Harvey (John H.)_Gardening Books and Plant Lists of Moorish Spain

Publish in

Documents

21 views

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 13
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Share
Description
The Garden History Society Gardening Books and Plant Lists of Moorish Spain Author(s): John H. Harvey Source: Garden History, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring, 1975), pp. 10-21 Published by: The Garden History Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1586375 . Accessed: 29/09/2013 10:12 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps schola
Tags
Transcript
  The Garden History Society Gardening Books and Plant Lists of Moorish SpainAuthor(s): John H. HarveySource: Garden History, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring, 1975), pp. 10-21Published by: The Garden History Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1586375. Accessed: 29/09/2013 10:12 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. . The Garden History Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Garden History. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 193.54.110.35 on Sun, 29 Sep 2013 10:12:57 AMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions  Gardeningbooks andplantlistsofMoorishSpain;byJohnH.HarveyThe introductionofplantsfrom onecountrytoanotherhasgoneonforseveralthousandyears,afdthemain movementshavebeen towardsthehighestcentres ofcivilisation.Thustheexpeditionof theChinesegeneralChangK'ienunderEmperorWu-ti(141-87B.C.)succeededintransportingIJucerne(asfodder forblood-horses)andthegrapevinefromPersiain126B.C.Plinytells usofthecherrybroughtfromPontus toRome in68B.C.Plantsofeconomicimportance,medicinalherbs,andflowerssoughtonlyforbeauty,perfumeorrarity,were carried in all directionslongbefore theageofmodern science.WesternEuropeowesmany plantsaswell asmuch horticulturaltechniquetothedominionof theMoors inSpainfrom A.D.711to1492.Underthe Wes-ternOmayyad CaliphateofCordova(929-1031)Andalusiawasthehighestcentreofcivilisationinthe Euro-mediterraneanregionandproducedscientificliteraturein allfields,linked with the immense IslamiccultureinArabic.Botany,AgricultureandHorticulture,with thePharmacopoeia,formedbranchesof asubject eagerlypursued byscholarsandby practicalcollectorsandcultivators.Thoughthe debt ofEurope,andof moderncivilisation,toAra-bicscience is wellknown,theimportanceof theIslamic contributiontohorticulturehasnotbeensufficientlyrecognised.InSpain,eventoday,cultivation isatitsbestinthepartsofthecountry longestunderMoorishrule,or whichtookpainstopreserveMoorishmethods.Muchknowledgewasconveyed personallyfrom the Muslimsand theirbaptiseddescendants theMoriscosto the ChristianSpaniards. Longbeforetheexpulsions(1492-1609)theChristians werelearningfrom ArabicagriculturalliteraturethroughtranslationsintoLatinandCastilian.Besides,manyChristianSpaniardsinAragon,Andalusia,andToledowere stillbilingual.Continuitywaspreservedbothonthescholarlyandpracticalplanes.Plants,onceintroduced,werelikelytosurvive andwerecarried furtherintoEuropebyseeds,bulbs,cuttingsorroots,to whateverplaceswereclimaticallyabletogrowthem.ManyofthemostimportantadditionstoEuropean gardensmadesinceRomantimesarrivedbywayofMoorishSpain.Thepeakof introduction camelate,after centuriesofincreasingsophistication.BytheninthcenturyAoDotheculturalcentreof IslamwasinPersia,IraqandnorthernSyria,andtheplantsinquestionweremostlynativeto Iran orlongcultivated there.About ourKingAlfred'stime,butnearlythreethousandmilesaway,anewageof sciencedawnedwiththe esta-blishment(c.830)ofaresearch instituteatBaghdad.largelyforthetrans-lationintoArabicofworksinGreek,Pahlavi,andIndianlanguages.ThechieftranslatorswereHunainibnIshaqal-'Abadi(809-877)andhissonIshaqibnHunain(d.910),andamongtheworkstranslatedwasthewholeoftheMateria