Although, in all probability, the Indians, the Babylonians, and especially the Egyptians were acquainted with the art of distillation, also with volatile oils, a sharp distinction between true distilled oils and aromatized fatty oils does not seem to have existed at the beginning of the Christian era. The latter were used principally for the purposes of cleanliness and well-being, also in religious rites, such as anointing and embalming. Hence the simpler process of aromatizing fatty oils may have been preferred by the priests. In accordance with this assumption are the directions for the preparation of rose oil, a supposedly "distilled oil" by Dioscorides,2) copied by Pliny3) during the first century.

1) Compare p. 33.

2) Petri Andreae Matthioli Opera quae extant omnia: hoc est Com-mentarii in sex libris Pedacei Dioscoridis Anazarbei de materia medica. Post diversarum editionum collationem infinitis locis aucti. De ratione destillandi aquas ex omnibus plant is; et quomodo genuini odoresin ipsis aquis conservari possint. Veneti 1544 - Basiliae 1565. Liber I, cap. 53.

3) Plinii Secundi Naturalis histories libri. Liber XIII, cap. 2.

"Five and one-half pounds of bruised Juncus odoratus (probably Andro-pogon Schcenanthus, L.) are boiled with 201/2 pounds of oil with constant stirring. Into the strained liquid the floral leaves of 1000 roses free from moisture are pressed with hands that have been anointed with fragrant honey. After standing over night the oil is expressed. After all impurities have subsided the oil is decanted into another vessel and the expressed rose petals are treated with a second quantity of 8 1/2 pounds of fresh oil. After standing for a day the oil is again expressed. This is the Oleum secundarium. If a third and fourth maceration are to be made, oil is again poured on the roses and as often expressed. Thus the Unguentum primarium, secundarium, tertiarium and quartarium are prepared.

The vessel, however, must each time be covered with a film of honey. If the maceration is to be repeated a second time, a like quantity of fresh rose petals free from moisture is immersed into the oil first expressed. The mixture is kneaded with hands anointed with honey. In like manner the oil is expressed a second, third and fourth time, and each time rose leaves free from the calix are added. In this way the oil becomes much stronger. Up to a seventh infusion the same oil can be used but no farther. Furthermore, the oil should be carefully separated from the aqueous juice, for the oil will spoil if any of this juice remains with the oil."1)

A single distilled oil, however, was known as early as the first century, viz. turpentine oil. Its peculiar method of preparation, as well as the apparatus used, are described in the chapter on the "History of the methods of distillation and distilling apparatus."

Taking into consideration the early acquaintance of distilled oils by ancient peoples and later by the Arabians, it can scarcely be doubted that the oils which must have separated on the surface of "burnt waters" during the process of distillation of aromatic plants and spices, practiced so diligently during the fifteenth century, could have escaped attention. Being regarded as coarser particles they probably received little attention and hence found no application, for the therapeutically active waters alone were the only object of the distillation. Thus, while it is known from other sources that a number of distilled oils were known, one of the oldest price lists of drugs and spices, viz. the one of the city of Frankfurt-on-the-Main of 1450 does not mention a single distilled oil.2) However, a similar list of the same city

1) From the German translation of the works of Dioscorides in Tromms-dorffs Journ. der Pharm. 11 (1803), 112.

2) Ita sunt nomina medicinarum simplicium sive materialium quae ad apothecam requirentur, In genere et in specie. Published as a separate by Prof. F. A. Fluckiger in 1873 with the title "Die Frankfurter Liste." for the year 1582 mentions forty-two volatile oils,1) and a further list of 1587 fifty-nine such oils.2)

At the close of the fifteenth century the art of distillation and the distillation of aromatic waters were greatly advanced by the first larger treatise on distillation, viz. the Destillirbuch of the Strassburg physician Hieronymus Brunschwig (born abt. 1450, died abt. 1534) which was published in the year 1500. The book is illustrated by numerous cuts of stills and utensils, likewise of the plants used in the preparation of "burnt waters." In some editions, these cuts were colored. The title pages of the two voluminous folios, which were printed in 1500 and 1507, are of special interest in the history of distillation. Reduced facsimile reproductions will be found on pages 40 and 41.

The first volume contains 212 paged leaves (424 pages), the second volume 344 leaves (688 pages). The work is devoted mainly to a description of the methods of preparation of the much lauded3) "burnt waters," accompanied by directions for their use and an explanation of their action. In addition it contains directions for the preparation of numerous "burnt wines," elixirs of life, and simple and complex oils and balsams.

1) Register alter Apothekischen Simplicien und Compos/ten, so in den beiden Messen zu Frankfurt am Main durch Materialisten, Kauff/eut, Wurzel-trager, Krautler und durch die Apotheker daselbst verkauft werden. Frank-furt-on-the-M. 1582.

2) Reformatio oder erneute Ordnung der heilig Reichstadt Frankfurt a. M., die Pflege der Gesundheit betreffend. Den Media's, Apothekern und Materia-listen zur Nachrichtigung gegeben. Darneben den Tax und Werth der Arz-neien, welche in den Apotheken a/Ida zu finden. 1587.

3) The praises of the "burnt waters" were sung in prose and verse. Of the more prominent writings the following may be mentioned: Loblied vom branntewein. Wem der geprant wein nutz sey oder schad. un wie er gerecht oder falschlich gemacht sey. getruckt zu Bambergk von marxen Ayrer. Unnd Hannsen Pernecker in dem Zinkenwerd. in 1493 jar. Reprinted in: Joh. Beckmann, Beitrage zur Geschichte der Erfindungen. Leipzig 1786 - 1795. Bd. II, Abt. 2, S. 277 - 288.