Ambrosia altera.

  • Liberale, Giorgio.
  • Books

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About this work

Also known as

Mattioli woodblock
Artemisia maritima
Sea wormwood


[Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1562?]

Physical description

1 woodblock : illustrations ; 22 x 16 x 3 cm

References note

Hunt botanical cat., v. 1, 90.


One of a series of woodblocks designed by Giorgio Liberale and cut by Wolfgang Meyerpeck for Pietro Andrea Mattioli's Herbář and New Kreuterbeuch (Prague, 1562, 1563) and Commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis Anarzabei de Medica materia (Venice, 1565 and later editions). The block was one of a pair for Ambrosia, the other showing the plant in flower. It appears on p. 862 of the 1565 Latin edition and p. 900 of the 1568 Italian edition. See Watson, Raphael and Bain, The Mattioli woodblocks (London,1989).
A modern English translation of Dioscorides identifies Ambrosia as Artemisia maritima, or Sea wormwood. Artemisia is a large, diverse genus of plants with between 200 to 400 species belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae. They grow in temperate climates of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, usually in dry or semi-dry habitats. Wormwood has been used medicinally as a tonic, stomachic, febrifuge and anthelmintic. Artemisia Maritima (Sea Wormwood) has an extremely wide distribution in the northern hemisphere, occurring mostly in saltish soils and is found in the salt marshes of the British Isles, on the coasts of the Baltic, of France and the Mediterranean. It has similar properties to other wormwoods, but is less powerful. It was used as a replacement for "true" wormwood in remedies, as it was more readily available and often used in treatment of intermittent fevers. The most effective anti malarial drug is artemisinin, derived from Artemisia annua, also known as sweet wormwood, which had been used in Chinese medicine for centuries under the name 'Qinghaosu'. It was rediscovered in the 1970s, evaluated first in South-east Asia, and eventually accepted as an essential component of anti malarial treatment in the past few years.
Copy 1. With the name 'Ambrosia' cut into the wood on the verso and paper label in the hand of Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau.



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