Oriential people, among them the Israelitis, first used gal-banum in incense offerings and for fumigations.8) It was known to Theophrastus9) and Virgil.10) Dioscorides11) and Pliny12) mention Syria as its source. In 176 A. D. galbanum was one of the dutiable Indian spices passing through Alexandria.1)
1) Istachri, Buch der Lander. Translated by Mordtmann. Hamburg 1745. p. 111.
2) Geographie d'Edrisi, translated by A. Jaubert. Vol. 1 (1836), p. 450. - Meyer, Geschichte der Botanik, 1856. Vol. 3, p. 298.
3) Ibn Baitar, Traite des Simples. In Notices et extraits des Manuscripts de la Bibliotheque nationale. Paris. Vol. 1, p. 447. - Leclerc, Histoire de la medecine arabe. Paris 1874. Vol. 1, p. 553.
4) Matth. Platearius, Liber de simpli medicina. (Circa instans.) In L. Choulant, Handbuch der Bucherkunde fur die altere Medizin. Leipzig 1841. p. 299.
5) Bonaini, Statuti inediti della citta di Pisa. 1857. Vol. 3, p. 106.
6) Kaempfer, Amoenitatum exoticarum fasciculi etc. Lemgoviae 1712. p. 535-552.
7) Conrad Gesner, Anderer Theil des Schatzes Euonymi von aller-hand kunstlichen und bewerten Olen etc. Published by Caspar Wolff. Zurich 1583. fol. 163.
8) Exodus, 30:34. - Ecclesiasticus, 24:21.
9) Theophrasti Historia plantarum. Lib. IX. Cap. 1 and 2.
10) Virgilii Georgica. Lib. III. p. 415.
Disce et odoratam stabulis accendere cedrum, Galbaneoque agitare gravi nidore chelydros.
11) Dioscoridis De Materia medica libri. Lib. Ill, 87. Editio Kuhn-Sprengel. 1829. Vol. 1, p. 437.
12) Plinii Natural is historiae libri. Lib. XII. Cap. 25 and 56; and Lib. XXIV. Cap. 5 and 13.
During the middle ages galbanum is enumerated but sparingly in literature. It is one of the spices enumerated as being in possession of King James of France while a prisoner in England.2) In 1503 it is mentioned as one of the articles of commerce between Venice and London,3) and again in 1581 in one of the French tariff lists.4) However, in medical literature of the early middle ages, also in Arabian literature, galbanum is frequently mentioned both as spice and as medicament.
Distilled oil of galbanum was prepared by Walter Ryff,5) by Conrad Gesner,6) and by Hieronymus Rubeus.7) It was included in the 1589 edition of the Dispensatorium Nor/cum and in the Pharmacopoea Augustana of 1580, and was mentioned in apothecary and spice ordinances about 1560. Early cursory investigations of the oil were made by Caspar Neumann8) about 1728, by Walter9) in Leipzig about 1744, by Fiddichow10) in!815, and by W. Meissner11) in 1816.