Rembert Dodoens

1554 Rembert Dodoens, one of the first Belgian botanists, wrote a herbal, Cruydeboeck, which was translated by Clusius from Flemish into French and published under the name of Histoire de Plantes in 1557. He describes the male and female paeonies, giving a description of the leaves of each from which one can recognise P.mascula and P.officinalis. His figure is the same as Fuch's.

In the edition of 1578 there are three plates of paeonies. In the English edition of 1578, A Nieuve Herball, translated by Henry Lyte, the third plate is of a paeony with leaves and flowers smaller and the stalk shorter, " which some call the Maiden or Virgine Peonie, although it beareth red flowers." He says all these paeonies are found in the gardens of this country, that the paeony took " the name first of that good old man Paeon, a very ancient Physition who first taught the knowledge of this Hearbe."

Stern 1946



Dodoens, Rembert

b. June 29, 1516/17, Mechelen, Spanish Netherlands [now in Belgium]
d. March 10, 1585, Leiden, Neth.

Latin REMBERTUS DODONAEUS, original name REMBERT VAN JOENCKEMA, Flemish physician and botanist whose Stirpium historiae pemptades sex sive libri XXX (1583) is considered one of the foremost botanical works of the late 16th century.

Dodoens received a medical degree from the University of Louvain in 1535 and composed works on cosmography and physiology before turning to botany with the brief treatise De frugum historia (1552). His Cruydeboek (1554), an extensive herbal, owes a great deal to the "German fathers of botany," especially Leonhard Fuchs; instead of arranging plants in alphabetical order, Dodoens grouped plants according to their properties and reciprocal affinities. Translated into French in 1557, it became a standard in England through Henry Lyte's English translation of 1578. Pemptades introduced new families, arranged plants into 26 groups, and added many original and borrowed illustrations. It was the basis of John Gerard's celebrated Herball. Dodoens served as physician to the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian II and his successor, Rudolph II. He joined the faculty of medicine at Leiden University in 1582.

DODONAEUS, R. Cruydt-Boeck, volgens sijne laetste verbeteringhe: met biivoeghsels achter elck capitel uyt verscheyden Cruydt-beschrijvers: item in 't laetste een beschrijvinghe vande Indiaensche ghewassen, meest ghetrocken uyt de schriften van Carolvs Clvsivs. Nu wederom van nieuws oversien ende verbetert. Antwerpen, inde Plantijnsche Druckerije van Balthasar Moretus, 1644. Folio (383 x 246mm). pp. (36), 1492, (60, index), with engraved title and 1470 woodcuts.

The last and most augmented edition of this monumental Dutch herbal, with additions by Joost van Ravelingen. Rembert Dodonaeus (1517-1585), Flemish physician and botanist, was one of the three great Flemish botanists in the second half of the 16th century, the others being Clusius and Lobel. The first edition of the present herbal was published in Antwerp by Jan van der Loe in 1554. Dodonaeus graduated from the University of Louvain in 1535. After working in Malines as a physician he moved to Vienna to assume the post of personal physician to Emperor Maximilian II, later he moved to Prague when Rudolph II succeeded Maximilian. In 1582 Dodonaeus was appointed professor of botany at the University of Leiden. The 'Cruydt-Boeck' has been the most important and popular herbal in the Dutch language. Apart from the somewhat age-darkened vellum binding, a mint and clean copy, towards the end a faint marginal stain at the lower right corner. Provenance: Old inscription on French title that the book was bought at a sale in Dunkerque; Bought by Kenneth K. Mackenzie from Burgersdijk & Niermans, July 1925 for 55 florins; Robert de Belder. Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1492; Nissen BBI, 518; Meerbeeck 11.
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DODONAEUS, R. Florum, et Coronarium Odoratarumque nonnullarum herbarum historia. Altera editio. Antwerp, C. Plantin, 1569. 8vo. pp. 311, (9), with Plantin's device on title and 109 woodcuts in the text (Together with:) IDEM. Historia Frumentorum, Leguminum, Palustrium et Aquatilium Herbarum, ac eorum, quae eo pertinent. Antwerp, C. Plantin, 1569. 8vo. pp. 293, (1, blank), (10, last blank), with Plantin's device on title and 86 woodcuts in text.

