Antidotarium Nicolaï (anonymous)


reference can be made to the Salernitanum Scola, where the Antidotaria seem to originate.

See the other article on the Salerno School here


Nicolaus Salernitanus 

is an Italian physician who is traditionally considered the author of a famous medieval treatise on pharmacology and antidotes known as the Antidotarium Nicolai. This formulary is an important source of information about medieval pharmacy, materia medica, dentistry, and pharmacotherapy.

It was probably based on the anonymous Antidotarius magnus (composed between 1087 and 1100). Which text was probably based on an older Salernitan manuscript by Constantine the African (Constantinus Africanus, 1020-1087).

Only a few things are known about the life of Nicolaus Salernitanus, who allegedly lived during the first half of the twelfth century. The name Nicolaus became associated with the Antidotarium and other traditional formularies after the twelfth century.

The first printed edition of the Antidotarium Nicolai was published in Venice in 1471.

A text containing a reprint of the first printing, along with a modern German translation, was published in 1976. The Antidotarium has also been translated into Dutch and Czech. Scholars continue to struggle with the dating and lineage of the work. (txt from rags)



The young Copha (years 1085-1100) made the Ars Medendi.



Title page from the first print edition (Venice, 1480) of the Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum, with the commentary of Arnaldus de Villanova (the Catalan).

The title reads: Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum cum expositione magistri Arnaldi de Villanova Cathellano noviter impressus. Venetiis: impressum per Bernardinum Venetum de Vitalibus, 1480.



0. Brussel

There are several versions. If we search on the Belgium Libr.  on antidotarium we get 26 interesting annotations.

MS 14 (olim Goodhart 91) England?, s. XIVex
Nicolaus Salernitanus / Antidotarium





harley_ms_4983 London online.

The information page:

Nicolaus Salernitanus, Antidotarium. The manuscript is a copy of the Antidotary, a collection of pharmacopoeial remedies in alphabetical order written possibly in the mid-13th century by an anonymous doctor traditionally called Nicolaus Salernitanus or Nicholas of Salerno. Nicolaus derived his material from a collective oral tradition which had been put together in Salerno between 1160 and 1200.

Other copies of the text are:

  • Additional MS 22809 (ff. 230r-244v, with commentary by Johannes Platearius, imperfect)
  • Arundel MS 115 (ff. 134v-143v; dated 1327, attributed to Nicholas de Ostresham)
  • Arundel MS 215 (ff. 242r-257v, preceded by table of contents), Egerton MS 747 (ff. 112r-124r), Harley MS 2378 (ff. 63r-110r) and Harley MS 3140 (ff. 255r-271r, with table of contents between prologue and incipit), Sloane MS 341 (ff. 115r-127v), Sloane MS 352 (ff. 1r-29v, imperfect), Sloane MS 1124 (ff. 58r-71r, preceded by table of contents), Sloane MS 1612 (ff. 366r-397r, imperfect), Sloane MS 2268 (ff. 2r-15r), Sloane MS 2527 (ff. 1r-21v), Sloane MS 3483 (ff. 1r-22v), Sloane MS and 3525 (ff. 222v-244v, in French, preceded by table of contents on ff. 220r-222v); excerpts in Royal MS 12 E. viii (ff. 110r-122r), and a fragment in Additional MS 24068 (f. 24v). A translation in Middle English in Harley MS 2374 (ff. 31r-64v, imperfect).

One large puzzle initial (f. 3r; 9 lines) in red and blue with contrasting penwork decoration alongating into the border:



prof. Henschel: A[ugustus] G[uilelmus] E[duardus] Th[eodorus] Henschel. August Wilhelm Eduard Theodor Henschel. 1790-1856; Royal College of Surgeons of England. 1850.   Henschel, A. Th., Anonymi Salernitani de adventu medici ad aegrotum libellus et commentatio  de praxi medica Salernitana. Gratulationsschrift. Breslau 1850.  25 pages.  Latin.
Can be found here.

– Petrarca’s Urteil über die Medicin und die Aerzte seiner Zeit. Janus Bd. I. 1846



15. & 22. DNBL (brussel’s number 15 & 22)

This is the version, from SOPHIE J. VAN DEN BERG. Delft, Maart 1917. From the DBNL.

based on the ANTIDOTARIUM NICOLAÏ.  (Ms. 15624-15641, Kon. Bibl. te Brussel)
Handwritten in 1351. ?

“De studie van de geschiedenis der Salernitaansche School is nog van betrekkelijk jongen datum en dagteekent eigenlijk pas van 1837, toen prof. Henschel een, toen nog onbekend, handschrift uitgaf, van 35 verschillende geschriften, die alle van Salernitaanschen oorsprong zijn en, met uitzondering van de chirurgie, alle onderdeelen der geneeskunde omvatten.

Door de publicatie na 1837 van verscheidene handschriften van werken van geleerden der Salernitaansche School, door S. de Renzi en Ch. Daremberg (Ant. Mazza, Urbis Salernae historia), is het mogelijk geworden, zich een nauwkeuriger denkbeeld te vormen van het peil der geneeskundige wetenschap te Salerno.” source

Full descr. and text see below.


Antidotarium Nicolai, Ms. 15624-15641

We use “Eene Middelnederlandsche vertaling van het Antidotarium Nicolai, Ms. 15624-15641, Kon. Bibl. te Brussel, met den Latijnschen tekst …  . Ms15624-156941 WS van den Berg 1917″

There the used Abbreviations are:

Overzicht van praeparaten in het werk:

We see the folowing columns:

  • M.T. /  M.T. :  Middelnederl. vertaling van het Antidotarium.
  • L1, L2:  L1. Editio princepo van het Antidotarium, 1471. and L2. Latijnsche editie van het Antitodarium, 1581.
  • F1, F2: F1. Oudste, meest volledige, Fransche vertaling van het Antidotarium. and  F2. Jongste Fransche vertaling van het Antidotarium.


