Home Page || "Natural Magick" || Glossary/Index


A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


Mace - A kind of spice; the aril which partly covers nutmegs.

See :  Nutmeg.

"…Oil of Mace and Pepper…"

"…Take four pounds of Rose water, two of orange flowers, one of myrtle, three ounces of sweet Trifoil, one of Lavender .  Add to these, two ounces of Benjamin, one of Storax, the quantity of bean of Labdanum, as much of Mace and Cloves, a drachm of Cinnamon, Sanders, and Lignum Aloes, an ounce of Spikenard…"

Macerate /  Maceration                    

Macerate - To soften by steeping in a liquid, with or without heat; to wear away or separate the parts of by steeping; as, to macerate animal or vegetable fiber.

"… Macerate the leaves of Mastick, Sage, Rosemary, and Bramble, in Greek-Wine.  Then Distill it with a gentle fire through a Retort…"

"…Nay further also, even out of very roots and barks of trees, and rotten seeds, pounded and buried, and there Macerated with water, we have brought forth in a manner the very same herbs, as out of an Oaken root, the herb Polypody, and Oak-fern, and Splenewort…"

Macrobious  / Macrobius           

Macrobius - fl. c. 430, Latin writer and philosopher. His Saturnalia, a dialogue in seven books chiefly concerned with a literary evaluation of Vergil, incorporates valuable quotations from other writers. He also wrote a commentary on Cicero's Dream of Scipio, which was popular in the Middle Ages and influenced Chaucer.

"…For God the first cause and beginner of things, as Macrobious says, of his own fruitfulness has created and brought forth a Spirit, the Spirit brought forth a Soul, (but the truth of Christianity, says otherwise)…"

"…  Macrobius reports, 3. Lib. Satur., that Cincius in his oration, where he persuades to put the practise Fannius his law, concerning moderation of expense, did object to the men of his age, that they brought the Trojan Hog to their tables…"


Madder: - The stalks of the Madder are so weak that they often lie along the ground, preventing the plant from rising to its maximum height of 8 feet. The stalks are prickly, and the whorls of leaves at the joints have spines along the midrib on the underside, a feature that the French turn to advantage by using them for polishing metal-work.

See:   Cliver

"…  Red Madder makes the Urine red, says Dioscorides.  We may read also, that if you hold it long in your hand, it will color your Urine…"

"…Then Bruise the roots of Celendine, and of the greater Clivers Madder, of each a like quality…"


"…We read also that Maga, having possession of Paretonium, agreed with the watch, that at night in the evening, and again in the morning betimes, they should set up the light that was for confederacy…"


Magician - One skilled in magic/magick; one who practices the old science, "natural" arts; an enchanter; a necromancer; a sorcerer or sorceress; a conjurer.

"…Porphyry and Apuleius, great Platonicks, in an oration made in the defense of Magick, do witness, that Magick took her name and original form from Persia. Tully, in his book of Divination, says, that in the Persian language, a Magician is nothing else but one that expounds and studies divine things…"

"…Even so the Magician, when once he knows which and what kinds of matters nature has partly framed, and partly art has perfected, and gathered together, such as are fit to receive influence from above, these matters especially does he prepare and compound together, at such a time as such an influence reigns, and by this means does gain to himself the virtues and forces of heavenly bodies…"


Magick - "Natural" Philosophy/Arts,  Old science/Wisdom.

"…The Platonicks termed Magick to be the attraction or fetching out of one thing from another, by a certain affinity of Nature…"

"…Porphyry and Apuleius, great Platonicks, in an oration made in the defense of Magick, do witness, that Magick took her name and original form from Persia. Tully, in his book of Divination, says, that in the Persian language, a Magician is nothing else but one that expounds and studies divine things…"

MagisteryMagisteries / Magister      

Magistery - A precipitate; a fine substance deposited by precipitation; applied in old chemistry to certain white precipitates from metallic solutions; as, magistery of bismuth.

"…What Magisteries are, and the Extraction of them…"

"…On the contrary, a Magistery takes the temper of the elements.  So, that it neither extracts the Spirits nor the  Tinctures, but a certain mean between both.  A Magistery therefore, is what can be extracted out of things without separation of the elements…"

Magistery of Wine    

Magistery - A precipitate; a fine substance deposited by precipitation; applied in old chemistry to certain white precipitates from metallic solutions; as, magistery of bismuth.

See:   Magistery, Spirit of Wine

"…The Magistery of Wine, commonly called the Spirit of Wine…"

Magnes (Magnetite)  

See Loadstone

"… Plato in Ione writes, that Empedocles called this stone " Magnes", but Lucretius from the country of Magnesia…"

"… Nicander thinks the stone so called, and so does Pliny from him, from one Magnes, a shepard.   For it is reported that he found it by his hobnailed shoes, and his shepherds-crook that it stuck to, when he fed his flocks in Ida, where he was a shepard.  But I think it is called Maganes, as you should say Magnus, only one letter changed…"


Olaus Magnus - Swedish historian and geographer, b. at Skeninge, Sweden, 1490; d. at Rome, 1 Aug., 1558 He belonged to the old and noble family of Store (i.e. great, magnus), and pursued his studies from 1510 to 1517 in Germany. His works, which mark him as one of the most important geographers of the Renaissance period, were published in Italy.

"…Olaus Magnus, in the description of the North-countries of Europe, reports that about Scotland, there be certain birds generated of the fruit of a tree…"

"…  Olaus Magnus reports, that there are mountains of it in the North, and they draw so forcibly, that they have ships made fast by great spikes of wood, lest they should draw out the iron nails as the ships that pass between these rocks of Loadstone …"

Albertus Magnus   

Albertus Magnus 1206-1280, German scholastic scientist; the preeminent medieval man of science; teacher of Thomas Aquinas.

"…Also, I read in many maen of great authority, that Albertus Magnus made a head that speaks.  Yet to speak the truth, I give little credit to that man, because all I made trial of from him, I found to be false, but what he took from other men…"


"Mago the Carthaginian"

"… Pomegranates may be preserved, As   Columella reports out of Mago the Carthaginian, if first you warm them in Seawater, and then smear them with some chalk, and when they are dry, hang them up in some cold place…"

"… Mago, when he would preserve any kind of fruit close, he covers them all over very carefully with Potters Chalk, and then dries it in the Sun.  And if  there happens to be any Chap in the Mould, he closes it up with Loam…"

Mahomets  (Prophet Mohammed, pbuh)  

Mohammed - an Arab prophet and the founder of Islam (570-632 A.D.).

"…The Greeks say, that in the Temple of Serapis, that is vaulted at Alexandria, there was a Loadstone set, that held a statue of Brass in the air, for it had a piece of Iron in the head of it.  But that is false, that Mahomets chest hangs by the roof of the Temple.   Petrus Pellgrinus says, he showed in another work how that it might be done…"


Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon; or Rambam, from the initials of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon), 1135-1204, was physician to the Sultan Saladin and communal leader of Egyptian Jewry, as well as an important figure in the codification of Jewish law. His formulation of the basic principles of Judaism in a series of 13 creedal affirmations, in the hope of clarifying the differences between Judaism and both Islam and Christianity, occasioned great controversy when it was first composed; it has since been accepted widely and incorporated into most Jewish prayer books. His Mishneh Torah (Second Law; often known in English as the Strong Hand), an organization of Jewish oral law, also became enmeshed in controversy, partly because of its rigorously systematic rearrangements of traditional rabbinic law, and partly because Maimonides did not indicate the sources on which he based his decisions concerning correct interpretations, thus seeming to claim excessive authority for himself.

Maidenhair/Maidenhair tree                

Maidenhair - A fern of the genus Adiantum (A. pedatum), having very slender graceful stalks and is sometimes used in medicine. The name is also applied to other species of the same genus, as to the Venus-hair. Maiden grass, the smaller quaking grass.

See:  Ginko

"…The Doves, for a preservative against enchantments, first gather some little Bay tree boughs, and then lay them upon their nests, to preserve their young, so do the Kites use White Brambles, the turtles Swordgrass, the Crows Withy, the Lapwings Venus-hair, the Ravens Ivy, the hens Carrot, the Partridges Reed-leaves, the Blackbirds Myrtle, the Larks grass, the Swans Park-leaves, the Eagle uses Maidenhair, or the stone Etites for the same purpose…"

"…Take Saxifrage, Maidenhair, Pellitory of the wall, Parsley, Pimpernel and Ceterach.  Distill them in Balneo Mariae, and let the patient drink of it every other day.  For it corrodes and eats away the Stone, though never so great…"


See:   Apple

"… Damosin that has in it the substance of an Apple, which of late was called by the Spaniards Malina, which come of a  Damosin grafted into an Apple tree…"


"…There are also soft juices and herbs, and fat, as Mallons, Bean pods, and suchlike, that can soften Iron…"

Mallow /  Mallows                   

Mallows - Are plants of several genera in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus Malva comprises about 30 species of annual, biennial, or perennial herbs native to Europe, North Africa, and temperate Asia. These plants are characterized by flowers with five typically heart-shaped petals, five sepals, and three small bracts below the sepals. The stamens of the flower are united into a tube around the elongated pistil, and their anthers are clustered below the pistil's few to many stigmatic lobes.

