Hortus: The Roman Book of Gardening

By John Henderson | Go to book overview

3

PLINY'S ENCYCLOPAEDIA

Nature's miracles

NATURAL HISTORY: BOOK 19

(1)

From Preface (19.1-2)

1 The stellar and meteorological system has just been set out, ready for even novices to get, with no place left for doubt. 1 Those who truly understand find the countryside contributes no less to grasping the sky than astral science does to cultivating the land. 2 Many have put horticulture next. But it seems to me good timing not to pass on at once to those subjects. I am amazed that some people who look for the charisma of understanding or for the kudos of expertise from these topics have skipped by so many details, making no mention of things that come up by themselves or through garden care. Especially given that the majority of them are accorded more clout than cereals in terms of price and utility for living. And to make a start with acknowledged winners, with items that have filled not only every land but the oceans too, there is a plant that is sown but cannot be cited among cereals or among garden produce: flax. 2


(2)

Nature in the garden (19.49-189)

49 It remains to turn back from these plants to Garden Care. Its own nature itself makes it a must to recount. Besides which, Antiquity rated no wonder higher than the Garden of the Hesperides, of King Adonis, and of King Alcinous; and the Hanging Gardens - whether built by Semiramis or by Syrus

-67-

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Hortus: The Roman Book of Gardening
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Note on the Text ix
  • Introduction - Virgil: Reserving a Plot 29
  • 1 - From Columella Eleven 33
  • 2 - Columella Ten 51
  • 3 - Pliny's Encyclopaedia 67
  • 4 - With Palladius 103
  • Notes 125
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