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Bust of the Greek botanist, Theophrastus

Bust of the Greek botanist, Theophrastus

H420/0116

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Theophrastus. Bust of Theophrastus (372-287 BC), Greek botanist. Born in Lesbos, he studied with Plato in Athens at an early age and then met Aristotle. He became Aristotle's assistant and successor of the Lyceum school in 335 BC. There he continued the Aristotelian tradition of biology: he's considered "the founder of botany" (Aristotle was the founder of zoology). Under Theophrastus the Lyceum prospered. In his botanical studies Theophrastus described over 500 plant species and devised an advanced classification scheme which included the effects of soil and climate on plant growth. His satirical human portraits survive.

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