Magnificent Illustration—The Treasures of Jean, Duke of Berry (Part I)

Hildegard of Bingen’s notable monastic contemporary, French abbot St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), led reforms of the Cistercian so monks could more fully live out the Rule of St. Benedict by affirming the value of field labors, improving agricultural lands with the help of affiliated lay brothers, and cooperating with others to mill grains, process […]

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An Agrarian Guide to Health and Happiness

The Tacuinum Sanitatus (Almanac of Health) is one of the most richly illustrated fourteenth century Herbals though it is based on an earlier compendium written by the renowned Arab physician Ibn Buṭlān in the eleventh century and translated into Latin. The book  focuses on prevention rather than cures, and is based on the traditions of […]

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Saint Hildegard and “Labors of the Months”

English Fleta and other European manuals on model agricultural practices for landlords and manorial managers appeared widely in the late thirteenth century, followed by others like Pietro de Crescenzi’s exceptional fourteenth century Agricultural Calendar. Although many of these manuscripts were heavily influenced by the classic Latin treatises of Varro and Columella, that they were penned […]

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The “Cerealization” of Europe

The story of farming is one of usual significance here in Franklin County which supplies annually supply over one billion dollars’ worth of crops—chiefly grain and vegetables, but also fruits and hay. Of course agriculture had long been practiced by natives peoples in North and South America, and since ancient times in the Eastern Hemisphere. […]

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