"… Moreover, it makes them clean and white, and shining like pearls.  I know a man, who by this only recipe, gained great riches.  Take therefore three handfuls of Sage, Nettles, Rosemary, Mallows, and the rind of the roots of Walnut…"

"..So do the flowers of Succory and of Mallows. Likewise the pulse called Lupines, still looks after the Sun, that it may not writhe his stalk; and this watches the Sun's motion so duly…"


"…a handful of Sowthistle, Scordium, Betony, Scabious, and a half of Mercury precipitate.  A pint of Malmetry, a quart of the waters of Sowthistle, and Scabious.  Mix the Wine and waters, and lay the Guaiacum in it a day, and then the rest…"  ("A preservation against the Pox,")


Malmsey - A kind of sweet wine from Crete, the Canary Islands.

"…Steep Kidney Beans in Malmsey, one day.  Then take away the black whence they sprout, and Distil them with Lemons and Honey..


Maltha - . A variety of bitumen, viscid and tenacious, like pitch, unctuous to the touch, and exhaling a bituminous odor.

See:   Bitumen

 "…Another kind is, that men call Maltha …" ( Bitumen)


Mandrake, Mandragora officinarum, is an old European medicinal plant of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Because its thick root is often forked, suggesting human legs, and frequently has additional side roots, appearing to be arms, many superstitions have been associated with the mandrake.

"…When bears have tasted the fruit of the Mandrake, they eat pismires against the poison thereof…"

"… Dioscorides says, that men will presently fall asleep in the very same posture when they drink Mandrake, losing all their senses for three or four hours after, and that physitions do use it, when they would burn or cut off a member…"


See:   Wine

"… Hippocras Wine…Take the sweetest Wine, we call it commonly, Mangiaguerra, and into four vials full of that, pour in two pounds of beaten sugar, four ounces of Cinnamon , Pepper, and Grains of Paradise, one ounce and a half.  Let them infuse one day. …"

Manganess  (Manganese)  

Manganese - An element obtained by reduction of its oxide, as a hard, grayish white metal, fusible with difficulty, but easily oxidized. Its ores occur abundantly in nature as the minerals pyrolusite, manganite, etc. Symbol Mn. Atomic weight 54.8. &hand; An alloy of manganese with iron (called ferromanganese) is used to increase the density and hardness of steel. It colors glass violet, and is used as a decolorizer to remove the green tint of impure glass. Manganese bronze, an alloy made by adding from one to two per cent of manganese to the copper and zinc used in brass.

"…How to Counterfeit the color of Amethist. To a pound of Crystal, put a dram of that they call Manganess, and so the color is made…"

"…To a pound of Glass, you must add a Drachm of Manganess, for so it will be of the color of a Lion.  Then add a Drachm of Zaphara, and the mixture witll turn black.  Make often trial, if it be of a dark purple or violet color…"


See:   Quince

"… Quinces are of many kinds, some called Mariana from Marius, Manliana from Manlius, Appiana Claudiana from Appius Claudius, Cestiana from Cestius…"


Manilius - Astrologer.  Wrote books containing a System of the Ancient Astronomy and Astrology. Together with the Philosophy of the Stoics.

"…as Jupiter and Venus love all Planets save Mars and Saturn, Venus agrees with Mars, where no other plant agrees with him. There also is another disagreement among them, which rises from the oppositions and elevations of their houses. For even the twelve signs are both at concord and at discord among themselves, as Manilius the Poet has shown…"


See:   Quince

"… Quinces are of many kinds, some called Mariana from Marius, Manliana from Manlius, Appiana Claudiana from Appius Claudius, Cestiana from Cestius…"


Manure - To apply manure to; to enrich, as land, by the application of a fertilizing substance. To cultivate by manual labor; to till; hence, to develop by culture.

"…What fruit does grow in moist and watery hollow and low grounds, as also those which grow in such grounds as are much soiled and Manured with fat Muck…"


Marble -  A massive, compact limestone; a variety of calcite, capable of being polished and used for architectural and ornamental purposes. The color varies from white to black, being sometimes yellow, red, and green, and frequently beautifully veined or clouded. The name is also given to other rocks of like use and appearance, as serpentine or verd antique marble, and less properly to polished porphyry, granite, etc.

"…For she procured a white boy carved of Marble, well proportioned in every way, and him she had always before her eyes…"

 "…I have often know the Ophites, or Serpentine Marble applied to the head, both take away, and mollify the pain…"


"… Marbodeus says, it (" Loadstone") grows among the Proglodites and Indians. .."

"…  Marbodeus of the Loadstone:

All Loadstones by their virtue Iron draw;

But of the Diamond it stands in awe:

Taking the Iron from't by Natures Law.…"


"… Ammianus Marcellinus described Firedarts, a kind of weapon made after such a fashion.  It is an arrow of cane, joined with many irons between the shaft and the head, and they are make hollow after the fashion of a womans Distaff…"


Marcellus, Marcus Claudius (?)

The Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus, c.268-208 BC, won distinction in the Punic Wars and was elected consul five times. He waged war against the Insubres in Gaul, defeating their chief in single combat (222), and held off Hannibal three times at Nola (216, 214). Marcellus conquered Syracuse in 211, outwitting Archimedes' brilliantly engineered defenses. After defeating a Carthaginian force near Himera, he returned to Rome before entering the field against Hannibal once again near Venosa, where he died in battle.

"…And Pliny says, that if you lay a duck to the griping of ones belly, she takes away the disease, and dies of it herself, and Marcellus writes, that it is good for one that is so troubled, to eat the flesh of the duck. .."

"…We read that he set the Roman Navy on fire, when Marcellus besieged Syracuse, his Country…"


"…The Marchasite or Fire-stone, the Lees of wine, that kind of Salt which is found in Africa under the sand, when the Moon is full, which is commonly called by the name of Al-hali, Saltpeter, and lastly Alome…"

 "…In like manner, if you melt in a vessel that has holes in the bottom of it, and melt with it Lead, and the Marchasite or Fire-stone, and Arsenic and such other things we spoke of before in our experiments of Brass…"


Marchpane - A kind of sweet bread or biscuit; a cake of pounded almonds and sugar.

"…This art is noble, and much set by, by kings and great men.  For it teaches to make waters, oils, powders, marchpanes, fumes, and to make sweet skins that shall hold their scent for a long time.."


Mare - The female of the horse and other equine quadrupeds.

"…A Dog and a Wolf, a Lion and a Panther, an Ass and a Horse, a Partridge and a Hen, are of one bigness, and therefore may couple together, but a Horse and a Dog, or a Mare and an Elephant, or a Hen and a Sparrow cannot…"

"…In Mysia, when Horses back Mares, a man sings to them as it were a marriage song, and the mares are so taken with the Music, that they become great with foal, and they bring forth most gallant Colts…"


See:  Quince

"…Quinces are of many kinds, some called Mariana from Marius, Manliana from Manlius, Appiana Claudiana from Appius Claudius, Cestiana from Cestius…"


"… Marianus the deputy opposed him.  And there being a fight at sea, by an engine made by Proclus a most excellent man, for he then was famous for his philosophy and Mathematicks…"


Marigold - A name for several plants with golden yellow blossoms, especially the Calendula officinalis (see Calendula), and the cultivated species of Tagetes.

"… Tinctures of Marigolds, Violets, Bugloss, and Succory flowers…"

"…The Tincture of Marigolds will be yellow.  Of Bugloss, Violets, and Succory flowers red.  Because the colors of those flowers, is but thin and superficiary.  So that it expires with little heat, and is red underneath…"


Mariner - One whose occupation is to assist in navigating ships; a seaman or sailor.

"…For it will hardly take upon foul and rusty Iron.  Wherefore Mariners make it of pure Steel.  For Steel is made of the best Iron…"

Mariners Card  

See: Mariners Compass

"…  Flavius says, an Italian found it out first, whose name was Amalphus, born in our Campania.  But he knew not the Mariners Card, but stuck the Needle in a reed, or a piece of wood, cross over…"

 "…It is a common opinion among Seamen, that Onions and Garlic are at odds with the Loadstone.  And Steersmen, and such as tend the Mariners Card are forbidden to eat Onions or Garlic, lest they make the Index of the Poles drunk…"

Mariners Compass    

Mariners Compass - An instrument for directing or ascertaining the course of ships at sea, consisting of a circular box, containing a paper card marked with the thirty two points of direction, fixed on a magnetic needle, that always points to the north, the variation excepted. The needle with the card turns on a pin in the center of the box. In the center of the needle is fixed a brass conical socket or cap, by which the card hanging on the pin turns freely round the center. The box is covered with glass, to prevent the motion of the card from being disturbed by the wind.

