This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 In c. 33 of this Book.
2 Od. iv. 1. 221. This has been supposed by many commentators to have been opium. The origin of the word is νή, "not," and πένθος, "grief;" and, as Fée says, it would seem to indicate rather a composition than a plant. Saffron, mandragore, nightshade, and even tea and coffee, have been suggested by the active imaginations of various writers. Fée is of opinion that it is impossible to come to any satisfactory conclusion, but inclines to the belief that either the poppy or a preparation from it, is meant. In confirmation of this opinion, it is a singular fact, that, as Dr. Paris remarks (in his Pharmacologia), the Nepenthes of Homer was obtained from Thebes in Egypt, and that tincture of opium, or laudanum, has received the name of "Thebaic tincture." Gorræus, in his "Definitiones Medicæ," thinks that the herb alluded to is the Inula Campania, or Elecampane, which was also said to have derived its name of "Helenium" from Helen. Dr. Greenhill, in Smith's Dictionary of Antiquities, inclines to the opinion that it was opium. See the article "Pharmaceutica."
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.