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Science and Civilisation in China

Details

  • 332 b/w illus. 18 tables
  • Page extent: 788 pages
  • Size: 254 x 198 mm
  • Weight: 1.66 kg

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9781107109872)

This volume offers a comprehensive and authoritative account of botanical knowledge in China from ancient times to the end of the seventeenth century. In this highly illustrated study, Georges Métailié explores the perception and use of a wealth of plants and vegetation in China before the introduction of modern botany. Drawing from a number of original Chinese texts, which have been translated for the first time, Métailié gives new insights into a variety of aspects of plant knowledge in ancient China. Chapters are devoted to traditional botany and sources of classification, aquatic plants, fungi, horticultural techniques, fruit production, grafting and the influences of ancient Chinese plant culture on Europe. This volume combines technical expertise in the identification of plants with historical and anthropological sensitivity to propose a new, non-teleological view of scientific knowledge about the botanical world in ancient China.

• Offers a comprehensive and authoritative account of ancient botanical knowledge in China • Proposes a new, non-teleological, view of knowledge about the plant world in Ancient China • Draws from a number of original Chinese texts, which have been translated for the first time

Contents

List of abbreviations; Series editor's preface; Author's note; 1. Sources of traditional botany and the various classifications; 2. The description and illustration of plants; 3. Knowledge of plant life; 4. Horticulture and its techniques; 5. Plants and botanical exchanges. The Chinese contribution to the rest of the world; 6. Conclusion; Bibliographies; Index.

Review

'Metailie has written not merely a supplement, but a new and original history of Chinese botany, one that puts Cullen's caveat into perspective.' Herman Reichenbach, Archives of Natural History

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