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Full text of "Pliny Natural History Vol VI"

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stacks 570 P72a 

v.6 

Pliny, the Elder, en 



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THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

FOUNDED BY JAMBS LOEB, LL.D. 
EDITED BY 



|T. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. tW. H. D. BOUSE, LITT.D. 

f E. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. 

L. A. POST, M.A. E. H. WARMDsTGTON, M.A., F.E.HIST.SOC. 



PLINY 
NATURAL HISTORY 

VI 

LIBRI XX-XXIH 



PLINY 

NATURAL HISTORY 

WITH AN ENGLISH TBANSLATION 
IN TEN VOLUMES 



VOLUME VI 
LIBRI XX-XXIII 



BY 

W. H. S. JONES, LITT.D., F.B.A., 

HONORARY FEIiOW, ST. CATHAKtNB'S COLLEGE, CAMBBIDOE ' 




CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 



Printed in Great Britain 



PREFACE 

I TAKE over the tftsk of continuing the work of my 
friend, the late Mr. BL Rackham, with many fears 
lest my effort prove an unworthy sequel. 

It is intended to add a complete index of plants at 
the end of Pliny's botanical section. This index is in 
course of preparation, but is proving a colossal task. 
To identify each plant or tree as it occurs would have 
involved many repetitions and cross-references, but a 
few identifications have been inserted in the text 
and notes where they seemed specially needed. 

W. H. S. J. 



INTRODUCTION 

BOOKS XX-XXVII of Pliny's Natural History are 
concerned with the uses of trees, plants and flowers, 
especially in medicine. To understand his treat 
ment of this subject it is necessary to examine the 
diseases he dealt with and the nature of the remedies 
he prescribed. 

DISEASES OF ITALY, AND THEIR NAMES IN PLINY. 

The chief diseases in Pliny's day were those of 
the chest, skin and eyes, together with the various 
forms, intermittent or remittent, of malaria (ague). 
The ordinary infectious fevers smallpox, measles, 
scarlet fever, diphtheria, enteric, influenza were 
apparently unknown. Enteric is doubtful, because 
it is so like certain types of remittent malaria, which 
was very prevalent, that only the microscope can 
distinguish between them. Plague (pestis, pesti 
lential) often appeared in epidemic form, and, when 
not malignant malaria, was probably typhus or 
bubonic plague. The main difficulty met when 
attempting to find modern equivalents for ancient 
diseases is due to the old method of diagnosis, that 
is, by general symptoms. Two cases superficially 
alike were usually called by the same name. Many 
things besides gout were included under podagra, 
many besides leprosy under lepra, many besides 
cancer under carcinoma. 

vii 



INTRODUCTION 

Chest diseases. There is little difficulty in identi 
fying these. Pleurisy is generally referred to 
as laterum dolor, and consumption is phthisis, but 
the Romans did not often use the Greek word 



. 

Skin diseases. Vitiligo included more than one 
kind of psoriasis: alphas (dull white), melas 
(dark) and leuce (bright white). 

Psora was a term for several diseases, including 
leprosy. Often our ** itch." 

Leprae (the singular is late) seems to refer to 
scaly conditions of the skin accompanied by 
pruritus. 

Scabies was not our scabies, which is limited 
to the pustules caused by the itch insect. 
Celsus (V. 28, 16) describes it as a hardening of 
the skin, which grows ruddy, and from it grow 
pustules with itching ulceration. Probably 
several kinds of eczema are included under 
this term. 

Impetigo. The modern meaning of this term 
is rather vague, and the Romans apparently 
used it of some kind of eczema. Celsus (V. 28 S 
17) says that there are four kinds, increasing in 
severity, the fourth being incurable. He says 
that it is like scabies, the ulceration being worse. 

Lichen was used of several sorts of eruption ; 
very often it is ringworm. On the chin it was 
called mentagra. 

Epinyctis (night pustule) caused by fleas and 
bugs. It was also an ailment of the eyes. See 
p. ix. 

Eye diseases. The same overlapping of meanings, 
which makes so difficult the accurate identi- 



INTRODUCTION 

fication of ancient descriptions of disease, meets 
us again when we come to complaints of the eyes. 
These were very common, because dust was 
everywhere, and hygienic rules for keeping it 
uncontaminated were unknown. Moreover, 
there were no mechanical aids, such as spec 
tacles. Pliny mentions aegilops, albugo, argema, 
caligo, epinyctiSy epiphora, glaucoma, hypochysis y 
iTiflammatio, lippitudo, nubeculae, nyctalops, pru- 
rigo, pterygium, scabritia, suffusio, as well as other 
disorders, nervous or functional. Some of these 
names, laying stress on a prominent symptom, 
which is common to more than one eye trouble, 
cannot be safely assigned to any particular 
modern disease, but a few- identifications are 
fairly certain. 

Aegilops. This was a lacrimal fistula, at the angle 
near the nose. 

Albugo. Occurring only in Pliny, meant a white 
ulcer ; it is uncertain of what kind. Albugines 
could occur on the head (XXVI. 160). 

Argema. A small white ulcer, partly on the cornea, 
partly on the sclerotic coat of the eye. 

Caligo. Any dimness, particularly that caused by 
ophthalmia. 

Epinyctis. A sore on the eyelid. See p. viii. 

Epiphora. Any flux from the eye. 

Glaucoma. An opaqueness of the crystalline lens. 

Hypochysis. Cataract. 

Lippitudo. Ophthalmia, inflammation of the eye. 

Nubecula. A cloudy film over the eye, perhaps 
sometimes a form of cataract. 

Nyctalops. One who is afflicted with night 
blindness. 



INTRODUCTION 

Prurigo. Chronic itching of the eye. 

Pterygium* Also called unguis, an inflammatory 

swelling at the inner angle of the lower lid. Also 

whitlow. 
Scabritia. Inflammation of the eyelid. 

It will be seen that often a Latin name can be 
associated only with a symptom or symptoms. 
Moreover, Pliny's nomenclature does not altogether 
coincide with that of Celsus, so that the invaluable 
aid of the latter is not always available. 

Abscesses are called by various names , such as 
carbunculus, collectio, jfurunculus, panus, parotis, tumor. 
The par otis received its name from its position by 
the ear, the panus was a superficial abscess in a hair 
follicle (Spencer on Celsus V. 18, 19), and the others 
probably denoted variations in size or severity. 

There is much confusion in the use of Latin terms 
to denote conditions due to mortification and putre 
faction of the tissues. We have the terms cancer, 
carcinoma, erysipelas, ignis sacer, phagedaena, and 
Pliny's favourite word ulcera, very often qualified 
by an adjective or participle like vetera, manantia, 
putrescentia, serpentia. On the other hand there 
are the modern terms sepsis, erysipelas, lupus, 
shingles, gangrene, cancer. Identifications are often 
difficult, or even impossible, and the medical his 
torian, faced with the Latin names, can do little 
more than make probable guesses. 

Pliny does not use the word erysipelas, but ignis 
sacer, and this may sometimes refer to lupus or to 
shingles (XXVI. 121). Phagedaena is certainly 
gangrene, and so perhaps are ulcera serpentia or 
putrescentia. Superficial malignant disease would 



INTRODUCTION 

be included under carcinoma, but neither Celsus nor 
Pliny says anything about internal cancer, though 
this was known to Hippocrates (Aphorisms VI. 38). 

Podagra presents a problem to the translator. 
" Gout " is really too narrow an equivalent, for 
podagra and chiragra were used of any pain in the 
joints of the feet and hands. Usually, however, our 
gout is meant, unless Dr. Spencer is right when he 
says (Celsus I. 4:64) that chronic lead poisoning, which 
presents the symptoms of gout, may have been 
common at Rome owing to the extensive use of lead 
water-pipes. 

Two terms are very troublesome to the translator 
opisthotonus and orthopnoea, and a third, angina, 
is almost equally so. The diseases concerned are 
discussed by Celsus in IV. 6, 1, IV. 8, 1 and IV. 7, 1. 
These are translated by Dr. W. G. Spencer as 
follows : 

(a) " There is, however, no disease more distress 
ing, and more acute, than that which by a sort of 
rigor of the sinews, now draws down the head to the 
shoulder-blades, now the chin to the chest, now 
stretches out the neck straight and immobile. The 
Greeks call the first opisthotonus, the next empros- 
thotonus, and the last tetanus, although some with 
less exactitude use these terms indiscriminately." 
IV. 6, 1. 

(b) " There is also in the region of the throat a 
malady which amongst the Greeks has different 
names according to its intensity. It consists alto 
gether in a difficulty of breathing ; when moderate 
and without any choking, it is called dyspnoea; 
when more severe, so that the patient cannot breathe 

xi 



INTRODUCTION 

without making a noise and gasping, asthma; but 
when in addition the patient can hardly draw in his 
breath unless with the neck outstretched, ortho- 
pnoea." IV. 8, 1. 

(<?) " Whilst this kind of disease involves the region 
of the neck as a whole, another equally fatal and 
acute has its seat in the throat. We call it angina ; 
the Greeks have names according to its species. 
For sometimes no redness or swelling is apparent, 
but the skin is dry, and breath drawn with difficulty, 
the limbs relaxed; this they call synanehe. Some 
times the tongue and throat are red and swollen, the 
voice becomes indistinct, the eyes are deviated, the 
face is pallid, there is hiccough ; that they call 
cynanche : the signs in common are, that the patient 
cannot swallow nor drink, and his breathing is 
obstructed/' IV. 7, 1. 

According to Jan's Jfndesc, opisthotonus occurs in 
Pliny 24 times, tetanus 9 times, and emprosthotonus 
not at all. According to the same Ind#x y dyspnoea is 
mentioned 4 times, asthma twice, orthopnoea 28 times, 
and suspiriosi (not apparently in Celsus) 34 times. 

The first reaction of a reader is to infer that Pliny 
was lax in his use of these terms, as Celsus says some 
people were in their use of the terms for the various 
forms of tetanus. But Pliny is not an original 
authority ; he is merely a note-taker, borrowing his 
technical terms from other writers, whether Greek 
or Roman. The laxity (if laxity there is) is not 
Pliny's, but that of his sources. It is passible that 
su&piriosus is a word which was in genex*al iitse* and 
not a technical term of the physicians. With the 
Latin text before his eyes, the reader should not be 



INTRODUCTION 

confused if I translate opistkotonus by " opisthotonic 
tetanus/' and any of the breathing complaints 
" asthma." 

It is curious that Pliny makes so few references to 
the common cold. Gravedo, according to Jan's 
Index, occurs 4 times, and destillatio 17 times. 
Of these some,, e.g. XX. 122, refer to catarrh, 
not of the throat and nose, but of the stomach. It 
may be that in ancient times catarrhs were less 
troublesome than to-day, if not absolutely at least 
in comparison with other minor ailments. 

The medical historian feels more confident when 
discussing the meaning ofjfebris. This is sometimes 
just the symptom, high temperature, as we often 
call it, that accompanies so many serious illnesses. 
It can also denote, not a mere symptom, but a disease, 
and then it is almost always malaria that is meant. 
As has been said, the common infectious fevers of 
modern times cannot be identified with any described 
by the ancient medical writers, but malaria can be 
diagnosed with ease and certainty, owing to its 
periodicity, its habitat, its seasonal epidemics, and its 
effect upon the spleen, 

Quartana fobris^ quartan ague, with attacks after 

intervals of two days ; 
tertiana febris, tertian ague, with attacks every 

other day ; 
cottidianaf&bri$) quotidian ague, with attacks every 

day. 

Ther were also, besides these intermittent fevers, 
remittent or subcontinuous forms, which were much 
more serious. Pliny does not mention the xavaos 
and ^trptratos 1 which Hippocrates and Galen deal 

xiii 



INTRODUCTION 

with so fully, but he often speaks of two other 
dangerous forms, phrenitis and lethargus, the former 
characterised by wild delirium, the latter by heavy 
coma. As we should expect, the terms are often 
used to describe, not the disease, but its charac 
teristic symptom, even when that was not due to 
pernicious malaria. 

Malaria is most common in marshy places, and is 
epidemic in gT.iTnm.er and autumn. One of its usual 
sequelae is an enlarged spleen, which is not so often 
heard of in countries free from malaria. As the 
ancients thought that malaria was caused by black 
bile (fjuzAawa ^oA^), ^eAayxoAta and ju-eAayxoAtKos- 
were often used to describe the depressed mental 
condition that tends to accompany or to follow it. 
Pliny refers to melancholici about a dozen times, but 
we cannot be certain that he is speaking of malarial 
melancholia, and not of chronic biliousness. 

REMEDIES AND DRUGS, 

The remedies mentioned in Pliny's prescriptions 
are chiefly herbal, and the chemicals used are mostly 
for external application. Writing for laymen, he is 
concerned almost entirely with what may be called 
home medicines, but the number of these is enor 
mous. The simple, often superstitious, remedies of 
the countryside were at an early date prepared for 
town dwellers by druggists (^ap^ta/co-TrcoAac), who 
are referred to by Aristophanes a and other writers, 
although the contemporary physicians of the Hippo- 
cratic school made little use of drugs, relying on 
regimen and the vis naturae medicatrix to bring about 

a See Clauds 767. These druggists had their "side -lines," 
dyes, poisons and probably charms. 

xiv 



INTRODUCTION 

a cure. By the time of Pliny, however, the use of 
drugs was much more in favour with professional 
physicians, and very common indeed among the 
amateur doctors who treated themselves and their 
families when they fell sick. Sometimes modern 
medicine approves of the prescriptions given in the 
Natural History, but for the most part they are of 
little or no value, and occasionally even dangerous. 
Amulets and other charms, often mentioned, were 
evidently popular, but Pliny himself seems on the 
whole to be non-committal as to their efficacy, 
although he condemns magic in the first chapters of 
Book XXX. 

This faith in drugs and charms may be, at least 
in part, due to the probable increased prevalence of 
malaria in the first century A.D. Ancient medicine 
was powerless against it, and its victims betook 
themselves to drugs, at the same time developing a 
timid inferiority complex with regard to the pre 
disposing causes chill, exposure and fatigue. Among 
the Moralia of Plutarch is an essay on keeping well 
(de sanitate tuenda praecepta). It consists chiefly of 
rules for avoiding " fever " by abstaining from 
excess or strain of all kinds. In fact it seems as 
though the old Greek cult of physical fitness and 
beauty for there was a science of health as well as 
of healing had been replaced by something very 
near to valetudinarianism. 

There is at least one ingredient of the Plinian 
remedies that must have been of great value. Honey 
appears again and again in both potions and external 
applications, full use being made of its healing 
powers. The superseding of honey by sugar has 
been by no means an unmixed blessing. 

xv 



INTRODUCTION 

THE BOTANY OF PLINY. 

The identification of plants mentioned in the 
Natural History is a difficult matter. Pliny was not 
a botanist, but derived his information from books > 
which were often read aloud to him while he took 
notes, and not studied at leisure. Naturally he 
made mistakes due to misunderstandings. Pliny's 
authorities again were sometimes inadequate or 
confused or even wrong. In addition to the diffi 
culties caused by positive error, there is also another 
one due to the fact that the same name was often 
given to more than one plant, and the same plant 
was often called by more than one name. Accord 
ingly even a trained botanist hesitates at times to 
give with any confidence the modern equivalent of 
an ancient name in some particular context. Some 
times, of course, there is no reasonable doubt ; rosa 
is rose, and cepa onion. Often, however, even when 
certain that a Latin or Greek name is generally 
equivalent to an English one, the botanist is not sure 
that a variety included by Pliny, or Thcophnxstus, 
under the former should also be included under the 
latter. The degree of dotibt may vary from a moral 
certainty to a slight suspicion. Typical difficulties 
are those facing the translator when he has to render 
into English asparagus, hyacinthus and stryohnos* To 
keep the Latin name always would be" consistent, 
but cumbersome and pedantic. It seems better to 
give the English name when the risk of error in slight, 
but to keep the Latin when the risk is great* An 
index of plants, 1 * with probable or possible identi 
fications, should give most readers the information 

& This inclox is in course of preparation, and will appear afc 
the end of Pliny's botany books, 
xvx 



INTRODUCTION 

they require. But some inconsistencies and uncer 
tainties are inevitable. 

The resemblance of certain passages in the Materia 
Medico, of Dioscorides to parts of the botanical books 
of Pliny even to some parts outside these books is 
so striking that there must be a close relation between 
them. Scholars without hesitation use the Greek 
text when passing judgment on the readings or 
emendations of the manuscripts of Pliny. Many 
times it is clear that Pliny either saw (or heard read) 
Greek identical, or almost so, with our Dioscorides, 
but blundered badly in translating his authority. 
Among the cases of such blundering mentioned in 
the footnotes to this volume there is a striking 
example in XXIII. 7, where Pliny has cicatricibus 
marcidis, ossibus purulente limosis, but the text of 
Dioscorides reads (V. 5) : rrpos oSXa TrXadapd, 
cSra TrvoppoovvTGi, Here are confused ovXa (gums) 
and oi)\r} (scar), and (unless with Rome editors we 
read auribus for the ossibus of the manuscripts) 
to TO, and ocrra. 

Now Pliny does not include Dioscorides among 
his authorities. Is this an accidental omission ? 
Pliny's pride in acknowledging the sources from 
which he derived his information makes this an 
almost impossible explanation of the relationship 
between the two authors. It is even more unlikely 
that Dioscorides copied Pliny ; the discrepancies, 
for one thing, are obviously the result of a mis 
understanding of Greek, not of Latin, 

There remains a third possibility. Both authors 
may have a common source, from which each made 
large borrowings. It is thought that this common 
source may have been Crateuas, of the first century 

xv ii 



INTRODUCTION 



B.C., a famous herbalist (p^oTo^cs) mentioned by 
both Pliny and Dioscorides. There is an interesting 
(and genuine) fragment of Crateuas that can for 
tunately be compared with Dioscorides II. 176 and 
Pliny XXI. 164:. a Several phrases in Crateuas are 
exactly, or almost exactly, the same as the corre 
sponding phrases in Dioscorides, so that it is certain 
that the latter made full use of the material collected 
by the former. It may be that Pliny, too, read 
Crateuas, but he is not as close to Crateuas as is 
Dioscorides in the passage under consideration, so 
that some hold that Pliny got most of his informa 
tion from one Sextius Niger, whcr, as Pliny tells 
us, wrote in Greek. A yet earlier physician and 
herbalist, Diocles of Carystos, may be the original 
source of all the later writers on materia medica. 
Speculation on such a point is useless, but our know 
ledge is sufficient to show that Pliny had access to 
writings so similar to the work of Dioscorides that 
the resemblances between the two authors can be 
explained without supposing that Pliny was a 
deceitful plagiarist. 

NOTE ON THE MAGI. 

The early history of the Magi is obscure, although 
modern research & has done much to put the main 

* See the German translation of Dioscorides by J. Berendes 
(Stuttgart, 1902), p. 8. See also Wellmann, Dioscorides Vol. 
III. pp. 144-148, especially fr. 4 of Crateuas on p. 144. 

& See e.g. the article in Pauly s.v. magoi, and that in 
Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, gee also the 
admirable summary in How and Wells' Commentary on 
Herodotus Vol. I. Appendix viii, pp. 407-410, and a most 
interesting note by A. D. Nock in The Beginnings of Christianity, 
Part I, by Foakes Jackson and Kirsopp Lake, pp. 164188. 
The writer considers Apion to be Pliny's authority. 

xviii 



INTRODUCTION 

outlines into clear relief. Originally they were a 
local tribe of the Medes, who became a priestly 
caste, thus presenting a curious parallel to the tribe 
of Levi among the Hebrews. Greek tradition had it 
that the Magian religion was introduced among the 
Persians by Cyrus, and there is nothing improbable 
in this belief. It certainly contained much esoteric 
knowledge and priestcraft, but whether any " magic " 
was employed is a matter of dispute ; a fragment of 
Aristotle a expressly denies it, but Herodotus & 
speaks of Magian incantations. This narrow denota 
tion of Magi was gradually widened, resulting 
finally in the use of the word " magician." 

By the beginning of the first century A.D. the 
word had gone half-way on its journey. The Magi 
could be " wise men from the East," and Cicero 
speaks of them as " wise and learned men among the 
Persians," d but Ovid 6 mentions cantusque artesque 
magarum, that is, witches' spells and incantations. 

Pliny devotes the first eighteen sections of his 
thirtieth book to a consideration of the Magi. His 
account of their origin is true in its outlines, though 
combined with much obvious fable. He speaks of 
their art as springing from medicina, reinforced by 
religio and artes matkematicaeJ Some of the Magian 
methods are given in XXVIII. 104 (lucemis, pelvi, 
aqua, pila) and at slightly greater length in XXX. 14 
(aqua, sphaeris, aere, stellis, lucernis, pelvibus, securibus) ; 
they are curiously suggestive of modern fortune- 

a Fr. 36 rrjv yovjTLKrjv payetav ouSe yvcoo-av. 
& See e.g. VII. 191. c See Matthew II. 1, 2. 

d De Div. I. 23, 46 and I. 41, 90. Cf. Juvenal HI. 77. 
Ovid Metamorphoses VH. 195. 

/ Pliny XXX. 1 ; by the last (artes mathematicae) is meant 
astrology. 



INTRODUCTION 

telling. It does not surprise us that in several places 
Pliny speaks of Magian vanitas, so large was the 
element of witchcraft and sorcery. 

By the time of Pliny, however, the word Magus 
had lost much of its association with the East. This 
is well illustrated by a sentence in XVI. 249 : nihil 
kabent Druidae ita suos appellant magos visco et 
arbore in qua gignatur, si modo sit robur, sacratius. 
Mayhoff has here a small " m," as though to mark 
that the word in this context is not a proper, but a 
common noun. Moreover, in 11 of Book XXX 
Pliny speaks of a magices factio a Mose et lanne et 
Lotape ac ludaeis pendens, words suggesting that 
magice in the first century A.D. included much that 
would be called to-day thaumaturgy. Incidentally, 
it may be noticed that in ancient times conjuring 
was not yet distinguished from tl black magic. 51 It 
is easier now to separate honest deception from 
dishonest ; in ancient times they were hopelessly 
confused, as were also legitimate *' suggestion '" and 
witchcraft. A sceptical mind would regard all magice 
as fraud, a superstitious mind would accept it all as 
truly miraculous, and ordinary men were puzzled and 
uncertain. We can be sure, however, that on the 
whole credulity outweighed scepticism, as it did until 
the commonplaces of modern science leavened the 
popular mind. Witches are no longer burned alive, 
and those who entertain superstitious beliefs are 
laughed at. Unless we remember this difference 
between ancient and modem times we cannot fully 
appreciate t&e almost venomous attack of L/ucretias 
on r&Kgia~ 

Pliny's mind was of a very ordinary type, and shows 
of the uncertainty the ordinary man used to 



INTRODUCTION 

feel with regard to the arts of the Magi. He speaks 
of their vanitas and fraudes, but nevertheless gives 
details of their prescriptions and amulets, over sixty 
of them, in contexts dealing with everyday remedies 
and medicines. Perhaps the most interesting 
example of this uncertain attitude occurs in XXVIII. 
85. id quoque convenit, quo nihil equidem libentius 
crediderim, tactis omnino menstrua postibus inritas fieri 
Magorum artes, generis vanissimi. Puny would " like 
to believe " that by merely smearing the door-posts 
the arts of the Magi, <e those arrant quacks/* would 
be " made of no effect." The Magi were a genus 
vanissimuyn y and yet it would be a good thing to 
render their artes harmless ! An ars which is not 
inrita, but must be made so, can scarcely be vamssima. 
In several other passages Pliny expresses his strong 
disapproval of Magism, which he thus dislikes, 
distrusts, and yet fears. 

DRY MEASURES. 

Uncia, *% of a libra or pondus, about 28 grammes. 
Denarius or drachma, y of an uncia, 4. grammes. 
Scripulum, % of an uncia, 1-16 gramme. 
Obolus, % of a denarius, 0-66 gramme, 

LIQUID MEASURES. 

Sextarius, about ^ litre or 500 c.cm. 
Hemina, J litre or 250 c.cm. 
Acetabulum, % sextarius, 63 c.cm. 
Cyathus, % sextarius, 42 c.cm. 

Pliny, while often giving the size of a dose, very 
rarely tell us the number of the doses or the interval 
between each. 

xxi 



INTRODUCTION 

SEASONS, ETC. 

The rising of the Pleiades (10 May) marked the 
beginning of summer. Their setting (11 Nov.) 
marked the beginning of winter. See II. 123, 125 
and XVIII. 222, 223, 225, 248, 309, 313. The 
rising of Arcturus was " eleven days before the 
autumrfal equinox " (II. 124), the setting was on 
13 May fVTIL 1ST). 

MANUSCRIPTS AND EDITIONS. 

The chief manuscripts for Books XX-XXIII 
are : 

F Leidensis, Lipsii n. VII ; XI century. 

G Parisinus latinus 6796 ; XI century or earlier. 

V Leidensis Vossianus fol. n. LXI ; XI century 

or earlier. 

G and V (with D) are supposed to have been once 
one codex. 

d Parisinus latinus 6797 ; XIII century. 

These belong to one family; to the other family 
belong : 

E Parisinus latinus 6795 ; X or XI century. 
R Florentinus Riccardianus, written about 

A.D. 1100. 

x, the better parts of Luxemburgensis (X), a 
manuscript composed from two sources. 

There are, besides these, one or two subsidiary 
authorities', for which see MayhofF vol. III. pp. viii-~ 
xii. 

In , the critical notes " codd." signifies that all, or 
very nearly all, the manuscripts have the reading 
just given; " vulg." the text of the oldest editions 

xxii 



INTRODUCTION 

For Book XX the chief MSS. are FdE, with help 
from V from 186, and from G ( 162-186). For 
XXI the MSS. are VGdRE to 161, where E has a 
gap, and x begins. For XXII we have VdxR to 65, 
VdRE to 71, VGdRE to 135, VdRE to 144 and 
VdE to the end. For XXIII we rely on V, d and E. 

For Book XX particularly, but also for some other 
parts of Pliny, the textual critic is helped by Dios- 
corides and Theophrastus, but most of all by the 
Medicina of Gargilius Martialis, published, with a 
book of prescriptions attributed to Plinius lunior 
(Secundus), by Valentin Rose in 1875. Both are 
taken largely from the Natural History, or perhaps 
from its original sources, thus affording evidence 
that is independent of our MSS. Unfortunately, the 
prescriptions are not verbal quotations, but para 
phrases or summaries, given without naming the 
sources. Rose's edition was the first to be published, 
and Detlefsen could make no use of it ; Mayh off tends 
to attach too much importance to both Plinius 
lunior and Gargilius. The first sentence of the 
former is worth quoting, both because it explains 
why laymen in antiquity were seriously interested 
in medicine, and also because it presents some 
curious parallels to modern patent medicines. 
" Frequenter mihi in peregrinationibus accidit ut 
aut propter meam aut propter meorum infirmitatem 
varias fraudes medicorum experiscerer, a quibusdam 
vilissima remedia ingentibus pretiis vendentibus, 
aliis ea quae curare nesciebant cupiditatis causa 
suscipientibus. * ' 

The value of such excerptors from Pliny for the 
reconstruction of the text is stressed by D. J, Camp- 

Sic, with a v.L experirer. 

xxiii 



INTRODUCTION 

bell in Classical Quarterly for 1932, pp. 116-119. See 
also L. Thorndike, Epitomes of Pliny's Natural History 
in the fifteenth century, in Isis 26 (1936, 7). 



AUTHORITIES. 

Hermolaus Barbarus, Castigationes Plinianae, 

Borne, 1492. 
*Hardouin, Paris, 1685. 

Fee, A. L. A., Histoire Naturelle de Pline, 1826. 
*Delphin Classics, London, 1826 (founded on 

G. Brotier). 
M. Littre, Histoire Naturelle de Pline . . . avec 

. . . traduction, Paris, 1850. 
*Sil%, K. J., Hamburg and Gotha, 1851-8. 
Urlichs, E. L., Vindiciae Plinianae, Gryphiae, 

1853. 

*Jan, L. von (Teubner), 1854-65. 
*Detlefsen, D., Berlin, 1868. 
Wittstein, G. C. 5 Die Nqturgeschichte des Cajus 

PKnius Secundus, Leipzig, 1881. 
Miiller, J.,Der Stildes alter en Plinius, Innsbruck, 

1883. 
*Mayhoff, C., Teubner edition, vols. Ill and IV, 

Leipzig, 1892. 
Also, 

Dioscorides, de materia medica, ed. M. Wellmann, 

Berlin, r 1907. 
Theophrastus, Loeb edition, by Sir Arthur 

Hort, London, 1916. 

Wethered, H. N., The Mind of the Ancient World, 
London, 1937* 

* Tiles are editions. For. modern literature on JPKny 
see also Bcersian, Jahreabericht, Band 273 (1941), pp. 1-43. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

PBEFACE V 

rsrmoDTJ-CTioN vii 

BOOK XX 1 

BOOK XXI . 159 

BOOK xxn 293 

BOOK xxm 413 

IKDEX 531 



XXV 



PLINY : 
NATURAL HISTORY 

BOOK XX 



PLINII: NATURALIS HISTORIAE 
LIBER XX 

I. MAXIMUM hinc opus naturae ordiemur et cibos 
suos homini narrabimus faterique cogemus ignota 
esse per quae vivat. nemo id parvum ac modicum 
existimaverit nominum vilitate deceptus. pax secum 
in his aut bellum naturae dicetur, odia amicitiaque 
rerum surdarum ac sensu carentium et, quo magis 
miremur, omnia ea hominum causa, quod Graeci 
sympathiam et antipathiam appellavere, quibus 
cuncta constant, ignes aquis restinguentibus, aquas 
2 sole devorante, luna pariente, altero alterius iniuria 
deficiente sidere, atque, ut a sublimioribus rece- 
damus, ferrum ad se trahente magnate lapide et 
alio mrsus abigente a sese, adamanta rarum opum 
gaudium, infragilem omni cetera vi et invictum, 
sanguine hircino rumpente, quaeque alia in suis 
locis dicemus paria vel maiora miratu. tantum 
venia sit a minimis sed a salutaribus ordienti pri- 
miunque ab hortensiis. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 



BOOK XX 

I. FROM this point we are going to deal with a The kitchen- 
most important work of nature, namely to tell man 9arden - 
his proper foods, and to force him to acknowledge 
that his means of living are unknown to him. No 
body should be deceived by the meanness of the 
names into considering this a petty or trifling task. 
Herein will be told of Nature at peace or at war with 
herself, along with the hatreds and friendships of 
things deaf and dumb, and even without feeling. 
Moreover, to increase our wonder, all of them are for 
the sake of mankind. The Greeks have applied the 
terms " sympathy " and " antipathy " to this basic 
principle of all things : water putting out fire ; the 
sun absorbing water while the moon gives it birth ; 
each of these heavenly bodies suffering eclipse 
through the injustice of the other. Furthermore, 
to leave the more heavenly regions, the magnetic 
stone draws iron to itself while another kind of 
stone repels it; the diamond, the rare delight of 
Wealth, unbreakable and invincible by all other 
force, is broken by goat's blood. Other marvels, 
equally or even more wonderful, we shall speak of 
in their proper place. I only ask pardon for begin 
ning with trivial though healthful objects. First I 
shall deal with kitchen-garden plants. 

3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

3 II. Cucumin silvestrem esse diximus, multo infra 
magnitudinem sativi. ex eo fit medicamentum 
quod vocatur elaterium suco expresso semini, cuius 
causa nisi maturius incidatur, semen exilit oculorum 
etiam periculo. servatur autem decerptus una 
nocte, postero die inciditur harundine. semen 
quoque cinere conditur ad coercendam suci abun- 
dantiam, qui expressus suscipitur aqua caelesti 
atque subsidit, deinde sole cogitur in pastilles ad 
magnos mortalium usus, obscuritates et vitia ocu- 

4 lorunij genarum ulcera. tradunt hoc suco tactis 
radicibus vitium non attingi uvas ab avibus. radix 
autem ex aceto cocta podagricis inlinitur sucoque 
dentium dolori medetur, arida cum resina impetiginem 
et scabiem quaeque psoram et lichenas vocant, 
parotidas, panos sanat et cicatricibus colorem reddit, 
et foliorum sucus auribus surdis cum aceto instillatur. 

5 III. EJaterio tempestivus est autumno, nee ullum 
ex medicamentis longiore aevo durat. incipit a 
trimatu. si quis recentiore uti velit, pastillos in 
novo fictili igni lento in aceto domet. melius quo 
vetustius, fuitque iam cc annis servatum, ut auctor 
est TheophrastuSy et usque ad quinquagesimum 
annum lucernarum lumina extinguit. hoc enim 

Book XIX. 74. ! ] ^~ 

6 Ge&a in the sense of " eyelid "" is found in Enniua. 
Propertius and Ovid give it the sense of " eye." 

* See note on 216 and Iniiroductidn;, pp. viii-x. 

t<J Lit. ** The cuciim.ber is ripe for elaterium in the autumn." 
Understand cucumis " 

* HJ>. IX. 14 1. 



BOOK XX. n. 3-ni 5. 

II. We have said a that there is a wild cucumber cucumbers. 
much smaller than the cultivated kind. From it ?J^ riteT 
is made the drug called elaterium by pressing the purge. 
juice out of the seed. Unless, to prepare it, the 
cucumber be cut open before it is ripe, the seed 
spurts out, even endangering the eyes. After 
being gathered, the cucumber is kept for one night 
and then cut open on the next day with a reed. 
The seed too is kept in ash to prevent the juice 
from running away. This when pressed out is 
received in rain water, where it falls to the bottom. 
Then it is thickened in the sun, and made into 
lozenges for the great benefit of mankind, being 
good for dim vision, eye diseases and sores of the 
eyelids. & It is said that if the roots of vines are 
touched by this juice the grapes are not attacked by 
birds. The root too when boiled in vinegar is used 
as ointment in cases of gout, and its juice cures 
toothache. Dried and mixed with resin it heals 
impetigo, itch, what are called psora and lichen, 
parotid swellings and superficial abscesses ; c it 
restores the natural colour to scars, while the juice 
of the leaves mixed with vinegar and poured by drops 
into the ears is a remedy for deafness. 

IIL The proper season to prepare elaterium is 
the autumn,* 1 and no drug keeps for a longer period. 
It begins to be potent when three years old ; if it 
is desired to use it earlier, the lozenges must be 
made less harsh by warming them in vinegar in 
a new clay pot over a slow fire. The older it is the 
better, and it has been known to keep, so Theo- 
phrastus e tells us, for two hundred years, and its 
power to put out the flame of a lamp it retains right 
up to the fiftieth year. Indeed, the test^of genuine 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

veri experimentum est, si admotum prius quam 
extinguat scintillare sursum ac deorsum cogat. 

6 pallidum ac leve herbaceo ac scabro melius ac leniter 
amarum. putant conceptus adiuvari adalligato se- 
mine, si terrain non adtigerit, partus vero, si in arietis 
lana alligatum inscientis lumbis fuerit, ita ut pro- 

7 tinus ab enixu rapiatur extra domum. ipsum 
cucumin qui magnificant nasci praecipuum in Arabia, 
mox in Arcadia ; Cyrenis alii tradunt similem helio- 
tropio cucumin * inter folia et ramos provenire mag- 
nitudine nucis iuglandis, semen aut em esse ad 
speciem scorpionum caudae reflexum, sed candidum. 2 

8 aliqui etiam scorpionem 3 cucumin vocant efficacissimo 
contra scorpionis ictum et semine et elaterio. est 4 
ad purgandam utrimque alvum modus pro portione 
virium ab dimidio obolo ad solidum, copiosius necat. 
sic et contra phthiriasim bibitur et hydropicis. inlitum 
anginas et arterias cum melle aut oleo vetere sanat. 

9 IV. Multi hunc esse apud nos qui anguinus 
vocetur, ab aliis erraticus, arbitrantur, quo decocto 
sparsa mures non adtingunt. idem podagris eum 
et articularibus morbis decoctum in aceto inlinunt 
praesentaneo remedio, lumborUm vero dolores se 
mine sole siccato, dein irito, X xx pond ere in 

1 cucumin Mayhojfi cui aut cuius codd. 
20 caudae . . . candiduin.J Ita Sillig: cauda replexa sed 
caitclicla codd* ^ 

3 Posj scorpionem add. eum Warmington. 
* , est Ma&hoff : et codd. 



BOOK XX. in. 5-iv. 9 

elaterium is whether its application makes a flame 
flicker up and down before putting it out. The pale, 
smooth variety is better than the grass-green and 
rough, and is slightly bitter. It is thought that 
conception is aided by cucumber seed if a woman 
keeps it fastened to her body without its having 
touched the ground ; while labour is easier if, with 
out her knowledge, the seed, wrapped in ram's 
wool, be tied to her loins; but it must be hastily 
carried out of the house immediately after delivery. 
As to this cucumber itself, those who sing its praises Varieties of 
tell us that the best variety grows in Arabia, and cucumber - 
the next best in Arcadia; some report that in 
Cyrene grows a cucumber like the heliotrope, of the wad 
size of a walnut, appearing between the leaves and cucumber - 
the branches ; its seed is curled back like a scorpion's 
tail but white in colour. Moreover, some call this 
cucumber " scorpion " -; both its seed and elaterium 
are most effective antidotes to the sting of the 
scorpion. The regular dose as purge or emetic is 
from half to one obolus, according to the idiosyncrasy 
of the patient, a larger dose being fatal. Similar are 
the doses when taken in drink as a remedy for 
phthiriasis and dropsy. Mixed with honey or old olive 
oil it is used to cure quinsy and tracheal affections. 

IV. Many authorities hold that this cucumber 
is the same as that known among us as the serpentine, 
and by some as the stray cucumber, a decoction of 
which spread over things prevents mice from touch 
ing them. The same authorities say that a decoction 
of it in vinegar applied externally gives immediate 
relief to gout and to diseases of the joints; that 
lumbago is cured by the seed dried in the sun, then 
pounded, and administered in doses of twenty denarii 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

hemina aquae dato sanant, tumores subitos inlito 
cum lacte mulierum. purgat eas elaterium, sed 
gravidis abortum facit. suspiriosis prodest, morbo 
vero regio in nares coniectum. lentigines ac maculas 
e facie tollit in sole inlitum. 

10 V. Multi eadem orania sativis cucumeiibus adtri- 
buunt, magni etiam sine iis momenti. namque et 
eorum semen quantum tres digiti adprehenderint 
cum cnmfno tritum potumque in vino tussientibus 
auxiliatur, et phreneticis in lacte mulieris, et 
dysintericis acetabuli mensura, purulenta autem 
expuentibus cum cum i no pari pondere. et iocineris 
vitiis in aqua mulsa. urinam movet ex vino dulci, 
et in renium dolore clysteribus simul cum cumino 
infunditur. 

11 VI. Qui pepones vocantur refrigerant maxime in 
dbo et emolliunt alvum. caro eorum epiphoris 
oculorum aut doloribus inponitur. radix sanat 
ulcera concreta in modum favi, quae ceria vocant. 
eadem concitat vomitiones. siccatur, in farinam 
tunsa datur quattuor obolis in aqua mulsa, ita ut 
qui biberit quingentos passus postea ambulet. haec 

12 farina et in smegniata adicitur. cortex quoque 
vosmttionem movet, faciem purgat. hoc et folia 
cuiuscunaque sativi inlita. eadem cum melle et 
epinyctidas sanant, cum vino canis morsus, item 
natdtlpedae j sepa Graeci vocant, oblongam, pilosis 

a - Pernicious malaria, that form of it which is cha^acferised 
by raving and delirium. See pp. xiii-xiv. 

, *:39CoBiey and wat^r, , . 

j T * ;There are many kinds. See XIX; 65. 

^ -i A PP aren % any rash appearing during the night (e.a. 
tKrough bugs) w^s so called. Se^pTviii. V v 

% , Gr^ek 'OIJTW, "I corrupt"* (or **rot' # ). 
8 



BOOK XX. iv. 9-vi. 12 

in half a sextarius of water, and that sudden tumours 
are cured by a liniment made by mixing it with 
woman's milk. Elaterium promotes menstruation 
but causes abortion when taken by women with child. 
It is good for asthma and also for jaundice when 
injected into the nostrils. Smeared in the sunshine 
on the face, it removes therefrom freckles and spots. 

V. Many authorities assign all these qualities to cultivated 
the cultivated cucumbers, which even apart from 
them is of great importance. For instance, the seed 

too, a three-finger pinch of it, when pounded with 
cummin and taken in wine, is beneficial for coughs, 
for phrenitis a when drunk in woman's milk, a dose 
of an acetabulum for dysentery, and with an equal 
weight of cummin for expectoration of pus. Taken 
in hydromel & it is good for diseases of the liver. 
With sweet wine it is diuretic, while for kidney 
pain it is used with cummin as an enema. 

VI. The gourds called pepones c make a very 
refreshing food, and are also laxative. Their pulp 
is used as an application for fluxes or pains of the 
eyes. The root is a cure for- the hard sores, like 
honey-comb, which they call ceria. It also acts as 
an emetic ; it is dried and pounded into flour, the 
dose being four oboli taken in hydromel, but after it 
has been drunk a walk of half a mile must be taken. 
This flour is also used as an ingredient in skin- 
smoothing cosmetics. The rind too serves as an 
emetic and clears the face of spots. The leaves also 
of any kind of cultivated gourd have when applied 
externally the same effect. The same, mixed with 
honey, also cure night rash, d and mixed with wine 
dog-bites and the bite of multipedes, an insect 
called seps e by the Greeks. It is 3 rather long, with 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

pedibus, pecori praecipue nocivam. morsum tumor 
insequitur et putrescit locus, ipse cucumis odore 
defectum animi refovet. coctos deraso cortice ex 
oleo, aeeto et melle iucundiores esse certum est. 

13 VII. Cucurbita quoque sllvestris invenitur, cro^^os". 
a Graecis appellata, intus 1 inanis, unde et nomen, 
digital! crassitudine, non nisi in saxosis nascens. 
hums conmanducatae sucus stomacho admodum 
prodest. 

14 VIII. Colocynthis vocatur alia, ipsa plena semine, 
sed minor quam sativa. utilior pallida quam her- 
bacea. arefacta per se inanit alvum. infusa quoque 
clysteribus intestinorum omnibus vitiis medetur et 
renium et lumborum et paralysi. eiecto semine 
aqua mulsa in ea decoquitur ad dimidias, sic tutissimo 

15 infunduntur oboli quattuor. prodest et stomacho 
farinae aridae pilulis cum decocto melle sumptis. 
in morbo regio semina eius vn sumuntur et protinus 
aqua mulsa. carnes, eius cum absinthio ac sale 
dentium dolorem tollunt, sucus vero cum aceto 
calefactus mobiles sistit. item spinae et lumborum 
ac coxendicum dolor es, cum oleo si infricetur. 
praeterea, mirum dictu, semina eius si fuerint pan 
numero in linteo adalligata febribus liberare dicuntur 

16 quas Graeci periodicas vocant, Sativae quoque 
derasae sucus tepefactus <twbus medetur, caro eius 
interior sine semine <jlavis, pedtmx et suppurationibus 

. fer& omties codd. 



i , :<r.&. i^ln*ee for tlertians, four for quartans. 
Ip 



BOOK XX. vi. 12-vin. 16 

hairy legs, and is particularly harmful to cattle. 
The bite is followed by swelling, the wound sup 
purating. The cucumber itself by its smell revives 
those who have fainted. When peeled and cooked 
in oil, vinegar and honey, cucumbers are, it is firmly 
held, more pleasant to the taste. 

VII. There is also found a wild gourd, called by 
the Greeks ao/z^o?, hollow inside (whence its name), 
of the thickness of a finger, growing only in rocky 
soils. If it be chewed the juice is very beneficial 
to the stomach. 

VIII. Another kind of wild gourd is - called 
colocynthis. The fruit is smallerthan the cultivated, 
and full of seed. The pale variety is more useful 
than the grass-green. Taken by itself when dried it 
is a drastic purge. Used also as an enema an injection 
is a remedy for all complaints of the bowels, of the 
kidneys, and of the loins, as well as for paralysis. 
After the seed has been picked out, hydromel is 
added and boiled down to one half, which gives a 
very safe strength for an injection of four oboli. 
The stomach is benefited also by taking pills made 
of the dry powder mixed with boiled honey. In 
jaundice seven seeds of it are taken, to be followed 
immediately by hydromel. The pulp added to worm 
wood and salt cures toothache, while its juice warmed 
with vinegar makes loose teeth firm. Rubbed on 
with oil it likewise relieves pains of spine, loins and 
hips. Moreover, wonderful to relate, an equal 
number of its seeds, fastened to the body in a cloth, 
is said to reduce those fevers which the Greeks call 
periodic. The warmed juice, also, of the shredded 
cultivated colocynthis cures ear-ache, and its inner 
pulp without the seed corns on the feet, as well as 

ii 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quae Graeci vocant aTroar^fwrra. decoctae autem 
universae sucus dentium motus stabilit et dolores 
inhibet, vinum cum ea fervefactum oculorum etiam 
impetus. foHa eius cum recentibus cupressi con- 
tusa et inposita, ipsa quoque tosta in argilla ac 

17 trita cum adipe anseris vulneribus medetur. nee 
non ramentis corticis recens podagras refrigerat, et 
ardores capitis, infantium maxime, et ignes sacros 
vel isdem strigmentis inpositis vel seminibus. sucus 
ex strigmentis inlitus cum rosaceo et aceto febrium 
ardores refrigerat. aridae cinis inpositus mire 
combusta sanat. Chrysippus medicus damnabat 
eas in cibis, sed omnium consensu stomacho utilissimae 
iudicantur et interaneorum vesicarumque exulcera- 
tionibus. 

18 IX. Est et rapo vis medica. perniones fervens 
inpositum sanat, item frigus pellit e pedibus. aqua 
decocti eius fervens podagris etiam frigidis medetur, 
et crudura tusum cum sale cuicumque vitio pedum. 
semen inlitum et potum in vino contra serpentes et 
toxica salutare esse proditur, a multis vero antidoti 

19 vim habere in vino et oleo. Democritus in totum 
a abdicavit in cibis propter inflationes, Diocles 
magnis laudibus tulit, etiam venerem stimulari ab iis 
professus, item Dionysius, magisque si eruca con- 
toentur, tosta quoque articulorum dolori cum adipe 
pTodesse. 



tf For impetus in the sense of inflammation, see p. '272. 
ft Bossihly shingles; see Ini^QdTiction^ p. xv ; \ 
^ITJ 1 ^ is. ,spme doubt abp?^% the 
Carious kinds ofrapum 



12 



BOOK XX. VIIT. i6-ix. 19 

the suppurations called by the Greeks 
The juice obtained by boiling down the whole pulp 
along with the seeds makes loose teeth firm and stops 
toothache, and a boiled mixture of it with wine stops 
inflammation of the eyes. An application of the 
pounded leaves with fresh cypress leaves, or of the 
fruit alone, roasted in a clay pot, reduced to powder 
and added to goose grease, Is a cure for wounds. 
Moreover, when fresh, with shreds of its bark it cools 
gout and inflammations of the head, especially of 
babies, and erysipelas & by the application to the part 
affected of the same shreds, or of the seeds. The 
juice from scrapings, mixed with rose-oil and vinegar, 
makes a liniment which cools the heat of fevers. 
The dust of the dried fruit applied to burns is wonder 
fully healing. Chrysippus the physician disapproved 
of gourds as food, but there is a general agreement 
that they are very beneficial to the stomach, and 
also for ulceration of the intestines and bladder. 

IX. The turnip c too has its medicinal properties. 
A hot application cures chilblains, besides preventing 
the feet from being .chilled. A hot decoction of it is 
good even for cold gout, and raw turnip, pounded and 
mixed with salt, for every ailment of the feet. The 
seed, made into liniment or drunk in wine, is said 
to protect against snake bites and poisons ; many 
moreover hold that taken in wine and oil it serves 
as an Antidote. Democritus entirely disapproved 
of the turnip as a food on the ground that it causes 
flatulence ; Diodes, however, praised it highly, main 
taining that it is also aphrodisiac. Dionysius agrees, 
holding that its effect is greater" when it is seasoned 
with rocket, and that, when roasted and made into an 
ointment Mth grease, it is good for pain in the j dints. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

20 X, Silvestre rapum in arvis maxime nascitur, 
fruticosum, semine candido, duplo maiore quam 
papaver. hoc ad levigandam cutem in facie totoque 
corpore utuntur mixta farina pari mensura ervi, 
hordei et tritici et lupini. radix ad omnia inutilis. 

21 XI. Naporum duas differentias et in medicina 
Graeci servant, angulosis foliorum caulibus, flore 
aneti, quod bunion vocant purgationibus feminarum 
et vesicae et urinae utile decoctum, potum ex aqua 
rnulsa vel suci drachma, semen dysintericis tosturxi 
triturnque in aquae calidae cyathis quattuor. sed 
urinam inhibet, si non lini semen una bibatur. 
alterum genus buniada appellant et raphano et rapo 
simile, seminis praeclari contra venena. ob id et in 
antidotis utuntur illo. 

22 XII. Raphanum et silvestrem esse diximus. lau- 
datissimus in Arcadia, quamquam et alibi nascitur, 
utilior urinae dumtaxat ciendae, cetero aestuosus. 
in Italia et armoraciam vocant. 

23 XIII* Et sativi vero praeter ea quae circa eos 
dicta sunt stomachum purgant, pituitam extenuant, 
urinam concitant, bilem detrahunt. praeterea cor 
tices in .vino decocfi mane poti ad ternos cyathos 
comniinuunt et eiciunt calculos. iidem in posca 

24 de,coctat contra serpentium morsus inlinuntur. ad 
tussiim etiam mane ieiunis raphanus prodest x cum 

1 raphanos prodest ease Mayhoff. 



, ? XJX. 82. It is the horse-radish 
*,With MayhofTs reading ; "It is go< 

mrfifl^Aa *+ n " , 5 e 



good for a couch to eat 
etc." , 



14 



BOOK XX. x. 20-xin. 24 

X. Wild turnip grows chiefly in fields ; it is bushy, 
with a white seed, which is twice as big as that of 
the poppy. For smoothing the skin of the face or 
of the whole body it is used when mixed with equal 
parts of the meal of vetches, barley, wheat and 
lupins. The root is not good for anything. 

XL The Greeks retain in pharmacology also two 
varieties of navews. The one with angular leaf 
stalks, and a flower like that of dill, called bunion, 
is beneficial for the purgings of women, for the 
bladder and for the urine, in the form of a decoction, 
drunk in hydromel, or in a drachma of the juice ; the 
seed, roasted and ground, taken in four cyathi of 
warm water, is good for dysentery. It checks urine, 
however, if a linseed drink be not taken with it. The 
other kind of navew is called bunias ; it is like the 
radish and turnip, its seed being a splendid remedy 
for poisons, for which reason it is also used in 
antidotes. 

XII. We have said a that there is also a wild Radishes of 
radish. The most popular kind is found in Arcadia, J 
although it also grows elsewhere. It is rather useful 

as a diuretic. This is its only merit, for in other 
respects it is heating. In Italy it is also called 
armoracia. 

XIII. Cultivated radishes moreover, besides what 
has been said about them, purge the stomach, loosen 
phlegm, promote urine and bring away bile. In 
addition, a decoction of the skin in wine, drunk in 
the morning up to three cyathi, break up and 
eliminate gall-stones. A decoction of the same in 
vinegar and water is used as liniment for the bites 
of serpents. The radish too is good for a cough * 
if taken with honey in the morning on an empty 

15 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

melle, semen eorum tostum ipsumque conmandu- 
catum, adligato raphano aquam foliis eius decoctis 
blbere vel sucum ipsius cyathis binis contra phthi- 
riases, phlegmon! ipsos inlinere tusos, livori vero 
recenti corticem cum inelle, veternosis autem quam 
acerrimos mandere, semenque tostum, dein contri- 

25 turn cum melle suspiriosis. iidem et contra venena 
prosunt, cerastis et scorpionibus adversantur, vel 
ipso vel semine infectis manibus inpune tractaveris, 
inpositoque raphano scorpiones moriuntur salu- 
tares et contra fungorum aut hyoscyami venena 
atque, ut Nicander tradit, et contra sanguinem tauri. 
contra viscum quoque dari Apollodori duo iubent, 
sed Citieus semen ex aqua tritum, Tarentinus sucum. 
lienem item extenuant, ioclneri prosunt et lumborum 
doloribus, hydropicis quoque ex aceto aut sinapi 
sumpti et lethargicis et comitialibus et melancholicis. 

26 Praxagoras et iliosis dandos censet, Plistonicus et 
coeliacis. Intestinorum etiam ulcera sanant ac 
purulenta praecordiorum, si ' cum melle edantur. 
quidam ad haec coquere eos in luto 1 malunt, sic et 
feminas purgari. ex aceto aut e melle sumpti intes- 

1 luto inlitos MayJuyff: f in Into inlitos codd. 



a I.e. ** ho^ed viper," 

* Nicander, Alex. 330, 430, 527. 

* For melancholia see 65, 93 and note on 227; for 
ieth&rgusr see Introduction, p. xiv. ; 

, ;>* A severe kind of colic. See Celsns IV. 20, 1. 
. * A disease of the bowels. See Celsus IV. 19, 1. 
'* Praecordia may mean: (I) the chest; (2) the region 
over the diaphragm; (3) the two hypochondria in the tipper 
abdomen below the ribs. Here the iSbst meaning is mot likely, 
as " ulcers of the intestines " hav^ 'jupt been mentioned. 

16 



BOOK XX. xin. 24-26 

stomach ; its seed too when roasted and chewed by 
itself. To use a radish as an amulet and to drink 
either a decoction of its leaves in water or its juice 
neat in doses of two eyathi is good for phthiriasis. 
Good for inflammation is a liniment of radishes crushed 
by themselves, and for a fresh bruise a liniment made 
from the skin with honey. Lethargic persons are 
benefited by eating them at their hottest, asth 
matics by the seed, first roasted and then beaten 
up with honey. Radishes are also useful for poisons, 
counteracting the sting of the cerastes a and of the 
scorpion. With hands rubbed with radish or its 
seed you may handle these creatures without fear, 
and a radish placed on scorpions kills them. Radishes 
too counteract the poisons of fungi and of henbane, 
and moreover, as Nicander 6 tells us, the effects of 
drinking bull's blood. Both the physicians with the 
name of Apollodorus prescribe radishes to be given 
for mistletoe poisoning; but Apollodorus of Citium 
recommends the pounded seed in water, he of 
Tarentum the juice. Radishes also reduce the size 
of the spleen, and are good for the liver and pains 
in the loins; taken also with vinegar or mustard 
they are beneficial in cases of dropsy, lethargus, 
epilepsy and melancholia. Praxagoras would ad 
minister it to patients with iliac/ and Plistonicus 
to those with coeliac disease.* If eaten with honey 
they also cure ulcers of the intestines and sup 
purations of the chest./ Some for these purposes 
prefer to cook them in mud ; Q if so taken they pro 
mote, according to them, the menstrual discharge. 
Taken with vinegar or honey they bring away 

* With MayhofTs reading: "to smear them over with 
mud before cooking." 



PLINY: NATUBAL HISTORY 

tinorum animalia detrahunt, iidem ad tertias decocto 
eorum poto cum vino enterocelicis prosunt, san- 

27 guinem quoque inutilem sic extrahunt. Medius ad 
haec et sanguinem excreantibus coctos dari iubet, 
et puerperis ad lactis copiam augendam, Hippocrates 
capitis mulierum defluvia perfricari raphanis, et 
super umbilicum inponi contra tormenta vulvae. 
reducunt et cicatrices ad colorem. semen quoque 
ex aqua inpositum sistit ulcera quae phagedaenas 

28 vocant. Democritus venerem hoc cibo stimulari 
putat, ob id fortassis voci nocere aliqui tradiderunt. 
folia quae in oblongis dumtaxat nascuntur, excitare 
oculorum aciem dicuntur, ubi vero acrior raphani 
medicina admota sit, hysopum dari protinus imperant. 
haec antipathia est. et aurium gravitati sucum 
raphani instillant. narn vomituris summo cibo esse 
eos utilissimum est. 

29 XIV. Pastinacae simile hibiscum, quod molochen 
agrian vocant et aliqui TrAeiaroAo^etav, ulceribus, 
cartilagini, ossibus fractis medetur. folia eius ex 
aqua pota alvum solvunt, serpentes abigunt, apium, 
vesparum, crabronum ictibus inlita naedentur. 
radicem eius ante solis ortum erutam inyolvunt lana 
coloris quern nativum, vocant, praeterea ovis quae 
feminam peperit,, strumisque vel suppuratis alligant. 
quidam ad hunc usum auro efFodiendam^ censent, 

a J.e. esrtravasated. b See Introduction, p. X. 

c This is a Flinian use of navn. 
* gl> 128-, fc. 6. ' 

18 



BOOK XX. xin. 26-xiv. 29 

intestinal worms ; a decoction of them boiled down 
to one third, drunk with wine, is good for intestinal 
hernia ; so taken they draw off superfluous a blood. 
For these purposes and for spitting of blood Medius 
prescribes that they should be given cooked, as well 
as to women lying-in to increase the supply of milk ; 
Hippocrates that radishes should be rubbed on the 
head of women when the hair falls off, and that they 
should be placed on the navel for pains in the womb. 
They also bring scars back to the original colour of 
the skin. An application also of the seed soaked in 
water arrests ulcers called phagedaenae. 6 Demo- 
critus thinks that as a food radishes are aphrodisiac ; 
for this reason, perhaps, some have maintained that 
they are injurious to the voice. The leaves, but only 
those of the long radish, are said to improve the eye 
sight ; should however too strong a dose of radish be 
applied as a remedy, they prescribe the immediate 
use of hyssop, for it is antipathetic. For deafness 
the juice of the radish is dropped into the ear. But, 
for those who would vomit, it is very useful to eat 
radishes after a meal. 

XIV. Like the parsnip is the hibiscum, which some Marsh 
call the wild mallow, and others TrAetcrroAo^eta ; d maMow - 
it is a cure for ulcers and for broken cartilages and 
bones. The leaves, taken in water, relax the 
bowels ; they keep serpents away, and used as a 
liniment heal the stings of bees, wasps and hornets. 
Its root dug up before sun-rise is wrapped in wool of 
the colour called " natural," taken moreover from 
a ewe that has given birth to a ewe lamb, and bound 
on scrofulous sores, even when they have suppurated. 
Some think that when it is to bd used for this purpose 
the root should be dug up with a tool of gold, care 

19 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cavendumque ne terram adtingat. Celsus et po- 
dagris quae sine tumore sint radicem eius in vino 
decoctana inponi iubet. 

30 XV. Alterum genus est staphylinus, quod pasti- 
nacam erraticam vocant. eius semen contritum et in 
vino potum tumentem alvum et suffocatio v nes mulierum 
doloresque lenit in tantum ut vulvas corrigat, inlitum 
quoque e passo ventri earum prosit; et viris vero 
prosit cum panis portione aequa tritum ex vino 
potum contra ventris dolor es. pellit et urinam, et 
phagedaenas ulcerum sistit recens cum melle in- 

31 positum vel aridum farinae inspersum. 1 radicem 
eius Dieuches contra iocineris ac Herds ac lumborum 
et renium vitia ex aqua mulsa dari iubet, Cleo- 
phantus et dysintericis veteribus. Philistio in lacte 
coquit et ad stranguriam dat radicis uncias quattuor, 
ex aqua hydropicis, similiter et opisthotonicis et 
pleuriticis et comitialibus. habentes earn feriri a 
serpentibus negantur, aut qui ante gustaverint non 
laedi. percussis inponitur en in axungia, folia contra 

32 cruditates manduntur. Orpheus amatorium inesse 
staphylino dixit, fortassis quoniam venerem stimulari 
hoc cibo certum est. ideo conceptus adiuvari aliqui 
prpdiderunt. ad reliqua et sativa pollet. efficacior 
tamen silyestris magisque in petrosis nata* semen 
sativae quoque contra scorpionum ictus ex vino aut 

1 aridae farina (aut -e) iuspersum (aut^ -ram) codd. : arida 
fariaa irtspersa MayTioffi sed mde Canvpbdl, Classical Quarterly 9 
1932, p. 119. " , L 



IV. 31, 4. 

fr Bor inspergo ^rblj dative see XIX;. 53. With MayhofE's 
reading: "dry tqtxc JiaykLg been sprinkled on it." 



20 



BOOK XX. xiv. 2 9 -xv. 32 

being- taken not to let it touch the ground. Celsus 
too prescribes a decoction of the root in wine as a 
liniment for cases of gout without swelling. 

XV. Another kind is staphylinus, which they 
call stray parsnip. Its seed, crushed and taken in 
wine, soothes a swollen belly, and the hysterical 
chokings and pains of women, to such an extent 
that it restores the womb to normal, benefits then- 
abdomen, moreover, if applied in raisin wine, bene 
fiting men also when pounded with an equal part of 
bread and drunk in wine as a cure for belly-ache. 
It is diuretic also, and if applied fresh with honey, 
or after being sprinkled dry on flour, 6 it stays 
phagedaenic ulcers. Its root, taken in hydromel, 
Dieuches prescribes against affections of the liver, 
spleen, loins and kidneys ; Cleophantus in cases also of 
chronic dysentery. Philistion boils it in milk; for 
strangury he prescribes four ounces of the root, giving 
it in water for dropsy, likewise for those stricken by 
opisthotonic c tetanus, pleurisy and epilepsy. It is 
said that those who carry it are not bitten by ser 
pents, and that those who have eaten of it, if bitten, 
receive no hurt ; for bites it is applied with axle- 
grease, and its leaves are chewed as a remedy for 
indigestion. Orpheus said that there is in staphy- 
linus a love-philtre, perhaps because it is a proved 
fact that when eaten it is an aphrodisiac ; for which 
reason some have declared that by it conception is 
aided. For all other purposes the cultivated kind 
too is J>bwerful, but the wild plant is more effidacious, 
especially that growing on rocky soils. The seed of 
the cultivated kind too is a cure for the sting of 

c The form of tetanus when the sufferer rests on his heels 
and the back of his head. See pp. xi and 368, n. a. 

21 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

posca salutare est. radice eius circumscalpti dentes 
dolore liberantur. 

33 XVI. Syria in hortis operosissima, unde quoque 
in proverbium 1 Graecis multa Syrorum olera. simil- 
limam staphylino herbam serit quam alii gingidion 
vocant, tenuius tantum et amarius eiusdemque 
effectus. estur coctum crudumque stomachi magna 
utilitate, siccat enim ex alto omnes eius umores. 

34 XVTL Siser erraticum sativo simile est et effectu : 
stomac^um excitat, fastidium absterget ex aceto 
laserpiciato sumptum aut ex pipere et mulso vel ex 
garo. urinam ciet, ut Ophion credit, et venerem. 
in eadem sententia est et Diocles, praeterea cordi 
convenire convalescentium aut post multas vomitio- 

35 nes perquam utile. Heraclides contra argentum 
vivum dedit, et veneri subinde ofiensanti 2 aegrisque 
se recolligentibus. Hicesius ideo stomacho inutile 
videri dixit, quoniam nemo tres siseres edendo con- 
tinuaret, esse tamen utile convalescentibus ad vinum 
transeuntibus. sativi privatim sucus cum lacte 
caprino potus sistit alvum. 

36 XVIII. Et quoniam plerosque similitudo nominum 
Graecorum confundit 3 conteximus et de sili, sed hoc 
est vulgatae notitiae. 3 optimum Massiliense, lato 
enim grano et fulvo est, secundum Aethiopicurft 

X j nude qupqpae in proverbium Detlefsen : undiq[p.e in pro- 
v^rbipiii^GOiii.^ Mayhoff coni. utique m prQvqrbio. Pro 
iindiqne Wdrrnington coni. unde venit vel unde abiit. 

2 Veiierem subinde ofEensantem Mayhoff: veneri et offen- 
, santem codd^ . ' , 

3 sed . . . notitiae uncis incL Mayhoff. 

~~*~' "' * See pp. 364 ff, 

22 



BOOK XX. xv. 32-xviii. 36 

scorpions when taken in wine or vinegar and water. 
Its root used as a dentifrice is a cure for tooth 
ache. 

XVI. In Syria very great pains are taken over 
kitchen-gardens ; hence the Greek proverb : ** Syrians 
have plenty of vegetables. " They sow a vegetable 
called by some gingidion that is very like staphylinus, 
only it is slighter and more bitter, though its pro 
perties are the same. It is eaten, cooked or raw, 
with great advantage to the stomach, for it dries up 
all its humours, however deep these may He. 

XVII. Wild (or stray) skirret is like the culti- 
vated kind and has similar properties. It stimulates 
the appetite, banishing distaste for food, if taken in 
vinegar and silphium, or with pepper and honey wine, 
or if you like with fish sauce. It is both diuretic, as 
Ophion believes, and an aphrodisiac. Diocles too is 
of the same opinion, and moreover thinks that it acts 
as a cordial in convalescence, or is very useful after 
many vomitings. Heraclides prescribed it for mer 
cury poisoning, for occasional impotence and in 
convalescence. Hicesius said that the reason why 
it appeared to be harmful to the stomach was that 
no one could eat three skirrets in succession ; adding 
however that it was beneficial to convalescents who 
are beginning to take wine again. The juice, 
especially of the cultivated variety, checks looseness 
of the bowels if drunk with goats' milk. 

XVIII. Since most people confuse the two similar 
Greek names, aiaapov and creaeXi (aiXi), we have 
added some account of sili or hartwort, though it is a 
plant generally known. The best is that of Massilia, 
for its seed is broad and yellow; the next best, 
the Aethiopian, is darker, and the Cretan has the 

25 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nigrius, Creticum odoratissimum omnitim. radix 
iucundi odoris est. semen esse et vultures dicuntur. 
prodest homini ad tussim veterem, rupta,, convulsa 
in vino albo potum, item opisthotonicis et iocinerurn 
vitiis et torminibus et stranguriae duarum aut trium 

37 lingularum mensura. sunt et folia utilia, ut quae 
partus adiuvent etiam quadripedum. hoc maxime 
pasci dictmtur cervae pariturae. inlinuntur et igni 
gacro, multumque in summo cibo concoctionibus 
confert, vel folio vel semine. quadripedum quoque 
alvum sistit sive tritum potui infusum sive mandendo 
commanducatum. e sale bourn morbis medetur vel 
si tritum infunditur. 1 

38 XIX. Inula quoque a ieiunis commanducata derites 
confinnat. si eruta est, ut 2 terram non adtingat, con- 
dita tussim emendat, radicis vero decoctae sucus 
taenias pellit, siccatae autem in umbra farina tussi 
et convulsis et inflatianibus et arteriis medetur. 
venenatorum morsus abigit. folia ex vino lumborum 
dolori inlinuntur. 

39 XX. Cepae silvestres non sunt. sativae olfactu 
ipso et delacrimatione caligini medentur, magis vero 
suci inunctione. somnum etiam facere traduntur et 
ulcera oris sanare comnaanducatae cum pane, et 
cards morsus virides ex aceto inlitae aut sicca cum 
naelle 3 'et ' vino, it& ut post diem terbium solvantur. 
sic et'trita sanant^ coctam in cinere et epiphoris 

1 commendatturi sale, bonin. morbis sic tritum 



,* s| eruta est, ut Detlefsen : si, ufc eruta e^t Mctyfooff, si ut 
eruta ^st et codd. , , , . , 

\ I*pst cum melle lacunam esse yutat J 



a With MayboflE*s reading : '-\y-r |aY>uxed with salt' 
they eat it. So pounded,, it is injeclbed for diseases of cattja." 
Infunditur may mean, " is mied with their drink/* 
24 



BOOK XX. xvm. 36-xx. 39 

strongest smell of all. The root has a pleasant 
smell, and the seed, it is said, even the vultures eat. 
When drunk in white wine it is beneficial to man for 
chronic cough, ruptures and convulsions; likewise 
for opistho tonic tetanus, affections of the liver, colic 
and strangury, in doses of two or three spoonfuls. 
The leaves also are useful because they aid parturi 
tion, even that of quadrupeds ; it is said that does, 
when about to give birth, make this their special food. 
The leaves are also applied to erysipelas, and diges 
tion is much helped if the leaf or seed be eaten after 
food. It arrests also looseness of bowels in quad 
rupeds, either pounded and mixed with then- drink, 
or chewed up when they eat their food. It acts as a 
cure for diseases of oxen, if taken with salt or pounded 
and injected. 

XIX. Elecampane too chewed by people fasting Elecampane, 
strengthens the teeth. If it is taken from the ground 

so as not to touch it, a confection of it is healing for 
a cough; the juice moreover of the boiled root 
expels worms, and dried in the shade its powdered 
form cures cough, convulsions, flatulence and affec 
tions of the trachea. It keeps off the bite of poisonous 
creatures. An application of the leaves steeped in 
wine is used for lumbago. 

XX. There are no wild onions. Cultivated onions, Onions. 
by the running caused by the mere smell, is a cure 

for feebleness of vision; an even better cure is to 
apply to the eye some of the juice. Onions are also 
said to induce sleep, and chewed with bread to heal 
sores in the mouth ; fresh onions applied in vinegar, 
or dry with honey and wine, dog-bites, provided that 
the bandage is taken off three days after. Applied 
in the same way they also heal abrasions. An pnion 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

multi inposuere cum farina hordeacia et genitalium 

40 ulceribus. suco et cicatrices oculorum et albugines 
et argema inunxere, et serpentium morsus et omnia 
ulcera cum melle, item auricularum * cum lacte 
mulierum, et in isdem sonitum aut gravitatem 
emendantes cum adipe anserine aut cum melle 

-stillavere. et ex aqua bibendum dederunt repente 

41 dbmutescentibus. in dolore quoque ad dentes 
conluendos instiUavere et plagis bestiarum omnium, 
privatim scorpionum. alopecias fricuere et psoras 
tusis cepis. coctas dysintericis vescendas dedere 
et contra lumborum dolores, purgamenta quoque 
earum cremata in cinerem inlinentes ex aceto ser 
pentium morsibus, ipsasque multipedae ex aceto. 

42 Reliqua inter medicos mira diversitas. proximi in- 
utiles esse praecordiis et concoctioni, inflationemque 
et sitiin facere dixerunt. Asclepiadis schola ad 
colorem quoque validum profici hoc cibo et, si ieiuni 
cotidie edant, firmitatem valetudinis custodiri, 

43 stomacho utfles esse, spiritus agitatione ventreni 
inollire, haemorrhoidas pellere 2 subditas pro balanis, 
sucum cum suco feniculi contra incipient es hydropises 
mire proftcere, item contra anginas cum ruta et melle, 
excitaii eadem lettiargicos. Varro quae sale et 
aceto perfusa 3 est arefactaque vermiculis non infestari 
auctor est. 

1 MaAfhoff lacunam, indicat Dioscoridem secutus* 
, f, pellere wdg. t aperire MayJwff (ex Diosc.) : appellere codd- 

3 peifesa' Detlefsen : pisa codd. : pista Mayhoff, gui tamen 
ooiiita malit. 



1 4U eye-disease of which iHmafairal whiteness is a symptom. 

^ An "eye-disease of which a white speck on the black of the 

y& is a^ symptom. Diseases of the eyes were very common 



BOOK XX. xx. 39-43 

cooked in ash many have applied with barley flour to 
fluxes of the eyes, and to sores of the genitals. The 
juice of onions they used as ointment for eye-sores, 
albugo a and argema, & with honey for serpent bites 
and all kinds of ulcers, with woman's milk for sore 
ear-laps, and dropped it into them with goose grease 
or honey for singing or hardness of hearing. Diluted 
with water it was prescribed for those suddenly smit 
ten with dumbness. In toothache it was poured by 
drops into the mouth to rinse the teeth; likewise 
on to wounds made by any wild beasts, especially to 
those of scorpions. In mange and itch crushed onions 
have been rubbed on the places affected. Boiled 
onions were given to eat to those affected by dysentery 
or lumbago ; onion-peelings burnt to ash were applied 
in vinegar to serpent bites, and onions themselves 
in vinegar for those of the multipede. Apart from 
what has been said, there are remarkable differences 
of opinion among physicians. The latest opinion 
holds that they are injurious to the viscera and the 
digestion, causing, it is said, flatulence and thirst. 
The school of Asclepiades holds that, used as food, 
onions promote a healthy complexion, and, if they 
are eaten daily on an empty stomach, preserve a 
good state of health, are useful to the stomach, 
loosen the bowels by putting the air in motion, 
disperse haemorroids when used as a suppository, and 
the juice, added to that of fennel, is very beneficial 
in cases of incipient dropsy ; added to rue and honey 
it is used for quinsy, and for dispelling lethargus. 
Varro is our authority that an onion steeped in salt 
and vinegar, and then dried, is not attacked by worms. 

in antiquity, being largely due to infected dust. See pp. 
viii x. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

44 XXI. Pomim sectivum profluvia sanguinis sistit 
naribus contrito eo obturatis, vel gallae mixto aut 
mentae, item ex abortu profluvia poto suco cum lacte 
mulieris. 1 tussi etiam veteri et pectoris ac pulmonis 
vitiis medetur, inlitis foliis sanantur vari et ambusta 
et epinyctides ita vocatur ulcus, quae et syce, in 
angulo oculi perpetuo umore manans ; quidam eodern 
nomine appellant pusulas liventes ac n'octibus in- 

45 quietantes et alia ulcera cum melle tritis, 2 vel 
bestiarum morsus ex aceto, item serpentium alio- 
rumque venenatorum, aurium vero vitia cum felle 
caprino vel pari mensura mulsi, stridores cum lacte 
mulieris, capitis dolor es, si in nares fundatur, dormi- 
turisve in aures duobus suci coclearibus, uno mellis. 

46 sucus et ad serpentium scorpionumque ictum bibitur 
cum mero et ad lumborum dolorem cum vini hemina 
potus. sanguinem vero excreantibus et phthisicis 

. et destHlationibus longis vel sucus vel ex ipso cibus 
prodest, item morbo regio vel hydropicis et ad renum 
dolores, cum tisanae suco ^acetabuli mensura. idem 

47 modus cum melle vulvas purgat. estur vero et 
contra fungorum veneha, inponitur et vulneribus, 
yenerem stimulat, sitini sedat, ebrietatem discutit, 
sea oculprunai aciem hebetare traditur, inflationes 
quoque ; facere qtiae tamen stomacho non noceant 
yenfe^n^iie molHant. voci splendorem adfert* 

f,Mon post mulieris sed post suco disi* y Rose. 
'* tritis Mayhcffi trito codd. 

tt Apparently caused by fleas or bugs. 
28 



BOOK XX. xxi. 44-47 

XXI. Cutleek stops bleeding at the nose if the 
nostrils be plugged with leek pounded, or mixed with 
gall-nut or mint; fluxes also after miscarriage are 
arrested by drinking the juice with woman's milk. 
It cures chronic cough, and affections of the chest 
and lungs. By an application of the leaves are 
healed pimples, burns and epinyctis so is called a 
sore, also known as syce, in the corner of the eye 
and perpetually running ; some give the same name 
to livid pustules causing restlessness at night a and 
other sores by leeks pounded with honey ; the bites 
of beasts are treated by leek in vinegar, as are those 
of serpents and other poisonous creatures . Affections 
of the ears, however, are treated by leeks and goats, 
gall, or else leeks and mead in equal proportions. 
With woman's milk leeks are used for singing in the 
ears ; for headache the juice is poured into the 
nostrils, or two tablespoons of juice with one of honey 
are poured into the ears at bedtime. The juice also 
is drunk with neat wine to counteract the bites of 
serpents and of scorpions, and a draught can be taken 
with half a sextarius of wine for lumbago. For 
spitting of blood, moreover, for consumption, and 
for chronic catarrhs the juice is beneficial, as is also 
the leek by itself eaten as food ; for jaundice, dropsy 
and kidney pains an acetabulum of the juice mixed 
with barley-water. The same dose taken with 
honey purges the womb. Leek moreover is eaten 
to counteract the poisons of fungi; it is applied to 
wounds, is an aphrodisiac, quenches thirst, serves 
as a pick-me-up after drunkenness, but is said to 
dim the eye-sight, and to cause flatulences which 
do no harm, however, to the stomach but relax 
the bowels. Leeks impart brilliance to the voice. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

43 XXII. Capitate porro maior ad eadem vis est. 1 
sanguinem reicientibus sucus eius ciira gallae 2 aut 
turis farina vel acacia datur. Hippocrates et sine 
alia mixtura dari iubet vulvasque contractas aperire 
se putat, fecunditatem etiam feminarum hoc cibo 

49 augeri. contritum ex melle ulcera purgat. tussim 
et destillationes thoracis, pulmonis et arteriae vitia 
sanat, datum in sorbitione tisanae vel crudum praeter 
capita sine pane, ita ut alternis diebus sumatur, vel 
si pura excreentur. sic et voci et veneri somnoque 
multtim confert. capita bis aqua mutata cocta 
alvum sistunt et 3 fluctiones veteres, cortex decoctus 
inlitusque inficit canos. 

50 XXIII. Alio magna vis, magnae utilitatis contra 
aquarum et locorum mutationes. serpentes abigit et 
scorpiones odore atque, ut aliqui tradidere, bestias 
omnes. 4 ictibus medetur potu vel cibo vel inlitu, 
privatim contra haemorrhoidas cum vino redditum 
vomitu. ac, ne contra araneorum murium venena- 
tum morsum valere miremur, aconitum, quod alio 
nomine pardalianches vocatur, debellat, item hyo- 
scyamum, canum morsus, in quae vulnera cum melle 

51 inponitur. ad serpentium quidem ictus tostum 5 cum 
restibus suis efficacissime ex oleo inlinitur, adtri- 

1 porro maior ad eadem vis est Detlefsen : maiores ad 
eadem effectus Mayhoffi maiores ad eadem effectu yilurimi 



a gallae codd : galla F. Rose. 

s sisttint et Detlefsen : emolliunt . . . sistit MayTioff, qui ex 
Gargilio eadem aqua pota cum vino in lacunam inherit ; 
sistit T : sistunt vulg. 

* Ita di&t. Mayhoff. 

? tostmm V. Rose : potum codd. 

DHOTIS snafee j see I/noan IX. 709, 806. The aoc. 



BOOK XX. xxii. 48-xxin. 51 

XXII. Headed leek has the same properties as 
cutleek, but they are stronger. Those who spit 
blood are given Its juice along with ground gall-nut 
or frankincense, or with gum arabic. Hippocrates 
directs it also to be given without other ingredient, 
and is of opinion that a contracted womb opens 
under its influence ; likewise that by its use as food 
the fertility of women is increased. Beaten up, 
with honey added, it cleanses sores. Cough, catarrh 
of the chest, and affections of the lungs and of the 
trachea are cured by it when given in a draught of 
barley-water or eaten raw, the head excepted, 
without bread; it must however be taken only on 
alternate days, even if pus, be expectorated. Given 
thus it greatly benefits the voice, venery and sleep. 
The heads, boiled in water that is twice changed 
checks diarrhoea and chronic fluxes ; a decoction of 
the skin serves as a dye for grey hair. 

XXIII. Garlic has powerful properties, and is of ctarUc. 
great benefit against changes of water and of resi 
dence. It keeps off" serpents and scorpions by its 
smell, and, as some have maintained, every kind of 
beast. It cures bites when drunk or eaten, or applied 

as ointment, being particularly efficacious against 
the haemorrhois when taken with wine and brought 
up by vomiting. Lest we be surprised that it is an 
antidote against the poisonous bite of the shrew- 
mouse, it neutralizes aconite, which is also known 
by the name of pardalianches, 5 as well as henbane 
and dog-bites ; for the wounds of the latter it is made 
into an ointment with honey. For the bites of ser 
pents it is very efficacious to roast it with its own 
leaves and make a liniment by adding oil ; also for 

6 " Panther-strangler." 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tisque corporum partibus, vel si in vesicas intu- 
muerint. quin et suffitu eo evocari secundas partus 
existimat Hippocrates, cinere eius cum oleo capitis 
62 ulcera manantia sanitati restituens. suspiriosis coc 
tum, aliqui crudum id dedere, Diocles hydropicis 
cum centaurio aut in fico duplici ad evacuandam 
alvum, quod efficacius praestat viride cuna coriandro 
in mero potum, suspiriosis aliqui et tritum in lacte 
dederunt. Praxagoras et contra morbum regium vino 
miscuit et contra ileum in oleo et pulte, sic inlinens 
strumis quoque. antiqui et insanientibus dabant 
crudum, Diocles phreneticis elixum. contra anginas 

53 tritum in posca gargarizari prodest. dentium do- 
lorem tribus capitibus in aceto tritis inminuit, vel si 
decocti aqua conluantur addaturque ipsum in cava 
dentium. auribus etiam instillatur sucus cum adipe 
anserino. phthiriases et porrigines potum, item infu- 
sum cum aceto et nitro conpescit, destillationes cum 
lacte coctum vel tritum permixtumve caseo molli, 
quo genere et raucitatem extenuat vel in pisi aut 

54 fabae sorbitione. in totum aiitem coctum utilius 
est crudo elixumque tosto. sic et voci plus confert. 
taenias et reliqua animalia interaneorum pellit in 
aceto mulso coctum, tenesmo in pulte medetur, 
temporum doloribus, inlinitur elixum, et pusulis 
eoctum, deinde cum melle tritum, tussi cum adipe 
vetusto decoctom vel cum lacte aut, si sanguis etiana 

a Colic af a severe fcind. 

& It Is lfca&$ to decide whether phrenetics here means 
"ra-^big'* generally, *>r whether it refers to the ^paad delirium of 
fyftevvTiSr ;a virulent form of malaria attended with delirium. 
Aa, insdnientibus oocurs in the previous sentence ( =' mad 
gjeHerally), the second meaning is more probable here. 

a Honey and vinegar. 



BOOK XX. xxin. 51-54 

bruises on the body, even if they have swollen into 
blisters. Moreover, Hippocrates thinks that garlic 
fumigations bring away the after-birth ; by its ash 
mixed with oil he used to restore to health running' 
sores on the head. To asthmatics it is given cooked, 
though some have given it raw, Diocles prescribed 
it with centaury for dropsy, or in a split fig as a 
purge, a more efficient one being fresh garlic taken 
in neat wine with coriander ; pounded garlic too 
has by some been given in milk to asthmatics. 
Praxagoras again mixed it with wine as a remedy 
for the jaundice, and with oil and pottage for iliac 
passion a ; the latter prescription he also used as a 
liniment for scrofula. The ancients used also to 
give it raw to madmen, Diocles gave it well boiled for 
phrenitis^ Pounded and drunk with vinegar and 
water it is useful as a gargle for quinsy. By three 
pounded heads with vinegar tooth-ache is relieved, 
as it is by rinsing the teeth with a decoction, and 
inserting garlic itself into the hollow teeth. Garlic 
juice, mixed with goose-grease, is also dropped into 
the ears. Garlic, in drink or injected with vinegar 
and soda, checks phthiriasis and scurf, catarrhs like 
wise if boiled with milk, also beaten up or mixed with 
soft cheese ; it relieves hoarseness also if taken thus, 
or in gruel of peas or beans. On the whole, however, 
it is more useful cooked than raw, boiled than roasted. 
Thus prepared it is also more beneficial to the voice. 
When cooked in oxymel c it expels tape-worms and 
other parasites of the intestines ; in pottage it cures 
tenesmus. Well boiled it is used as ointment for 
pains in the temples; cooked, and then beaten up 
with honey, t makes an ointment for blisters. For 
a cough a cfecoction is taken with stale grease, j pr 

$3 

VOL. VI. C 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

excreetur, vel pura, sub pruna coctum et cum mellis 
pari modo sumptum, convulsis, ruptis cum sale et 

55 oleo. nam 1 cum adipe tumores suspectos sanat. 
extraliit fistulas vitia cum sulpure et resina, etiam 
harundines cum pice, lepras, lichenas, lentigines 
exulcerat sanatque cum origano, vel cinis eius ex 
oleo et garo inlitus, sic et sacros ignes. suggillata 
aut liventia ad colorem reducit conbustum ex melle. 

56 credunt et coroitialem morbum sanari, si quis eo in 
cibis utatur ac potione, quartanas quoque excutere 
potum caput unum cum laserpici obolo in vino 
austero tussim et alio modo ac pectorum suppura- 
tiones quantaslibet sanat fractae incoctum fabae 
atque ita in cibo sumptum donee sanitatem restituat. 
facit et somnos atque in to turn rubicundiora corpora 

57 venerem quoque stimulare cum coriandro viridi 
tritum potumque e raero. vitia eius sunt quod 
oculos hebetat, inflationes facit, stomachum laedit 
copiosius sumptum, sitim gignit. cetero contra 
pituitam et gallinaceis prodest mixtum farre in cibo. 
iumenta urinam reddere atque non torqueri tradunt, 
si trito natura tangatur. 

58 XXIV. Eactucae sponte nascentis primum genus 
est eius 2 quam caprinam vocant, qua pisces in mare 
deiecta protinus necantur qui sunt in proximo, 
huius lact ^is sucus s spissatum mox in aceto pon- 
dere obolorum duum adiecto aquae uno cyatho 

1 nam codd* r item Mayhoff. 

2 eius om. Q Detlefsen. 

?, Jaefc is sucus Detlefsen : lac aut laotis sucua codd. : 
ta^c MayJwff. 

Mam lias here its Pliniau sense of "but." 
? . See N- Jasny's The Wheats of Classical Antiquity and 
B'Arcy Thompson's review of that book in Class Rev., 1946, 
pp. 120-122. 

34 



BOOK XX. xxiii. 54-xxiv. 58 

with milk ; or if there be also spitting of blood or pus, 
it is roasted under live ashes and taken with an equal 
part of honey. For sprains and ruptures it is used 
with salt and oil. With fat, however, it cures 
suspected tumours. Mixed with sulphur and resin it 
draws the pus from fistulas, with pitch extracting even 
arrows. Leprous sores, lichen and freckly eruptions 
are cleansed and cured by it and wild marjoram, or 
by a liniment made out of its ash with oil and fish- 
sauce. Used in this way it is also good for erysipelas. 
Burnt to ash and mixed with honey it brings back to 
the original colour parts that are black-and-blue or 
livid. It is believed that epilepsy too is cured by 
garlic taken in food and drink, and that one head of it, 
taken in a dry wine with an obolus of silphium shakes 
off a quartan ague. Taken in another way, namely 
boiled in broken beans and eaten with food until 
health is restored, it cures a cough, and suppuration 
of the chest, however severe. It induces sleep also, 
and makes the body generally of a ruddier colour. 
It is believed to act as an aphrodisiac, when pounded 
with fresh coriander and taken in neat wine. Its 
drawbacks are that it dulls the sight, causes flatu 
lence, injures the stomach when taken too freely, 
and creates thirst. In addition, mixed with emmer- 
wheat 6 and added to their food it is good for poultry 
to save them from the pip. Beasts of burden are said 
to pass urine without pain, if their parts are treated 
with pounded garlic. 

XXIV. The chief kind of lettuce growing wild is 
the one called goat-lettuce, which when thrown into 
the sea kills immediately all the fish in the neigh 
bourhood. Its milk, or juice, when thickened and 
then added to vinegar, in doses of two oboli to one 

35 



PLINY: NATUBAL HISTORY 

hydropicis datur. caule et foliis contusis, asperso 
sale, nervi incisi sanantur. eadem trita ex aceto 
conluta matutinis bis mense dentium dolorem 1 
prohibet. 

59 XXV. Alterum est genus quod Graeci caesapon 
vocant. huius folia trita et cum polenta inlita 
ulceribus medentur* haec in arvis nascuntur. ter- 
tium genus in silvis nascens Icrariv vocant. huius 
folia trita cum polenta vulneribus prosunt. quarto 
infectores lanarum utuntur. simile erat lapatho 
silvestri foliis, nisi plura haberet et nigriora. san- 
guinem sistit, phagedaenas et putrescentia ulcera 
et quae serpunt sanat, item tumores ante suppura- 
tionem, ignem sacrum radice vel foliis. prodest 
vel ad lienes pota. haec propria singulis. 

60 XXVI. Communia autem sponte nascentibus can 
dor, caulis interdum cubital! longitudine, thyrso et 
foliis scabritia. ex iis rotunda folia et brevia habentem 
sunt qui hieracion vocent, quoniam accipitres scal- 
peaido earn sucoque oculos tinguendo obscuritatem, 

61 cum sensere, discutiant. sucus omnibus candidus, 
viribus quoque papaveri similis, carpitur per messes 
inciso caule, conditur fictili novo, ad mult a praeclarus, 
sanat omnia oculoruni vitia cum lacte mulierum, 
argema, nubiculas, cicatrices adustionesque omnes, 
praecipue caligines. inppnitur etiam perils in lana 

62 contra epiphoras, idem sucus alvum purgat in posca 

1 conlutos . . . dent^s dolere ntaxime probat Mayhoff. 
*? PofewlflC^warp^arl-barley porridge. 

36 



BOOK XX. xxiv. 5 8-xxvi. 62 

cyathus of water, is prescribed for dropsical patients. 
The crushed stalk and leaves, sprinkled with salt, 
cure a cut sinew. The pounded plant and vinegar, 
used as a mouth-wash twice a month in the morning, 
keeps away toothache. 

XXV. There is a second kind, called caesapon by various 
the Greeks, the pounded leaves of which, made into 

an ointment with pearl-barley , a heal sores. These two 
grow in the open fields. A third kind growing in 
woods is called to-art?. Its leaves pounded up with 
pearl-barley are good for wounds. A fourth kind is 
used by dyers of wools. Its leaves would be like those 
of wild sorrel, were they not more numerous and 
darker. By its root or leaves it stanches bleeding, 
heals phagedaenic and putrefying ulcers, spreading 
ulcers, tumours before suppuration, and erysipelas. 
Taken in drink it is good even for the spleen. Such 
are the peculiar properties of the several kinds. 

XXVI. The characteristics, however, common to 
the wild kinds are whiteness, a stem occasionally a 
cubit long, and a roughness on the stalk and on the 
leaves. Of these kinds, one with round, short leaves 
is called by some hieracion (hawkweed), since hawks, 
by tearing it open and wetting their eyes with the 
juice, dispel poor vision when they have become 
conscious of it. The juice in all of them is white, in 
its properties, also, like that of the poppy ; collected 
at harvest by cutting the stem, it is stored in new 
earthenware^ being excellent for many purposes. 
With woman's milk it heals all eye-diseases^~whrte 
ulcers, .films, alK* wounds and inflammations, and 
especially dimness of sight. It is also applied to the 
eyes on wool for fluxes. The same juice purges the 
bowels if drunk* in vinegar and water in doses not 

3? 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

potus ad duos obolos. serpentium ictibus medetur 
in vino potus, et folia thyrsique triti ex aceto bi- 
buntur, vulneri inlinuntur maxime contra scorpio- 
num ictus, contra vero phalangia commixto vino et 

63 aceto. aliis quoque venenis resistunt, exceptis 
quae strangulando necant aut his quae vesicae 
nocent, item psimithio excepto. inponuntur et 
ventri ex melle atque aceto ad detrahenda vitia alvi. 
urinae diificultates sucus emendat. Crateuas eum 
et hydropicis obolis duobus in aceto et cyatho vini 

64 dari iubet. quidam et e sativis colligunt sucum 
minus efficacem. peculiares earum efFectus (praeter 
iam dictos somnum faciendi veneremque inhibendi, 
aestum refrigerandi, stomachum purgandi, san- 
guinem augendi) non pauci restant, quoniam et 
inflationes discutiunt ructusque lenes faciunt, con- 
coctionem. adiuvant, cruditatem ipsae numquam 
faciunt. nee ulla res in cibis magis aviditatem incitat 
inhibetque eadem. in causa alterutraque modus 
est, sic et alvum copiosiores solvunt, naodicae 

65 sistunt. lentitiam pituitae digerunt atque, ut aliqui 
tradiderunt, sensus purgant, stomachis dissolutis 
utilissimae. adiuvantur in eo usu et oxypori obolis 
asperitatem addito dulci ad intinctuna aceti tem- 
perante&, si crassiar pituita sit, scillite aut vino 
absinthite, si ;et tossis sentiatur, hysopite admixto. 
dantur coeliacis bum intubo erratico et ad duritiam 

S^e XIX. 127ff. 
^ OF, " produces mild 



BOOK XX. xxvi. 62-65 

exceeding two oboli. Drunk in wine it heals snake 
bites, as do its leaves and stalks when pounded and 
drunk in vinegar. * They are applied as ointment to a 
wound, especially for the stings of scorpions ; for those, 
however, of venomous spiders wine and vinegar are 
added. They also neutralise other poisons, except 
those which kill by suffocation, or those which hurt 
the bladder, white lead also being an exception. They 
are applied to the belly with honey and vinegar to 
clear away troubles of the bowels. The juice cor 
rects difficulty in making water. Crateuas prescribes 
it also for dropsy in doses of two oboli with vinegar 
and a cyathus of wine. Some collect; the juice of the 
cultivated lettuce also, but it is less efficacious. 
The special properties of lettuces, besides those 
already mentioned of causing sleep, checking 
sexual desire, cooling a heated body, cleansing the 
stomach and making blood, are not few ; it breaks up 
flatulence, calms belching, 6 aids digestion without 
ever itself causing indigestion. No other article of 
diet has a greater power of both increasing appetite 
and also of diminishing it. In either case moderation 
of the amount taken is the reason ; thus an immoderate 
amount loosens the bowels, while a moderate amount 
binds them. Lettuces loosen thick phlegm, and, as 
some have put on record, clear the senses, being very 
useful to stomachs which are out of order. They 
are aided for these purposes by oboli of digestive, 
the mixer modifying the sharpness by the addition 
of a sweet wine until it is no greater than that of 
vinegar sauc, mixing with it, if the phlegm be 
thick, squill or wormwood wine ; if a cough also be 
experienced, hyssbp wine. Lettuces are given with 
wild endive for coeliac affections and for hardness 

39 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

66 praecordiorum. dantur et melancholicis candidae 
copiosiores et ad vesicae vitia. Praxagoras et 
dysintericis dedit. ambustis quoque prosunt re- 
centibus, priusquam pusulae nant, cum sale inlitae. 
ulcera etiam quae serptint coercent, initio cum 
aphronitro, mox in vino, tritae igni sacro inlinuntur. 
convulsa et luxata caulibus tritis cum polenta ex aqua 
frigida leniunt, eruptiones papularum ex vino et 

67 polenta, in cholera quoque coctas patinis dederunt, 
ad quod utilissimae quam maximi caulis et amarae. 
quidam et lacte inftuidunt. defervefacti hi caules 
et stomacho utilissimi traduntur, sicut somno aestiva 
maxime lactuca et amara Iactensque 3 quam me- 
conidem vocavimus. hoc lacte et oculorum claritati 
cum muliebri lacte utilissimum esse praecipitur, 
dum tempestive cum capite l inunguantur oculi et ad 

68 vitia quae frigore in his facta sint. miras et alias 
invenio laudes : thoracis vitiis prodesse non secus 
quam habrotonum cum melle Attico, conpurgari et 
feminas, hoc cibo > semen sativarum contra scorpiones 
dari> semine trito ex vino poto et libidinum imagi- 
nationes in somno conpesci, temptantes aquas 
non. nocere lactucam edentibus. quidam tameEt 
frequentiores in cibo officere claritati oculorum 
tradideinmt. 

1 tempestivo et capiti variae lectiones. Add. OUIQ lanus. 



* Seep. 16, note/, 

fr All kinds of depression, from that caused by biliousness 
to true me)sincnolia^ ^tre^ incltided under this term. 

* Refers to cholera noStras. 

Appaorentlyi locfe is accusative. Perhaps (with ex for et), 
" ^ ; ' 

4 



BOOK XX. xxvi. 65-68 

in the abdomen. a White lettuce in great quantity 
is given to melancholic b patients and for bladder 
troubles. Praxagoras gave it also to patients with 
dysentery. It is good for fresh burns, if applied with 
salt before the blisters form. They check spreading 
ulcers, if applied at first with saltpetre, afterwards 
in wine. Pounded they are applied in cases of 
erysipelas. The pounded stalks, added to pearl-barley 
and applied with cold water, soothe cramps and 
sprains, and eruptions of pimples when applied with 
wine and pearl-barley. In cholera c also they have 
been given cooked in a pan, for which purpose the 
most beneficial are the bitter ones with the largest 
stems. Some people too inject the lettuce milk. d 
Their stalks thoroughly boiled are said to be very 
beneficial to the stomach ; likewise for sleep the 
summer lettuce especially, and the milky, bitter 
kind, which we have called meconis.* This milk 
added to woman's milk is prescribed also as very 
useful for clearness of vision if the eyes and the head 
are bathed in good time, and likewise for eye troubles 
caused by chill. I find much other extravagant 
praise of lettuce : that with Attic honey it is as good 
as southernwood/ for chest complaints ; that men 
struation is regulated by its use as food; that the 
seed of cultivated lettuce is given for scorpion stings ; 
that the crushed seed taken in wine prevents libidi 
nous dreams ; that noxious 9 waters do not harm 
those who eat lettuce. Some however have main 
tained that when eaten too often they impair the 
eye-sight. 

* See XIX. 126. 
/ See XXI. 60. 

* See XXXI. 15. 

41 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

69 XXVII. Nee beta sine remediis est utraque : sive 
candidae sive nigrae radix recens et madefacta 
suspense funiculo contra serpentium morsus efficax 
esse dicitur, Candida beta cocta et cum alio crudo 
siimpta contra taenias, nigrae radices in aqua coctae 
porriginem tollunt, atque in totum efficacior esse 
traditur nigra. sucus eius capitis dolores et verti 
gines, item sonitum aurium sedat infusus his, ciet 

70 urinam. medetur dysintericis iniecta et morbo 
regie, dolores quoque dentium sedat inlitus sucus 
et contra serpentium- ictus valet, sed huic * radici 
dumtaxat expressus. ipsa vero decocta pernionibus 
occurrit. alba epiphoras sedat fronti inlita, aluminis 
parvo admixtd ignem sacrum, sine oleo trita sic et 

71 adustis medetur. et contra eruptiones papularum, 
coctaque eadem contra ulcera quae serpunt inlinitur, 
et alopeciis cruda et ulceribus quae in capite manant. 
sucus eius cum melle naribus inlitus caput purgat. 
coquitur et modice 2 cum lenticula addito aceto, ut 
ventrem molliat. validius cocta fluctiones stomachi 
et ventris sistit. 

72 XXVIII. Est et beta silvestris quam limonium 
vocant, alii neuroidem, multum minoribus foliis 
tenuioribusque ac densioribus, undecim saepe cau- 
lium. 3 huius folia ambustis utilia gustantium os 

1 huic codd. : hie Sillig : hoc Mayhoff. 

2 : modice om, plures codd. : post aceto velit ponere Mayhoff. 
3 Pro cauliura lo. Matter, et Mayhoff scribunt cauH uni. 
Vetu$ coniectura est caule lilii. 

* The emendatloiis Were suggested to avoid referring huic 
to the dark variety, as no other variety has been mentioned 
since 69, The meaning would then be that the juice must 
be extracted from the root, not from the stalk. 

6 Modice and validius seem to refer, not to the length of 
the boiling, but to its violence. 
4? 



BOOK XX. xxvii. 69-xxvni. 72 

XXVII. Not without healing properties is either White and 
kind of beet; the fresh root of either the white 
variety or of the dark, if soaked and hung on a 

cord is said to be efficacious against serpent bites ; 
white beet boiled and taken with raw garlic against 
tapeworms. Dark roots boiled in water remove 
dandruff; the dark for all purposes is held to be 
the more efficacious. Its juice relieves headache 
and giddiness, noises in the ears if poured into them, 
and it is diuretic. Injected it is a remedy for 
dysentery and jaundice ; the juice used as liniment 
relieves toothache, besides being an antidote for 
serpent bites, but only if extracted from the dark a 
root. A decoction, moreover, of the beet itself re 
lieves chilblains. White beet applied to the fore 
head allays fluxes of the eyes, and mixed with a little 
alum, erysipelas. Similarly applied, when beaten up 
without oil it also heals burns. It is also used for 
eruptions of pimples ; again, when boiled, it is applied 
to spreading sores, likewise raw for mange, and for 
running sores on the head. Its juice applied with 
honey to the nostrils clears the head. It is gently b 
boiled with lentils, with vinegar added, in order to 
relax the bowels. Boiled faster b beet checks 
fluxes of the stomach and bowels. 

XXVIII. There is also a wild beet, called by 
some limonium, by others neuroides, d with leaves 
much smaller, thinner and closer together, often 
having eleven stalks/ Its leaves, useful for burns, 
dry the mouth of those who taste them. Its seed, 

c " Meadow-plant." 

* " Sinew-like." 

Or, " often eleven on one stalk," if Mtiller's conjecture 
cauli uni be adopted. 

43 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

adstringunt. semen acetabuli mensura dysintericis 
prodest. aqua autem betae radice decocta maculas 
vestium elui dicunt, item membranarum. 

73 XXIX. Intubi quoque non extra remedia sunt. 
sucus eorum cum rosaceo et aceto capitis dolores 
lenitj idemque cum vino potus iocineris et vesicae, 
et epiphoris inponitur. erraticum apud nos quidam 
ambubaiam appellavere. in Aegypto cichorium 
vocant quod silvestre sit, sativum autem serim, quod 
est minus et venosius. 

74 XXX. Cichorium refrigerat in cibo sumptum et 
inlitum collectiones ; sucus decocti ventrem solvit, 
iocineri et renibus et stomacho prodest, item, si in 
aceto decoquatur, urinae tormina discutit, item 
morbum regium ex mulso, si sine febri sit. vesicam 
adiuvat. mulierum quidem purgationibus decoctum 
in aqua adeo prodest ut emortuos partus trahat. 
adiciunt Magi suco totius cum oleo perunctos favor a- 
biliores fieri et quae velint facilius impetrare, quod 
quidem * propter singular em salubritatem aliqui 
chreston appellant, alii pancration. 

75 XXXL Et silvestre genus alii hedypnoida vocant 
latioris folii, stomachum dissolutum adstringit 
cocta, crudaque sistit alvum. et dysintericis pro 
dest, magis cum lente. rupta et convulsa utroque 
genere iuvantur, item genitura quibus valetudinis 

eflBuat. 



* Farias lectiones dant codd. Detlefsen scribit quando 
et MayJioff qttamquam idem* 



a Pliny is still dealing \nth endive, not true chicory see 
XXI. 88 and XIX. 129. 

* For these see Introduction, pp. Xviiixxi. 
e That is, "sweet-scented " or "fragrant." 

44 



BOOK XX. xxvni. 72-xxxi. 75 

in doses of one acetabulum, is good for dysentery, 
The liquid moreover decocted from the root of the 
beet washes out, it is said, the stains on clothes as 
well as those on parchment. 

XXIX. Endives also are not without their value Endive. 
in medicine. Their juice with rose oil and vinegar 
relieves headache; moreover, drunk with wine, 
pains of the liver and bladder ; it is also applied to 
fluxes from the eyes. The wild endive certain among 

us have called ambubaia. In Egypt they call the 
wild kind a cichorium ; the cultivated they call sens, 
a variety which is smaller and has more veins. 

XXX. Chicory taken in food or applied as chicory. 
liniment cools gatherings. The juice of the boiled- 
down vegetable loosens the bowels, and benefits 
liver, kidneys and stomach. Again, if it is boiled 
down in vinegar it dispels pain of urination, jaundice 

also if taken in honey wine, provided that there 
is no fever. It helps the bladder. Boiled down 
in water it so helps the purgation of women as 
even to withdraw the dead unborn baby. The Magi 6 
add that those who have anointed themselves with 
the juice of the entire plant, mixed with oil, become 
more popular, and obtain their requests more easily. 
So great indeed are its health-giving properties 
that some call it chreston (useful) others pancration 
(almighty). 

XXXI. The wild kind some call it hedypnbis c 
has a broader leaf; boiled, it acts as an astringent 
upon a relaxed stomach, and eaten raw it checks 
looseness of the bowels. It is beneficial in dysentery, 
more so when taken with lentils. Ruptures and 
cramps are relieved by both kinds, as also are those 
troubled with a diseased flux of sperm. 

45 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

76 XXXII. Seris et ipsa lactucae simillima duorum 
generum est : silvestris melior, nigra ista et aestiva, 
deterior hiberna et candidior. utraque amara, 
stomacho utilissima, praecipue quern umor vexet. 
cum aceto in cibo refrigerant vel inlitae, discu- 

77 tiuntque et alios quam stomachi. cum polenta 
silvestrium radices stomachi causa sorbentur, et 
cardiacis inlinuntur super sinistram mamraam ; et ex 
aceto omnes hae et podagricis utiles et sanguinem 
reicientibus, item, quibus genitura effluat, alterno 
dierum potu. Petronius Diodotus, qui antholo- 
gumena scripsit, in totum damnavit serim multis 
modis arguens, sed aliorum omnium opinio resistit. 

78 XXXIII. Brassicae laudes longum est exsequi, 
cum et Chrysippus medicus privatim volumen ei 
dicaverit per singula membra hominis digestum, et 
Dieuches, ante omnes autem Pythagoras, et Cato 
non parcius celebraverit, cuius sententianx vel eo 
diligentius persequi par est, ut noscatur qua medicina 

79 usus sit annis DC Romanus populus. In tres- species 
divisere earn Graeci antiquissimi : crispana, quam 
selinada vocaverunt a similitudine apii foliorum, 
stomacho utilem, alvum modice mollientem, alteram 
heliani 3 latis foliis e caule exeuntibus, unde caulodem 
quidam vocavere, nullius in^ medicina momenti. tertia 
est proprie appellata crambe, tenuioribus foliis et 

* See note on p. 52. * R.r. 156, 157. 



BOOK XX. xxxii. 76-xxxin. 79 

XXXII. Sens also, itself very similar to lettuce, " 
is of two kinds. The wild is the better ; it is dark 
and grows in summer, while the winter variety, which 
is whiter, is not so good. Each is bitter, and very 
beneficial to the stomach, especially to one troubled 
by a humour. They are cooling when taken with 
vinegar in food, and when applied as liniment ; they 
disperse other humours besides those in the stomach. 
With pearl-barley the roots of the wild variety are 
taken in a draught to benefit the stomach ; for heart 
burn a they are applied above the left breast; prepared 
with vinegar all these are useful for gout, for spit 
ting of blood, and likewise for fluxes of sperm, a dose 
to be taken on alternate days. Petronius Diodotus, 
who wrote a medical Herbal/ gives many arguments 
condemning seris altogether, but the opinion of all 
others is against him. 

XXXIII. It would be a long task to make a list cabbage. 
of all the praises of the cabbage, since not only did 
Chrysippus the physician devote to it a special 
volume, divided according to its effects on the various 
parts of the body, but Dieuches also, and Pythagoras 
above all, and Cato b no less lavishly, have celebrated 

its virtues ; the views of the latter it is meet to set 
forth all the more carefully for the sake of learning 
what medicine the Roman people used for six 
hundred years. The earliest Greeks divided cabbage 
into three varieties ; (a) the curly, which they called 
selinas from the resemblance of its leaves to those 
of parsley, useful for the stomach and moderately 
laxative; (6) the helia, with broad leaves growing 
out of the stem, from which some have called it 
caulodes, of no importance in medicine ; (<?) the third, 
crambe properly so-called, with thinner leaves of 

'47 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

simplicibus densissimisque, amarior sed efficacissima. 

80 Cato crispam maxime probat, dein levem. grandibus 
foliis, caule magno. prodesse tradit capitis doloribus, 
oculorum caligini scintillationique, lieni, stomacho, 
praecordiis crudam ex aceto ac melle, coriandro, 
ruta, menta, laseris radicula sumptam acetabulis 
duobus matutino, tantamque esse vim ut qui terat 

81 haec validiorem fieri se sentiat. ergo vel cum his 
tritam sorbendam, vel ex hoc intinctu sumendam, 
podagrae autem morbisque articulariis inlini 1 cum 
rutae coriandri saKs mica, et hordei farina, aqua 
quoque eius decoctae nervos articulosque mire 
iuvari si foveantur. 1 vulnera et recentia et vetera, 
etiam carcinomata quae nullis aliis medicamentis 
sanari possint foveri prius calida aqua iubet ac bis 

82 die tritam inponi. sic etiam fistulas et luxata et 
tumores, quos 2 evocari, quosque discuti opus sit. in 
somnia etiam vigiliasque tollere decoctam, si ieiuni 
edint quam plurimam ex oleo et sale, tormina,, si 
decocta iterum decoquatur addito oleo, sale, cumino, 
polenta, si ita sumatur sine pane, magis profuturam. 
inter reliqua bilem detrahi per vinum rdgrum pota. 



"hoc loco dvbius. Deflefsen scribit cum rutao 
coriandri et salis mica, hordei farina . . . decocta puncto post 
iuvari d$dito. Mayhoff scribit cum ruta et coriandro et salis 
mica et horctei farina; aqua quoque eius decocta pwncto 'post 
foveantur addito. 

2 quos add' Mayhoff. 

RJT. 157. . See p. 16, note /. 

frenerally take^i to mean," want of sleep/' as in 186. 

48 



BOOK XX. xxxin. 79-82 

plain shape and very close together* is more bitter 
but very beneficial. Cato a thinks most highly of the Cato\s 
curly variety, next after it approving the smooth 
cabbage with large leaves and big stem. He con 
siders it good for headache, dimness of the eyes and 
sparks in them, for the spleen, the stomach and the 
hypochondria,* when taken raw in the morning with 
oxymel, coriander, rue, mint and root of silphium, 
in doses of two acetabula, saying that their power is 
so great that he who pounds the ingredients together 
feels himself growing stronger. He therefore recom 
mends that it should either be pounded with these 
herbs when taken in a draught, or at least be in 
sauce made from them ; while for gout and rheumatic 
joints a liniment should be made with a dash of rue, 
coriander and salt, along with barley flour; he adds 
that its water, boiled down, is wonderfully beneficial 
for sinews and joints, if they are fomented with it. 
Wounds, whether fresh or old, and even cancerous 
sores, which can be healed by no other treatment, 
should, so he prescribes, first be fomented with hot 
water and then have pounded cabbage applied to 
them twice daily. Similar treatment he prescribes 
for fistulas also and sprains; for tumours too, both 
such as must be brought to a head and those that 
need to be dispersed.- He says that boiled cabbage 
prevents dreams c and sleeplessness, if you eat 
fasting as much as possible with oil and salt ; gripings 
it relieves if after boiling it is boiled down again 
with the addition of oil, salt, cummin and pearl- 
barley. If when so prepared it is taken without 
bread, it will, he adds, be more beneficial. Among 
other things he tells us that bile is cleared away by 
drinking cabbage in dark wine ; and what is more, 

49 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

83 quln et urinam eius qui brassicam esitaverit adser- 
vari iubet, calefactamque nervis remedio esse. verba 
Ipsius subiciam ad exprimendam sententiam : pueros 
pusillos si laves ea urina, numquam debiles fieri. 
auribus quoque ex vino sucum brassicae tepidum 
instillari suadet, idque etiam tarditati audientium 
prodesse adseverat, et inpetigines eadem sanari 
sine ulcere. 

84 XXXIV. Graecorum quoque opiniones iam et 
Catonis causa poni convenit, in his dumtaxat quae 
ille praetermiserit. biles trahere non percoctam 
putant, item alvum solvere, eandemque bis coctam 
sistere. vino adversari ut inimicam vitibus, antece- 
dente in cibis caveri ebrietatem, postea sumpta 

85 crapulam discuti. hunc cibum et oculorum claritati 
conferre multum, sucum vero crudae vel angulis 
tantum tactis cum Attico melle plurimum. facillime 
concoqui, ciboque eo sensus purgari. Erasistrati 
schola clamat nihil esse utilius stomacho nervisque, 
ideo paralyticis et tremulis dari iubet et sanguinem 

86 excreantibus. Hippocrates coeliacis et dysintericis 
bis coctam cum sale, item ad tenesmum et renium 

lactis quoque ubertatem puerperis hoc cibo 



a Perhaps children of both sexes are meant. 
50 



BOOK XX. xxxin. 83-xxxiv. 86 

he recommends that the urine of a person who has 
lived on a cabbage diet should be kept, because 
when warmed it is a cure for pains in the sinews. 
I will add his actual words to explain his thought : 
" Little boys a if you bathe them -with such urine, 
never become weak.** He also advises that the juice 
of cabbage should be poured warm into the ears, 
with wine added, and he insists that this treatment 
benefits those who are hard of hearing, and that 
impetigo by the same means is cured without 
ulceration. 

XXXIV. Just because we have dealt with Cato it Greek 
is well to put down now the views of the Greeks 
also, limiting ourselves to making good Cato's omis- 
sions. If not overcooked they think that cabbage 
brings away bile, also that it loosens the bowels, 
checking diarrhoea however if it be boiled twice. 
As cabbage is the enemy of the vine, they say that 
it opposes wine ; that if taken in food beforehand it 
prevents drunkenness, taken after drinking it dispels 
its unpleasant effects. They hold that cabbage 
taken as food greatly brightens the vision, and that 
the benefit is very great indeed if the juice of raw 
cabbage and Attic honey merely touch the corners 
of the eyes. They add that cabbage is very easily 
digested, and that its use as food clears the senses. 
The school of Erasistratus loudly declares that nothing 
is more useful than cabbage for the stomach and 
sinews, and he therefore prescribes it for paralysis and 
palsy, as well as for spitting of blood. Hippocrates 
prescribed twice-boiled cabbage and salt for coeliac 
trouble and dysentery, also for tenesmus and kidney 
troubles, holding also that its use as food gave a rich 
supply of milk to lying-in women and benefited 

5* 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fieri iudicans et purgationem feminis. crudus 
quidem caulis si mandatur, partis quoque emortuos 
pellit. Apollodoms adversus fongorum venena 
semen i ant sucum bibendum censet, Philistion 
opisthotonicis sucum ex lacte caprino cum sale et 

87 melle. invenio et podagra Hberatos edendo earn 
decoctaeque ius bibendo. hoc et cardiacis datum 
et comitialibus morbis addito sale, item splemcis in 
vino albo per dies XL nee non ictericis et phre- 
neticis. raucis 2 crudae sucum gargarizandum bi- 
bendumque demonstrat, contra vero singultus cum 
coriandro et aneto et melle ac pipere ex aceto. 

88 inlitam quoque prodesse ' inflationibus stomachi, 
item serpentium ictibus et sordidis ulceribus ac 
vetustis, vel aqua ipsa cum hordeacia farina, sucum 
ex aceto vel cum feno Graeco. sic aliqui et articulis 
podagrisque inponunt. epinyctidas et quidquid 
aliud serpit in corpore inposita levat, item repentinas 
caligines, has et si manditur ex aceto, suggillata vero 
et alios livores pura inlita, lepras et psoras cum 

89 alumine rotundo ex aceto. sic et fluentes capillos 
retinet. Epicharmus testium et genitalium malis 
hanc utilissime inponi, efficacius eandem cum faba 
trita, item convolsis, cum ruta contra ardorem 
febrium et stomachi vitia, cum rutae semine a<J 

1 Hie excidisse ex aceto vel e melle coni. Mayh@ff.*' . 

2 raucis Mayhoff et codd. : radicis Detlefsen. In codd. neo 
non post ictericis inveniuntur. Ego transpo^ui, secundum 
Mayhoff distinguo. 

