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The bacchar,1 too, by some persons known as "field nard," is odoriferous in the root only. In former times, it was the practice to make unguents of this root, as we learn from the poet Aristophanes, a writer of the Ancient Comedy; from which circumstance some persons have erroneously given the name of "exotic"2 to the plant. The smell of it strongly resembles that of cinnamomum; and the plant grows in thin soils, which are free from all humidity.

The name of "combretum"3 is given to a plant that bears a very strong resemblance to it, the leaves of which taper to the fineness of threads; in height, however, it is taller than the bacchar. These are the only4 * * * * The error, however, ought to be corrected, on the part of those who have bestowed upon the bacchar the name of "field nard;" for that in reality is the surname given to another plant, known to the Greeks as "asaron," the description and features of which we have already5 mentioned, when speaking of the different va- rieties of nard. I find, too, that the name of "asaron" has been given to this plant, from the circumstance of its never6 being employed in the composition of chaplets.

1 See B. xii. c. 26. Fée. is inclined to coincide with Ruellius, and to identify this with the Digitalis purpurea, clown's spikenard, or our Lady's gloves. The only strong objection to this is the fact that the root of the digitalis has a very faint but disagreeable smell, and not at all like that of cinnamon. But then, as Fée says, we have no positive proof that the "cinnamomum" of the ancients is identical with our cinnamon. See Vol. iii. p. 138. Sprengel takes the "bacchar" of Virgil to be the Valeriana Celtica, and the "baccharis" of the Greeks to be the Gnaphalium sanguineum, a plant of Egypt and Palestine. The bacchar has been also identified with the Asperula odorata of Linnæus, the Geum urbanum of Linnæus (the root of which has the smell of cloves), the Inula Vaillantii, the Salvia Sclarea, and many other plants.

2 "Barbaricam." Everything that was not indigenous to the territory of Rome, was "barbarum," or "barbaricum."

3 Cæsalpinus says that this is a rushy plant, called, in Tuscany, Herba luziola; but Fée is quite at a loss for its identification.

4 Sillig is most probably right in his surmise that there is an hiatus here.

5 In B. xii. c. 27. Asarum Europæum, or foal-foot.

6 Probably meaning that it comes from , "not," and σαίρω, "to adorn."

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