On Herbs. An Anonymous Greek Poem translated by Ɔ. Martiana

Hellenic Faith

This ancient text on Hellenic herbalism has been translated to English for the first time by Ɔ. Martiana, a co-author of the Hellenic Faith website fluent in both ancient Greek and Latin! Please check it out here and consider purchasing it to support our website and efforts.


It is often said that the father of botany as a science was the ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus, a student of the famous Aristotle. When one reads his “Historia Plantarum” or “Enquiry into Plants”, it is indeed striking how scientific, how technical and sober this work from the 4th century bce is. We are far removed here from the mythical narrative of Homer’s Odyssey, where the god Hermes comes down from heaven and hands Odysseus the wondrous plant moly to protect him against the sorcery of the goddess Circe. Only two short chapters in the nine volumes of the Enquiry even…

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