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Health and wellbeing in the ancient world
Health and wellbeing in the ancient world

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3.2 Ancient herbals

Identifying plants used as food or as drugs can be complicated. While there is evidence from the ancient world that includes illustrations of plants, they are not always easily recognisable today. In Video 4, filmed in the Wellcome Library, Dr Laurence Totelin discusses with Dr Elma Bremmer some rare material, which derives from ancient Greek and Roman traditions, and discovers how far it is possible to identify plants from ancient and medieval illustrations.

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Video 4 Ancient herbals
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Notice how the knowledge of plants used in healing was transmitted from the Greeks and Romans into medieval and early modern Europe and the Arab world.