The Badianus Manuscript (Codex Barberini, Latin 241) Vatican Library. An Aztec Herbal of 1552

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Author: Martinus de la Cruz and Juannes Badianus translated by Emily Walcottc Emmart

Year: 1940

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins Press

Place: Baltimore


xxiv+341 pages with frontispiece, plates, figures, color reproduction of the codex, bibliography and index. Folio (12" x 9 ¼") bound in original publisher's brown cloth with brown label to spine in gilt lettering and blind-stamped ruled edge with gilt pictorial to cover in original jacket.

"The Badianus Manuscript is a sixteenth-century Mexican herbal composed in the year 1552 in the College of Santa Cruz at Tlaltelco, Mexico City. The principal author of the manuscript was Martin de la Cruz. The second author was Juannes Badianus, whose signature appears in the postscript at the end of the last chapter. Both of these men were Aztec Indians educated at the College of Santa Cruz. The manuscript is a complete herbal consisting of sixty-three folios approximately six by eight inches in size, clearly written in Latin and Aztec. It is divided into thirteen chapters, each representing an attempt to group maladies by either similar type or similar location in the body. The first eight chapters follow the latter arrangement, beginning with the head and continuing to the feet. The text is exquisitely illustrated with pictures of 204 herbs and trees.

In 1552 the Badianus was sent, as a gift, from Viceroy Don Francisco de Mendoza to King Charles V. A herbal, containing the secrets of Aztec medicine, was an invaluable gift promising good health and longevity. Unfortunately, history does not record whether Charles V or his personal physician Andreas Vesalius ever had the opportunity to read his gift. Charles V died at age 58 in 1558. The Badianus Manuscript was discovered in 1929 in the Vatican Library by a historian, Professor Charles M. Clark. In 1931, Dr. Clark brought the manuscript to the attention of Dr. William Welch of Johns Hopkins University. In 1940 Johns Hopkins Press published this facsimile edition of the Badianus Manuscript."


previous ownership bookplate (Garden Club of America) on front free endpaper. Jacket with light wear and small closed tears else better than very good in like jacket.


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