Pflanzen im Mittelalter and Portal der Pflanzen des Mittelalters

umschlag_pflanzen im mittelalter

Thanks, Mark Vessey, scholar extraordinaire of classical and Christian traditions in European literature, for pointing me to this recently published book, Die Pflanzen im Mittelalter (Squatriti), by German literature scholar Helmut Birkhan: the title means roughly “Medieval Plants.”

Here’s what Paolo Squatriti had to say to the Medieval Review about the book: “Die Pflanzen im Mittelalter was probably not conceived as a book to be read in the traditional manner, beginning at the beginning and ending with the conclusion, for it is a (modern) herbal and, like older herbals, is designed foremost for ready reference and occasional consultation, using the compendious index of species (293-310). As a book to be dipped into, it is excellent, consistently delivering data of great interest along with the author’s acute observations on medieval plant lore.”

Looking for a bit of background on the book led me to The Medieval Plant Survey, “a web portal for interdisciplinary and international research of medieval plants and their lore.” The site is like the medieval German doppelganger to our anglo-centred yet extra-linguistically oriented Plant Intelligence Project!

The Medieval Plant survey looks to bring together plant lore of interest to botanists, pharmacists, medievalists, herbalists and anthropologists. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as though there has been any activity since last September. I’ll put the Medieval Plant Survey in the links and keep checking back in.


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