Medicaof Dioscorides.AnewBookofPlants waswritteninArabicbythe Persianal-Dinawari(c.820-895), theFatherof ArabBotany .Justwhenthis newknowledgebecameavailableitwasbroughttoSpainbyYunusibnAhmadal-Harrani,about880.Al-Harrani,socalledfromhisbirthplaceHarran(inmodernTurkey,betweenUrfaandtheSyrianfrontier),anancient seatoflearning,tookwith him toCordovadrugsandplantsaswellasadvancedbotanical information.About thistime an extensivecom-pilation6onagriculture,quotedbylaterauthorities,wasproduced byal-Kaldani,bornbefore912,but of whomnothingisknownbeyondhisgreat 10 This content downloaded from 193.54.110.35 on Sun, 29 Sep 2013 10:12:57 AMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions  reputation.Duringthe tenthcenturyCordovabecamethe main centre ofbot- anicalstudieson account ofan illustratedmanuscriptofDioscoridessentin949bytheByzantineEmperorConstantineVIIPorphyrogenitus(913-959)tothe Caliph'AbdarrahmanIII(912-961).Thisbookwithitscolouredpicturesofplantsexcited somuchinterestthattheCaliphobtainedfrom theEmperorin951theArabic-speakingmonkNicholas,abletotranslate thebookand alsototeachGreek inpubliclecturesinCordova,attendedevenbytheprimemini-ster.This wasnot the endof thestory,for underHishamII(976-1009)animportant supplementtoDioscoridesontheplantsofSpainwaswrittenin983bytheCaliph'sphysician,IbnJuljul.The GoldenAgeofCordova wascomingto anend,andthe Christian re-conquestsetting in,butthe bestAndalusianhorticultureand itsgreatestbooks were stillto come.Afterthe endofthe WesternCaliphatein1031MuslimSpainbrokeupinto successionstates,theTaifas,themostimportantbeingSevilleand Toledo.Thesultansofboth statesmaintainedimportantpalacegardensandthesiteofthatatToledo,neartherailwaystation,isstill known astheHuerta delRey.What ismore,bothbecame8genuinebotani-calgardens,thatat ToledocreatedbyIbn W-fid(999-1075),and carriedonafterhisdeathbyhiscolleagueIbnBassal,himselfagreatbotanist,plantcollector,andwriteronagriculture.Untilthe Christianconquestof1085hewasinchargeunderal-Ma'mun,sultanofToledo.LaterheworkedforSultan al-Mu'tamid(1069-1091)atSeville,wherehe sowedimportedseeds.Hehad botanisedinSicily,Alexandria,Cairo,Mecca,Khorasan(innorthernPersia),andineasternSpainaroundValencia.Hetoldanotherbotanistwhomhe met inAndalusiathathehadseen theBlueLily (susan,aniris)bothinSicilyandat Alexandria. ThegreatimportanceofIbnBassalliesinthesurvivalofthemasterly handbookonagricultureandgardening,bothlcientificandpractical,whichhededicatedtohisroyalmasteral-Ma'mun.TheArabictext hasbeenre-discoveredinourowntime,as wellasanincompleteCastiliantranslationmadec.1300.Thebookisthoroughlymodernintoneandstartswithadis-cussionofwatersupply, soils,manuresand thechoiceofgroundanditspreparation.Particularchaptersthengive,speciesbyspecies,methodsofplanting,pruningandgraftingtrees,sowingofseeds,andthe differentclassesofvegetables,herbsandaromaticfloweringplantsand bulbs.Incon-clusionthere isaselectionofmiscellaneoustips,suchasthaton theever-presentproblemofslugs: Formyourbeds,strewonthem an inchofashesfromthe PublicBaths,thenlayonyourmanureand sowtheseed;thustheanimalmentioned,onleavingtheearthin searchof theplants,willmeetwiththe ashesand retireconfounded. To us it isthechaptersenumeratingallthe kindsof treesandplants grown,withtheappropriatecultureofeach,thatprovidethespecialinterestofthe book.Theirvalueis increasedbythe factthatanotherdetailedtreatiseonAndalusianagriculturesurvivesfromthenextcentury,showingagreatadvancein thenumberolspeciesin cultivation.ThisistheBookofAgricultureofIbnal-'Awwam,printedintimeto beusedbyJ.C.Loudon;unfortunatelyhegarbledthe author'snameas Ebn-Alwan