Non-Native Herbal Materia Medica in Greek Texts of the Roman Period

Constantinos Grivas

Abstract


The import of expensive fragrances and medicines from distant markets reached a peak during the Roman period. Greek texts allow to have an idea of the importance and uses of this non-native herbal materia medica in the Mediterranean world. Based on a search on ancient texts, the present article provides a first catalogue of these products, elucidates their origin according to the ancient physicians, and crosschecks ancient information with modern knowledge. This approach brings to light a world connected through a network of trade routes, on which traveled not only the products themselves, but an extensive knowledge on their preparation and applications in an actual mosaic of cultures.

 

Key words: Materia Medica - Roman Empire - Greek Medicine - Spices and Aromas 


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