LXI. Herba Sabina brathy appellata a Graecis duorum generum est, altera tamarici folio similis, altera cupressi. quare quidam Creticam cupressum dixerunt. a multis in suffitus pro ture adsumitur, in medicamentis vero duplicato pondere eosdem effectus habere quos cinnamum traditur. collectiones minuit et nomas conpescit, inlita ulcera purgat, partus emortuos adposita extrahit et suffita. inlinitur igni sacro et carbunculis cum melle1; ex vino pota regio morbo medetur. gallinacii generis pituitas fumo eius herbae sanari tradunt.103
LXII. Similis herbae huic Sabinae est selago appellata. legitur sine ferro dextra manu per tunicam qua2 sinistra exuitur3 velut a furante, candida veste vestito pureque lautis nudis pedibus, sacro facto prius quam legatur pane vinoque. fertur in mappa nova. hanc contra perniciem omnem habendam prodidere Druidae Gallorum et contra omnia oculorum vitia fumum eius prodesse.104
LXIII. Idem samolum herbam nominavere nascentem in umidis, et hanc sinistra manu legi a ieiunis
LXI. Sabine herb, called brathy by the Greeks, is ofSavin. two kinds. One has a leaf like that of the tamarisk, the other like that of the cypress, for which reason some have called it the Cretan cypress. Many use it instead of frankincense for fumigations; in medicines moreover a double dose is said to be equivalent in strength to a single dose of cinnamon. It reduces gatherings and checks corroding sores; an application cleanses ulcers, and used as a pessary or for fumigation it brings away the dead foetus. With honey it is used as an ointment for erysipelas and carbuncles; taken in wine it cures jaundice. By fumigation sabine herb is said to cure the pip in chickens.
LXII. Like this sabine herb is the plant called selagoSelago. It is gathered without iron with the right hand, thrust under the tunic through the left arm-hole, as though the gatherer were thieving.a He should be clad in white, and have bare feet washed clean; before gathering he should make a sacrificial offering of bread and wine. The plant is carried in a new napkin. The Druids of Gaul have recorded that it should be kept on the person to ward off all fatalities, and that the smoke of it is good for all diseases of the eyes.
LXIII. The same authorities have called samolusSamolus. (brook-weed) a plant growing in moist regions,b which (they say) is to be gathered with the left hand
- aI do not think that there is any need to depart from the MSS., except, perhaps, to alter exuitur to exeritur with C. F. W. Müller. The reason for the proposed changes is to make sinistra ablative, some old editions and the MS. X actually adding manu. It is true that the left hand is usually the one used in this kind of magic (XXI. § 176, XXVII. §§ 36, 117), but here the right hand pretends to be the left and deceives the plant, taking it by surprise before its virtue can slip away. Such deception of e.g. rice is still common in the East. Mayhoff’s text gives: “the right hand being covered by the tunic, it is torn off by the left hand etc.”
- bI think that et before hanc is “and” not “also.” The latter meaning would make necessary a radical reconstruction of § 103. But there seem to be contrasts between the two cases, dextra)(sinistra and sacro facto pane vinoque)(a ieiunis. One is tempted to suggest at for et.