Ancient Botany

By Gavin Hardy, Laurence Totelin


The first book to ever be published on this subject, Gavin Hardy’s study of botany in the ancient world is a tremendous contribution to the field, and one to which generations of classicist will turn for help.

A much-needed account, perfect for undergraduates, and anyone with an interesting the history of natural science, it includes illustrations of coins and pottery, and botanical images of medieval manuscripts such as De Materia Medica, as well as a comprehensive bibliography.

Examining writers and collating information from contemporary sources Ancient Botany:

  • studies writers such as Menestor and Empedocles and gives an account of what was known, or thought of, about plants before the Lyceum of Aristotle
  • expounds the writings of Theophrastus of Eresus, which encapsulate everything that was known about plants in the fourth century BC
  • examines how study in the Lyceum was directed to plants in their own right; how to recognize them, classify them, their ecology, and plant diseases

The study and classification of plants was invented by Aristotle’s pupil Theophrastus, and the world of the late antique Dioscorides remained fundamental into early modern times – therefore, this book is of immense value for historians of science for all periods.

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Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Sciences of Antiquity Series


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