The Global Lives of Things: Rhubarb Root in Early Modern Eurasia
Nov 29, 2018
Classical texts from Ancient Greece and China show that knowledge of the medicinal qualities of the rhubarb root was relatively widespread in disparate parts of the world. Can these two ancient medical traditions be connected? In this talk, Professor Anne Gerritsen will explore the early modern 'global life' of the rhubarb root and the possible ways in which both the commodity itself and knowledge of the rhubarb plant and its associated medicinal uses travelled across the Eurasian continent between 1300 and 1800. Dr. Gerritsen will reflect on the ways in which European knowledge about China was mediated, not only through its durable material legacy such as porcelain and other decorative materials but also through its materia medica and its edible substances.