The full list contains 183 antidotaria names. Starting with “Acharristum”and ending with “Zucharum violatum”.   (note: see the full excel file in archive)

The names have been counted and in this version there are 178 names mentioned.

In the table below the first letters of the 183 names were taken and a frequency count is displayed.



Orginal DNBL text translated: (start here).

Version Sophie J. van den Berg.  Delft 1917. WS van den Berg.

With help of the Middle Dutch Dictionary.  and the

(notes by DS)


On the Salerno school

Salerno, according to her historic writer Joh. Ant. Summonte, would have been the cleanest city of Italy, and would have gotten her name from the small river Silaris. On both sides the city is “walled” by the mountains the Appenines. Those mountains stop during wintertime the North and N.E. winds. In the summer the proximity of the sea prevents that it becomes too hot. There are numerous hot and cold springs in the area, which
rise from the volcanic soil, already in Horace’s time (65 b.C) a medical reputation that came close to the fame of Baiae and Puteoli.
By the influence of Greek civilization, Salerno had a ‘Gymnasium …. post hominum memoriam satis praeclaram, ubi clarissimi omnium semper disciplinarum interpretes celebres floruerunt, quos, ut audiat cupida disciplinarum inventus, undique confluit’.

The origin of the Salerno Gymnasium or School is not clear, but  it must be very old, because, according to S. de Renzi (Mesuae opera Venet. 1562), one already finds in documents of
the years 848 and 855 the two Salernitan physicians Josef and Josua and the well-known Ragenfriedus (lived in 900).

In the 11th century one did not know for sure if there were one of two schools:
the Collegium Hippocraticum and the younger Gymnasium Salernitanum.

More likely, however, is that Salerno originally had a Collegium Hippocraticum
which later became the medical faculty of the later founded university. The mentioned Gymnasium Salernitanum (by Columna and Mazza)

Previously Thomas of Aquino writes, (± 1250)  ‘Quatuor sunt urbes caeteris praeeminentes; Parisiis in scientiis, Salernum in medicine, Bononia in legibus, Aurelianis in actoribus.

Petrarca (1330) calls Salerno as : ‘medicinae fontem ac gymnasium nobilissimum’.

The fact that a doctor’s degree could only be obtained at this medical faculty is reason mentioned by Joann. the Nigris for why this faculty is more famous, then the other: ‘in medicina possunt doctorani: non autem doctorari possunt in Jure Civili et Canonico ‘.

According to Mazza, the Collegium Hyppocraticum had 10 magistri, of which
the oldest was Prior or Praepositus. Originally rewarded with the funds deposited by the students, later they obtained a fixed salary, that for some was a high as 12 ounces of gold per year. (S. de Renzi, Coll. Salern.)


Professors and students enjoyed a few privileges, such as freedom from taxes, sometimes also housing. Teaching and practicing medicine was accessible for others
doctors, but also for ordinary citizens, nobles, such as Joh. the Procida, (according to
Steinschneider) to Jews and even to women.

The ‘medichese‘ are repeatedly mentioned in in history, although Südhoff believes that these (note: the women) were nothing more than midwives.

Stephania, Trotula (according to Südhoff, was no woman, but
the title of a book), Rebecca (an Israelite?), Guarna, Mercuridis, Abella,
Constanza Calenda are names of such female doctors.

The text in the Trotula certainly does not belong to the worst of the Salernitan works.
The Salernitan doctors had a good name that stretched outside Italy. Foreign princes such as Louis the Pious did send for their personal physicians from Salerno and many distinguished patients sought healing there, as abbot Desiderius of the monastery Monte Casino, later Pope Victor III, Bohemund, son from Rob. Guiscard, Robert, son of Willem den Veroveraar, to whom the famous poem ‘the conservanda valetudine’ was commissioned, e.a., although history
Aldebaron van Verdun, who returned in 984 still being sick, does prove that visits did not always have the desired result.

Originally they were called ‘magistri’, but later the professors used the title of
‘doctores’.  Young medici received that title during the promotion, a special ceremony, which was held in the great cathedral in the public place and consisted of a strict examination.

A candidate would submit and provide proof, that he was not younger than 21 and had studied medicine for at least 7 years. Then followed, according to Mazza, the ‘publice explanare … puncta medicinalia aut in libris Tegni Galeni sheet Avicennae, sheet in libris aphorismorum’).

Also he had to promise ‘ne almo collegio contradicat, falsa ac mendacea nan doceat, a
pauperibus nec oblatam mercedem recipiat, suis languentibus poenitentia
sacramentum mandet, cum aromatariis nullam inhonestam habeat sortem, utero
gerentibus ne abortium exhibit medicamentum ‘ (Virchow’s Archiv, Bd. 38.)

[ENG] “not to contradict the Reverend College, no false and lying doctrines
to proclaim, not to accept the wages of the poor, even if it is offered to him,
to have the sacrament administered to those who want to do poenition, not with
quack, not give fruit-destroying drugs to pregnant women”


Then the young doctor received a gold ring on the finger and a laurel wreath on the head.The obtained doctor’s title gave him the right to practice medical practice. Later this title was even more valuable, when under the famous medical law of emperor Frederick II (1240) only a Salernitan title had the right to practice medicine.

I searched for Salerno dottore anello d’oro e una corona d’alloro” but nothing found. Also I would expect there is a register of those dottore/medico and secondly there are probably specific ceremony instructions or promotion rules


Here in The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages: Volume 1, Salerno, Bologna, Paris
Hastings Rashdall, 
is mentioned the doctor in Mont -Pellier (France) in 1318-1405 receieved a golden girdle. And also that rings to welcome a new member in a guilds was quite common.

