MINIATURIST, French
(active 1300-1325 in Amiens)

Mattheus Platearius: Circa instans

1300-25
Manuscript (MS Sloane 1977), 235 x 160 mm (each)
British Library, London

In addition to the Chirurgia by Roger Frugard (folios 1-46), the present early 14th-century manuscript contains also the French translation of Circa instans by Mattheus Platearius (folios 48-135).

Matthaeus Platearius was a physician from the medical school at Salerno, and is thought to have produced a twelfth-century Latin manuscript on medicinal herbs titled "Circa Instans" aka "The Book of Simple Medicines", later translated into French as "Le Livre des simples medecines". It was an alphabetic listing and textbook of simples that was based on Dioscorides "Vulgaris", which described the appearance, preparation, and uses of various drugs. It was widely acclaimed, and was one of the first herbals produced by the newly developed printing process in 1488.

The picture shows folios 49v-50 containing full-page miniatures of an apothecary shop, on the left, and medical consultations, on the right.




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