Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England
This three-volume work, published in 1864–6, was edited by Thomas Oswald Cockayne (1807–73), a Cambridge graduate, much-published early member of the London Philological Society, and teacher of the philologists Walter Skeat and Henry Sweet. It is a collection of writings from pre-Conquest Britain on plants, medicine and the heavens, mostly in Old English with accompanying modern English translations. Volume 1 begins with a substantial preface outlining the Anglo-Saxon reception of Greek and Latin medical texts. The main work in this volume is an Old English version of the late Latin Herbarium formerly attributed to Apuleius, augmented by material deriving from Dioscorides' De Materia Medica. The volume concludes with an Old English translation of the fourth-century Roman physician Sextus Placitus' writings on animal-derived medicines, and some short medicinal recipes in Old English and Latin taken from the fly leaves of manuscripts.