Harpestreng, Henrik

Harpestreng, Henrik, or Henricus Dacus, d. 1244, Danish herbalist and medical writer. He probably studied at the medical school in Salerno, and was a canon at Roskilde Cathedral, then Denmark's ecclesiastical center. Harpestreng may also have been a physician to the Danish king Eric IV. He wrote two treatises in Latin on herbs and their medical uses, De Simplicibus Medicinis Laxativis [on the simple laxative medicines] and Liber Harbarum [book of herbs]. A third reference book, Urtebogen [book of herbs], written in Danish and possibly consisting originally of two books, is a medieval pharmacopoeia containing translations of Latin works by earlier authors as well as his own writings. Harpestreng also is most likely the author of a book on gemstones used in the treatment of diseases, a cook book, and a book of astrological predictions.

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