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Caucalis. In vero Dya. cancolian scribitur. Dya.: Herba est quam Romani calicariam vocant. Habet folia alba et ingentia, tyrsum ex eorum medio emergentem cum flore simili quercus. Nascitur in montibus et cetera.


cancolian e | cancalion A C | caucoliam B


Caucalis. In the authentic Dioscorides, it is written cancolia. Dioscorides : "It is a plant that Romans call calicaria. It has white and large leaves, in the middle of which a stem rises with a flower resembling that of the oak. It grows in the mountains, etc."


This plant is mercury (Mercurialis tomentosa).

Simon's words "in vero Dya." refer to translation-C of Dioscorides, where the chapter is called De cancolia (in our edition: 4, 118, ed. Stadler (1901: 57). However, Simon does not quote this text but the version from the Alphabetical Latin Dioscorides (ed. Colle, 1478, f. 40r : litt. C, cap. 100 : Cancalis), which is different and must come from a distinct translation.

Both are translated from the original Greek text: κακκαλία /kakkalía/ (4, 122, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: II. 270-1).

"Quercus" (oak) is an error which comes from the Alphabetical Dioscorides. In the original Greek text, the flower is said to resemble that of the bryony (ἄνθος ἕχον ἐοικὸς βρυωνίᾳ /ánthos ékhōn eoikós bryōnía/), as in translation-C but with a variant, mentioning the olive (flore habet brio simile aut oliuae). It may come from a confusion between the Greek words βρύον /brýon/ (tree moss) / βρυωνία /bryonía/ (bryony) and δρῦς, δρυός /drys, dryós/ (oak).

--Marie Cronier 09:23, 29 March 2012 (BST)

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