Education was entirely based on the teachings of Hippocrates and Galen;
since the arrival of Constantinus Africanus (± 1050) also Arabic works were treated.

Above all, one tried to develop the physicians also in an ethical direction; humanity and unselfishness were regarded as indispensable qualities for the doctor. This ethical direction is evident in the ‘Tractatus the adventu medici ad aegrotum‘, a curious writing, attributed to
Archimatheus and published in 1837 by Prof. Henschel and from which also a very
religious spirit speaks. To what Petrarca says about the doctors of his time, the golden rules of this tractatus must not faithfully observed.


The heyday of the Salernitan School falls in the beginning of the 12th century, so
not simultaneously with the greatest bloom of the city; in 974 Pope Bonifacius
VII proclaimed Salerno to capital of the region. From that periode the two most famous Salernitan works originate: ‘The Antidotarium of Nicolaus’ and the anonymous ‘Schola Salernitana’. The latter is the only one work from that time that was equally important.

After 1260, the school’s reputation became less and less and on nov. 29th, 1811 Napoleon closed the school.

II. Nicolaus and the Antidotarium.
Less is known about Nicolaus. Christophorus de Honestis  writes on him in 1562:

‘Fuit medicus diu exercitatus in practicals et in natural engineering, natione Salernitanus,
plenus divitiis and ex nobili sanguine procreatus, fuit autem temporibus primus et sic
successit non est longum tempus elapsum in dicta civitate Salerni digna clamosa
fama per orbem’

[ENG] he was a physician with long experience and great talent, from Salerno,
very rich and of considerable gender; he was the first of his time and after a short time had one prosperous practice in the aforementioned world-renowned state Salerno.

Other medieval writers dot not mention more details. Sylvius (Mesue 1581) calls him Salernitanus; There is no mention of him of Nicolaus Praepositus. It is doubtful if Nicolaus was ever in fact a Prior of the Collegium Hippocraticum; there is simply no note of that.

The later mentioning of “Nicolaus Praepositi” can therefore not be considered a reliable source, because by then it was already common use to write down that full name.

Before proceeding with the discussion of Nicolaus’ Antidotarium, it may be
good to say something about antidotaria in general.


‘Antidotarium est liber continens experimenta contra morbos data’
says Saladinus the Asculo. An antidotarium has a double effect.

Tender of the usually very compound recipes start with a therapeutic part, called ‘laus‘, mentioning of  the diseases against which the preparations are used and thus serving
as a kind of introduction – and a pharmaceutical part, indicating the
method of preparation of said composition and thus more similar
with the later pharmacopoeias.

The accompanying preface and afterword in an antidotarium are
often of significant value.

There are three large medieval collections of recipes, which have the
name Nicolaus:

I. The oldest collection is the Antidotarium of Nicolaus Salernitanus,
wrongly called Nicolaus Praepositus; this work dates from ± 1100.

II. The largest is the Latin translation of Nicolaus’s Δυναμερόν
Myrepsus, also called Alexandrinus; this was written between 1270 and 1290.

III. Dispensatorium ad aromatarios, formerly also Nicolaus Salernitanus
attributed. According to the researches of E. Wickersheimer this is
a work by Nicolaus Praepositus, according to Wickersheimer ± 1500
doctor in Lyon.

On these three works there was much confusion in the Middle Ages.
Fuchsius (1547), in the preface of his Latin translation of Δυναμερόν, confuses Nicolaus Salernitanus with Nicolaus Praepositus. Remarkable is that he is referring to the Latin translation, the ‘Latin Nicolai codices’, with which he apparently meant the
hss. Nicolaus Salernitanus, adding more value to the Latin text than to the
Greek text.  He also mentions the Glossae of Platearius without knowing,  it
was written on the Antidotarium of Nicolaus Salernitanus, which was labeled by Fuchsius
with the name of ‘Seplasiariorum liber’.

Saladinus de Asculo, in his ‘Compendium ad aromatarios’ and Christophorus de
Honestis speak of an antidotarium magnum ‘quod non est in usu propter eius
prolixitatem, licet sit optimum ‘and an antidotarium parvum’ quibus omnes communiter
utuntur ‘.

Choulant and others saw the Latin translation of the Δυναμερόν for the antidotarium magnum. However, this does not meet the description of Saladinus de Asculo.

Van der Linden confuses Nicolaus Myrepsus with Nicolaus Praepositus, to whom
he ascribes a ‘Dispensatorium ad aromatarios’, published in Lyon in 1505 and
at Paris in 1582, which writings by Ackermann et al. are mistaken for the
large antidotarium of Nicolaus.

Nicolaus himself does not speak of a larger one in his Antidotarium (parvum);
he never mentions any other work from his hand. The only thing that might point to something like that is the expression ‘ad nostram doctrinam’
in the recipe ‘oleum rosatum’. That this is the only possible place in the whole
Antidotarium, that suggests that one has to do with an additive, though
one finds the expression already in the editio princeps (1471).


The time in which the Antidotarium is written can be approximated and derived from different data. From the fact that Platearius wrote his ‘Glossae’ between 1130 and 1160 (Dorveaux, Livre d. Simples Médicines.) and Nicolaus in his work calls a praeparaat from the ‘Ars
medendi ‘of Copho (1085-1100), we can make out, that the Antidotarium must have been written in the first decades of the 12th century.

Hence in the last part of the ‘Ars medendi’ a list of preparations occurs, which we all find in the Antidotarium, it must be assumed, that, if Nicolaus has not already used Copho’s work, both at least did use the same source(s).

The text of the Antidotarium has become unrecognizable  in some places, due to adding or omitting antidotes or praeparates (preparations).

