Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 434-435

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Pliny: Natural History

cum lini semine cocta sorbitionis usu dysinteria liberat.


LI. Empetros, quam nostri calcifragam vocant, nascitur in montibus maritimis, fere in saxo. quae propius mari fuit salsa est potaque trahit bilem ac pituitas, quae longius magisque terrena amarior sentitur. trahit aquam, sumitur autem in iure aliquo aut in hydromelite, vetustate vires perdit, recens urinas ciet decoctum in aqua vel tritum calculosque frangit. qui fidem promisso huic quaerunt, adfirmant lapillos qui subfervefiant una rumpi.


LII. Epicactis ab aliis elleborine vocatur, parva herba, exiguis foliis, iocineris vitiis utilissima et contra venena pota.

LIII. Epimedion caulis est non magnus hederae foliis denis atque duodenis, numquam florens, radice tenui, nigra, gravi odore ac1 . . . in umidis nascitur. et huic spissandi refrigerandique natura, feminis cavenda. folia in vino trita virginum mammas cohibent.


LIV. Enneaphyllon longa folia novena habet causticae naturae. inponitur lana circumdatum ne urat latius, continuo enim pusulas excitat, lumborum doloribus et coxendicum utilissimum.


LV. Filicis duo genera. nec florem habent nec semen. pterim vocant Graeci, alii blachnon, cuius ex



underneath.a The plant boiled with linseed makes a gruelb that cures dysentery.

LI. Empetros, called calcifraga by us Romans,Empetros. is found on coastal mountains, generally on a rock. When it has grown near the sea it is salt, and taken in drink brings away bile and phlegms; when farther off and in deeper soil it tastes more bitter. It brings away fluid,c and is taken in broth of some kind or in hydromel. When stale it loses its potency, but when fresh and boiled down in water or beaten up it is diuretic and breaks up stone in the bladder. Those who seek to win belief in this assurance assert that pebbles boiled with it are broken up.

LII. Epicactis, called by some elleborine, is aEpicactis. small plant with tiny leaves; taken in drink it is very useful for liver complaints and to counteract poisons.

LIII. Epimedion is a stem, not large, with ten orEpimedion. evend twelve leaves like ivy leaves. It never flowers, has a slender, blackish, evil-smelling root, and . . .e This plant, which grows in damp soils, is one of those with bracing and cooling properties, and should be avoided by women. Its leaves, beaten up in wine, check the growth of maidens’ breasts.

LIV. Enneaphyllon has nine long leaves, and is ofEnneaphyllon. a caustic nature. When applied it is wrapped up in wool, lest it cauterize too far,f for it raises blisters immediately. It is very good for the pains of lumbago and sciatica.

LV. Ferns are of two kinds, neither having blossomFilix. or seed. Some Greeks call pteris, others blachnon, the kind from the sole root of which shoot out several

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938