Bartholomaeus Anglicus 12th Century

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Bartholomaeus Anglicus lived until about the middle of the 13th Century. Following study at Oxford, he joined the Franciscan Order in France. His work, Liber de proprietatibus rerum, was held as a manuscript for two centuries before being printed in 1472. This was over 2000 years after he had composed it. The book was in reality an encyclopedia consisting of an account of trees and herbs, arranged in alphabetical order and chiefly concerned with their medicinal values. It contains theoretical considerations about plants along medical lines.

An English translation was made in 1398 by John Trevisa and was entitled Properties of All Thynges. Trevisa's translation became the chief source from which Shakespeare and other writers of his time obtained their information about natural history. Twenty-five editions appeared before the end of the 15th Century and forty-three printed editions have been identified.

Students in the University as well as the common people read Liber de proprietatibus rerum early and the author had wide influence upon the world in which he lived. The discussion included geography, psychology, anatomy, physiology, disease and plant and animal subjects.

Bartholomaeus Anglicus