Saladinus de Asculo gives a list of praeparates in the Antidorium, as Benedicta transtyberina, oxymel passulatum, Theriaca exercitualis, that do not occur in Latin texts, while it yet occurs in another list from Diazingiber in Middle Dutch.

In the Additio praeparates, added by Gilbertus Anglicus and others, on which Platearius had written no ‘Glossae’, are often found the words ‘istud electuarium interdum reperitur in antidotario parvo Nicolai’.

Dialacca, Diacurcuma, Pilulae foetidae and other praeparates mentioned in the “editio princeps” are missing in the versions of 1562 and 1581, while in those the
Diatr. pipereon, Diamanna and others are mentioned.

Also in the assignments of weights, simplicia etc. the one edition differs from the other.

The introduction of the Antidotarium, which is often omitted or changed, can be split into
three parts:

I. The salutation, in which Nicolaus tells us, how to write his work
has come, n.l. ‘Rogatus a quibusdam in practica medicinae studere volentibus’.
These are the students who are in the Salerno medical school,
and not, as Neuburger assumes on the basis of the Italian
translation, the other magistri.

II. A treatise ‘the speciebus’, in which he explains, how to keep, treat and weigh the simplicia.
There is no high opinion of the storage places of the herbs at the time.

(note: there was actually written “she does not think highly of the storage of the herbs at the time”, does this mean Nicolaus is a woman???)

Nicolaus also talks here about the fineness of powders in the different medicaments.
This 2nd part is remarkably similar to what Copho says about this, the latter claims to derive that wisdom Constantinus.

III. A summary of the advantages of Nicolaus’ method.

In the afterword Nicolaus deals with the sizes and weights.
That most of the ± 150 highly composed recipes from the Antidotarium
are not from the hand of Nicolaus, is known by everyone. He himself repeatedly mentions the
names of the original authors, where names as Ezra and Sanctus Paulus play a great role.

Moreover, we read in Platearius’ Glossae that the Antidotarium ex multis antidotis est compilatus’.

In the Middle Ages the Antidotarium was for full Europe the standard work in the field of pharmacies.

Arnold de Villanova (1309) recommends it as a textbook for the medical school in Montpellier.

The 1st medical law for Naples and Sicily by Frederik II (late 12th century)  the government recommended it, and the city Ypres at the end of the 13th century recommended the book as an official pharmacopoeia.

Yes, even in present pharmacopoeia one can find a few recipes from the Antidotarium; take f.e. Oximel and Unguentum Altheae in the 4th edition of the (dutch) “Nederlandsche Pharmacopee”, miel rosat, l’huile de rose in the French codex from 1884.

But besides these ± 10 recipes all others were gradually removed from the pharmacopoeia, with the increasing pharmaceutical knowledge . In the original form however, the Antidotarium has managed to uphold itself for at least 4½ centuries, albeit it is only necessary to read the additional entries between the Glossae of Platearius, to see that already some recipes began to fall into disuse.


How high the Antidotarium in the Middle Ages was valued, can be seen from the fact that it is one of the first works that were printed;  numerous reprints saw the light – between 1471 and 1500 there were at least nine reprints – while translated into several languages.

Except the already mentioned Italian translation of the Antidotarium there exist
still 2 French (nos. 25327 en 148271 van den Catalogus der Bibl. nat., by Dorveaux) , one from the beginning of the 14th and one from the 15th century, which
both the so famous but very complicated recipes Theriaca and Metridatum
miss, many Italian, Hebrew, Arab and Middle Dutch manuscripts in Munich, Paris, Vienna etc.

In Munich there is also a 15th century manuscript containing an Italian translation in Hebrew
letters and in Paris a manuscript with Spanish translation in the same letter.

The cause of many Hebrew translations – Steinschneider mentions there are 17 -,
known under the name Merkachot, is caused by the fact that the Antidotarium so
often was edited and translated by and for Jewish doctors.

All these translations differ from each other, because copyists left out pieces or
incorporated recipes of their own invention, depending on their readers.


III. The Middle Dutch translation and the editio princeps.

The printed medium-Dutch translation of the Antidotarium Nicolai one can find in the Kon. Bibl. in Brussels as No. 15626 as a parchment codex, which contains a number of handwritten translations from ancient medical writings, numbered 15624-15641. These are all of important for the history of medicine, especially for the Netherlands.

In this codex one also finds the ‘Cyrurgie of master Jan Yperman’, edited. by prof. E.C. van Leersum, who also gives a detailed description of these codex. (Note: concerns ‘surgery’)

Besides this Middle Dutch translation, we used and printed, by lack of the – lost – original text, the oldest printed Latin edition of 1471.

Thanks to the great Prof. Dorveaux from Paris these are very rare cradle prints, which can not be found in any Dutch or German library.

That is why it may be of service, to give a brief description here of this Editio princeps (printed Venice 1471 in  4o by N. Jenson Gallic)

The book, which originally must have been larger, has been reduced by cutting to a 4o size of 15.5 × 21.30 cm. It contains, in addition to the Antidotarium Nicolai  from fol. 1 r. to 44 v., the tractatus quid pro quo of fol. 45 r. to 50 v. and the sinonima from fol. 51 r. to 68 v.

The paper, which holds as a watermark a post horn, is rough and thick, so that the otherwise beautiful letters and printed less well.

The text contains very many printing errors and inaccuracies, which were corrected in the preferable edition of 1581. The abbreviations, are written in full in this new edition, are the same as those used in the old manuscripts. In the margin – most unimportant – notes have been made by 4 different people, one of which wrote a serial number for each preparation piece and created a decorated capital letter.  The bract, of much thinner and worse paper, wears as a watermark with an anchor with an S above and below it,  is probably added later; there’s written ‘Hain no. 11764’ (link to info here).

