Saturday, July 2, 2011

Four leaves from the Arabic version of Dioscorides' De materia medica, Wild cucumber, Walters Manuscript W.750Aa

One of four consecutive leaves (numbered fols. 237-241) from an illustrated manuscript of the Arabic version of De materia medica by Dioscorides, copied in the seventh century AH / thirteenth CE in Iran. Pedanius Dioscorides wrote his treatise on medicinal plants in the first century CE. It was translated into Syriac and then Arabic in Baghdad in the third century AH / ninth CE. De materia medica by Dioscorides was one of the earliest scientific manuscripts to be translated from Greek to Arabic. The Walters' leaves illustrate five plants: wild cucumber, mezereon (spurge-olive), and three varieties of thymelaea (spurge-laurel).


  1. This post echoes another one from Insula blog (in french sorry!) dealing with the Vienna Dioscorides manuscript and an edition by Pierandrea Mattioli ("Commentaires sur les Six livres de Dioscoride", 1572) :
    Thanks for this post, for Flickr galleries, for The Digtial Walters and Archimedes... Perfect job!

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