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.
"The book's authors are keen to bring to bear modern botanical knowledge and understanding to the phenomena described by the ancients. In that respect, Ancient Botany is a great marriage of the ancient and the modern, helping to put modern-day botany in its historical context. Ancient Botany is a work of true scholarship (in the old-fashioned sense), and contains loads of examples for incorporation into lectures on a Plants and People course - and those dealing with plant taxonomy, anatomy, morphology, physiology, cultivation, etc." - Nigel Chaffey, Annals of Botany Journal
"The authors' intent is to inform Greek and Roman scholars about the ancient knowledge of plants and to inform today's plant scientists about the foundations of their field. The authors are careful to explain scholarly conventions that are utilized, as these may not be familiar to most botanists. The text contains abundant notes and an extensive bibliography. Both classical scholars and botanists are well-served by this treatment. Summing Up: Recommended." - D. H. Pfister, Harvard University, in CHOICE
"Ancient Botany caters to classicists, botanists, and historians of science. Hardy and Totelin have nurtured a resource that branches out to scholars of many fields."- Daniel Bertoni, University of Chicago Press
1. Early References to Plants in Greek Literature2. The Botanical Works of Theophrastus of Eresus3. Cryptogamic Plants in Ancient Botany4. The Study of Plants after Theophrastus up to the Medical Botany of Dioscorides and Galen5. The Transmission of Ancient Botany to the Renaissance