Both as spice and as medicament, calamus root is mentioned in the writings of antiquity. Thus it is mentioned in the Ayurvedas,3) in the Old Testament4) and in other of the earliest written documents. In the scientific treatises of the Greeks and Romans5) it is likewise recorded. During the middle ages a distinction between Asiatic and European calamus was maintained. Still later a distinction was made between the commercial varieties from the several countries from which it was obtained. As one of the spices introduced into Portugal from India,

1) Ephemerides naturae curiosorum. 5 - 6 cent. London (1717). Appendix p. 157. - Medical and Physical Transactions. London. Vol. 1 (1825), p. 367 und Vol.3 (1827), p. 231.

-) Roxburgh, Flora indica, edited by Carey and Wallich. 1820-1824. Calcutta. Vol. 1, p. 280.

3) Page 16, footnote 1. - Royle, Essay on the antiquity of Hindoo Medicine. London 1837. p. 28 and 34.

4) Exodus, 30:23. - Isaiah, 43:24. - Hesekiah, 27:19. - Song of Solomon, 4:14.

5) Agatharchides, De man Erythraeo, p. 97. - Theophrasti Historia plantarum Lib. 9. 7. - Dioscorides, De materia medica. Lib. 1. 17 and 52. Editio Kuhn-Sprengel, p. 11. - Plinii Naturalis historiae libri. Lib. XII. 12, 48. Lib. XXV. 100. - - Plutarchi Moralia. lsis et Osiris. - Strabonis, Geo-graphia XVI. 4.

Odoardo Barbosa1) mentions calamus in 1511. Matthias Lobelius of Flanders,'2) in the second half of the 16. century, claims that the calamus imported into Antwerp via Venice is better than that imported from Siebenbuergen and Russia. Rheede supplied the first good illustration of the plant.3)

Calamus is reported to have been cultivated in the thirteenth century in Poland;4) in Germany first during the sixteenth century;5) whence it became more widely distributed.6) Calamus is also indigenous to North America, being found from Nova Scotia south to Florida and westward to Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. Of botanists Schopf first observerd it in 1783 in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.7)

The distilled oil of calamus is first mentioned in the price ordinance of Frankfurt of 1582 and in the Dispensatorium Nori-cum of 1589. The yield of oil obtainable upon distillation of the rhizome was determined at the beginning of the eighteenth century by Fr. Hoffmann8) and Caspar Neumann;9) and about the middle of the eighteenth century by Joh. Fr. Cartheuser.10) The first investigations of the oil appear to have been made by

1) Ramusio, Delia navigationi et viaggi. Venetia 1554. fol. 413 - 417. - Fliickiger, Dokumente zur Geschichte der Pharmazie. 1876. p. 15.

2) Mathiae de Lobel et Petri Penae Nova stirpium adversaria. London 1576. p. 29.

3) Hortus indicus malabaricus. Amstelodamo. 1678 - 1703. Vol. XI. (1692), Tab. 48 and 49.

4) Rostafinski, Florae Poloniae Prodromus 1873. p. 12. - Clusius, Variorum plantarum historia. Antwerpia; 1601. fol. 230 and 232.

5) Bock, Teutsche Speiskammer. Strassburg 1550. p. 104. - Matthioli Commentarii in Dioscoridem. 1544. Editio 1565, p. 20. - Joach. Camerarius, Hortus medicus et philosophicus. Francofurti 1588. p. 5.

6) The assumption that calamus was spread since 1574 from Vienna through botanical gardens as a result of the efforts of Charles de l'Escluse (Clusius) who lived in Vienna from 1573 - 1588 (Luerrsen, Handbuch der systematischen Botanik, vol. 2, p. 320) can scarcely be accepted as a full explanation of its wide distribution. (Engler und Prantl, Naturliche Pflanzen-familien. T. II. Abt. III. p. 118.)

7) Schopf, Materia medica americana. Erlangae 1787.

8) Fr. Hoffmannii Opera omnia physico-medica. 1740. Liber 65. Ob-servatio 1.: De oleis destillatis atque eorum destiilatione observanda. p. 8.

9) Casp. Neumann, Chymia medica dogmatico-experimentalis. Editio Kessel. 1749. Vol. 2, p. 272. 10) See p. 71, footnote 2.

Joh. Ad. Wedel1) in 1718 and by Joh. Barth. Trommsdorff in 1808.'2) Later examinations are by Martius3) in 1832, Schnedermann4) in 1842, J. H. Gladstone5) in 1863, and A. Kurbatow6) in 1873.