Of Mandrakes and Dogs: Myths, Medicine and Medieval Phylogeny

2016-01-24T15:55:04Z (GMT) by Juergen Wastl Danielle Feger
This paper summarises and reviews the identification of a plant in f25v of Beinecke MS408, the ‘Voynich Manuscript’, from various sources. Based on additional detail, we improve and refine the identification of the plant illustration of f25v and follow up with discussing the particular relevance of this plant in medieval times.
A comparative analysis of contemporary illustrations of mandrake plants in medieval manuscripts  highlights the difficulties and variances of plant images in herbals and bestiaries. Following from that, based on the tradition of three available ‘main streams’ of text accompanying the plant illustrations, we discuss potential text blocks from classical mythology, magic, medicine and folk tradition and provide ideas and conceptions of new image-text linked analyses.

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