Florilegium is, on the one hand, the Latin translation of the Greek nomology anthology, which means a collection of selected texts or text extracts in book form, and on the other hand the name for a collection and compilation of individual incoherent verses, orations, bonmots, apophthegmata, biblical passages or quotations of well – known poets and authors. However, the Florilegium can also contain longer excerpts from prose works and consequently all forms of the excerpt, that is excerpts of texts. These collections were frequently collected by the respective excerptor for the instruction in schools (see Chrestomathy), were also used to decorate speeches or sermons, but unbelieved people can fool the reader with their readiness and literary knowledge.
The term comes from the Latin and can be translated into approximately with Blütenlese or Lesefrüchte. Consequently, the translation points in a metaphorical way to what is at stake: namely, a selection or composition of literary flowers, that is, of particular and significant passages from the literature. However, such a selection is very subjective and is decisively influenced and controlled by the preferences of the respective excerptor.
Nevertheless, the inclusion of an author in a Florilegium allows conclusions to be made about the degree of popularity and the popularity of the artist in the respective period (cf literaturepochen), although selected passages are sometimes expanded, shortened and shortened, making an assignment partly more difficult.
As an example Christoph Lehmann’s Florilegium Politicum can be mentioned, which appeared for the first time in 1630 and was subsequently reissued several times. It contains, as the author himself notes, exclusive political sententz / teachings / regulations / and proverbs and can be considered as one of the most extensive collections of this kind in German language. For example, the following can be found:
The food is threefold: good food, drink, good friend, and good talk.
In addition to the classical meaning of the term, the Latin plural form Florilegia has been documented since the Middle Ages. These are works that represent flowers, herbs and plants of all kinds. The colorful illustrations of the plants played a major role and should help to recognize plants. As a result, the singular Florilegium was also used for this purpose.
Such Florilegia were very common, especially in the 17th century, and were partly made for medical or botanical purposes. Accordingly, herbal books were concerned primarily with the medicinal properties of plants, while botanical works were more concerned with classification.
Nevertheless, in most Florilegia, the focus was not on scientific or medical benefit, but rather on the need to represent the beauty of individual plants. For this purpose, indigenous plants were admitted, although the focus was quite often on rare, original or exotic plants and the declared goal was to capture this floristic rarity.