Kitāb mawādd al-‘ilāj (Arabic version of Dioscorides, Materia medica)

14th century

The British Library

The British Library
London, United Kingdom

This illuminated manuscript depicts both the male and female mandrake. Pedanius Dioscorides, the original Greek author of this Arabic version of De materia medica (‘On medicinal substances’), was the first to distinguish the differences in these similar plants. In fact, there is more than one species of mandrake native to the Mediterranean, rather than two sexes of the same plant. Dioscorides was a botanist and pharmacologist, who lived in Turkey and served as a physician in the Roman Army. Shown here: ff. 145r–144v


  • Title: Kitāb mawādd al-‘ilāj (Arabic version of Dioscorides, Materia medica)
  • Date Created: 14th century
  • Location: British Library, London, UK
  • Location Created: Baghdad
  • Type: Manuscript
  • Original Source: Or 3366
  • Rights: Public Domain. For more information visit: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

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