Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 196-197


Pliny: Natural History

caulibus qui et manduntur decocti. quidam calchan1 vocant. haec cum cera steatomata discutit.

XLIII. Invenere herbas et universae gentes, Scythia primam eam quae scythice vocatur, circa Maeotim nascens, praedulcem alias utilissimamque ad ea quae asthmata vocant. magna et ea commendatio, quod in ore eam habentes sitim famemque non sentiunt.


XLIV. Idem praestat apud eosdem hippace, distincta, quod in equis quoque eundem effectum habeat, traduntque his duabus herbis Scythas etiam in duodenos dies durare in fame sitique.

XLV. Ischaemonem Thracia invenit, qua ferunt sanguinem sisti non aperta modo vena sed etiam praecisa. serpit in2 terra milio similis, foliis asperis et lanuginosis. farcita3 in nares quae in Italia nascitur, et eadem adalligata, sanguinem4 sistit.


XLVI. Vettones in Hispania eam quae vettonica dicitur in Gallia, in Italia autem serratula, a Graecis cestros aut psychrotrophon, ante cunctas laudatissima. exit anguloso caule cubitorum duum e radice spargens folia fere lapathi, serrata, semine purpureo. folia siccantur in farinam plurimos ad usus. fit vinum ex ea et acetum stomacho et claritati oculorum,


Book XXV

stems that are boiled and eaten. Some call it calchas. This plant with wax added disperses fatty tumours.

XLIII. Whole tribes too have discovered plants.scythice. Scythia first found out about the one called scythice, which grows round Lake Maeotis. One of its qualities is great sweetness, and it is very beneficial for the complaint called asthma. Another great merit of it is the freedom from hunger and thirst enjoyed by those who keep it in their mouths.

XLIV. The same people find the same property in their hippace,a which has the unique quality of affecting horses in the same way. It is said that on these two plants the Scythians can fast from food and drink even for as long as twelve days at a time.

XLV. Thrace found out about ischaemon, which isIschaemon. said to stanch bleeding when a vein has not merely been cut but even severed. It creeps along the ground as does millet; the leaves are rough and downy. The kind that grows in Italy, stuffed into the nostrils, and also when used as an amulet, stanches bleeding.b

XLVI. The Vettones in Spain discovered the plantvettonica. called vettonica in Gaul, serratulac in Italy, and cestros or psychrotrophon by the Greeks, a plant more highly valued than any other. It springs up with an angular stem of two cubits, spreading out from the root leaves rather like those of lapathum, serrated, and with a purple fruiting-head. Its leaves are dried into a powder and used for very many purposes. From itd are made a wine and a vinegar, good for the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938