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Byzantine corals

6th century Byzantine miniature of corals from the Byzantine manuscript of Dioscorides of Vienna.

At the bottom right of the image is a personification of the sea and above an inscription that mentions Poseidon the god of sea.

Dioscorides was a Greek physician, botanist and pharmacologist of the early Roman period (1st century). His work 'On the matter of medicine' was copied and decorated with interesting miniatures in Byzantine times.

Now, why would a coral be in a work of botany?

Because the ancients believed that corals were plants and not animals.

Πηγή: Byzantine Painting

Κοράλλια σε Βυζαντινή μικρογραφία
Byzantine miniature from the Dioscorides manuscript of Vienna.

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