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Monday, January 6, 2014


Palerme, Sicile, Italic: Orto Botanico
Photo from: Marie-Hélène Cingal 
Dioscorides, also known as Pedanius Dioscorides of Anazarbus 50-70 AD, Greek physician who served in the Roman army. De material medica, consisting of five books on medicinal matters have been attributed to him in which he described the medicinal properties of some 600 plants and nearly 1,000 drugs, some produced from minerals. It is the largest pharmaceutical collection of the Ancient World. He was most observant and not superstitious. Today, he is taken with a grain of salt for his irrational herbal lore and due to the fact that few herbs did have the properties he ascribes to them. During the Middle Ages, nevertheless, all of his pharmaceutical advise was used as a standard text-book. His manuscripts are particularly fine for their illustrations. See Nueva-Clásica Cocina Andalusí. [Dict Scientific. 1971:IV:Dedekind:119-123]

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