(2,555 words)

1. Terminological history

The term botany derives from the Greek botánē (“herb”). The Graeco-Roman medical writer Galen calls people who forage for medicinal and other plants and sell them in local markets botanikoí (Thrasybulus 14,9). The Latinized term botanicus became increasingly current in the Renaissance, after being adopted from the treatise De materia medica byDioscurides (ca. 70 C…

Cite this page
Müller-Wille, Staffan, “Botany”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 20 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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