Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 392: 198-199

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Pliny: Natural History

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XXVIII. Folio coronantium milacis et hederae, corymbique earum optinent principatum, de quibus in fruticum loco abunde diximus. sunt et alia genera nominibus Graecis indicanda, quia nostris maiore ex parte huius nomenclaturae defuit cura. et pleraque eorum in exteris terris nascuntur, nobis tamen consectanda, quoniam de natura sermo, non de Italia est.

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XXIX. Ergo in coronamenta folio venere melotrum, spiraea, origanum, cneorum, quod casiam Hyginus vocat et quod cunilaginem, conyza, melissophyllum quod apiastrum, melilotum quod sertulam Campanam vocamus. est enim in Italiae Campania laudatissima, Graecis in Sunio, mox Chalcidica et Cretica, ubicumque vero asperis et silvestribus nata. coronas ex ea antiquitus factitatas indicio est nomen sertulae quod occupavit. odor est croco vicinus et flos ipse. Campana1 placet maxime, foliis brevissimis atque pinguissimis.

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XXX. Folio coronat et trifolium. tria eius genera: minyanthes vocant Graeci, alii asphaltion, maiore folio, quo utuntur coronarii, alterum acuto oxytriphyllon. tertium ex omnibus minutissimum. inter haec nervosi cauliculi quibusdam ut maratho, 55hippomaratho, myophono. utuntur et ferulis et2 corymbis hederae, et flore purpureo in alio genere

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Book XXI

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.a 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 marjoram, cneorum, that Hyginus calls cassia, conyza, which he calls cunilago, melissophyllum, known to us as apiastrum, and melilot, which we call Campanian 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 Campanianb is very popular indeed, having very short and very fleshy leaves.

XXX. The leaves of trefoil also are used for chaplets. 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, oxytriphyllon, 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

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938