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Interpretation of Plant Names in a Late Medieval Medical Treatise
Giovanni Cristofolini and Umberto Mossetti
Vol. 47, No. 2 (May, 1998), pp. 305-319
Published by: International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1223760
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Plants, Plant names, Terminology, Treatises, Spices, Species, Cultivated plants, Late Middle Ages, Herbaria, Introduced species
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The medical treatise written by Guilielmus of Saliceto around 1290 includes 13 chapters on renal affections, in which 133 plant species are mentioned. Almost all have been identified by means of comparison with 15th century herbals and 16th century herbaria and books. 39% are native to Italy and were presumably collected in the wild, 42% are cultivated plants, either native to the Mediterranean region or introduced since Roman times, 4% were introduced to Italy from E. Europe or the Middle East in the late Middle Ages, and 15% were imported from the east in the form of spices or drugs. Most of the plants mentioned by Guilielmus correspond entirely (56%) or in part (8%) with modern genera or species accepted with similar names or epithets in Linnaean nomenclature. 19% of Guilielmus' designations denote modern species or genera but did not enter Linnean nomenclature. Only some 17% of the Medieval names are of uncertain application or designated heterogeneous taxa; their use, if it persists, has substantially changed since the 16th century.
Taxon © 1998 International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)