An Old French Herbal (Ms Princeton U.L. Garrett 131)
T. Hunt (ed.)
152 p., 160 x 240 mm, 2008
Languages: English, Old French
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The earliest Old French herbal in verse, here edited for the first
time, is a surprisingly comprehensive work (3188 octosyllables),
based on an eleventh-century Latin treatise 'De viribus
herbarum' attributed to a certain 'Macer'. It occupies a
significant place in the development of herbals and is an
interesting witness to writing in Western France in the thirteenth
century and to the unusual syntax and concentrated style of its
author. Some one hundred and twenty-five plants are described
together with their medicinal uses, which cover a remarkable range
of ailments. For ease of recognition the sections of text which do
not seem to be based on the received text of 'Macer' are printed in
italics. Quotations from the principal source and from parallels
are given in the notes. This work will be of great value to all
those interested in Old French, in medieval translation, the
vernacular transmission of learning, and the history of medicine.
This publication is also distributed by: ISD