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Some authors have thought that it is the asphodel that is called "halimon" by Hesiod, an opinion which appears to me ill-founded; halimon1 being the name of a distinct plant, which has been the occasion of no few mistakes committed by writers. According to some, it is a tufted shrub, white, destitute of thorns, and with leaves like those of the olive, only softer; which eaten boiled, are an agreeable food. The root, they say, taken in doses of one drachma in hydromel, allays gripings of the bowels, and is a cure for ruptures and convul- sions. Others, again, pronounce it to be a vegetable growing near the sea-shore,2 of a salt taste—to which, in fact, it owes its name—with leaves somewhat round but elongated, and much esteemed as an article of food. They say, too, that there are two species of it, the wild and the cultivated,3 and that, mixed with bread, they are good, both of them, for dysentery, even if uiceration should have supervened, and are useful for stomachic affections, in combination with vinegar. They state, also, that this plant is applied raw to ulcers of long standing, and that it modifies the inflammation of recent wounds, and the pain attendant upon sprains of the feet and affections of the bladder. The wild halimon, they tell us, has thinner leaves than the other, but is more effectual as a medicament in all the above cases, as also for the cure of itch, whether in man or beast. The root, too, according to them, employed as a friction, renders the skin more clear, and the teeth whiter; and they assert that if the seed of it is put beneath the tongue, no thirst will be experienced. They state, also, that this kind is eaten as well as the other, and that they are, both of them, preserved.

Crateuas has spoken of a third4 kind also, with longer leaves than the others, and more hairy: it has the smell of the cypress, he says, and grows beneath the ivy more particularly. He states that this plant is extremely good for opisthotony and contractions of the sinews, taken in doses of three oboli to one sextarius of water.

1 The Atriplex halimus of Linnæus, sea orach. Belon says that it is found in great abundance in Candia, the ancient Crete, where it is known as "halimatia," and the tops of the stalks are used as food.

2 Hence its name, ἅλιμον, from ἀλς, the "sea," and not,as Pliny says, from its salt taste.

3 "Mitinis." Fée says that if this word means "cultivated," the plant mentioned cannot be the Atriplex halimus; in which case he is inclined to identify it with the Atriplex portulacoides of Linnæus; the leaves and young stalks of which, preserved in vinegar, have an agreeable taste.

4 Some other plant, probably, Fée thinks.

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