Herbs & Nature
Herbs, flowers & plants
Antique natural material such as stones, shells and plants.
Models from the Roman gardens of Pompeii
Pompeii is one of the most important testimonies of Roman civilisation and shows us today what everyday life, art, customs and professions of the Romans were like 2000 years ago. In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered Pompeii with a metre-high layer of ash. Under this layer, the city remains intact to this day. Excavations began in 1748. Over the years, the entire city was revealed. Multi-storey public buildings, temples, countless shops and taverns (inns) were found. The furnishings of the houses and shops, as well as the posters on the walls, were also preserved and became evidence of everyday Roman life. Patrician villas as well as modest apartment houses have been discovered. The peasants' dwellings were arranged around gardens or a small field. Furniture, household goods, silver and gold objects, tools, crockery, bronze and clay lamps and food of all kinds have been preserved in the houses. Blacksmith's workshops, food and vegetable shops and drink serving counters show how the Romans lived. Finds from this period have inspired the following offers! A nice mix of Roman everyday life.
Dried contemporary witnesses
The Romans loved their gardens and grew all kinds of herbs and medicinal plants. Herbs and plants from the ancient garden world are described by Columella and Pliny secundus. They collected over 100 plants from Roman times. The following selection shows permanently dried "contemporary witnesses" of the ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians.
Experience herbs and plants from antiquity
Nigella sativa, for example, known to us as black cumin, was not only appreciated by the Romans. Greeks such as Hippocrates also praised its healing properties. There is a small bottle of black cumin oil in the Cairo Museum, which was a gift from the Egyptian Pharaoh Tut-Ench-Ammun (1350 BC).
The presence of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.), Arabic qurthum, is also documented by tomb finds and references in ancient writings. It is also a pretty ornament! Pliny (XXI, 53, 56) calls this dyeing plant Cnicus. He tells us that it is famous for its oil-producing seeds and that the oil is called "oleum cnecium aegyptiacum". Or a rare type of wheat! The ears in the bundle are good for illuminating the different varieties. The Romans called the husked wheat "far". The resulting flour was called "farina". The woolly pod of kapok, from the Roman province of North Africa, is soft and woolly. When the banana-sized pod, which grows on trees, is opened, the cosy wool fibre comes out. Wonderfully soft! An unusual discovery!
Roman plants - natural objects
Discover all kinds of dried plants or stones such as malachite (ink), blue-green-red shells such as mother-of-pearl shells or, for example, the woolly pod in the Roman plants section of the Raw Materials and Utilities section of the Roman Shop! This is pure nature! Kapok is the name of the natural pod from the Roman province of North Africa. After opening the umbel-like pod with a knife or cutter, the wonderfully soft wool fibre springs out! This is also a very interesting demonstration for students in the classroom! The bright white fibre is used to make fabrics, but rarely because pure cotton is easier to grow in large fields than kapok, which grows on trees. But the fluffy natural fabric is certainly impressive! See for yourself!
Gallus ink made with raw materials from the Römer Shop
Gall apples are outgrowths that develop on the leaves, twigs and buds of certain oak species. You can buy them on these pages of the Roman Shop and make your own ink! Iron gall ink, which became very popular in the Middle Ages, and its production were already known in Roman antiquity.
Back to nature: fire from stone!
The real flint on these pages of the Roman Shop in the Roman Plants section is also known in literature as flint or chert. In French it is called silex and comes from the Jurassic or Triassic period of the earth. The stone is used in conjunction with a chipping iron to strike sparks to light a fire. This works just as well today as it did in the past with the stone, which is about three to five centimetres thick. Just give it a try! Barbecue season can come!