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Two Herbals: Learn More About Two Herbals Exhibit

Reading list and websites for more information on this exhibit

Rare Book Talk on Two Herbals

Rare Book Talk on Two Herbals: Picturing Nature from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Thursday, December 7, 2017,  3 - 4 pm

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the 1517 edition of Hortus Sanitatis, a late medieval compendium with over 1,000 charming and sometimes enigmatic woodcuts of plants, animals, and birds as well as mythical creatures -- dragons, harpies, hydras, and mermen. Just 25 years later, Leonhart Fuchs published his landmark work De Historia Stirpium, 1542.  A masterpiece of the German Renaissance, this herbal has over 500 illustrations including 100 plants new to Europe, drawn and printed with precision and accuracy.

Learn more about these remarkable books – why they were published, and what they can tell us today about European natural history 500 years ago. This will be a “turning the pages” event. Participants will have an extraordinary opportunity to view and ask questions about the books. Space is limited and reservations are required.   Free. 

 The Two Herbals exhibit is on view October 2 through December 5, 2017.


To learn more about Cucurbita images in the 1503 Prayer Book:

Paris, Harry S., Marie-Christine Daunay, Michel Pitrat, and Jules Janick. 2006. “First Known Image of Cucurbita in Europe, 1503–1508.” Annals of Botany 98 (1): 41–47.
Digital versions of  De Historia Stirpium and Hortus Sanitatis are available online:

Recommended Books

Most of these books are available in the PHS Library.