Q. Plant classification according to Ancient Greeks and Romans?
Hippocrates, "The Father of Medicine" (460-377 B.C.) is reputed to have been one of Democritus 's disciples. He lived to an advanced age, being famous as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine which started the study of the causes of disease. It cast new light upon the use of herbs. A list of about 240 plants used in medicine may be found in the writings of the Hippocratic School, but they were mentioned primarily for their medicinal properties, not being described botanically.
The Greek root diggers (rhizotomoi) and drug merchants (Pharmocopuloi), who engaged in the business of collecting and preparing drug from plants, acquired knowledge which must have been advantageous. Their knowledge of plants was,, however, empirical and full of superstitions and would have contributed little to the science of botany.
Aristotle, the Stagirite : The ptodigious activity of Aristotle (384-323 B.C.) marks the climax of the Golden Age of Greece. The very existence of his works proves not simply that he had an encyclopedic mind of the highest order, but also that a large amount of research had been accomplished by his predecessors. His deep mathematical knowledge was happily balanced by a very extensive acquaintance with every branch of natural history.
Aristotle was born in 384 B.C., the son of Nicomachus, physician to the royal family of Macedonia. Born in Stagira, a small Greek colony on the Macedonian coast, he was sometimes called the Stagirite. His father, Nicomachus, was a member of the guild of the Asclepiads which was composed of physicians' using herbs and other remedies known only to members of the guild. At seventeen, Aristotle went to Athens where he met and became a pupil of Plato. Aristotle, though essentially a biologist, was closely attached to his master and continued to be a member of his school until Plato's death in 347 B.C.
The plant was an integrated thing to Aristotle; leaves, shoots and roots were not mere appendages of the plant but were members of an organised thing. Each of them had its own characteristics but they had dependencies, relations, and harmonies which interacted to maintain the life of the whole.