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Title: Herbals, Their Origin and Evolution - A Chapter in the History of Botany 1470-1670
Author: Arber, Agnes
Language: English
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  London: FETTER LANE, E.C.
  C. F. CLAY, Manager


  Edinburgh: 100, PRINCES STREET
  Berlin: A. ASHER & CO.
  Leipzig: F. A. BROCKHAUS
  New York: G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
  Bombay and Calcutta: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.

  _All rights reserved_

[Illustration: LEONHARD FUCHS (1501-1566).

[Engraving by Speckle in _De historia stirpium_, 1542.]]









  at the University Press




“Wherefore it maye please your ... gentlenes to take these my labours
in good worthe, not according unto their unworthines, but accordinge
unto my good mind and will, offering and gevinge them unto you.”

  WILLIAM TURNER’S _Herbal_, 1568.


To add a volume such as the present to the existing multitude of books
about books calls for some apology. My excuse must be that many of the
best herbals, especially the earlier ones, are not easily accessible,
and after experiencing keen delight from them myself, I have felt
that some account of these works, in connection with reproductions of
typical illustrations, might be of interest to others. In the words of
Henry Lyte, the translator of Dodoens, “I thinke it sufficient for any,
whom reason may satisfie, by way of answeare to alleage this action and
sententious position: _Bonum, quo communius, eo melius et præstantius_:
a good thing the more common it is, the better it is.”

The main object of the present book is to trace in outline the
evolution of the _printed herbal_ in Europe between the years 1470 and
1670, primarily from a botanical, and secondarily from an artistic
standpoint. The medical aspect, which could only be dealt with
satisfactorily by a specialist in that science, I have practically
left untouched, as also the gardening literature of the period.
Bibliographical information is not given in detail, except in so
far as it subserves the main objects of the book. Even within these
limitations, the present account is far from being an exhaustive
monograph. It aims merely at presenting a general sketch of the history
of the herbal during a period of two hundred years. The titles of the
principal botanical works, which were published between 1470 and 1670,
are given in Appendix I.

The book is founded mainly upon a study of the herbals themselves. My
attention was first directed to these works by reading a copy of Lyte’s
translation of Dodoens’ Herbal, which happened to come into my hands
in 1894, and at once aroused my interest in the subject. I have also
drawn freely upon the historical and critical literature dealing with
the period under consideration, to which full references will be found
in Appendix II. The materials for this work have chiefly been obtained
in the Printed Books Department of the British Museum, but I have also
made use of a number of other libraries. I owe many thanks to Prof.
Seward, F.R.S., who suggested that I should undertake this book, and
gave me special facilities for the study of the fine collection of old
botanical works in the Botany School, Cambridge. In addition I must
record my gratitude to the University Librarian, Mr F. J. H. Jenkinson,
M.A., and Mr C. E. Sayle, M.A., of the Cambridge University Library,
and also to Dr Stapf, Keeper of the Kew Herbarium and Library. By the
kindness of Dr Norman Moore, Harveian Librarian to the Royal College
of Physicians, I have had access to that splendid library, and my best
thanks are due to him, and to the Assistant-Librarian, Mr Barlow. To
the latter I am especially indebted for information on bibliographical
points. I have also to thank Mr Knapman of the Pharmaceutical Society,
Dr Molhuizen, Keeper of the Manuscripts, University Library, Leyden,
and the Librarian of the Teyler Institute, Haarlem, for giving me
opportunities for examining the books under their charge.

The great majority of the illustrations are reproduced from photographs
taken directly from the originals by Mr W. Tams of Cambridge, to whom I
am greatly indebted for the skill and care with which he has overcome
the difficulties incidental to photographing from old books, the pages
of which are so often wrinkled, discoloured or worm-eaten. For the use
of Plate XVIII, which appeared in _Leonardo da Vinci’s Note-Books_, I
am under obligations to the author, Mr Edward M^{c}Curdy, M.A., and to
Messrs Duckworth & Co. Text-figs. 7, 18, 77, 78 and 112 are reproduced
by the courtesy of the Council of the Bibliographical Society, from
papers by the late Dr Payne, to which the references will be found in
Appendix II, while, for the use of Text-fig. 108, I am indebted to
the Royal Numismatic Society. For permission to utilise the modern
facsimile of the famous Dioscorides manuscript of Juliana Anicia,
from which Plates I, II, and XV are derived, I have to thank Prof. Dr
Josef Ritter von Karabacek, of the k. k. Hofbibliothek at Vienna. In
connection with the portraits of herbalists here reproduced, I wish
to acknowledge the generous assistance which I have received from Sir
Sidney Colvin, formerly Keeper of Prints and Drawings, British Museum.

I would also record my thanks to Mr A. W. Pollard, Secretary of the
Bibliographical Society, Prof. Killermann of Regensburg, Signorina
Adelaide Marchi of Florence, Mr C. D. Sherborn of the British Museum
(Natural History) and Dr B. Daydon Jackson, General Secretary of the
Linnean Society, all of whom have kindly given me information of great
value. For help in the translation of certain German and Latin texts,
I am indebted to Mr E. G. Tucker, B.A., Mr F. A. Scholfield, M.A., and
to my brother, Mr D. S. Robertson, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College,

I wish, further, to express my gratitude to my father for advice and
suggestions. Without his help, I should scarcely have felt myself
competent to discuss the subject from the artistic standpoint. To my
husband, also, I owe many thanks for assistance in various directions,
more particularly in criticising the manuscript, and in seeing the
volume through the press. I am indebted to my sister, Miss Janet
Robertson, for the cover, the design for which is based upon a wood-cut
in the _Ortus Sanitatis_ of 1491.

A book of this kind, in the preparation of which many previous works
have been laid under contribution, is doubtless open to a certain
criticism which William Turner, “the Father of British Botany,”
anticipated in the case of his own writings. I think I cannot do better
than proffer my excuse in the very words of this sixteenth-century

“For some of them will saye, seynge that I graunte that I have gathered
this booke of so manye writers, that I offer unto you an heape of other
mennis laboures, and nothinge of myne owne,... To whom I aunswere, that
if the honye that the bees gather out of so manye floure of herbes,
shrubbes, and trees, that are growing in other mennis medowes, feldes
and closes: maye justelye be called the bees honye:... So maye I call
it that I have learned and gathered of manye good autoures ... my


  _26th July, 1912_.




  1. Introductory                                                       1

  2. Aristotelian Botany                                                2

  3. Medicinal Botany                                                   6


  1. The Encyclopædia of Bartholomæus Anglicus and ‘The Book
       of Nature’                                                      10

  2. The ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius Platonicus                            11

  3. The Latin ‘Herbarius’                                             16

  4. The German ‘Herbarius’ and related Works                          18

  5. The ‘Hortus Sanitatis’                                            25


  1. The ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius Platonicus                            35

  2. Banckes’ Herbal                                                   38

  3. ‘The Grete Herball’                                               40


  1. The Herbal in Germany                                             47

  2. The Herbal in the Low Countries                                   70

  3. The Herbal in Italy                                               79

  4. The Herbal in Switzerland                                         90

  5. The Herbal in France                                              98

  6. The Herbal in England                                            100

  7. The Revival of Aristotelian Botany                               116


  VI. THE EVOLUTION OF PLANT CLASSIFICATION                           134



  IX. CONCLUSIONS                                                     221


  A Chronological List of the Principal Herbals and Related
    Botanical Works published between 1470 and 1670                   227


  A List, in Alphabetical Order, of the Principal Critical and
    Historical Works dealing with the Subjects discussed in this
    Book                                                              241

  INDEX                                                               247



  Leonhard Fuchs (1501-1566) [Engraving by Speckle in _De historia
  stirpium_, 1542]


  PLATE                                                       _Face page_

  I. “Sonchos” [Dioscorides. Codex Aniciæ Julianæ. circa
       A.D. 500]. _Reduced_                                             4

  II. “Stratiotes” [Dioscorides. Codex Aniciæ Julianæ. circa A.D. 500].
        _Reduced_                                                       8

  III. Wood-cut of Plants [Konrad von Megenberg. Das půch der natur.
         1475]. _Reduced_                                              10

  IV. “Orbicularis” [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici. ? 1484]. (_The tint
        represents colouring, which was probably contemporary_)        12

  V. “Mandragora” = Mandrake [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici. ? 1484].
      (_The tint represents colouring, which was probably
      contemporary_)                                                   34

  VI. Joachim Camerarius, the younger (1534-1598) [Engraving by
        Bartholomæus Kilian. Probably between 1650 and 1700.
        Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum]             68

  VII. Charles de l’Écluse (1526-1609) [Print in the Botany School,
         Cambridge]                                                    74

  VIII. Mathias de l’Obel (1538-1616) [Engraving by François
          Dellarame. 1615. Department of Prints and Drawings,
          British Museum]                                              78

  IX. Fabio Colonna (1567-1650) [Ekphrasis. 1606]                      88

  X. Konrad Gesner (1516-1565) [Print in the Botany School,
       Cambridge]                                                      92

  XI. Gaspard Bauhin (1560-1624) [Theatrum Anatomicum. 1605]           94

  XII. John Gerard (1545-1607) [The Herball. 1636]                    108

  XIII. John Parkinson (1567-1650) [Theatrum botanicum. 1640]         114

  XIV. Andrea Cesalpino (1519-1603) [Drawn by G. Zocchi and
         engraved by F. Allegrini, 1765, after an old portrait
         in the Museum of the Botanic Garden at Pisa. Print in
         the Botany School, Cambridge]                                116

  XV. “Phasiolos” = Bean [Dioscorides. Codex Aniciæ Julianæ.
        circa A.D. 500]. _Reduced_                                    154

  XVI. “Dracontea” [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici. ? 1484].
         (_The tint represents colouring, which was probably
         contemporary_)                                               156

  XVII. Study of _Aquilegia vulgaris_ L., Columbine [Albrecht Dürer,
          1526. Drawing in the Albertina, Vienna]. _Reduced_          168

  XVIII. Study of _Ornithogalum umbellatum_ L., Star of Bethlehem,
           and other plants [Leonardo da Vinci. 1452-1519. Drawing
           in the Royal Library, Windsor]. _Reduced_                  170

  XIX. “Crocus Byzantinus” and “Crocus Montanus hispan.” [Part of
         a plate from Crispian de Passe. Hortus Floridus. 1614]       202

  XX. “Cervaria fœmina” [Thurneisser. Historia sive Descriptio
        Plantarum. 1587]                                              216

  XXI. Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654) [A Physicall Directory. 1649.
         Engraving by Cross]                                          218


[The initial letters, which will be found at the beginning of each
chapter, are taken from Pierre Belon’s ‘Les Observations de plusieurs
singularitez et choses mémorables, trouvées en Grece, Asie, Judée,
Egypte, Arabie, et autres pays estranges, ... Imprimé à Paris par
Benoist Prévost.’ 1553.]

  TEXT-FIG.                                                          PAGE

  1. “Plantago” = Plantain [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici, ? 1484]       12

  2. “Artemisia” [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici, ? 1484]                 13

  3. “Lilium” [Herbarius Moguntinus, 1484]                             14

  4. “Aristolochia longa” [Herbarius Moguntinus, 1484]                 15

  5. “Serpentaria” [Herbarius Moguntinus, 1484]                        16

  6. “Brionia” [Arnaldus de Villa Nova, Tractatus de virtutibus
       herbarum, 1499]                                                 17

  7. “Acorus” = Iris [Herbarius zu Teutsch, Mainz, 1485]               23

  8. “Leopardus” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                        25

  9. “Daucus” = Carrot [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                  26

  10. “Passer” = Sparrow [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                27

  11. “Pavo” = Peacock [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                  27

  12. “Arbor vel lignum vite paradisi” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]  28

  13. “Narcissus” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                       29

  14. “Bauser vel Bausor” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]               30

  15. “Panis” = Bread [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                   31

  16. “Ambra” = Amber [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                   32

  17. “Unicornus” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                       33

  18. A Herbalist’s Garden [Le Jardin de Santé, ? 1539]                34

  19. Wood-cut of Plants [Bartholomæus Anglicus, Liber de
        proprietatibus rerum, Wynkyn de Worde, ? 1495]. _Reduced_      37

  20. “Yvery” = Ivory [The Grete Herball, 1529]                        42

  21. “Nenufar” = Waterlily [The Grete Herball, 1529]                  44

  22. “Walwurtz männlin” = _Symphytum_, Comfrey [Brunfels, Herbarum
        vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530]. _Reduced_                         48

  23. “Helleborus Niger” = _Helleborus viridis_ L., Green Hellebore
        [Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530]. _Reduced_     49

  24. “Synnaw” = _Alchemilla_, Ladies’ Mantle [Brunfels, Herbarum
        vivæ eicones, Vol. ii. 1531]. _Reduced_                        51

  25. “Caryophyllata” = _Geum_, Avens [Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ
        eicones, Vol. iii. 1540]. _Reduced_                            52

  26. Hieronymus Bock or Tragus (1498-1554) [Kreuter Bůch, 1551]       53

  27. “Erdberen” = _Fragaria_, Strawberry [Bock, Kreuter Bůch, 1546]   54

  28. “Pimpernuss” = _Pistacia_, Pistachio-nut [Bock, Kreuter Bůch,
        1546]                                                          56

  29. “Tribulus aquaticus” = _Trapa natans_ L., Bull-nut [Bock, De
        stirpium, 1552]                                                57

  30. “Brassicæ quartum genus” = Cabbage [Fuchs, De historia
        stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced_                                     59

  31. “Polygonatum latifolium” = Solomon’s Seal [Fuchs, De historia
        stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced_                                     61

  32. “Cucumis turcicus” = _Cucurbita maxima_ Duch., Giant Pumpkin
        [Fuchs, De historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced_                 63

  33. “Erdöpffel” = _Ranunculus ficaria_ L., Lesser Celandine
        [Rhodion, Kreutterbůch, 1533]                                  65

  34. “Ocimoides fruticosum” = _Silene fruticosa_ L. [Camerarius,
        Hortus medicus, 1588]                                          67

  35. “Palma” = Seedlings of _Phœnix dactylifera_ L., Date Palm
        [Camerarius, Hortus medicus, 1588]                             69

  36. Rembert Dodoens (1517-1585) [A Niewe Herball. Translated
      by Lyte, 1578]                                                   71

  37. “Capparis” = _Capparis ovata_ L. [Dodoens, Pemptades, 1583]      73

  38. “Anemone trifolia” [Dodoens, Pemptades, 1583]                    75

  39. “Lacryma Iob” = _Coix lachryma-Jobi_ L., Job’s Tears [de
        l’Écluse, Rariorum ... per Hispanias, 1576]                    77

  40. Pierandrea Mattioli (1501-1577) [Engraving by Philippe Galle,
        Virorum Doctorum Effigies, Antwerp, 1572]                      80

  41. “Pyra” = _Pyrus communis_ L., Pear [Mattioli, Commentarii,
        1560]                                                          81

  42. “Avena” = Oats [Mattioli, Commentarii, 1560]                     82

  43. “Trifolium acetosum” = _Oxalis_ [Mattioli, Commentarii, 1565].
        _Reduced_                                                      83

  44. “Malus” = _Pyrus malus_ L., Apple [Mattioli, Commentarii,
        1565]. _Reduced_                                               84

  45. “Arbor Malenconico” or “Arbor tristis” = Tree of Sorrow
        [Durante, Herbario Nuovo, 1585]                                86

  46. “Apocynum” [Colonna, Phytobasanos, 1592]                         87

  47. “Kalli” = _Salicornia_, Glasswort [Prospero Alpino,
        De plantis Ægypti, 1592]                                       89

  48. “Lachryma Iob” = _Coix lachryma-Jobi_ L., Job’s Tears
        [Simler, Vita Conradi Gesneri, 1566]                           91

  49. “Solanum tuberosum esculentum” = Potato [Bauhin, Prodromos,
        1620]                                                          95

  50. Jacques d’Aléchamps (1513-1588) [Wood-cut, circa 1600,
        Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum].
        _Enlarged_                                                     97

  51. “Ornithogalum magnum” [d’Aléchamps, Historia generalis
        plantarum, 1586]                                               99

  52. “Tabaco” = _Nicotiana_, Tobacco [Monardes, Joyfull newes
        out of the newe founde worlde, 1580]                          105

  53. “Reubarbe” = _Centaurea rhaponticum_ L. [Lyte, A Niewe
        Herball, 1578]                                                107

  54. “The breede of Barnakles” [Gerard, The Herball, 1597]           111

  55. “Barberry” = _Berberis_ [Part of a large wood-cut from
        Parkinson, Paradisus Terrestris, 1629]                        114

  56. “Cardamomum” = (?) _Solanum dulcamara_ L., Bittersweet
        [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                                121

  57. “Pionia” = Peony [Arnaldus de Villa Nova, Tractatus de
        virtutibus herbarum, 1499]                                    123

  58. “Petasites” = Butterbur [Fuchs, De historia stirpium, 1542].
        _Reduced_                                                     126

  59. “Sedum majus” [de l’Écluse, Rariorum per Hispanias, 1576]       128

  60. “Battata Virginiana” = _Solanum tuberosum_ L., Potato [Gerard,
        The Herball, 1597]                                            129

  61. “Rose Ribwoorte” = an abnormal Plantain [Gerard, The Herball,
        1597]                                                         131

  62. “Beta Cretica semine aculeato” [Bauhin, Prodromos, 1620]        132

  63. “Carui” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                          135

  64. “Buglossa” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                       137

  65. “Nenufar” = Waterlily [Arnaldus de Villa Nova, Tractatus de
        virtutibus herbarum, 1499]                                    139

  66. “Nenuphar” = _Nymphæa alba_ L., White Waterlily [Brunfels,
        Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530]. _Reduced_               141

  67. “Gele Plompen” = _Nuphar luteum_ Sm., Yellow Waterlily [de
        l’Obel, Kruydtbœck, 1581]                                     142

  68. “Ninfea” = Waterlily [Durante, Herbario Nuovo, 1585]            144

  69. “Tussilago” = _Tussilago farfara_ L., Coltsfoot [Fuchs, De
        historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced_                           147

  70. “Plantago major” = Plantain [Fuchs, De historia stirpium,
        1542]. _Reduced_                                              149

  71. “Althæa Thuringica” = _Lavatera thuringiaca_ L. [Camerarius,
        Hortus medicus, 1588]                                         150

  72. “Pulsatilla” = _Anemone pulsatilla_ L., Pasque-flower
        [Camerarius, De plantis Epitome Matthioli, 1586]              152

  73. “Brionia” [Herbarius Moguntinus, 1484]                          158

  74. “Ireos vel Iris” [Arnaldus de Villa Nova, Tractatus de
        virtutibus herbarum, 1499]                                    159

  75. “Capillus Veneris” = Maidenhair Fern [Arnaldus de Villa Nova,
        Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum, 1499]                       160

  76. “Cuscuta” = Dodder [Arnaldus de Villa Nova, Tractatus de
        virtutibus herbarum, 1499]                                    161

  77. “Cuscuta” = Dodder [Herbarius zu Teutsch, Mainz, 1485]          163

  78. “Alkekengi” = _Physalis_, Winter Cherry [Herbarius zu Teutsch,
        Mainz, 1485]                                                  164

  79. “Alkekengi” = _Physalis_, Winter Cherry [Ortus Sanitatis,
        Mainz, 1491]                                                  165

  80. “Cuscuta” = Dodder [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]               166

  81. “Botris” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491]                         167

  82. “Asarum” = Asarabacca [Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones,
        Vol. I. 1530]. _Reduced_                                      169

  83. “Kuchenschell” = _Anemone pulsatilla_ L., Pasque-flower
        [Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530]. Reduced      171

  84. “Lappa” = _Arctium_, Burdock [Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones,
        Vol. II. 1531]. _Reduced_                                     173

  85. “Scolopendria” = Hart’s-tongue Fern [Rhodion, Kreutterbůch,
        1533]                                                         174

  86. “Dipsacus albus” = Teasle [Fuchs, De historia stirpium,
        1542]. _Reduced_                                              176

  87. “Apios” = _Lathyrus tuberosus_ L., Earth-nut Pea [Fuchs, De
        historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced_                           178

  88. “Arum” = _Arum maculatum_ L., Wild Arum [Fuchs, De historia
        stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced_                                    179

  89. The Draughtsmen and Engraver employed by Leonhard Fuchs [De
        historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced_                           181

  90. “Wintergrün” = _Pyrola_, Wintergreen [Bock, Kreuter Bůch,
        1546]                                                         182

  91. “Rautten” = _Botrychium_, Moonwort [Bock, Kreuter Bůch, 1546]   183

  92. “Castanum nuss” = _Castanea_, Chestnut [Bock, Kreuter Bůch,
        1546]                                                         184

  93. “Fungi” = Toadstools [Mattioli, Commentarii, 1560].
       _Reduced_                                                      185

  94. “Rosaceum” [Mattioli, Commentarii, 1560]. _Reduced_             186

  95. “Suber primus” [Mattioli, Commentarii, 1565]. _Reduced_         187

  96. “Tragorchis” = _Orchis hircina_ L., Lizard Orchis [Dodoens,
        Pemptades, 1583]                                              188

  97. “Aconitum luteum minus” = _Eranthis hiemalis_ L., Winter
        Aconite [Dodoens, Pemptades, 1583]                            189

  98. “Draco arbor” = _Dracæna_, Dragon Tree [de l’Écluse,
        Rariorum ... per Hispanias, 1576]                             191

  99. “Cyclaminus” [Camerarius, De plantis Epitome ... Matthioli,
        1586]                                                         192

  100. “Rosa Hierichuntica” = _Anastatica hierochuntica_ L.,
         Rose of Jericho [Camerarius, Hortus medicus, 1588]           193

  101. “Piper Nigrum” = Pepper [d’Aléchamps, Historia generalis
         plantarum, Vol. II. 1587]                                    194

  102. “Cedrus” = Cedar [Belon, De arboribus, 1553]                   195

  103. “Lentisco del Peru” = _Pistacia lentiscus_ L., Mastic Tree
         [Durante, Herbario Nuovo, 1585]                              197

  104. “Mala Aurantia Chinensia” = Orange [Aldrovandi, Dendrologia,
         1667]. _Reduced_                                             198

  105. “Chondrilla” [Colonna, Phytobasanos, 1592]                     201

  106. “Alkekengi” = _Physalis_, Winter Cherry [Blankaart,
         Neder-landschen Herbarius, 1698]                             203

  107. The Male Mandrake [Brunfels, Contrafayt Kreüterbuch,
         Ander Teyl, 1537]                                            205

  108. Theophrastus von Hohenheim, called Paracelsus (1493-1541)
        [From a medal, now in the British Museum. See F. W. Weber,
        Appendix II]                                                  206

  109. Herbs of the Scorpion [Porta, Phytognomonica, 1591]            209

  110. Lunar Herbs [Porta, Phytognomonica, 1591]                      213

  111. Astrological Diagram relating to the gathering of “Cervaria
         fœmina” [Thurneisser, Historia sive Descriptio Plantarum,
         1587]                                                        217

  112. Wood-cut from the Title-page of the Grete Herball, 1526.
         _Reduced_                                                    223

  113. A Herbalist’s Garden and Store-room [Das Kreüterbůch oder
         Herbarius. Printed by Heinrich Stayner, Augsburg, 1534]      225




In the present book, the special subject treated is the evolution
of the _printed herbal_, between the years 1470 and 1670, but it is
impossible to arrive at clear ideas on this subject without some
knowledge of the earlier stages in the history of Botany. The first
chapter will therefore be devoted to the briefest possible sketch of
the progress of Botany before the invention of printing, in order that
the position occupied by the Herbal in the history of the science may
be realised in its true perspective.

From the very beginning of its existence, the study of plants has been
approached from two widely separated standpoints—the philosophical
and the utilitarian. Regarded from the first point of view, Botany
stands on its own merits, as an integral branch of natural philosophy,
whereas, from the second, it is merely a by-product of medicine or
agriculture. This distinction, however, is a somewhat arbitrary one;
the more philosophical of botanists have not disdained at times to
consider the uses of herbs, and those who entered upon the subject,
with a purely medical intention, have often become students of plant
life for its own sake. At different periods in the evolution of the
science, one or other aspect has predominated, but from classical times
onwards, it is possible to trace the development of these two distinct
lines of inquiry, which have sometimes converged, but more often
pursued parallel and unconnected paths.

Botany as a branch of philosophy may be said to have owed its inception
to the wonderful mental activity of the finest period of Greek culture.
It was at this time that the nature and life of plants first came
definitely within the scope of inquiry and speculation.


Aristotle, Plato’s pupil, concerned himself with the whole field of
science, and his influence, especially during the Middle Ages, had
a most profound effect on European thought. The greater part of his
botanical writings, which belong to the fourth century before Christ,
are unfortunately lost, but, from such fragments as remain, it is clear
that his interest in plants was of an abstract nature. He held that all
living bodies, those of plants as well as of animals, are organs of the
soul, through which they exist. It was broad, general speculations,
such as these, which chiefly attracted him. He asks _why_ a grain of
corn gives rise in its turn to a grain of corn and not to an olive,
thus raising a plexus of problems, which, despite the progress of
modern science, still baffle the acutest thinkers of the present day.

Aristotle bequeathed his library to his pupil Theophrastus, whom he
named as his successor. Theophrastus was well fitted to carry on the
traditions of the school, since he had, in earlier years, studied under
Plato himself. He produced a ‘History of Plants’ in which Botany is
treated in a somewhat more concrete and definite fashion than is the
case in Aristotle’s writings. Theophrastus mentions about 450 plants,
whereas the number of species in Greece known at the present day is at
least 3000. His descriptions, with few exceptions, are meagre, and the
identification of the plants to which they refer is a matter of extreme

In various points of observation, Theophrastus was in advance of his
time. He noticed, for instance, the distinction between centripetal and
centrifugal inflorescences—a distinction which does not seem to have
again attracted the attention of botanists until the sixteenth century.
He was interested in the germination of seeds, and was aware, though
somewhat dimly, of the essential differences between the seedling of
the Bean and that of the Wheat.

In the Middle Ages, knowledge of Aristotelian botany was brought
into western Europe at two different periods,—the ninth and the
thirteenth centuries. In the ninth century of the Christian era,
Rhabanus Magnentius Maurus, a German writer, compiled an encyclopædia
which contained information about plants, indirectly derived from the
writings of Theophrastus. Rhabanus actually based his work upon the
writings of Isidor of Seville, who lived in the sixth and seventh
centuries—Isidor having obtained his botanical data from Pliny, whose
knowledge of plants was in turn borrowed from Theophrastus.

The renewal of Aristotelian learning in the thirteenth century was
derived less directly from classical writings than was the case with
the earlier revival. From the time of Alexander onwards, various Greek
schools had been founded in Syria. These schools were largely concerned
with the teachings of Aristotle, which were thence handed on into
Persia, Arabia and other countries. The Arabs translated the Syriac
versions of Greek writers into their own language, and their physicians
and philosophers kept alive the knowledge of science during the dark
ages when Greece and Rome had ceased to be the homes of learning, and
while culture was still in its infancy in Germany, France and England.
The Arabic translations of classical writings were eventually rendered
into Latin, or even sometimes into Greek again, and in this guise found
their way to western Europe.

Amongst other books, which suffered these successive metamorphoses,
was the pseudo-Aristotelian botany of Nicolaus of Damascus, which has
acquired importance in the annals of western science, because it formed
the basis of the botanical work of Albertus Magnus.

Albert of Bollstadt (1193-1280), Bishop of Ratisbon, was a famous
scholastic philosopher. He was esteemed one of the most learned men of
his age, and was called “Albertus Magnus” during his life-time, the
title being conferred on him by the unanimous consent of the schools.
The “Angelic Doctor,” St Thomas Aquinas, became one of his pupils.
According to legendary lore the name of Albertus would have been
unknown in science, but for divine intervention, which miraculously
affected his career. As a boy, tradition says that he was singularly
lacking in intelligence, so much so that it was feared that he would
be compelled to abandon the hope of entering monastic life, since he
seemed incapable even of the limited acquirements necessary. However,
one night, the Blessed Virgin, touched by his fervour and piety,
appeared before him in glory, and asked whether he would rather excel
in philosophy or in theology. Albertus without hesitation chose
philosophy. The Virgin granted his desire, but, being inwardly wounded
at his choice, she added that, because he had preferred profane to
divine knowledge, he should sink back, before the end of his life, into
his pristine state of stupidity. According to the legend, this came to
pass. Three years before his death he was suddenly struck down, in the
presence of his students, and never regained his mental powers.

The botanical work of Albertus forms only a small fraction of his
writings, but it is with that part alone that we are here concerned.
As already mentioned, his knowledge of botany was based upon a
mediæval Latin work, which he reverenced as Aristotle’s, but which is
now attributed to Nicolaus Damascenus, who was, however, a follower
of Aristotle and Theophrastus. Although Albertus undoubtedly drew
his botanical inspiration from this book, a large proportion of his
writings on the subject were original.

The ideas of Albertus were in many ways curiously advanced, especially
in the suggestions which he gives as to the classification of plants,
and in his observations of detailed structure in certain flowers. We
shall return to his writings in future chapters dealing with these
subjects. It will suffice now to mention his remarkable instinct for
morphology, in which he was probably unsurpassed during the next
four hundred years. He points out, for instance, that, in the vine,
a tendril sometimes occurs in place of a bunch of grapes, and from
this he concludes that the tendril is to be interpreted as a bunch of
grapes incompletely developed. He distinguishes also between thorns and
prickles, and realises that the former are stem structures, and the
latter merely surface organs.

[Illustration: _Plate I_

‘Sonchos’ [Dioscorides, Codex Aniciæ Julianæ, circa A.D. 500].

Albertus seems to have had a fine scorn for that branch of the science
now known as Systematic Botany. He considered that to catalogue all the
species was too vast and detailed a task, and one altogether unsuited
to the philosopher. However, in his Sixth Book he so far unbends as to
give descriptions of a number of plants.

As regards abstract problems, the views of Albertus on plant life
may be summed up as follows. The plant is a living being, and its
life principle is the vegetable soul, whose function is limited to
nourishment, growth and reproduction—feeling, desire, sleep, and
sexuality, properly so called, being unknown in the plant world.

Albertus was troubled by many subtle problems connected with the souls
of plants, such questions, for instance, as whether in the case of the
material union of two individuals, such as the ivy and its supporting
tree, their souls also united. Like Theophrastus, and other early
writers, Albertus held the theory that species were mutable, and
illustrated this view by pointing out that cultivated plants might run
wild and become degenerate, while wild plants might be domesticated.
Some of his ideas, however, on the possibility of changes from one
species to another, were quite baseless. He stated, for instance,
that, if a wood of oak or beech were razed to the ground, an actual
transformation took place, aspens and poplars springing up in place of
the previously existing trees.

The temperate tone of the remarks made by Albertus on the medical
virtues of plants contrasts favourably with the puerilities of many
later writers. Much of the criticism from which he has suffered at
various times has been, in reality, directed against a book called ‘De
virtutibus herbarum,’ the authorship of which was quite erroneously
attributed to him. We shall refer to this work again in Chapter VIII.

After the time of Albertus, no great student of Aristotelian botany
arose before Andrea Cesalpino, whose writings, which belong to the end
of the sixteenth century, will be considered in a later chapter. The
work of Cesalpino had great qualities, but, curiously enough, it had
little influence on the science of his time. He may be regarded as
perhaps the last important representative of Aristotelian botany.


With the Revival of Learning, the speculative botany of the ancients
began to lose its hold upon thinking men. This may be attributed to
the curious lack of vitality, and the absence of the power of active
development, manifested in this aspect of the subject since its
initiation at the hands of Aristotle. It had proved comparatively
barren, because, though the minds which engaged in it were among the
finest that have ever been concerned with the science, the basis
of observed fact was inadequate in quality and quantity to sustain
the philosophical superstructure built upon it. It might have been
supposed _a priori_ that accurate observation of natural phenomena
needed a less highly evolved type of mind than that required to cope
with metaphysical considerations, and hence that, in the development
of any science, the epoch of observation would have preceded the epoch
of speculation. In actual fact, however, the reverse appears to have
been the case. The power of scientific observation seems to have lagged
many centuries behind the power of reasoning, and to have reached its
maturity at least two thousand years later.

Aristotle and Theophrastus arrived by the subtlest mental processes
at a certain attitude towards the universe, and at certain ideas
concerning the nature of things. They attempted a direct advance in
scientific thought by extending these conceptions to include the plant
world. It was an heroic effort, but one which could not ultimately form
a basis for continued progress, because, in its inception, preconceived
ideas had come first, and the facts of Nature second. It seems to be
almost a law of thought, that it is the indirect advances which in the
end prove to be the most fertile. The progress of a science, like that
of a sailing boat, more often proceeds by means of “tacking” than by
following a direct course.

In the case of botany, the path which was destined to lead furthest
in the end was the apparently unpromising one of medicine. Various
plants from very early times had been used as healing agents, and
it became necessary to study them in detail, simply in order to
discriminate the kinds employed for different purposes. It was from
this purely utilitarian beginning that systematic botany for the
most part originated. As we shall show in later chapters, nearly all
the herbalists whose work is discussed in the present volume were
medical men. The necessity for some means of recognising accurately the
individual species of medicinal plants led in time to a sounder and
more exact knowledge of their morphology than had ever been acquired
under the influence of thinkers such as Albertus Magnus, who regarded
with some contempt the idea of becoming acquainted in detail with the
countless forms of plant life.

The mass of observations relating to herbs and flowers, accumulated
during a period of many centuries, largely for medicinal purposes, is
to-day serving as the basis for far-reaching biological theories, which
could never have arisen without such a foundation.

It is not systematic botany alone that we owe in the first instance
to medicine. Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712), one of the founders of the
science of plant anatomy, was led to embark upon this subject because
his anatomical studies as a physician suggested to him that plants,
like animals, probably possessed an internal structure worthy of
investigation, since they were the work of the same Creator.

In Ancient Greece there was considerable traffic in medicinal plants.
The herbalists[2] and druggists[3] who made a regular business of
collecting, preparing and selling them, do not appear however to have
been held in good repute. Lucian makes Hercules address Æsculapius as
“a root-digger and a wandering quack[4].”

The herbalists seem to have attempted to keep their business select by
fencing it about with all manner of superstitions, most of which have
for their moral that herb-collecting is too dangerous an occupation
for the uninitiated. Theophrastus draws attention to the absurdity of
some of the root-diggers’ directions for gathering medicinal plants.
For instance he quotes with ridicule the idea that the Peony should be
gathered at night, since, if the fruit is collected in the daytime, and
a wood-pecker happens to witness the act, the eyes of the herbalist
are endangered. He also points out that it is folly to suppose that
an offering of a honey-cake must be made when _Iris fœtidissima_ is
rooted up, or to believe that if an eagle comes near when Hellebore
is being collected, anyone who is engaged in the work is fated to die
within the year.

The herbalists’ knowledge of plants must have been in the first
place transmitted from generation to generation entirely by word of
mouth, but as time went on, written records began to replace the oral
tradition. The earliest extant European work dealing with medicinal
plants is the famous Materia Medica of Dioscorides, which was accepted
as an almost infallible authority as late as the Renaissance period.

Dioscorides Anazarbeus was a medical man who probably flourished in the
first century of the Christian era, in the time of Nero and Vespasian.
Tradition has, however, sometimes assigned to him the post of physician
to Antony and Cleopatra. His native land was Asia Minor, but he
appears to have travelled widely. In his Materia Medica he described
about five hundred plants, with some attempt at an orderly scheme,
though, naturally, the result is seldom successful when judged by our
modern standards of classification. The actual descriptions of the
plants are very slight, and it is only those with particularly salient
characteristics which can be recognised with any ease. Careful research
on the part of later writers has however led to the identification of a
number of the plants to which he refers.

There is a famous manuscript of Dioscorides at Vienna, which is said
to have been copied at the expense of Juliana Anicia, the daughter
of the Emperor Flavius Anicius, about the end of the fifth, or the
beginning of the sixth century. The character of the script settles the
age within narrow limits. Juliana lived into the reign of Justinian,
and was renowned for her ardent Christian faith, and for the churches
which she built. The manuscript which bears her name is illustrated by
a number of drawings, which are in some cases remarkably beautiful,
and very naturalistic. A facsimile reproduction of this manuscript was
published in 1906, and it is thus rendered accessible to students.
Examples of the figures are shown on a reduced scale in Plates I, II
and XV.

[Illustration: _Plate II_

‘Stratiotes’ [Dioscorides, Codex Aniciæ Julianæ, circa A.D. 500].

The botanists of the Renaissance devoted a great deal of time and
energy to the consideration of the writings of Dioscorides. The chief
of the many commentators who dealt with the subject were Matthiolus,
Ruellius and Amatus Lusitanus, and a discussion of the botany of
Dioscorides formed an integral part of almost every sixteenth-century

One of the contemporaries of Dioscorides, Gaius Plinius Secundus,
commonly called the Elder Pliny, should perhaps be mentioned at this
point, although he was not a physician, nor does he deserve the name
of a philosopher. In the course of his ‘Natural History,’ which is
an encyclopædic account of the knowledge of his time, he treats of
the vegetable world. He refers to a far larger number of plants than
Dioscorides, probably because the latter confined himself to those
which were of importance from a medicinal point of view, whereas Pliny
mentioned indiscriminately any plant to which he found a reference
in any previous book. Pliny’s work was chiefly of the nature of a
compilation, and indeed it would scarcely be reasonable to expect much
original observation of nature from a man who was so devoted to books
that it was recorded of him that he considered even a walk to be a
waste of time!

The writings of the classical authors, especially Theophrastus and
Dioscorides, dominated European botany completely until, in the
sixteenth century, other influences began to make themselves felt. As
we shall see in the following chapter, the earliest printed herbals
adhered closely to the classical tradition.





After the invention of printing, a very active period of book
production followed, during which many works, which had previously
passed a more or less lengthy existence in manuscript, were put into
circulation in print, contemporaneously with books actually written at
the time. The result is that a number of the “incunabula,” as printed
books of the fifteenth century are technically called, are far more
ancient, as regards the matter which they contain, than the date of
their publication would seem to suggest.

This characteristic is illustrated in the Encyclopædia of Bartholomæus
Anglicus, and in Konrad von Megenberg’s ‘Das půch der natur,’ which
were perhaps the earliest printed books containing strictly botanical
information. The former work, which was first printed about 1470,
was compiled by a monk, sometimes called Bartholomew de Glanville,
who flourished in the thirteenth century. The title by which it is
generally known is ‘Liber de proprietatibus rerum.’ One of the sections
of which it is composed is concerned with an account of a large number
of trees and herbs, arranged in alphabetical order, and is chiefly
occupied with their medicinal properties. It also includes some
theoretical considerations about plants, on Aristotelian lines. An
English translation, which was printed by Wynkyn de Worde before the
end of the fifteenth century, is interesting as containing the very
primitive botanical wood-cut reproduced in Text-fig. 19.

[Illustration: _Plate III_

Wood-cut of Plants [Konrad von Megenberg, Das půch der natur, 1475].

‘Das půch der natur’ is slightly later as regards the date of
publication, having been printed by Hanns Bämler at Augsburg in 1475.
It seems to have been very popular, for it passed through six or seven
editions before the end of the fifteenth century. A very large number
of manuscripts of ‘The Book of Nature’ exist, as many as eighteen
being preserved in the Vienna Library and seventeen at Munich. The
text is a compilation from old Latin writings, and is said to have
been translated into German as early as 1349. The portion dealing with
plants consists of an account of the virtues of eighty-nine herbs with
their Latin and German names. The chief interest of the work, from our
present point of view, lies in the fact that it contains the earliest
known botanical wood engraving (Plate III). We shall return to this
subject in Chapter VII.


Another very early book based on classical writings, especially those
of Dioscorides and Pliny, was the ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius Platonicus.
This little Latin work is among the earliest to which the term “Herbal”
is generally applied. A herbal has been defined as a book containing
the names and descriptions of herbs, or of plants in general, with
their properties and virtues. The word is believed to have been derived
from a mediæval Latin adjective “herbalis,” the substantive “liber”
being understood. It is thus exactly comparable in origin with the word
“manual” in the sense of a hand-book.

Four early printed editions of the Herbal of Apuleius Platonicus are
known, all of which appear to have been based on different manuscripts.
The earliest was published in Rome late in the fifteenth century, from
a manuscript discovered by Joh. Philippus de Lignamine, physician to
Pope Sixtus IV. Nothing is definitely known concerning the author, but
it is conjectured that he was a native of Africa, and that his book
may date from the fifth century, or possibly even the fourth. The work
undoubtedly had a career of many centuries in manuscript before it was

[Illustration: Text-fig. 1: “Plantago” = Plantain [Herbarium Apuleii
Platonici, ? 1484].]

Various extant manuscripts of the Herbarium are illustrated with
coloured drawings of the crudest description, which are found on
comparison to be identical in many different examples, and to have been
reproduced, in a degraded form, when the book was printed. The original
figures, from which the drawings in the different manuscripts were
copied, must date back to very early times. They probably represent, as
Dr Payne has pointed out, a school of botanical draughtsmanship derived
from late Roman art.

[Illustration: _Plate IV_

‘Orbicularis’ [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici, ? 1484]. _The tint
represents colouring, which was probably contemporary._]

These illustrations, some of which are reproduced in Plates IV, V and
XVI, and Text-figs. 1 and 2, will be discussed in greater detail in
Chapter VII. One of their peculiarities is that, if a herb has the
power of healing the bite or sting of any animal, that animal is drawn
with the plant on the same block.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 2. “Artemisia” [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici, ?

Soon after the appearance in Italy of the earliest printed editions of
the Herbarium of Apuleius Platonicus, three works of great importance
were published at Mainz in Germany. These were the Latin ‘Herbarius’
(1484), the German ‘Herbarius’ (1485), and derived from the latter,
the ‘Hortus Sanitatis’ (1491). The Latin and the German Herbarius,
together with the Herbarium of Apuleius Platonicus, may be regarded
as the _doyens_ amongst printed herbals. All three seem to have been
largely based upon pre-existing manuscripts, representing a tradition
of great antiquity.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 3. “Lilium” [Herbarius Moguntinus, 1484].]

The various forms of the Latin and German Herbarius, and of the Hortus
Sanitatis are described under many titles, and the unravelling of the
various editions is a matter of great difficulty. In the fifteenth
century, before copyright existed, as soon as a popular work was
published, pirated editions and translations sprang into existence. In
the case of the German Herbarius, a new edition was printed at Augsburg
only a few months after the appearance of the original at Mainz. Some
such editions were dated, and some undated, and the sources from which
they were derived were seldom acknowledged.

The passage of the earliest printed books through the press was
naturally extremely slow, as compared with the rapid production of
the present day. The result was that the printer had leisure to make
occasional alterations, so that different copies belonging actually to
the same edition sometimes show slight variations. The bibliographer
has thus to deal with an additional element of confusion.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 4. “Aristolochia longa” [Herbarius Moguntinus,

As far as the works now under consideration are concerned, however,
much of the obscurity has been removed by the late Dr Payne, to whom we
owe a very lucid memoir on the various editions of the Latin and German
Herbarius and the Hortus Sanitatis, based in part upon the researches
of Dr Ludwig Choulant. Free use has been made of his account in the
present chapter.


The work to which we may refer for convenience as the Latin Herbarius
is also known under many other titles—‘Herbarius in Latino,’
‘Aggregator de Simplicibus,’ ‘Herbarius Moguntinus,’ ‘Herbarius
Patavinus,’ etc. It was originally printed at Mainz by Peter Schöffer
in 1484, in the form of a small quarto. It is interesting to recall
that the earliest specimen of printing from movable type known to exist
was produced in the same town thirty years before.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 5. “Serpentaria” [Herbarius Moguntinus, 1484].]