The cardiacMS morbus. was also a Very serious ailment, a 
kind of syncope. ^ 

5 2 



BOOK XX. xxxiv. 86-89 

women 's purgings. The stalk indeed eaten raw 
brings out the dead unborn baby. Apollodorus 
holds that its seed should be eaten, or its juice drunk, 
to counteract poisonous fungi; Philistion prescribes 
it to be taken in goat's milk, with salt and honey, for 
opisthotonic tetanus. I find that gout has been 
cured by eating cabbage and drinking cabbage water ; 
the latter has been given with the addition of salt for 
heart-burn also a and epilepsy, and with white wine for 
a period of forty days for diseases of the spleen, as 
well as for jaundice and phrenitis. For hoarseness 
he prescribes the juice of the raw cabbage as a gargle 
or drink, but for hiccoughs he recommends it to be 
taken in vinegar with coriander, dill, honey and pep 
per. An application of it is good for flatulence of the 
stomach, snake bite and putrid sores of long standing ; 
if you like, the mere water may be used with barley 
meal, the juice in vinegar or with fenugreek. In this 
way some apply it to aching joints and gouty limbs. 
An application of it relieves epinyctis 6 and every 
other kind of spreading eruption, and also sudden 
dimness of sight ; the last too is benefited by eating 
it in vinegar, but for bruises and other livid marks the 
application should be of cabbage alone, for leprous 
sores and itch, of cabbage in vinegar with a ball 
of alum. Applied in this way it also prevents the 
hair from falling out. Epicharmus says that a local 
application of cabbage is very good for troubles of 
the testes and genitals, that cabbage and crushed 
beans are more efficacious still, and likewise for con 
vulsions; that with rue it relieves high fever and 
stomach troubles, and with the seed of rue it brings 

5 See p. viii. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

secundas et muris aranei morsus. foliorum ari- 
dorum farina alterutra parte exinanit. 1 

90 XXXV. Ex omnibus brassicae generibus suavis- 
sima est cyma, etsi inutilis habetur, difncilis in 
concoquendo et renibus contraria. illud quoque 
non est omittendum, aquara decoctae ad tot usus 
laudatam faetere humi effusam. stirpium brassicae 
aridorum cinis inter caustica intellegitur, ad coxen- 
dicum dolores cum adipe vetusto, at cum lasere et 
aceto instar 2 psilotri evulsis inlitus pilis nasci alios 

91 prohibet. bibitur et cum oleo subfervefactus vel 
per se elixus ad convolsa et rupta intus lapsoque ex 
alto, nulla ergo sunt crimina brassicae ? ininio vero 
apud eosdem animae gravitatem facere, dentibus et 
gingivis nocere. et in Aegypto propter amaritu- 
dinem non estur. 

92 XXXVI. Silvestris sive erraticae inmenso plus 
effectus laudat Cato, adeo ut aridae quoque farinam 
in olfactorio collectam, vel odore tantum naribus 
rapto, vitia earum graveolentiamque sanare ad- 
firinet. hanc alii petraeam vocant, inimicissimam 
vino, quam praecipue vitis fugiat aut, si non possit 

93 fugere, moriatur. folia habet tenuia, 3 rotunda, 
parva, levia, plantis oleris similior, candidior sativa 
et hirsutior. hanc inflationibus mederi, melan- 
cholicis quoque ac vulneribus recentibus cum melle, 

1 Ultimas sertientias ita di$t. Mayhoff. 

* instar Urlichsj Deklefsen : inter codd. : inter et psilotra 
Mayhoff. 

8 tenuia Mayhoff : bma Detlefsen : vina F : bina dT : 
una K 

* The reading is tincertain. Perhaps " uniform," ** single ?9 
(una), or "in pairs " (bina). 

* "Melancholy" in ancient medicine comprised all the 
complaints that were supposed to be caused by " black bile " 

si 



BOOK XX. xxxiv. 89-xxxvi. 93 

away the after-birth and cures the bite of the shrew- 
mouse. The dried leaves when powdered purge 
by vomit or by stool. 

XXXV. Of all the varieties of cabbage the most 
pleasant-tasted is cyma, although it is thought to 
be unwholesome, being difficult of digestion and bad 
for the kidneys. Further, we must not forget that 
the water in which it has been boiled, though praised 
for its many uses, t has a foul smell when poured out 
on the ground. The ash of dried cabbage-stalks is 
understood to be caustic, and with stale grease is 
used for sciatica, but with silphium and vinegar, 
applied as a depilatory, it prevents the growth of 
other hair in place of that pulled out. It is also 
taken lukewarm in oil, or boiled in water by itself, 
for convulsions, internal ruptures, and falls from a 
height. Has cabbage then no faults to be charged 
with ? Nay, we find in the same authors that it makes 
the breath foul and harms teeth and gums. In 
Egypt too, because of its bitterness, it is not eaten. 

XXXVI. Cato gives vastly higher praise to the wad 
wild, or stray, cabbage, so much so that he asserts cabbage ' 
that the mere powder of the dried vegetable, col 
lected in a smelling-bottle, or the scent only, snuffed 

up the nostrils, removes nose-troubles and any 
offensive odour. Some call this variety rock-cabbage ; 
it is strongly antipathetic to wine, so that the vine 
tries very hard to avoid it, or, if it cannot do so, dies. 
It has thin a leaves, round, small, and smooth ; though 
rather like the ordinary vegetable, it is both whiter and 
more hairy than the cultivated kind. Chrysippus tells 
us that it heals flatulence, biliousness, 6 and fresh 

see p. 40. Here, from the remedy, it appears to be some 
local pain near the liver. 

SSL 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ita ne solvantur ante diem septimum, strumis, fistulis 
in aqua contritam Chrysippus auctor est. et alii 
vero conpescere mala corporis quae serpant nomas 
vocant item excrescentia absumere, cicatrices ad 

94 planum redigere, oris ulcera et tonsillas mandu- 
catam et coctam suco gargarizato cum melle tollere, 
item psoras et lepras veteres, ipsius tribus partibus 
cum duabus aluminis in aceto acri inlitis. Epi- 
charmus satis esse earn contra cards rabiosi morsum 
inponi, melius si cum lasere et aceto acri, necari 
quoque canes ea, si detur ex carne. semen eius 
tostum auxiliatur contra serpentes, fungos, tauri 

95 sanguinem. foUa cocta splenicis in cibo data et 
cruda inlita cum sulpure et nitro prosunt, item 
mammarum duritiae. radicum cinis uvae in faucibus 
tiumenti tactu medetur, et parotidas ^cum melle 
inlitus reprimit, serpentium morsus sanat. virium 
brassicae unum et magnum argunaentum addemus 
admirabile: crustae occupent intus vasa omnia in 
quis aquae fervent, ut non sit avellere eas, si brassica 
in his J decoquatur, abscedunt. 

96 XX^tVifr. Inter silvestres brassicas et lapsana est 
pedalis al^itudine, hirsutis folus, sinapi simijis, r^isi 
c4Bdi^br esset flore, coquitur in cibo, alvum lenit 
et mollit. 

XXXVIII. Marina brassida vehementissime ex 
dmrubus alvum ciet. coquitur propter acrimoniam 
cttm pingui carne, stomacho inimicissima. 

& 



BOOK XX. xxxvi. 93-xxxvm. 96 

wounds 3 if applied with honey and not removed till the 
seventh day ; also that beaten up in water it cures 
scrofula and fistulas. Others moreover maintain that 
it checks running sores, called nomae, removes too 
excrescences, and smooths away scars ; that if it is 
chewed, or if cabbage water be used with honey as a 
gargle, sores in the mouth or on the tonsils disappear, 
as also do the itch and chronic leprous sores, if three 
parts of it and two of alum in strong vinegar be 
applied as a liniment. Epicharmus thought this 
cabbage a sufficient remedy if applied to the bite of 
a mad dog, and an even better one with the addition 
of silphium juice and strong vinegar ; he also said that 
dogs are killed by it, if given with their meat. Its 
seed if roasted is a help against serpents, fungi, and 
bull's blood. The boiled leaves taken in food or 
applied raw with sulphur and soda relieves splenic 
diseases and also hardness of the breasts. The ash 
of its roots even by a mere touch cures a swollen 
uvula, reduces parotid swellings if applied with 
honey, and heals bites of serpents. Of the power of 
cabbage I will add but one proof, which is both 
striking and wonderful: let the scale form on the 
inside of any vessel in which water is boiled, so that 
it cannot be scraped away; yet it disappears if 
cabbage is boiled in them. 

XXXVII. Among wild cabbages is also lapsana, Lapsana, 
which is a foot high, has hairy leaves, being like 
mustard, except that the flower is whiter. It is 
eaten cooked, and soothes and relaxes the bowels. 

XXXVIII. Of all the varieties, sea cabbage is sea cabbage 
the strongest purgative. On account of rfe pun 
gency it is cooked with fat meat, and is very bad 

for the stomach. 

57 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

97 XXXIX. Scillarum in medicina alba est feminae 
imrrae quae candidissima fuerit utilissima erit. 
huic aridis tunicis direptis quod relicum e vivo 1 est 
consectum suspenditnr lino modicis intervals. 
postea arida frusta in cadum aceti quam asperrimi 
pendentia inmerguntur ita ne ulla parte vas contm- 

98 ^ant. gypso deinde oblitus cadus pomtur sub 
tegulis totius diei solem accipientibus. hoc fit ante 
sobtitium, diebus XLvm. 2 post eum numerum 
dierum tollitur vas, scilla eximitur, acetum trans- 
ftmditur. hoc clariorem oculorum aciem facit, sa~ 
lutare est stomachi laterumque doloribus diebus 
binis 3 sumptum. sed tanta vis est ut avidius haustum 
exstinctae animae momento aliquo speciem praebeat. 

99 prodest et gingivis et dentibus vel per se comman- 
ducata. taenias et reliqua ventris animalia pellit 
ex aceto et melle sumpta. linguae quoque recens 
subiecta praestat ne hydropici sitiant. coquitur 
pluribus modis : in olla quae coiciatur in clibanum aut 
furnum, vel adipe aut luto inlita, aut 4 frustatim in 

100 patinis. et cruda siccatur, deinde conciditur coqui- 
turque in aceto, turn serpentium ictibus inponitur. 
tosta quoque purgatur et medium eius iterum in aqua 
coquitur. usus sic coctae ad hydropicos, ad urinam 
ciendam tribus obolis cum melle et aceto potae, 
item splenicos et stomacMcos 3 si non sentiant ulcus, 



1 Fortasse, in medio. Dioscorides H. 171 TO 

2 hoc fit ... XLVIII post conttngarxt codd. : trans* Mayhoff. 

3 binis aut pinis codd. : diebus binis Sillig : ieiunis coni, 
Mayhoff. 

4 aiaifc Codd. : val Mayhoff. 

' ffl A -strange phrase. Perhaps " in the centre." See 
critical note. 



BOOK XX. xxxix. 97-100 

XXXIX. The squill used in medicine is white 
(the dark squill is female), and the whiter it is the 
more beneficial. When the dried skin has been 
torn from it, what is left of the living a plant is cut up 
and hung on a cord at short distances. Afterwards 
the dry pieces are plunged still hanging into a jar 
of very strong vinegar, so as not to touch any part 
of the vessel. Then the jar, plastered with gypsum, 
is placed under tiles which receive the sun the 
whole day long. This is done forty-eight days before 
the solstice. After this number of days the vessel 
is removed and the squills taken out, the vinegar 
being poured into another vessel. This vinegar 
sharpens the vision, is beneficial for pains of the 
stomach and sides if taken for two days at a time. 6 
But so great is its strength that too copious a draught 
produces for a moment the appearance of death. 
Even when chewed by themselves squills are good 
for the gums and teeth. Taken in vinegar and 
honey they bring away tapeworm and other intes 
tinal parasites. Fresh squills placed under the 
tongue prevent dropsical patients from suffering 
thirst. They are cooked in several ways : either hi 
a pot lined with fat or clay, to be put into an oven or 
furnace, or else they are cut up and cooked in a 
stewpan. Raw squills too are dried, then cut up, 
boiled in vinegar and then applied to snake bites. 
Another way is to roast the squills and then clean 
them, after which the centre parts are again cooked, 
in water. Thus prepared they are used for dropsy, 
as a diuretic, drunk with honey and vinegar in doses 
of three oboli, and also for diseases of the spleen 

* Beading diebus T)inis. MayhofF'e ieiunis (*' fasting**) is 
very attractive, and may well be right. 

59 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quibus innatet cibus, ad tormina, regies morbos, 

101 tussim veterem ctun suspirio. discutit et foliis 
stnimas quadrinis diebus soluta, furfures capitis et 
ulcera manantia inlita ex oleo cocta. coquitur et in 
melle cibi gratia, maxime uti concoctionem faciat. 
sic et interiora purgat. rimas pedum sanat in oleo 
cocta et mixta resinae. semen eius lumborum dolori 
ex melle inponitur. Pythagoras scillam in limine 
quoque ianuae suspensam contra malorum rnedica- 
raentorum introitum pollere tradit. 

102 XL. Ceteri x bulbi ex aceto et sulpure vulneribus 
in facie medentur, per se vero triti nervonun con- 
tractioni et ex vino porrigini, cum melle canum 
morsibus; Erasistrato placet cum pice, idem san- 
guinem sistere eos tradit inlitos cum melle. alii, si 
e naribus fluat, coriandrum et farinam adiciunt. 

103 Theodorus et lichenas ex aceto bulbis curat, erum- 
pentia in capite cum vino austero aut ovo. et 
bulbos epiphoris idem inlinit et siccae lippitudini 
media eorum. vitia quae sunt in facie rubentes 
maxime in sole inliti cum melle et nitro emendant, 
lentiginem cum vino aut cum aceto. 2 vulneribus 
quoque mire prosunt per se aut, ut Damion, ex 

104 mulso, 3 si quinto die solvantur. isdem et auriculas 
fractas curat et testrum pituitas. in articulorum 

1 ceteri aliquot codd. et Mayhoff : ceterum Mi et Detlefsen. 

2 cum aceto Urlichs t Detlefsen^ MayTioffi cucumi, cum cucu- 
,mi cumino, cum cumino codd. cooto addito. 

8 mtdso codd. : musoo F. Ease. 

* !By ** bulbs '* are meant probably some kinds of onions, 
as weifea ehives, garlic, etc. 

. ^3Jhe other readings would give " with cucumber " or 
" witli cummin/* * 

60 



BOOK XX. xxxix. loo XL. 104 

and stomach., when food floats undigested, provided 
that no ulceration is felt, for griping pains, jaundice, 
and chronic cough with asthma. Scrofula is cleared 
away by squill leaves, if they are left on for 
four days; dandruff and running sores by an 
application of squills cooked in oil. Cooked too in 
honey squills are used as food, especially to promote 
digestion. So prepared they also purge the bowels. 
Cooked in oil and mixed with resin squills heal 
cracks in the feet. The seed mixed with honey is 
applied to relieve lumbago. Squills too, hung in a 
doorway, are said by Pythagoras to have power to 
keep off evil enchantments. 

XL. The other bulbs cure cuts on the face when Bulbs 
used with vinegar and sulphur, contraction of the 
sinews too when pounded up and used by themselves, 
dandruff when mixed with wine, and the bites of dogs 
when mixed with honey ; Eirasistratus would mix 
them with pitch. The same authority holds that 
applied with honey they stop a flow of blood. Others 
add coriander and flour for bleeding at the nose. 
Theodorus treats lichen also with bulbs in vinegar, 
adding a dry wine or egg for eruptions on the head. 
The same authority applies them for eye-fluxes, and 
their centres for dry ophthalmia. Red bulbs in 
particular, applied in the sun with honey and soda, 
remove spots on the face, and freckles when applied 
with wine or with vinegar. 5 They are wonderfully 
good too for wounds, either by themselves, or as 
Damion advises, with honey wine/ if the application 
be allowed to remain for four days at least. By the 
same means he treats broken ear-laps and hydrocele, 

8 V. Rose's reading -would mean " with moss." 

6r 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

doloribus miscet et * farinam. in vino cocn inliti 
ventri dirritiam praecordiorum emolHunt. dysin- 
tericis in vino ex aqua caelesti temperato dantur, ad 
convulsa intus cum silphio pilulis fabae magnitudine. 
ad sudorem tusi inUnuntur. nervis utfles, ideo et 

105 paralyticis dantur. luxata in pedibus qui sunt rufi 
ex iis citissime sanant cum melle et sale, venerem 
maxime Megarici stimulant, hortensii partum cum 
sapa aut passo sumpti, silvestres interaneorum 
plagas et vitia cum silphio pilulis devoratis sedant. 

106 horum semen contra phalangia bibitur in vino, 
ipsi ex aceto inlinuntur contra serpentium ictus, 
semen antiqui bibendum insanientibus dabant. flos 
bulborum tritus crurum maculas varietatesque igni 
factas emendat.^ Diocles hebetari oculos ab his 
putat* elixos assis minus utiles esse adicit et 
difficile concoqui ex vi uniuscuiusque naturae. 

107 XLI. Bulbinem Graeci vocant herbam porraceis 
foliis, rubicundo bulbo. haec traditur vulneribus 
mire utilis dumtaxat recentibus. bulbus, quern 
vomitorium vocant ab efFectu, folia habet nigra, 
ceteris longiora. 

108 XLII. Inter utilissimos stomacho cibos asparagi* 
traduntur. cumino quidem addito mflationes sto- 
machi colique discutiunt, idem oculis claritatem 
adferunt, ventrem leniter molliunt, pectoris et 

1 miscet et M aylioff : miscent codd. 
62 



BOOK XX. XL. 104-xLii. 1 08 

adding flour also for pains in the joints. Boiled in 
wine and applied to the belly they soften hardness 
of the abdomen. For dysentery they are given in 
wine diluted with rain-water, for internal spasms in 
pills of the size of a bean compounded with silphimn. 
For sweating they are bruised and applied. They 
are good for the sinews, and therefore are given to 
paralytics. Red bulbs, mixed with honey and salt. 
heal sprains of the foot very quickly. Megarian 
bulbs are a strong aphrodisiac ; garden bulbs taken 
with concentrated must or raisin wine help delivery ; 
wild bulbs compounded with silphium and swallowed 
in pills relieve intestinal wounds and affections. The 
seed of the last is taken in wine against the bite of 
venomous spiders. The bulbs themselves are ap 
plied in vinegar against the bites of serpents. The 
ancients used to give the seed in drink to persons 
raving mad. The flowers of bulbs pounded up 
remove spots on the legs and patches produced by 
fire. Diocles thinks that the eyes are weakened by 
them. He adds that when boiled they are less useful 
than roasted, and that according to the strength 
of every variety they are difficult of digestion. 

XLI. The Greeks call bulbine a plant with leaves 
like those of leeks and with a red bulb. This is 
said to be wonderfully good for wounds, provided 
that they are recent. The bulb called the emetic 
from its effects has dark leaves, longer than those 
of other kinds. 

XLII. Asparagus is reported to be one of the Asparagus. 
most beneficial foods to the stomach. Indeed if 
cummin is added it disperses flatulence of the stomach 
and colon ; it improves vision also, moves the bowels 
gently, benefits pains in the chest and spine as well 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

spinae doloribus intestinorumque vitiis prosunt, vino 
cum coquantur addito. ad lumborum et renium 
dolores semen obolorum trium pondere, par! cumini 
bibitur. venerem stimulant, urinam cient utilissime, 

109 praeterquam vesica exulcerata. radix 1 quoque pluri- 
morum praedicatione trita et in vino albo pota 
calculos quoque exturbat, lumborum et renium 
dolores sedat. quidam et ad vulvae dolorem radi- 
cem cum vino dulci propinant. eadem in aceto 
decocta contra elephantiasim proficit. asparago 
trito ex oleo perunctum pungi ab apibus negant. 

110 XLIII. Silvestrem asparagum aliqui corrudam, 
aliqui Libycum vocant, Attici orminum. huius ad 
supra dicta omnia efficacior vis 3 et candidiori maior. 
morbum regium extenuant. veneris causa aquam 
eorum decoctam bibi iubent ad heininam. idem et 
semen valet cum aneto ternis utriusque obolis. 
datur et ad serpentium ictus sucus decoctus. radix 
miscetur radici marathri inter efficacissima auxilia. 

111 si sanguis per urinam reddatur, semen et asparagi et 
apii et cumini ternis obolis in vini cyathis duobus 
Chrysippus dari iubet. sic et hydropicis contrarium 
esse, quamvis urinam moveat, docet, item veneri, 
vesicae q 110 ^" - 6 ' D * s *- decoctum, quae aqua si canibus 



radix ego z radice cddd. Ita ego distinxi. Post exulcerata 
m&,. post pota yunctum Detle/sen : 'post exulcerata comma, 
yposti pimedicatione punctum MayKofj* 



BOOK XX. XLII. loS-XLin. in 

as intestinal trouble, wine being added when it is 
being cooked. For pains in the loins and kidneys 
asparagus seed is taken in drink in doses of three 
oboli, an equal quantity of cummin being added. 
It is aphrodisiac and very useful as a diuretic, except 
when the bladder has been ulcerated. Very many 
recommend that the root be pounded and taken in 
white wine, when it also disperses stone, and relieves 
pains of the loins and kidneys. Some also prescribe 
this root to be taken in sweet wine for pain in the 
womb. This root boiled down in vinegar is good for 
elephantiasis. If a man is rubbed with a mixture 
of pounded asparagus and oil it is said that he is 
never stung by bees. 

XLIII. Wild asparagus is called by some corruda, 
by others Libyan, by the Attics orminus. For all 
the purposes mentioned above its properties are 
more efficacious than those of the cultivated as 
paragus, and those of the whiter kind are the more 
powerful. Both relieve jaundice. As an 'aphro 
disiac, the water in which it has been boiled is 
recommended to be drunk in doses up to a hemina. 
Its seed has the same effect mixed with dill and 
taken in doses of three oboli of each. A decoction 
of the juice is also given for the bites of serpents. 
Its root, mixed with the root of fennel, is among 
our most efficacious aids. In cases of haematuria 
the seed of asparagus, of parsley, and of cummin is 
prescribed by Chrysippus in doses of three oboli in 
two cyathi of wine. He goes on to say that thus 
prepared, although it is diuretic, yet it is bad for 
dropsy* as it is for venery, and also for the bladder 
unless it is boiled in water; that this water kills 
dogs if they drink it; that the juice of the root 

6 5 

VOL* vi. D 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

detur, occidi eos, in vino decoctae radicis sucum, si 
ore contineatur, dentibus mederi. 

113 XLIV. Apio gratia in volgo est. namque rami 
lactis potionibus per rura innatant et in condimentis 
peculiarem gratiam habent. praeterea oculis in- 
litum cum melle, ita ut subinde foveantur ferventi 
suco decocti, aliisque membrorum epiphoris per se 
tritum aut cum pane vel polenta inpositum mire 
auxiliatur. pisces quoque, si aegrotent in piscinis, 

113 apio viridi recreantur. verum apud erudites non 
aliud erutum terra in maiore sententiarum varietate 
est. distinguitur sexu. Chrysippus feminam esse 
dicit crispioribus foliis et duris, crasso caule, sapore 
acri et fervido, Dionysius * nigriorem, brevioris radicis, 
venniculos gignentem, ambo neutrum ad cibos ad- 
mitt endum, immo omnino nefas, namque id defunc- 
torum epulis feralibus dicatum esse, visus quoque 

114 claritati inimicum. caule feminae vermiculos gigni, 1 
ideoque eos qui ederint sterilescere, mares feminasve, 
in puerperiis vero ab eo cibo comitiales fieri qui ubera 
hatfriant. 2 innocentiorem tamen esse marem. eaque 
causa est ne inter nefastos frutex damnetur. mam- 

115 marum duritiam inpositis foliis emollit. suaviores 
aquas potui incoctum praestat. suco maxime radicis 
cum vino lumborum dolores mitigat, eodena lure 
instiLlato gravitatem aurium. semine urinam ciet, 

1 Post Dionysius et radicis lacunam esse putat Mayhoff, 
qui visus . . . inimicum ut parenthesim dist. et caule . . . gigni 
uiuyis indudit. Detlefsen sequor. 

2 hauriaiit Mayhoff : hauriunt codd. 



Apium includes both parsley and celery. 
5 By "male" and "female" plants the ancients often 
referred to different species^ 

66 



BOOK XX. XLIII. III-XLIV. 115 

boiled in wine, if it be held in the mouth, cures 
toothache. 

XLIV. Parsley a is universally popular, for sprigs parsley. 
of it are found swimming in draughts of milk every 
where in the country, and in sauces it enjoys a 
popularity all its own. Moreover applied with 
honey to the eyes, provided that they are also fre 
quently fomented with a warm decoction, it is 
wonderfully beneficial, as also for other fluxes on 
the limbs, when applied pounded up, either by itself 
or with bread or pearl-barley. Fish also, if they are 
sickly in ponds, are revived by fresh parsley. But 
no other plant taken from the ground has caused 
such a variety of opinion among the learned. Parsley 
shows distinction of sex. & Chrysippus says that female 
parsley has hard and curlier leaves, a thick stem and 
a sharp, hot taste, Dionysius that it is darker, has a 
shorter root and breeds grubs ; both agree that 
neither should be classed among the foods nay, 
that it is altogether a sin to eat parsley, because 
it is dedicated to the funeral feasts in honour of 
the dead, and that it is also bad for the eye-sight. 
They say that the stem of female parsley breeds 
grubs, and because of this those who have eaten it, 
whether male or female, become barren, and actually 
that sucking babies become epileptic if then* nurses 
have eaten parsley. The male plant however they 
say is the less injurious. This is why it is not classed 
among plants utterly taboo. The application of 
parsley leaves softens- hardness of the breasts. 
To boil parsley in it makes water sweeter to drink. 
The juice of the root in particular added to wine 
relieves lumbago, and hardness of hearing if the 
same liquid be dropped into the ears. The seed is 

6? 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

menstrua ac secundas partus et, si foveantur semine 
decocto, suggillata reddit colori. cum ovi albo in- 
litum aut ex aqua coctum potumque rerdbus medetur, 
in frigida tritum oris ulceribus. semen cum vino vel 
radix cum veteri vino vesicae calculos frangunt. se 
men datur et arquatis ex vino albo. 

116 XLV. Apiastrum Hyginus quidem melissophyllum 
appellat, sed in confessa damnatione est venenatum 
in Sardinia, contexenda enim sunt omnia ex eodem 
nomine apud Graecos pendentia. 

117 XLVI. Olusatrum, quod hipposelinum vocant, 
adversatur scorpionibus. poto semine torminibus et 
interaneis medetur, idem difHcultatibus urinae semen 
eius decoctum ex mulso potum. radix eius in vino 
decocta calculos pellit et lumborum ac lateris dolores. 
canis rabiosi morsibus potum et inlrtum medetur. 
sucus eius algentes calefacit potus. quartum genus 
ex eodem aliqui faciunt oreoselinum, palmum 1 alto 2 
frutice recto, semine cumino srmili, urinae et men- 
struis efficax. heleoselino vis privata contra araneos, 
eo 3 et oreoselino feminae purgantur e vino. 

118 XL VI I. Alio genere petroselinum quidam appel 
lant in saxis natum, praecipuum ad vomicas, cocleari- 
bus binis suci additis in cyathum marrubii suci atque 
ita calidae aquae tribus cyathis. addidere quidam 

1 palmum veins coniectura : om. codd. 

* alto Detlefsen : alio codd. 

3 eo &t Mayhoff : de, sed et codd. : sed et Detlefeen. 

68 



BOOK XX. xuv. 115-xLvii. 118 

diuretic, aids the menses and the after-birth, and 
restores bruises to their natural colour if they are 
fomented with a decoction of the seed. Applied 
with white of egg, or boiled in water and drunk, 
parsley cures kidney troubles, and ulcers in the 
mouth when pounded up in cold water. The seed 
wijh wine, or the root with old wine, breaks up stones 
in the bladder. The seed is also given, in white 
wine, to jaundice patients. 

XLV. Hyginus gives the name of apiastrum to 
melissophyllum, but by general consent the Sar 
dinian variety is condemned as poisonous; I must 
however include in the same class all plants so placed 
by Greek writers. 

XLVL Olusatrum (alexanders), also called hippo- Alexanders. 
selirium (horse parsley), is antipathetic to scorpions. 
Its seed taken in drink cures colic and intestinal 
worms - The seed too, boiled and drunk in honey 
wine, cures dysuria. Its root, boiled in wine, ex 
pels stone, besides curing lumbago and pains in the 
side. Taken in drink and applied as liniment it 
cures the bite of a mad dog. A draught of its juices 
warms those who have been chilled. A fourth kind 
of parsley is made by some authorities out of oreo- 
selinum (mountain parsley), a straight shrub a palm Mountain 
high, with a seed like cummin, beneficial to the urine P^^V- 
and the menses. Heleoselinum (marsh celery) is Marsh 
especially valuable for the bites of spiders ; this variety cdery ' 
and oreoselinum taken in wine promotes the menses. 

XLVIL Another kind of parsley, which grows on Rock parsley. 
rocks, is called by some petroselinum (rock parsley) ; 
it is especially good for abscesses, two spoonfuls of 
the juice making a dose with one cyathus of juice 
of horehound and three cyathi of warm water. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

buselinum differens brevitate caulis a sativo et radicis 
color e rufo, eiusdem effectus. praevalere contra 
serpent es potu et inlitu. 

119 XLVIIL Ocjmum quoque Chrysippus graviter in- 
crepuit inutile stomacho, urinae, oculorum quoque 
claritati, praeterea insaniam facere et lethargos et 
iocineris vitia, ideoque capras id aspernari, hominibus 
quoque fugiendum c ens ens. addunt quidam tritum, 
si operiatur lapide, scorpionem gignere, comman- 

120 ducatum et in sole positum vermes, Afri vero, si eo 
die feriatur quispiam a scorpione quo ederit ocimurn, 
non posse servari. quin immo tradunt aliqui mani- 
pulo ocimi cum cancris x marinis vel fluviatilibus trito 
convenire ad id scorpiones ex proximo omnes. 

121 Diodorus in empiricis etiam. pediculos facere ocimi 
cibum. sfecuta aetas acriter defendit, nam id esse 
capras, nee cuiquam mentem motam, et scorpionum 
terrestrium ictibus marinorumque venenis mederi ex 
vino addito aceti exiguo. usu quoque conpertum 
deficientibus ex aceto odoratu salutare esse, item 
lethargicis et inflammatis refrigeration!/ inlitum 
capitis doloribus cum rosaceo aut myrteo aut aceto, 

122 item oculorum epiphoris inpositum ex vino, sto 
macho quoque utile inflationes ructu ex aceto dis- 
solvere sumptum, alvum sistere inpositum, urinam 

1 refrigeratione coni. Mayhoff, 

Lethargus was the comatose form of malaria, but seems 
to have been also used of any disease accompanied by coma. 

b " Empiric writings,'' i.e. of the Empiric School. Here 
perhaps " Empiric prescriptions." 

70 



BOOK XX. XLVII. II8-XLVIII. 122 

Other authorities have added to the parsleys buse- 
linum (cow parsley), which differs from the cultivated 
kind in the shortness of its stalk and the redness of 
its root, although its properties are the same. They 
add that taken in drink or applied it is a powerful 
antidote against the bites of serpents. 

XL VIII. Ocimum (basil) too was severely condemn- 
ed by Chrysippus as injurious to stomach, urine and 
eyesight, adding that it causes madness, lethargus a 
and fiver troubles, and that for this reason goats 
refuse to touch it, so that men also ought to avoid 
it. Certain authorities add that pounded ocimum, 
if covered by a stone, breeds a scorpion, and that 
ocimum chewed and left in the sun breeds worms ; 
the Africans moreover hold that a man's life is lost if 
he is stung by a scorpion on the same day as he has 
eaten ocimum. Moreover, some hold that if a 
handful of ocimum be pounded up with ten sea or 
river crabs, all the scorpions in the neighbourhood 
are drawn to it. Diodorus in his Empiric a b says 
that the use of ocimum as a food breeds lice. The 
period that followed saw strong defenders of ocimuin, 
who said that goats do eat it, that no man's mind 
has been affected by it, and that in wine and a little 
vinegar it cures the stings of land scorpions and the 
venom of those in the sea. Experience also proves, 
they say, that ocimum if smelt in vinegar is good for 
fainting; also for lethargus, and to cool inflam- 
mations ; for headache, too, if used as a liniment 
with rose oil or with myrtle oil or with vinegar, and 
for eye fluxes if applied in wine. It is said too, to 
be beneficial to the stomach, to disperse flatulence 
by belching if taken in vinegar, to check looseness 
of the bowels if applied externally, to be diuretic, 

7* 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ciere, sic et morbo regio et hydropicis prodesse, 
etiam choleris destillationes stomach! inhiberi. ergo 
etiam coeliacis Philistio dedit, et coctum dysintericis, 
et contra Plistonicum 1 aliqui et in tenesmo et san- 
guinem excreantibus in vino, duritia quoque prae- 
cordiorum. inlinitur mammis extinguitque 2 lactis 

123 proventum. auribus utilissimum infantium, prae- 
cipue cum adipe anserino. semen tritum et haustum 
naribus stermimenta movet 3 et destillationes quoque 
capitis inlitum, vulvas purgat in cibo ex aceto. 
verrucas mixto atramento sutorio tollit. venerem 
stimulat, ideo etiam equis asinisque admissurae 
tempore ingeritur. 

124 Silvestri ocimo vis efficacior ad eadem ornnia, 
peculiaris ad vitia quae vomitionibus crebris contra- 
huntur vomicasque volvae, contra bestiarum morsus 
e vino radice efficacissima. 

125 XLIX. Erucae semen scorpionum venenis et muris 
aranei medetur, bestiolas omnes innascentes corpori 
arcet, vitia cutis in facie cum melle inlitum, lentigines 
ex aceto, cicatrices nigras reducit ad candorem cum 
felle bubulo. aiunt verbera subituris potum ex vino 

126 duritiam quandam contra sensum induere. in con- 
diendis opsoniis tanta est suavitas ut Graeci euzomon 
appellaverint. putant, subtrita eruca si foveantur 

By ; claritatem restitui, . . . tussim 4 infantium 



* PHstonicum codd. : Plistonicxis vettts editio et Mayhoff, 
qi post contra lacunam indicat. 

2 extinguitque codd. et , DQ,tlefsen : exinanitque MayJioff, 
coll. Dioscoridis yaXaKros jrpoKXyriKov : elicitque co'n.i. Warm- 
irtgton. 

3 movet aut om* codd, : compescit Mayhoff coll. 6far- 



* Ante tussim lacunam indicat Mayhoff. 
1* 



BOOK XX. XLVIII. I22-XLIX. 126 

applied thus to be good for both jaundice and dropsy, 
and to check even the diarrhoea of cholera. Philistion 
therefore prescribed ociimim even for coeliac com 
plaints and when boiled for dysentery ; some against 
the advice of Plistonicus prescribe it in wine for 
tenesmus, spitting of blood and hardness of the 
hypochondria. Applied to the breasts it checks a 
the flow of milk. It is very beneficial, especially 
with goose grease, for the ears of babies. The 
pounded seed snuffed up the nostrils promotes b 
sneezing, and used as a liniment the flow of mucus 
from the head; taken as food in vinegar it purges 
the womb. Mixed with cobbler's blacking it 
removes warts. Being aphrodisiac it is also ad 
ministered to horses and asses at the time of service. 

For all these purposes wild ocimum is of greater 
efficacy, particularly for the troubles caused by 
frequent vomitings and for abscesses of the womb, 
the root taken in wine being very efficacious for the 
bites of wild beasts. 

XLIX. Rocket seed cures the poisons of scorpions Racket. 
and of the shrew-mouse ; it keeps off all the little 
parasites breeding on the body, and removes spots 
on the skin of the face when applied with honey, 
freckles when applied with vinegar, reducing livid 
scars to whiteness when mixed with ox-gall. Taken 
in wine it is said to harden as it were the feeling of 
those about to be flogged. As a seasoning for dishes 
it imparts such a pleasant flavour that the Greeks 
have called it euzomon (good broth). It is thought 
that if the eyes are fomented with slightly pounded 
rocket, clearness of vision is restored . . . the 

a Exinanit would mean " drains," i.e. " promotes." 
b Compescit would mean "checks." 

73 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sedari. radix eius in aqua decocta fracta ossa 
extrairit. iam 1 de venere stimulanda diximus tria 
folia silvestris erucae sinistra manu decerpta et trita 
in aqua mulsa si bibantur. 

127 L. E contrario nasturtium venerem inhibet, ani- 
mum exacuit, ut diximus. duo eius genera, album 
alvum purgat, detrahit bilem potum X pondere in 
aquae vn. strumis cum lomento inlitum oper- 
tumque brassica praeclare medetur. alterum est 
nigrius, quod capitis vitia purgat, visum compurgat, 
commotas mentes sedat ex aceto sumptum, lienem ex 
vino potum vel cum fico sumptum, tussim ex melle. 

128 si cotidie ieiuni sumant. semen ex vino omnia intes- 
tinorum animalia pellit, efficacius addito mentastro. 
prodest et contra suspiria et tussim cum origano et 
vino dulci 3 pectoris doloribus decoctum in lacte 
caprino. panos discutit cum pice extrahitque cor- 
pori aculeos et maculas inlitum ex aceto, contra 

129 carcinomata adicitur ovorum album, et lienibus 
inlinitur ex aceto, infantibus vero e melle utilissime. 
Sextius adicit ustum serpentes fugare, scorpionibus 
resist ere, capitis dolor es contrito, alopecias emendari 
addito sinapi, gravitatem aurium trito inposito auribus 
cum fico, dentium dolor es infuso in aures suco, por- 

1 iam ego : nam codd. : lacunam post extrahit Mayhoff, post 
diximus Hard. 



<* XIX. 154. 

74 



BOOK XX. XLIX. I26-L. 129 

coughing of babies is soothed. A decoction of its 
root in water extracts broken bones. We have 
already spoken of rocket as an aphrodisiac;" if 
three leaves of wild rocket plucked with the left 
hand and pounded are drunk in hydromel, they so 
act. 

L. On the other hand cress is antaphrodisiac, but cress. 
as we have already said & sharpens the senses. 
There are two varieties of it. The white acts as a 
purge, and carries bile away if one denarius by weight 
of it be taken in seven of water. It is an excellent 
cure for scrofula if applied with bean meal and covered 
with a cabbage leaf. The other kind, which is darker, 
purges away peccant humours of the head, clears 
the vision, cairns if taken in vinegar troubled minds, 
and benefits the spleen when drunk in wine or eaten 
with a fig, or a cough if taken in honey, provided 
that the dose be repeated daily and administered on 
an empty stomach. The seed in wine expels all 
parasites of the intestines, more effectively however 
if there be added wild mint. Taken with wild mar 
joram and sweet wine it is good for asthma and 
cough, and a decoction in goat's milk relieves pains 
in the chest. Applied with pitch it disperses super 
ficial abscesses ; applied in vinegar it extracts thorns 
from the body and removes spots. When used for 
carcinoma white of egg is added. It is applied in 
vinegar to the spleen, but with babies it is best 
applied in honey. Sextius adds that burnt cress 
keeps away serpents, and neutralizes scorpion stings ; 
that the pounded plant relieves head-ache, and 
mange, if mustard be added ; that pounded and 
placed with fig on the ears it relieves hardness of 
hearing, and toothache if its juice be poured into the 

75 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

riginem et ulcera capitis cum adipe anserine, furun- 

130 culos concoquit cum fermento. carbunculos ad 
suppurationem perducit et rumpit, phagedaenas 
ulcerum expurgat cum melle. coxendicibus et 
lumbis cum polenta ex aceto inlinitur, item licheni, 
unguibus scabris, quippe natura eius caustica est. 
optimum autem Babylonium, silvestri ad omnia ea 
effectus maior. 

131 LI. In praecipuis autem medicaminibus ruta est. 
latiora sativae folia, rami fruticosiores. silvestris 
horrida ad effectual est et ad omnia acrior. sucus 
exprimitur tunsae aspersa modice aqua, et in pyxide 
Cypria adservatur. hie copiosior datus veneni 
noxiam obtinet, in Macedonia maxime iuxta fhimen 
Aliacmonem, mirumque, cicutae suco extinguitur: 

132 adeo etiam venenorum venena sunt. cicutae sucus 
prodest manibus et faciei colligentium rutam. 
cetero inter prima roiscetur antidotis, praecipueque 
Galatica. quaecumque autem ruta et per se pro 
antidoto valet foliis tritis ex vino sumptis, contra 
aconitum maxime et viscum, item fungos, sive in 
potu detur sive in cibo. simili modo contra ser- 
pentium ictus, utpote cum mustelae dimicaturae 

133 cum his rutam prius edendo muniant se. valent et 
contra scorpionum et contra araneorum, apium, cra- 
bronum, vesparum aculeos et cantharidas ac sala- 
manclras canisve rabiosi morsus. acetabuli mensura 

Spanish fly. 

76 



BOOK XX. L. i2 9 -Li. 133 

ears ; and that dandruff and sores on the head are 
removed if the juice be applied with goose grease. 
Boils it brings to a head if" applied with leaven. It 
makes carbuncles suppurate and break, and with 
honey it cleanses phagedaenic ulcers. With pearl 
barley it is applied in vinegar for sciatica and lum 
bago, likewise for lichen and rough nails, because its 
nature is caustic. The best kind, however, is the 
Babylonian; the wild variety for all the purposes 
mentioned is the more efficacious. 

LI. But among our chief medicinal plants is rue. Rue. 
The cultivated kind has the wider leaves and the 
more bushy branches; the wild variety is harsh in 
its effects and sharper in all respects. The juice is 
extracted by pounding with a moderate sprinkling 
of water, and is kept in a copper box. An overdose 
of this juice possesses poisonous qualities, especially 
in Macedonia near the river Aliacmon. Strangely 
enough, it is neutralized by the juice of hemlock; 
so there are actually poisons of poisons, and hemlock 
juice is good for the hands and face of those who 
gather rue. Further, rue, especially the Gallic 
variety, is one of the chief ingredients of antidotes. 
Any sort of rue, however, is even by itself a powerful 
antidote, the pounded leaves being taken in wine, 
especially against aconite and mistletoe; likewise, 
whether given in drink or in food, against poisonous 
fungi. In like manner it counteracts the bites of 
serpents, seeing that weasels, when about to fight 
with them, first protect themselves by eating rue. 
Rue is good for stings of -scorpions and for those of 
spiders, bees, hornets and wasps, for injuries caused 
by cantharides a and salamanders, and for the bites 
of mad dogs. The juice is drunk in wine in doses of 

77 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sucus e vino bibitur, et folia trita vel commanducata 
inponuntur cum melle ac sale vel cum aceto et pice 
decocta, suco perunctos et eum habentes negant 
feriri ab his malencis, serpentesque, si uratur ruta, 

134 nidorem fugere. efficacissima tamen est silvestris 
radix cum vino sumpta. eandem adiciunt effica- 
ciorem esse sub diu potam. Pythagoras et in hac 
marem minoribus herbaceique coloris foliis a femina 
discrevit, ea laetioribus foliis et colore. idem oculis 
noxiam putavit, falsum, quoniam scalptores et pic- 
tores hoc cibo utuntur oculorum causa cum pane vel 
nasturtio, caprae quoque silvestres propter visum, 

135 ut aiunt. multi suco eius cum melle Attico inuncti 
discusserunt caligines, vel cum lacte mulieris puerum 
enixae, vel puro suco angulis oculorum tactis. epi 
phoras cum polenta inposita lenit ; item capitis 
dolores pota cum vino aut cum aceto et rosaceo 
inlita, si vero sit cephalaea, cum farina hordeacia 
et aceto. eadem cruditates discutit mox et in- 

136 flationes, dolores stomachi veteres. vulvas aperit 
corrigitque conversas inlita in melle toto ventre et 
pectore, hydropicis cum fico et decocta ad dimidias 
partes potaque ex vino, sic bibitur et ad pectoris 
dolores laterumque et lumborum, tusses, suspiria, 
pulmonunij ' iocinerum, renium vitia, horrores fri- 
^dos. ad crapulae gravedines decocuntur folia 



BOOK XX. LI. 133-136 

one acetabulum, and the leaves pounded or chewed 
are applied with honey and salt, or after boiling with 
vinegar and pitch. It is said that any besmeared 
with its juice, and even those having 'it on their 
persons, are never stung by these poisonous creatures, 
and that serpents avoid the fumes that come from 
burning rue. Its most efficient form is the wild 
root taken with wine. Authorities add that this 
root is more efficacious if the draught be taken out 
of doors. Pythagoras divided rue also into (a) 
male, with smaller leaves and of a grass-green 
colour, and (&) female, with more luxuriant leaves 
and more colour. He also thought it injurious to 
the eyes, wrongly, since engravers and painters use 
rue as food, with bread or cress, for the sake of their 
eyes ; wild goats also, they say, eat it to improve 
their vision. Many have dispelled dimness by 
anointing the eyes with its juice added to Attic 
honey or to the milk of a woman who has just borne 
a male child, or even by touching the corners of the 
eyes with the pure juice. Hue applied with pearl 
barley relieves fluxes from the eyes ; taken in wine 
or applied with vinegar and rose oil, headaches like 
wise ; if however the headache be chronic, barley flour 
and vinegar should be the other ingredients. The 
same plant soon relieves indigestion, flatulence and 
chronic pains of the stomach. It opens the womb, 
and corrects displacement of it, if applied in honey 
to the whole abdomen and chest ; added to figs and 
boiled down to one half it is administered in wine 
in cases of dropsy. In this form it is also taken for 
pains in the chest, sides and loins, for coughs and 
asthma, for complaints of the lungs, liver and kidneys, 
and for cold shivers. To prevent the after-effects 

79 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

poturis. et in cibo vel cruda vel decocta conditave 
prodest, item torminibus in hysopo decocta et cum 

137 vino, sic et sanguinem sistit interiorem et narium 
indita, sic et conlutis dentibus prodest. auribus 
quoque in dolore sucus mftmditur, custodito, ut 
diximus, modo in silvestri, contra tarditatem vero 
sonitusque cum rosaceo vel cum laureo oleo aut 

138 cum vino l et melle. sucus et phreneticis ex aceto 
tritae instillatur in tempora et cerebrum, adiecerunt 
aliqui et serpyllum et laurum inlinentes capita et 
colla. dederunt et lethargicis ex aceto olfaciendum, 
et comitialibus bibendum decoctae sucum in cyathis 
quattuor; ante accessiones quarum frigus intolera- 

139 bile est alsiosisque et crudam in cibo. urinam 
quoque vel cruentam pellit, feminarum etiam purga- 
tiones secundasque, etiam emortuos partus, ut 
Hippocrati videtur, ex vino dulci nigro pota itaque 
inlita. et vulvarum causa et suffire iubet. Diocles 
et cardiacis inponit ex aceto et melle cum farina 
hordeaeia, et contra ileum decocta farina in oleo 
velleribus collecta. uaulti vero et contra purulentas 
excrealaones siccae draclimas duas, sulpuris unam et 
dimiiiam sumi censent, et contra cruentas ramos tres 

140 decoctos in vino, datur et dysintericis cuni casep 

1 cum vino Maylioffi cumino codd. 



See p. 8 and pp. xiii-xiv. 

* See p. 70 note and pp. xiii-xiv. 

So 



BOOK XX. LI. 136-140 

of drinking a decoction of the leaves is taken before 
indulgence in wine. It is beneficial as a food, raw, 
boiled or preserved, likewise for colic if boiled in hyssop 
and taken with wine. In this form it checks internal 
haemorrhage, and, if injected into them, bleeding 
nostrils ; this form is also good for rinsing the teeth. 
The juice is also poured into the ears for ear-ache, 
care being taken, as we have said, to inject only a 
moderate quantity if the wild variety is used ; but 
for hardness of hearing and for singing in the ears 
there is added rose oil or bay oil, or else wine and 
honey. For phrenitis a too the juice of pounded rue 
is poured in vinegar over the temples and cranium. 
Some have also added wild thyme and bay, rubbing 
with this mixture the head and the neck. Rue has 
been given in vinegar for sufferers from lethargus & 
to smell, and a decoction of the juice for epileptics 
to drink in doses of four cyathi ; it has been given 
before attacks of fever with unbearable chill, and also 
raw, as food, to sufferers from shivering fits. It is 
diuretic also, even when there is haematuria ; it pro 
motes too menstruation, and brings away the after 
birth and the foetus that has died before delivery, as 
Hippocrates holds, if it be taken in sweet, dark 
wine, or so applied locally. He also prescribes fumi 
gation with rue to stimulate the womb. Diocles 
also applies it in vinegar and honey with barley meal 
for heart-burn : for severe colic, the meal should be 
boiled in oil and spread over pieces of fleecel Many 
moreover also think that two drachmae of dried 
rue and one and a Half drachmae of sulphur can be 
taken for purulent spittings, and for spitting of blood 
three sprays boiled in wine. Pounded and taken 
in wine with cheese it is also given to patients with 

Si 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in vino contrita. dederunt et cum bitumine in- 
iriatam potioni propter anhelitum, ex alto lapsis 
seminis tres uncias olei libra vinique sextario. in- 
linittir cum oleo coctis foliis partibus quas frigus 
adusserit. si urinam movet, ut Hippocrati videtur, 
minim est quosdam dare velut inhibentem potui, 

141 contra incontinentiam urinae. psoras et lepras 
cum melle et alumine inlita emendat, item vitiligines, 
verrucas, strumas et similia cum trychno et adipe 
suillo ac taurino sebo, ignem sacrum ex aceto et oleo 
vel psimithio, carbunculum ex aceto. nonnulli 
laserpicium una inlini iubent, sine quo epinyctidas 
pusulas curant. inponunt et mammis turgentibus 
decoctam et pituitae eruptionibus cum cera, testium 

142 vero epiphoris cum, rarois laureae teneris, adeo 
peculiar! in visceribus his effectu ut silvestri rut a 
cum axungia veteri inlitos ramices sanari prodant, 
fracta quoque membra semine trito cum cera inposito. 
radix rutae sanguinem oculis suffusum et toto 
corpore cicatrices aut maculas inlita emendat. ex 
reliquis qtiae traduntur mirum est, cum ferventem 
rutae naturam esse conveniat, fasciculum eius in 
rosaceo decoctum addita aloes uncia perunctis su- 
dorem reprimere, itemque generationem inpediri 

143 Ixoc cibo. ideo in profluvio genitali datur et venerem 
crebro per somnia imaginantibus. praecav t endum 
est gravidis abstmeant hoc cibo, necari enim partus 

See 44 pp. 28-29 and p. viii. 

32 



BOOK XX. LI. 140-143 

dysentery. Crumbed into a draught it has " also 
been given with bitumen for shortness of breath; 
for heavy falls three ounces of seed with one pound 
of oil and a sextarius of wine. The leaves boiled 
with oil are applied to parts that have been bitten 
by frost. If it is diuretic, as Hippocrates holds, 
it is strange that some prescribe it as an antidiuretic 
drink for incontinence of urine. An application of 
rue, with honey and alum, heals itch and leprous 
sores ; vitiligo also and warts, scrofula and similar 
complaints, with nightshade, lard and beef suet ; in 
vinegar and oil, or white lead, erysipelas ; in vinegar, 
carbuncles. Some prescribe the addition of silphium 
to the ointment, without using it, however, for the 
treatment of night pustules.* A decoction of it is 
applied to swollen breasts, and with the addition of 
wax for outbursts of phlegm; for fluxes of the 
testicles, however, tender sprigs of laurel are added, 
and so extraordinary is the effect of these on the 
abdomen that, it is said, by an ointment of the wild 
variety with old axle-grease hernia is healed, as are 
also broken limbs by an application of the pounded 
seed and wax. The root of rue applied to the part 
affected restores to normal blood-shot eyes, and scars 
or spots on any part of the body. Of the other 
traditions about rue a remarkable one is that, 
although it is agreed that rue is by nature hot, yet a 
bunch of rue' boiled in rose oil with one ounce of 
aloes checks the perspiration of those who have 
rubbed themselves with it, and that its use as food 
hinders the generative powers. Accordingly it is 
prescribed for spermatorrhoea and for frequent 
amorous dreams. Pregnant women must take care 
to exclude rue from their diet, for I find that the 

83 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

invenio. eadem ex omnibus satis quadripeduin 
quoque morbis in maximo usu est, sive difficile 
spirantibus sive contra maleficorum animalium ictus, 
infasa per nares ex vino aut, si sanguisugam hauserint, 
ex aceto, et quocumque in simili morborum genere 
ut in homine temperata. 

144 LII. Mentastmm silvestris menta est diiferens 
specie foliorum quae sunt figura ocimi, pulei odore, 1 
propter quod quidam silvestre puleium vocant. his 
commanducatis et inpositis sanari elephantiasin 
Magni Pompei aetate fortuito cuiusdam experi- 
mento propter pudorem facie inlita conpertum est. 

145 eadem inlinuntur bibunturque adversus serpentium 
ictus drachmis duabus in vini cyathis duobus, ad 
versus scorpionum cum sale, oleo, aceto, item 
adversus scolopendras ius decocti. adversus omnia 
venena servantur folia arida ad farinae modum. 
substratum vel accensum fugat etiam scorpion es. 

146 potum feminas purgat, sed partus necat. ruptis, 
convulsis, orthopnoicis, torminibus, choleris effi- 
cacissinaum, item lumbis, podagris inposituncu sucus 
auribus verminosis instillatur. in regio morbo bibi- 
tur, strumis inlinitur, somnia veneris iiihibet, taenias 
pellit ex aceto potum, contra porriginem ex aceto 
infunditur capiti in sole. 

147 LIII. Menta e ipsius odor animum excitat et sapor 

1 odore Mayhoff t Cornarium et Dioscoridem secutus : colore 



a A kind of multipede. 



BOOK XX. LI. 143 LIII. 147 

foetus is killed by it. Of all plants rue is the one 
most generally used for the diseases of quadrupeds 
also, whether it be difficulty of breathing or the 
bites of noxious creatures ; it is injected through the 
nostrils in wine, or in vinegar if a bloodsucker has 
been swallowed ; in any type of illness it is com 
pounded as in the corresponding illness in man, 

LIL Mentastrum is wild mint, differing from the wild mint 
cultivated kind in the appearance of its leaves, which 
have the shape of those of ocimum and the smell of 
pennyroyal, for which reason some call it wild 
pennyroyal. If these leaves are chewed and applied, 
elephantiasis is cured, as was discovered in the time 
of Pompeius Magnus by the chance experiment of 
some one who for shame smeared his face with them. 
The same leaves are applied, or taken in drink, for 
the bites of serpents, in doses of two drachmae in 
two cyathi of wine, for the stings of scorpions with 
salt, oil and vinegar; for the wound of the scolo- 
pendra the juice of a decoction is used. The leaves 
are dried to a powder and kept as an antidote for 
all poisons. Spread out or burnt, the plant drives 
away even scorpions. Taken in drink it brings on 
menstruation, but it kills the foetus. For ruptures, 
spasms, orthopnoea, cholic and cholera it is very 
beneficial, and an external application is so for 
lumbago and gout. The juice is injected into ears 
that are infected with parasites. It is taken in 
drink for jaundice, and applied as ointment for 
scrofula ; it prevents amorous dreams, and if taken 
in vinegar expels worms; for dandruff, vinegar 
with the plant in it is poured over the head in the 
sun. 

LIII. The smell of mint by itself refreshes our Mint. 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

aviditatem in cibis, ideo embammatum mixturae 
familiaris. ipsa acescere aut coire denserique lac 
non patitur, quare lactis potionibus additur, et his 
qui 1 coagulati potu strangulentur, data in aqua aut 
mulso. eadem vi resist ere et generation! creditur 

148 cohibendo genitalia denseri. 2 aeque maribus ac 
feminis sistit sanguinem, et purgationes feminarum 
inhibet, cum amylo ex aqua pota coeliacorum 
impetus, exuleerationem 3 et vomicas vulvae curant 
illita, 4 iocinerum vitia ternis obolis ex mulso datis, 
item sanguinem excreantibus in sorbitione. ulcera 
in capite infantium mire sanat, arterias umidas 

149 siccat, siccas adstringit, pituitas corruptas purgat in 
mulso et aqua, voci suco utilis, sub certamine dum- 
taxat, qui et gargarizatur uva tumente adiecta 
ruta et coriandro ex lacte. utilis et contra tonsillas 
cum alumine, linguae asperae cum melle et convulsis 
intus per se vitiisque pulmonis. singultus et vo- 
mitiones sistit cum suco granati, ut Democritus 

150 monstrat. recentis sucus narium vitia spiritu sub- 
ductus emendat ; ipsa trita choleras, in aceto quid em 
pota, sanguinis fluctiones intus, ileum etiam inposita 
cum polenta et si mammae tendantur. inlinitur et 
temporibus in capitis dolor e, sumitur et contra 
scolopendras et scorpiones marinos et ad serpentes. 
epiphoris inlinitur et omnibus in capite eruptionibus, 

1 et his qui Mayhoff : et his codd. : ne huius vulg. 

2 Num punctum post feminis ponendum ? 

3 exuleerationem Mayhoff : e ratione, iratione, si rationem 
codd. : Serapion et Dalion coniectiwae. 

4 curant illita Mayhoff : curayit ilia plurimi codd. et Det- 
lefsen. 

Or, " thicken in both men and women," if the stop be 
transferred so as to follow feminis. 

86 



BOOK XX. LIU. 147-150 

spirits and its flavour gives a zest to food ; for tliis 
reason it is a familiar ingredient in our sauces. By 
itself mint prevents milk from turning sour or curdled 
and thick; for which reason it is added to milk for 
drinking, and administered in water or in honey 
wine to such as are choked by a curdled draught. 
Through the same property it is believed to be a 
hindrance to generation by not allowing the genital 
fluids to thicken/ 1 Bleeding it checks in both men 
and women, and stays menstruation ; violent dis 
turbance of the bowels also, if taken in water with 
starch. Ulceration and abscess of the womb are 
healed by an external application, liver complaints 
by doses of three oboli in honey wine, spitting of 
blood by the same in broth. It is wonderfully good 
for curing sores on children's heads ; it dries a wet 
and braces a dry trachea, in honey wine and water 
it clears away purulent phlegm, and benefits the 
voice, if its juice be taken just before a strain is put 
upon it, not otherwise ; a gargle also of the juice 
added to rue and coriander in milk is good for a 
swollen uvula. With alum it is good for the tonsils, 
with honey for a rough tongue, and by itself for 
internal spasms and for lung complaints. With 
pomegranate juice, as Democritus tells us, it stops 
hiccough and vomitings. The juice of fresh mint, 
inhaled, is good for affections of the nostrils. Pounded 
by itself mint is good for cholera, taken in a draught 
of vinegar, for internal fluxes of blood, made into a 
plaster with pearl barley, for iliac trouble also and 
tension of the breasts. It is also applied to the temples 
for headache, and it is taken for the wounds caused 
by the scolopendra, sea scorpion and serpent. It is 
applied to fluxes of the eyes, to all eruptions on the 

87 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

151 item sedis vitiis. intertrigines quoque, vel si ten- 
eatur tantum, prohibet. auribus instillatur cum 
mulso. aiunt et Herd mederi eam in horto gustatam 
ita ne vellatur, si is qui mordeat dicat se Herd mederi, 
per dies vim, aridae quoque farinam tribus digitis 
adprehensam et stomachi dolorem sedare in aqua 
et simiHter aspersa potione 1 ventris animaHa expel- 
lere. 

152 LIV. Magna societas cum hac ad recreandos 
defectos animo puleio cum surcuHs suis in ampullas 
vitreas aceti utrisque deiectis. qua de causa dignior 
e puleio corona Varroni quam e rosa cubicuHs nostris 
pronuntiata est, nam et capitis dolores inposita 
dicitur levare, quin et olfactu capita tueri contra 
frigorum aestusque iniuriam et ab siti traditur, neque 
aestuare eos qui duos e puleio surculos inpositos 
auribus in sole habeant. inHnitur etiam in doloribus 

153 cum polenta et aceto. femina efficacior. est autem 
haecilorepurpureo. mas candidum habet. nausias 2 
cum sale et polenta in frigida aqua pota inhibet, 
sic et pectoris 3 dolorem, stomachi autem ex aqua. 
item rosiones sistit et vomitiones cum aceto et 
polenta, alvum solvit ex sale et aceto et polenta. 
intestinorum vitia melle decocta et nitro sanat, 
urinam pellit ex vino et, si Amineurn sit, et ealculos 

154 jet interiores omnes dolores. ex melle et aceto 
sedat menstrua et secundas, vulvas conversas cor- 



1 potioni jStUiff : in potionem vulg. 

2 Ante nausias legifar in in codd.: item Mayfioff. 

3 Po^i r pectorifii piJLlg. et Detlefsen ac ventris add. 

<* ,The emendatipns would mean " sprinkled into drink." 
fr PerEaps,^" purple." There is nearly always a difficulty 
in translating jwrpureus. 

88 



BOOK XX. LIII. i5o-uv. 154 

head, and to rectal troubles. It prevents too 
chafing, even if only held in the hand. Added to 
honey wine it is poured into the ears. It is even 
said to cure splenic trouble if it be tasted in the 
garden, without plucking it, if he who bites it says on 
nine consecutive days that he is curing his spleen ; also 
that a three-finger pinch of the dried powder taken 
in water relieves stomach ache, and that the same 
with a sprinkling of drink a expels intestinal worms. 

LIV. Pennyroyal and mint are strong allies in pennyroyal. 
reviving people who have fainted, both being put, 
in whole sprays, into glass bottles full of vinegar. 
For this reason Varro declared that a garland of 
pennyroyal was more suited to our bedrooms than 
one of roses, for an application is said to relieve 
headache; moreover, its very smell protects the 
head, so it is reported, against injury from cold or 
heat, and from thirst, nor do they suffer from the 
heat who carry when they are in the sun two sprays 
of pennyroyal behind their ears. It is also applied 
with pearl barley and vinegar for pains. The female 
plant is the more efficacious. This has a mauve b 
flower, but the male a white one. Taken in cold 
water with salt and pearl barley it checks nausea; 
in this form pains in the chest also, and in water by 
itself pains in the stomach. Likewise it cheeks gnaw- 
ings and vomiting if taken with vinegar and pearl 
barley ; in salt, vinegar and pearl barley it loosens 
the bowels. Boiled with honey and soda it cures 
complaints of the intestines ; in wine it is diuretic, 
and if the wine be Aminean c it disperses both stone 
and all internal pains. In honey and vinegar it 
relieves menstruation and the after-birth, replaces 

* See XIV. 46, 47. 

89 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rigit, defimctos partus eicit. semen obmutescentibus 
olfaetu admovetur, comitialibus in aceto cyathi 
mensura datur. si aquae insalubres bibendae sint, 
tritum aspergitur. lassitudines 1 corporis, si cum 
vino datur, 2 minuit, nervorum causa et in contrac- 
tione cum sale et aceto, et melle infricatur in opis- 

155 thotono. bibitur ad serpentium ictus decoctum, ad 
scorpionum in vino tritum, maxime quod in siccis 
nascitur. ad oris exulcerationes, ad tussim efficax 
habetur. flos recentis incensus pulices necat odore. 
Xenocrates pulei ramum lana involutum in tertianis 
ante accessionem olfactandum dari aut stragulis 
subici et ita collocari aegrum inter remedia tradit. 

156 LV. Silvestri ad eadem vis efficacior. simile est 
origano, minoribus foliis quam sativum, et a quibus- 
dam dictamnos vocatur. gustatum a pecore capris- 
que balatum concitat, unde quidam Graeci littera 
mutata blechonem vocaverunt. natura tarn fervens 
est ut inlitas partes exulceret. tuso 3 in perfrictione 
fricari ante balinea convenit, et ante accessionum 

157 horrorem. convolsis et torminibus, podagris mire 

1 lassitudines Hard. : salsitudines codd. 

2 datur vulg. : aliae lectiones tractetur, troctetur, tradetur, 
Mayhoff scrfbit lassitudines, omnino tractetur, e melle. 
I'ortas-se cum melle malis. Textus est corrwptus sed sensus 
claru&. Nervorum causa et in contractione difficile. 

3 tuso cum dudbus codd. MayJioff : tussi cum uno Detlefsen. 

a Apparently " cramp." There is much to be said for 

Mayhoff's reconstruction : '* treat the body all over for 

tiredness etc." The et may be : " even when they are 
cramped." 



6 f&rqxw from ftX-rjx^at, supposedly. Really, /JA^cov is 
the Attic form of the Ionic yAifoaw, and its connection with 



apai is an instance of " popular etymology." 
90 



BOOK XX. LIV. 154-Lv. 157 

displaced uterus and expels the dead foetus. Its 
seed is given to smell in cases of aphasia; to epi 
leptics it is administered with vinegar in doses of 
one cyathus. If unwholesome water has to be 
drunk, pounded pennyroyal is sprinkled on it. It 
relieves physical tiredness if taken in wine; it is 
rubbed with salt and vinegar on the sinews, and when 
these are contracted, and with honey for opisthotonic 
tetanus. A decoction is drunk for 'serpent bites ; 
pounded it is taken in wine for stings of scorpions, 
especially if the pennyroyal be grown on dry soil. 
It is supposed to be good for ulcerations of the 
mouth, and for cough. The flower of the freshly 

fithered plant, when burnt, kills fleas by its smell, 
enocrates includes in his prescriptions the ad 
ministering of a sprig of pennyroyal wrapped in 
wool to be smelt by sufferers from tertian ague 
before an attack of fever, or its being placed under 
the bedclothes for the patient to lie on. 

LV. Wild pennyroyal has for the same purposes wild 
as I have mentioned yet more beneficial properties, 
It is like wild marjoram, has smaller leaves than 
cultivated pennyroyal, and by some is called dic- 
tamnos (dittany). Its taste incites sheep or goats 
to bleat; for this reason certain Greeks changing 
one letter only have named it blechon. 6 Its nature 
is so heating that it raises a blister on the parts of 
the body to which it is applied. It does a chill c 
good for the patient to be rubbed with pounded 
pennyroyal before a bath, as well as before the 
shivering fit of attacks of ague. For convulsions 
and gripings of the bowels, and for gout, it is wonder- 

c Or, with, the reading tussi : "it does the cough good, in 
a chill, for the patient to be rubbed with pennyroyal etc." 

9* 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

clari inter magistros dicendi adsectatores simili- 
tudinem coloris studiis contract! imitates, et paulo 
ante lulium Vindicem adsertorem ilium a Nerone 
libertatis captation! testament! sic lenocinatuxn. 
narium sanguinem pastillis inditum vel ex aceto 
recens sistit et oculomm epiphoris per se inpositum, 

161 tumentibus cum melle prodest. infantibus inponi 
in ventre satis est. morbo regio in vino albo a 
balineis datur. Aethiopicum maxime in posca 
et in ecligmate cum melle. Africano privatim 
urinae incontinentiam cohiberi putant. sativum 
datur ad iocineris vitia tostum, tritum in aceto s item 
ad vertiginem ; is vero quos acrior urina mordeat in 
dulci tritum, ad vulvarum vitia in vino, praeterque 
inpositis vellere foliis, testium tumoribus tostum 

162 tritumque cum melle aut cum rosaceo et cera. sil- 
vestre ad omnia eadem efficacius, praeterea ad 
serpentes cum oleo, ad scorpiones, scolopendras. 

> 

sistit et vomitionem nausiasque ex vino quantum 
adprehenderint tres digit!, propter colum quoque 
bibitur inliniturque vel penicillis fervens, adprimitur 
fasciis. strangulationes vulvae potum in vino aperit 
tribus drachmis in tribus cyathis vini. auribus 
instillatur ad sonitus atque tinnitus cum sebo 
vitulino vel melle. suggillatis inlinitur cum 
94 



BOOK XX. LVII. 160-162 

reported that the followers of Porcius Latro, a dis 
tinguished teacher of rhetoric, imitated by this 
means the pallor that had followed his close applica 
tion to study ; and not so long ago Julius Vindex, 
the famous supporter of freedom against Nero, 
flattered in this way the hopes of legacy-hunters. 
Applied in the form of lozenges or fresh in vinegar 
it arrests bleeding at the nose ; applied by itself it 
is good for fluxes from the eyes, and applied with 
honey it is good for them when swollen. For babies 
it is sufficient for it to be placed upon the abdomen. 
For jaundice it is administered in white wine after 
bathing, Ethiopian cummin is given chiefly in 
vinegar and water, and in an electuary with honey. 
The African variety is thought to have the special 
quality of checking incontinence of urine. Culti 
vated cummin, parched, and beaten up in vinegar, 
is given for troubles of the liver, likewise for vertigo ; 
pounded moreover it is given in sweet wine to 
those who smart from too acrid urine ; for disorders 
of the womb, in wine, and besides with an application 
of the leaves wrapped up in wool ; for swollen testes 
it is parched and pounded, and applied with honey or 
with rose oil and wax. For all these purposes wild 
cummin is more eflicacious; moreover with oil it is 
so for bites of serpents, and for stings of scorpions 
and scolopendras. A three-finger pinch in wine 
checks vomiting and nausea. For colic also it is 
drunk, or applied hot in lint kept in its place by 
bandages. Taken in wine it opens up suffocations 
of the womb, the dose being three drachmae of 
cummin in three cyathi of wine. It is poured into 
the ears with veal suet or honey, when there are 
noises or ringing in them* For bruises it is applied 

95 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

melle et uva passa et aceto, lentigini nigrae ex 
aceto. 

163 LVIII. Est cumino simillimum quod Graeci vocant 
ami. quidam vero Aethiopicum cuminum id esse 
existimant. Hippocrates regium appellavit, vide 
licet quia efficacius Aegyptio iudicavit. plerique 
alterixis naturae in totum putant, quoniam sit exilius 
et candidius. similis autem et huic usus. namque 
et panibus Alexandrinis subicitur et condimentis 

164 interponitur. inflationes et tormina discutit, urinas 
et menstrua ciet, suggillata, oculorum epiphoras 
mitigat, cum lini semine scorpionum ictus in vino 
potum drachmis duabus privatimque c eras t arum 
cum pari portione myrrae, colorem quoque biben- 
tium similiter mutat in pallorem. suffitum cum uva 
passa aut resina vulvam purgat. tradunt facilius 
concipere eas quae odorentur id per coitum, 

165 LIX. De cappari satis diximus inter peregrinos 
frutices. non utendum transmarino, innocentius 
est Italicum. ferunt eos qui cotidie id edunt 1 paralysi 
non periclitari nee Henis doloribus* radix eius 
vitiligines albas tollit, si trita in sole jfricentur. 

106 splenicis prodest in vino potus radicis cortex duabus 
drachmis, dempto battnearum usu, feruntque xxxv 
diebus per urinam et alvum totum lienem emitti, 

x dunt codd: : odint C7* JP. W. MttHer, 



a Ajowan Oamm Qoptic'um. 6 The horned viper, 

Bee p. 108, nu a. * 8e XIII. { 11 

96 



BOOK XX. LVII. i62-Lix. 1 66 

with honey, raisins and vinegar, for black freckles 
in vinegar. 

LVIIL There is a plant very like cummin which the Ami. 
Greeks call ami. Some authorities however consider 
that it is Ethiopian cummin. Hippocrates called it 
royal cummin, doubtless because he thought that it 
was more efficacious than the Egyptian. Most people 
think that it is of an entirely different nature from 
cummin, because it is thinner and whiter. Yet its 
use is similar to that of cummin, for it is put under 
loaves of bread b at Alexandria and included among 
the ingredients of Alexandrian sauces. It dispels 
flatulence and griping, promotes urine and men 
struation, relieves bruises and fluxes of the eyes, 
and taken in wine with linseed in doses of two 
drachmae it is good for the wounds of scorpions, 
and with an equal proportion of myrrh it is espe 
cially good for the bite of the cerastes/ Like 
cummin it produces pallor in the complexion of those 
who drink it. A fumigation of it with raisins or 
resin acts as a purge upon the womb. It is believed 
that those women more easily conceive who smell 
the plant during sexual intercourse. 

LIX. I have said enough about the caper in the Caper. 
treatment of foreign, plants.* 2 The caper growing 
overseas is not to be used; that of Italy is less 
harmful. They say that those who eat capers daily 
run no risk of paralysis or of pains in the spleen. Its 
root, pounded and rubbed on the skin in the sun, 
removes white eruptions. The skin of the root is 
good for troubles of the spleen if it be taken in wine 
in doses of two drachmae > but the patient must give 
up the use of the bath ; it is said that in thirty-five 
days by urine and by stools the whole spleen is 

97 

VI. E 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

bibitur in lumborum doloribus ac paralysi. dentium 
dolores sedat triturn ex aceto semen vel decoctum 

167 vel manducata radix, infunditur et aurium dolori 
decoctum oleo. ulcera quae phagedaenas vocant 
folia et radix recens cum melle sanant. sic et 
strumas discutit radix, parotidas vermiculosque cocta 
in aqua, iocineris doloribus tusa cum farina hor- 
deacia inponitur. vesicae quoque malis medetur. 
dant et ad taenias in aceto et melle. oris exulcera- 
tiones in aceto decocta tollit. stomacho inutilem 
esse inter auctores convenit. 

168 LX. Ligusticum aliqui panaces vocant stoma 
cho utile est, item convolsionibus, inflationibus. sunt 
qui et cunilam bubulam appellaverint, ut diximus, 
falso. 

169 LXI. Cunilae praeter sativam plura sunt in 
medicina genera, quae bubula appellatur semen 
pulei habet utile ad vulnera commanducatum in- 
positum, ut quinto post die solvatur. et contra 
serpentes in vino bibitur ac tritum plagae inponitur. 
vulnera ab his facta perfricant ** item testudines 
cum serpentibus pugnaturae, quidamque in hoc usu 
panaceam vocant. sedat et tumores et virilium 
mala sicca vel foliis tritis, in omni usu mire congruens 
vino. 

170 LXII. Est alia cunila, galHnacea appellata nostris, 
Graecis origanum Heracleoticum. prodest oculis 
trita addito sale, tussim quoque emendat et ioci- 

XIX. 165. 
98 



BOOK XX. LIX. i66-Lxii. 170 

brought away. It is given in drink for lumbago 
and paralysis. Toothache is eased by pounded caper- 
seed in vinegar, by a decoction of it, or by chewing 
the root. Boiled in oil it is injected for ear-ache. 
The sores called phagedaenic are cured by leaves or 
freshly gathered root applied with honey. In this 
form, the root removes scrofula; boiled in water it 
removes parotid tumours and worms. For pains in 
the liver it is pounded and applied with barley meal. 
It also cures diseases of the bladder. In vinegar 
and honey it is also given for tapeworm : A decoction 
in vinegar removes sores in the mouth. Authorities 
agree that the caper is harmful to the stomach. 

LX. Lovage some call it panaces is good for image. 
the stomach, likewise for convulsions and flatulence. 
Some have called it ox cunila, but wrongly, as I 
have pointed out. a 

LXL Besides the cultivated cunila there are 
several other kinds used in medicine. The one 
called ox cunila has a seed like that of pennyroyal 
which is curative if chewed and applied to wounds, 
provided that the bandage is not taken off till the 
fifth day after. For the bites of serpents it is taken 
in wine and applied to the wound after being pounded. 
The bites made by serpents they rub . . . like 
wise tortoises that are going to fight with serpents. 
Certain people call it panacea (all-heal) in this con 
nection. It relieves tumours and troubles of the 
male organs, applied dry or after pounding the leaves ; 
for every use it combines wonderfully well with wine. 

LXII. There is another, called chicken cunila by 
Romans, Heracleotic marjoram by the Greeks. 
Pounded and with the addition of salt it is good for 
the eyes. It relieves a cough also and liver com- 

99 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nerum vitia, laterum dolores cum farina, 1 oleo et 
aceto sorbitione temperata, praecipue vero ser- 
pentium morsus. 

171 LXIII. Tertium genus est eius quae a Graecis 
mascula, a nostris cunilago vocatur, odoris foedi, 
radicis lignosae, folio aspero. vires eius vehementis- 
simas in omnibus generibus earum tradunt, manipulo 
quoque eius abiecto omnes e tota domo blattas 
convenire ad earn, privatim adversus scorpiones ex 
posca pollere, foliis tribus 2 ex oleo peruncto homine 
fugari serpentes. 

172 LXIV. E contrario quae mollis vocatur, pilosio- 
ribus ramis et aculeatis, trita mellis odorem habet, 
digitis tactu eius cohaerescentibus, alt era turis, 
quam libanotida appellavimus. medetur utraque 
contra serpentes ex vino vel aceto, pulices etiam 
contritae cum aqua sparsae necant. 

173 LXV. ^Sativa quoque suos usus habet ; sucus eius 
cum rosaceo auriculas iuvat, ipsa ad ictus bibitur. 
fit ex ea 3 montana, serpyllo similis, efficax contra 
serpentes. urinam movet, purgat a partu mulieres. 
concoctionem mire " adiuvat et aviditatem ad cibos 
utraque vel in cruditate ieiunis in potione aspersa. 
luxatis quoque utilis, contra vesparum et similes 
ictus, ex farina hordeacia et posca utilissima. liba- 
notidis alia genera suis locis dlcentur. 

1 farina] farre cum aliquot codd. Detlefsen. 
3 tribus codd. : iritis conicio. 
* fi*utex et coni. Warmington. 

a With the reading iritis, " pounded " 
6 See XIX. 187. 
loo 



BOOK XX, LXII. 170-Lxv. 173 

plaints, pains in the side when mixed into a broth 
with meal, oil and vinegar, but especially the bites 
of serpents. 

LfXIII. There is a third kind, which the Greeks 
call male cunila, and the Romans cunilago; it has 
a foul smell, wood-like root and a rough leaf. Of 
all varieties of cunila it is said that this has the 
strongest qualities, that a handful of it thrown 
about attracts all the cockroaches in the whole house, 
that taken in vinegar and water it is a specific 
against scorpions, and that if a man be rubbed 
over with three a leaves in oil serpents are kept 
away. 

LXIV. On the other hand the cunila called soft 
has shaggier and prickly branches, and when pounded 
the smell of honey, the fingers sticking together at 
its touch ; a second variety smells of frankincense, 
and we have called it libanotis. 6 Either kind in wine 
or vinegar is an antidote against the bites of serpents ; 
furthermore, pounded and scattered about in water 
both varieties kill fleas. 

LXV. Cultivated cunila too has its uses. The 
juice with rose oil is good for the ear-laps, and it is 
taken by itself in drink for stings. From it grows 
the mountain variety, which is like wild thyme and 
efficacious against the bites of serpents. It is 
diuretic and cleanses after child-birth. Wild or 
cultivated it is a wonderful stimulus 1 to digestion and 
to the appetite, or relieves indigestion taken fasting 
and sprinkled in a drink. Useful too for sprains, 
taken in barley meal with vinegar and water it is 
very useful for the stings of wasps and the like. 
Other kinds of libanotis will be dealt with in their 
proper place. 

101 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

174 LXVI. Piperitis, quam et siliquastrum appella- 
vimus, contra morbos comitiales bibitur. Castor et 
aliter demonstrabat. 1 caule rubro et longo, densis 
geniculis, foliis lauri, semine albo, tenui, gustu 
piperis, utilem gingivis, dentibus, oris suavitati et 
ructibus. 

175 LXVIL Origanum quod in sapore cunilae aemu- 
latur, ut diximus, plura genera in medicina habet. 
onitin, alii prasion appellant non dissimile hysopo. 
privatim eius usus contra rosiones stomachi in tepida 
aqua et contra cruditates 3 araneos scorpionesque 
in vino albo 5 luxata et incussa in aceto et oleo et lana. 

176 LXVIIL Tragoriganum similius est serpyllo sil- 
vestri. urinam ciet, tumores discutit, contra viscum 
potum viperaeque ictum efficacissim.um 3 stomacho 
acida ructanti et praecordiis. tussientibus quoque 
cum melle datur et pleiuriticis et peripleumonicis. 

177 LXIX. Heraclium quoque tria genera habet : 
nigrius latioribus foliis, glutinosum, alterum exiliori- 
bus, mollius, sampsucno non dissimile, quod aliqui 
prasion vocare malunt. tertium inter haec medium 
est, nxinus quam cetera efficax. optimum autem 
Creticum, nam et iucunde olet, proximum Zmyr- 
naeum inodorius, 2 Heracleoticum ad potum utilius, 

1 Castore taliter demonstrante vulg. 

2 inodorius Vrlichs et Deilefsen : durius Mayhoff : dorius 
aut o dorius codd. 



XIX. g 187. 

& Antonins Castor, botanist, often mentioned by Pliny. 
c With fch.e, other reading (after comma instead of full stop): 
" Castor giving "bhe following description." 
* See XIX. 165. 

102 



BOOK XX. LXVI. 174-Lxix. 177 

LXVI. Piperitis, which I have also called sili- 
quastrum, a is taken in drink for epilepsy. Castor b 
gave a further description of it : c " a red, long stem, 
with its knots close together; leaves like those of 
the bay; a white, small seed, with a taste like 
pepper; good for the gums, teeth, sweetness of 
breath and for belching." 

LXVII. Origanum, which rivals cunila in its wild 
flavour, as I have said/ has many varieties useful in 
medicine. One is onitis, called by some prasion,* 
and not unlike hyssop. Its special use is to be taken 
in warm water for gnawings of the stomach and 
indigestion, and in white wine for the stings of spiders 
and scorpions, while it is applied on wool with vinegar 
and oil for sprains and bruises. 

LXVIIL Goat origanum is more like wild thyme. 
Diuretic, it disperses tumours; if taken in drink 
it is most efficacious for poisoning by mistletoe or 
by viper bites, for acid belchings from the stomach 
and for the hypochondria./ With honey it is also 
given for coughs, pleurisy and pneumonia. 

LXIX. Heraclium too has three varieties. The 
darker one with the broader leaf is glutinous ; the 
second variety, with a more slender leaf, is more 
tender and not unlike sampsuchum, which some 
prefer to call prasion. There is a third kind, inter 
mediate between the other two, but less efficacious 
than either. The best kind, however, is the Cretan, 
which also has a pleasant smell, the next best that 
of Smyrna, having less smell, and the Heracleotic, 

" Leek green." 

f Praecordia generally means the hypochondria. Some 
times it means the lower chest under the heart (hence the 
name) or the region over the diaphragm. See p. 16. 

103 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

178 quod onitin vocant. communis autern usus ser- 
pentes fugare, percussis esui dare decoctum, eo potu 
urinam ciere, ruptis, convulsis mederi cum panacis 
radice, hydropicis cum fico aut cum hysopo acetabuli 
mensuris decoctum ad sextam, item ad scabiem, 
pruriginem, psoras in descensione balineaxum. sucus 
auribus infunditur cum lacte mulieris. tonsillis 

179 quoque et uvis medetur, capitis ulceribus. venena 
opii et gypsi extinguit decoctum, si cum cinere in 
vino bibatur. alvum mollit acetabuli mensura, 
suggillatis inlinitur, item dentium dolori, quibus et 
candorem facit, cum melle et nitro. sanguinem 
narium sistit. ad parotidas decoquitur cum hor- 
deacia farina, ad arterias asp eras cum galla et melle 

180 teritur, ad lienem folia cum melle et sale, crassiores 
pituitas et nigras extenuat coctum cum aceto et sale 
sumptum paulatim. regio morbo tritum cum oleo 
in nares infunditur. lassi perunguuntur ex eo it a 
ut ne venter attingatur. epinyctidas cum pice 
sanat, furunculos aperit cum fico tosta, strumas cum 
oleo et aceto et farina hordeacia, lateris dolores cum 
fico inlitum, fluctiones sanguinis in genitalibus tusum 
ex aceto inlitum, reliquias purgationum a partu. 

181 LXX. Lepidium inter urentia intellegitur. sic et 
in facie cutem emendat exulcerando, ut tamen cera 
et rosaceo facile sanetur. sic et lepras et psoras 
104 



BOOK XX. LXIX. 178-Lxx. 181 

called onitis, is more useful for drinking. All kinds 
are used to keep away serpents, are given to eat 
boiled to those who have been bitten, are diuretic 
when taken in drink as above, cure with the root of 
all-heal ruptures and convulsions, dropsy with fig or 
with hyssop boiled down to one sixth in doses of one 
acetabulum, likewise itch, prurigo and psoriasis, if 
given on going down to the bath. Its juice, with 
woman's milk, is poured into the ears. It cures the 
tonsils also and uvula, as well as sores on the head. 
Boiled, and taken in wine with ashes it neutralizes 
the poison of opium and gypsum. A dose of one 
acetabulum loosens the bowels; it is applied to 
bruises, and also for tooth-ache, imparting whiteness 
to the teeth when used as a dentifrice with honey 
and soda. It checks bleeding at the nose. For 
parotid tumours it is boiled down with barley meal, 
for a rough trachea pounded with gall-nut and honey, 
and its leaves with honey and salt are good for the 
spleen. Boiled with vinegar and salt, and taken in 
small doses it loosens thick, black phlegm. Beaten 
up with oil it is poured into the nostrils for jaundice. 
Tired bodies are rubbed with it, care being taken not 
to touch the abdomen. With pitch it cures epinyctis ; 
with a roasted fig it brings boils to a head. It is 
good for scrofulous swellings if applied with oil, 
vinegar and barley meal, if with fig, for pains in the 
side, pounded and applied in vinegar for fluxes of 
blood from the genitals, and also for bringing away 
more thoroughly the after-birth. 

LXX. Dittander (pepperwort) is considered to be 
one of the caustic plants. * So it clears the complexion, 
but produces sores on the skin, which, however, 
are easily cured with wax and rose oil. Thus used, 



PLIISTY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tollit semper facile et cicatricum ulcera. tradunt 
in dolore dentium adalligatum bracchio qua doleat 
convertere dolorem. 

182 LXXI. Git ex Graecis alii melanthium, alii mela- 
spermon vocant. optimum quam excitatissimi odoris 
et quam nigerrimum. medetur serpentium plagis 
et scorpionum. inlini ex aceto ac melle reperio 
incensoque serpentes fugari. bibitur drachma una 

183 et contra araneos. destillationem narium discutit 
tusum in linteolo olefactum, capitis dolores inlitum 
ex aceto, et infusum naribus cum irino oculorum 
epiphoras et tumores, dentium dolores coctum cum 
aceto, ulcera oris tritum aut commanducatum, item 
lepras et lentigines ex aceto, difficult at es spirandi 
addito nitro potum, duritias tumoresque veteres et 
suppurationes inlitum. lacte mulierum auget ali- 

184 quot 1 continuis diebus sumptum. colligitur sucus 
eius ut hyoscyami, similiterque largior venenum est, 
quod miremur, cum semen gratissinae panes etiam 
condiat. oculos quoque purgat, urinam et menses 
ciet. quin immo linteolo deligatis tantum granis 
xxx secundas trahi reperio. aiunt et clavis in 
pedibus mederi tritum in urina, culices suffitu 
necare, item muscas. 

185 LXXIL Et anesum adversus scorpiones ex vino 
bibitur, 2 Pythagorae inter pauca laudatum sive 

1 aliquot add, MayJioff. 

2 bibitur ego : habetur codd. et edd. 



a I.e. " black-flawer. J> & I.e. "black-seed." 

1 06 



BOOK XX. LXX. i8i-Lxxii. 185 

it always removes leprous sores and psoriasis easily, 
as well as the sores left by scars. It is said that in 
cases of tooth-ache, if it be attached to the arm on the 
side where the pain is, this is diverted to it. 

LXXI. Git is by some Greeks called melanthium, a cut or Roman 
by others, melaspermon.* The best has the most 
pungent smell and the darkest colour. It cures the 
wounds of serpents and of scorpions. I find that it is 
applied in vinegar and honey, and that by burning it 
serpents are kept away. A dose of one drachma also 
is taken in drink for the wounds of spiders. Pounded, 
and smelt in a piece of linen it stops running from 
the nose, and headaches if applied in vinegar; 
poured into the nostrils with iris juice it cures fluxes 
and swellings of the eyes, tooth-ache when boiled 
with vinegar, ulcers in the mouth when pounded or 
chewed; likewise leprous sores and freckles when 
added to vinegar, difficulty of breathing when taken 
in drink with soda, and indurations, chronic swellings 
and suppurations, when used as liniment. It in 
creases the flow of women's milk if taken daily for a 
few days. Its juice is collected in a similar way to 
that of henbane, and like it is poisonous if taken in 
too large doses, a fact more remarkable because the 
seed actually makes a most pleasant seasoning for 
loaves of bread. It cleanses the eyes also, is diuretic 
and an emmenagogue. Moreover, I find that merely 
by tying thirty grains to the body in a piece of linen, 
the after-birth is brought away. It is also said that 
pounded and applied in urine it cures corns on the feet, 
and that fumigation with it kills gnats as well as flies. 

LXXII. Anise too is taken in wine for the stings 
of scorpions, being one of the few remedies specially 
praised, whether raw or boiled, by Pythagoras. 

107 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

crudum sive decoctum; item viride aridumve om 
nibus quae condiuntur quaeque intinguntur de 
sideratum, panis etiam crustis inferioribus sub- 
ditura. saccis quoque additum cum amaris nucibus 

186 vina commendat. quin ipsum oris halitum iucun- 
diorem facit faetoremque tollit manducatum matu- 
tinis cum zmyrnio et melle exiguo, mox vino col- 
lutum. vultum iurdorem praestat. insomnia levat 
suspensum in pulvino, ut dormientes olefaciant. 
adpetentiam ciborum praestat, quando id quoque 
inter artificia deliciae fecere, ex quo labor desiit 
cibos poscere. ob has causas quidam anicetum id 
vocavere. 

187 LXXIIL Laudatissimum est Creticum, proximum 
Aegyptium. hoc ligustici vicem praestat in condi- 
mentis. dolores capitis levat suffitum naribus. 
epiphoris oculorum Evenor radicem eius tusam 
inponit, lollas ipsum cum croco pari modo et vino, 
et per se cum polenta ad magnas fluctiones extra- 
hendisque si qua in oculos inciderint. narium quoque 

188 carcinodes consumit inlitum ex aqua, sedat anginas 
cum hysopo ac melle ex aceto gargarizatum, auribus 
infunditur cum rosaceo, thoracis pituitas purgat 
tostum, cum melle sumptum. melius cum acetabulo 
anesi nuces amaras L purgatas terere in melle ad 
tussim. facillime vero anesi drachmae tres, papa- 
veris duae miscentur melle ad fabae magnitudinem 

189 et ternae diebus sumuntur. praecipuum autem est 



tf PerEaps in baking, or when it is kneaded. Query : was 
it painted over the bottom, of a loaf in the form of a paste ? 

ef, 163, 

- 6 Tiis could meap: * s prevents nightmares.", 
* Meaning do-qhtfuL Perhaps dviicrjTov ("invineible"). 

108 



BOOK XX. LXXII. i85-Lxxin. 189 

Green also or dried, it is valued for all such foods as 
require seasoning* or sauce ; it is also put under the 
bottom crust of a loaf. a Placed with bitter almonds 
on the strainers it improves wine. Moreover, the 
breath is made more pleasant and bad odour removed 
if anise be chewed in the early morning' along with 
alexanders and a little honey, the mouth being after 
wards rinsed with wine. It makes the face look 
younger. It relieves sleeplessness, & if hung on the 
pillow, so that it may be smelt by the sleepers. It 
sharpens the appetite, to do which has been added 
to the arts by luxury, ever since the craving for food 
ceased to come from toil. For these reasons some 
have called anise anieetum. c 

LXXIII. The most esteemed variety is the 
Cretan ; next comes the Egyptian. This in season 
ing takes the place of lovage. To burn it and inhale 
the fumes through the nostrils relieves headache. 
Evenor recommends its pounded root to be applied 
to fluxes of the eyes ; lollas recommends a similar 
application of the plant itself with saffron and wine ; 
by itself, with only pearl barley added, he prescribes 
it for violent fluxes and for extraction of anything- 
which has got into the eyes. Applied in water it also 
removes a cancerous growth in the nostril. Used as 
a gargle with hyssop and honey in vinegar it relieves 
quinsies ; it is poured with rose oil into the ears ; 
phlegm in the chest is cleared away by parched anise 
taken with honey. For a cough it is better to pound 
up in honey fifty bitter almonds, peeled, with an 
acetabulum of anise. A remedy very easy indeed to 
make consists of three drachmae of anise and two of 
poppy mixed with honey and divided into pieces of 
the size of a bean, the dose being three daily. Its 

109 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

ad ructus; ideo stomach! inflationibus et intestino 
mm torminibus et coeliacis medetur. singultus et 
olfactum potumque decoctmn inhibet. foliis de- 
coctis digerit cruditates. sucus decocti cum apio 
olfactus sternumenta inhibet. potum somnos con- 
citat, calculos pellit, vomitiones cohibet et praecor- 
diorum tumores, et pectorum ritiis, nervis quoque 

190 quibus succinctum est corpus utilissimum. prodest 
et capitis doloribus instillari sucum cum oleo decocti. 
non aliud utilius ventri et intestinis putant, ideo 
dysintericis et in tenesmos datur tostum. aliqui 
addunt et opium, pilulis in die ternis lupini magnitu- 

191 dine in vini cyatho dilutis. Dieuches et ad lumborum 
dolores suco usus est, semen hydropicis et coeliacis 
dedit tritum cum menta, Evenor radicem et ad renes. 
Dalion " herbarius parturientibus ex eo cataplasma 
inposuit cum apio, item vulvarum dolori, deditque 
bibendum cum aneto parturientibus. phreneticis 
quoque inlinunt vel recens cum polenta; sic et 
infantibus comitiale vitium, aut contractiones sen- 

192 tientibus. Pythagoras quidem negat corripi vitio 
comitiali . in manu habentes, ideo quam plurimum 
domi serendum ; parere quoque facilius olfactantes, 
et statim a partu dandum potui polenta aspersa. 
Sosimenes contra omnes duritias ex aceto usus est 



Perhaps parsley. 

* Or " of persons whose body is girt up for work " ;' " active 
persons.'* 
e See-.pp-. 8 and xiii-xiv, 

no 



BOOK XX. LXXIII. 189-192 

chief value, however, is to cause belching, and so it 
cures flatulence of the stomach, griping of the intes 
tines and coeliac trouble. Boiled, and either smelt or 
drunk, it also stays hiccough. Its boiled leaves are 
a remedy for indigestion. To smell the juice of the 
plant boiled with celery stops sneezing. Taken in 
drink it promotes sleep, disperses stone, stays 
vomiting and swelling of the hypochondria, besides 
being very useful for chest troubles and for the 
sinews with which the body is girt. & It is good for 
headache also to pour in drops upon the head tl^e 
juice of anise boiled with oil. Nothing is considered 
to be more beneficial to the belly and intestines, 
and so it is given roasted for dysentery and for 
tenesmus. Some add opium, also, pills of the size of 
a lupine-seed being swallowed three times a day and 
washed down in a cyathus of wine. Dieuches used 
the juice also for lumbago; the pounded seed with 
mint he gave for dropsy and coeliac trouble ; Evenor 
gave the root also for diseases of the kidneys. Dalion 
the herbalist * prescribed a poultice of anise and 
parsley for women in labour, and also for pain in the 
womb; he recommended it to be taken with dill 
in drink by women in labour. It is applied also in 
cases of phrenitis, c sometimes freshly gathered and 
with pearl barley; it is also so applied to babies 
suffering from epilepsy or convulsions. Pythagoras 
indeed declares that no epileptic fit occurs while 
anise is held in the hand, and for this reason advises 
that as much as possible be planted near the home. 
He also says that to smell it makes for easier child 
birth, and that immediately after delivery it should 
be given in a draught with a sprinkling of pearl 
barley. Sosimenes used it in vinegar for all indura- 

ii J 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

eo et contra lassitudines in oleo decoquens addito 
nitro. semine eius poto lassitudinis auxilium via- 

193 toribus spopondit. Heraclides ad inflationes sto- 
machi semen tribus digitis cum castorei obolis 
duobus ex mulso dedit, similiter ad ventris aut intes- 
tinorum inflationes et orthopnoicis quod ternis digitis 
prenderit seminis, tantundem hyoscyami cum lacte 
asinino, multi vomituris acetabula l eius et folia 
lauri decem trita in aqua bibenda inter cenam 

194 suadent. strangulatus vulvae, si manducetur et 
linatur calidurn vel si bibatur cum castoreo in aceto 
et melle, sedat. vertigines a partu cum semine 
cucumeris et lini pari xncnsura ternum digitorum, 
vini albi tribus cyatlns discutit. Tlepolemus ad 
quartanas ternis digitis seminis anesi et feniculi 

195 usus est in aceto et mellis cyatho uno. lenit arti- 
cularios morbos, cum amaris nuclbus inlitum. sunt 
qui et aspidum venenis advcrsari naiuram eius 
putent. urinam ciet, sitim colubet, venerem stimu- 
lat, cum vino sudorem leniter praestat, vestcs quoque 
a tineis defendit. efficacius semper recens et quo 
nigrius, stomacho tamcn inutile est praeterquam 
inflate. 

196 LXXIV. Anetum quoque ructus movet et tor 
mina sedat, alvurn sistit. epiphoris radices inlinuntur 
ex aqua vel vino* singultus cohibet semen fervens 
olfactu. sumptum ex aqua sedat cruditates* cinis 
eius uvam in faucibus levat, oculos et genituram 
hebetat, 

1 Num excidti num$ru$ ? Port&#$& sub&udttur 



112 



Bee pp. xi-xii. 

* Here a- numeral has apparently ol]en out. 



BOOK XX. LXXIII. i92-Lxxiv. 196 

tions and for fatigue, boiling it in oil after adding 
soda. He guaranteed travellers less fatigue if they 
took anise seed in drink. For flatulence of the 
stomach Heraclides gave in honey-wine a three- 
finger pinch of the seed with two oboli of beaver oil, 
and in like manner for flatulence in the belly or 
intestines and for orthopnoea a a three-finger pinch of 
the seed, the same quantity of henbane, and asses' 
milk added. Many advise that those intending to 
take an emetic should during the dinner take in 
water b acetabula of anise and ten pounded bay 
leaves. It relieves suffocation of the womb, if it be 
chewed and applied warm, or if it be taken with 
beaver-oil in oxymel. A dose of a three-finger 
pinch of cucumber seed and of the same quantity of 
linseed, in three cyathi of white wine, dispels vertigo 
after child-birth. For quartan agues Tlepolemus used 
a three-finger pinch of the seed of anise and fennel, 
taken in vinegar and one cyathus of honey. Applied 
with bitter almonds it relieves diseases of the joints. 
There are some who believe that its nature neutra 
lizes the poison of asps. Diuretic, it quenches 
thirst, is an aphrodisiac, promotes with wine a gentle 
perspiration, and also protects clothes from moths. 
It is more efficacious always when fresh and the 
darker it is, yet it injures the stomach except when 
there is flatulence. 

LXXIV. Dill too causes belching and relieves 
griping; it arrests diarrhoea. Its roots in water or 
wine are applied for fluxes from the eyes. To smell 
its seed when boiling checks hiccoughs. Taken in 
water it relieves indigestion. Its ash relieves an 
inflamed uvula, but weakens the eyes and the powers 
of generation. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

197 LXXV. Sacopenium quod apud nos gignitur in 
totum transmarine alienatur. illud enim ham- 
moniaci lacrimae simile sagapemon vocatur. prodest 
laterum et pectoris doloribus, convolsis, tussibus 
vetustis excreationibusque, praecordiorum tumori- 
btLS. sanat et vertigines, tremulos, opisthotonicos, 
lienes, lumbos, perfrictiones. datur olfactandum ex 
aceto in strangulatu vulvae. eeteris et potui datur 
et cum oleo infricatur. prodest et contra mala 
medicamenta. 

198 LXXVI. Papaveris sativi tria diximus genera, et 
sponte nascentis alia promisimus. e sativis albi 
calix ipse teritur et e vino bibitur somni causa, 
semen elephantiasi medetur. e nigro papavere 
sopor gignitur scapo inciso, ut Diagoras suadet, cum 
turgescit, ut lollas, cum deflorescit, hora sereni diei 
tertia, hoc est cum ros in eo exaruerit. incidi iubent 
sub capite et calice, nee in alio genere ipsum inciditur 

199 caput. sucus et hie et herbae cuiuscumque lana 
excipitur aut, si exiguus est, ungue pollicis, ut 
lactifciSj et postero die magis quod inaruit, papa- 
veris vero largus densatur l et in pastillos tritus in 
umbra siccatur, non vi soporifera modo, verum, si 
copiosior hauriatur, etiam mortifera per somnos. 

1 densatur] densatus Mayhoff, qui post inaruit comma 
ponit et papaveris vero largus uncis includit. 



a See XIX, 168. 
114 



BOOK XX. LXXV. 197-Lxxvi. 199 

LXXV. The sacopenium which grows in our 
country is quite unlike that which comes from 
overseas. The latter, also called sagapemon, re 
sembles ammoniac gum. It is good for pains in the 
sides and in the chest, for convulsions, for chronic 
coughs and expectoration, and for swellings of the 
hypochondria. It cures also vertigo, palsy, opistho- 
tonic tetanus, diseases of the spleen and loins, and 
violent chills. It is given in vinegar to be smelt in 
cases of suffocation of the womb. In other cases it 
is both given in drink and with oil used as an em 
brocation. It is also useful as an antidote to harmful 
drugs. 

LXXVL Of the cultivated poppy I have men- Poppies. 
tioned three kinds a and I promised to describe other 
kinds, those of the wild poppy. Of the cultivated 
poppy the calyx itself of the white kind is pounded 
and is taken in wine to induce sleep. The seed cures 
elephantiasis. Erom the dark poppy a soporific is 
obtained by making incisions in the stalk, when the 
buds are forming (as Diagoras advises), or when the 
flowers are falling (as lollas recommends), at the third 
hour of a clear day, that is to say, when the dew on 
the plant has dried up. They recommend that the 
incision be made beneath the head and calyx, and 
in no other variety either is an incision made into the 
head itself. Both this juice and that of any other 
plant is gathered in wool, or if there be but little, by 
scratching it off, as it is from lettuce, with the thumb 
nail, doing the same on the following day to any that 
has since become drier. Poppy juice however being 
copious thickens, and squeezed into lozenges is dried 
in the shade ; it is not only a soporific, but if too large 
a dose be swallowed the sleep even ends in death. It 

"5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

opium vocant. sic scimus interemptum P. Licini 
Caecinae praetorii viri .patrem in Hispania Bavili, 
cum valetudo inpetibilis odium vitae fecisset, item 

200 plerosque alios. qua de causa magna concertatio 
extitit. Diagoras et Era$istratus in totum damna- 
vere ut mortiferum, infundi vetantes praeterea, 
quoniam visui noceret. addidit Andreas ideo non 
protinus excaecari eo, quoniam adulteraretur Alex- 
andriae. sed postea usus eius non improbatus 
est medicamento nobili quod dia Kojdvaiv vocant. 

201 semine quoque eius trito in pastilles e lacte utuntur 
ad somnum, item ad capitis dolores cum rosaceo, cum 
hoc et aurium dolori instillatur. podagris inlinitur 
cum lacte mulierum, sic et foliis ipsis utuntur item 
ad ignes sacros et vulnera ex aceto. ego tamen 
damnaverim collyriis addi, multoque magis quas 
vocant Xr]gi7rvpTOV$ quasque Trc-imKas et /coiAtaKa?. 

202 nigrum tamen coeliacis in vino datur. sativum 
omne maius. rotunda ei capita, at silvestri longa ac 
pusilla, sed ad omnes effectus valentiora. 'decoquitur 
et bibitur contra vigilias, eademque aqua fovent ora. 
optimum in siccis et ubi raro pluat. cum capita 
ipsa et folia decoeuntur, sucus meconium vocatur 

203 multum opio igtiavior. experimentum opii est 
prfrmtm in odore sincerum enim perpeti lion est 
116 



BOOK XX. LXXVI, 199-203 

Is called opium. In this way, we are told, died at 
Bavilum in Spain the father of Publius Licinius 
Caecina, a man of praetorian rank, when an un 
bearable illness had made life hateful to him, and' 
so also several others. For this reason a great 
controversy has arisen. Diagoras and Erasistratus 
have utterly condemned it as a fatal drug, for 
bidding its use moreover in injections on the ground 
that it is injurious to the eyesight. Andreas has 
added that the only reason why it does not cause 
instantaneous blindness is because it is adulterated 
at Alexandria. Afterwards, however, its use was 
not disapproved of in the form of the famous drug 
called dia. KcodvajTs (diacodion). The seed too pounded 
into lozenges with milk is used to induce sleep, also 
with rose oil for headache; with rose oil too it is 
poured into the ears for ear-ache. As a liniment for 
gout it is applied with woman's milk (the leaves by 
themselves are also so used), likewise in vinegar for 
erysipelas and wounds. I myself, however, should 
disapprove of its addition to eye salves, and much 
more to what are called febrifuges, digestives and 
coeliacs ; the dark poppy, however, is given in wine 
for coeliac trouble. All kinds of cultivated poppy 
are larger than the wild. The heads are round, 
while those of the wild are long and small, though 
for all purposes more effective. The poppy is boiled 
and the liquid drunk for sleeplessness ; with the 
same water the face is fomented. The best poppies 
grow on dry soils, and where the rainfall is slight. 
When the heads themselves and the leaves are boiled 
down, the juice is called meconium, and is much 
weaker than opium. The chief test of opium is its 
smell, that of pure opium being unbearable; the 

117 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mox in lucernis, ut pura luceat flam ma et ut extincto 
demum oleat, quae in fucato non eveniunt. accen- 
ditur quoque difficilius et crebro extinguitur. est 
sinceri experimentum et in aqua, quoniam ut nube- 
cula innatat, fictum in pusulas coit. sed maxim e 
TnJrum est aestivo sole deprehendi. sincerum enim 
sudat et se diluit donee suco recenti simile fiat. 
Mnesides optime servari putat hyoscyami semine 
adiecto, alii in faba. 

204 LXXVIL Inter sativa et silvestria medium genus, 
quoniam in arvis sed sponte nasceretur, rhoeam 
vocavimus et erraticum. quidam id decerptum pro- 
tinus cum toto calice mandunt. alvum exinanit. 
capita quinque decocta in vini tribus heminis pota 
et Romnum faciunt. 

205 LXXVIIL Silvestrium unum genus ceratitim 
vocant, nigrum, cubitali altitudine, radice crassa et 
corticosa, calyculo inflexo ut corniculo. folia minora 
et tenuiora quam ceteris silvestribus. semen exile 
tempestivum est messibus, alvum purgat dimidio 

206 acetabulo in mulso. folia trita cum oleo argema 
iumentorum sanant. radix acetabuli mensura cocta 
in duobus sextariis ad dimidias datur ad lumborum 
vitia et iocineris. carbunculis medentur ex melle 
folia, quidam hoc genus glaucion vocant, alii para- 
lium. nascitur enim in adflatu maris aut nitroso 
loco. 



a Book XIX. 169. It is clear from the description given 
that this is our field poppy, so common in cornfields in 



b Possibly "petals." 
c Sea- blue plant. 
* Sea-shore plant. 

118 



BOOK XX. LXXVI. 203-Lxxvm. 206 

next best test is to put it in a lamp, when it should 
burn with a bright, clear flame, and smell only when 
it has gone out ; adulterated opium does not behave 
in this fashion. Adulterated opium is also harder 
to light s and is continually going out. A further 
test of pure opium is by water, on which it floats as 
a light cloud, while the impure gathers into blisters. 
But especially wonderful is the fact that pure opium is 
detected by the summer sun. For pure opium sweats 
and melts until it becomes like freshly gathered juice. 
Mnesides thinks that opium is best kept by adding 
the seed of henbane, others by putting it in beans. 

LXXVII. Intermediate between the cultivated 
poppy and the wild is a third kind, for though growing 
on cultivated land it is self-sown ; we have called it . 
rhoeas or roving poppy . a Some gather it and eat it 
straight away with the whole calyx. It acts as a 
purge ; five heads boiled in three heminae of wine 
also induce sleep. 

LXXVIIL Of the wild poppy one kind is called Horned 
ceratitis. Black-seeded, a cubit high, with a thick poppy * 
root covered with a hard skin, it has a little calyx 
curved like a little horn. Its leaves 6 are smaller and 
thinner than those of the other wild varieties. The 
seed is small, ripening at harvest ; half an acetabulum 
of it, taken in honey' wine, acts as a purge. The 
pounded leaves with oil cure eye-ulcers of beasts of 
burden. Its root, in the proportion of one acetabulum 
to two sextarii of water, boiled down to one half, is 
given for complaints of the loins and liver. Its leaves 
applied in honey are a cure for carbuncles. This 
variety is called glaucion c by some and paralium d 
by others, for it grows within reach of the sea breezes 
or in alkaline soils. 

119 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

207 LXXIX. Alterum e silvestribus genus heraclium 
vocatur, ab aliis aphron, 1 foliis, si procul intuearis, 
speciem passerum praebentibus, radice in summa 
terrae cute, seinine spumeo. ex hoc lina splendorem 
trahunt. aestate tunditur in pila 2 comitialibus morbis 
acetabuli mensura in vino albo; vomitionem enim 
facit, medicamento quod dia K0)dva>v et arteriace 

208 vocatur utilissimum, fit autem huius papaveris aut 
cuiuscumque silvestris capitibus cxx in aquae 
caelestis sextariis tribus biduo maceratis in eademque 
discoctis, deinde siccato 3 iterumque cum melle 
decocto ad dimidias partes vapore tenui. addidere 
postea drachmas senas croci, hypocisthidis, turis, 
acaciae et passi Cretici sextarium, haec ostentatione ; 
simplex quidem et antiqua ilia salubritas papavere 
et melle constat. 

209 LXXX. Tertium genus est tithymalon mecona 
vocant, alii paralion folio lini, flore albo, capite 
magnitudinis fabae. colligitur uva florente, siccatur 
in umbra, semen potum purgat alvum dimidio 
acetabulo in mulso. cuiuscumque autem papaveris 
caput viride vel siccum inlitum epiphoras oculorum 
lenit. opium ex vino meraculo si protinus detur, 

1 aphron aut aphro codd. : aphrodes Hard, et Mayhoff. 

2 pHa] Hie punctum ponit Mayhoff, qui , etiam acetabulo 
seminis coni., et item ante medicamento add. 

3 Ante siccato add. snco Mayhoff. 



a Pliny has apparently confused this plant with the 
struthion of XIX. ch. 18. 

6 The text certainly appears dislocated at this point. 
Mayhoff makes it a little less disjointed by putting vomitionem 
enim facit in a parenthesis ; but his acetabulo is odd. 

120 



BOOK XX. LXXIX. 207-Lxxx. 209 

LXXIX. A second variety of wild poppy is called 
heraclium, by others aphron, having leaves, if you 
look at it from a distance, that look like sparrows. 
Its roots are on the surface of the ground, and its seed 
is like foam. It is from the use of this plant that linen 
gets its shiny "whiteness. In summer it is pounded 
in a mortar for epilepsy, the dose being an aceta- 
bulum in white wine ; & for it causes vomiting, and 
is very useful for the drug called diacodion and 
arteriace. This preparation however is made by 
steeping one hundred and twenty heads of this or 
any other wild poppy in three sextarii of rain water 
for two days ; then they are thoroughly boiled in 
the same water, and after the whole c has been 
dried it is again boiled down to one half with honey 
in a slow heat. More recently there has been 
added six drachmae of saffron, hypocisthis, frankin 
cense and gum arabic, with a sextarius of Cretan 
raisin- wine. This however is just for show ; this 
simple and old-fashioned remedy depends for its 
virtues entirely on the poppy and honey* 

LXXX. A third variety is tithymalon, called by 
some mecon, by others paralion, with a leaf like that 
of flax, a white flower, and a head of the size of a 
bean. It is gathered when the grape is at its best A 
and then dried in the shade. Its seed, taken in half an 
acetabulum of honey wine, purges the bowels. But 
the head of any poppy, whether fresh or dried, if 
applied to the eyes relieves fluxes. Opium taken 
in nearly neat wine, if administered immediately, is 

e Mayhofi's addition of suco is attractive. 
d Or : "when the grape-bunch is in flower." Pliny XI. 34 
says that uva floret at the solstice. 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

scorpionum ictibus resistit. aliqui hoc tantum nigro 
tribuunt, si capita eius vel folia terantur. 

210 LXXXI. Est et porcillaca quam peplin vocant, 
non multum sativa efficacior cuius memorabiles usus 
traduntur : sagittarum venena et serpentium haemor- 
rhoidum et presterum restingui pro cibo sumpta et 
plagis inposita extrahi, item hyoscyami pota e passo 
expresso suco. cum ipsa non est, semen eius simili 
effectu prodest. resistit et aquarum vitiis, capitis 
dolori ulceribusque in vino tusa et inposita, reliqua 

211 ulcera commanducata cum melle sanat. sic et 
infantmm cerebro inponitur umbilicoque prociduo, 
in epiphoris vero omnium fronti temporibusque cum 
polenta, sed ipsis oculis e lacte et melle, eadem, si 
procidant oculi, foliis tritis cum corticibus fabae, 
pusulis cum polenta et sale et aceto. ulcera oris 
tuinoremque gingivarum commanducata cruda sedat, 
item dentium dolores, tonsillarum ulcera sucus 

212 decoctae. quidam adiecere paulum murrae. nam 
mobiles dentes stabilit conmanducata, 1 vocemque 
firmat et sitim arcet. cervicis dolores cum galla et 
lini semine et melle pari mensura sedat, mammarum 
vitia cum melle aut Cimolia creta, salutaris et sus- 
piriosis semine cum melle hausto. stomachum in 

213 acetariis sumpta corroborat. ardenti febribus in- 

1 Post commanducata iterant codd. cruda sedat. In uncis 
lo. Mutter et Mayhoff. 

a Symptom of an obscure disease, now perhaps unknown. 

& This use of nam, characteristic of Pliny, in a slightly 
adversative sense (autem or Greek 84) has occurred before 
in this book. See 28, 55. 

c Cimolus was an island (now Cimoli) of the Cyclades 
where was found a chalk much used in medicine. 



BOOK XX. -LXXX. 209-Lxxxi. 213 

an antidote for the stings of scorpions. Some give 
this property only to the dark variety, if its heads 
or leaves be pounded up. 

