Taxonomy is as old as thelanguage skill ofmankind. When wespeak about ancienttaxonomy we usuallymean the history in theWestern world.
However, the earliest traces are not from the West, but from the East. Shen Nung, Emperor of China around 3000 BC He was a legendary emperor known as the Father of Chinese medicine and is believed to have introduced acupuncture.
Around 1500 BC medicinal plants were illustrated on wall paintings in Egypt. The paintings gives us knowledge about medicinal plants in old Egypt and their names.
In one of the oldest and largest papyrus rolls, Ebers Papyrus, plants are included as medicines for different diseases.
1.2. The Greeks and Romans Aristotle (384–322 BC)the Greek philosopher was the first to classify all living things, like the vertebrates and invertebrates, which he called animals with blood and without blood (such as insects, crustacea and testacea (molluscs).
Carl Linnaeus accepted many of his generic names.
Theophrastus (370–285 BC) was a student of Aristotle and Platon. He wrote a classification of all known plants, De Historia Plantarum, which contained 480 species. His classification was based on growth form, and we still recognise many of his plant genera, like Narcissus, Crocus and Cornus.
Dioscorides (40–90 AD) was a greek physician, gathered knowledge about medicinal plants. Between 50-70 AD he wrote De Materia Medica, whichcontained around 600 species. The classification in his work is based on the medicinal properties of the species.
Plinius (23–79 AD) He wrote many books, but the only one that has survived is his Naturalis Historia, a work of 160 voumes, in which he described several plants and gave them Latin names.
The Father of Botanical Latin. Plinius died in Pompeii.