Other early editions and translations of the Herbarius appeared in
Bavaria, the Low Countries, Italy, and probably also in France.
The work, like most of the early herbals, was anonymous, and was a
compilation from mediæval writers, and from certain classical and
Arabian authors. It seems to have no connection with the Herbarium
of Apuleius, which is nowhere cited. The majority of the authorities
quoted wrote before 1300 A.D. and no author is mentioned who might
not have been known to a writer about the middle of the fourteenth
century, that is to say, at least a hundred years before the Herbarius
was published. It is quite possible that the work was not written
at the time it was printed, but may have had a previous career in

[Illustration: Text-fig. 6. “Brionia” [Arnaldus de Villa Nova,
Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum, 1499].]

The wood-blocks of the first German edition are bold and decorative,
but as a rule show little attempt at realism (Text-figs. 3, 4, 5 and
73). A different and better set of figures were used in Italy to
illustrate the text (Text-figs. 6, 57, 65, 74, 75, 76). The authorship
of this version of the Herbarius is sometimes erroneously attributed to
Arnold de Nova Villa, a physician of the thirteenth century, a mistake
which arose through the conspicuous citation of his name in the preface
to the Venetian editions.

The descriptions and figures of the herbs are arranged alphabetically.
All the plants discussed were natives of Germany or in cultivation
there, and the object of the work seems to have been to help the reader
to the use of cheap and easily obtained remedies, in cases of illness
or accident.


Of even greater importance than the Latin Herbarius is the German
Herbarius or ‘Herbarius zu Teutsch,’ sometimes also called the German
Ortus Sanitatis, or the Smaller Ortus. This folio, which was the
foundation of the later works called Hortus (or Ortus) Sanitatis,
appeared at Mainz, also from the printing press of Peter Schöffer in
1485, the year following the publication of the Latin Herbarius. It has
been mistakenly regarded by some authors as a mere translation of the
latter. However, the two books are neither the same in the text nor in
the illustrations. The German Herbarius appears to be an independent
work except as regards the third part of the book—the index of drugs
according to their uses—which may owe something to the Latin Herbarius.

It seems from the preface that the originator of the book was a rich
man, who had travelled in the east, and that the medical portion was
compiled under his direction by a physician. The latter was probably Dr
Johann von Cube, who was town physician of Frankfort at the end of the
fifteenth century.

The preface to the Herbarius zu Teutsch begins with the words, “Offt
und vil habe ich by mir selbst betracht die wundersam werck des
schepfers der natuer.” Similar words are found in all the different
German editions, and in the later Hortus Sanitatis they are translated
into Latin. The preface reveals so clearly and so delightfully the
spirit in which the work was undertaken that it seems worth while to
translate it almost _in extenso_.

It is impossible, however, to grasp the medical ideas characteristic
of the earlier herbals, such as those presented in the preface which
follows, unless one understands the special terminology, in which the
“_four elements_” and the “_four principles_” or “_natures_” play a
great part. The ideas expressed by these terms had begun to dominate
medical and physiological notions five or six hundred years before
the birth of Christ, and they held their own for a period of more
than two thousand years. As an instance of their constant occurrence
in literature we may recall Sir Toby’s remark in ‘Twelfth Night,’ “Do
not our lives consist of the four elements?” In Aristotle’s time these
conceptions must have been already quite familiar to his pupils. Like,
his predecessors he distinguished four elements, Fire, Water, Earth and
Air, and to these he added a fifth—the Ether. In the four elements,
the four principles are combined in pairs—fire being characterised by
heat and dryness, air by heat and moisture, water by cold and moisture,
and earth by cold and dryness. According to Aristotle, heat and cold
are active, while dryness and moisture are passive in their nature.
By the “temperament” of a man is understood the balance or proportion
maintained between these conflicting tendencies. The particular
“virtues” of each plant, in other words the power of restoring lost
health or “temperament,” are determined by the “principles” which
it contains, and the proportions in which these occur. With this
introduction we may pass on to the preface of the Herbarius zu

“Many a time and oft have I contemplated inwardly the wondrous works
of the Creator of the universe: how in the beginning He formed the
heavens and adorned them with goodly, shining stars, to which He gave
power and might to influence everything under heaven. Also how He
afterwards formed the four elements: fire, hot and dry—air, hot and
moist—water, cold and moist—earth, dry and cold—and gave to each a
nature of its own; and how after this the same Great Master of Nature
made and formed herbs of many sorts and animals of all kinds, and last
of all Man, the noblest of all created things. Thereupon I thought on
the wondrous order which the Creator gave these same creatures of His,
so that everything which has its being under heaven receives it from
the stars, and keeps it by their help. I considered further how that
in everything which arises, grows, lives or soars in the four elements
named, be it metal, stone, herb or animal, the four natures of the
elements, heat, cold, moistness and dryness are mingled. It is also to
be noted that the four natures in question are also mixed and blended
in the human body in a measure and temperament suitable to the life
and nature of man. While man keeps within this measure, proportion or
temperament, he is strong and healthy, but as soon as he steps or falls
beyond the temperament or measure of the four natures, which happens
when heat takes the upper hand and strives to stifle cold, or, on the
contrary, when cold begins to suppress heat, or man becomes full of
cold moisture, or again is deprived of the due measure of moisture,
he falls of necessity into sickness, and draws nigh unto death. There
are many causes of disturbances, such as I have mentioned, in the
measure of the four elements which is essential to man’s health and
life. In some cases it is the poisonous and hidden influence of the
heavens acting against man’s nature, for from this arise impurity and
poisoning of the air; in other cases the food and drink are unsuitable,
or suitable but not taken in the right quantities, or at the right
time. Of a truth I would as soon count thee the leaves on the trees,
or the grains of sand in the sea, as the things which are the causes
of a relapse from the temperament of the four natures, and a beginning
of man’s sickness. It is for this reason that so many thousands and
thousands of perils and dangers beset man. He is not fully sure of his
health or his life for one moment. While considering these matters,
I also remembered how the Creator of Nature, Who has placed us amid
such dangers, has mercifully provided us with a remedy, that is with
all kinds of herbs, animals and other created things to which He has
given power and might to restore, produce, give and temper the four
natures mentioned above. One herb is heating, another is cooling, each
after the degree of its nature and complexion. In the same manner many
other created things on the earth and in the water preserve man’s life,
through the Creator of Nature. By virtue of these herbs and created
things the sick man may recover the temperament of the four elements
and the health of his body. Since, then, man can have no greater nor
nobler treasure on earth than bodily health, I came to the conclusion
that I could not perform any more honourable, useful or holy work or
labour than to compile a book in which should be contained the virtue
and nature of many herbs and other created things, together with their
true colours and form, for the help of all the world and the common
good. Thereupon I caused this praiseworthy work to be begun by a Master
learned in physic, who, at my request, gathered into a book the virtue
and nature of many herbs out of the acknowledged masters of physic,
Galen, Avicenna, Serapio, Dioscorides, Pandectarius, Platearius and
others. But when, in the process of the work, I turned to the drawing
and depicting of the herbs, I marked that there are many precious herbs
which do not grow here in these German lands, so that I could not draw
them with their true colours and form, except from hearsay. Therefore
I left unfinished the work which I had begun, and laid aside my pen,
until such time as I had received grace and dispensation to visit the
Holy Sepulchre, and also Mount Sinai, where the body of the Blessed
Virgin, Saint Catherine, rests in peace. Then, in order that the noble
work I had begun and left incomplete should not come to nought, and
also that my journey should benefit not my soul alone, but the whole
world, I took with me a painter ready of wit, and cunning and subtle of
hand. And so we journeyed from Germany through Italy, Istria, and then
by way of Slavonia or the Windisch land, Croatia, Albania, Dalmatia,
Greece, Corfu, Morea, Candia, Rhodes and Cyprus to the Promised Land
and the Holy City, Jerusalem, and thence through Arabia Minor to Mount
Sinai, from Mount Sinai towards the Red Sea in the direction of Cairo,
Babylonia, and also Alexandria in Egypt, whence I returned to Candia.
In wandering through these kingdoms and lands, I diligently sought
after the herbs there, and had them depicted and drawn, with their
true colour and form. And after I had, by God’s grace, returned to
Germany and home, the great love which I bore this work impelled me
to finish it, and now, with the help of God, it is accomplished. And
this book is called in Latin, _Ortus Sanitatis_, and in German, _gart
d’gesuntheyt_[6]. In this garden are to be found the power and virtues
of 435 plants and other created things, which serve for the health of
man, and are commonly used in apothecaries’ shops for medicine. Of
these, about 350 appear here as they are, with their true colours and
form. And, so that it might be useful to all the world, learned and
unlearned, I had it compiled in the German tongue. * * * * * *

“Now fare forth into all lands, thou noble and beautiful Garden, thou
delight of the healthy, thou comfort and life of the sick. There is no
man living who can fully declare thy use and thy fruit. I thank Thee,
O Creator of heaven and earth, Who hast given power to the plants, and
other created things contained in this book, that Thou hast granted me
the grace to reveal this treasure, which until now has lain buried and
hid from the sight of common men. To Thee be glory and honour, now and
for ever. Amen.”

Passing from the preface to the botanical part of the German Herbarius,
we find that it is divided into chapters, each of which deals with
a herb, except in a comparatively small number of cases in which an
animal, or a substance useful to man such as butter or lime, forms the
subject. The chapters are arranged in alphabetical order.

The Herbarius zu Teutsch represents a notable advance upon the Latin
Herbarius in the matter of the figures. Its publication, according to
Dr Payne, “forms an important land-mark in the history of botanical
illustration, and marks perhaps the greatest single step ever made in
that art.” This estimate seems to the present writer to be somewhat
exaggerated, but it must at least be conceded that the figures in
question are, on the whole, drawn with greater freedom and realism
than those of the Latin Herbarius, and are often remarkably beautiful
(Text-figs. 7, 77, 78). The most attractive is perhaps that of the
Dodder climbing on a plant with flowers and pods (Text-fig. 77), which
is drawn in a masterly fashion. These wood-cuts form the basis of
nearly all botanical illustrations for the next half-century, being
copied and recopied from book to book. No work which excelled, or even
equalled them was produced until a new period of botanical illustration
began with the Herbal of Brunfels, published in 1530.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 7. “Acorus” = Iris [Herbarius zu Teutsch,
Mainz, 1485].]

The German Herbarius was much copied and translated into other
languages, the original set of figures being, as a rule, reproduced on
a smaller scale. According to Dr Payne, the earliest French edition
called ‘Arbolayre’ (derived from the Latin, _herbolarium_) is now an
exceedingly rare book. It is said to differ little from the original
except in the fact that the French translator declined to believe the
myth that the Mandrake root has human form.

Another early French herbal, very similar to the Arbolayre, was
published under the name of ‘Le Grant Herbier.’ The origin of the text
of this book has been the subject of some discussion. Choulant regarded
it as derived from the Ortus Sanitatis, but an Italian authority,
Signor Giulio Camus, has discovered two fifteenth-century manuscripts
in the Biblioteca Estense at Modena, which have thrown a different
light on the subject. One of these is the work commonly called ‘Circa
instans,’ while the other is a version of the Grant Herbier; on
comparing the two, Signor Camus concluded that the French manuscript
was obviously derived from Circa instans. A version of the latter,
differing somewhat from the Modena manuscript, was printed at Ferrara
in 1488, and other editions appeared later.

The figures which illustrate the Grant Herbier seem to have been
derived from those of the Ortus Sanitatis rather than those of the
Herbarius. The work is of special interest to British botanists, since
it was translated into English and published, in 1526, as the ‘Grete
Herball,’ a book which will be discussed at length in the following

Another work, which appeared with reduced copies of the familiar
illustrations from the German Herbarius, was the ‘Liber de arte
distillandi de Simplicibus’ of Hieronymus Braunschweig (1500). In this
book, the method of distilling herbs, in order to make use of their
virtues, was described in considerable detail, with drawings of the
apparatus employed.


[Illustration: Text-fig. 8. “Leopardus” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491].]

The third of the fundamental botanical works, produced at Mainz towards
the close of the fifteenth century, was the ‘Hortus,’ or as it is more
commonly called ‘Ortus Sanitatis,’ printed by Jacob Meydenbach in 1491.
It is in part a modified Latin translation of the German Herbarius, but
it is not merely this, for it contains treatises on animals, birds,
fishes and stones, which are almost unrepresented in the Herbarius.
Nearly one-third of the figures of herbs are new. The rest are copied
on a reduced scale from the German Herbarius, and the drawing, which
is by no means improved, often shows that the copyist did not fully
understand the nature of the object he was attempting to portray. As an
example of a wood-cut, which has lost much of its character in copying,
we may take the Dodder (cf. Text-figs. 80 and 77).

[Illustration: Text-fig. 9. “Daucus” = Carrot [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz,

The Ortus Sanitatis is very rich in pictures. The first edition opens
with a full-page wood-cut, modified from that at the beginning of the
German Herbarius, and representing a group of figures, who appear to
be engaged in discussing some medical or botanical problem. Before the
treatise on Animals, there is another large engraving of three figures
with a number of beasts at their feet, and before that on Birds, there
is a lively picture with an architectural background, showing a scene
which swarms with innumerable birds of all kinds, whose peculiarities
are apparently being discussed by two savants in the foreground. The
treatise on Fishes begins with a landscape with water, enlivened by
shipping. There are two figures in the foreground, and in the water,
fishes, crabs and mythical monsters such as mermen, are seen disporting
themselves. Before the treatise on Stones, there is a very spirited
scene representing a number of figures in a jeweller’s shop, and two
large wood-cuts of doctors and their patients illustrate the medical
portion with which the book concludes.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 10. “Passer” = Sparrow [Ortus Sanitatis,
Mainz, 1491].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 11. “Pavo” = Peacock [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz,

[Illustration: Text-fig. 12. “Arbor vel lignum vite paradisi” = Tree of
Paradise [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491].]

The treatise on Plants is considerably modified from the German
Herbarius, and the virtues of the herbs described are dealt with at
greater length. The Herbarium of Apuleius Platonicus is more than once
quoted, though not by name. A number of new illustrations are added,
some of which are highly imaginative. The Tree of Life (Text-fig.
12) and the Tree of Knowledge are dealt with amongst other botanical
objects, a woman-headed serpent being introduced in the first case, and
Adam and Eve in the second. There is a beautiful description of the
virtues of the Tree of Life, in which we read that he who should eat
of the fruit “should be clothed with blessed immortality, and should
not be fatigued with infirmity, or anxiety, or lassitude, or weariness
of trouble.” The engraving which is named Narcissus (Text-fig. 13) has
diminutive figures emerging from the flowers, like a transformation
scene at a pantomime! It is probably, however, intended to represent
the conversion of the beautiful youth, Narcissus, into a flower. Apart
from these mythological subjects, there are a number of very curious
engravings. A tree called “Bausor,” for instance, which was believed
to exhale a narcotic poison, like the fabulous Upas tree, has two men
lying beneath its shade, apparently in the sleep of death (Text-fig.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 13. “Narcissus” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz,

[Illustration: Text-fig. 14. “Bauser vel Bausor” [Ortus Sanitatis,
Mainz, 1491].]

Among the herbs, substances such as starch, vinegar, cheese, soap,
etc., are included, and as these do not lend themselves to direct
representation, they become the excuse for a delightful set of genre
pictures. “Wine” is illustrated by a man gazing at a glass; “Bread,”
by a housewife with loaves on the table before her (Text-fig. 15);
“Water,” by a fountain; “Honey,” by a boy who seems to be extracting
it from the comb; and “Milk,” by a woman milking a cow. The picture
which appears under the heading of Amber shows great ingenuity
(Text-fig. 16). The writer points out that this substance, according
to some authors, is the fruit or gum of a tree growing by the sea,
while according to others it is produced by a fish or by sea foam. In
order to represent all these possibilities, the figure shows the sea,
indicated in a conventional fashion, with a tree growing out of it, and
a fish swimming in it. The writer of the Ortus Sanitatis, on the other
hand, holds the opinion that Amber is generated under the sea, after
the manner of the Fungi which arise on land.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 15. “Panis” = Bread [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz,

The treatises on animals and fishes are full of pictures of mythical
creatures, such as a unicorn being caressed by a lady as though it were
a little dog (Text-fig. 17), recalling the “Lady and Unicorn” tapestry
in the Musée Cluny—a fight between a man and hydras—the phœnix in the
flames—and a harpy with its claws in a man’s body. Other monsters
which are figured include a dragon, the Basilisk, Pegasus, and a bird
with a long neck which is tied in an ornamental knot.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 16. “Ambra” = Amber [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz,

Later Latin editions of the Ortus Sanitatis were printed in Germany
and Italy, and translations were also popular. The part of the book
dealing with animals and stones was produced in German under the name
of ‘Gart der Gesuntheit; zu Latin Ortus Sanitatis,’ so as to form a
supplement to the German Herbarius, which dealt, as we have seen,
almost exclusively with herbs. No really complete translation of the
Hortus was ever published, except that printed by Antoine Vérard in
Paris about the year 1500, under the title, ‘Ortus sanitatis translate
de latin en francois.’ Henry VII was one of Vérard’s patrons, and in
the account books of John Heron, Treasurer of the Chamber, which are
preserved at the Record Office, there is an entry (1501-2) which runs,
“Item to Anthony Vérard for two bokes called the gardyn of helth ...
£6.” This refers to a copy, in two parts, of Vérard’s translation of
the Ortus Sanitatis, which is still preserved in the British Museum.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 17. “Unicornus” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz,

The complete Ortus Sanitatis made its appearance for the last time as
‘Le Jardin de Santé,’ printed by Philippe le Noir about 1539, and sold
in Paris, “a lenseigne de la Rose blanche couronnee.” Text-fig. 18,
taken from this book, shows how the artist of the period represented a
“Garden of Health.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 18. A Herbalist’s Garden [Le Jardin de Santé,
? 1539].]

The title-pages of the early herbals were often decorated with such
pictures. A more ambitious example is reproduced in Text-fig. 113. In
this case the apothecary’s store-room is also depicted, and a housewife
is portrayed, laying fragrant herbs among linen. The small garden scene
on the title-page of the ‘Grete Herball’ (1526) is of special interest,
since it includes representations of the male and female Mandrake
(Text-fig. 112).

[Illustration: _Plate V_

‘Mandragora’ = Mandrake [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici, ? 1484].

_The tint represents colouring, which was probably contemporary._]




Concerning the Herbarium of Apuleius Platonicus, a few remarks have
been already made. This herbal was perhaps the first through which
any kind of systematic knowledge of medicinal plants was brought into
Britain. For this reason it may be mentioned here, although manuscript
herbals do not, strictly, come within our province. In the Bodleian
Library there is an Anglo-Saxon translation of the work, which is said
to have been made for King Alfred. Another Anglo-Saxon manuscript of
later date, probably transcribed between A.D. 1000 and the Norman
Conquest, has been rendered into modern English by Dr Cockayne. The
classical and Anglo-Saxon plant-names are given in the herbal, and,
although there is scarcely any attempt at description, the localities
where the plants may be found are sometimes mentioned.

The greater part of the manuscript is concerned with the virtues of
herbs. The plants were regarded in this, as in most early works, merely
as “simples,” that is, the simple constituents of compound medicines.
Hieronymus Bock in 1551 described his herbal as being an account of
“die Einfache erd Gewächs, Simplicia genant[7].” The term “simple,”
now almost obsolete, was a household word in earlier times, when most
remedies were manufactured at home in the still-room. The expression of
Jaques in ‘As You Like It’—“a melancholy of mine own, compounded of
many simples, extracted from many objects”—would not have seemed in the
least far-fetched to an audience of that day. It is interesting that,
although the word “simple,” used in this sense, has vanished from our
common speech, its antithesis “compound” has held its place in the
language of pharmacy.

The southern source of the Herbal of Apuleius is suggested by the fact
that the origin of the healing art is attributed to Æsculapius and
Chiron. We are told, also, that the Wormwoods were discovered by Diana,
who “delivered their powers and leechdom to Chiron, the centaur, who
first from these worts set forth a leechdom.” The Lily-of-the-Valley,
on the other hand, is said to have been found by Apollo and given by
him “to Æsculapius, the leech.”

Many of the accounts of the virtues of the plants are of the nature of
spells or charms rather than of medical recipes. For instance it is
recommended that “if any propose a journey, then let him take to him in
hand this wort artemisia, ... then he will not feel much toil in his
journey.” As is usually the case in the older herbals, the proper mode
of uprooting the Mandrake is described with much gusto. “This wort ...
is mickle and illustrious of aspect, and it is beneficial. Thou shalt
in this manner take it, when thou comest to it, then thou understandest
it by this, that it shineth at night altogether like a lamp. When first
thou seest its head, then inscribe thou it instantly with iron, lest
it fly from thee; its virtue is so mickle and so famous, that it will
immediately flee from an unclean man, when he cometh to it; hence as
we before said, do thou inscribe it with iron, and so shalt thou delve
about it, as that thou touch it not with the iron, but thou shalt
earnestly with an ivory staff delve the earth. And when thou seest its
hands and its feet, then tie thou it up. Then take the other end and
tie it to a dog’s neck, so that the hound be hungry; next cast meat
before him, so that he may not reach it, except he jerk up the wort
with him. Of this wort it is said, that it hath so mickle might, that
what thing soever tuggeth it up, that it shall soon in the same manner
be deceived. Therefore, as soon as thou see that it be jerked up, and
have possession of it, take it immediately in hand, and twist it, and
wring the ooze out of its leaves into a glass ampulla.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 19. Wood-cut of Plants [Bartholomæus Anglicus,
Liber de proprietatibus rerum, Wynkyn de Worde, ? 1495]. _Reduced._]

The writer of the herbal evidently fully accepted the mythical notion
that the Mandrake was furnished with human limbs. Plate V shows how
this plant was depicted in an early printed edition of the Herbarium of
Apuleius, but much more spirited and sensational treatments of the same
subject are to be found in some of the manuscripts dealing with herbs.
Sixteenth-century representations are shown in Text-figs. 107 and 112.

The earliest English printed book containing information of a
definitely botanical character is probably the translation of the
‘Liber de proprietatibus rerum’ of Bartholomæus Anglicus, which was
printed by Wynkyn de Worde before the end of the fifteenth century.
This has been briefly mentioned in the last chapter (pp. 10 and 11) and
a wood-cut from it is shown in Text-fig. 19.


The first book printed in England, which can really be called a herbal,
is an anonymous quarto volume, without illustrations, published in
1525. The title-page runs, “Here begynneth a newe mater, the whiche
sheweth and treateth of ye vertues and proprytes of herbes, the whiche
is called an Herball.” On the last page we find the words “Imprynted
by me Rycharde Banckes, dwellynge in London, a lytel fro ye Stockes in
ye Pultry.” I have not been able to satisfy myself that this work is
directly derived from any pre-existing book, and it seems possible that
it may really have some claim to originality. Dr Payne suggests that
it is probably an abridgement of some mediæval English manuscript on
herbs. It is certainly quite a different work from the much more famous
Grete Herball, printed in the succeeding year, and, although there are
no figures, it is in some ways a better book. Distinctly less space, in
proportion, is devoted to the virtues of the plants, and, on the whole,
more botanical information is given. For instance, under the heading
“Capillus veneris,” we find the following description: “This herbe
is called Mayden heere or waterworte. This herbe hathe leves lyke to
Ferne, but the leves be smaller, and it groweth on walles and stones,
and in ye myddes of ye lefe is as it were blacke heere.” The Grete
Herball, on the other hand, vouchsafes only the meagre information,
“Capillus veneris is an herbe so named”!

In cases where the virtues of the herbs are not strictly medicinal,
they are described in Banckes’ herbal with more than a touch of poetry.
Rosemary has perhaps the most charming list of attributes, some of
which are worth quoting. The reader is directed to “take the flowres
and make powder therof and bynde it to the ryght arme in a lynen
clothe, and it shall make the lyght and mery.... Also take the flowres
and put them in a chest amonge youre clothes or amonge bokes and
moughtes shall not hurte them.... Also boyle the leves in whyte wyne
and wasshe thy face therwith ... thou shall have a fayre face. Also put
the leves under thy beddes heed, and thou shalbe delyvered of all evyll
dremes.... Also take the leves and put them into a vessel of wyne ...
yf thou sell that wyne, thou shall have good lucke and spede in the
sale.... Also make the a box of the wood and smell to it and it shall
preserne [preserve] thy youthe. Also put therof in thy doores or in
thy howse and thou shalbe without daunger of Adders and other venymous
serpentes. Also make the a barell therof and drynke thou of the drynke
that standeth therin and thou nedes to fere no poyson that shall hurte
ye, and yf thou set it in thy garden kepe it honestly for it is moche

The popularity of Banckes’ Herbal is attested by the fact that a large
number of editions appeared from different presses, although their
identity has been obscured by the various names under which they were
published. To consider these editions in detail is a task for the
bibliographer rather than the botanist, and it will not be attempted
here. We may, however, mention a few typical examples.

In 1550, a book was printed by “Jhon kynge” with the title ‘A litle
Herball of the properties of Herbes newly amended and corrected, wyth
certayn Additions at the ende of the boke, declaring what Herbes
hath influence of certain Sterres and constellations, wherby maye be
chosen the best and most lucky tymes and dayes of their ministracion,
according to the Moone beyng in the signes of heaven, the which is
daily appointed in the Almanacke, made and gathered in the yeare of our
Lorde God. MDL the XII daye of February, by Anthony Askham, Physycyon.’
This work, which is generally called Askham’s Herbal, is directly
derived from Banckes’ Herbal, with the addition of some astrological

The book known as Cary’s or Copland’s Herbal, which was probably first
published about the same time as Askham’s Herbal, is simply a later
edition of the herbal of Rycharde Banckes, and another closely similar
edition with an almost identical title was published by Kynge.

Another version of the same work, undated, and printed by Robert Wyer,
appeared under an even more deceptive title—‘A newe Herball of Macer,
Translated out of Laten in to Englysshe.’ There was, as a matter of
fact, a certain Æmilius Macer, a contemporary of Virgil and Ovid, who
wrote about plants in Latin verse, and there is also a herbal which
was first printed in the fifteenth century, and which is known by the
name of ‘Macer Floridus de viribus herbarum.’ Macer Floridus or Æmilius
Macer is supposed to have been the pseudonym of a physician whose real
name was Odo. ‘De viribus herbarum’ deals with seventy-seven plants
in alphabetical order, and describes their virtues in mediæval Latin
verse, which is believed to date back to the tenth century. It is
illustrated with wood-cuts which are apparently copied from those of
the Herbarius zu Teutsch.

There seems to be no justification whatever for the use of Macer’s name
on the title-page of ‘A newe Herball of Macer.’ Except for some slight
verbal differences, it is identical with Banckes’ herbal of 1525.
Another closely similar edition, also undated, was published under the
name of ‘Macers Herbal. Practysd by Doctor Lynacro.’ Macer’s name was
probably merely borrowed in each case, in order to give the books a
well-sounding title, and thus to increase the chances of sale.


Among the earlier English herbals, the greater reputation belongs, not
to Banckes’ Herbal in any of its forms, but to the ‘Grete Herball’
printed by Peter Treveris in 1526, and again in 1529. This was
admittedly a translation from the French, namely from the work known
as ‘Le Grant Herbier,’ whose origin we have discussed on p. 24. In the
preface and supplement, however, it also shows some indebtedness to the
Ortus Sanitatis. The figures in the Grete Herball are degraded copies
of the series which first appeared in the Herbarius zu Teutsch (see
Text-figs. 20 and 21).

The introduction to the Grete Herball, though it is less naïve and
charming than the corresponding part of the German Herbarius, may yet
be quoted, in part, as giving a very lucid idea of the utilitarian
point of view of the herbalist of the period, and also as bringing home
to the reader the immense influence of the theory of the four elements:

“Consyderynge the grete goodnesse of almyghty god creatour of heven and
erthe, and al thynge therin comprehended to whom be eternall laude and
prays, etc. Consyderynge the cours and nature of the foure elementes
and qualytees where to ye nature of man is inclyned, out of the whiche
elementes issueth dyvers qualytees infyrmytees and dyseases in the
corporate body of man, but god of his goodnesse that is creatour of
all thynges hath ordeyned for mankynde (whiche he hath created to his
owne lykenesse) for the grete and tender love, which he hath unto hym
to whom all thinges erthely he hath ordeyned to be obeysant, for the
sustentacyon and helthe of his lovynge creature mankynde whiche is
onely made egally of the foure elementes and qualitees of the same,
and whan any of these foure habounde or hath more domynacyon, the one
than the other it constrayneth ye body of man to grete infyrmytees or
dyseases, for the whiche ye eternall god hath gyven of his haboundante
grace, vertues in all maner of herbes to cure and heale all maner of
sekenesses or infyrmytes to hym befallyng thrugh the influent course of
the foure elementes beforesayd, and of the corrupcyons and ye venymous
ayres contrarye ye helthe of man. Also of onholsam meates or drynkes,
or holsam meates or drynkes taken ontemperatly whiche be called
surfetes that brengeth a man sone to grete dyseases or sekenesse,
whiche dyseases ben of nombre and ompossyble to be rehersed, and
fortune as well in vilages where as nother surgeons nor phisicians be
dwellyng nygh by many a myle, as it dooth in good townes where they be
redy at hande. Wherfore brotherly love compelleth me to wryte thrugh ye
gyftes of the holy gost shewynge and enformynge how man may be holpen
with grene herbes of the gardyn and wedys of ye feldys as well as by
costly receptes of the potycarys prepayred.”

The conclusion of the whole matter, which is set forth immediately
before the index, is in these words:

“O ye worthy reders or practicyens to whome this noble volume is
present I beseche yow take intellygence and beholde ye workes and
operacyons of almyghty god which hath endewed his symple creature
mankynde with the graces of ye holy goost to have parfyte knowlege and
understandynge of the vertue of all maner of herbes and trees in this
booke comprehendyd.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 20. “Yvery” = Ivory [The Grete Herball, 1529].]

From a twentieth-century point of view, the Grete Herball contains much
that is curious, especially in relation to medical matters. Bathing
was evidently regarded as a strange fad. We learn, on the authority of
Galen, that “many folke that hath bathed them in colde wa[ter] have
dyed or they came home.” Water drinking seems to have been thought
almost equally pernicious, for we are told, “mayster Isaac sayth that
it is unpossyble for them that drynketh overmoche water in theyr youth
to come to ye aege that god ordeyned them.” A period when men were
more prone than they are to-day to settle their differences by the use
of their own strong right arms is reflected in the various remedies
proposed for such afflictions as “blackenesse or brusinge comynge of
strypes, specyally yf they be in the face.”

Turning to less concrete ailments, it is rather striking to find what
a large number of prescriptions against melancholy are considered
necessary. For instance, “To make folke mery at ye table,” one is
recommended to “take foure leves and foure rotes of vervayn in wyne,
than spryncle the wyne all about the hous where the eatynge is and they
shall be all mery.” The smoke of Aristolochia “maketh the pacyent mery
mervaylously,” and also “dryveth all devyllsshnesse and all trouble
out of ye house.” Bugloss and Mugwort are also recommended to produce
merriment, and it is suggested that the lesser Mugwort should be laid
under the door of the house, for, if this is done, “man nor womann
can not anoy in that hous[8].” The number of specifics proposed as
a cure for baldness is somewhat surprising, when one remembers that
this condition is often attributed to the nervous stress and strain
of modern life! Hair-dyes and stains for the nails also receive their
share of attention.

Very remarkable powers were ascribed to products of the ocean, such
as coral and pearls. The former is described as being “a maner of
stony substaunce that is founde in partyes of the see, and specyally
in holowe, and cavy hylles that ben in ye see, and groweth as a maner
of a glewy humour, and cleveth to the stones.” The writer mentions
that “some say that the reed corall kepeth the hous that it is in
fro lyghtnynge, thondre, and tempest.” Pearls were regarded as of
great value in medicine, and, for weakness of the heart, the patient
is recommended to “Take the powdre of perles with sugre of roses,”
which suggests a remedy worthy of a poet! Many travellers’ tales are
incorporated in the herbal; we find, for instance, a most thrilling
description of the lodestone. “Lapis magnetis is the adamant stone that
draweth yren. It ... is founde in the brymmes of the occyan see. And
there be hylles of it, and these hylles drawe ye shyppes that have
nayles of yren to them, and breke the shyppes up drawynge of the nayles
out.” This description is illustrated by a picture of a rocky pinnacle
and a ship going to pieces; one man is already in the water, and two
others are on the point of losing their lives.

Many of the remedies for different ailments strike the modern reader
as being violent in a terrifying degree, and adapted to a more robust
age than the present; they incline one to echo the words, “There were
giants in the earth in those days.” But apparently the sixteenth
century held an exactly corresponding view of its predecessors, for
under the heading of “whyte elebore” we read, “In olde tyme it was
commely used in medycyns as we use squamony. For the body of man was
stronger than it is now, and myght better endure the vyolence of
elebore, for man is weyker at this time of nature.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 21. “Nenufar” = Waterlily [The Grete Herball,

It is somewhat remarkable that both Christianity and Greek mythology
find a place in the Grete Herball. The discovery of Artemisia and its
virtues is attributed to Diana and the Centaurs, but in the event of
being bitten by a mad dog, the sufferer is recommended to appeal to the
Virgin Mary before employing any remedy. “As sone as ye be byten go to
the chyrche, and make thy offrynge to our lady, and pray here to helpe
and heale thee. Than rubbe ye sore with a newe clothe,” etc.

Quite a number of medicines enumerated in the Grete Herball still hold
their own in modern practice. Liquorice is recommended for coughs;
laudanum, henbane, opium and lettuces as narcotics; olive oil and
slaked lime for scalds; cuttle-fish bone for whitening the teeth, and
borax and rose water for the complexion.

This book throws an interesting light on the early names of British
plants. The Primrose is called “Prymerolles” or “saynt peterworte.”
The “devylles bytte” is said to be “so called by cause the rote is
blacke and semeth that it is iagged with bytynge, and some say that the
devyll had envy at the vertue therof and bete the rote so for to have
destroyed it.” Duckweed is called “Lentylles of the water” or “frogges
fote,” while Cuckoo-pint is known by the picturesque name of “prestes
hode,” and Wood-sorrel is called “Alleluya” or “cukowes meate.”

One of the most noticeable features of the herbal is the exposure of
methods of “faking” drugs, for the protection of the public, “to eschew
ye frawde of them that selleth it.” This is a great step in advance
from the days of the old Greek herbalists, when secrecy was part of
the stock-in-trade of a druggist, and, as we have pointed out in a
previous chapter, the credulous public was warned off by threats of the
miraculous and fearful ills, which would follow any unskilled meddling
with the subject.

Another work, which was illustrated with the same figures as those of
the Grete Herball, was ‘The vertuose boke of Distillacyon of the waters
of all maner of Herbes,’ which appeared in 1527. This was a translation
by Laurence Andrew from the ‘Liber de arte distillandi’ of Hieronymus
Braunschweig, to which we have already referred. It was almost entirely
occupied with an account of methods of distillation, but occasionally
there is a picturesque touch of description. For example, in speaking
of the Mistletoe, the author says, “This herbe hath a longe slender
lefe nother full grene, nor ful yelowe, and bereth a small whyte
berye.” The book was printed “in the flete strete by me Laurens
Andrewe, in the sygne of the golden Crosse.”




In his History of Botany, Kurt Sprengel first used the honoured
title, “The German Fathers of Botany,” to describe a group of
herbalists—Brunfels, Bock, Fuchs and Cordus—whose work belongs
principally to the first half of the sixteenth century.

The earliest of these was Otto Brunfels [Otho Brunfelsius], who is said
to have been born in 1464. His surname is derived from the fact that
his father, who was a cooper, came from Schloss Brunfels, near Mainz.
When Otto grew up, he became a Carthusian monk. We do not know how long
his monastic career lasted, but eventually his health appears to have
broken down, and, at the same time, his faith in the Roman Catholic
Church was undermined by the acquaintance which he began to make with
protestant doctrines. He fled from the monastery, and took up his abode
in Strasburg, where he was for nine years headmaster of the grammar
school. He wrote various theological works, but ultimately turned his
attention to medicine, and, before his death in 1534, he had become
town physician at Bern. As evidence of his medical studies we have his
fine herbal, which is still full of interest, whereas his other works,
which he probably regarded as much more serious contributions, have
fallen into oblivion.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 22. “Walwurtz männlin” = _Symphytum_, Comfrey
[Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 23. “Helleborus Niger” = _Helleborus viridis_
L., Green Hellebore [Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530].

A new era in the history of the herbal may be said to date from the
year 1530, when the first part of Brunfels’ work, the ‘Herbarum vivæ
eicones,’ was published by Schott of Strasburg. In this book, with
its beautiful and naturalistic illustrations, there is, as the title
indicates, a real return to nature; the plants are represented as
they _are_, and not in the conventionalised aspect which had become
traditional in the earlier herbals, through successive copying by one
artist from another, without reference to the plants themselves. The
blocks for the ‘Herbarum vivæ eicones’ were executed by Hans Weiditz,
who was probably also the draughtsman. Examples are shown in Text-figs.
22, 23, 24, 25, 82, 83 and 84.

The illustrations of Brunfels’ herbal are incomparably better than the
text, which is very poor, and largely borrowed from previous writers.
Brunfels’ knowledge of botany was chiefly derived from the study of
certain Italian authors, Manardus and others, who spent their time
in trying to identify the plants they saw growing around them with
those described by Dioscorides. This was by no means unreasonable
in their case, since it was the plants of the Mediterranean region
that Dioscorides had enumerated. When, however, Brunfels attempted
to employ the same methods in his examination of the flora of the
Strasburg district, and the left bank of the Rhine, many difficulties
and discrepancies arose. He had no understanding of the geographical
distribution of plants, and did not realise that different regions have
dissimilar floras. It is curious that this should have been so, when we
remember that Theophrastus, more than eighteen hundred years earlier,
had clearly pointed out that the provinces of Asia have each their own
characteristic plants, and that some, which occur in one region, are
absent from another.

Hieronymus Bock, who in his Latin writings called himself Tragus
(Text-fig. 26), was a contemporary of Brunfels, though his botanical
work was somewhat later in date. He was born in 1498, and destined by
his parents for the cloister. But he proved to have no vocation for
the monastic life, and, having passed through a university course, he
obtained, by favour of the Count Palatine Ludwig, the post of school
teacher at Zweibrücken, and overseer of the Count’s garden. After
his patron’s death he removed to Hornbach, where he preached the
gospel, and also had an extensive medical practice, devoting his spare
time to botany. But he got into some trouble, apparently owing to his
protestantism, and was obliged to leave Hornbach. He was in serious
straits until Count Philip of Nassau, whom he had previously cured of a
severe illness, gave him shelter and support in his own castle. He was
eventually able to return to Hornbach, where he filled the office of
preacher until his death in 1554.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 24. “Synnaw” = _Alchemilla_, Ladies’ Mantle
[Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. II. 1531]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 25. “Caryophyllata” = _Geum_, Avens [Brunfels,
Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. III. 1540]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 26. Hieronymus Bock or Tragus, 1498-1554
[Engraving by David Kandel. Kreuter Bůch, 1551].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 27. “Erdberen” = _Fragaria_, Strawberry [Bock,
Kreuter Bůch, 1546].]

Bock’s great work is the ‘New Kreutterbuch,’ a herbal which first
appeared in 1539, printed at Strasburg by Wendel Rihel. In subsequent
editions the title was abbreviated to ‘Kreuter Bůch.’ The first edition
was without illustrations, but a second, containing many wood-cuts,
followed in 1546. The majority of the figures are said to have been
copied on a reduced scale from those in Fuchs’ magnificent herbal,
which appeared in 1542, between the first and second editions of Bock’s
work. Fuchs’ figures must have been used with great discretion, for
the plagiarism is often not obvious (see Text-figs. 27, 90, 91). A
considerable number of the figures are new, being drawn and engraved by
David Kandel, whose initials appear on the portrait of Bock, reproduced
in Text-fig. 26. The wood-cuts of trees in the third part of the book
are particularly noticeable (see Text-figs. 28 and 92) and are often
made more interesting by the introduction of figures of men and animals.

Bock’s chief claim to remembrance, however, does not lie in his
figures, but in his descriptions, which were a great advance on
those previously published. He was careful also to note the mode of
occurrence and localities of the plants mentioned, and in this feature
his work showed some approach to a flora in the modern sense of the
word. Bock seems to have been a keen collector, although hampered by
ill-health, and a great point in his favour is that he described only
those plants which had come under his own personal observation. The
Royal Fern (_Osmunda_) was traditionally supposed to bear seed upon St.
John’s Eve, though ferns were generally believed at that time to have
no organs of fructification. To test this statement, Bock four times
spent the night in the forest. He found “small black seed like poppy
seed,” in spite of the fact that he “used no charm, incantation or
magic character,” but went upon his search without superstition.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 28. “Pimpernuss” = _Pistacia_, Pistachio-nut
[Bock, Kreuter Bůch, 1546].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 29. “Tribulus aquaticus” = _Trapa natans_ L.,
Bull-nut [Bock, De stirpium, 1552].]

Bock’s freedom from the credulity which permeated the work of so many
of the early botanists is one of his most remarkable characteristics.
His chapters on _Verbena_ and _Artemisia_ reflect clearly the
independence of his thought. He points out that the former plant is
collected rather for purposes of magic than for medicine, and he
can hardly contain his scorn at the “monkey tricks and ceremonies”
connected with the use of the latter.

Leonhard Fuchs [or Fuchsius], the third of the Fathers of German Botany
(see Frontispiece), belonged to the same generation as Hieronymus
Bock, though he was a little younger and produced his chief work three
years later. He was born in 1501 at Membdingen in Bavaria, and at an
early age he became a student of the University of Erfurt, where he is
said to have taken a bachelor’s degree in his thirteenth year! After
a period of school teaching, he resumed his studies, this time at the
University of Ingolstadt, where he devoted himself chiefly to classics,
and became a Master of Arts. After this he turned his attention to
medicine, and took a doctor’s degree. At Ingolstadt he came under the
influence of Luther’s writings, which won him over to the reformed

Fuchs began to practise as a physician at Munich, but in 1526 he
returned to Ingolstadt as Professor of Medicine. He seems to have
been of a restless temperament, which was probably accentuated by
the persecution to which his protestant opinions exposed him. His
career for more than forty years consisted of periods of active
practice, alternating with periods of university teaching. In 1535
he was appointed to a professorship at Tübingen, and, while he held
this post, he declined a call to the University of Pisa, and also an
invitation to become physician to the King of Denmark. It is clear
that, both as a physician and a teacher, he was in great demand. He
acquired a widespread reputation by his successful treatment of a
terrible epidemic disease, which swept over Germany in 1529. A little
book of medical instructions and prayers against the plague, which
was published in London in the latter half of the sixteenth century,
shows that his fame had extended to England. It is entitled, ‘A worthy
practise of the moste learned Phisition Maister Leonerd Fuchsius,
Doctor in Phisicke, most necessary in this needfull tyme of our
visitation, for the comforte of all good and faythfull people, both
olde and yonge, both for the sicke and for them that woulde avoyde the
daunger of contagion.’

