Gavin Hardy and Laurence Totelin have brought together their botanical and historical knowledge to produce this unique overview of ancient botany.
It examines all the founding texts of botanical science, such as Theophrastus' Enquiry into Plants, Dioscorides' Materia Medica, Pliny the Elder's Natural History, Nicolaus of Damascus' On Plants, and Galen' On Simple Remedies, but also includes lesser known texts ranging from the sixth century BCE to the seventh century CE, as well as some material evidence.
The authors adopt a thematic approach rather than a chronological one, considering important issues such as the definition of a plant, nomenclature, classifications, physiology, the link between plants and their environment, and the numerous usages of plants in the ancient world.
The book also takes care to place ancient botany in its historical, social and economic context.
The authors have explained all technical botanical terms and ancient history notions, and as a result, this work will appeal to historians of ancient science, medicine and technology; classicists; and botanists interested in the history of their discipline.