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Project Rembert Dodoens (Rembertus Dodonaeus)

Rembertus Dodonaeus: his Herbals online
(Cruydeboeck, Cruydt-Boeck and others)


The famous Flemish physician and botanist Rembertus Dodonaeus or Rembert Dodoens (1517-1585) is best known for his herbal Cruydeboeck (more precisely: Cruijdeboeck, as the title is printed on the title page), written in old Flemish and published in 1554.

A few years later, in 1557, a French translation of this work appeared, made by Carolus Clusius: Histoire des plantes. A revised edition of the Cruydeboeck was published in 1563.

Between 1561 and 1580 four smaller botanical works written in Latin became available, which later were incorporated in the well known Latin edition of the herbal: Stirpium historiae pemptades sex sive libri XXX (1583). The final edition of this opus magnum, Dodonaeus' last work, was published posthumously in 1616.

Based on the Latin editions of the Herbal three poshumous editions in Flemish were published, entitled: Cruydt-Boeck, in 1608 (first edition), 1618 (second edition) and 1644 (final edition, again revised and expanded).

Several botanical works of Dodonaeus are available on the internet. The (Dutch) website "Plantaardigheden" ( has made two of these accessible for the general public by means of a special navigation, with complete contents (enumeration of the titles of the parts, books and chapters): the Cruydeboeck or Cruijdeboeck from 1554 and the Cruydt-Boeck from 1644. See below for the direct links to the scans of these books.

A short bibliography (commentary in Dutch) with the most important titles of Dodonaeus, including some secondary literature, can be found on this site: click here.

Weblinks to online botanical works of Dodonaeus (in chronological order)

Den nieuwen herbarius, dat is dboeck van den cruyden (1549) [The new herbal, that is the book of herbs]

This work is a Dutch (Flemish) translation of New kreütterbuch (1543), the German rendering of De historia stirpium (1542) by Leonhart Fuchs. Although there is no definite certainty about its authorship, the translation is mostly attributed to Dodonaeus. Text in old Flemish, with graceful wood cuts (the same as in Fuchs' 'das kleine Buch', published in 1545). The book is, one might say, a precursor of Dodonaeus' Cruijdeboeck of 1554.

Cruijdeboeck (1554) (hand colored) [Herbal, first Flemish edition]


Complete scan of the Cruijdeboeck of 1554, made accessible by means of an extensive navigation. This is the first edition of the famous Herbal. Text in old Flemish. The book contains 715 wood cuts. The scans were made from a colored copy, which is in the library of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Holland. All wood cuts, initials of the chapters and title pages are hand colored, by the Dutch artist Hans Liefrinck (1520-1573).

Histoire des plantes (1557) [Herbal, French translation] (pdf)

Complete scan of the Herbal of 1554 in the French translation by Carolus Clusius. This is a revised edition of the Herbal of 1554. Text in French.

Cruijdeboeck (1563) (hand colored) [Herbal, second Flemish edition]

Complete scan of the second Flemish edition of the Cruijdeboeck, in this digital facsimile (by the university of Marburg) presented as Cruyde Boeck. With search function and extensive introduction (in German).

Frumentorum, leguminum, palustrium et aquatilium herbarum, ac eorum, quae eò pertinent, historia (1566, second edition)

A study of wheat, barley etc., some vegetables and marsh and water plants. Text in Latin. Beautiful wood cuts, on separate pages.

Florum, et coronariarum odoratarumque nonnularum herbarum historia (1568, first edition) (freely accessible) (pdf)

The first edition of Dodoens' study of ornamental and fragrant plants, one of the earliest treatises on 'garden flowers'. The work includes many of the recent introductions from Asia Minor, bulbous plants in particular, that were transforming European gardens. Text in Latin, with wood cuts. Later, with revisions, to be incorporated in the Pemptades of 1583.

Purgantium aliarumque eo facientium... (1574)

Information about Dodonaeus and his work Purgantium aliarumque eo facientium, tum et Radicum, Conuoluulorum ac deleteriarum herbarum historiæ libri IIII, a series of monographs about purgative plants, roots used in herbal medicine, winding plants and others. Text in Latin, with beautiful wood cuts. This work is only partly scanned.

De alce epistola (1581) (pdf)

In 1581 Dodonaeus wrote this little treatise on the moose, which is included in a work about this animal by Apollonius Menabenus. Text in Latin.

A new herball, or historie of plants (1597)

The Herball is not a work by Dodoens himself, but an abridged translation of Dodoens' Stirpium historiae pemptades sex of 1583 by John Gerarde (1545-1612). This edition is illustrated with more than 2100 woodcuts, of which only 18 are new (amongst others a picture of the potatoe); the others are taken from Tabernaemontanus' Eicones plantarum (1590).

Stirpium historiae pemptades sex (1616) (pdf)

Scans of the second, revised edition of Stirpium historiae pemptades sex sive libri XXX, originally published in 1583. Text in Latin.

A new herbal, or historie of plants (1619)

This is the fifth, revised edition of the English translation of the Cruijdeboeck by Henry Lyte. The translation is based on the French edition of the Herbal (1557), Histoire des plantes (see above), and the second Flemish edition of 1563. Text only, no illustrations.

Bloemen en CruydeBoek met getekende Figuuren (1630?) [Manuscript in Dutch with parts of the Cruijdeboeck of 1554]

Anonymous and undated manuscript (1630?, based on a watermark), containing 218 numbered folia and 14 unnumbered folia. The text is handwritten in brown ink and is illustrated with 131 watercolors in a rather naive style. The plant descriptions follow parts of the first and second part of the Cruijdeboeck of 1554. This is the only existing copy, part of the Special Collections department of the University of Wageningen (WUR), Holland.

Cruydt-Boeck (1644) [Herbal]


Complete scan of the Cruydt-Boeck of 1644, made accessible by means of a keen navigation. This is the most extensive edition (almost 1600 pages) of Dodoens' Herbal. Text in Flemish, more than 1450 wood cuts. Original index with Flemish, German and English names made clickable.

Archéologie végétale des Simples d'après Dodonée, Mathioli, C. Clusius etc. (1912)

Scan of a book written by Victor Heursel-De Meester and Robert Delmotte, complete title: Archéologie végétale des Simples d'après Dodonée, Mathioli, C. Clusius etc. - Plantes identifiées suivant les principes de Linnée et autres botanistes modernes', published in 1912. The book gives all the old Latin names of the plants according to the second Latin edition of the Pemptades (1616), in alphabetical order, with the corresponding Flemish names from the Cruydt-Boeck of 1608 and the Linnean names valid at the beginning of the 20th century. Also short information about botany and medicinal properties.

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