Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/teleology. Encyclopedia Britannica. Theophrastus (371 BC - 287 BC), ancient Greek scientist: father of botany. Like Aristotle, Theophrastus had been a member of Plato’s Academy and the two scholars worked closely together. Additionally, his book offered a wide range of advice compiled from an array of sources that were applicable to many areas of life. Unlike other scientists of his time, Theophrastus’ descriptions of beneficial plants also included rituals and superstitions that were compiled directly from herbal drug vendors and root diggers. When, Aristotle died, he bequeathed to him his Peripatetic School in Athens, and according to writers at the time, Theophrastus wrote his books on subjects that he learned from studying with his teacher. Theophrastus was critical of physicians who prescribed endless list of medicines without discovering the cause of the disease. Enquiry into plants (Vol. Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher who first studied with Plato and then became a disciple of Aristotle, is credited with founding botany. Other rituals required a root harvest only at a specific time of day or facing a certain direction, or which bird must not be watching—if a vulture saw you harvesting centaury (Centaurea salonitana), it could signify great harm. This work described a thousand medicines, m… These herbal traditions, although not completely applicable any longer, serve as a reminder that plants have a magical power to outlast the brutal elements of time, and help us remember our ever-changing relationship with nature. 1552, that of Daniel Heinsius, 1613, &c.) is that by J. G. Schneider (Theophrasti Eresii quae supersunt opera, Lips. Pease, A. Although he wasn’t the only scientific writer at the time, nor the first to study plants, he … Known for his exemplary published books on botany (i.e. It is given in wine or vinegar. Theophrastus was born in Eresus, Lesvos, an island in the Aegean Sea, where the, was born 250 years earlier. Theophrastus (1916). Diogenes Laertius mentions treatises by Aristotle on plants but it is clear that he concentrated more on animals, leaving an in-depth study of botany to his younger colleague, Theophrastus. Affiliate links are shared throughout the website and the Herbal Academy may receive compensation if you make a purchase with these links. Mithridates VI, King of Pontus (about 100 B.C.) The Herbal Academy supports trusted organizations with the use of affiliate links. Theophrastus (/ ˌ θ iː ə ˈ f r æ s t ə s /; Greek: Θεόφραστος Theόphrastos; c. 371 – c. 287 BC), a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school.His given name was Tyrtamus (Τύρταμος); his nickname Θεόφραστος (or 'godly phrased') was given by Aristotle for his 'divine style of expression'. Pease, A. Part of a fresco in the portico of the University of Athens painted by Carl Rahl, c. 1888. In Book IX, his book on medicinal herbs, Theophrastus describes approximately sixty herbs, remedies, and practices, including on aromatic plants, how to collect certain resins, when to harvest roots, plants with magical powers, plant superstitions, the relationship between certain animals and plants, and herbs local only to specific areas, among other intriguing topics. 1. As was his intention during his lifetime, the combination of Theophrastus’ ingenuity and aptitude with a fortunate grace of time has allowed many people to enjoy and learn from his writing far later in the future than he could ever have imagined. Lives of the Eminent Philosophers (Vol. Theophrastus revisited. Theophrastus, depicted as a medieval scholar in the Nuremberg Chronicle (Wiki commons). (Original work published n.d.). 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