The Old English Herbals

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Published: 1922
Language: English
Wordcount: 88,030 / 276 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 49.7
LoC Category: QK
Downloads: 1,062
Added to site: 2010.09.07
mnybks.net#: 28928
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genres: Nature, History
Excerpt

lish plant lore, the Herbarium of Apuleius and the +Peri Didaxeôn+ are less interesting because they are translations, but the more one studies the original Saxon writings on herbs and their uses, the more one realises that, just as in Beowulf there are suggestions and traces of an age far older than that in which the poem was written, so in these manuscripts are embedded beliefs which carry us back to the dawn of history. It is this which gives this plant lore its supreme interest. It is almost overwhelming to recognise that possibly we have here fragments of the plant lore of our ancestors who lived when Attila's hordes were devastating Europe, and that in the charms and ceremonies connected with the picking and administering of herbs we are carried back to forms of religion so ancient that, compared to it, the worship of Woden is modern. Further, it is only in these manuscripts that we find this herb lore, for in the whole range of Saxon literature outside them there is remarkably l

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