Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 392: 152-153


Pliny: Natural History

oleo inlitum. multi et suggillatis cum cera inlinunt, et radice in suco vel cum melle contra canis morsum 258utuntur et contra multipedam ex vino. hippomarathum 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.


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


XCVIII. Ferula semen aneto simile habet. quae ab uno caule dividitur in cacumine femina putatur. caules eduntur decocti, commendanturque muria ac melle, stomacho utiles.1 sin plures sumpti, capitis dolorem faciunt. radix denarii pondere in vini cyathis duobus bibitur adversus serpentes, et ipsa radix inponitur. sic et torminibus medetur, ex oleo


Book XX

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 multipede. Hippomarathum is for all purposes more drastic, expelling stone particularly well, and with a soft wine doing good to the bladder and to retardeda 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 Prescriptions from Roots, thought nothing more efficacious than hippomarathum for serpent bites. Nicanderb indeed also has placed it far from last in his list of antidotes.

XCVII. Hemp at first grew in woods, with aHemp. 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 into 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 applied raw to burns, but is often changed before it gets dry.

XCVIII. Fennel-giant has a seed similar to thatFennel-giant. of dill. The kind with one stem divided at the top is supposed to be female. The stems are eaten boiled, and are made tastyd 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

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938