The Historie of the World
de Beer Ec 1634 P
London: Printed by Adam Islip, and are to be sold by [John] Grismond
A contemporary of Dioscorides, Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) is best known for his encyclopaedic work, Naturalis Historia. This tome contains virtually everything known in the ancient world about mineralogy, geology, astronomy, history and botany and in it some 1000 different plants are mentioned. Despite his lack of scientific training, his strong reliance on earlier writers and some errors of fact, Pliny did advance botanical knowledge. The ‘Nightshade’, noted here on page 112, belongs to the Solanaceae family which includes datura, mandrake, belladonna, potato and tobacco plants. Some, like deadly nightshade, can cause harm as Pliny cites here- ‘this herb is so dangerous’ - and even death, while others can be cultivated for food.
Pliny Secundus, “The Historie of the World,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed July 20, 2019, http://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/7702.
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