Friday, 7 April 2017

Ghino's herbal Laurenziana Redi 165: erba colombina

Firenze, Laurenziana ms Redi 165 dates to the first half of the XV Century and was likely produced in Northern Italy.  The first page, which appears to be a later addition, mentions one Master Ghino of Florence as the owner of the manuscript.

The pink spikes suggest that the plant illustrated in this page is Vervain / Verbena Officinalis. Other candidates that were also known as “erba colombina” are Corydalis Cava and Stellaria Media / Chickenweed. The drawing of the plant is accompanied by two snakes (illustrating the myth discussed in the text) and a monk apothecary in his laboratory.

Transcription: Erba antefilo lontano [read montano?] piperina minore alia | colonbina elsugho bollito collolardo diporco | maschio eciera posto alleveghie piaghe molto | salda el morso divipera pesta eposta leva ilve | leno ei dolore tolle essalda bene ongni picchola | ferita che nonsia dubitosa dicisi per molti che questa | erba la conosce la serpe quando elle ferita la coglie | e polla alla ferita sua essaldabene elluna serpe lapo | rta allaltra :----

Translation: Mountain antefilo, lesser piperina or | colombina. The juice, boiled with the fat of a male | swine and wax, applied to old wounds, greatly | helps for viper bite. Crushed and applied, [the plant] takes the poison | away and cures the pain. It heals well all small | wounds which are not troublesome. Many say that this | plant is known to the snake that, when wounded, picks it | and places it on the wound, healing it well. And one snake takes | it to the other.

1 comment:

  1. Voynich f49r with the two snakes is, of course, an interesting parallel with this page. It strikes me that the unusual pink spikes on f49v (going into the tree-like greenery on the left) might possibly be the pink spikes of Verbena, but hidden in plain view. Just a thought!