Comparing this Latin translation with the Middle Dutch, we see that it deviates quite a bit as can be seen in the ending ‘anno domini 1351’.

The for physicians and pharmacists important preface has been replaced by an preface of the copier, where he made the same mistake as the author of the – complete – French text, cause he calls the book ‘Antidotarius’, while he omits the interesting afterword entirely.

The text from the Antidotarium itself also differs from the Latin one. One gets the impression as to whether the copyist wanted to save the reader the sometimes detailed Latin text, while he repeatedly made clarifications, which is not found in any other text. Mostly these are Dutch folk names of plants; this to say: aristology. “that is
holewortte; cardamomum, that were watercress etc. “.  From some simplicia
only the popular names are used; f..e. he never speaks of iusquiamus, but always
van “beilde”. Expressions that are certainly strange in a scientific scripture are these: ‘men vindet in die apotheke’ (one finds in the pharmacy) : ‘als ons orconden die doctoors’.

All these peculiarities in the text raise the question, is this Dutch translation perhaps not written for doctors or pharmacists, those who were acquainted with the Latin plant names,  while for them the foreword and afterword offers so much importance, as well as for ‘lay man’, that is to say herbalist and such.

The content is very complete. From the praeparates – those mentioned by the ordinary Latin names – there are only ± 30 from the Latin text, as Confect. gallie muscate, Elect. laetificans, Tr. diacoralli, etc., which one is missing in Middle Dutch text ; one finds, however, 14 others, that are missing from the the Latin text, like Dyarebarbarum, Pillule regis, Rosata magna etc. and some of which are found in Mesue’s antidotarium or in Nicolaus Myrepsus.
Probably the copyist has pushed those in.

Antidotarium Nicolaï

This book is called Nicholaus. And thus this (note: this book) also has another name as antitodarius. (note: no this seems not to be a typo).
Note: confexie=Prèparation pharmaceutique source  But I will use “medicine” as a general term for this word.

In it are many ways of pharmaceutical preparation of many simple medications and substancies.
Because .1. thing that is hot .2. It is not easy to say that this means that is effective with certainty. And if one wants it hotter, so one must .1. use hotter versions as well as more dry as well as fresh ones.  And many things must be heated. that is to say, heat behind cold and dry behind freshness.

Therefore one has to conserve 1) hopefulness. And also that .1. medicine may work at one place of the body than another medicine as well as certificate of the doctor.  The medications in this book ordains to keep the people healthy and to cure sickness and to bring nature in a good state.

The medicines of this book have many similar names. Some are called electarium (note: latuariën=lactuarie), opiates, pills, sirops (note: cyropen), dried ones, ointments, plasters and oils.

Each of these have their own proper name, so people know it and can work with it in an orderly way. Each name will be described and alternatives.

(Then the Latin text follows. “Incipit Antidotarium Nicolai”):

Incipit Antidotarium Nicolai.
EGO Nicolaus1) rogatus a quibusdam in practica medicine +studere volentibus: ut
eos recto ordine modum conficiendi dispensandique docerem: et certam eis
traderem doctrinam: in qua de singulis usualium medicinarum: unam tantum vel
duas aut plures libras conficere scirent: et quantum de unoquoque genere gummarum
herbarum seminum et specierum inter omnes medicinas subscriptas acciperent:
eis2) inscriptis redigerem: necnon quibus egritudinibus proprie ipse medicine probate
fuerint. Illorum tandem precibus adductus: talem eis tradidi doctrinam. Et primo de
speciebus. Tria igitur requiruntur in ipsa dispensatione. Primum ut omnia equaliter
ponderentur tam in speciebus quam in gummis et herbis secundum proprium pondus
uniuscuiusque. Secundo ut non sint nimia vetustate consumpta. Tertium ut radices:
herbe: et semina congruis temporibus sint collecta. et in congruis locis reposita. ita
ut a fumo precipue et a nimia humectatione et humido loco corrumpi non possint.
In conficiendo autem tria considerantur similiter mellis puritas et omne3) quod sufficiat.
et equalis pulveris cribellatio. et syrupi ad aque consumptionem fiat decoctio. In
+fol. 1 v. puritate mellis duo actenduntur .i. ne sit (fol. 1 v.) aquosum + aut4) nimis coctum. sed
quod sufficit: nihil aliud est dicere nisi ut specierum pulverem colligere tantum
valeat et conservare. Tribus namque de causis ponitur mel in medicinis. Prima
namque5) ad conservandum est nam pre ceteris liquoribus mel conservativum est5).
Secunda quia mundificativum est valde. Tertia quia sua dulcedine specierum
amaritudinem temperat. Pulveris autem cribellatio duobus modis debet fieri. nam in
electuariis subtilissime debet cribellari: in aliis vero medicinis grossior6) debet esse:
et maxime in laxativis. predicte vero doctrine magna
et multiformis consistit utilitas1). Nam cum aliqua indigeremus +medicina eam aut
totam aut partem oportet facere: aut certe ab alia persona carissimam2): aut forte
corruptam emere cogeremur: aut eam facere totam aut omnino inutilem. aut certe
esset impossibile. necessario autem carere ea: aut3) aliquod istorum inconvenientium
nos oporteret incurrere. Sed huius4) scientia non solum hec vitabuntur incommoda:
verum etiam multa inveniuntur commoda5). Hac namque doctrina bona fiet medicina.
et demum perfecte operabitur corpori abhibita: necnon levior erit expensa. Scire
autem quantum de unoquoque genere gummarum et herbarum seminum et
specierum inter omnes accipiant medicinas non est inutile. per hoc enim facilis et
certa erit notitia emptionis: leve precium et moderata dispensatio.


(note: now the text starts with discussion of  1)Aurea alexandrina first in Middle Dutch then a piece of text in Latin on it) page. 39 pdf.