 "…There are many more ways to prove it, for letting it hang equally, as in the Mariners Compass, for where it can move of itself freely, it still directs to the same points.  And you may do the same if you hang it by a small thread…"

"…And to a friend that is at a far distance from us, and safe shut up in prison, we may relate our minds, which I doubt not may be done by two Mariners Compass, having the alphabet written about them…"

"… The Needle in the Mariners Compass will move above, as if there were no body between them.   St. August ne Lib. de civitate Dei, knew this experiment…"


"…The fruit of the Foeminipara is like the moss of an Olive tree, the fruit of the Maripara is double like a man's Stones…"


"…Some Herbs are good for procreation of a male, and some of a female, as the Herb which is called Marisica, and Foeminipara, both are like each other…"

Marius Maximus   

"…He reports that he say such a tree in the Orchard of Marius Maximus, and tasting the fruit thereof, he thought with himself that he felt the relish of an Olive-berrie and a grape kernal both together…"


A genus of mintlike plants (Origanum) comprising about twenty-five species. The sweet marjoram (O. Majorana) is pecularly aromatic and fragrant, and much used in cookery

"…And to be short, in the same manner are extracted the oils out of the seeds of Carrot, Angelica, Marjoram, Rue, Rosemary, Parsley, Smallage and Dill, and suchlike…"

"…Take two pounds of Rosewater, of Lavender half one, of Cretan Wine thirteen Drachms, of the flowers of Gilliflowers, Roses, Rosemary, Jasmine, the leaves of Marjoram, wild Betony, Savory, Fennel, and Basil Gentle, half a pound…"

Marle  / Marl  

Marl - A mixed earthy substance, consisting of carbonate of lime, clay, and sand, in very varivble proportions, and accordingly designated as calcareous, clayey, or sandy.

"…He steeped it in white Marle, and covered the roots of it with the same Morter for eight days together, and it brought forth white berries…"


Marrow - The tissue which fills the cavities of most bones; the medulla. In the larger cavities it is commonly very fatty, but in the smaller cavities it is much less fatty, and red or reddish in color.

"… Pliny received it of many reports, that Snakes gendered of the Marrow of men's backs…"

"…But I for my part must needs hold both against Theophrastus and against others also that have written of Husbandry, both that trees may live after their Marrow is taken out from them, and also that they will bring forth fruit having stones or kernels in them…"


Mars - One of the planets of the solar system, the fourth in order from the sun, or the next beyond the earth, having a diameter of about 4,200 miles, a period of 687 days, and a mean distance of 141,000,000 miles. It is conspicuous for the redness of its light.

"..Yes, even in Heaven itself, as Jupiter and Venus love all Planets save Mars and Saturn, Venus agrees with Mars, where no other plant agrees with him…"

Marsh Mallow   

See Mallow

Bruise Marsh-Mallow roots with hog grease, and let them boil long in wine.  Then add Cummin seed well bruised, Mastick, and yolks of eggs, well boiled.

Mathematical Science      

"…And I shall first divide them into Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and I shall begin with the Natural, for I hold that most convenient, that all may arise from those things that are simple, and not so laborious, toMathematical Sciences.."

"…now I am come to Mathematical Sciences, and this place requires that I show some experiments concerning Catoptrick glasses…."


"…Also in old monuments and histories it is declared, that there was a King of Egypt, whose name was Marrhes, who bred up a tame Rook, and this he made use of for a winged messenger, so often as he had need…"


Martial - (Marcus Valerius Martialis), A.D. c.40-c.104, Roman poet; b. Spain. His verses, characterized by a twist of wit at the end of each and by original meter and form, became models for the modern epigram.

"…  Martial writes, that, "Basil-royal degenerates into wild Betony," if it be laid open to the sun's hotest and greatest force…"

"…After this manner I have lapped up Bees and Lizards in Amber, which I have show to many, and they have been persuaded that they were the Bees and Lizards that Martial speaks of…"


Matron - A wife or a widow, especially, one who has borne children; a woman of staid or motherly manners.

"…And if we provide for young women, we must do as much for aged Matrons, especially, if it fall out that they grow Hoary too soon…"


Saint Justin Martyr, c.100-c.165, is recognized as one of the most important early Christian writers. A Samarian, he studied in different schools of philosophy--Stoic, Peripatetic, Pythagorean, and Platonic--before becoming a Christian. Justin took up the task of making a reasoned defense of Christianity to outsiders. He went to Rome and opened a school of philosophy. Justin is the reputed author of a vast number of treatises, but the only authentic remaining works are two Apologies, his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, and fragments of On the Resurrection. Justin was beheaded in 165.

Peter Martyr

"…Toads are presently gendered of the drops wherewith they water their houses, as Peter Martyr writes…"

Justin Martyr, Saint (?)


"…  Homer says, the Massagetae did the like, and that there are trees whose fruit cast into the fire, will make all that are near to be drunk and foolish.  For they will presently rise from their seats, and fall to leaping and dancing…"


Masterwort - A tall and coarse European umbelliferous plant (Peucedanum Ostruthium, formerly Imperatoria). (b) The Astrantia major, a European umbelliferous plant with a showy colored involucre. (c) Improperly, the cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum).

"…Cattle that use to feed on Masterwort, and to be first cleansed, will grow very fat, and their flesh will be exceeding sweet. Pliny…"

Mastic \ Mastick                        

Mastic - A low shrubby tree of the genus Pistacia (P. Lentiscus), growing upon the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean, and producing a valuable resin; -- called also, mastic tree.

"…The ancients used the decoction of the Lote Tree rasp, which we call Melo Fiocco.  And so they made their hair red.  Or else, by burning the Foeces of the old Wine, as I said, they added Oil of Mastick thereto, which they provided thus to the purpose…"

"… Oil of Mastick is made…Gather many grains of the Mastick tree, and let them lie in a heap for a day and a night.  Then put a basket full of those berries into any vessel, and pouring hot water thereto, tred them and press them forth.  Then from that humour that runs forth of them, the Oil of Mastick that swims on the top is poured off…"

Mastive /  Mastiff  

Mastiff - A breed of large dogs noted for strength and courage. There are various strains, differing in form and color, and characteristic of different countries.

See:   Indian-dog, Hircan-Dog

"…This is called by some a Mastiff, by others a Warrior, or a Hircan-Dog. Aristotle calls them Indian-dogs, and says, they are generated of a Dog and a Tygre…"


Match - Anything used for catching and retaining or communicating fire, made of some substance which takes fire readily, or remains burning some time; esp., a small strip or splint of wood dipped at one end in a substance which can be easily ignited by friction, as a preparation of phosphorus or chlorate of potassium.

"…And making a hole in the Clout, fasten a Cotton Match to the mixture, that when necessity is, it may take fire.  You shall learn shortly after to make the Match.  This is called a simple Rocket…"

"…You shall make your Match thus.  In a new test let the best Aqua Vita boil with Gunpowder, till it grows thick, and be like Pap..."

Mathematicks  (Mathematics)  

Mathematics - That science, or class of sciences, which treats of the exact relations existing between quantities or magnitudes, and of the methods by which, in accordance with these relations, quantities sought are deducible from other quantities known or supposed; the science of spatial and quantitative relations.

"…Take a great or small circle, as you would have your glass, and here and there cut off two part of the circumference, one to the quantity of a Pentagon, the other of a Hexagon, as is clear in the Mathematicks…"

"… Marianus the deputy opposed him.  And there being a fight at sea, by an engine made by Proclus a most excellent man, for he then was famous for his philosophy and Mathematicks…"

Mathematical Sciences  

Mathematical Science - Science of or pertaining to mathematics; according to mathematics; hence, theoretically precise; accurate; as, mathematical geography; mathematical instruments; mathematical exactness.

"…He must also know the Mathematical Sciences, and especially Astrology; for that shows how the stars are moved in the heavens…"


"… By means of such an industrious practice you avoid the necessity of braking your Matrassa everytime you want to resublime what was already sublimed. .."


Matrix - The womb. That which gives form or origin to anything; as: (a) (Mech.) The cavity in which anything is formed, and which gives it shape; a die; a mold, as for the face of a type. (b) (Min.) The earthy or stony substance in which metallic ores or crystallized minerals are found; the gangue.