I) Second edition of Dodoen's study of ornamental and fragrant plants, and one of the earliest treatises on 'garden flowers'. The first edition was published 1568, for the second edition the text was revised and 5 woodcuts redrawn and one added. The work includes many of the recent introductions from Asia Minor, bulbous plants in particular, that were transforming European gardens. "Dodoens' 'Florum, et coronarium' was devoted to those flowers, ranging from herbaceous annuals and perennials to rare bulbous plants, that were traditionally used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to form garlands and wreaths, 'coronae'; in fact a garden planted with such flowers was sometimes referred to in this period as 'hortus coronarius'. Among the flowers he describes are the rose, violet, lily, marguerite, marigold, amaranth, iris, narcissus, anemone and carnation and sweet-smelling herbs such as thyme, marjoram, lavender and lavender cotton' (Tomasi, An Oak Spring Flora, p. 156). The fine woodcuts are by Arnaud Nicolai and G. van Kampen after drawings by Pieter van der Borcht. II) Second edition (first 1566) with 6 new woodcuts. This work is a 'botanical study of the cereals, the vegetables, the vegetation of the marshes, and the water plants' (Voet). The excellent woodcuts, including many attractive water plants, were drawn by Pieter van der Borcht and cut by Cornelius Muller, Arnaud Nicolai and G. van Kampen. Rembert Dodoens (1517-1585), Flemish physician and botanist, was one of the three great Flemish botanists of the second half of the sixteenth century, the others being Clusius and L'Obel. I) Nissen BBI, 514; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1486; Hunt 104. II) Nissen BBI, 513; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1485.
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DODONAEUS, R. Stirpium Historiae pemptades sex sive libri XXX... Antwerp, Moretus, 1616, Folio (365 x 229mm). pp. (xvi), 872, (68), with engraved title and c. 1330 woodcuts in the text

Second edition (first 1583), with text corrections and additions, and 32 additional woodcuts. This is the definitive form of Dodoens' text, embodying the final versions of his botanical works. Meerbeeck gives a detailed list of the material new to this edition. It is this edition that is cited by Linnaeus, Adanson, and Jussieu. This edition contains the full suite of Pieter van der Borcht woodcuts cut for Plantin for his editions of Dodoens, Clusius, 'et al'. There is some discrepancy in the count of the woodcuts; Nissen calls for 1341, but notes that Trew calls for 1330. The latter figure agrees with Johnston, who actually counted the figures. The fine engraved title is a reworking of the plate for the title-page to Clusius' 'Rariorum plantarum historia', Antwerp 1601, and features figures of Adam, Solomon, Theophrastus and Dioscorides in an architectural b with flowering plants, some in pots. Provenance: Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford (1751-1812), with his 'Piranesi' bookplate; Robert de Belder. Hunt 201; Johnston 163; Krivatsy 3302; Meerbeeck 11; Nissen BBI, 517; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1489; Wellcome 1824.

DODONAEUS, R. Stirpium Historia pemptades sex, sive libri XXX ... Antverpiae, ex Officina Plantiniana, apud B. & I. Moretos, 1616. Folio. pp. (16), 872, (66), with fine engraved title and 1341 woodcuts of plants in the text.

Nissen BBI, 517; Hunt 201: "Best revised and enlarged edition." Dodoens was the first of the Great Flemish botanists and helped to forward the growing interest in classification which had begun with Bock's "Neu Kreuterbuch" in 1539. The above offered work is Dodoens last and most comprehensive botanical work, incorporating material from a number of his earlier books, including the "Cruydeboeck". It is of interest, that he made here an attempt to an explanation of the parts of the plants. An unusually fine copy with broad margins, very crisp inside without the usual browning, and in an excellent contemporary binding.
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