LXXXI. There is also purslane, which is called Purslane. 
pepliSj being not much more beneficial than the 
cultivated variety, of which are recorded remarkable 
benefits: that the poison of arrows and of the 
serpents haemorrhois and prester are counteracted 
if purslane be taken as food, and if it be applied to 
the wound, the poison is drawn out; likewise the 
poison of henbane if purslane be taken in raisin 
wine, after extraction of the juice. When the plant 
itself is not available, its seed has $, similarly bene 
ficial effect. It also counteracts the impurities of 
water, and if pounded and applied in wine it cures 
headache and sores on the head ; other sores it heals 
if chewed and applied with honey. So prepared it is 
applied also to the cranium of infants, and to an um 
bilical hernia ; for eye-fluxes in persons of all -ages, 
with pearl barley, to the forehead and temples, but to 
the eyes themselves in milk and honey ; also, if the 
eyes should fall forwards , a pounded leaves are applied 
with bean husks, to blisters with pearl barley, salt 
and vinegar. Sores in the mouth and gumboils are 
relieved by chewing it raw; tooth-ache likewise 
and sore tonsils by the juice of the boiled plant, to 
which some have added a little myrrh. But & to 
chew it makes firm loose teeth, strengthens the voice 
and keeps away thirst. Pains at the back of the 
neck are relieved by it with equal parts of gall nut, 
linseed and honey, complaints of the breasts with 
honey or Cimolian chalk, while asthma is alleviated 
by a draught of the seed with honey. Taken in 
salad it strengthens the stomach. It is applied with 

123 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ponitur cum polenta, et alias manducata refrigerat 
etiam intestina. vomitiones sistit. dysinteriae et 
vomicis estur ex aceto vel bibitur cum cumino, 
tenesmis autem cocta. comitialibus cibo vel potu 
prodest, purgationibus mulierum acetabuli mensura 
in sapa, podagris calidis cum sale inlita et sacro igni. 
sucus eius potus renes iuvat ac vesicas, ventris 

214 animalia pellit. ad vulnerum dolores ex oleo cum 
polenta inponitur. nervorum duritias emollit. Me- 
trodorus, qui 6mTo//t^i> pt,oTOfMovfJLva>v scripsit, 
purgationibus a ^partu dandam censuit. venerem 

215 inhibet venerisque somnia, praetorii viri pater est, 
Hispaniae princeps, quern scio propter inpetibiles 
uvae morbos radicem eius file suspensam e cello 
gerere praeterquam in balineis, ita liberatum in- 
commodo omni. quin etiam inveni apud auctores 
caput inlitum ea destillationem anno toto non sent ire. 
oculos tamen hebetare putatur. 

216 LXXXIL Coriandmm inter silvestria non in- 
venitur, praecipuum esse constat Aegyptium. valet 
contra serpentium genus unum quod amphisbaenas 
vocant potum inpositumque. sanat et alia vulnera, 
epinyctidas, pusulas tritum; sic et omnes tumores 
collectionesque cum melle aut uva passa, panos vero 
ex aceto tritum. seminis grana tria in terttanis 



a A superficial absoees to a hair folliol* See Celsuu V, S8 
j 10 f fit maxima ctut in v&rtioe &ut in ali$ aut inguinibus* Bee 
t 4 and Introduction, p. x. 



BOOK XX. LXXXI. 213-Lxxxn. 216 

pearl barley to reduce high temperature, and besides 
this when chewed it also cools the intestines. It arrests 
vomiting. For dysentery and abscesses it is eaten in 
vinegar or taken in drink with cummin, and for 
tenesmus it is boiled. Whether eaten or drunk it is 
good for epilepsy, for menstruation if one acetabulum 
be taken in concentrated must, for hot gout and ery 
sipelas if applied with salt. A draught of its juice 
helps the kidneys and the bladder, expelling also 
intestinal parasites. For the pain of wounds it is 
applied in oil with pearl barley. It softens indurations 
of the sinews. Metrodorus, author of Compendium of 
Prescriptions from Roots, was of opinion that it should 
be given after, delivery to aid the after-birth. It 
checks lust and amorous dreams. A Spanish prince, 
father of a man of praetorian rank, because of 
unbearable disease of the uvula, to my knowledge 
carries except in the bath a root of purslane hung 
round his neck by a thread, being in this way relieved 
of all inconvenience. Moreover, I have found in my 
authorities that the head rubbed with purslane 
ointment is free from catarrh the whole year. It is 
supposed however to weaken the eyesight. 

LXXXI I. Coriander is not found among wild 
plants. The best, as is generally agreed, is the 
Egyptian. It is an antidote for the poison of one 
kind of serpent, the amphisbaena, both taken in 
drink and applied. It heals other wounds also, 
when pounded, besides night rashes and blisters; 
m this form too, with honey or raisins, all tumours 
and gatherings, though to treat the panus a the 
pounded plant must be applied in vinegar. Some 
prescribe three grains of seed to be swallowed before 
the fit comes on by patients with tertian ague, or 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

devorari iubent aliqui ante accessionem, vel plura 

217 inlini fronti. sunt qui et ante soils ortum cervicalibus 
subici efficaciter putent. vis magna ad refrigerandos 
ardores viridi. ulcera quoque quae serpunt sanat 
cum melle vel uva passa, item testes, ambusta, 
carbunculos, aures, cum lacte mulieris epiphoras 
oculorum, ventris et intestine-rum fluctiones semen 
ex aqua potum. bibitur et in choleris cum ruta. 

218 pellit animalia interaneorum, cum mali punici sueo 
et oleo semen potum. Xenocrates tradit rem rniram, 
si vera est, menstrua contineri uno die, si unum 
granum biberint feminae, biduo, si duo, et totidem 
diebus quot grana sumps erint. M. Varro coriandro 
subtrito et cumino acetoque carnem omnem in- 
corruptam aestate servari putat. 

219 LXXXIII. Atriplex et silvestre est, accusatum 
Pythagorae tamquam facer et hydropicos morbosque 
regies et pallorem, concoqueretur difficillime, ac ne 
in hortis quidem iuxta id nasci quicquam nisi lan- 
guidum culpavit. addidere Dionysius et Diocles 
plurimos gigni ex eo morbos, nee nisi mutata saepe 
aqua coquendum, stomacho contrarium esse, len- 

220 tigines et papulas gignere. miror quare difficulter in 
Italia nasci tradiderit id Solon Smyrnaeus. Hippo 
crates vulvarum vitiis infundit id cum beta. Lycus 
Neapolitanus contra cantharidas bibendum dedit, 

a Et sativum found in several MSS. appears to be under 
stood, or rather implied, by et. 
126 



BOOK XX. LXXXII. 216-Lxxxm. 220 

more than three to be applied in ointment to the 
forehead. There are some who believe that it is 
beneficial to place coriander before sunrise under 
the pillows. The fresh plant has great power to 
cool inflammations. Spreading sores also are healed 
by coriander with honey or raisins, likewise diseased 
testes, burns, carbuncles and sore ears, fluxes of 
the eyes too if woman's milk be added, while fluxes 
from belly or intestines are stayed by the seed taken 
in water. It is also taken in drink with rue for 
cholera. Intestinal parasites are expelled by cori 
ander seed, taken with pomegranate juice and oil. 
Xenocrates records a great wonder, if it be a fact : 
that if women take in drink one grain of the seed 
the menses are retarded for one day, for two days 
if she takes two grains, and so on, one day's delay 
for each grain taken. M. Varro thinks that by 
slightly pounded coriander and cummin, with 
vinegar, meat of any kind can be kept sweet in the 
heat of summer. 

LXXXIIL Orache is also found wild, a vegetable orache. 
accused by Pythagoras of causing dropsy, jaundice 
and pallor, and of being very hard indeed to digest ; 
he adds as another drawback that not even in 
gardens does anything grow near it without drooping. 
Dionysius and Diocles have added that very many 
diseases arise from it, that it must never be boiled 
without changing the water often, that it is injurious 
to the stomach, and that it is the cause of freckles 
and pimples. I am at a loss to understand why 
Solon of Smyrna has stated that orache is difficult 
to grow in Italy. Hippocrates injects it with beet 
for complaints of the womb. Lycus of Naples 
prescribed it to be taken in drink for stings of the 

127 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

224 ut quidam dicunt, si vomatur. De iisdem roira et 
alia traduntur, sed maxima, si quis cotidie suci ex 
qualibet eamm sorbeat eyathum dimidium, omnibus 
morbis cariturum. ulcera manantia in capita sanant 
in urina putrefactae, lichenas et ulcera oris cum 
melle, radix decocta furfures capitis et dentium 
mobilitatem. eius quae unum caulem habet radice 
circa dentem qui doleat pungunt, donee desinat 

225 dolor, eadem strumas et parotidas, panos addita 
hominis saliva purgat citra vulnus. semen in vino 
nigro potum pituita et nauseis liberat. radix mam- 
marum vitiis occurrit adalligata in lana nigra, tussim 
in lacte cocta et sorbitionis modo sumpta quinis 

226 diebus emendat. stomaclio inutiles Sextius Niger 
dicit, Olympias Thebana abortivas esse cum adipe 
anseris, aliqui purgari feminas foliis earum manus 
plenae mensura in oleo et vino sumptis. utique 
constat parturientes foliis substratis celerius solvi. 
protinus a partu revocandum, 1 ne vulva sequatur. 

227 dant et sucum bibendum parturientibus ieiunis in 
vino decocta 2 hemina. quin et semen adalligant 
bracchio genitale nori continentium. adeoque veneri 3 
nascuntur, ut semen unicaulis adspersum curationi 4 
feminarum aviditates augere ad infinitum Xeno- 

1 revocandum Deilefsen : rerocanda Mayhoff (vetus ed.) : 
revocandam aliquot codd. 

2 decocta vulg. : decoctae Detlefsen et Mayhojf. 

3 veneri Detlefsen et Mayhoff : veuere codd. : ego venere<m 
excitantes^ malim. 

4 curationi Detlefsen et Mayhoff: curationis codd. Aliae 
c-oni. swrft cubili, genitali, cubationi. ," Locus - nondum 
restfantus videtur," dicit Mayhoff. 

130 



BOOK XX. LXXXIV. 223-227 

be brought back by vomiting. Other marvels are 
reported of the mallows, the most wonderful being 
that whoever swallows daily half a cyathus of the 
juice of any one of them will be immune to all diseases. 
Running sores on the head are cured by mallows that 
have rotted in urine, lichen and sores in the mouth 
by them and honey, dandruff and loose teeth by a 
decoction of the root. With the root of the single- 
stem plant they stab around an aching tooth until 
the pain ceases ; the same plant a clears scrofula 
and parotid abscesses, and with the addition of 
human saliva superficial abscess 6 also, and that 
without leaving a wound. The seed taken in dark 
wine clears away phlegm and nausea. The root 
attached as an amulet in dark wool stays troubles of 
the breasts ; boiled in milk and taken like broth it re 
lieves a cough in five days. Sextius Niger says that 
mallows are injurious to the stomach; the Theban 
lady Olympias that with goose-grease they cause 
abortion, and others that a handful of their leaves 
taken in oil and wine assist the menstruation of 
women. It is agreed at any rate that women in 
labour are more quickly delivered if mallow leaves are 
spread under them, but they must be* withdrawn im 
mediately after delivery for fear of prolapsus of the 
womb. They give the juice to be drunk by women in 
labour ; they must be fasting, and the dose is a hemina 
boiled down in wine. Moreover, they attach the 
seed to the arm of sufferers from spermatorrhoea, 
and mallows are so aphrodisiac that Xenocrates 
maintains that the seeds of the single-stem mallow, 
sprinkled for the treatment of women, stimulate 

a Possibly e root," eadem referring to radice. 
& See 216. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

crates tradat, itemque tres radices iuxta adalligatas. 
tenesmo, dysintericis utilissime infundi, item sedis 
vitiis, vel si foveantur. melancholicis quoque sucus 
datur cyathis tends tepidus, et insanientibus qua- 

228 ternis, deeoctae comitialibus heminae suci. hie et 
calculosis et inflatione et torminibus aut opisthotonico 
laborantibus tepidus inlinitur. et sacris ignibus et 
ambustis decocta in oleum x folia inponuntur, et ad 
vulnenun impetus cruda cura pane, sucus decoctae 
nervis prodest et vesicae et intestinorum rosionibus. 
vulvas et cibo et infusione emollit oleum, sucus 

229 decoctae permeatus suaves facit. althaeae in om 
nibus supra dictis efficacior radix, praecipue convulsis 
ruptisque. cocta in aqua alvum sistit, ex vino albo 

1 in oleum. Ab his verbis usque ad facit Detlefsen sequor, 
qui codd. sequi videtur. Sensus difficillimus est. Maylioff 
in oleo coni. et alvo pro oleum j comma post rosionibus et 
punctum post emollit ponit, sed comma ante sucus delet. 

* The reading and sense are more than doubtful. Besides 
the oddness of veneri nascuntur and adsper&um curationi, one 
might well ask : does feminarum depend on curationi or on 
aviditateSr and if the latter, is it objective or subjective ? 
Oenitali for curationi would be a great improvement to the 
sense, but, if it be correct, how did curationis arise ? 

Perhaps the MSS. venere should be emended to <*TI> vengrem, 
or veiierem (excitantes}, and curatio may represent fle/Dcwreta 
in its sense of " courting.' 5 Cf. Xenophon Cyrop. I. 5, 18, 
depOTreveiv yuvat/ca. 

This difficult passage becomes a little more intelligible if 
we suppose that Pliny, or Pliny's authority, used slightly- 
veiled expressions on this occasion. Perhaps such delicacy 
was shown by Xenocrate> r *tltat Pliny found difficulty in 
translating him. If this be so, it would account for the 
vagueness of curationi feminarum aviditates augere adinfinitum, 
strange enough m any ease; The same delicacy may perhaps 
be seen in permeatus suaves facit ( 228), which may refer to 
the passing of urine and faeces. 

132 



BOOK XX, LXXXIV. 227-229 

their sexual desire to an infinite degree,* and that 
three roots attached near to the part have a like 
effect. He says too that injections of mallow are 
very good for tenesmus and dysentery, and also for 
rectal troubles, or fomentations may be used. The 
juice is also given warm in doses of three cyathi 
to sufferers from melancholia, 6 and in doses of four 
to those who are raving ; c for epilepsy the dose is a 
hemina of the decocted juice. This juice is also 
applied warm to patients with stone, and to sufferers 
from flatulence, griping and opisthotonus.^ For 
both erysipelas and burns the leaves are applied 
boiled down to an oily paste,* and they are applied 
raw with bread for painful/ wounds. The juice of 
a decoction is good for sinews, bladder and gnawings 
of the intestines. The paste soothes the womb 
whether taken by the mouth or injected; the 
decoction makes the passage pleasant. For all 
purposes mentioned above the root of althaea is 
more efficacious, especially for spasms and ruptures. 
Boiled in water it checks looseness of the bowels; 
taken in white wine it is good for scrofula, parotid 

6 Any kind of depression, slight or severe, caused or sup 
posed to be caused by "black bile." See p. xiv, 
c I>elirium or insanity is meant. 

* See note on 31, 

* With the readings of Mayhoff : ** in oil " ; " and soothes 
etc." Permeatus may be translated ** peristaltic action,'* or 
" the passing of excreta." 

There remains the difficulty that decocta in oleum is odd, 
yet supported by all MSS. and implied in emotlit oleum later 
on. Mayhoff has oleo and emottit. alvo 9 but the MSS. give us 
the more difficult reading, and an effort should be made to 
understand it. May oleum be the sticky paste obtained by 
boiling the leaves with a little liquid ? 

f See 259. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

strumas et parotidas, et mammarum inflammationes ; 
et panos in vino folia decocta et inlita tollunt. eadem 
arida in lacte decocta quamlibet perniciosae tussi 

230 citissime medentur. Hippocrates vulneratis sitien- 
tibusque defectu sanguinis radicis decoctae sucum 
bibendum dedit, et ipsam vulneribus cum melle et 
resina, item contusis, luxatis, tumentibus ; et 
musculis, nervis, articulis inposuit ut supra ; spasticis, 
dysintericis in vino bibendam dedit. mlrum aquam 
radice ea addita addensari sub diu atque glaciescere. 
efficacior autem quo recentior. 

231 LXXXV. Nee lapathum dissimiles efFectus habet. 
est autem et silvestre, quod alii oxalida appellant, 
nostri vero rumicem, alii lapathum canterinum, 1 
sapore sativo proximum, foliis acutis, colore betae 
candidae, radice minima, ad strumas cum axungia 
efficacissimum. est et alterum genus fere oxyla- 
pathum vocant sativo similius et acutiore folio ac 
rubriore, non nisi in palustribus nascens. sunt qui 
et hydrolapathum tradant in aqua natum et aliud 
hippolapathum maius sativo candidiusque ac spissius. 

232 silvestria scorpionum ictibus medentur et feriri 
prohibent habentes. radix aceto decocta, si coluatur 
sucus, dentibus auxiliatur, si vero bibatur, morbo 
regio. semen stomachi inextricabilia vitia sanat. 
kippolapathi radix privatim ungues scabros detrahit. 

1 nosferi vero . . . canterintim post minima ponunt codd, 
UrUchs delere velit; trayisponit MayTioff. 

See 216. 
134 



BOOK XX. LXXXIV. 229~Lxxxv. 232 

abscesses and inflammation of the breasts, and an 
application of the leaves, boiled down in wine, 
removes superficial abscess.* 1 The same leaves dried 
and boiled down in milk cure very quickly the most 
racking cough. Hippocrates gave the juice of the 
boiled-down root to be drunk by wounded men who 
were thirsty through loss of blood, and applied the 
plant itself with honey and resin to wounds ; likewise 
to bruises, sprains, and swellings; as above also to 
muscles, sinews and joints. He gave it to be taken 
in wine by patients suffering from cramp or dysen 
tery. It is remarkable that . water to which this 
root has been added thickens in the open air and 
congeals. The fresher it is also, the better. 

LXXXV. Sorrel (lapathum) has similar properties, 
There is also a wild kind called by some oxalis, by 
our people rumex and by others gelding sorrel. It 
has a taste very like that of the cultivated kind, 
pointed leaves, the colour of white beet and a very 
small root, being when mixed with axle-grease very 
efficacious for scrofula. There is also another kind, 
generally called pointed sorrel, even more like the 
cultivated kind, but with a leaf more pointed and 
redder, growing only in marshy localities. There 
are some who speak of a water sorrel, growing in 
water, and yet another* horse sorrel, larger, paler 
and more compact than the cultivated kind. The 
wild sorrels heal the stings of scorpions and protect 
from stings those who carry them on their persons. 
The root, boiled down in vinegar, is good for the 
teeth, if the juice be used as a mouth wash, while to 
drink the same is good for jaundice. The seed cures 
inveterate stomach troubles. The root of horse 
sorrel, in particular, brings away scabrous nails ; its 

135 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

233 dysmtericos semen duabus drachmas in vino potum 
liberat. oxylapathi semen lotum in aqua caelesti 
sanguinem reicientibus adiecta acacia lentis mag- 
nitudine prodest. praestantissimos pastilles faciunt 
ex foliis et radice addito nitro et ture exiguo. in 
usu aceto diluunt. 

234 LXXXVI. Sed sativum in epiphoris oculomm 
inlinunt frontibus. radice lichenas et lepras curant, 
in vino vero decocta strumas et parotidas 5 et calculos 
pota e x vino et lienes inlita, coeKacos aeque et dysin- 
tericos et tenesmos. ad eademque 2 omnia efficacius 
ius lapathi, et ructus facit et urinam ciet et caliginem 
oculomm discutit, item pruritum corporis in solia 
balinearum additum aut prius ipsum inlitum sine 

235 oleo. firmat et commanducata radix dentes. eadem 
decocta cum vino sistit alvum, folia solvunt. adiecit 
Solo, ne quid omittamus, bulapathum, radicis tantum 
altitudine differens et erga 3 dysintericos effectu 
potae 4 ex vino. 

236 LXXXVII. Sinapi, cuius in sativis tria genera 
diximus, Pythagoras principatum habere ex his 
quorum sublime 5 vis feratur iudicavit, quoniam non 
aliud m^tgis in nares et cerebrum penetret.* ad 
serpentium ictus et scorpionurri tritum cum aceto 
iiilinitur, fungorum venena discutit. contra pi- 



MayJioff. 

2 ad eademque Detlefsen : ex eademque ad 
8 erga codd. et Detlefsen : egregio ad MayJioff. 
4 potae Gronovius : pota codd, 
'^sublime Detlefsen et codd. : in sublime Mayhoff. 



5 ' 



* See XIX, 171. 
I 3 6 



BOOK XX. LXXXV. 233-Lxxxvn. 236 

seed taken in wine in doses of two drachmae cures 
dysentery. The seed of pointed sorrel, washed in 
rain-water, with the addition of a piece of gum 
arabic, of the size of a lentil, is good for spitting of 
blood. Most excellent lozenges are made from the 
leaves and root, with the addition of soda and a little 
frankincense. When wanted for use they are steeped 
in vinegar. 

LXXXVI. But the cultivated kind is applied to 
the forehead for fluxes from the eyes. With the root 
they treat lichen and leprous sores ; it is boiled down 
in wine however for scrofula and parotid abscesses, 
taken in wine for stone, and applied as liniment for 
complaints of the spleen, being equally good for 
coeliac troubles, dysentery and tenesmus. For all 
the same purposes the juice of sorrel is more effi 
cacious; it causes belching, is diuretic, and dispels 
dimness of the eyes ; put in the bottom of the bath, 
or rubbed on the body without oil before taking a 
bath, it also removes itching of the body. The root 
also chewed strengthens loose teeth. A decoction 
of it with wine checks looseness of the bowels ; the 
leaves relax them. Solon has added (not to omit 
anything) another variety , ox sorrel, differing from 
the others only in the depth of the root, and by the 
efficacy of this root, when taken in wine, to cure 
dysentery. 

LXXXVTL Mustard, of which we have mentioned a Mustard. 
three kinds among the cultivated plants, Pythagoras 
judged to be chief of those whose pungent pro 
perties reach a high level, since no other penetrates 
further into the nostrils and brain. Pounded it is 
applied with vinegar to the bites of serpents and 
scorpion stings. It counteracts the poisons of fungi. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tuitam tenetnr in ore, donee liquescat, aut gar- 

237 garizatur cum aqua mulsa. ad dentium dolores 
manditur, ad uvam gargarizatur cum aceto et melle, 
stomacho utilissimum contra omnia vitia, pulmonibus 
excreationes faciles facit in cibo sumptum, et sus- 
piriosis datur, item comitialibus taediis 1 cum suco 
cucumenim. sensus atque sternutamentis caput 
purgat, alvum mollit, menstrua et urinam ciet. et 
hydropicis inponitur cum fico et cumino tusum ternis 

238 partibus. comitiali morbo aut vulvarum conversione 
suffocatas excitat odore aceto mixto, item lethar- 
gicos ; adicitur tordylon est autem hoc semen ex 
seseli et si vehementior lethargus premat, cruribus 
aut etiam capiti inlinitur cum fico ex aceto. veteres 
dolores thoracis, lumborum, coxendicum, umerorum 
et in quacumque parte ex alto cqrporis vitia extra- 
henda sunt 2 inlitum caustica vi emendat pusulas 
faciendo, at in magna duritia sine fico inpositum aut, 
si vehementior ustio timeatur, per dupnces pannos. 

239 utuntur eo ad alopecias cum rubrica, psoras, lepras, 
phthiriasesj tetanicos, opisthotonicos. inungunt 
quoque scabras genas aut caligantes oculos cum 
Bltelie, sucusque tribus modis exprimitur in fictili, 
ealescitque in eo sole modice. exit et e cauliculo 
sufcus lacteus, qui ita 3 cum induruit, dentium dolori 

240 medetur., semen ac radix, cum inmaduere musto, 

1 taediis GroTwvius : ter die Mayhoff : tedia codd. 

2 sunt codd. et Detlefsen : sint Mayhoff. 

3 qui ita Detlefsen : eius gutta Mayhoff : lactucae vice, 
ita lo. Mfiller : eiuce ui ita aut ei uetui ita codd. 

* With tKe reading of Mayhoff : " to epileptics three times 
u day," 

/ * See pp. xiii, xiv. f See note on M. 

; d Others translate, " styes on the eyelids." See 3. 

* Mayhoff : ffi a drop of it when hardened." 

138 



BOOK XX. LXXXVII. 236-240 

For phlegm it is kept in the mouth until it melts, or 
is used as a gargle with hydromel. For tooth-ache 
it is chewed, for the uvula it is used as a gargle with 
vinegar and honey. It is very beneficial for all 
stomach troubles. Taken with food it eases expec 
toration from the lungs, and is given to asthmatics, 
as 'well as for epileptic exhaustion a with the addition 
of juice of cucumber. It clears the senses, and, by 
the sneezing caused by it, the head ; it relaxes the 
bowels ; it promotes menstruation and urine. 
Pounded with figs and cummin, each being one third 
of the whole, it is applied externally for dropsy. By 
its powerful smell when mixed with vinegar mustard 
revives those in epileptic swoons and women fainting 
with prolapsus, as well as those afflicted with lethar- 
gus. 6 Tordylon that is, the seed of hart wort is 
added, and if the lethargy be unusually deep, it is 
applied with fig in vinegar to the legs or even to the 
head. Long-standing pains of the chest, loins, hips, 
shoulders, and whatever deep-seated troubles in 
any part of the body have to be removed, are relieved 
by the caustic property of an external application, 
causing blisters ; but when there is great hardness 
the application is made without the fig, or if too 
severe burning be feared, between a doubled cloth; 
They use it with red earth for mange, itch, leprous 
sores, phthiriasis, tetanus and opisthotonus. c With 
honey they also use it as ointment for scabrous 
cheeks d or dimness of vision, and the juice is ex 
tracted in three ways in an earthen pot, in which it 
is slightly warmed by the sun. There also exudes 
from the slender stem of the mustard plant a milky 
juice, which, when it has thus hardened,* cures 
tooth-ache. Seed and root, steeped in must, are 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

conteruninir manusqize plenae mensura sorbentur ad 
confirmandas fauces, stomachum, oculos, caput 
sensusque omnes, mulierurn etiam lassitudines, 
saluberrimo 1 genere medicinae. calculos quoque 
discutit potum in aceto. inlinitur et livoribus sug- 
gillatisque cum melle et adipe anserino ant cera 
.Cypria. fit et oleum ex eo semine madefacto in oleo 
expressoque, quo utuntur ad nervorum rigores 
lumborumque et coxendicum et perfrictiones. 

241 LXXXVIIL Sinapis naturam 2 efiectusque eosdem 
habere traditur adarca inter silvfestria dicta, in 
cortice calamorum sub ipsa coma nascens. 

LXXXIX. Marrubium plerique inter primas herbas 
commendavere, quod Graeci prasion vocant, alii 
linostrophon, nonnulli philopaeda aut philochares, 
notius quam ut indicandum sit. huius folia semenque 
contrita prosunt contra serpentes, pectorum et lateris 
dolores, tussim veterem, et iis qui sanguinem reiece- 
rint eximie utile, scopis eius cum panico aqua decoctis 

242 ut asperitas suci mitigetur. inponitur fit-minis cum 
adipe, sunt qui viride semen, quantum duobus 
digitis capiant, cum farris pugillo decoctum addito 
exiguo olei et salis sorberi ieiunis ad tussim iubeant. 
alii nihH conparant in eadem causa marrubii et 
feniculi sucis ad sextarios ternos expressis decoc- 
tisque ad sextarios duos, turn addito mellis sextario, 
rursus decocto ad sextarios duos, si coclearii mensura 

1 saluberrimo vulg, et Mayhoff : saluberrimae plurimi codd., 
Hard., Detlefsen. 

* 2 naturam vitlg. et Deilefsen ; naturae multi codd. : naturae 
esse Maykoff. 

a XVI. { 167, & Leek-green. 

Twisted fla^ d Loving lads (?). 

f Loving gisace ( ?}. * Two-grained wheat. See p. 34, n. &. 



BOOK XX. LXXXVH, 240-Lxxxix. 242 

pounded together, and a handful is swallowed to 
strengthen the throat, stomach, eyes, head and all 
the senses, as well as the lassitude of women, being a 
very wholesome medicine indeed, Taken in vinegar 
it also disperses stone. To livid places and bruises it 
is applied with, honey and goose-grease, or else with 
Cyprian wax. From mustard-seed, steeped in olive 
oil and then compressed, there is extracted an oil, 
which is used for stiffness of the sinews, loins and 
hips, and for violent chills. 

LXXXVIII. The same nature and properties as 
those of mustard are said to belong to adarca, men 
tioned in my account of wild plants, which grows on 
the bark of reeds right under the tuft. 

LXXXIX. Most authorities have placed among Horehound. 
the especially valuable plants horehound, called by 
some Greeks prasion, & by others linostrophon, c by a 
few philopais d or philochares/ a plant too well known 
to need description. Its leaves and seed pounded 
together are good for the bites of serpents, pains hi 
the chest and side, and chronic cough; and those 
who have been troubled with spitting of blood derive 
extraordinary benefit from its stalks, boiled in water 
with Italian millet to mellow the harshness of the 
juice. It is applied externally with grease for 
scrofula. There are some who prescribe for a cough 
a two-finger pinch of the fresh seed, boiled down 
with a handful of emmer/ to which a little oil and salt 
has been added, to be swallowed by the patients 
when fasting. Others consider incomparable for the 
same purpose an extract of horehound and fennel ; 
three sextarii are extracted and boiled down to two ; 
a sextarius of honey is added and the whole is again 
boiled down to two. The dose should be a spoonful 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

243 in die sorbeatur in aquae cyatho. virilium vitiis 
tusum cinn melle mire prodest. lichenas purgat ex 
aceto, ruptis, convolsis, spasticis, nervis salutare. 
pottun alvum solvit cum sale et aceto, item menstrua 
et secundas mulierum. arida farina cum melle ad 
tussim siccam efficacissima est, item ad gangraenas 
et pterygia. sucus vero auriculis et naribus et 
morbo regio minuendaeque bili cum melle prodest, 

244 item contra venena inter pauca pot ens. ipsa herba 
stomachum et excreationes pectoris purgat cum iride 
et melle, urinam ciet, cavenda tamen exulceratae 
vesicae et renium vitiis. dicitur sucus et claritatem 
oculorum adiuvare. Castor marrubii duo genera 
tradit, nigrum et quod magis probat candidum. in 
ovum inane sucum addit is ipsumque ovum infundit, 
mel aequis portionibus, tepefactum vomicas rump ere, 
purgare, persanare prornittens, inlitis etiam vul- 
neribus a cane factis tuso cum axungia vet ere. 1 

245 XC. Serpyllum a serpendo putant dictum, quod 
in silvestri evenit, in petris maxime; nam sativum 
non serpit, sed ad palmum altitudine increscit. 
pinguius voluntarium et candidioribus foliis ramis- 
que, adversus serpentes efficax, maxime cenchrim et 
scolopendras terrestres ac marinas et scorpiones, 

1 inlitis . . . vetere. Ita JDetlefaeni promittens. inlinit 
etiam vulneribus a cane factis tusum cum axungia vetelre 
M&yhoff: inlinit coniectura veiMs &st, sed tusam tuso tusum codd. 

Pterygium is also a complaint of the eyes. 
* Serpyllum from serpere (to creep). 
c A kind of spotted serpent. 

142 



BOOK XX. LXXXIX. 242-xc. 245 

a day swallowed in a cyathus of water. Pounded 
horehound with honey is remarkably good for 
maladies of the male genitals. It clears up lichen if 
applied in vinegar, and is healing for ruptures, 
spasms, cramp and the sinews. Taken with salt and 
vinegar it relaxes the bowels, also helping men 
struation and the after-birth. Dried and powdered 
it is very efficacious with honey for a dry cough, 
likewise for gangrene and hangnails.** The juice 
moreover with honey is good for the ear-laps, nostrils, 
jaundice, and for lessening the secretion of bile ; as 
an antidote for poisons it is among the few most 
effective. The plant itself with iris and honey 
purges the stomach, clears the lungs of phlegm, 
promotes urine, but should be avoided when there 
is an ulcerated bladder or the kidneys are affected. 
The juice is also said to improve the eyesight. Castor 
records two kinds of horehound, the dark and the 
white, the latter being preferred by him. He puts 
horehound juice into an empty egg-shell, and then 
pours in the egg itself and honey in equal propor 
tions; this mixture warmed he assures us brings 
abscesses to a head, cleanses them and heals them. 
Pounded also he applied horehound with old axle- 
grease to dog bites. 

XC. Wild thyme is thought to be so named from 
its being a creeping plant ; & this characteristic is to 
be found only in the wild kind, mostly in rocky 
districts; the cultivated does not creep, but grows 
up to be a palm in height. That growing spon 
taneously is a more luxuriant plant, with paler 
leaves and stalks, an efficacious antidote for serpent 
bites, particularly those of cenchris, c scolopendras, 
land or sea, and scorpions, the stalks and leaves being 

143 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

decoctis ex vino ram is foliisque. fugat et adore 
omnes, si uratur, et contra marinorum venena prae- 

246 cipue valet, capitis doloribus decoctum in aceto 
inlinitur temporibus ac fronti cum rosaceo^ item 
phreneticis, lethargicis. 1 contra tormina et urinae 
difficultates, anginas, vomitiones drachmis quattuor 
ex aqua bibitur; ad iocinerum desiderium 2 folia 
obolis quattuor dantur, ad lienem ex aceto. ad 
cruentas excreationes teritur in cyathis duobus 
aceti et mellis. 

247 XCI. Sisymbrium silvestre quibusdam thymbra- 
eum appellatum, pedali non amplius altitudine. 
quod in riguis nascitur simile nasturtio est, utrum- 
que 3 efficax adversus aculeata animalia, ut crabrones 
et similia, quod in sicco odoratum est et inseritur 
coronis, angustiore folio, sedant utraque capitis 
dolorem, item epiphoras, ut Philinus tradit. alii 

248 panem addunt,, alii per se decocunt in vino, sanat 
et epinyctidas cutisque vitia in facie mulierum intra 
quartum diem noctibus inpositum diebusque de- 
tractum. vomitiones, singultus, tormina, stomachi 
dissolutiones cohibet, sive in cibo sumptum sive suco 
potum. 4 non edendum gravidis nisi mortup con- 
ceptu, quippe etiam inpositum eicit. movet urinam 

, l Ita dist. MayJioff coll. Gargilio. Post lethargicis comma? 
past vomitiones et post desiderimn punctum ponit Detlefeen. 

3 desiderium cum complunbus codd. Detlefsen : desideria 
cum uno MayJioff : dolores vulg. 

3 t tLt/rumqne codd. et Detlefsen : tritumqiie 
. * potum codd. et Detlefsen : j>ota Mayhoff. 

144 



BOOK XX. xc. 245-xci. 248 

boiled in wine. When burnt it keeps away all such 
creatures by 'its smell, and is an especially potent 
antidote for the poison of marine creatures. For 
headache a decoction in vinegar is applied to the 
temples and forehead, rose oil being added ; so also 
for phrenitis and lethargus. For griping and 
strangury, for quinsy and vomiting, four drachmae 
are taken in water. For liver complaints * four 
oboli of the leaves are given, and the same in vinegar 
for splenic troubles. For spitting of blood it is 
pounded in two cyathi of oxymel, 

XCI. Wild sisymbrium, c called by some thym- 
braeum, grows no higher than a foot. The sisym- 
brium growing in watery districts resembles cress, 
and both d are efficacious for the stings of such 
creatures as hornets ; the kind growing on dry soil 
has a pleasant scent and is used for wreaths. The 
leaf is narrower. They both relieve headache as 
well as fluxes from the eyes, according to the testi 
mony of Philinus. Some add bread, but others boil 
it in wine by itself. It heals night rashes and spots 
on women's faces within four days if applied at night 
and taken away during the day. Vomiting, hic 
cough, griping and fluxes of the stomach it checks 
whether taken in food or drunk as juice. It should 
not be eaten by pregnant women unless the foetus 
be dead, since even an application of it produces 
abortion. Taken with wine it is diuretic, the wild 

fl For these see pp. xiii-xiv. 

* For this t&e of desAdenwni see XXII. 108, XXIIL 
61, XXVTI. 1-36. , 

c A water mint. 

d Apparently the two kinds of sisymbrmm mentioned, but 
there is much to be said for MayhofTs trittfmgue, "when 
pounded." 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cum vino potum, silvestre vero et calculos. quos 
vigilare opus sit excitat infusum capiti cum aceto. 

249 XCIL Lini semen cum aliis quidem in usu est, 
sed et per se mulierum cutis vitia emendat in facie, 
oculorum aciem suco adiuvat. epiphoras cum ture 
et aqua aut cum murra ac vino sedat, parotidas cum 
melle aut adipe aut cera, stomachi solutiones in- 
spersum polentae mo'do, anginas in aqua et oleo 

250 decoctum et cum aneso inlitum. torretur, ut alvum 
sistat. coeliacis et dysintericis inponitur ex aceto. 
ad iocineris dolores estur cum uva passa, ad phthisim 
utilissime e semine fiunt ecligmata. musculorum, 
nervorum, articulorum, cervicium duritias, cerebri 
membranas mitigat farina seminis nitro aut sale aut 
cinere additis. eadem cum fico parotidem * conco- 
quit ac maturat, cum radice vero cucumeris silvestris 
extrahit quaecumque corpori inhaereant, sic et 

251 fracta-ossa. serpere ulcus in vino decocta prohibet, 
eruptiones pituitae cum melle. emendat ungues 
scabros cum pari modo nasturtii, testium vitia et 
ramioes cum resina et murra et gangraenas ex aqua, 
stomachi dolores cum feno Graeco sextariis utriusque 
decoctis in aqua mulsa, intestinorum, thoracis 
perniciosa vitia clystere in oleo a/ut melle. 

252 XCIIL Blitum iners videtur ac sine sapore aut 
acrimonia ulla, unde convicium feminis apud 

1 parotjdem coni. lanus : et idem codd. : ; xteia mdg. : 
post fico lacunam indicaf ^ 

146 



BOOK XX. xci. 248-xciii, 252 

kind moreover even expels stone. Those wno must 
remain awake are kept roused by an infusion in 
vinegar poured on the head. 

XCIL Linseed is not only used in combination 
with other ingredients, but also by itself removes 
spots on women's faces, and its juice benefits the 
eyesight. With frankincense and water or with 
myrrh and wine it relieves fluxes from the eyes, 
parotid abscesses with honey or grease or wax, 
fluxes from the stomach when sprinkled in water 
like pearl barley, and quinsies when boiled in water 
and oil and applied externally with anise. It is 
roasted to check looseness of the bowels. For 
coeliac trouble and dysentery it is applied in vinegar. 
For pains of the liver it is eaten with raisins ; for 
consumption electuaries are made from the seed 
with very useful results. Linseed meal, with soda 
or salt or ash added, softens indurations of the 
muscles, sinews, joints and nape of the neck, as well as 
the membranes of the brain. With a fig it also ripens 
and brings to a head a parotid abscess ; with the root 
moreover of wild cucumber it extracts bodies sticking 
into the flesh, including pieces of broken bone. 
Boiled in wine it prevents a sore from spreading, and 
with honey checks eruptions of phlegm. With an 
equal part of cress it cures scabrous nails, with resin 
and myrrh complaints of the testes and hernia, and 
in water gangrene. Stomach ache is cured by a 
decoction of one sextarius of linseed with an equal 
quantity of fenugreek in hydromel, and dangerous 
maladies of the intestines and lower trunk by an 
enema of linseed in oil or honey. 

XCIII. Blite seems to be an inactive plant, with- 
out flavour or any sharp quality, for which reason in 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

Menandrum faciunt mariti. stomacho inutile est. 
ventrem adeo turbat ut choleram faciat aliquis. 
dicitur tamen adversus scorpiones potum e vino 
prodesse, clavis pedum inlini, item lienibus et 
temporum dolori ex oleo. Hippocrates menstrua 
sisti eo cibo putat. 

253 XCIV. Meum in Italia non nisi a medicis seritur 
et his admodum paucis. duo genera eius : nobilius 
Athamanticum vel Athamanicum vocant, illi tam- 
quam ab Athamante invent um, hi quoniam laudatis- 
simum in Athamania reperiatur, foliis aneso simile 
et caule aHquando bipedali, 1 radicibus multis obliquis 
nigris, quibusdam et altis, minus rufum quam illud 
alterum. urinam ciet in aqua pota 2 radice trita vel 
decocta, inflationes stomachi mire discutit, item tor 
mina et vesicae vitia vulvarumque. articulis cum 
melle, infantibus cum apio inlitum imo ventri urinas 
movet. 

254 XCV. Feniculum nobilitavere serpentes gustatu, 
ut diximus, senectam. exuendo oculorumque aciem 
suco eius reficiendo, unde intellectum hominum 
quoque caliginem praecipue eo levari. colligitur 
hie caule turgescente et in sole siccatur inungui- 
turque ex melle^ 3 laudatissimus in Hiberia e lacrimis ; 

1 bipedali oodd. et Deilefsen : bipedale Mayhoff. 

2 pota Mayhoff: potum Detlefsen. 

3 Post melle codd, ubique hoc est habent; uncis inclusit 
Urlichs. 

a Not Asiatic cholera, but cholera nostras. 

6 With the reading of Mayhofif : "Its leaves and stem are 
like those of anise, and it is, etc." 

6 The punctuation, that of UrEehs, "requires Minitur to 
be understood in the first clause from inlitwm in the second. 
T^he usual punctuation, comma at vitia and no stop at vul- 
varumque, requires tHe latter to depend on articulis, an almost 
impossible conjunction of 'words. * Book VIII. 98. 

148 



BOOK XX. XCHI. 252-xcv. 254 

Menander husbands use the name as a term of abuse 
for their wives. It is injurious to the stomach. It 
so disturbs the bowels as to cause cholera a in some 
persons. It is said however to be good for scorpion 
stings when drunk in wine, for corns on the feet 
when applied 'in a liniment, and also, with, oil, for 
diseases of the spleen and for pain in the temples. 
Used as a food it is thought by Hippocrates to check 
menstruation. 

XCIV. Spignel is not grown in Italy except by 
medical men, and by very few of these. There are 
two kinds of it. The more famous is called Atha- 
manticum or Athamanicum, because, as some think, 
it was discovered by Athamas, or according to others 
because the most esteemed variety is found in 
Athamania. Its leaves are like those of anise, the 
stem being sometimes two feet high ; b it has many 
roots, slanting, dark, and occasionally deep, the plant 
being less red than the other kind. The root, 
pounded or boiled and taken in water, is diuretic, 
and wonderfully good for dispersing flatulence of the 
stomach, and also, for griping and troubles of the 
bladder and of the womb. With honey it is applied 
to the joints, and an application with celery to the 
lower abdomen is diuretic for babies/ 

XCV. Fennel has been made famous, as we have Fennel. 
saidX by serpents, which taste it to cast off their old 
skin and with its juice improve their eyesight. 
Consequently it has been inferred that by fennel 
juice especially can dimness of human vision also 
be removed. This juice is collected when the stem 
is swelling to bud, dried in the sun and applied in 
honey as an ointment. The most esteemed is 
gathered in Spain from the tear-drops of the plant. 

149 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fit 1 et e semine recent! et e radicibus prima ger- 
minatione incisis. 

255 XCVL Est in hoc genere et silvestre quod hippo- 
marathum, alii myrsineum vocant, foliis maioribus, 
gustu acriore, procerius, baculi crassitudine, radice 
Candida, nascitur in calidis et saxosis. Diocles et 
aliud hippomarathi genus tradidit, longo et angusto 

256 folio, semine coriandri. medicinae in sativo ad 
scorpionum ictus et serpentium semine in vino poto. 
sucus et auribus instillatur vermiculosque in his 
necat. ipsum condimentis prope omnibus inseritur, 
oxyporis etiam aptissime. quin et panis crustis 
subditur. semen stomachum dissolutum adstringit, 
vel in febribus sumptum, nausiam ex aqua tritum 
sedat, puhnonibus et iocineribus laudatissimum. 
ventrem sistit, cum modice sumitur, urinam ciet ad 
tormina potum, 2 decoctum lactis defectu potum 

257 mammas replet. radix cum tisana sumpta rene,s 
purgat, sive decoctae suco cum vino sumpto. 3 prodest 
et hydropicis radix ex vino pota, item convulsis. in- 
linuntur foHa tumoribus ardentibus 4 ex aceto, caleulbs 
vesicae pellunt. geniturae abundantiam quoquo 
modo haustum facit, verendis amici^simum, sive ad 
fovendum radice cum vino decocta sive contritum in 

^,, Post fit dist. Mayhoff, qui cum codd* fit post recenti servant. 

2 potum 8illig: potu UrticTis, Mayhoff: totum codd. 

* sive decoctae suco cum vino sumpto ego : sive decoctae 
sueo ex vino sumpto; *Mayhoffi sive decocti suco sive semine 
sumpto cum codd. Detlefsen. De sive semel posito Mayboff cf. 
XVI^ 1 cdiosgue, locos. ' 

4 ardentibus Mayhoff : a^dente Janus : ardentes codd. L 

* See p. 108, note a. 



BOOK XX. xcv, 254-xcvi. 257 

It is also made from fresh seed and from incisions 
in the root when germination has first begun. 

XCVI. There is in this class of plant a wild 
variety called hippomarathum, by some myrsineum, 
with larger leaves and a sharper taste, taller, as 
thick as a walking-stick, and with a white root. It 
grows in warm and rocky soils. Diocles has spoken 
of yet another kind of hrppomarathum, with a long, 
narrow leaf, and a seed like that of coriander. The 
cultivated kind is used in medicine for the wounds 
of scorpions and serpents, the seed being taken in 
wine. The juice is also dropped into the ears, where 
it kills the worms infesting them. The plant itself 
is art ingredient of nearly all condiments, being 
especially suited for digestives. Moreover, it is 
placed under the crusts of loaves.^ The seed braces 
a relaxed stomach, even if taken in fevers, relieves 
nausea if pounded and taken in water, and is a 
highly praised remedy for complaints of the lungs 
and liver. It stays looseness of the bowels, if a 
moderate amount be taken ; when taken for griping 
it is diuretic, and a decoction drunk when milk fails 
fills the breasts again, . The root cleanses the 
kidneys when taken with barley water, or if the 
juice of the boiled-down root be drunk with wine. 
Taken in wine the root is also good for dropsy, like 
wise for spasms. The leaves are applied in vinegar 
to inflamed fr tumours, and they expel stones in the 
bladder. In whatever way it is taken it creates an 
abundance of seed, bfeing very soothing to the 
privates, whether the root be boiled down with wine 
for a fomentation, or the plant be pounded up and 

-* If ardente be read : "in strong vinegar **; if ardentes, 
" burning gall-stones.'* i 

151 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

oleo inlitum. multi et suggillatis cum cera inlirnmt, 
et radice in suco vel cum melle contra canis morsum 

258 utuntur et contra multipedam ex vino, hippo- 
marathum ad omnia vehementius calculos praecipue 
pellit, prodest vesicae cum vino leni et feminarum 
menstruis haerentibus. efficacius in eo semen quam 
radix, modus in utroque quod duobus digitis tritum 
additur in potionem. Petrichus qui ophiaca scripsit 
et Miccion qui rhizotomumena adversus serpentes 
nihil efficacius hippomaratho putavere. sane et 
Nicander non in novissimis posuit. 

259 XCVII. Cannabis in silvis primum nata et>t, nigrior 
foliis et asperior. semen eius extinguere genituram 
dicitur. sucus ex eo vermiculos aurium et quod- 
cumque animal intraverit eicit, sed cum dolore 
capitis, tantaque vis ei est ut aquae infusus coagulare 
earn dicatur. et ideo iumentorum alvo succurrit 
potus in aqua* radix articulos contracfcos emollit in 
aqua cocta, item podagras et similes impetus. 
ambustis cruda inlinitur, sed saepius mutati 
priusquam arescat. 

280 XCVIIL Ferula semen aneto simile habet. qua 
ab uno caule dividitur in cacumine femina putatur, 
caule$ eduntur decocti, commendanturque muria ac 
melle, stomitcho utiles* 1 sin plures Humpti, capitis 
dolorem faciunt, radix denarii pondere in vini 
cyathis duobus bibitur adversus serpentes, et ipsa 
radix inponitur, sic et torminibus medetur, ex oleo 



utiles M&ykoji utilia 



Or possibly " persistent. '* 
Kioander, Th&riaca, p. 590* 
C 228 and ao^e on XXIL 
Or 



152 



BOOK XX. xcvi. 257-xcviii. 260 

applied in oil. Many also apply it with wax to 
bruises, and use the root in the juice or with honey 
for dog bites, and in wine for the sting of the mul- 
tipede. Hippomarathum is for all purposes more 
drastic, expelling stone particularly well, and with a 
soft wine doing good to the bladder and to retarded a 
menstruation. In this the seed is more efficacious 
than the root. The dose of either is a two-finger 
pinch, ground and added to drink. Petrichus who 
wrote Serpent-lore and Miccion, author of Pre 
scriptions from Roots, thought nothing more efficacious 
than hippomarathum for serpent bites. Nicander 6 
indeed also has placed it far from last in his list of 
antidotes. 

XCVI I. Hemp at first grew in woods, with 
darker and rougher leaf. Its seed is said to make 
the genitals impotent. The juice from it drives out 
of the ears the worms and any other creature that 
has entered them, but at the cost of a headache ; so 
potent is its nature that when poured info water it 
is said to- make it coagulate. And so, drunk in their 
water, it regulates the bowels of beasts of burden. 
The root boiled in water eases cramped joints, 
gout too and similar violent pains. c It is appli ed raw 
to burns, but is often changed before it gets dry. 

XCVIII. Fennel-giant, has a seed similar to that j^wfywn*. 
of dill. The kind with one stem divided at the top 
is supposed to be female. The stems are eaten 
boiled, and are made tasty * with brine and honey, 
being good for the stomach. If however too many 
are eaten they cause headache. One denarius of 
the root in two cyathi of wine is taken for serpent 
bites, and the root itself is applied to them. So 
administered it also cures griping, and in, oil and 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

autem et aceto contra sudores inmodicos vel in 

261 febribus proficit. sucus ferulae alvum solvit fabae 
magnitudine devoratus. e viridi medulla vnlvis 
utilis est et x ad omnia ea vitia. ad sanguinem sis- 
tendum decem grana seminis bibuntur in vino trita 
vel cum medulla, sunt qui comitialibus morbis 
dandum putent luna mi usque vn lingulae men- 
sura, natura ferularum murenis infestissima est, 
tactae siquidem ea moriuntur. Castor radicis sucum 
et oculorum claritati conferre multum putavit. 

262 XCIX. Et de carduorum satu inter hortensia 
diximus, quapropter et medicinam ex his non 
diiFeramus. silvestrium genera sunt duo 3 unum 
fruticosius a terra statim, alterum unicaule crassius. 
utrique folia pauca, spinosa, muricatis cacuminibus, 
sed alter florem purpureum mittit inter medics 
aculeos celeriter canescentem et abeuntem cum 

263 aura ; aKoXvfwv Graeci vocant. hie antequam floreat 
contusus atque expressus inlito suco alopecias replet. 
radix cuiuscumque ex aqua decoct a potoribus sitim 
facere narratur. stomachum corroborat et vulvis, si 
credimus, etiam conferre aliquid traditur ut mares 
gignantur. ita certe Glaucias scripsit qui circa 
carduos diligentissimus videtur. mastiche e carduis 
odorem commendat oris. ' 

1 est et ego : est out et codd. 



See XIX. 152. 
Golden thistle. 



154; 



BOOK XX. xcvin. 26o-xcix. 263 

vinegar it checks profuse perspirations, even in fevers. 
To swallow the juice of fennel-giant, of the size of a 
bean in quantity, loosens the bowels. The pith 
from the fresh plant is good for the womb, and for 
all the complaints I have mentioned. To stop 
bleeding ten seeds are ground and taken in wine 
or with some pith. There are some who think that 
the seed should be given for epilepsy from the fourth 
day of the moon to the seventh, in doses of one 
spoonful. The nature of fennel-giant is very 
poisonous to the murena, a mere touch causing 
death. Castor thought that the juice of the root 
was also very beneficial to the eyesight. 

XCIX. We have also spoken a in our description Thistles. 
of garden plants of the cultivation of thistles, and 
so we should not put off a discussion of their medical 
value. Of wild thistles there are two kinds: one 
being more bushy as soon as it leaves the earth, the 
other is thicker, but has only one stem. Both kinds 
have only a few leaves, prickly and with pointed 
heads, but the latter puts forth in the middle of its 
points a purple flower, that quickly turns white 
and is gone with the wind ; the Greeks call it 
GTcoAujLtos'.fr If this kind be pounded and compressed 
before it flowers, an application of the juice restores 
skin and hair lost by mange. The root of any kind 
boiled in water is said to create thirst in those who 
are drunkards. It strengthens the stomach, and, if we 
may believe the report, it also affects the womb in 
such a way that male children are engendered. 
Glaucias, at any rate, who seems to have been a 
most careful student of thistles, put this statement 
on record. A gum-like mastich coming from thistles 
makes the breath sweet. 

155 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

264 C. Et discessuri ab hortensiis unam conpositionem 
ex his clarissimara subteximus adversus venenata 
animalia incisam in lapide versibus Coi in aede 
Aesculapi: serpylli duum denariorum pondus, opo- 
panacis et mei tantundem singulorum, trifolii 
seminis pondus denarii, anesi et feniculi seminis et 
ami, et apii denarium senum e singulis generibus, 
ervi farinae denarium xn. haec tusa cribrataque 
vino quam possit excellent! digeruntur in pastilles 
victoriati ponderum. ex his singuli dantur ex vini 
mixti cyathis ternis. hac theriace Magnus An- 
tiochus rex adversus omnia venenata usus traditur 
aspide excepta. 

a Juice of all-heal. 

6 Perhaps seminis is understood with ami and apii : 
"ami seed and parsley seed, 'I For "parsley" perhaps read 
" celery." 



156 



BOOK XX. c. 264 

C. And. now that I am about to leave garden 
plants, I have appended a very famous preparation 
from them which is used to counteract the poison of 
venomous animals. It is carved in verse upon a 
stone in the temple of Aesculapius in Cos. Take 
two denarii of wild thyme, and the same of opopanax a 
and of spignel respectively, one denarius of trefoil 
seed, of aniseed, fennel-seed, ami and parsley, 6 
six denarii respectively, and twelve denarii of vetch 
meal. These are ground and passed through a 
sieve, and then kneaded with the best wine obtain 
able into lozenges, each of one victoriatus. c One 
of these is given at a time mixed with three cyathi 
of wine. King Antiochus the Great is said to have 
used this preparation as an antidote for the poison 
of all venomous creatures except the asp. 

e This coin, stamped with, a figure of Victory, was half a 
denarius in weight. 



157 



BOOK XXI 



LIBER XXI 

I. IN hortis seri et coronamenta iussit Cato, 
inenarrabili florum maxtme subtilitate, quando nulli 
potest facilius esse loqui quam rerum naturae 
pingere, lascivienti praesertim et in magno gaudio 
2 fertilitatis tarn variae ludenti. quippe reliqua usus 
alimentique gratia genuit, ideoque saecula annosque 
tribuit his ? flores vero odoresque in diem gignit, 
magna, ut palam est, adrnonitione hominum, quae 
spectatissime floreant celerrime marcescere. sed ne 
pictura quidem sufficit * imagini colorum reddendae 
mixturarumque varietati, sive alterni atque multi- 
plices inter se nectuntur, 2 sive privatis generum funi- 
culis in orb em, in oblicum, in ambitxim quaedam 
coronae per coronas currunt. 

1 sufficit DaL : sufficient! aut suS.ciente codd. : suJGficiet 
Mayhoff. Post marcescere comma ponit Detlefsen, qui suf- 
ficiente scribit. 

2 nectuntur Detlefsen : nectantur cum codd. Mayhoff 9 qui 
etiam currant coni. 



a E.r. Vm. 2. 

b The old editors put a full stop at ambitum. The MSS. 
have nectantur and currwnt. Detlefsen has two indicatives 
and Mayhoff two subjunctives. 

Alterni : two kinds of flowers interwoven alternately. 
MuLtiplices : several kinds interwoven according to 
various patterns. 

Privatis generum funiculis : strings or festoons of flowers, 

one kind only on each string. These are made into hoops 

or rings, which pass through one another, each ring being a 

link in a chain. This chain of rings could easily be shaped 

160 



BOOK XXI 

I. CATO a bade us include among our garden 
plants chaplet flowers, especially because of the 
indescribable delicacy of their blossoms, for nobody 
can find it easier to tell of them than Nature does to 
give them colours, as here she is in her most sportive 
mood, playful in her great joy at her varied fertility. 
To all other things in fact she gave birth because of 
their usefulness, and to serve as food, and so has 
assigned them their ages and years; but blossoms 
and their perfumes she brings forth only for a day 
an obvious warning to men that the bloom that 
pleases the eye most is the soonest to fade. Not 
even the painter * art, however, suffices to copy 
their colours and the variety of their combinations, 
whether two kinds are woven together alternately, 
and also more than two, or whether with separate 
festoons of the different kinds chaplets are run 
through chaplets to form a circle, or crosswise, or 
sometimes forming a coil. 6 

in orbem, or coiled, like a watch-spring, in ambitum, or hent 
at an angle in oblicum. The last however may refer to 
pairs of separate rings, the smaller passing through the 
larger at right-angles. 

Warmington's explanation is : 
In orbem : forming (filled in) disks; 
In dblicum : forming spirals, or coils ; 
In ambitum : forming rings (hollow disks not filled in 
nor spiral). Ambitus suggests a closed periphery, not 
filled in. 

Pliny has not been careful to give details to his readers, 

{Note continued on p. 162. 
ifo 
VOL. VI. G 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

3 II. Tenuioribus utebantur antiqui stroppos appel- 
lantes, unde nata strophiola. qtiin et vocabulum 
ipsum tarde coininunicattiin est inter sacra tantum 
et bellicos honores coronis suum nomen vindicantibus. 
cum vero e floribus fierent, serta a serendo serieve 
appellabantur, quod apud Graecos quoque non adeo 
antiquitus placuit. 

4 III. Arborum enim ramis coronari in sacris cer- 
taminibus mos erat primum. postea variare coep- 
turn mixtura versicolori florum, quae invicem odores 
coloresque accenderet, Sicyone ingenio Pausiae 
pictoris atque Glycerae coronariae dilectae ad- 
raodurn illi, cum opera eius 1 pictura imitaretur, ilia 
provocans variaret, essetque certamen artis ac 
naturae, quales etiam nunc extant artificis illius 
tabellae atque in prim is appellata Stephaneplocos 

1 Hie addere vult huius Warmington. 

who would find them unnecessary, being perfectly familiar 
with them. 

Another translation has been suggested to me by Professor 
W. B. Anderson, who thinks that alterni may have its late 
sense of in vicem, and that quaedam does not mean ct certain," 
but "as it were," "so to speak." He would translate: 
" whether they are intertwined with one another in elaborate 
convolutions, or form as it were garlands within garlands 
with strings of particular flowers arranged in rings or slantwise 
or running right round." 

If with the old editors we put a stop (or even a semicolon) 
at ambitum, the sense of the first part of the sentence is 
improved, for funiculi could be twined in orbem etc. more 
naturally than could strings of coronae. The difficulty 
however remains of distinguishing in or'bem from in ambitum, 
and the words quaedam . . . currunt by themselves form a very 
jerky and obscure sentence. 

162 



BOOK XXL ii. 3-ni. 4 

II. a Such ornaments were more meagre as used 
by the ancients, who called them stroppl, from which 
is derived our strophioluncu Moreover, a general 
word was itself slow in coming into use, as " corona '* 
was confined to the ornaments used at sacrifices or 
as military honours. When however garlands came 
to be made of flowers, they were called serta, & from 
serere c or series* The Greeks too adopted this 
custom e not so long ago. 

III, For at first it was customary to make from 
branches of trees the chaplets used at sacred con 
tests as prizes. Later on the custom arose of varying 
the colour by mixing flowers of different hues, in 
order to heighten the effect of perfumes and colours 
in turn. It began at Sicyon through the skill of 
Pausias the painter and of the garland-maker 
Glycera, a lady with whom he was very much in 
love ; when/ he copied her works in his paintings, she 
to egg him on varied her designs, and there was a 
duel between Art and Nature. Pictures of this kind 
painted by that famous artist are still extant, in 
particular the one called Stephaneplocos,^ in which 

Perhaps : ee Chaplets as used by tlie ancients were more 
meagre. . . . Moreover, the name c corona * itself was slow in 
becoming a general term, as it asserted a special claim to be 
used only of sacrificial ornaments and of military honours." 
Coronis is the only noun actually used in Chapter I that can 
readily be understood with tenuioribu^, but it makes better 
sense to regard the latter as a substantive. 

b "Wreaths," literally, "plaited (flowers)." 

c " To weave together." 

d tc A line of connected things." 

* Namely, of using flowers to make garlands. 

f Warmington would translate, with the addition of Jiuius, 
" when this man's painting imitated her works." 

9 Garland weaver. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

qua pinxit ipsam. idque faetum est post Olympiada 

5 c. sic coronis e floribus receptis paulo mox subiere 
quae vocantur Aegyptiae ac deinde blbernae, cum 
terra flores negat, ramento e cornibus tincto. 
paulatimque et Romae subrepsit appellatio corollis 
inter initia propter gracilitatem nominatis, mox et 
corollariis, postquam e lamina tenui aerea inaurata 
aut inargentata dabantur. 

6 IV. Crassus Dives primus argento auroque folia 
imitatus ludis suis coronas dedit, accesseruntque et 
lemnisci, quos adici ipsanun coronarum honor erat, 
propter Etruscas quibus iungi nisi aurei non debe- 
bant. purl diu faere hi. caelare eos primus 
instituit P. Claudius Pulcher brattiasque etiam 
philyrae dedit. 

7 V. Semper tamen auctoritas vel ludicro quaesi- 
tarum fuit. namque ad certamina in circum per 
ludos et ipsi descendebant et servos suos equosque 
mittebant. inde ilia xn tabularum lex : qui coro- 
nam parit ipse pecuniave eius, virtutis suae ergo 
duitor ei. quam servi equive meruissent pecunia 
partam lege dici nemo dubitavit. quis ergo honos ? 
ut ipsi mortuo parentibusque eius, dum intus positus 

a 380-376 B.C. . 

6 Referring to the force of the diminutive corolla. 

c " Chaplet " seems to be the best word by wliich to 
translate corona, but some of the dignity of the Latin word is 
lost. Unfortunately " crown," which keeps this dignity, is 
too suggestive of royalty. 

d Used as we use bast, as a sort of core in the making of a 
chaplet and its appendages. 

Warmington, Remains of Old Latin, vol. III n pp. 600-502. 

164 



BOOK XXI, m. 4 -v. 7 

he painted the lady herself. This took place later 
than the hundredth Olympiad. Floral chaplets 
being now fashionable, it was not long before there 
appeared what are called Egyptian chaplets, and 
then winter ones, made from dyed flakes of horn 
at the season when earth refuses flowers. At Rome 
too gradually there crept in the name corollae, 
given at the first to chaplets because of their deli 
cacy^ and presently that of corollaria, after the 
chaplets presented as prizes began to be made of 
thin plates, bronze, gilt or silvered. . 

IV. Crassus the Rich was the first to make arti 
ficial leaves of silver or gold, giving chaplets c of 
them as prizes at his games, to which were also added 
ribbons. For these to be attached increased the 
honour of the bare chaplet; this fashion was due 
to the Etruscan chaplets, to which properly only 
golden ribbons were fastened. For a long time these 
ribbons were plain. The custom of engraving them 
originated with P. Claudius Pulcher, who also added 
gold-leaf to the inner bark of the lime tree. d 

V. Chaplets, however, even those won in sport, 
were always regarded as a dignity, for citizens would 
go down to the Circus in person to compete in the 
games, besides entering for events their own slaves 
and horses. This custom explains that law of the 
Twelve Tables : e ** Whoso wins a chaplet in person 
or by his chattel, let it be given him on the ground of 
bis worth." No one has doubted that by the ** chap- 
let won by his chattel " the law means that earned by 
slaves or by horses. What then was the honour ? It 
lay in the indefeasible right, on the death of the victor 
or of his parents, to have the ehaplet laid on the body 
during the lying in state at home and when it was 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

esset forisve ferretur, sine fraude asset inposita, 
alias in usu promiscuo ne ludicrae quidem erant, 

8 (VI.) ingensque et hinc severitas. L. Fulvius argen- 
tarius bello Punico secundo cum corona rosacea 
interdiu e pergula sua in forum prospexisse dictus 
ex auctoritate senatus in carcerem abductus non 
ante finem belli emissus est. P. Mtmatius cum demp- 
tam Marsuae coronam e floribus capiti suo inposuisset 
atque ob id duci cum in vincula triumviri iussissent, 

9 appellavit tr. pi., nee intercessere illi, aliter quam 
Athenis, ubi commissabundi iuvenes ante meridiem 
conventus sapientium quoque doctrinae frequenta- 
bant. apud nos exemplum licentiae huius non est 
aliud quam filia divi Augusti, cuius luxuria noctibus 
coronatum Marsuam litterae illius dei gemunt. 1 

10 VII. Florum quidem populus Romanus honorem 
Scipioni tantum habuit. Serapio cognominabatur 
propter similitudinem suarii cuiusdam negotiators, 
obierat in tribunatu 2 plebei admodum gratus dig- 
nusque Africanorum familia, nee erat in bonis funeris 
inpensa. asses ergo contulit populus ac funus elocavit, 
quaque praeferebatur flores e prospectu omni sparsit. 

11 VIII. Et iam tune coronae deorum honos erant et 
lanun publicorum privator unique ac sepulchrorum 

1 dei gemtmt cum codd* Mayhqff : diei gemunt Urlichs : 
degenmnt Detlefsen. 

2 tribunatu codd. : consulatu coni. Urlichs. 

a They as revellers would wear garlands. 

b Or reading diei : " of that day." Detlefsen's degemunt 
is attractive, but the word lacks authority. " That god '* 
will be Augustus. 

- c "Urlichs would read consulatu because the Scipios were a 
patrician family, and so not eligible for the tribunate. Per 
haps a scribe* mistaking plebei as genitive of plebes, mis- 
corrected consutatu to tribunatu, or this Scipio may have been 
tribunlis militumi. 
166 



BOOK XXI. v. 7-vin. ii 

being carried out to burial. At other times not 
even cliaplets won at the games were worn indis 
criminately, (VI.) and on this matter extremely 
severe rules were enforced. In the second Punic 
War L. Fulvius, a banker, who was said to have 
looked out into the Forum from his veranda wearing 
in the daytime a chaplet of roses, was on the au 
thority of the senate led away to prison, not being 
released before the end of the war. P. Munatius 
took a ehaplet of flowers from a statue of Marsyas and 
placed it on his own head. Ordered by the Trium 
viri to be put in chains for this offence he appealed 
to the tribunes of the people, who refused to inter 
vene. Very different was the custom at Athens, 
where young revellers a in the forenoon would resort 
even to the schools of the philosophers. Among us 
no other instance of this outrageous conduct has 
taken place except that of Julia, daughter of the 
late Augustus, who in her night frolics placed a 
chaplet on the statue of Marsyas, as a letter of that 
god b deplores. 

VII. Flowers as a distinction have been given by 
the Roman people only to a Scipio. He was surnamed 
Serapio because of his likeness to a pig-dealer of 
that name. He died in his tribunate,* being high 
in the esteem of the common people and worthy of 
the family of the African!, but not leaving enough 
estate to pay for his funeral. So the people con 
tracted for his funeral, contributing their pence, and 
scattered flowers from every point of vantage along 
all the route. 

VIII. Already by that time chaplets were used to 
honour the gods, the lares public and private, tombs 
and spirits of the dead ; the highest distinction was 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et manium, summaque auctoritas pactili coronae, 
ut in Saliorum sacris invenimus sollemnes f cenas f. 1 
transiere deinde ad rosaria, eoque luxuria processit 
ut non esset gratia nisi mero folio sutilibus, mox 
petitis ab India aut ultra Indos. lautissimum quippe 
habetur e nardi folio eas dari aut veste S erica versi- 
colori, unguentis madida. hunc habet novissime 
exitum luxuria feminarum. 

12 IX. Et apud Graecos quidem de coronis privatim 
scripsere et Mnesitheus atque Callimachus medici 
quae noeerent capiti, quoniam et in hoc est aliqua 
valitudinis portio, in potu atque hilaritate praecipue 
odorum vi subrepente fallaciter, scelerata Cleopatrae 
sollertia. namque in apparatu belli Actiaci gratifi- 
cationem ipsius reginae Antonio timente nee nisi 
praegustatos cibos sumente fertur pavore 2 eius 
lusisse extremis coronae floribus veneno inlitis 
ipsaque capiti inposita, mox procedente hilaritate 
invitavit Antonium ut coronas biberent. quis ita 
timeret insidias? ergo concerpta 3 in scyphum in- 
cipienti haurire opposita manu: en ego sum 5 inquit 
ilia, Marce Antoni, quam tu nova praegustantium 
diligentia caves a adeo mihi, si possim sine te vivere, 
occasio aut ratio deest ! inde 4 inductam custodiam 

1 cenas codd. : cenae (sc. transiere) coni. MayJioff : ego ut 
spurium notavi. Fortasse scriba ita sacris inter pr etatus ^ est. 

2 pavore cum plerisque codd. MayJioff : pavorem Sillig et 
Dettifsen. Gonfert IX. 139 et XI. 123 MayJioff. 

z concerpta cum codd. Detlefsen : concerptam Mayhoff. 
4 inde add. Lipsius. 

I.e., with no philyra. 
6 Or : " raided the rose-gardens." 

Others take it to mean " her head." If this be correct, 
the transl^tioB. of the lines that follow must be slightly altered, 



BOOK XXI. vm. n-ix. 12 

the plaited chaplet, such as we find always used 
in ceremonies of the Salii. Then they changed 
over to rose wreaths, 6 and to such a height did 
luxuriousness rise that no chaplet was fashionable 
except those stitched together with genuine petals 
only, presently only those fetched from India or 
even beyond. In fact the chaplet deemed the 
smartest prize is made of nard leaves, or of multi 
coloured silk steeped in perfumes. Such is the latest 
form taken by the luxury of our women. 

IX. Among the Greeks indeed there have been 
written monographs on chaplets by Mnesitheus 
and Callimachus, physicians who specify what 
flowers are injurious to the head ; for health is to a 
certain extent concerned even in this matter, because 
it is especially amid the gaiety of drinking parties 
that strong scents steal unawares to the head, witness 
the wicked cunning of Cleopatra. For in the pre 
paration for the war that culminated at Actium, 
Antonius, fearing even the attentiveness of the 
queen herself, would not take food that had not been 
foretasted. She is said to have played on his terror 
by poisoning the tips of the flowers in his chaplet, 
and then to have laid it on his c head. Presently, 
as the revelry grew wilder, she proposed as a chal 
lenge that they " should drink their chaplets." 
Who in such circumstances would suspect treachery ? 
So having gathered the fragments of his chaplet into 
his cup he was beginning to drink, when she laid on 
"him an arresting hand, with these words : " Look, I 
am the woman, Marcus Antonius, against whom, 
with your new craze for foretasters, you are carefully 
on your guard. Such my lack of opportunity or 
means to act if I can live without yon ! " Then a 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

13 bibere iussit ilico expirantem. de floribus supra 
dictos scripsit Theophrastus apud Graecos, ex nostris 
autem inscripsere aliqui libros anthologicon, Sores 
vero persecutus est nemo, quod equidem inveniam. 
nee nos nunc scilicet coronas nectemus id enim 
frivoltun est sed de floribus quae^videbuntur digna 
memorabimus. 

14 X. Paucissima nostri genera coronamentorum inter 
hortensia novere, ac paene violas rosasque tantum. 
Rosa nascitur spina verius quam frutice, in rubo 
quoque proveniens, illic etiam iucundi odoris, quamvis 
angusti. germinat omnis primo inclusa granoso 
cortice, quo mox intum escente et in virides ala- 
bastros fastigato paulatim rubescens dehiscit ac sese 
pandit in calicem medio sui stantes conplexum 1 luteos 

15 apices, usus eius in coronis prope minimus est. 
oleo maceratur, idque iam a Troianis temporibus 
Homero teste. praeterea in unguenta transit, ut 
diximus. medicas per se artes praebet. emplastris 
atque collyriis inseritur mordaci subtilitate, men- 
sarum etiam deliciis perunguendis minime noxia. 2 

1 calicem . . . conplexum sic Detlefseni in calice medio 
staminis conplexa Mayfioffi calices, sui stanti, conplexa 
codd. 

2 Post noxia add. carie e Pausania IX. 41, 7 Mayhoff* 

a That is, "I shall not describe the methods of making 
them." 

* 1.8. our wild roses. 

* With the reading of Mayhoff : " it opens out, enclosing 
in the middle of the cup the yellow points of the stamens." 
With this reading apices would mean the points and the 
filaments, not the points only. 

170 



BOOK XXI. ix. i2-x. 15 

prisoner was brought in and ordered by her to drink, 
who died on the spot. About flowers, besides the 
authors already mentioned, an account has been 
written by Theophrastus among the Greeks, and 
some of our own writers have composed books of 
Antkologica. Nobody has, however, followed up the 
subject of flowers fully, so far as I can discover. Nor 
shall I now, of course, put chaplets together for that 
would be mere trifling but I shall include every 
thing about flowers that will seem worthy of record. 
X. Our countrymen know among garden plants 
very few kinds of chaplet flowers, practically violets 
only and roses. The rose grows on what is not so 
much a shrub as a thorn, appearing also on a bramble ; 6 
there too it has a pleasant though faint perfume. 
Every bud appears at first enclosed in a shell full of 
grains, which presently swells and, after sloping 
itself into a green cone Hke a perfume box, gradually 
reddens, splitting and spreading out into a cup, which 
encloses the yellow points that stand out of its 
centre. To make chaplets is about the least of the 
uses of the rose. It is steeped in oil, a process known 
even at the time of the Trojan war, as Homer bears 
witness.** Furthermore, it has made its way, as we 
have said, 5 into ointments. By itself it possesses 
medicinal properties. It is an ingredient of plasters 
and of eye-salves by reason of its subtle pungency, 
even being used as a coating for the delicacies of our 
tables, being quite harmless./ The most famous 

* Iliad XXm. 186. 

* See Book XHI 9. 

f In defence of his conjecture Mayhoff refers to Pausanias 
IX. 41, 7, where the unguent of the rose is said to preserve 
wood from decay. 

171 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

16 genera eius nostri fecere celeberrima Praenestinam 
et Campanam. addidere alii Milesiam, cui sit arden- 
tissimus colos non excedenti 1 duodena folia, proxi- 
mam ei Trachiniam minus rubentem, mox Ala- 
bandicam viliorem, albicantibus foliis, vilissimam 
vero plurimis, sed minutissimis, spiniolam. differunt 
enim multitudine foliorum, asperitate, levore, colore, 

17 odore. paucissima quina folia, ac deinde numero- 
siora, cum sit genus eius quam centifoliam vocant, 
quae est in Campania Italiae, Graeciae vero circa 
Philippos, sed ibi non suae terrae proventu. Pan- 
gaeus mons in vicino fert numerosis foliis ac parvis, 
accolae transferentes conserunt, ipsaque plantatione 
proficiunt. non autem talis odoratissima est, nee 
cui latissimum maximum ve folium, breviterque in- 

18 dicium est odoris scabritia corticis. Caepio Tiberii 
Caesaris piincipatu negavit centifoliam in coronas 
addi, praeterquam extremas velut ad cardines, nee 
odore nee specie probabilem. est et quae Graeca 
appellatur a nostris, a Graecis lychnis, non nisi in 
Timfdis locis proveniens, nee umquam excedens 
qxiinque folia, violaeque magnitudine, odore nullo. 
est et alia Graecula appellata, convolutis foliorum 
paniculis, nee dehiscens nisi manu coacta semperque 

^ excedenti Hard, et Detlefsen : excedentis codd. et Mayhoff, 
qui cuius pro cui sit coni. 

Probably this refers to the number of prickles on the 
stalks, although scabritia is usually roughness of a less prickly 
type, and cortex in 14 and in 20 is the outer skin enclosing 
the whole bud. See also 121. 

* This is probably not a rose at all, but Agrostemma coronaria 
of Linnaeus, though this is much taller than any ** violet.** 



BOOK XXI. x. 16-18 

kinds of roses recognized by our countrymen are 
those of Praeneste and those of Campania. Some 
have added the Milesian rose, because of its brilliant 
fiery colour, though it never has more than twelve 
petals. Next after it is esteemed the Trachinian, 
of a less brilliant red, and then the Alabandian, less 
highly prized, with whitish petals ; the least prized , 
having- very many, but very small petals, is called 
the prickly rose. For roses differ in the number of 
their petals, in the smooth or rough nature of the 
stem, in colour and in perfume. Those with the few 
est petals have five, but in other roses they are more 
numerous, since there is one kind called the hundred- 
petalled rose. In Italy this grows in Campania, but 
in Greece around Philippi, which however is not its 
native soil. Mount Pangaeus in the neighbourhood 
grows a rose with many but small petals. The 
natives transplant it, improving the variety by mere 
change of place. This kind, however* has not a very 
strong perfume, nor has any rose whose petal is very 
broad or large ; in brief, an indication of the degree 
of perfume is the roughness of the bark. a Caepio, 
who lived when Tiberius Caesar was Emperor, 
said that the hundred-petalled variety is never 
put into chaplets, except at the ends where these 
are as it were hinged together, since neither in 
perfume nor in appearance is it attractive. There 
is also the kind called the Grecian rose by our 
countrymen, and by the Greeks the lychnis (lamp 
rose), which appears only in moist localities.* It 
never has more than five petals, is of the size of the 
violet, and has no perfume. Another kind is called 
Graecula (little Greek rose), the petals of which are 
rolled together into a bunch. It never opens unless 



PLINY: NATUEAL HISTORY 

19 nascent! similis, latissimis foliis. alia fundittir e 
caule malvaceo folia oleae habente mucetum vo- 
cant , atque inter has media magnitudine autum- 
nalis quam coroniolam appellant, omnes sine odore 
praeter coroniolam et in rubo natam. tot modis 
adulteratur. et alias vera quoque plurimum solo 
praevalet. Cyrenis odoratissima est, ideoque ibi 
unguentum pulcherrimum, Carthagine Hispaniae 
hieme tota praecox. refert et caeli temperies, 
quibusdam enim annis minus odorata provenit, 

20 praeterea omnis siccis quam umidis odoratior. seri 
neque pinguibus volt neque argillosis locis nee riguis, 
contenta ruderibus, 1 proprieque ruderatum agrum 
amat. praecox Campana est, sera Milesia, novis- 
sime tamen desinit Praenestina. fodiuntur altius 
quam fruges, levius quam vites. tardissime pro- 
veniunt semine, quod in ipso cortice est, sub ipso 
rlore, opertum lanugine. ob id potius caule concise 
inseruntur. et ocellis radicis, ut harundo, unum 
genus inseritur pallidae, spinosae, longissimis virgis, 

1 ruderibus Detlefsen : roribus Mayhoff : ruderaceum 
quattuor codd. : ruribus aut raribus alii. 

a The spelling is doubtful, as is of course the kind of rose 
referred to. Some think it not to be a rose at all. 

& Apparently referring to the last four kinds mentioned. 
But these do not include a rose ' e growing on the bramble," 
which is mentioned early in the chapter, where it is said to 
have a perfume, but a faint one. The different kinds of 
wild rose may include some, if not most, of these doubtful 
cases. 

c The meaning is uncertain, probably being that there are 
many counterfeit roses, as it were, not true members of the 
family. 

d It seems impossible to decide whether odoratissimus and 
odoratior refer to the strength of the scent or to its quality, or 
to both. 

174 



BOOK XXI. x. 18-20 

forced by the hand, and is always like a bud; the 
petals are very broad. Another kind springs from 
a stem like that of the mallow, with leaves like olive 
leaves, called mucetum. a Between these & in size 
is an autumn rose, named coroniola (little chaplet) ; 
all of these & are without perfume except coroniola 
and the rose growing on a bramble. In so many 
ways is spuriousness possible I c In other districts 
too the genuine rose also depends to a very great 
extent upon the soil for its main characteristics. 
The rose of Cyrene has the finest perfume/* for which 
reason the choicest ointment is to be obtained there. 
At Carthage in Spain there is an early rose that 
blossoms throughout the winter. Weather too makes 
a difference ; for in certain years the rose grows with 
less perfume, and furthermore all roses have more 
perfume on dry soils than on moist. It likes to be 
grown on soils that are neither rich nor clayey nor 
irrigated, being content with a rubbly soil,* and fond 
in particular of ground on which rubble has been 
spread. The Campanian rose is early, the Milesian 
late, but the one that continues to flower the latest 
is the Praenestine. The ground is dug deeper for 
roses than for crops/ but shallower than for vines. 
They are very slow in growing from the seed, which 
is in the shell itself, right under the flower, and 
covered with down. For this reason it is preferred 
to graft shoots into an incision in the stem, And 
into the eyelets of the root, as with the reed, there is 
grafted one kind of rose that is pale, prickly, with 

With MayhoflPs reading, " dews." 

f Fruges is a word with a fairly wide range of meanings, 
bnt here seems to refer to leguminous and cereal plants, etc., 
and not to fruit-trees. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

21 quinquefoliae, quae Graecis altera est. ornnis autern 
recisione atque ustione proficit, tralatione quoque, 
ut vites 3 optime ocissimeque provenit surculis- quater- 
nuin digitorum longitudine aut ampliore post ver- 
giliarum occasum sata, dein per favonium translata 
pedalibus intervallis crebro circumfossa. qui prae- 
cocem faciunt pedali circa radicem scrobe aquam 
calidam infundunt germinare incipiente calice. 

22 XI. Lilium rosae nobilitate proximum est et 
quadam cognatione unguenti oleique, quod lilinum 
appellatur. et inpositum etiam maxime rosas decet 

23 medio proventu earum incipiens. nee ulli florum 
excelsitas maior, interdum cubitorum trium, languido 
semper collo et non sufficiente capitis oneri. candor 
ems exirnius foris striati et ab angustis in latitudinem 
paulatim sese laxantis effigie calathi, resupinis per 
ambitum labris tenuique pilo et stamine, 1 stantibus 
in medio crocis. ita odor colorque duplex^ et alius 
calicis alius staminis, differentia angusta. 2 in un 
guenti vero oleique usu et folia non spernuntur. 
est flos non dissimilis illi in herba quam convolvolum 

1 stamine Detlefsen : semine codd. : staminis (sine commate) 
MayJioff. 

2 angusta cum codd. Mayfioff ': etiam gustu Detlefsen. 

a The "first " Greek kind would be the lychnis of 18. 

6 See II. 125 where Pliny tells us that the Pleiades set on 
11 November and (123) rise on 10 May, giving the beginning 
of summer. For west wind, see p. 211, note h. 

The madonna lily, Lttium candidum. 

d Usually in shape like a truncated cone. 

* I think that pilo refers to pistil and stamine to the stamens. 
The reading here is doubtful, as is the construction of the 
ablatives. Possibly : " the croci (anthers) standing in the 
centre with slender filaments and pistil." 

-f With I)etlefsen*s conjecture : " even in taste." 

176 



BOOK XXI. x. 2o-xi. 23 

very long twigs and five petals, the second among 
the Greek roses. Every rose however improves 
with pruning and burning ; by transplanting also, as 
with vines, there is the best and quickest success if 
slips of the length of four fingers or more are planted 
after the setting of the Pleiades, 6 and then trans- 
planted at intervals of one foot while the west wind 
is blowing, the earth being frequently turned over 
around them. Those who try to get their roses 
early, dig a trench a foot deep about the root, 
pouring in warm water as the cup is beginning to 
bud. 

XI. The lily c comes nearest to the rose in fame, 
and there is a certain relationship shown in the 
ointment and oil, which they call lilinum (oil of 
lilies). When blended with roses, also, the lily gives 
a grand combination, making its first appearance 
when the rose is in mid-season. No flower grows 
taller ; sometimes it reaches three cubits, its neck 
always drooping under the weight of a head too 
heavy for it. The flower is of an exceeding white 
ness, fluted on the outside, narrow at the bottom and 
gradually expanding in width after the fashion of a 
basket/ 2 The lips curve outwards and upwards all 
round; the slender pistil and stamens,* the colour 
of saffron, standing upright in the centre. So the 
perfume of the lily, as well as its colour, is two-fold, 
there being one for the corolla, and another for the 
stamens, the difference being slight./ In fact when 
it is used to make ointment or oil the petals too are 
not despised. There is a flower not unlike the lily 
growing on the plant called the convolvulus/ that 

9 This is not a lily, but the great white convolvulus, or 
Devil's Garter. 

177 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vocant, nascens per frutecta, nullo odore nee crocis 
intus, candorem tantum referens ac veluti naturae 

24 rudimentum lilia facere condiscentis. alba lilia 
isdem omnibus modis seruntur quibus rosa, et hoc 
amplius lacrima sua ut hipposeKnunij nihilque est 
fecundius una radice quinquagenos saepe emittente 
bulbos. est et rub ens lilium quod Graeci crinon 
vocant, alii florem eius cynorrhodon. laudatissimum 
in Antiochia ac Laudicea Syriae, mox in Phaselide. 
quartum locum optinet in Italia nascens. 

25 XII. Sunt et purpurea lilia, aliquando gemino caule, 
carnosiore tantum radice maiorisque bulbi, sed 
unius, narcissum vocant. huius alterum genus flore 
candido, calice purpureo. differentia a Hliis est et 
haeCj quod narcissis in radice folia sunt, probatis- 
simis in Lyciae montibus. tertio generi cetera 
eadem, calix herbaceus. omnes serotini, post arc- 
turum eninx florent ac per aequinoctium autumnum. 

26 XIII. Inventa est in his ratio innciendi 1 monstrifica 2 
hominum ingeniis. colligantur 3 namque mense lulio 

1 inficiendi Sillig : inferendi codd. : inserendi Detlefsen, 
Mayhoff. 

2 monstrifica (cum serendi) coni. Mayhoff : monstrificis 
Detlefsen, et (in textu) Mayhoff cum codd. 

3 colligantur Schneider, Mayhoff : colliguntur codd. 



a The methods, of course, are quite dissimilar. 

6 As far as we can see the crinon was really white. 

c Not, of course, our dog-rose. 

d The Romans had a poor colour-sense. Purpureus is 
used of many shades of red and brown, being applied to the 
dawn, to poppies, to a fig and even to the sea. Virgil, like 
Pliny, says that the narcissus is purpur&us (Eclogues V. 38). 
This makes the identity of the flower doubtful, especially as 
it is said to bloom late, and our narcissus is a spring flower. 



BOOK XXI. xi. 23-xm. 26 

springs up among shrubs. Without perfume and 
without the yellow anthers in the centre, it resembles 
the lily only in colour, being as it were a first attempt 
by Nature when she was learning to produce lilies. 
White lilies are propagated by all the means that 
roses are ; a more than this, by a peculiar tear-like 
gum of its own, as is also horse-parsley. No plant is 
more prolific, a single root often sending out fifty 
bulbs. There is also a red lily that the Greeks call 
crinon, 5 some calling its blossom the dog-rose. c The 
most esteemed kind grows at Antioch and at Lao- 
dicea in Syria, next to them comes that of Phaselis. 
The fourth place is held by the kind growing in Italy, 

XII. There is also a bright-red lily/ having some 
times a double stem, and differing from other lilies 
only in having a fleshier root and a larger bulb, and 
that undivided. It is called the narcissus. Another 
variety of it has a white flower and a reddish 
bud. There is this further difference between the 
ordinary lily and the narcissus, that the leaves of 
the latter grow straight out of the root. The most 
popular sort is found on the mountains of Lycia. 
A third kind has all its characteristics the same as 
those of the other kinds, except that the cup * is 
light green. All the narcissi blossom late, for the 
flower comes after the rising of Arcturus / and during 
the autumnal equinox. 

XIII. In lily-culture a strange means of dyeing 
the blooms has been invented by the wit of man. 
For in the month of July drying stems of the lily 

* It seems doubtful whether Pliny means here by calix the 
calyx or the corolla. If the former, the lightness of the 
green is the point of the sentence. 

f Arcturus has its rising according to Pliny (II. 124) 
eleven days before the autumnal equinox. 

179 



ri,jLJN Y : NATURAL HISTORY 

scapi arescentes lilii atque suspenduntur in fumo. 
dein nudantibus se nodulis in faece nigri vini vel 
Graeci mense Martio macerantur ut colorem perci- 
piant atque ita in scrobiculis seruntur heminis faecis 
circumfusis. sic fiunt purpurea lilia, rnirumque 
tingui aliquid ut nascatur infectum. 

27 XIV. Violis hanos proximus, earumque plura 
genera, purpureae, luteae, albae, plantis omnes ut 
olus satae. ex his vero quae sponte apricis et macris 
locis proveniunt purpureae latiore folio statim ab 
radice carnoso exeunt, 1 solaeque Graeco nomine a 
ceteris discernuntur, appellatae ia et ab his ianthina 
vestis. e sativis maxima auctoritas luteis. genera 
autem 2 Tusculana et quae marina appellatur, folio 
aliquanto latiore, sed minus odorato. 3 in totum vero 
sine odore minutoque folio Calatiana, munus autumni, 
ceterae veris. 

28 XV. Proxima ei caltha est colore et 4 amplitudine, 
vincit numero foliorum marinam quinque 5 non ex- 
cedentem. eadem odore superatur, est enim gravis 

1 carnoso exeunt V Detlefsen : exeunti (sic et RE), carnoso 
ex Theophrasto coni. Mayhoff. 

2 autem cum multis codd. Mayhoff : is E Detlefsen. 
odorato codd., Detlefsen : odorata Mayhoff. 

colore et Detlefsen : et concolori (cum lacuna") Mayhoff. 
quinque codd-. : quina Mayhoff. 



Commentators remark that Pliny is here wholly wrong. 

The difficulty here is that vegetables of the type desig 
nated by olus are generally grown from seed. Certain kales, 
however,, grow well from cuttings -. 

iSo 



BOOK XXI. xin. 2 6-xv. 28 

are tied together and hung in the smoke. Then, as 
the little knots bare themselves, these stems in 
March are steeped in the lees of dark wine or Greek 
wine, so that they take on the colour. In this state 
they are planted in little trenches, with a hemina 
of lees poured round each. In this way bright-red 
lilies are produced, and it is wonderful that a plant 
can be so dyed as to grow a bloom that is also dyed. a 

XIV. Next in esteem comes the violet, of which 
there are several kinds, the purple, the yellow, the 
white, aH of them planted as are vegetables, from 
cuttings. 6 Of these kinds however the purple, 
which comes up wild in sunny, poor soils, springs 
up with a broader, fleshy leaf, coming straight from 
the root. It is the only one to be distinguished from 
the others by a Greek name, being called ion, from 
which ianthtne cloth gets its name. Of the culti 
vated violets, the most highly esteemed is the yellow 
variety. The kinds called Tusculan and marine 
have a slightly broader but less perfumed petal.** 
The Calatian variety however is entirely without 
perfume and has a very small petal ; d it is a gift of 
autumn, but all other kinds bloom in spring. 

XV. Nearest to it comes the caltha/ both in 
colour and in size. In the number of the petals it 
exceeds the marine violet, which never has over 
five. The same plant is surpassed in scent, that of 

* MayhofFs reading means much the same, but the grammar 
is slightly easier : " with a broader leaf, springing up straight 
out of the root, being fteshy, etc/' 

d If folium means leaf here, then HayhofTa odorata must 
be right, as the leaves have no smell. 

* Some say the marsh marigold. Perhaps some variety of 
pansy. 

181 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

calthae. 1 non levior ei quam scopam regiam appel 
lant, quamquam folia eius olent, non flores. 

29 XVI. Baccar quoque radicis tantum odoratae est, 
' a quibusdam nardum rusticum appellatum. un- 

guenta ex ea radice fieri solita apud antiques Aristo 
phanes priscae comoediae poeta testis est. unde 
quidam errore falso baccarida 2 earn appellabant. 
odor est cinnamomo proximus. gracili solo nee 

30 umido provenit. sirnillirntiin ei combretum appel- 
laturj foliorum exilitate usque in fila adtenuata 9 et 
procerius quam baccar. haec sunt unguenta 3 tantum. 
sed eorum quoque error corrigendus est qui baccar 
rusticum nardum appellavere. est enim alia herba 
sic cognominata quam Graeci asaron vocant, cuius 
speciem figuramque diximus in nardi generibus. 
quin immo asaron invenio vocitari, quoniam in 
coronas non addatur. 

31 XVII. Crocum silvestre optimum, serere in Italia 
minime expedit, ad scripula usque singula areis 
decoquentibus. seritur radicis bulbo. sativum latius 
maiusque et nitidius, sed multo lenius, degenerans 
ubique, nee fecundum etiam Cyrenis, ubi semper 

1 gravis calthae Detlefsen : gravis calta codd. : gravi 
caltha Maykoff. 

2 baccarida Detlefsen : barbaricam cum codd. Mayhoff. 

3 Iiaec sunt unguenta Urlichs, Detlefsen : haec sutilia 
MayJipff : haec sunt codd. 

a An obscure sentence. To which plant does eadem refer, 
and has gravis its usual sense of " rank " ? 

& Folia means leaves, although the word has just been 
used of petals* 

c The error apparently is giving a Greek name unneces 
sarily. The reading barbaricam would mean "foreign.'* 
Various attempts have been made to identify this plant. 



BOOK XXI. xv. 28-xvii. 31 

the caltha being strong. No less strong is the scent 
of the plant which they call royal broom, though it 
is not the flowers that smell, but the leaves. 6 

XVI. Baccar (valerian ?) too, called by some field 
nardj has scent in the root only. That unguents used 
to be made by the ancients from this root we have a 
witness in Aristophanes, a poet of the Old Comedy. 
Whence some used to commit the error of calling it 
by a Greek name, baccaris. The scent is very 
like that of cinnamon. It grows on a thin dry soil. 
Very like it is the plant called combretum, d taller 
than the baccar, and with leaves so thin that they 
are mere threads. These are only used as unguents/ 
But the mistake of those also must be corrected who 
have called baccar field nard. For there is another 
plant with this surname, which the Greeks call 
asaron, whose shape and appearance we have de 
scribed among the varieties of nard./ Moreover, I 
find that the plant is styled asaron, because it is not 
used in the making of chaplets. 

XVII. Wild saffron is better than any other. To saffron. 
grow it in Italy is most unprofitable, as a whole 

bed of saffron yields only a scruple of the essence. 
It is propagated from a bulb of the root. The culti 
vated saffron is broader, larger and more handsome, 
but much less potent ; it is degenerating everywhere, 
and is not prolific even at Gyrene, where grows a 
saffron whose flowers have always been very famous. 

d This plant cannot be identified with certainty, so that 
the meaning of exilitate . . . adteriuata is very doubtful. 

Mayhoff's Jtaec sutilia tantum would mean : " these are 
only sewed on chaplets." The fragile leaves might otherwise 
break. 

t XH. 47. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Sores laudatissimL prima nobilitas Cilicio et ibi in 
Coryco monte, dein Lyclae monte Olympo, mox 

32 Centuripino Siciliae. aliqui Theraeo secundum lo 
cum dedere. adulteratur nihil aeque. probatio 
sinceri, si inposita manu crepitet veluti fragile; 
umidum enim, quod evenit adult eratione, silet. 1 
altera probatio, si manu relata 2 ad ora leniter faciem 

33 oculosque mordeat. est per se genus sativi blandis- 
simum vulgo, cum sit mediocre, dialeucon vocant. 
contra Cyrenaico vitium, quod omni croco nigrius est 
et celerrime marcescit. optimum ubicumque quod 
pinguissimum et brevis capilli, pessimum vero quod 
situm redolet. Mucianus auctor est in Lycia anno 
septimo aut octavo transferri in locum subactum 
atque ita degenerans renovari. usus eius in co- 
ronis nusquam, herba enim est folio angusto paene 
in capillamenti modum. sed vino mire congruit, 

34 praecipue dulci, tritum ad theatra replenda. floret 
vergiliarum occasu paucis diebus, folioque florem 

1 adulteratione, silet. Sillig : adulteratione. cedit Dei- 
lefsen: adnlteratione, sentit. Mayhqff; adulteratione sedit 
codd. 

2 relata : praelata E.E : prolata vulg. 

a Detlefsen's reading : " for adulterated saffron is moist. 
A furtlier test, etc." Mayhoff's reading : " for saffron that 
has been adulterated is liable to get moist." 

6 With, the reading praelata or prolata : "if you put your 
hand before your face." 

e Barbaras conjectured, for mediocre, medio candidum. 
" White in the middle " is a fair equivalent to dialeitcon* 

d Capillamentum : the hair-like fibre of the leaf. 

184 



BOOK XXI. xvii. 31-34 

But the prime favourite is that of Cilicia, and in 
particular of Mount Corycus, then that of Mount 
Olympus in Lycia, and then that of Centuripa in 
Sicily. Some have given second place to the saffron 
of Thera. Nothing is adulterated as much as saffron. 
A test of purity is whether under the pressure of 
the hand it crackles as though brittle ; for moist 
saffron, as saffron is when adulterated, makes no 
noise. a Another test is whether it stings slightly the 
face and eyes if after the above test you bring the 
hand back 6 to the face. There is a kind of cultivated 
saffron which is for its own sake very attractive to 
the general public, though it really is of moderate c 
value, called dialeucon. That of Gyrene, on the 
other hand, has the defect of being darker than 
any other kind, and loses its quality very rapidly. 
The best everywhere is that having a very rich 
nature, and a short pistil; the very -worst has an 
odour of decay. Mucianus is our authority for 
stating that in Lycia after six or seven years it is 
transplanted to a well-dug bed; in this way it re 
covers from its degeneration. It is nowhere used 
for chaplets, the plant having a leaf that is but little 
broader than the fibre, d But with wine, especially 
with sweet wine, powdered saffron makes a wonderful 
mixture to spray the theatre. The saffron plant 
flowers for only a few days at the setting of the 
Pleiades/ and pushes off the flower with its leaves. 



* Theophrastus has (H.P. VI 6, 10) <^ra> IIAetaSaya 
KCU oAryas" 'qitepas* v8v$ S* a/za r<3 <wAAa> /cat TO a.vdo$ ait. 
Hort translates "after the rising of the Pleiades'* (i.e. May). 
Surely this is wrong ; it is the setting of the Pleiades in 
November to which reference is made. But Pliny mis 
translates evdvs Be K.T.A., which means that the flower springs 
up at the same time as the leaf. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

expellit. 1 viret bruma et colligitur. siccatur umbra, 
melius etiara hiberna. carnosa et illi radix viva- 
ciorque quam ceteris. gaudet calcari et adteri, 
peretmdoque melius proverdt. ideo iuxta semitas 
ac fontes laetissimum. Troianis temporibus iam 
erat honos ei. hos certe flores Homerus tris laudat, 
lot on, crocum, hyacinthum. 

35 XVIII. Omnium autem odoramentorum atque 
adeo herbarum differentia est in colore et odore et 
suco. odorato sapor raro ulli non amarus, e con- 
trario dulcia raro odorata. itaque et vina mustis 
odoratiora et silvestria magis omnia sativis. quo- 
rundam odor suavior e longinquo, propius admotus 

36 hebetatur, ut violae. rosa recens a longinquo olet, 
sicca propius. omnis autem verno temper e acrior 
et matutinis. quidquid ad meridianas horas dies 
vergit, hebetatur. novella quoque vetustis minus 
odorata. acerrimus tamen odor omnium aetate 2 
media, rosa et crocum odoratiora, cum serenis 
diebus leguntur, et omnia in calidis quam in frigidis. 
in Aegypto tamen minime odorati flores, quia nebu- 

37 losus et roscidus aer est a multo flumine. quorun- 
dam suavitati gravitas inest. quaedam, dum virent, 
non olent propter umorem nimium, ut buceras, 3 

1 foKoque florem expellit codd. plurimi. Debuit scribere 
Plinius TheopTirastum secutus folioque simul florem extrudit 
vel simile, aliquid. Warmington coni. expellit et colligitur. 
siccatur umbra, melius etiam hiberna. viret bruma. 

2 aetate Urlichs : aestate, aete, et e codd. 

3 buceras ex Theophrasto Urlichs : buceros codd. 

* Inconsistent with Pliny's mistranslation, but not so with 
Theophrastus. Warmington's conjecture : " pushes off ... 
and is gathered. It is dried in the shade ; if in winter' s, so much 
the better. It is green at the winter solstice." 

* Iliad XIV. 348. 



BOOK XXI. xvn. 34-xvm. 37 

It is green at the winter solstice, when it is gathered. 
It is dried in the shade ; if in winter, so much the 
better. The root also is fleshy and longer-lived 
than that of any other plant. Saffron likes to be 
trodden on and trampled under foot; destroying it 
makes it grow better. For this reason it is most 
luxuriant near foot-paths and fountains. Already 
at the time of the Trojan war it was held in high 
esteem. Homer, at any rate, praises three flowers 
lotus, saffron and hyacinth, 6 

XVIII. All spices and also the plants from which spice* md 
they come have different colours, perfumes and P^f*- 
juices. It is rare for a thing that smells not to have 
a bitter taste; qn the contrary sweet substances 
rarely have any smell ; and so wines have more smell 
than must, and all wild plants than the cultivated. 
The smell of some plants is sweeter at a distance, 
becoming fainter as the distance is lessened: for 
instance, that of the violet. A freshly gathered rose 
smells at a distance, but a faded rose when nearer. 
All perfume however is stronger in spring, and in the 
morning; as the day draws near to noon it grows 
weaker. Young plants also have less perfume than 
old ones; the strongest perfume however of all 
plants is given out in middle age. The rose and the 
saffron have a stronger perfume when they are 
gathered in fine weather, as have all flowers in 
warm climates than those in cold. In Egypt how 
ever the flowers have very little perfume, the 
atmosphere being misty and full of dew owing to 
the wide expanse of river. The scent of some plants 
is sweet but oppressive. Some, while green, have 
no smell because of too much moisture, the buceras, 
for example, which is the same as fenugreek. 

187 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

datur, unguentrs nascens et medicinae. laudatis- 
sima in Hlyrico, et ibi quoque non in maritimis, sed 
in silvestribus Drinonis et Naronae, proxima in Mace- 

41 donia, longissima haec et candicans et exilis. terbium 
locum habet Africana, amplissima inter omnes 
gustuque amarissima, Illyrica quoque duorum gene- 
rum est: raphanitis a similitudine, quae et melior, 
rhizotomos. 1 subrufa optima, quae sternum enta 
tractatu movet, caulem habet cubitalem, erectum, 
floret versicolori specie, sicut arcus caelestis, unde et 

42 nomen. non inprobatur et Pisidica. effossuri tribus 
ante mensibus mulsa aqua circumfusa hoc veluti 
placamento terrae blandiuntur, circumscriptam mu- 
crone gladii orbe triplici cum legerunt, protinus in 
caelum adtollunt. natura est fervens, tractataque 
pusulas ambusti modo facit. praecipitur ante omnia 
ut casti Jegant. teredines non sicca modo verum et 
in terra celerrime sentit. optimum, antea irinum 
Leucade et Elide ferebatur, iampridem enim et 
seritur , nunc e Pamphylia, sed Cih'cium maxime 
laudatur atque e septentrionalibus. 

43 XX. Saliunca folio quidem subbrevi et quod necti 
non possit radici numerosae cohaeret, herba verius 
quam flos, densa veluti manu pressa breviterque 
caespes sui generis. Pannonia hanc gignit et Norici 

1 Ut MayTioff distinguo: comma post rhizotomo (quod 
scribit], post subrufa punctum Detlefsen. 

Theophrastus (H.P. IX. 7, 4) says this of the Illyrian 
variety. 

190 



BOOK XXI. xix. 40-xx. 43 

for unguents and for medicine. The most highly 
esteemed is found in Illyria, and even there not in 
the coastal districts, but in the woody parts near 
the Drinon and around Narona. Next after it comes 
the Macedonian iris, which is white, thin and very- 
long. Third in estimation comes the African iris, 
which is the largest of all and the bitterest to the 
taste. The Ulyrian moreover is of two kinds: 
raphanitis, so called from its likeness to the radish, 
which is the better kind, and rhizotomos. The best, 
which is reddish, causes sneezing if handled, and has 
an upright stem a cubit high. The flower is multi 
coloured, like the rainbow ; hence the name " iris. " 
The Pisidian variety, too, is by no means despised. 
Those who are going to dig it up pour hydromel 
around it three months previously. This is as it were 
a libation to please the earth. Then they draw 
three circles round it with the point of a sword, 
gather it and at once raise it heaven-wards. It is 
hot by nature, and when handled raises blisters like 
those of a burn. It is especially enjoined that those 
who gather it should be chaste. Not only when dried, 
but also when in the ground, it is very easily subject 
to worms. Previously the best iris oil used to be 
brought from Leucas and Elis for it has been 
planted there a long time now the best comes 
from Pamphylia, but the Cilician too is highly 
praised, as is also that coining from the northern 
parts. 

XX. Celtic nard has leaves that are rather short, 
and cannot be plaited. It is held together by its * valerian ' 
many roots, being really a grass rather than a flower, 
matted as though squeezed by hand ; in short, it is 
a unique kind of turf, Pannonia grows it, and the 

191 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Alpiumque aprica, urbium Eporedia, tantae sua- 

44 vitatis ut metallum esse coeperit. vestibus inter- 
poni earn gratissimum, (XXL) sicut apud Graecos 
polium, herbam inclutam Musaei et Hesiodi laudibus 
ad omnia utilem praedicantium superque cetera ad 
famam etiarn ac dignitates, prorsusque miram, si 
modo, ut tradunt, folia eius mane Candida, meridie 
purpurea, sole occidente caerulea aspiciuntur. duo 
genera eius : campestre maius, silvestre quod minus 
est. quidam teutrion vocant. folia canis hominis 
similia, a radice protinus, nurnquam palmo altiora. 

45 XXII. Et de odoratis floribus satis dictum, in 
qulbus unguento vicisse naturam gaudens luxuria 
vestibus quoque provocavit eos flores qui colore 
commendantur. hos animadverto tres esse princi- 
pales, rubentem ut in cpcco, qui a rosae nigrantis 
gratia nitido * trahitur suspectu et in purpuras Tyrias 
dibaphasque ac Laconicas, amethystinum qui a viola 
et ipse in purpureum quemque ianthinum appel- 
lavimus. genera enim tractamus in species mult as 

46 sese spargentia. tertius est qui proprie conchylii 
intellegitur, multis modis : unus in heliotropio et in 
aliquo exilis 2 plerumque saturatior 3 alius in malva ad 
purpuram inclinans, alius in viola serotina conchy- 

1 rosae nigrantis gratia nitido Mayhoff ': rosis migrante 
gratia nonniMl Detlefsen : rosis migrante gratia nihil codd. 

2 exilis Mayhoff: exilior vet. Dal. qui et aliquando pro in 
aliquo scnbiti ex Ms codd. 

a As being, in some way, a great source of income. 

& In our MSS. this sentence is untranslatable. I have 
translated Mayhoff, who gives a text, suspicious indeed, but 
just capable of being construed. The most difficult word to 
understand, suspectu, is supported by all MSS. The problem 
is made no easier by the many different shades or colour 
denoted by purpura and purpureus. 
192 



BOOK XXI. xx. 43-xxn. 46 " 

sunny regions of Noricum and of the Alps, and, of 
the cities, Eporedia; such is its sweetness that it 
has begun to be " a gold mine." Very pleasant is 
it for this nard to be sprinkled between clothes, 
(XXI) as the Greeks do with hulwort, a plant ex 
tolled in the praises of Musaeus and Hesiod, who 
proclaim it to be useful for all things, and especially 
for winning reputation and honours, in fact as truly 
marvellous, if only it be true, as they assert, that its 
leaves are white to the eye in the morning, bright- 
red at mid-day, and sea-blue at sunset. There are 
two kinds of it : field hulwort., which is the larger, 
and wild hulwort, which is smaller. Some call the 
plant teutrion. The leaves are like the white hairs 
of a man, spring up straight from the root, and are 
never taller than a palm in height. 

XXII. Enough has been said about scented flowers. 
In this sphere luxury, glad to have conquered nature 
with its unguents, has with its dyed fabrics gone on 
to challenge those flowers that are commended for 
their colour. I note that the principal colours are 
the three following : (1) red, as of the kermes-insect, 
which, from the loveliness of the dark rose, shades, if 
you look up at it in a bright light,* into Tyrian 
purple, double-dyed purple and Laconian purple ; 
(2) amethyst, which from violet itself passes into 
purple, and which I have called ianthine. I am dis 
cussing general types of colour, which shade off into 
many kinds. (3) The third belongs properly to the 
purple of the murex, but includes many kindred 
shades. One is the colour of the heliotrope, some 
times of a light, though usually of a deeper, tint; 
another is that of the mallow, shading into a purple ; 
yet a third, seen in the late violet, is the most vivid of 

193 

VOTb. VI. H 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

liorum vegetissimus. paria mine conponuntur et 
natura atque luxuria depugnant. lutei video hon- 
orem antiqiiisslmum, in nuptialibus flammeis totura 
feminis concessum, et fortassis ideo non numerari 
inter principales, hoc est communes maribus ac 
feminis, quoniam societas principatum dedit. 

47 XXI 1 1, Amaranto non dubie vincimur. est autem 
spica purpurea verius quam flos aliquis, et ipse sine 
odore. mirum in eo gaudere decerpi et laetius 
renasci. provenit Augusto mense, durat in autum- 
num. Alexandiino palma, qui decerptus adser- 
vatur, mireque, postquam defecere cuncti flores, 
madefacttis aqua revivescit et hibernas coronas facit. 
summa naturae eius in nomine est, appellato, 
quoniam non marcescat. 

48 XXIV. In nomine et cyani colos 3 item holochrysi. 
omnes autem hi flores non fuere in usu Alexandri 
Magni aetate, quoniam proximi a morte eius auc- 
tores siluere de illis, quo naanifestum est postea 
placuisse, a Graecis tamen repertos quis dubitet 
non aMter Italia usurpante nomina illoruna? 

49 XXV. At, Hercules, petellio ipsa nomen inposuit, 
autumnali circaque vepres nascenti et tantum colore 
commendato, qui est rosae silvestris. folia parva, 

a Or, c reviving fre^ier tlian ever,*' (of the plucked flower). 

* Prom the Greek a- and /wrpaiW, i.e., " fadeless." 

c Meaning azure, darrk blue. Perhaps the cornflower. 

* " All gold.'* Query : a buttercup ? 

194 



BOOK XXL xxii. 46-xxv. 49 

the murex tints. At the present day Nature and 
luxury are matched together and are fighting out a 
duel. I read that yellow was the earliest colour to be 
highly esteemed, but was granted as an exclusive 
privilege to women for their bridal veils, and that for 
this reason perhaps it is not included among the 
principal colours, that is, those common to men and 
women, since it is joint use that has given the 
principal colours their dignity. 

XXIII. Without a doubt no effort of ours can Amaranth. 
compete with the amaranth. Yet it is more truly a 
purple ear than a flower, and is itself without scent. 

A wonderful thing about it is that it likes to be 
plucked, growing again more luxuriant than ever. 
It comes out in August, and lasts into the autumn. 
The prize goes to the amaranth grown at Alexandria, 
which is gathered for keeping ; in a wonderful way, 
after all flowers are over, the amaranth, if moistened 
with water, revives and makes winter chaplets. Its 
special characteristic is implied in its name, given to 
it because it will not wither. 6 

XXIV. The cyanus also declares its colour by its cyan and 
name, c and so does the holochrysus.^ All these holochT y s ^- 
flowers however were not in use at the time of 
Alexander the Great, for writers immediately after 

his death were silent about them. This silence is 
clear proof that it was subsequently that they became 
popular. However, who could doubt that they were 
discovered by the Greeks, when Italy uses exclusively 
the Greek names in referring to them ? 

XXV. But by heaven ! Italy herself has given peteiiium. 
the petellium its name, an autumn flower growing 

near brambles and esteemed only for its colour, 
which is that of the wild rose. It has five small 

I9S 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quina, mirumque in eo flora inflect! cacurnen et e 
nodis intorta x folia nasci parvolo calice ac verslcolori 
luteum semen includentia. luteus 2 et bellio pastilli- 
cantibus quinquagenis quinis barbulis. coronant 
pratenses hi flores; at sine usu plerique, 3 et ideo 
sine nominibus. quin et his ipsis alia alii voeabula 
inponunt. 

50 XXVI. Chrysocome sive chrysitis non habet 
Latinam appellationem. pakni altitudine est, co- 
mantibus fulgore auri corymbis, radice nigra, ex 
austero dulci, in petrosis opacisque nascens. 

51 XXVII. Et fere peractis colorum quoque cele- 
berrimis, transit oratio ad eas coronas quae varietate 
sola placent. duo earum genera, quando ahae 
flore constant, aliae folio, florem esse dixerim 
genistas namque et his decerpitur luteus item 
rhododendron, item zizipha quae Cappadocia vo- 
cantur. his odoratus similis qui olearmn floribus. 
in vepribus nascitur cyclaminum 9 de quo plura alias. 
flos eius colossinus in coronas admittitur. 

1 e nodis intorta Mayhoff : nodis intorto cum mtdtis codd. 
Deilef&en : nonnisi re^>rto aliquot codd. : in dorso coni. 
Mayhoff. 

a Itrtens wdg. : luteo codd. Foriasse luteo 'pr&pter bellio 
scrvptwm, est, 

3 coronaoit pratenses hi flores ; at sine usu pleriquej. Oodd. 
coronantur aut coronatur, pratenses aut pratensis^ lu aut 
hie, flore et, flos ac, flore, flores : pratensis hie flosf ac -sine TISU. 
lerique et ideo sine nominibus 2>edefsen. Ego cum Mayhoff 
o, et eiu$ coni. coronant s&ribo, sed pro flore ego flores 



196 



BOOK XXL xxv. 49-xxvn. 51 

petals. A wonderful thing about this flower is that 
the head bends over, and from the joints grow* 
curved petals inclosing yellow seed forming a small 
corolla of several colours. The bellio too is yellow, 
with fifty-five lozenge-shaped little beards. 6 These 
meadow flowers are used for chaplets, but most of 
such flowers are of no use and therefore without 
names. c Nay, these very flowers are differently 
named by different people. 

XXVI. The chrysocome (golden rod) or chrysitis ckry*ocame. 
has no Latin name. It is a palm in height, flowering 

in clusters of shining gold, with a harsh, tending-to- 
sweet root, which is dark, and it grows in rocky, 
shady places. 

XXVII, Having now nearly exhausted the subject 
also of the most popular colours, I ought to pass on 
to those chaplets that please only because of the 
variety in their make-up. They are of two kinds : 
some are made of flowers, others of leaves. Among 
the flowers I would include greenweed for the 
yellow blossom of this too is gathered also the 
oleander, and the jujubes of the kind called Cap- 
padodan, having a scent like that of olive flowers. 
Among brambles grows the cyclamen, about which 
I shall say more elsewhere. 3 Its flower, Colossae 
purple in colour, is used to make up chaplets. 

I have adopted Mayhoff's reading with, no confidence, for 
it gives a difficult sense, as does Detlefsen's. Nonnisi retorto 
would mean " only when it becomes straight again." 

6 This sentence is a real puzzle. We do not know what 
the be&io was, so that the meaning of pastiUieantibus and 
barbulis (the former anaf Xeyo^vov) is not clear. 

c Detlefsen's reading could be kept witlx ut before plerique 
and a comma at usu* 
. 

197 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

52 XXVIII. Folio coronantium milacis et hederae, 
corymbique earum optinent principatum, de quibus 
in fruticurn loco abunde diximus. sunt et alia 
genera nominibus Graecis indicanda, quia nostris 
maiore ex parte huius nomenclaturae defiiit cura. 
et pleraque eorum in exteris terns nascuntur, nobis 
tamen consectanda, quoniam de natura sermo, non 
de Italia est. 

