The lack of a well organised index of synonyms of plant names for the period of the later Middle Ages has increasingly been felt by historians, philologists and sociologists to be one of the big lacunas in their field.
Boec van medicinen in Dietsche (Brill, 1967) Willem F. Daems presented in a
Synonymarium van Middelnederlandse Plantennamen a summary of the plant names which occurred in a single text conceived in c. 1300.
He now evaluates, assigns parameters for meaning to and in the majority of cases identifies the pharmaco-botanical material contained in about 100 medieval manuscripts and text editions (German, Dutch and English).
The depth and breadth of the author's botanical knowledge is widely recognised and the combination of this with his background in history and philology make this book a long-awaited and indispensable standard reference work in the field.
Willem Frans Daems studied pharmacy in Amsterdam and literature and philosophy in Leiden, where he was awarded his doctorate for a dissertation on a medieval Dutch medical text. He is author of more than 150 publications on the history of pharmacy.
The amount of material studied by Daems is immense, and his work on it is extremely useful.'
Daems's volume...represents an important piece of scholarship, twenty-five years in the making, which will save its readers much labor.'
Walton O. Schalick,
Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1995.
Historians of literature and science, medievalists, philologists and sociologists.