Circa instans

by Matthew Platearius, d. 1161

Portrait of Matthaeus Platearius, ca. 1470 by Robinet Testard

The Circa instans, attributed to Matthaeus Platearius (died 1161), was one of the most influential botano-medical texts of the high Middle Ages and beyond, featuring in around 240 mss. and several languages. This website presents a modern English translation of the text by Anna Kirkwood Graham, Brandon Conley, and Madi Pehringer. We are basing our translations on two easily accessible editions, one digital:

Practica Joannis Serapionis dicta breviarium … Liber de simplici medicina, dictus circa instans. Practica platearii. (Venice: Octavian Scot, 1497). f. 186r: the opening of Circa instans. Translated from the Arabic by Gerardus de Sabloneto and Simon a. Cordo. GW M41687Digital version available at See image below.

The second is available as an e-book: Hans Wolfel, Das Arzneidrogenbuch Circa instans in einer Fassung des XIII. Jahrhunderts aus der Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen : Text und Kommentar als Beitrag zur Pflanzen- und Drogenkunde des Mitterlalters : Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades… (Berlin, 1939).