The non-illustrated Greek herbal of Pedanius Dioscorides written in Year 65 is one of the most important and influential books on pharmacology, herbal medicine, and horticulture and influenced medicine for almost two millennia. The manuscript was reconstructed by Wellman (1906–14) in three volumes and recently translated into English (Beck, 2005). Three illustrated recensions in Greek still exist and are invaluable resources for studies of ancient and early medieval plant images. The earliest is the JAC, completed in Constantinople in 512 and dedicated to the Imperial Princess Juliana Anicia (462–527), daughter of Anicius Olybrius, Emperor of the western Roman Empire. The bound volume is located in the Österreichische in Vienna and is available in facsimile in two volumes (Der Wiener Dioskurides, 1998, 1999; Janick and Hummer, 2012). Identification of the two-volume JAC images (folios 12v–387r) by the facsimile editor Otto Mazal was available in an index called Das Herbarium divided in two volumes that included binomials and families in Latin and common names and some descriptions in German.
The illustrated NAP dates to ≈600 and since 1923 resides in the Biblioteca Nazionale, Naples (Collins, 2000). A facsimile is available (Dioscurides De Materia Medica, Codex Neapolitanus Graceus I of the National Library of Naples, 2000). The NAP images have the Greek name as an integral part of most images, and there is an index of Greek names on p. 223 to 243 in the volume accompanying the facsimile. NAP appears to be an extended version of JAC with many images either copied from or based on JAC and can be considered a sister manuscript based on a lost archetype, although it cannot be excluded that some images of NAP were copied from JAC (Janick and Stolarczyk, 2012).
M652 completed in Constantinople between 927 and 985 is related both to JAC and NAP (Janick et al., 2013). It is now in the collection of the Morgan Museum and Library where it is available online (<http://www.themorgan.org/home.asp>). An index has been made available by the library and contains the Greek name in Roman letters, common name, and binomial.
These three illustrated herbals are clearly related to each other either by copying or from an earlier lost manuscript. An image analysis of the three herbals was made by Janick et al. (2013) and in the process, a database was constructed to determine the relationship between images. The database is currently online (<http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/herbalimages>). The objective of this article is to describe the construction of the database and bring it to the attention of horticulturists and herbal scholars who should find the information useful.
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