[Illustration: Text-fig. 30. “Brassicæ quartum genus” = Cabbage [Fuchs,
De historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

In spite of his professional activity, Fuchs found time to produce
a botanical masterpiece, which appeared in 1542 from the press of
Isingrin of Basle, under the title ‘De historia stirpium.’ This was a
Latin herbal dealing with about four hundred native German, and one
hundred foreign plants, and was followed in the succeeding year by a
German edition, called the ‘New Kreüterbůch.’ Of all the botanists
of the Renaissance, Fuchs is perhaps the one who deserves most to be
held in honour. He is notably superior to his two predecessors in
matters calling for scholarship, such as the critical study of the
plant nomenclature of classical authors. His herbal rivals, or even
surpasses, that of Brunfels in its illustrations, and that of Bock
in its German text. The letter-press of the Latin edition is, on the
whole, inferior to the German, the brief descriptions being often taken
word for word from previous writers.

The Latin edition opens, however, with a long and most interesting
preface, in singularly pure and fine Latin. Fuchs is keenly indignant
at the ignorance of herbs displayed even by medical men. His outburst
on this subject may be literally translated as follows:—“But, by
Immortal God, is it to be wondered at that kings and princes do not at
all regard the pursuit of the investigation of plants, when even the
physicians of our time so shrink from it that it is scarcely possible
to find one among a hundred who has an accurate knowledge of even so
many as a few plants?”

That Fuchs’ work was indeed a labour of love is a conviction that must
force itself upon everyone who studies his herbal, and it is further
borne out by his own words in the preface—words which bear the stamp
of a lively enthusiasm: “But there is no reason why I should dilate at
greater length upon the pleasantness and delight of acquiring knowledge
of plants, since there is no one who does not know that there is
nothing in this life pleasanter and more delightful than to wander over
woods, mountains, plains, garlanded and adorned with flowerlets and
plants of various sorts, and most elegant to boot, and to gaze intently
upon them. But it increases that pleasure and delight not a little, if
there be added an acquaintance with the virtues and powers of these
same plants.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 31. “Polygonatum latifolium” = Solomon’s Seal
[Fuchs, De historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

The wood-cuts which illustrate Fuchs’ herbal are of extraordinary
beauty (Text-figs. 30, 31, 32, 58, 70, 86, 87, 88). Some of them gain
a special interest as being the first European figures of certain
American plants, e.g. Indian Corn (_Zea mais_ L.) and the Great Pumpkin
(_Cucurbita maxima_ Duch.) (Text-fig. 32). These wood-cuts became
familiar in England in the second half of the sixteenth century,
being used on a reduced scale (borrowed from the octavo edition) in
both William Turner’s herbal and Lyte’s Dodoens, two books which we
shall consider a little later. In Fuchs’ great work we are fortunate
in possessing, in addition to the botanical drawings, a full-length
portrait of the author himself, holding a spray of Veronica, on the
verso of the title-page (see Frontispiece), and, at the end of the
work, named portraits, which are generally supposed to represent the
artist who drew the plants from nature, the draughtsman whose business
it was to copy the outline on to the wood, and the engraver who
actually cut the block (Text-fig. 89). It has also been suggested that
the first of these is perhaps engaged in colouring a printed sheet.
These portraits are powerfully drawn, and remarkably convincing. It
is pleasant to think that we know not merely the names, but the very
features of the men who collaborated to give us what is perhaps the
most beautiful herbal ever produced.

The influence of Fuchs’ illustrations is more strongly felt in later
work than that of his text. The majority of the wood engravings in
Bock’s ‘Kreuter Bůch’ (1546), Dodoens’ ‘Crǔ deboeck’ (1554), Turner’s
‘New Herball’ (1551-1568), Lyte’s ‘Niewe Herball’ (1578) and Jean
Bauhin’s ‘Historia plantarum universalis’ (1651), are copied from
Fuchs, or even printed from his actual wood-blocks, while a number
of his figures reappear in the herbals of Egenolph, d’Aléchamps,
Tabernæmontanus, etc., and the commentaries of Ruellius and Amatus
Lusitanus on Dioscorides.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 32. “Cucumis turcicus” = _Cucurbita maxima_
Duch., Giant Pumpkin [Fuchs, De historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

Fuchs arranged his work alphabetically, making no attempt at a natural
grouping of the plants, and his herbal is therefore without importance
in the history of plant classification. His influence on methods of
plant description was, however, considerable, as is shown by the fact
that Dodoens, in his ‘Crǔ deboeck,’ took Fuchs’ herbal as a model for
the order of description of each plant. Fuchs’ text, as well as his
figures, may thus be said to have had an effect, even if an indirect
one, on British botany, since the herbals of Lyte and of Gerard are
based on the work of Dodoens, in which, as we have just shown, the
influence of Fuchs is clearly felt.

The publisher Christian Egenolph of Frankfort, though not himself a
botanical writer, must be mentioned at this stage, because he brought
out, in 1533, a set of plant illustrations which became particularly
well known (e.g. Text-figs. 33 and 85). They do not reflect any great
credit on Egenolph, since they were mostly pirated from Brunfels.
They were not even used to illustrate a new herbal, but merely a new
edition of the old German Herbarius, enlarged and improved by Dr
Eucharias Rhodion, and issued under the name of ‘Kreutterbůch von allem

Egenolph was evidently a keen man of business, for he made his figures
do duty over and over again. He used them not only as illustrations to
the herbal, but as a separate publication, without any letter-press,
and also in conjunction with an entirely unrelated text, such, for
example, as a Latin version of Dioscorides. Many later editions of
the Kreutterbůch appeared, and to these a number of figures were
added, chiefly copies, on a reduced scale, from those of Bock, who had
himself made considerable use of the drawings in the octavo edition
of Fuchs’ herbal. The editions produced under the auspices of Adam
Lonicer, the publisher’s son-in-law, are particularly well known. No
other botanical works of the period had a success comparable to that of
this long series of books, of which Rhodion’s ‘Kreutterbůch’ was the
prototype. This success was, however, achieved in the teeth of much
adverse contemporary criticism. Fuchs, in the preface of his ‘Historia
stirpium’ (1542), referred with unsparing touch to Egenolph’s botanical
mistakes. His trenchant indictment may be rendered into English as
follows—“Among all the herbals which exist to-day, there are none
which have more of the crassest errors than those which Egenolph, the
printer, has already published again and again.” This statement Fuchs
supports by means of actual examples.

It must nevertheless be admitted that, even if their quality was poor,
the herbals published by Egenolph and his successors did good service
in disseminating some knowledge of the plant world among a very wide
public. There is, in the British Museum, a beautiful copy of the 1536
edition, with a binding stamped in gold and bearing the arms of Mary,
Duchess of Suffolk, daughter of Henry VII. The duchess may perhaps have
inherited a taste for herbals from her father, for the British Museum
also possesses a copy of Vérard’s translation of the ‘Ortus Sanitatis,’
which is known to have been purchased by him.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 33. “Erdöpffel” = _Ranunculus ficaria_ L.,
Lesser Celandine [Rhodion, Kreutterbůch, 1533].]

Among the German Fathers of Botany, Sprengel includes a comparatively
little known name, that of Valerius Cordus (1515-1544), a man whose
actual achievement was small, but who, if he had not died so young,
would probably have become one of the most famous of the earlier
herbalists. His father, Euricius Cordus, was a physician, botanist,
and man of letters, so Valerius was brought up in a fortunate
environment. At sixteen he graduated at the University of Marburg,
and, after studying in various towns, he passed from the position of
pupil to that of teacher, and expounded Dioscorides at the University
of Wittenberg. He travelled widely in search of plants, and visited
many of the savants of the period. He is known to have made a stay
at Tübingen, and it is highly probable that he became personally
acquainted with Leonhard Fuchs.

Cordus had always longed to see, under their native skies, the plants
about which the ancients had written, and, in fulfilment of this dream,
he undertook a long excursion into Italy. He visited many of the towns,
amongst others Padua, Bologna, Florence and Siena, travelling partly
on foot and partly on horseback, and generally accompanied by his
friend Hieronymus Schreiber. The journey was a very trying one to men
accustomed to a more northerly climate. Wild and difficult country had
to be traversed in the height of summer, and the exposure and fatigue
led to a tragic conclusion. Cordus was injured by a kick from a horse,
which brought on a fever, and his companions had great difficulty in
getting him as far as Rome. He rallied, however, and his friends were
deceived into the belief that he was on the road to recovery. They even
thought it safe to leave him, while they made an excursion to Naples,
but he did not survive until their return. His fate, like that of
Keats, was to see Rome and die.

None of the botanical works of Valerius Cordus were published during
his life-time, but his commentaries on Dioscorides and his ‘Historia
stirpium’ were edited by Gesner after his death. The great merit of
the ‘Historia’ lies in the vividness of the descriptions. The author
seems to have examined the plants for their own sake—not merely in the
interest of the arts of healing.

Cordus did noteworthy service to medicine, however, for when he
passed through Nuremberg on his travels he was able to lay before
the physicians of that town a collection of medical recipes, chiefly
selected from earlier writings. This work, which had for some time been
in use in Saxony in manuscript form, was considered so valuable that,
after it had been examined and tested under the auspices of the town
council, it was published officially as the Nuremberg ‘Dispensatorium,’
probably in 1546[9]. This is said to be the first work of the nature
of a pharmacopœia ever published under government authority.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 34. “Ocimoides fruticosum” = _Silene
fruticosa_ L. [Camerarius, Hortus medicus, 1588].]

A passing reference may be made at this point to Jacob Theodor of
Bergzabern (1520-1590), a herbalist whose work was perhaps of no
very great importance, but who is closely connected with the German
Fathers of Botany, having been the pupil both of Otto Brunfels and of
Hieronymus Bock. In his books he called himself Tabernæmontanus.

Like the majority of the herbalists, Theodor was a medical man, and
his study of botany was a hobby which extended over many years. He
projected a herbal, but was unable for a long time to carry the idea
into effect, being deterred by the cost of the illustrations. This
difficulty was eventually overcome, chiefly through the generosity of
Count Palatine Frederick III, and of the Frankfort publisher, Nicolaus
Bassæus. The herbal first appeared in 1588, under the title ‘Neuw
Kreuterbuch,’ and in 1590 the illustrations were published without any
text as the ‘Eicones plantarum.’ The herbal is a large and very finely
illustrated work. The figures, however, are for the most part not
original, but are reproduced from Bock, Fuchs, Dodoens, Mattioli, de
l’Écluse and de l’Obel. This collection of wood-blocks became familiar
in England a few years later, when they were acquired by the printer
John Norton, and used to illustrate Gerard’s ‘Herball’ which appeared
in 1597.

There is still another German herbalist of the sixteenth century whose
work must not be overlooked. This is Joachim Camerarius[10] the younger
(Plate VI). His father was a celebrated philologist, and a friend of
Melanchthon. The son, who was born in 1534, was attracted to botany
in his early youth. He studied at Wittenberg and other universities,
and travelled in Hungary and Italy. He spent some time in the latter
country, and took a doctor’s degree in medicine at Bologna. At Pisa,
he became acquainted with Andrea Cesalpino. Finally he returned to
Germany, and settled down at Nuremberg. Here he cultivated a garden
which was kept supplied with rare plants by his friends, and the
Nuremberg merchants.

[Illustration: _Plate VI_

JOACHIM CAMERARIUS, the younger (1534-1598).

[Engraving by Bartholomæus Kilian, probably between 1650 and 1700.
Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum.]]

Camerarius brought out an edition of Mattioli (‘De plantis Epitome’),
but his chief work was the ‘Hortus medicus et philosophicus,’ which
appeared in 1588. The illustrations to this book consist partly of
drawings by Gesner, which the author had bought a few years previously,
and partly of original figures. It is impossible to discriminate with
any exactness between the work of the two men. These wood-cuts, of
which Text-figs. 34, 35, 71 and 100 are examples, will be discussed
more fully in Chapter VII. From the botanical point of view, they
represent a considerable advance, since the details of floral structure
are often shown on an enlarged scale. Camerarius was a good observer,
and his travels furnished him with much information regarding the
localities for the plants which he described.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 35. “Palma” = Seedlings of _Phœnix
dactylifera_ L., Date Palm [Camerarius, Hortus medicus, 1588].]


In the sixteenth century, the Herbal flourished exceedingly in the
Low Countries. This was due in part to the zeal and activity of the
botanists of the Netherlands, but perhaps even more to the munificence,
and love of learning for its own sake, which distinguished that prince
of publishers, Christophe Plantin of Antwerp. In these qualities
he forms a notable contrast to Egenolph of Frankfort, to whose
shortcomings we have already drawn attention.

Plantin’s life extended from about 1514 to 1589, and thus included the
central years of that wonderful century. He was a native of Touraine,
and studied the art of printing at Caen and other French towns. Towards
1550, he and his wife, Jeanne Rivière, settled in Antwerp, where he
worked at book-binding, and his wife sold linen in a little shop.
Later, he returned to the profession of printing, and his business in
this direction gradually developed, and was eventually transferred to
the famous Maison Plantin. Christophe’s reputation grew to such an
extent that great efforts were made, in various quarters, to tempt him
from Antwerp. The Duke of Savoy and Piedmont, for instance, did all
he could to persuade him to come to Turin, promising him extensive
printing works and all necessary funds—but he remained faithful to the
city of his adoption. Perhaps the most potent factor in his success
was his keen judgment of men, which enabled him so to choose his
subordinates that he gathered around him an unrivalled staff.

One of Plantin’s daughters married Jean Moretus, her father’s chief
assistant and successor, and from him the business descended through
eight generations of printers to Édouard Jean Hyacinthe Moretus, the
last of his race, from whom, in 1876, the citizens of Antwerp purchased
the Maison Plantin and its contents. The house had remained practically
unchanged since the days when Christophe Plantin lived and worked
there, and it is now preserved as the Musée Plantin-Moretus. It is
built round a rectangular courtyard, and its beauty, both in proportion
and in detail, is such, that one feels at once that Plantin achieved
the ambition he expressed in his charming sonnet—‘_Le Bonheur de ce
Monde_’—“Avoir une maison commode, propre et belle.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 36. Rembert Dodoens, 1517-1585 [A Niewe
Herball, translated by Lyte, 1578].]

The pictures, furniture and hangings, and not only the very presses,
fonts, and furnaces for casting the type, but even the old account
books and corrected proof-sheets are still to be seen, all in their
appropriate places. The wage-books are preserved, showing the weekly
earnings of compositors, engravers and book-binders, throughout a
period of three centuries. In short, the Maison Plantin beggars
description, and a visit there is an infallible recipe for transporting
the imagination back to the time of the Renaissance, when printing was
in its first youth, and was treated with the reverence due to one of
the fine arts.

The first Belgian botanist of world-wide renown was Rembert Dodoens
[or Dodonæus] (Text-fig. 36). He was a contemporary of Plantin,
having been born at Malines in 1517[11]. He studied at Louvain, and
visited the universities and medical schools of France, Italy and
Germany, eventually qualifying as a doctor. He was successful in his
profession, being physician to the Emperors Maximilian II and Rudolph
II, and finally becoming Professor of Medicine at Leyden, where he
died in 1585. His interest in the medical aspect of botany led him
to write a herbal, and, in order to illustrate it, he obtained the
use of the wood-blocks which had been employed in the octavo edition
of Fuchs’ work. To these a number of new engravings were added. The
book was published in Dutch in the year 1554 by Vanderloe, under the
title ‘Crǔ deboeck.’ The text is not a translation of Fuchs, as is
sometimes supposed, although Dodoens took Fuchs as his model for the
order of description of each plant. The method of arrangement is his
own, and he indicates localities and times of flowering in the Low
Countries, information which clearly could not have been derived from
the earlier writer. Almost simultaneously with the first Dutch edition,
a French issue appeared under the title of ‘Histoire des Plantes.’ The
translation was carried out by Charles de l’Écluse, with whose own work
we shall shortly deal. Dodoens supervised the production of the book,
and took the opportunity to make some additions. It became known in
England through Lyte’s translation, which will be discussed in a later
section of this chapter.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 37. “Capparis” = _Capparis ovata_ L. [Dodoens,
Pemptades, 1583].]

The last Dutch edition of the herbal, for which the author himself
was responsible, was printed by Vanderloe in 1563. The publisher then
parted with Fuchs’ blocks, which were probably acquired by the printer
of Lyte’s Dodoens in England. This circumstance put great difficulties
in the way of Dodoens’ wish to reproduce his herbal in Latin. However
it proved a blessing in disguise, for he had the good fortune to
meet, in Christophe Plantin, “un homme qui ne reculait devant aucune
dépense, pour donner aux ouvrages qui sortaient de ses presses toute
la perfection et le mérite dont ils étaient susceptibles.” Plantin
undertook to produce a much modified Latin translation of the herbal,
and to have new blocks engraved for it, whilst Dodoens, on his side,
engaged to supply the artists with fresh plants, and to superintend
their labours. The work proceeded slowly, and was published in parts.
It was finally completed in 1583, and was produced in one volume, under
the name of ‘Stirpium historiæ pemptades sex sive libri triginta.’ In
this work, by far the larger number of the figures are original (see
Text-figs. 37, 38, 96 and 97); some, however, were borrowed from de
l’Écluse and de l’Obel. This arose from the fact that Plantin was also
the publisher for both these writers, and as he bore the expense of
their blocks, he had an agreement with the three authors that their
illustrations should be treated as common property. A few of Dodoens’
figures were based upon those in the famous manuscript of Dioscorides,
now at Vienna (see pp. 8, 85, 154).

In the ‘Pemptades,’ the botanist in Dodoens was more to the fore,
and the physician less in evidence than in his earlier work. It is
particularly difficult to appraise with any exactness the services
which Dodoens rendered to botany. Between him and his two younger
countrymen, de l’Écluse and de l’Obel, there was so intimate a
friendship that they freely imparted their observations to one another,
and permitted the use of them, and also of their figures, in one
another’s books. To attempt to ascertain exactly what degree of merit
should be attributed to each of the three, would be a task equally
difficult and thankless.

[Illustration: _Plate VII_

CHARLES DE L’ÉCLUSE (1526-1609).

[Print in the Botany School, Cambridge.]]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 38. “Anemone trifolia” [Dodoens, Pemptades,

Charles de l’Écluse [or Clusius[12]] (Plate VII) was born at Arras
in the French Netherlands in 1526; like Dodoens, he passed the
closing years of his life at Leyden. He studied at Louvain, and other
universities, including Montpelier, where he came under the influence
of the botanist, Guillaume Rondelet, who also numbered d’Aléchamps,
de l’Obel, Pierre Pena and Jean Bauhin among his pupils. De l’Écluse
was an enthusiastic adherent of the reformed faith, to which he was
converted by the influence of Melanchthon, and he suffered religious
persecution, which brought even actual martyrdom to some of his
relatives. Though he did not himself lose his life, he was deprived of
his property, and, between poverty and ill-health, his career seems
to have been a melancholy one. He passed a nomad existence, attached
at one time as tutor to some great family, while, at others, he was
occupied in writing or translating for Rondelet, Dodoens or Plantin,
or undertaking precarious employment at the court of Vienna. The
University of Leyden finally appointed him to a professorship. It is
interesting to note that he paid more than one visit to England, and
that he was intimate with Sir Francis Drake, who gave him plants from
the New World.

De l’Écluse had a reputation for versatility scarcely exceeded by that
of his contemporary, the “Admirable” Crichton. He is said to have had a
wide knowledge of Latin, Greek, French, German, Flemish, Spanish, law,
philosophy, history, geography, zoology, mineralogy and numismatics,
besides his chosen subject of botany. Since his botanical début was
made as the translator of Dodoens, we may with reason look upon him as
a disciple of the latter.

The first original work de l’Écluse produced was an account of the
plants which he had observed while on an adventurous expedition to
Spain and Portugal with two pupils. This was so successful botanically
that he brought back two hundred new species. The description of his
finds was published by Plantin in 1576, under the title of ‘Rariorum
aliquot stirpium per Hispanias observatarum Historia.’ Wood-blocks
were engraved purposely for this book (see Text-figs. 39, 59 and 98),
but, for the confusion of the bibliographer, some of them were also
used to illustrate Dodoens’ work in the interval while the Spanish
flora of de l’Écluse awaited publication. In 1583 appeared our author’s
second work, which did the same service for the botany of Austria and
Hungary as the previous volume had done for the botany of Spain. These
two works, together with some additional matter, were republished in
1601 as the ‘Rariorum plantarum historia.’ In this book, the species
belonging to the same genus are often brought together, but, beyond
this, there is little attempt at systematic arrangement.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 39. “Lacryma Iob” = _Coix lachryma-Jobi_ L.,
Job’s Tears [de l’Écluse, Rariorum ... per Hispanias, 1576].]

De l’Écluse was weak in the synthetic faculty, his strength lying
rather in his powers of observation. Cuvier reckons that he added more
than six hundred to the number of known plants. It is characteristic
of his versatile mind, that his botanical interests were not confined,
like those of most of the early workers, to flowering plants. A
manuscript is preserved in the Leyden Library[13] containing more than
eighty beautiful water-colour drawings of fungi, executed under the
direction of de l’Écluse, by artists employed by his great friend and
patron, Baron Boldizsár de Batthyány. This gentleman is said to have
been so enthusiastic a botanist, that he set a Turkish prisoner at
liberty, on the condition that he should obtain plants for him from

De l’Écluse seems to have been a man of wide friendships, and his
botanical correspondence was very large. He did much for horticulture,
and is called by his friend, Marie de Brimen, Princesse de Chimay,
“le père de tous les beaux Jardins de ce pays.” He deserves especial
gratitude for one benefit of a very practical nature, namely the
introduction of the Potato into Germany and Austria. It is worthy of
note that de l’Écluse, unlike the majority of the herbalists, was not a
physician, and although he laid considerable stress on the properties
of plants, he was not preoccupied with the medical side of the subject.
He studied plants for their own sake, and abandoned the futile effort
to identify them with those mentioned by the ancients.

The third of the trio of botanists whom we are now considering is
Mathias de l’Obel [de Lobel or Lobelius], who was born in Flanders
in 1538, and died in England, at Highgate, in 1616 (Plate VIII).
He studied at Montpelier, under Guillaume Rondelet, who, finally,
bequeathed to him his botanical manuscripts. Here also he became
acquainted with a young Provençal, Pierre Pena, with whom he afterwards
collaborated in botanical work. De l’Obel took up medicine as his
profession, and eventually became physician to William the Silent, a
post which he held until the assassination of the Stadtholder. Later
on, he and Pena came to England, probably to seek a peaceful life under
the prosperous sway of Queen Elizabeth, which was so favourable to the
arts and sciences. Their principal work was dedicated to her, in terms
of hyperbolic praise. De l’Obel seems to have been well received in
this country, for he was invited to superintend the medicinal garden at
Hackney, belonging to Lord Zouche, and he eventually obtained the title
of Botanist to James I.

[Illustration: _Plate VIII_

MATHIAS DE L’OBEL (1538-1616).

[Engraving by François Dellarame, 1615. Department of Prints and
Drawings, British Museum.]]

De l’Obel’s chief botanical work was the ‘Stirpium adversaria
nova[14],’ published in 1570, with Pena as joint author. Pena does
not appear to have been a botanist of much importance, and he
eventually quite forsook the subject in favour of medicine. It has
been suggested, however, that de l’Obel was inclined to minimise the
value of his colleague’s work. The system of classification, upon which
de l’Obel’s reputation really rests, is set forth in this book. The
main feature of his scheme is that he distinguishes different groups
by the peculiarities of their leaves. He is thus led to make a rough
separation between the classes which we now call Dicotyledons and
Monocotyledons. The details of his system will be considered in a later

In 1576 the work was enlarged, and republished as the ‘Plantarum seu
Stirpium Historia’; it was also translated into Flemish, and appeared
under the title of ‘Kruydtbœck’ in 1581, dedicated to William of
Orange, and the Burgomasters and other functionaries of Antwerp. The
blocks (see Text-fig. 67) used to illustrate this work were taken from
previous books, especially those of de l’Écluse. Immediately after the
publication of the Kruydtbœck, Plantin brought out an album of the
engravings it had contained, which, although they had been also used
to illustrate the herbals of Dodoens and de l’Écluse, were now grouped
according to de l’Obel’s arrangement, which was recognised as the best.


The Italian botanists of the Renaissance devoted themselves chiefly to
interpreting the works of the classical writers on Natural History,
and to the identification of the plants to which they referred. This
came about quite naturally, from the fact that the Mediterranean flora,
which they saw around them, was actually that with which the writers in
question had been, in their day, familiar. The botanists of southern
Europe were not compelled, as were those whose homes lay north of the
Alps, to distort facts before they could make the plants of their
native country fit into the procrustean bed of classical descriptions.

One of the chief of the commentators and herbalists of this period was
Pierandrea Mattioli [or Matthiolus] (Text-fig. 40), who was born at
Siena in 1501, and died of the plague in 1577. We realise something of
the frightful extent of this scourge, when we remember that it claimed
as victims no less than three of the small company of Renaissance
botanists, Gesner, Mattioli and Zaluzian. Leonhard Fuchs was brought
into fame by his successful treatment of one of these epidemics. It
should also be recalled that, while Gaspard Bauhin, one of the best
known of the later herbalists, was practising as a physician at Basle,
no less than three of these terrible outbreaks occurred in the town.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 40. Pierandrea Mattioli, 1501-1577 [Engraving
by Philippe Galle. Virorum Doctorum Effigies, Antwerp, 1572].]

Mattioli was the son of a doctor, and his early life was passed in
Venice, where his father was in practice. He was destined for the law,
but his inherited tastes led him away from jurisprudence to medicine.
He practised in several different towns, and became physician,
successively, to the Archduke Ferdinand, and to the Emperor Maximilian

[Illustration: Text-fig. 41. “Pyra” = _Pyrus communis_ L., Pear
[Mattioli, Commentarii, 1560].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 42. “Avena” = Oats [Mattioli, Commentarii,

Mattioli’s ‘Commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis,’ his
_chef-d’œuvre_, the gradual production and improvement of which
occupied his leisure hours throughout his life, was first published in
1544. It was translated into many languages and appeared in countless
editions. The success of the work was phenomenal, and it is said
that 32,000 copies of the earlier editions were sold. The title does
not do the book justice, for it contains, besides an exposition of
Dioscorides, a Natural History dealing with all the plants known to
Mattioli. The early editions had small illustrations only (Text-figs.
41, 42, 93 and 94), but, later on, editions with large and very
beautiful figures were published, such as that which appeared at
Venice in 1565 (Text-figs. 43, 44, 95).

[Illustration: Text-fig. 43. “Trifolium acetosum” = _Oxalis_ [Mattioli,
Commentarii, 1565]. _Reduced._]

Mattioli’s descriptions of the plants with which he deals are not so
good as those of some of his contemporaries. He found and recorded
a certain number of new plants, especially from the Tyrol, but most
of the species, which he described for the first time, were not his
own discoveries, but were communicated to him by others. Luca Ghini,
for instance, had projected a similar work, but handed over all his
material to Mattioli, who also placed on record the discoveries made by
the physician, Wilhelm Quakelbeen, who had accompanied the celebrated
diplomatist, Auger-Gislain Busbecq, on a mission to Turkey.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 44. “Malus” = _Pyrus malus_ L., Apple
[Mattioli, Commentarii, 1565]. _Reduced._]

Busbecq brought from Constantinople a wonderful collection of Greek
manuscripts, including Juliana Anicia’s copy of the Materia Medica
of Dioscorides, now in the Vienna Library (see pp. 8 and 154). He
discovered this great manuscript in the hands of a Jew, who required a
hundred ducats for it. This price was almost prohibitive, but Busbecq
was an enthusiast, and he successfully urged the Emperor, whose
representative he was, “to redeem so illustrious an author from that
servitude[15].” His purpose in buying the manuscript seems to have been
largely in order to communicate it to Mattioli, who would thus be able
to make use of it in preparing his Commentaries on Dioscorides.

The personal character of Mattioli does not appear to have been a
pleasant one. He engaged in numerous controversies with his fellow
botanists, and hurled the most abusive language at those who ventured
to criticise him.

Another Italian herbalist, Castor Durante, slightly later in date
than Mattioli, should perhaps be mentioned here, not because of the
intrinsic value of his work, but because of its widespread popularity.
At least two of his books appeared in many editions and translations.

Durante was a physician who issued a series of botanical compilations,
bedizened with Latin verse. The best known of his works is the
‘Herbario Nuovo,’ published at Rome in 1585 (Text-figs. 45 and 103).
A second book, the original version of which is seldom met with, has
survived in the form of a German translation, by Peter Uffenbach. The
German version was named ‘Hortulus Sanitatis.’ As an illustration of
Durante’s charmingly unscientific manner, we may take the legend of
the “Arbor tristis” which occurs in both these works. The figure which
accompanies it (Text-fig. 45) shows, beneath the moon and stars, a
drawing of a tree whose trunk has a human form. The description, as it
occurs in the ‘Hortulus Sanitatis,’ may be translated as follows:

“Of this tree the Indians say, there was once a very beautiful
maiden, daughter of a mighty lord called Parisataccho. This maiden
loved the Sun, but the Sun forsook her because he loved another. So,
being scorned by the Sun, she slew herself, and when her body had been
burned, according to the custom of that land, this tree sprang from
her ashes. And this is the reason why the flowers of this tree shrink
so intensely from the Sun, and never open in his presence. And thus it
is a special delight to see this tree in the night time, adorned on
all sides with its lovely flowers, since they give forth a delicious
perfume, the like of which is not to be met with in any other plant,
but no sooner does one touch the plant with one’s hand than its sweet
scent vanishes away. And however beautiful the tree has appeared, and
however sweetly it has bloomed at night, directly the Sun rises in the
morning it not only fades but all its branches look as though they were
withered and dead.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 45. “Arbor Malenconico” or “Arbor tristis” =
Tree of Sorrow [Durante, Herbario Nuovo, 1585].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 46. “Apocynum” [Colonna, Phytobasanos, 1592].]

Much more famous than Durante was Fabio Colonna, or, as he is more
generally called, Fabius Columna (Plate IX), who was born at Naples
in 1567. His father was a well-known littérateur. Fabio Colonna’s
profession was that of law, but he was also well acquainted with
languages, music, mathematics and optics. He tells us in the preface
to his principal work that his interest in plants was aroused by his
difficulty in obtaining a remedy for epilepsy, a disease from which he
suffered. Having tried all sorts of prescriptions without result, he
examined the literature on the subject, and discovered that most of
the writers of his time merely served up the results obtained by the
ancients, often in a very incorrect form. So he went to the fountain
head, Dioscorides, and after much research identified Valerian as
being the herb which that writer had recommended against epilepsy, and
succeeded in curing himself by its use.

This experience convinced Colonna that the knowledge of the identity
of the plants described by the ancients was in a most unsatisfactory
condition, and he set himself to produce a work which should remedy
this state of things. This book was published in 1592, under the name
of ‘Phytobasanos,’ which embodies a quaint conceit after the fashion of
the time. The title is a compound Greek word meaning “plant torture,”
and was apparently employed by Colonna to explain that he had subjected
the plants to ordeal by torture, in order to wrest from them the secret
of their identity. But it must be confessed that Colonna himself is by
no means free from error, as regards the names which he assigns to them.

The great feature of the ‘Phytobasanos,’ however, is the excellence of
the descriptions and figures. The latter are famous as being the first
etchings on copper used to illustrate a botanical work (Text-figs. 46
and 105). They were an advance on all previous plant drawings, except
the work of Gesner and Camerarius, in giving, in many cases, detailed
analyses of the flowers and fruit as well as habit drawings. We owe to
Colonna also the technical use of the word “petal,” which he suggested
as a descriptive term for the coloured floral leaves[16].

By means of his wide scientific correspondence, Colonna kept in touch
with many of the naturalists of his time, notably with de l’Écluse and
Gaspard Bauhin.

[Illustration: _Plate IX_

FABIO COLONNA (1567-1650).

[Ekphrasis, 1606.]]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 47. “Kalli” = _Salicornia_, Glasswort
[Prospero Alpino, De plantis Ægypti, 1592].]

A passing reference may be made here to a book which is rather of the
nature of a local flora than a herbal, entitled ‘Prosperi Alpini
de plantis Ægypti,’ which was published at Venice in 1592. It contains
a number of wood-cuts, which appear to be original. The one reproduced
(Text-fig. 47) represents _Salicornia_, the Glasswort. The author was
a doctor who went to Egypt with the Venetian consul, Giorgio Emo, and
had opportunities of collecting plants there. He is said to have been
the first European writer to mention the Coffee plant, which he saw
growing at Cairo. Prospero Alpino eventually became Professor of Botany
at Padua, and enriched the botanical garden of that town with Egyptian


Among the many scientific men, whose names are associated with
Switzerland, one of the most renowned is Konrad Gesner (Plate X), who
was born at Zurich in 1516, the son of a poor furrier. His taste for
botany was due, in the first instance, to the influence of his uncle,
a protestant preacher. Konrad went to France to study medicine, but in
Paris, the richness of the libraries, and the delight of associating
with learned men, tempted him away from his special subject into a
course of omnivorous reading. After an interval of school teaching at
Zurich, he betook himself to Basle, where he entered more methodically
upon the study of medicine, at the same time attempting to support
himself by working at a Latin dictionary. However, after a short period
of student life, he found the expense too great, and was obliged to
abandon it, and to take a post as teacher of classics in Lausanne. He
had received assistance at different times from his native town, which
again came to his help at this juncture, and generously allotted to
him a “Reisestipendium,” for the continuance of his medical studies.
He indeed owed much to Zurich, for, after taking his doctorate, he was
appointed first to the professorship of Philosophy there, and then to
that of Natural History, which he held until he died of the plague in
his forty-ninth year.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 48. “Lachryma Iob” = _Coix lachryma-Jobi_ L.,
Job’s Tears [Simler, Vita Conradi Gesneri, 1566].]

Gesner’s most remarkable characteristic was his versatility and
encyclopædic knowledge; he has been called the Pliny of his time. His
work on bibliographical and linguistic subjects was of importance,
and he also wrote on medicine, mineralogy, zoology and botany. The
botanical works published during his life were not of great importance,
but, at the time of his death, he had already prepared a large part
of the material for a general history of plants, which was intended
as a companion work to his famous ‘Historia Animalium.’ In order to
illustrate it, he had collected 1500 drawings of plants, the majority
original, though some were founded on previous wood-cuts, especially
those of Fuchs. The undertaking was so far advanced that some of the
figures had been drawn upon the wood, and certain blocks had even been
engraved. The whole collection, and the manuscripts, he bequeathed
for publication to his friend Caspar Wolf. Wolf seems to have made
an honest effort to carry out Gesner’s wishes, and he succeeded in
publishing a few of the wood-cuts, as an appendix to Simler’s ‘Vita
Conradi Gesneri’ (e.g. Text-fig. 48). Unfortunately he was hampered by
weak health, and the task, as a whole, proved beyond his powers. He
sold everything to Joachim Camerarius the younger, with the proviso
that the purchaser should make himself responsible for the publication.
Camerarius failed to fulfil the spirit of this obligation. It is true
that he brought a large number of Gesner’s figures before the public,
but he did this only by the indirect method of using them, among his
own drawings, to illustrate an edition of Mattioli, and a book of his

Finally, about a hundred and fifty years after the death of Camerarius,
Gesner’s drawings and blocks came into the possession of the
eighteenth-century botanist and bibliographer, Christoph Jacob Trew,
who published them, thus giving Gesner his due so far as was possible
at that late date. Such blocks as were in good condition were printed
directly, and, from the drawings, a number of copper engravings were
made, coloured like the originals. The drawings were of unequal merit,
some of them being on a very small scale and lacking in clearness. In
one point, however, Gesner shows a marked advance on the methods of his
contemporaries—namely in giving detailed, analysed studies of flower
and fruit structure, as well as a drawing showing the habit of the
plant. It must not be forgotten that, even in Trew’s edition, it is
impossible to discriminate with certainty between the work of Gesner
and that of Camerarius.

Unfortunately, we have no knowledge of the text of Gesner’s manuscript,
but his letters make it clear that his interest in botany was
thoroughly scientific. If his work were extant, he would probably shine
as a discoverer of new species, especially among alpines, for his
figures indicate that he was acquainted with a number of plants which
de l’Écluse, Gaspard Bauhin and others were the first to describe.

[Illustration: _Plate X_

KONRAD GESNER (1516-1565).

[Print in the Botany School, Cambridge.]]

Among Gesner’s numerous scientific correspondents was Jean Bauhin, a
brilliant young man, twenty-five years his junior. Their acquaintance
began when Bauhin was only eighteen, but, in spite of his friend’s
youth, Gesner consulted him in botanical difficulties, describing him
as “eruditissimus et ornatissimus juvenis.”

Jean Bauhin was the son of a French doctor, a native of Amiens, who
had been converted to protestantism by reading the Latin translation
of the New Testament prepared by Erasmus. In consequence of his change
of faith, he was subjected to religious persecution, which he avoided
by retreating to Switzerland, where his sons Jean and Gaspard were
born. The medical tradition seems to have been remarkably strong in the
family. Both Jean and Gaspard became doctors—Gaspard, whose sons also
entered the profession, being, in fact, the second of six generations
of physicians. For two hundred years, an unbroken succession of members
of the family were medical men.

After Jean Bauhin had studied for a time at the University of Basle,
he went to Tübingen, where he learned botany from Leonhard Fuchs.
From Tübingen he proceeded to Zurich, and accompanied Gesner on some
journeys in the Alps. After further travel on his own account, and a
period at the University of Montpelier, he reached Lyons, where he
came in contact with d’Aléchamps, who engaged him to assist with the
‘Histoire des plantes.’ Bauhin began to occupy himself with this work,
but his protestantism proved a stumbling-block to his life there, and
he was obliged to quit France.

Jean Bauhin’s chief botanical work, the ‘Histoire universelle des
plantes,’ was a most ambitious undertaking, which he did not live to
see published. However, his son-in-law Cherler, a physician of Basle,
who had helped him in preparing it, brought out a preliminary sketch
of it in 1619, and, in 1650 and 1651, the _magnum opus_ itself was
published, under the name of ‘Historia plantarum universalis.’ This
book is a compilation from all sources, and includes descriptions of
5000 plants. The figures, of which there are more than 3500, are small
and badly executed. A large proportion of them are ultimately derived
from those of Fuchs.

Jean Bauhin’s more famous brother, Gaspard [or Caspar] (Plate XI),
was born in 1560, and was thus the younger by nineteen years. Gaspard
studied at Basle, Padua, Montpelier, Paris and Tübingen. He also
travelled in Italy, making observations upon the flora, and becoming
acquainted with scientific men. Unfortunately he missed being a pupil
of Leonhard Fuchs, since his sojourn at Tübingen took place some years
after the death of the famous herbalist, who had been his brother’s
teacher. The illness and death of his father in 1582 made it necessary
for him to settle in Basle, where he became Professor of Botany and
Anatomy, and eventually of Medicine.

Inspired by the example of his brother, he conceived the plan of
collecting, in a single work, all that had been previously written
upon plants, and, especially, of drawing up a concordance of all the
names given by different authors to the same species. His extensive
early travels served as a good preparation for this task, since he had
not only observed and collected widely, but had established relations
with the best botanists in Europe. He formed a herbarium of about 4000
plants, including specimens from correspondents in many countries,
even Egypt and the East Indies. Besides study bearing directly on his
great project, he accomplished a considerable amount of critical and
editorial work, which also had its value in relation to his main plan.
He produced new editions of Mattioli’s Commentaries, and of the herbal
of Tabernæmontanus, and published a criticism of d’Aléchamps’ ‘Historia

There is a marked parallelism between the careers of the Bauhin
brothers, for Gaspard’s great work underwent much the same vicissitudes
as that of Jean. The main part of Gaspard’s chief work never saw the
light at all, although his son brought out one instalment of it, many
years after his father’s death. Gaspard was however more fortunate
than Jean, in that he lived to see the publication of three important
preliminary volumes, as the result of his researches, and it is on
these that his reputation rests.

[Illustration: _Plate XI_

GASPARD BAUHIN (1560-1624).

[Theatrum Anatomicum, 1605.]]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 49. “Solanum tuberosum esculentum” = Potato
[Bauhin, Prodromos, 1620].]

The ‘Prodromos theatri botanici’ of 1620 consisted of descriptions of
600 species, which the author regarded as new, although several had,
as a matter of fact, been already described by de l’Écluse. Figures
of about 140 species are given, two of which are here reproduced
(Text-figs. 49 and 62). One of these, the Potato (Text-fig. 49), still
retains the name of _Solanum tuberosum_ which Bauhin gave to it. He had
previously published a description of this plant in an earlier work,
the ‘Phytopinax’ of 1596.

In 1623, Gaspard Bauhin brought out his most important botanical book,
the ‘Pinax[17] theatri botanici.’ By this date, owing to the number
of different names bestowed upon the same plant by different authors,
and the varying identifications of those described by the ancients,
the subject of plant nomenclature had been reduced to a condition of
woeful confusion. Bauhin’s ‘Pinax’ converted chaos into order, since it
contained the first complete and methodical concordance of the names
of plants, and was so authoritative as to earn for the author the
title of “législateur en botanique.” The work, which dealt with about
6000 plants, was recognised as pre-eminent for many years. Morison
criticised the scheme of arrangement on which it was based, but adopted
its nomenclature, as also did Ray. Tournefort also retained, as far as
possible, the names of the genera and species used in the ‘Pinax.’ As
Sachs long ago pointed out, this work is “the first and for that time a
completely exhaustive book of synonyms, and is still indispensable for
the history of individual species—no small praise to be given to a work
that is more than 250 years old.”

Gaspard Bauhin deserves great honour as the first who introduced some
degree of order into the chaotic muddle of nomenclature and synonymy.
The special merits of his work, more especially his power of concise
and lucid description, and his faculty for systematic arrangement, may
perhaps be attributed to his French blood, since such qualities are
markedly characteristic of French scientific writing.

It is much to be regretted that the two brothers Bauhin should have
carried on their work independently and separately, considering that
they had in view practically identical objects—objects in which each
only achieved a partial success. It seems as if a work of much greater
value might have resulted if they had joined forces.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 50. Jacques d’Aléchamps, 1513-1588 [Enlarged
from wood-cut, circa 1600, Department of Prints and Drawings, British


France (excluding the French Netherlands) does not seem, at first
sight, to have contributed a great deal towards the development of
the Herbal in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but it must be
remembered that Jean and Gaspard Bauhin, and the publisher, Christophe
Plantin, were French by extraction, though Switzerland and Holland were
their countries by adoption. Most of the important herbals published
in other languages were translated into French quite early in their
history, sometimes in a modified form, so that France in the sixteenth
century was probably by no means backward in botanical knowledge. One
such adaptation was ‘L’Histoire des Plantes,’ by Geofroy Linocier,
which was founded, in part, on the works of Fuchs and Mattioli.

A well-known name among the earlier French writers is that of Jean
Ruel, or Joannes Ruellius, as he is commonly called (1474-1537). He was
a physician, and a professor in the University of Paris, and chiefly
devoted himself to the emending and explaining of Dioscorides. He also
wrote a general botanical treatise, ‘De Natura Stirpium,’ which first
appeared in Paris in 1536. This work, which is without illustrations,
is intended mainly to elucidate the ancient writers.

The most famous of the French herbalists was Jacques d’Aléchamps
(Text-fig. 50), whose _magnum opus_, which appeared in 1586, formed a
compendium of much of the material which had been contributed by the
different nations. He was born at Caen in 1513, and after studying
medicine at Montpelier, entered upon the practice of it at Lyons, where
he remained until his death in 1588.

D’Aléchamps’ great work is generally called the ‘Historia plantarum
Lugdunensis.’ Curiously enough, the author’s name is not mentioned
on the title-page. From the preface one would gather that Johannes
Molinäus (or Desmoulins) was the chief author. However, judging by the
way in which the book was quoted by contemporary writers, there appears
to be little doubt that d’Aléchamps was really responsible for it,
though assisted at different times by Jean Bauhin and Desmoulins.

