Skip to content

Dioscorides De Materia Medica

book of herbology

The below is a book of herbology said to written by Pedanius Dioscorides, who lived over 2,000 years ago. It is exhibited here for informational purposes only.

Editorial Preface (Excerpt)
Pedanius Dioscorides the Greek wrote this De Materia Medica approximately two thousand years ago. In 1655 John Goodyer made an English translation from a manuscript copy, and in 1933 Robert T Gunther edited this, Hafner Publishing Co, London & New York, printing it. This was probably not corrected against the Greek, and this version of Goodyer's Dioscorides makes no such attempt either.

The purpose of this new edition is to offer a more accessible text to today’s readers, as the ‘english-ed’ copy by Goodyer is generously endowed with post-medieval terminology and is presently out of print. The reader may wish to refer to Greek, Latin, or other versions — including these lies beyond the scope of the present effort. I have not attempted to make the text uniform, and though I have included some sixteenth-century and Linnaean names, many do not indicate current usage. While it is not my intention to contribute to the controversy surrounding the true identities of the plants, minerals, and creatures in De Materia Medica, where available I have suggested possible plant names, with an indication of other plants using the same name today. I will appreciate any pertinent information that has been overlooked, and wish to acknowledge the errors that remain. Thus the proposed herbs provide some possibilities, and the reader is invited to place a personal interpretation upon the material. The illustrations suggest further options in some instances. 

Dioscorides’ treatise is not offered as a primary resource for medical treatment. Readers should in the first instance obtain medical advice from qualified, registered health professionals. Many treatments considered acceptable two thousand years ago are useless or harmful. This particularly applies to the abortifacients mentioned in the manuscript, most of which contain toxins considered dangerous in the required doses. With all this in mind, I believe the information in this document is still of interest and benefit to us, after all this time.

Tess Anne Osbaldeston
Johannesburg, South Africa, June 2000

Note: allow a bit of time for the pdf to load. This ebook is 960 pages.
[flipbook pdf=”https://italisvital.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/italisvital.info_dioscorides-de-materia-medica.pdf”]

Leave a Reply