Smith’s copy of Dioscorides’ compendium of herbal medicines is bound in calfskin decorated with roses and a border of plants and birds. On the fore-edge Smith has drawn a blossoming plant. The loss of a sixteenth-century commentary on this text caused Smith a great deal of grief: ‘He was very conversant in the commentaries of Matthiolus upon Dioscorides, and had interspersed his own book of Matthiolus, with many notes and observations of his own. It was a book that was never wont to go from him. But some body it seems once had stollen it, which grieved him not a little, complaining to his friends, that he had rather have lost a far better thing… By his conversing in these books, we may judge of his learning that way.’ (Strype, The life of the learned Sir Thomas Smith (London, 1698) pp. 213-14).
Author: Dioscorides Pedanius of Anazarbos
Title: De medica materia libri V [On medical materials] (Cologne, 1529)
Shelfmark: F.9.29(1) (catalogue record)