Dearest Areius, Although many reports have been made, not only in the past, but also recently about the production, effects, and testing of medicines, I nevertheless intended to instruct you, dear Areios, about them: the decisions to undertake such a thing is neither needless nor injudicious, for some of my predecessors have not completed their works, and others have written most things down from hearsay. Iolas from Bithynia and Hexa elides from Tarentum briefly considered the subject but they completely omitted any systematic discussion of herbs and ignored metals and spices. Crateuas the rhizotomist and Andreas the physician seem to have had greater knowledge of this particular area than most, but have ignored many extremely useful roots and gave meagre descriptions of many herbs.
1 Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning. 3 So it seemed good to me as well, because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know for certain the things you were taught. 5 During the reign of Herod king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, and he had a wife named Elizabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.