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HISTORY AND ORIGINS OF GARDENS

I KEPOS GRECI

When the Greeks beheld the Eastern parks, they were struck and captivated, for their culture, though highly advanced in all the arts, had never produced anything comparable. One of the reasons it is argued that Ancient Greece did not create opulent gardens can be traced back to the democratic life of the polis, which would have frowned upon the development of private gardens as a proclamation of wealth and prosperity. Moreover, the Cretan-Mycenaean culture cherished flowers; indeed, from artifacts, we can infer a centrality of floral decorative motifs, as had been the case in Egyptian culture. For the Greeks, tending to the garden was primarily a feminine activity or one to be pursued during the intervals between wars. Persian influences permeated ancient Greece: by around 350 B.C., gardens adorned the Academy of Athens, and Theophrastus, considered the father of botany, is believed to have inherited Aristotle’s garden.

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