Primary Source Reading List

 You can read a little bit more about my thinking behind putting this list together and The Appendix on this post.


Hippocrates. On Regimen in Acute Diseases. Translated by Adams, Francis, ca. 400BCE. and Hippocrates. On Airs, Waters, and Places’, ca 400BCE

Celsus, Aulus Cornelius. De Medicina LIBRI I-VIII. Translated by Spencer. W.G. 1938 Translation. Vol. 1-3. III vols. London, England: William Heinemann LTD, ca. 44CE.

Plinius Secundius, Gaius. Pliny Natural History LIBRI I-II. and Pliny Natural History LIBRI XXIV-XXVII.  I am going to be honest and say that I generally only use Pliny when I want to verify a citation.

Galen. Galen: On the Properties of Foodstuffs. Translated by Owen Powell. 2003 Translation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 160CE.

Galen. On the Therapeutic Method (Books I and II). Translated by Hankinson, R.J. 1991 Translation. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 160CE.

Galen. The Temperaments. Translated by P. N. Singer and Philip J. van der Eijk. 2019 Translation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 160CE.

Apicius. Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome. Translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling. 1926 Reprint. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, ca. 400 CE.

Aegineta, Paulus. Medical Compendium in Seven Books. Translated by Adams, Francis. 1847 Translation. Vols 1-3. London, England: Sydenham Soc., ca. 600 CE.

Pollington, Stephen. Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plant Lore, and Healing. Cambridgeshire, England: Anglo-Saxon Books, 2008.  Contains partial text and translations of Lacnunga, Bald’s Leechbook and others written in the 9th Century. If you are into Anglo Saxon history message me for that bibliography.

Cockayne, Thomas Oswald. Leechdoms, wortcunning, and starcraft of early England: …3 vols. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1866.  These are translations of documents dating to the Anglo-Saxon period and older.

Nasrallah, and Nawal. Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq’s Tenth-Century Baghdadi Cookbook. Islamic History and Civilization 70. BRILL, 2014.

Sīnā, Ibn. Canon of Medicine Book 1. 1998 Translation. Vol. 1. 5 vols. New Delhi, India: Department of Islamic Studies, 1025.

Sīnā, Ibn. Canon of Medicine Book II: Materia Medica. 1998 Translation. Vol. 2. 5 vols. New Delhi, India: Department of Islamic Studies, 1025.

Cilliers, Louise. ‘Vindicianus’s Gynaecia: Text and Translation of the Codex Monacensis (Clm 4622)’. Journal of Medieval Latin 15 (2005): 153–236.

Green, Monica, trans. Trotula: An English Translation of the Medieval Compendium of Women’s Medicine.2001 Translation. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, ca. 1100. [Print Source]

John of Milan. Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum. Code of Health of the School of Salernum. Translated by John Ordronaux. 1870 Translation. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott & co., ca. 1150.   (It was 1563 when monastic scribes Aodh Ó Cendamhain, Cairbre, and Daibhí Ó Cearnaigh translated this to Irish.)

al-Bayṭār, Ibn. Traité Des Simples Par Ibn El-Beithar  Book One. Translated by Leclerc. Lucien. 1877 Translation. Vol. 23. Manuscrits de La Bibliotheque Nationale. Paris, France: Imprimerie Nationale, 1200. (I have only ever found this in French but managed to figure it out mostly with my poor high school French and Google Translate.)

John, of Gaddesden. Rosa Anglica Sev Rosa Medicinæ Johannis Anglici: An Early Modern Irish Translation of a Section of the Mediaeval Medical Text-Book of John of Gaddesden. Translated by Winifred Wulff. 1929 translation. Published for the Irish Texts Society by Simpkin, Marshall, 1314.

Anon. ‘On Wounds’. Translated by Wulff,Winifred, 1352. MS 23 F 19. Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition.

Myddfai, Meddygon. Physicians of Myddvai. Edited by Williams, John. Translated by John Pughe. 1861 Translation. London, England: Welsh MSS Society, Longman & Co., 1382.

Anon. The Book of Cooking in Maghreb and Andalus in the Era of Almohads. Translated by Martinelli, Candida. 2012 translation. Al-Andulus, Spain: ca. 1400. I am really just sharing this because it is one of my favorite cookbooks.

Nasrallah, Nawal. Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table: English Translation, with an Introduction and Glossary. Islamic History and Civilization Ser. BRILL, 2008.

O Cuinn, Tadhg. ‘An Irish Materia Medica’. Edited by Färber, Beatrix, 1415. Corpus of Electronic Texts. (Be careful with this one.  This is where I found the yarrow is a native to Ireland medicinal herb commentary.)

