Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 188-189

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Pliny: Natural History


XXXIV. Gentianam invenit Gentius rex Illyriorum, ubique nascentem, in Illyrico tamen praestantissimam, folio fraxini, sed magnitudine lactucae, caule tenero pollicis crassitudine, cavo et inani, ex intervallis foliato, trium aliquando cubitorum, radice lenta, subnigra, sine odore, aquosis montibus subalpinis plurima. usus in radice et suco. radicis natura est excalfactoria, sed praegnantibus non bibenda.


XXXV. Invenit et Lysimachus quae ab eo nomen retinet, celebrata Erasistrato. folia habet ut salicis viridia, florem purpureum, fruticosa, ramulis erectis, odore acri. gignitur in aquosis. vis eius tanta est ut iumentis discordantibus iugo inposita asperitatem cohibeat.


XXXVI. Mulieres quoque hanc gloriam adfectavere, in quibus Artemisia uxor Mausoli adoptata herba quae antea parthenis vocabatur. sunt qui ab Artemide Ilithyia cognominatam putent, quoniam privatim medeatur feminarum malis. est autem absinthii modo fruticosa, maioribus foliis pinguibusque. ipsius 74duo genera: altera1 altior latioribus foliis, altera


Book XXV

XXXIV. It was a king of the Illyrians namedGentian. Gentius who discovered gentian, which, though it grows everywhere, is most excellent when it grows in Illyria. The leaf is like that of the ash but of the size of a lettuce leaf; the stem is tender and of the thickness of a thumb, hollow and empty, with leaves at intervals, sometimes three cubits in height, and growing from a pliant root, which is darkish and without smell. It grows abundantlya on watery slopes near the foot of the Alps. The parts used are the root and the juice. The nature of the root is warming, but it should not be taken in drink by women with child.

XXXV. Lysimachus too discovered a plant, stillLysimachia. named after him, the praises of which have been sung by Erasistratus. It has green leaves like those of the willow, a purple flower, being bushy, with small upright branches and a pungent smell. It grows in watery districts. Its power is so great that, if placed on the yoke when the beasts of burden are quarrelsome, it checks their bad temper.

XXXVI. Women too have been ambitious toArtemisia. gain this distinction, among them Artemisia, the wife of Mausolus, who gave her name to a plant which before was called parthenis. There are some who think that the surname is derived from Artemis Ilithyia, because the plant is specific for the troubles of women. It is also bushy, resembling wormwood, but with larger and fleshy leaves. Of the plant itself there are two kinds: one higherb and with broader leaves, the other soft and with more

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938