"… Trotula says, we may honestly speak of this, because Conception is sometimes hindered by it, if the Matrix be too open…"

"…The Decoction of Ladies Mantel, or the juice, or distilled water of it cast into the Matrix, will so contract it, that Whores can scarce be known from maids…"


"…The Weapon Salve…Given heretofore to Maximilian the Emperor, by Paracelsus, experimented by him, and was always very much accounted of by him while he lived…"


Mead - A fermented drink made of water and honey with malt, yeast, etc.

"…There is a kind of Lote without any inward Kernel, which is as hard as a bone in the other kind.   Wine is pressed also out of it like Mead, that will not last above ten days…"

"…Pour into a Brass caldron seven vessels of water, put in two pounds of Raisins, let them boil till they be wasted in the water, and the water be sweet as Mead…"


Meal - . Grain (esp. maize, rye, or oats) that is coarsely ground and unbolted; also, a kind of flour made from beans, pease, etc.; sometimes, any flour, esp. if coarse.

"…To this mass, add a third part of Meal, and make them into Bread together, which will be pleasant to eat daily…"

"…Then take them out of the water, and put them upon Linen cloths, extended and hanging up until they be dry, then grind them in Handmills and the Meal will be exceedingly white…"


Medea - in Greek mythology, princess of Colchis; famed for her skill in sorcery. She fell in love with Jason and helped him obtain the Golden Fleece. After marrying Jason she returned with him to Iolcus and bore him two children. Years later, when Jason wished to marry Creusa, the vengeful Medea sent her an enchanted gown, which burned her to death. Then she killed her own children. Her story was dramatized by Euipedies.

"…So some say, that Medea burned a whore, who, when she came to sacrifice at the altar, the fire laid hold on her garland…"

"…The first way, we read that Medea promised the Argonauts, that if she killed Pelias, she would signify so much to them by night with fire from a watch tower, and by day with smoke…"


Medicament - Anything used for healing diseases or wounds; a medicine; a healing application.

"…The force of the Medicament loosens and cleans his belly, so that he grows empty…"

"… For it was a Medicament that nourishes much, and abates thirst, and this was the food the besiegers of cities and the besieged also lived on.  It was called Epimenidian Composition, from the Sea-onion called Epimenidium…"


Medicinable - Medicinal; having the power of healing.

"…It  ( Tree of Garden-dainties) was three forked.  Upon one bough or arm, to bore a goodly Grape.  Without any Kernels in it, party colored and very Medicinable…"

"…You must take green Nuts, and pluck them out of their shells, and so let them be soused in Honey.  And the Honey wherein they are Soused, will become very Medicinable, insomuch that if you make a Potion of it, it will be very helpful to cure the arteries, and the jaws…"


Medicine - . The science which relates to the prevention, cure, or alleviation of disease. Any substance administered in the treatment of disease; a remedial agent; a remedy; physic.

"…They rid and cleanse Vine roots, then pour upon the juice of some Purgative Medicine to water them all about…"

"…  Avicenna says, that the filings of it helps Melancholy, and is used also in Medicines for the shedding of the hair.  In liquid Medicines , or reduced into very fine powder, it is used in Collyriums, or Medicines for the eyes, for the pain and trembling of the heart, and other passions of the mind…"


"", Culpeper, Nicholas, 1616-1654. -- "This Tree groweth neer the bigness of the Quince Tree, spreading Branches reasonable large, with longer and narrower Leaves than either the Apple or Quince, and not dented about the edges: At the end of the Sprigs stand the Flowers made of Five white, great broad pointed Leavs, nicked in the middle, with some white threds also: after which cometh the Fruit, of a brownish green colour, being ripe, bearing a Crown as it were on the top, which were the five green leaves; and being rubbed off or fallen away, the head of the Fruit is seen to be somwhat hollow. The Fruit is very harsh before it be mellowed, and hath usually five hard Kernels within it."

"…A Medlar without any stones, by Engraffing it into an Apple tree, or a Service tree…"

"…They  (Medlar ) are to be gathered, says he (  Palladius), in a fair day about noontime, and they must not be thorough ripe…"


 "…It is good for all diseases of the heart, as fainting, and trembling thereof.  For the Megrum and Poison, and the bitings of venomous creatures, and especially against the infection of the Plague. .."


Melancholy - Depression of spirits; a gloomy state continuing a considerable time; deep dejection; gloominess. Great and continued depression of spirits, amounting to mental unsoundness; melancholia.

"…The reason is, because the Loadstone is Melancholic, as you may conjecture by the color of it.  The fumes whereof, rising into the brain, will cause those that are asleep to have Melancholic Phantasms presented unto them…"

"…The weight Davic, with Serpents fat, and juice of metals, given one to drink, will make him mad, and make him run out of his house, country and nation.  And this it does by exaggeration of black Melancholy…"


"…Also with the decoction of Ivory, one may make the face like Ivory.   Melanthium makes the face beautiful.   Dioscorides…"


See:   Quince

 "… Anatolius and   Diophanes made a compound fruit called Melimela, of an Apple and a Quince mixed together…"

"…If they are Engraffed into a Quince tree.  And that hereby are procured those good Apples which the Athenians call Melimela…"

"…The Quinces that were thus dressed, were called Melimela, that is to say, Apples preserved in Honey.  As Martial witnesses, saying, Quinces soused in pure Honey, that they have drunk themselves full, are called Melimela…"


See:  Apple

".. for if we Graft an Apple into a Quince tree, the tree will yield a very good Apple, which the Athenians call Melimelum, but we call it a St. Johns Apple…."

Melitaean Dogs    

"…In times past, women were wont to esteem little dogs in great price, especially such as came from Malta the island situated in the Adriatic Sea, near to Ragusius. Calimacus terms them with Melitean dogs…"

Melon  / Mellon              

Melon - The juicy fruit of certain cucurbitaceous plants, as the muskmelon, watermelon, and citron melon; also, the plant that produces the fruit.

"…and I suppose that the Sanguine colored Melon which are seen in these countries, are thus used, that they may be of this color…"

"…For if in the wintertime you lay a parcel of earth in mixtures that are made of hot dung, and in the same earth sow Mellons seeds, the heat of the Dung will cause them soon to sprout forth…"

Melo Fiocco    

"…The ancients used the decoction of the Lote Tree rasp, which we call Melo Fiocco.  And so they made their hair Red.  Or else, by burning the Foeces of the old Wine, as I said, they added oil of Mastick thereto, which they provided thus to the purpose…"


"…Other properties there are also of places and fountains, which he that would know, may learn out of Theophrastus, Timaus, Poffidonius, Hegefias, Aristides, Meirodorus, and the like, who have very diligently sought out, and registered the properties of places, and out of them, Pliny, Solinus, and such writers have gathered their books…"


Member -  A part of an animal capable of performing a distinct office; an organ; a limb, here, penis.

"…Likewise the breath of Elephants draws the Serpent out of their dens, and they fight with Dragons; and therefore the Members of Elephants, burned, drives away the Serpent…"

"…Such a contrariety is there between the Elephant's Members , and that a kind of Leprosy which makes the skin of a man like the skin of an Elephant…"


Membrane - A thin layer or fold of tissue, usually supported by a fibrous network, serving to cover or line some part or organ, and often secreting or absorbing certain fluids.

"…Yet that is stuck in with Hacks, until all the Membranes are pulled clean…"

"… I will not omit Aelian's experiment of a Lion, which is kind of a Locust.  For in some Membranes, where the Testes are bound together, under which there are some soft Carbuncles, and tender, that are called Lions Fat. .."


".. Isigonus and Memphodorus say, there are some families in Africa, that Bewitch with their tongue the very woods.  Which if they do but admire somewhat earnestly, or if they praise fair trees, growing Corn, lusty children, good Horses, or fat Sheep, they presently wither, and die of a sudden, from no other cause or harm…."

Mendefius, Dolus   

"…How cucumbers may hasten their fruits Columella found in Dolus Mendefius an Egyptian, an easy way whereby this may be done. .."


Menstrue - The menstrual flux; menses.

"… Being drunk in Vinegar, it cures the Falling Sickness, and restores lost memory.  It provokes the Menstrues in women, by anointing their privities with it, or by drinking some drops of it in Wine…"


Menstruum - monthly dissolvent (Latin, mensis), from the notion of the alchemists that it acted only at the full of the moon. "All liquors are called menstruums which are used as dissolvents or to extract the virtues of ingredients by infusion or decoction."- Quincy.

