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Re: VMS -- Botany (f51r) Henbane

Hi Dana,

"Ps.-Apuleius, Dioscorides, Herbals (extracts);
De virtutibus bestiarum in arte medicinae,
in Latin and English England, Bury St. Edmunds;
11th century, late"


This looks like a near-perfect fit to me as well - good job! :-)

The only odd detail is the dotted line down the middle of each leaf in the VMS' version: do you know if this corresponds to a characteristic feature of henbane's leaves (missing from the Dioscorides version) or was it simply a stylistic quirk?

This might give us at least some idea of whether it was drawn from nature (however haphazardly) or simply copied from another herbal. :-)

Dioscorides classified plants as "as aromatic, culinary, and medicinal".

Thanks for digging that up! Perhaps I/we should ask Sergio Torresalla if other alchemical herbals showed any logical grouping (or classification) within each quire? There might be a hitherto unnoticed pattern there waiting to be found, which might assist in identification etc.

I wonder how the plants
in the VMS were classified (perhaps toxic, culinary, and medicinal)?

Perhaps: "fanciful", "impressionistic", and "misleading"? :-)

Still, it would be nice to have *some* kind of guiding principle according to which these were collected. :-)

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

PS: as a quick aside, f33r (the heads-in-the-roots / mandrake page) shows signs of bleed-through (from f33v) and bleed-across (from f32v), even though this is a start of a new quire: which I would have thought is a reasonably good indication that these two quires were foliated in the correct order. I can't see any other examples, though - but I thought I ought to mention it. :-)