Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 392: 54-55

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Pliny: Natural History

secundas et muris aranei morsus. foliorum aridorum farina alterutra parte exinanit.1


XXXV. Ex omnibus brassicae generibus suavissima est cyma, etsi inutilis habetur, difficilis in concoquendo et renibus contraria. illud quoque non est omittendum, aquam decoctae ad tot usus laudatam faetere humi effusam. stirpium brassicae aridorum cinis inter caustica intellegitur, ad coxendicum dolores cum adipe vetusto, at cum lasere et aceto instar2 psilotri evulsis inlitus pilis nasci alios 91prohibet. bibitur et cum oleo subfervefactus vel per se elixus ad convolsa et rupta intus lapsoque ex alto. nulla ergo sunt crimina brassicae? immo vero apud eosdem animae gravitatem facere, dentibus et gingivis nocere. et in Aegypto propter amaritudinem non estur.


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 adfirmet. hanc alii petraeam vocant, inimicissimam vino, quam praecipue vitis fugiat aut, si non possit 93fugere, moriatur. folia habet tenuia,3 rotunda, parva, levia, plantis oleris similior, candidior sativa et hirsutior. hanc inflationibus mederi, melancholicis quoque ac vulneribus recentibus cum melle,


Book XX

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 mostCyma (Broccoli). 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, 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 theWild cabbage. wild, or stray, cabbage, so much so that he asserts that the mere powder of the dried vegetable, collected 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 thina 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,b and fresh

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938