Aeizōon to amaranton : intercultural collaboration in a late Byzantine nature study

Variant title
Aeizōon to amaranton : mezikulturní spolupráce ve studiu přírody v pozdně byzantském období
Source document: Convivium. 2019, vol. 6, iss. 2, pp. [16]-29
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
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A Late Byzantine nature study in a fifteenth-century manuscript now in the library of London's Natural History Museum is here identified as Sedum rupestre L. or Sedum sediforme (Jacq.) Pau. But the plant depicted, labeled aeizōon to amaranton, has no antecedents in earlier manuscripts; indeed, the name aeizōon to amaranton is unconnected to the ancient botanical tradition, and appears only in Late Byzantine botanical lexica. The picture considered here appears to be a novel creation of the fifteenth century, and may be the product of collaboration between a Latinspeaking scholar of botany and a painter trained in the Byzantine tradition; stylistic analysis establishes the painter's Byzantine training. He or she may have begun life in Constantinople or in a Frankish or Venetian territory such as Crete. This novel nature study may have served as a frontispiece displaying the Byzantine artist's skills of observation and representation.
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