The Ambonese Herbal, Volumes 1-6

Georgius Everhardus Rumphius; Translated, annotated, and with an introduction by E. M. Beekman

View Inside Price: $450.00


September 27, 2011
3360 pages, 7 1/2 x 11
ISBN: 9780300153767
Boxed Set

Copublished with the National Tropical Botanical Garden

Over the course of five decades, the seventeenth-century naturalist Georgius Everhardus Rumphius assiduously gathered information on the native plants of Ambon Island and its archipelago. By presenting descriptions of the plants and their multiple uses, he succeeded in creating a cultural and scientific treasury of incomparable value for today’s botanists, anthropologists, ethnobotanists, science historians, medicinal chemists, and other scholars. This comprehensive reference, complete with over 800 original illustrations, describes in remarkable detail more than 2,000 plants, their habitats, and their economic and medicinal uses. Also recorded are native plant names in Malay, Latin, Dutch, and Ambonese—and often in Macassarese and Chinese as well.

E. M. Beekman's introduction discusses the Herbal’s significance for tropical botanical literature and surveys the Indonesian economic and medicinal uses of the plants Rumphius described. Beekman also provides invaluable annotations throughout the Herbal.

Georgius Everhardus Rumphius (1627–1702), a soldier and naturalist, arrived on the island of Ambon in Indonesia in 1653 and until his death devoted himself to the task of documenting the tropical environment he encountered there. The late E. M. Beekman, a highly acclaimed authority on colonial and Dutch language and literature, was Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was also an accomplished poet and novelist and the author of two dozen books.

“The major botanical publication of the entire 21st century.”—Paul Alan Cox, Institute for Ethnomedicine

“Rumphius’ unique work deserves to be known the world over. And for his achievement, Professor Beekman deserves a medal.”—Peter van Zonneveld, Leiden University, The Netherlands

“ The most esoteric of this season’s books are the hefty, alluring volumes (eventually six in all) of a 17th-century naturalist’s extraordinary masterwork, THE AMBONESE HERBAL (Yale University Press, $85 per volume) . . . a botanical treasure trove of Indonesian plants. Reading it, one enters a mysterious world all its own."—Dominique Browning, The New York Times

“The Ambonese Herbal,” with its lovely plates and dense descriptions, is for the serious collector’s library. Nonetheless, it’s full of fascinating social and medicinal lore, a legacy of a vanished time."—Dominique Browning, The New York Times

Winner of the 2012 Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries annual Literature Award in the technical category
Rumphius’ Orchids
Orchid Texts from "The Ambonese Herbal"

Georgius Everhardus Rumphius; Translated, edited, annotated

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The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet

Georgius Everhardus Rumphius; Translated, annotated, and wi

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The Ambonese Herbal, Volume 1
Introduction and Book I: Containing All Sorts of Trees, That Bear Edible Fruits, and Are Husbanded by People

Georgius Everhardus Rumphius; Translated, annotated, and wi

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The Ambonese Herbal, Volume 2
Book II: Containing the Aromatic Trees: Being Those That Have Aromatic Fruits, Barks or Redolent Wood; Book III: Containing Those Trees, Which Produce Some Resin, Notable Flowers, or Hurtful Milk; Book IV: Containing the Wild Trees That Provide Timber

Georgius Everhardus Rumphius; Translated, annotated, and wi

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The Ambonese Herbal, Volume 3
Book V: Dealing with the Remaining Wild Trees in No Particular Order; Book VI: Concerning Shrubs, Domesticall and Wild; Book VII: Containing the Forest Ropes and Creeping Shrubs

Georgius Everhardus Rumphius; Translated, annotated, and wi

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The Ambonese Herbal, Volume 4
Book VIII: Containing Potherbs Used for Food, Medicine, and Sport; Book IX: Concerning Bindweeds, as well as Twining and Creeping Plants

Georgius Everhardus Rumphius; Translated, annotated, and wi

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