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{ Tag Archives } proprietas


Pliny, Naturalis Historia 21.54: Tribulo proprietas, quod et fructum spinosum habet. The caltrop has the distinctive property that it even has a spiny fruit. There are a few plants called tribulus ‘caltrop’, in both English and Latin.  The one that today has Tribulus as its scientific name, the puncturevine, is probably not the one being referred to, […]

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Pliny on leeks.

Pliny on leeks (Naturalis Historia 19.33): insigne quod, cum fimo lætoque solo gaudeat, rigua odit. et tamen proprietate quadam soli constant It is notable that while [the leek] enjoys manure and rich soil, it despises well-watered ground—and yet they endure it, when a certain distinctive property is in the soil. This one was difficult for […]

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On poison in the shade of walnut trees.

Pliny on the dangers of being in the shade (Naturalis Historia 17.18): Iam quaedam umbrarum proprietas: iuglandum gravis et noxia, etiam capiti humano omnibusque iuxta satis. Now there is a certain distinctive property to some shades: that of walnut trees is unwholesome and harmful, both to human life, and to anything else close enough. He […]

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Ubi res coget

Pliny on kinds of oak trees (Naturalis Historia 16.6): Distinguemus ergo proprietate naturaque et, ubi res coget, etiam Graecis nominibus. Therefore we will distinguish them by their properties, their natures, and, when the occasion requires, also by their Greek names. Well, I’m not too happy with this rendition; it’s clunky. Not sure how to tidy […]

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Pliny on carob.

Pliny is speaking of different kinds of fruit, their coverings, and the best parts of them (Naturalis Historia 15.34): In siliquis vero quod manditur quid nisi lignum est? non omittenda seminis earum proprietate: nam neque corpus nec lignum nec cartilago dici potest neque aliud nomen inveniat. In carob, indeed, what is eaten, except for the […]

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