Important source on mediaeval pharmacy

Salernitanus, Nicolaus. Antidotarium.

[Strasbourg, Johann Prüss, ca. 1483/1484].

4to. (23 [instead of 96] ff.). With a woodcut initial showing two birds and red Lombardic initials. Rubricated throughout. 20th century full vellum.


Early edition of this prominent Italian pharmacopoeia, composed around 1140 by the physician and teacher at the Schola Medica Salernitana, Nicolaus of Salerno, or Praepositus. First printed in 1471, it remains an important source of information on medieval pharmacy, materia medica, dentistry, and pharmacotherapy, and was probably based on the anonymous Antidotarius magnus (composed between 1087 and 1100, itself probably based on an older Salernitan manuscript by Constantinus Africanus, 1020-87). The "Antidotarium Nicolai" includes more than 100 of these older recipes, along with several others by Salerno physicians. The book's practical structure, with its recommendations of preservable remedies and exact weight specifications, assured its lasting popularity; parts of it still appeared in 19th century pharmacopoeia.

Occasional light browning; a paper flaw to the margin of fol. 16 professionally repaired. A wide-margined copy of the Antidotarium only, omitting Mesue's "Grabadin" and the "Liber servitoris" by the Arab physician Abulcasis, which Prüss published together with Nicholas's work as parts 2 and 3 of a medical anthology. Well preserved in a modern binding.

H 11763. Goff N-163. GW M26754. BSB-Ink N-139. Choulant, 290. Wellcome I, 4537. Cf. Osler 7467 (1471 ed.).

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