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Period herbals

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  • Tchipakkan
    I thought that this group might be interested in this exchange from another group I m on... Arastorm ... Funny you should mention that! I was just scanning
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 18, 2003
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      I thought that this group might be interested in this exchange from another
      group I'm on... Arastorm

      Hope wrote:
      >>Images from two 11th century herbals at Bodleian:
      >> http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/medieval/browse.htm#11th

      Tchipakkan wrote:
      > How frustrating! My daughters and I looked at those herbals and I don't
      > think we would recognise a quarter of the herbs that are identified as
      > ones we use frequently and know well. Perhaps if we could read the
      > text... I had heard about the difficulties of having herbals copied from
      > Mediterranean examples, but I'd assumed that they'd have someone who
      > knew something about the herbs doing the copying so that the
      > illustrations at least would be clear. Sheesh! It's one thing to have

      Funny you should mention that! I was just scanning through another book
      looking for "clothes clues." It's Gameson, Richard. "The Role of Art in
      the Late Anglo-Saxon Church" (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995). He has
      this to say about herbals:

      "...while the debt of Anglo-Saxon draughtsmen to Carolingian and other
      sources was undoubtedly great, none the less after the mid-tenth century
      they reformulated the images that influenced them with increasing
      confidence in order to make them their own. If some Carolingian artists
      tried to revive Classical and late Antique modes of pictorial
      representation, many Anglo-Saxon artists...set out to 'modernize' them.
      In this context it is worth reflecting that the criticism which
      is levelled at the stylized illustrations in early-medieval herbals by
      some botanically minded commentators (or by commentators who just assume
      that naturalism is a primary aim of the artists) is not entirely just.
      The stylization was, no doubt, partly the accidental result of
      repeatedly copying from models rather than from nature, and judged as
      aids to the identification of the species, the pictures in Anglo-Saxon
      and Romanesque herbals are indeed less helpful that those in the
      earliest known examples of the genre such as the Vienna Dioscorides.
      Nevertheless, bearing in mind that some of these plants would have been
      unobtainable in the North, we should also recognize that the changes
      could be partly a positive reinterpretation in the light of contemporary
      taste. These later depictions are significantly more decorative than
      their Antique precursors; they thus accord more nearly with contemporary
      canons of manuscript art, and were no doubt appreciated as such." (pp.13-14)

      Cool.

      - Hope
      How much have other SCA herbalists looked at early herbals? (back during the
      hand copied period?)

      --
      Tchipakkan
      Arastorm the Golden
      Lady of Stormgard
    • lubgort
      Greetings, I don t come in here very often, and when I do, I just scan quickly and move on. But, I want to say that this attachment you sent is WONDERFUL.
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 30, 2003
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        Greetings,

        I don't come in here very often, and when I do, I just scan quickly
        and move on. But, I want to say that this attachment you sent is
        WONDERFUL. Thank you. Having something that show that plants were
        written about in a certain timeframe gives some idea of how popular
        the use during there time. About 90 percent of them are familar to
        me and this will add to my folklore research on plants and herbs.

        Even though not all of them have their common names listed or some of
        those that are listed are not known to me, having the latin name is
        far better. Any plant can be traced by its latin name.

        Again, thank you.

        Lubgort
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