53 XXIX. Ergo in eoronamenta folio venere melo- 
trum, spiraea, origanum^ eneorum, quod casiam 
Hyginus vocat et quod cunilaginem, conyza, melis- 
sophyllum quod apiastrum^ melilotum quod sertnlam 
Campanam vocamus, est enim in Italiae Campania 
laudatissima, Graecis in Sunio, mox Chaleidica et 
Cretica, ubicumque vero asperis et silvestribus nata. 
coronas ex ea antiquitus factitatas indicio est nomen 
sertulae quod occupavit. odor est croco vicinus et 
fios ipse. Campana 1 placet maxime, foliis brevis- 
sinais atque pinguissimis, 

54 XXX. Folio coronat et trifolium. tria eius 
genera: minyanthes vocant Graeci, alii asphaltion, 
maiore folio, quo utuntur coronarii, alter una acuto 
oxytripliyllon. tertium ex omnibus minutissiniuni. 
inter haec nerrosi cauliculi quibusdam ut maratho, 

55 bippomaratho, Eayophono. utuntur et ferulis et 2 
corymbis hederae, et i9ore purpureo in alio genere 

1 ipse. Campana Detlefsen : ipsa cana cum, codd. MayJioff. 
a et ante in alio codd. effo transposui : et feederae codd. 
Bederae, et Mcuyhoff. 

* See XVI. 144 ff. 

b With the usual reading: " the melilot itself is white." 



BOOK XXI. xxvin. 52-xxx. 55 

XXVIII. As foliage for chaplets smilax, ivy and 
their clusters provide the favourite material; about 
these I have spoken at length in my chapters on 
shrubs. There are other kinds also that can be 
indicated only by their Greek names, because our 
countrymen for the most part have paid no attention 
to this nomenclature, Though most of them grow 
in foreign lands, yet I must discuss them, because 
my subject is not Italy but Nature. 

XXIX. So among the leaves used to make chaplets 
are found those of melotrum, spiraea, wild mar 
joram, cneorum, that Hyginus calls cassia, conyza, 
which he calls cunilago, melissophyllum, known to 
us as apiastrum, and melilot, which we call Cam- 
panian garland. For in Italy the favourite kind 
grows in Campania, in Greece at Sunium, next in 
repute the melilot of Chalcidice and Crete, being 
found however everywhere only in wild, woody 
districts. That chaplets were in antiquity often 
made from the melilot is shown by the name 
sertula (garland), which it has adopted as its own. 
The scent is near to that of saffron, and so is the 
flower itself. The Campanian 6 is very popular 
indeed, having very short and very fleshy leaves. 

XXX. The leaves of trefoil also are used for chap- 
lets. There are three kinds of it : the first is called 
by some Greeks minyanthes, by others asphaltion, 
having a larger leaf than the other kinds, which the 
garland makers use. The second kind, oxytri- 
phyllon, has a pointed leaf. The third is the smallest 
of them all. Among these some have a sinewy stem, 
such as marathum, hippomarathum, myophonum. 
They use also fennel-giant, the clusters of the ivy 
and a red flower classified in another kind of the 

199 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

earum silvestribus rosis simili. sed in his quoque 
colos tantum delectat, odor autem abest. Et cneori 
duo genera, nigri atque candidi. hoc et odoratum, 
ramosa ambo. florent post aequinoctium autum- 
num. totidem et origani in coronanientis species, 
alterius enim nullum semen, id cui odor est Creticum 
vocatur. 

56 XXXI. Totidem et thymi, candidum ac nigricans. 
floret autem circa solstitia, 1 cum et apes decerpunt, 
et augtnium mellis est. 2 proventum enim sperant 
apiarii large florescente eo. laeditur imbribus 
amittitque ilorem. semen thymi non potest depre- 
hendi, cum origani perquam minutum non tamen 
fallat. sed quid interest occultasse id naturam? 

57 in flore ipso intellegitur satoque eo nascitur. quid 
non temptavere homines? mellis Attici in toto 
orbe summa laus existimatur. ergo translatum est 
ex Attica thymum et vix flore, uti docemur, satum. 
sed alia ratio naturae obstitit non durante Attico 
thymo nisi in adflatu maris. erat quidem haec 
opinio antiqua in omni thymo, ideoque non nasei in 
Arcadia, cum oleam non putarent gigni nisi intra ccc 
stadia a mari. thymo quidem mine etiam lapideos 
campos in provincia Narbonensi refertos scimus, 
hoc paene solo reditu, e longinqnis regionibus 

1 solstitia omnes codd. et edd. Ego solstitinm malim, 

2 omn . . . est. Ita Detlefsen f etsi non et sed ut hdbent 
plures codd. Tnm et ut augnrmm mellis sit MayJioff. 



* The gran] mar of this sentence can be improved by emen 
dation, but the fact remains that no ivy has a red flower like 
the TPild rose. Has Pliny confused KUTCTOS and KLOTOS (rock- 
rose)? 



BOOK XXI. xxx. 55-xxxi. 57 

Ivies and resembles the wild rose. a But in these too 
it is only the colour that pleases, as they have no 
perfume. There are also two kinds of cneorum, a 
dark and a white. The latter has perfume, and both 
are branchy. They blossom after the autumnal 
equinox. There are also two kinds of wild mar 
joram used for ehaplets, one having* no seed, and 
the other, which has perfume, being called Cretan. 

XXXI. There are two sorts of thyme, the pale Thyme. 
and. the darkish. Thyme blossoms about the sol 
stices when too the bees sip from it, and a forecast 
can be made about the honey harvest. For the bee 
keepers hope for a bumper one if there be an abun 
dance of blossom. Showers damage it and make the 
blossom fall off. The seed of thyme is impercep 
tible to sight, and yet that of wild marjoram, although 
very tiny, does not escape our eye. But what does 
it matter that Nature has hidden it? Reason tells 
us that the seed is in the flower itself, and if that be 
sown a plant grows from it. What have men left 
untried? Attic honey is thought more highly of 
than any in the whole world. Thyme therefore has 
been imported from Attica, and grown with difficulty, 
we are told, from. the blossom. But a further hin 
drance arose through another peculiar characteristic 
of Attic thyme, which will not survive in the absence 
of sea breezes. The same view indeed was held 
of old about all kinds of thyme, and people believed 
that it was for this reason that it did not grow in 
Arcadia, while the olive too, they thought, is only 
found within three hundred stades from the sea. Yet 
thyme we know today covers even the stony plains 
of the province of Gallia Narbonensis, being almost 
the only source of revenue, thousands of sheep being 

201 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

pecudum milibus convenientibus ut thymo vescan- 
tur. 

58 XXXII. Et conyzae duo genera in coronamentis, 
mas ac femina, differentia in folio : tenuius feminae 
et constrictius angustiusque, imbricatum maris. 1 
mas et ramosior. flos quoque magis splendet eius, 
serotinus utrique post arcturum. mas odore gravior, 
femina acutior, et ideo contra bestiarum morsus 
aptior. folia feminae mellis odorem habent, mas- 
culae radix a quibusdani libanotis appellatur, de 
qua diximus. 

59 XXXIII. Etiamnum 2 folio coronant lovis flos, 
amaracum, hemerocalles, habrotonum, Helenium, 
sisymbriunij serpullum, omnia surculosa rosae modo. 
colore tantum placet lovis flos, odor abest, sicut et 
illi qui Graece phlox vocatur. et ramis autem et 
folio odorata sunt excepto serpullo. Helenium e 
lacrimis Helenae dicitur natum, et ideo in Helene 
insula laudatissimum. est autem irutex humi se 
sparg-ens dodrantalibus ramulis, serpullo simili folio. 

60 XXXIV, Habrotonum odore iucunde gravi floret 
aestate, aurei 3 coloris. vacuum sponte provenit, 

1 maris om. multi codd. : imbricatxun. mas et ramosior. 



* etiammim Mayhoff: et tantum codd. 

3 Cwm d add. flos est ante aurei Mayhoff, qui vagum pro 
vacuum coni. 

a Our viscous elecampane (Imda viscosa). 

* Our fleabane (Znula ptclicaria), 

c Theophr&stus, H.P. VI. 2, 6. dfaavQet frepl dpKravpov KO! per 
apfcrovpov aBpvvi~ Arcturus sets 13 May, rises eleven days 
before the autumn equinox. (See II. 124 and VUL 187.) 

d Theophrastus (loc. tit.} says that the female has an ooyu;^ 
which is SpLftvrepa. (more pungent) &* 5 KO! vpos ra frqpta 
'XpT\ailxxi. This seems to refer to the smell keeping away 

202 



BOOK XXL xxxi. 57-xxxiv. 60 

brought there from distant regions to browse upon 
the thyme. 

XXXII. Of conyza also two kinds are used in 
chaplets, male a and female. 1 * They differ in their 
leaves. That of the female is thinner, more com 
pressed and narrower; the male, which is more 
branched, has a pantile-shaped leaf. Its blossom 
too is of a brighter colour; both blossom late, after 
Arcturus. c The scent of the male is heavier, of the 
female, sharper; for which reason the female is 
more suited to counteract the bites of beasts/ The 
leaves of the female have the smell of honey ; the 
root of the male is called by some libanotis, about 
which I have already spoken.* 

XXXIII. Chaplets are also made from the leaves 
of the flower of Jupiter, sweet marjoram, day-lily, 
southernwood, Helenium, water-mint, wild thyme, all 
with woody stalks like those of the rose. The flower 
of Jupiter is pleasing only for its colour, as it has 
no scent; it is the same with the flower called in 
Greek phlox. Both the stalks however and the 
leaves of the plants just mentioned are fragrant, 
except those of wild thyme. Helenium is said to 
have sprung up from the tears of Helen, and there 
fore is very popular in the island of Helene. It is a 
shrub spreading over the ground with its nine-inch 
sprigs, the leaf being like wild thyme. 

XXXIV. Southernwood, which blossoms in sum- 
mer, has a flower of a pleasant but heavy scent and ****** 
of a golden colour. Left alone / it grows of its own 

insects, not to tlie flower (or plant) being good for stings. 
For the ancient view of sex in plants see p. 66. 

* See XX. 172. 

f With the reading vagnm, : ** it grows straggling, here and 
there." 

203 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cacumine suo se propagat, seritur autem semine 
melius quam radice aut surculo, semine quoque non 
sine negotio ; plantaria transferimtur. sic et Ado- 
nium, utrumque aestate. alsiosa enim admodum 
sunt ut sole tamen nimio laedantur. sed ubi con- 
valuere, rutae vice frutieant. habrotono simile 
odore leucanthemum est ? flore albo, folios um. 

61 XXXV. Amaracum Diocles medicus et Sicula 
gens appellavere quod Aegyptus et Syria samp- 
sucum. seritur utroque genere, et semine et ramo, 
vivacius supra dictis et odore mollius. copiosum 
amaraco aeque quam habrotono semen, sed habro 
tono radix una est alte descendens^ ceteris in summa 
terra leviter haerens. 1 reliquorum satio autumno 
fere incipiente nee non et vere quibusdam locis, 
umbraque 2 gaudent et aqua ac fimo. 

62 XXXVI. Nyctegreton inter pauca miratus est 
Democritus, coloris hysgini, folio spinae, nee a terra 
se adtollentem. praecipuam in Gedrosia narrat 

1 haerens multi codd. et Mayhoff, qui liaerent malit 
liaerentibus Detlefsen. 

* nmbraqne MayJioff: quae umbra codd. Fortasse omnia 
umbra. Tkeoplvrastus E+P. VI. 7, 6 airavra <j>MaKLa KOI 



Theoph.raatus (H.P. VT. 7,3) says 

paKiMs axnrep oi *ASo>i't8os > KT^TTOI TOV &pov$. Pliny seems to 
have thought that this reference to the flower-boxes used in 
the festival of Adonis was a reference to a flower called 
adonium. 

* We expect J*liny to contrast southernwood with sweet 
marjoram, but instead of this comes a reference to the plants 
of section 59. Pliny, without thinking of the sequence of his 
thought, is translating Theophrastus, H.P. VT. 7, 4 can yap 
08* a/xopa/cosr /ecu o /wn;AAosr KOL 



BOOK XXL xxxiv. 6o-xxxvi. 62 

accord, reproducing itself by layers from the head. 
It is however grown from seed better than from the 
root or from slips ; from seed too not without trouble. 
The seedlings are transplanted as is the adonium a 
both in summer. For they are very chilly plants, 
yet liable to be injured by too much sun. But 
when they have grown strong, they sprout after the 
manner of rue. Like southernwood in scent is leucan- 
thenium, with a white flower and abundant leaves. 

XXXV. Diocles the physician and the people of sweet 
Sicily have called sweet marjoram the plant known in 
Egypt as sampsucum. It is reproduced by the two 
methods, from seed and from branch-cuttings, being 
longer-lived than the plants mentioned above and of 
a milder scent. Sweet marjoram produces as copious 
a quantity of seed as does southernwood, but the latter 
has one root penetrating deep into the earth, while 
the roots of the others & cling lightly to the surface 
of the ground. The planting of the rest takes place 
generally in the beginning of autumn, and also, in 
some places, in spring, and they delight in shade, 
water and dung. c 

XXXVL Nyctegreton A was one of a few plants 
chosen for special admiration by Democritus ; it is of 
a dark-red colour, with a leaf like a thorn, and not 
rising high from the ground; a special kind grows 
in Gedrosia. He reports that it is pulled up by the 



ro \eviov etftsrohalavs KO! TroXvaxtfkZs KO! rappwS&s. So 
without doubt ceteris must stand. Detlefsen's haerentibus, 
referring to the other roots of southernwood, is based on 
the words of Theophrastus after ^iovo/>ptoj, namely, ras 8* 






_ 

Theophrastus, H.P. VI. 7, 6 : awap 
faXoKQTTpa paAtora suggests omnia umbra gwudeni, etc, 
" Night-watcher." 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

erui post aequinoctium vernum radicitus siccarique 
ad lunam xxx diebus, ita lucere noctibus. Magos 
Parthorumque reges hac herba uti ad vota susci- 
pienda. eandem vocari ehenamychen, quoniam 
anseres a primo conspectu eius expavescant, ab 
aliis nyctalopa, quoniam e longinquo noctibus 
fulgeat. 

63 XXXVII. Melilotos ubique nascitur, laudatissima 
tamen in Attica, ubicumque vero recens nee candi- 
cans et croco quam simillirna, quamquam in Italia 
odoratior Candida. 

64 XXXVIII. Florum prima ver nuntiantium 1 viola 
a lba tepidioribus vero locis etiam hieme emicat 
post ea quae ion appellatur et purpurea, proxime 
flammeum, quod phlox vocatur, silvestre dumtaxat. 
cyclaminum bis anno, vere et autum.no. aestates 
hiemesque fugit. seriores supra dictis aliquanto 
narcissus et Hlium trans maria, in Italia quidem, ut 
diximus, post rosam. verum in Graecia tardius 
etiamnuna anemone, est autem haec silvestrium 
buiborum flos, alia quam quae dicetur in medicis. 

65 sequitur oenanthe ac melanium et ex silvestribus 
l^eiochrysos^ deinde alterum genus anemones quae 
limonia vocatur, post hanc gladiolus conoitatus 



cum vulg. Deflefsen : nuntianti plerique 
codd. : ntmtiat Mayhoff* 

a Because it made geese (x^) v ^} ^^^ *& panic into a corner 



See 53. See 27, * See 59. 

* See XXV. 67. / See 22. f See 164. 

* See 167. 

< " Black violet." See Theophrastus H.P. VI. 6> 3 and 
8, 1 aini 2, Our sweet violet. 

* " little sword." See 107. 

206 



BOOK XXL xxxvi. 62-xxxvm. 65 

roots after the spring equinox and dried in the moon 
light for thirty days ; that after this it glows at 
night, and that the Magi and the kings of Parthia 
use the plant to make then* vows. It is also called, 
he says, chenamyche, a because geese are panic- 
stricken at the first sight of it, and by others ny eta- 
lops, because it gleams a long distance by night. 

XXXVII. Melilot *> grows everywhere, the most 
popular kind, however, in Attica ; everywhere more 
over the freshly gathered is preferred, and not the 
white variety but that most resembling saffron, and 
that though in Italy the white is the more fragrant. 

XXXVIII. The first flower to herald the approach 
of spring is the white violet, c which moreover 
in the warmer spots peeps out even in winter. 
Afterwards comes the violet which is called ion, 
and the mauve one, followed closely by the flame- 
coloured flower called phlox,** but only the wild 
variety. The cyclamen e blossoms twice in the year, 
in spring and in autumn ; it shuns summer and winter. 
A little later than those mentioned above come, 
overseas, the narcissus and the lily, which in Italy, 
as we have said/ is after the rose. But in Greece 
comes later still the anemone. This however is a 
flower of the wild bulbs, and different from the plant 
to be spoken of among the medicinal herbs .^ It is 
followed by the oenanthe^ the melanium * and the 
wild heliochrysus, then the other kind of anemone, 
which is called the meadow anemone, after which 
comes the gladiolus,^ together with the hyacinth.^ 

* Authorities differ about the plants which the ancients 
included under this name. Delphinium, gladiolus and mar- 
tagon-lily have some varieties which may possibly be referred 
to by the name hyacinthus. 

207 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

hyacintho. novissima rosa, eademque prima deficit 
excepta sativa, e ceteris hyacinthus maxime durat 
et viola alba et oenanthe, sed haec ita, si devolsa 
crebro prohibeatur in semen ire. nascitur * in locis 

66 tepidis. odor idem ei qui germinantibus uvis, atque 
inde nomen. hyacinthum comitatur fabula duplex, 
luctum praeferens eius quem Apollo dilexerat, aut 
ex Aiacis cruore editi, ita discurrentibus venis ut 
Graecarum litterarum figura AI legatur inscriptum. 
heliochrysus florem habet auro similem, folium tenue, 
cauliculum quoque gracilem sed durum, hoc coro- 
nari 2 se Magi, si et unguenta sumantur ex auro quod 
apyron vocant, ad gratiam quoque vitae gloriamque 
perfcinere arbitrantur. et verni quidem flores hi sunt. 

67 XXXIX. Succedunt illis aestivi, lychnis et lovis 
flos et alterum genus lilii, item iphyon 3 et amaracus 
quem Phrygium cognominant. sed maxime spec- 
tabilis pothos. duo genera huius : unum cui flos 
hyacinthi est, alter candidus qui fere nascitur 
tumulis, 4 quoniam fortius durat. et iris aestate 
floret, abeunt et hi marcescuntque, alii rursus 
subeunt autumno : tertium genus lilii, et crocum et 
orsini utraque genera, unum hebes, alteruna odo- 

1 semen ire. nascitur JbfayJioJf ': in semine ronasci, in 
Detlef&en : semine aut seminibus renascitur codd. 

2 coronari Urlichs et Detlefsen : coronare cum, plerisque codd. 
Mayhoff. 

3 iphyon Sittig, Detlefsen : tiphyon cum nonnullis codd. 
Mayhoff. 

4 tumulis lanus : in tumulis codd. 

* Oenanthe means "wine flower." 6 "Lamp flower." 
c Or tiphyon, probably a kind of narcissus. 

* "Yearning," "desire." 

6 Or, reading in tvmulis : ** grown on graves because it 
is hardy." 

208 



BOOK XXI. xxxvni. 65-xxxix. 67 

The last to bloom is the rose, which is also the first 
to fade, except the cultivated kind. Of the others, 
the hyacinth lasts longest in flower with the white 
violet and the oenanthe, but the last only if by 
repeated plucking it is prevented from running to 
seed. It grows in warm districts, and has the same 
scent as forming grapes : hence the name. a The 
hyacinth is associated with two forms of a legend; 
one that it displays the mourning for that youth 
whom Apollo had loved, and the other that it sprang 
from the shed blood of Ajax, the veins of the flower 
being so arranged that on it is to be read AI in 
scribed in the form of Greek letters. Heliochrysus 
has a flower like gold, a slight leaf and also a slender 
but hard stem. The Magi think that to wear a 
chaplet of this plant, if unguents too be taken from 
a box of the gold called apyran, leads also to 
popularity and glory in life. These then are the 
flowers of spring. 

XXXIX. After them come the summer flowers, 
lychnis, b Jupiter's flower, a second kind of lily, the 
iphyon also and the amaracus surnamed Phry 
gian. But the most beautiful to the eye is the 
pothos. d There are two kinds of it : one having the 
flower of the hyacinth, the other being white and 
commonly grown for graves, because it lasts well 
without fading. 5 The iris also blooms in summer. 
But these too wither and pass away, to be followed 
again by others in autumn a third kind of lily, the 
saffron crocus and the two kinds of orsinus/ one 
without and one with perfume, all of them peeping 

f An unknown, plant. Jan thinks that Pliny has mis 
translated Theophrasfrus, H.P. VI. 7, among other mistakes, 
taking the opeivos of the latter to be 6paiv6$. 

209 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

68 ratum, primis omnia imbribus emicantia. coronarii 
quidem et spinae flore utuntur, quippe cum spinae 
albae cauliculi Inter oblectamenta quoque gulae 
condiantur. iiic est trans maria ordo florum. in 
Italia violis succedit rosa, huic intervenit lilium, 
rosam cyanus excipit, cyanum amarantus. nam 
vicapervica semper viret In modum Hniae x foliis 
gerdculatim circumdata, topiaria herba, inopiam 
tanien florum aliquando supplet. haec a Graecis 
chamaedaphne vocatur. 

69 XL. Vita longissima violae albae trimatu. ab eo 
tempore degenerat. rosa et quinquennium perfert 
non recisa nee adusta. illo enim modo iuvenescit. 
diximus et terram referre plurimum. nam in 
Aegypto sine odore haec omnia, tantumque myrtis 
odor praecipuus; alicubi 2 etiam birds mensibus 
antecedit germinatio omnium, rosaria a favonio 
fossa oportet esse iterumque solstitio, et id agendum 
ut intra id tempus purgata ac pura sint. 



1 Hniae cum E mdg., Detlefsen, MayJioffi in aliis codd. liliae 
out lilii hgitur. Urlichs latireae coni., milii Mayhoff. 

* alicubi vida. : atqui Detlefsen : alioqui Mayhoff-. aliqui 




trap* Tjfuv K.T.X. Num Plinius pro rcDv ira-p rjfLiv Italicis 

scripsit ? Fortas&e alibi. 

See 48, 

6 Most authorities take this to be our periwinkle. 

c I take linia to refer to the form of the formido, a line with 
feathers at intervals to scare away birds. An odd comparison, 
and the laureae (taken closely with semper viret cp. the Greek 
name ehamaedaphne) of Urlichs is attractive. 

* " Ground-laurel." 



210 



BOOK XXI. xxxix. 6 7 -XL. 69 

out at the first showers. Garland-makers actually 
use the blossom even of the thorn, while the young 
stalks of the white thorn are preserved to be a 
delicacy of the table. This is the succession of 
flowers overseas. In Italy violets are followed by 
the rose, which is still in blossom when the lily 
appears. The rose is succeeded by the cyanus, a the 
cyanus by the amaranth. But the vicapervica 6 is 
an evergreen, surrounded by leaves at the joints 
after the manner of the scarecrow cord, c a plant for 
the fancy garden, but at times filling the gap when 
other flowers fail. This plant is called chamae- 
daphne d by the Greeks. 

XL. At the most the life of the white violet is 
three years. After that time it degenerates. The 
rose lasts even for five years if it is neither pruned 
down nor burned ; for by these means it renews its 
youth. We have also said* that the soil makes a 
great difference. For in Egypt all these/ flowers are 
without perfume, and the myrtle only has a remark 
able one. In some places ff the buds of all form as 
much as two months before they do so elsewhere. 
Rose beds ought to be dug over immediately after 
the west wind A begins and again at the solstice, and 
great care should be taken that in the interval the 
ground be kept clean and sweet. 

* See 19, 

f The words of Theophrastus (J3.P. VI. 8, 5) corresponding 
to haec omnia, etc. are : TO. JJLGV aAAa Trdvr* aoo/ta /cat av(h] /cat 
apai/xara, at Be iLVpplvau. $au/aorat TT? cvoarju/a. Haec omnia as a 
translation of TO. jtev aAAa -zravra is misleading, if not in 
accurate. 

With Detlefsen's reading : ** and yet the buds, etc." With 
MayhofPs : " elsewhere." With my suggestion, "in Italy." 

* That is, Feb. 8; see H. 122. 

211 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

70 XLI. Verum hortis coronamentisque maxime 
alvaria et apes conveniunt, res praecipui quaestus 
conpendiique cum favet. harum ergo causa oportet 
serere thymum, apiastrum, rosam, violas, lilium, 
cytisum, fabam, erviliam, cunilam, papaver, conyzam, 
easiam, melilotum, melissophyllum, cerinthen.- ea 
est autem folio candido, incurvo, cubitalis, capite 

71 concave mellis sucum habente. horuin floris avidis- 
simae sunt, atque etiam sinapis, quod miremur, cum 
olivae florern ab his non attingi constet; ideo hanc 
arborem procul esse melius sit, cum aliquas quam 
proxime seri conveniat quae et evolantium examina 
invitent nee longius abire patiantur. 

72 XLII. Cornum quoque arborem caveri oporteat. 1 
fiore eius degustato alvo cita moriuntur. remediurn 
sorba contusa e melle praebere his vel urinam 
hominis vel bourn ant grana punici mali Amineo 
vino conspersa. at genistas circumseri alvariis 
gratissiiriuin . 

73 XLIIL Mirum est dignumque memoratu de 
a&oeirfcis quod conperi. Hostilia vicus adluitur 
Pado. huius inquilini pabulo circa deficiente in- 
ponunt navibus alvos noctibusque quina milia 
passuum contrario amne subvehunt. egressae luce 
apes pastaeque ad naves cotidie remeant mutantes 
locum, donee pondere ipso pressis navibuS plenae 

1 oporteat cwm fere omnibus codd* Mayhoff *. opoirtet d 
vulg. 9 Detlefsen. 

2T2 



BOOK XXI. XLI. 70-XLiii. 73 

XLI. But gardens and chaplet flowers are closely 
associated -with apiaries and bees, bee-culture being 
a source of very great profit at slight expense, when 
circumstances are favourable. Therefore, for the 
sake of the bees you ought to plant thyme, apias- 
trum, roses, violets, lilies, tree-medick, beans, bitter 
vetches, cunila, poppies, conyza, casia, melilot, 
melissophyllum, cerintha. The last has a white 
leaf curving inwards, and is a cubit high, with a 
hollow head containing the honey juice. Of the 
blossom of these plants bees are very fond, as they 
are also of mustard, a strange thing to those familiar 
with the well-known fact that the blossom of the olive 
is not touched by them. For this reason it is better 
to keep olive trees away from them, while some 
trees it would be wise to plant as near the hives as 
possible, both to attract the swarms a$ they fly out, 
and to prevent their straying to too great a distance. 

XLII. You must beware also of the cornel tree. 
If bees taste its blossom they die of diarrhoea. A 
remedy is to administer crushed sorb apples in honey 
to those affected, or human urine or that of oxen, 
or pomegranate seeds sprinkled with Aminean wine. 
But what they like most is to have greenweed 
planted round their hives. 

XLIIL Wonderful and worthy of record is what I 
have discovered about their food. Hostilia is a 
village on the bank of the Padus. When bee-fodder 
fails in the neighbourhood the natives place the hives 
on boats and carry them five miles upstream by 
night. At dawn the bees come out and feed, return 
ing every day to the boats, which change their 
position until, when they have sunk low in the water 
under the mere weight, it is understood that the 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

alvi intellegantur revectisque eximantur mella. et 

74 in Hispania mulis provehunt simili de causa, (XLIV.) 
tantumque pabulum refert ut mella quoque venenata 
fiant. Heracliae in Ponto quibusdam annis per- 
niciosissima existunt ab iisdem apibus facta. nee 
dixere auctores e quibus floribus ea fierent, nos 
trademus quae conperimus. herba est ab exitio et 
iumentorum quidem, sed praecipue caprarum, 
appellata aegolethron. huius flore concipiunt nox- 
ium virus aquoso vere marcescentis. ita fit ut non 

75 omnibus annis sentiatur malum. venenati signa 
sunt quod omnino non densatur, quod color magis 
rutilus est, odor alienus sternumenta protinus 
movens, quod ponderosius innoxio. qui edere 
abiciunt se humi refrigerationen quaerentes, nam 

76 et sudore diffluunt. remedia sunt multa, quae suis 
locis dicemus. sed quoniam statim repraesentari 
aliqua in tantis insidiis oportet, mulsum vetus e 
melle optumo et ruta, sals amenta etiam, si rei- 
ciantur sumpta crebro. certumque est id malum 
per excrementa ad canes etiam pervenire simili- 
terque torqueri eos. mulsum tamen ex eo inve- 
teratum innocuum esse constat, et feminarum 
cutem nullo melius emendaxi cum costo, suggillata 
cum aloe. 

" Goat-destroyer." 6 XXIX. 97. 

214 



BOOK XXI. XLIII. 73~xL.iv. 76 

hives are full, and then they are taken back and the 
honey is extracted. In Spain too for a like reason 
they carry the hives about on mules. (XLIV.) The 
food of bees is of so much importance that even their 
honey may become poisonous, At Heraclia in 
Pontus the honey turns out in certain years very 
deadly, and that from the same bees. As the 
authorities have not said from -what flowers this 
honey is extracted, I will myself put on record what 
I have ascertained. There is a plant which, from its 
deadly effect even on cattle, more particularly upon 
goats, is called aegolethron.^ From the blossom 
of this, when it withers in a rainy spring, bees 
take in a noxious poison. Thus it happens that it 
is not in all years that the danger is encountered. 
The signs of poisonous honey are that it does not 
thicken at all, its colour inclines to red, its smell is 
strange and at once causes sneezing, and it is heavier 
than harmless honey. Cattle which have eaten it 
throw themselves on the ground, seeking to cool 
themselves, for they actually drip with sweat. 
Remedies are many, and I "will give them in their 
proper place. 5 But some should be given at once, 
as the danger is so insidious : there is old honey 
wine, made from the finest honey, with rue, and also 
salted fish, these to be repeated several times should 
the stomach reject them. It is an established fact 
that this poison, through the excreta, affects even 
dogs, which suffer similar torture. It is a fact, 
however, that honey wine made with poisonous 
honey is, after maturing, quite harmless, and that 
there is nothing better than this honey, mixed with 
costum, for improving the skin of women, or, mixed 
with aloes, for the treatment of bruises. 

2*5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

77 XLV. Aliud genus in eodem Ponti situ, gente 
Sannorum, mellis quod ab insania quam gignit 
maenomenon vocant. id existimatur contrahi flore 
rhododendri quo scatent silvae. gensque ea, cum 
ceram in tributa Romanis praestet, mel, quoniam 
exitiale est, non vendit. et in Perside et in Maure- 
taniae Caesariensis Gaetulia contermina Massaesylis 
venenati favi gignuntur, quidamque a parte, quo 
nihil esse fallacius potest, nisi quod livore depre- 

78 henduntur. quid sibi voluisse naturam his arbitre- 
mur insidiis, ut ab iisdem apibus nee omnibus 
annis fierent aut non totis favis? parum enim 
erat genuisse rem in qua venenum facillime daretur ? 
etiainne hoc ipsa in melle tot animalibus dedit? 
quid sibi voluit nisi ut cautiorem minusque avidum 
faceret hominem? non enim et ipsis apibus iam 
cuspides dederat et quidem venenatas, remedio 
adversus has utique non differendo ? ergo malvae 
SHCO aut foliarum hederae perungui salutare est 
vel percusses ea bibere, miruna tamen est venena 
portantes ore fingentesque ipsas non mori, nisi quod 
ilia domina rerum omnium hanc dedit repugnantiam 
apibus sicut contra jserpentes PsylHs Marsisque 
inter homines. 

"Mad '* or " raving," 



BOOK XXL XLV. 77-78 

XLV. There Is another kind of honey, found in 
the same district of Pontus among the people called 
Sanni, which from the madness it produces is 
called maenomenon. a This poison is supposed to 
be extracted from the flowers of the oleanders 
which abound in the woods. Though these people 
supply the Romans with wax by way of tribute, the 
honey, because of its deadly nature, they do not sell. 
In Persis, too, and in Gaetulia of Mauretania 
Caesariensis, bordering on the Massaesyli, are found 
poisoned honeycombs, sometimes only in part such, 
a more deceptive limitation than anything else could 
be, were it not that the livid colour makes detection 
easy. What are we to think that Nature meant by 
these traps ; that they should not occur every year, 
and not in the whole of the comb, and yet be due to 
the same bees ? Was it not enough to have pro 
duced a substance in which it was very easy to 
administer poison ? Did Nature also administer 
it herself in the honey to so many living creatures ? 
What did she mean, except to make man more 
careful and less greedy ? For had she not already 
bestowed upon the bees themselves a spear, and 
that a poisoned one, so that a cure for this poison 
must be given most assuredly without delay? 
Accordingly, it is healing to apply to the sting the 
juice of the mallow or of ivy leaves, or -for the stung 
persons to take these in drink, Yet it is wonderful 
that the bees, carrying poison in their mouths and 
working it, do not themselves die, unless it be 
that the great Mistress of all things has given bees 
this immunity, as she has given immunity against 
snake-bite to the PsylH and to the Marsi among 
men. 

217 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

79 XLVI. Aliud in Greta miraculum mellis : mons 
est Carina vYm passuum ambitu, intra quod spatiuin 
muscae non reperiuntur ? natumque ibi mel nusquam 
attingunt. hoc experimento singulare medicamentis 
eligltur. 

80 XLVI I. Alvaria orientem aequinoctialem spectare 
convenit. aquilonem evitent, nee favoniura minus, 
alvus optima e cortice, seeunda ferula, tertia 
vimine ; multi et e specular! lapide fecere, ut operan- 
tes intus spectarent. circumKni alvos fimo bubulo 
utilissimum ? operculum a tergo esse ambulatorium, 
ut proferatur intus, si magna sit alvus aut sterilis 
operatio, ne desperatione curam abieiant, id pau- 
latim reduci fallente operis incremento. alvos hieme 
straraento operiri, crebro suffiri, maxime fimo 

81 bubulo. cognatum hoc iis innascentes bestiolas 
necat, araneos, papiliones, teredines, apesque ipsas 
excitat. et araneorum quidem exitium facilius est. 
papilio, pestis maior, lucernis tollitur vere, cum 
matureseat malva, noctu interlunio caelo sereno 
accensis ante alvos. in earn flammam sese ingerunt. 

82 XLVIIL Si cibus sentiatur deesse apibus, uvas 
passas siccasve ficos tusas ad fores earum posuisse 
conveniat, item laneas * tractas madentes passo aut 
defruto aut aqua mulsa, gallinarum etiam nudas 2 

1 laiieas Detlefsen : lanas codd. et Mayhoff, guv etiam lanae 
coni. 

2 nudas plurimi codd., SiUig, Deilefsen : crudas vulg., 
Hayhoff. 

a Or, "wonder connected with honey.** 

6 The ward " akin '* probably refers to the legend that bees 
pri be bred from the putrified entrails of an ox. See Virgil 
Georgia IV. 564-558. 



BOOK XXI. XLVI. 79-xLvm. 82 

XLVI. In Crete is found another wonderful 
ioney. a There Mount Carina has a circumference 
>f nine miles, within which no flies are found, and 
lowhere do flies touch the honey coming from that 
^lace. By this test is selected a honey specially 
suited for medicines. 

XLVIL It is well for the apiaries to look due east, 
md to avoid the north wind as well as the west wind. 
Hie best hive is made of bark ; the next best material 
s fennel-giant, and the third is osier. Many too 
lave made hives of transparent stone, so that they 
might look on the bees working inside. It is very 
useful for the hives to be daubed all over with cow 
iungj and for a movable cover to be made at the 
back, that it may be brought forward if the hive be 
large or the working unproductive, lest the bees 
lose hope and cease to care ; this cover should be 
gradually slid back so that they do not see how their 
flrork has grown. In winter cover the hives with 
straw, and fumigate them repeatedly, especially 
with cow dung. This being akin 6 to the bees kills 
the insects that breed in the hive spiders, moths 
and wood worms, besides stimulating the bees 
themselves. To exterminate the spiders indeed is 
fairly easy. The moths, a greater plague, are 
destroyed in the spring by lamps, which are lighted 
before the hives when the mallow begins to ripen, 
on a night of the new moon when the sky is clear. 
Into the flame of these the moths fling them 
selves. 

XLVIII. If it is felt that the bees are in need of 
food, it would be well to place at the door raisins or 
crushed dried figs, as well as carded wool soaked in 
raisin wine, boiled-down must or hydromel, as well 

219 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

carries, quibusdam et aestatibus iidem cibi prae- 
standi, cum slccltas continua florum alimentum 
absttilit. alvorum, cum mel eximatur, inlini oportet 
exitus melissophyllo aut genista tritis, aut medias 
alba vite praecingi, ne apes diffugiant. vasa mel- 
laria aut favos lavari aqua praecipiunt, hac decoeta 
fieri saluberrimum acetum. 

83 XLIX. Cera fit expressis favis, sed ante purificatis 
aqua ac triduo in tenebris siccatis, quarto die Hquatis 
igni in novo fictili, aqua favos tegente, tune sporta 
colatis. rursus in eadem olla coquitur cera cum 
eadem aqua excipiturque alia frigida, vasis melle 
circumlitis. optima quae Punica vocatur, proxima 
quam maxime fulva odorisque mellei, pura, natione 
autena Pontica, quod constare equidem miror, inter 
venenata mella, dein Cretica, plurimum enim ex 
propoli Iiabet 3 de qua diximus in natura apium. 
post has Corsica, quoniam ex buxo fit, habere quan- 
dam vim medieaminis putatur. Punica fit hoc 

84 modo: ventilator sub diu saepius cera fulva, dein 
fervet in aqua marina ex alto petita addito nitro. 
inde lingulis hauriunt florem, id est candidissima 



tly " plucked," or " stripped of feathers." With 
the reading cradas, **raw." 

*xi. ia. 

" c Or; **feoiB thei deep sea." 
220 



BOOK XXL XLVIII. 82-xLix. 84 

as the bare a flesh of poultry. In some summers 
also, when continued drought has deprived the bees 
of their food from flowers, the same kinds of food 
must be supplied to them. When the honey is taken 
out, the exit of the hive should be smeared with 
crushed melissophyllum or greenweed, or the middle 
should be lined with white vine, to prevent the bees 
from flying away. Honey pots and combs are recom 
mended to be washed with water ; this when boiled 
down is said to make a very wholesome vinegar. 

XLIX. Wax is made after the honey has been 
extracted from the combs, but these must be first 
cleaned with water and dried for three days in 
the dark; then on the fourth day they are melted 
in a new earthen vessel on the fire, with just enough 
water to cover them, and then strained in a wicker 
basket. The wax is boiled again with the same 
water in the same pot, and poured into other water, 
this to be cold, contained in vessels smeared all 
round inside with honey. The best is that called 
Punic wax; the next best is very yellow indeed, 
with the smell of honey, pure, but produced in 
Pontus, the region of the poisonous honies, which 
makes me surprised at its established reputation; 
next is Cretan wax, consisting in very great part of 
bee-glue, about which we have spoken in treating 
of the nature of bees. 5 After these comes Corsican 
wax, which as it is made from honey got by bees 
from box, is supposed to have a certain medicinal 
quality. Punic wax is prepared in the following 
way. Yellow wax is exposed to the wind several 
times in the open, then it is heated in water taken 
from the open sea, c to which soda has been added. 
Then they collect with spoons the " flower," that 

221 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

quaeque, transfunduntque in vas quod exiguum 
frigidae habeat, et rursus marina decocunt separa- 
tim, dein vas Ipsum aqua z refrigerant, et cum hoc 
ter fecere, iuncea crate sub diu siccant sole lunaque. 
haec enim candorem facit, sol siccat, et ne liquefaciat, 
protegunt tenui linteo. candidissima vero fit post 
insolationem etiamnum recoct a. Punica raedicinis 

85 utilissima. nigrescit cera addito chartarum cinere, 
sicut anchusa admixta rubet, variosque in colores 
pigmentis trahitur ad reddendas similitudines et 
innumeros mortalium usus parietumque etiam et 
armorum tutelam. cetera de melle apibusque in 
natura earum dicta sunt. et hortorum quidem omnis 
fere peracta ratio est. 

86 L. Secuntur herbae sponte nascentes quibus pie- 
raeque gentium utuntur in eibis maximeque Aegyp- 
tus, frugum quidem fertilissima, sed ut prope sola 
iis carere possit. tanta est ciborum ex herbis 
abundantia. in Italia paucissimas novimus, fraga, 
tamnum, ruscum, batim marinam, batim hortensiam, 
quam 2 aliqui asparagum Gallicum vocant, praeter has 
pastinacam pratensem, lupum salictarium, eaque 
verius oblectamenta quam cibos. 

87 LL In Aegypto nobilissima est colocasia, quam 
cyamon aliqui vocant. hanc e Nilo metunt, caule, 

1 aqua lanua : aut aquam Mayhoff : anteqizam codd. 

2 quam Detlefsen : quas Mayhoff* 



a /.e., only the "flower." 

b Mayhoff's conjecture: "the pot itself or the water." 

c Book XL llff. 

d Caulis and thyrsus, sometimes identical in meaning, are 
here distinguished, caulis being pure stalk and thyrsus including 
at least some of the leaves. 

222 



BOOK XXL XLIX. 84-Li. 87 

is, all the whitest parts, and pour into a vessel 
containing a little cold water. Then it is boiled 
again by itself a in sea- water, after which they cool 
the vessel itself with water. 6 When they have 
done this three times, they dry the wax in the 
open, by sunlight and by moonlight, on a mat of 
rushes. For the moon makes it white while the 
sun dries it; to prevent the sun from melting it, 
they cover it with a piece of thin linen cloth. The 
greatest whiteness, however, is obtained if after 
the exposure to the sun the wax is once more boiled 
again. Punic wax is the most useful for medicines. 
Wax becomes dark with the addition of paper ash, 
and red with an admixture of alkanet; by paints 
it is made to assume various colours for forming 
likenesses, for the innumerable uses of men, and 
even for the protection of walls and of weapons. 
The other details about honey and about bees have 
been described in my treatment of the nature of 
the bee. c Of gardens indeed practically the whole 
account has been given. 

L. There follow the plants that grow wild. Most wud plant* 
peoples use these for food, especially the people of 
Egypt, a land very fruitful in crops, yet about the 
only one that could manage without them, so great 
an abundance of food does it get from plants. In 
Italy however we know few such, strawberries, 
wild vine, butcher's broom, samphire, and garden 
fennel, which some call Gallic asparagus; besides 
these there are meadow parsnip and willow wolf, 
though these are delicacies rather than foods. 

LI. In Egypt the most famous plant of this kind 
is the colocasia, called by some cyamos ; they gather 
it out of the Nile. The stalk of the stem d when 

223 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

cum coctus est, araneoso in mandendo, thyrso autem 
qui inter folia emicat spectabili, foliis latissimis, 
etiam si arboreis conparentur, ad similitudinem 
eonim quae personata in nostris amnibus vocamus, 
adeoque Nili sui dotibus gaudent ut inplexis colo- 
casiae foliis in variam speciem vasonim potare 
gratissimura habeant. seritur iam haec in Italia. 

88 LIL In Aegypto proxima auctoritas cichoiio est, 
quod dixiraus intubum erraticum. nascitur post 
vergilias, floret particulatim. radix ei lenta, quare 
etiam ad vincula utuntur ilia, anthalium longius * 
a fluminenaseitur mespili magnitudine et rotunditate a 
sine nucleo, sine cortice, folio cyperi. mandunt 
igni paratum. 2 mandunt et oetum, cui pauea folia 

89 xninimaque, verum radix magna. arachidne quidem 
et aracos, cum habeant radices ramosas ac multi- 
plices, nee folium nee herbam ullam aut quicquam 
aliud supra terram nabent. reliqua vulgarium in 
cibis apud eos herbarum nomina : chondrylla, hypo- 
cfeoeris, caucalis, enthryscum, scandix, 3 quae ab aliis 
tragopogon vocatur, foliis croco sinaillioiis, par- 
thenium, trycHnum^ corehorus et ab aequinoctio 
nascentes apliace, acitynops. epipetron vocant quae 
numquam floret, at e contrario aphace subinde 
marceseente flore emittit alium tota hieme totoque 
vere usque in aestatem. 

1 longius : fortasse non longius (ov Troppco rov Trora/iof; 
Theophrasius H.P. IV. 8, 12)^ 

* igni paratum : Jaffoixn.v ev fipvrw T> cara TOJV KptQ&v 
Theopkrastus, unde in bryto paratum coni. SiUig. 

3 Post scandix add. come Si&ig et Mayhoff ex TJieophrasto. 

a Pernaps (Porcellini ^,tf. persolata and personata) ** large 
enougb to serve as a bonnet," but the word should mean 
" masked, 51 not "serving as a mask.'* 

224 



BOOK XXI. LI. 87-Lii. 89 

boiled and chewed breaks up into spidery threads, 
but the stem itself is handsome, jutting out from 
leaves which, even when compared with those of 
trees, are very broad, similar to the leaves called 
personata a which are found in Italian rivers. So 
much do the people of the Nile appreciate the 
bounty of their river that they plait colocasia leaves 
into vessels of various shapes, which they consider 
make attractive goblets. The colocasia is now grown 
in Italy. 

LIL In Egypt next in esteem after colocasia 
comes chicory, which I have spoken of as wild 
endive. It appears after the Pleiades 6 and its parts 
bloom in succession. It has a tough root, so that it 
is even used to make binding ropes. Farther from 
the river grows anthalium, of the size and roundness &* plant*. 
of a medlar, without kernel or peel, and with the 
leaf of the cyperus. They roast it at a fire and eat 
it. They eat too oetum, which has few and very 
small leaves, but a large root. Arachidne indeed 
and aracos, though they have manifold, branchy 
roots, have neither leaf nor any green, nor anything 
else at all above ground. The rest of the plants 
commonly included by the Egyptians among then- 
foods are thus named: chondrylla, hypochoeris, 
caucalis, enthryscum, scandix, called by some 
tragopogon, d which has leaves very like those of 
saffron, parthenium, trychnum, corchorus, aphace 
and achynops, the last two appearing just after the 
equinox. There is a plant called epipetron which 
never blossoms. But on the other hand aphace, as 
its flowers fade, puts forth continually others all the 
winter and all the spring, right on into summer. 

& See p. xxii. c Sweet rash. d Goat's beard. 

225 
VOL. VI. I 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

90 LIII. Multas praeterea ignobiles habent, sed 
maxime celebrant cnecon Italiae ignotam, ipsis 
autem oleo, non cibo gratam. hoc faciunt e semine 
eius. differentia prima silvestris et mitior. silves- 
trium duae species, una mitiori similis, 1 caule tamen 
rigido; itaque et colu antiquae utebantur ex illis, 2 
quare quidam atractylida vocant. semen eius 
candidum et grande, amarum. altera hirsutior, 
torosiore caule et qui paene humi serpat, minuto 
semine. aculeatarum generis haec est, quoniam 
distinguenda sunt et genera. 

91 LIV. Ergo quaedam herbarum spinosae sunt, 
quaedam sine spinis. spinosarum multae species, 
in totum spina est asparagus, scorpio, nuUum enim 
foHum babent. quaedam spinosa foliata sunt, Tit 
carduus, erynge, glycyrrhiaa, urtica. his enim 
omnibus foliis inest aculeata mordacitas. aliqua et 
secundum spinam habent folium, ut tribulus et 
anonis. quaedam in folio non habent et in caule 
habent, ut pheos quod aliqui stoeben appellavere. 

1 similis Urlichs, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : simiH codd. 

2 ex illis codd. f Detlefs&n : exilis vulg. : exili MayJioff. 



a Theophrastus (H.P. VI. 4, 5) has cutfu/ectvAorepov ("of 
straighter stalk 5> ). 

* x iUte. With, the reading of Mayhoff (exili} : ** as a 
slender distaff." 



BOOK XXI. LIII. 90-uv. 91 

LJII. The Egyptians have besides many plants of 
no repute, bnt they hold in the highest esteem 
one called cnecos ; it is unknown in Italy and the 
Egyptians value it, not as a food, but for its oil, 
which they extract from the seed. The chief 
varieties are the wild and the cultivated. Of the 
wild there are two species. One is similar to the 
cultivated, but has a stiff a stem. This is why the 
women of old used the stem of this species & as a 
distaff, for which reason it is called by some atractylis. 
Its seed is white, large and bitter. The other is 
rather prickly, with a more fleshy stem, which prickly 
almost trails on the ground, the seed being very 
small. This belongs to the class of spinous plants, 
for I must classify also the various kinds of them. 

LIY. Some plants then are prickly f while others 
are without prickles. Of prickly plants the species 
are many. Of nothing but prickle are asparagus 
and scorpio, for they have no leaves at all. Some 
prickly plants, however, have leaves, for instance 
thistle, erynge, 5 glycyrrhiza* and nettle. For all 
these have a sharp sting in their leaves. Some have 
foliage also along / the prickly spine, as caltrop and 
rest-harrow. Some again have prickles not on the 
leaves but on the stem, as pheos, that some have 



6 Hort translates aKav&iKos, oKavQai, in the closely parallel 
passage of Theophrastus (VI. 1, 2) by " spinous," " spines." 
It is scarcely possible to use these -words in translating Pliny, 
for Ke includes the nettle. 

d Erynge is sea-holly. 

" Sweet root,' 1 our liquorice. 

f Theophrastus has (VI. 1, 3) rot KO! irapa ryv o.Ka.vQav 
Zrepov *x L <f>vti(0v: ** Others again have leaves as well as 
their spines" (Hort). Apparently Pliny took -n-apa to be 
"-along." 

227 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

feippopheos * spinis geniculatum. tribulo proprietas 
quod et fructum spinosum habet. 

92 LV. Ex omnibus his generibus urtica maxime 
noscitur acetabulis in flore purpuream lanuginem 
fkndentibus, saepe altior binis cubitis. plures eius 
differentiae : silvestris quam et feminam vocant, 
mitiorque. et in silvestri quae dicitur canina acnor, 
caule quoque mordaci, fimbiiatis foliis. quae vero 
etiam odorem fundit Herculanea vocatur. semen 

93 omnibus copiosum, nigrum. mirum sine ullis spi- 
narum aculeis lanuginem ipsam esse noxiam et tactu 
tantum levi 2 pruritum pusulasque confestim adusto 
similes existere. notum est ei 3 remedium olei. sed 
mordacitas non protinus cum ipsa herba gignitur, 
nee nisi solibus roborata. incipiens quidem ipsa 
nasci vere non ingrato, 4 multis etiam religioso in cibo 
est ad pellendos totius anni morbos. silvestrium 
quoque radix omnem carnem teneriorem facit simul 
cocta. quae innoxia est, morsu carens, lamium 
vocatur. de scorpione dicemus inter medicas. 

1 Hppopheos post Mayhoff (ex TheopJirasto] ego : (in textu 
Maykoff et Dedefsen Mppophaes cum plurimis codd.) 

* levi Mayhqff : leni cum cod. B Deilepen. 

3 ei dT S&lig, DetLefsen : et vulg. : et (inter uncos) MayJioff. 

* ingrato : w, U. ignato, ignoto, grato : ingrata et religiosa 
del, In ante cibo coni. Maykoff. 



a Theophrastus (VI. 5, 1) TO. 3e teal irapa, T^V aKavBav cxovra 
^v/Uov, olov ra roiavra <f>4tas ovcorts 1 iravraSovva Tptf$o\os 
iirrro<t>a>s. So It seems that here Mppopheos is righrt, altKough 
Dioscorides IV. 159 mentions a plant hippophaes, as does 
Pliny in XXII. 29. Tnere was probably some confusion 
about tne names, which may be those of the same plant (sea- 
spurge). Pliny seems to have used both names. Theo- 

228 



BOOK XXI. LIV. 9 i-Lv. 93 

called stoebe. Hippopheos a has prickly joints. A 
peculiar characteristic of the caltrop is that it has 
also a prickly fruit. 

LV. Of afl these kinds the best known is the 
nettle, often taller than two cubits, the cups of which 
in blossom pour out a purple down. 6 There are 
several different kinds. There is the wild, also 
called female, and the cultivated. One of the wild 
varieties, called dog nettle, has a sharper sting, 
even the stem pricking, and fringed leaves. 
Another, which also gives out a smell, is called the 
Herculanean nettle. All nettles have a copious, 
black seed. It is a strange thing that, without any 
prickly points, the mere down is poisonous, and that 
only a light touch at once causes to arise itching and 
blisters like those from burns. The well-known 
remedy for nettle sting is olive oil. The stinging 
quality however does not come at once with the 
plant itself, but only when this has grown strong 
through the sun. When young indeed in the spring 
nettles make a not unpleasant food, which many 
eat in the further devout belief that it will keep 
diseases away throughout the whole year. The root 
too of the wild varieties makes more tender aH meat 
with which it is boiled. The harmless nettle, which 
does not sting, is called lamium. About seorpio I 
shall speak when I come to deal with medicinal 
plants . d 

phrastus, IX. 15, 6, says that hippophaes is a drug made from 
tithymallos, but Hort suspects the text. 

* Not of course the stinging lanugo mentioned later on. 

6 Unidentified, as all nettles nave either a slight smell or 
none at all. 

* XXH. 39. 

229 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

94 LVL Carduus et folia et caules spinosae lanuginis 
habet, item acorna, leucacanthos, chalceos, cnecos, 
polyacanthos, onopyxos, helxine, scolymos. cha- 
maeleon in foliis non habet aculeos. est et Ula 
differentia quod quaedam in his multicaulia ramo- 
saque stint, ut carduus, uno autem caule nee ramosum 
cnecos. quaedam cacumine tantum spinosa sunt, 
ut erynge. qtiaedam aestate florent, ut tetralix 

95 et helxine, scolymos quoque sero floret et diu. 
acorna I colore tantuni rufo distinguitur et pinguiore 
suco. idem erat atractylis quoque 5 nisi candidior 
esset et nisi sanguineum sucnm. ftmderet y qua de 
causa phonos vocatur a quibusdam, odore etiam 
gravis, sero maturescente semine nee ante autum- 
num, quamquam id de omnibus spinosis dici pot est. 
verum omnia haec et semine et radice nasci possunt. 

96 scolymus carduorum generis ab his distat quod radix 
eius vescendo est decocta. mirum quod sine inter- 
vallo tota aestate aHud floret in eo genere, aliud 
ooncipity aliud parturit. aculei arescente folio desi- 
nunt pungere. helxine rara visu est neque in 
omnibus terris, a radice foliosa, ex qua media veluti 
malum extuberat contectum sua fronde. huius 

1 Past aeorna add. a cneco ex Theophrasto (3J>. VI. 4, 6) 
MayTwff. 



a Mayhoff's addition, if not a part of the text, muat be 
understood. 

6 " Gore " or " bloodshed." 

e Theophrastus lias (VI. 4, 6) ^et S KO! TTJV oafjurjv 
Siv$v KOL fiovtaSTj, Gravis therefore is not "strong" but 
" foul." 

Theophrastas (VI. 4, 8) says this of the sow-thistle 



230 



BOOK XXI. LVI. 94-96 

LVL The thistle has both leaf and stem covered 
by a prickly down, and so have acorna, leucacanthos, 
chaleeos, cnecos, polyacanthos, onopyxos, helxine, 
scolymos. The chamaeleon has no prickles on its 
leaves. There is however this diierence also, that 
some of these plants have many stems and branches, 
the thistle for instance, while the cnecos has one 
stem and no branches. Some are prickly only at 
the head, the erynge for instance; some, like 
tetralix and helxine, blossom in summer. Scolymos 
too blossoms late and long. The acorna is distin 
guished (from cnecos) a only by its reddish colour 
and richer juice. Atractylis too would be just the 
same, were it not whiter and did it not shed a blood- 
like juice that has caused some to call it phonos ; b 
it also has a bad c smell, and its seed ripens late in 
fact not before autumn, though this can be said of 
all prickly plants. All of these however can be 
reproduced either from seed or from the root. 
Scolymus, one of the thistle group, differs from 
these in that its root is edible when boiled, It is a 
strange thing that in this group , d without inter 
mission throughout the whole summer/ part blos 
soms, part buds, and part produces seed. As the 
leaves dry the prickles cease to sting./ Helxine is 
not often seen, and not in all countries; it shoots 
out leaves from its root, out of the middle of which 
swells up as it were an apple, covered with foliage of 



Theophrastus (loc. cit.) says of the sow-thistle: 
ovs (sc. irctpaKoXov&el) TO IJLV KVOVV TO avBovv TO Sc oirep 
TIKTOV (I adopt Hort's reading and translation of TO pev, TO 



Theophrastns (of the sow-thistle) fripaivofLcvov S TO 

331 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

vertex summus lacrimam continet iucundi saporis 
acanthicen masticen appellatam. 

97 LVIL Et cactos quoque in Sicilia tantum nascitur y 
suae proprietatis et ipse. in terra serpunt caules a 
radice emissi* lato folio et spinoso. canles vocant 
cactos, nee fastidiunt in cibis inveteratos quoque. 
unum autem caulem rectum habet 1 quern vocant 
pternica, eiusdem suavitatis, sed vetustatis inpa- 
tientem. semen ei 2 lanuginis quam pappum vocant, 
quo detracto et cortice 3 teneritas similis cerebro 
palmae est. vocant ascalian. 

98 LVIII. Tribulus non nisi in palustribus nascitur. 
dura 4 res alibi iuxta Nilum et Strymonem amnes 
excipitur in cibos, inclinatus in vadum, folio 5 ad 
effigiem ulmi, pediculo longo. at in reHquo orbe 

1 habet Schneider, Dettefsen, May'hoffi habent codd. 
a Post ei fortasse lalet lacuna. 

8 et cortice codd. et edd. : fortasse ex cortice vel in cortice 
vel cortici. 

4 dura cum V 2 (aK>v}p6s T7ieop7irastu et 
Mayhoff : jdira cum fere omnibus codd. Dztlefsen. 

5 Post folio add. lato (ex TheopTirasto IV. 9, 1 : TO Se 
tori TT^arv vrpoaeijujxph r& r^s TTT\<LS) Mayfioff. 



a Theophrastus has only vrro (u.L em) T&V 

b If the Ttdbent of the MSS. be correct, PHny has construed 
Theophrastus* sentence, erepov & tcavXov opBov defrfyaiv (VI. 
4, 11) so as to make Tpov agree with /eccuAov. Hort, 
however, translates : " There is another kind which sends up 
an erect stem." Unum is certainly odd, and Pliny very likely 
mistranslated, writing habenl : " they have one stem which is 
npright etc." The kind peculiar to Sicily is Cynara cardun- 
cuJ/u& (cardoon); the one with the erect stem is Cynara 
scolymus (artichoke), 

232 



BOOK XXI. LVI. 96-Lvni. 98 

its own. The top of its head contains a gum of 
pleasant flavour, called thorn mastich. 

LVII. And cactos also grows only in Sicily ; it too 
has peculiar properties of its own. Its stems, 
shooting out from the root, trail on the ground ; tfee 
leaves are broad and prickly. The stems are called 
cacti, which make, even when preserved, a palatable 
food. One & kind, however, has an upright stem 
called pternix, of the same pleasant flavour, but it 
will not keep. The seed is downy, the down c being 
called pappus. When the seeds have been taken 
away and the rind, there remains something as 
tender as the brain of the palm. It is called ascalia. 

LVIII. Tribulus d is found only in marshy places, water 
A hard e substance elsewhere, near the rivers Nile 
and Strymon it is used as food. It bends towards 
the water, has a leaf like that of the elm, and the 
stalk is long. But in other parts of the world there 

c It is hard to resist the suspicion that either the test is 
corrupt in parts of this chapter or else Pliny has misunder 
stood Theophrastus. It should be remembered that Pliny 
probably made notes while a reader read aloud to him. The 
text of Th. {VI. 4, 11) may be useful: TO S ?repi/Httov, & 

& TO CFTrepfMI, TT^V flV fJLOp$r}V OtfaP#cD$eS, OJJ>Olp&VTCaV T<3y 

7ra.7Hr<j&&v cnrepfj-arcov cSo>8t/u>v tcal^ rovro ^KOJ. epifxpes r<S rov 
<fx>ivueo$ yjc$aA<o- KoXovcrt 5e auro oKaAtav. Detlefsen and 
Mayhofi have the same text, but I suspect : (a) that Pliny 
wrongly rendered Irepov by unum ; (&) that there is a lacuna 
either before or after ei, because of the strange genitive 
lanuginis; (c) that cortice is not the peel of the cauLis but 
Pliny's word here for 7re/>*Kap7oy, i.e., we should emend to 
something yielding the sense: "take away the down, aoid 
there remains a tender, edible pod " ; (d) that avro oKoMav was 
read, or heard, as avr* ao-KoAtav, 

* This tribulus (water chestnut) is quite different from the 
two varieties (caltrops) mentioned below. 

* Dim would mean : " regarded as taboo." 

233 



FLINT : NATURAL HISTOEY 

genera duo. uni cicerculae olia 3 alter! aculeata. 
hie et serins floret magisque saepta obsidet villarum* 
semen ei rotundius, nigrurn, in siliqua, alter! hare- 
nacium. 1 spinosorinn etiamnum aliud genus anonis, 
in ramis enim spinas habet, adposito folio mtae 
simili, to to caule foliato in modum coronae. sequitur 
arata frugibus inimica vivaxque praecipue. 
99 LIX. Aeuleatarum caules aliquarum per terram 
serpunt, ut eius quam coronopum vocant. e diverso 
stat anchusa inficiendo ligno cerisque radicis aptae, 
stant e mitioribus anthemis et phyllanthes et 
anemone et aphace. caule foliato est crepis et 
lotos. 

100 LX. Differentia foliorum et hie quae in arboribus, 
brevitate pediculi ac longitudine, angustiis ipsius 
folii, amplitudine, iam vero angulis, incisuris, odore, 
flore. diuturnior hie quibusdam per partes floren- 
tibuSs ut ocimo, heliotropio, aphacae, onochili. 
Multis inter haec aeterna folia sicut quibusdam 
arbor um, in priniisque heliotropio, adianto, polio. 

101 LXL Aliud rursus sprcatarum genus, ex quo est 
achynops, alopeeuros, stelephuros 3 quam quidam 
ortygem vocant, alii plantaginem, de qua plura 
dicemus inter medicas , thryallis. ex his alope- 
euros spicam habet mollem et lanuginem densana 

1 harenacium Deflefsen : harenaceum cum wig. Maylioff. 



a Theophrastus (VI. 5, 3) has arrjaajj.^^. Perhaps Pliny 
took this (misled by the ear) to be ^aju,/u<SSs- or ^a/z.a&SSes 1 . 

& Mitior (Greek -rjftepos) is one of Pliny's words for " culti 
vated." That he shonld have chosen a comparative is odd, 
and one suspects that Pliny may have taken -jf/ze/oos 1 to be a 
comparative form. Here mitior is generally taken to mean 
" only slightly prickly." Of. 90. 

* See XXV. 80. 

234 



BOOK XXL LVIII. gS-Lxi. 101 

are two kinds ; the one with leaves like those of the 
chickling-pea, the other with prickly leaves. The 
latter blossoms later, and tends to be common in 
the enclosures round country houses. Its seed is 
rounder, black, and in a pod; that of the other is 
like sand.* Of prickly plants there is yet another 
kind rest-harrow. For it has prickles on the 
branches, to which are attached leaves like those of 
rue, the whole stem being covered with leaves so 
that it looks like a chaplet. It springs up on newly 
ploughed lands, is harmful to the crops and 
extremely long-lived. 

LIX. The stems of some prickly plants trail 
along the ground, those for example of the plant 
called coronopus. On the other hand anchusa 
(alkanet), the root of which is used for dyeing 
wood and wax, stands upright, as do, of the culti 
vated & kinds, anthemis,- phyllanthes, anemone and 
aphace. Crepis and lotus have a foliated stem. 

LX. The leaves of these plants differ as do the 
leaves of trees : in shortness or length of stalk, in the . 
narrowness of the leaf itself, in its size, and farther 
in the corners, and indentations ; smell and blossom 
differ also. The blossom lasts longer on some of them, 
which flower one part at a time, on ocimum for 
example, and on heliotropium, aphace and onochilis. 
Many of these plants, like certain trees, have leaves 
that never die, the chief being heliotropium, 
adiantum, hulwort. 

LXL Eared plants are yet another kind, to which 
belong achynops, alopecuros, stelephuros by some 
called ortyx, by others plantago, about which I shall 
speak more fully in the section on medicinal plants c 
and thryallis. Of these alopecurus has a soft ear 

235 



PLINY: NATUEAL HISTORY 

non dissimilem vulpium caudis, unde et nomen. 
proxuma ei est et stelephuros, nisi quod ilia par- 
ticulatim floret, ciehorion et similia circa terrain 
folia habent gerrninantia * ab radice post vergilias. 

102 LXIL Perdicium et aliae gentes quam Aegypti 
edunt. nomen dedit avis id maxime eruens. cras- 
sas plurimasque habet radices, item ornithogala 
caule tenero, candido, semipedali, molli, tribus ant 
quattuor agnails, radice bulbosa 2 ; coquitur in pulte. 

103 LXIIL Minim loton herbam et aegilopa non nisi 
post annum e semine suo nasci. mira et anthemidis 
natura, quod a summo florere incipit, cum ceterae 
omnes, quae particulatim florent, ab ima sui parte 
incipiant. 

104 LXIV. Notabile et in lappa quae adhaereseit., 
quod in ipsa flos nascitur non evidens sed intus occul- 
tus, et intra seminat 3 velut animalia quae in se 
pariunt. circa Opuntem est herba etiam homini 
dulcis 3 mirumque e folio eius radicem fieri ac sic 
earn nasci. 

105 LXV. lasmeununifoliurnliabet^seditainiplicaturn 
ut plura videantur. chondrylla amara est et acris 

1 germinantia Ianus,D&tlefsen: germ in ant Mayliqffi germ in- 
antibns codd. 

a radice bulbosa] post semipedali codd. : trcms. cum 
Urlichs coll. Dioscoride Mayhoff. 

3 intra seminat Detlefs&n : intra se genninat vulg. et MayTioff. 

a Alopecums = fox-tail. 6 See p. xxii. 

c Pliny has compressed Theopttrastus (VII. 14, 3) to the 
point of obscurity. The latter says : wcrtrep eirl rwv yaXe&v 
KOL piv&v Kiva T yap ev eavrols ct>oroKijaa.vra ZawyoveZ* ttai 

236 



BOOK XXL LXI. IOI-UHT. 105 

and thick down, not unlike the tail of a fox ; a hence 
too its name. Stelephuros is very like it, except 
that it blossoms bit by bit. Chicory and the plants 
like it have leaves near the ground, budding from 
the root after the Pleiades. 6 

LXII. Perdicium is eaten by other peoples 
besides the Egyptians. The name is derived from 
the partridge, a bird very fond of pecking it out of 
the ground. It has very many thick roots. There 
is likewise ornithogala, with a tender white stem 
half a foot long, soft and with three or four offshoots 
and a bulbous root. It is boiled in pottage. 

LXIII. It is strange that the plant lotos and the 
aegilops do not germinate from their own seed 
until a year has passed. Strange too is the nature 
of anthemis, because it begins to blossom from the 
top, while all other plants that blossom bit by bit 
begin to do so from their bottom part. 

LXIV. A remarkable thing about the burdock, Bvrdod 
which sticks to one's clothes, is that within it there ^ t ^ r 
grows a flower that does not show, but is inside and 
hidden; it produces seed within itself, as do the 
animals that bring to birth inside their own bodies.* 
Around Opus is to be found a plant which is also d 
pleasant for a man to eat, and remarkable in that 
from its leaf there grows a root whereby it re 
produces itself. 

LXV. Bindweed e has only one petal, but folded in 
such a way that it seems more than one. Chondrylla 

OVTTJ TO av8o$ t> eavr Karexavaa Kal irerrovoa KapiroTOKci. 

For taoTOKri&avTa. t <txyyovi Pliny lias simply m &e pariunt ; how 

much of the original lie intended to include we can only guess. 

d The eiiam represents the KO! in Th. I. 7, 3 : Trocoptov tlvai 



* lasine is the lacruav^ of Theophrastos 1. 13, 2. 

237 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

in radice suci. amara et aphace et quae picris 
nominatur, et ipsa toto anno florens. nomen ei 
amaritudo inposuit. 

106 LX\ T I. Notabilis et scillae crocique natura, quod, 
cum omnes herbae folium, primum emittant, mox in 
caulem rotundentur, in his caulis prior intellegitur 
quam folium, et in croco quidem flos inpellitur 
caule, in scilla vero caulis exit, deinde ex eo flos 
emergit. eademque ter floret, ut diximus, tria 
tempora arationum ostendens. 

107 LXVIL Bulborum generi quidam adnumerant et 
cypiri, hoc est gladioli, radicem. dulcis ea est et 
quae decocta pan em etiam gratiorera faciat pon- 
derosioremque simul subacta. non dissimilis ei est 
quae thesium vocatur, gustu aspera. 

108 LXVIII. Ceterae eiusdem generis folio differunt : 
asphodelus oblongum et angustum habet, scilla 
latum et tractabile, gladiolus simile nomini. aspho 
delus manditur et semine tosto et bulbo, set hoc 
in cinere tosto, dein sale et oleo addito, praeterea 
tuso cum ficis, praecipua voluptate* ut videtur 

Here probably the genus, not the saffron crocus in 
particular. This seems likely from Pliny's authority 
Theophrastus, H.P. VII. 13, 2. 

* XVIIL 244. 

c Theophrastus has aporos (VU. 13, 6), which Hort 
translates " seed-time." 

* It is difficult to see why the translators render : " when 
boiled and feneaded with bread makes it etc." So too 
Hort, translating Theophrastus VII. 12, 3 : 17 TOV <f>a<rydvou 
KaXovpevy (sc. pi^a)yXvKia, re etfnj&ticra, KO.L rpuftieicra [uyvvftcvTj 
T> dX<-iJp({) jroii TOV apTQV yXvKVv Kat avivf}. &/rrj&Lva goes 
with -yXvKetd (lariv] and rpt^ffetoa with Ttoil. But ponderosi- 
orem is a strange rendering of daivrj ("wholesome," Hort), 
and Mayhoff suggests spongiosiorem without, however, print 
ing it in his text. 

238 



BOOK XXL LXV. 105-Lxvm. 108 

is bitter, and in the root is an acrid juice. Aphace 
too is bitter, and so is the plant called picris, which 
also blossoms throughout the year. It is this bitter 
ness which has given the plant its name. 

LXVL It is a remarkable characteristic too osguiii<wd 
the squill and of the crocus a that, whereas all other crocug - 
plants put forth leaves first and only afterwards 
round into a stem, in these plants the stem is seen 
first, and after the stem the leaves. In the crocus 
however the blossom is pushed up by the stem ; in 
the squill on the other hand the stem makes its 
appearance first, and then the blossom sprouts out 
of it. The plant blossoms, as I have said,* three 
times a year, pointing to the three seasons for 
ploughing. 

LXVIL Some include among the class of bulbs 
the root of the cypiros, that is, of the gladiolus. It 
makes a pleasant food, one which, when boiled, also 
renders bread more palatable, and also when kneaded 
with it more weighty/ Not unlike it is the plant 
which is called thesium, and is acrid to the 
taste. 

LXVIII. The other plants of the same kind differ 
in the leaf: asphodel has an oblong, narrow leaf; the 
squill one broad and flexible ; the gladiolus one that 
its name suggests.* Asphodel is used as food. 
Both the seed and the bulb are roasted, but the 
second in hot ashes; salt and oil are added. It is 
also pounded with figs, which Hesiod/ thinks is a 

* Gladiolus, i.e., " little sword." 

f Works and Days, 41; here however Hesiod mentions 
asphodel as a common btit wholesome food. Theophrastns, 
whom Pliny copies, has vheumjv ovyow c^a, which is much 
nearer HesiocTs cuj^oSeAcj jwfy* ov&ap. 

239 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Hesiodo. tradunt et ante portas villarum satum 
remedio esse contra veneficiorum noxiam. asphodel! 

109 mentionem et Homerus fecit, radix eius napis 
modicis similis est, neque alia numerosior LXXX 
simul acervatis saepe bulbis. Theophrastus et 
fere Graeci prineepsque Pythagoras caulem eius 
cubitalem et saepe duum cubitorum, foliis porri 
silvestris, anthericum vocavere, radicem vero, id est 
bulbos, asphodelum. nostri illud albncum vocant et 
antnericum l hastulam 2 regiam, caulis acinosi, ac duo 

110 genera faciunt. albuco scapus cubitalis, amplus, 
punis, levis, de quo Mago praecipit exitu mensis 
Marti et initio Aprilis, cum floruerit, nondum semine 
eius intumescente, demetendum findendosque scapos 
et quarto die in solem proferendos. ita siccati ma 
ll 1 nipulos faciendos. idem oiston adicit 3 a Graecis 

vocari quam inter ulvas sagittam appellamus. hanc 
ab idibus Maiis usque in finem Octobris mensis 
decorticari atque lend sole siccari iubet, idem et 
gladiolum alterum quern cypiron vocant et ipsum 
palustrem, lulio mense toto secari iubet ad radicem 

1 anthericum ego : asphodelum codd. et edd. 

* hastulam cum vulg. Mayhoffi assulam cum V d 
Mtefsen. 

3 oiston adicit Mayhoff (oiston dicit Weise) : pistana 
cum V RE DvfLefsen. 

a Odyssey XI. 559 and XXIV. 13. 
& H.P. Vn. 13, 2 and 3. 

e A difficult sentence. Why is illud neuter ? Jan's index 
assumes that the plant is here albucum, but it is albucus in 
XXVI. 21. A more serious difficulty is that the MSS. read 
ing implies that the Latin name for anihericus is albucus; 
hut the latter, as we see, is not a stem but Ticts one. Very 
doubtfully I suggest that Pliny either -wrote anthericum, and 
not asphodelum, or wrote the latter by mistake for the former. 

240 



BOOK XXL LXVIII. 108-11 1 

special delicacy. There is a tradition that if asphodel 
be planted before the gate of a country house it 
keeps away the evil influences of sorcery. Homer 
also mentioned asphodel. Its root is like a navew 
of moderate size, and no plant has more bulbs, 
eighty being often grouped together. Theophras- 
tus 6 and the Greeks generally, beginning with 
Pythagoras, have given the name of antherieus to 
its stem, a cubit and often two cubits long, with 
leaves like those of wild leek ; it is the root, that is 
to say the bulbs, that they call asphodel. We of 
Italy call this plant albucus, c and antherieus " royal 
spear '% the stem of which bears berries, and we 
distinguish two kinds, Albucus has a stalk a cubit 
long, large, without leaves and smooth, which Mago d 
recommends should be cut at the end of March or 
the beginning of April, when the blossoming has 
ceased but before its seed has begun to swell; he 
adds that the stalks should be split, and brought out 
into the sun on the fourth day, and that of the 
material so dried bundles should be made. The 
same authority adds that the Greeks call oistos,* the 
plant which we include among sedge and call arrow. 
He recommends that from the fifteenth of May to 
the end of October it should be stripped of its skin 
and dried in mild sunshine, and also that the second 
kind of gladiolus, called cypiros, which too is a 
marsh plant, should be cut down to the root through- 

* See XVHI. 22. 

* The pistana of Detlefsen can scarcely be right, an 
accusative being required, and the word is cwro^ \eyofjLevov* 
Weise's conjecture as emended by Mayhof? is palaeographi- 
eaHy easy, and GUJTOS does mean ** arrow,** being found, 
though rarely, in good prose. 

241 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

tertioque die in sole siccari, donee Candidas fiat, 
cotidie autera ante solem occidentem in tectum 
referri, quoniam palustribus desectis nocturni rores 
noceant. 

112 LXIX. Similia praecipit et de iunco quern 
mariscum appellant, ad texendas tegetes et ipsum 
lunio mense eximi ad lulium medium praecipiens, 
cetera de siccando eadem quae de ulva suo loco 
diximus. alterum genus iuncorum facit quod mari- 
num et a Graecis oxyschoenon vocari invenio. tria 
genera eius: acuti, sterilis, quern mar em et oxyn 
Graeci vocant ; reliqua feminini, ferentis semen 

113 nigrum. quern melancranim appellant, crassior hie 
et fruticosior, magisque etiamnum tertius qui 
vocatur holoschoenus. ex his melancranis sine aliis 
generibus nascitur, oxys autem et holoschoenus 
eodem caespite. utilissimus ad vitilia holoschoenus, 
quia mollis et carnosus est. fert fructum ovomm 
cohaerentium modo. nascitur autem et is quern 
marem appellavimus ex semetipso cacumine in 
terram defixo, melancranis autem suo semine. 

114 alioqui omnium radices omnibus annis intermoriun- 
tur. usus ad nassas marinas, vitilium elegantiam, 
lucernarum lumina, praecipua medulla, amplitudine 
iuxta maritimas Alpes tanta ut inciso ventre inpleant 
paene unciarum latitudinem, in Aegypto vero 



a This is supposed to refer to 111. 

* Tiie text is possibly corrupt. Cribrorum is probably 
right, being a very natural word for one who wishes to speak 
of a small hole, but the last four words seem pointless. May- 
hoiFs conjecture (cubitorum) means : " while in Egypt they 
are a cubit in length, which is not a more useful size than 
others." 

242 



BOOK XXI. LXVIII. III-LXIX. 114 

out July, and on the third day dried in the sun until 
it turns white. Every day however before sunset 
it should be put back under cover, since night dews 
are harmful to marsh plants after they have been 
cut down. 

LXIX. Mago gives like instructions about the 
rush also that they call mariscus ; for weaving mats 
he recommends that it too be gathered in June and 
up to the middle of July, giving the same instructions 
for drying it which I have mentioned in their proper 
place when dealing with sedge. He distinguishes 
another kind of rush, which I find is called the 
marine rush and by the Greeks oxyschoenos. There 
are three kinds of it: the pointed, barren rush, 
which the Greeks call the male, or oxys, while the 
other two are female, and bear a black seed. One 
of these, called by the Greeks melancranis, is thicker 
and more bushy than the first; the third, called 
holoschoenus, being even more so. Of these melan- 
cranis is found apart from other kinds of rush, but 
oxys and holoschoenus grow on the same turf. The 
most useful for wicker-work is holoschoenus, because 
it is pliant and fleshy; it bears a fruit like eggs 
sticking to one another. The rush we have called 
male is self-reproduced, the head being bent down 
into the earth, but melancranis is reproduced from 
its seed. Except for this, the roots of every kind 
of rush die every year. Rushes are used for fish- 
baskets, for the finer sort of wicker-work, and for the 
wicks of lamps, the pith being especially useful; 
and they grow to such a size near the maritime 
Alps that when the hollow is cut open they measure 
almost an inch across, while in Egypt some are as 
narrow as the holes in a sieve, 6 and of a length not 

243 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

115 cribrorum, longitudine non aliis utiliore. 1 quldam 
etiamnum umim genus faclunt lunci trianguli 
cyperon vocant multi vero non discernunt a cypiro 
vicinitate nominis. nos distinguemus utrumque. 
cypirus est gladiolus, ut diximus, radice bulbosa, 
laudatissimus in insulis Greta, dein Naxo et postea 
in Phoenice. Cretico candor odorque vicinus nardo, 
Naxio acrior, Phoenicio exiguum spirans, nullus 

116 Aegyptio, nam et ibi nascitur. discutit duritias 
corponim; iam remedia enim dicemus, quoniam et 
florum odorumque generi est magnus usus in 
medicina. quod ad cypiron attinet, Apollodorum 
quidem sequar, qui negabat 2 bibendum, quamquam 
professus efficaeissimum esse adversus calculos, quos 
eo movet. s feminis quidem abortus facer e non 
dubitat, mirumque tradit barbaros suffitum huius 
herbae excipientes ore lienes consumere et non 
egredi domibus nisi ab hoc sufHtu. vegetiores enim. 
fimoioresque sic etiam in dies 4 fieri, intertriginum 

1 cribrorum, longitndiiie non aliis utiliore. Detlefsen : 
cmbitorom longitndinem non aliis utiliorem. Mayhoffi 
oymbiomBi, longitudine, utiliore coni. lanus : cimbrorum, 
umbromm, cribrorttm, longitudinem, utiliorem (viliorem B) 
codd. 

2 n^afcat codd . : n^at Hayhoff* 

3 quos eo movet ego : hos eo movet Deilefs&n - eos fovet 
BE : os eo fovet MayTioff, qui calculos et potu, et vulvas eo 
fovet coniecit. 

4 in dies, in die, codd. ; in diem Sittig. 

See 107 of this book. 

Or perhaps " important." See 117, magni in medicina 
, where there is the same ambiguity. 



BOOK XXL LXIX. 114-116 

more useful than others. Some botanists also dis 
tinguish as a separate class a triangular rush, which 
they call cyperos, though many do not recognize a 
distinction because of the resemblance of the name 
to cypiros. I however shall keep each distinct. 
Cypiros is, as I have said, the same as gladiolus, 
and has a bulbous root. The most esteemed grows 
in the island of Crete, the next in Naxos and then 
comes that of Phoenicia. The Cretan is white, with 
a smell like that of nard ; the Naxian has a more 
pungent smell, the Phoenician a faint one, and the 
Egyptian (for it grows there also) none at all. Cypiros 
dispels hard formations of the body, for we must 
now speak of remedies, as there is a wide d use in 
medicine of flowers and perfumes c generally.** As for 
cypiros, I shall follow Apollodorus who said that it 
should never be taken in drink ; yet he maintained 
its great efficacy for stones in the bladder, which by 
this means he tries to remove.* He has no doubt 
that it causes miscarriage in women, and records 
the following strange account of it. Some foreign 
people, he says, take into the mouth smoke from this 
plant and thereby reduce the spleen, asserting that 
they do not leave their homes without inhaling this 
smoke, as the habit produces, even from day to day, 
increased briskness and greater strength. He adds 

* Unguents are included among odores. 

d The addition of generi, which, at first sight 'seems otiose, 
means that the class as a whole is of great use. 

* MayhofPs text : ** He uses it as a fomentation for the 
face." We expect, however, a contrast to negabat tebendum, 
and some reading, similar to MayhoiFs conjecture et potw, 
bringing out the inconsistency of Apollodorus, should prob 
ably be adopted. But, as Mayhofi remarks, " omnia 
dutea." 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et alarum vitiis perfrictionibusque cum oleo inlitum 
non dubie mederL 

117 LXX. Cyperos iuncus est, qualiter diximus, angu- 
losus, iuxta terram candidus, cacumine niger 
pinguisque. folia ima porraceis exiliora, in cacu- 
mine minuta, Inter quae semen est. radix olivae 
nigrae similis, quam, cum oblonga est, cyperida 
vocant, magni in medicina usus. laus eypero pruna 
Hammoniaco, secunda RKodio, tertia Theraeo, 
novissima Aegyptio, quod * et confundit intellectum, 
quoniam et cypiros ibi nascitur. sed cypiros 
radice 2 durissima vixque spirans, cyperis 3 odor et 
ipsis nardum imitans. est et per se Indica herba 
quae cypira vocatur, zingiberis effigie. comman- 

118 ducata croci vim reddit. eypero vis in medicina 
psilotri. inlinitur pterygiis ulceribusque genitalium 
et quae in umore sunt omnibus, sicut oris ulceribus. 
radix adversus serpentium ictus et scorpionum prae- 
sentis remedii est. vulvas aperit pota; largiori 
tanta vis ut expellat eas. urinam ciet et calculos, 
ob id utilissima hydropicis. inlinitur et ulceribus 
quae serpunt, sed his praecipua quae in stomacho 
sunt, e vino vel aceto inlita. 

1 quod Deklefsen d secwtus : quae vulg. : qtii Mayhoff: que 



radice add. MayTwff. 

cyperis MayTioff : ceteris cum codd. Detlefsen. 



Perfrictio can also mean a severe cold or chill. 

Sweet rush. c See 115. d See note on 116. 

The reading of the MSS., which Detlefsen follows, makes 
cypiros feminine, although it is masculine in 115 : " Egyptian 
cypiros is very hard and nearly odourless, while other varieties 
have themselves a smell closely resembling that of nard." 
But the misunderstandings referred to in the preceding 

246 



BOOK XXI. LXIX. ii6-Lxx. nS 

that to apply cypiros as a liniment with oil is a certain 
cure for chafings, offensive armpits and abrasions.* 1 

LXX. Cyperos & is a rush such as I have already c Sw&t nuh. 
described, with three corners, white next the ground, 
dark and fleshy at the head. The bottom leaves are 
more slender than those of leeks, the top ones being 
very small, with the seed between them. The root 
resembles that of the dark olive, which when it is 
oblong is called cyperis, being widely used in 
medicine.* The most valued cyperos comes from 
the region round the temple of Hamrnon, the second 
in esteem from Bhodes, the third from Thera, the 
last from Egypt; as the cypiros also grows there, 
some confusion of thought results. But cypiros has 
a very hard root and scarcely any smell ; the species 
of true cyperos e have a smell that closely resembles 
that of nard. There is also a separate Indian plant 
called eypira, in shape resembling ginger, which 
when chewed tastes like saffron. The use of cyperos 
in medicine is to act as a depilatory. It makes an 
ointment for hang-nails, sores of the genitals and all 
sores that are in moisture, such as those in the 
mouth. Its root affords an effective remedy for the 
bites of snakes and stings of scorpions. The root 
taken in drink opens the passage of the uterus, but 
if taken in too strong doses its potency is great 
enough to cause prolapsus. It promotes urine and 
the passing of stone, and therefore is most useful to 
sufferers from dropsy. It is applied to spreading 
sores, but especially to those of the gullet, either in 
wine or in vinegar. 

sentence result from the similarity of the word cyperos to 
cypiros; a difference between Egyptian cypiros and other 
varieties of it is surely irrelevant. 

247 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lid LXXI. lunci radix in tribus heminis aquae 
decocta ad tertias tussi medetur. semen tostum 
et in aqua potum sistit et alvum et feminarum 
menses, capitis dolor es facit qui vocatur holo- 
schoenus. quae proxima sunt radici commandu- 
cantur adversus araneorum morsus. invenio etiam- 
num iunci genus quod euripicen vocant. huius 
semine somnum adlici^ set modum servandum ne 
sopor fiat. 

120 LXXIL Obiter " et odorati iunci medicinae di- 
centur, quoniam et in Syria Coele ? ut suo loco rettu- 
limus, naseitur. laudatissimus ex Nabataea cogno- 
mine teuchitis, proximus Babylonius, pessimus ex 
Africa ae sine odore. est autem rotundus, vinosae L 
mordacitatis ad linguam. sincerus in confricando 
odorem rosae emittit rubentibus fragmentis. dis- 
cutit infiationes, ob id stomacho utilis bilemque 
reicientibus. singnltus sedat, ructus mo vet, urinam 
det, vesicae medetur. ad muliebres usus deco- 
quitur. opisthotonicis cum resina arida inponitur 
excalfactoria vi. 

121 LXXIII. Rosa adstringit, reirigerat. usus eius 
dividitur in folia et flores et capita, foliorum partes 

1 vinosae cum codd. Mayhaff : virosae Urlichs, Detlefsen. 



See XII. 104. Many editors (Sillig, Jan, Mayhoff) 
with the Plinian critic Urlichs) consider the text to be corrupt 
here and would emend in some way or other. But the se 
quence of the thought is natural enough. Pliny has already 
mentioned one place where the fragrant rush is to be found, 
and he here goes on to give the others. 

6 Pliny has expressed himself carelessly, for how can a 
fragrant rush be without scent? Dioscorides has (I. 17) 



248 



BOOK XXL LXXI. ii 9 -Lxxm. 121 

LXXI. The root of the rush in three heminae of 
water, boiled down to one third, is a cure for coughs. 
The seed roasted and taken in water checks diarrhoea 
and excessive menstruation. The rush, however, 
called holoschoenus brings on headaches. The 
nearest parts to the root are chewed as a remedy for 
the bites of spiders. I find that there is also one 
other kind of rush, called euripice. Its seed is said 
to induce sleep, but the dose must be kept small, or 
coma will result. 

LXXI I. Incidentally I will also mention medicines Medicine* 
obtained from the scented rush, for one place where ^^ 
such a rush grows is in Coelesyria, as I have related 
in the appropriate place. The most esteemed, 
however, comes from Nabataea, known also as 
teuchitis ; the next best is the Babylonian, and the 
worst comes from Africa, being without any scent. & 
It is round, affecting the tongue with the stinging 
taste of sour wine. c The genuine kind, on being 
rubbed, gives out a smell of roses, and the broken 
bits are red. Dispersing flatulence, it is good for 
the stomach, and for those who vomit bile. It allays 
hiccoughs, promotes belching, is diuretic, and a 
remedy for bladder troubles. For female com 
plaints a decoction is made. With dry resin it is 
applied to sufferers from opisthotonie tetanus because 
of its warming properties. 

LXXIIL The rose is both astringent and cooling. 
There are separate uses for its petals, flowers 
heads. The parts of the petals which are white are 



* TKe phrase in Dioseorides, /^era -TTOOTJS (v.l. 
irupwo<as made Urliehs ffoggest virosae, " foul/' But May- 
hoff defends vino&ae, comparing XHX 113, XXIIL 106 
and XXYH. 28. 

249 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

quae sunt candidae ungues vocantur. in flore aliud 
est semen, aliud capillus, in capite aliud cortex, aliud 
calix. folium siccatur aut tribus modis exprimitur : 
per se, cum ungues non detrahuntur ibi errim umoris 
plurimum aut cum detractis unguibus reliqua pars 
aut oleo aut vino maceratur in sole vasis vitreis. 

122 quidam et salem admiscent, nonnulli et anchusam 
aut aspalathum aut iuncum odoratum, quia tails 
maxime prodest vulvae ac dysintericis. expri- 
muntur eadem folia detractis unguibus trita per 
linteum spissum in aereum vas, lenique igni sucus 
coquitur, donee fiat crassitude melHs. ad haec 
eligi oportet odoratissima quaeque folia. vinum 

123 quomodo fieret e rosa diximus inter genera vinL 
usus suci ad aures, oris ulcera, gingivas, tonsillas 
gargarizati, stomachum, vulvas, sedis vitia, capitis 
dolores in febri per se vel cum aceto somnos, 
nausias. folia uruntur in calliblepharum, et siccis 
femina adsperguntur. epiphoras quoque arida le- 
niunt. flos somnum facit, inhibet fluctiones mu- 
lierum, maxime albas, in posca potus et sanguinis 
excreationes, stomachi quoque dolores cyathus x in 

1 eyathus Detlefsen : quantum aut tantum codd. Fortasse 
paulum. 

* From the white at the base of the human nail. 

b For cortex see 14 and 20. By semen Pliny surely means 
pollen. 

c In this chapter Pliny has many details found in Dios- 
corides I. 99, but adds others. Dioscorides gives one method 
only of extracting the juice, apparently the third, but states 
fewer particulars than Pliny. 

* See XIV. 106. 

* KCUCTCU, Se KOLL els ra. /coAAtjSAe^apa. Diosc. 

^ fifpa. Acta Trapa^TjpLot,^ irpooTracraera.1. DlOSC. 

g This emendation of Detlefsen is probably right, although 
Mayhofi's suggested alteration to cyaiho is attractive. The 
250 



BOOK XXI. LXXIII, 121-123 

called nails. a In the flower, seed and filament are 
distinct, as are shell & and calyx in the* head. The 
petals are dried, or the juice is extracted from them 
by one of three methods. They may be treated by 
themselves, when the nails, in which there is most 
moisture, are not removed ; or when what is left 
after removing the nails is steeped with oil or wine 
in glass vessels in the sunshine. Some add salt also, 
and a few alkanet or aspalathus or fragrant rush*, 
because so prepared the essence is very beneficial 
for complaints of the uterus and for dysentery. 
With the nails removed the petals may also have 
their juice extracted by being pounded, and then 
strained through a thick linen cloth into a bronze 
vessel ; the juice is then heated on a slow fire until 
it becomes as thick as honey. For tlnVprocess only 
the most fragrant petals must be selected. How 
wine is made from roses I have described in my 
treatment of the various kinds of wine.^ Rose 
juice is used for the ears, sores in the mouth, the 
gums, as a gargle for the tonsils, for the stomach, 
uterus, rectal trouble, headache when due to fever 
either by itself or with vinegar to induce sleep or to 
dispel nausea. The petals are burned to make an 
ingredient of cosmetics for the eyebrows, and dried 
rose leaves are sprinkled on (chafed) thighs./ 
Fluxes of the eyes also are soothed by the dried 
leaves. The flower induces sleep, checks menstrual, 
particularly white, discharges if taken in vinegar 
and water, as well as the spitting of blood ; a cyathus ff 
of it in three cyathi of wine relieves stomach-ache. 

quantum or tantum of the MSS. could be retained if either word, 
perhaps witK the addition of some such word as sujficit, were 
a common Latin expression for a sufficiency or modicum. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

124 vini cyatiiis tribus. seminis optiraiim croeinum, nee 
anniculo vefustius, et in umbra siccatum; nigrum 
inutile, dentium dolori inlinitur, urinam ciet, 
stomacho inponitur, item igni sacro non veteri. 
naribus subductum caput purgat. capita pota 
ventrem et sanguinem sistunt. ungues rosae epi- 
phoris salubres sunt; ulcera enim oculorum rosa 
sordescunt, praeterquam initiis epiphorae, ita ut 

125 arida cum pane inponatur. folia quidem . intus 
stomacni rosionibus et vitiis 1 ventris ant intestinorum 
utilissima et praecordiis, vel inlita. cibo quoqne 
lapathi modo condiuntur. cavendus in his situs 
celeriter insidens. et aridis aut expressis aliquis 
usns. diapasmata inde fiunt ad sudores coercendos, 
ita ut a balineis inarescant corpori, dein frigida 
abluantur. silvestris pilulae cnm adipe ursino 
alopecias emendant, 

12d LXXIV. Lilii radices multis modis florem 
suum nobilitantj contra serpentium ictus ex vino 
potae et contra fungorum venena. propter clavos 
pedum in vino decoquuntur triduoque non solvuntur. 
cum adipe aut oleo decoctae pilos quoque adustis 
reddunt. e mulso potae inutilem sanguinem cum 
alvo trahunt, lienique et ruptis, vulsis prosunt et 
1 vitiis Detiefsen, vulg. : intus codd. : uncis seduait Mayhoff. 

* See p. 261, note 6. * See p. 10, note /. 

* That is, galls. 
252 



BOOK XXI. LXXIII. 123-Lxxrv. 126 

As to the seed, the finest is of a saffron colour, not 
more than a year old, and should be dried in the 
shade; the dark seed is harmful. It is used as a 
liniment for toothache, is diuretic, and may be 
applied to the stomach or in cases of erysipelas that 
is not of long standing. Inhaled by the nostrils it 
clears the head. Rose heads taken in drink check 
diarrhoea and haemorrhage. The nails of rose 
petals are healing for fluxes of the eyes, for eye 
sores discharge if the whole rose is applied, unless it 
is at the beginning of the flux, and then the rose 
must be dry and mixed with bread. The petals 
indeed taken internally are very good for gnawings 
of the stomach a and for complaints of the belly or 
of the intestines, good also for the hypochondria, 6 
and they may be applied externally. They are also 
preserved for food, in the same way as sorrel. Care 
must be taken with rose petals, as mould quickly 
settles on them. Some use can be made of dried 
petals, or those from which the juice has been ex 
tracted. Powders, for example, are made from them 
to check perspiration. These are sprinkled on the 
body after a bath and left to dry, being afterwards 
washed off with cold water. The little balls c on 
the wild rose mixed with bears' grease are a remedy 
for mange. 

LXXIV. Its roots bring great fame to the lily 
in many ways, being taken in wine for the bites 
of snakes and for poisoning by fungi. For corns on 
the foot they are boiled down in wine^ and the plaster 
is not removed for three days. Boiled down with 
grease or oil they also make hair to grow again on 
burns. Taken in honey wine they carry off by stool 
extravasated blood ; they are good for the spleen, for 

253 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mensibus feimnarum, in vino vero decoctae inpositae- 

127 que cum melle nervis praecisis. medentur contra 
lichenas et lepras, et furfures in facie emendant, 
erugant cutem. 1 folia in aceto condita 2 vulneribus 
inponuntur, si testium, melius cum hyoscyamo et 
farina tritici. semen inlinitur igni sacro, flos et 
folia ulcerum vetustati, sucus qui flore expressus 
est ab aliis mel vocatur, ab aliis syrium ad 
emolliendas vulvas sudoresque faciendos et sup- 
purationes concoquendas. 

128 LXXV, Narcissi duo genera in usum medici 
recipiunt, purpureo flore et alterum herbaceum, hunc 
stomacho inutilem et ideo vomitorium alvosque 
solventem, nervis inimicum, caput gravantem et a 
narce narcissum dictum, non a fabuloso puero. 

129 utriusque radix mulsei saporis est. ambustis prodest 
exiguo e melle, sic et vulneribus et luxatis, panis 
vero cum melle et aerina 3 farina, sic et infixa 
corpori extrahit. in polenta tritus oleoque contusis 
medetur et lapide percussis. purgat vulnera per- 
mixtus farinae, nigras vitiligines emaculat. ex hoc 

1 cutem. ego : corpora, cutem. Mayhoff : corpora, cum 
polio folia jSiUig, Detlefs&n : corpora, cum folia codd. 

2 condita coni. Mayhoff coll. Dioscoride : cocta codd. 

3 aerina Mayhoff secutus Barbarum : avenae cum codd. 
Detlefsen. 



a With the reading of Sillig, which Detlefsen adopts : 
" boiled in vinegar with poliuncu" Polium was a plant, 
probably hulwort (Teucrium polium), sometimes used as a 
healing remedy. It had a strong, not unpleasant smell 
(fiapvoajLiov /zera Troops cva&ias. Dioscorides III. 110). Of. 
145-147. 

254 



BOOK XXL LXXIV. 126-iA-xv. 129 

ruptures, spasms and the menstrual discharge ; while 
if boiled down in -wine and applied with honey they 
heal cuts of the sinews. They are healing for lichens 
and leprous sores, cure scurf on the face, and remove 
wrinkles from the skin. The petals, pickled in 
vinegar, are applied to wounds ; if these are in the 
testes, it is better to add henbane and wheat flour. 
The seed is used as an application for erysipelas, 
flowers and leaves for chronic sores, and the juice 
extracted from the flower, called honey by some and 
syrium by others, as an emollient of the uterus, for 
inducing perspiration and for bringing boils to a 
head. 

LXXV. Of the narcissus there are two kinds used And of the 
by physicians : one with a bright & flower and the 
other with grass-green leaves. The latter is in 
jurious to the stomach, so that it acts as an emetic 
and as a purge ; it is bad for the sinews and causes 
a dull headache, its name being derived from the 
word narce, torpor, and not from the youth in the 
myth. The root of each variety has the taste of 
honey wine. In a little honey it is good for burns, 
and the same is beneficial for wounds and sprains, 
while for superficial abscesses honey should be added 
*to darnel d meal. This preparation also extracts 
bodies that have pierced the flesh. Beaten up in 
pearl barley and oil it heals bruises, and wounds 
caused by stones. Mixed with meal it cleans 
wounds and removes black psoriasis , e From its 

& The adjective purpurem probably refers here to the red 
nectary of the flower, but it is always a difficult word both 
to interpret and to translate. 

* Such is the most likely meaning of narcissus herbaceus. 

d Or, with the reading avenae, oatmeal. 

For this see Celsus V. 28, 19. 

255 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

flore fit narcissinum oleum ad emolliendas duritias, 
calfacienda quae alserint, auribus ntilissimum, sed 
et capitis dolores facit. 

130 LXXVI. Violae suVestres et sativae. purpureae 
refrigerant, contra infiammationes inlinuntur sto- 
machoj, ardent! inponuntur et capiti in fronte, 
oculorum privatim epiphoris et sede procidente 
volvave et contra suppurationes. crapulam et 
gravedines capitis inpositis coronis olfactuque dis- 
cutiunt, anginas ex aqua potae. id quod purpuremn 
est ex his comitialibus medetur, maxime pueris, in 

131 aqua potum. semen violae scorpionibus adversatur. 
contra flos albae suppurata aperit, ipsa discutit. 
et alba autem et lutea extenuat raenses, urinam ciet. 
minor vis est recentibus, ideoque aridis post annum 
utendum. lutea dimidio cyatho in aquae tribus 
menses trahit. radices eius cum aceto inlitae sedant 
lienem, item podagram, oculorum autem inflam- 
mationes cum murra et croco. folia cum melle 
purgant capitis ulcera, cum cerato rimas sedis et 
quae in inrnrHs sunt, ex aceto vero collectiones 
sanant. 

132 LXXVII. Baccar in medicinae usu aliqui ex nostris 
perpressam vocant. auxiliatur contra serpentes, 
capitis dolores fervoresque, item epiphoras, in- 



Stomachus might mean gullet here. See p. 261, note 
Folia might mean petals. 



256 



BOOK XXI. LXXV. 129-Lxxvn. 732 

flower is made narcissus oil, which is very useful for 
softening callosities, for warming parts of the body 
that have been chilled, and for the ears, but it also 
produces headache. 

LXXVL There are both wild and cultivated And of 
violets. The mauve ones are cooling and are applied 
to the stomach a for inflammations, to the forehead 
also when the head burns, to the eyes especially for 
fluxes, for prolapsus of the anus and of the womb, 
and to abscesses. Placed on the head in chaplets, or 
even smelt, they disperse the after-effects of drinking 
and its headaches, as well as quinsies when taken in 
water. Hie mauve variety, taken in water, is a cure 
for epilepsy, especially in children. The seed of the 
violet neutralizes the stings of scorpions. On the 
other hand the flower of the white violet opens 
abscesses, and even disperses them. Both the 
white violet, however, and the yellow reduce the 
menstrual discharge and are diuretic. Freshly 
gathered they have less potency, for which reason 
they should be dried and not used until they are at 
least a year old. Half a cyathus of the yellow violet 
taken in three of water promotes menstruation. Its 
roots used witk vinegar as a liniment soothe the 
spleen, and likewise gout, but for infiarnm ations of 
the eyes myrrh and saffiron should be added to them. 
The leaves 6 with honey cleanse sores on the head. 
With wax ointment they heal cracks in the anus 
and such as are in moist parts of the body. Used 
with vinegar, however, they heal abscesses. 

LXXVIL The Celtic valerian used in medicine is 
called " perpressa " by some Roman authorities. It 
relieves serpent bites, aching and feverish heads, and 
likewise fluxes from the eyes. It is applied to breasts 

257 

VOL. VI. K % 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ponitur In mammis tumentibus a partu et aegilopiis 
incipientibus ignibusque sacris. odor sommim gig- 
nit. radicem decoctam bibere spasticis, eversis, 

133 convulsis, suspiriosis salutare est et in tussi vetere. 1 
rami eius tres quattuorve decocuntur ad tertias 
partes; haec potio mulieres ex abortu purgat, 
laterum punctiones tollit et vesicae calculos. tun- 
ditur cum lilio 2 in diapasmata. vestibus odoris 
gratia inseritur. combretum quod simile ei diximus 
tritum cum axungia vulnera mire sanat. 

134 LXXVIII. Asarum iocinerum vitiis salutare esse 
traditur uncia sumpta in hemina mulsi mixti. alvum 
purgat ellebori modo, hydropicis prodest et prae- 
cordiis vulvisque ac morbo regio. in mustum si 
addatur, facit vinum urinis ciendis. efFoditur cum 
folia emittit, 3 siccatur et conditur. in umbra 4 situm 
celerrime sentit. 

135 LXXIX. Et quoniam quidam, ut diximus, nar- 
dum rusticum nominavere radicem baccaris, con- 
texemus et Gallici nardi remedia in hunc locum 
dilata in peregrinis arboribus. ergo adversus ser- 
pentes duabus drachmis in vino succurrit, inflatio- 

1 est et in tussi vetere, MayTioff ': ^t. in tussi vetere 
cum codd. Detlefsen. 

2 cum lilio in diapasmata secutus lanum Detlefsen : et 
utiliter in diapasmata MayJwff : cum diligentia paemata aut 
cum diaprasmata codd. 

3 emittit aut mittit codd. : emittit Detlefsen : mittit 
Maylioff, qui et amittit coni. 

4 Sic dist. Mayhoffi post umbra Detlefsen. 

* For aegilops see p. ix and Celsus VII. 7, 7. 
& See 30 of this book. 

e Dioscorides I. 9 ^(10 E.V Wellmann) says of 
i iTepTrpccrcrafjL, ol oe ftoKxap - . . Fa/Uot 



258 



BOOK XXI. LXXVH. i 3 2-Lxxix, 135 

swollen after child-birth, to incipient fistulas * of the 
eye and to erysipelas. The smell induces sleep. 
It is beneficial for a decoction of the root to be taken 
by sufferers from cramp, violent falls, convulsions, 
asthma and also chronic cough. Three or four sprays 
of it are boiled down to one third. A draught of 
this is cleansing for women after miscarriage, and 
removes stitch in the side or stone in the bladder. 
It is pounded with lily petals to make dusting 
powders, and for the sake of the perfume is laid 
among clothes. Combretum, which I have said 6 
is similar to Celtic valerian, beaten up with axle- 
grease is a wonderful cure for w T ounds. 

LXXVIII. Hazelwort c is said to be beneficial for Uses of 
liver complaints, an ounce being taken in a hemina 
of diluted honey wine. It purges the bowels after P^ 1 *- 
the manner of hellebore, and is good for dropsy, the 
hypochondria, the uterus and for jaundice. When 
added to must it makes a diuretic wine. It is dug 
up when the leaves are forming ; d it is dried and 
then stored up. In the shade it very quickly goes 
mouldy. 

LXXIX. Since certain authorities, as I have said,* 
have given to the root of Celtic valerian the name of 
rustic nard, I will now add the medicinal uses of 
Gallic nard also, which I mentioned when dealing 
with foreign trees/ postponing fuller treatment to 
the present occasion. So for serpent bites it is useful 
in doses of two drachmae taken in wine, for flatulence 

d With Mayhoff's conjecture, "falling." Dioscorides does 
not help, but to dig up a plant before the leaves are fully 
formed is odd. Perhaps folia means petals. 

* See 29 of tins book. Dioscorides (he. ciL) has ao-apov 
of Sc vdpBos aypca. 

f See XH. 45. 

259 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nib us coli vel ex aqua vel ex vino, item iocineris et 
remum suffusisque felle et hydropicis, per se vel cum 
absinthio. sistit purgationum mulierum impetus. 

136 LXXX. Eius vero quod phun eodem loco appel- 
lavimus radix datur potui trita vel decocta ad stran- 
gulatus vel pectoris dolores vel laterum quoque. 
menses ciet. bibitur cum vino. 

137 LXXXI. Crocum melle non solvitur nulloque 
dulci, facillime autem vino aut aqua, utilissimuin in 
medicina. adservatur cornea pyxide. discutit in- 
flammationes omnes quidem, sed oculorum maxime, 
ex ovo intus, 1 vulvarum quoque strangulatus, sto- 
machi exulcerationes, pectoris et renium, iocinerum, 
pulmonum vesicarumque, peculiariter inflammationi 
earum vehementer utile, item tussi et pleuriticis. 

138 tollit et pruritus, urinas ciet. qui crocum prius 
biberint crapulam non sentient, ebrietati resistent. 
coronae quoque ex eo mulcent ebrietatem. somnum 
facit, caput leniter movet, venerem stimulat. flos 
eius igni sacro inlinitur cum creta Cimolia. ipsum 
pluriniis medicaminibus miscetur, collyrio uni etiam 
nomen dedit. 



1 intus post lanum Detlefsen, of. XIV. 150 et XXIX 114 : 
item Mayhoff qui et potu coni. : ia codd. Caesarius coni. 
illitum. 



a There Is much to be said for the old emendation of 
Caesarius, ** applied locally." 

260 



BOOK XXI. LXXIX. 135-Lxxxi. 138 

of the colon in either water or wine, for troubles of 
the liver and kidneys, excessive bile, and dropsy, 
either by itself or with wormwood. It checks 
excessive attacks of menstruation. 

LrXXX. The root of the plant that in the same 
place I have called phu is given, either in drink 
pounded, or else boiled, for suffocation of the womb, 
and for pains also of the chest or side. It is an em- 
menogogue and is taken with wine. 

L.XXXL Saffron does not blend well with honey 
or with anything sweet, but it does so very easily 
with wine or water. It is very useful in medicine, 
and is kept in a horn box. It disperses all inflam 
mations, but especially those of the eyes, taken 
internally a with egg ; suffocation of the womb as 
well, and ulcerations of the throat, 6 chest, kidneys, 
liver, lungs and bladder, being very useful indeed for 
inflammation in particular of these organs , c as also 
for cough and for pleurisy. It removes itching also, 
and promotes urination. Those "who take saffron 
first will not feel after-effects of wine and will become 
intoxicated with difficulty. Chaplets too made of 
it alleviate intoxication. It induces sleep, has a 
gentle action on the head, d and is an aphrodisiac. 
Its blossom, with Cimolian chalk, is used as an appli 
cation for erysipelas. The plant itself is used as 
an ingredient in numerous medicines, and there is 
one eye-salve to which it has actually given its name. 

b Possibly ** stomach." Stomachus included all th ali 
mentary canal, and it is sometimes difficult to decide which 
part of it is referred to. 

c Earum, agrees grammatically with the last item in the 
series, vesicarum, but in sense includes all the preceding items. 

d Apparently much the same as purgat, " clears the head." 

261 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

139 LXXXIL Faex quoque express! unguento cro- 
cino quod crocomagma appellant habet suas utilitates 
contra suffusiones oculorum, urinas. magis excal- 
facit quam crocum ipsum. optimum quod gustatu 
salivam dentesque maxime inficit. 

140 LXXXIII. Iris rufa melior quam Candida, in- 
fantibus eam circumligari salutare est, dentienti- 
bus praecipue et tussientibus taeniarumve vitio 
laborantibus instillari. ceteri efFectus eius non mul- 
tum a melle differunt. ulcera purgat capitis, prae- 
cipue suppurationes veteres. alvum solvit duabus 
drachmis cum melle, tussim, tormina, infiationes 

141 pota, lienes ex aceto. contra serpentium et ara- 
neorum morsus ex posca valet, contra scorpiones 
duarum drachmarum pondere in pane vel aqua 
sumitur, contra canum morsus ex oleo inponitur et 
contra perfrictiones. sic et nervorum doloribus, 
lumbis vero et conxendicibus cum resina inlinitur. 
vis ei concalfactoria. naribus subducta sternu- 

142 menta movet caputque purgat. dolori capitis cum 
cotoneis mails aut strutheis inlinitur. crapulas 
quoque et orthopnoeas discutit. vomitiones ciet 
duobus obolis sumpta. ossa fracta extrahit, inposita 
cum melle. ad paronychia farina eius utuntur, in 
vino ad clavos et verrucas, triduoque non solvitur. 



Dioscorides (I. 27) has : TO 8e KpoKopaypa yiverai K rov 
KLvov fJLvpov T&v a/Ku/zaTO)v KiritadevT4)v /cat dvairXacrOfVTCijv. 
Crocomagnia therefore was the residue from a refining of 
saffron juice, not " the residuum of saffron after the extraction 
of the oil " (Lewis and Short). Cf. Bohn translation : " The 
lees of the extract of saffron, employed in the unguent known 
as * crocomagma V I have tried to reconcile Pliny and 
Dioscorides by taking imguento crocino as ablative dependent 
upon expressi, and quod as relative to faex but attracted to 

262 



BOOK XXL LXXXII. i39-Lxxxm. 142 

LXXXIL The lees too of the saffron extracted 
from saffron juice, which is called crocomagma, 
have their own uses for cataract and strangury. It 
is more warming than saffron itself. The best kind 
is that which, when put in the mouth, stains with 
the truest saffron colour the saliva and the teeth. 

LXXXIII. The red iris is better than the white 
one. It conduces to the health of babies to have 
this tied on them, especially when they are teething 
or suffering from cough, and to inject it into those 
troubled with tape-worms. Its other properties are 
not much different from those of honey. It cleanses 
sores on the head, especially abscesses of long 
standing. Taken in doses of two drachmae with 
honey it relaxes the bowels; taken in drink it 
relieves cough, griping and flatulence, in vinegar, 
complaints of the spleen. In vinegar and water it 
is an antidote against the bites of snakes and of 
spiders ; against stings of scorpions two drachmae 
by weight are taken in bread or water ; for dog-bites 
and abrasions it is applied in oil. So prepared it is 
also applied to aching sinews, but for lumbago and 
sciatica resin is added. Its nature is warming. 
Snuffed up through the nostrils it promotes sneezing 
and clears the head. For headache it is applied 
with quinces or with sparrow-apples. It dispels also 
the after-effects of wine and orthopnoea. Taken in 
doses of two oboli it acts as an emetic. Applied with 
honey it draws out splinters of broken bone. For 
whitlows its meal is used, wine being added for corns 
and warts;' the plaster not being removed for three 

the gender of crocomagma. The Bohn version makes unguento 
crocino dative and quad as relative to crocomagma, and it must 
be confessed that the Latin may be thus construed. 

263 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

haMtus oris commanducata abolet alarumque vltia. 
snco duritias omnes emollit. somnum conclliat, sed 
genituram consumit. sedis rimas et condylomata 

143 omniaque in corpora excrescentia sanat. sunt qui 
silvestrem xyrim vocent. strumas haec vel panos 
vel ingnina discutit. praecipitur ut sinistra manu 
ad hos eruatur colKgentesque dicant cuius hominis 

144 vitiique 1 causa eximant. scelus herbariorum ape- 
rietur et in hac mentione. partem eius servant et 
quarundam aliarum herb arum, sicuti plantaginis, 
et si parum mercedis tulisse se arbitrantur rursusque 
opus quaerunt ? partem earn quam servavere eodem 
loco infodiunt, credo, ut vitia quae sanaverint 
faciant rebellare. saliuncae radix in vino decoct a 
sistit vomitiones, conroborat stomachum. 

146 LXXXIV. Polio Musaeus et Hesiodus perungui 
iubent dignationis gloriaeque avidos, polium tractari, 
coli, polium contra venena haberi, contra serpentes 
substerni, uri, in vino decoqui recens vel aridum, 
inlirdque 2 vel potari. medici splenicis propinant 
ex aceto, morbo regio in vino, et hydropicis inci- 
pientibns in vino decoctum, vulneribus quoque sic 

146 inlinunt. secundas mulierum partusque emortuos 
pellit, item dolores corporis. vesicas inanit a epi- 
plioris inlinitur. nee magis alia herba convenit 

1 vitiique SiUig Maykoff ~. utique cum codd* Detlefsen. 

2 inlinique vel potaai. medici MayTioff: portari (aut 
potari) post uri codd. 



9 Celsus VI. 18, 8 says that a condyloma is a small tumour 
ttb&i --'--- - -- 

M 
264 



(tuberculum] due to iirQanimation. See also p. 384, note b. 
& Does not this belong to chapter LXXVH of this book ? 



