Le Grant Herbier en Francoys:

Contenant les Qualitez, Vertus & Proprietez des Herbes, Arbres, Gommes & Semences: Extraict de Plusieurs Traictez de Medecine Comme de Avicenne, de Rasis, de Constantin, de Isaac, de Plataire, Selon le Commum [sic] Usaige.

Paris: Et a este nouvellement imprime a Paris par Jaques Nyverd, 1521. Anonymous compilation including most of the Circa instans of Matthaeus Platearius as well as extracts from other authors. First ed. (ca. 1486-88) published under title: Arbolayre. Small woodcuts (ca. 6 x 6 cm.) scattered throughout; some initial letters. Table of ailments with reference to appropriate remedy on 12 leaves at end. Manuscript notes throughout. Paris. 1521.

Anyone trying to trace the development of this work will find the bibliographical trail strewn with difficulties. The work is known by several names, including the most frequently cited title, Arbolayre. Contributors remain anonymous, dates are uncertain, and the compiler is unknown. Some of the woodcut illustrations used in this work were originally created for Der Gart der Gesundheit, while others were borrowed from the Circa instans, another early herbal.

This was the first major herbal printed in French. Only five copies of the first edition of this work are known to exist, and copies of the 16th century editions are quite rare. Even though there were frequent reproductions of this herbal, it is extremely difficult to find a complete copy now; copies were used so heavily that they were literally worn out. This edition may be the only complete copy in North America.

Subjects: Medicinal plants; Botany--Pre-Linnean works.


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