Historical gardens

Rosa in ancient times

KW_Rosa

Already around 5 000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia rose was cultivated. Sargon I, the first king of  Akkad, had rose bushes in his garden. Then this species from Babylon and Persia was brought to the region of present Turkey and then to Egypt and Rome.

In Egypt in Late Period (1085-300 B.C.) Rosa sancta was introduced. In ancient Rome already a few e species of rose were known: Rosa gallica, Rosa centifolia, Rosa canina.

The popularity of the cultivation of this species even increased in Middle Ages. Beside of ornamental purpose, it was used for cosmetics purposes and to aromatize the dishes.

The fruits of rosa were dedicated to ghosts of ancestors, they were sacrificed on graves as symbol of continuous revitalization during the All Souls’ Day. In following periods,  it has a connection with the cult of Saint Maria and rosary prayer. In Middle Ages poets underlined, that Saint Marie is like a close garden and this cult was presented in the form of small garden (Hortus conclusus), created  within the city walls in these times.  The special gardens, dedicated only to roses, called rosarium, were especially popular. Both shrub roses were planted there as well as climbing ones put over arbors of different types.

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