The ‘Historia plantarum’ had numerous faults, but it was, at the time,
the most complete universal flora that existed. It contained about 2700
figures (two of which are reproduced in Text-figs. 51 and 101), but,
both in drawing and wood-cutting, they show marked inferiority to much
of the earlier work.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 51. “Ornithogalum magnum” [d’Aléchamps,
Historia generalis plantarum, 1586].]


The greatest name among British herbalists of the Renaissance period
is that of William Turner, physician and divine, the “Father of
British Botany.” He was a north-countryman, a native of Morpeth in
Northumberland, where he was born probably between 1510 and 1515. He
received his education at what is now Pembroke College, Cambridge.
Pembroke deserves to be especially held in honour by botanists, for
a hundred years later, Nehemiah Grew, who was as pre-eminent among
British botanists of the seventeenth century as Turner was among those
of the sixteenth, also became a student at this college.

Like so many of the early botanists, William Turner was closely
associated with the Reformation. He embraced the views of his friends
and instructors at Cambridge, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer, and
fought for the reformed faith throughout his life, both with pen and
by word of mouth. His caustic wit was also used, with almost equal
vehemence, to attack the abuses which crept into his own party. A ban
was put upon his writings in the reign of Henry VIII, and for a time
he suffered imprisonment, but, when Edward VI came to the throne, his
fortunes improved, and, after a long and tedious period of waiting for
preferment, he obtained the Deanery of Wells. Difficulty in ejecting
the previous Dean caused much delay in obtaining possession of the
house, and Turner lamented bitterly that, in the small and crowded
temporary lodging, “i can not go to my booke for y^e crying of childer
& noyse y^t is made in my chamber.”

A clergyman’s life must have been full of unwelcome vicissitudes in
those days, if Turner’s career was at all typical. During Mary’s
reign he was a fugitive, and the former Dean of Wells was reinstated.
However, when Elizabeth ascended the throne, the position was reversed,
and Turner came back to Wells, “the usurper,” as he calls his rival,
being ejected. But his triumph was short-lived, for in 1564 he was
suspended for nonconformity. His controversial methods were violent
in the extreme, and he seems to have been a thorn in the flesh of his
superiors. The Bishop of Bath and Wells wrote on one occasion that he
was “much encombred w^{th} m^r Doctor _Turner_ Deane of Welles, for
his undiscrete behavior in the pulpitt: where he medleth w^{th} all
matters, and unsemelie speaketh of all estates, more than ys standinge
withe discressyon.”

Christian doctrine was by no means the only subject that occupied
Turner’s attention. He had taken a medical degree either at Ferrara
or Bologna, and, in the reign of Edward VI, he was physician to the
Duke of Somerset, the Protector. He had travelled much in Italy,
Switzerland, Holland and Germany, at the periods when his religious
opinions excluded him from England. One of the great advantages, which
he reaped from his wanderings, was the opportunity of studying botany
at Bologna under Luca Ghini, who was also the teacher of Cesalpino.
Another savant, with whom he became acquainted on the Continent, was
Konrad Gesner, whom he visited at Zurich, and with whom he maintained a
warm friendship. He also corresponded with Leonhard Fuchs.

Turner’s earliest botanical work was the ‘Libellus de re herbaria
novus’ (1538), which is the first book in which localities for many
of our native British plants are placed on record. In 1548 this was
followed by another little work, ‘The names of herbes in Greke, Latin,
Englishe, Duche and Frenche wyth the commune names that Herbaries and
Apotecaries use.’ In the preface to this book, Turner tells us that he
had projected a Latin herbal, and had indeed written it, but refrained
from publishing it because, when he “axed the advise of Phisicianes
in thys matter, their advise was that I shoulde cease from settynge
out of this boke in latin tyll I had sene those places of Englande,
wherein is moste plentie of herbes, that I might in my herbal declare
to the greate honoure[18] of our countre what numbre of sovereine and
strang herbes were in Englande that were not in other nations, whose
counsell I have folowed deferryng to set out my herbal in latin, tyl
that I have sene the west countrey, which I never sawe yet in al my
lyfe, which countrey of all places of England, as I heare say is moste
richely replenished wyth all kyndes of straunge and wonderfull workes
and giftes of nature, as are stones, herbes, fishes and metalles.”

He explains that while waiting to complete his herbal, he has been
advised to publish this little book in which he has set forth the names
of plants. He adds, “and because men should not thynke that I write of
that I never sawe, and that Poticaries shoulde be excuselesse when as
the ryghte herbes are required of them, I have shewed in what places
of Englande, Germany, and Italy the herbes growe and maye be had for
laboure and money.”

Turner’s _chef-d’œuvre_ was his ‘Herball,’ published in three
instalments, the first in London in 1551, the first and second together
at Cologne in 1562, during his exile in the reign of Mary, and the
third part, together with the preceding, in 1568. The title of the
first part runs as follows, ‘A new Herball, wherin are conteyned the
names of Herbes ... with the properties degrees and naturall places of
the same, gathered and made by Wylliam Turner, Physicion unto the Duke
of Somersettes Grace.’ The figures illustrating the herbal are, for
the most part, the same as those in the octavo edition of Fuchs’ work,
published in 1545.

The dedication of the herbal, in its completed form, to Queen
Elizabeth, throws some light on Turner’s life, and incidentally on
that illustrious lady herself. The doctor recalls, with pardonable
pride and perhaps a touch of blarney, an occasion on which the Princess
Elizabeth, as she then was, had conversed with him in Latin. “As for
your knowledge in the Latin tonge,” he writes, “xviii yeares ago or
more, I had in the Duke of Somersettes house (beynge his Physition
at that tyme) a good tryal thereof, when as it pleased your grace to
speake Latin unto me: for although I have both in England, lowe and
highe Germanye, and other places of my longe traveil and pelgrimage,
never spake with any noble or gentle woman, that spake so wel and so
much congrue fyne and pure Latin, as your grace did unto me so longe

Turner defends himself against the insinuation that “a booke
intreatinge onelye of trees, herbes and wedes, and shrubbes, is not a
mete present for a prince,” and certainly, if we accept his account of
the state of knowledge at the time, the need for such a book must have
been most urgent. He explains that, while he was still at Pembroke
Hall, Cambridge, he endeavoured to learn the names of plants, but,
“suche was the ignorance in simples at that tyme,” that he could get
no information on the subject, even from physicians. He claims that
his herbal has considerable originality—a claim which seems well
founded. In his own words—“they that have red the first part of my
Herbal, and have compared my writinges of plantes with those thinges
that Matthiolus, Fuchsius, Tragus, and Dodoneus wrote in y^e firste
editiones of their Herballes, maye easily perceyve that I taught the
truthe of certeyne plantes, which these above named writers either knew
not at al, or ellis erred in them greatlye.... So y^t as I learned
something of them, so they ether might or did learne somthinge of me
agayne, as their second editions maye testifye. And because I would
not be lyke unto a cryer y^t cryeth a loste horse in the marketh, and
telleth all the markes and tokens that he hath, and yet never sawe
the horse, nether coulde knowe the horse if he sawe him: I wente into
Italye and into diverse partes of Germany, to knowe and se the herbes
my selfe.”

This herbal contains many evidences of Turner’s independence of
thought. He fought against what he regarded as superstition in science
with the same ardour with which he entered upon religious polemics. The
legend of the human form of the Mandrake receives scant mercy at his
hands. As he points out, “The rootes which are conterfited and made
like litle puppettes and mammettes, which come to be sold in England
in boxes, with heir, and such forme as a man hath, are nothyng elles
but folishe feined trifles, and not naturall. For they are so trymmed
of crafty theves to mocke the poore people with all, and to rob them
both of theyr wit and theyr money. I have in my tyme at diverse tymes
taken up the rootes of Mandrag out of the grounde, but I never saw any
such thyng upon or in them, as are in and upon the pedlers rootes that
are comenly to be solde in boxes.” Turner was, however, by no means the
first to dispute the Mandrake superstition; in the Grete Herball of
1526 it is definitely refuted, and it is ignored in some works that are
of even earlier date. The hoax was long-lived, for we find Gerard also
exposing it in 1597.

Turner had a fine scorn for any superstitious notions he detected in
the writings of his contemporaries, and seems to have been particularly
pleased if he could show that in any disputed matter they were wrong,
while the ancients, for whom he had a great reverence, were right. For
instance he has a great deal to say about a theory, held by Mattioli,
in opposition to the opinions of Theophrastus and Dioscorides, that
the Broomrape (_Orobanche_) could kill other plants merely by its
baneful presence, without any physical contact. He declares that this
view is against reason, authority and experience, and points out that
the figure which Mattioli gives is faulty, in omitting to show the
roots, which are the real instruments of destruction. He triumphantly
concludes, “And as touchynge experience, I know that the freshe and
yong Orobanche hath commyng out of the great roote, many lytle strynges
... wherewith it taketh holde of the rootes of the herbes that grow
next unto it. Wherefore Matthiolus ought not so lyghtly to have defaced
the autorite of Theophrast so ancient and substantiall autor.” Turner’s
work is largely occupied with the opinions of early writers, especially
Dioscorides, and his respect for their authority is a somewhat curious
trait in a character which seems, in other directions, to have been so
unorthodox. He did not however treat their books as the last word on
the subject, and the third part of his herbal is occupied with plants
“whereof is no mention made nether of y^e old Grecianes nor Latines.”

Turner’s herbal is arranged alphabetically, and does not show
evidence of any interest in the relationships of the plants. It is
as individuals, and essentially as “simples,” that he regarded them.
His descriptions of them were often vividly expressed, though not
markedly original. It must be remembered that botany was not the only
science which he studied. He wrote about birds, and also contributed
information about English fishes to Gesner’s ‘Historia Animalium.’

[Illustration: Text-fig. 52. “Tabaco” = _Nicotiana_, Tobacco [Monardes,
Joyfull newes out of the newe founde worlde, 2nd ed. 1580].]

Before discussing the next herbal which appeared in this country, we
may refer in passing to a botanical book which hardly comes under this
heading, but which is of interest in relation to the history of the
time. Nicolas Monardes, a Spanish physician, had published, in 1569
and 1571, some account of the plants which had lately been brought to
Europe from the recently discovered West Indies, and this work was
translated into English by John Frampton in 1577, under the title of
‘Joyfull newes out of the newe founde worlde.’ This book contains a
good figure of the Tobacco plant (Text-fig. 52), perhaps the first ever
published, and also a long account of its virtues. The reader is told
that the Negroes and Indians after inhaling tobacco smoke “doe remaine
lightened, without any wearinesse, for to laboure again: and thei dooe
this with so greate pleasure, that although thei bee not wearie, yet
thei are very desirous for to dooe it: and the thyng is come to so
muche effecte, that their maisters doeth chasten theim for it, and doe
burne the _Tabaco_, because thei should not use it.”

Twenty-seven years after the appearance of the first part of Turner’s
herbal, a translation of Dodoens’ work, made by Henry Lyte, appeared in
England. Lyte was born about 1529, and, towards the end of the reign
of Henry VIII, he became a student at Oxford. He was a man of means,
addicted to travel, and his temperament seems to have been much milder
and less revolutionary than that of his predecessor Turner. He did not
perhaps add very greatly to the knowledge of English botany, but he did
a valuable service in introducing Dodoens’ herbal into this country.
His book, which was published in 1578, was professedly a translation
of the French version of Dodoens’ Crǔ deboeck of 1554, which had been
made by de l’Écluse in 1557. Lyte’s copy of this work, with copious
manuscript notes, and, on the title-page, the quaint endorsement,
“Henry Lyte taught me to speake Englishe,” is preserved in the British
Museum. This copy proves that Lyte was no mere mechanical translator,
for the work is annotated and corrected with great care, references to
de l’Obel and Turner being introduced.

The title of Lyte’s book is as follows: ‘A Niewe Herball or Historie
of Plantes: wherin is contayned the whole discourse and perfect
description of all sortes of Herbes and Plantes: their divers and
sundry kindes: their straunge Figures, Fashions, and Shapes: their
Names, Natures, Operations, and Vertues: and that not onely of those
which are here growyng in this our Countrie of Englande, but of all
others also of forrayne Realmes, commonly used in Physicke. First set
foorth in the Doutche or Almaigne tongue, by that learned D. Rembert
Dodoens, Physition to the Emperour: And nowe first translated out of
French into English, by Henry Lyte Esquyer.’ The illustrations used in
the book were the same as those which had appeared in the translation
by de l’Écluse, and were for the most part copies of those in the
octavo edition of Fuchs’ herbal, with some additional blocks, which
had been cut specially for Dodoens. The result is that many of the
same figures occur both in Turner and in Lyte. There are said to be 870
figures in Lyte’s herbal, of which about thirty are new. Of the latter
_Centaurea rhaponticum_ is an example (Text-fig. 53).

[Illustration: Text-fig. 53. “Reubarbe” = _Centaurea rhaponticum_ L.
[Lyte, A Niewe Herball, 1578].]

Lyte occasionally adds a criticism of his own in a different type from
that used in the main body of the text. At the beginning of the book,
there is a long set of doggerel verses “in commendation of this worke,”
which imply that Rembert Dodoens himself made additions to the English
translation. The most important stanza is the following:—

    “Great was his toyle, whiche first this worke dyd frame.
    And so was his, whiche ventred to translate it,
    For when he had full finisht all the same,
    He minded not to adde, nor to abate it.
    But what he founde, he ment whole to relate it.
    Till _Rembert_ he, did sende additions store.
    For to augment _Lytes_ travell past before.”

We now come to John Gerard[19] (Plate XII), the best known of all
the English herbalists, but who, it must be confessed, scarcely
deserves the fame which has fallen to his share. Gerard, a native of
Cheshire, was a “Master in Chirurgerie,” but was better known as a
remarkably successful gardener. For twenty years he supervised the
gardens belonging to Lord Burleigh in the Strand, and at Theobalds in
Hertfordshire, besides having himself a famous garden in Holborn, then
the most fashionable district of London. In 1596 he published a list
of the plants which he cultivated in Holborn, which is interesting as
being the first complete catalogue ever published of the contents of a
single garden.

Gerard’s reputation rests however on a much larger work, ‘The Herball
or Generall Historie of Plantes,’ printed by John Norton in 1597, but
the manner in which this book originated does the author little credit.
It seems that Norton, the publisher, had commissioned a certain Dr
Priest to translate Dodoens’ final work, the ‘Pemptades’ of 1583, into
English, but Priest died before the work was finished. Gerard simply
adopted Priest’s translation, completed it, and published it as his
own, merely altering the arrangement from that of Dodoens to that of
de l’Obel. He adds insult to injury by gratuitously remarking, in an
address to the reader at the beginning of the herbal, that “Doctor
_Priest_, one of our London Colledge, hath (as I heard) translated
the last edition of _Dodonæus_, which meant to publish the same; but
being prevented by death, his translation likewise perished.” After
the manner of the period, the herbal is embellished with a number of
prefatory letters, in one of which, written by Stephen Bredwell, a
statement occurs which is so inconsistent with Gerard’s own remarks
that he certainly committed an oversight in allowing it to stand!
In Bredwell’s words—“D. _Priest_ for his translation of so much as
_Dodonæus_, hath hereby left a tombe for his honorable sepulture.
Master _Gerard_ comming last, but not the least, hath many waies
accommodated the whole worke unto our English nation.”

[Illustration: _Plate XII_

JOHN GERARD (1545-1607).

[The Herball, 1636.]]

The ‘Herball’ is a massive volume, in clear Roman type, contrasting
markedly with the black letter used in the works of Turner and Lyte,
and giving the book a much more modern appearance. It contains about
1800 wood-cuts, nearly all from blocks used by Tabernæmontanus in his
‘Eicones’ of 1590, which Norton obtained from Frankfort; less than
one per cent. are original. There is an illustration representing the
Virginian Potato, which appears to be new, and is perhaps the first
figure of this plant ever published (Text-fig. 60). Gerard did not know
enough about botany to couple the wood-blocks of Tabernæmontanus with
their appropriate descriptions, and de l’Obel was requested by the
printer to correct the author’s blunders. This he did, according to his
own account, in very many places, but yet not so many as he wished,
since Gerard became impatient, and summarily stopped the process of
emendation, on the ground that de l’Obel had forgotten his English.
After this episode, the relations between the two botanists seem, not
unnaturally, to have become somewhat strained.

Gerard evidently aimed at conveying information in simple language, for
in one place, where he speaks of a preparation being “squirted” into
the eyes, he apologises for the colloquialism, explaining that he does
not wish “to be over eloquent among gentlewomen, unto whom especially
my works are most necessary.”

The value of Gerard’s work must inevitably be at a discount, when we
realise that it is impossible, from internal evidence, to accept him
as a credible witness. His oft-quoted account of the “Goose tree,”
“Barnakle tree,” or the “tree bearing Geese,” removes what little
respect one may have felt for him as a scientist, not so much because
he held an absurd belief, which was widely accepted at the time, but
rather because he went out of his way to state that it was confirmed by
his own observations! He gives a figure to illustrate the origin of the
Geese (Text-fig. 54), which is not, however, original.

Gerard relates how trees, actually bearing shells which open and hatch
out barnacle geese, occur in the “Orchades[20],” but he states that
on this point he has no first-hand knowledge. He proceeds, however,
to remark, “But what our eies have seene, and hands have touched, we
shall declare. There is a small Ilande in Lancashire called the Pile
of Foulders, wherein are found the broken peeces of old and brused
ships, some whereof have beene cast thither by shipwracke, and also
the trunks or bodies with the branches of old and rotten trees, cast
up there likewise: wheron is found a certaine spume or froth, that in
time breedeth unto certaine shels, in shape like those of the muskle,
but sharper pointed, and of a whitish colour; wherein is conteined a
thing in forme like a lace of silke finely woven, as it were togither,
of a whitish colour; one ende whereof is fastned unto the inside of
the shell, even as the fish of Oisters and Muskles are; the other
ende is made fast unto the belly of a rude masse or lumpe, which in
time commeth to the shape and forme of a Bird: when it is perfectly
formed, the shel gapeth open, and the first thing that appeereth is
the foresaid lace or string; next come the legs of the Birde hanging
out; and as it groweth greater, it openeth the shell by degrees, till
at length it is all come foorth, and hangeth onely by the bill; in
short space after it commeth to full maturitie, and falleth into the
sea, where it gathereth feathers, and groweth to a foule, bigger then a
Mallard, and lesser than a Goose.”

The fable of the Goose Tree was rejected in the later editions of
Gerard’s ‘Herball,’ published after the author’s death. It reappears,
however, late in the seventeenth century, in the ‘Historia Naturalis’
of John Jonston. The legend is of respectable antiquity, being found
in various early chronicles. Sebastian Muenster, for example, in his
‘Cosmographia[21],’ printed at Basle in 1545, refers to it as recorded
by previous writers, and figures a tree with pendent fruits, out of
which geese are dropping into a lake or stream.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 54. “The breede of Barnakles” [Gerard, The
Herball, 1597].]

Hector Boethius [Boece] in his Scottish Chronicle gives a quaint
account of the origin of geese from driftwood in the sea, “in the small
boris and hollis” of which “growis small wormis. First thay schaw thair
heid and feit, and last of all they schaw thair plum is and wyngis.
Finally quhen thay ar cumyn to the iust mesure and quantite of geis,
thay fle in the aire, as othir fowlis dois[22].”

It is rather surprising to find that William Turner was a believer in
the same myth, although, unlike Gerard, he took great pains to satisfy
himself of the truth of the story, which he seems to have approached
with quite an open mind. His account is as follows:—

“When after a certain time the firwood masts or planks or yard-arms of
a ship have rotted on the sea, then fungi, as it were, break out upon
them first, in which in course of time one may discern evident forms of
birds, which afterwards are clothed with feathers, and at last become
alive and fly. Now lest this should seem fabulous to anyone, besides
the common evidence of all the long-shore men of England, Ireland, and
Scotland, that renowned historian Gyraldus, ... bears witness that the
generation of the Bernicles is none other than this. But inasmuch as
it seemed hardly safe to trust the vulgar and by reason of the rarity
of the thing I did not quite credit Gyraldus, ... I took counsel of a
certain man, whose upright conduct, often proved by me, had justified
my trust, a theologian by profession and an Irishman by birth, Octavian
by name, whether he thought Gyraldus worthy of belief in this affair.
Who, taking oath upon the very Gospel which he taught, answered
that what Gyraldus had reported of the generation of this bird was
absolutely true, and that with his own eyes he had beholden young, as
yet but rudely formed, and also handled them, and, if I were to stay in
London for a month or two, that he would take care that some growing
chicks should be brought in to me[23].”

The Goose Tree is also figured by de l’Obel and d’Aléchamps, but it is
refreshing to find that Colonna in his ‘Phytobasanos’ (1592) flatly
denies the truth of the legend.

The importance of Gerard’s ‘Herball’ in the history of botany is
chiefly due to an improved edition, brought out by Thomas Johnson
in 1633, thirty-six years after the work was originally published.
Johnson was an apothecary in London, and cultivated a physic garden on
Snow Hill. His first botanical work was a short account of the plants
collected by members of the Apothecaries’ Company on an excursion in
Kent. This is of interest as being the earliest memoir of the kind
published in England. Later on, descriptions of botanical tours in the
west of England, and in Wales, appeared from his pen. But it is as the
editor of Gerard that he is chiefly remembered. He greatly enlarged
the ‘Herball,’ and illustrated it with Plantin’s wood-cuts. His
edition contained an account of no less than 2850 plants. Johnson also
corrected numerous errors, and the whole work, transformed by him, rose
to a much higher grade of value. It was reprinted, without alteration,
in 1636.

When the Civil Wars broke out, Johnson, who is said to have been a man
of great personal courage, joined the Royalists. He took an active part
in the defence of Basing House, and received a shot wound during the
siege, from which he died.

John Parkinson (1567-1650) may be regarded as the last British
herbalist, of the period we are considering, whose work was of any
great interest from the botanical point of view. His portrait is shown
in Plate XIII. Like Gerard and Johnson, he cultivated a famous garden
in London. In these days of bricks and mortar, it is hard to realise
that gardens of such importance flourished in Holborn, Snow Hill, and
Long Acre respectively. Another important London garden of the period
was that at Lambeth, belonging to John Tradescant, gardener to Charles

Parkinson became apothecary to James I and botanist to Charles I. The
earlier of the two books, by which he is remembered, was rather of
the nature of a gardening work than of a herbal. It appeared in 1629
under the title, ‘Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris. A Garden
of all sorts of pleasant flowers which our English ayre will permitt
to be noursed up ... together With the right orderinge planting and
preserving of them and their uses and vertues.’ It has lately become
accessible in the form of a facsimile reprint. The words “Paradisi in
Sole” form a pun upon the author’s name, and may be translated “Of
park-in-sun.” The book was dedicated to Queen Henrietta Maria, with the
prayer that she will accept “this speaking Garden.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 55. “Barberry” = _Berberis_ [Part of a large
wood-cut, Parkinson, Paradisus Terrestris, 1629].]

The preface to this work is entirely at variance with the idea that
scientific knowledge has only been gradually acquired by the human
race. In Parkinson’s words:—“God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, at
the beginning when he created _Adam_, inspired him with the knowledge
of all naturall things (which successively descended to _Noah_
afterwardes, and to his Posterity): for, as he was able to give names
to all the living Creatures, according to their severall natures; so no
doubt but hee had also the knowledge, both what Herbes and Fruits
were fit, eyther for Meate or Medicine, for Use or for Delight.”

[Illustration: _Plate XIII_

JOHN PARKINSON (1567-1650).

[Theatrum botanicum, 1640.]]

Elaborate directions for the planting and treatment of a garden precede
an account of a large number of plants cultivated at that time, with
some mention of their uses. The book is illustrated with full-page wood
engravings of no great merit, in each of which a number of different
plants are represented (Text-fig. 55 is taken from part of one
illustration). The figures are partly original and partly copied from
the books of de l’Écluse, de l’Obel and others.

In 1640, Parkinson followed up this work with a much larger volume,
dealing with plants in general, and called the ‘Theatrum botanicum:
The Theater of Plants. Or, an Herball of a Large Extent.’ He complains
that the publication of the work has been delayed, partly through
the “disastrous times,” but chiefly through the machinations of
“wretched and perverse men.” According to the preface to the ‘Paradisus
Terrestris,’ the author’s original idea was merely to supplement
his description of the Flower Garden by an account of “A Garden of
Simples.” This scheme grew into one of a more extensive and general
nature, but without losing the predominant medical interest, which
would have characterised the work as originally planned. In accordance
with this intention, the virtues of the herbs are dealt with in great

Parkinson’s herbal is in some ways an improvement on that of Johnson
and Gerard. Almost the whole of Bauhin’s ‘Pinax’ is incorporated, with
the result that the account of the nomenclature of each plant becomes
very full and detailed. Many of de l’Obel’s manuscript notes are also
inserted. The scheme of classification adopted is, however, markedly
inferior to that of de l’Obel.

Occasionally, in spite of his comparatively late date, Parkinson
displays an imagination that is truly mediæval. He is eloquent on the
subject of that rare and precious commodity, the horn of the Unicorn,
which is a cure for many bodily ills. He describes the animal as living
“farre remote from these parts, and in huge vast Wildernesses among
other most fierce and wilde beasts.” He discusses, also, the use of the
powder of mummies as a medicine, and his description is enlivened with
a picture of an embalmed corpse.

The illustrations to the Theatrum Botanicum are of no importance, being
chiefly copied from those of Gerard.

The great British botanists who follow next upon Parkinson, in point
of time, are Robert Morison (b. 1620) and John Ray (b. 1627), but as
their chief works appeared after the close of the period selected for
special study in this book (1470-1670), and as they were botanists
in the modern sense, rather than herbalists, we will not attempt any
discussion of their writings.

While Morison and Ray were advancing the subject of Systematic Botany,
Nehemiah Grew and the Italian, Marcello Malpighi, born respectively
in 1641 and 1628, were laying the foundations of the science of Plant
Anatomy. Their work, also, is outside the scope of the present book,
and it is only mentioned at this point in order to show that the latter
part of the seventeenth century witnessed a considerable revolution
in the science. From this period onwards, with the opening up of new
lines of inquiry, the importance of the herbal steadily declined, and
though books which come under this heading were produced even in the
nineteenth century, the day of their pre-eminence was over.


The subject of Aristotelian botany scarcely comes within the scope of a
book on Herbals, but, at the same time, it cannot be sharply separated
from the botany of the herbalists. It therefore seems desirable to
make a brief reference at this point to its chief sixteenth-century
exponent, the Italian savant, Andrea Cesalpino (1519-1603), and to
one or two other writers whose point of view was similar. We have
already shown that, in the Middle Ages, Albertus Magnus carried on
the tradition of Aristotle and Theophrastus. At the time of the
Renaissance, there was again a revival of this aspect of the study,
as well as of the branch with which we are here more immediately
concerned, that, namely, which deals with plants from the standpoint
of medicine and natural history. Cesalpino (Plate XIV), it is true,
was largely concerned, like the herbalists, with the mere description
of plants, but the fame of his great work, ‘De plantis libri XVI’
(1583), rests upon the first book, which contains an account of the
theory of botany on Aristotelian lines.

[Illustration: _Plate XIV_


[Drawn by G. Zocchi and engraved by F. Allegrini, 1765, after an old
portrait in the Museum of the Botanic Garden at Pisa. Print in the
Botany School, Cambridge.]]

Cesalpino’s strength lay in the fact that he took a remarkably broad
view of the subject, and approached it as a trained thinker. He had
learned the best lesson Greek thought had to offer to the scientific
worker—the knowledge of _how_ to think. He had, however, the defects
of his qualities, and his reverence for the classics led him into an
inelastic and over literal acceptance of Aristotelian conceptions.
The chief tangible contribution, which Cesalpino made to botanical
science, was his insistence on the prime importance of the organs of
fructification. This was the idea on which he chiefly laid stress in
his system of classification, to which we shall return in a later

A botanist who had something in common with Cesalpino was the Bohemian
author, Adam Zaluziansky von Zaluzian (1558-1613). His most important
work was the ‘Methodi herbariæ libri tres,’ published at Prague in
1592. As a herbal it does not rank high, since Zaluziansky neither
recorded any new plants, nor gave the Bohemian localities for those
already known. But it opens with a survey of botany in general,
which is of interest as showing an approach to the modern scientific
standpoint, in so far as the author pleads for the treatment of botany
as a separate subject, and not as a mere branch of medicine. His
remarks on this point may be translated as follows:—“It is customary
to connect Medicine with Botany, yet scientific treatment demands that
we should consider each separately. For the fact is that in every art,
theory must be disconnected and separated from practice, and the two
must be dealt with singly and individually in their proper order before
they are united. And for that reason, in order that Botany (which is,
as it were, a special branch of Physics) may form a unit by itself
before it can be brought into connection with other sciences, it must
be divided and unyoked from Medicine.”

Guy de la Brosse, a French writer of the seventeenth century,
discusses the souls of plants and related topics, quite in the manner
of the Aristotelian school. In his book ‘De la Nature, Vertu, et
Utilité des Plantes,’ dedicated to “Monseigneur le tres-illustre et le
tres-reverand Cardinal Monseigneur le Cardinal de Richelieu,” he treats
of variation within single species, the sensitiveness of plants, their
chemistry and properties, and many other topics. His work is full of
interest, but a discussion of it would lead us beyond the bounds of our
present subject.



Probably one of the chief objects, which the early herbalists had in
view in writing their books, was to enable the reader to identify
various medicinal plants. Nevertheless, until well into the sixteenth
century, their drawings were so conventional, and their descriptions
left so much to be desired, that it must have been an almost impossible
task to arrive at the names of plants by their aid alone. The idea
which suggests itself is that a knowledge of the actual plants was, in
practice, transmitted by word of mouth, and that the herbals were only
used as reference books, to ascertain the reputed qualities of herbs,
with whose appearance the reader was already quite familiar. If this
supposition is correct, it perhaps accounts for the very primitive
state in which the art of plant description remained during the earlier
period of the botanical renaissance.

When we turn to the Aristotelian school, we find that the writings
of Theophrastus include certain plant descriptions, which, although
they seem somewhat rudimentary when judged by modern standards, are
greatly in advance of those contained in the first printed herbals.
The mediæval philosopher, Albertus Magnus, who, as we have already
pointed out, was a follower of Aristotle and Theophrastus, also showed
marked originality in his descriptions of flowers, and drew attention
to a number of points which appear to have escaped the notice of
many more recent writers. For instance, in describing the flower of
the Borage he distinguished the green calyx, the corolla with its
ligular outgrowths, the five stamens and the central pistil, though
naturally he failed to understand the function of the latter organs.
He observed that, in the Lily, the calyx was absent, but that the
petals themselves showed transitions from green to white. He noticed
the early fall of the calyx in the Poppy, and its persistence until the
ripening of the fruit in the Rose. On the subject of floral æstivation,
his observations were surprisingly advanced. He pointed out that the
successive whorls of sepals and petals alternated with one another,
and concluded that this was a device for the better protection of the

Albertus further classified the various forms of flower under three

1. Bird-form (e.g. _Aquilegia_, _Viola_ and _Lamium_).

2. Pyramid- and Bell-form.

3. Star-form.

When we leave the early Aristotelian botanists, and turn to those who
studied the subject primarily from the medical point of view, we find
a great falling off in the power of description. The accounts of the
plants in the Materia Medica of Dioscorides, for example, are so brief
and meagre that only those with the most marked characteristics can be
identified with certainty.

The Herbarium of Apuleius Platonicus, the earliest work to which the
term “herbal” is generally applied, scarcely makes any attempt at
describing the plants to which it refers. Such a paragraph as the
following[24] gives an account of a plant, which, compared with most of
the other descriptions in the herbal, may fairly be called precise and

“This wort, which is named radiolus, by another name everfern, is like
fern; and it is produced in stony places, and in old house steads; and
it has on each leaf two rows of fair spots, and they shine like gold.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 56. “Cardamomum” = ? _Solanum dulcamara_ L.,
Bittersweet [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491].]

The group of late fifteenth-century herbals which we discussed in
Chapter II—the Latin and German Herbarius and the Hortus Sanitatis—are
alike in giving very brief and inadequate accounts of the characters
of the plants enumerated, although their descriptions often have
a certain naïve charm. It is scarcely worth while to give actual
examples of their methods. It will perhaps suffice to quote a few
specimens from the English ‘Grete Herball[25],’ which is a work of
much the same class. The Wood Sorrel[26] is dealt with as follows:
“This herbe groweth in thre places, and specyally in hedges, woodes
and under walles sydes and hath leves lyke iii leved grasse and hath a
soure smell as sorell, and hath a yelowe flowre.” As another example
we may cite the Chicory, which is described as having “croked and
wrythen stalkes, and the floure is of y^e colour of the skye.” Of the
Waterlilies, we receive a still more generalised account: “Nenufar
is an herbe that groweth in water, and hath large leves and hath a
floure in maner of a rose, the rote thereof is called treumyan and is
very bygge. It is of two maners. One is whyte, and another yelowe.”
Occasionally we meet with a hint of more detailed observation. For
instance, the coloured central flower in the umbel of the Carrot is
mentioned, though in terms that sound somewhat strange to the modern
botanist. We read that it “hath a large floure and in the myddle therof
a lytell reed prycke.”

It is somewhat remarkable that Banckes’ Herbal, though originally
published a year earlier than the first edition of the Grete Herball,
shows a slight but distinct superiority in the matter of description
(see p. 38). Perhaps this is to be connected with the fact that
Banckes’ Herbal is without illustrations. But even if we allow that
the descriptions in Banckes’ Herbal occasionally seize on salient
features, it must be admitted that they still leave a great deal to the
imagination. As two typical examples, which are perhaps as good as any
in the book, we may take those of Tutsan[27] and of Shepherd’s Purse.
Of the first the herbalist writes, “This herbe hathe leves somdele reed
lyke unto ye leves of Orage. And this herbe hathe senowes on his leves
as hath Plantayne, and it hathe yelowe floures and bereth blacke berys,
and it groweth in dry woodes.” Of Shepherd’s Purse he says, “This herbe
hathe a small stalke and full of braunches and ragged leves and a whyte
flowre. The coddes therof be lyke a purse.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 57. “Pionia” = Peony [Arnaldus de Villa Nova,
Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum, 1499].]

The ‘Herbarum vivæ eicones’ of Otto Brunfels (1530) was the first
herbal illustrated with drawings, which are throughout both beautiful
and true to nature. The descriptions, on the other hand, are quite
unworthy of the figures, being mostly borrowed from earlier writers.
The wonderful excellence of the wood-blocks, with which the German
Fathers of Botany enriched their books, was, in one sense, an actual
hindrance to the development of the art of plant description. Since
the pencil of the draughtsman could represent every subtlety in the
characteristic form of a plant, the botanist might well be excused
for thinking that to take the trouble to set beside the drawing a
precise, verbal description of the plant in question was a work of
supererogation. However, in another sense the draughtsman indirectly
helped the cause of scientific accuracy in what, for want of a better
expression, may be called word-painting. There is no doubt that
constant critical examination of the artist’s work must have tended to
educate the eye of the botanist who supervised his efforts, and to
increase his perception of delicate shades of difference or similarity
of form, which he might never have noticed, or attempted to express in
words, if the draughtsman had not, as it were, lent him his trained

The next great worker, Hieronymus Bock, differs from Brunfels in the
comparative unimportance of his contributions to plant illustration,
and the relatively greater value of his text. His descriptions of
flowers and fruits are excellent, and the way in which he indicates
the general habit is often masterly. As an example we may quote his
description of Mistletoe plants, which may be translated as follows:
“They grow almost in the shape of a cluster, with many forks and
articulations. The whole plant is light green, the leaves are fleshy,
plump and thick, larger than those of the Box. They flower in the
beginning of spring, the flowers are however very small and yellow in
colour, from them develop, towards autumn, small, round white berries
very like those on the wild gooseberry. These berries are full inside
of white tough lime, yet each berry has its small black grain, as if
it were the seed, which however does not grow when sown, for, as I
have said above, the Mistletoe only originates and develops on trees.
In winter mistel thrushes seek their food from the Mistletoe, but in
summer they are caught with it, for bird-lime is commonly made from its
bark. Thus the Mistletoes are both beneficial and harmful to birds.”

In ‘De historia stirpium,’ the great Latin work of Leonhard Fuchs, the
plant descriptions are brief and of little importance, being frequently
taken word for word from previous writers. This book, however, is
notable in possessing a full glossary of the technical terms used,
which is of importance as being the first contribution of the kind to
botanical literature. We may translate two examples at random, to show
the style of Fuchs’ definitions:—

“_Stamens_ are the points [apices] that shoot forth in the middle of
the flower-cup [calyx]: so called because they spring out like threads
from the inmost bosom of the flower[28].”

“_Pappus_, both to the Greeks and to the Latins, is the fluff which
falls from flowers or fruits. So also certain woolly hairs which
remain on certain plants when they lose their flowers, and afterwards
disappear into the air, are pappi, as happens in Senecio, Sonchus and
several others.”

In the German edition of Fuchs’ herbal, the descriptions are remarkably
good for their time, being more methodical than those of Bock, though
sometimes less lively and picturesque. As an instance of his manner we
may cite his account of the Butterbur, of which his wood-cut is shown
in Text-fig. 58. “The flower of Butterbur,” he writes, “is the first to
appear, before the plant or leaves. The flower is cluster-shaped, with
many small, pale pinkish flowerets, and is like a fine bunch of vine
flowers in full bloom to look at. This large cluster-shaped flower has
a hollow stalk, at times a span high; it withers and decays without
fruit together with the stalk. Then the round, gray, ash-coloured
leaves appear, which are at first like Coltsfoot, but afterwards become
so large that one leaf will cover a small, round table. They are light
green on one side, and whitish or gray on the other. Each leaf has its
own brown, hairy and hollow stem, on which it sits like a wide hat or
a mushroom turned over. The root grows very thick, is white and porous
inside, and has a strong, bitter taste.”

Our English herbalist, William Turner, is often fresh and effective
in his descriptions. He compares the Dodder (_Cuscuta_) to “a great
red harpe strynge,” and the seed vessels of Shepherd’s Purse to “a
boyes satchel or litle bagge.” Of the Dead Nettle he says, “Lamium
hath leaves like unto a Nettel, but lesse indented about, and whyter.
The downy thynges that are in it like pryckes, byte not, ye stalk is
four-square, the floures are whyte, and have a stronge savor, and are
very like unto litle coules, or hoodes that stand over bare heades. The
sede is blak and groweth about the stalk, certayn places goyng betwene,
as we se in horehound.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 58. “Petasites” = Butterbur [Fuchs, De
historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

The three great botanists of the Low Countries, Dodoens, de l’Écluse
and de l’Obel, were so closely associated that it is hardly necessary
to consider their style of plant description individually. Henry
Lyte’s well-known herbal of 1578 was a translation of the ‘Histoire
des Plantes,’ which is itself a version by de l’Écluse of the Dutch
herbal of Dodoens. We may thus fairly illustrate the style of plant
description of this school by a quotation from Lyte, since it has the
advantage of retaining the sixteenth-century flavour, which is so
easily lost in a modern translation. As a typical example we may take a
paragraph about the Storksbill (_Erodium_). It will be noticed that it
does not represent any great advance upon Fuchs’ work.

“The first kinde of Geranion or Storckes bill, his leaves are cut and
iagged in many peeces, like to Crowfoote, his stalkes be slender, and
parted into sundry braunches, upon which groweth smal floures somwhat
like roses, or the floures of Mallowes, of a light murrey or redde
colour: after them commeth little round heades, with smal long billes,
like Nedels, or like the beakes of Cranes and Hearons, wherein the
seede is contayned: The roote is thicke, round, shorte, and knobby,
with certayne small strings hanging by it.”

In his ‘Pemptades’ of 1583, Dodoens gave a glossary of botanical terms.
His definitions suffer, however, from vagueness, and are not calculated
greatly to advance the accurate description of plants. As an example we
may take his account of the flower, which may be translated as follows:—

“The flower (ἄνθος) we call the joy of trees and plants. It is the hope
of fruits to come, for every growing thing, according to its nature,
produces offspring and fruit after the flower. But flowers have their
own special parts.”

The descriptions from the pen of de l’Écluse are characterised by
greater fulness and closer attention to flower structure than those
of his predecessors. The plant which he calls _Sedum_ or _Sempervivum
majus_, of which his wood-cut is reproduced in Text-fig. 59, is
described as being “a shrub rather than a herb; occasionally it reaches
the height of two cubits [3 ft.] and is as thick as the human arm,
with a quantity of twigs as thick as a man’s thumb: these spread out
into numerous rays of the thickness of a finger. The ends of these
terminate in a kind of circle, which is formed by numerous leaves
pressing inwards all together and overlapping, just as in _Sedum
vulgare majus_. These leaves however are fat and full of juice, and
shaped like a tongue, and slightly serrated round the edge, with a
somewhat astringent flavour; the whole shrub is coated with a thick,
fleshy, sappy bark. The outer membrane inclines to a dark colour, and
is speckled as in _Tithymalus characia_: the speckles are simply the
remains of leaves which have fallen off. Meanwhile a thick pedicel
covered with leaves springs out from the top of the larger branches,
and bears, so to speak, a thyrsus of many yellow flowers, scattered
about like stars, pleasant to behold. And when the flowers begin to
ripen, and are running to seed (the seed is very small), the pedicel
grows slender. But the plant is an evergreen.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 59. “Sedum majus” [de l’Écluse, Rariorum ... per
Hispanias, 1576].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 60. “Battata Virginiana” = _Solanum tuberosum_
L., Potato [Gerard, The Herball, 1597].]

In Gerard’s ‘Herball’ of 1597 the descriptions are seldom sufficiently
original to be of much interest. We may quote, however, his account of
the Potato flower (Text-fig. 60), then so great a novelty that in his
portrait (Plate XII) he is represented holding a spray of it in his
hand. It has, he says, “very faire and pleasant flowers, made of one
entire whole leafe, which is folded or plaited in such strange sort,
that it seemeth to be a flower made of sixe sundrie small leaves, which
cannot be easily perceived, except the same be pulled open. The colour
whereof it is hard to expresse. The whole flower is of a light purple
color, stripped down the middle of every folde or welt, with a light
shew of yellownes, as though purple and yellow were mixed togither: in
the middle of the flower thrusteth foorth a thicke fat pointell, yellow
as golde, with a small sharpe greene pricke or point in the middest

The plant descriptions by Valerius Cordus, which were published after
his death, are among the best produced in the sixteenth century, but
they are too lengthy for quotation here.

So far as the period with which we deal in this book is concerned,
the zenith of plant description may be said to be reached in the
‘Prodromos’ of Gaspard Bauhin (1620), in which a high level of
terseness and accuracy is attained. As an example we may translate his
description of “_Beta Cretica semine aculeato_,” of which his drawing
is reproduced in Text-fig. 62: “From a short tapering root, by no means
fibrous, spring several stalks about 18 inches long: they straggle
over the ground, and are cylindrical in shape and furrowed, becoming
gradually white near the root with a slight coating of down, and
spreading out into little sprays. The plant has but few leaves, similar
to those of _Beta nigra_, except that they are smaller, and supplied
with long petioles. The flowers are small, and of a greenish yellow.
The fruits one can see growing in large numbers close by the root, and
from that point they spread along the stalk, at almost every leaf. They
are rough and tubercled and separate into three reflexed points. In
their cavity, one grain of the shape of an _Adonis_ seed is contained;
it is slightly rounded and ends in a point, and is covered with a
double layer of reddish membrane, the inner one enclosing a white,
farinaceous core.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 61. “Rose Ribwoorte” = an abnormal Plantain
[Gerard, The Herball, 1597].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 62. “Beta Cretica semine aculeato” [Bauhin,
Prodromos, 1620].]

