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Re: VMs: 1006184 & 1006185
At 19:36 10/06/2004 -0600, GC wrote:
What's interesting about the early printed books is that, even though you
may have the same plant growing in your back yard, if it didn't come from
the place Pliny or Dioscorides, or some other ancient author said it should
your local plant was never as good as the foreign one. There had to be some
reason the local plants didn't cure as the ancients promised, so naturally
they couldn't be the same as the originals, because the ancients couldn't be
wrong, could they?
Note that this was one of the key reasons for the existence of (typically
manuscript) "experimenti" (like Caterina Sforza's) - to find if exotic
ingredients in passed-down recipes could be substituted with
locally-sourced ones. The roots of empiricism and modern science lie just
as much in those experimenti (and in early modern "books of secrets") as in
the printed works of the sixteenth century.
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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