The Explicit.

Item .viii.ʒ.10) faciunt .℥.i. centum et octo dramme faciunt libram .i. Quarta pars librae est
mille et Item medicinale sextarium vini vel olei seu aceti quod intrat in
unguentis seu medicinis est pondus librarum .ii. et dimidie ad receptionem(fol. 44v.)
omnium medicinarum supradictarum sufficit. Pondera igitur +singularum specierum
pleniter agregando pondus proprium de omnibus ponderibus uniuscuiusque
speciei collectum ordinavimus: et quantum de qualibet specie ad confectionem
opiatarium et laxativarum medicinarum electuariorum et emplastrorum tro-
ciscorum et pilularum sufficiat competenti serie demonstravimus: +et ut scolares
medicinarum pondere releventur et in qualibet terra coram dignissimis personis
pondera distinguendo et medicinas valeant dispensare: et cum dispensandi
habeant copiam de nummorum et amicorum plenitudine glorientur.

+Explicit antitodarius scriptus anno domini .1351. in die beati ypoliti martiri
Finito libro sit laus et gloria Christo Dexteram scribentis benedicat lingua



A selection of words from the Wordlist (Woordenlijst)

p. 194 pdf:

Zeem, honing. In het Antid. komt voor wit, gescuumt z. Zie: mel.

Vitriool, ijzer, koper en zinksulfaat. De naam zou, volgens Peters1), eerst in de
12e eeuw ontstaan zijn.
Vleesch. In het Antid. wordt sop van vleesc gebruikt bij de bereiding van de
massa der Pill. dyacast.

Violetten, vyoletten, violetcruut; hetzelfde als Viola. In den mnl. tekst wordt
nog genoemd sop, cyroop, olye van v., groene, witte v., v. die versch, droog
sijn, violettenbladeren, sap v. violetcrude.

Sirupus, stroop. Volgens J.d.S.A. kan men s. bereiden met honing, wat het
beste is, maar waardoor de laxeerende werking vermindert bij het verhitten, of met suiker, doch dan moet men hem harder laten kooken. Dit moet men ook des zomers doen, als voorbehoedmiddel tegen bederf. Men
moet zoo lang verhitten, tot ‘tcleeft anden lepel of anden vinger. dan eist
gnouch.’ Moet men verschillende simplicia gebruiken, dan doet men goed,
eerst de wortels te kooken, daar die het hardst zijn, daarna de bladeren en ten
slotte de bloemen. Poeders voegt men pas na den suiker toe. In het Antid.
komen 9 recepten van verschillende syropen voor. Een goed apotheker moet
in voorraad hebben: s. rosatus, s. violatus, s. nenufarinus, oxysacchara, s.
acetosus, oximel simplex, diur. en scilliticus, s. de absinthio, s. de fumo terre.
In den mnl. tekst wordt nog genoemd s. mirtinus.

Secacul, wortels, die geconfijt uit Indië komen en veel gelijken op
gemberwortels. Oudtijds bestond er een levendige strijd onder de geleerden
over de vraag, of s. dezelfde plant is als eryngium. Serapio, Avicenna, Luminare
maius ‘et alii moderni’ hielden het voor de wortels van Sigillum Sctae Mariae of van Sig. Salomonis. Sylv.1) zegt: haec [sc.eryngium] enim etiam si non sit eadem, tamen eadem praestat2)’. Sommigen houden het voor Pastinaca dissecta Veut. Sigillum Salomonis, volgens
sommigen hetzelfde als Sig. Sctae Mariae, is Poligonum off. L.

Selinum, ‘S. graece, apium latine’ (L T Gl.).
Semperviva. ‘S. of herba jovis dats donderbaert’ (Herb.) Huislook; Sempervivum
tectorium L. Voor s. minor zie: crassula minor.

Scilla, bulbus, squillen, zeeui; S. maritima s. Urginea Scilla Steinh. ‘S. herba
est quae alio nomine coepa marina dicitur1)’ (L T Gl). Het binnenste en buitenste
rokken hield men voor zeer vergiftig; het middelste, in deeg gehuld en in den
oven geplaatst, tot het deeg gaar is, kon gebruikt worden. Een heele ui, onder
den grond bewaard, blijft 1 jaar goed. In den mnl. tekst wordt ook ‘sap van
squillen’ verlangd. Het zaad wordt in de lente vergaderd en blijft 3 jaar goed.

Saxifrage, kleine Pimpernel; Pimpinella Saxifraga L. ‘S. of steenbreke dats
bevenelle. ende daeromme heetse steenbreke omdat se den steen breekt’
(Herb.). Men gebruikte voornamelijk de wortels, die moeilijk te breken moeten
zijn, anders zijn ze oud.

Pillen, zijn, volgens Chr. d. Hon., om 2 redenen uitgevonden; 1o omdat men
dan minder de bittere simplicia proeft en 2o omdat zij, langer dan andere
medicamenten in de maag blijvende, daardoor beter de ziektestoffen uit ver
verwijderde organen tot zich trekken. Om den onaangenamen smaak weg te
nemen, bedekte men ze met goudblad of met was. J.d.S.A. zegt, dat de gewone
manier van toedienen was in een ouwel met wijn. Men maakte de pillen nog
op de primitieve wijze: ‘met uwen handen gesmeert met olyen van violetten.
of met gemeinder olye…in die groete van erweten…of alsoe groet alse
pepercoorne’ (mnl. tekst). Volgens Chr. d. Hon. maakt men er 6 uit 1 drachme
der massa. De grondstof vervaardigt men met sop van venkel, nachtscaden,
alsenen, mirtus, lovesce, dragantwater, goede witte wijn. Men bewaarde het
als magdalion.

