This compilation, and still more his lectures on the materia medica of Dioscorides as well as his Historia Plantarum published in 1540, had established the fame of the young scholar. On one of his botanical excursions, Cordus appears to have stopped at Nurnberg where he received due attention in medical circles. In 1542 the council of that city charged him with the preparation of a dispensatory for the guidance of physicians and apothecaries of that municipality. This task Cordus accomplished with the aid of his uncle Ralla and of Caspar Pfreund, a friend and able apothecary at Torgau. The book was favorably received by the council of Nurnberg and was published in 1546, two years after the death of its author.1) Several editions appeared in rapid succession without date of publication, the third Nurnberg edition bearing the date 1548. As an authoritative treatise, the book seems to have found general recognition. It was frequently reprinted, both in its original form and with the additions made by Conrad Gesner.
1) Pharmacorum omnium, quae quidem in usu sunt, conficiendorum ratio. Vulgo vocant Dispensatorium pharmacopolarum. Ex omni genere bonorum authorum, cum veterum turn recentium collectum, et scholiis utilissimis illustratum. in quibus obiter, plurium simplicium, hactenus non cognitorum vera noticia traditur. Authore Valerio Cordo. Item de collectione repositione et duratione simplicium. De adulterationibus quorundam simplicium. Simplici aliquo absolute scripto, quid sid accipiendum, id est, Succe- danea, sive Quid, pro Quo. Qualem virum Pharmacopolam esse conveniat. Cum indice copioso. Norimberase, apud Joh. Petreium.
The long title of this work was abbreviated to Dispensa-torium Nor/cum and it is commonly regarded as the first German pharmacopoeia, though this is not quite true.1) It was recognized as standard up to the close of the seventeenth century, although twenty years later it had to share honors with the Augsburg Pharmacopoeia of Adolph Occo.2)
Notwithstanding the want of a clear understanding of the nature of the distilled oils during the whole of the sixteenth and part of the seventeenth centuries, their preparation was fostered and their use in medicine, the arts and in the household increased. Among the medical experimenters and writers of this period, Johann Winther,3) who was born 1487 in Andernach and who died 1574 as professor of medicine in Strassburg, seems to have distilled a large number of the more common volatile oils with great care.
Moreover, the distillation of aromatic waters and volatile oils was now being conducted principally in the pharmaceutical laboratories where both the process and the utensils were variously improved in the course of time.4)
In addition to the Nurnberg and Augsburg pharmacopoeias and similar authoritative works, the municipal price ordinances, which since the sixteenth century were issued in various cities to regulate the sale of drugs and spices, are reliable sources of information concerning the introduction of distilled oils into medicine and the arts. As documents they are of similar importance to the price lists of modern wholesale merchants and manufacturers. The following list has been prepared with the aid of the previously discussed historical documents.1) It should, however, be definitely understood that the dates given are not necessarily those of the first introduction or use, but those of their legal recognition as articles of commerce.
1) See p. 58.
2) Pharmacopaea seu Medicamentarium pro Republica Augustana. Author Adolphus Occo. Augusta Vindelicorum 1564.
Of this pharmacopoeia there also appeared numerous reprints and editions as late as 1734. The titles of many of these are often modified by such terms as reformata, renovata et aucta.
The great demand for both of these pharmacopoeias, which lasted a century and a half, is largely due to two reasons. First, these new pharmacopoeias satisfied the practical demand better thenn did the older Antidotaria and the more recent treatises on distillation. Secondly, it was due to the rapidly increasing number of apothecary shops that were established during the 16. and 17. centuries.
3) Guintheri Andernacei Liber de veteri et nova medicina turn cognos cenda turn facienda. Basiliae 1571.
4) On p. 59 will be found the title page of such a pharmacopoeia of the Res publica Gorlicensis of 1629. It is characterized not only by the predominance of illustrations pertaining to the art of distillation, but also by the expression given to the sense of order prevailing in all laboratories of apothecary shops.