British Library, Cotton MS Vitellius C III


Produced: England, 9th-11th century
Current Location: British Library, London, England, UK
Manuscript Type: Miscellany
Language: Latin/Old English
Folios: 142
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Dimensions: Height: 32 cm Width: 25 cm
Folio 80r


An illustrated Herbal and Medicina de quadrupedibus (Medicinal properties of animals) in Old English (folio 11r-85r).

  • Folio 11v: full page miniature depicting a tall man spearing an animal (possibly a lion) next to a man with a shield and a tonsured man presenting a book.
  • Folio 19r: full-page miniature showing a man and a centaur presenting a book to a central figure in a blue veil or hood, in a landscape full of animals. The image has the caption 'Escolapius Plato Centaurus'.
  • ff. 20r-74v: an illustrated Herbal, comprising the De Herba Vettonica liber attributed to Emperor Augustus' physician Antonius Musa (Pseudo-Antonius Musa), the Herbarius of Pseudo-Apuleius, Pseudo-Dioscorides's Liber medicinae ex herbis feminis,and Curae herbarum, all translated into Old English. Paintings of various plants, scorpions, and snakes.
  • Folio 75r–82v: Medicina de quadrupedibus, including texts on the medicinal properties of badgers and mulberry trees, and Sextus Placitus Papiriensis's Liber medicinae ex animalibus, translated into Old English. Drawings of animals including a badger, a stag, snakes, a fox, a hare, a scorpion, a wild goat, a domestic goat, a ram, a boar, a snake, a wolf, a lion, a bull, an ape holding a blue object, an elephant and a dog.

[Adapted from the British Library catalog]

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