Books  General Natural History  History of Science 

Health and Healing from the Medieval Garden

By: Peter Dendle (Editor), Alain Touwaide (Editor)

270 pages, 19 b/w illustrations

Boydell & Brewer

Paperback | Jan 2015 | #215711 | ISBN-13: 9781843839767
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £24.99 $31/€28 approx

About this book

The important and ever-shifting role of medicinal plants in medieval science, art, culture, and thought, both in the Latin Western medical tradition and in Byzantine and medieval Arabic medicine, is the focus of this new collection. Following a general introduction and a background chapter on Late Antique and medieval theories of wellness and therapy, in-depth essays treat such wide-ranging topics as medicine and astrology, charms and magical remedies, herbal glossaries, illuminated medical manuscripts, women's reproductive medicine, dietary cooking, gardens in social and political context, and recreated medieval gardens. They make a significant contribution to our understanding of the place of medicinal plants in medieval thought and practice, and thus lead to a greater appreciation of how medieval theories and therapies from diverse places developed in continuously evolving and cross-pollinating strands, and, in turn, how they contributed to broader ideas concerning the body, religion, identity, and the human relationship with the natural world.

"A welcome contribution to the growing body of scholarship on early medical, scientific and other utilitarian texts. [...] The topic is both timely and important for the field of Medieval Studies which has, in recent decades, witnessed a renewed interest in utilitarian prose as a relatively untapped source of insight into the period."
- English Studies

"This fascinating history shows how theories of health and disease evolved in the interplay of Western, Byzantine, and Arabic medicines and the relationship with the natural world."
- American Herb Association Quarterly

"This collection is [...] extremely welcome, not only in that it fills what might be a rather obvious gap in the literature, but also for bringing to the task some of the biggest names in medieval medicine. I recommend the collection as a whole not only to medievalists (both early and late), but to anyone who may believe that the classical legacy was neglected or unknown until humanists rediscovered it, and to all those interested in plant-based medicine."
- Medical History

"[A] fascinating collection. [...] On many different levels it opens up a new world of the association of plants to medicine."
- British Society For The History Of Medicine on-line review


1 The Legacy of Classical Antiquity in Byzantium and the West
2 Plants and Planets: Linking the Vegetable with the Celestial in Late- Medieval Texts
3 Plants in the Early Medieval Cosmos: Herbs, Divine Potency, and the Scala natura
4 A Cook's Therapeutic Use of Garden Herbs
5 The Jujube-Tree in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Case Study in the Methodolo gy of Textual Archaobotany
6 Gardens on Vellum: Plants and Herbs in Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts
7 The Sources for Plant Names in Anglo-Saxon England and the Laud Herbal Glossary
8 Anglo-Saxon Ethnobotany: Women's Reproductive medicine in Leechbook III
9 Herbs and the Medieval Surgeon
10 Rosemary: Not Just for Rememberance
11 Utility and Aesthetics in the Gardens of al-Andalus: Species with Multiple Uses
12 Hortus Redivivus: The Medieval Garden Recreated

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