Jerry Stannard assembled a legendary collection of materials on the history of botany from Homer to Linnaeus, and his mastery of the field was acknowledged as incomparable. However, his work was sadly cut short by his death, and so did not result in the ultimate synthesis he envisioned; the present volume, and its companion, Herbs and Herbalism in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, bring together his important output in articles and studies. In this selection of papers on pharmacy and medical botany, from the classical period to 1500, Stannard combined philological expertise with the scientific perspective of modern pharmacology to measure the descriptive accuracy and therapeutic efficacy of Materia Medica from Hippocrates to the Renaissance. His sources included not only the obvious technical treatises but also works of literature and the traditions of folklore especially in Italy. Three studies of the scholastic botany of Albertus Magnus form the centrepiece of the collection, and the detailed indexes cover both common and scientific names of plants.
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