The forty plants in this book present both herbs and other plants that were important for culinary, medicinal, and cult purposes in classical antiquity. Thus olive and pomegranate, myrtle and rose join coriander and marjoram, garlic and thyme. In the introduction, the author draws on her extensive knowledge of ancient practices to paint an intriguing image of the uses of and myths about plants from Greek and particularly Roman kitchen gardens. Quotes from classical authors testify to ancient practices, some curious, some still standard today.
The delightful illustrations reproduce drawings from early nineteenth-century botanical publications, which often show the plants at various stages of growth, from seeds through ripe fruits.
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agriculture ailments ancient anise antiquity Apiaceae Apicius Apicius's aromatic Asia Minor basil bay laurel bee balm believed berries blossoms branches caraway celery century a.d. Chamaemelum nobile chamomile chicory Columella common horehound cookbook cooking coriander coughs Cretan dittany crowns cultivated cumin decorative described digestive dill Dioscorides dishes dittany dried effect Egypt elecampane essential oils fennel fenugreek flavor flowers fragrance fresh fruits garlic garum goddess gods Greece Greek healing herb garden herbal honey honor hyssop inflammations iris Italy juice juniper kitchen garden Lamiaceae leaves lovage mallow marjoram meal medicinal Mediterranean Mentha mixed mugwort mustard myrtle native Nees van Esenbeck officinalis olive oil onion opium orrisroot pain parsley pennyroyal plant Pliny Natural History pomegranate poppy popular recipe recommended rhizome Roman Roman cuisine Rome root rose rosemary sacred sage sauce scent seeds spearmint spice sprigs stomach taste Theophrastos thyme vegetable Venus villas vinegar Virgil wild wine wormwood yellow sweet clover