Writers – Poets
Pittakos is considered to be one of the seven wise men of antiquity. Ellanikos from Mytilene the historian and Theophrastus from Eresos the philosopher, successor of Aristotle, have been two of the most renowned men in ancient Greece. Along with Aristotle – Aristotle and Plato had both been his mentors – Theophrastus was the co – founder of the Peripatetic School based in Athens in the 4th century. After the death of his great teacher he undertook the headship of the school until 287 B.C. He followed Aristotle to Lesvos and Macedonia and participated in the great philosopher’s researches. Unfortunately, only two out of a total of 240 writings have been preserved to this day: his research on Plants and a work of his entitled Characters.
Out of his two pieces on botany, the first one, basic phytology (On the history of the plants, 9 books), contains in detail the entire plant system: basic concepts (book 1), wild and cultivable trees (2-3), the plants’ geography (4), woods, bushes, underbrush and cereals (5-8) and resins (9). His work is run though by strong empiric elements and constitutes the first ever scientific botany, a necessary textbook since the middle ages. Scholars interested in plants and their qualities preceding Theophrastus whose researches obviously were a useful tool to his own work – and those succeeding him, mainly originated from an interest in pharmacology. Plant physiology and aetiology became the object of his next work on botany (on the aetiology of plants, 6 books): genesis, environment, transplantation, cultivations, diseases and a list of the plants’ saps are the issues preoccupying Theophrastus in this book. This intellectual tradition of the island goes on in modern years with worthy representatives, such as: Odysseas Elytis the poet, Giorgos Valettas a remarkable historian and writer, Stratis Myriveles a renowned writer, journalist and academic, Elias Venezis, novelist and academic as well as Stratis Doukas and Argyris Eftaliotis, writers, Asemakis Panselinos a well known politic and writer, Giorgos Iakovides, painter and sculptor and Theophilos, a famous folk artist