Theophrastus, De Causis Plantarum

LCL 474: 74-75

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ἤδη καὶ συνεκτεθραμμένων, ὥσπερ γὰρ μία φύσις ἐγεγένητο διὰ τὸν χρόνον· εἰ δὲ νέων250 ὄντων εὐθὺς παρεῖλεν, οὐχ ὅτι ἂν ἀφηύανεν,251 ἀλλὰ καὶ εὐαξεστέρας καὶ καλλίους ἐποίησεν.

καὶ περὶ μὲν τῶν ἄλλων δένδρων ἐκ τούτων θεωρείσθω.

11.1περὶ δὲ ἀμπέλων ὅσα μὴ κοινὰ καὶ ἐν τοῖς πρότερον εἴρηται λεκτέον ὁμοίως.

ἐπεὶ δὲ καὶ τὰ γένη διαφέρει, καὶ αἱ χῶραι, τοῦτο χρὴ πειρᾶσθαι διαιρεῖν· τὰ ποῖα, καὶ252 ταῖς ποίαις, οἰκεῖα· κατὰ φύσιν μὲν γὰρ ἐὰν φυτεύῃ τις, ἀγαθά, παρὰ φύσιν δέ, ἄκαρπα γίνεται. τὸ δὲ κατὰ φύσιν σχεδὸν καθ᾿ ὁμοιότητά τινα λαμβάνουσιν (ὥσπερ εἴπομεν), ἐν μὲν τῇ στερεᾷ καὶ αὐχμώδει τὰ στερεά, καὶ τῶν λευκῶν καὶ τῶν μελάνων253 (ὡς δ᾿ ἐπὶ τὸ πᾶν τὰ μέλανα στερεώτερα), ἐν δὲ τῇ ἐπόμβρῳ τὰ μανά. διάδηλα δὲ τὰ πυκνὰ καὶ τὰ μανὰ ταῖς μήτραις, ἃς


De Causis Plantarum III

their society, for a single nature (as it were) had come about from the long time spent together. But if he had removed the trees when the vines were still young, far from making them wither, he would have made them faster-growing and finer vines.

The other trees are to be studied in the light of this discussion.

The Vine: Special Measures

As for the vine, we must similarly discuss measures not11.1 common to the rest and not treated earlier.125

Matching the Kinds of Vine with the Kinds of Country

Since not only the varieties of vine but also the countries differ, we must endeavour to distinguish what varieties are appropriate to what countries, since if one plants them in the natural way they turn out well, whereas if one plants them unnaturally they fail to bear.126 Authorities find what is natural (as we said)127 by following a certain similarity (as it were): in firm and rainless country they plant the vines of solid texture (both of the white and dark varieties; but on the whole the dark are the more solid), in rainy country the vines of open texture. Close and open texture can be distinguished by the types of pith, which

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theophrastus-de_causis_plantarum.1976