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Sclarea de ipsa capitulum habetur in butanico sic vocant moderni centrum galli de qua supra in cen.


qua ABC f | quo (qo ms. ej) ejp


Sclarea: There is a chapter on sclarea in the Butanicus, and it is the name my contemporaries apply to centrum galli, about which more can be found above in Centrum galli.


The St. Gall Botanicus, which Simon calls Butanicus, does indeed have a chapter on sclarea, i.e. 50, ed. Niederer (2003: 136): Nomen herba sclaredia salvatica – "the name of the herb is wild sclaredia", with indications for chest and lung infections, foot pains and bleeding. Contrary to the majority of the plants found in the Butanicus, sclarea was not taken over from the Herbarius of Ps. Apuleius and its source is unknown. As for the name sclarea, it is of late Latin origin, its first appearance is in an appendix to Gargilius Martialis Medicinae ex oleribus et pomis, edited by V. Rose. In this appendix entitled Medicinis ex Gargilio excerptis, (1875: 209-11), in a recipe for liquamen {"a fish-sauce"}, (1875: 210.5), sclareia is mentioned amongst a number of other herbs [[1]].

The word sclareia itself derives from (h)astula regia > astla regia > ascla regia {astla and ascla are attested in Marcellus Empiricus} and with loss of the initial vowel {aphaeresis} it becomes sclaregia, the latter probably being pronounced the same as sclaredia or sclareia . This name shows unsurprisingly a large number of variants, e.g. sclareia, sclaredia, sclarea, sclareta, slareia, scarolegia. (cf. Niederer, 2003:410ff.) As Niederer points out, Simon's statement in the entry Centrum galli: multi integrum in oculis ponentes ipsos oculos clarificare dicunt ob id sclaretam vocant – "many people who apply this herb to their eyes say that it clarifies these eyes, which is why it is called sclareta", which clearly shows that sclarea was now seen as derived from clarus "clear" and that people were no longer aware of its connection with hastula regia.

Botanical identification:

Hastula regia, lit. "king's staff/stick", in Antiquity is usually thought to be a species of Asphodelus [[2]]. But in later Antiquity and during the Middle Ages its aphaeretic derivatives especially are commonly identified with Salvia sclarea L. "clary sage" [[3]].

WilfGunther 17:12, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

See also: Afodillus, Astularegia, Centrum galli

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