Any great advance on Bauhin’s descriptions could hardly be expected
during the period which we are discussing, since it closed before the
nature of the essential parts of the flower was really understood. It
was not until 1682 that the fact that the stamens are male organs was
pointed out in print by Nehemiah Grew, though he himself attributed
this discovery to Sir Thomas Millington, a botanist otherwise unknown.
Gerard’s account of the stamens and stigma of the Potato as a
“pointell, yellow as golde, with a small sharpe greene pricke or point
in the middest thereof,” vague as it seems to the twentieth-century
botanist, is by no means to be despised, when we remember that the
writer was handicapped by complete ignorance of the function of the
structures which he saw before him.

A further hindrance to improvement in plant description was the lack
of a methodical terminology. As we have already shown, both Fuchs and
Dodoens attempted glossaries of botanical terms, but these do not
seem to have become an integral part of the science. It is a common
complaint among non-botanists at the present day, that the subject has
become incomprehensible to the layman, owing to the excessive use of
technical words. There is, no doubt, some truth in this statement, but,
on the other hand, a study of the writings of the earlier botanists
makes it clear that a description of a plant couched in ordinary
language—in which the botanical meaning of the terms employed has been
subjected to no rigid definition—often breaks down completely on all
critical points.

It is to Joachim Jung and to Linnæus that we owe the foundations of the
accurate terminology, now at the disposal of the botanist when he sets
out to describe a new plant. The published work of these two writers
belongs, however, to the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and
is thus outside the scope of the present volume.



In the earliest European works on natural history—those of the
Aristotelian school—we meet with an attempt to classify the different
varieties of plants. It was inevitable that the writers of this school
should make such an attempt, since no mind trained in Greek philosophy
could be content to leave a science in the condition of a mere chaos
of isolated descriptions. At first the most obvious distinction, that
of size, was used as the chief criterion whereby to separate the
different groups of the vegetable kingdom. In the ‘History of Plants’
of Theophrastus, we find Trees, Shrubs, Bushes and Herbs treated
as definite classes, within which, cultivated and wild plants are
distinguished. Other distinctions of lower value are made between
evergreen and deciduous, fruiting and fruitless, and flowering and
flowerless plants.

Albertus Magnus, who kept alive in the Middle Ages the spirit of
Aristotelian botany, was more advanced than Theophrastus in his method
of classification. It is true that he divides the vegetable world into
Trees, Shrubs, Undershrubs, Bushes, Herbs and Fungi, but at the same
time he points out that this is an arbitrary scheme, since these groups
cannot always be distinguished from one another, and also because the
same plant may belong to different classes at different periods of its
life. A study of the writings of Albertus reveals the fact that he
had in mind, though he did not clearly state it, a much more highly
evolved system, which may be diagrammatically represented as follows.
The modern equivalents of his different groups are shown in square

[Illustration: Text-fig. 63. “Carui” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491].]

I. Leafless plants [Cryptogams in part].

II. Leafy plants [Phanerogams and certain Cryptogams].
    1. Corticate plants [Monocotyledons].
    2. Tunicate plants [Dicotyledons].
        (_a_) Herbaceous.
        (_b_) Woody.

The word _tunicate_ in the above table is used for the plants which
Albertus describes as growing “ex ligneis tunicis.” It seems clear
from this expression that he realised that there was an anatomical
distinction between Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons.

Considering how much Albertus had achieved, it is somewhat curious
that Cesalpino, who represented Aristotelian botany in the sixteenth,
as Albertus did in the thirteenth century, should have produced so
inadequate a system as his own contribution to the subject. We owe to
him one marked advance, the recognition, namely, of the importance of
the seed. On the whole, however, his classification savours too much
of having been thought out in the study, and it suffers by comparison
with other systems of about the same period, such as those of de l’Obel
and Bauhin, which were arrived at rather by instinct, acting upon
observation, than by a definite and self-conscious intellectual effort.

Cesalpino makes his main distinction, on the old Aristotelian plan,
between Trees and Shrubs on the one hand, and Undershrubs and Herbs
on the other. He divides the first of these groups into two, and the
second into thirteen classes, depending chiefly on seed and fruit
characters. Very few of these classes really represent natural groups,
and the chief of all distinctions among Flowering Plants, that between
Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons, which was foreshadowed by Albertus, is
almost lost to sight.

When we turn from the botanical philosophers to the herbalists proper,
we find an altogether different state of affairs. The Aristotelian
botanists were conscious, from the beginning, of the philosophic
necessity for some form of classification. The medical botanists, on
the other hand, were only interested in plants as individuals, and were
driven to classify them merely because some sort of arrangement was
necessary for convenience in dealing with a large number of kinds. The
first Materia Medica, that of Dioscorides, shows some attempt at order,
but the arrangement is seldom at all natural. Occasionally the author
groups together plants which are nearly related, as when he treats of a
number of Labiates, or of Umbellifers successively—but this is rare.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 64. “Buglossa” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491].]

Pliny was not, strictly speaking, a medical botanist, but at the
same time he may be mentioned in this connection, since his interest
in plants was essentially utilitarian. Like Theophrastus, he begins
his account of plants with the trees, but his reason for so doing is
profoundly different from that of the Greek writer, and illustrates
the divergence between what we may call the anthropocentric and the
scientific outlook upon the plant world. Theophrastus placed trees
at the head of the vegetable kingdom, because he considered their
organisation the highest, and most completely expressive of plant
nature; Pliny, on the other hand, began with trees because of their
great value and importance to man. As an example of his ideas of
arrangement, we may mention that he places the Myrtle and Laurel side
by side, because the Laurel takes a corresponding place in triumphs to
that accorded to the Myrtle in ovations!

Turning to the herbals themselves, we find that the earliest show no
trace of a natural grouping, the plants being, as a rule, arranged
alphabetically. This is the case, for instance, in the Latin and German
Herbarius, the Ortus Sanitatis and their derivatives, and even in the
herbals of Brunfels and of Fuchs in the sixteenth century. In Bock’s
herbal, on the other hand, the plants are grouped as herbs, shrubs and
trees, according to the classical scheme. The author evidently made
some effort, within these classes, to arrange them according to their
relationships. In the preface to the third edition he writes—“I have
placed together, yet kept distinct, all plants which are related and
connected, or otherwise resemble one another and are compared, and have
given up the former old rule or arrangement according to the A.B.C.
which is seen in the old herbals. For the arrangement of plants by the
A.B.C. occasions much disparity and error.”

Although the larger classificatory divisions, as now understood,
were not recognised by these early workers, they had at least a dim
understanding of the distinction between genera and species. This
dates back to Theophrastus, who showed, by grouping together different
species of oaks, figs, etc., that he had some conception of a genus.
We owe to Konrad Gesner the first formulation of the idea that genera
should be denoted by substantive names. He was probably the earliest
botanist who clearly expounded the distinction between a genus and a
species. In one of his letters he writes—“And we may hold this for
certain, that there are scarcely any plants that constitute a genus
which may not be divided into two or more species. The ancients
describe one species of Gentian; I know of ten or more.”

Very little of Gesner’s botanical work was ever published, and it
was left to Fabio Colonna to put before the botanical world the true
nature of genera. He held most enlightened views on the subject, and,
in 1616, clearly stated in his ‘Ekphrasis’ that genera should not be
based on similarities of leaf form, since the affinities of plants are
indicated not by the leaf, but by the characters of the flower, the
receptacle, and, especially, the seed[29]. He brought forward instances
to show that previous authors had sometimes placed a plant in the
wrong genus, because they only attended to the leaves and ignored the
structure of the flower.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 65. “Nenufar” = Waterlily [Arnaldus de Villa
Nova, Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum, 1499].]

In the writings of Gaspard Bauhin, at the end of the sixteenth and the
beginning of the seventeenth century, the binary system of nomenclature
is used with a high degree of consistency, each species bearing a
generic and specific name, though sometimes a third, or even a fourth,
descriptive word is added. These extra words are not, however, really
essential. In the preface to the ‘Phytopinax’ (1596) Bauhin states
that, for the sake of clearness, he has applied one name to each plant
and added also some easily recognisable character[30].

The binomial method was foreshadowed at a very early date, for in a
fifteenth-century manuscript of the old herbal ‘Circa instans,’ to
which we have referred on p. 24, this system prevails to a remarkable

When we turn to those general schemes of classification which were
evolved by the herbalists of the sixteenth century, we are at once
struck by the great difference existing between the principles on which
these schemes are based, and those at which we have arrived at the
present day. To classify plants according to their uses and medicinal
properties is obviously the first suggestion that arises, when the
universe is regarded from a simple, anthropocentric standpoint. In
the Grete Herball of 1526 we get a ludicrously clear example of
this method, applied to the special case of the Fungi. “Fungi ben
mussherons.... There be two maners of them, one maner is deedly and
sleeth [slayeth] them that eateth of them and be called tode stoles,
and the other dooth not.” This account of the Fungi occurs also in
the earlier manuscript herbal, ‘Circa instans,’ mentioned in the last

This theory of classification has been shown in more recent times to
contain the germ of something more nearly approaching a natural system
than one would imagine at first sight. Both Linnæus and de Jussieu
have pointed out that related plants have similar properties, and, in
1804, A. P. de Candolle, in his ‘Essai sur les propriétés médicales des
Plantes, comparées avec leurs formes extérieures et leur classification
naturelle,’ carried the argument much further. He showed that in no
less than twenty-one families of flowering plants, the same medicinal
properties were found throughout all the members of the order. This is
very remarkable, when we remember that the state of knowledge at that
time was such that de Candolle was obliged to dismiss a large number
of orders with the words “properties unknown.” Quite recently the
subject of the differentiation of groups of plants according to their
chemistry has again come to the fore, and, in the future, chemical
characters will probably be numbered among the recognised criteria for
use in elaborating schemes of classification.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 66. “Nenuphar” = _Nymphæa alba_ L., White
Waterlily [Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 67. “Gele Plompen” = _Nuphar luteum_ Sm.,
Yellow Waterlily [de l’Obel, Kruydtbœck, 1581].]

In the history of botanical classification, the first advance from the
purely utilitarian standpoint was marked by the recognition of the
fact that the structure and mode of life of the plants themselves are
of importance. In the work of writers such as Dodoens and d’Aléchamps,
to take two typical examples, we find the issues curiously confused
by the working of three different principles side by side; that is
to say, by the simultaneous insistence (i) on the habitat, (ii) on
the “virtues,” and (iii) on the structure, as affording clues to the
systematic position of the plant in question. The herbalist thus erects
his scheme on a basis consisting of a confused medley of ecological,
medical, and morphological principles. An enumeration of the eighteen
headings, under which d’Aléchamps, in 1586, described the vegetable
kingdom, so far as it was then known, will show the perplexities which
surrounded the first gropings after a natural system. His headings may
be translated as follows:—

    I. Of trees which grow wild in woods.

    II. Of fruits growing wild in thickets and shrubberies.

    III. Of trees which are cultivated in pleasure gardens and orchards.

    IV. Of cereals and pulse, and the plants which grow in the field
    with them.

    V. Of garden herbs and pot herbs.

    VI. Of umbelliferous plants.

    VII. Of plants with beautiful flowers.

    VIII. Of fragrant plants.

    IX. Of plants growing in marshes.

    X. Of plants growing in rough, rocky, sandy and sunny places.

    XI. Of plants growing in shady, wet, marshy and fertile places.

    XII. Of plants growing by the sea, and in the sea itself.

    XIII. Of climbing plants.

    XIV. Of thistles and all spiny and prickly plants.

    XV. Of plants with bulbs, and succulent and knotty roots.

    XVI. Of cathartic plants.

    XVII. Of poisonous plants.

    XVIII. Of foreign plants.

Among these eighteen groups, the only ones which have any pretension to
being natural are VI (Umbellifers) and XIV (Thistles), and these merely
approximate roughly to related groups of genera. Among the Umbellifers
we meet with _Achillea_ and other genera which do not really belong to
the order, whilst, with the Thistles, there are grouped other spiny
plants, such as _Astragalus tragacantha_, which, in a natural system,
would occupy a place remote from the Composites.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 68. “Ninfea” = Waterlily [Durante, Herbario
Nuovo, 1585].]

In spite of the fact that improved systems of classification, to which
we shall shortly refer, were put forward in the sixteenth and early
seventeenth centuries, we find that, as late as 1640, John Parkinson in
his well known herbal, divided all the plants then known into seventeen
classes or tribes—the sequence in which these classes were placed
having, in most cases, no meaning at all. A few of his tribes are
natural, but many are valueless as an expression of affinities. As an
example we may mention his third class, “Venemous, Sleepy, and Hurtfull
Plants, and their Counterpoysons,” and his seventeenth, “Strange and
Outlandish Plants.” In Parkinson’s classification, we see Botany
reverting once more to the position of a mere hand-maid to Medicine.

In the first book of Dodoens’ ‘Pemptades’ (1583) the principles
of botany are discussed. The old Aristotelian classification into
Trees, Shrubs, Undershrubs and Herbs is accepted, but with some
reservations. The author points out that an individual plant may, owing
to cultivation, or from some other cause, pass from one class into
another. He instances _Ricinus_, which is an herbaceous annual with us,
but a tree in other countries[31].

The general scheme of classification, which Dodoens propounded,
has much in common with that of d’Aléchamps, which we have already
outlined. Within the larger groups, he shows a stronger perception of
natural grouping than appears in his arrangement of the larger classes
themselves. He often grouped together genera which we now regard as
members of the same natural order, and species which we now look upon
as belonging to a single genus. For instance he brought together genera
belonging respectively to the Geraniaceæ, Hypericaceæ, Plantaginaceæ,
Cruciferæ, Compositæ, etc. In some cases, however, he was only
partially successful, as in the Umbelliferæ, among which he described
_Nigella_ (Love-in-a-Mist) and a couple of Saxifrages. This example
shows how little stress was laid on the flowers and fruit at this time,
from the point of view of classification. The general habit, and the
shape of the leaves were the features that received most attention.

Resemblances and differences between the forms of the leaves alone
must naturally appear to the botanist of the present day to be a very
inadequate basis for a general system of classification. Nevertheless
Mathias de l’Obel worked out a scheme on these lines which had great
merit, and was a considerable advance on previous efforts. He put
forward his system in his ‘Stirpium adversaria’ (1570-71) and used it
also in his later work. It was thus published much earlier than the
very primitive schemes of d’Aléchamps and Dodoens to which we have
just referred. The best point of his system is that, by reason of
their characteristic differences of leaf structure, he distinguishes
the classes now known to us as Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons. He
introduces a useful feature in the shape of a synoptic table of
species which precedes each more or less natural group of plants. The
superiority of his classification to the other arrangements in the
field at the time was immediately realised. We have evidence of this in
the fact that, after his ‘Kruydtbœck’ was published, Plantin brought
out an album of the wood-engravings used in the book, which, although
they had also appeared as illustrations to the works of Dodoens and de
l’Écluse, were now arranged as in the scheme put forward by de l’Obel,
“according to their genus and mutual relationship[32].”

There seems little doubt that de l’Obel made a more conscious effort
than any of his predecessors to arrive at a natural classification, and
that he realised that such a classification would reveal a unity in
all living beings. In the preface to his ‘Stirpium adversaria nova’ of
1570 he writes—“For thus in an order, than which nothing more beautiful
exists in the heavens or in the mind of a wise man, things which are
far and widely different become, as it were, one thing.”

De l’Obel’s scheme is not expressed in the clear manner to which we
have become accustomed in more modern systems, because, in common
with other botanists of his time, he did not, as a rule, give names
to the groups which we now call _orders_, or draw any sharp line of
distinction between them.

De l’Obel’s arrangement, in spite of its good features, had serious
drawbacks. The anomalous Monocotyledons, such as _Arum_, _Tamus_,
_Aloe_ and _Ruscus_, are scattered among the Dicotyledons, while
_Drosera_ (the Sundew) appears among the Ferns, and so on. Similarities
of leaf form, which are now regarded merely as instances of
“homoplastic convergence,” are responsible for many curious groupings.
For instance in the ‘Kruydtbœck’ we find the Twayblade (_Listera_)
the May Lily (_Maianthemum_) and the Plantain (_Plantago_) described
in succession, while, in another part of the book, various Clovers
(_Trifolium_), Wood Sorrel (_Oxalis_) and _Anemone hepatica_ are
grouped together. It is also not surprising that the Marsh Marigold
(_Caltha_), the Waterlilies (_Nymphæa_ and _Nuphar_), _Limnanthemum_
and Frogbit (_Hydrocharis_) should follow one another, or that de
l’Obel should have brought together the Broomrape (_Orobanche_), the
Toothwort (_Lathræa_), the Bird’s-nest Orchid (_Neottia_) and a number
of Fungi. In these latter instances the author has really arrived
at genuine biological (though not morphological) groups. He has
recognised, on the one hand, the marked uniformity of the type of leaf
characteristic of “swimming” water-plants, and, on the other hand, he
has observed the leaflessness and absence of green colour, which are
negative features common to so many saprophytes and parasites.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 69. “Tussilago” = _Tussilago farfara_ L.,
Coltsfoot [Fuchs, De historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

The perception of natural affinities among plants which, in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, was gradually, in a dim,
instinctive fashion, arising in men’s minds, is perhaps best expressed
in the work of Gaspard Bauhin, especially in his ‘Pinax theatri
botanici’ (1623). This work is divided into twelve books, each book
being further sub-divided into sections, comprehending a variable
number of genera. Neither the books nor the sections have, as a rule,
any general heading, but there are certain exceptions. For instance,
Book II is called ‘de Bulbosis,’ and a section of Book IV, including
eighteen genera, is headed ‘Umbelliferæ.’ Some of the sections
represent truly natural groups. Book III, Section VI, for example,
consists of ten genera of Compositæ, while Book III, Section II
includes six Crucifers. Other sections contain plants of more than one
family, but yet show a distinct feeling for relationship. For instance,
Book V, Section I includes _Solanum_, _Mandragora_, _Hyoscyamus_,
_Nicotiana_, _Papaver_, _Hypecoum_ and _Argemone_—that is to say four
genera from the Solanaceæ followed by three from the Papaveraceæ. The
common character which brings them together here is, no doubt, their
narcotic property, but, although no definite line was drawn between the
plants belonging to these two widely sundered families, the order in
which they are described shows that their distinctness was recognised.
Some of Bauhin’s other groups, however, which, like that just
discussed, are distinguished by their properties, or, in other words,
by their chemical features, have no pretension to naturalness from a
morphological standpoint. This is the case with the group described in
Book XI, Section III under the name of “Aromata,” which consists of a
heterogeneous assemblage of genera belonging to different orders, which
are only connected by the fact that they all yield spices useful to man.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 70. “Plantago major” = Plantain [Fuchs, De
historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 71. “Althæa Thuringica” = _Lavatera
thuringica_ L. [Camerarius, Hortus medicus, 1588].]

There is no doubt that, on the whole, Bauhin was markedly successful
in recognising affinities within small cycles, but he broke down on
the broader question of the relationships between the groups of genera
so constituted. This is, however, hardly surprising when we remember
how much difference of opinion exists among systematic botanists, even
to-day, upon the subject of the relations of the orders to one another.

Like de l’Obel, Bauhin seems to have believed in the general principle
of a progression from the simpler to the more highly developed forms.
His application of this principle led him to begin with the Grasses
and to conclude with the Trees. The question as to which groups among
the Flowering Plants [Angiosperms] are to be considered as relatively
primitive, is still, at the present day, an open one, but it would be
generally conceded that Bauhin’s arrangement cannot be accepted. There
is little doubt, from the standpoint of modern botany, that the Grasses
are a highly specialised group, while the “tree habit” has been adopted
independently by many plants belonging to entirely different cycles
of affinity, and thus, except in rare cases, it cannot be used as a
criterion of relationship.

On the subject of the relations of the Cryptogams (flowerless plants)
to the Phanerogams (flowering plants), Bauhin had evidently no clear
ideas, but such could hardly be hoped for in the state of knowledge of
that time. We find, for instance, the Ferns, Mosses, Corals(!), Fungi,
Algæ, the Sundew, etc., sandwiched between some Leguminosæ, and a
section consisting chiefly of Thistles.

The classification put forward by the Bohemian botanist, Zaluziansky,
in 1592, although in its general features no better than that of
Dodoens, or of d’Aléchamps, and certainly less satisfactory than
that of de l’Obel or the later scheme of Bauhin, is an improvement
on all of these in one particular, namely, that he begins with the
Fungi and deals next with Mosses. After the Mosses he describes the
Grasses, and his classification concludes with the Trees. He was thus
evidently attempting to pass from the simpler to the more complex,
and his arrangement indicates that, unlike certain other botanists of
his time, he looked upon the Lower Cryptogams as comparatively simple
and primitive plants. He was not so clear-sighted, however, on the
subject of the Ferns, for he placed them with the Umbelliferæ and some
Compositæ, no doubt because he was influenced by the form of the leaf.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 72. “Pulsatilla” = _Anemone pulsatilla_ L.,
Pasque-flower [Camerarius, De plantis Epitome ... Matthioli, 1586].]

It is curious that Cesalpino, who, as we have pointed out, had arrived
at the very important principle that the seed and fruit characters
were of major value in classification, yet put forward a system which
was distinctly inferior to that of Gaspard Bauhin, although the
latter appears to have been guided by no such general principles.
Probably the reason for this is to be sought in the fact that no
system of classification can represent natural affinities, unless it
takes into account the nature of the plant as a whole. It is true
that, compared with the characters of the reproductive organs, the
leaf-form and habit, owing to their plasticity, have to be used with
great discretion as systematic criteria, but, nevertheless, no system
of classification can afford to ignore them entirely. Cesalpino based
his scheme too exclusively upon seed characters, to the neglect even
of the structure of the flower, and, curiously enough, although he
laid so much stress upon the nature of the seed, he did not grasp the
fundamental distinction between the embryos of the Monocotyledons and
the Dicotyledons, due to the possession of one, and two seed-leaves
respectively. The chief drawback of his scheme, however, was his
failure to realise that living organisms are too complex to fall into a
classification based on any one feature, important as that feature may
prove to be when used in conjunction with other characters.

Those herbalists, on the other hand, who attacked the problem of the
classification of plants without any preconceived, academic theory,
depended, one might almost say, on the glimmerings of common sense
for the recognition of affinities. This was no doubt a dim and fitful
illumination, but it was at least less partial than the narrow,
lime-light beam of a rigid theory.



In the art of botanical illustration, evolution was by no means a
simple and straightforward process. We do not find, in Europe, a steady
advance from early illustrations of poor quality to later ones of a
finer character. On the contrary, among the earliest extant drawings,
of a definitely botanical intention, we meet with wonderfully good
figures, free from such features as would be now generally regarded
as archaic. The famous Vienna manuscript of Dioscorides (see pp. 8
and 85) is a remarkable example of the excellence of some of the very
early work. It dates back to the end of the fifth, or the beginning
of the sixth century of the Christian era. It is illustrated with
brush drawings on a large scale, which in many cases are notably
naturalistic, and often quite modern in appearance (Plates I, II,
XV). The general habit of the plant is admirably expressed, and
occasionally, as in the case of the Bean (Plate XV), the characters of
the flowers and seed-vessels are well indicated. In this drawing, also,
the leaves are effectively foreshortened.

There are a number of other manuscript herbals in existence,
illustrated with interesting figures. The Library of the University of
Leyden possesses a particularly fine example[33], which is ascribed to
the seventh century A.D.

[Illustration: _Plate XV_

‘Phasiolos’ = Bean [Dioscorides, Codex Aniciæ Julianæ, circa A.D. 500].

This work contains coloured drawings of exceptional beauty, which
are smaller than those in the Vienna manuscript, but quite equally

It is however with the history of botanical figures since the invention
of the printing press that we are here more especially concerned. From
this epoch onwards, the history of botanical illustration is intimately
bound up with the history of wood-engraving, until, at the extreme end
of the sixteenth century, engraving on metal first came into use to
illustrate herbals. During the seventeenth century, metal-engravings
and wood-cuts existed side by side, but wood-engraving gradually
declined, and was in great measure superseded by engraving on metal.
The finest period of plant illustration was during the sixteenth
century, when wood-engraving was at its zenith.

Botanical wood-engravings may be regarded as belonging to two schools,
but it should be understood that the distinction between them is
somewhat arbitrary and must not be pressed very far. One of these may
perhaps be regarded as representing the last, decadent expression of
that school of late classical art which, a thousand years earlier,
had given rise to the drawings in the Vienna manuscript. Probably no
original wood-cuts of this school were produced after the close of
the fifteenth century. In the second phase, on the other hand, which
culminated, artistically, if not scientifically, in the sixteenth
century, we find a renaissance of the art, due to a more direct study
of nature.

The first school, of which we may take the cuts in the Roman edition
of the ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius Platonicus (? 1484) as typical
examples, has, as Dr Payne has pointed out, certain very well-marked
characteristics. The figures of the plants (see Plates IV, V, XVI, and
Text-figs. 1 and 2), which occupy square or oblong spaces, are very
formal and are often represented with complete bilateral symmetry. They
show no sign of having been drawn directly from nature, but look as
if they were founded on previous work. They have a decorative rather
than a naturalistic appearance; it seems, indeed, as if the principle
of decorative symmetry controlled the artist almost against his will.
These drawings are somewhat of the nature of diagrams by a draughtsman
“who generalized his knowledge of the object.” In Dr Payne’s own
words, “Such figures, passing through the hands of a hundred copyists,
became more and more conventional, till they reached their last and
most degraded form in the rude cuts of the Roman _Herbarium_, which
represent not the infancy, but the old age of art. Uncouth as they
are, we may regard them with some respect, both as being the images of
flowers that bloomed many centuries ago, and also as the last ripple of
the receding tide of Classical Art.”

The illustrations of the ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius were copied from
pre-existing manuscripts, and the age of the originals is no doubt much
greater than that of the printed work. Those here reproduced are taken
from a copy in the British Museum, in which the pictures were coloured,
probably at the time when the book was published.

Colouring of the figures was characteristic of many of the earliest
works in which wood-engraving was employed. In cases where uncoloured
copies of such books exist, there are often blank spaces in the
wood-cuts, which were left in order that certain details might
afterwards be added in colour. The origin of wood-engraving is
closely connected with the early history of playing-card manufacture.
Playing-cards were at first coloured by means of stencil plates, and
the same method, very naturally, came to be employed in connection with
the wood-blocks used for book illustration.

The engravings in the ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius are executed in black,
in very crude outline. At least two colours, now much faded, were also
employed by means of stencilling. The work was coarsely done, and
the colours only “register” very roughly. Brown appears to have been
used for the animals, roots and flowers, and green for the leaves.
The drawings show some rather curious mannerisms. For instance, in
the first cut labelled “Vettonia,” each of the lanceolate leaves is
outlined continuously on the one side, but with a broken line on the
other. It has been suggested that the illustrations in the ‘Herbarium’
are possibly not wood-engravings, but rude cuts in metal, excavated
after the manner of a wood-block.

[Illustration: _Plate XVI_

‘Dracontea’ [Herbarium Apuleii Platonici, ? 1484].

_The tint represents colouring, which was probably contemporary._]

We have already referred to the imaginative portrait of the Mandrake
(Plate V). Figures of the animals whose bites or stings were
supposed to be cured by the use of a particular herb, were often
introduced into the drawing, as in the case of the Plantain (Text-fig.
1) which is accompanied by a serpent and a scorpion. In this figure the
cross-hatching of white lines on black—the simplest possible device
from the point of view of the wood-engraver—is employed with good
effect. Sometimes the essential character of the plant is seized, but
the way in which it is expressed is curiously lacking in a sense of
proportion, as in the case of “Dracontea” (Plate XVI), one of the Arum

The figures in the ‘Herbarium’ are characterised by an excellent
trait, which is common to most of the older herbals, namely the habit
of portraying the plant as a whole, including its roots. This came
about naturally because the root was often of special value from
the druggist’s point of view. It is to be regretted that, in modern
botanical drawings, the recognition of the paramount importance of the
flower and fruit in classification has led to a comparative neglect of
the organs of vegetation, especially those which exist underground.

We now come to a series of illustrations, which may be regarded as
occupying an intermediate position between the classical tradition of
the ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius, and the renaissance of botanical drawing,
which took place early in the sixteenth century. These include the
illustrations to the ‘Book of Nature,’ and to the Latin and German
‘Herbarius,’ the ‘Ortus Sanitatis,’ and their derivatives, which were
discussed in Chapters II and III.

‘Das půch der natur’ of Konrad von Megenberg occupies a unique
position in the history of botany, for it is the first work in which
a wood-cut representing plants was used with the definite intention
of illustrating the text, and not merely for a decorative purpose.
It was first printed in Augsburg in 1475, and is thus several years
older than the earliest printed edition of the ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius
Platonicus which we have just discussed. The single plant drawing,
which illustrates it, is probably not of such great antiquity,
however, as those of the ‘Herbarium,’ for its appearance suggests
that it was probably executed from nature for this book, and not
copied and recopied from one manuscript to another before it was
engraved. The illustration in question is a full-page wood-cut, showing
a number of plants, growing _in situ_ (Plate III). Several species
(e.g. _Ranunculus acris_, the Meadow Buttercup, _Viola odorata_, the
Sweet Violet, and _Convallaria majalis_, the Lily-of-the-Valley) are
distinctly recognisable. It is noticeable that, in two cases in which
a rosette of radical leaves is represented, the centre of the rosette
is filled in in black, upon which the leaf-stalks appear in white. This
use of the black background, which gives a rich and solid effect, was
carried much further in later books, such as the ‘Ortus Sanitatis.’

[Illustration: Text-fig. 73. “Brionia” [Herbarius Moguntinus, 1484].]

A wood-cut, somewhat similar in style to that just described, but more
primitive, occurs in Trevisa’s version of the mediæval encyclopædia
of Bartholomæus Anglicus, which was printed by Wynkyn de Worde before
the end of the fifteenth century. It is probably the first botanical
figure illustrating an English book. It is reproduced in Text-fig. 19.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 74. “Ireos vel Iris” [Arnaldus de Villa Nova,
Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum, 1499].]

The illustrations to the Latin ‘Herbarius’ or ‘Herbarius Moguntinus,’
published at Mainz in 1484 (Text-figs. 3, 4, 5, 73), form the next
group of botanical wood-cuts. The figures are much better than those
of the ‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius, but at the same time they are, as a
rule, formal and conventional, and often quite unrecognisable. The want
of realism is very conspicuous in such a drawing as that of the Lily
(Text-fig. 3), in which the leaves are represented as if they had no
organic continuity with the stem. Some of the figures are wonderfully
charming, and in their decorative effect recall the plant designs so
often used in the Middle Ages to enrich the borders of illuminated
manuscripts. This is particularly noticeable in the case of the Briony
(Text-fig. 73). The conventional form of tendril here employed is also
seen in other early work, such as the roof-painting of a Vine in the
Chapel of St Andrew, Canterbury Cathedral, and some “Decorated” stained
glass at Wells, both of which are considerably earlier in date than the
‘Herbarius Moguntinus.’

[Illustration: Text-fig. 75. “Capillus Veneris” = Maidenhair Fern
[Arnaldus de Villa Nova, Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum, 1499].]

A more interesting series of figures, also illustrating the text of the
Latin ‘Herbarius,’ was published in Italy a little later. The wood-cuts
are believed to be mostly derived from German originals. Text-figs. 6,
57, 65, 74, 75 and 76 are taken from a Venetian edition of 1499. These
drawings are more ambitious than those in the original German issue,
and, on the whole, the results are more naturalistic. The fern called
“Capillus Veneris,” which is probably intended for the Maidenhair,
is represented hanging from rocks over water, just as it does in
Devonshire caves to-day (Text-fig. 75). Another delightful wood-cut,
almost in the Japanese style, is that of an Iris growing at the margin
of a stream, from which a graceful bird is drinking (Text-fig. 74).

[Illustration: Text-fig. 76. “Cuscuta” = Dodder [Arnaldus de Villa
Nova, Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum, 1499].]

In the very symmetrical drawing of the Peony (Text-fig. 57) there is
an attempt to represent the tuberous roots, which are indicated in
solid black. The no less symmetrical Waterlily (Text-fig. 65) is
remarkable for its rhizome, on which the scars of the leaf bases are
faithfully represented. This drawing is of interest, also, on account
of its frank disregard of proportion. The flower stalks are drawn not
more than twice as long as the breadth of the leaf! We may, I think,
safely conclude that the draughtsman knew quite well that he was not
representing the plant as it was, and that he intentionally gave a
conventional rendering, which did not profess to be more than an
indication of certain distinctive features of the plant. This attitude
of the artist to his work, which is so different from that of the
scientific draughtsman of the present day, is seen with great clearness
in many of the drawings in mediæval manuscripts. For instance, a plant
such as the Houseleek may be represented growing on the roof of a
house—the plant being about three times the size of the building. No
one would imagine that the artist was under the delusion that these
proportions held good in nature. The little house was merely introduced
in order to convey graphic information as to the habitat of the plant
concerned, and the scale on which it was depicted was simply a matter
of convenience. Before an art can be appreciated, its conventions must
be accepted. It would be as absurd to quarrel with the illustrations
we have just described, on account of their lack of proportion, as
to condemn grand opera because, in real life, men and women do not
converse in song. The idea of naturalistic drawings, in which the
size of the parts should be shown in their true relations, was of
comparatively late growth.

In 1485, the year following the first appearance of the Latin
‘Herbarius,’ the very important work known as the German ‘Herbarius,’
or ‘Herbarius zu Teutsch,’ made its appearance at Mainz. As we pointed
out in Chapter II, its illustrations, which are executed on a large
scale, are often of remarkable beauty. Dr Payne considered some of
them comparable to those of Brunfels in fidelity of drawing, though
very inferior in wood-cutting. They are distinctly more realistic than
even those of the Venetian edition of the Latin ‘Herbarius,’ to which
we have just referred. It is interesting, for instance, to compare the
drawings of the Dodder (Text-figs. 76 and 77) in the two works.
Other excellent drawings are those of the Winter Cherry (Text-fig. 78),
Iris (Text-fig. 7), Lily, Chicory, Comfrey and Peony.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 77. “Cuscuta” = Dodder [Herbarius zu Teutsch,
Mainz, 1485].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 78. “Alkekengi” = _Physalis_, Winter Cherry
[Herbarius zu Teutsch, Mainz, 1485].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 79. “Alkekengi” = _Physalis_, Winter Cherry
[Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491].]

A pirated second edition of the ‘Herbarius zu Teutsch’ appeared at
Augsburg only a few months after the publication of the first at Mainz.
The figures, which are roughly copied from those of the original
edition, are very inferior to them. In fact, the Mainz wood-cuts of
1485 excel those of all subsequent issues.

In the ‘Ortus Sanitatis’ of 1491, about two-thirds of the drawings of
plants are copied from the ‘Herbarius zu Teutsch.’ They are often much
spoiled in the process, and it is evident that the copyist frequently
failed to grasp the intention of the original artist. The wood-cut
of the Dodder (Text-fig. 80), for instance, is lamentably inferior to
that in the ‘Herbarius zu Teutsch’ (Text-fig. 77). There is often a
tendency, in the later work, to make the figures occupy the space in a
more decorative fashion; for instance, where the stalk in the original
drawing is simply cut across obliquely at the base, we find in the
‘Ortus Sanitatis’ that its pointed end is continued into a conventional
flourish (cf. the figures of the Winter Cherry in the two works,
Text-figs. 78 and 79). Among the original figures many, as we have
already indicated, represent purely mythical subjects (e.g. Text-figs.
13 and 17).

[Illustration: Text-fig. 80. “Cuscuta” = Dodder [Ortus Sanitatis,
Mainz, 1491].]

The use of a black background, against which the stalks and leaves
form a contrast in white, which we noticed in the ‘Book of Nature,’ is
carried further in the ‘Ortus Sanitatis.’ This is shown particularly
well in the Tree of Paradise (Text-fig. 12) and also in Text-figs. 10
and 81. No consistent method is followed in the coarse shading which
is employed. In some cases there seems to have been an attempt at the
convention, used so successfully by the Japanese, of darkening the
underside of the leaf, but, sometimes, in the same figure, certain
leaves are treated in this way, and others not. In some of the genre
pictures, Noah’s Ark trees are introduced, with crowns consisting
entirely of parallel horizontal lines, decreasing in length from below
upwards, so as to give a triangular form.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 81. “Botris” [Ortus Sanitatis, Mainz, 1491].]

An edition of the ‘Ortus Sanitatis,’ which was published in Venice in
1511, is illustrated in great part with wood-cuts based on the original
figures. They have, however, a very different appearance, since a great
deal of shading is introduced, and in some cases parallel lines are
laid in with considerable dexterity.

‘The Grete Herball’ and a number of works of the early sixteenth
century derived from the ‘Herbarius zu Teutsch,’ the ‘Ortus Sanitatis,’
and similar sources, are of no importance in the history of botanical
illustration, since scarcely any of their figures are original. The
oft-repeated set of wood-cuts, ultimately derived from the ‘Herbarius
zu Teutsch,’ were also used to illustrate Hieronymus Braunschweig’s
Distillation Book (Liber de arte distillandi de Simplicibus, 1500).
That the conventional figures of the period did not satisfy the
botanist is shown by some interesting remarks by Hieronymus at the
conclusion of his work. He tells the reader that he must attend to the
text rather than the figures, “for the figures are nothing more than a
feast for the eyes, and for the information of those who cannot read or

During the first three decades of the sixteenth century, the art of
botanical illustration was practically in abeyance in Europe. Such
books as were published were chiefly supplied with mere copies of
older wood-cuts. But, in 1530, an entirely new era was inaugurated
with the appearance of Brunfels’ great work, the ‘Herbarum vivæ
eicones,’ in which a number of plants native to Germany, or commonly
cultivated there, were drawn with a beauty and fidelity which have
rarely been surpassed (Text-figs. 22, 23, 24, 25, 66, 82, 83, 84). It
is interesting to recall that the date 1530 is often taken, in the
study of other arts (e.g. stained glass), as the limit of the “Gothic”
period, and the beginning of the “Renaissance.”

[Illustration: _Plate XVII_

Study of _Aquilegia vulgaris_ L., Columbine [Albrecht Dürer, 1526.
Drawing in the Albertina, Vienna]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 82. “Asarum” = Asarabacca [Brunfels, Herbarum
vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530]. _Reduced._]

Brunfels’ illustrations represent a notable advance on any previous
botanical wood-cuts, so much so, indeed, that the suddenness of the
improvement seems to call for some special explanation. On taking a
broader view of the subject, we find that, at the beginning of the
sixteenth century, there was a marked advance in all the branches of
book illustration, and not merely in the botanical side with which
we are here concerned. This impetus seems to have been due to the fact
that many of the best artists, above all Albrecht Dürer, began at that
period to draw for wood-engraving, whereas in the fifteenth century
the ablest men had shown a tendency to despise the craft and to hold
aloof from it.

The engravings in Brunfels’ herbal and the fine books which succeeded
it, should not be considered as if they were an isolated manifestation,
but should be viewed in relation to other contemporary and even earlier
plant drawings, which were not intended for book illustrations. Some of
the most remarkable are those by Albrecht Dürer, which were produced
before the appearance of Brunfels’ herbal, during the first thirty
years of the sixteenth century. In each of his coloured drawings
of sods of turf, known as “das grosse Rasenstück,” and “das kleine
Rasenstück,” a tangled group of growing plants is portrayed exactly
as it occurred in nature, with a marvellous combination of artistic
charm and scientific accuracy. Prof. Killermann has been at pains to
identify the genus and species of almost every plant represented, and
has described the drawings as “das erste Denkmal der Pflanzenökologie.”
In 1526, Dürer carried out a beautiful series of plant drawings, among
the most famous of which are those of the Columbine, and the Greater
Celandine. The former is reproduced on a small scale in Plate XVII; it
is scarcely possible to imagine a more perfect “habit drawing” of a

In Italy, Leonardo da Vinci’s exquisite studies of plants, of which
Plate XVIII is an example, must also have pointed the way to a better
era of herbal illustration. In his work, the artistic interest
predominates over the botanical to a greater extent than is the case
with Dürer’s drawings. It is strange to think that numerous editions of
the ‘Ortus Sanitatis’ and similar books, with their crude and primitive
wood-cuts, should have been published while such an artist as Leonardo
da Vinci was at the zenith of his powers. If internal evidence alone
were available, it might plausibly be maintained that the engravings
in the ‘Ortus Sanitatis’ and the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci were
centuries apart.

[Illustration: _Plate XVIII_

Study of _Ornithogalum umbellatum_ L., Star of Bethlehem, and other
plants [Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519. Drawing in the Royal Library,

We are thus led to the conclusion that, though the engravings in
Brunfels’ herbal are separated from previous botanical figures by an
almost impassable gulf, they should not be regarded as a sudden and
inexplicable development. The art of naturalistic plant drawing had
arrived independently at what was perhaps its high-water mark of
excellence, but it is in Brunfels’ great work that we find it, for the
first time, applied to the illustration of a botanical book.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 83. “Kuchenschell” = _Anemone pulsatilla_
L., Pasque-flower [Brunfels, Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. I. 1530].

The illustrations in Brunfels’ herbal were engraved, and probably
drawn also, by Hans Weiditz, or Guiditius, some of whose work has been
ascribed to Albrecht Dürer. The title ‘Herbarum vivæ eicones’—‘Living
Pictures of Plants’—indicates the most distinctive feature of the book,
namely that the artist went direct to nature, instead of regarding
the plant world through the eyes of previous draughtsmen. This
characteristic is best appreciated on comparing Brunfels’ figures with
those of his predecessors. His picture of the Waterlily (Text-fig.
66), for example, contrasts notably with that of the same subject from
the Venetian ‘Herbarius’ (Text-fig. 65). In the former the artist has
caught the exact look of the leaves and stalks, buoyed up by the water.
Throughout the work, the drawing seems to be of a slightly higher
quality than the actual engraving; the lines are, to use the technical
term, occasionally somewhat “rotten” or even broken.

In one respect the welcome reaction from the conventional and
generalised early drawings went almost too far. Many of Brunfels’
wood-cuts were done from imperfect specimens, in which, for example,
the leaves had withered or had been damaged by insects. This is clearly
shown in Text-fig. 84. The artist’s ambition was evidently limited to
representing the specimen he had before him, whether it was typical
or not. The notion had not then been grasped that the ideal botanical
drawing avoids the peculiarities of any individual specimen, and
seeks to portray the characters really typical of the species. These
characters can sometimes only be arrived at by a comparison of numerous

From the figures here reproduced a good idea of the style of Weiditz
can be obtained. His line is usually firm and broad, and but little
shading is employed. The chief merit of the drawings lies in their
crisp and virile outlines.

Regarded from the point of view of decorative book illustration, the
beautiful drawings of the period under consideration sometimes failed
to reach the standard set by earlier work. The very strong, black,
velvety line of many of the fifteenth-century wood-engravings, and
the occasional use of solid black backgrounds (cf. Text-fig. 81)
give a great sense of richness, especially in combination with the
black letter type, with which they harmonise so admirably. A page
bearing such illustrations is often more satisfying to the eye than
one in which the desire to express the subtleties of plant form, in
realistic fashion, has led to the use of a more delicate line. However,
the primary object of the herbal illustrations was, after all, a
scientific and not a decorative one, and, from this point of view, the
gain in realism more than compensates for the loss in the harmonious
balance of black and white.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 84. “Lappa” = _Arctium_, Burdock [Brunfels,
Herbarum vivæ eicones, Vol. II. 1531]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 85. “Scolopendria” = Hart’s-tongue Fern
[Rhodion, Kreutterbůch, 1533].]

