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Re: VMS -- Botany (f86v) Plant Reproduction
casting of the pollen grains by the male, the pollination process?).
.....in the exact direction of the female at top left, yes. The female bird
(bottom right) is obviously nesting.
Question: is the plant at the top left similar to the pineapple mayweed on
f78r? If true, then it might have provided (for the author) some kind of
metaphoric bridge between human sexuality and plant sexuality.
Also: given that Aristotle thought that the male alone provided sperm while
the female provided the foetus, whereas Galen thought that both male and
female provided sperm (to account for inheritance) etc, can we infer
whether the view of author of the VMS was broadly Aristotelian or Galenic?
It's certainly debatable, but the iconography of the page suggests to me
that spermatozoa are represented as dots: in which case both the male
(bottom left) and female (top left) have their own, which would point to
the answer being Galenic.
Having said that, the herbal section shows many signs of empiricism (if not
drawing skill), so it's more than possible that any underlying theory of
conception expressed here was empirically derived from observation of plant
cultivation, and not copied from prior authority etc.
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....