Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 412-413

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Pliny: Natural History

causa quidam hanc androsaemon vocavere. usus seminis ad ischiadicos poti duabus drachmis in hydromelitis sextario. alvum solvit, bilem detrahit. inlinitur et ambustis.

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XXI. Aphaca tenuia admodum folia habet et1 pusilla. altior lenticula et2 siliquas maiores fert in quibus terna aut quaterna semina sunt nigriora et minora lenticula. nascitur in arvis. natura ad spissandum efficacior quam lenti, reliquos usus eosdem habet. stomachi alvique fluctiones sistit semen decoctum.

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XXII. Alcibium qualis esset herba non repperi apud auctores, sed radicem eius et folia trita ad serpentis morsum inponi et bibi, folia quantum manus capiat trita cum vini meri cyathis tribus aut radicem drachmarum trium pondere cum vini eadem mensura.

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XXIII. Alectoros lophos, quae apud nos crista dicitur, folia habet similia gallinacei cristae plura, caulem tenuem, semen nigrum in siliquis. utilis tussientibus cocta cum faba fresa, melle addito et caligini oculorum. solidum semen coicitur in oculum, nec turbat, sed in se caliginem contrahit, mutat colorem et ex nigro albicare incipit et intumescit ac per se exit.

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XXIV. Alum nos vocamus, Graeci symphyton petraeum simile cunilae bubulae, foliis parvis, ramis

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Book XXVII

therefore some have called the plant androsaemon.a Two-drachmae doses of the seed, taken in a sextarius of hydromel, are used for sciatica. It loosens the bowels, brings away bile, and is applied to burns.

XXI. Aphaca has very slender and tinyb leaves.Aphaca. Taller than the lentil it also bears larger pods, in which are three or four seeds, darker and smaller than those of the lentil. It grows in cultivated fields, and has bracingc qualities more powerful than those of the lentil, its other uses being the same. A decoction of the seed checks fluxes of the stomach and bowels.

XXII. In my authorities I have found no descriptionAlcibium. of alcibium, but only that its pounded root and leaves are applied locally, and taken in drink, for snake bite; a handful of the pounded leaves with three cyathi of neat wine, or three drachmae by weight of the root with the same measure of wine.

XXIII. Alectoros lophos, which we Romans callAlectoros laphos. “comb” (crista), has several leaves like a cock’s comb, a slender stem, and black seed in pods. Boiled with ground beans it is useful for cough, and with the addition of honey for film on the eyes. The seed is cast whole into the eye; it does no harm but attracts the film to itself. Changing colour it begins to turn from black to white, swells, and works out by itself.

XXIV. We Romans call alum what the Greeks callAlum. symphyton petraeum. It is like ox cunila, with small leaves and three or four branches growing from

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938