Our chronological survey of the chief botanical wood-cuts brings us
next to those published by Egenolph in 1533, to illustrate Rhodion’s
‘Kreutterbůch.’ These have sometimes been regarded as of considerable
importance, almost comparable, in fact, with those of Brunfels. A
careful examination of these wood-engravings leads, however, to the
conclusion that practically all the chief figures in Egenolph’s book
have been copied from those of Brunfels, but on a smaller scale, and
reversed. It is true that the style of engraving is different, and
that, as Hatton has pointed out, Egenolph’s flowing, easy, almost
brush-like line is very distinct from that of Weiditz. But the fact
of the plagiarism remains. The two figures here reproduced—the Lesser
Celandine (Text-fig. 33) and the Hart’s-tongue Fern (Text-fig. 85)—are
reduced copies from Brunfels.

It is interesting to notice that, as the third part of Brunfels’ great
work had not appeared when Egenolph’s book was published, the latter
must have been at a loss for figures of the plants which Brunfels had
reserved for his third volume. We find that in the case of one such
plant, the Asparagus, he solved the problem by going back to the old
familiar wood-cut which had done duty in the ‘Ortus Sanitatis’ and the
‘Herbarius zu Teutsch.’

In the third volume of Brunfels’ herbal (which appeared after his
death) there is a small figure, that of “Auricula muris,” which differs
conspicuously in style from the other engravings, and which appears
to represent a case in which the tables were turned, and a figure was
borrowed from Egenolph.

In his later books, Egenolph used wood-cuts pirated from those of Fuchs
and Bock, which we must now consider.

In the work of Leonhard Fuchs (Frontispiece) plant drawing, as an art,
may be said to have reached its culminating point. It is true that, at
a later period, when the botanical importance of the detailed structure
of the flower and fruit was recognised, figures were produced which
conveyed exacter and more copious information on these points than did
those of Fuchs. Nevertheless, at least in the opinion of the present
writer, the illustrations to Fuchs’ herbals (‘De historia stirpium,’
1542, and ‘New Kreüterbůch,’ 1543) represent the high-water mark of
that type of botanical drawing which seeks to express the individual
character and habit of each species, treating the plant broadly as
a whole, and not laying more stress upon the reproductive than the
vegetative organs.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 86. “Dipsacus albus” = Teasle [Fuchs, De
historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

Fuchs’ figures are on so large a scale that the plant frequently had
to be represented as curved, in order to fit it into the folio page.
The illustrations here reproduced (Text-figs. 30, 31, 32, 58, 69, 70,
86, 87, 88) do not give an entirely just idea of their beauty, since
the line employed in the original is so thin that it is ill-adapted
to the reduction necessary here. If the drawings have any fault,
it is perhaps to be found in the somewhat blank and unfinished look,
occasionally produced when unshaded outline drawings are used on so
large a scale. This is the case for instance in the figure of the Aloe.
It may be that Fuchs had in mind the possibility that the purchaser
might wish to colour the work, and to fill in a certain amount of
detail for himself. The existing copies of this and other old herbals
often have the figures painted, generally in a distressingly crude and
heavy fashion. The colouring in many cases appears to have been done
at a very early date. In the octavo edition of Fuchs’ herbal published
in 1545, small versions of the large wood-cuts appeared. It is perhaps
invidious to draw distinctions between the work of Fuchs and that of
Brunfels, since they are both of such exquisite quality. However,
merely as an expression of personal opinion, the present writer must
confess to feeling that there is a finer sense of power and freedom
of handling about the illustrations in Fuchs’ herbal than those of

Sometimes in Fuchs’ figures a wonderfully decorative spirit is shown,
as in the case of the Earth-nut Pea (Text-fig. 87) which fills the
rectangular space almost in the manner of an “all-over” wall-paper
pattern. It must not be forgotten, when discussing wood-cuts, that
the artist, who drew upon the block for the engraver, was working
under peculiar conditions. It was impossible for him to be unmindful
of the boundaries of the block, when these took the form, as it
were, of miniature precipices under his hand. These boundaries
marked out the exact limit of space which the figure could occupy.
It is not surprising, under these circumstances, that the artist who
drew upon the block should often seem to have been obsessed by its
rectangularity, and should have accommodated his drawing to its form
in a way that was unnecessary and far from realistic, though sometimes
very decorative. This is exemplified in the figure of the Earth-nut
Pea, to which we have just referred and also in Text-figs. 41, 44, 62,
92, 95, 101, etc. The writer has been told by an artist accustomed,
in former years, to draw upon the wood for the engraver, that to
avoid a rectangular effect required a distinct effort of will. At the
present day, when photographic methods of reproduction are almost
exclusively used, the artist is no longer oppressively conscious of the
exact outline of the space which his figure will occupy.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 87. “Apios” = _Lathyrus tuberosus_ L.,
Earth-nut Pea [Fuchs, De historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 88. “Arum” = _Arum maculatum_ L., Wild Arum
[Fuchs, De historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

The figures here reproduced show how great a variety of subjects were
successfully dealt with in Fuchs’ work. The Cabbage (Text-fig. 30)
is realised in a way that brings home to us the intrinsic beauty of
this somewhat prosaic subject. In the Wild Arum (Text-fig. 88) the
fruit and a dissection of the inflorescence are represented, so that,
botanically, the drawing reaches a high level. Fuchs’ wood-cuts are
nearly all original, but that of the White Waterlily appears to have
been founded upon Brunfels’ figure.

We have so far spoken, for the sake of brevity, as if Fuchs actually
executed the figures himself. This, however, was not the case. He
employed two draughtsmen, Heinrich Füllmaurer, who drew the plants from
nature, and Albrecht Meyer, who copied the drawings on to the wood, and
also an engraver, Veit Růdolf Speckle, who actually cut the blocks.
Fuchs evidently delighted to honour his colleagues, for at the end of
the book there are portraits of all three at work (Text-fig. 89). The
artist is drawing a plant with a brush fixed in a quill.

The drawing and painting of flowers is sometimes dismissed almost
contemptuously, as though it were a humble art in which an inferior
artist, incapable of the more exacting work of drawing “from the life,”
might be able to excel. The falsity of this view is shown by the fact
that the greatest of flower painters have generally been men who also
did admirable figure work. Fantin-Latour is a striking modern instance,
and one has but to glance at the studies of Leonardo da Vinci (e.g.
Plate XVIII) and Albrecht Dürer (e.g. Plate XVII) to feel that the
finest plant drawings can only be produced by a master hand, capable
of achieving success on more ambitious lines. The wood-engravings in
Fuchs’ herbal are a case in point. The portraits which also illustrate
the book (Frontispiece and Text-fig. 89) show that the talents of the
artists whom he employed were not confined to plant drawing, but were
also strong in the direction of vigorous and able portraiture.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 89. The Draughtsmen and the Engraver employed
by Leonhard Fuchs [De historia stirpium, 1542]. _Reduced._]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 90. “Wintergrün” = _Pyrola_, Wintergreen
[Bock, Kreuter Bůch, 1546].]

Fuchs’ gratitude to his assistants is expressed in the preface
to ‘De historia stirpium,’ where he makes some remarks upon the
illustrations, which may be translated as follows:—

“As far as concerns the pictures themselves, each of which is
positively delineated according to the features and likeness of the
living plants, we have taken peculiar care that they should be most
perfect, and, moreover, we have devoted the greatest diligence to
secure that every plant should be depicted with its own roots, stalks,
leaves, flowers, seeds and fruits. Furthermore we have purposely and
deliberately avoided the obliteration of the natural form of the plants
by shadows, and other less necessary things, by which the delineators
sometimes try to win artistic glory: and we have not allowed the
craftsmen so to indulge their whims as to cause the drawing not to
correspond accurately to the truth. Vitus Rudolphus Specklin, by far
the best engraver of Strasburg, has admirably copied the wonderful
industry of the draughtsmen, and has with such excellent craft
expressed in his engraving the features of each drawing, that he seems
to have contended with the draughtsman for glory and victory.”

How dull and colourless the phrases of modern scientific writers
appear, beside the hot-blooded, arrogant enthusiasm of the sixteenth

[Illustration: Text-fig. 91. “Rautten” = _Botrychium_, Moonwort [Bock,
Kreuter Bůch, 1546].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 92. “Castanum nuss” = _Castanea_, Chestnut
[Bock, Kreuter Bůch, 1546].]

Fuchs’ wood-cuts were extensively pirated, especially those on a
reduced scale, which were published in his edition of 1545. As we
have mentioned on p. 55, Hieronymus Bock [or Tragus] undoubtedly
made use of them in the second edition of his ‘Kreuter Bůch’ (1546)
which was the next important, illustrated botanical work to appear
after Fuchs’ herbal. An examination of the wood-cuts in Bock’s herbal
seems, however, to show that his illustrations have more claim to
originality than is often supposed. The figures of Wintergreen
(Text-fig. 90), Moonwort (Text-fig. 91), and Strawberry (Text-fig. 27),
here reproduced, are markedly different from those of Fuchs, although,
in the case of the first, Fuchs’ wood-cut may have been used to some
extent. The artist employed by Bock, as he himself tells us, was David
Kandel, a young lad, the son of a burgher of Strasburg. His drawings
are often of interest, apart from their botanical aspect. For instance,
the picture of an Oak tree includes, appropriately enough, a swine-herd
with his swine, the Chestnut tree gives occasion for a hedgehog
(Text-fig. 92) and, in another case, a monkey and several rabbits are
introduced, one of the latter holding a shield bearing the artist’s
initials. The wood-cut of _Trapa_, the Bull-nut (Text-fig. 29), is a
highly imaginative production which clearly shows that neither the
artist nor the author had ever seen the plant in question.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 93. “Fungi” = Toadstools [Mattioli,
Commentarii, 1560]. _Reduced._]

In general character, Bock’s illustrations are neater and more
conventional than those of Brunfels or Fuchs. The crowns of the trees
are often made practically square so as to fit the block (Text-fig.
92). The figures in earlier works, such as the ‘Ortus Sanitatis,’ are
recalled in Kandel’s disregard of the proportion between the size of
the tree, and that of the leaves and fruits.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 94. “Rosaceum” [Mattioli, Commentarii, 1560].

[Illustration: Text-fig. 95. “Suber Primus” [Mattioli, Commentarii,
1565]. _Reduced._]

In point of time, the illustrations to the early editions of Mattioli’s
Commentaries on the Six Books of Dioscorides follow fairly closely on
those of Fuchs, but they are extremely different in style (Text-figs.
41, 42, 93, 94). Details such as the veins and hairs of the leaves
are often elaborately worked out, while shading is much used, a
considerable mastery of parallel lines being shown. The general effect
is occasionally somewhat flat and dull. Some of the drawings suggest
that they may have been done from dried plants, and in others the
treatment is over-crowded. But, in spite of these defects, they form a
markedly individual contribution, which is of great importance in the
history of botanical illustration.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 96. “Tragorchis” = _Orchis hircina_ L., Lizard
Orchis [Dodoens, Pemptades, 1583].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 97. “Aconitum luteum minus” = _Eranthis
hiemalis_ L., Winter Aconite [Dodoens, Pemptades, 1583].]

Numerous editions of Mattioli’s work appeared in various languages. In
its earlier form the book had only small figures (e.g. Text-figs. 41,
42, 93, 94), but in some later editions, notably that which appeared at
Venice in 1565, there are large illustrations which are reproduced
on a reduced scale in Text-figs. 43, 44, 95. These wood-cuts resemble
the smaller ones in character, but are more decorative in effect, and
often remarkably fine. Whereas in the work of Brunfels and Fuchs, the
beautiful line of a single stalk is often the key-note of the whole
drawing, in the work of Mattioli, the eye most frequently finds
its satisfaction in the rich massing of foliage, fruit and flowers,
suggestive of southern luxuriance. Many of his figures would require
little modification to form the basis of a tapestry pattern.

Another remarkable group of wood-engravings consists of those published
by Plantin in connection with the work of the three Low Country
herbalists, Dodoens, de l’Écluse and de l’Obel. In the original
edition of Dodoens’ herbal (‘Crǔ deboeck,’ published by Vanderloe in
1554), more than half the illustrations were taken from Fuchs’ octavo
edition of 1545. But eventually, as we have pointed out in Chapter
IV, Vanderloe parted with Fuchs’ blocks. After this, Plantin took
over the publication of Dodoens’ books, and in his final collected
works (‘Stirpium historiæ pemptades sex,’ 1583) the majority of the
illustrations were original, and were carried out under the author’s
eye (Text-figs. 37, 38, 96, 97). A few (namely those marked in the
Pemptades, “Ex Codice Cæsareo”) are copied from Juliana Anicia’s
manuscript of Dioscorides to which we have more than once referred.
Some are also borrowed from the works of de l’Écluse and de l’Obel,
since Plantin was publisher to all three botanists, and the wood-blocks
engraved for them were regarded as, to some extent, forming a common
stock. In fact it is often difficult to decide to which author any
given figure originally belonged. This difficulty is enhanced by the
fact that some were actually made for one and then used for another,
before the work for which they had been originally destined was

There is little to be said about de l’Obel’s figures, which partook
of the character of the rest of the wood-cuts for which Plantin made
himself responsible. The Yellow Waterlily (Text-fig. 67) is given here
as an example.

The wood-cuts illustrating the comparatively small books of de l’Écluse
are perhaps the most interesting of the figures associated with this
trio of botanists. The Dragon Tree (Text-fig. 98), “_Sedum majus_”
(Text-fig. 59) and Job’s Tears (Text-fig. 39) are examples from his
book on the plants of Spain, which appeared in 1576.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 98. “Draco arbor” = _Dracæna_, Dragon Tree [de
l’Écluse, Rariorum ... per Hispanias, 1576].]

The popularity of the large collection of blocks got together by the
publishing house of Plantin is shown by the frequency with which they
were copied. Dr B. Daydon Jackson has pointed out that the wood-cut of
the Clematis, which first appeared in Dodoens’ ‘Pemptades’ of 1583,
reappears, either in identical form, or more or less accurately
copied, in works by de l’Obel, de l’Écluse, Gerard, Parkinson, Jean
Bauhin, Chabræus and Petiver. The actual blocks themselves appear to
have been used for the last time when Johnson’s edition of Gerard’s
herbal made its final appearance in London in 1636.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 99. “Cyclaminus” [Camerarius, De plantis
Epitome ... Matthioli, 1586].]

Another school of plant illustration is represented in the work of
Gesner and Camerarius. As we mentioned on p. 92, Gesner’s drawings were
not published during his life-time, but some of them were eventually
produced by Camerarius, with the addition of figures of his own, to
illustrate his ‘Epitome Matthioli’ of 1586 (Text-figs. 72 and 99) and
also his later work. In 1751, C. J. Trew published a collection of
Gesner’s drawings, many of which had never been seen before; but even
then, it proved impossible to separate the work of the two botanists
with any completeness, since Gesner’s drawings and blocks had passed
through the hands of Camerarius, who had incorporated his own with
them. A few wood-cuts however, which appeared as an appendix to
Simler’s Life of Gesner, are undoubtedly Gesner’s own work. One of
these is reproduced in Text-fig. 48.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 100. “Rosa Hierichuntica” = _Anastatica
hierochuntica_ L., Rose of Jericho [Camerarius, Hortus medicus, 1588].]

[Illustration: Text-fig. 101. “Piper Nigrum” = Pepper [d’Aléchamps
Historia generalis plantarum, Vol. II. 1587].]

Professor Treviranus, whose work on the use of wood-engravings as
botanical illustrations is so well known, considered that some of the
drawings published by Camerarius in connection with his last work
(‘Hortus medicus et philosophicus,’ 1588) were among the best ever
produced. Examples are shown in Text-figs. 34, 35, 71, 100. Treviranus
pointed out that one of their great merits lay in the selection of
good, typical specimens as models. These figures are very much more
botanical than those of any previous author; in fact—as Hatton has
pointed out in ‘The Craftsman’s Plant-Book’—they are beginning to
become too botanical for the artist! Camerarius often gives detailed
analyses of the flowers and fruit on an enlarged scale (Text-fig. 99).
Among the illustrations here reproduced will be seen one (Text-fig.
100) in which the seedling of the Rose of Jericho is drawn side by
side with the mature plant, and another (Text-fig. 35) in which the
structure of a germinating Date is shown with great clearness. This
interest in seedlings gives a modern touch to the work of Camerarius.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 102. “Cedrus” = Cedar [Belon, De arboribus,

A number of wood-blocks were cut at Lyons to illustrate d’Aléchamps’
great work, the ‘Historia generalis plantarum,’ 1586-7. Many of these
figures were taken from the herbals of Fuchs, Mattioli and Dodoens,
but they were often embellished with representations of insects, and
detached leaves and flowers, scattered over the block with no apparent
object except to fill the space. This peculiarity, which is shown in
the engraving of _Ornithogalum_ reproduced in Text-fig. 51, appears
also in the illustrations of a book on Simples, by Joannes Mesua,
published in Venice in 1581. In certain other wood-cuts in d’Aléchamps’
herbal, solid black is used in an effective fashion. This is the case
for instance in Text-fig. 101, which is also interesting since two of
the leaves bear the initials “M” and “H,” which were possibly those of
the artist.

Among less important botanical wood-engravings of the sixteenth
century we may mention those in the works of Pierre Belon, such as ‘De
arboribus’ (1553). In this book there are some graceful wood-cuts of
trees, one of which is reproduced in Text-fig. 102. The initial letters
used in the present volume are taken from another of Belon’s books[35].

Some specimens of the quaint little illustrations to Castor Durantes
‘Herbario Nuovo’ of 1585 are shown in Text-figs. 45, 68 and 103. It
is interesting to compare his drawing of the Waterlily (Text-fig. 68)
with those of the Venetian edition of the Latin ‘Herbarius’ of 1499
(Text-fig. 65), ‘The Grete Herball’ (Text-fig. 21), Brunfels’ ‘Herbarum
vivæ eicones’ of 1530 (Text-fig. 66) and de l’Obel’s ‘Kruydtbœck’ of
1581 (Text-fig. 67).

The engravings in Porta’s ‘Phytognomonica’ (1588) and in Prospero
Alpino’s little book on Egyptian plants (1592) are of good quality.
Some curious examples of the former, which will be discussed at
greater length in the next chapter, are shown in Text-figs. 109 and
110, and the Glasswort, one of the best wood-cuts among the latter, is
reproduced in Text-fig. 47.

Passing on to the seventeenth century, we find that the ‘Prodromos’
of Gaspard Bauhin (1620) contains a number of original illustrations,
but they are not very remarkable, and often have rather the appearance
of having been drawn from pressed specimens. Two examples of these
wood-cuts will be found in Text-figs. 49 and 62. The former is
interesting as being an early representation of the Potato.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 103. “Lentisco del Peru” = _Pistacia
lentiscus_ L., Mastic Tree [Durante, Herbario Nuovo, 1585].]

Parkinson’s ‘Paradisus Terrestris’ of 1629 contains a considerable
proportion of original figures, besides others borrowed from previous
writers. The engravings were made in England by Switzer. They are poor
in quality, and the innovation of representing a number of species
in one large wood-cut is not very successful. Text-fig. 55 shows a
twig of Barberry, which is but a single item in one of these large

Among still later wood-engravings, we may mention the large, rather
coarse cuts in Aldrovandi’s ‘Dendrologia’ of 1667, one of which, the
figure of the Orange, or “Mala Aurantia Chinensia,” is reproduced in
Text-fig. 104, on a greatly reduced scale.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 104. “Mala Aurantia Chinensia” = Orange
[Aldrovandi, Dendrologia, 1667]. _Reduced._]

In the present chapter no attempt has been made to discuss
the illustrations of those herbals (e.g. the works of Turner,
Tabernæmontanus, Gerard, etc.) in which most of the wood-cuts are
copied from previous books. In the majority of such cases, the source
of the figures has already been indicated in Chapter IV.

This brief review of the history of botanical wood-cuts leads us to
the conclusion that between 1530 and 1630, that is to say during the
hundred years when the herbal was at its zenith, the number of sets
of wood-engravings which were pre-eminent—either on account of their
intrinsic qualities, or because they were repeatedly copied from book
to book—was strictly limited. We might almost say that there were
only five collections of wood-cuts of plants of really first-rate
importance—those, namely, of Brunfels, Fuchs, Mattioli, and Plantin,
with those of Gesner and Camerarius, all of which were published in
the sixty years between 1530 and 1590. The wood-blocks of the two
botanists last mentioned cannot be considered apart from one another;
from the scientific point of view they show a marked advance, in the
introduction of enlarged sketches of the flowers and fruit, in addition
to the habit drawings. Plantin’s set included those blocks which were
engraved for the herbals of de l’Obel, de l’Écluse, and the later works
of Dodoens.

At the close of the sixteenth century, wood cutting on the Continent
was distinctly on the wane, and had begun to be superseded by
engraving on metal. The earliest botanical work, in which copper-plate
etchings were used as illustrations, is said to be Fabio Colonna’s
‘Phytobasanos’ of 1592. These etchings, two of which are shown in
Text-figs. 46 and 105, are on a small scale, but are extremely
beautiful and accurate. The details of the flowers and fruit are often
shown separately, the figures, in this respect, being comparable with
those of Gesner and Camerarius, though, owing to their small size,
they do not convey so much botanical information. In a later book of
Colonna’s, the ‘Ekphrasis,’ analyses of the floral parts are given
in even greater detail than in the ‘Phytobasanos.’ Colonna expressly
mentions that he used wild plants as models wherever possible, because
cultivation is apt to produce alterations in the form. The decorative
border, surrounding each of the figures reproduced, was not printed
from the copper.

In the seventeenth century, a large number of botanical books,
illustrated by means of copper-plates, were produced. The majority of
these were published late in the century, and thus scarcely come within
our purview. A few of the earlier ones may, however, be referred to
at this point. In 1611 Paul Renaulme’s ‘Specimen Historiæ Plantarum’
was published in Paris, but though this work was illustrated with good
copper-plates, the effect was somewhat spoilt by the transparency of
the paper. Two years later appeared the ‘Hortus Eystettensis,’ by Basil
Besler, an apothecary of Nuremberg. It is a large work with enormous
illustrations, mostly of mediocre quality. In the succeeding year,
1614, a book was published which has been described, probably with
justice, as containing some of the best copper-plate figures of plants
ever produced. This was the ‘Hortus Floridus’ of Crispian de Passe, a
member of a famous family of engravers. Like Parkinson’s ‘Paradisus
Terrestris,’ into which some of the figures are copied, it is more of
the nature of a garden book than a herbal.

In 1615 an English edition of Crispian de Passe’s work was published
at Utrecht, under the title of ‘A Garden of Flowers.’ The plates are
the same as those in the original work. The artist is particularly
successful with the bulbous and tuberous plants, the cultivation
of which has long been such a specialty of Holland. Plate XIX is a
characteristic example, but only part of the original picture is here
reproduced. The soil on which the plants grow is often shown, and the
horizon is placed very low, so that they stand up against the sky. This
convention seems to have been characteristic, not only of the plant
drawings of the Dutch artists, but also of their landscapes. In the
paintings of Cuyp and Paul Potter, the sky-line is sometimes so low
that it is seen between the legs of the cows and horses. This treatment
was no doubt suggested by life in a flat country, but it was carried to
such an extreme that the artist’s eye-level must have been almost on
the ground!

[Illustration: Text-fig. 105. “Chondrilla” [Colonna, Phytobasanos,

The purchaser of ‘The Garden of Flowers’ receives detailed directions
for the painting of the figures, which he is expected to carry out
himself. The book is divided into four parts, appropriate to the four
seasons, and each part is preceded by an encouraging verse intended
to keep alive the owner’s enthusiasm for his task. The stanza at the
beginning of the last section seems to show some anxiety on the part of
the author, lest the reader should have begun to weary over the lengthy
occupation of colouring the plates. It reads as follows:—

    “If hethertoe (my frende) you have,
    Performde the taske in hand:
    With ioy proceede, this last will be
    The best, when all is scande.”

As we have already mentioned, it is not our intention to deal with
the books published in the latter part of the seventeenth century.
We may, however, for the sake of completeness, mention two or three
examples in order to show the kind of work that was then being done.
Paolo Boccone’s ‘Icones et Descriptiones’ of 1674 was illustrated with
copper-plates, some of which were remarkably subtle and delicate, while
others were rather carelessly executed. Among slightly later works, we
may refer to a quaint little Dutch herbal by Stephen Blankaart, and
to the ‘Paradisus Batavus’ of Paul Hermann, both of which belong to
the last decade of the century. The latter, which is an “Elzevir” with
very good copper-plates, was published after the author’s death, and
dedicated, by his widow, to Henry Compton, Bishop of London.

In the plates which illustrate Blankaart’s herbal, a landscape and
figures are often introduced to form a background, and the low
horizon, to which we referred in speaking of the ‘Hortus Floridus,’
is a very conspicuous feature. The picture of the Winter Cherry is
here reproduced as an example (Text-fig. 106). As showing the complete
revolution in the style of plant illustration in two hundred years, it
is interesting to compare this drawing with that of the same subject
in the German ‘Herbarius’ of 1485 (Text-fig. 78). It must be confessed
that the fifteenth-century wood-cut, though far less detailed and
painstaking, seizes the general character of the plant in a way that
the seventeenth-century copper-plate somewhat misses.

[Illustration: _Plate XIX_

‘Crocus Byzantinus’ and ‘Crocus Montanus hispan.’ [Part of a plate from
Crispian de Passe, Hortus Floridus, 1614].]

Etching and engraving on metal are well adapted to very delicate
and detailed work, but from the point of view of book-illustration,
wood-engraving is generally more effective. In the latter the lines
are raised, and the method of printing is thus exactly the same as
in the case of type, while in the former the process is reversed and
the lines are incised. As a result, there is a harmony about a book
illustrated with wood-cuts which cannot, in the nature of things, be
attained, when such different processes as printing from raised type,
and from incised metal, are brought together in the same volume.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 106. “Alkekengi” = _Physalis_, Winter Cherry
[Blankaart, Neder-landschen Herbarius, 1698].]



During the preceding chapters, we have restricted our discussion to
those writings which may be credited with having taken some part,
however slight, in advancing the knowledge of plants. We have, as it
were, confined our attention to the main stream of botanical progress,
and its tributaries. But before concluding, it may be well to call to
mind the existence of more than one backwater, connected indeed with
the main channel, but leading nowhere.

The subject of the superstitions, with which herb collecting has been
hedged about at different periods, is far too wide to be dealt with in
detail in the present book. We have referred in earlier chapters to
the observances with which the Greek herb-gatherers surrounded their
calling (p. 7) and to the mysterious dangers which are described in the
‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius as attending the uprooting of the Mandrake (p.
36). There is comparatively little reference to such matters in the
works of the German Fathers of Botany or those of the greatest of their
successors; indeed, as we have previously mentioned (pp. 55-58, 103,
104), Bock’s famous ‘Kreuter Bůch’ and William Turner’s herbal contain
definite refutations of various superstitions.

Contemporaneously, however, with the fine series of herbals of the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, there appeared a succession of
books about plants, which had as their subjects one or both of two
topics—the “doctrine of signatures,” and “astrological botany.” These
works cannot be said to have furthered the science to any appreciable
extent, but they have considerable interest, rather on account of the
curious light which they throw upon the attitude of mind of their
writers (and presumably their readers also) than from any intrinsic
merit. One of these authors, in his preface, speaks of the “Notions”
and “Observations” contained in his work, “most of which I am confident
are true, and if there be any that are not so, yet they are pleasant.”
The excuse that the “Notions,” cherished by the botanical mystics
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, were “pleasant,” even
if untrue, may perhaps be offered in extenuation of the very brief
discussion of their salient points, which we propose to undertake in
the present chapter.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 107. Mandrake [Brunfels, Contrafayt
Kreüterbuch, Ander Teyl, 1537].]

The most famous of those mystical writers who turned their attention
to botany was undoubtedly Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus
of Hohenheim, better known by the name of Paracelsus (1493-1541). His
portrait is shown in Text-fig. 108. He was a doctor, as his father
had been before him, and in 1527 he became professor at Basle. Here
he gave great offence by lecturing in the vulgar tongue, burning the
writings of Avicenna and Galen, and interpreting his own works instead
of those of the ancients. His disregard of cherished traditions, and
his personal peculiarities led to difficulties with his colleagues, and
he only held his post for a very short time. For the rest of his life
he was a wanderer on the face of the earth, and he died in comparative
poverty at Salzburg in 1541.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 108. Theophrastus von Hohenheim, called
Paracelsus (1493-1541) [From a medal, see F. P. Weber, Appendix II].]

The character and writings of Paracelsus are full of the strangest
contradictions. Browning’s poem perhaps gives a better idea of his
career than any prose account aiming at historical accuracy. His life
was so strange that the imagination of a poet is needed to revitalise
it for us to-day. His almost incredible boastfulness is the main
characteristic that everyone remembers—the word “bombast” being, in
all probability, coined from his name. In one of his works, after
contemptuously dismissing all the great physicians who had preceded
him—Galen, Avicenna and others—he remarks, “I shall be the Monarch and
mine shall the monarchy be[36].” The conclusion that he was something
of a quack can hardly be avoided, but at the same time it must be
confessed that his writings were occasionally illumined with real
scientific insight, and that he infused new life into chemistry and

Paracelsus’ actual knowledge of botany appears to have been meagre, for
not more than a couple of dozen plant names are found in his works.
To understand his views on the properties of plants it is necessary
to turn for a moment to his chemical theories. He regarded “sulphur,”
“salt,” and “mercury” as the three fundamental principles of all
bodies. The sense in which he uses these terms is symbolic, and thus
differs entirely from that in which they are employed to-day. “Sulphur”
appears to embody the ideas of change, combustibility, volatilisation
and growth; “salt,” those of stability and non-inflammability;
“mercury,” that of fluidity. The “virtues” of plants depend, according
to Paracelsus, upon the proportions in which they contain these three

The medicinal properties of plants are thus the outcome of qualities
that are not obvious at sight. How, then, is the physician to be guided
in selecting herbal remedies to cure the several ailments of his
patients? The answer to this question given by Paracelsus is summed up
in what is known as the _Doctrine of Signatures_.

According to this doctrine, many medicinal herbs are stamped, as it
were, with some clear indication of their uses. This may perhaps be
best understood by means of a quotation from Paracelsus himself (in the
words of a seventeenth-century English translation). “I have oft-times
declared, how by the outward shapes and qualities of things we may know
their inward Vertues, which God hath put in them for the good of man.
So in St Johns wort, we may take notice of the form of the leaves and
flowers, the porosity of the leaves, the Veins. 1. The porositie or
holes in the leaves, signifie to us, that this herb helps both inward
and outward holes or cuts in the skin.... 2. The flowers of Saint Johns
wort, when they are putrified they are like blood; which teacheth us,
that this herb is good for wounds, to close them and fill them up” etc.

It is sometimes held that the real originator of the theory of
signatures, in any approximation to a scientific form, was Giambattista
Porta, who was probably born at Naples shortly before the death of
Paracelsus. He wrote a book about human physiognomy, in which he
endeavoured to find, in the bodily form of man, indications as to his
character and spiritual qualities. This study suggested to him the idea
that the inner qualities, and the healing powers of the herbs might
also be revealed by external signs, and thus led to his famous work,
the ‘Phytognomonica,’ which was first published at Naples in 1588.

Porta developed his theory in detail, and pushed it to great lengths.
He supposed, for example, that long-lived plants would lengthen a
man’s life, while short-lived plants would abbreviate it. He held that
herbs with a yellow sap would cure jaundice, while those whose surface
was rough to the touch would heal those diseases that destroy the
natural smoothness of the skin. The resemblance of certain plants to
certain animals opened to Porta a vast field of dogmatism on a basis
of conjecture. Plants with flowers shaped like butterflies would, he
supposed, cure the bites of insects, while those whose roots or fruits
had a jointed appearance, and thus remotely suggested a scorpion, must
necessarily be sovereign remedies for the sting of that creature. Porta
also detected many obscure points of resemblance between the flowers
and fruits of certain plants, and the limbs and organs of certain
animals. In such cases of resemblance he held that an investigation of
the temperament of the animal in question would determine what kind
of disease the plant was intended to cure. It will be recognised from
these examples that the doctrine of signatures was remarkably elastic,
and was not fettered by any rigid consistency.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 109. Herbs of the Scorpion [Porta,
Phytognomonica, 1591].]

The illustrations of the ‘Phytognomonica’ are of great interest as
interpreting Porta’s point of view. The part of man’s body which is
healed by a particular herb, or the animal whose bites or stings can
be cured by it, are represented in the same wood-cut as the herb.
For example, the back view of a human head with a thick crop of hair
is introduced into the block with the Maidenhair Fern, which is an
ancient specific for baldness; a Pomegranate with its seeds exposed,
and a plant of “Toothwort,” with its hard, white scale-leaves, are
represented in the same figure as a set of human teeth; a drawing
of a scorpion accompanies some pictures of plants with articulated
seed-vessels (Text-fig. 109) and an adder’s head is introduced below
the drawing of the plant known as the “Adder’s tongue.”

It would serve little purpose to deal in detail with the various
exponents of the doctrine of signatures, such, for example, as Johann
Popp, who in 1625 published a herbal written from this standpoint,
and containing also some astrological botany. We will only now refer
to one of the later champions of the signatures of plants, an English
herbalist of the seventeenth century, who made the subject peculiarly
his own. This was William Cole[37], a Fellow of New College, Oxford,
who lived and botanised at Putney in Surrey. He seems to have been a
person of much character, and his vigorous arguments would often be
very telling, were it possible to admit the soundness of his premisses.

William Cole carried the doctrine of signatures to as extreme a point
as can well be imagined. His account of the Walnut, from his work ‘Adam
in Eden,’ 1657, may be quoted as an illustration: “_Wall-nuts_ have
the perfect Signature of the Head: The outer husk or green Covering,
represent the _Pericranium_, or outward skin of the skull, whereon the
hair groweth, and therefore salt made of those husks or barks, are
exceeding good for wounds in the head. The inner wooddy shell hath
the Signature of the Skull, and the little yellow skin, or Peel, that
covereth the Kernell of the hard _Meninga_ and _Pia-mater_, which are
the thin scarfes that envelope the brain. The _Kernel_ hath the very
figure of the Brain, and therefore it is very profitable for the Brain,
and resists poysons; For if the Kernel be bruised, and moystned with
the quintessence of Wine, and laid upon the Crown of the Head, it
comforts the brain and head mightily.”

In Cole’s writings we meet with instances of a curious confusion of
thought, which characterised the doctrine of signatures. The signature
in some cases represents an animal injurious to man, and is taken to
denote that the plant in question will cure its bites or stings. For
instance, “That Plant that is called _Adders tongue_, because the
stalke of it represents one, is a soveraigne wound Herbe to cure the
biting of an Adder.” In other cases, the signature represents one of
the organs of the human body, and indicates that the plant will cure
diseases of that organ. For example, “_Heart Trefoyle_ is so called,
not onely because the Leafe is Triangular like the Heart of a Man, but
also because each Leafe containes the perfect Icon of an Heart, and
that in its proper colour, _viz._ a flesh colour. It defendeth the
Heart against the noisome vapour of the Spleen.”

Cole seems to have possessed a philosophic mind, and to have
endeavoured to follow his theories to their logical conclusion. He was
much exercised because a large proportion of the plants with undoubted
medicinal virtues have no obvious signatures. He concluded that a
certain number were endowed with signatures, in order to set man on
the right track in his search for herbal remedies; the remainder were
purposely left blank, in order to encourage his skill and resource in
discovering their properties for himself. A further ingenious argument
is that a number of plants are left without signatures, because if all
were signed, “the rarity of it, which is the delight, would be taken
away by too much harping upon one string.”

Our author was evidently a keen and enthusiastic collector of herbs.
In his book ‘The Art of Simpling’ (1656) he complains bitterly that
physicians leave the gathering of herbs to the apothecaries, and the
latter “rely commonly upon the words of the silly Hearb-women, who many
times bring them _Quid_ for _Quo_, then which nothing can be more sad.”

Another strong supporter in this country of the doctrine of signatures
was the astrological botanist, Robert Turner. He definitely states that
“God hath imprinted upon the Plants, Herbs, and Flowers, as it were in
Hieroglyphicks, the very signature of their Vertues.”

It is interesting to find that the doctrine of signatures was
repudiated by the best of the sixteenth-century herbalists. Dodoens,
for instance, wrote in 1583 that “the doctrine of the Signatures of
Plants has received the authority of no ancient writer who is held in
any esteem: moreover it is so changeable and uncertain that, as far
as science or learning is concerned, it seems absolutely unworthy of

A later writer, Guy de la Brosse, criticised the theory very acutely,
pointing out that it was quite easy to imagine any resemblance between
a plant and an animal that happened to be convenient. “C’est comme des
nuées,” he writes, “que l’on fait ressembler à tout ce que la fantaisie
se represente, à une Gruë, à une Grenoüille, à un homme, à une armee,
et autres semblables visions[39].”

Both Paracelsus and Porta deprecate the use of foreign drugs, on
the ground that in the country where a disease arises, there nature
produces means to overcome it. This idea is one which constantly recurs
in the herbals. In 1664 Robert Turner wrote, “For what Climate soever
is subject to any particular Disease, in the same Place there grows
a Cure.” There is ample evidence of the survival of this theory even
in the nineteenth century; for instance, in the preface to Thomas
Green’s ‘Universal Herbal’ of 1816 we find the remark, “Nature has,
in this country, as well as in all others, provided, in the herbs of
its own growth, the remedies for the several diseases to which it is
most subject.” The notion persists indeed to the present day; there is
a widespread belief among children, for example, that Docks always
grow in the neighbourhood of Stinging Nettles, in order to provide a
cure _in situ_! Whether this view contains any grain of truth or not,
it certainly deserves our gratitude, since it led to Dr Maclagan’s
discovery of Salicin as a cure for rheumatic fever. On the ground that
in the case of malarial diseases “the poisons which cause them and the
remedy which cures them are naturally produced under similar climatic
conditions,” Maclagan sought and found, in the bark of the Willow,
which inhabits low-lying, damp situations, this drug, which has proved
so valuable in the treatment of rheumatism[40].

The doctrine of signatures is not the only piece of botanical mysticism
associated with the name of Paracelsus. He was also a firm believer
in the influence of the heavenly bodies upon the vegetable world,
or, in other words, in botanical astrology. He considered that each
plant was under the influence of some particular star, and that it was
this influence which drew the plant out of the earth when the seed
germinated. He held each plant to be a terrestrial star, and each star,
a spiritualised plant. Giambattista Porta also believed in a relation
between certain plants and corresponding stars or planets. A figure in
his ‘Phytognomonica’ here reproduced (Text-fig. 110) shows a number of
“lunar plants.”

[Illustration: Text-fig. 110. Lunar Herbs [Porta, Phytognomonica,

In order to appreciate the attitude in which Paracelsus and his
followers approached the subject of the relation between plants and
stars, it is necessary to realise the position which Astrology had come
to occupy in the Middle Ages[41].

It was in ancient Babylon that this pseudo-science mainly took its
rise. Here the five planets which we now call Jupiter, Venus, Saturn,
Mars and Mercury, and also the Sun and Moon, were identified, in
certain senses, with seven great Gods. The movements of these heavenly
bodies were supposed to represent in symbolic fashion the deeds of
these Gods. It was thought possible to interpret the movements and
relative positions of the planets and the sun and moon, in a way that
threw light upon the fate of mankind, in so far as it depended upon the
Gods in question.

Some centuries before the Christian era, Babylonian astrology began to
influence the nations farther to the West. In Greece, the subject took
a more personal turn and it was believed that the fate, not only of
nations but of individuals, was determined in the skies, and could be
foretold from the position of the planets at the time of a man’s birth.
At a later period, speculation on the subject was carried further and
further, until finally not only men, but all animals, vegetables and
minerals were associated, either with particular planets, or with the
constellations of the Zodiac.

That a belief in the influence of the moon upon plants dates back to
very early times in western Europe, is shown by the statement, in
Pliny’s ‘Natural History,’ that the Druids in Britain gathered the
Mistletoe for medical purposes, with many rites and ceremonies, when
the moon was six days old. To trace the history of astrology in detail
is altogether beyond our province, but, as an example of its universal
acceptance, we may recall the reference to the supreme influence of
the stars in the preface of the Herbarius zu Teutsch of 1485 (see p.
19). Astrological ideas were familiar in Elizabethan England, and are
reflected in many passages in Shakespeare’s plays, never perhaps more
charmingly than in Beatrice’s laughing words—“there was a star danced,
and under that I was born.”

Paracelsus, though his name is so well known in this connection, was
by no means the first writer on botanical astrology. A book called ‘De
virtutibus herbarum,’ erroneously attributed to Albertus Magnus, had a
wide circulation from early times, being first printed in the fifteenth
century. It was translated into many languages, one English version
appearing about 1560 under the title ‘The boke of secretes of Albartus
Magnus, of the vertues of Herbes, stones and certaine beastes.’ It does
not contain very much information about plants, being mostly occupied
with animals and minerals, but there are very definite references to
astrology. For instance we are told that if the Marigold “be gathered,
the Sunne beynge in the sygne Leo, in August, and be wrapped in the
leafe of a Laurell, or baye tree, and a wolves tothe be added therto,
no man shal be able to have a word to speake agaynst the bearer therof,
but woordes of peace.” Concerning the Plantain we read, “The rote of
this herbe is mervalous good agaynst the payne of the headde, because
the signe of the Ramme is supposed to be the house of the planete Mars,
which is the head of the whole worlde.”

The herbal of Bartholomæus Carrichter (1575), in which the plants are
arranged according to the signs of the Zodiac, is considerably more
complete and elaborate than the book to which we have just referred.
It seems however impossible to discover the principle, if any, which
guided the author in connecting any given herb with one sign of the
Zodiac rather than another.

Much stress is laid in this herbal on the hour at which the herbs ought
to be gathered, great importance being ascribed to the state of the
moon at the time. We are reminded of a passage in ‘The Merchant of
Venice’ where Jessica says of a bright moonlight evening—

          “In such a night
    Medea gather’d the enchanted herbs
    That did renew old Æson.”

This aspect of the subject is emphasised in a curious little book
published in 1571, Nicolaus Winckler’s ‘Chronica herbarum,’ which is an
astrological calendar giving information as to the appropriate times
for gathering different roots and herbs.

Almost contemporaneously with Carrichter’s ‘Kreutterbůch,’ the first
part of a work on astrological botany was published by Leonhardt
Thurneisser zum Thurn. This writer, who was possessed of undoubted
talent, was also an adventurer and charlatan of the first order. He
was born at Basle in 1530. He learned his father’s craft, that of a
goldsmith, and is said to have also helped a local doctor to collect
and prepare herbs, and to have been employed to read aloud to him from
the works of Paracelsus. His career in Basle came to an untimely end,
for he seems to have tried to retaliate on some customers who treated
him badly, by selling them gilded lead as a substitute for gold, and
consequently had to flee the country when the fraud was discovered.
He travelled widely, making an especial study of mining. He had an
adventurous and varied life, sometimes in poverty and obscurity,
sometimes in wealth and renown.

During Thurneisser’s most influential period he lived in Berlin,
practising medicine, making amulets, talismans, and secret remedies
which yielded large profits. He also published astrological calendars,
cast nativities, and supplemented his income by the practice of
usury. At this time he owned a printing press, and employed a large
staff which included artists and engravers. Later on, he was pursued
by a succession of misfortunes, including accusations of magic and
witchcraft, which compelled him to leave Germany. Little is known
of the latter part of his life; he died in the last decade of the
sixteenth century.

