THE USE OF BRASSICACEAE BY THE ANCIENT ROMANS
There are two main sources of information on plants used by the Romans: archaeological evidences and classical literature. The Latin texts describing plants and their uses are several, but generally there are difficulties to identify plants from the authors descriptions. This may be because there are problems in translation, or more simply the writer did not describe the plant accurately or with enough details. Among the plants known by the Romans, the Brassicaceae played an important role, partly because many of these species are native to the Mediterranean basin. With the aim to achieve as much information as possible on the Romans botanical knowledge on Brassicaceae species, the operas of eight Latin authors were studied and species were listed in a specific data base. For every identified species we listed the Latin name, family, origin and uses. The latter have been classified into 5 groups: food, medicinal, magical, ornamental, and others. Specifically, 30 taxa belonging to 19 genera were identified. Romans committed particular attention to the Brassica genera and other Brassicaceae species. The main use is medicinal (83.3%); other plants of the family are used for food (40.0%), magical and ornamental purposes.
Toscano, S., Scuderi, D., Tribulato , A. and Romano , D. (2013). THE USE OF BRASSICACEAE BY THE ANCIENT ROMANS. Acta Hortic. 1005, 205-212
written sources, plant uses, vegetable crops, ornamentals, Brassica oleracea L.