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Re: VMS -- Botany (f25r) Mint

Hi Dana,

Just a couple of botany-related thoughts for you:

(1) The BBC (in association with the Open University, the UK's foremost distance-learning institute) commissioned a number of programs covering different sides of the Renaissance: and have put full transcripts (and a certain amount of links and supporting material) up on the Internet.

Series 1 homepage is:-  http://www.open2.net/renaissance/
Series 2 homepage is:-  http://www.open2.net/renaissance2/

The episode I guess you'd be most interested in is called "Secret Of The Winter Garden": it's about a series of 1800 beautiful (and meticulous) watercolour botanical images, found in Krakow, thought to have been painted in the 16th Century:-

These seem like an excellent source of visual comparison: also, the names of each plant are carefully recorded in several languages beside them, which might help us with cribs here. :-)

BTW: in the second series, there was a wonderful program (aired last night here in the UK) called "The Italian Patient", which discussed hospitals in 15th Century Italy (specifically Florence). No transcript for this (shame!), but a good-sized summary (and supporting links) is to be found at:-

There were as many as 30-40 major pharmacists in Florence then, and they were extremely wealthy: they were in the guild "Arte dei Medici e Speziale", which also included doctors, painters and spice dealers. Hmmm... the VMS as written by an exotic spice dealer...? :-/

(2) Have you seen "Brother Cadfael's herb garden :an illustrated companion to Medieval plants and their uses", by Robin Whiteman? Here's a link:-

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....