Herbal Images: Synteny of Images in Three Illustrated Dioscoridean Herbals

Plant illustrations were compared in three ancient illustrated recensions of the non-illustrated manuscript of Dioscorides titled Περί ύλης ιατρικής (De Materia Medica in Latin; On Medical Matters in English) written about the year 65: Juliana Anicia Codex (JAC) or Codex Vindobonensis produced in the year 512, Codex Neapolitanus (NAP) produced in the late 6th or early 7th century, and Morgan 652 (M652) produced between 927 and 985. M652 contains many illustrations that are similar to those of JAC, and it has long been evident that large parts of the M652 were based on the JAC or a precursor. NAP also appears to be a source in the creation of M652 since M652 contains several images that appear in NAP but not JAC, and when images are common in all three herbals about 19.3% of the M652 images are closer to NAP than JAC. We conclude that M652 illustrations are based on images from both JAC and NAP.

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Synteny of Images in Three Illustrated Dioscoridean Herbals: Juliana Anicia Codex, Codex Neapolitanus, and Morgan 652


Jules Janick, Anna Whipkey, John Stolarczyk

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Last modified: July 15 2020 by aw