1593 ORTA, MONARDES & ACOSTA MEDICINAL PLANTS Of INDIA & AMERICA Medical Botany
Item History and Pricing
[Medical Botany] [Natural History - America] [Tobacco - Early History - 16th century] [Early Americana]
Printed in Antwerp by Jan Moretus at the Plantin Press, 1593.
Text in Latin. Illustrated with over 40 fine woodcuts (mostly botanical). Translated with notes by Charles de L'Écluse (Carolus Clusius).Comprising 3 w...orks (4 parts) in one volume, each with an individual title-page but continuously paginated, namely: Garcia da Orta: Colóquios dos simples e drogas he cousas medicinais da India, 4th Latin edition (translated from Portuguese);
Cristóbal Acosta: Tractado de las drogas, y medicinas de las Indias Orientales, 2nd Latin edition, (translated from Spanish);
Nicolás Monardes: Historia Medicinal de las cosas quese traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales, Books I-II, 3rd Latin edition (translated from Spanish);
The 3rd (final) Book of the same, 2nd Latin edition (translated from Spanish), with a dedication to to Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Edward Dyer.FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF CLUSIUS' TRANSLATIONS OF THE MOST IMPORTANT 16TH-CENTURY SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE WORKS ON EXOTIC PLANTS (PARTICULARLY OF INDIA AND AMERICA) AND THEIR MEDICAL USE. "Famous books on the Plants of America, with woodcuts. Monardes' treatise contains a well-drawn woodcut of the Tobacco plant, with a lengthy description of its virtues and properties." (Catalogue of the Library of the Late Bishop John Fletcher Hurst, Anderson Galleries, 1904, no. 2115)Opium, bhang (hashish) and other narcotic substances are discussed."Monardes's Historia Medicinal de las cosas quese traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales (Seville, 1574) was of major importance for the knowledge on plants introduced from the New World in Europe, partly thanks to its Latin translation by Clusius, published as Simplicium medicamentorum ex Novo Orbe delatorum historia (Antwerp, Officina Plantiniana, 1593)." (Jan Koning, et al. (ed.), Drawn after Nature: The Complete Botanical Watercolours of the 16th-Century, p.51)The first work in this important collection, Orta's Aromatum et simplicium is the 4th Latin edition of his Colóquios dos simples, e drogas, an important account of Indian plants. Originally written in Portuguese, it was "THE FIRST ACCOUNT OF INDIAN MATERIA MEDICA AND THE FIRST TECTBOOK OF TROPICAL MEDICINE WRITTEN BY A EUROPEAN. It includes a classic account of Asiatic cholera, the first account of this disease by a European."Garcia de Orta sailed for India in 1534 as Chief Physician aboard the armada of the Viceroy Martim Afonso de Sousa. He worked and carried out his research at Goa, where he died in 1568. His book was first printed by João de Endem at his press in St. John's College, Goa, and completed on April 10, 1563." (Garrison-Morton 1815) The first edition in Portuguese published in Goa, India is now a legendary rarity. Clusius, whose Latin translation was first printed in 1567 (and presented at the Frankfurt book fair the same year) has modified Orta's text: added woodcut illustrations and much new material relating to the New World, derived from Oviedo and Thevet. Clusius' edition made Orta's work available to a much wider North-European readership and greatly increased its popularity."The Portuguese physician Garcia de Orta emerged from relative obscurity after a Latin edition of his Colóquios debuted at the Frankfurt book fair of 1567. The original book and its Latin counterpart gave detailed information on many of the plants, minerals and other naturalia traded throughout the Indian Ocean world of the sixteenth century. [...] Across Western Christendom, amid a culture increasingly interested in novelties, wonders, and exotica of many kinds, Orta's book found a wide and diverse readership. Latin and vernacular editions of the Colóquios found their way into the hands of surgeons at the French court, the libraries of Italian universities and Northern Europe's first physic garden at the University of Leiden. Versions also travelled to Spain's colonies on the far side of the Atlantic. [...]"Both travel and transformation were part of this peculiar book's history. [...] When the Flemish naturalist Carolus Clusius prepared the Aromatum et simplicium, he not only rendered Orta's Portuguese into Latin, he re-enacted some of the work of collecting, selecting, organizing and representing that Orta had already carried out. He replaced the dialogue form with unadorned expository prose. And he expunged countless details about town life and trade routes in Goa. [...] Clusius introduced some dozen woodcuts." (Palmira Fontes da Costa (ed.): Medicine, Trade and Empire: Garcia de Orta's Colloquies on the Simples and Drugs and India, p.107)Clusius also "did away with the original alphabetical order of the chapters and rearranged them instead into two distinct ‘books.' The first covered more familiar naturalia like aloe and rhubarb; the second included such things as neem and jackfruit, which were unknown in ancient sources and often unfamiliar to Clusius and his contemporaries. Both sections and their respective chapters were set out in a table of contents. At the back of the book, Clusius added an alphabetical index." (H. Cagle: Assembling the Tropics: Science and Medicine in Portugal's Empire, p.106-7)"The idea to insert illustrations in the first Latin Orta edition seems to have originated with Clusius rather than with Plantin. In the preface to the first edition Clusius writes: 'We added to almost every chapter small annotations and some images of herbs that we were able to obtain and that we have had represented ad vivum'. [...] Clusius wrote the following in his letter of 29 November 1566 to Crato von Krafftheim: 'I added a few annotations and some few images of those aromata which are dealt with by my Garcia and which I managed to obtain here, but which had never been shown by anybody before or not sufficiently accurately.'"The first passage suggests that Clusius actively instructed the painter and used real plants as models, living or dried [...]