macerantur atque ita adversus capillos1 caput inungitur.
LXXXVI. Fit et ex callitriche sternumentum. folia sunt lenticulae, caules iunci tenuissimi radice minima. nascitur opacis et umidis, gustatu fervens.136
LXXXVII. Hysopum in oleo contritum phthiriasi resistit et prurigini in capite. est autem optimum Cilicium e Tauro monte, dein Pamphylium ac Zmyrnaeum. stomacho contrarium purgat cum fico sumptum per inferna, cum melle vomitionibus. putant et serpentium ictibus adversari tritum cum melle et sale et cumino.137
LXXXVIII. Lonchitis non, ut plerique existimaverunt, eadem est quae xiphion aut phasganion, quamquam cuspidi similis semine: habet enim folia porri rubentia ad radicem et plura quam in caule, capitula personis comicis similia, parvam exserentibus linguam, radicibus praelongis. nascitur in sitientibus.138
LXXXIX. e diverso xiphion et phasganion in umidis. cum primum exit, gladii praebet speciem caule duum cubitorum, radice ad nucis abellanae figuram fimbriata, quam effodi ante messes oportet, siccari in umbra. superior pars eius cum ture trita, aequo pondere admixto vino, ossa fracta capite2 extrahit aut quicquid in corpore suppurat, vel si calcata sint ossa 139serpentis; eadem contra venena efficax. caput in
this the head is rubbed in the contrary way to the hair.
LXXXVI. From callithrix also is made a snuff. This plant has the leaves of the lentil; the stems are very slender rushes and the root is very small. It grows in shady, moist places, and has a hot taste.
LXXXVII. Hyssop crushed in oil is good for phthiriasis and itch on the scalp. The best comes from Mount Taurus in Cilicia, the next best from Pamphylia and Smyrna. Upsetting the stomach, it purges by stool if taken with figs, by vomitings if taken with honey. Pounded with honey, salt, and cummin it is also supposed to counteract the poison of snake bites.
LXXXVIII. Lonchitis is not, as most people have thought, the same plant as xiphion or phasganion, although the seed is like a spear point; for it has leaves like those of the leek, reddish near the root and more numerous than on the stem, little heads like the masks of comedy, which put out a small tongue, and very long roots. It grows in thirsty soils.
(LXXXIX.) Xiphion or phasganion on the other hand grows in moist soils. When it first leaves the ground it presents the appearance of a sword, has a stem two cubits high, and a fringed root like a filbert, which must be dug up before harvest and dried in the shade. The upper part of it, beaten up with frankincense and mixed with an equal quantity by weight of wine, extracts bone splinters from the head and all suppurating matter in the body, or any snake bones that have been trodden on; the plant also counteracts poisons.a Headache is relieved by
- aI have translated Mayhoff’s text without any confidence that it is correct, nor is Detlefsen’s, with a comma before, not after, serpentis, any more attractive, for Pliny’s usual phrase is contra serpentes. But cf. XXIV 61. The position of serpentis and the plural venena are other objections. Now ossa serpentis is odd. My friend Mr. John Chadwick tells me often cut himself on a snake’s skeleton? He might however easily run a thorn into his foot during a cross-country walk. The corresponding passage in Dioscorides (IV 20) has ἀκίδας καὶ σκόλοπας ἐπισπᾶσθαι. It is conjectural, but just possible, that serpentis has replaced an original spina because the ossa of the first clause of this sentence was repeated a little later on unconsciously by a careless scribe. Then the sense would be “if a thorn has been trodden on.” All this is so conjectural that I do not feel justified in changing the text. that a snake’s skeleton would make a nasty wound if trodden on. That may be so, but would a person wearing sandals