Antiquity observed: A French naturalist in the Aegean Sea in 1547

Huppert, George
September 1995
International Journal of the Classical Tradition;Fall95, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p275
Academic Journal
The focus of this article is the mind of a young French botanist who visits the islands of the Aegean Sea in 1547. Although he is not a professional classicist, he is on the alert for survivals of classical culture among the Greek-speaking natives on Crete, Chios and Lemnos. His chief concern, as a patented Renaissance intellectual, is to find an explanation for the total absence of learning in the Greek world, which appears to him as an antique setting filled with ruined marble and ruined minds. Not given to nostalgia or pathos, he observes the flora and fauna described by Galen and Dioscorides: Nature, at least, remains constant.


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