Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 218-219

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Book XXV

only if the soil is rich; they have leaves like those of coriander, a stem a cubit high, round heads, often more than three, and a wood-like root, which when dry is worthless. Itsa seed is like that of cummin, while that of the first kind is like millet, white, sharp, and scented and hot in all kinds. The seed of the second kind is more powerful than that of the first, and for this reason should be used sparingly. If one really desires to add a third kind, there is one like staphy-linus, called wild carrot, with longishb seed and a sweet root. A quadruped, summer and winter, refuses to touch any of these plants except after miscarriage. Of the Cretan kind the root is used, chiefly for snake bites, of the other kinds the seed. The dose is one drachma taken in wine; it is given also to quadrupeds that have been bitten.

LXV. There is a therionarca, different from theTherionarca. magical plant,c that grows in our part of the world, a bushy plant with greenish leaves, a rose-coloured flower, and fatal to serpents. This plant tood benumbs any kind of wild creature it touches.

LXVI. Persolata, a plant everybody knows, is calledPersolata, or arcion. by the Greeks arcion; it has leaves larger, more hairy, darker and thicker even than those of a gourd, and a white, large root. This is taken in wine, the dose being two denarii by weight.

LXVII. The rootCyclamen. of cyclamen also is beneficial for the bites of any kind of snake. The plant has smaller, darker and thinner leaves than those of ivy, with no corners but

  • aHere we have the singular huius, but in the preceding sentence reliqua genera. Mayhoff supposes that a phrase meaning “one of them” has fallen out after solo. But Pliny recognises only two kinds, the second of which, summing up the reliqua genera, may well be referred to by huius. In this chapter Pliny is more than usually slipshod; Fée compares it unfavourably with the corresponding passage in Dioscorides.
  • bOr “oblong.”
  • cMentioned in XXIV. § 163 as growing in Cappadocia and Mysia.
  • dAs well as the one mentioned in the other passage.
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938