Leonhardt Thurneisser projected a great botanical work in ten books.
The first was published in Berlin in 1578, but the others never
appeared. The title was ‘Historia unnd Beschreibung Influentischer,
Elementischer und Natürlicher Wirckungen, Aller fremden unnd heimischen
Erdgewechssen.’ A Latin version of this book, under the name, ‘Historia
sive descriptio plantarum,’ was published in the same year. This
first instalment deals only with the Umbellifers, which were regarded
as under the dominion of the Sun and Mars. The nomenclature and
the figures are not clear enough to allow individual species to be
recognised. Each is drawn in an ellipse surrounded by an ornamental
border, which contains mystical inscriptions denoting the properties of
the plant (e.g. Plate XX). In some cases diagrams are given, showing
the conjunction of the stars under which the herb should be gathered
(Text-fig. 111).

[Illustration: _Plate XX_

‘Cervaria fomina’ [Thurneisser, Historia sive descriptio plantarum,

[Illustration: Text-fig. 111. Astrological Diagram relating to the
gathering of “Cervaria fœmina” [Thurneisser, Historia sive Descriptio
Plantarum, 1587].]

After the manner of the ancients, Thurneisser describes plants,
according to their qualities, as either male or female. He also adds a
third class, typified by a child, to symbolise those whose qualities
are feeble. It may perhaps be worth while to translate here a few
sentences of the first chapter of the ‘Historia[42],’ to show how far
such writers as Leonhardt Thurneisser had departed from the pursuit
of the subject upon legitimate lines. When discussing the planting
of roots and herbs and the gathering of seeds, he declares that “it
is absolutely essential that these operations should be performed so
as to correspond with the stations and positions of the planets and
heavenly bodies, to whose control diseases are properly subject. And
against disease we have to employ herbs, with due regard of course to
the sex, whichever it be, of human beings; and so herbs intended to
benefit the male sex should be procured when the Sun or Moon is in some
male sign [of the Zodiac], e.g. Sagittarius or Aquarius, or if this is
impossible, at least when they are in Leo. Similarly herbs intended
to benefit women should be gathered under some female sign, Virgo, of
course, or, if that is impossible, in Taurus or Cancer.”

In the seventeenth century, England became strongly infected with
astrological botany. The most notorious exponent of the subject was
Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654), who, about 1640, set up as an astrologer
and physician in Spitalfields. His portrait is reproduced in Plate
XXI. He created great indignation among the medical profession by
publishing, under the name of ‘A Physicall Directory,’ an unauthorised
English translation of the Pharmacopœia, which had been issued by
the College of Physicians. That Culpeper was unpopular with orthodox
medical practitioners is hardly surprising, when we consider the way
in which he speaks of them in this book, as “a company of proud,
insulting, domineering Doctors, whose wits were born above five
hundred years before themselves.” He goes on to ask—“Is it handsom and
wel-beseeming a Common-wealth to see a Doctor ride in State, in Plush
with a footcloath, and not a grain of Wit but what was in print before
he was born?”

Many editions of the ‘Physicall Directory’ were issued under different
names. As ‘The English Physician enlarged,’ it enjoyed great
popularity, and was reprinted as late as the nineteenth century.
The edition of 1653 is described on the title-page as “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.”

[Illustration: _Plate XXI_


[A Physicall Directory, 1649. Engraving by Cross.]]

Culpeper describes certain herbs as being under the dominion of the
sun, the moon, or a planet, and others as under a planet and also
one of the constellations of the Zodiac. His reasons for connecting
a particular herb with a particular heavenly body are curiously
inconsequent. He states, for example, that “Wormwood is an Herb of
_Mars_, ... I prove it thus; What delights in Martial places, is a
Martial Herb; but Wormwood delights in Martial places (for about Forges
and Iron Works you may gather a Cart load of it) _Ergo_ it is a Martial

The author explains that each disease is caused by a planet. One
way of curing the ailment is by the use of herbs belonging to an
opposing planet—e.g. diseases produced by Jupiter are healed by the
herbs of Mercury. On the other hand, the illness may be cured “by
sympathy,” that is by the use of herbs belonging to the planet which is
responsible for the disease.

Culpeper indulges in a strange maze of similar reasons to justify the
use of Wormwood for affections of the eyes. “The Eyes are under the
Luminaries; the right Eye of a Man, and the left Eye of a Woman the
_Sun_ claims Dominion over: The left Eye of a Man, and the right Eye of
a Woman, are the priviledg of the _Moon_, Wormwood an Herb of _Mars_
cures both[43]; what belongs to the _Sun_ by Sympathy, because he is
exalted in his House; but what belongs to the _Moon_ by Antipathy,
becaus he hath his Fal in hers.”

It is somewhat surprising to find that, in his preface, Culpeper
claims that he surpasses all his predecessors in being alone guided
by reason, whereas all previous writers are “as full of nonsense and
contradictions as an Egg is ful of meat.”

Culpeper met with considerable opposition and criticism from his
contemporaries. Shortly after his death, William Cole in his ‘Art of
Simpling’ wrote scornfully of astrological botanists, “Amongst which
Master _Culpeper_ (a man now dead, and therefore I shall speak of him
as modestly as I can, for were he alive I should be more plain with
him) was a great Stickler; And he, forsooth, judgeth all men unfit to
be Physitians, who are not Artists in Astrology, as if he and some
other Figure-flingers his companions, had been the onely Physitians
in _England_, whereas for ought I can gather, either by his Books, or
learne from the report of others, he was a man very ignorant in the
forme of Simples.”

It is interesting to notice that Cole, though he seems to the modern
reader very credulous on the subject of the signatures of plants, was
completely sceptical as to the association of astrology and botany.
The main argument by which he tries to discredit it is an ingenious
one. The knowledge of herbs is, he says, “a subject as antient as the
Creation (as the Scriptures witnesse) yea more antient then the Sunne,
or Moon, or Starres, they being created on the fourth day, whereas
Plants were the third. Thus did God even at first confute the folly of
those Astrologers, who goe about to maintaine that all vegitables in
their growth, are enslaved to a necessary and unavoidable dependance on
the influences of the Starres; Whereas Plants were, even when Planets
were not.”



A General review of the subjects discussed in the foregoing chapters
brings home to us several results of some interest. Perhaps the
most obvious of these is the incalculable debt which Botany owes to
Medicine. An overwhelming majority of the herbalists were physicians,
who were led to the study of botany on account of its connection with
the arts of healing. As we have already pointed out, medicine gave the
original impulse, not only to Systematic Botany, but also to the study
of the Anatomy of Plants.

However, as the evolution of the herbal proceeded, we have shown that
botany rose from being a mere hand-maid of medicine to a position of
comparative independence. This is well exemplified in the history of
plant classification. When the early medical botanists attempted any
arrangement of their material, it was on a purely utilitarian basis;
the herbs were merely classified according to the qualities which made
them of value to man. But as the science grew, the need of a more
systematic classification began to make itself felt, and in some of the
works published in the latter half of the period we are considering,
there is a distinct, if only partially successful, attempt to group the
plants according to the affinities which they present when considered
in themselves, and not in relation to man. The ideal of a natural
system in the Vegetable Kingdom, in which each plant should find its
inevitable place, must have been clear for instance to de l’Obel, when
he wrote in the ‘Adversaria,’ of “an order, than which nothing more
beautiful exists in the heavens, or in the mind of a wise man[44].”

Second only to the debt of botany to medicine is its debt to certain
branches of the fine arts, more especially wood-engraving. The
draughtsman and engraver not only disseminated the knowledge of plants,
but their work must often have revealed to the botanist features which
had escaped his less highly educated and subtle eye.

As we have already pointed out, the art of plant description lagged
conspicuously behind that of plant illustration. The vague and crude,
but often picturesque, accounts, given by the early herbalists of the
plants which they observed, contrast curiously with the technically
accurate, but colourless and impersonal descriptions from the pens of
modern botanists.

The rapid rise of botany, in the two centuries which we have reviewed,
must have been greatly stimulated by the cosmopolitanism of the savants
of the renaissance. Periods of study at a succession of different
universities, and wide European travel, including visits to scientific
men of various countries, seem to have formed part of the recognised
equipment of the botanical student. Possibly the zeal for travel was
not altogether spontaneous, but was artificially stimulated by the
religious disturbances so common at the period of the Reformation and
later, which often drove into exile the adherents of the Reformed
Faith, among whom many botanists were numbered. This is exemplified in
the cases of William Turner, Charles de l’Écluse, and the Bauhins.

It is interesting to notice that, in the works of the best herbalists
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such for instance as Bock,
Turner, Dodoens and Gaspard Bauhin, we find, comparatively speaking,
little belief in any kind of superstition connected with plants,
such as the doctrine of signatures, or astrology. A number of books
dealing with such topics appeared during the period we have considered,
but their writers form a class apart, and must not be confused with
the herbalists proper, whose attitude was, on the whole, marked by
a healthy scepticism which was in advance of their time. It would,
naturally, be far from true to say that they were all quite free from
superstition, but, considering the intellectual atmosphere of the
period, their enlightenment was quite remarkable.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 112. Wood-cut from the title-page of the Grete
Herball, 1526. _Reduced._]

When we come to consider the origin of the herbal, we find that it is
impossible to assign any date for its beginning. In manuscript form,
herbals have existed from very early times, but, in the present book,
those prior to the invention of printing have been scarcely touched
upon. Our subject has been limited to the most active life-period of
the printed herbal, which may be reckoned as beginning in the last
quarter of the fifteenth century, with the ‘Book of Nature,’ the
‘Herbarium’ of Apuleius, and the Latin and German ‘Herbarius.’ When
this active period ended is less easily decided, but in some senses it
may fairly be taken as covering only the comparatively short space of
two hundred years. There are, of course, a very large number of later
herbals, belonging to the end of the seventeenth, the eighteenth, and
even the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but their importance in
the history of botany appears to the present writer to be relatively
small, and hence, in this volume, attention has been almost entirely
confined to works which appeared before 1670.

After this period, botany rapidly became more scientific; the discovery
of the function of the stamens, which was first announced in 1682,
marking a very definite step in advance. As time went on, the _herbal_,
with its characteristic mixture of medical and botanical lore, gave
way before the exclusively medical _pharmacopœia_ on the one hand,
and the exclusively botanical _flora_ on the other. As the use of
home-made remedies declined, and the chemist’s shop took the place of
the housewife’s herb-garden and still-room, the practical value of the
herbal diminished almost to vanishing point.

The best epoch in the history of the herbal, from the point of view
of book-illustration, is confined within much narrower limits than
the two centuries we have been considering. The suggestion has been
made, and seems thoroughly justified, that the finest period should
be reckoned as falling between 1530 and 1614, that is, between the
wood-cuts of Hans Weiditz in Brunfels’ ‘Herbarum vivæ eicones,’ and the
copper-plates of Crispian de Passe in the ‘Hortus Floridus.’ This good
period thus lasted less than one hundred years, and belongs chiefly to
the sixteenth century. From the artistic point of view, its zenith is
perhaps reached in the wood-engravings which illustrate Fuchs’ great
work, ‘De historia stirpium’ (1542), though, from a more strictly
scientific standpoint, the drawings by Camerarius and Gesner, which
appeared in 1586 and 1588, may be said to bear the palm.

[Illustration: Text-fig. 113. A Herbalist’s Garden and Store-room [Das
Kreüterbůch oder Herbarius. Printed by Heinrich Stayner, Augsburg,

As far as the text is concerned, the culmination of the botanical works
of the period under consideration may be regarded as foreshadowed
in the ‘Stirpium Adversaria Nova’ of Pena and de l’Obel (1570-71)
and attained in the ‘Prodromos’ (1620) and the ‘Pinax’ (1623) of
Gaspard Bauhin. In the works of the latter author, classification,
nomenclature and description reach their high-water mark, though it is
to de l’Obel, and to his precursor, Bock, one of the “German Fathers of
Botany,” that we owe the first definite efforts after a natural system.
It is pleasant to remember that Jean Bauhin, to whom his younger
brother Gaspard probably owed his first botanical inspiration, was a
pupil of Leonhard Fuchs at Tübingen, so that the latter has a double
claim to be associated with the results of the “herbal period” at its
best. We began this book with a portrait of Leonhard Fuchs, and we may
well conclude with his name—that of the greatest and most typical of
sixteenth-century herbalists.



This list, which is intended for the botanist rather than the
bibliographer, is far from being exhaustive, especially as regards
works published in the seventeenth century. In most cases reference
is made to first editions only. Subsequent editions and translations,
though often numerous and important, are usually not cited unless
special mention has been made of them in the text. In cases where such
editions are quoted, their titles are placed beneath that of the first
edition (i.e. under the date of the first edition). Independent works
by the same author are, however, arranged chronologically, so that, in
this list, all the works of any given author are not placed together,
but must be looked for under their respective dates. These dates can
generally be ascertained by reference to the text. The author’s name,
or, in the case of anonymous works, the title most commonly used, is
printed in heavy type. All the works enumerated have been examined
personally by the author, except those of which the dates are marked
with an asterisk.

? 1470

+Bartholomæus Anglicus+ [Glanville, Bartholomew de]. Liber de
proprietatibus rerum. _Begins_: Incipit prohemium de proprietatibus
rerum fratris bartholomei anglici de ordine fratrum minorum. [? Cologne,
? 1470.] [_A general work containing one section dealing with plants._]

—— (_Another Edition_). Liber de proprietatibus rerum. [? Westminster,
? 1495.] [_A translation by Trevisa printed by Wynkyn de Worde._]


+Konrad von Megenberg+ [Cůnrat]. _Begins_: Hye nach volget das půch
der natur.... Hanns Bämler. Augsburg, -75 [= 1475]. [_A general work
containing a section dealing with plants._]


+Albertus Magnus+ [erroneously attributed to]. Liber aggregations seu
liber secretorum Alberti magni de virtutibus herbarum ... (_Colophon_:)
per Johannem de Annunciata de Augusta. 1478.

—— (_Another Edition_). De virtutibus herbarum. De virtutibus lapidum.
De virtutibus animalium et mirabilibus mundi. Thomas Laisne, Rouen.
[? 1500.]

—— (_Another Edition_). The boke of secretes of Albartus Magnus, of
the vertues of Herbes, stones and certaine beastes. Also a boke of the
same author, of the marvaylous thinges of the world.... London. Wyllyam
Copland. [? 1560.]

? 1484

+Apuleius Platonicus.+ _Begins_: Incipit Herbarium Apulei Platonici ad
Marcum Agrippam. [J. P. de Lignamine. Rome, ? 1484.]


+The Latin Herbarius+ [referred to by various authors as Herbarius in
Latino, Aggregator de Simplicibus, Herbarius Moguntinus, Herbarius
Patavinus, etc.]. Herbarius Maguntiæ impressus. [Peter Schöffer.
Mainz.] 1484.

—— (_Another Edition_). _Begins_: Dye prologhe de oversetters uyt
den latyn in dyetsche. [Veldener, Kuilenborg.] 1484. [_A Flemish

—— (_Another Edition_). _Begins_: Incipit Tractatus de virtutibus
herbarum. (_Colophon_:) Impressum Venetiis per Simonem Papiensem dictum
Bivilaquam.... 1499. [Sometimes called ‘Herbarius Arnoldi de nova villa


+The German Herbarius+ [referred to by various authors as the Herbarius
zu Teutsch, the German Ortus Sanitatis, the smaller Ortus, Johann
von Cube’s Herbal, etc.]. _Begins_: Offt und vil habe ich. [Peter
Schöffer.] Mencz, 1485.

—— (_Another Edition_). _Begins_: Offt und vil hab ich. [Sorg.]
Augspurg, 1485.


+Ortus Sanitatis+ [+Hortus Sanitatis.+] _Prohemium begins_:
Omnipotentis eternique dei.... (_Colophon_:) Jacobus Meydenbach.
Moguntia, 1491.

—— (_Another Edition_). (_Colophon_:) Impressum Venetiis per
Bernardinum Benalium: Et Joannem de Cereto de Tridino alias Tacuinum.

—— (_Another Edition_). Ortus sanitatis translate de latin en francois.
Anthoine Vérard. Paris, n.d. [? 1501].

—— (_Another Edition_). Le jardin de sante translate de latin en
francoys nouvellement Imprimé a Paris. On les vend a Paris en la rue
sainct Jacques a lenseigne de la Rose blanche couronnee. (_Colophon_:)
Imprimé a Paris par Philippe le noir. [? 1539.]

? 1500

+Macer, Æmilius+ [Odo]. Macer floridus De viribus herbarum. [? Paris,
? 1500 circa.]

—— (_Another Edition_). Herbarum varias qui vis cognoscere vires Macer
adest: disce quo duce doct’ eris. (_Colophon_:) Impressus Parisius per
Magistrum Johannem Seurre. Pro Magistro Petro Bacquelier. 1506.

—— (_Another Edition_). Les fleurs du livre des vertus des herbes,
composé jadis en vers Latins par Macer Floride:... Le tout mis en
François par M. Lucas Tremblay, Parisien.... Rouen. Martin et Honoré
Mallard. 1588.

—— (_Another Edition_). De viribus herbarum ... secundum codices
manuscriptos ... recensuit ... Ludovicus Choulant.... Lipsiae, 1832.


+Braunschweig, Hieronymus+ [Jerome of Brunswick]. Liber de arte
distillandi. de Simplicibus. Johannes Grüeninger. Strassburg, 1500.

—— (_Another Edition_). The vertuose boke of Distyllacyon of the waters
of all maner of Herbes ... Laurens Andrewe. London, 1427 [=1527].


+Ruellius, Johannes+ [Ruel, Jean]. Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei de
medicinali materia libri quinque.... Impressum est in ... Parrhisiorum
Gymnasio ... in officina Henrici Stephani. 1516.


+Czerny, Johann+ [Johannes Niger de Praga]. Knieha lekarska kteraz
slowe herbarz (= Arzneibuch, welches heisst Herbarium) Hieronymus
Höltzel. Nürnberg, 1517*.


+Herball.+ Here begynneth a newe mater, the whiche sheweth and treateth
of ye vertues and proprytes of herbes, the whiche is called an Herball.
Rycharde Banckes. London, 1525.

—— (_Another Edition_). Macers Herbal. Practysyd by Docter Lynacro.
Robert Wyer. n.d. [London, ? 1530.]

—— (_Another Edition_). A new Herball of Macer, Translated out of Laten
in to Englysshe. Robert Wyer. in saint Martyns paryshe ... besyde
Charynge Crosse. n.d. London. [? 1535.]

—— (_Another Edition_). A boke of the propreties of Herbes called
an herball, wherunto is added the tyme ye herbes, Floures and Sedes
shoulde be gathered ... by W. C.[45] Wyllyam Copland. n.d. London.

—— (_Another Edition_). A litle Herball of the properties of Herbes ...
wyth certayne Additions at the ende of the boke, declaring what Herbes
hath influence of certain Sterres.... Anthony Askham, Physycyon. Jhon
Kynge. London, 1550.

Before 1526

+Grand Herbier.+ Le grand Herbier en Francoys: contenant les qualites,
vertus et propriétés des herbes, arbres, gommes.... Pierre Sergent.
Paris, n.d.

—— (_Another Edition_). The grete herball whiche geveth parfyt knowlege
and understandyng of all maner of herbes and there gracyous vertues....
(_Colophon_:) Peter Treveris. London, 1526.

—— (_Another Edition_). The grete herball ... (_Colophon_:) Imprynted
at London ... by me Peter Treveris.... 1529.


+Theophrastus.+ Theophrasti de historia, et causis plantarum, Libri
Quindecim. Theodoro Gaza interprete ... (_Colophon_:) Excussum Luteciæ,
in ædibus Christiani Wechel.... 1529.


+Brunfelsius, Otho+ [Brunfels, Otto von]. Herbarum vivæ eicones...
Argentorati apud Joannem Schottum. 1530, 1531, 1536.

—— (_Another Edition_). Contrafayt Kreüterbůch ... zů Strasszburg bey
Hans Schotten. 1532, 1537.


+Rhodion, D. Eucharius.+ Kreutterbůch ... Anfenglich von Doctor
Johan Cuba zusamen bracht, jetzt widerum new Corrigirt ... Mit warer
Abconterfeitung aller Kreuter. Zu Franckfurt am Meyn, Bei Christian
Egenolph. 1533. [_A large number of editions of this work appeared,
edited by Dorstenius, Lonicer and others._]


+Amatus Lusitanus+ [Castello Branco, J. R. de]. Index Dioscoridis ...
Excudebat Antverpiæ Vidua Martini Cæsaris. 1536.

+Ruellius, Johannes+ [Ruel, Jean]. De Natura stirpium libri tres.
Parisiis. 1536.


+Turner, William.+ Libellus de re herbaria novus, in quo herbarum
aliquot nomina greca, latina, et Anglica habes, una cum nominibus
officinarum.... Londini apud Joannem Byddellum. 1538.

—— (_Another Edition_). Libellus de re herbaria novus ... reprinted
in facsimile, with notes, modern names, and a life of the author, by
Benjamin Daydon Jackson. London, 1877.


+Tragus, Hieronymus+ [Bock, Hieronymus]. New Kreutterbuch von
underscheydt, würckung und namen der kreutter, ... gedruckt zu
Strassburg, durch Wendel Rihel. 1539*.

—— (_Another Edition_). Kreuter Bůch. Wendel Rihel. Strasburg, 1546.

—— (_Another Edition_). De stirpium, maxime earum, quæ in Germania
nostra nascuntur ... nunc in Latinam conversi, Interprete Davide Kybero
... (_Colophon_:) Argentorati Excudebat Wendelinus Rihelius ... 1552.


+Fuchsius, Leonhardus+ [Fuchs, Leonhard]. De historia stirpium...
Basileæ, in officina Isingriniana.... 1542.

—— (_Another Edition_). New Kreüterbůch. Michael Isingrin. Basell, 1543.

——- (_Another Edition_). Leonharti Fuchsii medici, primi de stirpium
historia commentariorum tomi vivæ imagines, in exiguam ... formam
contractæ.... Isingrin. Basileæ, 1545.

+Gesnerus, Conradus+ [Gesner, Konrad]. Catalogus plantarum Latinè,
graecè, Germanicè, et Gallicè.... Tiguri apud Christoph. Froschouerum,


+Matthiolus, Petrus Andreas+ [Mattioli, Pierandrea]. Di Pedacio
Dioscoride Anazarbeo libri cinque della historia et materia medicinale
tradotta in lingua volgare italiana.... Venetia, per Nicolo de
Bascarina da Pavone di Brescia, 1544*.

—— Commentarii, in libros sex Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei, de medica
materia.... Venetiis ... apud Vincentium Valgrisium. 1554.

—— (_Another Edition_). Commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis
Anazarbei de Medica materia, ... Venetiis, Ex Officina Valgrisiana.


+Turner, William.+ The names of herbes in Greke, Latin, Englishe Duche
and Frenche wyth the commune names that Herbaries and Apotecaries use.
John Day and Wyllyam Setes. London, 1548.

—— (_Another Edition_). The Names of Herbes, A.D. 1548. Edited by James
Britten. London, 1881.


+Turner, William.+ A new Herball. Steven Mierdman. London, 1551.

—— The seconde parte of Vuilliam Turners herball. Arnold Birckman.
Collen, 1562.

—— The first and seconde partes of the Herbal of William Turner ...
with the Third parte, lately gathered.... Arnold Birckman. Collen. 1568.


+Amatus, Lusitanus+ [Castello Branco, J. R. de]. In Dioscoridis
Anazarbei de medica materia libros quinque enarrationes ... Venetiis,
1553. (_Colophon_:) apud Gualterum scotum.

+Bellonius, Petrus+ [Belon, Pierre]. De arboribus coniferis,
resiniferis, aliis quoque nonnullis sempiterna fronde virentibus, ...
Parisiis Apud Gulielmum Cavellat, ... 1553.

—— Les Observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses mémorables,
trouvées en Grece, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie, et autres pays
estrades, ... (_Colophon_:) Imprimé à Paris par Benoist Prévost....


+Dodonæus, Rembertus+ [Dodoens, Rembert]. Crǔ deboeck. (_Colophon_:)
Ghedruckt Tantwerpen by Jan vander Loe.... 1554.

—— (_Another Edition_). Histoire des plantes,... Nouvellement
traduite ... en François par Charles de Éscluse. Jean Loë. Anvers. 1557.
[_In the British Museum there is a copy of this book, annotated in
manuscript by Henry Lyte._]

—— (_Another Edition_). A Nievve Herball, or Historie of Plantes:...
nowe first translated out of French into English, by Henry Lyte
Esquyer. At London by me Gerard Dewes.... 1578.


+Maranta, Bartholomæus.+ Methodi cognoscendorum simplicium libri tres.
Venetiis, Ex officina Erasmiana Vincentii. Valgrisii, 1559.


+Cordus, Valerius.+ In hoc volumine continentur Valerii
Cordi ... Annotationes in Pedacii Dioscoridis ... de Medica materia ...
eiusdem Val. Cordi historiæ stirpium lib. IIII.... Omnia ... Conr.
Gesneri ... collecta, et præfationibus illustrata. (_Colophon_:)
Argentorati excudebat Josias Rihelius. 1561.


+Mizaldus, Antonius+ [Mizauld, Antoine]. Alexikepus, seu auxiliaris
hortus, ... Lutetiæ, Apud Federicum Morellum.... 1565.

—— (_Another Edition_). Artztgarten. ... neuwlich verteutschet durch
Georgen Benisch von Bartfeld ... zu Basel bey Peter Perna. 1575.


+Dodonæus, Rembertus+ [Dodoens, Rembert]. Frumentorum, leguminum,
palustrium et aquatilium herbarum ... historia. Antverpiæ, Ex officina
Christophori Plantini. 1566[46].


+Dodonæus, Rembertus+ [Dodoens, Rembert]. Florum, et coronariarum
odoratarumque nonnullarum herbarum historia, Antverpiæ, Ex officina
Christophori Plantini. 1568.


+Monardes, Nicolas+. Dos libros, el uno que trata de todas las cosas
que traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales ... Impressos en Sevilla en
casa de Hernando Diaz.... 1569.

—— Segunda parte del libro, de las cosas que se traen de nuestras
Indias Occidentales.... En Sevilla En casa Alonso Escrivano. 1571.

—— (_Another Edition_). Joyfull newes out of the newe founde worlde,
wherein is declared the rare and singuler vertues of diverse ...
Hearbes.... Englished by John Frampton. London, W. Norton, 1577.


+Bombast von Hohenheim+ (Paracelsus). Ettliche Tractatus des
hocherfarnen unnd berümbtesten Philippi Theophrasti Paracelsi....
I. Von Natürlichen dingen. II. Beschreibung etilcher kreütter. III.
Von Metallen. IV. Von Mineralen. V. Von Edlen Gesteinen. Strassburg.
Christian Müllers Erben. 1570.


+Lobelius, Mathias+ [de l’Obel or de Lobel, Mathias] and +Pena, Petrus+
[Pena, Pierre]. Stirpium adversaria nova. Londini. 1570. (_Colophon_:)
Londini, 1571. ... excudebat prelum Thomæ Purfœtii.

—— (_Another Edition_). Nova stirpium adversaria, ... Antverpiæ Apud
Christophorum Plantinum. 1576. (_Colophon_:) Londini, excudebat prelum
Thomæ Purfœtii.

—— (_Another Edition_). Plantarum seu stirpium historia, ... Cui
annexum est Adversariorum volumen. Antverpiæ, Ex officina Christophori
Plantini. 1576.

—— (_Another Edition_). Kruydtbœck. T’Antwerpen. By Christoffel
Plantyn. 1581.


+Matthiolus, Petrus Andreas+ [Mattioli, Pierandrea]. Compendium De
Plantis omnibus, ... de quibus scripsit suis in commentariis in
Dioscoridem editis.... Accessit præterea ad calcem Opusculum de
itinere, quo è Verona in Baldum montem Plantarum refertissimum itur ...
Francisco Calceolario ... Venetiis, In Officina Valgrisiana. 1571.

+Winckler, Nicolaus.+ Chronica herbarum, florum, seminum, ... Augustæ
Vindelicorum in officina Typographica Michaëlis Mangeri. 1571.


+Dodonæus, Rembertus+ [Dodoens, Rembert]. Purgantium aliarumque eo
facientum, tum et Radicum, Convolvulorum ac deleteriarum herbarum
historiæ libri iiii. Antverpiæ, Ex officina Christophori Plantini, 1574.


+Carrichter, Bartholomæus.+ Kreutterbůch ... Gedruckt zů Strassburg ...
bey Christian Müller. 1575.


+Clusus, Carolus+ [l’Écluse or l’Escluse, Charles de]. Caroli Clusii
atrebat. Rariorum aliquot stirpium per Hispanias observatarum
Historia,... Antverpiæ, Ex officina Christophori Plantini, ... 1576.


+Thurneisserus, Leonhardus+ [Thurneisser zum Thum, Leonhardt]. Historia
sive descriptio plantarum.... (_Colophon_:) Berlini Excudebat Michael
Hentzske. 1578.

—— (_Another Edition_). Historia unnd Beschreibung Influentischer,
Elementischer und Natürlicher Wirckungen, Aller fremden unnd Heimischen
Erdgewechssen.... (Colophon:) Gedruckt zu Berlin, bey Michael
Hentzsken. 1578.

—— (_Another Edition_). Historia sive descriptio plantarum.... Coloniæ
Agrippinæ, apud Joannem Gymnicum,... 1587.


+Dodonæus, Rembertus+ [Dodoens, Rembert]. Historia vitis vinique: et
stirpium nonnullarum aliarum. Coloniæ Apud Maternum Cholinum. 1580.


+Lobelius, Mathias+ [de l’Obel or de Lobel, Mathias]. Plantarum seu
stirpium icones. Antverpiæ, Ex officina Christophori Plantini. 1581.
[_The figures of Clusus, Lobelius and Dodonæus arranged according to
the scheme of Lobelius._]


+Rauwolff, Leonhard.+ Leonharti Rauwolfen,... Aigentliche beschreibung
der Raiss, so er vor diser zeit gegen Auffgang inn die Morgenländer,...
(_Colophon_:) Getruckt zů Laugingen, durch Leonhart Reinmichel. 1582,
1583. [_This is a book of travel, but the fourth part, which has a
separate title-page, dated 1583, contains a number of wood-cuts of
foreign plants._]


+Cæsalpinus, Andreas+ [Cesalpino, Andrea]. De plantis libri xvi....
Florentiæ, Apud Georgium Marescottum. 1583.

+Clusius, Carolus+ [l’Écluse or l’Escluse, Charles de]. Car. Clusii
atrebatis Rariorum aliquot Stirpium, per Pannoniam, Austriam, et
vicinas ... Historia ... Antverpiæ, Ex officina Christophori Plantini.

+Dodonæus, Rembertus+ [Dodoens, Rembert]. Stirpium historiæ pemptades
sex sive libri XXX. Antverpiæ, Ex officina Christophori Plantini. 1583.


+Linocier, Geofroy+. L’histoire des plantes, traduicte de latin en
françois: ... à Paris, Chez Charles Macé.... 1584.


+Durante, Castor+. Herbario Nuovo.... Roma, Per Iacomo Bericchia, e
Iacomo Turnierii, 1585.


+Matthiolus, Petrus Andreas+ [Mattioli, Pierandrea]. De plantis
Epitome utilissima ... aucta et locupletata, à D. Joachimo Camerario,
... accessit, ... liber singularis de itinere ... in Baldum montem ...
auctore Francisco Calceolario Francofurti ad Moenum. 1586.


+Dalechampius, Jacobus+ [d’Aléchamps or Daléchamps, Jacques]. Historia
generalis plantarum,... Lugduni, apud Gulielmum Rovillium. 1586, 1587.


+Camerarius, Joachim.+ Hortus medicus et philosophicus: ... Francofurti
ad Mœnum. 1588.

—— Icones accurate ... delineatæ præcipuarum stirpium,
quarum descriptiones tam in Horto.... Impressum Francofurti ad
Mœnum. 1588. [_These figures are generally bound up with the ‘Hortus

+Porta, Johannes Baptista+ [Porta, Giambattista]. Phytognomonica....
Neapoli, Apud Horatium Saluianum. 1588.


+Theodorus, Jacobus+ [Theodor, Jacob, or Tabernæmontanus, Jacobus
Theodorus]. Neuw Kreuterbuch, ... [Nicolaus Bassæus] Franckfurt am
Mayn. 1588, 1591.

—— (_Another Edition_). Eicones plantarum seu stirpium. Nicolaus
Bassæus, Francofurti ad Moenum, 1590. [_This edition contains the
figures only._]

—— (_Another Edition_). Neuw vollkommentlich Kreuterbuch,... gemehret,
Durch Casparum Bauhinum.... Franckfurt am Mayn, Durch Nicolaum Hoffman,
In verlegung Johannis Bassæi und Johann Dreutels. 1613.


+Matthiolus, Petrus Andreas+ [Mattioli, Pierandrea]. Kreuterbuch ...
gemehrt und gefertigt durch Joachimum Camerarium, ... Frankfurt a/M.,
gedruckt bei Johann Feyerabend. 1590*.

—— (_Another Edition_). Kreutterbuch ... gemehret, unnd verfertigt,
Durch Joachimum Camerarium ... Gedruckt zu Franckfurt am Mayn. 1600.


+Alpinus, Prosper+ [Alpino, Prospero]. De plantis Ægypti.... Venetiis
... Apud Franciscum de Franciscis Senensem. 1592.

+Columna, Fabius+ [Colonna, Fabio]. ΦΥΤΟΒΑΣΑΝΟΣ sive plantarum aliquot
historia ... Ex Officina Horatii Saluiani. Neapoli, 1592. Apud Io.
Jacobum Carlinum, et Antonium Pacem.

+Zaluzian, Adam Zaluziansky von.+ Methodi herbariæ, libri tres. Pragæ,
in officina Georgii Dacziceni. 1592.


+Bauhinus, Caspar+ [Bauhin, Gaspard]. ΦΥΤΟΠΙΝΑΞ seu enumeratio
plantarum.... Basileæ, per Sebastianum Henricpetri. 1596.


+Gerard, John+ [Gerarde, John]. The Herball or Generall Historie of
Plantes.... Imprinted at London by John Norton. 1597.

—— (_Another Edition_). The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes....
Very much Enlarged and Amended by Thomas Johnson Citizen and
Apothecarye of London. London, Printed by Adam Islip, Joice Norton and
Richard Whitakers. 1633. [_Reprinted 1636._]


+Bauhinus, Caspar+ [Bauhin, Gaspard]. Animadversiones in historiam
generalem plantarum Lugduni editam.... Francoforti, Excudebat Melchior
Hartmann, Impensis Nicolai Bassæi ... 1601.

+Clusius, Carolus+ [l’Écluse or l’Escluse, Charles de]. Caroli Clusii
atrebatis, ... rariorum plantarum historia.... Antverpiæ Ex officina
Plantiniana Apud Joannem Moretum. 1601.


+Columna, Fabius+ [Colonna, Fabio]. Minus cognitarum stirpium aliquot,
ΕΚΦΡΑΣΙϹ.... Romæ. Apud Guilielmum Facciottum. 1606.

Pars altera. Romæ. Apud Jacobum Mascardum. 1616.

+Spigelius, Adrianus.+ Isagoges in rem herbariam Libri Duo.... Patavii,
Apud Paulum Meiettum. Ex Typographia Laurentii Pasquati. 1606.


+Durante, Castor.+ Hortulus Sanitatis, Das ist, Ein ... Gährtlin der
Gesundtheit ... in unsere hoch Teutsche Sprach versetzt, Durch Petrum
Uffenbachium, ... Getruckt zu Franckfort am Mäyn, durch Nicolaum
Hoffmann.... 1609.


+Renealmus, Paulus+ [Reneaulme, Paul]. Specimen Historiæ Plantarum.
Parisiis, Apud Hadrianum Beys ... 1611.


+Beslerus, Basilius+ [Besler, Basil]. Hortus Eystettensis ...
[Eichstadt]. 1613.


+Passæus, Crispian+ [Passe, Crispin de or Crispian de]. Hortus floridus
... Extant Arnhemii Apud Ioannem Ianssonium ... 1614.

—— (_Another Edition_). A Garden of Flowers.... Printed at Utrecht By
Salomon de Roy. 1615.


+Olorinus, Johannes+ [Sommer, Johann, aus Zwickau]. Centuria Herbarum
Mirabilium Das ist: Hundert Wunderkräuter.... Magdeburgk, Bey Levin
Braunss.... 1616.

—— Centuria Arborum Mirabilium Das ist: Hundert Wunderbäume....
Magdeburgk, Bey Levin Braunss.... 1616.


+Bauhinus, Joannes+ [Bauhin, Jean] and +Cherlerus, J. H.+ [Cherler,
J. H.]. J. B. ... et J. H. C. ... historiæ plantarum generalis ...
prodromus.... Ebroduni, Ex Typographia Societatis Caldorianæ. 1619.

—— (_Another Edition_). Historia plantarum universalis ... Quam
recensuit et auxit ... Chabræus ... publici fecit, Fr. Lud. a
Graffenried.... Ebroduni, 1650, 51.


+Bauhinus, Caspar+ [Bauhin, Gaspard]. ΠΡΟΔΡΟΜΟΣ Theatri botanici....
Francofurti ad Mœnum, Typis Pauli Jacobi, impensis Joannis Treudelii.


+Bauhinus, Caspar+ [Bauhin, Gaspard]. ΠΙΝΑΞ theatri botanici....
Basileæ Helvet. Sumptibus et typis Ludovici Regis. 1623.


+Popp, Johann+ [Poppe, Johann]. Kräuter Buch ... nach rechter art der
Signaturen der himlischen Einfliessung nicht allein beschrieben, ...
Leipzig, In Verlegung Zachariæ Schürers, und Matthiæ Götzen ... 1625.


+Brosse, Guy de la.+ De la nature, vertu, et utilité des plantes.... A
Paris, Chez Rollin Baragnes ... 1628.


+Johnson, Thomas.+ Descriptio itineris plantarum investigationis ... in
agrum Cantianum.... (London, 1629.)*

—— (_Another Edition_). Descriptio Itineris Plantarum ... in Agrum
Cantianum ... et Enumeratio Plantarum in Ericeto Hampstediano locisque
vicinis Crescentium.... Excudebat, Tho. Cotes. [London] 1632.

+Parkinson, John.+ Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris. A Garden of
all sorts of pleasant flowers which our English ayre will permitt to
be noursed up:... (_Colophon_:) London, Printed by Humfrey Lownes and
Robert Young at the signe of the Starre on Bread-street hill. 1629.

—— (_Another Edition_). Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris...
Faithfully Reprinted from the Edition of 1629. Methuen & Co. London,


+Donati, Antonio.+ Trattato de semplici, ... in Venetia, ... Appresso
Pietro Maria Bertano. 1631.


+Johnson, Thomas.+ Mercurius Botanicus: ... Londini, Excudebat Thom.
Cotes. 1634.


+Parkinson, John.+ Theatrum botanicum: The Theater of Plants. Or, an
Herball of a Large Extent.... London, Printed by Tho. Cotes. 1640.


+Culpeper, Nicholas.+ A Physicall Directory or A translation of the
London Dispensatory Made by the Colledge of Physicians in London ...
with many hundred additions.... London, Printed for Peter Cole ... 1649.

—— (_Another Edition_). The English Physitian enlarged.... London,
Printed by Peter Cole ... 1653.


+How, William.+ Phytologia Britannica, natales exhibens Indigenarum
Stirpium sponte Emergentium. Londoni, Typis Ric. Cotes, Impensis,
Octaviani Pulleyn. 1650.


+Bombast von Hohenheim+ [Paracelsus]. Paracelsus his Dispensatory and
Chirurgery.... Faithfully Englished, by W. D., London: Printed by T. M.
for Philip Chetwind.... 1656.

+Cole, William+ [Coles, William]. The Art of Simpling. London, Printed
by J. G. for Nath: Brook. 1656.


+Cole, William+ [Coles, William]. Adam in Eden: or, Natures
Paradise.... London, Printed by J. Streater, for Nathaniel Brooke....


+Bauhinus, Caspar+ [Bauhin, Gaspard]. Caspari Bauhini ... Theatri
botanici sive historiæ plantarum ... liber primus editus opera et cura
Io. Casp. Bauhini. Basileæ. Apud Joannem König. 1658.


+Lovell, Robert.+ ΠΑΜΒΟΤΑΝΟΛΟΓΙΑ, sive Enchiridion botanicum, or
a compleat Herball.... Oxford, Printed by William Hall, for Ric.
Davis.... 1659.


+Jonstonus, Johannes+ [Jonston or Johnstone, John]. Dendrographias
Sive Historiæ Naturalis de Arboribus et Fruticibus ... libri decem....
Francofurti ad Moenum. Typis Hieronymi Polichii. Sumptibus Hæredum
Matthæi Meriani. 1662.


+Turner, Robert+. ΒΟΤΑΝΟΛΟΓΙΑ. The Brittish Physician: or, The Nature
and Vertues of English Plants. London, Printed by R. Wood for Nath.
Brook. 1664.


+Chabræus, Dominicus.+ Stirpium icones et sciagraphia.... Genevæ, Typis
Phil. Gamoneti et Iac. de la Pierre. 1666.


+Aldrovandus, Ulysses+ [Aldrovandi, Ulisse]. Ulyssis Aldrovandi ...
Dendrologiæ naturalis scilicet arborum historiæ libri duo.... Bononiæ
typis Jo. Baptistae Ferronii. 1667.


+Nylandt, Petrus.+ De Nederlandtse Herbarius of Kruydt-Boeck, ...
t’Amsterdam, voor Marcus Doornick, ... 1670.



Albertus Magnus. See Fellner, S.; Meyer, E. and Jessen, C.; Pouchet, F.

Alcock, Randal H. Botanical Names for English Readers. London, 1876.

Amherst, the Hon. Alicia [The Hon. Mrs Evelyn Cecil]. Bibliography of
Works on Gardening. Reprinted from the Second Edition of ‘A History of
Gardening in England.’ London, 1897.

Apuleius Platonicus. See Cockayne, O.; Payne, J. F. (1903).

Arber, A. See Robertson, A.

Avoine, P. J. d’. See Morren, C.

Bauhin, Gaspard. See Hess, J. W.

Blades, W. The Plantin Museum. Macmillan’s Magazine. Vol. 38, p. 282.
London and New York, 1878.

Breitkopf, J. G. I. Versuch den Ursprung der Spielkarten,... und den
Anfang der Holzschneidekunst in Europa zu erforschen. Vol. II. Leipzig,

Britten, James. The Names of Herbes, by William Turner, A.D. 1548.
Edited by James Britten. London, 1881.

Busbecq, A.-G. See Kickx, J.

Camerarius, J. See Irmisch, T. H.

Camus, Giulio. L’Opera Salernitana ‘Circa Instans’ ed il testo
primitivo del ‘Grant Herbier en Francoys.’ Memorie della Regia
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Choulant, Ludwig. Botanische und anatomische Abbildungen des
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Choulant, Ludwig. Handbuch der Bücherkunde für die aeltere Medicin.
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Choulant, Ludwig. Macer Floridus de viribus herbarum ... secundum codices
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Morren, E.

Cockayne, O. Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England.
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Conrad von Megenberg. See Pfeiffer, Fr.

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Cordus, V. See Irmisch, T. H.

Czerny, J. See Maiwald, V.