andassignedhimtothe eleventhcentury,thoughhe wrotelateinthe twelfthand diedabout1200. Ibnal-'Awwam'streatiseison alargerscalethanthatofIbnBassaland ismoreexpresslyconcernedwithtransplantingtreesandwildplantsinto 11 This content downloaded from 193.54.110.35 on Sun, 29 Sep 2013 10:12:57 AMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions  gardens.He addssectionsoncattle, horses, poultryandbee-keeping.The listsofplantsgrownbythese two writersarecomparedintheappendixto thepresentarticle. Beforepassingon to thecultivatedSpanishflora revealedbythese authorities,itis worthmentioningafewotherwriters, thoughmostof theirworksarelost.Inthe eleventhcentury,besidesIbnWafid andIbnBassal, bothofToledo,there wasIbnHajjajofSville,whosecompendiumonsimples,TheSufficiency,was writtenin1073-74.ThegeographerIbn Amr(died1094)producedabokon theplantsandtreesofAndalusia.Alittle later cameal-Tignari,who dedicatedatreatiseto theprinceofGranada,AbuTahir Tamim(d.1125).Greatmedicalbotaniststoo were at work:IbnZuhr(Aven- zoar)who died in1161;IbnBajja(Avempace)ofToledo(d. 1138);andal-Ghafiqi(d.1166),authorof one ofthegreatestof allmediaevalherbals.5 Tothisoraslightlylatergeneration belongedIbnal-'Awwam.Laterstillthe traditionwascarriedgbythework ofthe travellerIbnMufarraj(c.1170-1240)onDioscorides,andthelostbooksofAbu al-'AbbasAhmad al-Nabati( theBotanist ),bornof aChristian mother at Sevilleabout1170, andknowntohavstudiedplantsinSpainandthroughoutNorthAfricaasfar as theRedSea.Allthis leduptoththimmenseencyclopaediaof Ibnal- Baitaron themedical virtuesofplants.Finally,gardeningwasincluded inthepoemonagriculturey1 theAndalusianGeorgics )ofIbnLuyun,bornat Almeria,who diedin1349.The twobookslistingthe cultivatedplantsof Andalusiac.1080 andc.1180 showthat inonecenturythe number ofspecieshad doubled.Though partlyduetoIbnal-'Awwam's morethoroughtreatment,the increasedoessuggestthattherewasareal waveof introductionstoSpain,orto cultiva-tion,soonafter1100.Manynewplantsweredecorativeratherthanuseful:the JudasTree,manyvarieties ofMyrtle,theOleander,Hibiscus,Mallows,and Water-Lilies.Someplantsalreadyhadnumerouscultivatedvarieties,notablyal-khairi,the wallflower(Cheiranthuscheiri),thoughalsoincludingthe stock(Matthiola incana).In both booksthisissaidtohaveeightkinds:thecommonpurple,white,yellow,whiteandscarletmingled,a turquoise ,averybrilliantbrown,atawny,and a sky-blue ;alsoasmallpurplewildsort(possiblyMoricandiamoricandioides*)andthe WaterWallflower ,purpleandfloweringin summer. ThislastsoundslikeSweetRocket(Hesperismat-ronalis),butitishardtosaywhat theturquoiseandsky-blueflowerscouldhave been.There isasimilardifficultyover the kinds oflily:white,brown,yellowandsky-blue.The whitewascertainlyLiliumcandidum;the brownandyellow mayhavebeenHemerocallisfulva andH.flava,since thesewereassignedmedicinalusesbyal-Ghafiqiundertheirtrue nameinArabicguise:Imaruqalis.ThebluelilywasalmostcertainlyanirissincetheArabicsusan,Spanishazucena,hadthatprimarymeaning.Ontheotherhand, thesmall bluelily isseparatelydescribedasaniris.The whitenarcissus withasmallyellowcircle inthe middle isclearlydescribed,andal-'Awwamgivesthe standardculturalhint: Somepersonsdedicatedtothe know-ledgeof floriculturesaythatwhen the leavesof thisbulb havedried,as *Mr RichardGorer'ssuggestion. 12 This content downloaded from 193.54.110.35 on Sun, 29 Sep 2013 10:12:57 AMAll use subject toJSTOR Terms and Conditions
Related Search
Related Documents
View more...
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks
SAVE OUR EARTH

We need your sign to support Project to invent "SMART AND CONTROLLABLE REFLECTIVE BALLOONS" to cover the Sun and Save Our Earth.

More details...

Sign Now!

We are very appreciated for your Prompt Action!

x