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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