Both in the treatises Historia plantarum and De causis plantarum , Theophrastus, keeping as far as possible th e principle of autopsy, collected many first - hand data on the Mediterranean plants. For the species flourishing in the lands reached by Alexander the Great, however, he had to rely on the information provided by explorers, soldiers, merchants etc. who had taken part in Alexander’ s expedition: from them he drew , for example, the description of the plants of Gedrosia, Aracosia, In dia, and above all Arabia, that produced precious spices like incense, myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia. The acquisition (albeit not autoptically) of these data opened a new page in Greek botany, of which Theophrastus was a true path - breaking inquirer, since he was the first scholar to provide details on many aromatic plants and their natural environments.
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