Flora Homerica


  • Thomas Sawidis Aristotle University of Thessaloniki




Age of Homer, Bronze Age, Scientific terminology, Greek Civilization, Historical Archaeobotany, Plants in Antiquity


The analysis of botanical information, derived from a thorough study of the Homeric epics, has revealed 466 records of plants, corresponding to 89 different species. All plant species were attributed to living taxa, at different categories. Most of the plant names recorded in the epics have been retained in Modern Greek as integral words or roots; they have been used in the formation of the scientifc terms or taxa names for both plants and animals. Based on the Homeric plant names, 537 scientifc terms were formatted, whereas 519 plant names and 622 animal names were derived from these plants. The knowledge of the Homeric people about plants, as refected in the epics, seems to be focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on cereals (wheat and barley) as having been essential ingredients of the human diet. On the other hand, some very common plants of the present time do not appear in the epics, since they were introduced later. Useful botanical information can be derived from studying the Homeric epics, which along with archaeology and art may help historical archaeobotanists to reconstruct the fora of ancient ages.

journal cover for Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History




How to Cite

Sawidis, T. (2021). Flora Homerica. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History, 58(4), 65–85. https://doi.org/10.58782/flmnh.iyda5527