[Sca-cooks] tomato & eggplant in Dodoens 1554

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Oct 9 19:55:19 PDT 2006

>> http://caliban.mpiz-koeln.mpg.de/~stueber/dodoens_3/high/00464.html
>> The page before it also discusses Mala insana, so I believe it is 
>> probably
>> part of the information on the tomato.
> If I am not mistaken, the chapter before is about eggplant, aubergine, 
> melanzana.
> Serafina

I think you are correct, but, to my knowledge, the color is off on the 
illustration.  Fuchs also ties Mala insana to Melantzan or the aubergine, as 
do Boch and Gerard.  Some secondary sources tie Mala insana to the tomato, a 
connection I have accepted for a number of years (probably in eror). 
Looking at some of the original texts leave me wondering as to how the 
connection was made.

Grewe points out that Matthiolus made the connection between the eggplant 
and the tomato in the 1544 edition of his herbal, but failed to name the 
tomato.  That might tie the tomato with the formal name Mala insana.  In the 
1554 Latin edition, Matthiolus uses "pomi d'oro."  Since, the other major 
herbals I've checked make the distinction between eggplants and tomatos, the 
error in the secondary sources almost have to be a propagation from 
Matthiolus's original text.

A lovely conundrum.  Thank you for bringing it to my attention.


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