Daubeny, Charles. Lectures on Roman Husbandry. Oxford, 1857.

Degeorge, Léon. La Maison Plantin à Anvers. Deuxième édition.
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Dioscorides. Codex Aniciæ Julianæ picturis illustratus, nunc
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Dodoens, Rembert. See Dodonæus, Rembertus.

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P. J.

Duff, E. Gordon. Early Printed Books. [Books about Books, edited by A.
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Fellner, Stephan. Albertus Magnus als Botaniker. Jahres-Ber. des kais.
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Gerard, J. See Jackson, B. D.

Gesner, Konrad. See Jardine, Sir W.; Simler, Josias; Trew, C. J.

Giacosa, Piero. Magistri Salernitani nondum editi. Catalogo ragionato
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Hain, Ludwig. Repertorium Bibliographicum. Stuttgart, Tübingen and
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Haller, Albertus von [Haller, Albrecht von]. Bibliotheca botanica.
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Hartmann, Franz. The Life of Philippus Theophrastus Bombast of
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Hatton, Richard G. The Craftsman’s Plant-Book. London, 1909.

Henslow, G. Medical Works of the Fourteenth Century together with
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Hess, J. W. Kaspar Bauhin’s, ... Leben und Charakter. Basel, 1860.

Irmisch, T. H. Ueber einige Botaniker des 16. Jahrhunderts.
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Istvánffi, Gy. de. Caroli Clusii Atrebatis Icones Fungorum in Pannonis
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Jackson, J., and Chatto, W. A. A treatise on Wood Engraving, 2nd ed.
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Jardine, Sir W. The Naturalist’s Library. Edited by Sir William
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Killermann, Seb. A. Dürers Pflanzen- und Tierzeichnungen und
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Konrad von Megenberg. See Pfeiffer, Fr.

l’Écluse or l’Escluse, Charles de. See Clusius, Carolus.

Legré, Ludovic. La Botanique en Provence au XVI^e siècle. Pierre Pena
et Mathias de Lobel. Marseille, 1899. Louis Anguillara, Pierre Belon,
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L’Obel or Lobel, Mathias de. See Lobelius, Mathias.

Lobelius, Mathias. See Morren, E.

Macer Floridus. See Choulant, Ludwig.

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Monographs, No. 7. London, 1900 [for 1899].

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les ouvrages de Rembert Dodoens (Dodonæus). Malines, 1841.

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Meyer, E. H. F., and Jessen, C. Alberti Magni ex ordine prædicatorum
de vegetabilibus libri VII, ... editionem criticam ab Ernesto Meyero
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Morren, E. Charles de l’Escluse, sa vie et ses œuvres, 1526-1609.
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Morren, E. Matthias de l’Obel, sa vie et ses œuvres, 1538-1616. Extrait
du Bull. de la Féd. des Soc. d’hort. de Belgique. Liége, 1875.

Morren, C., et d’Avoine, P. J. Éloge de Rembert Dodoens, ... suivi de
la Concordance des espèces végétales décrites et figurées par Rembert
Dodoens avec les noms que Linné et les auteurs modernes leur ont
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Netter, William. See Peters, Hermann.

Paracelsus. See Hartmann, Franz; Strunz, Franz; Weber, F. P.

Payne, J. F. English Herbals. Trans. Bibl. Soc. Vol. IX. p. 120, 1908
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Payne, J. F. English Herbals. Trans. Bibl. Soc. Vol. XI. p. 299, 1912
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Payne, J. F. Old Herbals: German and Italian. The Magazine of Art. Vol.
VIII. p. 362, 1885.

Payne, J. F. On the ‘Herbarius’ and ‘Hortus Sanitatis.’ Trans. Bibl.
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Peters, Hermann. Pictorial History of Ancient Pharmacy ... Translated
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Pfeiffer, Franz. Das Buch der Natur von Konrad von
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Pitton Tournefort, Josephus. Institutiones rei herbariæ. Ed. altera.
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Plantin, C. See Blades, W.; Degeorge, L.; Rooses, M.

Pouchet, F. A. Histoire des sciences naturelles au moyen âge ou Albert
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Pritzel, G. A. Thesaurus literaturæ botanicæ ... editionem novam
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Pulteney, Richard. Historical and Biographical Sketches of the Progress
of Botany in England, from its Origin to the Introduction of the
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Schelenz, Hermann. Geschichte der Pharmazie. Berlin, 1904.

Simler, Josias. Vita ... Conradi Gesneri ... Tiguri excudebat
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Sprengel, K. P. J. Geschichte der Botanik. Altenburg und Leipzig. 1817,

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Strunz, Franz. Theophrastus Paracelsus. Das Buch Paragranum.
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Theodor, Jacob. See Roth, F. W. E.

Theophrastus. See Sprengel, K. P. J.

Treviranus, L. C. Die Anwendung des Holzschnittes zur bildlichen
Darstellung von Pflanzen. Leipzig, 1855.

Trew, C. J. Librorum botanicorum catalogi duo.... Norimbergæ Stanno
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Trew, C. J. Opera botanica per duo saecula desiderata ... ex
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Turner, William. See Britten, James; Jackson, B. D.

Vérard, A. See Macfarlane, J.

Weber, F. P. A Portrait Medal of Paracelsus on his Death in 1541.
Reprinted from the Numismatic Chronicle. Vol. XIII. 3rd ser., pp.
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Winckler, Emil. Geschichte der Botanik. Frankfurt a. M. 1854.

Wootton, A. C. Chronicles of Pharmacy. London, 1910.

Zaluziansky, A. See Maiwald, V.


[1] The dates refer, in each case, to the particular edition from which
the figures have been copied, which is not always the first. For fuller
titles and dates of first editions, see Appendix I.

[2] ῥιζοτόμοι = root-diggers.

[3] φαρμακοπῶλαι = drug-sellers.

[4] Lucian, ‘Dialogues of the Gods,’ XIII.

[5] Translated from the second (Augsburg) edition of 1485.

[6] Garden of health.

[7] “The individual herbs of the earth, called simples.”

[8] The expression in the French original is, “homme ne femme ne pourra
nuire en ceste maison.”

[9] Various dates are given by different authors for the first edition
of the ‘Dispensatorium,’ but 1546 seems to be the best attested. I have
not seen any edition prior to 1598.

[10] The name _Kammermeister_ or _Camerarius_ was adopted by Joachim
Camerarius the elder, in place of the family name of _Liebhard_.

[11] There has been some uncertainty about this date, but Meerbeck (see
Appendix II) seems to have proved that 1517 is correct.

[12] The fullest and most correct form of his name is probably
“Jules-Charles de l’Escluse.”

[13] University Library, Leyden, Department of Manuscripts, Codex No.

[14] According to Legré, the word “Adversaria” is equivalent to
“livre-journal,” i.e. day-book in the commercial sense.

[15] “quem ego emptum cupivissem, sed me deterruit pretium: nam centum
ducatis indicabatur, summa cæsarei non mei marsupii. Ego instare
non desinam donec cæsarem impulero ut tam præclarum autorem ex illâ
servitute redimat.” _Epist._ IV. p. 392. [Quoted by Kickx, _Bull. Acad.
roy. Bruxelles_, Vol. v. p. 202, 1838.]

[16] ‘Ekphrasis,’ 1616, pp. 245 etc.

[17] πίναξ = a chart or register.

[18] The n is inverted in the original, no doubt a misprint.

[19] The spelling “Gerarde” on the title-page of ‘The Herball’ is
believed to be an error. See ‘A Catalogue of Plants cultivated in the
garden of John Gerard,’ edited by B. D. Jackson, London, 1876.

[20] Orkney Islands.

[21] p. xlv.

[22] Hector Boethius, ‘Heir beginnis the hystory and croniklis of
Scotland.... Translatit laitly in our vulgar and commoun langage, be
maister Johne Bellenden.... And Imprentit in Edinburgh, be me Thomas
Davidson’ [1536] (Cap. XIV. of the ‘Cosmographie’).

[23] ‘Turner on Birds: ... first published by Doctor William Turner,
1544.’ Edited by A. H. Evans, Cambridge, p. 27, 1903. [The original
passage will be found in Avium præcipuarum.... Per Dn. Guilielmum
Turnerum, ... Coloniæ excudebat Ioan. Gymnicus, 1544.]

[24] Quoted from Dr O. Cockayne’s translation of an Anglo-Saxon
manuscript of the eleventh century. See Appendix II.

[25] The descriptions here quoted are from the edition of 1529.

[26] The expression “yelowe flowre” is an indication of the Continental
origin of the Grete Herball. The plant intended is obviously not our
British _Oxalis acetosella_ L.; it may possibly be _O. corniculata_ L.

[27] _Hypericum androsæmum_ L.

[28] Stamen = warp or thread.

[29] ‘Minus cognitarum stirpium ... ΕΚΦΡΑΣΙϹ.’ 1616. Pars altera,
Cap. XXVII. p. 62 “tam in hac, quam in aliis plantis, non enim ex
foliis, sed ex flore, seminisque, conceptaculo, et ipso potius semine,
plantarum affinitatem dijudicamus.”

[30] “plerisque nomen imposuimus, perspicuitatis gratia, cuius nomine
communiter nota aliqua quæ à quolibet in planta observari potest,
nomini addita.”

[31] “Transit etiam in arborem in quibusdam regionibus Ricinus, alibi
annua stirps.”

[32] “uti à D. Mathia Lobelio...singulæ videlicet congeneres ac sibi
mutuo affines, digestæ sunt.” Dedication to ‘Plantarum seu stirpium
icones,’ 1581.

[33] Codex Vossianus Latinus in Quarto No. 9.

[34] “wan die figuren nit anders synd dann ein ougenweid und ein an
zeigung geben ist die weder schriben noch lesen kündent.”

[35] Pierre Belon, Les Observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses
mémorables.... Paris, 1553.

[36] “Ich wirdt Monarcha, unnd mein wird die Monarchey sein.”
Vorrede in dem Buch Paragranum. [Theophrastus Paracelsus, ‘Das Buch
Paragranum,’ Herausgegeben ... von Dr phil. Fr. Strunz, Leipzig, 1903.]

[37] The name of this botanist is spelt “Coles” on the title-pages of
his works, but the spelling “Cole” appears to be more correct.

[38] “Doctrina verò de signaturis stirpium, à nullo alicuius
æstimationis veterum testimonium accepit: deinde tam fluxa et incerta
est, ut pro scientia aut doctrina nullatenus habenda videatur.”
‘Pemptades,’ Book I. Cap. XI. 1583.

[39] ‘De la nature, vertu, et utilité des plantes,’ p. 278, 1628.

[40] Maclagan, T. J. ‘Influenza and Salicin,’ The Nineteenth Century,
Vol. XXXI. p. 337, 1892.

[41] See article on ‘Astrology,’ The Encyclopædia Britannica, eleventh
edn. Cambridge, 1910.

[42] The edition of 1587 was used in making this translation.

[43] Printed “hoth” in the edition of 1653 from which these quotations
are taken.

[44] “Sic enim ordine, quo nihil pulchrius in cœlo, aut in Sapientis

[45] The initials “W. C.” may refer either to William Copland or to
Walter Cary.

[46] E. H. F. Meyer (Geschichte der Botanik, Vol. 4, 1857, p. 344)
refers to an edition of this work published in 1565, but I have not
been able to verify this date.


  _Achillea_, 144

  _Adam in Eden_ of Cole, 210

  Adder’s-tongue Fern, 210, 211

  “Adversaria,” Definition of the word, 78

  Æmilius Macer, 40

  Æsculapius, 7, 36

  _Aggregator de Simplicibus_, see _Herbarius, The Latin_

  Albartus Magnus, see Albertus Magnus

  Albert, Bishop of Ratisbon, see Albertus Magnus

  Albert of Bollstadt, see Albertus Magnus

  Albertus Magnus, 3-5, 7, 116, 119, 120, 134-136

  Albertus Magnus, Work erroneously attributed to, 5, 215

  Aldrovandi, U., 198

  Aléchamps, J. d’, 74, 93, +97-99+, 112, 143, 145, 151, 196

  Alfred, King, 35

  Algæ, 151

  “Alleluya”, 45

  _Aloe_, 146, 177

  Alpino, Prospero, +88-90+, 196, 197

  Alpinus, P., see Alpino, P.

  Amatus Lusitanus, 9, 62

  Amber, 30, 31

  American plants, described by Monardes, 104-106

  American plants, figured by Fuchs, 62

  Anatomy of Plants, 7, 116, 221

  Andrew, L., 45, 46

  Andrewe, L., see Andrew, L.

  _Anemone hepatica_, 146

  Angiosperms, 151

  _Annotationes ... Dioscoridis_ of Cordus, 66

  Antony (Marcus Antonius), 8

  Antwerp, Printing at, 70-72

  Apollo, 36

  Apothecaries’ Company, A botanical excursion of the, 113

  Apuleius Platonicus, +11-12+

  Apuleius Platonicus, The _Herbarium_ of, +11-15+, 16, 28, +35-37+,
    155-157, 159, 204, 223

  _Aquilegia_, 120

  Arab physicians, 3

  _Arbolayre_, 24

  “_Arbor tristis_”, 85, 86

  _Arboribus, De_ of Belon, 196

  _Argemone_, 148

  _Aristolochia_, 43

  Aristotelian botany, 2-5, 116-118

  Aristotle, +2-4+, 6, 19, 116, 119

  Arnaldus, see Arnold de Nova Villa

  Arnold de Nova Villa, 17, 18

  _Art of Simpling, The_ of Cole, 211, 219

  _Artemisia_ (Wormwood or Mugwort), 36, 43, 45, 57, 58, 219

  _Arum_, 146, 157, 180

  Askham, Anthony, 39

  _Askham’s Herbal_, 39, 40

  _Asparagus_, 175

  Aspen, 5

  _Astragalus tragacantha_, 144

  Astrology, 214

  Astrology, Botanical, 39, 212-220

  Augsburg, Books printed at, 11, 14, 19, 157, 165

  “_Auricula muris_”, 175

  Avicenna, 21, 206, 207

  Bämler, H., 11

  Banckes, R., 38, 40

  _Banckes’ Herbal_, +38-40+, 122

  Barberry, 197

  “Barnakle Tree”, 109-113

  Bartholomæus Anglicus, 10, 11, 38, 158

  Bartholomew de Glanville, see Bartholomæus Anglicus

  Basilisk, 32

  Basing House, Siege of, 113

  Basle, Books printed at, 60, 110

  Basle, University of, 90, 93, 94

  Bassæus, N., 68

  Batthyány, Baron Boldizsár de, 77, 78

  Bauhin, Caspar, see Bauhin, Gaspard

  Bauhin, Gaspard, 80, 88, 93, +94-96+, 98, 115, 130-132, 136, 139,
    140, 148, 150, 151, 152, 222, 224, 226

  Bauhin, Jean, 74, +93+, +94+, 96, 98, 99, 192, 222, 226

  Bauhinus, see Bauhin

  “Bausor”, 29

  Bay Tree, 215

  Bean, 3, 154

  Beech, 5

  Bellonius, P., see Belon, P.

  Belon, P., 196

  “Bernicles,” Gyraldus and Octavian on, 112

  Besler, B., 200

  “_Beta Cretica semine aculeato_”, 130

  “_Beta nigra_”, 130

  Bird’s-nest Orchid, 148

  Blankaart, S., 202

  Boccone, P., 202

  Bock, H. (Tragus, H.), 35, 47, +50-58+, 60, 64, 67, 68, 103, 124,
    125, 138, 175, 184, 185, 222, 226

  Bodleian Library, Oxford, 35

  Boece, H., see Boethius, H.

  Boethius, H., 111, 112

  _Boke of Secretes of Albartus Magnus, The_, 215

  Bologna, University of, 68, 101

  Bombastus von Hohenheim, see Paracelsus

  _Book of Nature, The_, of Konrad von Megenberg, +10+, +11+, 157,
    158, 167, 223

  Borage, 120

  Braunschweig, Hieronymus, 24, 45, 46, 168

  Bredwell, S., 109

  Brimen, Marie de, 78

  British Museum, The, 33, 65, 106

  Broomrape, 104, 148

  Brosse, G. de la, +117+, +118+, 212

  Brunfels, O., 22, +47-50+, 60, 64, 67, 122, 124, 138, 162, +168-174+,
    175, 177, 180, 185, 189, 199

  Brunfelsius, O., see Brunfels, O.

  Bugloss, 43

  Bull-nut, 185

  Burleigh, Lord, 108

  Busbecq, A. G., 84, 85

  Butterbur, 125

  Buttercup, Meadow, 158

  Cabbage, 180

  Cæsalpinus, A., see Cesalpino, A.

  _Caltha_, 146

  Camerarius, J., the younger, 68, 69, 88, 92, 192-196, 199, 224

  Camus, G., 24

  Candolle, A. P. de, 140

  “_Capillus Veneris_”, 38, 161

  Carrichter, B., 215

  Carrot, 122

  Cary, W., 39

  _Cary’s Herbal_, 39

  Celandine, The Greater, 170

  Celandine, The Lesser, 175

  _Centaurea rhaponticum_, 107

  Centaurs, 45

  Cesalpino, A., 5, 68, 101, +116-117+, 136, 151, 152, 153

  Chabræus, D., 192

  Cherler, J. H., 93

  Chestnut Tree, 185

  Chicory, 122, 165

  Chimay, Princesse de, 78

  Chiron, 36

  Choulant, Dr L., 15, 24

  _Chronica herbarum_ of Winckler, 215

  _Circa instans_, 24, 140

  _Clematis_, 191

  Cleopatra, 8

  Clover, 146

  Clusius, C., see l’Écluse, C. de

  Cockayne, Dr O., 35

  _Codex Aniciæ Julianæ_, see Dioscorides

  _Codex Vossianus_, Leyden Library, 154

  Coffee plant, 90

  Cole, W., 210-211, 219, 220

  Coles, W., see Cole, W.

  Cologne, Books printed at, 102

  Colonna, F., +86-88+, 112, 113, 138, 139, 199

  Columbine, 170

  Columna, F., see Colonna, F.

  Comfrey, 165

  _Commentarii ... Dioscoridis_ of Mattioli, +81-85+, 94, 186-190

  Composites (Compositæ), 144, 145, 151

  Compton, H., Bishop of London, 202

  _Convallaria majalis_ (Lily-of-the-Valley), 36, 158

  Copland, W., 39

  _Copland’s Herbal_, 39, 40

  Coral, 43, 151

  Cordus, E., 65

  Cordus, V., 47, 65-67, 130

  _Cosmographia_ of Sebastian Muenster, 110

  _Craftsman’s Plant-Book, The_, of Hatton, 195

  “Crowfoote”, 127

  Cruciferæ, 145

  _Crůÿdeboeck_ of Dodoens, 62, 72, 106, 190

  Cryptogams, 135, 151

  Cuba, Dr J. von, see Cube, Dr J. von

  Cube, Dr J. von, 18

  _Cube’s Herbal_, see Herbarius, _The German_

  Cuckoo-pint, 45

  _Cucurbita maxima_, 62

  “Cukowes Meate”, 45

  Culpeper, N., +218-220+

  _Cuscuta_ (Dodder), 22, 125, 162

  Cuvier, G. L. C. F. D., 76

  Cuyp, A., 200

  Dalechampius, J., see Aléchamps, J. d’

  Daléchamps, J., see Aléchamps, J. d’

  Date seedling, 196

  Dead Nettle, 125

  _Dendrologia_ of Aldrovandi, 198

  Desmoulins, J., 98, 99

  “Devylles Bytte”, 45

  Diana, 36, 45

  Dicotyledons, 79, 135, 136, 145, 146, 153

  Dioscorides, +8-9+, 11, 21, 50, 62, 64, 66, +74+, 82, 85, 88, 98,
    104, 120, 136

  Dioscorides, the Vienna manuscript of (_Codex Aniciæ Julianæ_), 8,
    85, 154, 155, 190

  _Dispensatorium, The Nuremberg_, 66

  _Distillation Book_ of Hieronymus Braunschweig, 45, 46, 168

  Dodder, 22, 125, 162

  Dodoens, R., 64, 68, +72-74+, 76, 79, 103, 106, 108, 109, 125, 127,
    133, 143, 145, 146, 190, 196, 199, 211, 222

  Dodonæus, R., see Dodoens, R.

  “_Dracontea_”, 157

  Dragon Tree, 190

  Drake, Sir Francis, 76

  _Drosera_ (Sundew), 146, 151

  Duckweed, 45

  Durante, C., +85+, +86+, 196

  Dürer, A., 169, 170, 180

  Earth-nut Pea, 177

  Edward VI, King, 100, 101

  Egenolph, C., 62, +64-65+, 70, 174, 175

  _Eicones plantarum_ of Theodor (Tabernæmontanus), 68, 109

  _Ekphrasis_ of Colonna, 88, 138, 139, 199

  “Elebore,”, see Hellebore

  “Elements,” The four, 19, 20, 41

  Elizabeth, Queen, 78, 100, 102

  Emo, G., 90

  _Encyclopædia_ of Bartholomæus Anglicus, 10, 11, 38, 158, 159

  _English Physician enlarged, The_, of Culpeper, 218

  _Epitome ... Matthioli_ of Camerarius, 68, 193

  Erasmus, D., 93

  Erfurt, University of, 58

  _Erodium_, 127

  “Everfern”, 120

  Fantin-Latour, H., 180

  “Father of British Botany, The”, 100

  Ferdinand, Archduke, 81

  Fern, 38, 55, 146, 151

  Fern, Royal, 55

  Ferrara, Books printed at, 24

  Ferrara, University of, 101

  Flavius Anicius, The Emperor, 8

  “Flower, The,” Dodoens’ definition of, 127

  Frankfort, Books published at, 64, 68

  Frederick III, Count Palatine, 68

  Frogbit, 148

  “Frogges Fote”, 45

  Fuchs, L., 47, 55, +58-64+, 66, 68, 72, 80, 92, 93, 94, 98, 101, 102,
    103, 106, 124, 125, 133, 138, +175-185+, 186, 189, 190, 196, 199,
    224, 226

  Fuchsius, L., see Fuchs, L.

  Füllmaurer, H., 180

  Fungi, 31, 77, 134, 140, 148

  Gaius Plinius Secundus, see Pliny, the Elder

  Galen, 21, 42, 206, 207

  Garden, Botanical, at Padua, 90

  Garden at Hackney, Lord Zouche’s, 78

  Garden at Nuremberg, Camerarius’, 68

  Garden in Holborn, Gerard’s, 108, 113

  Garden in Long Acre, Parkinson’s, 113

  Garden on Snow Hill, Johnson’s, 113

  Gardens, Lord Burleigh’s, 108

  _Gardyn of helth_, 33

  _Gart der Gesuntheit_, 32

  _Gart d’gesuntheyt_, 21

  Gentian, 138

  “Genus,” meaning of the term, 138-140

  Geraniaceæ, 145

  “Geranion”, 127

  Gerard, J., 64, 68, 103, +108-110+, 113, 116, 130, 192, 199

  Gerarde, J., see Gerard, J.

  German Fathers of Botany, The, +47+, 58, 65, 67, 122, 204

  Gesner, K., 68, 80, 88, +90-93+, 101, 104, 138, 192, 193, 199, 224

  Ghini, L., 84, 101

  Glasswort, 90, 197

  “Goose Tree”, 109-113

  _Grant Herbier, Le_, 24, 40

  Grasses, 151

  Green, T., 212

  _Grete Herball, The_, 24, 34, 38, +40-45+, 103, 121, 122, 140, 168, 196

  Grew, N., 7, 100, 116, 132

  Guiditius, H., see Weiditz, II.

  Gyraldus on “Bernicles”, 112

  Hackney, Lord Zouche’s garden at, 78

  Harpy, 32

  Hart’s-tongue Fern, 175

  Hatton, R. G., 174, 194

  “Heart Trefoyle”, 211

  Hellebore (“Elebore”), 8, 44

  Henbane (_Hyoscyamus_), 45, 148

  Henrietta Maria, Queen, 114

  Henry VII, King, 33, 65

  Henry VIII, King, 100, 106

  “Herbal,” Definition of the term, 11

  _Herball, The Grete_, 24, 34, 38, +40-45+, 103, 121, 122, 140, 168, 196

  _Herball, The_, of Gerard, 64, 68, +108-110+, 113, 130

  _Herbario Nuovo_ of Durante, 85, 196

  _Herbarium_ of Apuleius Platonicus, +11-13+, 14, 16, 28, +35-37+, 120,
    +155-157+, 159, 204, 223

  _Herbarius in Latino_, see _Herbarius, The Latin_

  _Herbarius Moguntinus_, see _Herbarius, The Latin_

  _Herbarius Patavinus_, see _Herbarius, The Latin_

  _Herbarius, The German_, 13, 14, 15, +18-23+, 24, 25, 28, 40, 41, 64,
    120, 138, 157, +162-165+, 166, 168, 175, 202, 214, 223

  _Herbarius, The Latin_, 13, 14, 15, +16-18+, 22, 120, 138, 157, 159,
    160, 161, 162, 223

  _Herbarius, The Latin_, Venetian edition called _Arnold de Villa Nova’s
    herbal_, +17+, +18+, 161, 162, 172, 196

  _Herbarius zu Teutsch_, see _Herbarius, The German_

  _Herbarum vivæ eicones_ of Brunfels, 22, +50+, 122, +168-172+, 196, 224

  _Herbier, Le Grant_, 24, +40+

  Hercules, 7

  _Here begynneth a newe mater_, see _Banckes’ Herbal_

  Hermann, P., 202

  Heron, J., 33

  _Histoire des plantes, L’_, of Linocier, 98

  _Histoire des plantes_ of Dodoens and de l’Écluse, 72, 127

  _Histoire universelle des plantes_ of Jean Bauhin, 93

  _Historia animalium_ of Gesner, 91, 104

  _Historia ... Erdgewechssen_ of Thurneisser, 216

  _Historia generalis plantarum_ of d’Aléchamps, 62, 94, +98-99+, 143,

  _Historia naturalis_ of Jonston, 110

  _Historia plantarum Lugdunensis_, see _Historia generalis plantarum_
    of d’Aléchamps

  _Historia ... plantarum_ of Thurneisser, 216-218

  _Historia plantarum universalis_ of Jean Bauhin and Cherler, 62, 93

  _Historia stirpium, De_, of Fuchs, 55, +58-64+, 124, 125, +175-183+,
    185, 224

  _Historia stirpium_ of Cordus, 66

  _History of Plants_ of Theophrastus, 2

  Hohenheim, von, see Paracelsus

  Holborn, Gerard’s garden in, 108, 113

  _Hortulus Sanitatis_ of Durante, 85

  _Hortus Eystettensis_ of Besler, 200

  _Hortus Floridus_ of de Passe, 200, 202, 224

  _Hortus medicus et philosophicus_ of Camerarius, 68, 69, 194

  _Hortus Sanitatis_, see _Ortus Sanitatis_

  Hydra, 31

  _Hydrocharis_, 148

  _Hyoscyamus_ (Henbane), 45, 148

  _Hypecoum_, 148

  Hypericaceæ, 145

  _Hystory & croniklis of Scotland_ of Boethius, 111, 112

  _Icones et Descriptions_ of Boccone, 202

  “Incunabula”, 10

  Indian Corn, 62

  Inflorescences, Theophrastus on, 2

  Ingolstadt, University of, 58

  _Iris_, 161, 165

  _Iris fœtidissima_, 8

  Isaac Judæus, 42

  Isengrin, M., see Isingrin, M.

  Isidor of Seville, 3

  Isingrin, M., 60

  Ivy, 5

  Jackson, Dr B. Daydon, 191

  James I, 78

  _Jardin de Santé, Le_, 33

  Jerome of Brunswick, see Braunschweig, Hieronymus

  Job’s Tears, 190

  Johnson, T., 113, 192

  Jonston, J., 110

  _Joyfull newes_ of Monardes, 105-106

  Juliana Anicia, 8

  Juliana Anicia’s Manuscript of Dioscorides, see Dioscorides

  Jung, J., 133

  Jussieu, A. L. de, 140

  Justinian, 8

  Kammermeister, see Camerarius

  Kandel, D., 55, 185, 186

  Killermann, Prof. S., 170

  Konrad von Megenberg, 10, 157

  _Kreuterbuch, Neuw_, of Tabernæmontanus, see _Kreuterbuch, Neuw_,
    of Theodor

  _Kreuterbuch, Neuw_, of Theodor, 62, +68+

  _Kreuter Bůch_ of Bock, +55-58+, 62, 138, +184-186+, 204

  _Kreutterbuch, New_, of Bock, 55

  _Kreutterbůch_ of Carrichter, 215

  _Kreutterbůch_ of Rhodion, 64, 174

  _Kruydtbœck_ of de l’Obel, 79, 146, 196

  Kynge, J., 39, 40

  Labiates, 136

  Lambeth, Tradescant’s garden at, 113

  _Lamium_, 120, 125

  _Lathræa_ (Toothwort), 148, 209

  Latimer, H., 100

  Laurel, 138, 215

  l’Écluse, C., de 68, 72, +74-78+, 79, 88, 93, 95, 106, 115, 125, 127,
    146, 190, 192, 199, 222

  Legré, L., 78

  Leguminosæ, 151

  le Noir, Philippe, 33

  “Lentylles of the water”, 45

  l’Escluse, C. de, see l’Écluse, C. de

  Leyden, University of, 72, 74, 76, 77, 154

  _Libellus de re herbaria_ of Turner, 101, 102

  _Liber de arte distillandi_ of Hieronymus Braunschweig, 24, 45, 46, 168

  _Liber de proprietatibus rerum_ of Bartholomæus Anglicus, 10, 11, 38

  Liebhard, see Camerarius

  Lignamine, J. P. de, 11

  Lily, 120, 159

  Lily-of-the-Valley, 36, 158

  _Limnanthemum_, 146, 147

  Linnæus, 133, 140

  Linocier, G., 98

  _Listera_, 146

  _Litle Herball of the properties of Herbes, A_ 39

  l’Obel, M. de 68, 74, +78-79+, 106, 109, 112, 115, 125, 136, 145, 146,
    151, 190, 192, 199, 222, 226

  Lobel, M. de, see l’Obel, M. de

  Lobelius, M., see l’Obel, M. de

  Lodestone, 43, 44

  Loë, J., see Vanderloe, J.

  London, Books published at, 46, 102

  Long Acre, Parkinson’s garden in, 113

  Lonicer, A., 64

  Louvain, University of, 72, +74+

  Love-in-a-Mist, 145

  Lucian, 7

  Ludwig, Count Palatine, 50

  Luther, Martin, 58

  Lyte, H., 72, 73, +106-108+, 125, 127

  _Macer, A newe Herball of_, 40

  Macer, Æmilius, 40

  Macer Floridus, 40

  Maclagan, Dr T. J., 212

  _Maianthemum_, 146

  Maidenhair Fern, 38, 161

  Mainz, Books printed at, 13, 14, 16, 18, 25, 159, 165

  Maison Plantin, 70-72

  “Mala Aurantia Chinensia”, 198

  “Mallowes”, 127

  Malpighi, M., 116

  Manardus, J., 50

  “Mandrag,” see Mandrake

  _Mandragora_, see Mandrake

  Mandrake (_Mandragora_), 24, 34, 36, 37, 38, 103, 148, 156, 204

  Marburg, University of, 65

  Marsh Marigold, 146

  Mary, Duchess of Suffolk, 65

  Mary, Queen, 100, 102

  _Materia Medica_ of Dioscorides, 8, 120, 136

  Matthiolus, P. A., see Mattioli, P. A.

  Mattioli, P. A., 9, 68, +79-85+, 92, 98, 103, 104, +186-190+, 196, 199

  Maximilian II, The Emperor, 72, 81

  May Lily, 146

  “Mayden heere”, 38

  Melanchthon, P., 68, 75

  Mesua, J., 196

  _Methodi herbariæ_ of Zaluziansky, 117

  Meydenbach, J., 25

  Meyer, A., 180

  Millington, Sir T., 132

  Mistletoe, 46, 124, 214

  Modena Library, 24

  Molinäus, J., see Desmoulins, J.

  Monardes, N., 104-106

  Monocotyledons, 79, 135, 145, 153

  Montpelier, University of, 74, 78, 93, 94

  Moonwort, 185

  Moretus, E. J. H., 70

  Moretus, J., 70

  Morison, R., 96, 116

  Mosses, 151

  Muenster, Sebastian, 110

  Mugwort, see _Artemisia_

  Munich Library, The, 11

  Musée Cluny, 31

  Musée Plantin-Moretus, 70

  “Mussherons”, 140

  Myrtle, 138

  Narcissus, 29

  _Natura stirpium, De_, of Ruel, 98

  _Natural History_ of Pliny, 9, 214

  _Nature, Vertu et Utilité des Plantes, De la_, of de la Brosse, 118

  “Nenufar”, 122

  _Neottia_, 148

  Nero, 8

  _Neuw Kreuterbuch_ of Tabernæmontanus, see _Neuw Kreuterbuch_
    of Theodor

  _Neuw Kreuterbuch_ of Theodor, 62, 68

  _New Herball, A_, of Turner, 62, +102-104+

  _Neuw Kreüterbůch_ of Fuchs, 60-64, 175

  _Neuw Kretterbuch_ of Bock, 55

  _Newe Herball of Macer, A_, +40+

  Nicolaus Damascenus, 3, 4

  _Nicotiana_ (Tobacco), 105, 106, 148

  _Niewe Herball, A_, of Lyte, 62, 64, 72, 73, 106-108, 125, 126

  _Nigella_, 145

  Norton, J., 68, 108, 109

  _Nuphar_, 146

  _Nuremberg Dispensatorium, The_, 66

  Nuremberg, Garden of Camerarius at, 68

  _Nymphæa_, 146

  Oak, 5, 138

  _Observations de plusieurs singularites, Les_, of Belon, 196

  Octavian on “Bernicles”, 112

  Odo, 40

  “Orage”, 122

  Orange, 198

  Orchid, Bird’s-nest, 148

  _Ornithogalum_, 196

  _Orobanche_, 104, 148

  _Ortus Sanitatis_, 14, 15, 18, 24, +25-33+, 40, 120, 138, 157, 158,
    +165-168+, 170, 175, 186

  _Ortus Sanitatis, The German_, see _Herbarius, The German_

  _Ortus Sanitatis, The Smaller_, see _Herbarius, The German_

  _Osmunda_, 55

  _Oxalis_, 121, 146

  Padua, Botanical Garden at, 90

  Padua, University of, 90, 94

  Pandectarius, 21

  _Papaver_, 148

  Papaveraceæ, 148

  “Pappus,” Fuchs’ definition of, 124-125

  Paracelsus, +205-208+, 212, 213, 214

  _Paradisus Batavus_ of Hermann, 202

  _Paradisus Terrestris_ of Parkinson, +113-115+, 197, 200

  Paris, Books published at, 33, 98

  Paris, University of, 90, 94, 98

  Parkinson, J., +113-116+, 144, 192, 197, 200

  Payne, Dr J. F., 12, 15, 22, 24, 38, 155, 156, 162

  Pearls, 43

  Pegasus, 32

  Pembroke College, Cambridge, 100, 102, 103

  _Pemptades_, see _Stirpium ... pemptades sex_ of Dodoens

  Pena, P., 74, 78, 79

  Peony, 7, 161, 165

  “Petal,” Introduction of term, 88

  Petiver, J., 192

  Phanerogams, 135, 151

  Pharmacopœia, Culpeper’s translation of the, 218

  Pharmacopœia, The first government, 67

  Philip, Count of Nassau, 53

  Phœnix, 31

  _Physicall Directory, A_, of Culpeper, 218

  _Phytobasanos_ of Colonna, 88, 113, 199

  _Phytognomonica_ of Porta, 196, +208-210+

  _Phytopinax_ of Gaspard Bauhin, 96, 140

  _Pinax theatri botanici_ of Gaspard Bauhin, 96, 115, 148-151, 224

  Pisa, University of, 58

  Pitton Tournefort, J., 96

  Plague, The, 58, 80, 90

  Plant Anatomy, 7, 116, 221

  Plantaginaceæ, 145

  _Plantago_ (Plantain), 122, 146, 157

  Plantain, 122, 146, 157

  _Plantarum seu stirpium historia_ of de l’Obel, 79

  Plantin, C., +70-74+, 79, 98, 113, 146, 190, 191, 199

  _Plantis Ægypti, De_, of Alpino, 88-90, 196, 197

  _Plantis, De_, of Cesalpino, 117

  Platearius, 21

  Plato, 2

  Playing-card manufacture, 156

  Pliny, the Elder, 3, +9+, 11, 137, 138, 214

  Pomegranate, 209

  Pope Sixtus IV, 11

  Poplar, 5

  Poppy, 120

  Porta, J. B., 196, +208-210+, 212

  Potato, 95, 109, 130, 132, 197

  Potter, Paul, 200

  Prague, Books published at, 117

  “Prestes Hode”, 45

  Priest, Dr 108, 109

  Primrose, 45

  “Principles,” The four, 19

  “Principles,” The three, according, to Paracelsus, 207

  _Prodromos theatri botanici_ of Gaspard Bauhin, 95, 130, 197, 224

  _Proprietatibus rerum, Liber de_, of Bartholomæus Anglicus, 10, 11,
    38, 158, 159

  “Prymerolles”, 45

  _Půch der natur, Das_, of Konrad von Megenberg, see _Book of Nature,

  Pumpkin, The Great, 62

  Quakelbeen, W., 84

  “Radiolus”, 120

  _Ranunculus acris_, 158

  _Rariorum plantarum historia_ of de l’Écluse, 76

  _Rariorum ... stirpium per Hispanias_ of de l’Écluse, 76

  Ray, J., 96, 116

  Renaulme, P., 200

  Rhabanus Magnentius Maurus, 3

  Rhodion, E., 64, 174

  Richelieu, Cardinal, 118

  _Ricinus_, 145

  Ridley, N., 100

  Rihel, W., 55

  Rivière, J., 70

  Rome, Books printed at, 11, 85

  Rondelet, G. 74, 76, 78

  Rose, 43, 120

  Rose of Jericho, 196

  Rosemary, 38, 39

  Royal Fern, 55

  Rudolph II, The Emperor, 72

  Ruel, J., 9, 62, +98+

  Ruellius, J., see Ruel, J.

  _Ruscus_, 146

  Sachs, J. von, 96

  Saint Catherine, 21

  Saint John’s Wort, 207

  Saint Thomas Aquinas, 3

  Salicin, 212

  _Salicornia_ (Glasswort), 90, 197

  Savoy and Piedmont, Duke of, 70

  Saxifrage, 145

  “Saynt Peterworte”, 45

  Schöffer, P., 16, 18

  Schott, J., 50

  Schreiber, H., 66

  “_Sedum majus_”, 127-130, 190

  “_Sedum vulgare majus_”, 128

  “_Sempervivum majus_”, 127-130

  _Senecio_, 125

  Serapio, 21

  Shepherd’s Purse, 122, 125

  “Signatures,” Doctrine of, +207-212+

  Simler, J., 92, 193

  “Simples”, 35, 36, 103, 104, 196, 220

  _Simpling, The Art of_, of Cole, 211, 219

  Sixtus IV, Pope, 11

  Snow Hill, Johnson’s garden on, 113

  Solanaceæ, 148

  _Solanum_, 95, 148

  Somerset, Duke of, 101, 102

  _Sonchus_, 125

  _Specimen Historiæ Plantarum_ of Renaulme, 200

  Speckle, V. R., 180, 183

  Specklin, V. R., see Speckle, V. R.

  Sprengel, K. P. J., 47, 65

  “Squamony”, 44

  Stamens, Fuchs’ definition of, 124

  Stamens, Function of, 132-133, 224

  _Stirpium adversaria nova_ of de l’Obel, M. and Pena, P., 78, 145,
    146, 222, 224

  _Stirpium ... pemptades sex_ of Dodoens, 74, 127, 145, 190, 191

  Storksbill, 127

  Strand, Lord Burleigh’s garden in the, 108

  Strasburg, Books printed at, 50, 55

  Strawberry, 185

  Sundew, 146, 151

  Switzer, A. 197

  “Tabaco,” see Tobacco

  Tabernæmontanus, J. T., see Theodor, J.

  _Tamus_, 146

  Tendrils, Conventionalised representations of, 160

  _Theatrum botanicum_ of Parkinson, 115, 144

  Theobalds, Lord Burleigh’s garden at, 108

  Theodor, J. (Tabernæmontanus), +67+, +68+, 109, 199

  Theophrastus, +2-3+, 4, 5, 6, 9, 50, 104, 116, 119, 134, 137

  Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, see Paracelsus

  Thistles, 143, 151

  Thurneisser zum Thurn, L., 216-218

  “_Tithymalus characia_”, 129

  Tobacco, Early record of use of, 105-106

  Toothwort (_Lathræa_), 148, 209

  Tournefort, J. Pitton, 96

  Tradescant, J., 113

  Tragus, H., see Bock, H.

  _Trapa_, 185

  “Tree bearing Geese”, 109-113

  “Tree of Knowledge”, 28

  “Tree of Life”, 28, 29

  “Tree of Paradise”, 167

  “Tree of Sorrow”, 85-86

  Treveris, P., 40

  Treviranus, L. C., 194

  Trevisa’s translation of the Encyclopædia of Bartholomæus Anglicus, 11,
    38, 158, 159

  Trew, C. J., 92, 193

  _Trifolium_, 146

  Tübingen, University of, 58, 66, 93, 94, 226

  Turner, R., 211, 212

  Turner, W., 62, +100-104+, 106, 107, 112, 125, 199, 204, 222

  Tutsan, 122

  Twayblade, 146

  Type, Movable, 16

  Uffenbach, P., 85

  Umbellifers, 136, 144, 145, 148, 151, 216

  Unicorn, 31, 115

  _Universal Herbal_ of Green, 212

  Upas tree, 29

  Utrecht, Books published at, 200

  Valerian, 88

  Vanderloe, J., 72, 190

  Venice, Books published at, 83, 90, 161, 168, 188, 196

  Vérard, A., 33, 65

  _Verbena_ (“Vervayn”), 43, 57

  _Veronica_, 62

  _Vertuose boke of Distillacyon, The_, of Hieronymus Braunschweig, 45,

  “Vervayn” (_Verbena_), 43, 57

  Vespasian, 8

  “_Vettonia_”, 156

  Vienna Library (K. k. Hofbibliothek), 8, 11, 74, 85

  Vienna Manuscript of Dioscorides, see Dioscorides

  Vinci, Leonardo da, 170, 180

  Vine, 4, 160

  _Viola_, 120

  _Viola odorata_, 158

  Violet, The Sweet, 158

  _Viribus herbarum, De_, of Macer Floridus, 40

  _Virtutibus herbarum, De_, erroneously attributed to Albertus Magnus,
    5, 215

  _Vita Conradi Gesneri_ of Simler, 92, 193

  Walnut, 210

  Waterlily, 122, 146, 162, 172, 180, 190, 196

  “Waterworte”, 38

  Weiditz, H., 50, 171, 172, 174, 224

  Wheat, 3

  William the Silent, 78, 79

  Willow, 212

  Winckler, N., 215

  Winter Cherry, 165, 166, 202

  Wintergreen, 185

  Wittenberg, University of, 66, 68

  Wolf, C., 92

  Wood-sorrel, 45, 121

  Worde, Wynkyn de, 11, 38

  Wormwood, see _Artemisia_

  _Worthy practise of ... Leonerd Fuchsius, A_, 58

  Wyer, R., 40

  Zaluziansky von Zaluzian, A., 80, +117+, 151

  _Zea mais_, 62

  Zouche, Lord, 78

  Zurich, University of, 90, 101


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