The underlying pattern of the Renaissance botanical genre<i>pinax</i>

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The aim of this paper is to define the Renaissance botanical genre<i>Pinax</i>, illustrated by Gesner's (1542) and Bauhin's (1596, 1623) books. The results of the linguistic analysis of these books are interpreted in the frame of the Renaissance<i>episteme</i>, that is, the configuration of knowledge peculiar to this period. Though it comes in the form of a simple compendium of plant names (nomenclature), a<i>Pinax</i>has an underlying &#8220;taxonomic&#8221; organisation. Whereas Gesner's principles of organisation (alphabetical order, interlinguistic synonymy) pertain to the medicinal custom, Bauhin's principles (logical division, Aristotelian synonymy, chain of being) are conceived in the frame of the botanical specialised scientific community, according to Renaissance metaphysical thoughts (neo-Platonic eponymy, prototypy, correspondences).


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