Macer, Floridus.

[De viribus herbarum]

Herbarum varias qui vis cognoscere vires.

Paris: Baquelier, [between 1510 and 1517?] Attributed variously but now generally considered to be by Odo de Meung--Cf. Hunt 1. Includes the commentary of Guillaume Gueroult. Colophon (v7 verso): Habetis iuuenes studiosissimi Macri floridi de virib herbaru opusculum ab omi menda casti gatissimum vna cum interpretatiunculis luce meridiana longe clarissimis. Baquelier. Finis. Leaf v8 wanting. At head of title, in ms.: AE milius Macer Floridus, medicus ac poeta. Ms. annotations throughout. Two leaves tipped in ahead of t.p.; on the first, information extracted from Biographie universelle; on the second, information from Brunet followed by a note in English surmising that the publication date of the volume is 1515. Medieval Latin poem on the virtues of various herbs, written in hexameters.

This herbal, one of the earliest herbals in the collection, describes the medicinal properties of plants, and differs from others in that it is written in Latin hexameter verse. The original edition of this work was completed around 1373. Some texts identify the Macer listed in the opening line of the book as Aemilius Macer, whose herb lore is referred to by Ovid, but internal references to medieval sources cast doubt upon his authorship. Instead, it is commonly believed that the author might have been Odo, Bishop of Maung. Odo's name appears on a manuscript of 13th century origin, containing the words "of the power of herbs, the author being Odo, called Macer of the Flowers." The first printed edition of 1477 contains many discrepancies which are compounded in subsequent editions. The text is derived from Pliny, Galen, Dioscorides, Hippocrates, and other classical writers. Some remedies are based on sound observations, while others allude to magic or witchcraft. Physicians loved it because the rhymes served as an aid to memory.

Subjects: Botany; Medicine; Medicinal herbs.

PAT- 67

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