Pietro Andrea Mattioli

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Pietro Andrea Mattioli
Wood engraving from Epistolarum Medicinalium libri quinque, 1561 Prague
Wood engraving from Epistolarum Medicinalium libri quinque, 1561 Prague
Born 23 March 1501
Died 1577

Pietro Andrea Gregorio Mattioli (Matthiolus) (23 March 1501, Siena – 1577, Trento) was a doctor and naturalist born in Siena.

He received his MD at the University of Padua in 1523, and subsequently practiced the profession in Siena, Rome, Trento and Gorizia, becoming personal doctor of Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria in Prague and Ambras Castle and Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna.

Mattioli described the first case of cat allergy. His patient was so sensitive to cats that if he was sent into a room with a cat he reacted with agitation, sweating and pallor.[citation needed]

A careful student of botany, he described 100 new plants and coordinated the medical botany of his time in his Discorsi ("Commentaries") on the Materia Medica of Dioscorides. The first edition of Mattioli's work appeared in 1544 in Italian. There were several later editions in Italian and translations into Latin (Venice, 1554), Czech, (Prague, 1562), German (Prague, 1563) and French.

In addition to identifying the plants originally described by Dioscorides, Mattioli added descriptions of some plants not in Dioscorides and not of any known medical use, thus marking a transition from to the study of plants as a field of medicine to a study of interest in its own right. In addition, the woodcuts in Mattioli's work were of a high standard, allowing recognition of the plant even when the text was obscure. A noteworthy inclusion is an early variety of tomato,the first documented example of the vegetable being grown and eaten in Europe[1].


  • 1533, Morbi Gallici Novum ac Utilissimum Opusculum
  • 1535, Liber de Morbo Gallico, dedicated to Bernardo Clesio
  • 1536, De Morbi Gallici Curandi Ratione
  • 1539, Il Magno Palazzo del Cardinale di Trento
  • 1544, Di Pedacio Dioscoride Anazarbeo Libri cinque Della historia, et materia medicinale tradotti in lingua volgare italiana da M. Pietro Andrea Matthiolo Sanese Medico, con amplissimi discorsi, et comenti, et dottissime annotationi, et censure del medesimo interprete, also known as Discorsi
  • 1548, Italian translation of Geografia di Tolomeo
  • 1554, Petri Andreae Matthioli Medici Senensis Commentarii, in Libros sex Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei, de Materia Medica, Adjectis quàm plurimis plantarum & animalium imaginibus, eodem authore, also known as Commentarii
  • 1558, Apologia Adversus Amatum Lusitanum
  • 1561, Epistolarum Medicinalium Libri Quinque
  • 1569, Opusculum de Simplicium Medicamentorum Facultatibus
  • 1571, Compendium de Plantis Omnibus una cum Earum Iconibus


  1. McCue, George Allen. "The History of the Use of the Tomato: An Annotated Bibliography." Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden (Missouri Botanical Garden Press) 39, no. 4 (November 1952): 291.
  2. "Author Query". International Plant Names Index. 
  • Duane Isely, One hundred and one botanists (Iowa State University Press, 1994), pp. 26-28
an:Pietro Andrea Mattioli

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