Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 371: 532-533

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Pliny: Natural History

medullae, laudatissima est e medio quae mesa vocatur. secunda Mylasea. quod ad proceritatem quidem attinet, Rosea agri Sabini arborum altitudinem aequat. 175ferulae duo genera in peregrinis fruticibus diximus. semen eius in Italia cibus est; conditur quippe duratque in urceis vel anni spatio. duo ex1 ea olera,2 caules et racemi.3 corymbian hanc vocant corymbosque quos condunt.4

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LVII. Morbos hortensia quoque sentiunt sicut reliqua terra sata. namque et ocimum senectute degenerat in serpyllum, et sisymbrium in zmintham, et ex semine brassicae vetere rapa fiunt, atque invicem. et necatur cuminum haemodoro,5 nisi repurgetur: est autem unicaule, radice bulbo simili, non nisi in gracili solo nascens. alius privatim cumini morbus scabies. et ocimum sub canis ortu pallescit. omnia vero 177accessu mulieris menstrualis flavescunt. bestiolarum quoque genera innascuntur, napis pulices, raphano urucae et vermiculi, item lactucis et oleri, utrique hoc amplius limaces et cocleae, porro vero privata animalia quae facillime stercore iniecto capiuntur condentia in id se. ferro quoque non expedire tangi rutam, cunilam, mentam, ocimum auctor est Sabinus Tiro in libro κηπουρικῶν quem Maecenati dicavit.

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Book XIX

from the middle, the Greek name for which is ‘middles’, is most highly esteemed. The second best hemp comes from Mylasa. As regards height, the hemp of Rosea in the Sabine territory grows as tall as a fruit-tree. The two kinds of fennel-giant have been mentioned above among exotic shrubs.XIII. 123. In Italy its seed is an article of diet; in fact it is stored in pots and lasts for as much as a year. Two different parts of it are used as vegetables, the stalks and the branches. This fennel is called in Greek clump-fennel, and the parts that are stored, clumps.

LVII. Garden vegetables are also liable to disease,Diseases of kitchen-garden plants. like the rest of the plants on earth. For instance basil degenerates with old age into wild-thyme and. sisymbrium into mint, and old cabbage seed produces turnip, and so on. Also cummin is killed by broom-rape unless it is thoroughly cleaned: this is a plant with a single stalk and a root resembling a bulb, and it only grows in a thin soil. Another disease peculiar to cummin is scab. Also basil turns pale at the rising of the Dog-Star. All plants indeed turn yellow when a woman comes near them at her monthly period. Also various insects breed on garden plants—springtails in navews, caterpillars and maggots in radish, and also on lettuces and cabbage, both of which are more infested by slugs and snails than radish; and the leek has special insects of its own, which are easily caught by throwing dung on the plants, as they burrow into it. According to Sabinus Tiro in his book On Gardening, which he dedicated to Maecenas, it is also bad for rue, savory, mint or basil to come in contact with iron.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938