Gardening Knowledge Through the Circulation of Agricultural Treatises in Portugal From the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries

  • Ana Duarte RodriguesEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Trends in the History of Science book series (TRENDSHISTORYSCIENCE)


In this paper, I demonstrate that from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, gardening horticultural knowledge in Portugal was much more accessible through Spanish and French agricultural treatises than through any other kind of garden literature. So, focusing on agricultural treatises, the aim of this paper is to present the results achieved so far by investigating the circulation of these books, to assess which authors were the most popular and which editions and translations had the greatest success, and to evaluate their depth and scope as regards the character and key features of Portuguese gardens. As far as possible, I will do this by comparing these with horticultural literature sources used in other European countries.

Furthermore, I highlight the following texts as the works with the greatest circulation in Portugal: Gabriel Alonso de Herrera’s Agricultura General (1513), Miquel Agustí’s Libro de los secretos de agricultura, casa de campo, y pastoral (1626), Louis Liger’s Oeconomie générale (1700) and João Garrido’s Agricultor Instruído (1730). On this basis, I aim to establish a connection between the theoretical knowledge available during the said period and the Portuguese gardens themselves. Until recently, horticulture was understood as an art conveyed exclusively by praxis.


Iberian Peninsula Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century Sixteenth Century Orange Tree 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bourde, André. 1955. Agronomie et agronomes en France au XVIIIe siècle. Birmingham: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Carapinha, Aurora. 1995. A essência do Jardim Português. PhD thesis on Landscape Architecture presented at the University of Évora.Google Scholar
  3. Carapinha, Aurora. 2014. The Guardian of the Mediterranean Matrix – the Portuguese Garden. Gardens & Landscapes of Portugal 2: 6-15.Google Scholar
  4. Carapinha, Aurora. 2015. Sucursal del Paraíso: o Libro del principio de la belleza y Fin de la sabiduría que trata de los fundamentos da arte de la agricultura, de Ibn Luyun. In Uma história de jardins. A arte dos jardins na tratadística e na literatura. ed. Ana Duarte Rodrigues, 49–65. Lisboa: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal.Google Scholar
  5. Carita, Helder. 1990. Tratado da Grandeza dos Jardins em Portugal. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores.Google Scholar
  6. Ferreira, José M. Simões. 2010. História da Teoria da Arquitectura no Ocidente. Lisboa: Vega.Google Scholar
  7. Fussell, G. E. 1969. The Classical Tradition in West European Farming: The Sixteenth Century. The Economic History Review, New Series 22: 538-551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grice-Hutchinson, Marjorie. 1988. Some Spanish Contributions to the Early Activities of the Royal Society of London. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 42: 123-132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Julien, Pascal. 2011. La bibliothèque du Marquis de Fronteira et la conception du jardin de son palais. In Tratados de Arte em Portugal/Art Treatises in Portugal, eds. Rafael Moreira and Ana Duarte Rodrigues, 145–152. Lisboa: Scribe.Google Scholar
  10. Lambin, Denis. 1975. Pleasure with Profit: Some aspects of Landscape Gardening. Garden History 3: 29-36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Le Dantec, Jean-Pierre. 1996. Jardins et Paysages: texts critiques de l’Antiquité à nos jours. Paris: Larousse.Google Scholar
  12. Nunez, Luis Pablo. 2007-2008. Ediciones e historia textual del Libro de los secretos de agricultura de Miguel Agustín. Butlletí de la Reial Academia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona, 51: 199-223.Google Scholar
  13. Olson, Lois, and Helen L. Eddy. 1943. Ibn-Al-Awam: A Soil Scientist of Moorish Spain. Geographical Review 33: 100-109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Pérez, Joaquín Fernández, and Ignacio González Tascón (eds.). 1991. A propósito de la “Agricultura de jardines” de Gregorio de los Rios. Madrid: Real Jardín Botánico.Google Scholar
  15. Rodrigues, Ana Duarte. 2010. The Most, and Less, Known Mythographers in Portugal. European Review of Artistic Studies 1: 48-67.Google Scholar
  16. Rodrigues, Ana Duarte. 2011a. A Escultura de Jardim das Quintas e Palácios dos Séculos XVII e XVIII em Portugal. Textos Universitários de Ciências Sociais e Humanas. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia/ Ministério da Ciência e Ensino Superior.Google Scholar
  17. Rodrigues, Ana Duarte. 2011b. O conhecimento teórico ao alcance de arquitetos e jardineiros em Portugal durante a Idade Moderna. In Tratados de Arte em Portugal/Art Treatises in Portugal, eds. Rafael Moreira and Ana Duarte Rodrigues, 119-144. Lisboa: Scribe.Google Scholar
  18. Rodrigues, Ana Duarte. 2011c. The circulation of Art Treatises in Portugal between the XV and the XVIII centuries: some methodological questions. In Tratados de Arte em Portugal/Art Treatises in Portugal, eds. Rafael Moreira and Ana Duarte Rodrigues, 21-42. Lisboa: Scribe.Google Scholar
  19. Rodrigues, Ana Duarte. 2014a. O saber da arte dos jardins em circulação na Europa (1500-1900). In Mobilidade e Circulação: Perspectivas em História da Ciência e da Tecnologia, eds. Alice Santiago and Pedro Raposo, 87-93. Centro de História d’Aquém e d’Além-Mar and Centro Inter-Universitário de História da Ciência e Tecnologia.Google Scholar
  20. Rodrigues, Ana Duarte. 2014b. Sustainability in Alonso de Herrera’s treatise and the construction of the Mediterranean landscape. In The Garden as a Lab where cultural and ecological systems meet in the Mediterranean context, ed. Ana Duarte Rodrigues, 11-28. Évora: Centro de História da Arte e Investigação Artística/University of Évora.Google Scholar
  21. Rodrigues, Ana Duarte. 2015a. The quality of Eugénio dos Santos Library on gardens in a Portuguese context. In Views on Eighteenth Century Culture: Design, Books and Ideas, eds. Leonor Ferrão and Luís Manuel A. V. Bernardo, 127–150. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  22. Rodrigues, Ana Duarte. (ed.). 2015b. Uma história de jardins. A arte dos jardins na tratadística e na literatura. Ed. Ana Duarte Rodrigues, 49–65. Lisboa: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal.Google Scholar
  23. Rubiés, Joan-Pau. 1995. Reason of state and constitutional thought in the crown of Aragon, 1580–1640. The Historical Journal, 38, 1: 7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

Personalised recommendations