BOOK XXI. LXXXIII. 142-Lxxxiv. 146 

days. Chewed it sweetens foul breath and offensive 
armpits. Its j nice softens all indurations. It induces 
sleep, but dries up the semen. It heals cracks in 
the anus and condylomata, a and all excrescences on 
the body. Some authorities call the wild variety 
xyris. This disperses scrofulous sores, superficial 
abscesses and swellings in the groin. It is recom 
mended that for these purposes it should be pulled 
up with the left hand, and the gatherers should utter 
the name of the patient and of the complaint for 
whose sake they are pulling it. While speaking of 
this plant also I will make known the dishonesty of 
herbalists. They keep back a part of it and of 
certain other plants, such as the plantain. If they 
think their pay insufficient and look for further 
employment, they bury in the same place the part 
they kept back, I suppose to make the complaints 
they have cured break out again. The root of Celtic 
valerian (?) boiled down in wine checks vomiting and 
strengthens the stomach. 6 

LXXXIV. Musaeus and Hesiod bid those who are u*e*o/ 
ambitious for honour and glory to rub themselves * MZeoort - 
over with hulwort, and lor hulwort to be handled, 
cultivated, carried on the person to neutralize poisons, 
to be placed under bedclothes to keep away snakes, 
to be burnt, to be boiled down, fresh or dry, in wine, 
and to be used as liniment or taken by the mouth. 
Physicians prescribe hulwort for splenic complaints 
in vinegar, for jaundice in wine, for incipient dropsy 
boiled down in wine, and so prepared also as a 
liniment for wounds. It brings away the after-birth 
and the dead foetus ; it relieves pains of the body and 
empties the bladder; it is applied as ointment for 
fluxes from the eyes. No other herb makes a more 

265 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

rnedicamento quod alexlpharmacon vocant. sto- 
macho tamen inutile esse caputque . eo inpleri et 

147 abortum fieri puto. aliqui negant et religionem 
addunt, ubi inventum sit. protinus adalligandum 
contra oculorum suffusion es, cavendumque ne terram 
attingat. hi et folia eius thymo similia tradunt, nisi 
quod molliora sunt et lanatiore card tie. cum. ruta 
silvestri et si teratur ex aqua caelesti, aspidas 
mitigare dicitur, et non secus atque cyanus I ad- 
stringit et cohibet vulnera prohibetque serpere. 

148 LXXXV. Holochrysos medetur stranguriae in 
vino, et oculorum epiphoris inlitu 3 2 cum faece vero 
vini cremata et polenta lichenas emendat. chryso- 
comes radix calfacit et adstringit. datur potui ad 
iocinerum vitia, item pulmonum ? vulvae dolores 
in aqua mulsa decocta. ciet menstrua, et si cruda 
detur, hydropicorum aquam. 

149 LXXXVL Melissophyllo sive melittaena si perun- 
gnantur alvi, non fugient apes, nullo enim magis 
Sore gaudent. scopis eius examina facillime conti- 
nentur. idem praesentissimum est contra ictus 
earum vesparumque et smnlium, sicut araneorum, 

1 cyanus cum codd. Detlefsen : cytinus Barbaras, MayTioff. 

2 ihlitu Mayhoff: inlitum (inlittis, inlita) codd. plurimi et 
edd. : inlitii unu$ cod. 

7.6. " the warder-off of poison." 

b I take the et to be the postponed et common in Pliny, 
though here it is tinusually late. " With wild rue, and if it 
be pounded in rain-water," would make odd sense. 

c There is much to be said for the old conjecture cytinus, 
accepted by Mayhoff, calyx of the pomegranate. Cf. XXIII. 
111 : iidem cytini siccati tritique cames excrescentes cohibent. 

d The sense is clear, although the reading, owing to some 
uncertainty about the gender of holochrysos, is very doubtful. 

266 



BOOK XXI. LXXXIV. 146-LXxxvi. 149 

suitable ingredient for the antidote called alexi- 
pharmacon. It is, however, injurious in my opinion 
to the stomach, and makes the head stuffy, besides 
causing miscarriage. Some deny this, and go on 
to add the superstition that, when found, it should 
for cataract at once be tied round the neck, care 
being taken not to let it touch the ground. The 
same state that its leaves resemble those of thyme, 
except that they are softer and of a more downy 
whiteness. If too b it be pounded with wild rue in 
rain water it is said to lessen the danger of asp bites ; 
and as well as the blue cornflower c it binds and 
closes wounds, preventing them from spreading. 

LXXXV. Holochrysos taken in wine cures stran- 
gury, and applied as liniment d fluxes from the eyes ; 
with burnt lees of wine and pearl barley it removes 
lichens. The root of chrysocome is warming and 
astringent. It is given in drink for complaints of 
liver and lungs, while a decoction in hydromcl is 
prescribed for pains in the womb. It promotes 
menstruation, and if given raw reduces * the water 
of dropsy. 

LXXXVI. If the hives are rubbed over with 
melissophyllum (balm), sometimes called melittaena, 
the bees will not fly away, for no flower gives them 
greater pleasure. With besoms made of this plant 
swarms are controlled with the greatest ease. It is 
also a most effective remedy for the stings of bees, 
wasps and similar insects, such as spiders and also 

The inlitu of d points to iiditu, taken to be inlitum, the reading 
of V and G. For iUitu see XXVI. 151. 

* A violent zeugma, for a verb must be understood which 
is the opposite of ciei in meaning. See J. Muller Der StU 
des alteren Plinius, 33, p. 89. 

267 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

item scorpionum, item contra volvarum strangu- 

150 lationes addito nitro, contra tormina e vino, folia 
eius strumis inlinuntur et sedis vitiis cum sale. 
decoctae sucus feminas purgat et infiammationes 
discutit et ulcera sanat. articularios morbos sedat 
canisque morsus. prodest dysintericis veteribus et 
coeliacis, orthopnoicis, lienibus, ulceribus thoracis. 
caligines oculorum suco cum melle inungui exinium 
habetur. 

151 LXXXVIL Melilotos quoque oculis medetur cum 
luteo ovi aut lini semine. maxillarum quoque 
dolores lenit et capitis cum rosaceo, item aurium e 
passo quaeque in manibus intumescant vel erumpant, 
stomachi dolores in vino decocta vel cruda tritaque, 
idem effectus et ad vulvas, ad testes vero et sedem 
prociduam quaeque et alia ibi sint vitia recente ex 
aqua decocta x vel ex passo. adiecto rosaceo inlinitur 
ad carcinomata. defervescit in vino dulcL pe- 
culiariter et contra meliceridas efficax. 

152 LXXXVIIL Trifolium scio credi praevalere contra 
serpentium et scorpionum ictus, ex vino aut posca 
seminis granis xx potis, vel foliis et tota herba 
decocta, serpentesque numquam in trifolio aspici, 
prraeterea a celebratis auctoribus contra omnia 
venena pro antidoto sufficere xxv grana eius quod 

1 recente ex aqua decoota secutm Janum Detiefsen : recens 
vulg. : decoctam aut decocta codd. : t recentem ex aqua 
decocfcam Mayhoff, gui lacunam (iubent inlini) ante recentem 
indicat. 

a So named apparently from the honey-coloured pus. 
* See 54 of this book. 
268 



BOOK XXL LXXXVI. i49-Lxxxvm, 152 

scorpions ; also -with the addition of soda for suffoca 
tion of the womb, and in wine for griping of the 
bowels. Its leaves are applied to scrofulous sores, 
and with salt for affections of the anus. The juice 
of the boiled plant promotes menstruation, removes 
inflammations and heals sores. It alleviates diseases 
of the joints and the bites of dogs. It is beneficial 
to sufferers from chronic dysentery and to coeliac 
patients, asthmatics, and patients with splenic 
troubles or ulcers on the chest. It is thought excel 
lent treatment to anoint weak eyes with its juice 
mixed with honey. 

LXXXVIL Melilot too is healing to the eyes 
when mixed with egg-yolk or linseed. With rose 
oil it also relieves pain in the jaws or head, and with 
raisin wine ear-ache and swellings or eruptions on 
the hands ; boiled down in wine or pounded and raw 
it is good for pains in the stomach. It has the same 
action on the womb; for the testes, however, pro 
lapsus of the anus and other complaints of those parts 
it should be freshly gathered and boiled down in 
water or in raisin wine. With the addition of rose 
oil it makes an ointment for carcinoma. It is 
thoroughly boiled down in sweet wine, and is par 
ticularly effective in the treatment of the tumours 
called melicerides. 

LXXXVIII. I know it is believed that trefoil is an of trefoil 
antidote for the bite of snakes and scorpions, twenty 
grains. of the seed being taken in a drink of wine or 
of vinegar and water, or leaves with the whole plant 
are boiled down to make a decoction ; that snakes 
too are never seen in trefoil ; I know too that it is 
reported by famous authorities that twenty-five 
grains of the kind of trefoil I have called minyanthes * 

269 



PLINY: NATURAL HJSTOEY 

minyanthes ex eo appellavimus tradi, multa alia 

153 praeterea in remediis eius adscribi. sed me contra 
sententias eorum gravissimi viri auctoritas movet, 
Sophocles enim poeta venenatum id dicit, Simos 
quoque ex medicis, decocti aut contriti sucum 
infusum corpori easdem uredines facere quas si 
percussis a serpente inponatur. ergo non aliter 
utendum eo quam contra venena censuerirn. for- 
tassis enim et his venenis inter se contraria sit natura 
sicut multis aliis. item animadverto semen ems 
cuius minima sint folia utile esse ad custodiendam 
mulierum cutis gratiam in facie inlitum. 

154 LXXXIX. Thymum colligi oportet in flore, et in 
umbra siccari. duo autem sunt genera eius : can- 
didum radice lignosa, in collibus nascens, quod et 
praefertur, alterum nigrius florisque nigri. utraque 
octilorum claritati multum conferre existimantur et 
in cibo et in medicamentis, item diuiinae tussi, 

165 ecligmate faciles excreationes facere cum aceto et 
sale, sanguinem concrescere non pati e melle, longas 
faucium destillationes extra inlita cum sinapi ex- 
tenuare, item stomachi et ventris vitia. modicis 
tamen utendum est, quoniam excalfaciunt, qua vi 
sistunt alvum, quae si exulcerata sit, denarii pondus 



It is not clear whether this refers to minyanthes only or 
to trefoil generally, 

* Or, " these poisons have a mutually counteracting 
quality, as many other things have." 

270 



BOOK XXI. LXXXVIII. i52-Lxxxix. 155 

serve as an antidote for all poisons, and that many 
other virtues besides are attributed to it as a remedy. 
But I am led to oppose their views by the authority 
of a very reliable man; for the poet Sophocles 
asserts that it is poisonous, as does Simos also 
among the physicians, saying that the juice of the 
decocted or pounded plant, when poured upon the 
body, produces the same sensations of burning as 
those felt by persons bitten by a serpent, when this 
plant is applied to the wound. Wherefore I should 
be of opinion that it should not be used otherwise 
than as a counter-poison. For perhaps this is one 
of the many cases where one poison is poisonous to 
other poisons. & I have likewise noted that the seed 
of that trefoil the leaves of which are very small is 
useful, when applied as face-ointment , for preserving 
the loveliness of women's skin. 

LXXXIX. Thyme ought to w be gathered while it 
is in blossom, and to be dried*in the shade. There 
are two kinds of thyme : one white, with a wood- 
like root, growing on hills and also the more highly 
valued; the other kind is darker and with a dark 
flower. Both kinds are supposed to be very bene 
ficial for brightening the vision, whether taken as 
food or used in medicines, also for a chronic cough, 
to ease expectoration when used as an electuary 
with vinegar and salt, to prevent the blood from 
congealing when taken with honey, to relieve, 
applied externally with mustard, chronic catarrh of 
the throat, and also complaints of the stomach and 
bowels. They should be used, however, in modera 
tion, since they are heating, and because of this 
property they are astringent to the bowels ; should 
these become ulcerated, a denarius of thyme should 

271 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in sextarium aceti et mellis addi oportet, item si 
lateris dolor sit, aut inter scapulas aut in thorace. 
praecordiis medentur ex aceto cum melle, quae 
potio datur et in alienatione mentis ac melaneholicis. 

156 datur et comitialibus quos correptos olfactu excitat 
thymum. aiunt et dormlre eos oportere in molli 
thymo. prodest et orthopnoicis et anhelatoribus 
muBerumqne mensibus retardatis, vel si emortui 
sint in utero partus, decoctum in aqua ad tertias, et 
viris vero contra inflationes cum melle et aceto, et si 
venter turgeat testesve, aut si vesicae dolor exigat. 

157 e vino tumores et impetus inpositum tollit, item cum 
aceto callum et verrucas, coxendicibus inponitur 
cum vino, articulariis morbis et luxatis tritum ac 
lanae inspersum ex oleo ? ambustis cum adipe suillo. 
dant et potionem articulariis novis 1 .trium obolorum 
pondere in tribus cyatnis aceti et mellis, et in fastidio 
tritum cum sale, fc 

158 XC. Hemerocalles pallidum e viridi et molle 
folium habet, radice odorata, quae bulbosa cum 
melle inposita ventri aquas pellit et sanguinem 
etiam inutilem. folia epiphoris oculorum mam- 
marumque post partum doloribus inlinuntur. 

159 XCI. Helenium ab Helena, ut diximus, natum 
favere creditur formae, cutem mulierum in facie 
reHquoque corpore nutrire incorruptam. praeterea 

1 novis SUliff et De&efsen secufi Qronomum : bonis codd. : 
potioni in articulariis morbis Mayhoff. 

See p. xiv. 

6 Impetus, which with. & genitive means attack, paroxysm, 
when used absolutely seems to denote an inflammation or 
inflamed swelling. See a fuller note on XXII. 122, p. 382, 

c Probably, extravasated. 

* See 59 of this book. 

272 



BOOK XXI, LXXXIX. 155-xci. 159 

be added to a sextariiis of vinegar and honey, and 
the same for pain in the side, or between the shoulder- 
blades, or in the chest. They cure troubles of the 
hypochondria, taken in vinegar and honey, which 
draught is also given in cases of aberration of mind 
or of melancholy. Thyme is also administered to 
epileptics, who when attacked by a fit are revived 
by its smell. It is said too that epileptics should 
sleep on soft thyme. It is good also for asthma, 
difficult breathing, and delayed menstruation ; or if 
the embryo in the womb be dead, thyme boiled 
down in water to one third proves useful, as thyine 
moreover does to men also, if taken with honey and 
vinegar, for flatulence, for swellings of the belly or 
testes, or for maddening pain in the bladder. An 
application in wine removes tumours and inflam 
mations, 6 and in vinegar callosities and warts. It is 
applied with wine for sciatica ; pounded and sprinkled 
in oil on wool it is used for affections of the joints and 
for sprains, with lard it is applied to burns. It is 
also administered as a draught in the early stages 
of affections of the joints, three oboli of thyme in 
three cyathi of vinegar and honey ; pounded, with 
the addition of salt, it is used for loss of appetite. 

XC. Hemerocalles has a soft leaf of a pale green, O'her &mi 
and a scented bulbous root, which applied with honey 
to the belly drives out watery humours and also harm 
ful blood. The leaves are applied for fluxes of the 
eyes and for pains in the breasts after childbirth. 

XCL Helenium, which had its origin, as I have 
said/ in the tears of Helen, is believed to preserve 
physical charm, and to keep unimpaired the fresh 
complexion of our women, whether of the face or of 
the rest of the body. Moreover, it is supposed that 

273 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

putant usu ems quandam ita gratiam his veneremque 
conciliari. adtribuunt et hilaritatis effectum eidem 
potae in vino eumque quem habuerit nepenthes illud 
praedicatum ab Homero, quo tristitia omnis abo- 
leretur, est autem suci praedulcis. prodest et 
orthopnoicis radix eius in aqua ieiunis pota. est 
autem Candida intus et dulcis. bibitur et contra 
serpentium ictus ex vino, mures quoque contrita 
dicitur necare. 

160 XCIL Habrotonum duorum traditur generum, 
campestre ac montanum. hoc feminam, illud marem 
intellegi volunt. amaritudo absinthi in utroque. 
Siculum laudatissimum, dein Galaticum. usus et 
foliis, sed maior semini ad excalfaciendum, ideo 
nervis utile, tussi, orthopnoeae, convulsis, ruptis, 
lumbis, urinae angustiis. datur bibendum manua- 
libus fasciculis decoctis ad tertias partes; ex his 

161 quaternis cyathis bibitur. datur et semen tusum in 
aqua drachmae pondere. prodest et vulvae. con- 
coquit panos cum farina hordeacia et oculorum 
inflammationi inlinitur cotoneo malo cocto. ser- 

162 pentes fugat. contra ictus earum bibitur cum vino 
inlmiturque, efficacissimum contra ea quorum veneno 
tremores et frigus accidunt, ut scorpionum et pha- 
langforumj et contra venena alia pota prodest et 
quoquo modo algentibus et ad extrahenda ea I quae 

1 algentibus et ad extrahenda ea Detlefsen : algentibus. 
vis ei et extrahendi ea Mayhqff : est et, est, et, et ad et extra- 
hendi codd. 

Odyssey IV. 221 ff. 

& The translation makes effectum the antecedent to quo 
and ctbderetur to be final or consecutive. It is also possible 
to translate, " by which all sorrow was banished,'* when 
the antecedent would be nepenthes and the subjunctive due 
to virtual oratio obliqua. 
274 



BOOK XXI. xci. 159-xcn. 162 

by its use they gain a kind of attractiveness and sex- 
appeal. To this plant when taken in wine is 
attributed the power of stimulating gaiety, the 
power possessed by the famous nepenthes extolled 
by Homer of banishing all sorrow. 6 It also has a 
very sweet juice. The root of it, taken in water 
fasting, is good for asthma; inside it is white and 
sweet. It is also taken in wine for snake bites. 
Pounded it is said "further to kill mice. 

XCI I. Of southernwood authorities mention two r $ 
kinds : the field and the mountain. The latter, they 
would have us understand, is female, the former 
male ; both are as bitter as wormwood. The Sicilian 
is the most highly praised, next comes that of 
Galatia. While some use is made of the leaves, the 
seed is more useful for warming, for which reason it 
is good for sinews, cough, asthma, convulsions, 
ruptures, lumbago and strangury. Some handfuls 
are boiled down to one third, and given to drink in 
doses of four cyathL The pounded seed also is 
given in water, a drachma at a time. It is also 
beneficial to the uterus. With barley meal it brings 
to a head superficial abscesses, and it is applied as a 
liniment for inflammation of the eyes, a quince being 
boiled with it. c It keeps snakes away, and for their 
bites is either taken or applied with wine, being very 
effective against those creatures whose venom causes 
shivering and chills, scorpions for instance and 
poisonous spiders ; taken in drink it is good for other 
poisons, taken in any way it is good for chill fits, and 

c A most odd ablative absolute, the sense however being 
clear. The Bonn translation reads as though the original 
were cum cotoneo maLo coctum. 

275 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inhaereant corporibus. pellit et interaneorum mala, 
ramo eius ? si subiciatur pulvino, venerem stimulari 
aiunt, efficacissimamque esse herbam contra omnia 
veneficia quibus coitus inhibeatur. 

163 XCIII. Leucanthemum suspiriosis medetur dua- 
bus partibus aceti permixturru sampsuchum sive 
amaracum in Cypro laudatissimum et odoratissimtini 
scorpionibus adversatur ex ace to ac sale inlitum. 
mcnstmis quoque multum confert inpositum. minor 
eidem poto vis. cohibet et oculorum epiphoras 
com polenta, sucus decocti tormina discutit. et 
minis et hydropicis utile. movet et aridum sternu- 
menta. fit ex eo et oleum quod sampsuchinum 
vocatur aut amaracinum ad excalfaciendos mol- 
liendosque nervos, et vulvas calfacit. et folia 
suggillatis cum melle et luxatis cum cera prosunt. 

164 XCIV, Anemonascoronariastantumdiximus,nunc 
reddemus et medicas. sunt qui phrenion vocent. 
duo eius genera: prima silvestris, altera cultis 
nascens, utraque sabulosis. huius plures species, 
aut enim phoemcium florem habet, quae et co- 
piosissima est, aut purpureum aut lacteum. harum 
trium folia apio similia sunt, nee temere semipedem 

165 altitudine excedunt, cacumine asparagi. flos num- 

a Pettit suggests that the mala referred to are the animcdia 
of XX. 54, 218, but perhaps other intruders are included. 

& The Bohn translation takes this to refer to pessaries. It 
may do so, hut I cannot find examples ofimpono (which means 
to place on rather than in) in this connection. The word 
generally used is adpono. Imponere is to apply as a plaster, 
inli-nere to apply as liniment. 

* See 64 f. of this book. 

276 



BOOK XXI, xcn. i62-xcrv. 165 

for withdrawing substances embedded in the flesh. 
It also forces out noxious things from the intestines. 
They say that a spray of it, laid under the pillow, 
acts as an aphrodisiac, and that the plant is a most 
effective countercheck of all magic potions given to 
produce sexual impotence. 

XCIII. Leucanthemum mixed with twice the quan- 
tity of vinegar is beneficial to asthmatics. Sampsu- 
chum (otherwise amaracum, sweet marjoram) of which 
the most valued, and the most fragrant, comes from 
Cyprus, counteracts the stings of scorpions, if applied 
in vinegar and salt. An application 6 is also very bene 
ficial for irregular menstruation. This plant has less 
efficacy when taken in drink. With pearl barley it 
also checks fluxes from the eyes. The juice of the 
boiled plant relieves gripings. The plant is useful 
for strangury and dropsy, and in a dry state excites 
sneezing. There is also made from it an oil, called 
sampsuchinum or amaracinum, used for warming 
and softening the sinews, which also warms the 
uterus. The leaves too are good with honey for 
bruises and with wax for sprains. 

XCIV. Up to the present e I have spoken only of 
the anemone used for chaplets ; I shall now describe 
the kinds used in medicine. There are some who 
use the name phrenion. There are two kinds of 
it : one is wild, and the other grows on cultivated 
ground, though both prefer a sandy soil. Of the 
cultivated anemone there are several species; for 
it has either a scarlet flower this is also the most 
plentiful or a purple one, or one the colour of 
milk. The leaves of all these are like the leaves of 
parsley, and rarely does the plant exceed half a 
foot in height, the head resembling that of asparagus. 

277 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

quam se aperit nisi vento spirant e, unde et nomen 
accepere. silvestri amplitude maior latioribusque 1 
foliis, flore phoenicio. hanc errore ducti argemonen 
putant multi, alii rursus pap aver quod rhoean voca- 
vimus. sed distinctio magna, quod utraque haec 
postea florent, nee aut sucum illarum anemonae 
reddunt aut calyces habent nee nisi asparagi cacu- 
men. prosunt anemonae capitis doloribus et in- 
flammatioiiibus, vulvis mulierum, lacti quoque. 2 
et menstrua cient cum tisana sumptae aut vellere 
166 adpositae. radix commanducata pituitam trahit ? 
dentes sanat, decocta oculorum epiphoras et cica 
trices, Magi occultum 3 quiddam 4 iis tribuere, quae 5 
primum aspiciatur eo 6 anno tolli iubentes dicique 
colligi earn tertianis et quartanis remedio, postea 
adligari florem panno russeo et in umbra adservari, 
ita, cum opus sit, adalligarL quae ex his phoenicium 
fiorem habet radice contrita cuicumque animalium 
inposita ulcus facit styptica vi. et ideo expurgandis 
ulceribus adhibetur. 

1 latioribusque codd. : latioribus durioribusque cott. Diosc. 
Mayhoff. 

2 lacta quoque. et codd., Detlefsen : lacte quoque et ccU. 
Dio&c. Mayhojf. 

3 ocoultum Mayhoff i multum Deilefsen. 

* quiddam mntti codd. et Mayhoff ': quidem vulg., Deilefsen. 

5 quae seditions O. F. W. Mutter, Mayhoff : quam codd* 

6 eo cum codd., Mayhoff : in Urlich$ 9 Deilefsen, codd. 



* Derived from aveju-os 1 , wind. 

& Dioscorides has (II. 176 WeUmann) rots 
xtd oK\Tjf>or4pa t so that Mayhoff 's insertion of durioribuague 
('and harder') may be correct. XIX, 168. 

d Perhaps, corolla. However, anemones have no petals, 
only coloured sepals. 

* Dioscorides has: oBt f op^va. yaXa Karacrrra, ev 7rpoaBlra> Sc 

ayet (II. 176). Mayhoff 's emendation and punctuation 



BOOK XXI. xciv. 165-166 

The flower never opens except when the wind is 
blowing, a fact to which it owes its name. a The 
wild anemone is the larger, and its leaves are broader, 6 
the flower being scarlet. Many have been misled 
into identifying the wild anemone with the arge- 
mone, others again with the poppy that I have called 
rhoeas. But there is a great difference between 
them, because these two blossom after the anemone, 
which does not yield a juice like theirs, has not their 
calyx/ and there is no likeness except the head like 
asparagus. Anemones are good for headache and 
inflammations, for uterine complaints and for lacteal 
troubles. e They also promote menstruation when 
taken with barley water or used on a wool pessary. 
The root chewed brings away phlegm, is healing to 
the teeth/ and when boiled down to fluxes of the 
eyes and to scars. The Magi have attributed to the 
anemones a kind of mystic potency, recommending 
that the plant which is first seen should be taken up 
in that year with the utterance that it is being 
gathered as a remedy for tertian and quartan agues ; 
after this the blossoms must be wrapped up in a 
red rag and kept in the shade, and so be used, should 
occasion arise, as an amulet. If the crushed root of 
the anemone bearing a scarlet flower be applied to 
the skin of any living creature, it produces a sore by 
reason of its astringent qualities, and for this reason 
it is employed for cleansing ulcerous sores. 

are therefore attractive, especially as lade accusative would 
naturally be changed to lacti by an ignorant scribe, and with 
the received punctuation quoqiie conies in with a jerk. The 
sense however is much the same either way. 

f Possibly, " cures toothache." 

* Or, ** bound together with," unless we read, as Mayhoff 
suggests, ligari. 

279 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

167 XCV. Oenanthe herba nascitur in petris, folio 
pastinacae, radice magna, numerosa, cauHs eius 
et folia cum melle ac vino nigro pota facilitatem 
pariendi praestant secundasque purgant, tussim e 
melle tollunt, urinam cient. radix et vesicae vitiis 
medetur. 

168 XCVL Heliochrysum alii chrysanthemon vocant, 
ramulos habet candidos, folia subalbida, habrotono 
simHia, ad solis repercussum aureae lucis in orbem 
veluti corymbis dependentibus, qui numquain mar- 
ceseunt, qua de causa deos coronant illo, quod dili- 
gentissime servavit Ptolomaeus Aeg3rpti rex. nas- 
citur in irutectis. ciet urinas e vino pota et menses. 

169 duritias et inflammationes discutit, ambustis cum 
melle inponitur. contra serpentium ictus et lum- 
borum vitia bibitur. sanguinem concretum ventris 
aut vesicae absumit cum mulso.- folia eius trita 1 
trium obolorum pondere sistunt profluvia mulierum 
in vino albo. vestes tuetur odore non ineleganti. 

170 XCVIL Hyacinthus in Gallia maxima provenit, 
hoc ibi fuco hysginum tingunt. radix est bulbacea, 
mangonicis venaliciis pulchre nota, quae e vino dulci 
inlita pubertatem coercet et non patitur erumpere. 
torminibus et araneorum morsibus resistit. urinam 
Impeffit, contra serpentes et scorpiones morbumque 
regium semen eius cum habrotono datur. 

1 trita omitt. nonnvUi codd. el Dettefsen. 

* v Wr/xu? (Dioacorides HE. 120). Perhaps, "on rocky 
soils." 

6 Dioscorides has corresponding to Pliny 's ?miero5Ct K^oAas 
- 



. 

c A deep-red dye, to which apparently shades were given by 
adding other ingredients. The hyacinth meant is Scffia bifolia. 



280 



BOOK XXI. xcv. 167-xcvix. 170 

XCV, The plant oenanthe grows on rocks, and 
has a leaf like that of parsnip and a large root, with 
several heads. & Its stem and leaves taken with honey 
and dark wine make childbirth easy and bring away 
the after-birth ; taken in honey they are a cure for 
coughs, and also diuretic. The root also cures 
complaints of the bladder. 

XCVI. Heliochrysus is called by some chrysan- 
themon. It has sprigs of a shining white, and 
leaves of a dull whitish colour, like those of southern 
wood, with as it were clusters hanging down all 
round it, which glisten like gold when reflecting the 
light of the sun, and never fade. For this reason 
they make chaplets of it for the gods, a custom 
which Ptolemy king of Egypt very faithfully ob 
served. It grows in shrubberies. Taken hi wine it 
is diuretic and promotes menstruation. It disperses 
indurations and inflammations ; for burns it is 
applied with honey. For snake bites and lumbago 
it is taken in drink. With honey wine it removes 
congealed blood in the belly or bladder. Three 
oboli by weight of its leaves, pounded and taken in 
white wine, check excessive menstruation. It 
protects clothes by its smell, which however is not 
unpleasant. 

XCVII. The hyacinth grows chiefly in Gaul, 
There they use it to impart a shade to the dye 
hysginum.* The root is bulbous, and well known 
to slave-dealers, for applied in sweet wine it checks 
the signs of puberty, and does not let them develop. 
It relieves colic and counteracts the bites of spiders. 
It is diuretic. For snake bites, scorpion stings and 
jaundice its seed is given mixed with southern 
wood. 

281 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

171 XCVIII. Lychnis quoque flammea ilia ad versus 
serpentes et scorpiones et crabrones similiaque bibi- 
tur e vino semine trito. silvestris eadem stomacho 
inutilis. alvum solvit, ad detrahendam bilem effi- 
cacissima duabus drachmis, scorpionibus tarn con- 
traria ut omnino visa ea torpescant. radicem eius 
Asian! boliten vocant, qua adalligata oculo albugines 
tolli dicuntur. 

172 XCIX. Et vicapervica sive ehamaedaphne arida 
tusa hydropicis datur in aqua cocleari mensura, 
celerrimeque reddunt aquam. eadem decocta in 
cinere sparsa vino tumor es siccat. auribus suco 
medetur, alvis l inposita plurimum prodesse dicitur. 

173 C. Rusci radix decocta bibitur alternis diebus in 
ealculorum valitudine et tortuosiore urina vel cruenta. 
radicem pridie erui oportet, postero mane decoqui, 
ex eo sextarium vini cyathis duobus misceri. sunt 
qui et crudam radicem tritam ex aqua bibant, et in 
totum ad virilia cauliculis eius ex aceto tritis nihil 
utilius putant. 

174 CI. Batis quoque alvum mollit, inlinitur podagricis 
cruda et contusa. acinon et coronarum causa et 
ciborum Aegyptii serunt, eademque erat quae oci- 

1 alvis Barbaras : alvinis fere omnes codd. et Detlefsen : 
alvi vitiis Mayhoff. 

* So the order of words seems to indicate. But oculo 
might be taken with toUi : 4e if it be tied on as an amulet, 
white films are said to be removed from the eye." 

* It is not known for certain what albugo was. It is a 
word found apparently only in Pliny. See p. ix. 

282 



BOOK XXL xcvm. 171-01. 174 

XCVIII. The seed of lychnis too, that flame- 
coloured flower, is crushed and taken in wine for 
snake bites and for the stings of scorpions, hornets 
and the like. The wild variety of this plant is in 
jurious to the stomach. It loosens the bowels, 
in doses of two drachmae, bringing away bile most 
effectively, and is so hurtful to scorpions that the 
mere sight of it sends them into complete stupor. 
Its root is called bolites by the people of Asia ; tied 
over the eye it is said to remove white film & on 
the pupil. 

XCIX. The.vicapervica, otherwise chamaedaphne, o/ pert- 
dried and crushed is given in water for dropsy in mn3cle ' 
doses of a small spoonful, under which treatment the 
patient very quickly loses the water. A decoction 
of it in ash and sprinkled with wine dries tuntours. 
Its juice cures complaints of the ears. An applica 
tion to the belly is said to be very beneficial indeed 
for diarrhoea. 

C. A decoction of the root of butcher's broom is Qf 
given every other day for stone in the bladder, bnom ' 
for painful urination, or for blood in the urine. 
The root ought to be dug up on one day and the 
decoction made on the morning of the next, a 
sextarius of it being mixed with two cyathi of 
wine. There are some also who take in water 
the pounded root raw, and it is considered that 
nothing is more wholly beneficial to the male 
genitals than its small stalks pounded and used in 
vinegar. 

CI. Batis (sea-fennel) too relaxes the bowels. 
Crushed up it is used raw as a liniment for gout. 
The Egyptians sow acinos both for chaplets and for 
food ; it would be just the same as ocimum were it 

283 



PLINY ; NATURAL HISTORY 

mum, nisi hirsutior ramis ac foliis esset et admodum 
odorata. ciet et menses et urinas, 

CIL Colocasia Glaucias acria corporis leniri 
putavit et stomachum iuvari. 

175 CIIL Anthalii quod Aegyptii edunt nullum 
alium repperi usum. sed est herba anthyllium 
quam alii anthyllum vocant, duorum generum: 
foliis et ramis lenticulae similis, palmi altitudine, 
sabulosis apricis nascens, subsalsa gustanti. altera 
chamaepityi similis, brevior et hirsutior, purpurei 
floris, odore gravis, in saxosis nascens. prior vnlvis 
aptissima, ex rosaceo ac lacte inposita, et vulneribus. 
bibitur in stranguria reniumque harenis tribus 
drachmis. altera bibitur in duritia vulvarum et in 
tonninibus et in comitiali morbo cum melle et aceto 
quattuor drachmis. 

176 CIV. Parthenium alii leucanthes, alii amaracum 
vocant, Celsus apud nos perdicium et muralem. 
nascitur in hortorum saepibus, flore albo, odqre 
mali, sapore amaro. ad insidendum decocta 1 in 
duritia vulvarum et inflammationibus, sicca cum 
melle et aceto inposita bilem detrahit atram. ob 
hoc contra vertigines utilfs et calculosis. inlinitur 

1 deoocta coni. Deilefsen: deooctae codd. et Mayhoff, qui 
posf infLammationibTrs excidisse putaf ttstis est. 



a See Celsus II. 33. TMs perdidiim is not the same as 
that mentioned in 102 of this book. 

b Dioscorides (III. 138), TO SI jUcrov it,r^vov oapf} 
suggests that male should be read for malt. 

Dioscorides (loc, cit.) t TO S^ a.<f>ifnjfta aurrfr 
wrrepas <7fcXijpvcrfiVTfs. With Detlefsen's reading a suitable 
word or phrase (e.g., utiUs est) must be supplied from detraMt, 
such zeugma being common in Pliny. 

284 



BOOK XXI. cr. 174-civ. 176 

not for its rougher branches and leaves, and for its 
very strong smell. It is both an emmenagogue and 
diuretic. 

CIL Colocasia, according to Glaucias, mellows the 
acrid humours of the body, and is beneficial to the 
stomach. 

GUI. Anthalium is a food of the Egyptians, but 
I have been able to find no other use of it. There is 
however a plant called anthyllium by some and by 
others anthyllum, of which there are two kinds. 
One in leaves and branches is like the lentil, a palm 
in height, growing on sandy soils with plenty of sun, 
and slightly salt to the taste. The other kind is like 
the chamaepitys, but smaller and rougher, with a 
purple flower and a strong smell, and growing in 
rocky places. The former kind is very useful for 
uterine affections and for wounds, being applied with 
rose oil and -milk. It is taken in drink for strangury 
and gravel of the kidneys in doses of three drachmae. 
The other kind is taken by the mouth with honey 
and vinegar in doses of four drachmae for indura 
tions of the womb, gripings of the bowels, and 
epilepsy. 

CIV. Parthenium is called leucanthes by some 
and amaracum by others. Celsus, a among the Latin 
writers calls it perdicium and muralis. It grows in 
the hedges of gardens, and has a white flower, the 
smell of an apple 5 and a bitter taste. A decoction 
of this plant is used to make a sitz-bath for indura 
tion and inflammation of the womb, 6 and the dried 
plant is applied with honey and vinegar to bring 
away black bile. For this reason it is good for dizzi 
ness and stone in the bladder. It is used as an 
application for erysipelas, and also with old axle- 

285 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et sacro igni, item strumis cum axungia inveterata. 
Magi contra tertianas sinistra manu evelll earn 
iubent dicique cuius causa vellatur nee respicere, 
deln eius folium aegri linguae subicere ut mox in 
cyatho aquae devoretur. 

177 CV. Trychno, quam quidam strychnon scripsere, 
utinam ne coronarii in Aegypto uterentur, quos 
invitat hederae foliorum similitudo in duobus eius 
generibus, quorum alterum cui acini coccini granosi 
in folliculis, halicacabon vocant, alii callion, nostri 
autem vesicariam, quoniam vesicae et calculis prosit. 
frutex est surculosus verius quam herba, folliculis 
magnis latisque et turbinatis grand! intus acino, qui 

178 maturescit Novembri mense. tertio folia sunt 
ocimi, minime diligenter demonstrando remedia, 
non venena, tractantibus, quippe insaniam facit 
parvo quoque suco. quamquam et Graeci auctores 
in iocum vertere, drachjnae enim pondere lusum 
pudoris 1 gigni dixerunt species vanas 2 imaginesque 
conspicuas obversari demonstrates, duplicatum 
hunc modum legitimam insaniam facere, quidquid 

179 vero adiciatur ponderi repraesentari mortem, hoc 
est venenum quod innocentissimi auctores simpliciter 
dorycnion appellavere ab eo quod cuspid es in proeliis 
tinguerentur illo passim nascente. qui parcius 
insectabantur manicon nominavere, qui nequiter 

1 pudoris multi codd. ; ceteri om. : fnroris com. Mayhoff, 

2 vanas : varias x. 



a Dioscorides lias (IV. 73) <f>avracrias aTro^)(lv OVK a-rfieis. 
[Perhaps Pliny misheard d-rjBcts as cuSoias or aet/ceis 1 .] 
Mayhoff's eonjectnre, would give " playful insanity." Theo- 
phrastus (H.P. IX. 11, 6), ow-r* Trai&w /cat So/cctv eavra> 
KoXXurrov etj'at, supports the vulgate, 

b The reading of x, " a medley of visions," is attractive. 

286 



BOOK XXL civ. i 7 6~ev. 179 

grease for scrofulous sores. For tertian agues the 
Magi recommend us to gather it with the left hand 
without looking back, while saying for whose sake 
it is being gathered ; then a leaf of it should be 
placed under the tongue of the patient to be swal 
lowed presently in a cyathus of water. 

CV. Trychnos, spelt by some strychnos, I wish 
the Egyptian florists did not use for their chaplets ; 
they are tempted to do so by the resemblance of the 
leaves of both kinds to those of ivy. One of these 
kinds, bearing in a seed-bag scarlet berries with a 
stone in them, is called halicacabos, by others callion, 
and by our countrymen bladder-wort, because of its 
usefulness in cases of stone and other complaints of 
the bladder. It is a woody shrub rather than a 
plant, with large, broad, conical seed-bags, with a 
large stone inside, which ripens in November. A 
third kind has the leaves of basil, and should receive 
the briefest of descriptions from one who is dealing 
with remedies, not poisons, for a very small amount 
of the juice causes madness. Yet the Greek writers 
have actually made a jest of this property. For 
they have said that a dose of one drachma plays 
tricks with the sense of shame, speaking of hallu 
cinations & and realistic visions ; that a double dose 
causes downright insanity; any addition moreover 
to the dose bringing instant death. This is the 
poison which in their innocence very unsophisticated 
writers have called dorycnion e because spears before 
battle had their points dipped in it, as it grows 
everywhere. Those who censured it less severely 
gave it the name manicon ; d those who from evil 
motives tried to keep its nature secret called it 

c From So/>u = spear. d I.&., maddening. 

287 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

occultabant erythron aut neurada aut, ut nonnulli, 
perisson, ne cavendi quidem causa curiosius dicen- 

180 dum. quin et alterum genus quod halicacabon 
vocant soporiferum est atque etiam opio velocius 
ad mortem, ab aliis morion, ab aliis moly appellatum, 
laudatum vero a Diocle et Evenore, Timaristo 
quidem etiam carmine, mira oblivione innocentiae, 
quippe praesentaneum remedium ad dentium mo 
biles firmandos, si colluerentur halicacabo in vino, 
exceptionem addidere, ne diutius id fieret ; de- 
Hrationem enim gigni. non demonstranda x remedia 
quorum medicina maioris mali periculum adferat. 

181 commendetur ergo in cibis tertium genus licet ac 
praeferatur hortensiis saporibus et nil sit corporis 
malorum cui non salutares trychnos Xenocrates 
praedicet, non tamen auxilia eorum 2 tanti sunt ut 
ideo plura nos de iis commemorare fas putem, 
praesertim tanta copia innoxiorum medicaminum. 

182 halicacabi radicem bibunt qui vatieinari gallant esque 
vere ad confirmandas superstitiones aspici se volunt. 
remedio est id enim libentius rettulerim aqua 
copiosa mulsa calida potu. nee illud praeteribo, 
aspidum naturae halicacabum in tantum adversam 
ut radice eius propius admota soporetur ilia sopore 
enecans vis earum. ergo trita ex oleo percussis 
auxiliatur. 

183 CVL Cbrchorum Alexandrini cibi herba est con- 
volutis foliis ad stmilitudinem mori, praecordiis, ut 

1 gigni. non demonstranda. Maykoff* gigni eo, demon - 
strand o Urlichs, Detlefsen : eo et dem monstranda codd. 

2 eorum codd. Dettefsen ; eantm coni. Mayhoff. 

a Bed. & As exciting the nerves. 

c Either (a) superfluous or (b) exteaordinary. 

d Pimpernel. 



BOOK XXI. cv. 179-cvi. 183 

erythron, a or neuras, 6 or (as a few did) perisson, 6 
but there is no need to go into more details even for 
the sake of giving a warning. There is besides 
another kind, with the name of halicacabos, which 
is soporific, and kills quicker even than opium, by 
some called morion and by others moly, yet praised 
by Diocles and Evenor, by Tlinaristus indeed even 
in verse, with a strange forgetfulness of harmless 
remedies, actually because it is, they say, a quick 
remedy for strengthening loose teeth to rinse them 
in wine and halicacabos. They added a proviso, that 
the rinsing must not go on too long, for delirium is 
caused thereby. Remedies should not be described 
the use of which involves the danger of a yet more 
serious evil. Accordingly, although a third kind of 
this plant is in favour as a food, and although its 
flavour is preferred to that of other garden produce, 
and although Xenocrates prescribes trychnos as 
being beneficial for every bodily ill, yet the genus 
is not so helpful that I consider it right on this 
account to give any more details, especially when the 
supply is so abundant of harmless remedies. The 
root of halicacabos is taken in drink by those who, 
to confirm superstitious notions, wish to play the 
inspired prophet, and to be publicly seen raving in 
unpretended madness. The remedy for it, which 
I am happier to mention, is a copious draught of 
hot hydromel. Nor will I pass over this : that hali 
cacabos is so antipathetic to the nature of asps that if 
its root be brought near it stupefies that very power 
of theirs to kill by stupefaction. Therefore pounded 
and in oil it is a help to those who have been bitten. 
CVI. Corchorum d is a plant eaten at Alexandria. 
It has rolled up leaves, like those of the mulberry, 

289 

VOL. VI. L 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ferunt, utilis alopeciisque et lentigini. boura quoque 
scabiem celerrime sanari ea invenio, apud Nicandrura 
quidem et serpentium morsus, antequam floret. 

184 CVII. Nee de cneco sive atractylide verbosius 
dici par esset, Aegyptia herba, ni magnum contra 
venenata animalia praeberet auxilium, item adversus 
fringes . cons tat a scorpione percusses, quamdiu 
teneant earn herbam, non sentire cruciatum. 

CVII I. Et pesolutam Aegyptus in hortis sent, 
coronarum gratia, duo genera eius : femina ac 
mas, utraque subdita venerem inhiberi, virorum 
maxime, tradunt. 

185 CIX. Et quoniam in mensuris quoque ac ponderi- 
bus crebro Graecis noniinibus utendum est, inter- 
pretationem eorum semel hoc in loco ponemus : 
drachma Attica fere enim Attica observatione 
medici utuntur denarii argentei habet pondus, 
eademque vi obolos ponder e efficit, obolus x chalcos. 
cyathus pendet per se drachmas x, cum acetabuli 
mensura dicitur, significat heminae quartam, id est 
drachmas xv. mna, quam nostri minam vocant, 
pendet drachmas Atticas c, 

a Theriaca 626. 



290 



BOOK XXL c\-i. iSj-cix. 185 

and is beneficial, they say, to the hypochondria, for 
mange and for freckles. I find also that scab in 
cattle is very quickly healed by it, and that according 
to Nicander fl the bites of snakes also, if gathered 
before it blossoms. 

CVII. Nor would it be right to describe fully the 
cnecos, otherwise atractylis, an Egyptian plant, 
were it not for the great help it affords against 
venomous creatures as well as against poisonous 
fungi. It is a well-known fact that so long as they 
hold this plant, those stung by scorpions feel no 
sharp pain. 

CVIII. The Egyptians plant pesoluta too in their Pextvia. 
gardens, using it for chaplets. There are two kinds, 
female and male ; both, it is said, placed under the 
genitals, are antaphrodisiac, especially for men. 

CIX. Since I have frequently to use Greek names weight* and 
when giving weights and measures, I will add at Me 
this place their equivalents, once and for all. The 
Attic drachma, for it is generally the Attic standard ' 
that physicians adopt, has the weight of a silver 
denarius, and the same makes six oboli, the obolus 
being ten chalci. The cyathus as a measure weighs 
ten drachmae ; when the measure of an acetabulum 
is spoken of, it means the quarter of a hemina, that 
is fifteen drachmae. The mna, that our countrymen 
call the mina, weighs one hundred Attic drachmae. 



291 



BOOK XXII 



LIBER XXII 

I. Implesse poterant miraculum sui natura atque 
tellus reputanti vel prioris tantum voluminis dotes 
totque genera herbarum utilitatibus hominum aut 
voluptatibus genita. sed quanto plura restant 
quantoque mirabiliora inventu ! illarum * enim maiore 
in parte cibi aut odoris decorisve commendatio ad 
numerosa experimenta duxit, reliquarura potentia 
adprobat nihil ab rerum natura sine aliqua occultiore 
causa gigni. 

2 II. Equidem et formae gratia ritusque perpetul 
in corporibus suis aliquas exterarum gentium uti 
herbis quibusdam adverto animo. inlinunt certe 
aliis aliae faciem in populis barbarorum feminae, 
roaresque etiam apud Dacos et Sarmatas corpora 
sua inscribunt. similis 2 plantagini glastum in Gallia 
vocatur, Britannorum coniuges nurusque toto cor- 
pore oblitae quibusdam in sacris nudae incedunt 
Aethiopum colorem imitantes. 

3 III. lam vero infici vestes scimus admirabili fuco, 
atque ut sileamus Galatiae, Airicae, Lusitaniae e 
granis coccum imperatoriis dicatum paludamentis, 

1 illanim Detlefsen e coni. StracMi : ilia codd. et MayJioff. 

2 similis codd. et Detlefsen : simile vulg. : simili Mayhoff. 
qiii etiam glastum. in Gallia vocatur in parenthesi ponit. 

a With Mayhoff J s conjecture : " With a plant like the 
plantain in Gaul it is called glastum -the wives, etc," 
Glastum is woad. 

6 Probably a mistake of Pliny's for Gaul (TaXaria). 



BOOK XXII 

I. Nature and our earth might have filled the 
measure of our wonder at them in anyone who 
reviews even the preceding volume only, with all 
Nature's gifts in it, and all the kinds of plants 
created for the needs or pleasures of mankind. But 
how many more kinds remain, and how much more 
wonderful they are in their discovery ! For of the 
plants mentioned already the greater number, 
owing to their excellence as food, perfume or orna 
ment, have led to repeated experiments ; of the rest 
it is their efficacy that proves that nothing is created 
by Nature without some more hidden reason than 
those just mentioned. 

II. Now I notice that seme foreign peoples use 
certain plants on their persons both to make them 
selves more handsome and also to keep up traditional 
custom. At any rate among barbarian tribes the 
women stain the face, using, some one plant andfsome 
another; and the men too among the Daci and the 
Sarmatae tattoo their own bodies. In Gaul there 
is a plant like the plantain, called glastum;* with 
it the wives of the Britons, and their daughters-in- 
law, stain all the body, and at certain religious 
ceremonies march along naked, with a colour resem 
bling that of Ethiopians. 

III. Moreover we know that clothes axe dje& 
with a wonderful dye from a plant, and, to say 
nothing of the fact that, of the berries of Galatia,* 
Africa, and Lttsitania, the " coccom " is specially re- 

295 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

transalpine Gallia herbis Tyria atque 1 eonchylia 
tinguit et omnes alios colores. nee quaerit in pro- 
fundis murices, seque obiciendo escam, dum praeripit, 
beluis marinis, Intacta etiam aneoris scrutatur 
vada, ut inveniat per quod facilius matrona adultero 

4 placeat, corraptor insidietur nuptae. stans et in 
sicco carpit quo frugem modo, sed culpant ablui 
HSU, alioqui fulgentius instrui poterat luxuria, certe 
innocentius. non est nunc propositum ista con- 
seetari, nee omitteinus 2 ut subiciendo viliora luxuriam 
utilitate 3 cireumscribamus dicturi et aKas herbis 
tingni parietes nee lapide pingi. 4 nee tinguendi 
tamen rationem omisissemus, si umquarn ea Kberal- 

5 ium artium fuisset. interim fortius agetur, auetori- 
tasque quanta debet etiam surdis hoc est ignobilibus 
herbis perhibebitur, siquidem. auctores imperil Ro- 
mani conditoresque unmensum quiddam et hinc 
smnpsere, quoniam non aliunde sagmina. in remediis 
publicis ftiere et in saeris legationibusque verbenae. 

1 atqne] aeqTie coni, Warminffton. 

* neo omittemtis cum codd. Detlef&en : nee eammitteimis 



, 
viliora , . . utilitate MayTioff: utiKora . . . vilitate Det- 



. 

4 parfetes nee pingi lapide M ayhoff : lapides, parietes 
pingf Ite&efs&n. 

* In reality the coccum was tlie kerm.es insect, and not a 
plant-product. 

fr As "Tyrian purple " and " oyster purple >y are practically 
the same things, Warmington for atque suggests aegne, 
"Tyrian oyster-purple just as well as it can all other 
colours." 

c Detlefsen's readings would give : " so that I may, by 
suggesting more useful materials, curb luxury by cheapening 
it, as elsewhere I shall tell how stones are dyed and walls 
painted.*' With MayhofFs we must translate : " and I shall 
296 



BOOK XXII. in. 3-5 

served a to colour the military cloaks of our generals. 
Transalpine Gaul can produce with vegetable dyes 
Tyrian purple, oyster purple b and all other colours. 
To get these nobody seeks the murex oyster in the 
depths, offering his person^ as bait to sea monsters 
while he hastens to snatch his booty, and exploring 
a bottom that no anchor yet has touched, merely 
to discover the means for a matron to charm her 
paramour more easily and for a seducer to en 
snare another's wife. There one stands on land 
to harvest dyes as we harvest crops; and though 
there is a complaint that the dye washes out with 
use, except for this defect luxury could have be 
decked itself in brighter colours, and certainly with 
less risk to life. It is not my intention now to 
treat this subject fully, but I shall not pass it over 
entirely, so that I may, by suggesting cheaper 
materials, curb luxury by expediency, and on 
another occasion I shall tell how walls are dyed 
instead of being painted in mosaics,* Yet I should 
not have left out the craft of dyeing altogether, 
had it ever been included among the liberal arts. 
In the meantime I shall take a bolder line, and 
there shall be assigned even to dull, that is to say, 
lowly plants all the dignity that is their due, since 
it is a fact that the founders and enlargers of the 
Roman Empire derived from this source also an 
immense advantage, because it was from them that 
came the tufts used when the State needed cures, d 
and also the vervains required in holy ceremonies 
not commit the mistake of curbing, by suggesting cheaper 
materials, luxnry by expediency, although I shall on another 
occasion, etc," See XXXV. 118. 

* In times of national emergency, e.^., plague, a, solemn 
le&tisternium was held, in which a sagmen (or verbena) was used. 

297 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

certe utroque nomine idem significatur, hoc est 
gramen ex arce cum sua terra evolsum, ac semper e 
legatis, cum ad hostes clarigatumque mitterentur, id 
est res raptas clare repetition, unus utique ver- 
benarius vocabatur. 

6 IV. Corona quidem nulla fuit graminea nobilior a 
in maiestate populi terrarum principis praemiisque 
gloriae. gemmatae et aureae ? vallares, murales, 
rostratae, civicae, triumph ales post hanc fuere 
suntque cunctae magno intervallo magnaque dif- 

7 ferentia. ceteras omnes singuli, et duces ipsi 
imperatoresque militibus aut aliquando collegis 
dedere, decrevit in triumphis senatus cura belli 
solutus et populus otiosus, graminea numquam 
nisi in desperatione suprema contigit, nulli nisi ab 
universe exercitu servato decreta. ceteras im- 
peratores dedere, hanc solam miles imperatori, 
eadem vocatur obsidionalis liberatis obsidione abo- 

8 minandoque exitu totis castris, quod si civicae 
honos iuao aliquo ac vel humillimo cive servato prae- 
clarus sacerque habetur, quid tandem existimari 
debet unius virtute servatus universus exercitus? 
dabatur haec viridi e gramine decerpto inde ubi 



, a A solemn declaration of war made with due ceremony 
by the fetiales in case the enemy had not made restitution 
within 33 days. 

298 



BOOK XXIL xii. 5-iv, 8 

and in embassies. At any rate both names mean 
the same thing, that is, a turf from the citadel pulled 
up with its own earth ; and on every occasion when 
envoys were sent to the enemy to perform clarigaiio? 
that is to demand in loud tones the restitution of 
plundered property, one in particular was called 
vervain bearer. 

IV. No crown indeed has been a higher honour crown*, 
than the crown of grass among the rewards for 
glorious deeds given by the sovereign people, lords 
of the earth. Jewelled crowns, golden crowns, 
crowns for scaling enemy ramparts or walls, or for 
boarding men-of-war, the civic crown for saving the 
life of a citizen, the triumph crown these were 
instituted later than this grass crown, and all differ 
from it greatly, in distinction as in character. All 
the others have been given by individuals and 
personally by generals and commanders to then- 
soldiers, or occasionally to their colleagues, or have 
been decreed in triumphs by a Senate freed from 
the anxiety of war and by a people enjoying peace ; 
the grass crown has never been conferred except 
upon the leader of a forlorn hope, being voted only 
by the whole army and only to him who rescued it. 
The other crowns have been conferred by com 
manders, this alone on a commander by his soldiers. 
The same crown is called the siege crown when a 
whole camp has been relieved and saved from awful 
destruction. But if the civic crown is deemed a 
glorious and hallowed distinction because the life 
has been saved of only one and even maybe the 
lowliest citizen, what, pray, ought to be thought of 
the preservation of a whole army by the courage of 
one man ? This crown used to be made from green 

299 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

obsesses servasset aliquis. naxnque summum apud 
antiques sigmim victoriae erat herbara porrigere 
victos, hoc est terra et altrice ipsa liumo et humatione 
etiam cedere, quern morem etiam mine durare apud 
Gerrnanos scio. 

9 V. Donatus est ea L. Siccius Dentatus semel, cum 
civicas quattuordecim meruisset depugnassetque 
cxx proeliis semper victor, tanto rarius est serva- 
torern unum a servatis donarL quidam imperatores 
et s&epius donati sunt, veluti P. Decius Mus tribunus 
militum ab exercitu, altera ab his qui in praesidio 
obsessi fuerant, quanta esset eius honoris auctoritas 
eonfessus religione a siquidem donatus bovem album 
Marti inmolavit et centum fulvos qui ei virtutis 
causa dati fuerant simul ab obsessis. hie Decius 
postea se consul Imperioso conlega pro victoria 
10 devovit. data est et a senatu populoque Romano, 
qua claritate nihil equidem in rebus humanis sub- 
limius duco, Fabio illi qui rem omnem Romanam res- 
tituit non pugnando, nee data, cum magistrum 
equitum et exercitum eius servasset. tune satius 
fuit nomine novo coronari appellatum patrem ab his 
quos servaverat. sed quo dictum est consensu 



a See VII. 101 : Ttaud multo po&t exactos reges. 
6 See XVI. 11 : Comdio Cosso cos. Samnitium beUo. 
/^., 343-341 B.C. 

e In the Latin war, 340-338 B.C. 
* Mhmeins Rufus, 217 B,O. 

300 



BOOK XXIL iv. 8-v. 10 

grass pulled up from the site where the besieged 
men had been relieved by some one. For In old 
times it was the most solemn token of defeat for 
the conquered to present grass to their conquerors, 
for to do so meant that they withdrew from their 
land, from the very soil that nurtured them and 
even from means of burial. This custom, I know, 
exists even today among the Germans. 

V. L. Siccius JDentatus "was presented with this 
crown but once, although he earned fourteen civic 
crowns and fought out one hundred and twenty 
battles, victorious in all. So much rarer a thing is 
it for a decoration to be conferred by rescued men 
upon the one man who rescued them. Certain com 
manders have even been decorated more than once, 
P. Decius Mus, 5 for instance, when military tribune, 
once by his own army, and again by those who 
formed the relieved garrison. He showed by a 
devout act how great a dignity this distinction 
brought with it, seeing that after the presentation he 
sacrificed to Mars a white bull, as well as the hundred 
tawny ones which at the same time had been given 
to hfm by the relieved garrison in recognition of his 
courage. This I>ecius afterwards when consul with 
Imperiosus as his colleague sacrificed himself as a 
victim in order to secure victory. c It was also given 
by the Senate and People of Rome the highest 
distinction in my opinion that a human being can 
attain to to that Fabius who ** restored the whole 
Roman State ** by refusing to fight, not however on 
the occasion when he rescued the Master of the 
Horse d and his army ; it was then thought preferable 
for a crown and a new title, ** Father," to be given 
him by those whom he had rescued. The unanimous 

301 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

honoratus est Hannibale Italia pulso, quae corona 
adhuc sola ipsius imperii manibus inposita est et, 
quod peculiare ei est, sola a tota Italia data. 

11 VI. Praeter hos contigit eius coronae honos M. 
Calpurnio Flammae tribuno militum in Sicilia, cen- 
turioni vero uni ad hoc tempus Cn. Petreio Atinati 
Cimbrico bello. primum pilum is *capessens sub 
Catulo exclusam ab hoste legionem suam hortatus 
tribunum suum dubitantem per castra hostium erum- 
pere interfecit legionemque eduxit. invenio apud 
auctores eundem praeter hune honorem adstantibus 
Mario et Catulo cos. praetextatum imrnolasse ad 

12 iibicinem foculo posito. scripsit et Sulla dictator ab 
exercitu se quoque donatum apud Nolam legatum 
bello Marsico, idque etiam in villa sua Tusculana, 
quae fuit postea Ciceronis, pinxit. quod si verum est y 
hoc exsecrabiliorem eurri dixerim, quandoquidem 
earn capiti suo proscriptione sua ipse detraxit tanto 
paucioribus civium servatis quam postea occisis. 
addat etiamnum huic gloriae superbum cognomen 
Felicem, ipse tamen obsessis in toto orbe proscriptis 

13 hac corona Sertorio cessit. Aemilianum quoque 

a Haoonibal left Italy 203 B.C. 
6 See Livy XXH. 60, Epit. XVH. 
* The date is 101 B.C. 
d The 'Social' War, 91-88 B.C. 

302 



BOOK XXII. v. io-vi. 13 

vote I spoke of gave him the honour when Hannibal 
was driven from Italy * and the crown was the only 
one placed on the recipient's head by the hand of 
the State itself, and a special feature in the case of 
Fabius it was the only one given by the whole of 
Italy. 

VI. Besides these the distinction of the grass 
crown has been won for service in Sicily 6 by M. 
Calpurnius Flamma, tribune of the soldiers, and in 
the war with the Cimbri c by Cn. Petreius of Atina, 
the only centurion to receive it up to the present 
time. Serving- as Head Centurion under Catulus, he 
harangued his legion when it was cut off by the 
enemy, killed his own tribune when he hesitated to 
break through the enemy camp, and brought the 
legion out. I find in my authorities that in addition 
to this honour the same man, with the consuls Marius 
and Catulus at his side, offered sacrifice, wearing the 
magisterial gown, on a brazier placed for the purpose, 
and to the music of the piper. Sulla the Dictator 
also has written that he too was presented by his 
army with this crown before Nola, when he was 
lieutenant-general in the Marsian d war, and more 
over had the scene painted in his Tusculan villa, 
afterwards the property of Cicero. If Sulla tells the 
truth, it would make me describe him as all the more 
detestable, because by his proscription he with his 
own hand tore the crown from his own head, so 
much fewer were the citizens he saved than those 
whom he afterwards slew. Let him also add to this 
distinction the proud surname of Felix, nevertheless 
he himself resigned to Sertorius this crown when 
he besieged the proscribed in every part of the 
world. Scipio Aemiliantts also was, according to 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

Scipionem Varro auctor est donatum obsidionali in 
Africa Manilio consule in cohortibus servatis toti- 
demque ad servandas eas eductis, quod et statuae 
eius in foro suo divus Augustus subscripsit. 1 ipsum 
Augustum M. Cicerone filio consule idibus Septem- 
bribus senatus obsidionali donavit, adeo civica non 
satis videbatur. nee praeterea quemquam hac 
invenimus donatum. 

14 VII. Nullae ergo herbae fuere certae in hoc 
honore, sed quaecumque fuerant in periculi sede 
quamvis ignobiles ignotaeque honorem nobilem facie- 
bant, quod latere apud nos minus quidem miror 
cernens neglegi ea quoque quae ad valitudinem 
conservandam cruciatusque corporis propulsandos et 
mortem arcendam pertinent, sed quis non mores 
iure castiget? addidere vivendi pretia deliciae 
luxusque. numquam fuit vitae cupido maior nee 

15 minor cura. aliorum hanc operae esse credimus ac 
de 2 mandate quidem nostro alios id agere, medicisque 
provisum esse pro nobis. 3 ipsi fruimur voluptatibus 
et, quo nihil equidem probrosius duco, vivimus aliena 
fiducia. immo vero plerisque ultro etiam inrisui 
sumus ista commentantes atque frivoli operis argui- 
mur, magno quamquam immensi laboris solatio 
sperni cum rerum natura, quam certe non defuisse 

1 subscripsit Grcnovius : inscripsit Mayhoff ; scripsit 
plurimi coda. 

a de cum multis codd. lanus et Detlefsen : ne R vulg. Mayfioff. 

3 nobis Qronovius, Hard., JDetlefsen : morbis Mayhoff : bonis 
codd. 

This would be during the third Punic war, 149 B.C. 

b Or, " Luxury and extravagance have added to the en 
hancements of life." 

c With MayhoiFs text : " even without our instructing 
them." 
304 



BOOK XXII. vi. 13-vii. 15 

Varro, presented with the siege crown in Africa 
when Manilius was consul , a having rescued three 
cohorts with three others led out to rescue them. 
Such is the story carved under Scipio's statue by 
Augustus, now in Heaven, in the Forum August!. 
Augustus himself, in the consulship of Marcus 
Cicero junior, was on the 13th September presented 
with the siege crown by the Senate; so inadequate 
was the civic crown thought to be. Nobody else 
at all, I find, has received this distinction. 

VII. There were therefore no special plants used 
in making this crown, but whatever plants had been 
found on the site of the peril, however lowly and 
mean, these gave the honour its nobility. That 
such ignorance about the composition of this crown 
is rife amongst us I consider less strange when I see 
the further indifference to the means of preserving 
health, of banishing physical pain and of warding 
off death. But who could not with justice censure 
modern ways ? The cost of living has been increased 
by luxuries and extravagance ; & never has there 
been more zest for life or less care taken of it. We 
believe that care of our life is the duty of others, 
that others make it their business on instructions 
from us, c and that physicians have already provided 
for our needs. The enjoyment of pleasures is our 
personal affair, but our lives we entrust to the charge 
of somebody else, thereby incurring what I personally 
hold to be the worst possible disgrace. Moreover, 
most people actually laugh at me for carrying on 
research in these matters, and I **TYT accused of 
busying* myself with trifles. It is, however, a great 
comfort to me in my vast toil to know that Nature 
too, not I alone, incurs this contempt, for I shall 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nobis docebimus et invisis quoque herbis inseruisse 
remedia, quippe cum medicinas dederit etiam acu- 

16 leatis. haec enim proxime restant ex iis quas priore 
libro nominavimus, in quibus ipsis providentiam 
naturae satis admirari amplectique non est. dederat 
quas diximus raolles cibisque gratas, pinxerat re- 
media in floribus visuque ipso animos invitaverat 

17 etiam delieiis auxilia permiscens. excogitavit J aliquas 
aspectu hispidas, tactu truces, ut tantum non vocem 
ipsius fingentis illas rationemque reddentis exaudire 
videamur, ne se 2 depascat avida quadripes, ne pro- 
caces manus rapiant, ne neglecta vestigia obterant ne 
insidens ales iniringat, iis muniendo aculeis telisque 
armando, remediis ut tuta ac salva sint. ita hoc 
quoque quod in iis odimus hominum causa excogi- 
tatum est. 

18 VIII. Clara in primis aculeatarum erynge est sive 
eryngion contra serpentes et venena oinnia nascens. 
adversus ictus morsusque radix eius bibitur drachmae 
pondere in vino aut, si plerumque tales iniurias co- 
mitetur et febris, ex aqua. inlinitur plagis, pecu- 
liariter efficax contra chersydros ac ranas. vero 
omnibus contra toxica et aconita efficaciorem Hera- 
elides medicus in iure anseris decoctam arbitratur. 

19 Apollodorus adversus toxica cum rana a decoquit, 



1 Ante excogitavit add. en 
* se codd, : asilicet Mayhoff. 
3 rana : " mdetur aut cum rana corruptum esse aut post 
rana intercidisse in aceto vel tale quid,** Mayhoff. 



a Mayhoff thinks that " in vinegar," or something of the 
kind, has fallen out here, or else that the text is corrupt. 

306 



BOOK XXII. vii. i5-vm. 19 

show that she at least has not failed us, having put 
remedies even into plants that we dislike, seeing 
that she has given healing properties even to those 
armed with prickles and thorns. For these remain 
to be discussed next after those plants I mentioned 
in the preceding book, as even in them we cannot 
sufficiently apprehend and admire the forethought 
of Nature. She had given already the soft plants 
I spoke of that make pleasant foods ; she had coloured 
the remedies in flowers, and by the mere sight had 
attracted our attention, combining the helpful with 
what is actually delightful. Then she devised some 
so repellent to look at, so cruel to the touch, that 
we seem almost to hear tie voice of Nature justifying 
herself as she fashions them, and saying that she so 
creates them lest any greedy animal browse on her 
own self, any wanton hands steal, any careless steps 
crush, or any perching bird break; by defending 
them with these thorns, by arming them with 
weapons, she is making a protection and safety for 
her remedies. This very thing then that we hate in 
them has been devised for the sake of mankind. 

VIII. Especially famous among spinous plants is 
the erynge, or eryngion, that grows to counteract 
snake bites and all poisons. For stings and bites 
its root in doses of one drachma is taken in wine, or 
in water if (as usually happens) such injuries are also 
accompanied by fever. It is applied to the wounds, 
being a specific for those caused by amphibious 
snakes and frogs. Heraclides the physician is of 
opinion that boiled in goose broth it is more effi 
cacious than any other remedy for aconite and other 
poisoning. Apollodorus would boS it with a frog 
for poisoning, the other authorities say in water 

307 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ceteri in aqua. Ipsa dura, fruticosa, spinosis foliis, 
caule geniculato, cubitali et maiore aliquando, alia 
albicans, alia nigra, radice odorata ; et sativa quidem 
est, sed sponte nascitur in asperis et saxosis et in 
litoribus maris durior nigriorque, folio apii. 

20 IX. Ex his candidam nostri centum capita vocant. 
omnes eiusdem effectus, caule et radice in cibos Grae- 
coruni receptis utroque modo, sive coquere libeat sive 
cruda vesci. portentosum est quod de ea traditur, 
radieem eius alterutrius sexus similitudinem referre, 
raro inventu, 1 set si viris contigerit mas a amabiles 
fieri, ob hoc et Phaonem Lesbium dilectum a 
Sappho, multa circa hoc non Magorum solum vanitate 

21 sed etiam Pythagoricorum. sed in medico usu 
praeter supra dicta auxiliatur inflationibus, tormini- 
bus, cordis vitiis, stomacho, iocineri, praecordiis in 
aqua mulsa, lieni in posca, item ex mulsa renibus, 
stranguriae, opisthotonis, spasmis, lumbis, hydro- 
picis, comitialibus, mulierum mensibus, sive subsidant 

22 sive abundent, vulvarumque omnibus vitiis. extra- 
hit infixa corpori cum melle. struinas, parotidas, 

1 irnrentii fere omnes codd. : invento E. et Mayfioff f gui 
inveniri coni. 



a Or "hard/' "tough.** The adjective durus has both 
meanings, and so much ambiguity is caused in a botanical 
context. 

& Whatever the correct reading may be, this phrase could 
be taken either with what follows, as in the translation, or 
with the preceding sentence, when " sometimes " must be 
understood before "grows." 

e See Dioscorides III. 21. With Wellmann's reading the 
^po^rcct called erynsge a love charm (ipefrros)* This seems to 
suggest jfchat Pliny identified the Tjpo^-ffT^ with the Magi. 

308 



BOOK XXII. vm. 19-1*. 22 

only. The plant itself is hardy, bushy, with prickly 
leaves and jointed stem, a cubit high or occasionally 
taller, partly palish in colour, partly dark, and with 
a fragrant root. While it is a cultivated plant it 
also grows wild on rough, stony ground and on the 
sea shore, when it is more hardy and darker, with a 
leaf like that of celery. 

IX. Of these the pale variety is called " hundred 
heads ** by our countrymen. All kinds have the 
same properties, and the Greeks make a food of the 
stem and the root, served in either way you like, 
boiled or eaten raw. Marvellous is the charac 
teristic reported of it, that its root grows into the 
likeness of the organs of one sex or the other ; it is 
rarely so found, 6 but should the male form come into 
the possession of men y they become lovable in the 
eyes of women. This, it is said, is how Phaon c of 
l>esbos too won the love of Sappho, there being much 
idle trifling on this subject not only among the Magi 
but also among the Pythagoreans. d Wnen used in 
medicine, however, besides the advantages mentioned 
above, it relieves flatulence, colic, affections of the 
heart, stomach, liver and hypochondria, if taken in 
hydromel, and the spleen if taken in vinegar and 
water. With hydromel again it helps the kidneys, 
strangury, opisthotonic tetanus,* cramp, lumbago, 
dropsy, epilepsy, deficiency or excess in menstrua 
tion, and all affections of the uterus. With honey it 
draws out substances embedded in the flesh. Applied 

* As is suggested by the punctuation of Detlefsen and 
Mayhofif, this sentence is taken to be part of the indirect 
speech, with mvlta ablative. With a full stop at Sappho, it 
could be taken as a comment of Pliny, with mw&a neuter 
phiral. 

See pp. xi-sii and p, 368 n, a, 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

panos, recedentes ab ossibus carnes sanat cum 
axungia salsa et cerato, item iracturas, crapulam 
praesumpta areet, alvum sistit. aliqui e nostris sub 
solstitio colligi earn iussere, ex aqua caelesti inponi 
omnibus cervicis vitiis. 1 oculorum quoque albugines 
sanare adalligatam 2 tradiderunt. 

23 X. Sunt qui et acanum eryngio adscribant, spino- 
sam brevemque et latam herbam spinisque latioribus. 
hanc inpositam sanguinem mire sistere. 

24 XL Alii eryngen falso eandem putavere esse et 
glycyrrhizam, quare subiungi earn protinus refert. 
et ipsa sine dubio inter aculeatas est, foliis echinatis, 
pinguibus tactuque cuinminosis, fruticosa, binum 
cubitorum altitudine, flore hyacinthi, fructu pilu- 
larum platani magnitudinis. praestantissima in 
CiMcia, secunda Ponto, radice dulci et hac tantum in 

25 usu. capitur ea vergiliarum occasu, longa ceu 
lycium, 3 coloris buxei melior quam 4 nigra, quaeque 
lenta quam quae iragilis. usus in subditis decoctae 
ad tertias, cetero ad mellis crassitudinem, aliquando 
et tusae, quo genere et vulneribus inponitur et 
fauciuni vitiis omnibus, item voci utilissimo 5 suco 

1 vitiis. Sic dist. Hayhoff* 

2 adaJligatamque VB : adalligatam aEqui Mcuyhojf. 

3 ceu lyoium Urlichs : ceu vitium aut ceu vitui codd. : 
sucosa ceu lycium Mayhoff* ex IHosc. xv/Uo/T>ai cacrTrep TO 
XVKIOV. 

* quam Gronovius^ Detlefsen : quae MayJioff : que codd. 
5 utilissimo cum codd. Detlefsen : utilissima coni. Mayhoff. 

* For eye-diseases, see pp. viii-x. 

* I.e., 11 November. 



BOOK XXIL ix. 22-xi. 25 

with salted axle-grease and wax ointment It heals 
scrofulous sores, parotid tumours, superficial ab 
scesses, and the falling away of flesh from the bones ; 
fractures also. Taken beforehand it keeps off the 
after-effects of wine, and checks looseness of the 
bowels. Some of our countrymen have recommended 
it to be gathered near the summer solstice and to be 
applied with rain water for all affections of the neck. 
Some have recorded that albugo c also of the eyes is 
cured by using it as -an amulet. 

X, Some with eryngium class acanus also, a thorny, 
short and broad plant, with rather broad thorns. An 
application of it is said to be wonderfully good for 
checking haemorrhage. 

XI. Some have incorrectly thought that erynge 
is the same as liquorice, which therefore should come 
immediately after erynge in my discussion. The 
plant itself is undoubtedly among the spinous ones, 
with prickly, fleshy, gummy leaves, bushy, two 
cubits high, with a flower like the hyacinth, and 
fruit the size of the little balls of the plane tree. 
The finest grows in Cilieia, the next best in Pontus ; 
it has a sweet root, the only part to be used. It is 
dug up at the setting of the Pleiades, 6 and is as long as 
lycium root, the boxwood-coloured being superior to 
the dark c and the pliant to the brittle. To be used as 
a suppository d it is boiled down to one-third, for other 
purposes to the consistency of honey, though occa 
sionally it is pounded, in which form it is applied to 
wounds and for all affections of the throat. Merely 

With MayhofFs reading : " of the eolonr of boxwood, 
the dark being superior, and the pliant being superior to the 
brittle." 

d Perhaps, 4t pessary." 

3*1 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sic ut spissatus est linguae subdito, item thoracij 

26 iocinerL hac dixirnus sitim famemque sedari. ob 
id quidam adipson appellavere earn et hydropicis 
dedere, ne sitirent. ideo et conmanducata stomatice 
est et ulceribus oris inspersa saepe et pterjgiis. 
sanat et vesicae scabiem, renium dolores, condylo- 
mata, ulcera gemtalium. dedere earn quidam potui 
in quartanis drachniarum duarum pondere et piper 
ex 1 hemina aquae, conmanducata sanguinem ex 
vulnere sistit. sunt qui et calculos ea pelli tradi- 
derunt, 

27 XII. Tribuli unum genus in hortis nascitur, 
alterum in fluminibus tantum. sucus ex his col- 
ligitur ad oculorum medicinas, est enim refrigerantis 
naturae et ideo utilis contra inflammationes collec- 
tionesque. ulcera per se erumpentia et praecipue 
in ore cum melle sanat ? item tonsillas. potus cal- 
cuk>s frangit. Thraces qui ad Strymona habitant 
foliis tribuli equos saginant, ipsi nucleo vivunt panem 
facientes praedulcem et qui contrahat ventrem. 
radix caste pureque collecta discutit strumas 3 semen 
adalligatum varicum dolores sedat, tritum vero in 
aquam sparsum pulices necat. 

28 XIII. Stoebe quam aKqui pheon vocant, decocta 
in vino praecipue auribus purulentis medetur, item 

1 et piper ex Mayhoff : et aut ex pipere codd. 

* XI. 284. 

6 With the MSS. reading the meaning is the same, but 
oddly expressed, as ex with the ahlative usually denotes the 
base of a draught or medicine (ex aqua, e vino, ex aceto, ex dleo, 
etc,). But cf. XX. 91 si deiur ex carne (this is not quite the 
same). 

e This is Poterium spinosum. 

3*2 



BOOK XXII. xi. 25-xni. 28 

thickened and then placed under the tongue the 
juice is good for the voice ; it is also good for the 
chest and liver. I have already stated a that this root 
allays hunger and thirst, for which reason some have 
named it adipsos (thirst-quencher), and prescribed it 
for dropsy , in order to prevent thirst. Because of this 
property it is chewed as a mouth medicine, and it is 
often sprinkled on sores in the mouth and inflamma 
tory swellings of the eye-lids. It also cures irritation 
of the bladder, pains in the kidneys, tumours of the 
anus, and sores on the genitals. Some have pre 
scribed it in a draught for quartan ague, in doses of 
two drachmae by weight, with pepper, 6 to be taken 
in a hemina of water. Chewed, it checks the flow 
of blood from a wound. Some authorities have 
asserted that it also expels stone from the bladder. 

XII. One kind of caltrop grows in gardens, the Caltrop. 
other only in rivers. From both the juice is col 
lected to make eye medicines, for it is of a cooling 
nature and therefore useful for inflammations and 
abscesses. Mixed with honey it heals sores that 
break out of themselves, especially those in the 
mouth, and also sore tonsils. Taken in drink it 
breaks up stone in the bladder. The Thracians on 

the banks of the Strymon feed their horses on 
the leaves of the caltrop, themselves living on the 
kernel, out of which they make a very pleasant 
bread, and one to bind the bowels. The root, if 
gathered in chastity and purity, disperses scrofulous 
sores; the seed used as an amulet soothes painful 
varicose veins ; pounded, moreover, and sprinkled in 
water it Mils fleas. 

XIII. Stoebe, c which some call pheos, boiled in stoetx. 
wine is specific for suppurating ears, as well as for 

3*3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

oculis ictu cruentatis, haemorrhagiae quoque et 
dysinteriae infusa. 

20 XIV. Hippophaes in sabulosis maritimisque, 1 spinis 
albis, hederae modo racemosa est, candidis, ex parte 
rubentibus acinis. radix suco madet qui aut per se 
conditur aut pastillis farinae ervi. bilem detrahit 
obolo ponderis, 2 saluberrime cum mulso. est altera 
hippophaes sine caule, sine fiore, foliis tantum mi- 
nutis. huius quoque sucus hydropicis mire prodest. 

30 debent adcommodatae esse et equortun naturae, 
neque ex alia causa nomen accepisse. quippe quae- 
dam animal Jum remediis nascuntur locupleti divini- 
tate ad generanda praesidia, ut non sit mirari satis 
ingenium eius disponentis auxilia in genera, in causas, 
in tempera, ut aliis prosit aliud horis diesque nullus 
prope sine praesidiis reperiatur. 

31 XV. Urtica quid esse invisius potest? at ilia 
praeter oleum quod in Aegypto ex ea fieri diximus 
vel plurimis scatet remediis, semen eius cicutae 
contrarium esse Nicander adfirmat, item fungis et 
argento vivo, Apollodorus et salamandris cum iure 
coctae testudinis, item adversari hyoscyamo et ser- 
pentibus et scorpionibus. quin ipsa ilia amaritudo 
mordax uvas in ore procidentesque vulvas et in- 

1 maritimisque Detlefsen : maritimis codd. (simaritndinis R) 
Mcvyhoff: maritimisque nascitur, vulg. 

2 obolo ponderis codd. ; oboli pondere MayTtoff* 

a See XV. 30. & Alexipharmaca 201. 

Tta^le ( ?}. 

314 



BOOK XXII. XIH. 28-xv. 31 

black eyes. It is injected into the bowels for 
haemorrhage and dysentery. 

XIV. Hippophaes grows on sandy soils and by the 
sea. It has pale thorns, and clusters, like those 
of ivy, with, berries partly white and partly red. Its 
root is rich in a juice which is either dispensed by 
itself or made up into lozenges with vetch meal. 
An obolus by weight carries off bile ? most health 
fully if taken with honey wine. There is another 
hippophaes, consisting only of very small leaves 
without stem or flower. The juice of this also is 
wonderfully good for dropsy. They must be well 
suited to the constitution of horses too, and must 
also have received then* name for this and no other 
reason. The fact is that certain plants are created 
to be remedies for the diseases of animals, the Deity 
being bounteous in producing protections for them, 
so that it is impossible to admire enough his wisdom, 
which arranges the aids according to the type of 
disease, the cause of it, and its season. Each period 
of the year has its own appropriate remedy, and 
scarcely can any day be found that is without its 
safeguards. 

XV. What can be more hateful than the nettle? 
Yet this plant, to say nothing of the oil which I have 
said a is made from it in Egypt, simply abounds in 
remedies. Nicander & assures us that its seed coun 
teracts hemlock, and also the poison of fungi and of 
mercury. Apollodorus says that with the broth 'of 
boiled tortoise c it is good for salamander bates, 
and as an antidote for henbane, snake bites and 
scorpion stings. Moreover, its pungent bitterness 
itself, by the mere touch, forces to subside swollen 
uvulas, restoring prolapsus of the uterus, and of 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fantium sedes tactu resilire cogit, lethargicos exper- 

32 gisci tactis cruribus magisque fronte. eadem canis 
morsibus addito sale medetur, sanguinem trita 
naribus indita sistit et magis radice. carclnomata 
et sordida ulcera sale admixto, item luxata sanat et 
panos, parotidas carnesque ab ossibus recedentes. 
semen potum cum sapa vulvam strangulatis aperit, 
pronuvia narium sistit inpositum. vomitiones in 
aqua nralsa sumptum a cena faciles praestat duobus 
obolis, uno autem in vino poto lassitudines recreat. 

33 \rulvae vitiis tostum acetabuli mensura, potum in 
sapa resistit stomachi inflationibus. orthopnoicis 
prodest cum melle et thoracem purgat eodem eclig- 
mate et lateri medetur cum semine lini. addunt 
nysopum et pipeiis aliquid. inlinitur lieni, difficilem 

34 ventrem tostum cibo emollit- Hippocrates vulvam 
purgari poto eo pronuntiat, dolore levari tosto 
acetabuli mensura, dulci poto et inposito cum suco 
malvae, intestinorum animalia pelli cum hydromelite 
et sale, defluvia capitis semine inlito cohonestari. 
articulariis morbis et podagricis plurimi cum oleo 
vetere aut folia cum ursino adipe trita inponunt. 
ad eadem radix tusa cum aceto non minus utilis, 
item lieni, et cocta in vino discutit panos cum axungia 

35 vetere salsa, eadem psilotrum est sicca. condidit 
laudes eius Phanias physicus, utilissimam cibis 



a See pp. xiii-xiv. 

fr Possibly " rmrnrng-** 

* Perhaps " or," as et must often be rendered. 



316 



BOOK XXII. xv. 31-35 

the anus of babies, besides waking up lethargus* 
patients if it touches their legs or better still their 
forehead. The same plant with the addition of salt 
heals dog bites; pounded and inserted it arrests 
nose bleeding, the root proving even better. Mixed 
with .salt it heals carcinoma and foul ulcers, likewise 
sprains, superficial abscesses, parotid abscesses and 
falling away of flesh from the bones. The seed taken 
with boiled must relieves suffocation of the uterus, 
and an application checks bleeding 6 at the nose. 
Taken in hydromel after dinner in a dose of two oboli 
it makes vomiting easy, while one obolus in wine 
refreshes after fatigue. Uterine affections are 
relieved by an acetabulum of the roasted seed, and 
flatulence by taking it in boiled must. With honey 
it relieves asthma, clears the chest by the same made 
into an electuary, and with linseed cures pain in the 
side. Hyssop .may be added and a little pep|>er. It 
is used as an application for the spleen ; roasted and 
taken as food it loosens constipated bowels. Hippo 
crates declares that taken in drink it purges the 
uterus, that an acetabulum of it roasted and taken 
in sweet wine and c applied with mallow juice relieves 
uterine pains, that intestinal worms are expelled if 
it be taken with hydromel and salt, and that a lini 
ment made from its seed replaces disfiguring loss of 
hair. For affections of the joints and for gout most 
prescribe application of it with old oil or of the 
pounded leaves with bears' grease. The crushed 
root with vinegar is no less useful for the same 
purposes, and also for the spleen, and boiled in wine 
and mixed with old and salted axle-grease it dis 
perses superficial abscesses. The same root dried 
is a depilatory. Pbanias the naturalist has sung its 

3*7 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

coctam conditamve professus arteriae, tussi 5 
destillationi, stomacho ? panis, parotidibus, per- 
nionibus, cum oleo sudorem, coctam cum conehyliis 
ciere alvum, cum tisana peetus purgare mulierumque 
menses, cum sale ulcera quae serpant cohibere. 

36 suco quoque in usu est. expressus inlitus fronti 
sanguinem narium sistit, potus urinam clet, calculos 
rumpit, uvam gargaiizatus reprimit. semen colligi 
messibus oportet. Alexandrinum maxtme laudatur. 
ad onmia haec et mitiores quidem teneraeque effi- 
caces, sed praecipue silvestris illa 3 et hoc amplius 
lepras e facie tollit in vino pota. si quadripes fetum 
non admittatj urtica naturam fricandam monstrant. 

37 XVI. Ea quoque quam lamium inter genera 
earum appellavimus, mitissima et foliis non morden- 
tibus, medetur cum mica salis contusis incussisque, 
inustis et strumis, tumoribus, podagris, vulneribus. 
album habet in medic folio quod ignibus sacris 

38 medetur. quidam e nostris temp ore discrevere 
genera, et autumnalis urticae radicem adalligatam 
in tertianis ita ut aegri nuncupentur, cum eruatur 
ea radix, dicaturque cui et quorum filio exitnatur, 
liberare morbo tradid^runt r hoc idem et contra 
quartanas pollere, iidem urticae radice addito sale 

a See XXI. 93. 6 See p. xiii. 



BOOK XXII. xv. 35-xvi. 38 

praises, maintaining that either boiled or preserved 
it is a most useful food for the trachea, cough, 
bowel catarrh, the stomach, superficial abscesses, 
parotid swellings and chilblains, that with oil it is 
sudorific, boiled with shell-fish a laxative, that with 
barley-water it clears the chest and promotes 
menstruation, and that mixed with salt it arrests 
creeping sores. For the juice too a use is found. 
An extract applied to the forehead checks bleeding 
at the nose ; a draught is diuretic, breaks up stone 
in the bladder, and used as a gargle reduces the 
uvula. The seed should be gathered at harvest 
time, that of Alexandria being most prized. For 
all these purposes, though the milder and tender 
nettles are efficacious, the well known wild variety is 
particularly so, and it has this further merit, when 
taken in wine, of removing leprous sores from the 
face. We are told that should an animal resist 
conception, its parts should be rubbed with a nettle. 
XVI. That species of nettle which I have called 
lamium (dead-nettle), a very mild kind with leaves 
that do not sting, cures with a sprinkling of salt 
contusions, bruises, burns, scrofulous sores, tumours, 
gouty pains and wounds. The middle of the leaf is 
white, and cures erysipelas. Certain of our country 
men have distinguished nettles by their season, 
stating that the disease is cured if the root of the 
autumn nettle is used as an amulet for tertian ague, 6 
provided that when this root is dug up the names of 
the patients be uttered, and it be said for what man 
it is taken up and who his parents are; the same 
method is effective in quartan agues. The same 
authorities add that the root of the nettle, with salt 
added, extracts bodies embedded in the flesh, that 

319 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

infixa corpori extrahl, foliis cum axungia strum as 
discoti ve! 3 si suppuraverint, erodi, compleri. 

39 XVII. Ex argumento nomen accepit scorpio herba. 
semen enim habet ad similitudinem. caudae scor- 
pionis, folia pauca. valet et 1 adversus animal nominis 
sui. est et alia eiusdem nominis effectusque sine 
foliis, asparagi caule, in cacumine aculeum habens 
et inde nomen. 

40 XVIII. Leueacantbam alii pbyllon, alii iscbada, alii 
polygonaton appellant, radice cypiri, quae com- 
manducata dentium dolores sedat, item laterum et 
lumborum, ut Hicesius tradit, semine poto draclimis 
octo aut suco. eadem raptis, convulsis medetur. 

41 XIX. Helxinen aliqui perdicium vocant, quoniam 
perdices ea praecipue vescantur, alii sideiitem, 
nonnulli parthenium. folia habet roixtae simili- 
tudinis plantagini et marruvio, cauliculos densos, 
leviter rubentes, semina in capitibus lappaceis ad- 
haerescentia vestibus, tinde et helxinen dictam 
volunt. sed nos qualis vera esset belxine diximus 

42 priore libro. haec atitem inficit lanas, sanat ignes 
sacros et tumores collectionesque omnes et adnsta, 
panos ; sucus eius cum psimithio et guttura incipientia 
turgescere, item veterem tussim cyatbo bausto et 
omnia in umido, 2 sieut tonsillas, et aures 3 cum rosaceo. 

1 et del. Mayhoff. 

3 in umido aut ut in umido codd* ; vitia umida Mayhoff. 

5 anres Mayhoff : arietes aut varices codd. 

9 Polvgonum maritimum* b I.e., from the Greek !A*ra>. 

'See XXI. 96. 
320 



BOOK XXII. xvi. 3 8-xix. 42 

the leaves -with axle-grease disperse scrofulous 
swellings, or, if they have suppurated, cause them to 
clear up and new flesh to be formed. 

XVII. Association has given its name to the 
scorpion plant. For it has seed that resembles the 
tail of the scorpion, but only a few leaves. It has 
moreover power over the creature of the same name. 
There is also another kind, with the same name and 
properties, that is leafless, with the stem of asparagus, 
having on its head the sharp point which has given 
the plant its Dame. 

XVIII. Leucacantha, also called phyllos, ischas, 
or polygonatum, has a root like that of cypirus, which 
when chewed relieves tooth-ache ; pains also in the 
sides and loins, as Hicesius teaches, the seed or juice 
being taken in drink, and the dose being eight 
drachmae. The same plant is used for the cure of 
ruptures and convulsions. 

XIX. Helxine, called by some perdicium (par- Bdxfne tmd 
tridge plant) because partridges are particularly 

fond of eating it, by others sideritis, and by a few 
people parthenium, has leaves that resemble partly 
those of the plantain and partly those of horehound, 
stalks small, close together and reddish in colour, 
and, in bur-shaped heads, seeds that cling to the 
clothes. Hence is derived, some hold, the name 
helxine. 6 The characteristics, however, of the 
genuine helxine I have described in the preceding 
book/ but this helxine dyes wool, cures erysipelas, 
every kind of tumour or boil, bums and superficial 
abscesses. Its juice with white-lead cures also 
incipient swelling of the throat, and a draught of a 
cyathus cures chronic cough and all complaints in 
moist parts, like the tonsils ; with rose oil it is good 



VOL, VI. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inponitur et podagris cum caprino sebo ceraque 
Cypria. 

43 XX. Perdicium slve parthenium sive etiam si- 
deritis alia est 1 ; ab nostris herba urceolaris vocatur, 
ab aliis astercum ; folio similis ocimo, nigrior tantum, 
nascens in tegulis parietinisque. medetur cum mica 
salis trita iisdem omnibus quibus lamium, et eodem 
mode, item vomicae calfacto suco pota 5 sed contra 
vulsa, rupta lapsusque et praecipitia, ut vehiculorum 

44 eversiones, singularis. verna carus Pericli Athe- 
niensium principi, cum is in arce templum aedificaret 
repsissetque super altitudinem fastigii et inde ceci- 
disset, hac herba dicitur sanatus monstrata Pericli 
somnio a Minerva, quare parthenium vocari coepta 
est adsignaturque ei deae. hie est vernula cuins 
effigies ex aere fusa est nobilis ille splanehnoptes. 

45 XXI. Chamaeleonem aliqui ixian vocant. duo 
genera eius : candidior asperiora habet folia, serpit 
in terra echini modo spinas erigens, radice dulci, 
odore gravi. 2 quibusdam in locis viscum gignit 
album sub alis foliorum, maxime circa cards ortum, 
quo modo tura nasci dicuntur, unde et ixia appel- 
latur. hac mastiche utuntur mulieres. quare et 

1 Ita coni. et dist. Mayhoffi nam pro etiam awt sive etiam 
codd, 

* gravi plurimi codd. : gravissimo B et vidg. 



a Dloscorides iias (IV. 85) : KOL a)*raXyi<us ovv po$(va> 
eyx^o^evo^. So Mayhoff's conjecture is probably right. With 
the reading varices translate "for varicose veins.** 

* The reading of Mayhoff seems slightly preferable to 
others', but owing to the confused descriptions of these 
plants in Dioscorides, and the uncertain use of the names 
in Pliny, the text is doubtful. 

* I.e., the Parthenon. 

d Because Athena (Minerva) was 

322 



BOOK XXII. xix. 42-xxi. 45 

for the ears. a It is also applied, with goat suet and 
Cyprian wax, to gouty limbs. 

XX. Perdicimn or parthenium or, to give it yet 
another name, sideritis, is another plant,** called by 
some of our countrymen urceolaris, by others aster- 
cum. It has a leaf similar to that of basil, only 
darker, and it grows on tiles and among ruins. 
Pounded and sprinkled with a pinch of salt it cures the 
same diseases as dead-nettle, all of them, and is ad 
ministered in the same way. The juice too taken 
hot is good for abscesses, and is remarkably good for 
convulsions, ruptures, bruises caused by slipping or 
by falling from a height, for instance, when vehicles 
overturn. A household slave, a favourite of Pericles, 
first citizen of Athens, when engaged in building 
the temple c on the Acropolis, crawled on the top of 
the high roof and fell. He is said to have been cured 
by this plant, which in a dream was prescribed to 
Pericles by Minerva; therefore it began to be 
called parthenium/ and was consecrated to that 
goddess. This is the slave whose portrait was cast 
in bronze, the famous Entrail Roaster.* 

XXI. The chamaeleon is called by some ixia. pine tM*a* 
There are two kinds of it. The whiter has rougher ^3^). 
leaves, and creeps along the ground raising its 
prickles as the hedgehog does his quills ; it has a sweet 

root and a strong smell. In some districts it exudes 
a white viscous substance just where the leaves join 
the stem, especially about the time the Dogstar/ 
rises, in the way frankincense is said to form, and this 
is why it is also called ixia,0 Women use it as 
chewing-gum. The other name chamaeleon comes 

See XXXIV. 81. * That is 17 July. 

9 The name ixia (If La} is connected by Pliny witk viscum. 

323 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

chamaeleon vocetur, varietate foliorum everdt. 
mutat enim cum terra colores, hie niger, illic viridis, 
aliubi cyaneus, aliubi croceus atque aliis coloribus. 

46 ex his candidus hydropicos sanat suco radicis decoc- 
tae. bibitur drachma in passo. pellit et intera- 
neorum animalia acetabuli mensura suci eiusdem in 
vino austere cum origani scopis. facit ad difficul- 
tatem urinae. hie sucus occidit et canes suesque in 
polenta addita aqua et oleo, 1 contrahit in se mures 
ac necat, nisi protinus aquam sorbeant. radicem 
eius aliqui concisam servari iubent funiculis penden- 
tem decoquique in cibo contra fluctiones quas Graeci 

47 rheumatismos vocant. ex nigris aliqui marem dixere 
cui flos purpureus esset et feminam cui violaceus. 
una 2 nascuntur caule cubitali, crassitudine digitali. 
radicibus earum 3 lichenes curantur cum sulpure et 
bitumine una coctis, conmanducatis vero dentes 
mobiles aut in aceto decoctis. suco scabiem et 
quadripedum sanant. et ricinos canum necat, 
iuvencos quoque anginae modo, quare a quibusdam 
ulophonon 4 vocatur et 5 cynozolon propter gravitatem 
odoris. ferunt et haec viscum ulceribus utilissimum. 

1 Ita dist. Mayhoff. 

2 una R, vulg. 9 Detlefsen: et una plurimi codd. set una 
Mayhoff. 

8 earum (50. herbarum} omnes codd. : eorum Mayhoff. 

4 ulaphonon Barbaras, Detlefsen : ulophy ton Mayhoff : 
ulophiton, ulophilon, olopylon codd. 

5 et Barbarus, DeiZefsen : eat et codd. : set et Mayhqff* 



Said by many to be catarrhs, but peu^ar^o^at and 
MaTiafjLoC are apparently used of any " streaming " fluxes. 
Mayhoffs set would make the logical connection clearer : 
** Though some distinguish sexes, yet, etc. 1 ' 

524 



BOOK XXII. xxi. 45-47 

from the varied colour of its leaves ; for it changes 
its colour with the soil dark here, green there, in 
some places blue, in others saffron yellow* and of 
other colours elsewhere. A decoction of the root of 
the white variety cures dropsy, the dose being- a 
drachma taken in raisin wine. Intestinal parasites 
also are expelled by a dose of an acetabulum of the 
same juice taken in a harsh wine with sprigs of wild 
marjoram. It is diuretic. Dogs too and pigs are 
killed by this juice in pearl barley -with water and 
oil added. It attracts mice to itself, and kills them, 
unless they swallow water at once. Some people 
recommend that its root be cut up and kept sus 
pended by cords, and be boiled in food against 
those fluxes which the Greeks call peufj^artafj^oi. 
Of the dark variety that with a purple flower is said 
by some to be the male plant, that with a violet 
flower the female, They grow together, 6 with a 
stem a cubit high and of the thickness of a finger. 
Their roots, boiled with sulphur together with 
bitumen, cure lichen ; c chewed, moreover, or boiled 
down in vinegar, they tighten loose teeth, and the 
juice cures the scab in animals. It kills ticks on 
dogs, as well as bullocks, choking them as a quinsy 
does, for which reason some call it ulophonon,** and 
it is also called, because of its offensive smell, cyno- 
zolon.* These plants too produce a viscous substance, 
which is very good for sores. The roots too of all 



. A skin ernption, usually appearing on the face, 
it was called mentagra ( chin-disease). See Celsiis VI. 3, 
where it is also called OVKQXTLS, because the diseased area 
resembled the inside of a ripe fig, 

d " The very deadly plant *' 

*' Smelling like a dog " (*nn 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

omnium autem generum eorum radices scorpionibus 
adversantur. 

48 XXII. Coronopus oblonga herba est cum fissuris. 
seritur interim, quoniam radix coeliacis praeclare 
facit in cinere tosta. 

XXIII. Et anchusae radix in usu est ? digitali 
crassitudine. nnditur papyri modo manusque inficit 
sanguineo colore, praeparat lanas pretiosis coloribus. 
sanat ulcera in cerato, praecipue senum, item adusta. 
liquari non potest in aqua, oleo dissolvitur, idque 

49 sincerae experimentum est. datur et ad renium 
dolores drachma eius potui in vino aut, si febris sit, 
in decocto balani, item iocinerum vitiis et lienis et 
bile subfusis. lepris et lentigini inlinitur ex aceto. 
folia trita cum melle et farina luxatis inponuntur, et 
pota drachmis duabus in mulso alvum sistuiit. 
pulices necare radix in aqua decocta traditur. 

50 XXIV. Est et alia similis pseudoanchusa ob id 
appellata, a quibusdam vero echis aut doris et multis 
aliis nominibus, lanuginosior et minus pinguis, 
tenuioribus foliis languidioribus. radix in oleo non 
fundit rubentem sucum, et hoc ab anchusa discer- 
nitur. contra serpentes efficacissima potu foliorum 
vel seminis. folia ictibus inponuntur. virus sei> 
pentes fugat. bibitur et propter spinam. folium 



In the leaves. 

6 Pretiosis coloribus can be dative or ablative. Two trans 
lations are possible : " prepares wools for (more) costly 
colours" or "prepares wools with costly colours", i.e. with 
colours which if genuine would be costly. Book XXIV. 96 : 
tingentibus et radicula lanas praeparat, "soapwort prepares 
wools also for dyers ", points to the former of these alternatives. 

* Perhaps Pliny has confused this with the Greek C^LOV. 

d " The Dorian plant." 

526 



BOOK XXII. xxi. 47-xxrv. 50 

their kinds are an antidote to the sting of the 
scorpion. 

XXII. Hartshorn is a longish plant with fissures. Hartshorn. 
Sometimes it is cultivated, because its root, roasted 

in hot ashes, is a splendid remedy for coeliac 
complaints. 

XXIII. Alkanet too has a useful root, which is of Aifrmet 
the thickness of a finger. It is split into small divi- 
sions like the papyrus, and stains the hands the 
colour of blood ; it prepares wools for costly colours. 6 
Applied in wax ointment it heals ulcerous sores, 
especially those of the aged, and also burns. In 
soluble in water, it dissolves in oil, and this is the 
test of genuineness. A drachma of it is given to 

be taken in wine for pains in the kidneys, or if there 
be fever, in a decoction of behen nut; also for 
affections of the liver and spleen and for violent 
biliousness. It is applied in vinegar to leprous sores 
and freckles. The pounded leaves, with honey and 
meal, are applied to sprains, and doses of two drach 
mae in honey wine check looseness of the bowels. 
Pleas are said to be killed by a decoction of the root 
in water. 

XXIV. There is also another plant, which being 
like alkanet is called bastard alkanet, though some 
call it echis c or doris d or by many other names ; it 
is more downy than the other and less fleshy, the 
leaves are thinner and more flabby. The root in 
oil does not give out a red juice, by which test it is 
distinguished from true alkanet. The leaves or 
seed taken in drink are a very sure antidote to snake 
bite. The leaves are applied to stings and bites, and 
their strong smell keeps snakes away. A draught 
too is made from the plant for affections of the spine. 

3*7 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

eius sinistra decerpi iubent Magi, et euius causa 
sumatur dici tertianisque febribus adalligari. 

51 XXV. Est et alia herba proprio nomine onochilon, 
quam aliqui anchusam vocant, alii archebion, alii 
onochelim, aliqui rhexiam, multi enchrysam, parvo 
irutice, flore purpureoj asperis foliis et ramis, radice 
messibus sanguinea, cetero nigra, in sabulosis 
nascens, efficax contra serpentes maximeque viperas, 
et radice et foliis, aeque cibo ac potu. vires habet 
messibus. folia trita odorem cucumeris reddunt, 

52 datur in cyathis tribus vulva procidente. pellit et 
taenias cum hysopo, et in dolore renium aut iocineris 
ex aqua mulsa, si febris sit, sin aliter, e vino bibitur, 
lentigini ac lepris radix inlinitur. habentes earn a 
serpentibus fertri negantur. est et alia huic sinoilis 
fiore rubro, minorj et ipsa ad eosdem usus, tradunt- 
que, commanducata ea si inspuatur, mori serpentem. 

53 XXVI. Anthemis magnis laudibus celebratur ab 
Asclepiade. aliqui leucanthemida vocant, alii leu- 
canthemum, alii eranthemida ? quoniam vere floreat, 
aHi chamaemelon, quoniam odorem mali habeat, 
nonnulli melanthion vocant. genera eius tria flore 1 



1 flore, Barbcbrus (Tavrrjs etSiy Tpia., cLvdecn, povov Stct^eporra, 
Dio&corides III, 137): fronde fere omnes codd, 9 Detlefsen, 
Mayhoff. 

a Folium may perhaps be collective, " leaves." 
6 Forcellini gives four examples of frutex in the sense of 
caulis t though the use is not specified in Lewis and Short ; 

328 



BOOK XXII. xxiv. 50-xxvi. 53 

The Magi recommend that a leaf a of it should be 
gathered with the left hand, with a declaration for 
whom it is being taken, and used as an amulet for 
tertian fevers. 

XXV. There is another plant also, the proper &%&&. 
name of which is onochilon, called by some people 
anchusa, or archebion, or onochelis, or rhexia, and 

by many enchrysa. It has a short base, 6 a purple 
flower, rough leaves and branches, a root blood-red at 
harvest lime, though dark at other times, growing 
on sandy soils, an antidote to the bites of serpents, 
especially of vipers, both root and leaves being 
equally efficacious in food and in drink. Its proper 
ties are strongest at harvest time. Its leaves when 
pounded give out the smell of cucumber. It is given 
in doses of three cyathi for prolapsus of the uterus. 
With hyssop it also drives out tape-worms, and for 
pain of the kidneys or Ever it is taken in hydromel, 
should there be fever, otherwise in wine. The root 
is applied locally for freckles and leprous sores. It 
is said that while having it on their person people 
are never bitten by serpents. There is also another 
plant similar to this, but smaller, with a red flower, 
which is also used for the same purposes. It is said 
that if this plant be chewed, and then spat out on a 
serpent, the serpent dies. 

XXVI. Chamomile is most highly praised by Ascle- 
piades. Some call it white chamomile, others leu- 
canthemum, others eranthemis, because it blossoms 
in spring, others ground-apple (chamaemglon), 
because it has the smell of an apple. A few call it 
melanthion. Its three varieties differ only in their 

possibly frutex liad this meaning when the plant was one bush 
on a short, stout stem, as fragloss often is. 

329 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tantum distant, palmum non excedentia, parvis 
foliis rutae similibus, floribus 1 candidis aut malims 
aut purpureis. In macro solo aut iuxta semitas 
colligitur vere et in coronamenta reponitur. eodem 
temper e et medici folia tusa in pastillos digerunt, 

54 item florem et radicem. dantur omnia mixta 
drachmae unius pondere contra serpentium omnium 
ictus, pellunt mortuos partus, item menstrua in 
potu et urinam calculosque, 2 inflationes, iocinerum 
vitia, bilem subfusam, aegilopia, commanducata 
ulcerum eruptiones manantes sanat. ex omnibus 
his generibus ad calculos efficacississima est quae 
florem purpureum habet, cuius et foliorum et fruticis 
amplitudo maiuscula est. hanc proprie quidam 
eranthemim vocant. 

55 XXVIL Loton qui arborem putant tantum esse 
vel Homero auctore coargui possunt. is enim inter 
herbas subnascentes deorum voluptati loton primam 
nominavit. folia eius cum melle oculorum cicatrices, 
argema 3 nubeculas discutiunt. 

1 similibxis floribus add. Urlichs : om. codd. Dioscorides 
loc. c *^* : v K^j>dXia . . . ZvSoOev IJLCV XVKOV /cat xP va ^ ov 
av&uXXtov exovra, egwQev $ -n-eptAretrat KVKXo-rep>s XCVKO. rj fJLijXiva. 
TJ irop<j>vpa ^uAAa/>ta. 

2 Ante inflationes add. inlita MayJioff : fortasse ante ioci 
nerum melius. 



a It is impossible to bring Pliny and Dioscorides into har 
mony without emendation. Of course it is not necessary 

330 



BOOK XXII. xxvi. 53-xxvn. 55 

blossom ; they are no taller than a span, with small 
leaves like those of rue, and with blossom that is 
white or apple-yellow or purple. It is gathered in 
spring on thin soils or near foot-paths, and put by for 
making chaplets. At the same season physicians also 
make up into lozenges the pounded leaves, as well as 
the blossom and the root. All three are mixed and 
given in doses of one drachma for the bites of every 
kind of snake. Taken in drink they bring away 
the dead foetus, are emmenagogues and diuretic, 
as well as good for stone, flatulence, 6 affections of 
the liver, for excessive secretion of bile and for fistula 
of the eye ; chewed it heals running sores. jDf all 
these kinds the most efficacious for stone in the 
bladder is that which has a purple flower, the leaves 
and stem of which are of a rather larger size. Some 
people give the name eranthemis exclusively to this 
variety. 

XXVII. Those who think that the lotus is only a 
tree can be refuted even by the authority of Homer , c 
who among the plants that grow up to serve the 
pleasure of the gods mentions the lotus first. Its 
leaves with honey cause to disappear scars on the 
eyes, films on the eyes and argema. 

to do so, but when the language of two authorities is so 
strikingly similar, too great or too many differences are sus- 
picious. The worst difficulty is the strange assignment of 
white, yellow and purple to leaves. But Warmington points 
out that if, in Dioscorides (see critical note), we take aMXhiov 
to mean the yellow central fHRfr of the flower, and <jfoAAapt as 
outer ray-petals of the flower, the Greek description fits 
chamomile. It is easy to emend Pliny so that he agrees with 
himself, but the difficulty of Dioscorides remains. 

* Probably Pliny forgot to write Mita, " applied locally," 
here. c See Iliad XIV. 347. 

33* 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

56 XXVIIL Est et lotometra quae fit ex loto sata, 
ex cuius semine simili milio x putri 2 fiunt panes in 
Aegypto a pastoribus, maxime aqua vel lacte 
subacti. 3 negatur quicquam illo pane salubrius 
esse aut levins, dum caleat. refrigeratus difficilius 
eoncoquitur fitque ponderosus. constat eos qul illo 
vivant nee dysinteria nee tenesmo neque aliis morbis 
ventris infestari. itaque inter remedia eorum habent. 

57 XXIX. Heliotropi miraculum saepius diximus cum 
sole se circumagentis etiam nubilo die, tantus sideris 
amor est. noctu velut desiderio contrahit caeruleum 
iiorezn. genera eius duo : tricoccum et helioscopium. 

58 hoc altius, quamquam utrumque semipedalem alti- 
tudinem non excedit., ab una 4 radice ramosum. semen 
in folliculo messibus colligitur. nascitur nonnisi in 
pingui solo cultoque maxime, tricoccum ubique. si 
decoquatur, invenio cibis placere et in lacte iucundius 
alvum molliri et, si decocti sucus bibatur, efficacissime 
exinaniri. maioris sucus excipitur aestate hora 

59 sexta, miscetur cum vino, sic firmior. capitis 

1 simili milio Barbarus : siroili tm'Ti Sillig : simillimi aut 
simillimo aut simillime codd. 

2 putri Deilefsen : porri codd. : pnri vel parvi conL 
Mayhojf. 

3 subaeti Mayhoff : subaoto aut subactio codd. : subacto 
Deflefsen : subacto et coni. MayTioff. 

4 una codd* : ima cum vulg. Mayhoff. 

a This word is aTrag Aeyoyttevov, and tlie whole passage 
down to subaeti (sulxicto} is full of difficulties. What is fit 
ea; loto sata ? Is sata nom. or abl. ? Would putri agree with 
milio as the order of words suggests, or with semine as sug 
gested by XIII. 108 ? Again, is this bread the same as that 
described in. XIII. 108, Herodotus II. 92, Dioscorides IV. 
113, Theophrastus IV. 8, 11 ?. Putri, an emendation of Jan 



BOOK XXII. xxvin. 56-xxix. 59 

XXVIII. We have also the lotometra, a plant 
derived from the lotus. From its rotted seed, 
which is like millet, are made by the shepherds in 
Egypt loaves that they knead mostly with water or 
milk. It is said that no bread is more healthful or 
lighter than this, so long as it is warm, but when 
cold it becomes heavy and difficult of digestion. It 
is an established fact that those who live on it are 
never attacked by dysentery, tenesmus, or any other 
disease of the bowels. Accordingly it is considered 
to be one of the remedies for such ailments. 

XXIX. I have spoken more than once 6 of the Edtem- 
marvel of heliotropium, which turns round with the ****** 
sun even on a cloudy day, so great a love it has for 
that luminary. At night it closes its blue flower 

as though it mourned. There are two varieties 
tricoccum and helioscopium. The latter is the taller, 
although neither is more than half a foot in height, 
and sends out branches from a single d root. Its 
seed, enclosed in a pod, is gathered at harvest time. 
It grows nowhere but in a rich, well cultivated soil, 
but tricoccum grows everywhere. I find it ^ said 
that, boiled, it is an agreeable sauce, that in milk it 
is a gentle laxative, and that a draught of the decoc 
tion is a most drastic purge. The juice of the taller 
plant is collected in summer at the sixth hour ; it is 
mixed with wine, which makes it keep longer. 

accepted by Detlefsen and Mayhoff, is doubtful, but a more 

convincing correction of the impossible pom of the MSS. has 

yet to be made. 

* See H. 109, XTOL 252. 

Or, " were afflicted with longing. , 

< Or, with the reading ima, " from the bottom of tne root. 

Pliny seems to have gone wrong in several details, or to be 

mixing up two plants. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dolores sedat rosaceo admixto, verrucas cum sale 
tollit sucus e folio, unde nostri vermcariam herbam 
appellavere aliis cognominari efFectibus digniorem. 
namque et serpentibus et scorpionibus resistit ex 
vino aut aqua mulsa, ut Apollophanes et Apollodorus 
tradunt. folia infantium destillationibus, quam si- 
riasim vocant, inlita medentur, item contractionibus, 
etiam si id comitialiter accidat. decocto quoque 
foveri os saluberrimum est. potum id pellit taenias 
et renium harenas. si cuminum aHiciatur, calculos 
frangit. decoqui cum radice oportet, quae cum 

60 foliis et hircino sebo podagris inlinitur. alterum 
genus quod tricoccum appellavimus et alio nomine 
scorpiuron voeatur, foliis non solum minoribus sed 
etiam in terram vergentibus. semen ei est effigie 
scorpionis caudae, quare nomen. vis ad omnia 
venenata et phalangia sed contra scorpiones prae- 
cipue inlita. non feriuntur habentes, et si terram 
surculo heliotropii circumscribat aliquis, negant 
seorpionem egredi, inposita vero herba aut uda 
omnino respersum protinus mori. seminis grana 
quattuor pota quartanis prodesse dicuntur, tria vero 
tertianis, vel si herba ipsa ter circumlata subiciatur 

61 capiti. semen et venerem stimulat, cum melle panos 
discutit. verrucas hoc utique heliotropium radicitus 

a " Dog-star fever," 
334 



BOOK XXII. xxix. 59-61 

Mixed with rose oil it relieves headache. The juice 
from the leaf, with salt added, takes away warts; 
for which reason our countrymen have called it wart 
plant, although it is more worthy to have a name 
derived from its other properties. For taken in 
wine or hydromel it counteracts the poison of snakes 
and scorpions, according to the statements of Apollo- 
phanes and Apollodorus. An application of the 
leaves cures the infantile catarrhs that are called 
siriasis, a and also convulsions, even though caused 
by epilepsy. It is very healthful, too, to wash out 
the mouth with a decoction. A draught of the same 
expels tape-worms and gravel ; if cummin be added, 
it breaks up stone. A decoction should include the 
root, which with leaves and he-goat suet is applied 
to gouty limbs. The other kind, called by us tri- 
coccum and having the iurther name of scorpiuron, 
has leaves which not only are smaller but also turn 
towards the ground. Its seed is shaped like a 
scorpion's tail, which accounts for its name. An 
application is of great efficacy against the poison of 
all venomous animals and spiders, but especially 
against that of scorpions. Those carrying it are 
never stung, and if with a sprig of heliotropium a 
circle be drawn on the ground round a scorpion, it is 
said that it never moves out, and moreover, that 
if the plant is put on a scorpion, or if a scorpion 
merely be sprinkled with the wet plant, it dies at 
once. Four grains of the seed taken in drink are 
said to be good for quartan ague, three grains how 
ever for tertian, or the plant itself may be carried 
three times round the patient and then placed under 
his head. The seed is also aphrodisiac, mixed with 
honey it disperses superficial abscesses. This helio- 

335 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

extrahit et excrescentia in sedibus. spinae quoque 
ac lumborum sanguinem corruptum trahit inlitum 
semen, et potum in iure gallinacei decoctum aut cum 
beta et lente. cortex seminis liventibus colorem 
reddit. Magi heliotropium in 1 quartanis quater, 
in tertianis ter adligari iubent ab ipso aegro pre- 
carique eum, soluturum se nodos liberatum, et 
iacere 2 non exempt a herba. 