Pigra Galieni, Picra Galieni. Volgens Add. niet het gewone recept; gewoonlijk
maakt men het van 8 simplicia. Het blijft 2 jaar goed, volgens L T Gl. N.M. geeft
geen recept van dien naam. Zie ook: yera pigra Galieni.

Opium, ὀπος = sap. M. Sylv. onderscheidt: o. tranense, genoemd naar Trani
in Apulië, de plaats van herkomst; o. Thebaicum, gemaakt bij Thebe in Egypte
uit het sap van den zwarten papaver; dit is de beste soort, zoodat, wanneer
men in een recept alleen o. leest, men deze soort moet nemen; en o. miconis,
gemaakt van de uitgeperste bladeren en bollen of van het sap van den witten
papaver. Nog eene 4e soort noemde men: o. quirinacium (cyrenaicum); dit is
asa foetida (zie: silphium).

Oleum, olie. Vóor het gebruik werd de ruwe olie gewasschen (o. ablutum),
hetgeen, volgens J.d.S.A., geschiedt, door de olie te doen in eene schoone,
nauwmondsche flesch en er dan kokend water op te gieten. Men kon dit eenige
keeren herhalen.

Oleum olivarum, olijfolie, gemeine olye, olye van oliven.

Papaver, ‘dats oele of olycruut….Ende olye hieraf gemaect verdrijft smerten op tie ogen. Ende p. ende mancopijn1) sijn eens. Ende dit saet es van .2. manieren wit [P. somniferum L.] ende bruun [P. Rhoeas L., klaproos]’ (Herb.).
Men kende echter ook nog eene Papaversoort, met zwart zaad (p. nigrum),
eene varieteit van P. album, welk zaad, volgens L T Gl., 2 jaar goed blijft.
‘Quando simpliciter ponitur p., album intellige, raro tamen sine additione
reperitur2)’ (L T Gl.). In den mnl. tekst wordt p. ‘olycruut’ genoemd, het zaad
(root, wit, swart) ‘olisaet’, de bollen ‘hoefde van olycrude’.

Paradijshout, zie: lignum aloes.

Musen. ‘Want musen siin geconformeert van vleeschachtigen zenewen ende
van gebinden. dewelke siin de wille van roerne’ (J. IJperman). Gevoelszenuw,
Hd. Muskel.

Metridatum. ‘M. es moeder boven alle medicinen’ (mnl. tekst). Mithridates,
koning van Pontus, zou het uitgevonden en als tegengif gebruikt hebben.
Volgens Q. Serenus Samonicus zou het daarin bestaan, dat men dagelijks 20
bladeren van de wijnruit, 1 korrel zout, 2 noten en 2 vijgen zou nemen en daarna
een weinig wijn drinken1). De latere recepten zijn daarentegen veel uitgebreider.
Eigenaardig is, dat de Franse tekst het praeparaat in enkele regels afhandelt,
waardoor hij niet met den Latijnse tekst te vergelijken is. N.M. geeft 2
recepten (no 411 en 412 der antidota). In Add. wordt op 3 fouten gewezen, die
nog al eens bij de samenstelling begaan worden: het vergeten van de
terebintina, het vervangen van balsamum door andere olie en de bijvoeging
van te veel honing. Vóor de uitvinding van theriak door Andromachus was M.
het geliefkoosde antidotum tegen allerlei vergiffen. Het blijft 10 jaar goed.

Mandragora, alruin; Atropa Mandragora L. Dit kruid was reeds bij de ouden
als aphrodisiacum en narcoticum bekend.

Cracht. ‘Facultas causa quaedam est effectrix1)’ (Gal.). Sommige ‘crachten’
werken terstond (actu), zooals vuur, ijs, andere eerst na eenigen tijd (futuro
tempore), b.v. Pyrethrum, Hyoscyamus. De sterkte der cracht drukt men uit in
4 graden, waarvan de 4e de sterkste is. Men onderscheidde 4 soorten van
1e afhangend van de elementen: verwarmend, verkoelend,
verdrogend en vochtigmakend, 2e de verzachtende, verhardende,
samentrekkende, verteerende enz., 3e de ettermakende, heelende enz., 4e
de magnetische en door onbekende oorzaken werkende krachten. Over het
versterken of verzwakken van eene kracht leze men het voorwoord van het
Xe boek van Der Naturen Bloeme.

Copho [minor], 1085-1100, was een oudere tijdgenoot van Nicolaus. Over
zijne ‘Ars medendi’ is uitvoeriger gesproken in de Inleiding, ‘Nicolaus en zijn
Antid’. Ook schreef hij eene ‘Anatomia porci’, vroeger verkeerdelijk genoemd
a. parvi galeni, uitgeg. door J. Schwarz.

Huuf, huig; uvula.=  huich,  ‘Die huuf es .1. jnstrument dat dient der naturen. ende hanget
boven der naturen gescapen alse ene wartte van ere vrouwen borst. 1 luttel
smaelre. Dese hanget vore tgat. daer die adem uut ende in gaet. ende heeft
.2. gaetkine. een boven ende dat es ruumst ende .1. in sijn nederste ende dats
nauwe. Ende als dit verstopt. dan swillet die huuf. ende dan dunct die lieden
dat hen enege dinc stect in die kele. ende dan so raexenen si dicken omdat si
dat wanen uutspuwen. ende temeer dat sijs plegen. so die huuf te meer swillet.’
(D.B.S.v.M.=Dese boek spreect van medicinen.) see this page for more info

Humoren, de ‘cardinale’ lichaamssappen der humoraal-pathologie. ‘Avicenna
die wise meester seit dat de mensce es gemaect van der aerden. Ende es
beset met .4. humoren. Alse heet. cout. droge ende versch. Ende dit sijn si.
sanguis. colera. fleuma. melancola. Daeromme cureert men thete met den
couden. ende tcoude metten heten. Entie dese 4 h umoren niet en kent hi nes
geen goet phisicijn’ (Av. d.w.m.). Zie verder: flegma, cholera.

