Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 418: 520-521


Pliny: Natural History

92aceto mulso caldo. Tussim sanare dicuntur piscium modo e iure decoctae in patinis ranae. suspensae autem pedibus, cum destillaverit in patinas saliva earum, exinterari iubentur abiectisque interaneis condiri. est rana parva arborem scandens atque ex ea vociferans; in huius os si quis expuat ipsamque dimittat, tussi liberari narratur. praecipiunt et cocleae crudae carnem tritam bibere ex aqua calda in tussi cruenta.


XXX. Iocineris doloribus . . . scorpio marinus in vino necatus, ut inde bibatur, conchae longae carnes ex mulso potae cum aquae pari modo aut, si febres sint, ex aqua mulsa. Lateris dolores leniunt hippocampi tosti sumpti tetheaque similis ostreo in cibo sumpta, ischiadicorum muria siluri clystere infusa. dantur autem conchae ternis obolis dilutis in vini sextariis duobus per dies xv.


XXXI. Alvum emollit silurus e iure et torpedo in cibo et olus marinum simile sativo—stomacho inimicum alvum facillime purgat, sed propter acrimoniam cum pingui carne coquitur—et omnium piscium ius. idem et urinas ciet, e vino maxime. optimum e scorpionibus et iulide et saxatilibus nec virus resipientibus nec pinguibus. coci debent cum aneto, 95apio, coriandro, porro, additis oleo, sale. purgant et cybia vetera, privatimque cruditates, pituitas, bilem trahunt.



cough is said to be cured by frogs boiled down in a pan as are fish in their own liquor. A prescription is: the frogs to be hung up by the feet, their saliva allowed to drip into a pan, and then, after being gutted, they are preserved after the entrails have been cast aside. There is a small frog that climbs trees and croaks loudly out of them. If a person with a cough spits into the mouth of one of these and lets it go, he is said to be cured of the complaint. For a cough with spitting of blood is prescribed the raw flesh of a snail beaten up and taken in warm water.

XXX. For liver pains are good: ... a sea scorpion drowned in wine, so that the liquor may be drunk, or the flesh of the long mussel taken in honey wine with an equal quantity of water, or if there is fever in hydromel. Pains in the side are relieved by eating the flesh of the sea-horse roasted, or the tethea, which resemblesa the oyster, taken in the food; sciatica is relieved by the brine of the silurus, injected as an enema. Mussels too are given for fifteen days in doses of three oboli soaked in two sextarii of wine.

XXXI. The bowels are relaxed by the silurus, taken with its broth, by the torpedo, taken in food, by the sea-cabbage, which is like the cultivated kind—it is bad for the stomach but readily purges the bowels, and owing to its pungency is boiled with fat meat—and by the liquor of any boiled fish; the last is also diuretic, especially when taken in wine. The best is from the sea-scorpion, the wrasse, and the rock-fish, which are neither of a rank taste nor fatty. They should be boiled with dill, parsley, coriander, leeks, and with oil added and salt. Purgative too is stale tunny sliced, and it is specific for bringing away undigested food, phlegm and bile.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938