ARTH 460A | Learning Interpretation Research Skills – Arabic Botany

In the Oct. 22 class, we looked at how to use Leiden University’s illustrated Arabic botanical manuscript (Or. 289) for mobile digital interpretation at the Devonian Botanic Garden. The text is from al-Natili’s translation/adaptation of Dioscorides’s De Materia Medica, and the manuscript has been digitized. We correlated plants to be used at the DBG and folios from the manuscript with the detailed manuscript description in Jan Just Witkam’s Inventory of Collections of Oriental Manuscripts, which identifies what plants are illustrated and their folio numbers, and an English translation of De Materia Medica – Tess Anne Osbaldeston’s De Materia Medica: Being An Herbal With Many Other Medicinal Materials Written In Greek In The First Century Of The Common Era Pedanius Dioscorides.

The class came up with a work plan and chose to divide into teams of two and assembled the correlated materials onto a shared Google docs.

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