62 XXX. Aliud adianto miraculum : aestate viret, 
bruma non marcescit, aquas respuit, perfusum mer- 
sumve sicco simile est tanta dissociatio depre- 
henditur unde et nomen a Graecis alioqui irutici 
topiario. quidam callitrichon vocant, alii polutri- 
chon, utrumque ab efFectu. tinguit enim capillum 
et ad hoc decoquitur in vino cum semine apii adiecto 
oleo copiose, 3 ut crispum densumque faciat; et 

63 defluere autem prohibet. duo ei us genera : candidius 
et nigrum breviusque. id quod maius est, poly- 
triehon, aliqui trichomanes vocant. utiique ramuli 
nigro colore nitent, fpliis felicis, ex quibus inferiora 
aspera ac fusca sunt, omnia autem contrariis pediculis 
densa ex adverso inter se, 4 radix nulla. umbrosas 
petras parietumque aspergines ac fontium maxime 

1 in add. Maykoff, C. F. W. MtiUer secutus. 

2 iaoere coni. MayTtqff: facere codd. 

3 copiose :. copioso coni. Mayhoff* 

* densa et adversa inter se contrariis pediculis coni. Mayhqff 
cott. Theophrasio VII. 14, 1 : ^i/AAa piKpa a<jx$Spa teal TTUKVO. 



a It is uncertain what this can mean. Perhaps dark, 
extravasated blood showing near the surface. Compare th 
** livid patches " of the next sentence. 

6 "waterproof." 



336 



BOOK XXII. xxix. 6i-xxx. 63 

tropium at any rate draws warts out by the root, as 
well as growths in the seat. Corrupt blood also 
about the spine or in the loins is withdrawn by an 
application of the seed, and by a draught or decoction 
of it in chicken broth, or with beet and lentils. The 
husk of the seed restores the natural colour to livid 
patches. The Magi recommend that the patient 
himself should tie on himself heliotropium, four 
pieces if the ague be quartan and three if it be 
tertian, and to say in prayer that he will untie the 
knots only when the fever has left him, and to lie 
in bed without taking the plant off. 

XXX. Maidenhair too is remarkable, but in other 
ways. It is green in summer without fading in 
winter; it rejects water; sprinkled or dipped it is 
just like a dry plant so great is the antipathy 
manifested whence too comes the name given by 
the Greeks * to what in other respects is a shrub for 
ornamental gardens. Some call it lovely hair c or 
thick hair, d both names being derived from its 
properties. For it dyes the hair, for which purpose 
a decoction is made in wine with celery seed added 
and plenty of oil, in order to make it grow curly and 
thick; moreover it prevents hair from falling out. 
There are two kinds : one is whiter than the other, 
which is dark and shorter. The larger kind, thick 
hair, is called by some trichomanes.* Both have 
sprigs of a shiny black, with leaves like those of 
fern, of which the lower are rough and tawny, but 
all grow from opposite footstalks, close set and facing 
each other; there is no root. It is mostly found on 
shaded rocks, walls wet with spray, especially the 
grottoes of fountains, and on boulders streaming 

* Mad on hair, i.e. with wM hair ( ?). 

337 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

specus sequitur et saxa manantia, quod miremur, 

64 cum aquas non sentiat. calculos e corpore mire 
pellit frangitque, utique nigrum, qua de causa potius 
quam quod in saxis nasceretur a nostris saxifragum 
appellatum crediderim. bibitur e vino quantum 
terni decerpsere digiti. urinam I cient, serpentium 
et araneorum venenis resistunt, in vino decocti 
alvum sistunt. capitis dolores corona ex his sedat. 
contra scolopendrae morsus inlinuntur, crebro aufe- 
rendi ne perurant, hoc et in alopeciis. strumas 
discutiunt furiuresque in facie et capitis manantia 

65 ulcera. decoctum ex his prodest suspiriosis et 
iocineri et lieni et felle subfusis et hydropicis* 
stranguriae inlinuntur et renibus cum absinthio. 
secundas cient et menstrua, sanguinem sistunt ex 
aceto aut rubi suco poti. infantes quoque exulcerati 
perunguntur ex iis cum rosaceo et vino prius. folium 
in 2 urina pueri inpubis, tritum quidem cum aphro- 
nitro et inlitum ventri mulierum ne rugosus fiat 
praestare dicitur. perdices et gallinaceos pugna- 
ciores fieri putant in cibum eorum additis, pecorique 
esse utilissimos. 

1 Ante urinam excidisse utriusque ramuli putat Mayliqff. 
3 prius. folium in vulg. : virus folii in Mayhoff. 



a Referring to the first sentence of the chapter. 

b Stones in the blaxider are calculi not saxa. 

c The change to the masculine plural is odd. Perhaps 
Pliny took callitrichon and polytrichon as masculines. The 
other alternative is to understand ramidi (see 63), which 
Mayhoff thinks has fallen out here. 

d The vulgate reading can be translated and is good sense, 
but the conjecture of Mayhoff makes it possible to keep the 
folii of the MSS. It would be translated : ec with rose oil. 

338 



BOOK XXII. xxx. 63-65 

with water strange places for a plant that is un 
affected by water ! It is remarkably good for 
expelling stones from the bladder, breaking them 
up, the dark kind does so at any rate. This, I am 
inclined to believe, is the reason why it is called 
saxifrage 6 (stone-breaker) rather than because it 
grows on stones. It is taken in wine, the dose being 
what can be plucked with three lingers. Diuretic, 
the maidenhairs c counteract the venom of snakes 
and spiders ; a decoction in wine checks looseness of 
the bowels; a chaplet made out of them relieves 
headache. An application of them is good for 
scolopendra stings, though it must be taken off 
repeatedly for fear of burns. The same treatment 
applies to fox-mange also. They disperse scrofulous 
sores, scurf on the face and running sores on the 
head. A decoction of them is beneficial for asthma, 
liver, spleen, violent biliousness and dropsy. With 
wormwood an application of them is used in strangury 
and to help the kidneys. They promote the after 
birth and menstruation. Taken in vinegar or black 
berry juice they check haemorrhage. Sore places 
too on babies are treated by an ointment of maiden 
hair with rose oil, wine being applied first. d The 
leaves steeped in the urine of a boy * not yet ado 
lescent, if they be pounded with saltpetre and 
applied to the abdomen of women, prevent the 
formation of wrinkles. It is thought that partridges 
and cockerels become better fighters if maidenhair 
be added to their food, and it is very good for cattle. 

The slimy juice of the leaves added to tii urine . . and 
beaten up with saltpetre." Bnt virus tritnm is strange. 
* Perhaps child of either sex is meant. 

339 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

66 XXXL Picris ab insigni amaritudine cognomi- 
natur, ut diximus, folio rotundo. tollit eximie 
verrucas, thesium quoque non dissimili amari 
tudine est, sed purgat alvum, in quern usum teritur 
ex aqua. 

67 XXXII. Asphodelum de clarissimis herbarum, ut 
quod heroion aliqui appellaverint, Hesiodus et in 
silvis nasci dixit, Dionysras mar em ac feminam esse. 
defectis corporibus et phthisicis constat bulbos eius 
cam tisana decoctos aptissime dari, panemque ex 
his cum farina subactis saluberrimum esse. Nicander 
et contra serpentes ac scorpion es vel caul em quern 
anthericum vocavimus vel semen vel bulbos dedit in 
vino tribus drachmis substravitque somno contra hos 

68 metus. datur et contra venenata marina et contra 
scolopendras terrestres. cocleae mire in Campania 
caulem eum persequuntur et sugendo arefaciunt. 
folia quoque inlinuntur venenatorum vulneribus ex 
vino, bulbi nervis articulisque cum polenta tunsi 
inlinuntur. prodest et concisis ex aceto lichenas 
fricare, item ulceribus putrescentibus ex aqua in- 
ponere, mammarum quoque et testium irrflamma^ 

69 tionibus. decocti in faece vini oculorum epiphoris 
supposito linteolo medentur. fere in quocumque 
morbo magis decoctis utuntur, item ad tibiarum 
taetra ulcera rimasque corporum quacumque in 
parte farina arefactorum. autumno autem colli- 



a Picris is Urospermum picroeides and thesium CoryddLis 
densiflora. 

See XXI. 105. 

c Th&riaca 534. 

d See XXI. 109. * See p. 325, n. c. 

540 



BOOK XXII. xxxi. 66-xxxii. 69 

XXXI. Picris a is so called because of its remarkable 
bitterness, as I have already stated, 6 and has a 
round leaf. It is excellent for the removal of warts. 
Thesium too is of a like bitterness, but is a strong 
purgative, for which use it is pounded in water. 

XXXIL Asphodel is one of the most famous 
plants, so that some have styled it the plant of the 
heroes ; Hesiod said that it also grows in woods, Dio- 
nysius that it may be male or female. It is agreed 
that its bulbs boiled down with barley water are very 
suitable for wasting bodies and consumptives, and 
that kneaded with meal they make a very whole 
some bread. Nicander c too prescribed for the poison 
of snakes and scorpions either the stalk which I have 
called d anthericum, or the seed, or the bulbs, the 
dose being three drachmae taken in wine, and he 
would have them spread under the sleeping place, 
should there be any fear of venomous creatures. It 
is also prescribed for poisoning by sea creatures and 
by land scolopendras. It is strange how hi Cam 
pania the snails seek its stalk and by sucking shrivel 
it up. The leaves too in wine are applied to the 
wounds of venomous creatures. The bulbs are 
pounded and applied with pearl barley to the sinews 
and joints. It is a good plan to chop them up and 
to rub lichen* with them in vinegar; also to put 
them in water on putrescent sores, and on inflam 
mations too of the breasts and testicles. Boiled 
down in lees of wine and dabbed on from below with 
a piece of lint, they cure fluxes of the eyes. In 
nearly every disease the bulbs are usually boiled 
before use, but for foul sores on the shins, and for 
craseks in any part of the body they are dried and 
reduced to powder. Autumn is the time they are 

34* 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

guntur, cum plurimum valent. sucus quoque ex 
tusis expressus ant decoctis utilis fit corporis dolori 
cum melle, idem odorem corporis iucundum affec- 

70 tantfbus, cum iri arida et sails exiguo. folia et supra 
dictis medentur et strumis, panis, ulceribus in facie 
decocta in vino, cinis e radice alopecias emendat 
et rimas pedum sedisque, decoctae radicis in oleo 
sucus perniones et ambusta. et gravitati aurium 
infunditur, a contraria aure in dolore dentium. 
prodest et urinae pota modice radix et menstruis et 
lateris doloribus, item ruptis, convulsis, tussibus, 
drachmae pondere in vino pota. eadem et vomi- 
tiones adiuvat commanducata. semine sumpto tur- 

71 batur venter. Chrysermus et parotidas in vino 
decocta radice curavit, item strumas admixta cachry 
ex vino, quidam aiunt s si inposita radice pars eius 
in fumo suspendatur quartoque die solvatur 9 una 
cum radice arescere strumam. Diocles ad podagras 
utroque modo, cocta crudaque usus est, ad per 
niones decocta ex oleo ; dedit 1 et sufiusis felle in 
vino et hydropicis. venerem quoque concitari cum 
vino et melle perunctis aut bibentibus tradidere. 

72 Xenocrates et lichenas, psoras, lepras radice in aceto 
decocta tolli dicit, item sicca cum 2 hyoscyamo et pice 

1 est, ad pemioues decocta ex oleo; dedit: sic dist. 
Mayhoff : est. ad perniones decoctam ex oleo dedit Detlefsen* 

2 sicca cum Deilefsen : sueo cum Mayhoff : si coccum codd. 
si cocta sit cum vulg. 

a It is not certain what this was; perhaps the fruit of 
Lecokia cretica. See Theophrastus tX. 11, 10, where the 
libanotis is described. 

342 



BOOK XXII. xxxii, 69-72 

gathered, when their power is at its best. The 
juice also extracted from crushed or boiled bulbs 
is, mixed with honey, good for an aching body ; 
and the same, with dried iris and a little salt, helps 
those who are nicely particular about the odour 
of their persons. The leaves, boiled down in wine, 
cure both the complaints mentioned above and 
also scrofulous swellings, superficial abscesses and 
sores on the face. The ashes of the root are a remedy 
for fox-mange and for cracks on the feet or seat, 
and the juice of the root boiled in oil for chilblains 
and burns. This is poured into the ears for deaf 
ness, and for toothache into the ear opposite to 
the pain. 'A moderate dose, one drachma, of the 
root, taken in wine, is diuretic and an emmena- 
gogue, besides being good for pain in the side, 
ruptures, convulsions and coughs. Chewing the 
root acts as an emetic ; the seed if taken internally 
disturbs the bowels. Chrysermus treated parotid 
abscesses also by a decoction of the root in wine, and 
scrofulous swellings by the decoction added to 
cachry * in wine. Some say that if, after applying 
the root, a part of it be hung in the smoke and not 
taken down before the fourth day, as the root dries 
up the scrofulous swelling subsides. Diocles used 
the root for gouty conditions in either way, boiled or 
raw, and for chilblains a decoction in oil. He 
prescribed it in wine for violent biliousness and for 
dropsy. It has also been held that it is aphrodisiac 
if, with wine and honey, it is used as an ointment or 
taken as a medicme, Xenocrates also says that a 
decoction of the root in vinegar removes lichen, itch- 
scab and leprous sores, further that dried and mixed 
with henbane and melted pitch it does the same for 

343 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

liqulda, alarum quoque et feminum vitia, et capillum 
crispiorem fieri, raso prius caplte, si radice ea fricetur, 
Siraos lapides renium in vino decocta potaque eximi. 
Hippocrates semine ad impetus Herds dari censet. 
iumentorum quoque ulcera ac seabiem radix inlita 
aut decoctae sucus ad pilum reducit. mures eadem 
fugantur, caverna praeclusa moriuntur. 

73 XXXIII. Asphodelum ab Hesiodo quidam halimon 
appellari existimavere, quod falsum arbitror. est 
enim suo nomine halimon, non parvi et ipsum erroris 
inter auctores. alii enim fruticem esse flicunt den- 
sum, candidum, sine spina, foliis oleae, sed mollio- 
ribus, coqui haec ciborum gratia, radice tormina 
discuti drachmae pondere in aqua mulsa pota, item 

74 rupta, convulsa. alii olus maritimum esse dixere 
salsura et inde nomen, foliis in rotunditatem longis, 
laudatum in cibis. duorum praeterea generom, 
silvestre et mitius, utrumque prodesse dysintericis 
etiam exulceratis cum pane, stomacho vero ex ace to. 
ulceribus vetustis inlini crudum et vulnerum recen- 
tium impetus lenire et luxatorum pedum ac vesicae 
dolores. silvestri tenuiora folia, sed in iisdem 
remediis efiectus maiores et in sananda hominum ac 

75 pecorum scabie. praeterea nitorem corpori fieri 



* From tHe Greek word aX$ (salt, or sea), 
fr Or, "shock". See also p. 3S2, n. a. 



344 



BOOK XXII. xxxn. 72-xxxin. 75 

unpleasant odour from armpits and thighs, and that 
the hair grows again more curly if the scalp be first 
shaved and then rubbed with this root ; Simos says 
that a draught of the decoction in wine removes 
stone of the kidneys. Hippocrates holds that for 
attacks of the spleen it should be given in the form 
of seed. When beasts of burden too have sores or 
itch-scab, an application of the root or of a decoction 
of it restores the hair that has been lost. The root 
keeps away mice, which also die if their holes be 
closed up with it. 

XXXIII. Some have thought that Hesiod means 
halhnon when he speaks of asphodel, but this view I 
think is wrong. For halimon is a separate plant with 
a name of its own, which itself has been the cause 
of no small confusion among our authorities. For 
some describe it as a thick shrub, pale, free from 
thorns, with the leaves of an olive, only softer, 
saying that these are boiled to be used as food, and 
that the root, taken in hydromel, the dose being a 
drachma by weight, is good for colic, and also for 
ruptures and convulsions. Others have said that it 
is a salty vegetable of the sea-shore (hence its name), 
with long, rounded leaves, and highly esteemed as a 
food. They add that of the two kinds, wild and 
cultivated, both are good, taken with bread, for 
dysentery, even with ulceration, and also, in vinegar, 
for the stomach; that it is applied raw to chronic 
ulcers, soothes the smart & of recent wounds and of 
sprained ankles, as well as pains of the bladder ; that 
the wild kind has thinner leaves, but greater effects 
when used for the same purposes as the other, and 
in healing itch in both man and beast; moreover 
that the skin becomes clearer and the teeth whiter, 

345 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dentibusque candorem, si fricentur radice ea, semine 
linguae subdito sitim non sentiri. hoc quoque 
mandi et -utraque etiam condiri, Crateuas tertium 
quoque genus tradidit longioribus foliis et hirsutio- 
ribus, odore cupressi, nasci sub hedera maxime ; 
prodesse opisthotonis, contractionibus nervorutn 
tribus obolis in sextarium aquae. 

76 XXXIV. Acanthi topiariae et urbanae herbae lato 
longoque folio crepidines marginum adsurgentiumque 
pulvinorum toros vestientis duo genera sunt, acu- 
leatum et crispum, quod brevius, alterum leve, quod 
aliqui paederota vocant, alii melamphylluin. huius 
radices ustis luxatisque mire prosunt, item ruptis, 
convulsis, et phthisin metuentibus, ideo coctae 1 cibo, 
maxime e 2 tisana, podagris quoque inlinuntur tritae 
et calefaetae. 3 

77 XXXV. Bupleuron in sponte nascentium olerum 
numero Graeci habent, caule cubitali, foliis multis 
longisque, capite aneti, laudatum in cibis ab Hippo- 
crate 3 in medicina a Glaucone et Nicandro. semen 
contra serpentes valet, folia ad secundas feminarum 
vel sucum ex vino inlinunt, et strumis folia cum sale 
et vino, radix contra serpentes datur in vino et 
urinae ciendae. 

1 ideo coctae E Detlefsen : id cocte G : id coctae MayJioff : 
incoctae vulg. 

2 e addo, quod coni. MayJioff. 

8 Post calefactae invenitur in codd. calidis. Del. Detlefsen, 
&ed e sale calidis coni. lo. M&Uer, qu&m secutits est MayTioff. 

a I.e., the spiny bear's-foot of Greece and the smooth 
bearVfoot of Roman gardens. 

6 The meaning of this sentence is plainer after reading 
XIX. ch. 20, where Pliny describes how a pleasure garden 
was laid out. 

346 



BOOK XXIL xxxm. 75-xxxv. 77 

if its root be used to rub them with, and thirst is not 
felt by those who put the seed under their tongue ; 
that this kind too is chewed, and both kinds preserved 
as well. Crateuas has mentioned a third kind also, 
with longer and more hairy leaves and the smell of 
cypress, as growing chiefly under ivy and being good 
for opisthotonic tetanus and cramp, the dose being 
three oboli to a sextarius of water. 

XXXIV. There are two kinds a of acanthus, a plant 
of the ornamental garden and of the city, which has 
a broad, long leaf, and covers the banks of borders 
and the flat tops of the raised portions of gardens. 6 
One is thorny and curled, which is the shorter ; the 
other is smooth, and is called by some paederos, 
by others melamphyllum. Its roots are wonder 
fully good for bums, sprains, ruptures, convulsions, 
and those threatened with consumption; for which 
reason they are boiled for food, mostly in barley 
water. For gouty limbs too they are applied, 
pounded and hot. d 

XXXV. Bupleuron is considered by the Greeks to 
be among the vegetables growing wild. It has a 
stem a cubit high, many and long leaves, and the 
head of dill. Hippocrates recommends it as a food, 
Glauco and Nicander e as a medicine. Its seed coun 
teracts the poison of serpents. The leaves or the 
juice they apply in wine for the removal of the after 
birth, and the leaves with salt and wine for scrofulous 
swellings. Its root is given in wine for snake bites 
and as a diuretic. 

c Perhaps it is best to take ci&o as dative and add e before 
tistma ; to take cibo as ablative gives a harsh construction. For 
the dative compare Pliny's nse ofpotui "for drink " (| 49, e.g). 

d The emendation of J- Muller means " in hot fomentations 
with salt." * Theriaca 586. 

347 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

78 XXXVI. Buprestim magna inconstantia Graeci in 
laudibus ciborura etiam habuere, iidemque remedia 
tamquam contra venenum prodiderunt. et ipsum 
nomen indicio est bourn certe venenum esse, quos 
dissilire degustata fatentur. quapropter nee de hac 
plura dicemus. est vero causa quare venena mon- 
stremus inter graroineas coronas, 1 nisi libidinis causa 
expetenda alicui videtur, quam non aliter magis 
accendi putant quam pota ea? 

79 XXXVII. Elaphoboscon ferulaceum est, geni- 
culatum digiti crassitudine, semine corymbis de- 
pendentibus silis effigie, set non amaris, foliis olu- 
satri. 2 et hoc laudatum in cibis quippe etiam 
conditunr prorogatur ad urinam ciendam, lateris 
dolores sedandos, rupta, convulsa sananda, inflationes 
discutiendas colique tormenta, contra serpentium 
omniumque aculeatorum ictus, quippe fama est hoc 
pabulo cervos resistere serpentibus. fistulas quoque 
radix nitro addito inlita sanat, siccanda autem in eo 
usu prius est, ne suco suo madeat, qui contra ser 
pentium ictus non facit deteriorem earn. 

80 XXXVIII. Scandix quoque in olere silvestri a 
Graecis ponitur, ut Ophion et Erasistratus tradunt. 

1 Post coronas exdamationem indicat C. F. W. Matter, 
quern secutus est MayJiojf. 

2 Post olusatri comma Detlefsen, punctum Mayhoff, qui 
etiam quippe . . . prorogatur in parenthesi ponit. 

a The name j3oviTpr)OTi$ 9 "that makes oxen explode," was 
given to a beetle which, eaten by oxen, caused them to die. 
Pliny, however, says this of the plant. 

6 The negative nee is probably "not either" ("I shall not 
speak about this either * '). But it possibly is the rare nee = non. 

c With C. F. W. Miiller's punctuation: "There is every 

343 



BOOK XXII. xxxvi. 78-xxxvm. 80 

XXXVI. Buprestis the Greeks with great incon- 
sistency went to the length of including among their 
praised foods, and yet they prescribed correctives 
of it as though it were poison, and the mere name 
implies that it is poison to oxen at any rate, a which it 
is allowed burst when they taste it. Wherefore it is 
one & of the plants about which I shall not speak at 
length. Is there indeed a reason why I should de 
scribe poisons when dealing with grass crowns, unless 
there be someone who thinks that for the sake of lust 
buprestis is desirable, which taken in drink is the 
most potent aphrodisiac known ? c 

XXXVII. Elaphoboscon (wild parsnip) is a plant 
like fennel-giant, with a jointed stem of the thickness 
of a finger, the seed in clusters hanging down like 
hartwort, but not bitter, and with the leaves of 
olusatrum.^ This too has been praised as a food 
in fact it is even preserved for future use being 
good as a diuretic, for soothing pains in the side, for 
curing ruptures and spasms, for dispersing flatulence 
and colic, and for the wounds of snakes and of all 
stinging creatures in fact report has it that deer 
by eating it fortify themselves against snakes. e 
Fistulas too are cured by the application of the root 
with saltpetre added, but when used in this way it 
must first be dried, so that it may not be soaking with 
its own juice, although the latter does not impair its 
efficacy as a remedy for snake bites. 

XXXVIII. Scandix (chervil) too is classed by the 
Greeks as a wild vegetable, as Ophion and Erasis- 
tratus report. A decoction of it too tones up loose 

reason why . . . crowns ! But perhaps someone thinks that, 
etc." 

* Alexanders. * The name means " deer-feeding." 

349 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

item decocta alvum sistit, semine singultus confestini 
ex aceto sedat. inlirdtur ambus tis, urinas ciet. 
decoctae sucus prodest stomacho, ioclneri, renibus, 
vesicae. haec est quam Aristophanes Euripidi 
poetae obicit ioculariter: matreni eius ne olus 

81 quidem legitimum venditasse, sed scandicem. eadem 
erat enthryscum, si tenuiora folia et odoratiora 
haberet. peculiaris laus eius, quod fatigato venere 
corpori succurrit marcentesque iam senio coitus 
excitat. sistit profluvia alba feminarum. 

82 XXXIX. Et iasine olus silvestre habetur, in terra 
repens, cum lacte multo, florem fert candidum, 
conchylium l vocant. et huius eadem commendatio 
ad stimulandos coitus, cruda ex aceto in cibis et 
mulieribus lactis ubertatem praestat. salutaris est 
phthisin sentientibus. infantium capita inlita nutrit 
capillum tenacioremque eius cutem efficit. 

83 XL. Estur et caucalis feniculo similis, brevi caule, 
flore candido, cordi utilis. sucus quoque eius bzbitur, 
stonaacho perquam commodatus et urinae calculisque 
et harenis pellendis et vesicae pruritibus. extenuat 
et lienis, iocineris reniumque pituitas. semen menses 
feminarum adiuvat bilemque a partu siccat. datur 
et contra profluvia geniturae viris. Chrysippus et 
conceptionibus earn putat conferre multum. bibitur 
in vino ieiunis. inlinitur et contra venena mari- 
norum, sicut Petrichus in eannine suo significat. 

1 conchylium UrlitTis : concilium aut concylmm codd. 

a Acharnians 478 : aKavSitcd /xot Bos fj,7jrf>60v 

* Really a variety of scandix (Scandix atistralis). 

350 



BOOK XXII. xxxvin. SO-XL. 83 

bowels, its seed in vinegar immediately checks 
hiccough. It is applied to burns and is diuretic. 
The juice of the decoction is good for stomach, liver, 
kidneys, and bladder. This is the plant that Aristo 
phanes uses to poke fun at the poet Euripides, 
implying that his mother had not been a seller of 
even proper vegetables, but only of scandix. It would 
be the same sort of plant as enthryscum, & were its 
leaves thinner and more fragrant. Its special merit is 
that it gives strength to a body exhausted by sexual 
indulgence, and revives sexual virility when flagging 
through old age. It checks leucorrhoea in women. 

XXXIX. lasine (bindweed ?) too is considered to 
be a wild vegetable. It creeps on the ground, is 
full of milky juice, and bears a white flower called 
conchylium. This plant too has the same merit of 
exciting to sexual intercourse. Eaten raw in vinegar 
with food it brings also a rich supply of milk to nursing 
mothers. It is health-giving to those suffering from 
consumption. Applied to the head of babies it makes 
the hair grow, and the scalp more retentive of it. 

XL. CaucaBs too is edible, a plant like fennel, 
with a short stem and a white flower. It is good for, 
the heart ; its juice too is taken as a draught, being 
especially good for the stomach and urine, for ex 
pelling stone and gravel, and for irritation of the 
bladder. It alleviates also catarrhs of the spleen, 
liver and kidneys. The seed promotes menstruation, 
and dries up bilious secretions after childbirth. It 
is also prescribed for seminal fluxes in men. Chry- 
sippus is also of opinion that it greatly helps 
conception. It is taken in wine fasting. It is also 
applied to the wounds caused by poisonous sea 
creatures, as Petrichus points out in his poem. 

35* 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

84 XLL His adnumerant et simn I latius apio, in aqua 
nascens, pinguius nigriusque, copiosum semine, 
sapore nasturtii. prodest urinis, renibus, lienibus 
mulierumque mensibus, sive ipsum in cibo sumptum 
sive ius decocti sive semine in vino drachmis duabus. 
calculos rumpit aquisque quae gignunt eos resistit. 
dysintericis prodest infusum, item inlitum lentigini 
et mulierum vitiis in facie noctu inlitum, lomentoque 2 
cutem emendat et ramices lenit, e quorum, etiam 
scabiem. 

85 XLII. Syllibum chamaeleonti albo similem, aeque 
spinosam, ne in Cilicia quidem aut Syria aut Phoe- 
nice, ubi nascitur, coquere tanti est. ita operosa 
eius culina traditur. in medicina nullum usum habet. 

86 XLIIL Scolymum quoque in cibos recepit oriens 
et alio nomine limonian appellavit. frutex est 
numquam cubitali altior cristis s foliorum ac 4 radice 
nigra, sed dulci, Eratostheni quoque laudata in 
pauperi cena. urinam ciere praecipue traditur, 
sanare lichenas et lepras ex ace to, venerem stimulare 

87 in vino 5 Hesiodo et Alcaeo testibus, qui florente ea 
cicadas acerrimi cantus esse et muHeres libidinis 

1 et sium Brotier : esium codd. 

2 lomentoque UrlicTis, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : momentoque 
plurimi codd. : MayJioff pergit : " sed exsp&ctes cum lomento- 
quie vel lomentoque adiecto (mixto) . . . an fovendoque ? 

3 cristis Detlefsen : cristisque d vulg. : tristis G : tristisque 
V Mayhoff. 

4 ac aliguot codd. vulg. Detlefseni acu dH: aculeis coni. 
MayJwff. 

5 invenio coni. Warmvngton. 

a TMs reading of Brotier is strongly confirmed by Dios- 
corides II. 127^ aiov <f>vrai ev rots vSaat K.T.^. 

6 Tliat m, tie leaves are broader. 

552 



BOOK XXII. XLI. 84-XLin. 87 

XLJ. With these is also classed sium, a broader 
than celery, growing in water, rather thick and dark, 
with an abundance of seed and the taste of cress. 
It is good for the urine, kidneys, spleen, and for 
menstruation, whether it is taken as food, just as it 
is, or in the form of a decoction, or the seed may be 
given with wine, the dose being two drachmae. It 
breaks up stone, and neutralizes the water that 
causes them. An infusion is good for dysentery, 
and a liniment of it for freckles. An application at 
night removes spots from women's faces, while made 
into ointment it clears the skin, soothes hernia, and 
is a good dressing for scab in horses. 

XLJ I. Syllibus, a plant like white chamaeleon, and s^mtnu. 
equally prickly, is not thought to be worth boiling 
even in Cilicia or Syria or Phoenicia, the places 
where it grows, so troublesome is the cooking of it 
said to be. As a medicine it is of no use at all. 

XLIIL Scolymus too has been adopted as a food &*%<* 
in the East, where it has the further name of limonia, & 
It is a shrub never more than a cubit high, with tufts 
of leaves c and a dark but sweet root ; Eratosthenes 
too praises it as a valuable food for those of moderate 
means. It is said to be highly diuretic, to cure lichen 
and leprous sores when applied in vinegar, and 
according to Hesiod 1 * and Alcaeus, to be an aphro 
disiac when taken in wine. They have written that 
when it is in blossom the song of the cricket is 

e With the reading of Mayhof! : "a nuisance because -of , 
its prickly leaves." 

* See Works* 582-8, -where Goettlmg remarks : " Sed vide, 
quam incerttis hie auctor sit Plinins. De scolymo in vimim 
iniic^iendo ne verbum qnidem Hesdodus neqne is, quern 
praeterea hums rei tesfcem aclsciscrk, Alcaeus." So Waiting- 
ton suggests invenio " I find" for in vmo ** taken in wine." 

353 

VOL. VI. N 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

avidissimas virosque in coitum pigerrimos scrip"sere ? 
velut providentia naturae hoc adiumento tune va- 
lentissimo. item graveolentiam alarum emendat 
radicis emedullatae uncia, In vini Falerni heminis 
tribus decocta ad tertias et a balineo ieiuno itemque 
post cibum cyathis singulis pota. mfrum est quod 
Xenocrates promlttit experimento, vitium id ex alis 
per urmam effluere. 

88 XLIV. Estur et soncos ut quern Theseo apud 
Callimachum adponat Hecale uterque, albus "et 
niger. lactucae similes ambo, nisi spinosi essent, 
caule cubitali, anguloso, intus cavo, sed qui fractus 
copioso lacte manet. albus, cui e lacte nitor, utilis 
orthopnoicis lactucarum modo ex embammate^ 
Erasistratus calculos per urinam pelli eo monstrat et 

89 oris graveolentiam commanducato corrigL sucus 
trium cyathorum mensura in vino albo et oleo cale- 
factus adiuvat partus ita ut a potu ambulent gravidae. 
datur et in sorbitione, ipse caulis decoctus facit 
lactis abundantiam nutricibus color emque meliorem 
infaniiima, ntilissimus his quae lac sibi coire sentiant. 
instillatiir auribus sucus, calidusque in stranguria 
bibitur cyathi mensura et in stomachi rosionibus cum 
semine cucumeris nucleisque pineis. inlinitur et 

90 sedis collectionibus. bibitur contra serpentes scor- 
pionesque, radix vero inlinitur. eadem decocta in 

a A poor woman who entertained Theseus on one of his 
expeditions. Cf. Ovid, Remedia amoris, 747, 

354 



BOOK XXII. XLIII. 87-xuY. 90 

shrillest, women are most amorous and men most 
backward in sexual unions, as though it were through 
Nature's providence that this stimulant is at its best 
when badly needed. Offensive odour from the arm 
pits is corrected by an ounce of the root, without 
the pitl^ in three heminae of Falernian wine boiled 
down to one third, to be taken fasting after the bath 
and again after food, the dose being a cyathus at a 
time. Xenocrates assures us of a remarkable thing, 
that he has proved by experiment, that the offensive 
smell passes off from the armpits by way of the urine. 
XLIV. Sow-thistle too is edible at any rate 
CalHmachus makes Heeale* set it before Theseus 
both the pale kind and the dark. Both are like 
lettuce, except that they are prickly, with a stem a 
cubit high, angular and hollow inside, which on being 
broken streams with a milky juice. The pale kind, 
which shines because of the milk in it, is good for 
asthma if taken with salad-dressing as is lettuce, 
Erasistratus informs us that it carries away stone 
in the urine, and that to chew it purifies foul breath. 
Three cyathi of the juice warmed in white wine 
and oil aid delivery, but the expectant mother must 
take a walk immediately after drinking it ; it is also 
given in broth, A decoction of the stem itself makes 
the milk abundant in nurses and improves the com 
plexion of the babies, being very useful to those 
women who are subject to curdling their milk. The 
juice is injected into the ears, and a cyathus of it is 
drunk warm for strangury, for gnawing pains of the 
stomach with cucumber seed and pine nuts. It is 
used also externally for abscesses at the anms- It 
is taken in drink for the poison of snakes and scor 
pions, but the root is used as an external application?. 

455 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

oleo, punici mail calyce, aurium morbis praesidium 
est. haec omnia ex albo. Cleemporus nigro pro- 
hibet vesci ut morbos faciente, de albo consentiens. 
Agathocles etiam contra sanguinem tauri demonstrat 
sucum ems, refrigeratoriam tamen vim esse convenlt 
nigro et hac causa inponendum cum polenta. Zenon 
radieem albi in stranguria suadet. 

91 XLV. Condrion sive condrille folia habet intubi, 
circumrosis similia, caulem minus pedalem, suco 
madentem amaro, radice fabae simili, aliquando 
numerosa. habet proximam terrae mastic en tuber- 
culo fabae, quae adposita feminarum naenses trahere 
dieitur. tusa cum radicibus tota dividitur in pastillos 
contra serpentes argumento probabili, siquidem 
mures agrestes laesi ab his hanc esse dicuntur. 
sucus ex vino coctae alvum sistit. eadem palpe- 
brarum pilos inordinatissumos pro curmmi efficacis- 
sime regit. Dorotheus stomacho et concoctionibus 
utilem carminibus suis pronuntiavit. alioqui feminis 
et oculis genera tionique virorum contrariam putavere. 



a Bull's blood was used in prescriptions (XXVIII. 177, 
217, 220, 241), sometimes -with (real or imaginary) serious 
consequences. Remedies are given for poison ing from its 
use in XX. 25, 94; XXII, 90; XXIII. 128; XXVIII. 
102; XXXI. 120. 

b TMs form of the name, supported by all the MSS,, is not 
in the dictionaries. 

c That this is the meaning of the strange tuberculo fabae 
is clear from Diescorides II, 133, /ieyefe kvafuata, a TWO. 



* It is uncertain whether this refers to all the plant (tota, 
ac. fyerba or condrtUe) or to, all the mastice. The former alter- 



BOOK XXII. XMV. 90-xLv. 91 

Boiled in oil and in the skin of a pomegranate the root 
is also a remedy for complaints of the ears. All these 
preparations must be made from the white kind. 
Cleemporas says that the dark kind must not be 
eaten, because it causes diseases, but he agrees to 
the use of the white. Agathocles asserts that its 
juice counteracts even the poison of bulls blood, 
yet since it is agreed that the dark kind has cooling 
properties, pearl barley must therefore be added to 
the application. Zeno recommends the root of the 
white kind for strangury. 

XLV. Condrion * or condrille has leaves like those 
of endive, eaten away as it were round the edges, 
a stem less than a foot and moist with a bitter 
juke, and a root like a bean, occasionally mani 
fold. Next to the ground it grows a gum, an 
excrescence the size of a bean/ a pessary of which 
is said to promote menstruation. The whole d with 
the roots is pounded and divided into lozenges as 
an antidote for snake bites, for which treatment 
good reason can be adduced, for field mice wounded 
by snakes are said to eat it. A decoction of the plant 
in wine checks looseness of the bowels. The same 
makes an excellent substitute for gum to keep the 
eye-lashes tidy, however disordered these may be. 
Dorotheus declares in his verses that it is good for 
the stomach and the digestion.* For the rest, it 
has been supposed to be bad for women, for the 
eyes, and for the virility of men- 
native is probably right here, but later on, whera a similar 
grammatical ambiguity occurs, eadem . . . pilos ijiordinaiissi- 
mos pro cummi regvt must sorely refer to the gummy masfe.t 

* Goncoctiones may mean : " niatnring of abscesses.** 
Gt note on 123, The plnral supports tfiis view, but the 
context (stomacko) the meaning " 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

92 XLVI. Inter ea quae temere manduntur et boletos 
merito posuerim, opimi quidem hos cibi, sed inmenso 
exemplo in crimen adductos, veneno Tiberio-CIaudio 
principi per hanc occasionem ab coniuge Agrippina 
dato, quo facto ilia terris venenum alterum sibique 
ante omnes Neronem suiim dedit. quorundam ex 
his facile noscuntur venena diluto rubore, rancido 
aspectu, livido intus colore, rimosa stria, pallido per 

93 ambitum labro. non sunt haec in quibusdam, 
siccique et veri similes veluti guttas in vertice albas 
ex tunica sua gerunt. vulvam enim terra ob hoc 
prius gignitj ipsum postea in vulva, ceu in ovo est 
luteitm. nee tunicae minor gratia in cibo infantis 
boleti. rumpitur haec primo nascente, mox in- 
crescente in pediculi corpus absumitur, rarum um- 

94 quam geminis 1 ex uno pede. origo prima causaque 
e Hmo et acescente suco madentis terrae aut radicis 
fere glandiferae, 2 initioque spuma lentior, dein corpus 
membranae simile, mox partus, ut diximus. ilia 
pernicialia quae probandi alea I 3 si caligaris clavus 



1 ramm umquam geminis codd. f Detlefsen : raroque 
rarumque ut geminus MayTioff. 

2 gtodiferae twig., Mayhoff: grandiferae aut grandis codd. 
grandis Detlefsen. 

a quae probandi alea Gronovius, Detlefsen : quot probandi 
alisa atais signa MayJioff : quod plurimi codd. : alia alias 
multi. 

a Or possibly: "which people eat without enough care." 

* The phrase -nmosa stria is difficult. Perhaps Pliny means 
that the so-called gills form deep clefts ; or perhaps he refers to 
the top of the cap. 

* With Detlfefeen's reading: "out of a stout root," or 
w out r of the root of a tall tree." Fere may account for the 

558 



BOOK XXII. XLVI. 92-94 

XLVL Among the things which it is rash a to eat 
I would include mushrooms, as although they make 
choice eating they have been brought into disrepute 
by a glaring instance of murder, being the means 
used to poison the Emperor Tiberius Claudius by 
his wife Agrippina, in doing which she bestowed upon 
the world, and upon herself in particular, yet another 
poison her own son Nero. Some of the poisonous 
mushrooms are easily recognized by their being of a 
pale-red colour, of a putrid appearance and of a 
leaden hue inside ; the furrows of the striated parts 
are mere chinks, 6 with a pale rim all round the edge. 
Not all the poisonous kinds are like this, and there 
is a dry sort, similar to the genuine mushroom, 
which shows as it were white drops on the top, 
standing out of its outer coat. The earth in fact 
produces first a matrix for this purpose, and after 
wards the mushroom itself in the matrix, like the 
yoke inside the egg; and the baby mushroom is 
just as fond of eating its coat as is the chick. The 
coat cracks when the mushroom first forms ; presently, 
as the mushroom gets bigger, the coat is absorbed 
into the body of the foot-stalk, two heads rarely ever 
springing from one foot. The first origin and cause 
of mushrooms is the slime and the souring juice of 
the damp ground, or often of the root of acorn-bearing 
trees, and at first is flimsier than froth, then it prows 
substantial like parchment, and then the mushroom, 
as I have said, is born. How chancy a matter it TIB to 
test these deadlyplants l d - If a boot nail, a piece of 

loss of -ferae, or it should perhaps be deleted as being due to 
dittography. See XVI. 33. 

d W&h MayhoS's reading : " How many signs different for 
different people there are to test these <ieadly plants I " 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ferrive aliqua robigo aut panni marcor adfuit nascent! , 
omnem ilico sucum alienum saporemque in venenum 
coneoquit. 1 deprehendisse qui nisi agrestes possunt 

95 atque qui 2 colligunt ipsi ? alia vitia ne hi quidem, 3 si 
serpentis caverna iuxta fuerit, si patescentem primo 
adhalaverit, capaci venenorum cognatione ad virus 
accipiendum. itaque caveri conveniat prius quam se 
condant serpentes. signa erunt tot herbae, tot 
arbores frutieesque ab emersu earuru ad latebram 
usque veraantes, et vel fraxini tantum folia nee 4 
postea nascentia nee ante decidentia. et boletis 
quidem ortus occasusque omnis intra dies septem est. 

^6 XLVII. Fungorum lentior natura et numerosa 
genera, sed origo non nisi ex pituita arborum. tu- 
tfsg?hrni qui rabent callo minus dilute ruboire quam 
boleti, mox candidi velut apice flaminis insignibus 
pedieulis, tertium genus suilli venenis acconunoda- 
tissimi. familias nuper interemere et tota convivia, 
Annaeum Serenum praefectum Neronis vigilum et 
tribunes eenturionesque. quae voluptas tanta tam 

97 ancipitis ciM? quidam discrevere arborum generi- 

1 concoquit cod$. : eoncoqui Mayhoff, qui et purictum delet. 

2 qui multi quae aliquot codd* 

a ne hi quidem lo. Mfttter : ne quidem codd* : equidem coni. 
DeiLefsen. 

4 nee d&lere wit Warmington. 

a Warmington suggests deleting the first nec 9 on the ground 
that the ash gets its leaves late in spring : " whose leaves grow 
after, and do not fall before, etc." 

360 



BOOK XXII. XLVI. 94-xLvn. 97 

rusty iron, or a rotten rag was near when the mush 
room started to grow, it at once absorbs and turns into 
poison all the moisture and flavour from this foreign 
substance. Who can be trusted to have detected the 
affected specimens except countryfolk and those who 
actually gather them ? Other infections even these 
cannot detect ; for instance, if the hole of a serpent 
has been near the mushroom, or should a serpent 
have breathed on it as it first opened, its kinship 
to poisons makes it capable of absorbing the venom. 
So it would be well not to eat mushrooms until the 
serpent has begun to hibernate. Indications of this 
will be given by the many plants, trees, and shrobs, 
that are always green from the time that the serpent 
comes out from his hole to the time that he buries 
himself in it ; or even the ash tree will serve, whose 
leaves do not grow after, nor fall before, the hiber 
nating period.** And of mushrooms indeed the whole 
life from beginning to end is not more than seven 
days. 

XLVIL The texture of fungi is rather flabby, and 
there are several kinds of them, all derived only 
from the gum that exudes from trees. The safest 
have firm red flesh less pale than that of the mush 
room ; next comes the white kind, the stalk of which 
is distinguished by its ending in a kind of flamen's 
cap ; a third kind, hog fungi, are very well adapted 
for poisoning. Recently they have carried off whole 
households and all the guests at banquets ; Aun^eus 
Serenus, for instance, Captain of Nero's Guards, 
with the tribunes and centurions. What great 
pleasure can there be in such a risky food? Some 
have classified fungi according to the kind of tree on 
which they grow, one class including those growing on 

361 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

bus, nee, ferula et cummim ferentibus, non item x taxo, 
robore, cupresso, ut diximus. sed ista quis spondet 
in venalibus? omnium colos lividus. hie habebit 
veneni argumentum quo similior fuerit arborum 
cortici. 2 adversus haec diximus remedia dicemusque. 

98 interim sunt aliqua et in iis. 3 Glaucias stomacho 
utiles putat boletos. siccantur pendentes suilli, 
iunco transfixi quales e Bithynia veniunt. M fluc- 
tionibus alvi quas rheumatismos vocant medentur 
excrescentibusque in sede carnibus, minuunt enim 
eas et tempore absumunt, item lentiginem et mu- 
lierum in facie vitia. lavantur etiam ut plumbum in 
oculorum medicamenta. sordidis ulceribus et capitis 
eruptionlbus, canum morsibus ex aqua inlinuntur. 

09 libet et coquendi dare aliquas communes in onmi 
eo genere observationes, quando ipsae suis manibus 
deliciae praeparant hunc cibum solum et cogitatione 
ante pascuntur sucinis novaculis aut argenteo 

1 noxios autem coni. Mayhoff* 

* arborum cortici Mayhoff : arbornm. piri Detlefsen : 
arborum fiei aut fieis codd. 
3 iis B r : his fere omnes cqdd. 



tt Mayhoff 's conjecture, noxios autem , has much to be said 
for it, but does not materially alter the sense. Theophrastus 
and Dioscorides do not help us much in interpreting this 
part of Pliny, as they used ^VKIJTCS for both boleti and fungi, 
jSojAtT^s- occurring only in Galen and Geovonica. 

6 See XVI. 31. 

c A species of oak, said to be the same as &pvs aypta ( 
perhaps Quercus aegilops. 

362 



BOOK XXII. XLVII. 97-99 

the fig-, fennel-giant, and the gum-exuding trees ; 
inedible,** as I have said, & are those on the yew, the 
robur c and the cypress. But who guarantees such 
things in the market ? They all d have a leaden 
colour. This will give an indication of poison, the 
closer it approximates to that of the bark of the tree. 
I have pointed out * remedies for these poisonous 
fungi and shall do so again later on; in the mean 
time let me say that even this / plant produces some 
remedies. Glaucias considers that mushrooms are 
good for the stomach. Hog fungi are hung up to dry* 
skewered on a rush as we see them come from Bithy- 
nia. These they use as a remedy for the fluxes of the 
belly that are called bowel catarrh, and for fleshy 
growths on the anus, which they reduce and in 
time cause to disappear ; they do the like to freckles 
and spots on women's faces. They are also steeped in 
water, as lead is, to make an application for diseases of 
the eyes. They are applied to septic sores and to 
rashes on the head, and in water to dog bites. I should 
like also to give some pieces of advice about cooking 
all kinds of mushrooms 5 since they are the only kind 
of food that exquisites prepare with their own hands, 
feeding on them in anticipation, and handling 

d Probably Pliny means all the fungi, not all the dangerous 
ones, for lie goes on to discriminate. 

E.g.* in XX. 25, 47, 86, 94, 132, 236, and XXI. 126, 184. 
Pears are mentioned at the end of this chapter ( 99), and 
again In XXIH. % 115, as a remedy for poisoning by fungi, 
but they have not been mentioned before in this connection. 
So Pliny, unless speaking inaccurately, cannot have said, as 
Detlefsen would have form say : piri adversuS haec diximvs 
remedia. Otherwise piri is an attractive emendation. 

/ The better attested reading is Ms; but this would refer 
to the same things as haec in the previous sentence, i.e. t 
poisonous fongi, 

363 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

apparatu eomitante. noxii erunt fungi qui in co- 
quendo duriores fient ; innocentiores qui nitro addito 
coquentur, utique si percoquantur. tutiores fiunt 
cum carne cocti aut cum pediculo piri. prosunt 
et pira confestim sumpta. debellat eos et aceti 
natura contraria iis. 

100 XL VI II. Imbribus proveniunt omnia haec, imbre 
et silphium venit primo, ut dictum est. ex Syria 
mine hoc maxime inportatur, deterius Parthico, sed 
Medico meHus, extincto omni Cyrenaico, ut diximus. 
usus silphii in medicina foliorum ad purgandas 
vulvas pellendosque emortuos partus ; decocuntur in 
vino albo et odorato, ut bibatur mensura acetabuli a 
balineis. radix prodest arteriis exasperatis, col- 
lectionibus sanguinis inlinitur. sed in cibis conco- 
quitur aegre; inflationes facit et ructus, urinae 
quoque noxia, suggiliatis cuin vino et oleo amicis- 
sima et cum cera strumis. verrucae sedis crebriore 
eius suffitu cadunt. 

101 XLIX. Laser e silphio profluens quo diximus 
modo inter eximia naturae dona numeratum pluri- 
mis compositionibus inseritur, per se autem algores 
excalfacit, potum nervorum vitia extenuat. feminis 
datur in vino, et lanis mollibus admovetur vulvae ad 

* Perhaps : " knives with amber handles," that is, with 
luxurious and expensive instruments. It seems more probable 
that the amber was supposed not to spoil the delicate flavour, 
or even to be a means of detecting less desirable specimens. 

4 Nearly everything Pliny says about toadstools and 
poisonous fungi is false, and his advice would lead to fatal 
results if followed. 

c Silphium was probably Ferula tvngitana and Ferula 
marmarica (which still exists in North Africa). 

"See XIX. 41. 

* See XIX. 39. 

364 



BOOK XXII. XLVII. 99-xLix. 101 

amber a knives and equipment of silver. Those 
fungi will be poisonous which become harder in 
cooking ; comparatively harmless will be those that 
are cooked with some soda added at any rate if 
they are thoroughly cooked. They become safer 
when cooked with meat, or with pear stalks. Pears 
too are good to take immediately after them. The 
nature of vinegar too is opposed to them and 
neutralizes any poisonous aetion> 

XLVIII. All these fungus growths spring up with 
showers, and silphiuxn c too, as has been mentioned/ 
first grew with a shower. At the present day it is 
imported chiefly from Syria, this Syrian silphium 
being not so good as the Parthian, though better 
than the Median ; the silphium of Cyrene, as I have 
said/ is now wholly extinct. The leaves of silpMtun 
are used in medicine to purge the uterus and to bring 
away the dead unborn baby ; a decoction of them is 
made in white, aromatic wine, to be drunk after the 
bath in doses of one acetabulum. The root is good 
for soreness of the windpipe, and is appKed to col 
lections of extravasated blood; but it is hard to 
digest when taken as food, causing flatulence and 
belchings. It is injurious to the passing of urine, 
but with wine and oil most beneficial for bruises, and 
with wax for scrofulous swellings. Warts in the 
seat fall off if fumigated with it several times. 

XLIX. Laser, which is distilled from silphium in Later. 
the way I have said, being reckoned one of the most 
precious gifts of Nature, is used as an ingredient in 
very many medical prescriptions; but by itself it 
warms after chills, and taken in drink it alleviates 
affections of t!ie sinews. In wine it is given to women, 
and on soft wool is used as a pessary to promote men- 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

menses ciendos. pedum clavos circumscariphatos 
ferro mixtum cerae extrahit. urinam ciet ciceris 

102 magnitudine dilutum. Andreas spondet coplosius 
sumptum nee inflationes facere et concoction! pluri- 
mum conferre senibus et feminis, item nieme quam 
aestate utilius, et turn aquam bibentibus. caven- 
dum ne qua sit exulceratio Intus. ab aegritudine 
recreationi efficax in cibo, tempestive enim datum 
cauteiii vim optinet, adsuetis etiam utilius quam 

103 expertibus. extera corporum indubitatas confes 
sion es habent. venena telorum et serpentinm ex- 
tinguit potum. ex aqua vulneribus his circumlinitur, 
scorpionum tantum plagis ex oleo, ulceribus vero 
non maturescentibus cum farina hordeacia vel flco 
sieca, carbunculis cum ruta vel cum melle vel per se 
visco superlitum ut haereat, sic et ad cards morsus, 
exerescentibus circa sedem cum tegmine * punici mali 
ex aceto decoctum, clavis qui volgo morticini appel- 

104 lantur nitro mixto. alopecias nitro ante subactas 
replet cum vino et croco aut pip ere ac murium fimo 
et aceto. perniones ex vino fovet et ex oleo coctum 

1 tegmine Barbarus e Diosc. : germine codd. Detl&fsen-. 

Probably meaning dissolved, or at least dispersed, in 
some medium. 

B Or, " at that season (summer) it is useful, etc." Wann- 
ington suggests tantum, ** only," for turn. 

e In the light of the context, it is more likely that this refers 
to absence of ulceration before taking the medicine than to 
precautions against it, but the Latin could bear the latter 
meaning as well as, or better than-, the other, 

d Apparently, one that warms and dries,. 

366 



BOOK XXII. XLIX. 101-104 

struation. Mixed with wax it extracts corns from 
the feet after they have been cut round with the knife. 
A piece the size of a chick-pea , diluted, is diuretic. 
Andreas assures us that, though taken in copious 
doses, it causes no flatulence, and is a great aid to 
digestion for the aged and for women; also that it 
is more beneficial in winter than in summer, and 
even then more so d to teetotalers. Care, however, 
must be taken that there be no internal ulceration. c 
Taken in the food it is a great help in convalescence ; 
for given at the right time it possesses all the qualities 
of a caustic d medicine, being even more beneficial 
to those accustomed to it than to those unfamiliar 
with it. Its employment externally provides sure 
proofs of its healing power. Taken in drink it 
neutralizes the poisons of weapons and of serpents ; 
it is applied in water around such wounds, only for 
the stings of scorpions is oil added. For sores not 
yet coming to a head it is applied with barley meal or 
dried fig, for carbuncles with rue, or with honey, or 
by itself, smeared over with some sticky substance 
to make it adhere, and, similarly prepared, for dog 
bites ; a decoction in -vinegar with the rind of the 
pomegranate for growths around the anus ; for corns 
commonly known as mortified corns * some soda 
must be mixed with the laser. Mange should he 
first thoroughly treated with soda, and then the hair 
is restored by an application with wine, safiron or 
pepper, mouse dung, and vinegar. Chilblains are 
treated by fomentations of it with wine and by appli- 

* Forcellini says : " vel qnia morfeieinam carnam refenmt 
vel quia mortiferi stint. " Morticians is an adjective applied 
to tbe flesh of animals that have died a naiiunal djeafclt. So 
bere, apparently, corns of dry, dead fiesk. But. 
and Brotier botli take tfce word to mean " fatal." 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inponitur; sic et callo, clavis pedum superrasis; 
praecipuae utilitatis contra aquas malas, pestilentes 
tract us vel dies ; in tussi, uva, fellis veteri suffusione, 1 
hydropisi, 2 raucitatibus ; confestim enim purgat fauces 
vocemque reddit. podagras in spongea dilutum 

105 posca lenit. pleuriticis in sorbitione vinum poturis 
datur, contractionibus 3 opisthotonicis ciceris magni- 
fcudine cera circumlitum. in angina gargaxizatur. 
anhelatoribus et in tussi vetusta cum porro ex aceto 
datur, aeque ex aceto his qui coagulum lactis sor- 
buerint. praecordiorum vitiis syntecticis, comi- 
tialibus cum vino, in aqua mulsa linguae paralysi. 
coxendicum et lumborum doloribus cuna decocto 

106 melle inlinitur. non censuerim, quod auctores 
suadent, cavernis dentium in dolore inditum cera 
includi, magno experimento hominis qui se ea de 
causa praecipitavit ex alto, quippe tauros in- 
flammat naribus inlitis, serpentes avidissimas vini 
admixtum rumpit. ideo nee inungui suaserim, cum 
Attico licet melle praeeipiant. quas habeat utilitates 
admixtum aliis immensum est referre, et nos simplicia 

1 snffnsioiie codd. : suffusioni Mayhoff. 
s hydropisi vet. coni. : MayhoffappeUat " vocabulum omnino 
" " Bed cf. XX. 43. In codd. legifwr hydropicis. 



a Opisthotonus, the kind of tetaaus more commonly 
mentioned by Pliny, e.g., XX. 31, 36, 154, 197, 228, 239; 
XXI. 120; XXH. 21, 75. See also p. xi. 

b This was supposed sometimes to be harmful. Cf. XXVIII. 
158 : si coagylum alicui nocuerit, nam id quoque venenum esl 
in prima la&tis coagulatione. 

* This shows that Pliny regarded such things as vinegar, 
honey, oil, wine, wax, barley meal, fig, all mentioned in this 
ehapter as* additions to the laser, as mere bases, without 
any effect upon the watura of the main ingredient. 

368 



BOOK XXIL xme. 104-106 

cations of the decoction In oil. It is used in like 
manner for callosities, and for corns on the feet, which 
must first be pared down. It is of especial value 
against bad waters, unhealthy districts or unhealthy 
weather, and is used Ibr cough, affections of the 
uvula, chronic biliousness, dropsy, and hoarseness; 
for immediately clearing the throat it restores the 
voice. Diluted with vinegar and water and applied 
with a sponge it soothes gouty limbs. It is given 
in gruel to patients with pleurisy who are going to 
drink wine, and in pills the size of a chick pea, coated 
with wax, to sufferers from cramp and tetanus.* 
For quinsy it is used as a gargle ; for wheezing and 
chronic cough it is given with leek in vinegar, and 
with vinegar to those who have swallowed curdled 
milk. & With wine it is given for tubercular affec 
tions of the hypochondria and for epilepsy, in hydro- 
mel for paralysis of the tongue. Boiled down with 
honey it is used as liniment for sciatica and lumbago, 
I should not approve of the advice of the authorities, 
who say that an aching hollow tooth should* be 
plugged with a. stopping of laser and wax, because 
of the startling proof provided by the man -who, as a 
result of this* threw himself down from a height. The 
truth is that it enrages bulls to have then- muzzles 
rubbed with it, and mixed -with wine it makes 
serpents burst, so very greedy are they for the wine. 
For this reason I should not advise tie teeth to be 
cleaned with it, although it is recommended to do so 
with laser and Attic honey. The uses of laser 
mixed with other ingredients it would be an endless 
task to record, and I am dealing with remejtlies each 
of one substance, 6 for in these their essential niatiire is 
manifest. In compounds, however, there is usually 

369 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tractamus, quoniain in his naturam esse apparet, in 
illis coniecturam saepius fallacem, nulli satis custodita 
in mixturis concordia naturae ac repugnantia. qua 
de re mox plura. 

107 L. Non asset mellis auctoritas in pretio minor 
quam laseris, ni ubique nasceretur. illud ipsa fabri- 
cata sit l natura, sed fiuic gignendo animal, ut diximus, 
innumeros ad usus,, si quoiiens misceatur aesti- 
memus. prhna propoBs alvornm, de qua dixinaus, 
aeuleos et omnia inxa corpori extrahit, tubera 
discutlt, dtira concoquit, dolores nervonnn mulcel; 

108 ulceraque iam desperantia cicatricem cludit. mellis 
quidem ipsius natura talis est ut putrescere corpora 
non sinat, iucundo sapore atque non aspero, alia 
quam salis natura, faucibus, tonsillis, anginae orani- 
busque oris desideriis utilissimum, arescentique in 
fehribus linguae, iam vero peripneumonicis, pleuriticis 
decocfcom, item vulneribus, a serpente percussis et 
csontra venena^ fongos, paralyticis in mulso y quam- 
qtiam suae mulso dotes constant, mel auribus in- 
stillatur cum rosaceo, lendes et foeda capitis animalia 

100 necat. usus despumati semper aptior, stomachum 
tamen inflat, bilem auget, fastidium creat, et oculis 
per se inutile aliqui arbitrantur, mrsus quidam 
ai^ulos exulceratos melle tangi suadent. mellis 
eau&as atque differentias nationesque et indicaiionem 

1 sit codd, : ^t coni. 



fl See 117 of this book. 
6 See XI. 11. 

* See XI. 16. 

* Some take in mulso with paralyticis only. Tiie parallel 
passage in Dioscorides H. 82 (WeJEbnann) does not help 
towards the correct decision. 

370 



BOOK XXII. XLIX. ICX&-L, 109 

risk of misleading guessing, for nobody is sufficiently 
careful, in making mixtures, to observe the sym 
pathies and antipathies of the essential natures of 
the ingredients. I shall go more into detail later. 

L. The value of honey in popular esteem would be 
no less than that of laser, were not honey produced 
everywhere. Granted that Nature herself created 
the one, she yet created an insect, as I have said, 6 
to make the other for countless uses, if we try to 
reckon the compounds of which it is an ingredient. 
First there is bee-glue in the hives, about which I 
have spoken ; c it extracts stings and all substances 
embedded in the flesh, reduces swellings, softens iur 
durations, soothes pains of the sinews, and heals sores 
when it seems hopeless for them to mend. Honey 
itself has a nature that prevents a body from decaying, 
with a pleasant and not harsh taste, essentially differ 
ent from salt, very good for the throat, tonsils, quinsy, 
all complaints of the mouth, and for. tongues parched 
by fever; moreover, the decoction is excellent for 
pneumonia and pleurisy, while for wounds, snake bites, 
poisons, fungi and paralysis, it is prescribed in honey 
wine,* although that has peculiar virtues of its own. 
Honey and rose oil are injected into the ears, and 
kill nits and offensive parasites on the head. Honey 
is improved by being skimmed, but it causes flatu 
lence, biliousness and nausea ; some think, it of itself 
injurious to the eyes, though there are others on the 
other hand who recommend that ulcers in the corners 
be touched with honey. How honey is produced/ 
the different kinds of it, the countries famous for it 

* He&is caums is a strange phrase, tfee exact EBeaffltog of 
whieh depends npoa its context* " Why the bees make, ifc,," 
is another sense possible here, btit lees likely. 

371 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in apium ac deinde florum natura diximus, cum ratio 
operis dividi cogeret miscenda rursus naturam rerum 
pernoscere volentibus. 

110 LI. In mellis operibus aqua mulsa debet tractari. 
duo genera eius: subitae ac recentis, alterura 
inveteratae. repentina despumato melle prae- 
claram utilitatem habet in cibo aegrotantium levi, 
hoc est alica eluta, 1 viribus recreandis, ore stomacho- 
que mulcendo, ardores reirigerando. frigidam enfm 
dari ntilitis ventrem molliendo. invenio apud auc- 
tores hoc potu 2 bibendum alsiosis, item animi humilis 

111 et praeparci, quos illi dixere micropsychos. ut 3 est 
ratio subtilitatis inmensae a Platone descendens 
corpusculis rerum levibus scabris, angulosis rotundis 
magfs aut minus ad aliorum naturam accedentibus 
ideo non eadem omnibus amara aut dulcia esse. sic 
et in lassitudine proniores esse ad iracundiam et in 
siti. ergo et haec animi asperitas, seu potius animae, 
dulciore suco mitigatur lenito transitu spiritus et 

1 alica eluta Urlichs, Mayhoff-. alicae elutae codd., De&efsen. 
Mayhoff. 

* hoc potu aut hoc potum codd. : decoctum coll. Diosc. 
Mayhoff. 

? ut est Mayhoff : et est cum aliquot codd. DetLefsen- 

* Indicatio seems' to be the signs of value, quality and 
goodness. 

6 See Xt, 32. 
e See XXI. 74. 

* Alica was a variety of wheat carefully prepared and 
whitened with chalk. See XVIII. ch. 10 and 29. So alica 
eluta may mean ** alica with the chalk washed out." So 
Forcellini $.v. alica. Elwkus can mean also ** diluted," " weak*'* 
CL Horace, Satires H. iv. 15. This gives as a possible meaning, 
" weak wheat- water," with, all tlie coarse, solid part washed 
ont. ! The* diet of aegrotantes was of this sort. The latter is 
probably the meaning in 128, where, see note c. 



BOOK XXIL L. jog-Li, ni 

and the signs of its value, I discussed when treating 
of the nature of bees 6 and again when I came 
to flowers, since the plan of my work necessitated 
the division of things that have to be afterwards com 
bined again by those who wish to learn thoroughly 
the works of Nature. 

LI. In dealing with the benefits of honey I must 
include those of hydromel. There are two kinds of 
it : one is made for the occasion and used fresh, and 
the other is the matured. Occasional hydromel, made 
from skimmed honey, is extremely useful as an in 
gredient of the light diet of invalids (that is strained 
wheat *) for restoring the strength, for soothing 
the mouth and stomach, and for cooling feverish 
heat. For it is cold hydromel that is better to be 
given for loosening the bowels. My authorities state 
that it should be given to drink to persons subject 
to chill, and also to those of a poor, weak spirit, whom 
the same authorities called /Awc/x^ferj^oi/ in harmony 
with the very ingenious theory/ that had its origin in 
Plato. This says that the atoms of things, being 
smooth or rough, angular or round, are accordingly 
more or less adapted to the nature of different indi 
viduals, and that therefore the same things are not 
bitter or sweet to everybody ; and so, when we are 
tired or thirsty we are more prone to anger. There 
fore also this roughness of the mind, or rather I 
should say of the soul, is made smoother by a sweeter 
flavour, which soothes the wind-pipe and makes 



* Dloscorides V. 9 (WeHmann^ says of jitXitcparov, jnst 
before coming to hydromel : Tea Sc aa/yrj^^vco em T&V fuxpo- 
wfwKT<ov fcaL ajaQcv&v. So since Salmasins many scholars 
have believed that Pliny thought lie heard fuxpofaxoi {weak- 
souled) for fiiKpooxfwKroi {with a weak pulse). 

/ See Seneca de ira UL 9, 4. 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

molliore facto meatu, ne scindat euntem rede tin- 
temque. experimenta in se cuique ; nullius non ira, 
luctus, tristitia et omnis animi impetus cibo mollitur, 
ideoque observanda sunt quae non solum corporum 
medicinam sed et morum habent. 

112 LII. Aqua niulsa et tussientibus utilis traditur, 
calefacta invitat vomitiones, contra venenura psimithii 
salutaris addito oleo, item contra hyoscyami cum laete 
maxime asinine, et contra halicacabi, ut dixirnus. 
infimditur et auribus et genitalium fistulis. vulvis 
inponitur cum pane molli, subitis tumoribus, luxatis 
leniendisque omnibus, inveteratae usum damna- 
vere posteri minus innocentem aqua minusque vino 
firmum. longa tamen vetustate transit in vinum, 
ut constat inter omnes, stomacho inutilissimum 
nervlsque contrarium. 

113 LIIL Semper mulsum ex vetere vino utilissimum. 
facillimeque cum melle concorporatur, quod in dulci 
numquam evenit. ex austero factum non inflat 
stomachum, neque ex decocto melle, minusque 
implet, quod fere evenit. adpetendi quoque revocat 
aviditatem cibi. alvum mollit frigido potu, pluribus 

114 calido sistit, corpora auget. multi senectam longam 
mulsi tantum intrita toleravere, neque alio ullo cibo, 



XXI. 182. 

6 Nervus at this period included nerve, ligament and 
tendon. See Oelsns II. 8, 40 (W. G. Spencer). 
e F&e thinks that mnst is referred toy 

374 



BOOK XXIL LI. m-Lin. 114 

more gentle the passage of the breath, so that 
neither inhalation nor exhalation is violently broken. 
Each of us may make trial for himself. There is 
no one who does not fin-d that by food can be softened 
his anger, grief, sadness, and every violent emotion 
of the mind. Accordingly I most take notice not 
only of things which give healing to our bodies, but 
also of those which heal our character. 

LI I* Hydromel is also said to be useful for coughs, 
but when warmed it provokes vomiting. With oil it 
is beneficial in cases of white-lead poisoning, also 
with milk, especially asses 5 milk, for henbane , and, 
as I have said, for poisoning by halicacabnm. It 
is poured into the ears, and into fistulas of the 
genitals. It is applied with soft bread to the uterus, 
to sudden swellings, to sprains and to all complaints 
needing soothing treatment. The use of matured 
hydromel has been condemned by recent authorities 
as being less harmless than water and keeping less 
well than wine. When however it has been kept 
for a long time, it turns into a wine which, as all are 
agreed, is most injurious to the stomach and bad 
for the sinews, 6 

LI II. The best honey wine is always made with 
old wine, it and honey combining very easily, which 
never happens when the wine is sweet, c Made out 
of dry wine it causes no flatulence in the stomach, 
nor does it do so when the honey is boiled, and the 
usual inconvenience with honey wine, a sense of 
fullness, is not experienced. It also revives a falling 
appetite. Drunk cold it relaxes the bowels ; taken 
warm it binds them in most cases, and puts on fl^sh, 
Many have lived to a very great age on no other 
food but a mash made with honey wine, as in the 

375 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

celebri Pollionis Romili exempl6. centezisimum 
annum excedentem eum divus Augustus hospes 
interrogavit, quanam maxime ratione vigbrem ilium 
animi corporisque custodisset. at ille respondit: 
intus mulso, foris oleo. Varro regium cognominatum 
arquatorum morburn tradit, quoniam mulso curetur. 

115 LIV. Melitites quo fieret modo ex musto et melle 
docuimus in ratione vini. saeculis iam fieri non 
arbitror hoc genus inflationibus obnoxlum. solebat 
tainen inveteratum alvi causa dari in febre, item 
articulario morbo et nervorum innrmitate laboran- 
tibus et mulieribus vini abstemiis. 

116 LV. MelKs naturae adnexa cera est, de cuius 
origine, bonitate, nationibus suis locis diximus, 
omnis autem mollit, calfacit, explet corpora, recens 
melior. datur in sorbitione dysintericis, favique ipsi 
in pulte alicae prius tostae. adversatur lactis 
naturae, ac mfln magnitudine decem grana cerae 
hausta non patiuntur coagulari lact in stomacho. si 
inguen tumeat, albam ceram in pube fixisse remedio 
est. 



* Or (possibly) " guest." 

* Jaundice was so called from the discoloration of the 
eyes and of the, skin caused by the disease. 

* Cf . Celsus ILL 24 (en4), who suggests that the name 
regius morlnts was given because of the sumptuous nature of 
the treatment usually adopted. 

* See XIV. 85: 

* DjosGorides^V. 7 says: S/Sorew fjv ev XP -* irvperois 
rots daOevfi <TOV> OTopaxpv c^cwxwv . . . ^p^ot^to^ $ teal, 
ywaijiv vSpoTrorovcrcas. There is no variation in the MSS* 
and it would be wrong to emend inveteratnm (sc. genus) to 
i-Bveterata, for^ther orte of words is against its agreeing with 
febre. 

376 



BOOK XXII. tin. H4-LV, 116 

well-known case of Pollio Romulus. He was more 
than a century old when Augustus, now in Heaven, 
who was his host, asked him what was the chief 
means whereby he had kept such vigour of mind 
and body. His reply was : " By honey wine 
within and by oil without." Varro relates that the 
rainbow 6 disease (jaundice) has been styled the 
royal disease because it is treated with the royal e 
drink of honey wine. 

LIV, How meMtites used to be made out of must 
and honey I have set out in my account of wine. d I 
believe that this kind of honey has not been made now 
for generations, so liable was it to cause flatulence. 
When well" matured,* however, it used to be given 
in fever because of Its action on the bowels, and 
also to sufferers from gout and from feebleness of the 
sinews, and to women who are teetotalers. 

LV. Honey is by nature closely related to wax, 
the source of which, its virtues, and the districts 
that produce it, I have discussed in the proper 
places./ All wax however is emollient, warming, 
and restorative of flesh ;0 the fresher it is the 
better. It is given to sufferers from, dysentery in 
their gruel, and the whole comb in a porridge of 
groats that has been previously roasted. Wax and 
milk are of opposite natures, and ten pills of wax, of 
the size of a grain of millet will, if swallowed, prevent 
milk curdling in the stomach. Should the groin 
swell, the application of white wax to the pubes is 
a remedy. 



/ See XI. IS and XXI. 

9 Bioscorides (II. 83) lias irXijfxaTucfc re ($c. 
fcrjpos) perpl&s. Bro&br is probably right- in explaining thus : 
Ttleetu corporum cante repleL 

377 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

117 LVL Nee huius usus quos mixta aliis praestat 
enumerare possit medicina, sicuti nee ceterorum quae 
cum aliis prosunt. ista ? ut diximus, ingeniis con 
stant, non fecit ceratum, malagmata, emplastra, 
collyria,. antidota parens ilia ac divina rerum artifex ; 
officinarum haec,' immo verius avaritiae commenta 
sunt. naturae quidem opera absoluta atque per- 
fecta gignuntur, paucis ex causa, non ex coniectura 
rebus adsumptis, tit sue aliquo sicca temperentur 
ad meatus, aut corpore alio umentia ad nexus. 

118 scripulatim quidem colligere ac miscere vires non 
coniecturae humanae opus, sed inpudentiae est. nos 
nee Indicarum Arabicarumque mercium aut extern! 
orbis adtingimus medicinas. non placent remediis 
tam longe naseentia, non nobis gignuntur, immo ne 
illis quidern, alioqui non venderent. odorum causa 
unguentorumque et deliciarum, si placet^ etiam super- 
stitionis gratia emantur, quoniam ture supplicamus 
et costo. salutem quidem sine istis posse cons tare 
vel ob id probabimus ut tanto magis sui delicias 
pudeat. 

119 LVII. Sed medicinas e floribus coronamentisque 
et hortensiis quaeque mandantur herbae persecuti 
quonam modo fruginn omittimus? nfmirum et has 

It is not clear whether Pliny supposes that these 
" natural " combinations are made by man or by Nature 
herself. 

& Remediis seems to be dative with <placenti "are satis 
factory to (for) remedies." 

Many MSS. have mandunkwr, and I translate 'mandantur as 
a generic subjunctive from that verb. Warmingtan, however, 

378 



BOOK XXII. LVI. 117-Lvn. 119 

LVI. The uses that wax can be put to in com 
bination with other substances would more than fill 
a pharmacopoeia, and the same is true of other 
materials that combine usefully with others. These, 
as I have said, are due to man's ingenuity. Wax 
salves, poultices, plasters, eye-salves, antidotes, were 
not made by the divine Mother who created the 
Universe : they are the inventions of the laboratory, 
or more correctly of human greed* Nature indeed 
brings forth her works absolutely perfect ; a few 
ingredients are chosen with a purpose, not by guess 
work, so that dry substances may be modified by 
some fluid to facilitate their passage, or moist things 
by a more substantial body to give the required 
consistency. But for a man to weigh out, scruple 
by scruple, the active ingredients that he gathers 
together and blends, is not human guess-work but 
human impudence. I myself shall not touch upon 
drugs imported from India and Arabia or from the 
outer world. Ingredients that grow so far away are 
unsatisfactory for remedies ; & they are not produced 
for us, nay, not even for the natives, who in that 
case would not sell them. Let them be bought if 
you like to make perfumes, unguents and luxuries, 
or even in the name of religion, for we worship the 
gods with frankincense and costmary. But health 
I shall prove to be independent of such drugs, if 
only to make luxury all the more ashamed of itself. 

LVIL But having discussed medicines from 
flowers, garland and garden, as well as herbs which 
are ehewed, c how can I possibly omit medicines from 
cereals ? Indeed, it would be fitting to mention these 

suggests that mandantur may be indicative from mandare and 
may mean : ** plants whieii are entrusted to the kerb-garden." 

379 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

indicare conveniat. in primis sapientissima ani- 
malium esse constat quae fruge vescantur. siliginis 
grana combusta et trita in vino Amineo * oculis inlita 
epiphoras sedant, tritici vero ferro combusta iis quae 

120 frigus usserit praesentaneo sunt remedio. farina 
tritici ex aceto cocta nervorum contractionibus, cum 
rosaceo vero et fico sicca myxisque decoctis furfures 
tonsillis faucibusque gargarizatione prosunt. Sex. 
Pomponius praetorii viri pater, Hispaniae citerioris 
princeps, cum horreis suis ventilandis praesideret, 
correptus dolore podagrae mersit in triticum super 
genua sese, levatusque siccatis pedibus mirabilem in 

121 modum hoc postea remedio usus est. vis tanta est 
ut cados plenos siccet. paleam quoque tritici vel 
hordei calidam inponi ramicum incommodis experti 
iubent, quaque decoctae sint aqua fovere. est in 
farre vermiculus teredini similis, quo cavis dentium 2 
cera incluso cadere vitiati dicuntur, etiam si fricentur. 
olyram arincam diximus vocari. hac decocta fit 
medicamentum quod Aegypti atheram vocant, 
infantibus utilissimum, sed et adultos inlinunt eo. 

1 Post Amineo comma delevi. 

2 Post dentium adder e velim cum. 



a Perhaps an honorific title. 

6 That is, if they are buried in the grata. 



380 



BOOK XXII. LVII. 119-121 

as well. In the first place it is a well known fact that 
those animals that feed on grain are the most intelli 
gent. Grains of common wheat well roasted and then 
crushed, applied in Aminean wine to the eyes soothe 
fluxes; moreover, well roasted on an iron plate 
grains of naked wheat are a quick remedy for frost 
bite. The flour of naked wheat boiled in vinegar is 
food for cramp; the bran moreover and rose oil, 
ried figs and sebesten plums, all boiled down, make 
a good gargle for tonsils and throat. Sextus Pom- 
ponius, father of a man who was praetor, himself the 
most distinguished man in Nearer Spam, was 
superintending the winnowing in his barns when he 
was seized with the pains of gout. Burying himself 
above his knees into the wheat he was relieved of the 
pain, and the water in his feet dried up in a wonderful 
way, so that afterwards he adopted this procedure as 
a remedy. The absorbent power of wheat is so great 
that it dries up casks full of liquid. 6 Experienced 
authorities also prescribe the chaff of wheat or barley 
to be applied warm for hernia, and the water in 
which it has been boiled to be used for fomenta 
tions. There is to be found in emmer-wheat a little 
worm like the wood-worm. If this be plugged with 
wax into the hollow of a decayed tooth, it is said that 
the tooth comes out, or even if the affected part be 
rubbed with it. Olyra (two-grained wheat) is, as I 
have said,^ also called arinca. With a decoction of 
it a medicine is made which the Egyptians call 
athera, very beneficial for babies, though adults too 
use it as a liniment. 

Pliny often, uses incommoda for ailments j e.g., incommoda 
corporum, pulmonum> 
<*See XVttl. 92. 



PLINY : NATUEAL HISTORY 

122 LVIII. Farina ex hordeo et cruda et decocta 
collectiones impetusque discutit, lenit, concoquit. 
decoquitur alias in muisa aqua aut fico sicca, at 1 
iocineris doloribus, cum pus concoqui opus est, in 
vino; cum inter coquendum discutiendumque cura 
estj tune in aceto melius aut in faece aceti aut in 
cotoneis pirisve decoctis ; ad multipedae morsus cum 
melle, ad serpentium in aceto et contra suppurantia, 
ad extrahendas suppurationes ex posca addita resina 

123 Gallica; ad concoctiones vero et ulcera vetera cum 
resina, ad duritias cum fimo columbarum aut fico 
sicca aut cinere, ad nervorum inflammationes aut 
intestinorum vel laterum dolores cum papavere aut 
meliloto, et quotiens ab ossibus caro recedit, ad 
strumas cum pice et inpubis pueri urina cum oleo. 
cum Graeco feno contra praecordiorum tumores vel 

124 in febribus cum melle vel adipe vetusto. suppuratis 
triticea farina multo lenior. nervis cum hyoscyami 
suco inlinitur, ex aceto et melle lentigini. zeae, ex 
qua alieam fieri diximus, efficacior etiam hordeacea 
videtur, trimenstris mollior, ex vino rubro ad scor- 
pionum ictus tepida et sanguinem excreantibus, item 

1 sieca, at Detlefsen : siccat VG : ceteri codd. aut slcca ut 
aut sicca. 

* Impetus, an "attack" of fever, etc., is used by Pliny with 
genitives like vulnerum, oculorum, and even by itself. It 
often means ** inSamed swelling," or even ** inflammation." 
XX. 16, oculorum impetus I>ioscorides II. 134, o^^oA^oou 
^Afyjuoi/a? / tumores et impetus impositum (ihymum) tollit; 
XXII. 122 collectiones impetusque discutit. Clearest of all 
perhaps is 126 of XXII, impetusque rubicundi tumoris. 
In XXII. 111 and XXXV. 106, animi impetus means 
" violent emotions." 

fr The dictionaries recognize concoquere in the sense of " to 
mature an abscess," but not the noun concoctio. See too the 
note on 91. 
3% 



- BOOK XXII. Lviii. 122-124 

LVIIL Barley meal, both raw and boOe<J, dis- 
perses abscesses and inflamed gatherings ; a it softens 
them and brings them to a head. At other times a 
decoction of it is made in hydromel or with dried 
figs, but for pains in the liver, when pus needs 
to be matured, it should be decocted in wine ; when 
there is difficulty in deciding whether maturing or 
dispersal is necessary, then it is better for the 
decoction to be in vinegar, in lees of vinegar, or in 
boiled down quinces or pears. It is used with honey 
for muliipede stings, in vinegar for snake bites and 
to stop suppuration, but for bringing away suppura 
ting matter with diluted vinegar to which Gallic 
resin has been added. For maturing of abscesse$ t & 
however, and for chronic sores it must be used with 
resin 3 for indurations with pigeons* dung or dried 
fig or ashes, for inflammations of the sinews or of the 
intestines or pains in the sides with poppies or melilot, 
and also when the flesh falls away from the bones, for 
scrofulous swellings with pitch and the urine of a boy 
below the age of puberty added to oil. With 
fenugreek it is prescribed for swellings of the hypo 
chondria, and for fevers with honey or stale fat. 
For suppurations wheat flour is much more soothing. 
To sinews it is applied with juice of henbane, for 
freckles, in vinegar and honey. Meal of emmer-wheat, 
out of which as I have said alica is made, seems to 
be more efficacious even than barley meal, the three- 
month # variety being the more soothing. It is 
used warm, in red wine, for the stings of scorpions, 
spitting of blood, and for trachea! affections, For a 

6 Ihe grammar -would also allow [farina ablative) : " For 
snppcirations it is mucK more soothing tbaa wheat meal/' 
d I.e., that ripeos in three months. 

383 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

125 arteriae, tussi cum caprino sebo aut butyro. ex 
feno Graeco mollisslma omnium ulcera manantia 
sanat et furfures corporis, stomach! dolores, pedes 
et mammas cum vino et nitro cocta. aerina magis 
ceteris purgat ulcera vetera et gangraenas, cum 
raphano et sale et aceto lichenas, lepras cum sulpure 
vivo, et capitis dolor es cum ailipe anserino inposita 
fronti. strumas et panos concoquit cum firno 
columbino et lini semine decocta in vino. 

126 LDL De polentae generibus in frugum loco satis 
diximus. medicorum ratione a farina hordei distat 
eo quod torretur, ob id stomacho utHis. alvum sistit 
impetusque rubicundi tumoris, et oculis inlinitur et 
capitis dolori cum menta aut alia refrigerante herba, 
item pernionibus et serpentium plagis, item ambustis 
ex vino, inhibetque pusulas. 

127 LX. Farina in pollrnem subacta . vim extrahendi 
UDEteoris liabet adeo ut cruore snfrusis in fascias usque 
sanguinem perducat, efficacius in sapa. inponitur et 
pedum callo clavisque. nam cum oleo vetere ac 
pice decocto polline condylomata et alia omnia sedis 
vitia quam maxfme caHdo mirabilem in modum 
curantur. pulte corpus augetur. farina qua chartae 
glutinantur sanguinem excreantibus datur tepida 
sorbenda effieaciter. 

128 LXL Alica res Romana est et non pridem excogi- 

a For butyron see XI. 239 and XXVIII. 133. 

6 For furfur (scurf, dandruff, seborrhoea, etc.) see Spencer 
on Gelsiis VI. 2. . 

c See XVni. 72. 

d For condyloma (a knuckle-shaped swelling in the anus) 
see Celsns V. 28, 2s with Spencer's note, and note on XXI. 
f 142 (p. 264). 

3*4 



BOOK XXII, LYIII. 1 2411x1. 128 

cough, goat-suet or butter a is added, Fenugreek 
meal, the most soothing of all, boiled with wine and 
soda, cures running sores and scurf 6 on the body, 
stomach ache, and affections of the feet and of the 
breasts. Darnel meal clears up chronic ulcers and 
gangrenes more than do the other kinds ; for lichens 
radishes, salt and vinegar must be added, for leprous 
sores native sulphur, and for headache it should be 
applied with goose-grease to the forehead. Boiled 
in -wine, with pigeons* dung and linseed, it matures 
scrofulous swellings and superficial abscesses. 

LIX. About the various kinds of pearl barley I 
have said c enough in the discussion of cereals. 
Physicians are of opinion that its difference from 
barley meal is due to its being roasted, which makes 
it wholesome for the stomach. It checks looseness 
of the bowels and inflamed swellings. Combined 
with -mint or other cooling herb it is applied to sore 
eyes and aching heads, as well as to chilblains and 
to snake wounds, while for burns it is applied in wine, 
and it also checks pustules. 

LX. Flour reduced to fine powder has the power 
of drawing out moisture to such an extent that it 
extracts blood from bloodshot areas, even to soaking 
the bandages ; if boiled must be added the applica 
tion is still more efficacious. It is put on callosities 
and corns on the feet. But when boiled with old 
oil and pitch, and applied as hot as possible, fine flour 
is wonderful treatment for condyloma d and all 
other affections of the anus. Made into pottage it 
puts on flesh. The flour with which papyrus sheets 
are stuck together is effectively given in lukewarm 
drink to those who suffer from spitting of blood. 

I. Alica is peculiarly Roman, and a discovery 



VOL, VI* 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

tata, alioqui non tisanae potius laudes scripsissent 
GraecL nondura arbitror Pompei Magni aetate in 
usu fuisse, et ideo vix quicquam de ea scriptum ab 
Asclepiadis schola. esse quidem eximie utilem 
nemo dubitat, sive eluta detur ex aqua mulsa sive 

129 in sorbitiones decocta sive in pultem. eadem in 
alvo sistenda torretur, dein favorum cera coqiiitur, 
ut supra diximus. peculiariter tamen longo morbo 
ad tabitudinem redactis subvenit ternis eius cyathis 
in sextarium aquae sensim decoctis, donee omnis 
aqua consumatur, postea sextario lactis ovilli aut 
caprini addito per continues dies, 1 mox adiecto 
melle. tali genere sorbitionis emendatur syntexis. 

130 LXII. Milio sistitur alvus, discutiuntur tormina, in 
quern usum torretur ante, nervorum doloribus et 
aliis fervens in sacco inponitur, neque 'aliud utilius, 
quoniam levissimum moIEssimumque est et caloris 
capacissimum. itaque talis usus eius est ad omnia 
quibus calor profuturus est. farina eius cum pice 
liquida serpentium et multipedae plagis inponitur. 

1 Post dies lacunam indicat MayTioff, Sillig secutus. For- 
excidit nr. 



a Galen (without mentioning Pliny) says rigntly that alica 
was known in the days of Hippocrates, being called x v $P$ 
(XII. 14). 

*> 106-48 B.C. 

c In this passage at least, as the two thicker forms follow 
immediately, alica eluta seems to be the liquid by itself, with 
all the solid part " washed out *' (eluta). See p. 372, note on 
110. 

d See 116 datur . . . tostae. It seems better to take cera 



BOOK XXII. LXI. 128-Lxii. 130 

of recent date, or the Greeks would not have sung 
the praises of barley water in preference.* It was in 
my opinion not yet used in the age of Pompey* 
the Great, and for that reason scarcely anything 
about it has been written by the school of Ascle- 
plades. Its extreme usefulness nobody doubts, 
whether it is given in hydromel after straining c or 
boiled down to gruel or to thick pottage. For 
arresting looseness of the bowels alica is roasted, and 
then honeycomb wax is cooked with it, as I have said 
above. d It is however specially useful for those who 
by long illness have been reduced to a consumptive 
condition; the dose is three cyathi put into a 
sextarius of water and gradually boiled down until 
all the water has evaporated, when a sextarius of 
sheep's or goats' milk is added, and the mixture 
taken daily ; after a while honey also is added. 
By a course of this gruel decline is arrested. 

LXII. Common millet checks looseness of the 
bowels and removes gripings, for which purposes it is 
first roasted. For pains of the sinews, and for other 
pains it is applied hot in a bag/ No other applica 
tion is more useful, for it is very light, very soothing 
and very retentive of heat. Accordingly it is much 
used in all cases where the application of heat is 
likely to prove beneficial. Millet meal and liquid 
pitch are applied to the wounds inflicted by snakes 
and multipedes. 

as the subject of coquitur. It is the custom of Pliny to add 
cum, in or ex to the ablative to mean " boil in.** 

* If a numeral (e.g. ITT) has fallen out : " for (three) days 
running." 

* IHoseorides EL 97 (WeHmaon) : fraxp&x. Sc Ko^jSA^wra 

1$ GOKKOVS 7TVpUlX^777 <JTpQ<fxaV KOL r>V oXXcdP dAyTJftaT^V COT* 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

131 LXIII. Panicum Diodes medicus mel frugura 
appellavit. effectus habet quos milium. in vino 
potum prodest dysintericis. similiter his quae 
vaporanda sunt excalfactum inponitur. sistit alvum 
in lacte caprino decoctum et bis die haustum. sic 
prodest et ad tormina. 

132 LXIV. Sesima trita in vino sumpta inhibet vo- 
mitiones. aurium inflammation! inlinitur et am- 
bustis. eadem efficit et dum in herba est. hoc 
amplius oculis inponitur decocta in vino, stomacho 
inutilis in cibis et animae gravitatem facit. stel- 
lionum morsibus resistit, item ulceribus quae cacoethe 
vocant, et auribus oleum quod ex ea fit prodesse 

133 diximus. sesamoides a similitudine nomen accepit 3 
grano amaro, folio minore. nascitur in glareosis. 
detrahit bilem in aqua potum. 1 semen inlinitur igni 
sacro, discutit panos. 

Est etiamnum aliud sesamoides Anticyrae nascens, 
quod ideo aliqui Anticyricon yocant,, cetera simile 
erigeronti herbae, de qua dicemus suo loco, grano 
sesamae. datur in vino dulci ad detractiones quan- 

1 potnm. semen Detiefsen ; potum semen, MayJioff. 

a Perhaps because a Greek name for it was ^XLVTJ or p4Xivo$. 
Dioscorfdes II. 98. 

b iHoscorides II. 99 : -7 8e TTOO. KaO&frrj&etaa ev OLVOJ TO. avra 
ei, ftoAtora $ (frXeyfjiOvais o^aX^a^v KO! irpc<$vvLa<, 
c Diosoorides II. 99 : <rrjoa^,ov KaKoaro^axov /cat 



Superficial malignant disease. See Spencer on Celsus, 
Vol. HI. Appendix I. 

* See XXin. 95. 

f Probably the o^aa^jLoet^ks TO fUKpov of Dioscorfdes IV. 
163, which is said to grow ev r/mxecrt ^coptots 1 . 

* This is the o^o-a/zoetSes- ficycL of Dioscorides IV. 149. He 
says that it is like groundsel or me, and that a three-finger 



BOOK XXII. LXIII. i3i-LOT. 133 

LXIII. Italian millet was called by the physician Italian 
Diocles the honey a of cereals. It produces the same 
results as common millet. Taken in wine it is good 
for dysentery. In like form it is applied hot where 
warm fomentations are called for. Looseness of the 
bowels is checked if a decoction in goats* milk is 
taken twice a day. In this form it is also good for 
gripings. 

LXIV. Sesame ground and taken in wine checks 
vomiting. It is applied to inflammation of the ears 
and to burns. It has the same effect 5 even while it 
is in the blade. For this reason it is more copiously 
applied, decocted in wine, to the eyes. As a food 
it is injurious to the stomach and causes the breath 
to smell offensive. 6 It neutralizes the bites of the 
gecko, and is beneficial to the sores known as malig 
nant ;<* the oil made from it, as I have said,* is good for 
the ears. Sesamoides / has received its name from its 
likeness to sesame; it has a smaller leaf, and the 
grain is bitter. It grows on gravelly soils. Taken 
in water, it carries away bile. The seed is used as 
an application for erysipelas, and it disperses super 
ficial abscesses. 

There is also another sesamoides/ which grows at 
Antieyra, and is therefore called by some Anti- 
cyricon. It has the seed of sesame, but in other 
respects is like the plant erigeron, about which I shall 
speak in the proper place.* A three-finger pinch is 
given in sweet wine as a purge. There they mix with 

ginch purges upwards if taken with three half-oboli of white 
ellebore added to honey and water. He says nothing about 
sweet wine, but does say that trrjaapoe&fs is bitter. There is 
no reference to melancholia. This is a passage that throws 
some light on the relation between Dioscorides and Pliny. 
* See XXV. 167. 

3% 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

turn tribus digitis capitur. miscent ibi et ellebori 
albl unum et dimidium obolum, purgationem earn 
adhibentes maxim e insaniae melancholicae, coroitiali- 
bus, podagris. et per se drachmae pondere exinanit. 

134 LXV. Hordeum optimum quod candidissimum. 
sucus decocti in aqua caelesti digeritur in pastilles, 
ut infundantur exulceratis interaneis et vulvis. 
cinis eius ambustis inlinitur et carnibus quae rece- 
dunt ab ossibus et eruptionibus pituitae, muris 
aranei morsibus. idem adsperso sale ac melle can- 

135 dorem dentibus, suavitatem oris facit. eos qui pane 
hordeacio utuntur morbo pedum temptari negant. 
novem granis furunculum si quis circumducat, sin- 
gulis ter manu sinistra, et omnia in ignem abiciat, 
confestim sanari aiunt. est et herba phoenicea 
appellata a Graecis, a nostris vero hordeum murinum. 
haec trita e vino pota praeclare ciet menses. 

136 LXVI. Tisanae quae ex hordeo fit laudes uno 
volumine condidit Hippocrates, quae nunc omnes in 
alicam transeunt. quanto innocentior alica! Hip 
pocrates tamen sorbitionis gratia laudavit, quoniam 
lubrica ex facili hauriretur, quoniam sitim arceret, 
quoniam in alvo non intumesceret, quoniam facile 
redderetur et adsuetis hie cibus solus in febri bis die 
posset darij tantum remotus ab istis qui medicinam 
fame exercent. sorbitionem tamen dari' totam 
vetuit aliudve quam sucum tisanae, item vetuit, 

a Regimen in Acute Diseases, especially ciu X. 



BOOK XXII. LXIY. 133-Lxvi. 136 

it also one and a half oboli of white hellebore, admini 
stering it principally as a purgative for melancholic 
madness, epilepsy and gouty pains. Taken by itself 
too in doses of one drachma it empties the bowels. 

LXV. The best barley is the whitest. The juice 
from a rainwater decoction is worked up into lozenges 
to be used as suppositories for ulcerations of the 
intestines and of the uterus. Barley ash is applied 
to burns, to flesh that comes away from the 
bones, for eruptions of phlegm and for bites of the 
shrew-mouse. The same added to honey and a 
sprinkling of salt makes the teeth white and the 
breath smell sweet. It is said that those who use 
barley bread never suffer from gout in the feet. 
They also say that, if a man, taMng nine grains of 
barley, trace three times with each of them a circle 
round a boil, using the left hand, and then throw 
all the grains into the fire, the boil heals at once. 
There is also a plant, called phoenicea by the Greeks 
and mouse barley by our countrymen. This pounded 
and taken in wine is an excellent emmenagogue. 

LXVL To ptisan, which is prepared from barley, 
Hippocrates devoted a whole volume, lavishing on 
it praises which today are all given instead to alica, 
a far more wholesome preparation. Hippocrates 
however praises ptisan for its merits as a broth, 
because (as he says) being lubricant it is easily 
swallowed, quenches thirst, does not swell in the 
belly, is easily evacuated, and is the only food that 
can be given twice a day to those fever patients 
who are in the habit of taking two meals, so different 
is Hippocrates from those who treat their patients 
with a starvation diet. However he forbids the 
broth to be swallowed whole, or any part of it other 

39* 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quamdiu pedes frigid! essent, tune quidem nee po 
tion em dandam. fit et ex tritico glutinosior arteriae- 
que exulceratae utilior. 

137 LXVII. Amylon hebetat oeulos, et gulae inutile 
contra quam creditor, item alvum sistit, epiphoras 
oculorum inhibet et ulcera sanat, item pusulas et 
fluctiones sanguinis. genas duras emollit. datur 
cum ovo his qui sanguinem reiecerint, in vesicae 
vero dolore semuncia amyli cum ovo et passi tribus 
ovis subfervefacta a balineo. quin et avenacea 
farina decocta in aceto naevos tolHt. 

138 LXVIII. Panis hie ipse quo vivitur innumeras 
paene continet medicinas. ex aqua et oleo aut 
rosaceo mollit collectiones, ex aqua mulsa duritias 
valde mitigat. datur ex vino ad discutienda aut 
quae praestringi opus sit et, si magis etiamnum, ex 
aceto, adversus acutas pituitae fluctiones, quas 
Graeci rheumatismos vocant, item ad percussa, 
luxata. ad omnia autem ferment atus, qui vocatur 
autopyrus, utilior. inlinitur et paronycbiis et callo 
pedum in aceto. vetus aut nauticus panis tusus 

139 atque iterum coctus sistit alvum, vocis studiosis 
et contra destillationes siccum esse primo cibo 
utilissimum est. sitanius, hoc est ex trimestri, 
incussa in facie aut desquamata cum melle aptissime 
curat. candidus aegris aqua calida frigidave made- 



Or, "cheeks." 

& Bread made with whole-meal, none of the bran being 
taken away. 

, c There is a doubt about sitanius (Greek cnjrdvios). Used 
of flour in Hippocrates, it seems to mean " sifted ' J ; applied to 
grain, perhaps " this year's." 

392 



BOOK XXII. LXVI. 136-Lxvm. 139 

than the juice ; lie says also that it must never be 
given so long as the feet are cold ; indeed that then no 
drink of any kind should be given. Ptisan can also be 
made from wheat, when it is more viscous and more 
beneficial to an ulcerated trachea. 

LXVIL Starch dulls the eyes, and is injurious to 
the throat s though that is not the general belief. It 
also checks loose bowels, arrests fluxes from the eyes, 
healing ulcerations of them as well as pustules and 
flows of blood. It softens hard eyelids. With egg 
it is given to those who have spit blood ; in pain of 
the bladder moreover half an ounce of starch with 
egg and three egg-shells of raisin wine are given 
lukewarm after the bath. Moreover, oatmeal boiled 
in vinegar removes moles. 

LXVIII. The very bread which forms our staple 
diet has almost innumerable medicinal properties. 
Applied in water and oil or in rose oil it softens 
abscesses ; in hydromel it is very soothing to indura 
tions. In wine it is given to disperse or to compress 
as need may be, and, if greater strength be called 
for, in vinegar for those violent fluxes of phlegm which 
the Greeks call rheumatismi, as well as for bruises 
and sprains. For all purposes, however, leavened 
bread, of the kind called autopyrus, & is the more 
beneficial. In vinegar it is also applied to whitlows 
and to callosities on the feet. Stale bread or sailors* 
bread, pounded and then baked again, checks loose 
ness of the bowels. For those anxious to improve 
the voice and for catarrhs it is very beneficial to eat 
dry bread at breakfast. Sitanius,* that is bread 
made of three-month wheat, applied with honey is 
a very good cure for bruises on the face or scaly 
eruptions. White bread soaked in warm or cold 

393 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

factus levissimum cibum praebet. oculorum tumori 
ex vino inponitur, sic et pusulis capitis aut adiecta 
arida myrto. trermilis panem ex aqua esse ieiunis 
statim a balineis demonstrant. quin et gravitatem 
odorum in cubiculis ustus emendat et vini in saccos 
additus. 

140 LXIX. Et faba auxiliatur. namque solida fricta 
fervensque in acre acetum coniecta torminibus mede- 
tur. in cribro 1 firesa et cum alio cocta contra de~ 
ploratas tusses suppurationesque pectorum cotidiano 
cibo sumitur, et commanducata ieiuno ore et ad 
furimculos maturandos discutiendosve inponitur, et 

141 in vino decocta ad testium tumores, ad genitalia. 
lomento quoque ex aceto decocto tumores maturat 
atque aperit, item livoribus, combustis medetur. 
voci eam prodesse auctor est M. Varro. fabalium 
etiam siliquarumque cinis ad coxendices, 2 ad ner- 
vorum veteres dolores cum adipis suilli vetustate 
prodest. et per se cortices 3 decocti ad tertias sistunt 
alvum. 

142 LXX. Lens optima quae facillfme coquitur et ea 
quae maxime aquam absorbet. aciem quidem 
oculorum obtundit et stomachum inflat, sed alvum 
sistit in cibo magisque caelesti aqua discocta, eadem 
solvit minus percocta. pusulas ulcerum nmipit, ea 
quae intra os sunt purgat et adstringit. collectiones 
omnes inposita sedat maximeque exulceratas et 

1 cribro Wannington : cibo coctd. 

2 coxendices cwm Vd Mayhoffi ooxendieis cum BE Detlefsen. 

3 cortices <mm V<i Mayhoff. : corticis cum EE Detiefsen,. 

394 



BOOK XXII. LXVIII. 139-1^. 142 

water affords a very light food for invalids. In wine 
it is applied to swollen eyes, and in this form or with 
the addition of dried myrtle to pustules on the head. 
Persons with palsy are recommended to eat bread 
soaked in water, fasting, and immediately after the 
bath. Moreover, bread burnt in bedrooms removes 
the close smell, and put in the strainers any un 
pleasant odour in wine. 

LXIX. The bean too supplies helpful remedies. 
For roasted whole and thrown hot into strong vinegar 
it heals colic. Crushed in a sieve and boiled with 
garlic it is taken with the daily food for incurable 
coughs and suppurations of the chest ; chewed in the 
mouth of one fasting it is also applied to ripen or 
disperse boils, and boiled down in wine for swellings of 
the testicles and for troubles of the genitals. In the 
form of meal too, boiled down in vinegar it ripens 
tumours and breaks them, besides healing con 
tusions and burns. That it is good for the voice we 
are assured by M. Varro. The ashes too of bean 
stalks and of the pods are good for sciatica, and with 
old pigs* lard for chronic pains of the sinews. The 
husks by themselves boiled down to one third check 
looseness of the bowels. 

LXX. Those lentils are best which are most easily 
boiled, and in particular those which absorb most 
water. Although they dull the sight and cause 
flatulence, yet taken with the food they check loose 
ness of the bowels, especially when thoroughly 
boiled in rain water; lightly boiled however they 
relax the bowels. They break the pustules of sores ; 
sores in the mouth they cleanse and dry up. An 
application of lentils soothes all abscesses, and 
especially those that are ulcerated and cracked, but 

395 



PLINY: NATUEAL HISTORY 

rimosas, oculorum autem epiphoras cum meliloto aut 
cotoneo. contra suppurantia cum polenta inponitur. 

143 decoctae sucus ad oris exulcerationes et genitalium 
adhibetur, ad sedem cum rosaceo aut cotoneo, in iis 
quae acrius remedium exigant cum putamine punici 
melle modico adiecto. ad id demum, ne celeriter 
inarescat, adiciunt et betae folia, inponitur et 
strumis, panis vel maturis vel maturescentibus ex 
aceto discocta, rimis ex aqua mulsa et gangraenis 
cum punici tegmine, item podagris cum" polenta et 
vulvis et renibus, pernionibus, ulceribus difficile 
cicatricem trahentibus. propter dissolutionem sto- 

144 machi xxx grana lentis devorantur. in choleris 
quoque et dysinteria efficacior est in tribus aquis 1 
coeta, in quo usus melius semper earn torrere ante 
et tundere, ut quam tenuissima detur vel per se vel 
cum cotoneo malo aut piris aut myrto aut intubo 
erratico aut beta nigra aut plantagine. pulmoni est 
inutilis et capitis dolori nervosisque omnibus et felli, 
nee somno facilis, et pusulis utilis ignique sacro et 
mammis in aqua marina decocta, in aceto autem 

145 duritias et strumas discutit. stomachi quidem causa 
polentae modo potionibus inspergitur. quae sunt 
ambusta aqua semicocta curat, postea trita et per 
cribrum efFuso furfore, mox procedente curatione 
addito melle. ex posca coquitur ad guttura. est et 

1 aquis codd* : aquae cyathis Detlefsen. 

a That is, cholera nostras. 
396 



BOOK XXII. LXX. 142-145 

for fluxes of the eyes melilot or quinces must be 
added. For suppurations lentils are applied with 
pearl barley. The juice of boiled-down lentils is 
applied to ulcerations of the mouth or of the genitals ; 
for complaints of the anus rose oil or quinces must 
be added, and when a stronger remedy is called for 
pomegranate peel with a little honey as well. At this 
point, to prevent this mixture from drying quickly beet 
leaves also are added. Thoroughly boiled in vinegar 
they are applied also to scrofulous swellings, and to 
superficial abscesses whether mature or maturing ; 
in hydromel to chaps and with pomegranate peel to 
gangrenes ; with pearl barley also to gouty feet, the 
uterus, kidneys, chilblains, and to sores that are slow 
in forming scars. For . looseness of the stomach 
thirty grains of lentils are swallowed. In cholera a 
too and dysentery lentils are more efficacious when 
boiled in three waters ; when so used it is always 
better to roast them first and pound them, that they 
may be administered in as fine a state as possible, 
whether by themselves or with quinces, or else with 
pears, or myrtle, or wild endive, or dark beet, or plan 
tain. Lentils are injurious to the lungs, in headache, 
in all pains of the sinews and in biliousness, nor 
are they good for sleep ; boiled in sea-water however 
they are beneficial for pustules, erysipelas, and 
affections of the breasts, while boiled in ;yinegar they 
disperse indurations and scrofulous swellings. As a 
stomachic they are sprinkled in drinks as is pearl 
barley. They ,are good for burns if half-cooked in 
water and then pounded and passed through a sieve 
to remove the bran, honey being added presently as 
the bum heals. They are boiled in vinegar and water 
for sore throats. There is also a marsh lentil that 

397 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

palustris lens per se nascens in aqua non profluenti, 
refrigeratoriae naturae, propter quod collectionibus 
inlinitur et maxime podagris et per se et cum polenta. 
glutinat et interanea procidenria. 

146 LXXI. Est silvestris elelisphacos dicta a Graecis, 
[aliis sphacos dicta,] sativa lente levior et folio minore 
atque sicciore et odoratiore. est et alterum genus 
eius silvestrius, odore gravi. haec mitior folia habet 
cotonei mali effigie, set minora et Candida, quae cum 
ramis decocuntur. menses ciet et urinas, et pasti- 
nacae marinae ictus sanat. torporem autem obducit 
percusso loco, bibitur cum absinthio et dysinteriae. 

147 cum vino eadem commorantes menses trahit, abun- 
dantes sistit decocto eius poto. per se inposita 
herba vulnerum sanguinem cohibet. purgat et 
serpentium morsus et, si in vino decoquatur, pruritus 
testium sedat. nostri qui nunc sunt herbarii elelis- 
phacum Graece, salviam Latine vocant mentae 
similem, canam, odoratam. partus emortuos ea 
adposita extrahunt, item vermes ulcerum auriumque. 

148 LXXIL Cicer et silvestre est, foliis simile, odore 
gravi, si largius sumatur, alvus solvitur et inflatio 
contrahitur et tormina, tostum salubrius habetur. 
cicercula etiamnum magis in alvo proficit. farina 
utriusque ulcera manantia capitis sanat, efficacius 



a Dioscorides HI. 33R.V.(Wellmann)says: 
oi Se o<j>a.Kov. Theophrastus (H.P. VI. ii. 5) says : 
fcal \\ia<j>o.Kos SLcufrspovmv a>aav TO fj,ev ijfjLGpov TO Se aypiov 
Aetorepov yap TO <f>vhXov TOV OYJ>O.KOV teal eAarrov KOI avxf^fjpo- 
Tepov, TO Se TOV eAeAtcr^a/aw TpaxvTepov. Pliny seems to have 
confused CHJHJJCOS (sage) and ^o/co's- (lentil). Most of this chapter 
in Pliny is confused, so that (in spite of Theophrastus} Mayhoff 's 
retention of the MSS. reading leviore (With the almost im 
possible position of et) is not to be commended. Detlefsen is 
probably right in bracketing aliis sphacos dicta. At least ab 
must be added before aliis. 

398 



BOOK XXII. LXX. 145-Lxxn. 148 

grows wild in stagnant water. These lentils are of a 
cooling nature, and so are applied to abscesses and 
in particular to gouty feet, both by themselves and 
with pearl barley. They also close up prolapse of 
the intestines. 

LXXI. There is a wild lentil called elelisphacos by 
the Greeks [sphacos by others]/* smoother b than the 
cultivated lentil, with a smaller, drier and more scented 
leaf. There is also another kind of it wilder still, 
and with a heavy smell. The other, the more culti 
vated variety, has leaves like those of a quince, but 
smaller and pale, which are boiled with the branches. 
It promotes menstruation and urine, and heals the 
wounds of the sling-ray, numbing the region afected. c 
It is also taken in drink with wormwood for dysen 
tery. With wine it also brings on delayed men 
struation, while a draught of its decoction checks 
any excess. The plant applied by itself stanches 
the blood of wounds. It also cures * snake bite, and 
if boiled down in wine allays pruritus of the testicles. 
Our modern herbalists call this plant elelisphacus in 
Greek and salvia in Lathi, a plant like mint, hoary 
and aromatic. An application brings away the dead 
unborn baby, as well as worms in sores and ears. 

LXXIL There is also a wild chickpea, with leaves 
like the cultivated kind and a heavy smell. Too 
copious a dose relaxes the bowels, and causes flatu 
lence and colic. Uoasted it is supposed to be more 
healthy. The small chickpea is even more bene 
ficial to the bowels. The meal of each kind heals 
running sores on the head, though the wild is more 

* Some translate " lighter," but of. Theophrasfcus. 

* "The slang-ray spreads numbness over the place stung" 
is a possible rendering of torporem . . . loco. 

* Or, "cleanses." 

399 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

silvestris, Item comitiales et iocinerum tumores et 

149 serpentium ictus, ciet menses et urinas, grano 
maxime. emendat et lichenas et testium infiam- 
mationes, regium morbum, hydropicos. laedunt 
omnia haec genera exulceratam vesicam et renes. 
gangraenis utiliora cum melle et his quae cacoethe 
vocantur. verrucarum in omni genere prima luna 
singulis granis singulas tangunt, eaque grana in 
linteolo deligata post se abiciunt, ita fugari vitium 

150 arbitrantes. nostri praecipiunt arietinum in aqua 
cum sale discoquere, ex eo bibere cyathos binos in 
difficultatibus urinae ; sic et calculos pelli I mor- 
bumque regium. eiusdem foliis sarmentisque de- 
coetis aqua quam maxime calida morbos pedum lenit, 
et ipsum calidum tritumque inlitum. columbipi 
decocti aqua horrorem tertianae et qbartanae 
minuere creditur. nigrum autem cum gallae dimidio 
tritum oculorum ulceribus ex passo medetur. 

151 LXXIII. De ervo quaedam in mentione eius dixi- 
mus, nee potentiam ei minorem veteres quam 
brassicae tribuere^ contra serpentium ictus ex aceto> 
ad ' crocodilorum hominumque morsum. si quis 
ervum cotidie ieiunus edit, lienem eius absumi 
certissimi auctores adfirmant. farina eius varos, sed 

1 pelli vulg. MayTioff : pellit codd., Deitefsen. 

See XVXEI. 139, 
400 



BOOK XXII. LXXII. i 4 8-Lxxm. 151 

efficacious, as well as epilepsy, swollen liver and snake 
bites. It promotes, the grain in particular, men 
struation and urine; it is good for lichen, inflam 
mation of the testicles, jaundice and dropsy. All 
kinds of chickpea are injurious to ulcerated bladder 
and to the kidneys. They are more beneficial with 
honey for gangrenous sores, especially for those 
called malignant. Warts of every kind some treat 
by touching each wart with a single chickpea at 
the new moon; the chickpeas they tie in a linen 
cloth and throw behind them, believing that so the 
warts go away. Roman authorities recommend that 
ram's-head chickpeas be thoroughly boiled in water 
with salt, two cyathi of it to be taken at a time for 
strangury ; they hold too that this treatment brings 
away stone from the bladder and cures jaundice. 
The water in which the leaves and stalks of the chkk- 
pea have been boiled, if used as hot as possible to 
foment the feet, soothe gouty pains, as does an 
application of the plant itself, pounded ^ip and 
warmed. The water from boiled columbine chickpea 
is believed to lessen the rigors of tertian and quartan 
agues. The dark kind, however, pounded up with 
half a gall-nut and applied in raisin wine, cures 
ulcers of the eyes. 

LXXIII. About the bitter vetch I have said a Bitter vttc&. 
few things in my note concerning it, a a pulse to 
which, applied in vinegar, old authorities attributed 
a power no less than that they did to cabbage for 
snake bites and for these of crocodiles and of men. 
If anybody eats it fasting every Say, the spleen, 
according to very reliable authorities, is reduced in 
size. Its meal removes not only pimples from the 
face but also spots from the skin on all parts of the 

401 



PLINY: NATURAE HISTORY 

et maculas cutis toto corpora ernendat. serpere 
ulcera * non patitur, in mammis efficacissimum. car- 

152 bunculos nimpit ex vino, urinae difEcultates, in- 
flationem, vitia iocineris, tenesmon et quae cibum 
non sentiant, atropha appellata, tostum et in nucis 
abellanae magnitudinem melle collectttm devora- 
tumque corrigit, item impetigines ex aceto coctum 
et quarto die solutum. panos in melle inpositum 

153 suppurare prohibet. aqua decocti perniones et 
pruritus sanat fovendo. quin et universe corpori, si 
quis cotidie ieiunus biberit, meliorem fieri colorem 
existimant. cibis idem hominis alienum. vomi- 
tiones movet, alvum turbat, capiti et stomacho 
onerosum. genua quoque degravat. sed made- 
factum pluribus diebus mitescit, bubus iumentisque 
utilissimum. siliquae eius virides prius quam in- 
durescant cum suo caule foliisque contritae capillos 
nigro cdlore inficiunt. 

