A Pompeian Herbal: Ancient and Modern Medicinal Plants

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University of Texas Press, 1999 - 123 pages
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When workmen excavating the ruins of Pompeii eagerly gathered the native medicinal plants growing there, Wilhelmina Jashemski discovered that this was another example of the continuity of life in the shadow of Vesuvius. Many of the plants used for herbal medicine around Pompeii today are the same ones that ancient authorities such as Pliny the Elder and Dioscorides recommended for treating the same types of disorders.

In this book, Jashemski presents an herbal of thirty-six medicinal plants, most of them known to the ancients and still employed today. She describes each plant's contemporary medicinal uses and compares them to ancient practices as recorded in literary sources. Scientific, English, and Italian names and the plant's mythological associations complete the entries, while elegant, full-page portraits depict each plant visually. In her introduction, Jashemski also discusses the literary and archaeological sources used to construct the herbal, as well as the striking continuities between Roman and modern times that she has observed during more than forty years of archaeological exploration and discovery.

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