 "…Moreover, use not a watery Menstruum, for a watery Essence.  Nor a oily Menstruum, for and oily Essence being of like natures, they are not easily separated.  But watery Menstruums for oily Essences…"

"…so that if they remain too long on the fire, or in   Menstruum, their sweetness degenerates from its former pleasantness, and is washed off by the mixture of the stinking ill favoured part of their substance…"


"…The Platonicks, as Plotinus imitating Mercurim, writes in his book of of of Sacrifice and Magik, makes it to be a science whereby inferior things are made subject to superiors, …"



Mercury - A metallic element mostly obtained by reduction from cinnabar, one of its ores. It is a heavy, opaque, glistening liquid (commonly called quicksilver), and is used in barometers, thermometers, ect. Specific gravity 13.6. Symbol Hg (Hydrargyrum). Atomic weight 199.8. Mercury has a molecule which consists of only one atom. It was named by the alchemists after the god Mercury, and designated by his symbol, &mercury.

See: Quicksilver, Mercury Sublimate

 "…But in such places where cattle eat Scammony, Black Hellebour, Perwincle, or Mercury, all their milk subverts the belly and stomach, such as is reported to be in the mountains of Justinum…"

"…a handful of Sowthistle, Scordium, Betony, Scabious, and a half of Mercury precipitate.  A pint of Malmetry, a quart of the waters of Sowthistle, and Scabious.  Mix the Wine and waters, and lay the Guaiacum in it a day, and then the rest…"  ("A preservation against the Pox,")



Mercury - One of the planets of the solar system, being the one nearest the sun, from which its mean distance is about 36,000,000 miles. Its period is 88 days, and its diameter 3,000 miles.

"…The planets are partly male, and partly female, and Mercury is of both sexes itself. These things the husband man perceiving, prepares his field and his feed, for heavenly influences to work upon, the physician likewise observes the same, and works accordingly, for the preservation both of our bodies, and of universal nature…"

Mercury Sublimate   

See:   Mercury, Sublimate

"…Take a little Mercury Sublimate, and a little Salt Ammoniac.  Distill these as I showed in glass stills…"

"… Dentifrices are used among things to beautify women.  For there is nothing held more ugly then for a woman to laugh or speak, and thereby to show their rugged, rusty, and spotted teeth.  For they all almost, by using Mercury Sublimate, have their teeth black or yellow…"


Meridian - Being at, or pertaining to, midday; belonging to, or passing through, the highest point attained by the sun in his diurnal course.

 "…It has been observed a long time by our men, that the Needle touched with the Loadstone, will not always rest upon the Meridian line, but sometimes till decline nine degrees from it to the east…"

"… For finding the Meridian line, as Ptolomy and other Geometricians teach how, and setting up a point on it, that the Steel Needle may turn freely upon the top of it…"


"…That next to the Rind is the worst, and that next the Pith, the middle is the best, which is called Mesa…"


"…Corneile, or Hamberry may be kept in Lees.  And if it be well preserved so, it will serve to be used in the stead of Olives.   Ovid declares this in the eighth book of his Metamorphosis…"

Metapontimus, Hippasus  

"…The first sort held that all things proceed from the elements, and that these are the first beginnings of things; the fire, according to Hippasus Metapontimus, and Heraclides Ponticus; the air, according to Diogenes Apolloniates, and Anaximenes; and the water, according to Thales Milefius…."

Metellus, Scipio   

Metellus - ancient Roman family of the plebeian gens Caecilia. It was one of the families that controlled the senate.

"…Our wise ancestors, says Pliny, who knew the goodness of a goose liver, taught how by cramming to make it grow great, also taken forth, it is augmented by sweet milk.  And it is not without cause demanded, who was the first man that found out so profitable a thing.  Whether it was Scipio Metellus, that was Consul, or Mar. Sejus, that in the same age was a gentleman of Rome.   Palladius taught the way how…"


Metheglin - A fermented beverage made of honey and water; mead.

"…The wild cucumber, and Coloquintida, kill mice. .  If Mice eat Tithymal, cut into small pieces, and mingled with flour and Metheglin, they will be blind.  So Chamaelion, Myacanthus, Realgar, namely, of live Brimstone, Quicklime and Orpiment will do the same…"

"…Wine called Metheglin…."


"…If we would catch birds by bringing them to flee, here we must take the nut Methella, which is of that force, as to cause sleep and heaviness of brain, and let this be the ground of our mixture. Then to make it more lively in working, put thereto the juice of Black Poppy, and the Dregs of Wine. …"


"…Take a good measure of Vineger, about a Metreta, and to that add one Metreta of Seawater boiled to half, mingle them and set them aside in a vessel…"

"…Some Steep Barley and strain it, and of that juice they mingle one Metreta, and they stir them together, and they cast in torrified Salt…"


Meum - to confound meum and tuum, to fail to distinguish one's own property from that of others; to be dishonest.

"…Inside set everywhere little pots full of water, and put salt and Meum to them…"


Mew - To shed or cast; to change; to molt; as, the hawk mewed his feathers.

 "…If you give a Hawk a Hen fed with Snake or Lizard's flesh, or with Barley boiled in the broth of them, it will make him Mew his feathers betimes…"


Milkwort - 500 or more species in the genus Polygala in the milkwort family, Polygalaceae. They are mostly perennial herbs widely distributed through the warmer regions of the world. Their flowers, borne in rounded or spikelike clusters, resemble those of the pea family. They have five sepals, two enlarged into wings, and typically three small petals.

"…Dydimus says, that if rams, or any other beasts, feed up the herb Milk-wort, they will become both eager to lust, and stronger for the act of copulation…"


Mill - A machine for grinding or commuting any substance, as grain, by rubbing and crushing it between two hard, rough, or intented surfaces; as, a gristmill, a coffee mill; a bone mill. A machine used for expelling the juice, sap, etc., from vegetable tissues by pressure, or by pressure in combination with a grinding, or cutting process; as, a cider mill; a cane mill. A machine for grinding and polishing; as, a lapidary mill. A common name for various machines which produce a manufactured product, or change the form of a raw material by the continuous repetition of some simple action; as, a sawmill; a stamping mill, etc.

"…For the which not only a Mortar and Mills will be requisite, but also a Porphyrian stone…"

"…But we make it thus, first the Lupines are ground in Mills, and are made into Flour…"


Millet - The name of several cereal and forage grasses which bear an abundance of small roundish grains.

"…The fruit of White Ivy will make feed barren, but the fruit of Arsemery will make it fertile, which fruit is a small grain, like to Millet .."

"…To increase the quantity of Honey, add to it the meal of Chestnuts of Millet, and that augments it, and it cannot be known…"


Milk - A white fluid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals for the nourishment of their young, consisting of minute globules of fat suspended in a solution of casein, albumin, milk sugar, and inorganic salts.

 "…A a mother does more bountifully feed one child with her Milk, then she can feed two…"

"…Beat together Oil Lees, coals of a vine and Pomegranate pills.  And mingle them, and if you touch your face with this liniment, you shall make it exceeding black.  But the juice of sour Grapes or Milk will wash it off…"


Mine - a type of bomb put below the earth or in the sea which explodes when vehicles, ships or people go over it. To dig a mine or pit in the earth; to get ore, metals, coal, or precious stones, out of the earth; to dig in the earth for minerals; to dig a passage or cavity under anything in order to overthrow it by explosives or otherwise.

"…To dig Mines to overthrow cities and forts, there is required great cost, time, and pains, and they can hardly be made but the enemy will discover it…"


Minerva - the Roman goddess of wisdom.

"… We read in the roman histories, that there was at Rome, in the temple of ghe goddess Vesta, and of Minerva, at Athens, and of Apollo, at Delphi, a perpetual fire kindled…"


"… Amphiretus Acantius, being taken by Pirates, and carried to Lemnos, was kept in chains, in hope that his ransom would bring them a great sum of money.  He abstained from meat, and drank Minimum mixed with Saltwater  (to counterfeit a bloody Flux)…"


Minstrel - In the Middle Ages, one of an order of men who subsisted by the arts of poetry and music, and sang verses to the accompaniment of a harp or other instrument; in modern times, a poet; a bard; a singer and harper; a musician.

"…A Wolf is charmed by a Minstrel or Flute…"

"… A Minstrel at Pythiocara, when he sang and played very pleasantly, he made the Wolves tame.   Aelian.…"


"", Culpeper, Nicholas, 1616-1654. -- Spear-Mint, hath divers round Stalks, and long, but narrowish Leavs set thereon; of a dark green colour. The Flowers stand in Spiked Heads at the tops of the Branches, being of a pale blush colour. The smel or scent hereof is somwhat neer unto Bassil. It encreaseth by the Root under ground, as all the others do.

"… Then take fifteen pounds of   Romane Mint, and beat it in a Marble Mortar, with a wooden Pestle, until it comes to the form of an ointment.  Add as much more Mint and Wormwood, and put them into the oil…"

"…and the fillets must be made wet in Parsley, Saffron, Mint, Fennel, and sweet Wine, or with water and Salt, or broth, for the roasted parts, for the fried parts with Oil…"


Mirror - A looking-glass or a speculum; any glass or polished substance that forms images by the reflection of rays of light.

