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Anconum Plinius quidam omonidam malunt vocare ramosam similem fenugreco nisi fruticosior esset hirsutiorque odore iocundo post ver spinosa est ut etiam ea muria conditur et cetera.


Anconum A | Angonum C | Angonim B p | Angonium (-iũ H) H j | Angomuʒ (Ango͞m ms. e) ef
omonidam | omenidaʒ f | hõnodaʒ H
malunt vocare | uocãt f
nisi | nõ ms. e
fruticosior A | fructicosior CH | fructificosior j | fructificosior p | fructuosior B ef
hirsutiorque (-qʒ H j) AH j | hirsuciorqʒ C | yrsutiorqʒ B e | hyrsutiorqʒ p | hirsuciorum f
iocundo | iocundus ms. e
ver | ubi ms. e
ut etiam ea muria conditur et cetera om. f
est ut etiam ea muria | estur etiam muria Pliny
etiam | in ms. e
muria ACH ep | camuria j {= ea muria} j | mima B
conditur | cõdituʒ j | condiat~ H | cõeditur B
et cetera om. j


Anconum, which some prefer to call onomida, is full of branches, similar to faenum Graecum {"fenugreek"}, except that it is more bushy and more hairy; it has an agreeable smell and it becomes prickly after the spring. It is also {eaten Pliny} pickled in brine, etc.


This is a near verbatim excerpt from Pliny, 27, 12, 29, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.406).

Anconum/ Angonum etc.:
as well as omonidam are corruptions of Greek ὄνωνις /ónōnis/ or ὀνωνίς /onōnís/ and its variant ἄνωνις /ánōnis/, Latinised ononis and anonis. Pliny starts his chapter with the accusative form of anonis, i.e. anonim imitating the Greek accusative ἄνωνιν /ánōnin/, a form that is the origin of the corruptions found in Simon's witnesses.

is an accustative form of ὄνωνις /ónōnis/ or ὀνωνίς /onōnís/, i.e. ὀνώνιδα /onṓnida/ or ὀνωνίδα /onōnída/ respectively, to which a tautological Latin accusative marker –m is added in Simon's witnesses, as if the word was of the a-declension.

ὀνωνίς /onōnís/:
is already mentioned in Theophrastus [[1]] and it is attested in Dioscorides in the Greek original, 3, 131, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: II.140-1) [[2]], under the name of ὄνοσμα /ónosma/ but where ὄνωνις /ónōnis/ is also listed among its synonyms.
In Dioscorides Longobardus the relevant chapter is found in book 3, 18, ed. Stadler (1899: 383-4) De anomida [[3]], see Onoma.

The word is usually derived from Greek ὄνος /ónos/ "donkey ass" or ὀνίς /onís/ "ass's dung" although Frisk (1960-72: II.398), s.v., calls this connection "unklar" {‘unclear'}. Carnoy (1959: 195), s.v. onōnis thinks that it is a contemptuous name because several "bugrane" {‘rest harrow'} plants have a fetid smell, with Genaust (1996: 436), s.v. Onónis expressing a similar view. However this contradicts Pliny's statement that the plant is odore jocundo, of an "agreeable smell". Furthermore a derivation from ὄνος /ónos/ is less likely to develop the variant ἄνωνις /ánōnis/. In contrast Strömberg (1940: 155) sees here folk-etymological influence from ὄνος /ónos/ changing ἄνωνις /ánōnis/ to ὄνωνις /ónōnis/. But André (1985: 17), s.v. anōnis simply states "sans étymologie" and he views I onōnis (p. 178) as a "déformation" of ἄνωνις /ánōnis/.

Botanical identification:

Most modern authors opt for an Ononis species in their identification, e.g. Carnoy (1959); Beck (2005: 185) ἄνωνις /ánōnis/; Theophrastus, ed. Hort (1916: II.467), ὀνωνίς /onōnís/; André (1985: 17), s.v. anōnis and (1985: 178), I onōnis, suggest Ononis antiquorum L., syn. Ononis spinosa L. "spiny rest harrow" [[4]], [[5]], [[6]] .

WilfGunther (talk) 11:32, 11 October 2015 (BST)

See also: Onoma

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