. On the other hand, it was definitely Plantin who paid his regular artist Peeter van der Borcht from Malines (born ca 1540) to make model drawings for 15 of the 16 woodcut illustrations, as well as Arnold Nicolai for the cutting of the woodblocks. [...] Many of the original watercolours on which the woodcuts in the 1567 Orta edition are based still exist: they form part of Charles de Saint Omer's Libri Picturati (now in Kraków) of which Peeter van der Borcht was probably one of the principal artists." (Fontes da Costa, op. cit., p.183)The second work in this collection is Clusius' Latin translation of the work on the medicinal plants of the Orient Tractado de las drogas y medicinas de la Indias Orientalesby Cristóbal Acosta (c. 1525 - c. 1594), a Portuguese doctor and natural historian, who, along with Garcia de Orta, is considered a pioneer of Indo-Portuguese medicine."A work that competed with that of da Orta in terms of influence and authority was the Tractado de las drogas y medicinas de las Indias Orientales, by the Portuguese writer Cristobal de Acosta. Published in 1578, it was based on the treatise of Da Orta, but it included plants and illustrations not mentioned by him. It was here that the first images of nutmeg and black pepper were offered to European readers. Clusius did the first Latin translation of de Acosta's work as well, published in Antwerp in 1582 with the title Aromatum et Medicamentorum in Orientali India Nascentium liber." (B. Rinaldi, The Chinese Garden in Good Taste: Jesuits and Europe's Knowledge of Chinese Flora, p.66)The last work in our compendium is Clusius' translation (with commentary) from Spanish into Latin of Nicolas Monardes' influential treatise on plants, animals and minerals from the West Indies and their use in medicine, originally published in Spanish as De las drogas de las Indias (Seville, 1565).
Monardes' treatise gives a detailed account of several drugs and remedies (mainly medicinal herbs) from CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA, and is one of the earliest works specifically devoted to this topic. Monardes's De las drogas de las Indias was "THE FIRST FULL TREATISE ON THESE DRUGS, AND FOR MANY YEARS THE MOST IMPORTANT STUDY OF THE MEDICINAL PLANTS OF THE CENTRAL AMERICA." (Mann, Modern Drug Use, p. 202). This work, which was an immediate success, is considered a classic in the history of medical botany and pharmacology. Monardes describes many plants previously unknown to Europeans. For each remedy he first provides a description, followed by details of its pharmacological and medical use, often inspired by native American Indian practices. Zoological species, such as the armadillo are considered, as well as a number of minerals, including, nephrite, and the lapis Tiburonum (bezoar) which was attributed at the time of miraculous virtues. Among the botanical species described in the book are castor oil plant, several types of peppers, beans, sassafras, sarsaparilla, Guaiacum (the last two being the most popular herbal remedies for treatment of syphilis in 16th century Europe), etc. Of particular importance is Monardes' detailed description of tobacco and its botanical and pharmacological properties, and is one of the earliest and most influential accounts of the plant in European literature. "His work [...] became THE CHIEF SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT [i.e. TOBACCO] IN EUROPE" (Tobacco: It's History Illustr. by the Books & Manuscripts in the Libr. of George Arents, I, p. 246). In Monardes' work "Tobacco was described with an account of its medicinal virtues, especially as a poultice for wounds, headaches, and so on [...]" (Raymond Stearns, Science in the British colonies of America, p.34).In addition to describing the uses and cultivation of quinine, sassafras, cassava, rhubarb, ginger, Monardes "was the first physician to write of the vegetable poison curare, and his lengthy description of an even more famous American plant introduced to Europe the name 'tabaco' and 'nicotain'..." (Norman). "Monardes' work has excited the interest of one of the pioneers in scientific botany, Charles de L'Écluse, who published a latin edition of Monardes' work with illustrations (Antwerp, 1574). In the same decade, an English merchant, who had wide connections in Spain, one John Frampton, prepared an English edition of Monardes' Dos libros (1574 edition), and published it as "Joyfull Newes out of the Newe Founde Worlde [...]" [in] 1577 - a title indicative of the hopefulness inspired in European medical circles by Monardes' work. In this manner the