University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cabinet of Natural History > Conquering the world through plants: kings and botany in the Graeco-Roman world

Conquering the world through plants: kings and botany in the Graeco-Roman world

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Come hear Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow Laurence Totelin describe the role botany played in the creation of the Greek and Roman empires. Botany was a surprising and powerful force in Greek and Roman antiquity. The search for plants valuable for both agricultural and medicinal purposes could drive rulers so seek out and acquire new lands; frankincense and myrrh are classically described as the spoils of conquest, and successful empire building was reflected in botanical trophies and expanded economic resources. Yet plants could be equally damaging to the thrones of kings, including Attalus Philometor, Mithradiates, and Juba, who spent too much time cultivating their herb gardens and lost their empires to the Romans in the process!

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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