previous next


With a remarkable degree of inconsistency, the Greek writers, while praising the buprestis1 as an aliment, point out certain antidotes2 to it, as though it were a poison. The very name, however, proves to a certainty that it is poisonous to cattle, and it is generally admitted that, on tasting it, they burst3 asunder: we shall, therefore, say no more about it. Is there any reason, in fact, why, when we are speaking of the materials employed in making our grass crowns, we should de- scribe a poison? or really ought we to enlarge upon it only to please the libidinous fancies of those who imagine that there is not a more powerful aphrodisiac in existence than this, when taken in drink?

1 Sprengel and Desfontaines consider it to be the Buplevrum rotundifolium: but Fée is of a contrary opinion, and thinks that it is impossible to identify it.

2 Though Hardouin attempts to defend him, it is more than probable that it is Pliny himself who is in error here; and that he has confounded the plant Buprestis with the insect of that name, which belongs to the class of Cantharides, and received its name (burn-cow) from its fatal effects when eaten by cattle.

3 See B. xxx. c. 10.

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.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

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

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: