previous next


Syria produces the malobathrum1 also, a tree which bears a folded leaf, with just the colour of a leaf when dried. From this plant an oil is extracted for unguents. Egypt produces it in still greater abundance; but that which is the most esteemed of all comes from India, where it is said to grow in the marshes like the lentil. It has a more powerful odour than saffron, and has a black, rough appearance, with a sort of brackish taste. The white is the least approved of all, and it very soon turns musty when old. In taste it ought to be similar to nard, when placed under the tongue. When made luke-warm in wine, the odour which it emits is superior to any other. The prices at which this drug ranges are something quite marvellous, being from one denarius to four hundred per pound; as for the leaf, it generally sells at sixty denarii per pound.

1 Some suppose this tree to be the Laurus cassia of Linnæus, or wild cinnamon; others take it for the betel, the Piper betel of Linnæus. Clusius thinks that the name is derived from the Indian Tamalpatra, the name given from time immemorial to the leaf of a tree known by the Arabs as the Cadegi-indi, possibly the same as the Katou-carua of the Malabars.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (6 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: