Princess Juliana Anicia (), daughter of the Anicius Olybrius, Emperor of the is available in facsimile and is now referred to as the Juliana Anicia Codex . PDF | The Greek pharmacopeia of Pedanius Dioscorides (20–70 CE), entitled Peri Ylis Ialikis (latinized as De Materia Medica, On Medical. Ancient Greek Illustrated Dioscoridean Herbals: Origins and Impact of the Juliana Anicia Codex and the Codex Neopolitanus. Article (PDF.

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Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides c. As a surgeon with the Roman army of Emperor Nero, Dioscorides traveled through Italy, Gaul, Spain, and North Africa, recording the existence and medicinal value of hundreds of plants.

Vienna Dioscurides

He compiled an extensive listing of medicinal herbs and their virtues in about 70 A. It remained the authority in medicinal plants for over years.

The oldest known manuscript of his work is the Juliana Anicia Codex ca. Listed as Codex Vindobonensis Medicus Graecus 1.

It is certain, however, that, in A. The artist seems to have based his work on illustrations from the Rhizotomicon of Crateuas of Pergamon 1st century B.


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The genus of this herb julana originally named Chironia after Chiron, a centaur of Greek mythology who was famous for his knowledge of medicinal plants. Dioscorides alluded to the myth and prescribed Centaury as a treatment for wounds. Next to Rue, Wormwood is the bitterest herb. Dioscorides recommended it as a stomachic, a vermifuge, a remedy for jaundice, and a flavoring for absinthe.

File:Kestron fol v Juliana Anicia Codex – Betonica – Wikimedia Commons

According to Dioscorides, absinthe was a popular summertime drink in Propontis and Thracia, where qnicia believed it maintained good health. Dioscorides also recommended the use of Wormwood in clothes drawers to repel moths and mice.

Dioscorides suggested its use as a purgative, antitoxin, skin cleanser, and labor-inducer. When used as a purgative, juice from the tuberous root-stock was applied externally, either over the bowels and bladder region or on the anus.

Dioscorides also mentioned its use as an aphrodisiac.

File:Carrot, Juliana Anicia – Wikimedia Commons

Dioscorides prescribed the milky juice of Galbanum for ulcers, coughs, convulsions, ruptures, headaches, stomach pains, menstrual cramps, toothaches, snakebites, and labor pains. Rubbed on the eyes as an ointment, it improved eyesight.

And taken with honey, Galbanum was a sure remedy for indigestion and flatulence. The Jhliana plant grows in many parts of the world: Dioscorides prescribed its stem as a sedative and its berries as diuretics.


Mixed with aniia, Physalis was said to improve eyesight; with wine, it supposedly cured toothache. The beauty and fragrance of the rose secured its popularity in the ancient world. The Greeks associated the rose with Aphrodite, the Graces, and the Muses.

Dioscorides recommended rose petal paste as an eye salve and suggested a decoction of rose petal dust in wine for headaches, earaches, and hemorrhoids.

He also prescribed a rose hip decoction against hemoptysis. A relative of the notorious Atropa belladonna, or Deadly Nightshade, the Black, or Garden, Nightshade is potentially harmful, but its poison is relatively mild.

Dioscorides recommended its leaves for treating skin diseases. According to Dioscorides, its shape revealed its purpose as an antidote for snakebites.

Dioscorides also recommended the Arum root as an expectorant.