experiments of the Seville physician became the property of the European learned world, including the English-reading portion of it. Monardes was immensely learned and highly esteemed by his contemporaries. [...] Monardes made no attempt to systematize or classify the products of New Spain (other than in accord with their medical "virtues"), and his nomenclature was largely that of the natives, though now and then he identified, or believed he had identified, a New World product with one previously described by Dioscorides or some other ancient authority." (Stearns, Op. cit., p. 30-1)Nicolas Bautista Monardes (1493 - 1588) was a Spanish physician and botanist, who lived and worked mainly in Seville, never traveled to America but was able to study a large number of New World plants due to Seville's control over the navigation and commerce operating between Spain and the Americas. He maintained a botanical garden in which he grew both native and exotic plants, and made scientific studies of the pharmacological properties of such New World species as tobacco, coca, sunflower, sarsaparilla, ipecacuanha, cinchona and sassafras. It was through Monardes's writings that the American materia medica began to be known, and his books were widely read and translated. The translator and editor of all the works in this volume, Charles de L'Écluse (1526 - 1609), best known under the Latinized version of his name, Carolus Clusius, was a prominent French botanist who contributed to the establishment of modern botany. He was born in Arras, former capital of Artois, northern France. He developed new cultivated plants, such as the tulip, potato, and chestnut, from other parts of the world. From 1573 to 1587 he was the director of the Holy Roman emperor's garden in Vienna, and spent the later years of his life teaching in Leiden, Netherlands, where he died in 1609. L'Écluse's cultivation of tulips in the botanic garden was the beginning of the famous Dutch tulip bulb industry.L'Écluse dedicated translation of Book III of Monardes to Sir Philip Sidney, a famous English poet, courtier, and one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age, and to Sidney's close friend Sir Edward Dyer (another notable Elizabethan courtier and poet). "[L'Écluse] saw something of Sidney and Dyer while he was in England, and Dyer must have introduced him to John Frampton's translation of [the first two books of] Monardes' work on the flora of the New World. Charles de L'Ecluse obtained a copy of the Spanish original [of Book III] from a Portuguese doctor in London, Hector Nuñez, and while he was waiting at Gravesend for a favourable wind to return to the Continent translated the work into Latin. This book was published by Plantin in the following year, 1582, and dedicated to Sidney and Dyer in return for their kindness to him in England. Was it on this occasion that de L'Ecluse first brought tulips into England." (John Buxton, Sir Philip Sidney And The English Renaissance, p.143)Bibliographic references:NLM/Durling 3417; Sabin 57666; Adams 322; Nissen BBI 949; Wellcome I 4655; Imhof, Jan Moretus and the Continuation of the Plantin Press, O-58.Physical description:4 parts in 1 volume. Octavo; text block measures 158 mm x 100 mm. Late 18th-century quarter-calf over boards with vellum-tipped corners; spine with five raised bands, tooled and lettered in gilt. Blue silk ribbon bookmark attached.Pagination: 456, , [2 blank] pages.
Signatures A-Z, a-f8.
Collated and COMPLETE (including the final blank). Each of the four title-pages with woodcut Plantin's compass device (with motto "Labore et Constantia"); a larger (near-full-page) version of the device at the end (facing colophon). Over forty woodcut illustrations (mostly botanical) in text (some full-page). Several decorative woodcut tail-pieces and initials. Text printed in roman and italic types, with printed marginal notes.Each of the 4 parts with its own title-page, but with continuous pagination throughout.Orta with preface Benevolo lectori (A2r,v) and index (O5r-8r); Acosta with dedication by Clusius to William IV, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (P2r-3v); Monardes Lib. I-II with index c3r-4r); Monardes Lib. III with dedication by Clusius to Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Edward Dyer (c6r,v).The unnumbered leaves at the end of the volume contain Approbation (f5r); two statements of printing privileges (f5v, f6r), colophon (f6v) and large woodcut printer's device (f7r); verso of f7 and leaf f8 are blank.Condition:Very Good antiquarian condition. Complete. Binding slightly rubbed, spine slightly chipped at foot, and with a short, harmless crack at foot of front joint (both boards firmly attached, binding tight). Front free endpaper with a small tear. Occasional underlining of some words in text in red pencil (sometimes with light offsetting to opposite page); a couple of minor manuscript marginal notes in one or two contemporary hand. Small wormhole at the end of the volume (starting from quire Z) occasionally catching a letter or two, but without loss of legibility. Occasional moderate browning. Light marginal oily stain to (blank) bottom outer corner of leaves of the final part of the book. Top margin cropped somewhat closely, but text not affected. In all, a nice, solid example of this important, richly illustrated work.
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