Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 474-475

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Pliny: Natural History


CX. Telephion porcilacae similis est et caule et foliis. rami a radice septeni octonique fruticant foliis crassis, carnosis. nascitur in cultis et maxime inter vites. inlinitur lentigini et, cum inaruit, deteritur. inlinitur et vitiligini ternis fere mensibus, senis horis noctis aut diei,1 postea farina hordeacia inlinatur. medetur et vulneribus et fistulis.


CXI. Trichomanes adianto simile est, exilius modo nigriusque, foliis lenticulae densis, parvis,2 adversis inter se. decoctum eius strangurias sanat in vino albo potum addito cumino rustico. esum3 cohibet capillos fluentes, aut si effluxerint, reparat, alopeciasque densat tritum et in oleo inlitum. sternumenta quoque gustatu movet.

CXII. Thalictrum folia coriandri habet pinguiora paulo, caulem papaveris. nascitur ubique, praecipue in campestribus. medentur ulceribus folia cum melle.


CXIII. Thlaspi duorum generum est: angustis foliis digitali latitudine et longitudine in terram versis, in cacumine divisis, cauliculo semipedali, non sine ramis, peltarum specie semine incluso lenticulae effigie, nisi quod infringitur, unde nomen. flos albicat. nascitur in semitis et saepibus. semen asperi gustus bilem et pituitam utrimque extrahit, modus .

  • 1Hic et ut add. Mayhoff: aut VRd1.
  • 2 parvis e Theophrasto (VII 14. 1) Mayhoff: amaris codd
  • 3esum Ianus: lienem Mayhoff coll. Diosc.: iesum codd.


CX. Telephion resembles purslane in both stemTelephion. and leaves. Seven or eight branches from the root make a bushy plant with coarse, fleshy leaves. It grows on cultivated ground, especially among vines. It is used as liniment for freckles and rubbed off when dry; it makes liniment also for psoriasis, to be applied for about three months, six hours each night or day; afterwards barley meal should be applied. It is also good treatment for wounds and fistulas.

CXI. Trichomanes resembles adiantum, but isTrichomanes. thinner and darker; the leaves are like those of the lentil, closely set, small, and opposite one another. The decoction, taken in white wine, with wild cummin added, cures strangury.a Eaten as food it prevents hair falling off, or if it has already done so, restores it. Beaten up and applied in oil it makes a thick growth when there is mange.b Sneezing too is provoked by the taste.

CXII. Thalictrum has coriander-like leaves, but aThalictrum. little more fleshy,c and the stem of a poppy. It grows everywhere, but particularly in flat, meadowy country. The leaves with honey are good treatment for ulcers.

CXIII. Thlaspi is of two kinds. One has narrowThlaspi. leaves, a finger in breadth and length, turned towards the ground, and divided at the tip. The stem is half a foot long, not without branches, and with seed enclosed in shield-like pods and shaped like a lentil, except that—hence comes the name—it is indented.d The blossom is white, and the plant grows in lanes and in hedges. The seed has a sharp taste and brings away bile and phlegm by both vomit and

  • aWith Mayhoff’s addition of lienem, “and also splenic disease.”
  • bSee list of diseases.
  • cDioscorides IV 97: φύλλα . . . λιπαρώτερα.
  • dSee Dioscorides II 156: οἱονεὶ ἐντεθλασμένον. Peltae. were crescent-shaped shields. Either half of pepper-wort seed-pod is so shaped.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938