Academic journal article Medium Aevum

An Old French Herbal (MS Princeton U.L. Garrett 131)

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

An Old French Herbal (MS Princeton U.L. Garrett 131)

Article excerpt

An Old French Herbal (MS Princeton U.L. Garrett 131), ed. Tony Hunt, Textes vernaculaires du Moyen Age (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008). 1 52 pp. ISBN 978-2-503-5288 1-6. euro60.00. The text presented here, previously unedited, appears in a collection of medical texts in both French and Latin, copied in the second half of the thirteenth century, and now preserved in Princeton University Library. As the earliest known French herbal, it is clearly of interest to anyone working in the history of science and medicine. As a translation (in octosyllabic couplets) of an expanded version of the Latin De viribus herbarum, attributed to 'Macer', it is also a useful source for those studying the vernacular transmission of Latin learning, and the techniques employed by medieval translators. Closely following his source, the poet identifies degrees of heat, cold, moisture, and dryness in approximately 125 plants, explains their medicinal uses, and discusses techniques of preparation and application. …

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