154 LXXIV. Lupini quoque silvestres sunt, omni mo do 
minores praeterquam amaritudine. ex omnibus 
quae eduntur sicco nulli minus ponderis est nee plus 
utilitatis. mitescunt cinere aut aqua calidis. co 
lorem hominis frequentiores in cibo exhilarant, amari 
contra aspidas valent. ulcera atra aridi decorti- 
catique triti supposito linteolo ad vivum corpus 
redigunt. strumas, parotidas in aceto cocti dis- 

155 cutiunt. sucus decoctorum cum ruta et pipere vel 

1 ulcera Verc. (vetits editio, 1507) Mayhoffi vulnera codd. 
402 



BOOK XXII? LXXIII. i5i-Lxxrv. 155 

body. It does not allow sores to spread, being very 
efficacious when they are on the breasts. Applied 
in wine it makes carbuncles burst. Strangury, 
flatulence, affections of the liver, tenesnius, and 
atrophy, when food cannot be assimilated, are 
relieved by swallowing the roasted grain, held to 
gether by honey of the size of a filbert, and so are 
skin eruptions by a decoction in vinegar, allowed to 
remain on the affected part till the fourth day. An 
application in honey prevents superficial abscesses 
from suppurating. Fomentation with the water of a 
decoction cures chilblains and pruritus. Moreover 
it is thought that the whole body assumes a more 
healthy complexion if this decoction be taken daily 
on an empty stomach. At the same time this vetch 
makes unwholesome human food, causing vomiting, 
disturbing the bowels, and causing heaviness in the 
head and stomach, besides enfeebling the knees. 
Soaked, however, for several days it mellows, and is 
very good for cattle and beasts of burden. Hie 
pods of it, pounded green before they harden, with 
their own stalk and leaves, dye the hair black, 

LXXIV. There are also wild lupins, with weaker 
properties than the cultivated in every respect 
except then- bitterness. Of all the things that are 
eaten, none is less heavy or more useful than lupins 
when dried. They mellow when cooked in hot ash or 
in hot water. Taken frequently as food they freshen 
the human complexion ; bitter lupins are an antidote 
for the wound of the asp. Dried lupins, peeled and 
pounded, make new flesh on black ulcers if applied in 
a linen cloth. Boiled in vinegar they disperse scrofu 
lous swellings and parotid abscesses. A decoction 
with rue and pepper is given to persons under thirty, 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in febri datur ad ventris animalia pellenda minoribus 
xxx annorum, pueris vero etiam inpositi in ventrem 
ieiunis prosunt, et alio genere tosti et I in defruto poti, 
vel ex melle sumpti. iidem aviditatem cibi faciunt, 
fastidium detrahunt. farina eorum aceto subacta 
papulas pruritusque in balneis inlita cohibet et per 
se siccat ulcera. livores emendat, infl ammationes 

156 cum polenta sedat. silvestrium efficacior vis contra 
coxendicum et lumborum debilitatem. ex isdem 
decocta lentigines et cutem foventium corrigunt, si 
vero ad mellis crassitudinem decoquantur vel 2 viti- 
ligines nigras et lepras emendant. sativi quoque 
rumpunt carbunculos inpositi; panos, strumas 
minuunt aut maturant cocti ex aceto } cicatricibus 
candidum colorem reddunt; si vero caelesti aqua 
discoquantur, sucus ille zmegma fit quo fovere 
gangraenas, eruptiones pituitae, ulcera 3 manantia 

157 expediat, ad lienem bibere et cum melle haerentibus 
menstruis. lieni crudi cum fico sicca triti ex aceto 
inponuntur. radix quoque in aqua decocta urinas 
pellit. medentur pecori cum chamaeleone herba 
decocti, aqua in potum colata. sanant et scabiem 
quadripedum omnium in amurca decocti vel utroque 
liquore postea mixto. fumus crematorum culices 
necat. 

158 LXXV. Irionem inter fruges sesamae similem esse 

1 et vulg. Detlefsen : vel VT Sittig, Maylioff. 

2 Post vel in codd. est sativi. Del. Mayhoff. 

3 ulcera Detlefsen : ulcerum Mayhoff. 

From several places in Celsus, e.g. VI. 6, 16A, it seems 
that this refers to purulent runnings from the eyes. See also 
Pliny XX. 141, 251 and XXII. 134. 

See Book XVIII: 96. 

404 



BOOK XXII. LXXTV. 155-zjtxv. 158 

even when feverish, to drive out intestinal worms, 
while in the case of children they are also applied 
to the bowels, the patient fasting; another method 
is to roast them, and to give them either in boiled 
must as a draught or else in honey. Lupins increase 
the appetite, and remove squeamishness. Their meal 
kneaded with vinegar and applied in the bath removes 
pimples and pruritus, and by itself dries up ulcers. 
It heals bruises, and, with pearl barley, soothes 
inflammations. Wild lupins are more efficacious than 
cultivated for weakness of the hips and loins. A 
decoction of the same removes freckles and improves 
the complexion of those who use it as a fomentation. 
If however they are boiled down to the consistency 
of honey , they cure even black eruptions and leprous 
sores. An application of cultivated lupins also causes 
carbuncles to break; boiled in vinegar they reduce 
or mature superficial abscesses and scrofulous 
swellings 3 and restore to scars the original white of 
the skin ; if however they are thoroughly boiled in 
rain water, the decoction makes a detergent with 
which it is good to foment gangrenes, eruptions of 
rheum, a and running ulcers ; and it is also good to 
drink It for splenic affections and, with the addition 
of honey, for retarded menstruation. Pounded raw 
with dried fig they are applied in vinegar to the 
spleen. The root too boiled in water is diuretic. 
Lupins boiled with the herb chamaeleon cure sick 
cattle, the water being strained off into their drink. 
The itch on all quaxlrapeds is cured by lupins boiled 
in lees of olive oil, or by a mixture of the lees with a 
decoction of lupins. The smoke of burnt lupins 
kiUs gnats. 

LXXV. Irio I have said * when dealing with cereals irio. 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

dmmus et a Graecis erysimon vocari, Galli velam 
appellant, est autem fruticosum, foliis erucae, 
angustioribus panic, semine nasturtii, utilissimum 
tussientibus cum melle et in thoracis purulentis 
excreationibus. datur et regio morbo et lumborum 
vitiis, pleuriticis, torminibus, coeliacis. inlinitur vero 
parotidum et carcinomatum malis, testium ardoribus 
ex aqua, alias cum melle, infantibus quoque utilis 
simum, item sedis vitiis et articulariis morbis cum 
melle et fico, contra venena etiam efBcax potu. 
medetur et suspiriosis, item fistulis cum axungia 
vetere ita ne intus addatur. 

159 LXXVI. Horminum semine, ut diximus, cumino 
simile est, cetero porro, dotrantali altitudine, duorum 
generum ; alteri semen nigrius et oblongum hoc ad 
venerem stimulandam et ad oculorum argema, al- 
bugines altera candidius semen et rotundius. 
utroque tuso extrahuntur aculei ex corpore per se 
inlito x ex aqua, folia ex aceto inposita panes per se 
vel cum melle diseutiunt, item furunculos, priusquam 
capita faciant, omnesque acrimonias. 

160 LXXVII. Quin et ipsae firugum pestes in aliquo 
sunt usu. infelix dictum est a Vergilio lolium, hoc 
tamen fiaolitum, ex aceto coctum inpositumque sanat 
inpetigines celerius quo saepius mutatum est. 
naedetur et podagrae aliisque doloribus cum oxy- 
melite. ratio haec: aceti sextario uno diluuntur 

1 Post inlito add. vel Mayhoff. 

See Book XYTOC. 96. 

6 Mayhoff , comparing the parallel passage of Dioscorides, 
adds vel, ^ But pioscorides (III. 129, Wellmann) has : /carcc- 
irXaaQev Be peG* vSaros . . . cr/caAoTras- eTncnrdrcu. 

c See Georgia I. 153. 

406 



BOOK XXII. LXXV. 158-LXxvii. 160 

to be like sesame, and to be called by the Greeks 
erysimon. The Gauls call it vela. It is a bushy 
plant, -with leaves like those of rocket, but a little 
narrower, and with a seed like that of cress, being 
with honey very good for coughs and for expectora 
tion of pus. It is also given for jaundice and for 
affections of the loins, for pleurisy, colic and coeliac 
troubles. It is applied moreover to parotid abscesses 
and to cancerous sores, in water or sometimes with 
honey to inflamed testicles, and is also very good for 
babies. With honey and figs it is used for com 
plaints of the anus and for diseases of the joints, 
besides being when taken in drink efficacious against 
poisons. It also cures asthma, and fistulas also if 
mixed with old axle-grease, but care must be taken 
not to let the application touch the interior. 

LXXVL Horminum (clary) has a seed like cum- clary. 
min, as I have already a said, but in other respects 
it is like the leek. Nine inches high it is of two 
kinds : one has a darker seed which is oblong, being 
used as an aphrodisiac and for white spots and films 
on the eyes; the other has a paler and a rounder 
seed. Both when pounded draw thorns from the 
flesh, if applied by themselves b in water ; the leaves 
applied by themselves or with honey disperse super 
ficial abscesses, as also boils before they come to a 
head, and all acrid humours. 

LXXVII. Moreover, the very pests of the crops 
are of use. Virgil called darnel " unfruitful," c and 
yet when ground and boiled in vinegar it cures 
impetigo, the quicker the more often the application 
is changed. It is also used with oxymel for gouty 
and other pains. The following is the prescription : 
in one sextarius of vinegar are melted two ounces 

407 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mellis unciae duae, iustum est ita temperatis 1 
sextariis tribus decoqui 2 farinae lolii sextarios n 
usque ad crassitudinem, calidumque inponi dolen- 
tibus membris. eadem farina extrahit ossa fracta. 

161 LXXVIIL Miliaria appellatur herba quae necat 
miliiim. haec trita et cornu cum vino infusa podagras 
iumentorum dicitur sanare. 

LXXIX. Bromos semen est spicam ferentis herbae. 
nascitur inter vitia segetis avenae genere, folia et 
stipula triticum Imitantur. in cacuminibus depen- 
dentes parvulas veluti locustas habet. semen utile 
ad cataplasmata aeque atque 3 hordeum et similia. 
prodest tussientibus sucus. 

162 LXXX. Orobanchen appellavimus neeantem er- 
vum et legumina, alii cynomorion earn appellant a 
similitudine canini genitalis. cauliculus est sine 
fbliis, pinguis, rubens. estur et per se et in patinis, 
cum tenera est, decocta. 

163 LXXXI. Et leguminibus innascuntur bestiolae 
venenatae quae manus pungunt et periculum vxtae 
adferunt, solipugarum generis, adversus has omnia 
eadem medentur quae contra araneos et phalangia 
demonstrantur. et frugum quidem haec sunt in 
usu medico. 

164 LXXXIL Ex iisdem fiunt et potus, zjrthumi in 
Aegypto, caeHa et cerea in Hispania, cervesia et 

1 temperatis Vd vulg. Mayhoff ': temperati E Dellefsen. 
Post temperatis lacunam cum lano indicat Mayhoff. 

2 decoqui cum Pintiano (Observationes 1593) Detlefsen : 
decoctae codd. Mayhoff, qui coni. temperari . . . decoctae 
farinae lolii sextarium . . . calidumque (sine duobus [n]). 

3 aeque atque Hard., Detlefsen : atque codd. : ad quae vet. 
lectio a Dalecampio ad marginem enotata 1606, MayJiqff. 

* Apparently to administer ibe draught with greater ease. 



BOOK XXII. Lxxvn. i6o-Lxxxn. 164 

of honey; the right proportion is to take three 
sextarii of this mixture and boil down with it two 
sextarii of darnel meal until it reaches a certain 
consistency, and then it should be applied warm to 
the painful limbs. Darnel meal is also used to draw 
out splinters of bone. 

LXXVIII. Miliaria is a plant so called because it 
kills millet. Pounded and poured with wine into a 
horn a it is said to cure gouty pains in beasts of 
burden. 

LXXIX. Bromos is the seed of an ear-bearing 
plant, growing among the weeds of the corn crop, 
in fact a species of oat, with leaves and stalk like 
those of wheat, and having as it were little locusts 
hanging down at the head. The seed is as useful 
for plasters as is that of barley and similar grain. 
A decoction is good for coughs. 

LXXX. Dodder I have mentioned & as a plant 
that kills vetches and leguminous plants ; some call 
it cynomorion from its likeness to a dog's genitals. 
Its stem is leafless, fleshy and red. It is eaten by 
itself or, when young, boiled in a saucepan. 

LXXXI. There are poisonous insects, a species of 
venomous ant, c that breed in leguminous plants, 
stinging the hand and endangering Hfe. For these 
stings the same remedies are good as have been 
mentioned for spiders and the phalangium. These 
then are the cereals that are used in medicine. 

LXXXIL From the cereals are also made bever- Been. 
ages : d zythum in Egypt, caelia and cerea in Spain, 

* Book XVUl. 155. 

c According to Soljnus, IV. 3, 6, a spider. 

* These are the various kinds of beer brewed by the 
ancients. 

409 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY,, 

plura genera in Gallia aliisque provinciis, quorum 
omnium spuma cutem feminarum in facie nutrit, 
nam quod ad potum ipsum attinet praestat ad vini 
transire mentionem atque a vite ordiri medicinas 
arborum. 



410 



BOOK XXII. LXXXII. 164 

cervesia and several other kinds in Gaul and in other 
provinces ; the froth of all these is used by women 
as a cosmetic for the face. But to come to beverages 
themselves, it will be best to pass on to a discussion 
of wine, beginning with the vine our discussion of 
medicines from trees. 



411 



BOOK XXIII 



LIBER XXIII 

I. Peracta eerealium in medendo quoque natura 
est omniumque quae ciborum aut florum odorumve 
gratia proveniunt supina tellure. non cessit his 
Pomona partesque l medlcas et pendentibus dedit, 
non contenta protegere arborumque umbra alere 
quae diximus, immo veluti indignata plus auxilii 
inesse his quae longius a caelo abessent quaeque 
postea coepissent, primum enim homini cibuin 
fuisse inde et sic inducto caelum spectare pascique 
2 et nunc ex se posse sine frugibus. II. ergo, 
Hercule, artes in primis dedit vitibus, non eontenta 
delicias etiam et odores atque unguenta omphacio 
et oenanthe ac massari, quae suis locis diximus, 
nobiliter instruxisse. plurimum, inquit, homini 
voluptatis ex me est ; ego sucum vini, Hquorem olei 
gigno, ego palmas et poma totque varietates, neque 
ut Tellus omnia per labores, aranda tauris, terenda 
areis, deinde saxis, ut quando quantove opere ? 

1 partesque codd : artesqne coni. MayJioff. 

" a Mayhoff's conjecture artesque for partesque is attractive, 
but paries medicas can well mean ** a part to play in medicine." 
6 Omphacium was the juice of the unripe grape. See XTT. 
131 and Dioscorides V. 5 (x^Aos- o^a/cos-). 

* This is defined by Pliny (XII. 132) as vitis labmscae uva 
and bv Dioscorides (V. 5) as o T^S aypias a^TreXov Kaprros. 

* Said by Pliny (XH. 133) to be the African variety of 
oenanthe, and to be used only in medicine. 

414 



BOOK XXIII 

I. The medicinal properties also of cereals have Fnttig 
now been described, as well as those of all plants that fAdr * 
spring up from the face of the earth to give us 
food, flowers or perfume. Their rival in bounty is 
Pomona, who even to hanging fruits has given 
healing qualities , a not being content to protect, and 
to nourish with the shade of her trees, the plants I 
have noted. Nay, it is as though she was vexed at 
the thought of there being more help in things 
further away from heaven and coming into use later. 
For the earliest food of man, she called to mind, had 
come from trees ; in this way he had been led to gaze 
at the heavens, and he could still obtain his food 
from herself without recourse to the crops of the field. 
II. And so, God be praised, she bestowed healing 
powers on the vine in particular, not being satisfied 
with having richly supplied it with delicious flavours, 
perfumes, and unguents, in its omphacium, & its 
oenanthe, c and its massaris, d which I have described 
in the proper places. " Man," she says, " enjoys 
through me a very great amount of pleasure. It is 
I who create the juice of the grape and the oil of the 
olive, I who create dates and fruits in great variety. 
I am unlike Mother Earth, all of whose gifts must 
be earned by toil ploughing by bulls, beating on 
threshing-floors, and then grinding between mill 
stones, and all to produce food at some indefinite 

4*5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cibi fiant, at ex me parata omnia, nee cura laboranda, 
sed sese porrigentia ultro et, si pigeat attingere, 
etiara cadentia. certavit ipsa secum plusque 
utilitatis causa genuit etiam quam voluptatis. 

3 III. Folia vitium et pampini eapitis dolores 
inflammationesque corporum roitigant ctun polenta, 
folia per se ardor es stomachi ex aqua frigida, cum 
farina vero hordei articularios morbos. pampini 
triti et inpositi tumorem omnem siccant, sucus 
eorum' dysintericis infusus medetur. lacrima 
vitium, quae veluti gumrnis est, lepras et lichenas et 
psoras nitro ante praeparatas sanat. eadem cum 
oleo saepius pilis inlitis psilotri effectum habet, 
maximeque quam virides accensae vites exudant, 

4 qua et verrucae tolluntur. pampini sanguinem 
excreantibus et mulierum a conceptu defection! 
diluti potu prosunt, cortex vitium et folia arida 
vulnerum sanguinem sistunt ipsumque vulnus con- 
glutinant. vitis albae viridis tusae suco impetigines 
tolluntur. cinis sarmentorum vitium et vinaceorum 
condylomatis et sedis vitiis medetur ex aceto, item 
luxatis et ambustis et lienis tumori cum rosaceo et 
ruta et aceto. item igni sacro ex vino citra oleum 

5 aspergitur et intertrigini, et pilos absumit. dant et 
bibendum cinerem sarmentorum ad lienis remedia 

a /.. a vine with " white " grapes, not the vitis alba of 
21. 

b For these knuckle-shaped swellings see pp. 264-5, 
and notes. 
416 



BOOK XXIII. n. 2-in. 5 

time and with immense labour. But my gifts are 
perfect before they leave me, and need no laborious 
preparation. They proffer themselves unasked, and 
if it be too much trouble to reach them, thev actually 
fall of themselves." She has striven to outdo herself, 
in that she has created more for our benefit even than 
for our pleasure, 

III. Headache and inflammations on the body are 
relieved by vine leaves and vine shoots combined with 
pearl barley, heartburn by the leaves alone in cold 
water, diseases of the joints, moreover, by the leaves 
mixed with barley meal. Vine shoots pounded and 
applied to any kind of tumour dry it up ; an injection 
of their juice cures dysentery. The drops of the vine, 
which are a kind of gum, heal leprous sores, lichen, 
and itch, but these must first be treated with soda. 
They also act as a depilatory if the hair be repeatedly 
smeared with them and oil, and particularly those 
drops that exude from green vines when burnt, by 
which even warts are removed. An infusion of the 
shoots taken as a draught is good for the spitting of 
blood and for the fainting of women after conception. 
The bark and dried leaves of vines check the bleeding 
of wounds, and close up the wound itself. The juice 
of the white vine, extracted while the vine is still 
green, removes eruptions on the skin. The ash of 
the twigs of vines and of grape skins, applied in 
vinegar, heals condylomata & and complaints of the 
anus ; with rose oil, rue and vinegar added, it heals 
sprains, burns, and swollen spleen. This ash too, in 
wine but without oil, is sprinkled on parts affected by 
erysipelas or chafed, besides acting as a depilatory. 
The ash of the twigs sprinkled with vinegar is also 
given, in drink as a cure for splenic complaints, the 

4i7 

VOL, VI. *> 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aceto consparsum, ita ut bini cyathi in tepida aqua 
bibantur utque qui biberit in lienem iaceat. clavi- 
culae ipsae quibus repunt vites tritae ex aqua potae 

6 sistunt vomitionum consuetudinem. cinis vitium 
cum. axungia vetere contra tumores proficit, fistulas 
purgat, mox et persanat, nervorum dolores frigore 
ortos contractionesque, contusas vero partes vel 
cum oleo, carnes excrescentes in ossibus cum aceto 
et nitroy scorpionum et canum plagas cum oleo. 
corticis per se cinis conbustis pilos reddit. 1 

7 IV. Omphacium qua fieret ratione incipientis 
uvae pubertate in unguentorum loco docuimus. 
nunc ad medicinam de eo pertinentia indicabimus. 
sanat et quae in umore sint ulcera, ut oris, ton- 
sillarum, genitalium. oculorum claritati plurimum 
confert, scabritiae genarum ulceribusque angulorum, 
nubeculis, ulceribus quacumque in parte manantibus, 
cicatricibus marcidis, ossibus purulente limosis. 2 
mitigatur vehementia eius melle aut passo, prodest 
et dysintericis, sanguinem excreantibus, anginis. 

1 combustis pilos reddit codd . et editores : coiabusti pilos 
radit Frohner. 

* ossibus codd. : auribus SiUig post Hard, collato Dioscoride. 



a Frokner's emendation would mean : " the ash of the 
burnt bark by itself acts as a depilatory." 

& See XII. 130. 

c We must remember that the Romans knew nothing of 
spectacles or other means of rectifying poor sight. Hence 
their fondness for eye-salves. 

d It seems impossible to see what diseased states are referred 
to by the words cicatricibus marcidis, ossibus 'purulente Umosis. 
Marcidus, withered (decayed, shrunk), is not an appropriate 
adjective for a scar. IForcellini, perhaps in reference to this 

418 



BOOK XXIII. iii. 5-iv. 7 

dose being two cyathi in lukewarm water, and the 
patient after taking the draught should lie down on 
his spleen. The very tendrils by which the vine 
climbs, pounded and swallowed in water, check 
habitual vomiting. The ash of vines with old axle 
grease is good for tumours, cleanses fistulas and in 
time heals them completely, as it does cramps, and 
pains in the sinews arising from chill; for bruises 
however it may be applied thus or with oil, for 
excrescences of flesh on bones it should be with 
vinegar and soda, for scorpion stings and dog bites, 
with oil. The ash of the bark by itself restores the 
hair on bnrns. a 

IV. How omphacium is made, just before the 
grape begins to mature, I have already described in 
my section on unguents & ; I will now notice its medi 
cinal properties. It also cures sores in a moist part 
of the body, such as the mouth, tonsils or genitals. 
It is very helpful for clearness of vision, r and is good 
for scabrous eyelids, sores in the corners of the eyes, 
films on the eyes, ninmng sores in any part of the 
body, flabby scars, and bones with a slimy pus on 
them. d Its strength can be modified by adding 
honey or -raisin wine. Omphacium is also good for 
dysentery, spitting of blood, and quinsy. 

passage, gives foceidus as an equivalent. " Bones slimy 
purulently " is almost nonsense. Only when bones are 
exposed because of wounds or dangerous rodent ulcers do we 
see them "purulent." The truth seems to be that Pliny, 
misread the Greek that appears in Dioscorides (V. 5} as o#Xa 
irAoSapa, wra Tnjoppoovvra : "flabby gums and pis in the 
ears." I.e. o$Xa has been confused with ovXal and <&TCL with 
OCTTQ. The suggestion of Hardouin, adopted by Sillig, to read 
aunbu* for the ossibus of the MSS., clears away the second 
difficulty, but leaves the first untouched- 

419 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

8 V. Omphacio cohaeret oenanthe quam vites silves- 
tres feruntj dicta nobls in unguenti ratione. lauda- 
tissima in Syria, maxime circa Antiochiae et Lao- 
diciae monies et ex alba vite. refrigerat, astringit, 
vulneribus inspergitur, stomacho inlinitur, utilis 
urinae, iocineris, capitis doloribus, dysintericis, 
coeliacis, cholericis, contra fastidia obolo ex aceto 
pota. siccat manantes 1 capitis eruptiones, effica- 
cissima ad vitia quae sint in umidis, ideo et oris 
ulceribus et verendis ac sedi cum melle et croco. 

9 alvum sistit, genarum scabritiem emendat oculor- 
umque lacrimationes, ex vino stomachi dissolutionem, 
ex aqua frigida pota sanguinis excreationes. cinis 
eius ad icollyria et ad ulcera purganda et paronychia 
et pterygia probatur. uritur in furno donee panis 
percoquatur. massaris odoribus tantum gignitur, 
omniaque ea aviditas humani ingenii nobilitavit 
rapere festinando. 

10 VI. Maturescentium autem uvae vehementiores 
nigrae, ideo vinum ex his minus iucunduin, siiaviores 
albae, quoniam e tralucido facilius accipitur aer. 
recentes stomachum et spiritus infiatione alvum 
turbant, itaque in febri damnantur utique largiores. 
gravedinem enim capiti morbumque lethargum 
faciunt. innocentiores quae decerptae diu pepen- 

1 manantes vulg. 9 Mayhoff : manantis codd., Detlefsen for- 
tasse recte. 

See XII. 132. 

* Pterygium was the name either (1) of a swelling at the 
inner angle of the lower eyelid, or (2) of a kind of whitlow 
(paronychia). See Celsus VII. 7, 4 and VI. 19, 1 and Introd., 
viii-x. 

e Or " particularly." 

* See pp. xiv and 70, 

420 



BOOK XXIIL v. 8-Ti. 10 

V. Closely related to omphacium is oenanthe, a 
product of the wild vine ; I have spoken about it in 
my account of unguents. The most popular is to b 
found in Syria, in particular from the white vine 
around the mountains of Antioch and Laodicea. 
It is cooling and astringent, is sprinkled on wounds 
and applied to the stomach, heing also useful as a 
diuretic, for pains in the liver or head, for dysentery, 
coeliac affections and cholera; for nausea a dose of 
one obolus is taken in vinegar. It dries up running 
eruptions on the head, and being very efficacious for 
affections in moist parts of the body is used with 
honey and saffron for sores in the mouth and for 
complaints of the genitals and anus. It checks 
looseness of the bowels, heals scabrous eyelids and 
running eyes; taken in wine it cures a disordered 
stomach, and in cold water the spitting of blood. Its 
ash is valued for eye-salves, and for cleansing sores, 
also for whitlows and pterygia. 6 It is burned in 
an oven until a loaf would be thoroughly cooked. 
Massaris is produced only for use in perfumes, and 
all such preparations have been made famous by the 
greed of the human spirit in its haste to seize them 
before the proper season. 

VI. Of the grapes left to ripen, the dark have the 0} grape*. 
stronger properties, and so the wine made from them 

is less agreeable ; the white are the more pleasant, 
because air passes more readily through what is trans 
parent. When fresh they disturb the stomach, and, 
by causing flatulence, the bowels. Accordingly for 
fever patients they are disapproved of, at any rate c 
in large quantities ; for they cause heaviness in the 
head and the disease called lethargus, d Less 
injurious are those which after being gathered have 

421 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTOBY 

dere, qua ventilatione etiam utiles fiunt stomacho 
aegrisque, nam et refrigerant leviter et fastidium 
auferunt. 

11 VII. Proximae a pensilibus in palea servatae, nam 
et vinaceis servatae et caput et vesieam et stomachum 
infestant, sistunt tamen alvum, sanguinem excrean- 
tibus utilissimae. quae in vino aut in dulci conditae 
fuere caput temptant 1 ; quae vero in musto fuere 
peiorem vim etiananum habent quam quae in 
vinaceis. sapa quoque inutiles stomacho facit. 

12 saluberrimas putant medici in caelesti aqua servatas, 
etiamsi minime iucundas, sed voluptatem earum in 
stomachi ardore sentiri et in amaritudine iecoris 
fellisque vomitionibus et in choleris, hydropieis, 
cum ardore febri 2 aegrotantibus. at in ollis 
servatae et os et stomachum et aviditatem excitant, 
paulo tamen graviores existimantur fieri vina- 
ceorum halitu. uvae florem in cibis si edere 
gallinacei, uvas non attingunt. 

13 VIII. Sarmenta earum in quibus acini fuere 
adstringendi vim habent 3 efficaciora ex ollis. 

IX. Nuclei acinorum eandem vim optinent. hi 
sunt qui in vino capiti dolorem faciant. 3 tosti tritique 

1 quae . . , temptant ante proximae codd., DetLefsen i trans. 
MayTwff. 

2 febri VT : febrram ceteri codd. et editores. 

& faciant plur&s codd., Dettefsen, Mayhoff: faciunt dT vulg., 

SiUig. 

a I.e. must. 

6 Most editors read/e&riwm, putting no comma at hydropicis. 
The class referred to then becomes the very small one of 
dropsical patients -when suffering from high fever, and cunt, 
ardore has to be taken as equivalent to ardore (instrumental). 
It is odd to select such a small class from out the numerous 

422 



BOOK XXIII. vi. lo-ix 13 

been left to hang; this exposure to the air makes 
them actually beneficial to the stomach, and for sick 
persons, as they are slightly cooling and remove 
nausea. 

VII. Next after those that have been hung come 
in value those kept in chaff; but those kept in grape 
skins are injurious to the head, bladder and stomach, 
although they check looseness of the bowels and are 
very beneficial to those who spit blood. Those which 
have been preserved in wine or " sweet wine " go to 
the head ; when however they have been preserved 
in must they have an effect worse even than those 
preserved in grape skins. Concentrated must too 
makes them injurious to the stomach. Physicians 
hold that the most wholesome grapes are those kept 
in ram water, although they are the least pleasant 
to the taste; but their grateful character is felt 
by those suffering from heartburn, disordered liver, 
vomiting of bile, cholera, dropsy, and fever accom 
panied by high temperature. 6 Those however kept 
in jars stimulate the palate, stomach and appetite, 
but they are thought to become rather heavy owing 
to the fumes from the skins. If chickens have eaten 
the flower of the vine among their food, they never 
touch the bunches on the vine. 

VIII. Vine cuttings that have borne grapes have 
an astringent property, but are more efficacious if 
they have been kept in jars. 

IX. Grape stones have the same property. It is Grape stones 
because of them that wine causes headache. 
Roasted and pounded they are beneficial to the 

sick folk wiio find grapes a refreshing food. Accordingly, I 
put a comma after hydr&picis and read febri with two MSS. 
It is then possible to give to cum its proper sense. 

423 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

stomacho utiles sunt. inspergitur farina eorum 
polentae modo potioni et dysintericis et coeliacis et 
dissoluto stomacho. decocto etiam eorum fovere 
psoras et pruritum utile est. 

14 X. Vinacei per se minus capiti aut vesicae nocent 
quam nuclei ^mammarum inflammation! utiles cum 
sale.triti. decoctum eorum veteres dysintericos et 
coeliacos iuvat et potione et fotu. XL Uva theriace, 
de qua suo loco diximus, contra serpentium ictus 
estur. pampinos quoque eius edendos censent 
inponendosque, et vinum et acetum ex his factum 
auxiliarem contra eadem vim habet. 

15 XII. Uva passa quam astaphida vocant stoma- 
chum, ventrem et interanea temptaret, nisi pro 
remedio in ipsis acinis nuclei essent. his exemptis 
vesicae utilis habetur et tussi alba utilior utilis et 
arteriae et renibus, sicut ex his passum privatim e 

16 serpentibus contra haemorrhoida potens. testium 
inflammationi cum farina cumini aut coriandri 
inponuntur, item carbunculis, articulariis morbis sine 
nucleis tritae cum ruta. fovere ante vino ulcera 
oportet. sanant epinyctidas et ceria et dysinteriam 
cum suis nucleis. et in oleo coctae gangraenis 
inlinuntur cum cortice raphani et melle, podagris et 

a Here, as the context suggests, potio must mean soup or 
gruel. 

6 See XIV. 117. 

See XX. 50,210, 

* See XX. 44 and Introduction, pp. viii-ix. 

424 



BOOK XXIII. ix. 13-xn. 16 

stomach. Ground into meal they are sprinkled like 
pearl barley into drink a and taken for dysentery, 
coeliac affections and a disordered stomach. It is 
also beneficial to foment with a decoction of them 
itch scab and pruritus. 

X. Grape skins by themselves are less injurious to 
the head or bladder than are the stones. Pounded 
and applied with salt they are good for inflammation 
of the breasts. A decoction of them, whether taken 
as drink or used as a fomentation, relieves chronic 
dysentery and coeliac affections. 

XI. The theriac grape, about which I have spoken * 
in its proper place, is eaten to counteract the poison 
from the bites of serpents. The young shoots, too, 
of this vine are recommended to be eaten and to be 
applied; wine and vinegar made from these grapes 
are useful for the same purpose. 

XII. The raisin, or astaphis as it is called, would s&uins. 
injure stomach, belly and intestines, were it not that 

the stones in the fruit itself acts as a corrective. 
When these are removed raisins are held to be useful 
for the bladder and for coughs, those from white 
grapes being the more so, useful also for the trachea 
and kidneys, just as the wine made from stoned 
raisins is specific for the poison of the serpent called 
haemorrhois. c For inflamed testicles raisins are 
applied with the meal of cummin or of coriander, 
while for carbuncles and diseases of the joints they 
are pounded without the stones with the addition of 
rue. Sores should be fomented beforehand with wine. 
Used with their stones they heal epinyetis/ honey 
comb ulcers and dysentery. Boiled in oil they are 
appHed to gangrenes with radish skins and honey ; 
for gouty pains and loose nails with heal-all. They 

4*5 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

unguium mobilibus cum panace, et per se ad pur- 
gandum os caputque cum pipere conmanducantur. 

17 XIII. Astaphis agria sive staphis, quam uvam 
tamlniam aliqui vocant falso, suum enim genus 
habet, cauliculis nigris, erectis, foliis labruscae, fert 
folliculos verius quam acinos, virides, similes ciceri, 
in his nucleum triangulum. maturescit cum vin- 

. demia nigrescitque, cum x taminiae rubentes norimus 
acinos sciamusque illam in apricis nasci, hanc non 
nisi in opacis. his nucleis ad purgationem uti 
non censuerim propter ancipitem strangulationem, 
neque ad pituitam oris siccandam, quia fauces 

18 laedunt. phthiriasi caput et reliquum corpus triti 
liberant, facilius admixta sandaraca, item pruritu et 
psoris. ad dentium dolores decocuntur in aceto, ad 
aurium vitia, rheumatismos cicatricum, ulcerum 
manantia. flos tritus in vino contra serpentes 
bibitur, semen enim abdicaverim propter nimiam 
vim ardoris. quidam earn pituitariam vocant. 
plagis serpentium utique inlinunt. 

19 XIV. Labrusca quoque oenanthen fert satis 
dictam, 2 quae a Graecis ampelos agria appellata, 
spissis et candicantibus foliis, geniculata, rimoso 
cortice, fert uvas rubentes cocci modo, quae cutem 
in facie mulierum purgant et varos, coxendicum et 
lumborum vitiis tusae cum foliis et suco prosunt. 

1 Chun . . . opacis] ita transponere vuLt Warmington ut 
supra 17 verba suum genus habet sequantur. 

2 Post dictam punctum add. Mayhoff. 



a Pliny has again confused o#Aa with ovXai (see Dioscorides 
IV, 152, o^Aa pewft<mojtiei'a), This chapter of D. shows 
close resemblances to Pliny. 

426 



BOOK XXIII. xii. i6-xiv. 19 

are chewed by themselves for cleansing the mouth 
and with pepper for clearing the head. 

XIII. Wild astaphis, otherwise staphis, wrongly 
called by some uva tamirda for that is a distinct 
plant with dark, straight stalks and the leaves of 
the wild vine, bears what may be called more 
correctly pods rather than grapes ? green and like 
chickpeas, with a three-cornered stone in them. 
It ripens at harvest time and grows dark, whereas 
we are familiar with the red grapes of the taminian 
vine, and also know that staphis grows on sunny 
sites, while the taminian vine is found only on shady 
spots. I should not recommend the use of these 
stones as a purge owing to the danger of choking, aor 
yet to dry phlegm hi the mouth 5 because it is injurious 
to the throat. Pounded they rid the head of lice, as 
weH as the rest of the body, and the more readily if 
sandarach be mixed with them, and also cure 
pruritus and itch scab. A decoction in vinegar is 
made for toothache, for affections of the ears, for 
fluxes from scars a and for nmning ulcers. The * 
pounded flowers are taken in wine to counteract the 
poison of serpents ; the seed however I should reject 
because of its excessive heat. Some call the plant 
pituitaria. Serpent bites in particular are treated by 
applications of it. 

XIV. Labrusca too produces oenanthe, already 
sufficiently described by me; it is called by the 
Greeks the wild vine, with thick whitish leaves, 
jointed stem and a bark covered with fissures. It 
bears grapes red like the scarlet berry, which clear 
the faces of women, removing blotches, while 
pounded and used with the leaves and juice they are 

, good for sciatica and lumbago. A decoction of the 

427 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

radix decocta in aqua pota in vini Coi cyathis duo- 
bus umorem alvi ciet, 1 ideo hydropicis datur. hanc 
potius crediderim esse quam vulgus uvam taminiam 

20 vocat. utuntur ea pro amuleto et ad expuitionem 
sanguinis quoque adhibent, non ultra gargarizationes 
et, ne quid devoretur, addito sale, thymo, aceto 
mulso. ideo et purgationibus ancipitem putant. 

XV. Est huic similis, sed in salictis nascens. ideo 
distinguitur nomine, cum eosdem usus habeat, et 
salicastrum vocatur, scabiem et pruriginem homi- 
num quadripedumque aceto mulso trita haec 
efficacius tollit. 

21 XVI. Vitis alba est quam Graeci ampelon leucen, 
alii stapbylen, alii melothron, alii psilotrum, alii 
archezostim, alii cedrosin, alii madon appellant, 
huius sarmenta longis et exilibus internodiis geni- 
culata scandunt. folia pampinosa ad magnitudinem 
hederae dividuntur ut vitium. radix alba, grandis, 
raphano similis initio. ex ea caules asparagi 
similitudine exeunt, hi decocti In cibo alvum et 

22 urinam cient. folia et. caules exulcerant corpus, 
utique ulcerum phagedaenis et gangraenis tibia- 
rumque taedio cum sale inlinuntur. semen in uva 
raris acinis dependet, suco rubente, postea crocino. 
novere id qui coria perficiunt, illo enim utuntur. 

1 Post ciet VT et add. 

a Such appears to be the meaning of pampinosa here, if it 
represents the Saavrepa of Dioscorides IV. 182 (1). 

b Dioscorides has 50ev t but I can find no instance of utique 
with the sense of " wherefore." I have translated it " in 
particular " here and in the neighbouring passage 18, 
without feeling sure that it gives the right connection of 
thought. 

c Taedium occurs a few times in Pliny in the sense of 

428 



BOOK XXIII. xiv. 19-xvi. 22 

root in water and drunk in two cyathi of Coan wine 
evacuates watery humour in the "belly, and for this 
reason is prescribed for dropsy. I am inclined to 
believe that it is rather this plant that is popularly 
called uva taminia. It is used as an amulet, and also 
for the spitting of blood; only however as a gargle, 
and, to prevent any of it from being swallowed, 
there are added salt, thyme and oxymel. For this 
reason it is thought unsafe to use it as a purge. 

XV. There is a plant like this, but growing in 
willow-beds. It is therefore known by a distinct 
name, although it has the same uses; it is called 
salicastrum. This, pounded and applied with 
oxymel, is more efficacious in removing itch scab 
and pruritus whether in man or beast. 

XVI. There is a white vine, which the Greeks 
call variously ampelos leuce, staphyle, melothron, 
psilotrum, archezostis, cedrosis, and madon. Its twigs 
are jointed and climbing, with long, thin interstices 
between the knots. The leaves, thick and bushy, 
are of the size of ivy leaves, and with jagged edges 
like those of vine leaves. The root is white, large, 
and like a radish at first. From it grow out stalks like 
asparagus. These, boiled and taken in food, are 
laxative and diuretic. The leaves and the stalks 
free the flesh from sores, and in particular & are applied 
with salt to phagedaenic ulcers 5 to gangrenes, and to 
* * bad legs ." c The fruiting bunch hangs down in thinly 
scattered grapes, having a red juice, which turns 
later on to a saffron yellow. This fruit is well known 
to the curriers, who use it in the preparation of 

phfchiriasis, or rather of the weakness and irritation that 
accompany it. Dioscorides (IV, 182} has <T03T/x>Kv^wp eA/c<j. 
Cf. also note a, p. 478. 

429 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

psoris et lepris inlinitur, lactis abundantiam facit 

23 coctum cum tritico potumque. radix munerosis 
utilitatibus nobilis contra serpentium ictus trita 
drachmis duabus bibitur. vitia cutis in facie 
varosque et lentigines et suggillata emendat et 
cicatrices, eademque praestat in oleo decocta. 
datur et comitialibus potus, item mente conmotis 
aut vertigine laborantibus, drachmae pondere 
cotidie anno toto. et ipsa autem largior aliquando 

24 sensus turbat. 1 ilia vis praeclara quod ossa infracta 
extrahit in aqua inposita ut bryonia, quare quidani 
hanc albam bryoniam vocant, aliam vero nigram, 
efficacior in eodem usu cum melle et ture. suppura- 
tiones incipientes discutit, veteres maturat et purgat. 

25 ciet menses et urinam. ecligma ex ea fit suspiriosis 
et contra lateris dolores, vulsis, ruptis. splenem 
ternis obolis pota xxx diebus consumit. inlinitur 
eadem cum fico et pterygiis digitorum. ex vino 
secundas feminarum adposita trahit, et pituitam 

26 drachma pota in aqua mulsa sucus radicis colligi 
debet ante seminis maturitatem qui inlinitus per se 
et cum ervo laetiore quodam colore et cutis teneritate 
mangonicat corpora, serpentes fugat. tunditur 
ipsa radix cum fico pingui erugatque corpus j si 

1 turbat Cornarium secutiLs lanus : purgat codd. 

a It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to say when the subject 
is radix and when it is vitis alba. Both are singular and 
feminine, the difficulty beginning with the first sentence after 
radix numerasis etc. 

* See 27. 

c Or " whitlows." 

43 



BOOK XXIII. xvi. 22-26 

leather. It is applied to itch scab and leprous sores ; 
if it is boiled with wheat, the decoction when drunk 
produces an abundance of milk in nurses. The root, 
famous for many uses^ is pounded and taken in doses 
of two drachmae for snake bite. It removes spots 
and blotches on the face, freckles* bruises and scars ; 
a decoction in oil is equally efficacious. It is given 
also in drink for epilepsy, as well as for nervous 
disorders and giddiness, the daily dose being a 
drachma by weight for a whole year. a In larger 
doses, however, even the root Itself sometimes 
disorders the senses. Its most remarkable property 
is that applied in water, as bryony is, it extracts 
splintered bones y for which reason some call it white 
bryony, the one they call black bryony being distinct. 6 
The addition of honey and frankincense makes it 
more effective for the same use. Incipient suppura 
tions it disperses ; those of long standing it matures 
and drains. It is an emmenagogue and diuretic. 
Out of it an electuary is made for asthma and pains 
in the sides, and for spasms and ruptures. looses of 
three oboH taken in drink for thirty days eat up the 
spleen. In the form of an ointment it is also used 
with figs as a cure for hangnails. c A pessary with 
wine brings away the afterbirth, and phlegm is 
brought away by a drachma dose taken in hydromel 
of the juice of the root it ought to be dug up before 
the seed ripens and this juice used as an ointment 
either by itself or with vetches shows off the body 
with what I may call a brighter complexion as well as 
with a softer skin. It keeps snakes away. The root 
itself pounded with a plump fig removes wrinkles 
from the body, but a walk of a quarter of a mile 
should be taken immediately after the application; 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

statim bina stadia ambulentur, alias uret, nisi 
frigida statim abluatur. iucundius hoc idem 
praestat nigra vitis, quoniam alba pruritum adfert. 

27 XVIL Est ergo et nigra, quam proprie bryoniam 
vocant, alii Chironiam, alii gynaecanthen aut apro- 
niam, similem priori, praeterquam colore; huius 
enim nigrum esse diximus. asparagos ems Diodes 
praetulit veris asparagis in cibo urinae ciendae 

28 lienique minuendo. in fruteetis et harundinetis 
maxim e nascitur. radix foris nigra, intus buxeo 
colore. 1 ossa infracta vel efficacius extrahit quam 
supra dicta, cetera eadem. peculiare quod mmen- 
torum cervicibus unice medetur. aiunt, si quis 
villam ea cinxerit, fugere accipitres tutasque fieri 
altiles. 2 eadem in iumento homineque flemina aut 
sanguinem qui se ad talos deiecerit circumligata 
sanat. et hactenus de vitium generibus. 

29 XVIII. Musta differentias habent naturales has, 
quod sunt Candida aut nigra aut inter utrumque, 
alia ex quibus vinum fiat, alia ex quibus passum. 
cura differentias innumerabiles facit, in plenum ergo 
haec dixisse conveniat: mustum omne stomacho 
inutile, venis iucundum. a balneis raptim et sine 
interspiratione potum necat. cantharidum naturae 
adversatur, item serpentibus, maxime haemorrhoidi 

1 Post colore comma ponit Detlefsen. 

2 altiles Deflefsen: villares alites MayJioff*. varta codd. 

a Again there is the same difficulty as occurred in 23-26 : 
do the sentences after radix refer to the vine, or only to its 
root ? Detlefsen, who has a comma at colore, seems inclined; 
to the latter view; MayhofF, who has a full stop, to the 
former. 

* Spanish fly, 

c See XX. 50, 210. 

432 



BOOK XXIII. xvi. 26-xvm. 29 

otherwise it will cause a burn unless immediately 
washed away in cold water. The dark vine produces 
this same effect more pleasantly, for the white vine 
causes itching. 

XVII. There is then also a dark vine, which is 
the one properly named bryony, called by some 
Chironia, by others gynaecanthe or apronia, similar 
to the preceding except for the colour ; for that is, as 
I have said, dark. Diocles preferred its shoots to the 
real asparagus as a food for promoting urine and 
reducing the spleen. It is to be found growing 
mostly in shrubberies and reed beds. Its root is 
dark outside, but inside of the colour of box-wood. 
Splintered bones are extracted by it even more 
effectively than by the vine mentioned above; in 
other respects it has the same properties, 3 It is a 
special feature of it that it is a specific for the scares 
that come on the necks of beasts of burden. It is 
said that if one grows it round a country house 
hawks keep away, and the poultry are kept safe. 
It also heals, in beast or man, if tied round the 
ankles, congestion of blood that may have settled 
there. So much then for the various kinds of vines. 

XVIII. The natural differences shown by musts 
are these. They are white, dark, or of a colour 
between the two: from some there can be made 
wine, from others raisin wine* Manufacture makes 
innumerable differences, so that the general survey 
that follows will have to suffice. All must is 
injurious to the stomach but comforting to tlie veins. 
If drunk rapidly after a bath without taking breath, 
death ensues. It is an antidote to the poisonous 
nature of cantharides & and to the bites of serpents, 
especially of haemorrhois c and of the salamander. 

433 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

30 et salamandrae. capltis dolores facit, et gutturi 
inutile, prcxiest renibus, iocineri et interaneis, 
vesicae, conlevat enim ea, privatim contra buprestim 
valet, contra meconium, lactis coagulationem, 
cicutam, toxica, dorycnium, ex oleo potum reddit- 
umque vomitionibus. ad omnia infirmius album, 
iucundius passi mustum, et quod minorem capitis 
dolorem adferat. 

31 XIX. Vini genera differentiasque perquam multas 
exposuimus et fere cuiusque proprietates. neque 
est ulla pars difficilior tractatu aut numerosior 
quippe cum sit arduum dictu pluribus prosit an 
noceat. praeterea quam ancipiti eventu potum 
statim auxilium fit aut venenum ! etenim de natura 
ad remedia tantum pertinente nunc loquimur. 

32 unum de dando eo volumen Asclepiades condidit 
ab^eo cognominatus, 1 qui vero postea 2 de volumine 
illo disseruere innumera. 3 nos ista Romana gravitate 
artiumque Hberalium adpetentia non ut medici sed 
ut indices salutis humanae diligenter distinguemus. 
de generibus singulis disserere inmensum et inex- 
plicabile est discordibus medicorum sententiis. 

1 cognominatus, -turn, -tis, codd. et edd* 
a vero postea E Dettefsen : postea vero Yd SiUig : postea 
tmo Mayhoff. * 

3 irummera aut innnmeri codd. 

a A venomous beetle, causing cattle to swell up. 

* A poisonous convolvulus. It is hard to see why it, and 
hemlock, are not included under toxica. This word perhaps 
means here poisons used to make weapons deadlv 

See XIV. 59 ff . y ' 

* Asclepiades, a physician of the first century B.C., was 
called Wine-giver (oivoMnp). See Anonymu*' Londinensis 
434 



BOOK XXIII. xvm. 29-xix. 32 

It causes headache, and is injurious to the throat, 
but good for kidneys, liver, intestines and bladder, 
for it makes these organs smooth. It is particularly 
efficacious against the buprestis, a opium, curdled 
milk, hemlock, poisons and dorycnium fe ; it should 
be taken in oil and brought up again by vomitings. 
For all purposes white must is the weaker; raisin 
must is more pleasant, besides causing less headache. 
XIX. The varieties of wine, then* very many 
differences, and most of the properties of each I have ****** 
already described.* There is no topic more difficult 
to handle, or more full of detail, seeing that it is hard 
to say whether wine does good to more people or 
harms them. Besides, a draught is fraught with great 
risk, it being uncertain whether it will immediately 
turn out to be a help or a poison. And indeed I shall 
confine my present remarks to the properties of wine 
as a medicine. Asclepiades composed one volume 
on its administration, a circumstance which gave 
him a nickname d ; but his commentators on it 
afterwards composed an endless number of them. I, 
with Roman seriousness and with my appetite for the 
liberal arts, will carefully discuss the separate details/ 
not as a physician, but to point out their effect an 
human health. But to treat of the various kinds of 
wine one by one is a vast and baffling task, because 
medical opinion is very divided. 

XXIV. 31. This is strong evidence in favour of cognofmnafyts. 
The plural cognominatis seems to be an emendation of one who 
did not see that innumera is governed, not by dissemere, but 
by condidere understood from condidii. 

* Ista distiTiguemus. The connection of thought seems to 
be : "I hope to keep these details distinct, and to discuss 
wines seriously (though not as a physician}, because their 
making and use is a fine art." 

435 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

33 XX. Surrentinum veteres maxime probavere, 
sequens aetas Albanum aut Falernum et deinde alia 
alii iniquissimo genere decreti quod cuique gratis- 
simum ceteris omnibus pronuntiando ; quod a ut 
constarent sententiae, quota portio tamen mortalium 
his generibus posset uti! iam vero nee proceres 
unquam sinceris. eo venere mores ut nomina modo 
cellarum veneant, statim in lacibus vindemiae 

34 adulterentur. ergo, Hercules, mirum dlctu, innocen- 
tius iam est quodcumque et ignobilius. hae tamen 
fere 2 constantissimae videntur sententiae quarum 
mentionem fecimus. si quis hoc quoque discrimen 
exigit, Falernum nee in novitate nee In nimia 
vetustate corpori salubre est, media eius aetas a 

35 xv annis incipit. in frigido 3 potu stomacho utile, 
non item in calida, diutinae tussi sorbetur merum 
utiliter a ieiunis, item in quartanis. nullo aeque 
venae excitantur. alvum sis tit, corpus alit. credi- 
tum est obscuritatem visus facere, nee prodesse 
nervis aut vesicae. Albana nervis utiliora, stomacho 
minus quae sunt dulcia, austera vel Falerno utiliora. 
concoctionem minus adiuvant, stomachum modice 
implent; at Surrentina nullo modo, nee caput 

1 quod codd. : quot JDetlefsen. 

2 fere coni. Dellefsen : fecere aut facere codd. 

3 in frigido Sillig* Detlefsen : fiigido Mayhoff : rigido codd . 

Or ** sinews," Nerves and sinews were not yef> dis 
tinguished. Spencer says (on Celsus II. 8. 40) that all fibrous 
tissues and membranes, which were regarded as the 
vitally active parts, were designated by nervi. The soft 
material in the nervous system and muscles was called caro, 
and looked upon as padding. 

43 6 



BOOK XXIII. xx. 33-35 

XX. In the past there was a strong preference for rm 
the wine of Surrentum, followed by one for Alban JjjJ* ^ 
or Falernian ; after that various choices have been "***" 
popular, each man so unreasonable are we in our 
judgments dictating to everybody else a preference 
for what he himself finds most pleasant; and yet 
even with uniformity of opinion how small a part of 
mankind could make use of these kinds of wine, 
Today indeed not even our nobility ever enjoys 
wines that are genuine. So low has our commercial 
honesty sunk that only the names of the vintages are 
sold, the wines being adulterated as soon they are 
poured into the vats. Accordingly, strange indeed 
as the remark may seem, the more common a wine is 
today, the freer it is from impurities. Neverthe 
less, the opinions of the wines we have mentioned 
seem on the whole the best maintained. If anyone 
lays stress also on the test of age, that Falernian is 
wholesome which is neither new nor too old; its 
middle age begins when it is fifteen years old. 
Taken as a cold draught it is good for the stomach, 
but in hot water it is not. For chronic cough and 
likewise for quartan ague it is swallowed with benefit 
neat and on an empty stomach. No other wine 
quickens so much the action of the veins. Astringent 
to the bowels it puts flesh on the body. It is a firm 
b'elief that this wine injures the vision and is not 
beneficial to nerves or to the bladder. Alban 
wines are better for the nerves, the sweet ones less 
so to the stomach, while the dry are even more 
beneficial than the Falernian. They aid digestion 
less and tend to overload the stomach, but the wines 
of Surrentum have no such bad effects, nor do 
they go to the head, while they check catarrhs of the 

437 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

temptant, stomach! et intestinorum rheumatismos 
cohibent. Caecuba iam non gignuntur. 

36 XXI. Et quae supersunt Setina concoqui cibos 
cogunt. virium plus Surrentino, austeritatis Albano, 
vehementiae minus Falerno habent, ab Ms Statana 
non longo intervallo afuerint. alvo citae Signinum 
maxime conducere indubitatum est. 

37 XXII. Reliqua in commune dicentur. Vino 
aluntur vires, sanguis colosque hominum. hoc distat 
orbis medius et mitior plaga a circumiectis. quan 
tum illis feritas facit roboris, tantum nobis hie sucus. 
lactis pot us ossa alit, frugum nervos, aqua carnes. 
ideo minus ruboris est in corporibus illis et minus 

38 roboris contraque labores patientiae. vino modico 
nervi iuvantur, copiosiore laeduntur, sic et oculi. 
stomachus recreatur et adpetentia ciborum invitatur, 
tristitia, cura hebetatur, urina et algor expellitur, 
somnus conciliatur. praeterea vomitiones sistit, 
collectiones extra lanis umidis impositis mitigat. 
Asclepiades utilitatem vini aequari vix deorum 
potentia posse pronuntiavit. vetus copiosiore aqua 
miscetur; quo magis urinam expellit, minus siti 
resistit. dulce minus inebriat, sed stomacho innatat, 

39 austerum facilius concoquitur, levissimum est quod 

a Statana vina -were produced in Campania on the Falernus 
ager. 

b Or, "nerves." 

43* 



BOOK XXIII. xx. 35-xxii. 39 

stomach and intestines. Caecuban wines are no 
longer produced. 

XXI. Of the wines still produced, those of Setia 
ensure digestion ; they have more body than 
Surrentine wine, more dryness than Alban and less 
potency than Falernian. Not much inferior to them 
will be found the Statan a wines. It is a firm belief 
that the wines of Signia are very beneficial to dis 
ordered bowels. 

XXII. The other considerations will be combined 
in a general description. By wine are improved men's 
strength, blood and complexion. Wine it is that 
distinguishes the middle or temperate zone from the 
two that lie on either side of it. AH the strength 
produced by the cruel extremes we of the temperate 
clime derive from the juice of the grape. Bone is 
nourished by drinking milk, sinews by the beers, and 
flesh by water. Accordingly, the drinkers of such 
have a less ruddy complexion* less strength, and 
less power to endure toil. Wine in moderation 
strengthens the sinews 6 ; excess is injurious to them, 
as it is also to the eyes. Wine is a tonic to the 
stomach and a sharpener of the appetite ; it dulls 
sorrow and anxiety, expels urine and chills, and 
induces sleep. In addition it checks vomiting, and 
pieces of wool, soaked in wine and applied externally, 
soften abscesses. Asclepiades asserted that the use 
fulness of wine is hardry exceeded by the power of 
the gods. OH wine is diluted with a larger propor 
tion of water, and while being for this reason a more 
powerful diuretic quenches thirst less effectively. 
Sweet wine is less inebriating but floats in the 
stomach; but a dry wine is more easily digested, 
The lightest wine is that which matures most 

439 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

celerrime inveteratur. minus infestat nervos quod 
vetustate dulcescit. stomacho minus utile est 
pingue, nigrum, 1 sed corpora magis alit. tenue et 
austerum minus alit, magis stomachum nutrit. 
celerius per urinam transit, tanto magis capita 
temptat. hoc et in omni alio suco semel dictum sit. 
vinum situ non 2 fumo inveteratum saluberrimum. 3 

40 mangones ita 4 in apothecis excogitavere, iam et 
patresfamilias, aetatem addi antequam 5 per se 
cariem traxere. quo certe vocabulo satis consilii 
dedere prisci, quoniam et in materiis cariem fumus 
erodit, at nos e diverso fumi amaritudine vetustatem 
indui persuasum habemus. quae sunt admodum 
exalbida, haec vetustate insalubria fiunt- quo 
generosius vinum est, hoc magis vetustate crassescit 
et in amaritudinem corpori minime utilem coit. 
condire eo aliud minus annosum insalubre est. sua 
cuique vino saliva innocentissima est, sua cuique 
aetas gratissima 5 hoc est media. 

41 XXIII. Corpus augere volentibus aut mollire 
alvum conducit inter cibos bibere, contra minuentibus 

1 nigrum plures codd., M aylioff : merum cum uno cod. 
Deilefsen. 

2 situ non lo. MuMer : diutino MayJioff : sit vinum codd. 

3 saluberrimiina untts cod., Detlefsen : insaluberriimim 
Mayliaffi vi saluberrimum unus cod, 

4 ita MayJioff : istut Deilefsen : ista aut istat codd. 

6 antequam coni. Mayhoff (atqui scriHt} : aliis quae 
I>etlefsen : atque aut his quae codd. 

a Or, "nerves." See p. 436, note a. 

b With the reading merum, " neat." 

c The text is in great disorder here, and the translator is also 
troubled by having no English word which could 'apply to 
over-ripe wine and also to rotting wood. Traxere could also 
mean have delayed," and then the passage (with aliis quae) 

440 



BOOK XXIIL xxii, 39-xxm. 41 

quickly. That wine is less injurious to the sinews 3 
that sweetens as it ages. Less beneficial to the 
stomach is the wine that is rich and dark b ; it is, 
however, more flesh-forming. A thin, dry wine is 
less flesh-forming, but is more nourishing to the 
stomach, and passes more rapidly by means of 
urine, going, however, all the more to the head; 
this remark may be taken once and for all to apply 
to every other intoxicating liquor. Wine matured 
by age and not by smoke is the most wholesome. 
Wine-dealers first " discovered the device, adopted 
today also by householders as well, of adding age in 
the storeroom to wines before they have acquired 
cariosity naturally . c By using the word ** cariosity " 
the men of old gave sound enough advice, since 
smoke eats out cariosity even in timber, but we 
moderns on the contrary are convinced that the 
bitterness of smoke produces in wines the character 
of age. Wines that are of a very pale colour become 
unwholesome as they grow older. The more 
generous a wine is the thicker it becomes with age, 
contracting a bitter taste/ which is very injurious to 
health, and to spice a less mature wine with it is also 
unwholesome. Each wine has its peculiar flavour, 
the presence of which is a sign of great purity *; 
each wine has an age its middle age when it is 
most pleasant. 

XXI II. Those who want to put on flesh or to relax 
the bowels are benefited by drinking during meals; 
those on the other hand who are reducing weight and 

would mean that sraoke was used to mellow wiaes that <3M n&ot 
ripen quickly enough by themselves. 

d Or, " condensing to a Mttemess." 

* Or? ** wholesomfeness." 

44* 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

alvumque cohibentibus sitire in edendo, postea 
parum bib ere. vinum ieiunos bibere novicio invento 
inutilissimum est curiosis x vigoremque animi ad 
procinctum tendentibus, somno vero ac securitatibus 
iamdudum hoc fuit quod Homerica ilia Helena ante 
cibum ministravit. sic quoque in proverbium cessit 

42 sapientiam vino obumbrari. vino demus homines 
quod soli animalium non sitientes bibimus. aquae 
potum interponere utiKssimum, itemque iugi 2 
superbibere. ebrietatem quidem frigidae potus 

43 extemplo discutit. meracis potionibus per xx dies 
ante canis ortuna totidemque postea suadet Hesiodus 
uti. merum quidem remedio est contra cicutas, 
coriandrum, aconita, viscum, meconium, argentum 
vivum, apes, vespas, crabrones, phalangia, ser- 
pentium scorpionumque ictus contraque omnia quae 
refrigerando nocent, privatim contra haemorrhoidas, 
presteras, fungos, item contra inflationes rosionesque 
praecordiorum et quorum stomachus in vomitiones 
effunditur, et si venter aut interanea rheumatismum 
sentiant, dysintericis, sudatoribus e longa tussi, in 

44 epiphoris meracum. cardiacis in mamma laeva 
meruin in spongea inponi prodest, ad omnia autem 
maxime album inveterascens. utiliter et fovetur 
vino calido virilitas, iumentis infusum cornu lassiti- 

1 curiosis Mayhoff : curis aut cum suis codd. 

2 iugi codd. i iugis coni* MayTioff. 

<* Odyssey IV. 220. 

> Works and Days, 590-596. 

c Meracum, seems to mean slightly diluted wine; merum 
absolutely neat wine. 

d For the cardiac disease see Celsns III. 19. Sometimes it 
means heart-hum, hut Celsus calls one kind of it a serious 

442 



BOOK XXIIL xxin. 41-44 

checking looseness of the bowels should not drink at 
all at meals and but sparingly after. To drink while 
fasting is a recent innovation that is very injurious to 
those absorbed in business and trying to keep their 
mind actively on the alert. In order to induce sleep, 
however, and to banish worries wine was so taken 
long ago, as we see from Homer's a Helena, who 
served wine before food. So too it passed into a 
proverb that " wine befogs the wits." It is to wine 
that we men should attribute the fact that of animals 
we alone drink when we are not thirsty. To drink 
water at intervals during bouts is* very helpful, as it is 
also to drink it after a prolonged bout. Intoxication 
indeed is immediately banished by a draught of cold 
water. Hesiod b recommends the use of strong c 
draughts of wine for twenty days before and twenty 
days after the rising of the Dog-star. Neat wine 
indeed is a remedy for poison by hemlock., coriander, 
henbane, -mistletoe, opium, mercury, for the wounds 
of bees, wasps, hornets, spiders, snakes and scorpions, 
and for all poisons that harm by chilling, especially 
for those of the haemorrhols, the prester, and of 
tree fungi; also for flatulence and gnawings of the 
hypochondria, for violent vomitings from the 
stomach, and if the belly or intestines suffer from 
catarrh ; for dysentery, and for sweats after prolonged 
coughing, while, for eye-fluxes the wine should be 
slightly diluted. For cardiac * affections it is beneficial 
to apply to the left breast neat wine on a sponge ; but 
for aU these purposes the best to use is white wine 
that is growing old. It is also useful to foment the 
testicles with warm, wine, and administered through 

disease, some form of syncope or collapse. The latter seems 
to b the meaning in 50, and therefore perhaps here also. 

443 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dinem aufert. simias quadripedesque quibus digit! 
sunt negant crescere adsuetas raeri potu. 

45 XXIV. Nunc circa aegritudines sermo de vinis erit. 
saluberrimum liberaliter genitis Campaniae quod- 
cumque tenuissimum, vulgo vero quod quemque 
maxime iuverit validum. utilissimum omnibus 
sacco viribus fractis. meminerimus sucum esse qui 
fervendo vires^ e musto sibi fecerit. misceri plura 
genera omnibus inutile, saluberrimum cui nihil in 
musta additum est, meliusque, si nee vasis pix 
adfuit. marmore enim et gypso aut calce condita 

46 quis non et validus expaverit? in primis igitur 
vinum marina aqua factum inutile est stomacho, 
nervis, vesicae. resina condita frigidis stomachis 
utilia existimantur, non expedire vomitionibus, sicut 
neque sapa neque passum. novicium resinatum 
nulli conducit, capitis dolor em et vertigines facit. 
ab hoc dicta crapula est. tussientibus et in rheu- 
matismo nominata prosunt, item coeliacis et 
dysintericis, mulierum mensibus. in hoc genere 
rubrum nigrumve magis constringit magisque cale- 
facit. innocentius pice sola conditum. set et 
picem meminisse debemus non aliud esse quam 

47 conbustae resinae fluxum. hoc genus vini excalfacit, 

a Le. "hang-over." 
444 



BOOK XXIII. xxin. 44-xxiv. 47 

a horn to beasts of burden it removes fatigue. Apes 
and quadrupeds with fingers are said to stop growing 
if they acquire the habit of drinking neat wine. 

XXIV. Now I shall discuss wines in relation to sick- 
ness. The most wholesome for gentry are the thinnest 
wines of Campania ; the common sort however may 
drink what each most fancies, provided that he is 
in robust health. Wines are most beneficial when all 
their potency has been overcome by the strainer. 
We must remember that wine is grape juice that has 
acquired strength by fermentation. A mixture of 
several sorts of wine is injurious to anybody. The 
most wholesome wine is that to which nothing has 
been added in the state of must, and it is better if not 
even the wine-vessels have been touched by pitch. 
As for wines treated with marble, gypsum or lime, 
who would not dread to touch them, however robust 
his health ? Wine therefore prepared with sea-water 
is particularly injurious to the stomach, to the sinews 
and to the bladder. Wines seasoned with resin are 
supposed to be beneficial to cold stomachs but 
unsuited to those inclined to vomit, just as boiled- 
down must, and raisin wine, so seasoned, are also 
unsuitable. New wine seasoned with resin is good 
for nobody, causing headache and fits of giddi 
ness. For this reason it has been named crapula* 
The wines already mentioned are good for coughs 
and catarrhs, as also for coeliac troubles and dysen 
tery, and for the menstruation of women. In this 
class the red or dark wine is more astringent and 
more heating. Less harmful is wine seasoned with 
pitch and with nothing else, but we ought to 
remember that pitch is nothing but the liquid from 
burnt resin'. This kind of wine heats, digests, 

445 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

concoquit, purgat, pectori, ventri utile, item vnl- 
varum dolori, si sine febri sint, veteri rheumatis- 
mo, exulcerationi, ruptis, convulsis, vomicis, nervo- 
rum infirmitati, inflationibus, tussi, anhelationibus, 
luxatis in sucida lana inpositum, ad omnia haec 
utilius id quod sponte naturae suae picem resipit 
picatumque appellatur Helvico in pago, 1 quo tamen 

48 nimio caput temptari convenit. quod ad febrium 
valitudines attinet certum est non dandum in febri 
nisi veteribus aegris nee nisi declinante morbo, in 
acutis vero periculis nulHs nisi qui manifestas 
remissiones habeant, et has 2 noctu potius dimidia 
pars periculi est noctu, hoc est spe somni, bibentibus 
- nee a partu abortuve nee a libidine aegrotantibus, 
nee in capitis doloribus, nee quorum accessiones cum 
frigore extremitatum fient, nee in febri tussientibus, 
nee in tremore nervorumve 3 doloribus vel faucium, 
aut si vis morbi circa ilia intellegatur, nee in duritia 
praecordiorum, venarum vehementia, neque in 

49 opisthotono, nee tetano, nee singultientibus, nee 
si cum febri dyspnoea sit, minime vero oculis 
rigentibus et 4 stantibus aut defectis gravibusque, 
nee quorum coniventium perlucebunt oculi palpe- 
brisve non coeuntibus, vel si dormientibus hoc idem 

1 Helvico in pago, quo Mayhoff i Helvenco pago, quo 
Deilefsen : Helvetico in agro, quo Ian. : varia codd. 

2 has codd. et editiones : his coni. Mayhoff. 

3 nervorumve cum duobus codd. Mayhoff i nervprumque 
vulg. 9 Deilefsen : nervorum vel cum aliquot codd. Sillig. 

4 et ego : et genis Deilefsen : e genis Mayhoff : egentis codd. 

a In Gallia Narbonensis. 

* Xiess probably : " the disease be of long standing." 

e With MayhofPs his " to these " i.e. patients; has refers to 

zmi 

446 



BOOK XXIII. xxiv. 47-49 

cleanses, is beneficial to chest and bowels, and also 
for pain in the uterus if there be no fever, for chronic 
catarrh, ulceration, rupture, spasms, abscesses, weak 
sinews, flatulence, cough, asthma, and for sprains if it 
be applied on unwashed wool. For all these purposes 
that wine is more beneficial which has naturally 
the flavour of pitch and is called pitchy wine in the 
Helvian district, although taken in excess it flies, as 
is generally agreed, to the head. As far as fevers 
are concerned, wine should undoubtedly not be 
given when fever is present unless the patient be 
old, & and then only when the disease has passed the 
crisis ; in acute diseases only when the patients 
experience undoubted remissions, and these e by 
preference at night there is only half the danger 
for those who drink at night, that is, to induce 
sleep nor should it be taken after delivery or a 
miscarriage, nor by those ill through sexual excess, 
nor with headache, nor when exacerbations are 
attended with chill in the extremities, nor in feverish 
coughs, tremulousness, paiias in the sinews or throat, 
or if the violence of the disease is felt in the region 
of the groin; nor is it suitable when there is 
induration of the hypochondria, violent throbbing of 
the veins, nor in opisthotonus or tetanus, nor in hic 
coughs, nor if there be difficulty of breathing accom 
panied by fever ; least of all if the eyes be rigid and 
staring, or weak and heavy, nor should it be given 
when the eyes of those who have closed them are full 
of light/ or when the lids do not cover them, or when 

d Probably when the patient perceives bright light, or per 
haps * * sees stars '*, when Ms eyes are closed. Verbally it seems 
to mean : ** when the eyes of those who have closed them stall 
shine through," 

447 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

eveniet aut si cruore suffunduntur oculi, vel si lemae 
in oculis erunt, minime lingua fungosa et x gravi et 
subinde inperfecta loquentibus, nee si urina difficile 
reddetur, neque expavescentibus repente, nee 
spasticis aut rursus torpentibus, nee si per somnos 
genitnra efFundetur. 

50 XXV, Cardiacorum naorbo unicam spem in 2 vino 
esse certum est. sed id dandum noil nisi in accessione 
censent, alii non nisi in remissione, illi, ut sudorem 
coerceant, hi, quia tutius putant minuente se morbo, 
quanx plurium sententiam esse video, dari utique 
non nisi in cibo debet, nee a somno, nee praecedente 

51 alio potu, hoc est utique sitienti, nee nisi in despera- 
tione suprema, et viro facilius quam feminae, seni 
quam iuveni, iuveni quam puero, hieme quam 
aestate, adsuetis potius quam expertibus. modus 
dandi pro vehementia vini, itena mixtura aquae, 
vulgo satis putant unum cyathuna duobus aquae 
misceri. si dissolutio sit stomachi, dandum, si eibus 
non deseendat, iterum. s 

52 XXVI. Vini genera quae fingi docuimus nee fieri 
iam arbitror et super-vacuum eorum usum, 4 cum ipsis 
rebus ex quibus finguntur doceamus uti. et alias 

1 et cod. a : nee plures codd., vulg., D&tlefsen : vel vet. Dal., 
Mayhoff. 

2 in vulg.y Detlefsen : hanc e Mayhoff : haixc codd. 

3 iterum Urlichs : inter (ad sequentem sententiam relatum) 
codd. 

* eomm usum Detlefsen, MayTioffi est eorum usum docere 
Sillig. 



* Witn the reading nee : ** nor when it is heavy and speech 
is blurred from time to time." 

448 



BOOK XXIII. xxiv. 49-xxvi. 52 

the same thing happens in sleep, or if the eyes be 
bloodshot or rheum should form in the corners; 
certainly not if the tongue be furred a and heavy, and 
speech is blurred from time to time ; nor in dysuria, 
nor in sudden frights, nor to those who are in con 
vulsions, or again comatose, nor if the seed be 
emitted in sleep. 

XXV. In cardiac disease the one hope of relief lies 
undoubtedly in wine. Some however think that it 
should be given only during an attack, others only 
when there is a remission ; the object of the former 
is to control the sweating, the latter think that there 
is increased safety when the disease is on the decline, 
most authorities, I notice, holding this view. It 
ought at any rate to be given only with food, not after 
sleep nor after another kind of drink that is, there 
must at any rate be thirst only in the last resort and 
to a man rather than a woman, to an old man rather 
than to a young one, to a young man rather than to a 
boy, in winter rather than in summer, to those used 
to wine rather than to teetotalers. The dose to be 
taken depends upon the potency of the wine and also 
on the amount of water added. The general opinion 
is that a satisfactory mixture is one cyathus of wine to 
two of water. If the stomach be disordered, should 
the food not pass down, the wine must be given once 
more. 

XXVI. The artificial kinds of wines, the preparation 
of which I have mentioned, 6 I think to be no longer 
made and their use superfluous, since I give instructions 
about the use of the ingredients themselves of which 
they are composed. In other respects the pretence 

* See XIV. 98 ff. 

449 

VOL VI. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

modum excesserat medicorum in his ostentatio, 
veluti a napis vinum utile esse ab armorum equitan- 
dive lassitudine praecipientium atque, ut reliqua 
omittamus, etiam e iunipiro. et quis satius censeat 
apsinthite vino utendum potius quam apsinthio 
ipso ? in reliquis omittatur et palmeum capiti noxium, 
ventrique tantum molliendo et sanguinem excrean- 

53 tibus non inutile, ficticium non potest videri quod 
bion appellavimus, cum. sit in eo sola pro arte 
festinatio. prodest stomacho dissoluto aut cibos 
non perficienti, praegnantibus, defectis, paralyticis, 
tremulis, vertigini, torniinibus, ischiadicis. in 
pestilentia quoque ac peregrinationibus vim magnam 
auxiliandi habere dicitur. 

64 XX VI I. Vini etiam vitium transit in remedia. 1 
aceto summa vis est in refrigerando, non tamen 
minor in discutiendo ; ita fit ut infuso terra spumet. 
dictum est saepius diceturque quotiens cum aliis 
prosit, per se haustum fastidia discutit, singultus 
cohibet, sternumenta olfactatum. in balineis aestus 
arcet, si contineatur ore. quin et cum aqua bibitur 
multorum stomacho utiliter convalescentium et 2 

55 gargarizatur cum eadem a solis ardoribus. oculis 
quoque illo modo saluberrimum fotu. medetur 
potis hirudinibus, item lepris, furfuribus, ulceribus 
manantibus, can is morsibus, scorpionum ictibus, 
scolopendrarum, muris aranei contraque omnium 
aculeatorum venena et pruritus, item contra 

1 Non post remedia sed post aceto dist. Mayhoff. 

2 convalescentium et post eadem codd. : ego transposui : 
dist. alii aliter edd* Fortasse latet lacuna ante a solis ardoribus. 

a I.e. at the time when the making of these wines ceased. 
Perhaps however the pluperfect is aoristic like dixerat Aeneas. 
b See XIV. 77. 

45 



BOOK XXIII. xxvi. 52-xxvn. 55 

of physicians about these had exceeded a all bounds ; 
for instance, they prescribed navew wine as beneficial 
for fatigue after military exercises or riding, and to 
pass over the others, they recommended even 
juniper wine. And who would prefer to use worm 
wood wine rather than wormwood itself? Among 
the rest let me omit also palm wine, which is 
injurious to the head, and only useful as a laxative 
and to relieve the spitting of blood. That wine 
cannot be considered artificial which I have called 
bion, 5 for there is nothing artificial about it except 
the gathering of unripe grapes. It is good for a 
disordered stomach or a weak digestion, for preg 
nancy, faintness, paralysis, trembling, giddiness, 
colic, and sciatica. In time of plague too, and on 
travels, it is said to be a powerful aid. 

XXVII. Even when sour, wine still has uses as a 
remedy. Vinegar has very great cooling qualities, *** 
being equally efficacious, however, as a resolvent; 
earth in fact effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. 
I have often said, and shall often have to say, how 
often it is a beneficial ingredient with other things. 
Drunk by itself it removes nausea and checks hiccough, 
and to smell it stops sneezing. Kept in the mouth it 
moderates excessive heat in the bath. Further, 
drunk with water it is a useful digestive to many 
when they are convalescing, and a gargle of vinegar 
and water is a good thing after sunstroke, the eyes too 
being "greatly benefited by fomentation with the 
same mixture. It is a remedy after swallowing a 
leech, as well as for leprous sores, scurf, running 
sores, dog bites, the wounds of scorpions, of the 
scolopendra and of the shrew-mouse; it is also an 
antidote for the poison and irritation caused by all 

451 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

multipedae morsum. calidum in spongea aut * 
adiecto sulphuris sextante sextariis tribus aut hysopi 
fascicule medetur et sedis vitiis; in sanguinis 
fluctione post excises calculos et omni alia foris in 
spongea inpositum> intus potum cyathis binis quam 

56 acerrimum. conglobatum utique sanguinem dis- 
cutit. contra lichenas et bibitur et inponitur. 
sistit alvum et rheumatismos interaneorum infusum, 
item procidentia 2 sedis vulvaeque. tussim veterem 
inhibet et gutturis rheumatismos, orthopnoeam, 
dentium labefactationem. vesicae nocet nervorum- 
que infirmitatibus. nesciere medici quantum contra 
aspidas polleret. nuper ab aspide calcata percussus 
utrem acett ferens quotiens deposuisset sentiebat 
ictum, alias inlaeso similis. intellectum ibi remedium 

57 est potuque succursum. neque aliter os colluunt 
venena exsugentes. in toturn domitrix vis haec non 
ciborum modo est, verum et rerum pluritnarum. 
saxa rumpit infusum quae non ruperit ignis ante- 
cedens. cibos quidem et sapor es non alius magis 
sucus commendat aut excitat, in quo usu mitigatur 
usto pane aut cumino, 3 vel accenditur pipere ac 

58 lasere, utique sale conpescitur. non est praetereun- 

1 aut adiecto codd. : adiecto aut Mayhoff, qui etiam punctum 
posuit post fascicule. Hanc et sequentem sententiam dist, ego. 

2 procidentia codd. : procidentias Mayhoff. 

3 cumino veins cod* Comarii : cum. vino codd. 



BOOK XXIII. xxvii. 55-58 

stinging animals and for the bite of the multipede. 
Applied warm on a sponge, with either two ounces of 
sulphur or a bunch of hyssop added to three sextarii 
of vinegar, it is also a remedy for troubles of the anus. 
For haemorrhage after excision of stone, or any other, 
it is applied externally on a sponge, and doses of two 
cyathi of the strongest vinegar are taken internally, 
It certainly disperses clotted blood. In the treat 
ment of lichens it is used both internally and 
externally. Injected it checks looseness of the 
bowels and catarrh of the intestines, and it is 
similarly employed for prolapse of the anus and of 
the uterus. It arrests chronic cough, catarrh of the 
throat, orthopnoea, and looseness of the teeth. It 
is injurious to the bladder and to weak sinews. Its 
great efficacy as an antidote for asp bite was un 
known to physicians, but recently a man who was 
bitten by an asp on which he trod while carrying a 
skin of vinegar felt the wound every time he put the 
skin down, but at other times it was as though he 
had never been bitten. He inferred that vinegar was 
an antidote and was relieved by taking a draught 
of it. And it is similarly with vinegar that those 
rinse out their mouth who suck poison from wounds. 
Its all-embracing potency is not confined to foods, 
but includes also very many things ; poured on rocks 
it splits them when attempts to do so with fire have 
failed. No other sauce serves so 'well to season food 
or to heighten a flavour; when used for which 
purpose its effect is lessened by burnt bread or 
cummin, or heightened by pepper and laserwort, 
and without fail is kept in check by salt. On this 
point I must not pass over a striking illustration of 
the power of vinegar. In the last years of his Mfe 

453 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dum In eo exemplum ingens, siquidem M. Agrippa 
supremis suis annis conflictatus gravi morbo pedum, 
cum dolorem eum perpeti nequiret, unius x medi- 
corum portentosa scientia 2 ignorante divo Augusto 
tanti putavit usu pedum sensuque omni carere, 
dummodo et dolore illo careret, demersis in acetum 
calidum cruribus in acerrimo impetu morbL 

59 XXVIII. Acetum scillinum inveteratum magis 
probatur. prodest super ea quae dixinms aceseen- 
tibus, 3 gustatum enim discutit poenam earn et 
his qui ieiuni vomant, callum enim faucium facit 
ac stomachi odorem oris tollit, gingivas adstringit, 
dentes firmat, colorem meliorem praestat. tardi- 
tatem quoque aurium gargarizatione purgat et 
transitum auditus aperit. oculorum aciem obiter 
exacuit, comitialibus, melancholicis, vertigini, 
volvarum strangulationibus, percussis aut praecipi- 
tatis et ob id sanguine conglobato, nervis infirmis, 
reniuna vitiis perquam utile, cavendum exulceratis. 

60 XXIX. Oxymeli antiqui, ut Dieuches tradit, hoc 
modo temperabant ; mellis minas decem, aceti 
veteris heminas quinque, salis marini pondo libram 
quadrant em, aquae 4 sextarios quinque pariter 
coquebant dec! ens defervescente cortina, atque ita 

1 nnins codd. : usus Detlefeen. 

2 scientia codd. r sententia coni. Mayhoff. 

3 Addunt hie cibus E, vulg., MayJioff* 

* aquae coni. lanus : aquae marinae codd. 

a The story seems incomplete, as we are informed neither 
why there was a risk nor what was the result of the experiment. 
Furthermore, why should Augustus be kept in ignorance of 
what is, after all, very simple treatment ? I suspect a lacuna 
or lacunae. 

454 



BOOK XXIII. xxvn. 58-xxix. 60 

M. Agrippa -was afflicted with grievous gout, and 
could not endure the pain. Guided by the wonder 
ful skill of one of his physicians, and without 
informing the late Augustus so strong the urge to 
be rid of that pain even at the price of losing all 
power to use his feet and all sensation in them he 
plunged his legs into hot vinegar when a paroxysm 
of the disease was at its worst.* 1 

XXVIII. Squill vinegar is supposed to improve 
with age. Besides the uses I have mentioned, 5 it is 
good when foods turn sour on the stomach , a mere 
taste dispersing that inconvenience, and for those 
who vomit fasting, for it makes hard the skin of the 
throat and gullet; it removes offensive breath, 
braces the gums, strengthens the teeth and improves 
the complexion. By its use as a gargle it clears 
hardness of hearing, opening the ear passages. 
Incidentally it sharpens the eyesight, and is very 
beneficial for epilepsy, melancholia, giddiness, 
hysterical suffocations, blows or falls with clotted 
blood in consequence, weakness of the sinews, and 
affections of the kidneys but it must be avoided 
when there is ulceration. 

XXIX. The ancients, as Dieuches tells us, prepared 
oxymel in the following manner. c Ten minae of 
honey, five heminae of old vinegar,, a pound and a 
quarter by weight of sea salt and five sextarii of 
water, were boiled together in a cauldron, but taken 
off the boil ten times, when it was poured off and put 

& See XX. 98 foil. 

c See Dioscorides V. 14 : Aa/Jojy &ou$ KOTV^O.S trcvrc KCU. 
daXa&oiov pvav fttav, /teAtros fiva? Sara, v&aros KarvXas 
axpi-S o5 av 



455 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

61 diffundebant inveterabantque. sustulit totum id 
Asclepiades coarguitque, nam e tiara in febribus 
databant profuisse tamen fatetur x contra ser 
pent es quas sepas vocant et contra meconium ac 
viscum, et anginis calidum gargaiizatum et auribus, 
oris gutturisque desideriis, quae nunc omnia 
oxyalme eontingunt, id est sale et aceto recente, 
efficacius. 

62 XXX. Vino cognata res sapa est musto decocto 
donee tertia pars supersit. ex albo hoc melius. 
usus contra cantharidas, buprestim, pinorum erucas 
quas pityocampas vocant, salamandras, contra 
mordentia venenata. secundas partusque emortuos 
trahit cum bulbis potum. Fabianus auctor est 
venenum esse ? si quis ieiunus a balineis id bibat. 

63 XXXI. Consequens horum est faex sui cuiusque 
generis, ergo vini faecibus tanta vis est ut descen- 
dentes in cupas enecet. experimentum demissa 
praebet lucerna quamdiu extinguatur periculum 
denuntians. inlota miscetur medicamentis, cum iridis 
vero pari pondere eruptionibus pituitae inlinitur, 
et sicca vel madida contra phalangia et testium 
naanmaarumque inflammationi vel in quacumque 
parte corporis, item cum hordeacia farina et turis 

64 polline in vino cocta. creniatur et siccata. experi 
mentum est legitime coctae ut refrigerata linguam 
tactu videatur urere. celerrime exanimatur loco 
non incluso 2 condita. crematio ei multum virium 

1 fatetur coni. SiUig : fatentnr codd. 

2 loco non incluso Deilef&en cum aliquot codd. : non inclusa 
M ayTioff cum aliis. 



* Cf. XXVm. 183 impetus pituitae in facie. 
& Dioscorides V. 114: Kowrriov S . . 



45 6 



BOOK XXIII. xxix. 6o-xxxi. 64 

away to keep. Asclepiades condemned it, and did 
away with its use altogether for it used to be given 
even in fevers yet he admits that it was beneficial 
for the bites of the serpent called seps, and for 
poisoning by opium or mistletoe. It made a warm 
gargle for quinsy, with benefit to the ears also and 
to the mouth and throat when affected. For all 
these purposes they now spray, getting better results, 
with oxyalme, that is, with salt and fresh vinegar. 

XXX. Related to wine is sapa, which is must 
boiled down until one third remains. That made 
from white must is the better. It is used as an 
antidote to cantharides, buprestis, pine caterpillars, 
which are called pityocampae, salamanders, and to 
all poisonous bites. Taken in drink with onions it 
brings away the after-birth and also the dead foetus. 
Fabianus states that it is poisonous if a man drinks 
it fasting just after a bath. 

XXXI. Next in order come the lees of these ,{) 
several liquids. The lees of wine then are so potent ***** 
that they are fatal to any who go down into the vats. 

A lamp let down makes a good test; so long as it 
goes out danger is indicated. Unrinsed lees are an 
ingredient of medicines; moreover, with an equal 
weight of iris they make a liniment for phlegmatic 
eruptions a ; dry or moist they are applied to the 
stings of venomous spiders, to inflammation of 
testicles or breasts, or of any part of the body ; or 
a decoction may be made in wine with barley meal 
and dust of frankincense. They are dried as well 
before being parched. 6 The test of their being 
properly boiled is if, after cooling, a touch seems to 
burn the tongue. If kept in an uncovered place 
wine lees very rapidly lose their power. Parching 

457 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

adicit. utilissima 1 est ad conpescendos lichenas, 
furfures cum fico decocta, sic et lepris et ulceribus 

65 manantibus inponitur. fungorum naturae contraria 
est pota, sed rnagis cruda. oculorum medicamentis 
cocta et lota miscetur. medetur inlita et testibus et 
genitalibus. in vino autem adversus strangurlas 
bibitur. cum expiravit quoque, lavandis corporibus 
et vestibus utilis. tune usum acaciae habet. 

66 XXXII. Faex aceti pro materia acrior sit necesse 
est multoque magis exulceret. resistit suppura- 
tionum incrementis, stomachum, interanea, ventrem 
inlita adiuvat. sistit rheumatismos earum partium 
et mulierum menses, panos discutit nondum 
exulceratos et anginas, ignes sacros cum cera. 

67 mammas lactis sui inpatientes eadem extinguit, 
ungues scabros aufert. e serpentibus contra cerastas 
vaHdissima cum polenta, cum melanthio autem con 
tra crocodili morsus et canis. et haec cremata 
ampliat vires, tune addito lentiscino oleo inlita una 
nocte rufat capillum. eadem ex aqua in linteolo 
adposita vulvas purgat. 

68 XXXIIL Sapae faece ambusta sanantur, melius 
addita lanugine harundinis, eadem faece decocta 
potaque tusses veteres. decoquitur in patinis cum 

1 utilissima est cum E Detlefaen : utilissimae V Mayhoff^ 
qui post adicit comma pro puncto posuit. 

a Some translate : " reduce breasts that are swollen with 
milk." 

6 Cf. Dioscorides II. 179 R.V (Wellmann) : peXavdw oi 1 
/cot TOVTO [trfKotva aypiop /LteAava xaAouatv. It was black 
cummin, git (NigeHa sativa). 

45^ 



BOOK XXIIL xxxi. 64 xxxiii. 68 

adds greatly to their potency. A decoction with fig 
is very efficacious for checking lichen and scaly 
eruptions. In this form they are applied also to 
leprous sores and running ulcers. Taken in drink 
they are an antidote to poisonous fungi, but a better 
one when crude. Boiled and rinsed they are used as 
an ingredient of eye salves. An application of them is 
healing to the testicles and genitals, but in wine 
they are taken for strangury. When too they have 
lost their strength, they are still useful for washing 
the person as well as clothes ; for this purpose they 
take the place of gum arabic. 

XXXII. Lees of vinegar, their substance being(&)a/ 
what it is, must be more acid and much more caustic. 
They check the spreading of suppuration, and are 
beneficial if applied locally to the stomach, the 
intestines and the belly. They check fluxes of those 
parts and also menstruation. They disperse super 
ficial abscesses not yet come to a head, quinsies and, 
applied with wax, erysipelas. These lees also dry 

up breasts that do not restrain their milk, a and 
remove scabrous nails. With pearl barley they are 
a very powerful antidote to the poison of the snake 
called horned, and with melanthium 6 cure the bites 
of crocodiles and of dogs. These lees too increase 
their potency when parched. An application of 
them, so prepared, with the addition of mastic oil, 
turns the hair red in one night. Applied as a pessary 
with water on a linen cloth they act as a detergent 
to the uterus. 

XXXIII. Lees of concentrated grape-juice cure 
burns, the better if the down of reeds be added, and 
to drink a decoction of the same cures chronic 
coughs. A decoction made in a saucepan, with salt 

459 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sale et adipe ad tumorem quoque maxillarum et 
cervicium. 

69 XXXIV. Olearum proxima auctoritas Intellegitur. 
folia earum vehementissime adstringunt, purgant, 
sistunt. itaque commanducata inposita ulceribus 
medentur et capitis doloribus inlita cum oleo, 
decoctum eorum cum melle iis quae medici usserint, 
gingivarum inflanunationibus et paronychiis sordid- 
isque ulceribus et putrescentibus. cum melle 
sanguinis profluvium e nervosis partibus cohibet. 

70 sucus eorum carbunculantibus circa oculos ulceribus 
et pusulis procidentique pupillae efficax, quapropter 
in collyria additur. nam et veteres lacrimationes 
sanat et genarum erosiones. exprimitur autem 
sucus tusis adfuso vino et aqua caelesti, siccatusque 
in pastillos digeritur. sistit menses in lana admotus 
vulvae, utilis et sanie manantibus, item condylomatis, 
ignibus sacris quaeque serpunt ulcera, epinyctidi. 

71 XXXV. Eosdem effectus et flos earum habet, 
uruntur cauliculi exflorescentes, ut cinis spodi vicem 
praestet, vinoque infuso iterum uritur. suppura- 
tiones et panos inlinunt cinere eo vel foliis tusis cum 
melle, oculos vero cum polenta, sucus fruticis 
recentis accensi destillans sanat lichenas, furfures, 

72 manantia ulcera. nam lacrima quae ex arbore ipsa 
destillat, Aethiopicae maxime oleae, mirari satis 

a All fibrous tissues are included under nervi. 

b See pp. 264-5, 384^5, and viii. 

* Gadmia terra, zinc ores from Cyprus, gave off when heated 
zinc-oxide vapour, which settled on the wall of the furnace and 
was then known as spodium* 

d The nam here means " but." 
460 



BOOK XXIII. xxxin. 68-xxxv. 72 

and fat, is used also for tumours of the jaws and of 
the neck. 

XXXIV. Next in importance, as is generally 
recognized, comes the olive. The leaves are, to a 
very high degree, astringent, detergent and binding. 
Accordingly sores are healed if these leaves are 
chewed and applied, headache by a liniment of 
leaves and oil, by a decoction with honey parts which 
physicians have cauterized, inflammation of the gums 
too, whitlows and foul, putrifying sores ; with honey, 
the decoction checks bleeding from sinewy parts of 
the body. The juice of the leaves is good for 
carbuncular sores and pustules around the eyes, and 
for prolapse of the pupil, being therefore a common 
ingredient of salves, as it heals chronic streaming 
from the eyes and sores that have eaten into the 
eyelids. Now the juice is extracted by crushing the 
leaves with wine and rain water, after which the 
whole is dried and worked into lozenges, A woollen 
pessary made from it arrests excessive menstruation, 
and it is useful for sores running with sanies, as well 
as for condylomata, erysipelas, spreading sores and 
epinyctis. & 

XXXV. The flowers of the olive have the same 
properties. Stems are burnt that have blossoms 
on them, for the ash to serve as a substitute for 
spodium c ; wine is poured over this and it is again 
burned. Suppurations and superficial abscesses are 
treated by an application of this ash or of Hie leaves 
pounded with honey; for the eyes, however, pearl 
barley is added, Tbe juice exuding from tite wood, 
burnt while still green, heals lichen, eruptions of 
scurf, and running sores. As for d the drops exuding 
from the tree itself, especially from the Ethiopian 



PLINY ; NATURAL HISTORY 

non est repertos qui derxtium dolor es inlinendos 
censerent venenum esse praedicantes 5 atque etiam 
in oleastro quaerendum. e radice oleae quam 
tenerrimae cortex derasus in mel crebro gustatu 
medetur sanguinem reicientibus et suppurata 
extussientibus. ipsius oleae cinis cum axungia 
tumores sanat extrahitque fistulis vitia et ipsas 
sanat. 

73 XXXVI. Olivae albae stomacho utiliores, ventri 
minus, praeclarum habent usum antequam con- 
diantur recentes per se cibi modo devoratae, 
medentur enim harenosae urinae, item dentibus 
carnem mandendo 1 adtritis aut convolsis. nigra 
oliva stomacho inutilior, ventri facilior, capiti, 
oculis non convenit. utraque ambustis prodest trita 
et inlita. sed 2 nigra commanducatur, et protinus 
ex ore inposita pusulas gigni prohibet. colym- 
bades sordida ulcera purgant, inutiles difficultatibus 
urinae. 

74 XXXVII. De amurca poteramus videri satis 
dixisse Catonem secuti, sed reddenda medicinae 3 
quoque est. 4 gingivis et oris ulceribus, dentium 
stabilitati efficacissime subvenit, item ignibus sacris 
infusa et iis quae serpunt. 5 pernionibus nigrae 
olivae amurca utilior, item infantibus fovendis, albae 
vero mulierum vulvae in lana admovetur. multo 
autem omnis amurca decocta efficacior. coquitur 

1 carnem mandendo Hard., Detlefsen : carne mandenda 
T Mayhoff : carnem andenda aut carmen audebam codd. 

2 inlita. sed] inlita ilia, sed Mayhoff. 

3 medicinae] medicina dT. 

4 est] ratio est vulg. 

5 serpunt : serpant Mayhoff. 

* I.e. than dark olives. * See Book XV. 33 ff . 
462 



BOOK XXIII. xxxv. 72-xxxvn. 74 

olive, one cannot but be surprised that some have 
been found to recommend its use as an application 
for tooth-ache, while yet declaring that it is a poison, 
who even bid us procure it from the wild olive. The 
bark of olive root, taken from a tree as young as may 
be, scraped into honey and taken in frequent small 
doses, cures spitting of blood and purulent 
expectoration. The ash of the tree itself mixed with 
axle-grease cures tumours, withdraws morbid matter 
from fistulas and heals the fistulas themselves. 

XXXVL White olives are more useful a to the 
stomach, less so to the belly. Fresh and eaten by 
themselves as food before they are preserved, they 
are of excellent use, curing gravel and improving teeth 
that have been worn or loosened by chewing meat. 
The dark olive is less useful to the stomach, better 
for the belly, but of no use to the head and eyes. 
Both sorts, applied after pounding, are good for 
burns; the dark, however, is chewed up, and if 
applied at once from the mouth to the affected part 
prevents the formation of pustules. Olives preserved 
in brine cleanse foul ulcers, but are bad for strangury. 

XXXVII. About lees of oil I might seem to have 
said enough/ as I have followed Cato, but their 
medicinal value must be dealt with. c They are 
excellent for the gums, for sores in the mouth, for 
strengthening loose teeth, and, poured over the part 
affected, for erysipelas and spreading sores. For 
chilblains lees from the dark olive are the more useful, 
as well as for the fomentation of babies ; but those 
from the white olive are used for a wool pessary. All 
lees of oil, however, are more beneficial after being 

6 The omission of ratio is strange, and perhaps it should be 
restored as in the vnlgate text. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in Cyprio vase ad crassitudinem mellis. usus eius 
cum aceto aut vino vetere aut mulso, ut quaeque 
causa exigat, in curationem oris, dentium, auiium, 

75 ulcerum manantium, genitalium, rhagadum. vul- 
neribus in linteolis inponitur, luxatis in lana. 
ingens Me usus utique inveterate medicamento, 
tale enim fistulas sanat. infunditur sedis, geni 
talium, vulvae exulcerationiy inlinitur vero podagris 
incipientibus, item articulariis morbis. si vero cum 
omphacio recoquatur ad mellis crassitudinem, 
causarios dentes extrahit, item iumentorum scabiem 
cum decocto lupinorum et chamaeleonte herba mire 
sanat. cruda amurca podagros foveri utilissimum. 

76 XXXVIII. Oleastri foliorum eadem natura. 
spadium e cauliculis vehementius inhibet rheu- 
matismos. sedat et inflammationes oculorum, pur- 
gat ulcera alienata 1 et explet, excrescentia leniter 
erodit siccatque et ad cicatricem perducit. cetera 
ut in oleis, peculiar e aut em quod folia decocuntur 
ex melle et dantur coclearibus tribus 2 contra 

77 sanguinis excreationes. oleum tantum 3 acrius 
efficaciusque ; ideo 4 os quoque colluitur illo ad 
firmitatem dentium. inponuntur folia et paronychiis 

1 alienata et Vd Mayhoff : et omit. E vulg., Detlefsen, qui 
comma post ulcera posuit* 

2 tribus add. Vol. Rose, 

3 tantum : num tamen cum Harduino vel autem ? 

4 ideo SiUig : et de eo cum tribus codd. Detlefsen, et ideo 



a A spoonful (coclear) was the twenty-fourth part of a 
cyathus. 

464 



BOOK XXIIL xxxvu. 74 -xxxviH. 77 

boiled down. This is done to the consistency of 
honey in a copper vessel. They are used, with 
vinegar, old wine, or honey wine, as the particular 
case requires, for the treatment of the mouth, teeth, 
ears, running sores, the genitals and chaps. To 
wounds they are applied on linen cloth, to sprains on 
wool. Used thus they are of great value, par 
ticularly when old, as a medicament, curing fistula. 
They are injected for ulceration of the anus, genitals, 
and uterus, but applied as liniment for incipient gout 
and diseases of the joints. If moreover they are 
reboiled with omphacium to the consistency of 
honey, they extract diseased teeth, and with a 
decoction of lupins and the plant chamaeleon are a 
wonderful healer of itch scab in beasts of burden. 
The crude lees are very beneficial as a fomentation 
for gout. 

XXXVIII. Wild-olive leaves have the same 
qualities. Spodium from the young branches act 
as a powerful check on catarrhs, reduce inflam 
mations of the eyes, cleanse sores that have eaten 
into the flesh and restore it, while they gently 
cauterize those that swell outwards, dry them up 
and promote cicatrization. In other respects the 
properties of wild and of cultivated olive are the 
same, except that the wild variety has this virtue 
of its own : a decoction of the leaves in honey is 
given in doses of three spoonfuls for spitting of 
blood. Only, 6 wild-olive oil is sharper and more 
powerful, for which reason it is used to rinse the 
mouth in order to strengthen the teeth. The leaves 

& Professor R. A. B. Mynors has answered a query about 
this strange tanfam. He quotes as a near parallel Virgil, 
Eclogues II. 3 : tan^im inter dertsaa um&rosa cammwafagos. 

465 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTOKY 

et carbunculis et contra omnem collectionem cum 
vino, iis quae purganda sint cum melle. miscentur 
oculorum medicamentis et decoctum foliorum et 
sucus oleastri. utiliter et auribus instillatur cum 

78 melle vel si pus effiuat. flora oleastri condylomata 
inlinuntur et epinyctides, item cum farina hordeacia 
venter in rheumatismo, cum oleo capitis dolor es. 
cutem in capite ab ossibus recedentem cauliculi 
decocti et cum melle inpositi conprimunt. ex 
oleastro maturi in cibo sumpti sistunt alvum, tosti 
autem et cum melle triti nomas repurgant, car- 
bunculos rumpunt. 

79 XXXIX. Olei naturam causasque abunde diximus. 
ad medicinam ex olei generibus haec pertinent, 
utilissimum esse omphacium, proxime viride, prae- 
terea quam maxime recens nisi cum vetustissimum 
quaeritur , tenue, odoratum quodque non mordeat, 
e diverso quam in cibis eligitur. omphacium prodest 
gingivis. si contineatur in ore, color em dentium 
custodit, mobiles stabilit ; 1 sudores cohibet. 

80 XL. Oenanthino idem effectus qui rosaceo. 
omni autem oleo mollitur corpus, vigor em et robur 
accipit. stomacho contrarium auget 2 et ulcerum 

1 mobiles stabilit, ego : magis quam stabilit, lo. Mutter : 
motusque stabilit. Mayhoff : magis quam aliud vulg. : magis 
quam alibi codd., Detlefsen. Diosc. I. 30 ouAcov craA-rc/cov Kal 

V KpCLTOV[JLVQV V TO} aTOJJLCLTL iSpCOTCtiV T 



2 An et delendum ? 



a See pp. viii, ix, and 264 note a. 

b Forcellini quote^esamples of causa with the sense of com- 
modum, vtilitas, emolumentum, but does not refer to this passage. 

* See XV. 4 ff. 

d See 7 of this book. 

* This is very close to the passage in Dioscorides given in 
466 



BOOK XXIII. xxxvni. 77-xL. go 

with wine are applied to whitlows, to carbuncles, and 
to reduce any kind of gathering ; with honey, how 
ever, to those that require cleansing. A decoction 
too of the leaves, with the juice of the wild olive, is 
used as an ingredient in remedies for the ejes. It is 
beneficial to inject it with honey into the ears, even 
though there is a discharge of pus. Flowers of the 
wild olive are applied to condylomata and to 
epinyctis, with barley meal to the belly for catarrhs, 
and with oil to the head for headache. When the skin 
on the head detaches itself from the bone, the young 
branches, boiled down and applied with honey, bring 
them together again. These branches, when fully 
grown, taken in food check looseness of the bowels, 
and when parched and beaten up with honey, they 
cleanse corroding sores and make carbuncles burst. 

XXXIX. Of the nature and usefulness 6 of olive 
oil I have already c spoken at length. Here are the 
kinds that contribute to medicine : the most useful 
is omphacium, next comes green oil; moreover, it 
should be as fresh as possible (unless there is special 
need for the oldest oil), thin, with a pleasant odour 
and no pungent taste in fact the reverse of what 
we look for when it is used in food. Omphacium d 
is good for the gums. If it be retained in the mouth 
it keeps the teeth white and strengthens loose ones. 
It checks perspirations.* 

XL. Oil of oenanthe has the same qualities as rose 
oil, though all oil makes the body supple, giving ft 
vigour and strength. It is injurious to the stomach 

the critical note, winch fixes the meaning of wmimeatwr, btrfc 
leaves vague and uncertain the way in which oil was used to 
check excessive sweating. 

41*1 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

incrementa, fauces 1 exasperat et venena omnia 
hebetat, praecipue psimithi et gypsi, in aqua mulsa 
aut ficorum siccarum decocto potum contra meco- 
nium, ex aqua contra cantharidas, buprestim, 
salamandram, pityocampas, per se potum reddi- 
tumque vomitionibus contra omnia supra dicta. 

81 lassitudinum et perfrictionum refectio est. tormina 
calidum potum cyathis sex magisque ruta simul 
decocta pellit, item ventris animalia. solvit alvum 
heminae mensura cum vino et calida aqua potum 
aut tisanae suco, vulnerariis emplastris utile faciem 
purgat. bubus infusum per nares, donee ructent, 

82 Inflationem sedat. vetus autem magis excalfacit 
corpora magisque discutit sudores, duritias magis 
diffundit, lethargicis auxiliare et inclinato morbo. 
oculorum claritati confert aliquid cum pari portione 2 
mellis acapni. capitis doloribus remedium est, 
item ardoribus in febri cum aqua, si vetusti non sit 
occasio, decoquitur ut vetustatem repraesentet. 

83 XLI. Oleum cicinum bibitur ad purgationes ventris 
cum pari caldae mensura. privatim dicitur purgare 
praecordia. prodest et articulorum morbis, duritiis 
omnibus, vulvis, auribus, ambustis, cum cinere vero 
muricum sedis tnflammationibus, item psorae. 
colorem cutis commendat capillumque fertili natura 
evocat. semen ex quo fit nulla animans attingit. 

1 Sententiam fances . . . dicta ita dist. Mayhoff. 

2 pari portione v u2g. f jSittig, Mayhoff \ portione E Hard., 
lanus, Detlefsen : parti partionem V. 

Or, "takes away soreness from the throat." See note on 
97 and note c on 143. 

6 Of the possible meanings of praecordia, (1) the lower chest 
before the heart; (2) the part over the diaphragm; (3) the 
two hypochondria, the third is plainly required here. 

468 



BOOK XXIII. XL. So-xi*. 83 

and makes worse the spreading of sores. It makes 
the throat sore, a and tends to neutralize all poisons, 
especially white lead and gypsum, if taken in 
hydromel or a decoction of dried %s for opium 
poisoning, in water for the poison of cantharides, 
buprestis, salamander and pine caterpillar, and by 
itself as an emetic to get rid of any of the poisons 
mentioned above. It is a restorative after fatigue 
and severe chills. Six cyathi drunk warm, especially 
if boiled with rue, cure gripings and drive out worms 
from the intestines. A hemina-dose drunk with wine 
and warm water, or with barley water, loosens the 
bowels; useful to make plasters for wounds, it 
removes spots from the face. Injected into the 
nostrils of oxen until they belch, it relieves flatulence. 
It is more warming, however, to the body if it be old 
oil, disperses better profuse sweats, reduces better 
indurations, being of help in cases of lethargus and 
also when the disease is on the decline. With an 
equal portion of honey taken from the hive without 
smoke, it is of some use for improving the vision. It 
is a remedy for headache and with water reduces 
high fever. If old oil cannot be obtained, new is 
boiled down to hasten the properties of age. 

XLI. Castor oil is taken with an equal quantity of castor @a. 
warm water to open the bowels. It is said to act 
especially upon the hypochondria. 6 It is good also 
for diseases of the joints, for all indurations, for the 
uterus, the ears and burns ; with the ashes moreover 
of the murex shell for inflammation of the anus, 
and likewise for the itch. It improves the com 
plexion, and through its fertilising power it pro 
motes the growth of the hair. The seed from which 
it is made no living creature will touch. The wicfes 

469 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

84 ellychnia ex uva 1 fiunt claritatis praecipuae, ex 
oleo lumen obscurum propter nimiam pinguitu- 
dinem. folia igni sacro inlinuntur ex aceto, per se 
autem recentia mammis et epiphoris 5 eadem decocta 
in vino inflammationibus cum polenta et 2 croco, per 
se autem triduo inposita faciem purgant. 

85 XLIL Oleum amygdaMnum purgat, mollit corpora, 
cutem erugat, nitorem commendat, varos cum melle 
tollit e facie, prodest et auribus cum rosaceo aut 
melle et mali punici tegmine 3 decoctum, vermicu- 
losque in his necat et gravitatem auditus discutit, 
sonos incertos et tinnitus, obiter capitis dolores et 
oculorum. medetur furunculis et a sole ustis cum 
cera. ulcera manantia et furfures cum vino 
expurgat, condylomata cum meliloto. per se vero 
capiti inlitum somnum adlicit. 

86 XLIIL Oleum laurinum utilius quo recentius 
quoque viridius colore. vis eius excalfactoria, ideo 
paralyticis, spasticis, ischiadicis, suggillatis, capitis 
doloribus, inveteratis destillationibus, auribus in 
calyce punici calfaetum inlinitur. 

87 XLIV. Similis et myrtei olei ratio. adstringit a in- 
durat, medetur gingivis, dentium dolori, dysinteriae, 
volvae exulceratae, vesicis, ulceribus vetustis vel man- 
antibus cum squama aeris et cera, item eruptionibus, 

1 uva codd., edd. : fortasse fibra vel aliquid simile. 

2 et vulg. ante SiUig : om, codd., Detleften, MayJioff. 

8 tegmine cum vet. Dal. SiUig, Mayhoff : germine cum 
codd. Detlefsen. 

a No meaning of uva suits this passage. Bostock and Riley 
say that " probably the seeds were beaten u^ into a pulp for 
this purpose." But uva cannot mean seeds, nor is it easy to 
mate wicks from pulped seeds. The true reading is probably 
lost. 

470 



BOOK XXIII. XLI. 84-xuv. 87 

made from the fibres give a brilliantly clear flame, 
but the oil burns with a dull light because it is much 
too thick. The leaves in vinegar are applied locally 
for erysipelas, but fresh leaves by themselves for 
diseases of the breasts and for eye-fluxes ; a decoc 
tion of them in wine, with pearl barley and saffron, 
is used for inflammations, and applied by themselves 
for three days they clear the complexion. 

XLI I. Almond oil cleanses, makes the body supple, 
smoothes the skin, improves the complexion, and with 
honey removes spots on the face. A decoction also 
with rose oil or honey and pomegranate rind is good 
for the ears, kills the little worms in them, and clears 
away hardness of hearing, vague noises and singing, 
incidentally relieving headache and pains in the eyes. 
Combined with wax it cures boils and sunburn. 
With wine it cleans away running sores and scaly 
eruptions; with melilot, condylomata. Applied to 
the head moreover by itself it induces sleep. 

XLIIL Laurel oil is the more useful the fresher 
and greener it is. Its quality is heating, and there 
fore it is applied, warmed in pomegranate rind, for 
paralysis, convulsions, sciatica, bruises, headache, 
chronic catarrh and troubles of the ear. 

XLIV. Similar also is the method & of using 
myrtle oil. It is astringent and hardens. With 
copper c scales and wax it cures sore gums, toothache, 
dysentery, ulcerations of the uterus, bladder troubles, 
chronic or running sores, and also eruptions and 



6 Cf. XV. 27 eadem ratio et in &aiwa myrio. Here 
means " method of preparing,** as the medicinal uses are not 
given in Book XV. But in Book XXIII., where the subject is 
use in medicine, ratio means " method of using." 

* Squama aeris : the black oxide of copper. 

471 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ambustionibus. 1 adtrita sanat et furfures, rhagadas, 
condylomata, articulos laxatos, 2 odor em gravem 
corporis. adversatur cantharidi, bupresti aliisque 
maHs medicamentis quae exulcerando nocent. 

88 XLV. Chamaemyrsinae sive oxymyrsinae eadem 
natura. cupressinum oleum eosdem effectus habet 
quos myrteum, item citreum. e nuce vero iuglande 
quod caryinum appellavimus alopeciis utile est et 
tarditati aurium infusum, item capitis dolori 
inlitum, cetero iners et gravi sapore. enimvero si 
quid in rmcleo putridi fuerit, totus modi us deperit. 

89 ex Cnidio grano factum eandem vim habet quam 
eicinum. e lentisco factum utilissimum acopo est, 
idemque pronceret et quod rosaceum, ni durius 
paulo intellegeretur. utuntur eo et contra nimios 
sudores papulasque sudorum. scabiem iumentorum 
efficacissime sanat. balaninum oleum repurgat 
varos, furunculosj lentigin.es, gingivas, 

90 XLVI. Cypros qualis esset et quemadmodum ex 
ea fieret oleum docuimus. natura eius excalfacit, 
emollit nervos. folia stomacho inlinuntur et vulvae 
concitatae, sucus quoque eorum adponitur. folia 

1 ambustionibus : pro hoc ambustis in textu posuit sed 
adustionibus coni. Mayhoff. 

2 laxatos T, c/. Dioscorides I. 39, ap&pa. KexaXaa-fj.eva : 
lusatos edd. et fere omnes codd. 

Laxare, especially when it has reference to the human 
body or mind, has a not-unfavourable sense (laxare suffocationes. 
ructus, intestina, euros, animum; c XXIII. 157 ad . . . 
nervos laxandos . . . utile est.). Pliny however perhaps 
thought that he could use la&atos of (over) loose joints, and a 
scribe changed it to the more usual word luxates. If Pliny 
wrote the latter, under the mistaken opinion that it was the 
meaning of KxaXacrjj.va t no scribe would know enough about 
Dioscorides to change it to laxatos. 

" Our " butcher's broom." XV. 28. 

472 



BOOK XXIII. xuv. 8 7 -xLvi. 90 

burns. It heals abrasions, scaly eruptions, chaps, 
condylomata, and relaxed* joints, removing also 
offensive odours of the body. It is an antidote to 
cantharides, the buprestis, and noxious poisons too 
that injure by causing sores. 

XLV. Oil of dwarf myrtle or prickly myrtle * has 
the same qualities. Oil of cypress has the same 
effects as oil of myrtle and as oil of citrus. Oil of 
walnuts, which we have called c earyinum, is useful 
for mange, and is injected into the ears for hardness 
of hearing, and an application relieves headache ; for 
the rest, it is sluggish and of a disagreeable taste ; 
indeed, if there should be any rottenness in a kernel 
a whole peck is spoilt. The oil made from mezerium 
seed has the same property as castor oil. Oil of mas- 
tich is a very useful ingredient of acopum, d and would 
be as profitable as rose oil were it not generally 
thought e to be rather too hard/ They use it also for 
profuse sweating and for the pimples caused by 
sweats. It is a very efficient cure for the itch in beasts 
of burden. Oil of ben nut clears away spots, boils and 
freckles, and heals the gums. 

XLVL I have already described? the nature of 
the Cyprus and the method of extracting oil from it, 
Its properties are heating^ and it softens the sinews. 
The leaves make an application for the stomach and 
for an irritated uterus h ; their juice too is made into 

d Greek O.KOTTOV (fatigue-removing), an ointment. 

Cf. XXm. $9 dewrum proximo, awtiarteas inte&egH&r. 

The Bonn editors say " styptic " an exoeBent sease if 
durus can be active. As it is applied to vinegar and wine, & 
probably means " acrid," though ** tkick M is possible. 