Russel, John. “The Boke of Nurture.” Harleian MS 4011. Translated by Furnivall, Frederick. London, England, ca 1465. British Museum.

Brunschwig, Hieronymus. Liber de Arte Distillandi; English. Translated by Andrewe, Laurens. London, England: In the flete strete by me Laurens Andrewe, in the sygne of the golden Crosse, 1527. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A03318.0001.001.  Liber de Arte Distillandi; English(images).

Ibn Botlan, Ibn. Tacuinum Sanitatis. Translated by Westbrook, Adele and Ratti, Oscar. 1976 Translation. New York, NY: George Braziller Inc., 1531.

Croy, Anne de, Princesse de Chimay. “Recueil d’aulcunes Confections et Mèdicines Bien Spèciales et Singulières Que Madame La Duchesse d’Arscot Princesse de Chimay.” MS2222, 1533. Welcome Library.

Anon. Harris, Karen, trans. “Manual de Mugeres En El Qual Se Contienen Muchas y Diversas Reeutas Muy Buenas,” ca. 1550.

de la Cruz, Martinus. Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis. Translated by Badiano, Juahn. Tlaltilulco, Mexico: College of Santa Cruz, 1552. Journal Article

Dodoens, Rembert. A Nievve Herball, or Historie of Plantes. Translated by Henry Lyte. 1578 Translation. Early English Books, 1475-1640 / 289:01. London, England: AT LONDON by my Gerard Dewes, dwelling in Pawles Churchyarde at the signe of the Swanne, 1554.

Rodolphus, Gerardus. “Convolute Gent KANTL 15.”  Translated by Muusers, Christianne. Gent, Belgium, 1560. Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature.

Ó Cendamhain, Aodh. Regimen Sanitatis, the Rule of Health; a Gaelic Medical Manuscript of the Early Sixteenth Century or Perhaps Older from the Vade Mecum of the Famous Macbeaths, Physicians to the Lords of the Isles and the Kings of Scotland for Several Centuries. Translated by Hugh Cameron Gillies. 1911 Translation. Glasgow, Scotland: R. Maclehose & Co., ltd., 1563.

Grey, Lady Katherine. ‘Ms. Codex 823 ’. England, 1567.  (Semi-Diplomatic Transcription) A briefe discourse…

Hester, John, d. The True and Perfect Order to Distill Oyles out of al Maner of Spices Seedes, Rootes, and Gummes … Early English Books, 1475-1640 / 2140:11. London, England: J. Charlewood, 1575.

Hill, Thomas. The Gardener’s Labyrinth. Translated by Mabey, Richard. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1577.

 A. T. A Rich Store-House or Treasury for the Diseased Wherein… Foorth for the Great Benefit and Comfort of the Poorer Sort of People That Are Not of Abilitie to Go to the Physitions. By A.T. [Practitioner in Physicke]. 2005th-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 1). ed. London, England: Printed for Thomas Purfoot, and Raph Blower, Ann., 1596

Gerard, John. The Herball Or Generall Historie of Plantes.London, England: Norton, John, 1597.  (Note: There is 1633 version of this publication which has been edited by Thomas Hill. I have both. There are not significant changes, and they are well documented.)

Corlyon, Mrs. A Booke of Diuers Medecines, Broothes, Salues, Waters,Syroppes and Oyntementes of Which Many or the Most Part Haue Been Experienced and Tryed by the Speciall Practize of Mrs Corlyon. Anno Domini 1606,” 1606.

Bright, Timothie. A Treatise, Vvherein Is Declared the Sufficiencie of English Medicines, for Cure of All Diseases, Cured with Medicines. … England: Printed by H[umphrey] L[ownes] for Tho. Man, 1615.

Catchmay, Lady Frances. “A Booke of Medicens,” 1625

Digby, Venetia. “English Recipe Book, 17th Century,”  MS7391. Wellcome Collection. 1633.

Parkinson, John. Theatrum Botanicum. London, England: The Cotes, 1640.

Culpeper, Nicholas. Pharmacopoeia Londinensis: A Physicall Directory, or, A Translation of the London Dispensatory Made by the Colledge of Physicians in London. London, England: Printed for Peter Cole and are to be sold at his shop, 1649.

Elkes, Richard. Approved Medicines of Little Cost, to Preserve Health and Also to Cure Those That Are Sick Provided for the Souldiers Knap-Sack and the Country Mans Closet / Written by Richard Elkes, Gent. … 2007th-10 (EEBO-TCP Phase 1). ed. London, England: Printed for Robert Ibbitson, and are to be sold by Tho. Vere, 1651.

