This three-volume work, published in 1864–6, was edited by Thomas Oswald Cockayne (1807–73), a Cambridge graduate, much-published early member of the London Philological Society, and teacher of the philologists Walter Skeat and Henry Sweet. It is a collection of writings on plants, medicine and the heavens from pre-Conquest Britain, mostly in Old English with accompanying modern English translations. They range from a vernacular translation of the substantial Latin Herbarium, formerly attributed to Apuleius, to terse lists of plant names; from brief medicinal recipes and popular charms to Latin prayers for healing; and from observations about equinoxes, solstices, the date of Easter and the length of shadows on various dates to lunar horoscopes and the interpretation of dreams. The editor sets these works in the context of Classical traditions, and also notes their relevance to Victorian interest in subjects such as spiritualism and astrology, and in Oriental science and religion.
Table of Contents
Volume 1: Preface; Herbarium of Apuleius; Medicina de quadrupedibus; Continued from Dioskorides, etc.; Leechdoms from fly leaves of MSS.; Charms (in part). Volume 2: Preface; Leech book; Glossary; Index. Volume 3: Preface; Lacnunga; Of schools of medicine; Be eacenum wife; Ymbe mannes gecynde; De observatione lunae; De somniorum eventu; Horalogium; Quot horas luna luceat; De temporibus; Charms continued; Durham glossary of names of plants; Saxon names of plants; Glossary; Index; Historical fragments; Index.