Valencia, Biblioteca Historicomédica, E/268

Tractado de las Drogas, y Medicinas de las Indias Orientales... Facsimile Edition

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This book introduced to Europe some of the most important Asian plants, such as cinnamon, pepper, clove, nutmeg, tamarind, rhubarb, ginger, etc. from the medical perspective, as well as their use as spices.

For many centuries, Europeans had been consuming these products arriving from the East by means of the so-called "spice route" or the "silk route," but were unaware of the plants from which the spices originated.

Cristóbal Acosta made many long journeys across eastern Asia, during which "he saw them with his own eyes," studied them and "sketched them in real life."

On his return to Spain, his work presented the results of his labour, offering almost fifty drawings of surprising accuracy, which were the first printed images on this subject.

As an annex, the work contains a Tractado del elefante, which is also the first monographic study published on this animal, with two drawings which brought an end to the fanciful images which were in circulation at the time in Europe.

Printed book description compiled by the publisher.
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Tractado de las Drogas, y Medicinas de las Indias Orientales, con sus Plantas Debuxadas al Vivo por Cristobal de Acosta, Medico y Cirujano que las Vio Ocularmente. Tractado del Elephante y de sus Calidades.

Valencia: Vicent Garcia Editores, 1996

  • Limited Edition: 3160 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Tractado de las Drogas, y Medicinas de las Indias Orientales...: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

The facsimile, printed on specially made laid paper, is contained in a cloth-lined presentation case with gold engraved leather spine.

This edition does not include an accompanying commentary volume. A book in Spanish, "Bibliofilia antigua IV," includes a monograph on the original document by José María López Piñero and is sold separately.


Parchment on wooden board.

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