9 See 3H. 100. . 

* Some wofcld omit the comma at condtaiae or place it after 
Minuntur, translating : " for ike stomach, and make tbe 
juice into a pessary for an irritated uterus," 

" 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

recentia commanducata ulceribus in capite manan- 
tibus, item oris medentur et collectionibus, con- 
dylomatis. decoctum foliorum ambustis et luxatis 

91 prodest. ipsa rufant capillum tusa adiecto struthei 
mali suco. flos capitis dolores sedat cum aceto 
inlitus, item combustus in cruda olla nomas sanat et 
putrescentia ulcera per se vel cum melle. odor 
floris oleique I somnum facit. adstringit gleucinum 
et refrigerat eadem ratione qua oenanthinum. 

92 XLVII. Balsaminum longe pretiosissimum 
omnium^ ut in unguentis diximus, contra omnes 
serpentes efficax, oculorum claritati plurimum 
confert 3 caliginem discutit, item dyspnoeas, collec 
tion es omnes duritiasque lenit. sanguinem densari 
prohibet, ulcera purgat, auribus, capitis doloribus, 
tremulis, spasticis, ruptis perquam utile. adversatur 
aconito ex lacte potum, febres cum horrore venientes 
perunctis leviores facit. utendum tamen modico, 
quoniam adurit augetque vitia non servato tempera- 
mento. 

93 XLVIII. Malobathri quoque naturam et genera 
exposuimus. urinam ciet, oculorum epiphoris in 
vino excoctum 2 utilissime inponitur, item frontibus 

1 oleique Urlichs, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : qui olet lanus : 
olet qui codd. 

2 in vino excoctum ccU. Diosc. I. 12 ava&aBev ev oTva) conL 
Maylioff i in textu in vino expressum Mayhoff : vino ex- 
pressnm plures codd., Detlefsen. 

* The asyndeton gives support to those who would omit the 
et between polenta and croco in 84. 

6 Some think that Pliny has confused orpovQeiov pyXov (a 
kind of quince) with arpovdiov (soap wort). 

c Por the method of preparing gleucinum see XV. 29. 

d See Xn. 111. 

474 



BOOK XXIII. XLVI. 9o-xLvm. 93 

a pessary. The fresh leaves are chewed and used 
as a remedy for running sores on the head, also for 
sores in the mouth, gatherings and a condylonmta. 
A decoction -of the leaves is good for burns and 
sprains. The leaves themselves, pounded and 
applied with the juice of the sparrow apple , & turn the 
hair red. The blossom applied with vinegar soothes 
headache, and also, if burnt in a pot of unbaked cky 
and applied either alone or with honey, heals 
corroding sores and putrifying ulcers. The smell of 
the blossom and of the oil induces sleep. Oil of must c 
is astringent and cooling in the same way as oil of 
oenanthe. 

XLVII. Oil of balsam is by far the most valuable 
of all oils, as I have said d in my account of unguents. 
It is efficacious for all snake bites, improves very 
much clearness of vision, disperses films over the 
eyes, and also eases difficulty of breathing and all 
kinds of gatherings and indurations. It prevents 
thickening of the blood and cleanses sores, being 
very beneficial for ear troubles, headache, palsy, 
convulsions and ruptures. Taken in milk it is an 
antidote to aconite, and rul>bing the body with it 
reduces fevers that are accompanied by shivering. 
It must, however, be used in moderation, since it 
burns the flesh and aggravates complaints if there 
be any excess. 

XLVII I. The nature of malobathrum * also and 
the various kinds of it, have been described./ It is 
diuretic ; boiled in wine it makes a ery useful 
application for fluxes of the eyes; applied to the 



8 Indian cinnamon. 
/ See XII. 129. 

9 With Detlefeen's reading : "squeezed." 



475 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dormire volentibus, 1 efficacius, si et nares inlinantur 
aut si ex aqua bibatur. oris et halitus suavitatem 
commendat linguae subditum folium, sicut et 
vestium odorem interpositura. 

94 XLIX. Hyoscyaminum emolliendo utile est, nervis 
inutile, potum quidem cerebri motus facit. ther- 
minum e lupinis emollit, proximum rosaceo efFectu. 
narcissinum dictum est cum suo flore. raphaninum 
phthiriasis longa valitudine contractas tollit scabriti- 

95 asque cutis in facie emendat. sesamiiium aurium 
dolores sanat et ulcera quae serpunt et quae 
cacoethe vocant. lilinum, quod et Syrium vocavi- 
mus, renibus utilissimum est sudoribusque evocandls, 
vulvae molliendae concoquendisque intus. Selgiti- 
cum nervis utile esse diximus, sicut herbacium 
quoque, quod Iguvini circa Flaminiam viam vendunt. 

96 L. Elaeomeli, quod in Syria ex ipsis oleis manare 
diximus, sapore melleo, non sine nausea alvuna solvit, 
bilem praecipue detrahit duobus cyathis in hemina 
aquae datis ; qui bibere torpescunt excitanturque 
crebro. potores certaturi praesumunt ex eo 
cyathum unum. pissino oleo usus ad tussim et 
quadripedum scabiem est. 

97 LI. A vitibus oleisque proxima nobilitas palmis. 
inebriant recentes, capitis dolorem adferunt minus 

1 volentibus codd. edd. : -yolentium coni. MayJioff. 

a Nervus here approximates in meaning to " nerve." 
& See XXI. 129. 
e See XXI. 127. 
d A city in Pisidia. 

* See XV. 31. 

* See XV. 32. 

9 See Dioscorides I. 31 : Styt/>iv S aurovs ILTJ e&vras 
KaTa< 

476 



BOOK XXIIL xunn, 93-1*1, 97 

forehead it induces sleep, more effectively if the 
nostrils also be smeared with it, or if it be taken in 
water. A leaf placed under the tongue improves 
the sweetness of the mouth and breath, and simi 
larly, if placed among clothes it imparts a pleasant 
smell. 

XLIX. Oil of henbane is useful as an emollient but 
injurious to the sinews*; indeed if drunk it causes 
derangement of the brain. Therminum, or oil of 
lupins, is emollient, being very similar in its effects to 
rose oil. Oil of narcissus was mentioned 6 along 
with the flower. Oil of radishes removes phthiriasis 
caused by chronic illness and smoothes roughness of 
the skin on the face. Oil of sesame cures ear-ache, 
spreading sores, and those called malignant. Oil of 
lilies, which I have also called c Syrian oil, is very 
useful for the kidneys, for promoting perspiration, 
for softening the uterus, and for bringing internal 
abscesses to a head. Oil of Selga d I have said * to 
be beneficial to the sinews, as is also the grass-green 
oil that the people of Iguvium sell along the 
Flaminian way. 

L. Olive honey, which I have said/ exudes 
Syria from the olive trees themselves, has a taste like 
honey, relaxes the bowels, though not without 
nausea, and brings away bile in particular if two 
cyathi be given in a hemina of water. Those who 
have drunk it become torpid and need to be roused 
at short intervals.^ Those about to take part in 
drinking bouts take a cyathus of it beforehand. Oil 
of pitch is used for cough, and for itch in cattle, 

LI. Next in honour to the vine and the oMve 
comes the palm. Fresh dates are intoxicating, 
though causing headache less when dried, and they 

477 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

siccae, nee, quantum videtur, utiles stomacho. 
tussim exasperant, corpus alunt. sucum decoctarum 
antiqui pro hydromelite dabant aegris ad vires 
recreandas, sitim sedandam, in quo usu praeferebant 
Thebaicas, sanguinem quoque excreantibus utiles, 
in cibo maxime. inlinuntur caryotae stomacho, 
vesicae, ventri, intestinis cum cotoneis et cera et 
croco. suggillata emendant. nuclei palmar um 
cremati in fictili novo cinere loto spodi vicem efficiunt 
miscenturque collyriis et calliblephara faciunt addito 
nardo. 

98 LIL Palma quae fert 1 myrobalanum probatissima 
in Aegypto. ossa non habet reliquarum modo in 
balanis, alvum et menses sis tit 2 in vino austere et 
vulnera conglutinat. 

99 LIII. Palma elate sive spathe medicinae confert 
gennina, folia, corticem. folia inponuntur prae- 

1 fert JDettefsen, Mayhoff, codd.i refert coni. Hard. Cf. 
Diosc. I. 109 7rapfj,<f>pO)v T-fj ^ApapLKT} ftvpopoXavo). 

2 sistit Hermolaits Barbarus ex Diosc. : ciet Detlefsen, 
MayTioff, Codd. Diosc. I. 109 Tttvo^Levos crvv oivcp avcrr^pca 

L add. Wellraann> Trpos Siappoiav KOL povv ywaLKeTov 
KOLL aifjLOppotSas Kal TpavftaTa /coAAg Ka,TQ.TT\a,adeis- 



a The verb exasperare is here used, in an unusual sense, * e to 
take away the roughness " from a cough. This is shown by the 
parallel passage in Dioseorides (I. 109 Well m arm) : 



With the reading refert : " The date resembling myro 
balanum." 

c Or : " the Egyptian variety being most esteemed." 
d In chapters LI1 and LIII Pliny seems to have completely 
misunderstood and confused his authorities. Dioseorides 
says that the date is Egyptian, and resembles the Arabian 
myrobalanum. According to him the spathe is "the covering 
of the fruit of palms when these are at their prime ( ?) : " 

478 



BOOK XXIII. LI. 97-Lin. 99 

are not, so far as can be seen, beneficial to the 
stomach. They relieve a a cough and are flesh- 
forming food. The juice of boiled dates used to be 
given by the ancients to invalids instead of hydmme! 
to restore their strength and to assuage thirst ; for 
this purpose they used to prefer Thebaic dates, which 
are also useful, especially in food, for the spitting 
of blood. The dates called caryotae are applied with 
quinces, wax, and saffron to the stomach, bladder, 
belly and intestines. They heal bruises. The 
kernels of dates * if they are burnt in a new earthen 
vessel and the ashes washed, take the place of 
spodium, are an ingredient of eye-salves* and with 
the addition of nard make lotions for the eyebrows. 

LII. The palm which bears & the myrobalamim* 
found in Egypt, is very highly esteemed. It has 
no stone in its dates, as other date-palms have. 
Taken in a dry wine it checks diarrhoea and 
excessive menstruation, and unites wounds.** 

LII I. The palm called elate or spathe gives to 
medicine its buds, leaves, and bark. Its leaves are 



TOV 

Pliny on the other hand speaks of " the palm which bears the 
myrobalannm,** giving it (or its fruit) the properties attributed 
by Dioscorides to the Egyptian date. He goes on to say that 
the spctfhe was a palm with medicinal properties in its sprigs, 
leaves and bark. 

Among Pliny's mistakes seems to be the confusion of ben 
nut (myrobalamnn) with what is called by Koeeoodes 
fatvLKap&avos. Of- Pliny XH. 10S. Th& eonjectoe of 
Hardouin (refer*) clears away one diserepaa*ey between 
Dioscorides and Pliny if we take pcdma in tt*e fesfc sentence of 
9S to mean " date," bat them tifee Tfoids in &a&mw become 
oddly otiose, No emendation, however, can make spathe in 
99 mean anything brat a tree ; it certainly cannot mean the 
of Dioscoodes. 

479 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cordiis, stomacho, iocineri, ulceribus quae serpunt, 
cicatrici repugnantia. psoras cortex eius tener cum 
resina et cera sanat diebus xx. decoquitur et ad test- 
ium vitia. capillum denigrat, sufBtu parfcus extrahit. 
datur bibendus renium vitiis et vesicae et praecordi- 
orum, capiti et nervis injurious, vulvae ac ventris 
fluctiones sistit decoctum eius, item cinis et tormina, 
potus in vino albo in vulvarum vitiis efficacissimus. 

100 LIV. Proximae 1 varietatesgenerummedicinarum 2 
quae mala habent. ex his verna acerba stomacho 
inutilia sunt, alvum, vesicam circumagunt, nervos 
laedunt, cocta meliora. cotonea cocta suaviora, 
cruda tamen, dumtaxat matura, prosunt sanguinem 
excreantibus et 3 dysintericis, cholericis, coeliacis. 
non idem possunt decocta, quoniam amittunt 

101 constringentem illam vim suci et tamen decocuntur 
in aqua caelesti ad eadem quae supra scripta sunt, 
ad stomach! autem dolores cruda decoctave cerati 
modo inponuntur. inponuntur et pectori in febris 
ardoribus. 4 lanugo eorum carbunculos sanat. cocta 
in vino et inlita cum cera alopeciis capillum red- 

1 proximae dE, Detlefsen : proxime V, MayTiojf. 

2 medicinarum quae Sillig, Detlefsen : medicinarumque 
Vd, Mayhoff. 

3 et VdT, Sittig, MayTioff : om, E, Detlefsen. 

4 Sententia inponuntur et pectori . . . ardoribus post suci 
in codd* scripta est. Post scripta sunt posuit Mayhoff. 

a With MayhofTs reading : " Next come the various kinds 
of apples and their medicinal uses," a better sense, but the 
Latin is rather odd. 

b For these see Celsus IV. 19, 1 with Spencer's note. He 
suggests pyloric spasm and intestinal atony. 

c This sentence, which Detlefsen prints as a parenthesis, is 
plainly out of place as it stands in the manuscripts. Mayhoff 
says that his transposition was made " coll. Diosc." but 

480 



BOOK XXIII. LJII. 99-Liv. 101 

applied to the hypochondria, stomach, liver, and to 
sores that spread and refuse to form a scar. The 
tender bark of it, mixed with resin and wax, heals 
the itch in twenty days. A decoction of it also is 
used for diseases of the testicles. It darkens the hair, 
and fumigation with it brings away the foetus. It 
is given in drink for diseases of the kidneys, bladder 
and hypochondria, though it is injurious to tjie 
head and sinews. A decoction of it arrests fluxes 
of the uterus and of the belly ; the ashes also cure 
colic, and taken in white wine are very beneficial 
for affections of the uterus. 

LIV. Next come the various kinds of medicines 
to be obtained from apples. Of these, spring *$&] 
apples are sour and injurious to the stomach, 
derange the bowels and bladder, and do harm to the 
sinews ; cooked, however, they are less harmful. 
Quinces are more pleasant when cooked; though (&> ^^^ . 
when raw, provided they are ripe, they are good for 
spitting of blood, dysentery, cholera and eoelac 
disease. b They are not of the same efficacy when 
cooked, for they lose the astringent power that re 
sides in their juice ; nevertheless, a decoction in rain 
water is made for the purposes I have mentioned 
above. For stomach ache, morover, they are applied, 
either raw or in a decoction, after the manner of a 
wax salve; also to the chest in attacks of high 
fever. c The down on them heals carbuncles. Boiled 
in wine and applied with wax they restore the hair 

Bioscorides seems to afford here little or no Kelp. I have 
placed it one sentence later than does Mayho because, as it 
reads like an after-thought, Pliny may well have inserted it, 
on revising his manuscript, in the margin, to be read after 
irtponuntur. The copier, perhaps offended by the repetition 
of this verb, inserted it earlier. 

481 

VOL. VI. R 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

102 dunt. quae ex nis cruda in melle conduntur alvum 
mo vent, mellis autem suavitati multum adiciunt, 
stomachoque utilius id faciunt. quae vero in 
melle cocta conduntur quidam ad stomachi vitia 
trita cum rosae foliis decoctis dant pro cibo. sucus 
crudorum lienibus, orthopnoicis, hydropicis prodest 
item mammis, condylomatis, varicibus ; flos et 
viridis et siccus inflammationibus oculorum, excrea- 

103 tionibus sanguinis, mensibus mulierum. fit et 
sucus ex illis 1 mitis cum vino dulcl tusis, utilis 
coeliacis et iocineri. decocto quoque eorum 
foventur, si procidant, vulvae et interanea. fit et 
oleum ex iis quod melinum vocavinms, quotiens 2 
non fuerint in umidis nata. ideo utilissima quae ex 
Sicilia veniunt, minus utilia struthia, quamvis 
cognata. radix eorum circumscripta terra manu 
sinistra capitur, ita ut qui id faciet dicat quare 
capiat et cuius causa, sic adalligata strumis 
medetur. 

104 LV. Melimela et reliqua dulcia stomachum et 
ventrem solvunt, siticulosa, aestuosa, sed nervos 
non laedunt. orbiculata sistunt alvum et vomitiones, 
urinas cient. silvestria mala similia sunt vernis 
acerbis alvumque sistunt, sane in hunc usum inma- 
tura opus sunt. 

1 x illis Sillig, Detlefsen, Maylioff : ex iliis, exilis, ex his 
codd. 

2 quotiens : hoc loco lacunam posuit Mayhoff. 

a TMs, not merely " sweet " (diilcis), seems to be the usual 
meaning ofsuavis, at any rate in PHny. Cf. suaviora in 100. 

6 See Xin. 11. 

c The lacuna that Mayhoff detects here he would fill up 
(from Dioscorides) thus : quotiens astringi opus sit, usus 
magni, eliguntur parva et rotunda odorataque et quae. 
482 



BOOK XXIII. LIV. IOI-LV. 104 

lost through mange. Raw quinces preserved in honey 
move the bowels. They add much to the pleasant 
taste a of honey, and make it more beneficial to the 
stomach. Boiled quinces preserved in honey and beat 
en up with a decoction of rose leaves are given by some 
as food for the treatment of affections of the stomach. 
The juice of raw quinces is good for the spleen, 
difficulty of breathing, and dropsy, as well as for the 
breasts, condylomata and varicose veins, and the 
flowers, both fresh and dried, for inflammations of 
the eyes, spitting of blood, and to regulate menstru 
ation. A soothing juice is also derived from quinces 
by pounding them with sweet wine, wMeh is good 
for coeliac affections and the liver. A decoction of 
them is also used to foment prolapsus of the uterus 
and of the intestines. An oil also is extracted from 
them, which I have called melinum^ provided that c 
the fruit is not grown on wet soil. Hence the most 
useful are the quinces imported from Sicily ; while 
the sparrow quince, although nearly related, is not 
so good. The root of the quince tree, after a ring 
has been drawn round it, is pulled up with the left 
hand, the person doing so being careful to state why 
he is pulling it, and for whom. An amulet from 
such a root cures scrofulous sores. 

LV. Honey apples and the other sweet kinds 
relax the stomach and bowels, cause thirst and heat, 
but do no injury to the sinews. Round* apples 
arrest looseness of the bowels and vomitings, and act 
as a diuretic. Wild apples are like sour spring 
apples and arrest looseness of the bowels; indeed for 
this purpose they must be used while unripe. 

* Eor mdimda see XY. 51, 59. 
e For orbiculata see XV. 51. 

483 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

105 LVL Citrea contra venenum in vino bibuntur vel 
ipsa vel semen, faciunt oris suavitatem, decocto 
eorum colluti aut suco expresso. horum semen 
edendum praecipiunt in malacia praegnatibus, ipsa 
vero contra infirmitatem stomachi, sed non nisi ex 
aceto facillime manduntur. 

106 LVII. Punici mali novem genera nunc iterari 
supervacuum. ex his dulcia, quae apyrena alio 
nomine appellavimus, stomacho inutilia habentur, 
inflationes pariunt a dentes gingivasque laedunt, 
quae vero ab his sapore proxima vinosa diximus, 
parvum nucleum habentia, utiliora paulo intelle- 
guntur. alvum sistunt et stomachum, dumtaxat 
pauca citraque 1 satietatem. et haec minime danda, 
quamquam omnino nulla, in febri, nee came 
acinorum utili nee suco. caventur aeque vomitio- 

107 nibus ac bilem reicientibus. uvam in his ac ne 
mustum quidem, sed protinus vinum aperuit natura, 
xitaimque asperiore cortice. hie acerbis in magno 
usu. vulgus coria maxime perfici 2 illo novit ; ob id 
malicorium appellant medici. urinam cieri eodem 
monstrant, mixtaque galla in aceto decoctum 
mobiles dentes stabilire. expetitur gravidarum 

1 citraque codd., Detlefsen : idtraque Mayhoff, qui post 
satietatem punctum ora. 

2 perfici Mayhoff: perficit codd. 

This strange statement is very difficult to explain. 
Citrea (lime, lemon, citron) are acid, and the addition of vinegar 
would make them more so. Nothing is gained by giving 
mando its strict sense, to eat by chewing. Possibly Pliny was 
thinking of a variety with a sickly taste. 

b See XIH. 112. 

e See the same section ; airvpijvos means without a kernel, 
or with a soft one. 

484 



BOOK XXIII. LYI. 105-Lvn. 107 

LVI. Citrons, either the fruit or the pips, are 
taken in wine to counteract poisons. They make 
the breath pleasant if the mouth he washed with a 
decoction of them, or with the juice extracted from 
them. Their pips are prescribed to be eaten by 
women for the nausea of pregnancy* the fruit itself, 
moreover, is eaten for weakness of the stomach, but 
not very easily without vinegar. 

LVII. It would be waste of time to go over 
again & the nine varieties of pomegranates. 
sweet ones, which I have also called e apyrena, 
considered to be injurious to the stomach; they 
cause flatulence, and do harm to the teeth and gums. 
Those however which resemble these closely in 
taste, called by me* 2 vinous pomegranates, have 
small pips and are understood to be a little more use- 
fuL They are astringent to the bowels and stomach, 
provided that moderation is observed and surfeit 
avoided. In fever even these are strictly forbidden, 
although no pomegranates at all ought really to be 
allowed, as neither pulp of the seeds nor the juice 
is anything but injurious. They are equally to be 
avoided when there is vomiting and bringing up of 
bile. In these nature has shown us a grape and, 
not mere must, but actually wine ready made. 
Both are enclosed in a rather rough skin, which 
in the case of the bitter* fruit is much used. 
It is popular knowledge that skins are thorougiily 
tanned by it; hence physicians call it the leather 
apple. They tell us that it is diuretic, and that a 
decoction in vinegar with the addition of gall-nut 
strengthens loose teeth. It is in request for easing 



* See Xm. 113. * Perhaps u add. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

malaciae, quoniam gustatu moveat infantem. 
dividitur malum caelestique aqua madescit ternis 
fere diebus. haec bibitur frigida coeliacis et 
sanguinem excreantibus. 

108 LVIIL Ex acerbo fit medicamentum quod 
stomatice vocatur, utilissimum oris vitiis, narium, 
aurium, oculorum caligini, pterygiis ? genitalibus et 
iis quas nomas vocant et quae in ulceribus excreseunt, 
contra leporem marinum hoc modo : acinis detracto 
cortice tunsis sucoque decocto ad tertias cum croci et 

109 aiuminis scissi, murrae, mellis Attici selibris. alii et 
hoc modo faciunt : pumea acida multa tunduntur, 
sucus in cacabo novo coquitur mellis crassitudine 
ad virilitatis et sedis vitia et omnia quae lycio 
curantur, aures purulentas, epiphoras incipientes, 
rubras maculas in manibus. rami punicorum ser- 
pentes fugant. cortice punici ex vino cocti et 
inpositi perniones sanantur. 1 contusum malum 
ex tribus heminis vini decoctum ad heminam tormina 
et taenias pellit. punicum in olla nova, coperculo 
inlito, in farno exustum et contritum potumque in 
vino sistit alvum, discutit tormina. 

110 LIX. Primus pomi huius partus florere incipientis 
cytinus vocatur a Graecis, mirae observationis 
multorum experimento. si quis unum ex his solutus 

1 cortice . . . sanantur codci., Deilefsen : cortices . . 
sanant lo. MtiXUr, Mayhoff. 

a " Mouth medicine." 

* See p. x. 

c See IX. 1 155. 

d Ramnus infectorius, or borthorn. 

* Observatio seems here to be concrete, an " observed 
feature.** 

486 



BOOK XXIIL im. loy-ucx. no 

the nausea of women with child, since by a taste 
the foetus is quickened. The apple is divided and 
soaked in rain water for about three days. This 
infusion is drunk cold by sufferers from coeliac 
affections and spitting of blood. 

LVIII. From the bitter pomegranate is made a 
medicine which is called stomatice, 3 and is very good 
for affections of the mouth, nostrils and ears, for dim 
ness of vision, for sores on the eyelid,* for the geni 
tals, for so-called corroding sores and excrescences on 
ulcers, and to counteract the poison of the sea-hare,* 
This is the mode of preparation. After the rind has 
been taken off the berries are crushed ; the juice is 
boiled down to one-third with safiVon, split alum, 
myrrh and Attic honey, a half-pound of each, 
Others prepare it also in the following way. Many 
acid pomegranates are pounded, and the juice is 
boiled in a new pot to the consistency of h6ney, for 
the treatment of lesions of the male genitals and 
anus, of all lesions treated by lycium,** of purulent 
ears, of incipient fluxes from the eyes, and of red 
spots upon the hands. Branches of the pomegranate 
keep away snakes. The rind of the fruit boiled in 
wine and applied is a cure for chilblains. A pome 
granate, pounded and boiled down to one hemina in 
three heminae of wine, cures griping and acts as a 
vermifuge. A pomegranate in a new earthen jar 
with the lid sealed a burnt in a furnace, well pounded 
and taken in wine, checks looseness of the bowels 
and cures griping. 

LIX. The first bud of tins fruit when it is beginning 
to blossom is called cytinus by the Greeks; it has 
a wonderful feature, which has come under the 
notice of many investigators** If a person, after 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vinculo omni cinetus et calciatus atque etiam anuli 
decerpserit duobus digitis, pollice et quarto sinistrae 
manus, atque ita lustratis lev! tactu oculis in os 
additum devoraverit, ne dente contlngat, adfirmatur 
nullam oeulorum inbecillitatem passurus eodem 

111 anno, iidem cytini siccati tritique carnis excres- 
centes cohibent, gingivis et dentibus medentur, vel 
si mobiles sint, decocto suco. ipsa corpuscula trita 
ulceribus quae serpunt putrescuntve inlinuntur, 
item, oculorum inflammation! intestinorumque et 
fere ad omnia quae cortices malorum. adversantur 
scorpionibus. 

112 LX. Non est satis mirari curam diligentiamque 
priscorum qui omnia scrutati nihil intemptatum 
reliquerunt. in hoc ipso cytino flosculi sunt, ante- 
quam scilicet malum ipsum prodeat erumpentes, 
quos balaustium vocari diximus. hos quoque ergo 
experti invenere scorpionibus adversari. sistunt 
potu menses feminarum, sanat ulcera oris, tonsillas 
uvarn, sanguinis excreationes, ventris et stomachi 
solutiones, genitalia, ulcera quacumque in parte 

113 manantia. siccavere etiam, ut sic quoque experi- 
rentur, inveneruntque tusorum farina dysintericos 
a morte revocari, alvum sisti. 1 quin et nucleos 
ipsos acinorum experiri non piguit. tosti tusique 
stomachum iuvant cibo aut potionibus. per se 

1 sisti vulg., Detlefsen : sistunt codd., MayTioff, qui ante 
alvum punctum posuit et sistendo coni. 

Book XIII. 113. 
488 



BOOK XXIII. ux. iio-uc. 113 

freeing himself from every kind of band girdle 
shoes, even his ring plucks one of these buds with 
two fingers, the thumb and the fourth finger, of his 
left hand, brushes his eyes with it, lightly touching 
them, and then swallows it without Its touching any 
tooth, he will suffer, it is said, no eye-trouble 
during the same year. These same buds, dried and 
pounded, reduce fleshy excrescences, healing gums 
and teeth, even if they be loose, by the use of a 
decoction of the juice. The little buds, just as they 
are except for pounding, are applied to spreading, 
purulent sores, also to inflamed eyes and for 
inflammation of the intestines, and for nearly all the 
affections for which pomegranate rinds are used. 
They neutralize the stings of scorpions. 

LX. It is impossible sufficiently to admire the 
pains and care of the old inquirers, who have explored 
everything and left nothing untried. In this very 
cytinus are little blossoms, unfolding of course 
before the pomegranate itself forms, which I have 
said a is called balaustium. So these blossoms too 
they investigated, and discovered them to neutralize 
the stings of scorpions. Taken in drink they arrest 
excessive menstruation, and heal sores of the mouth, 
tonsils and uvula, spitting of blood, looseness of the 
bowels and stomach, disorders of the genitals, and 
running sores in any part of the body. They dried 
too these blossoms, to test their efficacy also when 
thus prepared, and found that reduced to powder 
they cure sufferers from dysentery even when on tiie 
point of death, checking the diarrhoea. Moreover, 
they have taken the trouble to try out the very pips 
of the pomegranate berry. Roasted and pounded 
they are good for the stomach, if taken in food or 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

bibuntur ex aqua caelesti ad sistendum alvum. 
radix decocta sucum remittit 1 qui taenias necat 
victoriati pondere. eadem discocta in aqua quas 
lycium praestat utilitates. 

114 LXL Est et silvestre punicum a similitudine 
appellatum. eius radices rubro cortice denarii 
pondere ex vino potae somnos faciunt. semine poto 
aqua quae subierit cutem siccatur, mali punici 
corticis fumo culices fugantur. 

115 LXII. Pirorum omnium cibus etiarn valentibus 
onerosus, aegris vini quoque modo negatur. decocta 
eadem mire salubria et grata, praecipue Crustumina. 
quaecumque vero cum melle decocta stomachum 
adiuvant. fiunt cataplasmata e piris ad discutienda 
corporum vitia, et decocto eorum ad duritias utuntur. 
ipsa adversantur boletis atque fungis, pelluntque 

116 pondere et pugnante suco. pirum silvestre tar- 
dissime maturescit. conciditur suspensumque 
siccatur ad sistendam alvum, quod et decoctum eius 
potu praestat. decocuntur et folia cum porno ad 
eosdem usus. pirorum ligni cinis contra fungos 
etiainnum efficacius proficit. mala piraque iumentis 
portatu mire gravia sunt vel pauca. remedio aiunt 
esse, si prius edenda dentur aliqua aut utique 
ostendantur. 

1 remittit codd., MayTioff : emittit vulg., Detlefsen. 

I r e. dropsy. 
490 



BOOK XXIII. LX. n 3 -Lxn. 116 

drink. They are taken by themselves in rain water to 
arrest looseness of the bowels. The root when boiled 
yields a juice which kills tape- worm, the dose being 
one victoriatus by weight. The same root, thoroughly 
boiled in water serves the same purposes as lycium." 

LXI. There is also a wild pomegranate, so called 
because of its likeness to the cultivated tree. Its 
roots, which have a red skin, act as a soporific if 
taken in wine, a denarius by weight being the dose. 
Its seed taken in drink dries up water under the 
skin. If pomegranate rind be burned the smoke 
keeps off gnats. 

LXIL All kinds of pears are indigestible food, 
even for men in health ; and to the sick they are as 
strictly forbidden as wine. Cooked, however, they 
are remarkably wholesome and pleasant, especially 
those of Crustumium. All kinds of pears, however, 
if boiled down with honey are wholesome to the 
stomach. Out of pears are made plasters for dis 
persing flesh lesions, and they use a decoction of 
them for indurations. By themselves they neutralise 
the poison of toadstools and tree-fungi, expelling it 
by their weight in addition to the counteracting effect 
of their juice. The wild pear is very slow in ripening. 
Sliced the pears are hung up and dried for checking 
looseness of the bowels, for which purpose a decoction 
also of them is efficacious , taken as drink. A decoction 
also of the leaves with the fruit is used for the same 
purposes. The ashes of pear wood are even more 
efficacious against the poison of tree-fungi. Apples 
and pears, even a small quantity, make a remarkably 
heavy load for beasts of burden. It is said tfeat a 
remedy for this is to give them a few to eat, or at 
least to show some, before beginning the journey. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

117 LXIII. Fici sucus lacteus aceti naturam habet 9 
itaque coaguli modo lac contrahit. excipitur ante 
maturitatem pomi et in umbra siccatur ad aperienda 
ulcera, cienda menstrua adpositu cum luteo ovi aut 
potu cum amylo. podagris inlinitur cum farina 
Graeci feni et aceto. pilos quoque detrahit 
palpebrarumque scabiem emendat, item lichenas et 

118 psoras, alvum solvit. lactis ficulni natura adversatur 
crabronum vesparumque et similium venenis, priva- 
tim scorpionum. idem cum axungia verrucas tollit. 
folia et quae non maturuere fici strumis inlinuntur 
omnibusque quae emollienda sint discutiendave. 
praestant hoc et per se folia, et alius usus eorum in 
fricando lichene et alopeciis et quaecumque 
exulcerari opus sit. et adversus cards morsus 

119 ramorum teneri cauliculi cuti inponuntur. iidem 
cum melle ulceribus quae ceria vocantur inlinuntur. 
extrahunt infracta ossa cum papaveris silvestris 
foliis, canum rabiosorum morsus folio trito ex aceto 
restingunt. e nigra fico candidi cauliculi inlinuntur 
furunculis, muris aranei morsibus cum cera 3 cinis 
earum e foliis gangraenis consumendisque quae 

120 excrescunt, fiei maturae urinam cient, alvum 
solvunt, sudorem movent papulasque. ob id au- 
tumno insalubres, quoniam sudantia huius cibi opera 
corpora perfrigescunt. nee stomacho utiles sed 1 ad 
breve tempus et voci contrariae intelleguntur. 

1 sed rndg. : set Hayhoff : et plures codd., De&efaen. 

a This chapter has very close parallels to Dioscorides I. 128 
(Wellmann). 

6 See Celsus V. 28, 13. 

* Some take cum cera with both membra of this sentence. 
492 



BOOK XXIII. imi. 117-120 



LXIII. The milky juice of the % has the nature 
of vinegar, and so like rennet it curdles milk. It is 
extracted before the fruit is ripe and dried in the shade 
for clearing up sores and promoting menstruation, 
the application being a pessary made with yoke of 
egg, or a draught with starch. With fenugreek 
meal and vinegar it makes a liniment for gout, 
It also serves as a depilatory, heals eruptions on the 
eye-lids, as well as lichen and itch. It loosens the 
bowels. Fig juice has the property of counteracting 
the poison of hornets, wasps and similar creatures, 
especially scorpions. With axle-grease it also 
removes warts. The leaves and unripe figs make 
a liniment for scrofulous sores and for all sores 
requiring the use of emollients or resolvents; the 
leaves by themselves too have the same property. 
They are used as well for rubbing lichen, mange, and 
on all occasions where a caustic is called for. Hie 
young shoots of the branches are applied to the skin 
to render dog-bites harmless. The same shoots with 
honey are applied to the sores called honey-comb. fr 
With leaves of wild poppy they extract fragments of 
bone. Their leaves beaten up with vinegar render 
harmless the bites of mad dogs. The tender white 
shoots of the dark fig are applied to boils, and with 
wax c to the iDites of the shrew-mouse, and the ash 
from their leaves to gangrenes and to reduce 
excrescences. Ripe figs are diuretic, laxative, 
sudorific, and bring out pimples; for tins reason 
they are unwholesome in autumn, since a body 
perspiring because figs have been eaten becomes 
very chilled. They upset the stomach, although 
only for a while, and they are understood to be bad 
for the voice. The last figs are more wholesome 

493 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

novissimae salubriores quam primae, medicatae vero 
nuraquam. iuvenum vires augent, senibus meliorem 
valitudinem faciunt minusque rugarum. sitim 
sedant, calorem refrigerant, ob id non negandae in 

121 febribus constrictis quas stegnas vocant. siccae 
fici stomachum laedunt, gutturi et faucibus magniflce 
utiles. natura his excalfaciendi. sitim. adferunt, 
alvum molliuntj rheum atismis eius et stomaeho 
contrariae, vesicae semper utiles et anhelatoribus ac 
suspiriosis, item iocinerum, renium, lienum vitiis. 
corpus et vires adiuvant, ob id antea athletae hoc 
cibo pascebantur; Pythagoras exercitator primus 

122 ad carnes eos transtulit. recolligenti x se a longa 
valitudine utilissimae, 2 item comitialibus et hydro- 
picis ; omnibusque quae maturanda aut discutienda 
sint inponuntur efficacius calce aut nitro aut iri 3 
admixto. coctae cum hysopo pectus purgant, 
pituitam, tussim veterem, cum vino autem sedem et 
tumores maxillarum. ad furunculos, panos, paro- 
ditas decoctae inlinuntur. utile et decocto fovere 
earum feminas. 4 eodem quoque * decocto 5 cum 
feno Graeco utiles sunt et pleuriticis ac peripneu- 

1 recolligenti Gronowus, Hard., Detlefsen: recolligentes 
codd,, Mayhoff. 

2 utilissimae codd., Detlefsen : utilissime Mhyhoff. 

3 iri lanus, Detlefsen, Mayfioff : fi codd. : om. vulg. 

4 eamm feminas. Detlefsen : earum, feminasque MayJioffi 
earum feminas quoque codd. 

5 eodem quoque decocto ego : quoque decocto eodem codd. : 
eodem quoque decoetae Detlefsen : decocto eodem Mayhoff : 
decoctae quoque eaedem wig* Alii aliter distinxerunt. 



* See XVI. 118 ficus sola ex omnium arborumfetu maturifatis 
causa medicatur. 

494 



BOOK XXIII. LXIII. 120-122 

than the first; doctored a figs, however, are never 
wholesome. Figs increase the strength of youth; 
to age they give improved health and fewer wrinkles. 
They relieve thirst and cool the heat of the body ; 
for this reason they are not to be rejected in the 
constrictive fevers called stegnae. 6 Dried figs are 
injurious to the stomach, but wonderfully beneficial 
to the throat and pharynx. The nature of these is 
heating, and they cause thirst. They relax the 
bowels, but are injurious to bowel catarrhs and to the 
stomach. On all occasions they are beneficial for 
the bladder, for difficult breathing and for asthma. 
Likewise for complaints of the liver, kidneys and 
spleen. They are flesh-forming and strengthening, 
and therefore the earlier athletes used them as a 
staple food. It was the trainer Pythagoras c who 
was the first to change their diet of figs for one of 
meat. A convalescent after a long illness finds them 
very beneficial, as do sufferers from epilepsy and 
dropsy. They are applied to all gatherings that 
need bringing to a head or dispersing, more effectively 
if combined with lime, soda or iris. Boiled with 
hyssop they clear the chest of phlegm and chronic 
cough ; boiled with wine they clear away trouble at the 
anus and swellings of the jaws. A decoction of them 
makes an ointment for boils, superficial abscesses 
and parotid swellings. This decoction makes a use 
ful fomentation for female complaints, and the same 
decoction, combined with fenugreek, is useful in 

* This adjective (" constricted," " costive ") WSB applied to 
fevers in which the pores of the body were dosed. It was aJso 
used by Galen to describe ea qwae s&asib&es excrefames prohibeM 
(Delphin editor). 

e Pythagoras of Samoa, apparently, boxing victor at Olympaa 
in Olympiad 48 (588 B.C.). 

495 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

123 monicis. cum ruta coctae torminibus prosunt, 
tibiarum ulceribus cum aeris flore, et parotid!,' 
pterygiis cum punico malo, ambustis, pernionibus 
cum cera, hydropicis coctae in vino cum absinthio et 
farina hordeacia. nitro addito manducatae alvum 
solvunt, scorpionum ictibus cum sale tritae inlinun- 
tur, carbunculos extrahunt in vino coctae et inpositae. 
carcinomati, si sine ulcere est., 1 quam pinguissimam 
ficum inponi paene singulare remedium est, item 

124 phagedaenae. cinis non ex alia arbore acrior purgat, 
conglutinat, replet, adstringit. bibitur et ad dis- 
cutiendum sanguinem coneretum, item percussis, 
praecipitatis, ruptis, convulsis cineris cyathus cum 
cyathis 2 singulis aquae et olei. datur tetanicis et 
spasticis, item potus vel infusus coeliacis et dysin- 
tericis. et si quis eo cum oleo perunguatur, excal- 
facit. idem cum cera et rosaceo subactus ambustis 
cicatricem tenuissimam obducit. lusciosos ex oleo 
inlinitus emendat, dentiumque vitia crebro fricatu. 

125 produnt etiam, si quis inclinata arbore supino ore 
aliquem nodum eius morsu abstulerit nullo vidente 
atque cum 3 aluta inHgatum licio e collo suspenderit, 
strumas et parotidas discuti. cortex tritus cum 
oleo ventris ulcera 4 sanat. crudi 5 grossi verrucas, 

1 est codd. : sit MayTiqff. 

2 eyatiras cum cyathis lanu*: cyzth in Mayhoff : lacunam 
MW% ' **** Veflefsen: nervis pro cyathis lo. 



cum dfE Detlefsen, Mayhoff: eum VT : in vulg. 
^: r ! ^ SeU '' 6rUdi d : Cmda V * "crudae %TW 

^rl ^ l C 7 r ^ ^ e fl Vwa HI. ii. 4 w re/ricare dbductam 
mm mpubltcae cicatricem viderer. wu.wrn 

496 



BOOK XXIII, uan. 123-125 

pleurisy and pneumonia. Boiled with rue %s are 
good for colic ; with red copper oxide for sores on the 
shins and for parotid swellings; with pomegranate 
for hangnails; with wax for burns and chilblains; 
for dropsy they are boiled in wine with wormwood 
and barley meal. If they are chewed with soda 
added they relax the bowels; beaten up with salt 
they make a liniment for scorpion stings. Boiled in 
wine and applied they bring carbuncles to a head. 
In cases of carcinoma, if there be no ulceration, it is 
almost specific to apply the richest fig possible, and 
the same is true of corroding ulcers. The ash from 
no other wood is more active as a cleanser, healer of 
wounds, former of new flesh, and as an astringent. 
It is also taken in drink to disperse blood that has 
coagulated, and likewise for bruises, violent falls, 
ruptures, and cramps, the dose being a cyathus to a 
cyathus of oil and "water respectively. It is given to 
sufferers from tetanus and convulsions : in drink also 
or in an inj ection for coeliae trouble and for dysentery. 
With oil it meakes an ointment which has warming 
properties. Kneaded into a paste with wax and. 
rose oil it forms over burns the slightest of scars,* 
Made into a paste with oil it cures short sight, and 
ailments of the teeth if used frequently as a dentifrice. 
It is said that^ if anyone with upturned face draws 
a fig tree down, and a knot of it be bitten ofi" with 
out anybody seeing, to tie this ro&nd the neck by 
a string with a bag of fine leather an4 wear it as an 
amulet disperses scrofulous sores and parotid 
swellings. The crushed bark with oil heals ulcera- 
tions of the belly. Raw green * figs with soda and 

* Gro& f in Greek oAtrp#c* were late figs that nver 
ripened. The word is both maseoliae and feminine* 

497 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

thymos nitro, farina additis tollunt. spodi vicem 
exhibet fruticum a radice exeuntium cinis. bis 
lotus - 1 adiecto psimithio digeritur in pastilles ad 
ulcera oculorum et scabritiam. 

126 LXIV. Caprificus etiamnum multo efficacior fico ; 
surculo quoque ems lacte coagulatur in caseum. 2 
lactis minus habet; 3 exceptum id coactumque in 
duritiam suavitatem carnibus adfert fricatu. dilu- 
turn 4 ex aceto miscetur exulceratoriismedicamentis, 
alvum solvit, vulvam cum amylo aperit, menses 
ciet cum luteo ovi. podagricis cum farina Graeci 
feni inlinitur. lepras, psoras, lichenas, lentigines 
expurgat, item venenatorum ictus et cards morsus. 

127 dentium quoque dolori hie sucus adpositus in lana 
prodest aut in cava eorum additus. cauliculi et 
folia admixto ervo contra marinorum venena prosunt. 
adicitur et vinum. bubulas carnes additi caules 
magno ligni conpendio percoquunt. grossi inlitae 
strumas et omnem collectionem enxolliunt et dis- 
cutiunt, aliquatenus et folia, quae mollissima sunt 
ex his cum aceto ulcera manantia, epinyctidas, 

128 furfures sanant. cum melle foliis ceria sanantur et 

1 lotus lanus (coll. 97), Detlefsen, Mayhoff : coctus plu- 
rimi codd. : tostus wulg. 

2 caseum Detlefsen veterem edit, secutus : caseo codd. 

3 In codd. lactis minus habet post fico : transtulit Mayhoff. 

4 adfert fricatu. dilutum Mayhoff : adfert. fricatur diiuto 
ex codd. 



a Dioscorides has (I. 128 5) : cu/zot Se f 
avv vCrpa) KOL aXevptp >carairAao^6VTS' atpoucrt. v^cot were SO 
called because they resembled the flowers of thyme 

b For spodium see note on 71. 

498 



BOOK XXIII. LXIII. i2 5 -Lxtv. 128 

meal added remove warts and warty excrescences. 
The ash. of the bushy shoots from the root is a 
substitute for zinc oxide. & After two washings, with 
white lead added it is worked into lozenges for the 
treatment of ulcers and scabs on the eyes. 

LXIV. The wild fig is even much more efficacious 
than the fig; a sprig of it also curdles milk into 
cheese.* It has less muk in it than the cultivated %. 
This milk is collected and hardened by pressure, 
when it is rubbed on meat to keep it sweet. Diluted 
with vinegar it forms an ingredient of blistering 
preparations. It relaxes the bowels ; with starch it 
opens the uterus ; with the yolk of egg it promotes 
menstruation. With fenugreek meal it is applied to 
gouty limbs. It clears up leprous sores- itch, lichen 
and freckles, and similarly cures wounds made by 
venomous creatures and dog bites. Applied on wool 
this juice is also good for toothache, or hollow teeth 
may be plugged. The tender stalks and leaves 
mixed with vetches are a remedy for the poison of 
marine animals ; wine also is added. Beef can be 
boiled soft with a great saving of fuel if the stalks be 
added to the water. An application of the unripe 
figs soften and disperse scrofulous sores and every 
kind of gathering; to a certain degree the leaves 
too do the same. The softest leaves with vinegar 
heal running sores, epinyctis^ and scurfy eruptions. 
With honey the leaves cure honey-comb sores * 



e Whatever the correct reading in this passage* tlais ee^as 
to be the meaning of it. Hayhoffs transposition is almost 
certainly right, but in caseo can scarcely stand, unless ** in 
cheese making '* be a possible rendering. 

d For epinyctis see XX. 44 and pp. viii-ix. 

* See 119 note. 

499 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

canis morsus recent es, cum vino phagedaenae. 
cum papaveris foliis ossa extrahunt, grossi caprifici 
inflationes 1 discutiunt suffitu resistunt et sanguini 
taurino poto et psimithio et lacti coagulato potae 
item in aqua decoctae atque inlitae parotidas. 
cauliculi aut grossi eius quam. minutissimae ad 

129 scorpionum ictus e vino bibuntur. lac quoque 
instillatur plagae et folia inponuntur, item adversns 
murem araneum. cauliculorum cinis uvam faucium 
sedat, arboris ipsius cinis ex melle rhagadia, radix 
defervefacta in vino dentium dolor es. hiberna 
caprificus in aceto cocta et trita inpetigines tollit. 
inlinuntur ramenta e ramo sine cortice quam 

130 minutissima ad scobis modum. caprifico quoque 
medicinae unius miraculum additur, corticem eius 
intumescentem 2 puer impubis si defracto ramo 
detrahat dentibus, medullam ipsam adalligatam 
ante solis ortum prohibere strumas. caprificus 
tauros quamlibet feroces collo eorum circumdata in 
tantum mirabili natura conpescit ut inmobiles 
praestet. 

131 LXV. Herbam quoque Graeci erinon 3 vocant 
reddendam in hoc loco propter gentilitatem. 
palmum alta est, cauliculis quinis fere, ociroi simili- 

1 inflationes plures codd., Deilefsen : inflammationes E, 
Mayhoff. 

2 intnmescentem e coni. Hard., Sittig, Detlefsen, MayTtoff : 
inpubeseentum codd. 

3 erinon Mayfioff ex Diosc. IV. 141 [RV] ( Wellmann) : 
erineon Hermolaus Barbarus, plures edd., Detlefsen. 

* I.e. the smoke was inhaled. 

& That is, as well as the cultivated fig. See for this 
125. 

500 



BOOK XXIII. LXIV, I2&HLXV. I S I 

fresh dog bites, with wine corroding sores, and 
with poppy leaves they extract splinters of bone. 
Wild figs when green disperse flatulence bj 
fumigation taken in drink they are an antidote to 
bulls' blood that has been swallowed, to white lead 
and to curdled milk and boiled down in water they 
disperse when used as a liniment sores of the parotid 
glands. The young stalks or green fruit of the wild 
fig, plucked when as small as possible, are taken in 
wine to counteract scorpion stings. The milk, too, is 
poured into a wound and the leaves are applied to it, 
and the same treatment is employed for the bite of 
the shrew-mouse. The ash of the young shoots 
soothes a sore uvula ; the ash of the tree itself applied 
in honey cures chaps, and the root boiled down in 
wine cures toothache. The winter wild fig, boiled 
in vinegar and beaten up, clears up eczema. The 
branches with the bark removed are scraped to pro 
duce particles as fine as sawdust, which are used as 
an application. The wild fig too & has one miraculous 
medicinal property attributed to it ; if a boy not yet 
adolescent break off a branch and tears off with his 
teeth its bark swollen with sap, the mere pith tied 
on as an amulet before sunrise keeps away, it is said, 
scrofulous sores. The wild fig, if a branch be pot 
round the neck of a bull s however fierce, by its 
miraculous nature so subdues the animal as to make 
him incapable of movement. 

LXV. A plant too, called erinos by the Greeks, 
must be described here because of the kinship c of 
its name. It is a span high, and generally has five 
small stalks ; it resembles basil, with a white flower 



That is, to the name of the wild fig (epwcos, cp><fe wild 
fig-tree, and e/>ivos, a kind of basil}, 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

tudine, nos candidus, semen nigrum, parvum. 
tritum cum Attico melle oculorum epiphoris medetur, 
ii drachmls cum cyathis Attici mi. decerpta 
manat lacte multo dulci herba, 1 perquam utili 2 
aurium dolori nitri exiguo addito. folia resistunt 
venenis. 

132 LXVI. Pruni folia in vino decocta 3 tonsillis, 
gingivis, uvae prosunt 4 subinde colluto ore. ipsa 
pruna alvum molliunt, stomacho non utilissima, sed 
brevi momento. 

LXVIL Utiliora persica sucusque eorum, etiam in 
vino aut in aceto, expressus. neque 5 alius eis pomis 
innocentior cibus. nusquam minus odoris, suci 
plus, qui tamen sitim stimulet. 6 folia eius trita 
inlita haemorrhagian sistunt. nuclei persicorum 
cum oleo et aceto capitis doloribus inlinuntur. 

1 n drachmas cum cyathis Attici TTTT. decerpta manat 
lacte multo dulci herba ex Diosc. IV. 141 ( Wettmann) 
conicio : cum cyathis . . . decerpto ramo manat lacte multo 
dulci, herba Detlefsen : suci instillatio decerpta enim manat 
lacte multo dulci herba Mayliaff: ut cum ciati ut E, cum ut 
lati ylures codd., deceptarum E, decreptarum V, decerptarum 
d : alii alia coni. edd. 

a utili conicio : utilis codd. et edd. 

8 in vino decocta ego transposui ; vide notam 4 : decocta 
codd, : decocta ... in vino decocta et vehementius ex Oargilio 
Mayhoff. 

* Post prosunt codd. in vino decocta (-tae VE) et. 

5 neqne UrlicTis, Deflefsen, Mayhoff i qui (interrog.) Sillig : 
nee est vulg. : que codd. 

6 Post stimulet lacunam indicat MayTioff, qui intercidisse 
nonnulla, de perseae arboris natura aliena (inde eius) putat. 

a The text at the end of this chapter is very conjectural. 
Mayhoff solved many of the difficulties, but not all. The odd 
readings of the MSS. seem to be corruptions due to misunder 
standings of n and nrr, which were in the original text, if that 

502 



BOOK XXIII. LXV. 131-Lxvii. 132 

and small black seed. Pounded and added to Attic 
honey this seed cures fluxes of the eyes, the 
proportions being two cyathi to four drachmae of 
Attic honey. When broken this plant distils much 
sweet milk, which with the addition of a little soda 
is very beneficial for ear-ache. The leaves are an 
antidote to poisons. 

LXVL The leaves of the plum boiled in wine are 
good for tonsils, gums and uvula, the mouth being 
rinsed with this decoction occasionally. & The fruit 
by itself relaxes the bowels, but is not very good for 
the stomach, though its effects are transitory. 

LrXVII. Peaches are more wholesome, and so is 
their juice, which is also squeezed out and taken in 
wine or vinegar. No other food is more harmless 
than this fruit ; nowhere do we find less smell or more 
juice, though the latter tends to create thirst. Peach 
leaves pounded and applied arrest haemorrhage. 
Peach kernels mixed with oil and vinegar make an 
application good for headache. 

came from. Dioscorides. See IV. 141 (WeHmaai) : TO&TOV a 
KapTTQS 8/>a;pav 8vtv irXifios fuels' irpos plheras irhij&os Bpa 
recraapajy eyx/wo/isro^ pVfj,ara o^a^fwSv urrqaiv. 6 &e 
avros TTQVOV iravi fj&ra flctbu a-mtp&v jcat ^irpov v 
* Dioscorides I. 121: TO 8 a^e^fta T&V $ 
OKva^6fJLvov teal avayapyafn^ofJLevov laovtSa jcal ovXa. tcai 
fraptoOfua pVfj,aTiopva oreAAei (of the KOKKVfjvqJvea). Tliis 
supports my reading as against MayhofE's, fooiKied on 
Gargilius, but the parallel is not vea^r dose. GaqpMus has 
(ex oleribus et pomis XL VI de prono p^ 192 Bce} : agua in 
qua prum f(Ma decocta smtt gvngwas e woam itemq&e tonsittas ab 
omni quereLa ore conluendo defendif, sed in vino decocte vekemen- 
tius prpffunt. I prefer my readrng to Mayiioff's os two gromMk : 
(1) it is closer to the "words of Dioseorid.es; (2) vehementius is 
more likely to have been added by Gargflins than <nsitfeed by a 
scribe. 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

133 LXVIII. Silvestrium quidem prunorum bacae, vel 
e radice cortex, in vino austero si decoquantur ita ut 
triens ex hemina supersit, alvum sistunt et tormina, 
satis est singulos cyathos decocti sufni. 

LXIX. Et in his et sativis prunis est limus arborum 
quern Graeci lichena appellant, rhagadis et con- 
dylomatis mire utilis. 

134 LXX. Mora in Aegypto et Cypro sui generis, ut 
diximus, largo suco abundant summo cortice 
desquamato, altior plaga sicca est mirabili natura. 
sucus adversatur venenis serpentium, prodest 
dysintericis, discutit panos omnesque collectiones, 
vulnera conglutinat, capitis dolores sedat, item 
aurium. splenicis bibitur atque inlinitur et contra 

135 perfirictiones. celerrime teredinem sentit. neque 
apud nos suco minor usus. adversatur aconito et 
araneis in vino potus. alvum solvit, pituitas 
taeniasque et similia ventris animalia extrahit. 
hoc idem praestat et cortex tritus. folia tingunt 
capillum cum fici nigrae et vitis corticibus * simul 
coctis aqua caelesti. pomi ipsius sucus alvum 
solvit protinus. ipsa poma ad praesens stomacho 
utilia refrigerant, sitim faciunt. si non superveniat 
alius cibus, intumescunt. ex inmaturis sucus sistit 
alvum, veluti animalis alicuius in hac arbore obser- 
vandis nuraculis quae in natura eius diximus. 

1 corticibus dE vulg., Detlefaen : corticeve MayJioff. 

" Book XHI. 56 ff. 6 See XVI. 182. 

c See XVI. 102. 

54 



BOOK XXIII, LXVIII. i^-igx. 135 

LXVIII. As for wild plums, their fruit or the skin 
of their root, boiled down in dry wine from one 
hemina to one third, cheeks looseness of the bowels 
and colic. A cyathus of the decoction at a time 
makes a sufficient dose. 

LXIX. Both on wild and on cultivated plum trees 
there forms a gummy substance called lichen by the 
Greeks and wonderfully beneficial for chaps and 
condylomata. 

LXX. In Egypt and in Cyprus are mulberries of a 
unique sort, as I have already said. a If the outer Jjf idr 
rind be peeled off they stream with copious juice ; a 
deeper cut (so wonderful is their nature) finds them 
dry. 6 The juice counteracts the poison of snakes, is 
good for dysentery, disperses superficial abscesses 
and all kinds of gatherings, heals wounds, and allays 
headache and ear-ache. For diseases of the spleen 
it is taken by the mouth and used as a liniment, as 
also for violent chills. It very quickly breeds 
worms. We Romans use the juice quite as much. 
Taken in wine it neutralizes aconite and the poison 
of spiders; it opens the bowels, expelling phlegm, 
tapeworm and similar intestinal parasites. The 
same effect also is produced by the pounded bark. 
The leaves boiled in rain water together with the 
bark of the dark % and of the vine dye the hair. 
The juice of the fruit itself moves the bowels 
immediately ; the fruit itself is for the time being 
good for the stomach, being cooling, though thirst- 
producing, and if no other food is taken afterwards, 
it swells up. The juke of unripe mulberries is 
constipating ; there are marvels to be in>tieed about 
this tree, mentioned by me in my description * of it, 
which suggest that it has scaae sort of soul. 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

136 LXXI. Fit ex porno panclirestos stomatice, 
eadem arteriace appellata, hoc modo : sextarii 
tres suci ex porno leni vapore ad crassitudinem mellis 
rediguntur. post additur omphacii aridi pondus 
*n aut murrae xi, croci sa. haec simul trita 
miscentur decocto, neque est aliud oris, arteriae, 
uvae, stomachi iucundius remedium. fit et alio 
modo: suci sextarii duo, mellis Attici sextarius 
decoquuntur ut supra diximus. 

137 Mira sunt praeterea quae produntur : germina- 
tione priusquam folia exeant, sinistra decerpi 
futura poma. ricinos * Graeci vocant. hi terrain 
si non attigere, sanguinem sistunt adalligati, sive 
ex vulnere nuat sive ore isive naribus sive haemor- 

138 rhoidis. ad hoc servantur repositi. idem praestare 
et ramus dicitur luna plena defractus incipiens 
fructum habere, si terram non attigerit, privatim 
mulieribus adalligatus lacerto contra abundantiam 
mensum. hoc et quocumque tempore ab ipsis 
decerptum ita ut terram non attingat adalliga- 
tumque existimant praestare. folia mori trita aut 
arida decocta serpentium ictibus inponuntur 
aliquidque 2 potu proncitur. scorpionibus adversatur 

1 ricinos codd. -. cytinos coni. Herrnolaua Barbarus. 

2 aliqxiidque Detlefsen : aeque Mayhoff: alique aut alii codd. 



a I.e. oTopuiTt/nf, a medicine for the mouth. 

6 This word is almost certainly a mistake, probably Pliny's, 
as the MSS. show no variant. Ricinus is not a Greek word, but 
a Latin one, meaning either (1) a tick or (2) the castor-oil 
plant (also cici or croton}. The conjecture of Hermolaus 
Barbaras, eytinos, is what ought to have been written. Of. 
111, 112 and XIH. 113, where cytinus is the calyx of the 
pomegranate. 

506 



BOOK XXIII. LXXI. 136-138 

LXXI. There is made from the mulberry a mouth- A mulberry 
wash a called panchrestos, or arteriace, in the following mou ~ was ' 
way. Three sextarii of the juice from the fruit are 
reduced by a gentle heat to the consistency of 
honey; then are added two denarii of dried 
omphaciunij or one of myrrh, and one denarius of 
saffron. These are beaten up together and mixed 
with the decoction. There is no other remedy more 
pleasant for the mouth, the trachea, the uvula or 
the gullet. It is also prepared in another way. 
Two sextarii of the juice and one sextarius of Attic 
honey are boiled down in the manner I have described 
above. , 

There are besides marvels related of the mulberry. 
When it begins to bud, but before the leaves unfold, 
the fruit-to-be is plucked with the left hand. The 
Greeks call them ricini. 6 These, if they have not 
touched the ground, when worn as an amulet stay 
a flow of blood, whether it flows from a wound, the 
mouth, the nostrils, or from haemorrhoids. For this 
purpose they are stored away and kept. The same 
effect is said to be produced if there be broken off 
at a full moon a branch beginning to bear ; it must 
not touch the ground, and is specially useful when 
tied on the upper arm of a woman to prevent 
excessive menstruation. It is thought that the 
same result is obtained if the woman herself breaks 
off a branch at any tune, provided that it does not 
touch the ground before it is used as an amulet. 
Mulberry leaves pounded, or a decoction of dried 
leaves, are used as an application for snake bite, and 
it is of some c benefit to take them in drink. The 

c Or, with the reading of Mayhoff, " equally beneficial." 

S7 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

e radice corticis sucus ex vino aut posca potus. 

139 reddenda est et antiquorum conpositio. sucum 
expressum pomi raaturi inmaturique mixtum 
coquebant vase aereo ad mellis crassitudinem. 
aliqui murra adiecta et cupresso praeduratum ad 
solem torrebant permiscentes spatha ter die. haec 
erat stomatice qua et vulnera ad cicatricem per- 
ducebant. alia ratio : sucum I siccato exprimebant 
porno multum sapori opsoniorum conferentem, in 
medicina vero contra nomas et pectoris pituitas et 
ubicumque opus esset adstringi viscera.' dentes 

140 quoque conluebant eo. tertium genus suci foliis et 
radice decoctis ad ambusta ex oleo inlinenda. 
inponuntur et folia per se. radix per messes incisa 
sucum dat aptissimum dentium dolori collectioni- 
busque et suppurationibus, alvum purgat. folia 
mori in urina madefacta pilum coriis detrahunt. 

141 LXXIL Cerasia alvum molliunt, stomacho inutilia, 
eadem siccata alvum sistunt, urinam cient. invenio 
apud auctores, si quis matutino roscida cum suis 
nucleis devoret, in tantum levari alvum ut pedes 
morbo liberentur. 

LXXIII. Mespila exceptis setaniis, quae malo pro- 
piorem vim habent, reliqua adstringunt stomachum 

1 alia ratio, sucum E, Detlefsen : alia ratio suci Vd Sillig, 
MayTioff. 

a Literally, " the juice of the skin from the root.*' 
& See above 136 and note a. 

c See XV. 84 setaniae vnaiua pomum candidiusque, acini 
mottiore ligno. 

508 



BOOK XXIII. LXXI. 138-Lxxni. 141 

juice extracted from the skin of the root, a and 
drunk in wine or diluted vinegar, counteracts the 
poison of scorpions. There must also be given a 
recipe of the ancients. The juice of the ripe fruit 
was mixed with that of the unripe, and the two 
boiled in a copper vessel to the consistency of honey. 
Some used to add myrrh and cypress and then to 
bake the mixture very hard in the sun, stirring it 
three times a day with a spatula. This was their 
stomatice, 6 which they also used to help the 
formation of a scar on wounds. Another method 
was to squeeze the juice from dried fruit; this 
greatly improved the flavour of viands, and was 
moreover used in medicine for corroding sores, 
phlegm on the chest, and whenever astringent 
treatment of the bowels was called for. It was also 
used to rinse the teeth. A third kind of juice is to 
make a decoction of the leaves and root, to be 
applied in oil to burns. The leaves are also applied 
by themselves. An incision into the root at the 
time of harvest yields a juice admirably suited to 
relieve toothache, gatherings and suppurations, 
besides acting as a purge. Mulberry leaves soaked 
in urine remove hair from hides. 

LXXIL Cherries relax the bowels, but are 
injurious to the stomach ; dried cherries arrest 
looseness of the bowels and are diuretic. I find it 
stated in my authorities that if anyone swallows 
cherries with their stones in the morning, when the 
dew is on them, the bowels are so relieved that the 
feet are freed from gout. 

LXXIII. Medlars, except the setanian, c which is 
nearer to the apple in its properties, act astringently 
upon the stomach and check looseness of the bowels. 

509 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sistuntque alvum. item sorba sicca, nam recentia 
stomaeho et alvo citae prosunt. 

142 LXXIV. Nuces pineae quae resinam habent 
contusae leviter, additis in singulas singulis 1 sextariis 
aquae ad dimidium decoctae, sanguinis excreationi 
medentur ita ut cyathi bini bibantur ex eo. corticis 
e pinu in vino decoctum contra tormina datur. 
nuclei nucis pineae sitim sedant et acrimoniam 
stomachi rosionesque et contrarios umores consis- 
tentes ibi, et infirmitatem virium roborant, renibus, 

143 vesicae utiles. fauces videntur exasperare et 
tussim ; 2 bilem pellunt poti ex aqua aut vino aut 
passo aut balanorum decocto. miscetur his contra 
vehementiores stomachi rosiones cucumeris semen 
et sucus porcilacae, item ad vesicae ulcera et 
renes, 3 quoniam et urinam cient. 

144 LXXV. Amygdalae amarae radicum decoctum 
cutem in facie corrigit coloremque hilariorem facit. 
nuces ipsae somnum faciunt et aviditatem, 4 urinam 
et menses cient. capitis dolori inlinuntur maxi- 
meque in febri ,* si ab ebrietate, in aceto et rosaceo 
et aquae sextario. sanguinem sistunt cum amylo 
et menta, lethargicis et comitialibus prosunt capite 
peruncto, epinyctidas sanant e vino vetere, ulcera 
putrescentia, canum morsus cum melle, et furfures 

1 singnlas singnlis Sillig : singulas Hard. : singulis codd. ' 

2 et tussim E, M ayhoff : tussim et Detlefsen post Urlichs: 
et tussi Vd. 

8 renes Mayhoff cum pluribus codd. : renis Sillig, Detlefsen : 
renium d. 

4 aviditatem : ariditatem coni. Frohner. 

a This use of ita ut seems akin to the restrictive use illus 
trated by Roby (II.) 1650 (" provided that "). 

& This apparently is the meaning of acrimonia stomacfai, 
acidity of the stomach. 

5* 



BOOK XXIII. LXXIII. i4i-Lxxv. 144 

Likewise sorb apples when dried ; but when fresh they 
are beneficial to the stomach and to disordered bowels. 

LXXIV. Pine nuts, containing resin, if lightly Pine 
crushed and boiled down to one half with a sextarius 
of water to each nut, cure spitting of blood when the 
decoction is taken a in doses of two cyathi. A 
decoction of the bark of the pine in wine is prescribed 
for colic. The kernels of the pine nut allay thirst, 
heart-burn, 6 gnawings of the stomach and the 
peccant humours that settle there ; they tone up the 
system, and are beneficial for the kidneys and 
bladder. They seem to relieve roughness c of the 
throat or of a cough, and drive out bile when taken in 
water, wine, raisin wine or a decoction of dates .* For 
severe gnawing pains of the stomach they are 
combined with cucumber seed and juice of purslane, 
and also for ulcerations of the bladder and affections 
of the kidneys, since they are also diuretic. 

LXXV. A decoction of roots of the bitter almond 
clears the complexion of spots and makes it of a more 
cheerful colour. Almonds themselves induce sleep 
and increase the appetite ; they are diuretic and act 
as an emmenagogue. They are applied for headache, 
especially in fever ; if the headache arises from wine, 
the application is with vinegar, rose oil and a sexta 
rius of water. With starch and mint they arrest haem 
orrhage, and to anoint the head with the mixture is 
good for lethargus and epilepsy ; mixed with old wine 
they heal epinyctis and purulent sores, with honey 
dog bites and, after preliminary fomentation, scaly 

Such seems to be the meaning of exasperare, as also in 
80, 97, although the usual meaning of this verb is the 
exact opposite. 

d Or, ben-nuts. 

5*1 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

ex- facie ante fotu praeparata, item iocineris et 
renium dolores ex aqua potae, et saepe et 1 eclig- 

145 mate cum resina terebinthina. calculosis et difficili 
urinae in passo et ad purgandam cutem in aqua 
mulsa tritae sunt efficaces. prosunt ecligmate 2 
iocineri, tussi et colo cum elelisphaco modice addito. 
in melle 3 sumitur nucis abellanae magnitudo. 
aiunt quinis fere praesumptis ebrietatem non s entire 
potores, vulpesque, si ederint eas nee contingat e 
vicino aquam lambere, mori. minus valent in 
remediis dulces, et hae tamen purgant, urinam cient. 
recentes stomachum implent. 

146 LXXVI. Nucibus Graecis cum absinthi semine ex 
aceto sumptis morbus regius sanari dicitur, isdem 
inlitis per se vitia sedis et privatim condylomata, 
item tussis, sanguinis reiectio. 

147 LXXVI I. Nuces iuglandes Graeci a capitis grave- 
dine appellavere. etenim arborum ipsarum folior- 
umque virus in cerebrum penetrat. hoc minore 
tormento sed 4 in cibis nuclei faciunt. sunt autem 
recentes iucundiores, siccae unguinosiores et 
stomacho inutiles, difficiles concoctu, capitis dolorem 

1 et saepe et plures codd. : et saepe ex E, Detlefsen : set 
saepe et Mayhoff. 

2 Inter ecligmate et iocineri add. ex Diosc. cum lacte MayTioff. 

3 in melle E, Detlefsen : et melle VdT: e melle,- Mayhoff, 
qui punctum post addito delet. 

4 sed codd., Mayhoff : et Hard., Detlefsen. 

a Elelisphacus was sage. The text of Mayhoff would give : 
" in an electuary with muk are beneficial for the liver, a 
cough, and colic, if a little elelisphacus be added in honey; 
the dose is a piece the size of a filbert,'*- i.e. the electuary 
should be of this size. 

6 " Greek nuts " were Greek almonds, mentioned by Celsus 
IV. 10, and Pliny XVI. 138. 



BOOK XXIII. LXXV. 144-Lxxvn. 147 

eruptions on the face. Taken in water, too, they 
remove pains of the liver and kidneys, and they are 
often made also into an electuary for this purpose 
with resin from the turpentine tree. For stone and 
strangury they are beneficial taken in raisin wine, 
and for clearing the skin taken crushed in hydromel. 
In an electuary they are good for the liver, for a 
cough and for colic, if a little elelisphacus a be added. 
The electuary is taken in honey, and is of the size 
of a filbert. It is said that if about five of these 
almonds are taken before a carouse drinkers do not 
become intoxicated, and that foxes die if they eat 
them without having water at hand to lap. Less 
efficacious as a remedy are sweet almonds, yet these 
also are purging and diuretic. Eaten fresh they lie 
heavy on the stomach. 

LXXVL Greek nuts b taken in vinegar with 
wormwood seed are said to cure jaundice, applied by 
themselves affections of the anus, condylomata in 
particular, as well as coughs and spitting of blood. 

LXXVII. Walnuts have received their name c in 
Greek from the heaviness of the head which they 
cause ; the trees themselves, in fact, and their leaves 
give out a poison that penetrates to the brain. The 
kernels if they are eaten d have the same effect, 
though the pain is less severe. Freshly gathered, 
however, they are more agreeable. The dried nuts 
are more oily, and injurious to the stomach, difficult 
of digestion, productive of headache and bad for a 

The word tcdpvov (nut, especially walnut) is here supposed 
to be derived from K&pos* torpor. 

d With sed the thought is : " but they must he eaten, not 
merely smelt, as the leaves are; " with et : " even when eaten 
they bring on heaviness." 

5*J 

VOL. VI. S 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inferentes, tussientibus inimicae, vomituris ieiunis 
aptae, tenesmo, colo, 1 trahunt enim pituitam. 
eadem praesumptae venena habetant, item adver- 

148 santur cepis leniuntque earum saporem. aurium 
inflammationi inponuntur, cum mellis exiguo et ruta 
mammis et luxatis, anginae cum. ruta et oleo, 2 
cum cepa autem et sale et melle cards hominisque 
morsui, putamine nucis iuglandis dens cavus 
inuritur, putamen combustum tritumque in oleo 
aut vino infantium capite peruncto nutrit capillum, 
et eo 3 ad 4 alopecias sic utuntur. quo plures mices 
quis ederit hoc facilius taenias pellit. quae per- 
veteres sunt nuces gangraenis et carbunculis 
rnedentur, item suggillatis, cortex iuglandium 
lichenum vitio et dysintericis, folia trita cum aceto 

149 aurium dolori. in sanctuariis Mithridatis maximi 
regis devicti Cn. Pompeius invenit in peculiari com- 
mentario ipsius manu conpositionem antidoti e 
duabus nucibus siccis, item ficis totidem et rutae 
foliis xx simul tritis, addito salis grano ; ei quo hoc 
ieiunus sumat nullum venenum nociturum illo die. 
contra rabiosi quoque cards morsum hi nuclei a 
ieiuno homine com m anducati inlitique praesenti 
remedio esse dicuntur. 

1 colo lanus, Detlef#en : solo codd.'i aptae in tenesmo 
solo MayJioff. 

2 anginam cum ruta et oleo in codd. post item : trans, 
MayJioff,, qui et anginae conL 

3 et eo codd. : ideo MayJioff* 

4 ad vulg. : om. codd. 



Pituita like the Greet <f>X4yiJia seems to mean mucus, or 
excess of it. It is hard to make sense of the reading of the 
MSS. (solo), though it is retained by Mayhoff. 
514 



BOOK XXIIL LXXVU. 147-149 

cough ; they are good, however, for those who intend 
to vomit fasting, for tenesmus and for colic, as they 
bring away phlegm. Taken in time these nuts 
deaden the effects of poisons, neutralize onions and 
make then: flavour milder. They are applied to 
inflammation of the ears, with rue and a little honey 
to the breasts and to sprains, with rue and oil to 
quinsy, and with onion, salt and honey to the bites of 
dogs and of humans. By a walnut shell a hollow 
tooth is cauterized. 5 If the shell be burnt and 
beaten up with the addition of oil or wine, to anoint 
a baby's head with the mixture is to promote the 
growth of hair, and this preparation is also used for 
mange. The more walnuts eaten, the easier it is to 
expel tape-worms. Very old walnuts are a cure 
for gangrenes and carbuncles, as also for bruises ; the 
bark c of walnuts cures lichen and dysentery, and the 
pounded leaves with vinegar cure ear-ache. When 
the mighty king Mithridates had been overcome, Cn. 
Pompeius found in a private note-book in his cabinet 
a prescription for an antidote written in the king's 
own hand-writing : two dried walnuts, two iigs and 
twenty leaves of rue were to be pounded together 
with the addition of a pinch of salt ; he who took this 
fasting would be immune to all poison for that day. 
The kernels of walnuts chewed by a fasting person 
and applied to the bite of a mad dog are said to be a 
sovereign remedy. 

6 Commentators including Fe -wonder how this could be 
done. Perhaps walnut juice was supposed to have caustic 
properties, or inuritur may have replaced a word meaning to 
scrape (with the hardened shell). 

* Fee says the bark of the tree and not the shell of the nut. 
This view seems probable, for the use of the leaves follows 
immediately. 

515 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

150 LXXVIII. Nuces abellanae capitis dolorem 
faciunt et inflationem stomach!, corpori 1 etiam 
pinguitudinis 2 conferunt plus quam sit 3 verisimile. 4 
tostae et destillationi medentur, tussi quoque veteri 
tritae in aqua mulsa potae. quidam adiciunt grana 
piperis, alii e passo bibunt. pistacia eosdem usus 
habent quos nuclei pinei praeterque ad serpentium 
ictus, sive edantur sive bibantur. castaneae vehe- 
menter sistunt stomachi et ventris fluctiones, alvum 
cient, sanguinem excreantibus prosunt, carnes alunt. 

151 LXXIX. Siliquae recent es stomacho inutiles 
alvum solvunt. eaedem siccatae sistunt stomachoque 
utiliores fiunt, urinam cient. Syriacas in dolore 
stomachi ternas in aquae sextariis decoquunt 
quidam ad dimidium eumque sucum bibunt. sudor 
virgae corni arboris lamna candente ferrea exceptus 
non contingent e ligno inlitaque inde ferrugo incipi- 
entes lichenas sanat. arbutus sive unedo fructum 
fert difficilem concoctioni et stomacho mutilem. 

152 LXXX. Laurus excalfaetoriam naturam habet et 
foliis et cortice et bacis ; itaque 5 decoctum ex his, 
maxime foliis, 6 prodesse volvis et vesicis convenit. 

1 corpori codd. : corporis Deflefsen. 

2 pinguitudinis MayJioff : pinguitudini codd., Detlefsen. 

3 sitdT, MayJioff i sunt V : om. E, Detlefsen. 

4 Hie add. set Mayhoff: es V : est Urlichs, Detlefsen : om. E. 

5 itaque vulg. Mayhoffi itemque codd., Sillig, DeiLefsen. 
Diosc. (I. 78, Wellmann) : o6ev TO d(f>&frr)fJLa avrwv ek eyKaBia- 
lia.ro. TOLLS Trepl KVOTIV Ko.1 fjLTJTpav OLpfjiot^i $La6ecrai. 

6 maxime foliis E SilUg, Detlefsen : maximeque foliis 
MayJioffi maxime foliis que Vd. Fortasse excidit e cortice 
ante foliisque. 

a It is difficult to reconcile sistunt stomachi et ventris fittc- 
tiones and alvum cient. Perhaps the former refers to violent 
diarrhoea and the latter to healthy action of the bowels. 

516 



BOOK XXIII. LXXVIII. 150-Lxxx. 152 

LXXVIII. Filberts cause headache and flatulence 
of the stomach, and put more fat on the body than 
one would think at all likely. Parched they also 
cure catarrh, pounded too and taken in hydromel 
they cure chronic cough ; some add grains of pepper, 
others take them in raisin wine. Pistachio nuts 
have the same uses as pine nuts, and are besides, 
whether eaten or taken in drink, beneficial for 
snake bites. Chestnuts check effectually fluxes of 
the stomach and belly; they encourage peristaltic 
action of the bowels/ arfest haemoptysis, and 
increase the growth of flesh. 

LXXIX. Fresh carobs, injurious to the stomach, 
relax the bowels; dried carobs are astringent and 
prove more beneficial to the stomach; they are 
diuretic. For pain in the stomach some persons boil 
down to one half three Syrian carobs in a sextarius 
of water, and drink this decoction. The sap that 
sweats from a branch of the cornel tree is caught on a 
red-hot iron plate without the wood touching it ; the 
resulting rust is applied as a cure for incipient lichen. 
The arbutus or strawberry tree bears a fruit that is 
difficult of digestion and injurious to the stomach. 

LXXX. The bay leaves, bark and berries is 
of a heating nature ; and so a decoction made from U9es * 
these, especially from the leaves, as is generally 
agreed, 6 is good for the uterus and bladder. An 

* Both meanings of convenit (constat and decet) are to be 
found in Pliny. Either makes good sense in this passage : 
" as is generally agreed," " as is fitting." The appa&i of 
IHoseorides represents the prodesse of Pliny, and is no support 
for tite sense decet here. In fact this passage by itself is proof 
that Pliny had before form a Greek text similar to, but not 
identical -with, that of Dioscorides; there is nothing in Pliny 
corresponding to cyKa^lo-fLara (sitz bath), and nothing in 
Dioseorides corresponding to maxime /oliis. 

i 517 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Inlita vero vesparum crabronumque et apium, item 
serpentium venenis resistunt, maxime sepos, dip- 
sadis et viperae. prosunt et mensibus feminarum 
cum oleo cocta, cum polenta autem quae tenera sunt 
trita ad inflammationes oculorum, cum ruta testium, 
cum rosaceo capitis dolores, aut cum irino. quin et 
commanducata atque devorata per triduum terna 
liberant tussi, eadem suspiriis trita cum melle. 

163 cortex radicis cavendus gravidis. ipsa radix calculos 
rumpit, iocineri prodest tribus obolis in vino odorato 
potu. 1 folia potu vomitiones movent. baeae 
menses trahunt adpositae tritae vel potae, tussim 
veterem et orthopnoean sanant binae detracto 
cortice in vino potae, si et febris sit, ex aqua aut 
ecligmate ex passo aut aqua mulsa decoctae. 

154 prosunt et phthisicis eodem modo et omnibus 
thoracis rheumatismis. nam et concoquunt 
pituitam et extrahunt. adversus scorpiones 
quaternae ex vino bibuntur, epinyctidas ex oleo 
inlitae et lentigines et ulcera manantia et ulcera 
oris et furfures, cutis porriginem sucus bacarum 
emendat et phthiriasim. aurium dolori aut gravitati 
instillatur cum vino vetere et rosaceo. perunctos eo 

1 potn codd. Dedefsen : pota wig., MayJioff, 
* A serp^it -wiiose bite catised putrefaction, Greek <rf$ 



A serpent whose bite caused great thirst (Greek Su/rds> 
from. &txft&}. 

e Vimtm odorafum is the olvos euc&Srjs of Dioscorides, wine 
with a strong and pleasant bouquet. 

* Coction (in Greek n&fns) "was t^ie name applied to the 



BOOK XXIIL uexx. 152-154 

application of the leaves, moreover, counteracts the 
poison of wasps, hornets and bees, as well as that of 
snakes, in particular of the seps, the dipsas & and the 
viper. Boiled with oil the leaves are also good for 
menstruation ; tender leaves pounded and mixed with 
pearl barley are good for inflammations of the eyes, 
with rue for those of the testicles, and with rose oil or 
iris oil for headache. Moreover three leaves, chewed 
and swallowed for three days in succession, free from 
cough ; the same pounded and with honey free from 
asthma. The skin of the root is to be avoided by 
women with child. The root itself breaks up stone 
in the bladder, and three oboli taken in a draught of 
fragrant c wine are good for the liver. The leaves 
taken in drink act as an emetic. The berries pounded 
and applied in a pessary or taken in drink act as an 
emmenagogue. Doses of two berries with the skin 
removed taken in wine cure chronic cough and 
difficulty of breathing. If fever also be present, the 
berries are given in water, or in a raisin-wine 
electuary , or boiled down in hy drome!. Prepared 
in the same way they are good for phthisis and 
for all fluxes of the chest, for they both produce 
coction <* of the phlegm and bring it up. For 
scorpion stings doses of four berries are taken in 
wine. Applied in oil the berries clear up epin- 
yctis,* freckles, running .sores, sores in the mouth, 
and scaly eruptions ; the juice of the berries clear 
scurf from the skin and phthiriasis; for pain or 
dullness of the ears it is injected with old wine and 

process l>v which any peccant humour became " mature " 
and harmless as a disease progressed to its close, A typical 
example is the drying up of catarrh in the common cold. See 
the Loeb Hippocrates ~L li. and EL 
* Cf. p. 499, note d* 

5*9 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

155 fugiunt venenata omnia. prodest contra ictus et 
potus, maxime autem eius 1 laurus quae tenuissima 
habet folia, bacae cum vino serpentibus et 
scorpionibus et araneis resistunt. ex oleo at aceto 
inlinuntur et lieni, iocineri, gangraenis cum melle. 
et in fatigatione etiam aut perfrictione suco eo 

156 perungui nitro % adiecto prodest. sunt qui celeritati 
partus conferre multum putent radicem acetabuli 
mensura in aqua potam, efficacius recentem quam 
aridam. quidam adversus scorpionum ictus decem 
bacas dari iubent potu, 2 item et in remedio uvae 
iacentis quadrantem pondo bacarum foliorumve 
decoqui in aquae sextariis tribus ad tertias, earn 
calidam gargarizare et in capitis dolore inpari 
nurnero bacas cum oleo conterere et calfacere. 

167 laurus Delphicae folia trita olfactaque subinde 
pestilentiae contagia prohibent, tanto magis si et 
urantur. oleum ex Delphica ad cerata acopumque, 
ad perfrictiones discutiendas, nervos laxandos, 
lateris dolores, febres frigidas utile est, item ad 
aurium dolorem in mali punici cortice tepefactum. 
folia decocta ad tertias partes aquae uvam cohibent 
gargarizatione, potu alvi dolores intestinorumque, 
tenerrima ex his trita in vino papulas pruritusque 

1 eius vulg., Deilefsen : valet MayTioff : et aut ea codd. 

2 potu V, Deilefsen : potui dE vulg. MayTioff t qui item et in 
remedium cott. XXV. 145 coni. 



* Forcellini says that resfstere is used " de medicament, 
quae morbos propellunt, nee sinunt accedere." It is a favourite 
word with Pliny. Whether the sentence under consideration 

520 



BOOK XXIII. LXXX. 154-157 

rose oil. Those anointed with it are shunned by all 
venomous animals ; taken in drink also it is beneficial 
for wounds inflicted by them, especially the juice 
from the bay with very small leaves- The berries 
with wine are a prophylactic a against serpents, 
scorpions and spiders ; with oil and vinegar they are 
applied also to the spleen and liver, with honey to 
gangrene. Further, when there is severe fatigue or 
chill, anointing with the juice of this berry, to which 
soda has been added, is beneficial. Some think that 
delivery is much hastened by taking in water an aceta- 
bulum by measure of bay root, fresh root being more 
efficacious than dried. Several authorities prescribe 
that ten berries be given in drink for scorpion stings ; 
to cure relaxed uvula that a quarter of a pound of 
berries or leaves be boiled down to one-third in three 
sextarii of water, the decoction to be used as a warm 
gargle ; and that to take away headache an uneven 
number of berries be pounded with oil and warmed. 
The pounded leaves of the I>elphic bay, if smelt 
occasionally, keep off infection of plague, and the 
effect is greater if they are also burnt. Oil from the 
Delphic bay is useful for making wax salves and 
anodynes, for shaking off chills, for relaxing the sinews, 
and for the treatment of pain in the side and of the 
shivers of fever; warmed in the rind of a pome 
granate it is also used for ear-ache. The leaves 
boiled down in water to one-third, and used as a 

fargle, brace the uvula; taken by the mouth the 
ecoction relieves pains in the bowels and intestines ; 
the most tender leases, pounded and applied in wine 

means that venomous creatures are kept off, or that their 
poisons are rendered harmless, is uncertain. The former 
seems* the more Mkery. 

521 

s2 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

158 inlita noctlbus. proxime valent cetera laurus 
genera, laurus Alexandrina sive Idaea partus 
celeres facit radice pota trium denariorum pondere 
in yjrti dulcis cyathis tribus, secundas etiam pellit 
mensesque. eodem modo pota daphnoides sive his 
nomirdbus quae diximus silvestris laurus prodest, 
alvum solvit vel recent! folio vel arido, drachmis 
tribus cum sale in hydromelite. manducata 
pituitas extrahit, folium et vomitus, stomacho 
inutile, sic et bacae quinae denae purgationis causa 
sumuntur. 

159 LXXXL Myrtus sativa Candida minus utilis 
medicinae quam nigra. semen eius medetur san- 
guinem excreantibus, item contra fungos in vino 
potum. odorem oris commendat vel pridie com- 
manducatum; ita 1 apud Menandrum Synaristosae 
hoc edunt. datur et dysintericis idem denarii 
pondere in vino, ulcera difficilia in extremitatibus 

160 corporis sanat cum vino subfervefactum. inponitur 
lippitudini cum polenta et cardiacis in mamma 
sinistra, et contra scorpipnis ictum in mero, et ad 
vesicae vitia, capitis dolores, aegilopas^ antequam 
suppurent, item tumoribus, exemptisque nucleis in 
vino vetere tritum eruptionibus pituitae. sucus 
seminis alvum sistit, urinam ciet. ad eruptiones 

1 ita Mceyhoff : item codd. : om. Detlefsen. 

* See XV. 132. I am uncertain whether to translate laurus 
by w laurel "or "bay," 

% That semen means " herries,** her^ is shown by sucu& 
seminis in 160. The reference is to tiie berries of the " white ' * 
mylrtle, -, : - 

*'.**? Women Jtaving. Lunch tpgefker," a conisedy of Menander. 

* Here probably an affection of the heart. ,See y however, 

5*2 



BOOK XXIII. LXXX. i57-Lxxxi. 160 

at night, remove pimples and itching. The other 
varieties of bay have very nearly the same properties. 
That of Alexandria, or Mt. Ida, taken in doses of 
three denarii of the root to three cyathi of sweet wine, 
hastens delivery ; it also brings away the afterbirth 
and acts as an emmenagogue. Taken in drink in 
the same way, the wild bay, called daphnoides, or by 
the names already a given to it, is beneficial ; three 
drachmae of the leaves, fresh or dried, taken with 
salt in hydromel, relax the bowels. Chewed, this 
bay brings up phlegm and the leaves bring up vomit, 
being injurious to the stomach. In this way, too, 
the berries, fifteen at a time, are taken as a purge. 
LXXXL The white cultivated myrtle is less useful 
in medicine than the dark. Its berries & cure 
haemoptysis, and are taken in wine to counteract 
poisonous tree-fungi. Even when chewed the day 
previously they make the mouth smell sweet, and so 
in Menander the women in Synaristosae c eat them. 
A denarius of the same by weight is given in wine 
for dysentery. Made lukewarm they heal with 
wine obstinate sores on the extremities of the body. 
With pearl barley they are applied to the eyes for 
ophthalmia and to the left breast for cardiac d 
disease. In neat wine they are applied to wounds 
inflicted by scorpions, and for affections of the 
bladder, headache, lacrimal fistulas before suppura 
tion, and tumours ; for pituitous eruptions the kernels 
are first taken out and then the berries are crushed 
in old wine. The juice of the berries settles the 
bowels and is diuretic. For eruptions of pimples 
and for those of phlegm an ointment is made of the 

p. 442 note d and Spencer on Celsus HL 19, 1 ; vol. I. p. 
302 (note). 

5*3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

pusularum pituitaeque cum cerato inlinitur, et 

161 contra phalangia. capillum denigrat. lenius suco 
oleum est ex eadem myrto, lenius et vinum, quo 
numquam inebriantur. inveteratum sistit alvum et 
stomachum, tormina sanat, fastidium abigit. foliorurn 
arentium farina sudores cohibet inspersa vel in 
febri, utilis et coeliacis, procidentiae vulvarum, sedis 
vitiis, ulceribus manantibus, igni sacro fotu, capillis 
fluentibus, furfuribus, item, aliis eruptionibus, 

162 ambustis. additur in medicamenta quae liparas 
vocant eadem de causa qua oleum ex his efficacis- 
simum ad ea quae in umore sunt, tamquam in ore et 
vulva, folia ipsa fungis adversantur trita ex vino, 
cum cera vero articulariis morbis et collectionibus. 
eadem in vino decocta dysintericis et hydropicis 
potui dantur. siccantur in farinam quae inspergitur 

163 ulceribus aut haemorrhagiae. purgant et lentigines, 
pterygia et paronychia et epinyctidas, condylomata, 
testes, tetra ulcera, item ambusta cum cerato. ad 
aures purulentas et foliis crematis utuntur et suco et 
decocto. comburuntur et in antidota, item cauliculi 
in 1 flore decerpti et in fictili novo operto cremati in 
furno, dein triti ex vino, et ambustis foliorum cinis 
medetur. inguen si 2 intumescat ex ulcere, satis est 

1 in add. O. F. W. Mtiller : om. codd. 

2 inguen si V 2 , Detlefsen : inguen ne vulg., Maylioff : inguem 
et V 1 : ingutne E : in unque et d. 

a For pterygia see note on 9, and for epinyctis p. 499 
note d. 

b In spite of tne order, ex vino must go with triti. This 
throws some doubt on the exact meaning in many passages 
of Pliny where the prepositional phrase could, as far as sense 
goes, be taken either with the participle or with the finite 
verb. 

5*4 



BOOK XXIII. LXXXI. 160-163 

juice and wax salve, and this is also used for the 
wounds of venomous spiders. The juice also darkens 
the hair. The oil from the same myrtle is milder 
than the juice, and so also is myrtle wine, which 
never intoxicates. When fully matured the wine 
settles the bowels and the stomach, cures colic and 
dispels squeamishness. The dried leaves, powdered 
and dusted over the body, check perspiration even 
in fever ; it is useful also for coeliac trouble, prolapse 
of the uterus, affections of the anus, running- sores, 
as a fomentation for erysipelas, for loss of hair, scaly 
eruptions, other eruptions also, and burns. The 
powder forms an ingredient in the plasters called 
liparae (emollient), for the same reason as the oil also 
is which is made from the leaves, for it is a very 
efficient application to the moist parts of the body, 
the mouth for instance and the uterus. The 
pounded leaves themselves are taken in wine as an 
antidote to the poison of tree-fungi, and moreover 
mixed with wax are used for diseases of the joints 
and for gatherings. A decoction of them in wine is 
prescribed to be taken by sufferers from dysentery 
and dropsy. They are dried to a powder which is 
dusted on sores and haemorrhages. They clear 
away freckles also, hangnails, whitlows, sores on the 
eyelid, a condylomata, affections of the testicles, 
offensive sores, and also, with wax salve, burns. For 
pus in the ears they use both the burnt leaves and the 
juice as well as the decoction. The leaves are also 
burnt to afford material for antidotes ; stalks too, 
plucked when in flower, are burnt in a furnace in a 
newly-made clay pot with the lid on and then pounded 
in wine. 6 The ashes too of the leaves cure burns. 
If from a sore there be a swelling in the groin, it is a 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

surculum tan turn myrti habere secum nee ferro nee 
terra contactum. 

164 LXXXIL Myrtidanum diximus quomodo fieret. 
vulvae prodest adpositu, fotu et inlitu, multo 1 
efficacius et cortice et folio et semine. exprimitur et 
foliis sucus mollissimis in pila tusls, adfuso paulatim 
vino austero, alias aqua caelesti, atque etiam 
expresso utuntur ad oris sedisque ulcera, vulvae et 
ventris, capillorum nigritiam, alarum perfusiones, 
purgationes lentiginum et ubi eonstringendum 
aliquid est. 

165 LXXXIIL Myrtus silvestris, sive oxymyrsine sive 
chamaemyrsine, bacis rubentibus et brevitate a 
sativa distat. radix eius in honore est, decocta vino 
ad renium dolor es potu 2 et difficili urinae prae- 
cipueque crassae et graveolenti, morbo regio, et 
vulvarum purgationi trita cum vino, cauliculi 
quoque incipientes asparagorum modo in cibo 

166 sumpti et in cinere cocti. semen cum vino potum 
aut oleo et aceto calculos frangit, item in aceto et 
rosaceo tritum capitis dolor es sedat, et potum 

1 multo dE vulg., Detlefsen : multu V : myrto Maylwfj coll* 
Diosc. I. 112 4: TO & [MVprtBavov feyofjicvov 7TL<f>vms <mv 
avcoftoAos' Kat oxOcbSy? KOL o^xo^pous 1 , olovel ^et/ocs* 7Tpl TO riff 
fivparivTfjs TTpeftvov. orvfai Be /zaAAov r^s" fj*vpvivr)s. Sed loci 
non ita similes sunt, atque myrtidanum apud Plinium (cf. XIV. 
104) aliudy cdiud apud Dioscoridetfi siernificat. 

2 potu Vd, DetUfsen : pota 

526 



BOOK XXIII. LXXXI. i63-LXxxm. 166 

sufficient remedy merely to carry on the person a 
sprig of myrtle that has touched neither iron nor the 
ground. 

LXXXII. I have described the preparation 
myrtidanum. It is beneficial to the uterus, whether 
used as a pessary, a fomentation, or a liniment, 
being much more efficacious than the bark of the tree 
or the leaves or the berries. There is also extracted 
a juice from the leaves ; the most tender are crushed 
in a mortar, a dry wine or sometimes rain water 
poured on them little by little, and the liquid now 6 
drawn off. It is used for sores in the mouth and 
of the anus, for those of the uterus, or of the intes 
tines, for darkening the hair, for moisture at the 
arm-pits, for clearing away freckles, and whenever 
an astringent remedy is indicated. 

LXXXI II. The wild myrtle, oxymyrsine c or WM 
chamaemyrsine/ 2 is distinguished from the cultivated myrt e * 
by its red berries and small size. Its root is much 
esteemed. A decoction in wine is taken for pains in 
the kidneys and for strangury, particularly when the 
urine is thick and of foul odour; for jaundice and 
purging the uterus it is pounded with wine. The 
young stalks also are cooked in ashes and taken as 
food in the same way as asparagus. The berries, 
taken with wine or 'with oil and vinegar, break up 
stone in the bladder ; pounded also in vinegar and 
rose oil it relieves headache, and taken in drink the 

See XIV. 104. It is myrtle wine, but the WT&O.VOV of 
Dioscorides is different. See critical note. 

b Such apparently is the sense of etiam here, the iam 
predominating. 

* Oxymyrsine = prickly myrtle. 

d Chamaemyrsine = ground myrtle. 

527 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

morbtun regium. Castor oxymyrsinen myrti foliis 1 
acutis, ex qua fiunt ruri scopae, ruscum vocavit, ad 
eosdem usus. Et hactenus habent se medicinae 
urbanarum arborum, transeamus ad silvestres. 

1 myrti faliis Detlefsen : myrti . . . foliisque Maylioff* qui 
ramulis vel cauliculis excidisse putat: myrti foliisque mulii 
codd. 



BOOK XXIII. LXXXIII. 166 

jaundice. Castor gave the name of ruscum* to 
the oxymyrsine, having leaves which are a myrtle's 
but prickly, from which in the country they make 
brooms ; its medicinal properties are the same. So 
much for the medicines derived from cultivated trees 
of our cities ; let me pass on to the wild ones of the 
woods. 

a Butcher's broom. 



5 2 9 



INDEX OF PERSONS, DEITIES, 
AND RACES 



Aesculapius, XX 264 

Agathocies, XXT.T 90 

Agrippa, M., XXTH 58 

Agrippina, XXn 92 

Aiaz, XXI 66 

Alcaens, XXII 87 

Alexander the Great, XXT 48 

Andreas, XX 200; XXH 102 

Annaeus Serenus, XXH 96 

Antiochus m, the Great, XX 264 

Antonius, XXI 12 

Apollo, XXI 66 

Apollodorus, XX 25, 86; XXI 116; 

xxrr 19, 31, 59 

Apollophanes, XXH 59 
Aristophanes, XXI 29; XXn 80 
Asclepiades, XX 42; yETT 53, 128; 

XXTTT 32, 38, 61 
Athamas, XX 253 

Caecina, Licinius, XX 199 

Oaepio, XXI 18 

Galfimachus, TT3nr 12 ; XXH 88 

Calpurnius, I/., XXII 11 

Castor, XX 174, 244, 261 ; XXm 166 

Oato, XX 78, 80, 84, 92; XXI 1; 

XXTH74 
Oatulus, XXn 11 
Celsus, XX 29; XXI 176 
Chrysermus, XXn 71 
Chrysippus, XX 17, 78, 93, 111, 113, 

119; XXH83 
Cicero, the orator, XXH 12 
Cicero, son of the orator, XXII 13 
Cleemporus, XXH 90 
Cleopatra, XXI 12 
Oleophantus, XX 31 
Orassus, XXI 6 
Crateuas, XX 63 ; XXH 75 

Dalion, XX 191 
Darnion, XX 103 
Decius, P., XXH 9 



Democritus, XX 19, 28, 149 ; "annr 62 
Dentatus, L. Siccius, XXH 9 
Diagoras, XX 198, 200 
Dieuches, XX 31, 78, 191; XXIH 60 
Diocles, XX 19, 34, 52, 106, 139, 219, 

255; XXI 61, 180; XXH 71, 131; 

XXTTT 27 
Diodorus, XX 121 
Diodotns, Petronius, XX 77 
Dionysius, XX 19, 113, 219; XXH 

67 
Dorotheas, XXH 91 

Epicharmus, XX 89, 94 
Erasistratus, XX 85, 102, 200; XXII 

80,88 

Eratosthenes, "S"S"rr 86 
Euripides, XXH 80 
Evenor, XX 187, 191 ; ^32 180 

Fabianus, XXTTT 62 

Fabius, T^TT 10 

Flamma, L. Calpnrnius, XXH 11 

Fulvius, L., XXI 8 

Glaucias, XX 263; XXI 174; XXH 

98 

Glauco, XXH 77 
Glycera, XXI 4 

Hannibal, XXH 10 

Hecale, XXH 88 

Helen, XXI 59, 159 ; XXHI 41 

Heraclides, XX 35, 193; XXH 18 

Hesiod, XXI 44, 108, 145; XXH 67, 

73,87; XXIH 43 
Hicesius, XX 35; XXH 40 
Hippocrates, XX 27, 48, 61, 86, 1S9, 

140, 163, 220, 230, 262; XXH 3*4, 

72, 77, 136 
Homer, XXI 15, 34, 108, 159 ; XXH 

55; XXHI 41 
Hyginus, XX 116; XXI 53 

531 



INDEX OF PERSONS, DEITIES, AND RACES 



lollas, XX 187, 198 

lulia, daughter of Augustus, XXI 9 

lulius Vindex, XX 160 

Licinius Caecina, XX 199 
Lycus, of Naples, XX 220 

Magi, the, XX 74; XXI 62, 66, 166, 

176; XXH20,50, 61 
Mago, XXI 110 
Manillas, XXH 13 
Marius, XXH 11 
Marsyas, XXI 8, 9 
Medius, XX 27 

Menander, XX 252; 7TXTTT 159 
Metrodorus, XX 214 
Miccion, XX 258 
Minerva, XXII 44 

Mithridates VI of Pontus, XXIH 149 
Mnesides, XX 203 
Mnesitheus, XXI 12 
Mucianus, XXI 33 
Monatius, P., XXI 8 
Mus, P. Deems, XXH 9 
Musaeus, XXI 44, 145 

Nicander, XX 25, 258; XXI 183; 
XXH 31, 67, 77 

Niger, Sextius, XX 129, 226 

Olympias, XX 226 
Ophion, XX 34; XXH 80 
Orpheus, XX 32 

Paosias, XXI 4 
Pericles, XXH 44 
Petreius, On., XXII 11 
Petrichns, XX 258 ; XXH 83 
Petronius Diodotus, XX 77 
Phanias, XXIE 35 
.Phaon, XXIE20 
Philinus, XX 247 
Philistion, XX 31, 86, 122 
Plato, XXII 111 



Plistonicus, XX 26, 122 

Pomona, XXTTT 1 

Pompeius, Magnus, XX 144; XXH 

128 ; XXIH 149 
Pomponius, Sextus, XXH 120 
Porcius Latro, XX 160 
Praxagoras, XX 26, 52, 66 
Ptolemy, Mng of Egypt, XXI 168 
Pulcher, P. Claudius, XXI 6 
Pythagoras, XX 78, 101, 134, 185, 192, 

219, 236; XXI 109 
Pythagoras (the boxer), XXIH 121 
Pythagoreans, the, XXH 20 

UomiKus Pollio, XXH 114 

Sappho, XXH 20 
Scipio Serapio, XXI 10 
Scipio Aemilianus, XXII 13 
Serenus, Annaeus, XXII 96 
Sertorius, XXH 12 
Sextius Niger, XX 129, 226 
Siccius, L., XXII 9 
Simos, XXI 153 ; XXH 72 
Solon, of Smyrna, XX 220, 235 
Sophocles, XXI 153 
Sosimenes, XX 192 
Sulla, T'E'TT 12 

Theodoras, XX 103 
Theophrastus, XXI 13, 109 
Theseus, XXH 88 
Timaristus, XXI 180 
Tlepolemus, XX 194 

Varro, XX 43, 152, 218; XXII 13, 

114, 141 

Vindex, lulius, XX 160 
Yirgil, XXII 160 

Xenocrates, XX 155, 218, 227; XXT 
181; XXII 72, 87 

Zeno, XXH 90 



532 



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OBIA. H. Rackham. (With D Oratoria, Vol H.) (2nd Imp.) 
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ham. (2nd Imp.) 
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Louis E. Lord. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
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(VoL I. 6to Imp., Vols. II. and HI. 3rd Imp.) 
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Vole. (Vol*. I. and II. 2nd Imp. revised.) 
1 



CICERO : PHILIPPICS. W. C. A. Ker. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
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PIOTJM RESPONSIS, PRO PLANCIO. N. H. Watts. (2nd Imp.) 
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PRO RABIRIO. H. Grose Hodge. (2nd Imp.) 
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(Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 

CLATJDIAN. M. Platnauer. 2 Vols. 
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(2nd Imp.) 

CTTBTITJS, Q. : BttSTOBY OP ALEXANDER. J, C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. 
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(2nd Imp.) 
FRONTZNUS : STBATAGEMS and AQHEDUCTS. C. E. Bennett and 

M. B. McElwain. (2nd Imp.) 

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(6th Imp. revised.) 

JEROME : SELECTED LETTERS. F. A. Wright. 
JUVENAL and PEBSIUS. G. G. Ramsay. (1th Imp.) 
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4th Imp. revised.) 
MINOR LATIN POETS : from PUBLILIUS SYRUS to RTJTILUJS 

NAMATIANTTS, including GBATTITJS, CALPTJRNIXJS SICHLTJS, 

NEMESIANTJS, AVIANUS, and others with " Aetna " and the 

" Phoenix." J. Wight Duff and Arnold M, DufL (2nd Imp.) 
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(3rd Imp.) 

OVID : FASTI. Sir James G. Frazer. (2nd Imp.) 
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Imp., Vol. II. 7th Imp.) 

OVID : TRISTIA and Ex PONTO. A. L. Wheeler. (2nd Imp.) 
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PJETROWTTJS. M. Heseltine ; SENECA : APOCOLOCYNTOSIS. 

W. H. D. Rouse* (7^ Imp. revised.) 
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4Ah Imp.) 

2 



PLINY : LETTERS. Meimoth's Translation revised by W. M. L. 

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PLINY t NATURAL HISTORY. H. Rackham and W. H. S. Jones. 

10 Vols. Vols. I.-V. H. Racknam. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vols. 

H. and in. 2nd Imp.) 
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. H. E. Butler. (5th Imp.) 

PRUDENTIUS. H. J. Thomson. 2 Vols. Vol. I. 
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(ENNTUS AND CAECILIUS.) VoL II. (LlVIUS, NAEVIUS, 

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XII TABLES.) VoL IV, (2nd Imp.) (ARCHAIC INSCRIP 

TIONS.) 

SALLUST. J. C. Rolfe. (3rd Imp. revised.) 

SCRIPTORES HISTORIAJE AUGUSTAS. D. Magie. 3 Vols, (VoLL 

2nd Imp. revised-) _ 

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(Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vols. II. and HI. 2nd Imp. revised.) 
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3rd Imp., VoL IH. 2nd Imp. revised..) 
SENECA : TRAGEDIES. F. J. Miller. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., 

Vol. H. 2nd Imp. revised.) 

SIDONITJS : POEMS and LETTERS. W. B. Anderson. 2 Vols. Vol. L 
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Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
STATICTS. J. H. Mozley. 2 Vols. 
SUETONIUS. J. C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. (VoL I. 7th Imp., Vol. II. 

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6th Imp.) ^, 

TERTULLIAJST : APOLOGIA and DE SPECTAOULIS. T. R. Glover. 

MINUCIUS FELIX. G. H. Kendall. 

VALERIUS FLACOUS. J. H. Mozley. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
VARRO : DE LINGUA LATINA. R. G. Kent. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp. 

VELLEIUS PATERCULUS and RES GESTAE Dm AUGUSTL F. W. 



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. 
: 
2nd Imp.) 



13th Imp. revised.) 
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ACHIT.T.KS TATIUS, S. Gaselee, (2nd Imp.) 

AENEAS TACTICUS, ASCLEPIODOTTJS and ONASANDBB. The 

Illinois Greek Club. (2nd Imp.) 
AESCHINES. C. D. Adams. (2nd Imp.) 
AESCHYLUS. H. Weir Smyth. 2 Vols. (Vol. 1. 5th Imp., 

Vol. n. 4th Imp.) 
ALCIPHRON, AELIAN, PHLLOSTBATUS : LETTERS. A. R. Benner 

and F. H. Fobes. 

ANDOCIDES, ANTIPHOIST. Cf. MINOB ATTIC OBATORS. 
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APOLL^>NIUS RHODIUS. JR. C. Sea ton. (4h Imp.} 
THE APOSTOLIC FATHERS. Kirsopp Lake. 2 Vols. (7th Imp.) 
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3rd Imp. t Vols. II., III. and IV. 2nd Imp.) 
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ARISTOPHANES. Benjamin Bickley Rogers. 3 Vols. Verse 

trans. (Vols. I. and H. 5th Imp., Vol. III. th Imp.) 
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On Situations and Names of Winds, On Melissus, Xenophanes, 

and Gorgias. 
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revised,) 
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strong; (with Metaphysics, Vol. II.). (3rd Imp.) 
ARISTOTLE : ON THE HEAVENS. W. K. C. Guthrie. (2nd Imp. 

revised. ) 

ARISTOTLE : ON THE SOUL, PARVA NATURALIA, ON BREATH. 
. W. & Hett. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
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revised.) 
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2 Vols. . (2nd Imp.) 
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Imp. revised.) 



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Robson. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
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(Vols. I., V., and VI. 2nd Imp.) 
ST. BASIL : LETTERS. R. J. Deferrari. 4 Vola. (Vols. I., II. 

and IV. 2nd Imp.) 
CALLIMACHUS and LYCOPBORON. A- W, Mair; ARATUS. Q. R. 

Malr. (2nd Imp.) 

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA. Rev. G, W. Butterworih. (2nd Imp.) 
COLLUXHUS. Cf. OPPIAN. 
DAPHNIS AND CHLOE. Thornley'a Translation revised by 

J. M. Edmonds; and PAR-THEN lus. S. Gaselee. (3rd Imp.) 
DEMOSTHENES I : OLYNTHIACS, PHILIPPICS and MINOR ORATIONS : 

I.-XVII. AND XX. J. BL Vince. 
DEMOSTHENES II : DE CORONA and DE FALSA LEGATIONS. 

C. A. Vince and J. EL Vince. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
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CRATES and ARISTOGEITON, I. AND II. J. H. Vince. 
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and LETTERS. N. W. and N. J. DeWitt. 
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and II. 2nd Imp.) 
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man's translation revised by E. Cary. 7 Vols. (Vols. I. and IV. 

2nd Imp.) 
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Imp.) 
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6th Imp., Vol. III. 5th Imp.) Verse trans. 
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GALEN ; ON THE NATURAL FACULTIES. A. J. Brock. (3rd 

Imp. ) 
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Edmonds. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
THBS GREEK BUCOLIO POETS (THEOCRITUS, BION, MOSOHUS). 

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Imp.) 

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Jones and T T. Withington. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vola. 

H.-IV. 2nd Imp.) 

HOMER: IZIAD. A.T.Murray. 2 Vols. (6th Imp.) 
HOMER : ODYSSEY. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. (7th Imp.) 
ISAEUS. E. W. Forster. (2nd Imp.) 

ISOCRATES. George Norlin and LaRue Van Hook. 3 Vols. 
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE : BARIMAM AND IOASAPH. Rev, G, R. 

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Vols. I.-VTI. (Vol. V. 3rd Imp., Vol. VI. 2nd Imp.) 
JUZJAH-. Wilmer Cave Wright. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp., 

LUCIAN. * A. M. m Harmon. a Vols, Vols. I.-V. (Vols. I-IU. 

3rd Imp.) 

LYCOPHRON. Cf. CAULIMACHTTS. 
LYRA GRAECA. J. M. Edmonds. 3 Vols. (VoL I. 3rd Imp., 

Vol. H. 2nd Ed. revised and enlarged, VoL III. 3rd Imp. 

revised.) 

LYSIAS. W. R. M. Lamb. (2nd Imp.) 
MANETHO. W. G. Waddell : PTOLEMY : TETRABIBLOS. F. JEu. 

Bobbins. (2nd Imp.) 

MARCUS ATTREIJTJS. C. R. Haines. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
MEKAKDER. F. G. Allinson. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
MINOR ATTIC ORATORS )AJSTTIPHON, AjsTDporoES, DEMADBS, 

DEZNARCKTTS, HYPEREIDES). K. J. Maidment and J. O. 

Burrt. 2 Vola. Vol. I. K. J. Maidment. 
NONNOS : EHONYSIACA. W. H. D. Rouse. 3 Vols. (Vol. HI. 

2nd Imp.) 

OPPIAN, COIXUTHTJS, TRYPKIODORTJS. A. W. Mair. 
PAPYRI. NON-LITERARY SELECTIONS. A. S. Hunt and C. C. 

Edgar. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) LITERARY SELECTION'S. 

VoL I. (Poetry). D. L. Page. (3rd Imp.) 
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FATJSANIAS : DESCRIPTION OF GREECE. W. H. S. Jones. 5 

Vols. and Companion VoL arranged by R. E. Wycherley. 

(Vols. I. and III. 2nd Imp.) 
PHUXJ. 11 Vols. Vola. I.-V. j F. H. Colson and Rev. G. H. 

Whitaker. Vols. VI.-IX. ; F. H. Colson. (Vols. I., II., V., 

VI. and VII. 2nd Imp., VoL IV. 3rd Imp. revised.) 
PHUXJSTRATTTS : THE LIPE ov APOIXONITJS OF TYANA. F. C. 

Conybeare. 2 Vola. (Vol. I. 4th Imp., Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
PHTLOSTRATTJS : IMAGINES ; CALLisTRATtrs ; DESCRIPTIONS. 

A. Fairbanks. 
PHTLOSTRATUS and EUNAPJDS : LIVES OJP THE SOPHISTS. 

Wilmer Cave Wright. (2nd Imp.) 

6 



PINDAR. Sir J. E. Sandys. (7th Imp. revised.) 

PLATO : CHABMIDES, ALCTBIAT>ES, TTrppABcmrs, THE LOVERS. 

THEAGES, MINOS and EPINOMIS. W. R. M. Lamb. 
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HTPPIAS. H. N. Fowler. (2nd Imp.) 
PLATO : EUTHYPHBO, APOLOGY, CRITO, PHAEDO, PHAEDBUS. 

H. N. Fowler. (9th Imp.) 
PLATO : LACHES, PBOTAGOBAS, MENO, EUTHYI>EMUS. W. R. M. 

Lamb, (2nd Imp. revised.) 

PLATO : LAWS. Rev. R. G. Bury. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
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Imp. revised.) 
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PLATO : STATESMAN, PHTLEBUS. H. N. Fowler; ION. W. R. M. 

Lamb. (3rd Imp.) 

PLATO : THEAETETUS and SOPHIST. H. N. Fowler. (3rd Imp.) 
PLATO : TIMAEUS, CBITIAS, CLITOPHO, MENEXENUS, EPISTULAE. 

Rev. R. G. Bury. (2nd Imp. ) 
PLUTABCH : MOBALIA. 14 Vols. Vols. I.-V. F. C. Babbitt; 

Vol. VI. W. C. Helmbold ; Vol. X. H. N. Fowler. (Vols. I.. 

III., and X. 2nd Imp.) 
PLUTABOH : THE PARALLEL LIVES. B. Perriru 11 Vols. 

(Vols. I., EL, and VII. 3rd Imp., Vols. III., IV., VI.. and VIII.- 

XI. 2nd Imp.) 

POLYBIUS. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. 
PBOCOPIUS : HISTOBY OF THE WABS. H. B. Dewing. 7 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 

PTOLEMY : TETBABIBLOS. Cf . MANETHO. 

QUINTUS SMYBNAEUS. A. S: Way. Verse trans. (2nd Imp.) 
SEXTUS EMPIBIOUS. Rev. R. G. Bury. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. and 

III. 2nd Imp.) 
SOPHOCLES. F. Storr. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 8th Imp., Vol. II. 5th 

Imp.) Verse trans. 
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and VIII. 3rd Imp., Vols. II., V., and VI. 2nd Imp.) 
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etc. A. D. Knox. (2nd Imp.) 
THEOPHBASTUS : EKQUIBY INTO PLANTS. Sir Arthur Hort, 

Bart. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
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XENOPHON : CYBOPAEDIA. Walter Miller. 2 Vols. (3rd Imp.) 
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C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 3 Vols. (Vols. I. and IIL 

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XENOPHON : MEMOBABILIA and OEOONOMIOUS. E. C. Marchant. 

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