Herbals

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Herbals are books which describe the physical characteristics and properties of herbs and other plants. John Gerard's "Herbal or General History of Plants" has long been the most famous English herbal. First published in 1597, it was republished in 1633 in an edition in which Thomas Johnson revised and enlarged the original text.

The quantity of herbals produced changed in 1450 with the development of the Gutenberg Press, which allowed their mass production with engraved plates.

Generally, the name in this list is in Latin and English (or common name for non-English herbals) is given, and the author where known. The link has the physical description if known of the herbal, and the place of production.

The list of herbals also contains Medicinals and other works and these have been included because of the descriptions given to plants in their folios. The date shown in this list should be the original (estimated) date written. Post period herbals are also of interest as to distinguish what details they include as distinct from what is and is not mentioned in prior herbals.

The majority of the list was created from a source document originally produced by the SCA Kingdom of Meridian Herbalists Guild who kindly allowed contents to be copied. Additional information was initially contributed from the Kingdom of Lochac and other SCA kingdoms may subsequently have contributed. Please see the Herb Garden guild page for information on the various Kingdom guild pages.

The intent of this list is to link to a page for each herbal/each type of herbal mentioned providing the following details:-

  • Where examples of the actual herbal can now actually be found. To be viewed physically or online.
  • When reproductions were created, and perhaps the year of the first remaining reproduction.
  • What facsimile copies have been produced. And also in what books, images from the herbals appear.
  • As well as the contents of each herbal, preferably a summary, and then some details.
  • Discussions between herbals are to have their own pages referenced from within each herbal page.
  • Descriptions of plants in herbals should include details of the time of growth, uses (medicinal or culinary etc) and illustrations as given.


If an asterix (*) appears after the listing for a herbal, this means a page specific to the herbal is still to be created. Books about herbals and gardens published after 1901 can be found at Herbals_post1901.

Herbals

  • 5000 BC Chinese Herbals *
  • 3000 BC Sumerian Tablets *
  • 1550 BC Ebbers Papayrus *
  • 1300 BC Chinese “Oracle Bones” *
  • 700 BC Pen T’sao Ching, or Canon of Herbs *
  • 370 BC Historia Plantarum *
  • 3rd Century BC Diocles’ physiology *
  • 2nd Century BC Theriaka & Alexipharmaka *
  • 1st Century BC Crateuas *
  • 60 AD (approx.) De Materia Medica *
  • 79 AD (approx.) Naturalis Historica *
  • 400 AD (approx.) The Herbal of Apuleius *
  • 512 AD Juliana Anicius Codex *
  • 622-633 AD Etymologiarum libri duo *
  • 7th Century Hortulus *
  • 8th Century Capitulare de Villis *
  • 10th Century (first half) Herbarium *
  • 10th Century (latter half) Leech Book of Bald, or Medicinale Anglicum *
  • 10th Cent. Opera Quae Extant Omnia *
  • 1050 (approx) Of Schools of Medicine *
  • 1068 Taqwim as-sihhah by Ibn Bultan and name is translated as Maintenance of Health and referred to as Tables of Health and also see Tacuinum Sanitatis
  • 11th Century Herbals from School of Salerno *
  • 11th Century - De Viribus Herbarum *
  • 1130-1150 Circa Instans *
  • 1150 (approx) The Physica *
  • 1180 Works of Avincenna *
  • 12th Century (maybe 1st half) Herbal of al-Ghafiqi by Abu Ja'far al-Ghafiqi
  • 12th Century – Trotula *
  • 12th Century – Liber Serapionis aggregatus *
  • 1280 (approx) De Proprietatibus Rerum *
  • 13th Century De Vegetablis *
  • 1306 Opus Ruralium Commodorum *
  • 1349-1351 Buch der Natur *
  • 1370-1380 Tractatus de Herbis MS. Masson 116 , part of the North Italian group
  • 1380’s – 1420 Tacuinum Sanitatis , also known as Taccuinum Sanitatis, Tacuina
  • 1440 An Herbal but see Tractatus de Herbis and also known in facsimile as a Medieval Herbal , Sloan MS 4016, part of the North Italian group
  • 1471 Opera Quae Extant Omnia *
  • 1473 Liber Serapionis aggregatus *
  • 1477 De Viribus Herbarum *
  • 1484 Herbarius Latinus *
  • 1485 Der Gart der Gesundheit *
  • 1486-1488 AD Arbolayre, or Le Grant Herbier *
  • 1491 Hortus Sanitatis *
  • 1500 Das Buch zu Distillieren
  • 1525 Bancke's Herbal *
  • 1526 Grete Herball *
  • 1530 Herbarum Vivae Eicones *
  • 1538 Libellus de re herbaria by William Turner
  • 1539 Kreüter Buch *
  • 1542 De Historia Stirpium
  • 1544 Commentarii *
  • 1548 The Names of Herbes by William Turner The Names of Herbes in Greke, Latin, Englishe, Duche and Frenche Wyth the Commune Names That Herbries and Apotecaries Use
  • 1550/1551 A New Herball in Three Parts by William Turner
  • 1551 Askham's Herbal
  • 1552 Badianus Manuscript *
  • 1554 Cruÿdeboeck *
  • 1560 – 1624 Pinax Thesti Botunici *
  • 1563 Coloquios *
  • 1568 Aztec Herbal *
  • 1569 Dos Libros *
  • 1596 Cataloge to John Gerard’s garden. *
  • 1597 The Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes by John Gerard
  • 16th century The Compendim of Materia Medica *
  • 1615 Rerum Medicarum Novae Hispaniae Thesaurus *
  • 1627 – 1705 Historica Plantara *
  • 1631 Curioso tratado de la naturaleza y calidad del chocolate *
  • 1640 Theatrum Botanicum *
  • 1649 The Complete Herbal *
  • 1652 The English Physician *
  • 1656 Art of Simpling *
  • 1679 De Gallis by Marcello Malpighi
  • 1707 – 1778 Taxonomy *
  • 1800’s (first half), herbal of Shaker medicine *
  • 1901 A Modern Herbal *

External Links

See also