for his much longer work The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, published in London by John Norton in 1597. Norton had commissioned a Doctor Priest to translate Dodoens' Pemptades into English, but Priest died before the work was finished. Gerard, so the story goes, took over Priest's translation, changed the arrangement from that of Dodoens to that of de l'Obel, and published it as his own work. The excellent illustrations are nearly all the same ones used by Jacob Theodor, who had "borrowed" them from Bock, Fuchs, de l'Obel, etc. We have an edition which was enlarged and amended by Thomas Johnson, "Citizen and Apothecarye of London," after Gerard's death. This was published in 1633 in London by Adam Isslip, Joice Norton, and Richard Whitakers. The elaborately engraved title page has on it pictures of Theophrastus, Dioscorides, and Gerard. In addition to the prefatory matter copied from earlier editions, our copy has a long epistle to the reader, signed "Thomas Iohnson: From my house on Snowhill, Octob. 22, 1633," a paragraph of which I quote:
"Now come I to the Temper and Vertues. These commonly were taken forth of the fore-mentioned Author [Dodoens] and here and there out of Lobels Observations, and Camerarius his Hortus medicus. To these he also added some few Receipts of his owne: these I have not altered, but here and there shewed to which they did most properly belong; as also if I found them otherwise than they ought, I noted it; or if in unfit places, I have transferred them to the right place, and in divers things whereof our Author hath bin silent, I have supplied that defect."
Vervain and betony were the herbs most prized by the ancients and thought to be most efficacious in the treatment of many ailments. These extracts from Gerard's entry for the virtues of vervain give us some idea of its usefulness and show his unwillingness to subscribe to certain magical properties attributed to this herb:
"The leaves of Vervaine pownd with oile of Roses or hogs grease, doth mitigate and appease the paines of the mother, being applied thereto.
"The leaves of Vervaine and Roses stamped with a little new hogs grease, and emplaistered after the manner of a pultesse, doth cease the inflammation and grievous paines of wounds, and suffereth them not to come to corruption: and the green leaves stamped with hogs grease takes away the swelling and paine of hot impostumes and tumors, and cleaneth corrupt and rotten ulcers.
"...But you must observe mother Bombies rules, to take iust so many knots or sprigs, and no more, lest it fall out so that it do you no good, if you catch no harm by it. Many odde old wives fables are written of Vervaine tending to witchcraft and sorcerie, which you may read elsewhere, for I am not willing to trouble your eares with reporting such trifles, as honest eares abhorre to heare.
"...The decoction of the roots and leaves swageth the toothache, and fasteneth them, and healeth the ulcers of the mouth.
"They report saith Pliny, that if the dining roome be sprinckled with water in which the herbe hath been steeped, the guests will be merrier, which also Dioscorides mentioneth.
"Most of the latter Physitions do give the juice or decoction hereof to them that hath the plague but these men are deceived, not only in that they look for some truth from the father of falshood and leavings, but also because in stead of a good and sure remedie they minister no remedy at all for it is reported, that the Divell did reveale it as a secret and divine medicine."
Our copy of Gerard's Herball was purchased for the Medical Library from the Edward Wright Mulligan Gift Fund.
There were unscrupulous men in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries who took advantage of the credulity of man to promote the doctrine of signatures and astrological botany. According to the doctrine of signatures, medicinal herbs are stamped with a clear indication of their uses, i.e. herbs with yellow sap clear jaundice, a plant with holes in the leaves signifies that this plant helps both inward and outward holes or cuts in the skin. And according to the precepts of astrological botany the sun, moon, stars, and planets influence the vegetable world. Theophrastus von Hohenheim, known as Paracelsus, believed that each plant was under the influence of some particular star, and that it was this influence which drew that plant out of the earth when the seed germinated. In the seventeenth century, England seems to have suffered from an infestation of astrological botanists, represented in our collections by several editions of the work of one Nicholas Culpeper, who has been variously described as an astrologer, physician, and out-and-out rogue. The English Physitian was first published in 1652. This edition was repudiated by the author in the 1653 and subsequent editions as unauthorized and incorrect. We have a 1656 reprint of the 1653 edition, which was published by Peter Cole in London. It has a very long title, which nearly covers the title page: The English Physitian Enlarged: with Three Hundred, Sixty, and Nine Medicines, Made of English Herbs that Were Not in Any Impression until This: The Epistle Will Inform You How to Know This Impression from Any Other. Being an Astrologo-Physical Discourse of the Vulgar Herbs of This Nation: Containing a Compleat Method of Physick, Whereby a Man May Preserve His Body in Health; or Cure Himself, Being Sick, for Three Pence Charge, with Such Things Only as Grow in England, They Being Most Fit for English Bodies.
This really seems to have been a very useful home doctor book, and it is easy to understand why so many copies of it were sold. The first few pages contain a list of other books printed by Peter Cole, and are followed by Culpeper's admonitions to the reader about not accepting an unauthorized copy of his book, Mrs. Culpeper's testimonial about her husband's books, and a table of herbs, each herb followed by the name of the planet which governs it. The "Table of Diseases" at the end makes it a very useful book indeed for the exponent of do-it-yourself medical treatment. This entry under "Henbane," a very common roadside plant, is amusing:
"I wonder in my heart how Astrologers could take on them to make this an Herb of Jupiter, and yetMizaldus, a man of a penetrating Brain, was also of that Opinion as well as the rest; the Herb is indeed under the Dominion of Saturn, and I prove it by this Argument.
"All the Herbs which delight most to grow in Saturnine places, are Saturnine Herbs.
"But Henbane delights most to grow in Saturnine places, and whol Cart Loads of it may be found neer the places where they empty the common Jakes, and scarce a stinking Ditch to be found without it growing by it.
"Ergo 'tis an Herb of Saturn."
The edition described here was presented to the Medical Library by Mrs. Louise Selden Carey.
Mention of the work of one more seventeenth-century scientist might make a fitting closing for this article on early herbals because, in Enchiridion botanicum, Robert Lovell gives us a compilation of ancient and contemporary authors' writings on the medicinal uses of plants. Lovell was born in Warwickshire about 1630. He studied botany, zoology, and mineralogy at Christ Church, Oxford. He later became a practicing physician in Coventry, where he remained until his death in 1690. In the book noted above he cites the works of 250 authors, but he himself made very little contribution to scientific progress. His book has been criticized because it shows a misapplication of his undoubted talents, in that it does no more than demonstrate his knowledge of books, his industry in collecting materials, and the good judgment he used in arranging them. His book must have enjoyed a certain popularity because there were two editions of it. The first came out in 1659 and the second, which we have, in 1665.
In the last three decades of the seventeenth century, botany became more scientific. As time went on the mixture of medical and botanical lore in the herbal quite naturally became separated into two distinct parts, the medical part emerging as pharmacopedics and the botanical part as the science of plant life.
The great days of the herbal were in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and we are fortunate to have the books described here, as well as several others, in our collections. With one or two exceptions we have the works of the principal herbalists of these centuries. Most authorities agree that from an artistic standpoint the works of Leonhard Fuchs are unsurpassed, and we are certainly fortunate to have his beautiful New Kreüterbuch. From a scientific standpoint Pena and de l'Obel were the first herbalists to attempt to classify plants systematically, and it is gratifying to have their work represented by Nova stirpium adversaria.