Buprestis (2)

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Buprestin etiam vocat Plinius plantam que quamvis a grecis in cibo laudetur boum tamen est venenum.


etiam ABC ep | e͡c fj
a grecis | agrestis ms. e
in cibo | in cibis p
laudetur AC fp | laudatur B ej
boum AC j | bonũ B efp {'u' placed upside down by print-setter resulting in 'n'}


Pliny gives the name buprestis also to a plant, which was praised exceedingly by the Greeks as a food, but it is poison for cattle.


reflects the Greek acc. sg. βούπρηστιν /boúprēstin/ of βούπρηστις /boúprēstis/, a compound name containing the elements βου- /bou-/ "ox" + πρηθ /prēth- / "swell". The plant is briefly mentioned in Theophrastus, Historia Plantarum, 7, 7, 3, ed. Hort (1916: II.106) [[1]], as a plant that grows when the first rains come after the equinox.

Simon's entry is a very truncated quote from Pliny, 22, 36, 78, ed. W.H.S. Jones(1938-63: VI.348), where Pliny describes the plant buprestis, but this time accusing the plant - just like the beetle of the same name - of causing cattle to explode after eating it, presumably because of its name's meaning "cattle-sweller", cf. Buprestis (1). Pliny in his passage charges the Greeks with two-facedness for the reason that they are only mentioning the plant as a good food source in spite of it really being a poison because it is known to be the most potent aphrodisiac known to man.

Botanical identification:

The botanical identification is difficult with André (1985: 41) s.v. būprēstis refusing to identify the plant.

But LSJ gloss it as "hare's ear, Bupleurum protractum".
Bupleurum protractum Hoffm. & Link, syn. Bupleurum lancifolium Hornem. [[2]], sometimes called "lanceleaf thorow-wax", has a near Europe-wide distribution.

Berendes (1891: 194), mentions Bupleurum rotundifolium L. [[3]]; [[4]]; [[5]] "thorow-wax", possibly a native of the Middle-East, was most likely brought into Europe by early settlers, and it has now a near Europe-wide distribution.

WilfGunther (talk) 18:56, 16 November 2016 (GMT)

See also: Buprestis (1)

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