"…So a bright Mirror will dread the eyes of an unclean woman, says Aristotle, and grows cloudy and dull, when she looks on it…"


Mithridate - An antidote against poison, or a composition in form of an electuary, supposed to serve either as a remedy or a preservative against poison; an alexipharmic; -- so called from King Mithridates, its reputed inventor.

 "…Upon this, I thrust half a Drachm of Treacle, or Mithridate, mixed with Aqua Vitae, into a Viper's mouth, and she died within half an hour…"

 "…Add to the Expression an ounce of Saffron, Myrrhe, Aloes, Spikenard, and Rhubarb, all bruised.  And let them boil in it for a day in B.M. at last Treacle and Mithridate…"


Mithridates - King of Pontus, in Asia Minor, from 120-63 BCE; following a successful invasion of Crimea, Mithridates attempts to conquer the Roman client of Bithynia but is unsuccessful; angered, Mithridates invades the province of Asia and causes the death of eighty-thousand Italians and Greek commercial representatives by encouraging Asian debtors to kill their Italian creditors; this began 25 years of Mithridatic wars starting in 88 BCE; Pompey eventual takes command in the Mithridatic wars from Sulla and defeated Mithridates in Armenia in 63 BCE; Mithridates attempts to escape to Crimea but there, faced by a rebellion led by his son, commits suicide.

"… Mithridates (as old histories deliver it to us) King of Pontus, had so strengthened himself against Poison, that when he would have poisoned himself, lest he should fall into the hands of the Romans, nothing could do him any hurt…"

"…  Archelaus the General, for Mithridates made trial of it in a wooden tower against Sylla, which he attempted in vain to set on fire…"


Mithraism, the worship of the ancient Indo-Iranian god of light, Mithra, became early Christianity's most serious rival as the mystery cult rapidly spread from Syria and Anatolia throughout the western Mediterranean and into Gaul and Britain. Its cultic origins remain obscure. Although the Persian god Mithra, the chief ally of Ahura Mazda, the force of good in later Zoroastrianism, is identical with the Roman deity, Western worship of Mithra had few connections with Zoroastrianism apart from its emphasis on the eternal struggle between good and evil. There were seven grades of initiation into the cult, completion of which conferred immortality. The most important ritual was the slaying of the bull, a reenactment of Mithra's killing of the cosmic bull of creation, which symbolized the conquest of evil and death. Astrology and sun worship also played a role in Mithraism.


"…The Quince, says he (Pliny), being Grafted into a Quince-pear, yields a kind of fruit called Milvianum, which alone of all other Quinces is to be eaten raw…"


Mistletoe - A parasitic evergreen plant of Europe (Viscum album), bearing a glutinous fruit. When found upon the oak, where it is rare, it was an object of superstitious regard among the Druids.

"…apply a plaster of the powder to the place, the pain will presently cease, to the admiration of the beholders.   Mistletoe of the Oak, Infused in Wine, and drunk, does the same…"


See:   Damosin

"…This same Mixa is a kind of Damosin, which differs from all others, for whereas others have a bitter Almond or kernel within their stone, this only has a sweet kernel…"


Mixen -  A dunghill; a laystall.

"…The Beetle marks the ages and seasons of the planets. For he, gathering Dung out of the Mixen, rounds it up together, and covers it with Earth for eight and twenty days, hiding it so long as the Moon goes about the Zodiac…"


"…They are such as are very hot, as the Bay tree, the Buckthorn, the Holm, the Piel tree.  But Mnestor adds the Mulberry tree, and men conjecture so, because they will presently blunt the ax…"


Mole - Any insectivore of the family Talpidæ. They have minute eyes and ears, soft fur, and very large and strong fore feet.

Some think that the increase commonly falls out to be so little, because the greater part of the fruit which is cast into the ground, is eaten up by Worms, or birds, or Moles, and of other creatures that live in the earth.


See:   Crab

"…I speak of those Crabs bred in fresh waters.  For at Venice I have eaten them that breed naturally tender in salt waters, they call them commonly Mollecas.  But they are not so sweet, as they are made at Rome, and they ask a Julius apiece…"


Mollify - To soften; to make tender; to reduce the hardness, harshness, or asperity of.

"…the roots and leaves must be cut into small pieces, and put into a Mortar and Bruised, till they be well Mollified…"


"…certain Monestary that is upon the hill Parthenius, near Naples…"

(See Aconitum, Aconite, Monkshood, Dogs Bane, Theliphonum, PardalianchesMyoetonon,) 


Moon - The celestial orb which revolves round the earth; the satellite of the earth; a secondary planet, whose light, borrowed from the sun, is reflected to the earth, and serves to dispel the darkness of night.

"…Hot and slender herbs should be gathered when Mars and the sun are lords of the celestial houses, moist herbs, when the Moon is lord, but you must take heed that you gather them not in the falling houses thereof…"

"… Sotion has taught us the way.  If, says he, you do set Garlic, and pluck it up again, both when the Moon is underneath the Earth, it will not have any bad favor.  And Theophrastus has taught us a means…"


Moonbeam - A ray of light from the moon.

See:  Selenites, Aphroselinon

"…The stone Selenites, (as much as to say the Moonbeam) called by others Aphroselinon, contains in it the image of the Moon , and shows waxing and waning of it every day in the same image…"


Mooncalf - A monster; a false conception; a mass of fleshy matter, generated in the uterus. A dolt; a stupid fellow.

"…But this was a kind of a Moon-Calf, Paracletes said, that if you cut a Serpent in pieces, and hide him in a vessel of glass, under the mud, there will be gendered many Worms, which being nourished by the mud, will grow every one as big as a Serpent, so that of one Serpent may be a hundred generated…"


"…For when should we suppose it to be that the plants called Sun-followers, should still follow the suns motions? And likewise the Moon-followers, the Moon's motion…"


Moonwort - The herb lunary or honesty. Any fern of the genus Botrychium, esp. B. Lunaria; -- so named from the crescent-shaped segments of its frond.

"…So they report that there is a Moon-herb, having round twirled leaves of a bluish color, which is well acquainted with the age of the Moon, for when the Moon waxes, this herb every day of her age brings forth a leaf; and when she wanes, the same herb loses for every day a leaf…"


Moonlight - The light of the moon

"…If you hang those in Moonlight, that were killed in the night, they will grow more tender by boiling.  For the Moon has great virtue to make flesh tender, for it is but a kind of Corruption…"

"…Therefore wood, cut by Moonlight, will sooner grow rotten, and fruit sooner grow ripe.   Daphnis the Physition in Athenaus…"

Morhenne  (Moor Hen)   

Moor Hen - The female of the moor fowl. The European ptarmigan, or red grouse (Lagopus Scoticus). The European heath grouse.

"…The vine and the olive tree do joy in each other company, as Africarus writes both of them are commodious for men's uses. in like manner the Morhenne loves the hart, and the partridge love each other;…"


Morion - A dark variety of smoky quartz.

"… Dioscorides says, that a drachm of Morion will make one foolish.  we will easier do it with Wine, which is thus made.  Take the roots of Mandrake, and but put them into new wine, boiling and bubling up…."


See:   Benjamin, Oil of Ben , Glans Unguentaria, Ben

"… Ben, called in latin, Glans Unguentaria, is used in precious ointments instead of oil.   Pliny called it Morobolane.  So also Martial…"


Mortar -  A strong vessel, commonly in form of an inverted bell, in which substances are pounded or rubbed with a Pestle.

"…Let your Tin boil in the fire, and when it is very liquid, pour it forth into a great Mortar, and when it begins to wax cold, and to be congealed together again, you must stir it round about with a wooden Pestle…"

"…  Columella says, if you would have Parsley to bear curled leaves, you must put your Parsley seed into a Mortar, and pound it with a Willow Pestle…"

Morter  (Mortar)                         

Mortar (Morter) - A building material made by mixing lime, cement, or plaster of Paris, with sand, water, and sometimes other materials; -- used in masonry for joining stones, bricks, etc., also for plastering, and in other ways.

"…He steeped it in white Marle, and covered the roots of it with the same Morter for eight days together, and it brought forth white berries…"

"…But here we must observe, that this glue or Morter must be as near of the nature of the thing Grafted as may be, for then it will perform this duty more kindly…"


See:  Centifole, Rose

"…If you would do so also, you must Engraff it into that kind of Rose, which by reason of the sweet smell of Musk that it carries with it, is called Moschatula…"


Moses - according to the Old Testament, the Hebrew patriarch who received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, and who led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt.

 "…Of the same sort was that fire, God appointed by Moses in the scriptures.  The fire shall always burn upon mine alter, which the priest shall always keep lighted, putting under wood day by day…"


Moss - A cryptogamous plant of a cellular structure, with distinct stem and simple leaves. The fruit is a small capsule usually opening by an apical lid, and so discharging the spores.

