Pavord 2005

From Whiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

in general: entire book has progressionist view of botany, botanical history; medieval period consistently seen as stupid, backwards; any thinker who doesn't attempt to identify plants within the "natural order of things" (as we've come to do through botany) is seen as not making any "progress"

"Theophrastus started with a concept of the plant as an animal with its feet in the air and its mouth in the ground. In some ways, he could make the analogy work: like animals, plants could be described in terms of their veins, nerves and flesh." (23)
  • Latin had no words for plant parts that Theophrastus describes; made them up (148)

Apuleius herbal in Cotton Vitellius C III (~1000-1066)

  • mandrake description, pg. 118 of Pavord
  • again, Anglo-Saxon scribe is ridiculed by Pavord: "it's irritating, the blindness of these medieval scribes" (120)
  • ink used to illustrate the plants is eating at the vellum -- vegetable inks eating plant materials

Albertus Magnus, De vegetabilibus (~1256)

  • indirectly copied Theophrastus
  • believed in the soul of plants
  • mandrake illustration, male and female, on pg 145
"In his opinion, neither sexes nor sexual processes existed in the plant world; he thought all plants were of one sex, with male and female characters combined in the same plant. He used those words "male" and "female", but only in the sense of distinguishing between plants with particular characteristics. "Male" plants had narrow leaves, were hard, dry, and rough, and bore small fruits and seeds. His "female" plants are relatively broad-leaved, soft, moist, smooth; they produce larger seeds and fruits than male plants." (144)

Konrad von Megenberg, Buch der Natur (written 1349-1351, printed beginning 1478 in Augsburg)

  • digital edition of manuscript version: [[1]]
  • digital edition of 1499 printing: [[2]]
  • first illustration of plants in books; Pavod has terrible things to say about it, not the least being that the woodcut is "catastrophically awful" (150) -- but in fact it's quite beautiful

Maria Boas on woodcuts, The Scientific Renaissance: were copied from manuscripts, meant to illustrate the text, not nature

Otto Brunfels, Herbarum vivae eicones (1530-6)

  • woodcuts by Hans Weiditz, Durer's pupil
  • Brunfels complains about how the woodcuts take over the book; couldn't arrange the book the way he wants because he's beholden to the block-cutters (164)
"The book was published in separate parts as sufficient material was gathered together, the first volume, which came out in 1530, was followed by a second in 1531-2 and a third, published posthumously, in 1536." (164)

Leonhart Fuchs, De historia stirpium (1542)

  • in 1545, "pocket edition" released by Isingrin of Basel, "to the end that all those who cherish the desire to learn about plants thoroughly can carry them conveniently in their pockets when walking about or travelling, and can compare them with the growing plants" (quoted on 191)
  • worked on a second history, 3x as big as the first; but remains unpublished

Andrea Cesalpino, herbarium (1563)

  • pasted 768 plants into a large volume of 260 sheets (232)
  • arranged them by form
  • agrees with Aristotle that plants have a psyche, found where the root meets the shoot (234)
"Cesalpino even thought that, at this critical juncture, he could distinguish soft tissue rather like an animal brain." (234)
"A plant could be described in the same terms as an animal: its cor was at the juncture of stem and root; the roots equated to the digestive sstem in an animal; intestines were represented by the pith; the stem provided a reproductive system, the fruit an embryo." (240-1)

books pasted together with the slime of wild hyacinth? (254-5)

Felix Plater, herbarium (~1580)

  • Montaigne mentions him making herbarium when he visits him (284)

John Gerard, Herball (1597)

  • barnacle tree: in northern Scotland, trees that grow shells that produce geese (336)

John Goodyer

  • carefully maintained notes on plant citings, as well as expenses (rivalling Pepys for neuroses)
  • gave all his notes to Magdalen College, like Pepys

John Ray, "Discourese on the Seeds of Plants" and "The Specific Differences of Plants," sent to the Royal Society November 30 1674

  • also Catalogus plantarum Angliae, British flora
  • second volume of 1688, discusses sexual reproduction of plants (389)

(Rudolph Jakob Camerarius, pioneer in study of sexual reproduction in plants; De sexu plantarum, 1694; Sabastien Vaillant Sermo de natura florum, 1718)

difficulty of funding illustrations; Robert Morison tries to get subscribers to "sponsor" a particular plant's illustration (plate would also have coat of arms engraved on it) but fails (387)

general plant-animal connections:

  • plant inks on animal skins [book connection]
  • mushroom/fungi genetically closer to animals than plants
  • barnacle tree, Harsdorffer's lamb tree in Tartary
  • plants have brains (Cesalpino) and hearts (Aristotle)
  • herbarium -- books of dead plants, leaves on leaves [book connection]