The birth of systematics

Although the origins of systematics can be traced back to Aristotle, it is only in the second half of the sixteenth century, with the enormous increase in the discovery of plants, animals and minerals, that there is a vital need to identify scientific criteria on which to base classifications.

In 1563 Andrea Cesalpino, a medical doctor from Arezzo, established the first herbarium of history that was organized according to scientific criteria. Twenty years later, in De Plantis, he proposed a classification system which followed for the first time precise morphological characters and was not, as previously, based on medicinal or other plant properties. Thus, the modern system of classification criteria was established which later passed through Pier Antonio Micheli and culminated in the eighteenth century with the binomial nomenclature system of Linnaeus.



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