"… It bears the name and the form also of both the parents whereof it is generated, having a green color like a Nut, and has no Moss down on the outside, but very smooth all over, the taste of it is sharp and somewhat bitter, it is long before it becomes ripe, and is of a hard substance like a Peach…"

"…The weapon Salve…Take of the Moss growing upon a dead mans skull, which has laid unburied, two ounces…"

Mothers of Pearl  (Mother-of-Pearl)   

Mother-of-Pearl - The hard pearly internal layer of several kinds of shells, esp. of pearl oysters, river mussels, and the abalone shells; nacre.

"…As the Oyster shell does that brings forth the Pearl.  There are also shells, we call the Mothers of Pearl, that inwardly are shining, and of a silver color, like Pearls.  All which women use for their art of beautifying themselves…"


Moth - Any nocturnal lepidopterous insect, or any not included among the butterflies; as, the luna moth; Io moth; hawk moth.

"…Moths may not eat his cloths…"

Mould  (Mold)       

Mold - A growth of minute fungi of various kinds, esp. those of the great groups Hyphomycetes, and Physomycetes, forming on damp or decaying organic matter.

"… Mago, when he would preserve any kind of fruit close, he covers them all over very carefully with Potters Chalk, and then dries it in the Sun.  And if  there happens to be any Chap in the Mould, he closes it up with Loam…"

"…Then lay them in soft and worm Mould, carefully manured.  For the livelier that the heat of the Mould is, the better will the seeds close with it, and become more eager to propagation…"


Mounterbank - One who mounts a bench or stage in the market or other public place, boasts of his skill in curing diseases, and vends medicines which he pretends are infalliable remedies; a quack doctor.

"… Mountebanks make Venom thus;  Take black Hellebore, two ounces, Yew leaves, one ounce, Beech rind, glass, Quicklime, yellow Arsenic, of each one ounce and half…"

Mouse  / Mice                

Mouse - Any one of numerous species of small rodents belonging to the genus Mus and various related genera of the family Muridæ.

"…For examples sake, if you would make a woman fruitful, you must consider with your self the most fertile living creatures, and among the rest, an Hare, a Cony, or a Mouse…"

"…That Aconitum, which is called Myoetonon, kills Mice a great way off.   Dioscorides and Nicandor.   Stavesacre has almost the same forces, whose root or seed in powder, mingled with meal, and fried with butter, kills Mice if they eat it…"

Mousefish  (Frogfish)  

Mousefish - An oceanic fish of the genus Antennarius or Pterophrynoides; -- called also mousefish and toadfish.

"… Moreover, if men fasten to the hook the bait that is made of a salted Mousefish, and move this gently in the sea, the Sargus will come to it exceedingly, and gather about the hook for the love of it, and are easily caught by their greediness after the meat…"


Muck - Dung in a moist state; manure. Vegetable mold mixed with earth, as found in low, damp places and swamps.

 "…We took a good portion of fat Muck, whereunto we put an equal portion of Swine's dung, and the Lees of Wine and Barly bran…"

 "…Then fetch out the Pith on both sides, and presently tie them up again fast, and cover the whole cleft both on the top, and on both sides, with Muck…"


Mugwort - "The English Physitian", Culpeper, Nicholas, 1616-1654. -- The common Mugwort have divers Leavs lying upon the ground, very much devided, or cut deeply in about the Brims somwhat like Wormwood but much larger, of a dark green colour on the upper side and very hoary white underneath. The stalks rise to be four or five foot high, having on it such like Leavs as those below, but somwhat smaller, branching forth very much toward the top, whereon are set very small pale yellowish Flowers like Buttons, which fall away, and after them come small Seed inclosed in round Heads: The Root is long and hard with many smal Fibres growing from it, whereby it taketh strong hold in the ground, but both Stalk and Leaf do die down every yeer, and the Root shooteth anew in the Spring. The whol Plant is of a reasonable good scent, and is more easily propogated by the Slips, than by the Seed.

 "…Take the flowers of Sage, Origanum, Mugwort, Savory, Elder, Sage leaves, White Mint, Rosemary, Basil, Marjoram, Pennyroyal, Rosebuds, the roots of Betony, Pellitory, Snake-weed, White Thistle, Aristolochy, Elder, Cretan Dittany, Currants…"


Mulberry - The berry or fruit of any tree of the genus Morus; also, the tree itself.

"…They are such as are very hot, as the Bay tree, the Buckthorn, the Holm, the Piel tree.  But Mnestor adds the Mulberry tree, and men conjecture so, because they will presently blunt the ax…"

"… Moreover, the fruit and leaves of the Mulberry gathered before Sun rising, and distilled or dried in the shade, if it be drank in Wine, or a proper water, early in the morning, does wonderfully remove the Stone.."


Mule - A hybrid animal; specifically, one generated between an ass and a mare, sometimes a horse and a she-ass.

"…And the Drone is called Fucus quafi Fagos, because he eats that which he never labored for. But others hold that the Locusts, and not Drones, are generated of Mule's flesh.."

"…yet it may be we shall add something which may delight the reader. Aelianus writes out of Democritus, that Mules are not nature's work, but a kind of theft and adultery devised by man, first committed by an Ass of Media…"

Mullens  (Mullein)      

Mullen (Mullein) - Any plant of the genus Verbascum. They are tall herbs having coarse leaves, and large flowers in dense spikes. The common species, with densely woolly leaves, is Verbascum Thapsus.

"… It is a property of Mullens, that when in the morning it opens the flowers, if the plant be shaken gently, the flowers drying by degrees will fall all to the ground…"

"…Crop in the morning the flowers of Mullens, and steep them in Greek Wine, with the roots of Solomon's Seal…"

Mullet / Mullet-Groundlings      

Mullet - Any species of the genus Mullus, or family Mullidæ; called also red mullet, and surmullet, esp. the plain surmullet (Mullus barbatus), and the striped surmullet (M. surmulletus) of Southern Europe.

"…There is a kind of these Fishes, called Mullet-Groundlings, which is generated of mud and sand, as has been tried in many marsh places, among the rest in Hindus, where in the Dog-days, the lakes, being dried up, so that the mud was hard, as soon as ever they began to be full of rain water again, were generated little Fishes, a kind of Mullet, about the bigness of little Cackrels, which had neither seed nor egg in them…"


Mummy - Dried flesh of a mummy.  A dead body embalmed and dried after the manner of the ancient Egyptians; also, a body preserved, by any means, in a dry state, from the process of putrefaction. Bacon.

 "…The weapon Salve… Take of the Moss growing upon a dead mans skull, which has laid unburied, two ounces.  As much of the fat of a man.  Half an ounce of Mummy, and man his blood…"

"…Take the flowers of Sage, Origanum, Mugwort, Savory, Elder, Sage leaves,… Spodium, Schaeinanthus, Bdellium, Mummy, Sagapenum…"


Mundify - To cleanse.

"… they felt no hurt by hunger that used it.  There is another composition of the same, that has of Athenian Sesamum half a Sextarius, of Honey a half part, of Oil a Cotyle, and a Chaenice of sweet Almonds Mundified. …"


Munster -  (b. Jan. 20, 1488, Ingelheim, electorate of Mainz [Germany]--d. May 23, 1552, Basel, Switz.), German cartographer, cosmographer, and Hebrew scholar whose Cosmographia (1544; "Cosmography") was the earliest German description of the world and a major work in the revival of geographic thought in 16th-century Europe.

 "…Munster says, there are certain trees which bring forth a fruit covered over with leaves, which, if it fall into the water under it, at the right season, it lives, and becomes a quick bird, which is called Avis arborea. Neither is this any new tale, for the ancient Cosmographers, especially Saxo Grammaticus, mentions the same tree…"


Murex - A genus of marine gastropods, having rough, and frequently spinose, shells, which are often highly colored inside; the rock shells.

"…If you burn three Shellfish, especially of that kind which is called Murex, and when you have pound them together, cast the ashes thereof upon the Ivy berries…"


"…  Musaus will have the eyes to lay the foundation of Love, and to the the chief allurement of it.  And Diogenianus says, that Love is begotton by looks, affirming that it is impossible for a man to fall in Love unawares…"

"…  Musaus discovers, that verse and songs are a most delightful thing to a mortal man.  And the Platonists say, that ll things living are charmed by Music…"

Muscadel  /  Muskadel  (Muscatel)      

Muscatel - A common name for several varieties of rich sweet wine, made in Italy, Spain, and France.

