Pedanius Dioscordes was born in Anazarbus, a small city northeast of Tarsus in the Roman province of Cilicia (now we call it Turkey) around the times of Nero and Vespasin. He was a surgeon in the Roman Army and traveled with them to Italy, Greece, Northern Africa, Gaul, Persia, Egypt and Armenia. His travels gave him the oportunity to study a great many medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Dioscordes started "De Materia Medica" which was a list of known medicinal plants of the Roman Empire. It was eventually finished roughly 20 years later, around 50 AD.