Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 238-239

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Pliny: Natural History

cruorem et argema rubens, magis cum Attico melle inunctis. pupillas dilatat, et ideo hac inunguntur ante quibus paracentesis fit. iumentorum quoque oculis medentur. sucus caput purgat per nares infusus, ita ut deinde vino colluatur. bibitur et 145contra angues suci drachma in vino. mirum quod feminam pecora vitant aut, si decepta similitudine—flore enim tantum distant—degustavere, statim eam quae asyla appellatur in remedium1 quaerunt. a nostris felis oculus2 vocatur. praecipiunt aliqui effossuris ante solis ortum, priusquam quicquam aliud loquantur, salutare eam, sublatam exprimere, ita praecipuas esse vires. de euphorbeae suco satis dictum est. lippitudini, si tumor erit, absinthium cum melle tritum, item3 vettonicae farina conveniet.

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XCIII. Aegilopas sanat herba eodem nomine quae in hordeo nascitur, tritici folio, semine contrito cum farina permixta inpositaque vel suco. exprimitur hic e caule foliisque praegnantibus dempta spica et in trimestri farina digeritur in pastillos.

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Book XXV

are better if the ointment is made with Attic honey. It dilates the pupils, and so these are smeared with it before perforation for cataract. These plants also cure eye diseases in draught animals. The juice also clears the head if poured through the nostrils, but ita must be rinsed out afterwards with wine. A drachma dose of the juice is also taken in wine for snake bites. It is a wonderful thing that cattle avoid the female plant, or if deceived by the resemblance—for the only difference is in the flower—they have partaken of it, they at once seek as a remedy the plant called asyla. We Romans call it “cat’s-eye”. Some instruct the diggers to say nothing until they have saluted it before sunrise, and then to gather it and extract the juice, for so they say its efficacy is at its greatest. About the juice of euphorbeab enough has been said. Ophthalmia, if there is swelling, will be benefited by wormwood beaten up with honey, and also by powderedc betony.

XCIII. Aegilopsd is cured by the plant of the same name, which grows among barley and has a leaf like that of wheat; either the seed may be reduced to powder, mixed with flour and applied, or the juice may be used. This is extracted from the stem and juicy leaves after taking away the ears, and then it is worked into lozenges with the flour of three-month wheat.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938