Culpeper, Nicholas. The English Physitian: OR AN Astrologo-Physical Discourse of the Vulgar Herbs of This Nation. London. England: Printed by Peter Cole, at the sign of the Printing-Press in Cornhil, near the Royal Exchange., 1652.

Kent, Elizabeth Grey. A Choice Manual of Rare and Select Secrets in Physick and Chyrurgery; Published by W.I., Gent. London, England: Printed by G.D., and are to be sold by William Shears, 1653.

Queen Henrietta Maria. The Queens Closet Opened … Translated by W.M. London, England: Printed for Nath. Brooke, 1659.

Woolley, Hannah, fl. The Ladies Directory… Early English Books, 1641-1700 / 2629:14. London; Printed by T.M. for Peter Dring, at the Sun, next dore to the Rose Taverne in the Poultry.1662.

Fanshawe, Ann. ‘Receipt Book of Ann, Lady Fanshawe’, 1680. Lady Fanshawe’s Memoirs (1829) Lady Fanshawe on From the Page

Sedley, Lady Catherine. ‘The Lady Sedley, Her Receipt Book, 1686’, 1686. MS534. Royal College of Physicians. Lady Sedley on From the Page

Strachey, Elizabeth. ‘A Book of Receipts of All Sorts’. Somerset, England, 1693. HMD Collection. U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Blencowe, Ann. The Receipt Book of Mrs. Ann Blencowe A.D. 1694. Edited by Saintsbury, George. [1972 Reprint]. London: The Adelphi, Guy Chapman, 1925. [Print]

Borlase, Alice. Ladie Borlase’s Receiptes Booke. 1665-1799 I want to say that I am irrationally crabby that this document is named after her scribe. The only other option would be to share the link to the print book which is hard to find. Also, I want to say that DIY history is a garbage platform for transcription, and I am sorry.

Carteret, Grace. “Manuscript Recipe Book of Grace Carteret, 1st Countess Granville (1654-1744).” London, UK, Wellcome Collection. 1700. Countess Carteret on From the Page

Sharp, Jane. The Compleat Midwife’s Companion: Or the Art of Midwifry Improv’d.. London, England: Printed for John Marsall, at the Bible in Grace church stereet, 1725. 

Blackwell, Elizabeth. A curious herbal… To which is added a short description of ye plants and their common uses in physick. Vol. 1. 2 vols. London, England: Printed for Samuel Harding, 1737-1739., 1737.

Blackwell, Elizabeth. A curious herbal: containing five hundred cuts, of the most useful plants, which are now used in the practice of physick. Vol. 2. 2 vols. London, England: London: Printed for John Nourse at the Lamb, 1737.

Cleland, Elizabeth. A New and Easy Method of Cookery. Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Gordon, C. Wright, S. Willison, J. Bruce, 1755.

Cullen, William. A Treatise of the Materia Medica.  Vol I. Vol 2 Dublin, Ireland: Printed for Luke White, 1789.

Cullen, William. First Lines of the Practice of Physic / by William Cullen, M.D.  4 vols. Edinburgh: printed for C. Elliot, Edinburgh; London: C. Elliot & T. Kay, at No 332, Dr Cullen’s Head, Strand, 1789.

Johnstone, Isobel Christian. The Cook and Housewives Manual by (Meg Dods). Edinburgh, Scotland: Bell & Bradfute, 1826.

Lady of New York. The Management of the Sick Room: With Rules for Diet, Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent, and the Treatment of the Sudden Illnesses and Various Accidents That Require Prompt and Judicious Care. New York, NY, USA: J.K. Wellman, 1845

 Wilson, James Cornelius. Fever-Nursing: Designed for the Use of Professional & Other Nurses .Lippincott, 1888.

Online Digitized Collections of Manuscript Receipt Books and Early Cookbooks

Manuscript Receipt Books Held by the Folger Shakespeare Library

Wellcome Library Collection of Domestic Recipe Manuscripts

National Library of Medicine Manuscript Receipt Books

Szathmary Collection

Winterthur Digital Collections 

Medieval Cookbook Search

Thomas Gloning’s Culinary and Dietetic Texts, 1350-1800

Library of Congress Selected Works on Cookery

Loebulus – All 272 of the Public Domain Loebs in one download

Reference Dictionaries

‘Middle English Compendium’. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/middle-english-dictionary/dictionary.

‘EDIL – Irish Language Dictionary’. http://edil.qub.ac.uk/.


Need Some Help?

If you find a particular receipt, you would like me to have a go at or you want me to elaborate on something about please feel free to send me an email about it.

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