Saturday, May 4, 2013

mei sunt ordines, mea descriptio

At the origin of the taxonomy:

Cum autem admiraretur Lysander et proceritates arborum, et directos in quincuncem ordines, et humum subactam atque puram, et suavitatem odorum, qui afflarentur e floribus; tum eum dixisse, mirari se non modo diligentiam, sed etiam solertiam ejus, a quo essent illa dimensa atque descripta; et ei Cyrum respondisse: Atqui ego omnia ista sum dimensus; mei sunt ordines, mea descriptio; multae etiam istarum arborum mea manu sunt satae.

M.T.Cicero, Cato Maior de senectute, XVII.59

(Among other courtesies to Lysander while his guest, Cyrus showed him a certain carefully planted park.) After admiring the stateliness of the trees, regularly placed in quincunx rows, the clean and well-cultivated soil, and the sweet odours emanating from the flowers, Lysander then remarked: "I marvel not only at the industry, but also at the skill of the man who planned and arranged this work." "But it was I," Cyrus answered, "who planned it all; mine are the rows and mine the arrangement, and many of those trees I set out with my own hands."

Taxonomy starts from gardening...

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