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Quinomella et quirofallon secundum Dyascoridem vocatur psillium capitulo de psilio et cetera.


Quinomella AC e | Quinomela B | Quinonralla f

quirofallon AC| quirofalon (-lõ B) B ef

uocatur B | vocatur (-t~ AC) AC e | d͡r f

psillium (-ũ A e) AC e | psilium B f

de om. f

psilio ABC e | po? f

et cetera om. B ef


Quinomella and quirofallon are according to Dyascorides synonyms of psillium {"plantain sp."}, as said in his chapter De psilio, and so forth.


Simon's ultimate source is Dioscorides Longobardus, 4, 65, ed. Stadler (1901: 37). De psillion, where it says: Psillion aut quinofallion, quem Siculi cristallion dicunt aut quinomela … - "Psillion or quinofallion, which the Siculi {'Sicilians'} call cristallion or quinomela".

The two above-mentioned synonyms show some variation in the Dioscoridean mss. and prints, e.g. Simon's Quinomella can be found as quinomela(m), even squinnomella; these are attempts to render Greek κυνόμυια /kynómyia/, which literally means "dog-fly". Pliny, 25, 90, 140, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.234), also mentions cynomyia amongst the synonyms of psyllion.

Simon's quirofallon shows up in the mss. as quinofallion, quirofalion, quirafalion, quinosfallion, quinofolion, all standing for Greek κυνοκεφάλιον /kynokephálion/ (lit.) "little dog's head". It must be said that this latter plant name serves as a synonym not only for psillium, but also for antirrhinum < ἀντίῤῥινον /antírrhinon/. Cf. Simon's entry Cinocephalon.

In both synonyms the letters 'qu' are the late Latin spelling of the sound /k/ when followed by 'I', 'y' or 'e'; so the desired pronunciations would have been /kinofallion/ and /kinomela/; cf. the appropriate section in Q littera. In the synonym quinomella the word-final element was changed from –myia to the more familiar –mella/-mela "apple and other tree-fruits", an element which can also be found e.g. in Simon's entry coquimela.

Botanical identification:

Quinomella and quirofallon are synonyms of a plant Simon writes as psillium, or in more conventional Latin psyllium or psyllion < Greek ψύλλιον /psýllion/ or ψυλλíον /psyllíon/, often botanically identified as "fleawort", Plantago psyllium L.

For more information see Psilium.

Wilf Gunther 19/01/14

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