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Re: VMS -- Botany (f51r) Henbane

The line down the middle of the leaf is characteristic of henbane. I do not know why
it is dotted in the VMS.

Dana Scott


This may be just a coincidence, but the most common medicinal theme that I have
noticed in the study of herbs found in the VMS is their application to the ailments of
the eyes. It may just be that the ancients applied many different ointments to
deseased eyes in hopes of finding cures.

An herb under the dominion of Saturn.

Nick Pelling wrote:

> Hi Dana,
> >"Ps.-Apuleius, Dioscorides, Herbals (extracts);
> >De virtutibus bestiarum in arte medicinae,
> >in Latin and English England, Bury St. Edmunds;
> >11th century, late"
> >
> >http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/medieval/jpegs/bodl/1000/17461201.jpg
> 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. :-)