ANN: The Emotions Behind Linnaean Folklore

Gerard Cheshire's picture

Dear History of Emotions Scholars,

You may be interested to read that the source of Linnaeus' idea behind using the mythology about Andromeda and Perseus to name a plant genus has been found in a page of decoded Italian Medieval manuscript, dating from 1444. This particular manuscript page is focussed on avoidance of ageing - that emotive subject that still persists. 

It had previously been thought that Linnaeus had indulged in a flight of wild imagination in naming the plant Andromeda, but we now know that he was simply referencing familiar medicinal folklore about the plant, which had since been lost to history. Now it has been rediscovered. 

A paper is available to freely download from the LingBuzz website. Plant Page, No. 6:

Please feel free to disseminate the information to other scholars who may have an interest.

Kindest regards,

Dr. Gerard Cheshire

Research Associate

University of Bristol