Herba venti, ‘varie interpretatur. Sunt qui umbilicum veneris esse dicant. Alii
helxinen seu parictaria; nonnulli consolidam minorem vocant. Aliqui vero
anemonem…Sciant hoc in loco [ung. aur.] herbam venti anemonem, sylvestram
praesertim cuius pictura et historia est in altero nostrorum de Stirpium historia
tomo1)’ (L. Fuchsius). Anemona Pulsatilla L., wildemanskruid, wintcruyt. De
Anemona nemorosa L., boschanemoon, wordt nog heden windbloem, windkruid

Herba paralysis, ‘sleutelblommen’ (W.); Primula officin. Jacq., ‘hèrba Scti Petri’
(M. Sylv.). ‘h.p. draget geluwe bloemen…Dyascorides seit dat van allen werken
geliket enen crude datmen heet primulaveris. ende oec van allen wesene
sonder dat primulaveris maer ene bloeme en draget die gelu es ende dandere
die draget vele. Die bloemen entie bladen entie wortele sijn van beide eens’
(Herb.). Men gebruikt de bladeren die 1 jaar goed blijven. Men verzamelt ze
in den bloeitijd (L T Gl.).

Gewichten. In het Antid. komen de volgende gewichten voor:
℔, libra, pond = 12 ℥ (oncen).
Het medic. pond = ¾ van het burgerl. pond

℥, uncia, ons = 8-101) ʒ (drachme).
ʒ, drachma, dragma, dramme = 3 ℈ (scrupel).
℈, scrupulus, scropel, skrupel = 20 gr. (grein).
gr., granum [sc. frumenti], gran, grein, coorne.
man., manipulus, eene hand vol.
exagium = 90 gr. = 1 ½ ʒ.
solidum = exagium.
aur., aureus. ‘a. exagio solidoque parificatur’ (S.d.A.).
sextarium, maat voor vloeistoffen inh. 2 ½ ℔.
Zie verder: F. Adams, The seven books of Paulus Aegineta, dl. III.

Flos, bloem. Flos Agni, nenufaris, oleandri, roris marini; zie op deze woorden
f. siriacus is, volgens sommigen, de bloem van de malva, volgens anderen,
van bismalva (zie: althaea); deze planten verschillen echter zoo weinig, dat
men ze, volgens L T Gl., door elkaar mag gebruiken.

Esula, ezule, spurge. ‘e. es .1. cruut dat gelijkt linaria dats paddevlas. Ende
es een specie van tytimallus. Die wortele es medicinael. entie stelen sijn root.
ende es van .2. manieren, die mindere entie meerdere. Ende beide doen si
sciten ende sijn laxatijf. Ende men orboort die scorsse van den wortele met
andre medicinen’ (Herb.). ‘Euphorbia esula L., heksenmelk, kleine spurge,
kleine e. Euphorbia palustris L., duivelsmelk, groote spurge, groote e.’ (Hk.).

Dannialkon, ‘d. es olye van bayen’ (mnl. tekst). Alkon is in den tekst door een
. gescheiden van het voorafgaande danni, maar vormt daarmede één woord.

Borne, bronwater, drinkwater. De mnl. tekst noemt coude, lauwe, warme en
ziedende borne. Zie: water.

Bayen, bessen, vooral laurierkers ‘Laurus, hierop wassen die bayen….Ende
die bayen duren goet 1 jaer’ (Herb.). Voor de bereiding van ‘olye van bayen’
zie: laurus.

As(s)arum, asara baccara, mansoor, haselwortele, A. europaeum L. Plat. zegt,
dat men de wortels gebruikt; men zou ze 3 jaar kunnen bewaren, maar Dod.
in het bijvoegsel achter asarum zegt, dat zij niet langer dan 1 jaar goed blijven.
Volgens hem moet men ze inzamelen, wanneer de bloemen beginnen te
ontluiken. Men moet ze in de zon laten drogen en dan in houten kisten bewaren.
In den mnl. tekst wordt sap. van a. vermeld.

Artemisia, St. Janscruut; A. vulgaris L. ‘a. dats bivoet’ (Herb.). Volgens L T
Gl. gebruikt men de bloemen en de bladeren zonder de steeltjes; men moet
het kruid in den bloeitijd verzamelen; het blijft een jaar goed.

Antimoron. Fuchsius zegt in zijne aanteekeningen bij dit praeparaat, zooals
het bij N.M. voorkomt, dat het van arabischen oorsprong is. Daar heet het
diatamaros. In L T Gl. wordt het een electuarium laxativum genoemd. De
Fransche tekst, waarin het achonaton (athanaton) heet, is zoo onvolledig, dat
hij niet woordelijk met den latijnschen te vergelijken is

Ameos, akkerscherm; Ammi maius L. Men wil, dat de naam ontstaan zou zijn,
doordat de middeleeuwsche latinisten uit het bij Diosc. voorkomende ἄμμεως
(gen. van ἄμμι) een nominativus ameos zouden afgeleid hebben. L T Gl. zegt
dat vooral de zaden gebruikt worden, die men des zomers moet inzamelen en
dan drogen, waarna ze 2 jaar goed blijven. Hij bespreekt daar ook een vinum
coctionis ameos. De plant stond bekend om hare diuretischen werking. Diosc.
zegt, dat sommigen het cuminum aethiopicum noemen. De plant is ‘vulgo
notum’ en komt ook in Nederland in het wild voor. Zie: amer.
Amer komt driemaal in den mnl. tekst voor; blijkens den latijnschen

cruut = kruid


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