Odo de Meung. De viribus herbarum.Geneva, 1498.

Odo de Meung. De viribus herbarum.Geneva, 1498.

De viribus herbarum. was one of the most important and popular general botanical texts of the medieval period. It was written in verse by Odo de Meung, who lived in the Loire area of France towards the end of the eleventh century. The work is not based on original observation, but is nevertheless important as one of the earliest Western documents demonstrating the revival of interest in botany in the Middle Ages. The text is based on Pliny, Galen, Dioscorides, and Hippocrates. The first printed version appeared in 1477. This copy appears to be the first illustrated edition and contains a large title woodcut of a physician writing in his library and 66 woodcuts of flowers and herbs. Its popularity and longevity has often been ascribed to Macer's use of verse, which allowed doctors and apothecaries to memorise its prescriptions more easily.