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Sudhoffs Arch. 2005;89(1):96-119.

[Hildegards von Bingen 'Liber simplicis medicinae' in the Mainz 'Garden of Health'].

[Article in German]


The "Garden of Health" (Gart der Gesundheit) is the first illustrated book of herbs in German language. Its author, Johann Wonnecke from Kaub on the Rhine, was born in 1430 and worked as a city doctor in Frankfurt/Main until his death in 1503 or 1504. In his book, he refers to "proven Greek, Latin and Arabic masters of medicine" (bewerte meister in der artzeney), whose writings he was instructed to collect by Bernard von Breidenbach in 1480. Wonnecke carried out he task in a special way, deceiving five generations of historians of science, who proceeded from the false assumption, that the Gart der Gesundheit was compiled and translated from Latin sources. Wonnecke established the desired authors skilfully in his report, but under a more detailed investigation they reveal themselves as not taken from Latin sources but copied off from native language scriptures, e.g. Alterer deutscher Macer and Buch der Natur by Konrad von Megenberg. To these hitherto known sources used by him now the Speyrer Kräuterbuch is added, which supplied the medical knowledge of Hildegard von Bingen to the "Gart".

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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