Giovanni Battista Ferrari: Hesperides, 1646

Giovanni Battista Ferrari: Hesperides, 1646

Ferrari: Hesperides, 1646



   Hesperides is considered to be the first European book on citrus fruits. The title translates to "Hesperides, or, The Cultivation and Use of the Golden Apples." Written in four books (the “libri quatuor” of the title),  by the Jesuit Johannus Baptista Ferrarius of Siena (1584-1655), in classical Latin, it contains 500 pages and 91 chapters with 101 full-page copper plates, generously sized 34 x 24 cm. This learned man held the chair of Hebrew in the College at Rome for 28 years and published several books in Latin. Prior to turning to the cultivation of citrus, he had published a major work on the culture of flowers.

   The Hesperides was named after the Garden of the Hesperides, Hera's orchard of Greek mythology, in which the golden apples grew. The golden apples have for centuries been recognized as oranges, and the name Hesperides was long a popular title for books on cultivating citrus trees.




Last modified: 12/1/2006 3:20 PM by by H. Hutchinson

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