"…If that a guest does come by chance at night, and if the cock be tough, not fit to eat, drowned him alive in Muscadel outright, and he will soon come to be tender meat…"

"…But Zenocrates promises by experiment, that the faultiness of the armpits will pass forth by Urine.  If you take one ounce of the Pith of the root boiled in three Lemina's of Muskadel to thirds.  And after bathing, fasting, or after meat, drink a cup thereof…"

Muscles   (Mussel)  

Mussel -  Any one of many species of marine bivalve shells of the genus Mytilus, and related genera, of the family Mytidæ.

"…So the fish called Ortica, and the Purple, and Muscles, and Scallops, and Perwincles, and Limpins, and all shellfish are generated of mud…"


Mushroom - An edible fungus (Agaricus campestris), having a white stalk which bears a convex or oven flattish expanded portion called the pileus. This is whitish and silky or somewhat scaly above, and bears on the under side radiating gills which are at first flesh-colored, but gradually become brown. The plant grows in rich pastures and is proverbial for rapidity of growth and shortness of duration. It has a pleasant smell, and is largely used as food. It is also cultivated from spawn. Any large fungus, especially one of the genus Agaricus; a toadstool. Several species are edible; but many are very poisonous.

"… Dioscorides, and others have written, that the bark of a White Poplar tree, and of a black, being cut into small pieces, and sowed in dug lands or furrows, will at all times of the year bring forth Mushrooms, or Toadstools that are good to be eaten…"

"… Mushrooms may be kept in Millet seed…"


Music - The science and the art of tones, or musical sounds, i.e., sounds of higher or lower pitch, begotten of uniform and synchronous vibrations, as of a string at various degrees of tension; the science of harmonical tones which treats of the principles of harmony, or the properties, dependences, and relations of tones to each other; the art of combining tones in a manner to please the ear.

"…It is certain that musical tunes can do much with men, and there is no heart so hard and cruel, but convenient and sweet harmony will make it yield.  And on the other side, harsh Music will vex and harden a man's mind…"

 "…In Mysia, when Horses back Mares, a man sings to them as it were a marriage song, and the mares are so taken with the Music, that they become great with foal, and they bring forth most gallant colts…"

Musinus (Musini, Musimones)   

"… Pliny says, that in Spain, but especially in Corsica, there are beasts called Musimones not much unlike to Sheep, which have Goats hair, but in other parts, Sheep; the young ones which are gendered of them, coupling with Sheep, are called by the ancients, Umbri. Strabo calls them Musimones. But Albertus calls them Musini or Musimones, which are gendered of a Goat and a Ram…"


Musk - A substance of a reddish brown colour, and when fresh of the consistence of honey, obtained from a bag being behind the navel of the male musk deer. It has a slightly bitter taste, but is specially remarkable for its powerful and enduring odour. It is used in medicine as a stimulant antispasmodic.

"…For it is made of Opium, Mandrake, juice of Hemlock, the seeds of Henbane, and adding a little Musk, to gain an easier reception of the smeller.  These being made up into a ball, as big as a mans hand can hold, and often smelt to, gently closes the eyes and binds them with a deep sleep…"

 "…For there are many tenuous, oily flowers, as of Rosemary and Juniper, and other things, as Musk, Amber, Civet, Gum and suchlike out of which may be drawn oils very sweet and medicinable…"


See:   Musk

"…Of Washing balls or Musk-balls…"

Musk Cods    

See:   Cod, Musk

"… Express and strain the juice of Lemon.  Into which put Storax, Camphire, Lingnum Aloes, and empty Musk Cods. .."

Musk Pear  

See: Pear

See: Myrapia

"… Pears that should be greater then ordinary, especially  the least sort of Pears called Myrapia, or Musk-pears…"

Musk Roses             

See: Rose

"…If we tuck off the buds that grow first, at such time as the flower begins to appear and show forth itself.  This practice will take best effect, if it be Musk Roses…"

"…First draw the juice out of some wild Musk Roses, with a gentle heat in Balneo Mariae, then remove them, and add others…"

Musk Water        

See:   Musk

"… This water sets off all others and makes them richer, wherefore, it is first to be made…"

"…Afterward beat them again, and wet them with Musk-Water and Rosewater.  Dry them, beat them, and moisten them very many times.  At length, add a fourth part of pure Musk, and mix them well.  And wet them again with Rosewater and Musk-Water…"


Musket - . A species of firearm formerly carried by the infantry of an army. It was originally fired by means of a match, or matchlock, for which several mechanical appliances (including the flintlock, and finally the percussion lock) were successively substituted.

 "…If the matter to be sent be contained in a few words, we may shoot them forth with Muskets.  Namely, by folding up the paper, putting it into a case of Lead, were they cast bullets, pouring upon it melted lead, but not burning hot…"


Mustard - The name of several cruciferous plants of the genus Brassica (formerly Sinapis), as white mustard (B. alba), black mustard (B. Nigra), wild mustard or charlock (B. Sinapistrum).

"…called Dradella.  It has plaited leaves as wild Rochet, which they sow among Pulse.  The same may be said of the seeds of Nettles, Mustard, Flax, and Rice…"


See:   Wine

"… Columella shows how to make this kind of sodden Wine of that sweet Wine which is called Mustum…"


"…The wild cucumber, and Coloquintida, kill mice.  If mice eat Tithymal, cut into small pieces, and mingled with flour and Metheglin, they will be blind.  So Chamaelion, Myacanthus, Realgar, namely, of live Brimstone, quicklime and Orpiment will do the same…"


See Aconitum, Aconite, Monkshood, Dogs Bane, Theliphonum, PardalianchesMyoetonon

"…That Aconitum, which is called Myoetonon, kills Mice a great way off.   Dioscorides and Nicandor.   Stavesacre has almost the same forces, whose root or seed in powder, mingled with meal, and fried with butter, kills Mice if they eat it…"


See: Musk-pears

"… Pears that should be greater then ordinary, especially  the least sort of Pears called Myrapia, or Musk-pears…"


"…Wash a Tortois with wine a good while, and give one of that wine to drink privately, half a cupfull every morning for three days, and you shall see a wonderful virtue.   Myrepsus…."


Myrica - A widely dispersed genus of shrubs and trees, usually with aromatic foliage. It includes the bayberry or wax myrtle, the sweet gale, and the North American sweet fern.

"…Albertus reports, (if the thing be as true as it is strange, but let the truth thereof lie upon his credit) he reports, I say, that Oak or Beech boughs being grafted into the Tree Myrica, is quite changed into it, and so into the Tree called Tremisca, which is a baser kind of wood…"

Myrrh / Myrrhe                       

Myrrh - An aromatic, bitter-tasting gum resin obtained principally from a small thorny tree, Commiphora myrrha (family Burseraceae), native to Anatolia and northeast Africa, myrrh was highly prized in the ancient and medieval world as an ingredient of perfume, incense, cosmetics, and medicines. The Egyptians used it in embalming, filling body cavities with powdered myrrh; and, along with Frankencense and gold, it was a gift of the Magi to the infant Jesus. The production and value of myrrh have sharply declined in the modern world, the resin finding limited medicinal use in tonics, dentifrices, stomach remedies, and as an emollient for sore gums and mouth. An essential oil obtained from myrrh is an ingredient of perfume.

See:   Oil of Myrrh

"…The ashes of the Bill of a Swallow, powdered with Myrrhe, and strewn into the wine you drink, will keep you secure from being drunk.   Horus, the King of Assyria, found out this invention.   Pliny…."

"…If one ground did not differ from another, then we should have odoriferous reeds, ruses, grass, Frankincense, Pepper, and Myrrh, not only in Syria and Arabia, but in all other countries also…"


Myrtle - comprise about 16 species of evergreen shrubs or small trees of the genus Myrtus in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. All but two species, one in southern Europe and one in Africa, are native to Florida and the West Indies. Leaves of myrtles are typically a shiny blue green and strongly scented when crushed; the flowers, bark, and berries are also fragrant, and myrtle has been used in perfumery.

Myrtle. The ancient Jews believed that the eating of myrtle leaves conferred the power of detecting witches; and it was a superstition that if the leaves crackled in the hands the person beloved would prove faithful.

"…Take three pounds of Damask roses, as much of Musk and Red roses, two of the flowers of orange, as many of Myrtle, half a pound of Garden claver, an ounce and a half of cloves, three Nutmegs, ten lilies.  Put all these in an Alimbeck, in the nose of which you must fasten of musk three parts, of Amber one, of Civet half a one, tied up together in a clout. .."

"…The Doves, for a preservative against enchantments, first gather some little Bay tree boughs, and then lay them upon their nests, to preserve their young, so do the Kites use White Brambles, the turtles Swordgrass, the Crows Withy, the Lapwings Venus-hair, the Ravens Ivy, the hens Carrot, the Partridges Reed-leaves, the Blackbirds Myrtle, the larks grass, the Swans Park-leaves, the Eagle uses Maidenhair, or the stone Etites for the same purpose…"


A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z