Folio on Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica
September 1595 CE
Watercolour on paper
40 x 25.7 cm
This folio is a Persian translation of the book De Materia Medica (medical material) by the Greek physician Dioscorides. Completed in the second half of the 1st century, it details the properties and preparation of medicinal plants. Originally written in Greek, the first Arabic translation was made in the 9th century in Baghdad, after which the work spread throughout the Islamic world, laying the foundation for the study of botany and pharmacology in West Asia. Arabic versions of Dioscorides’ text provided the basis for translations into Latin, Persian and Armenian.