previous next


The plant called "cissos erythranos"1 by the Greeks, is similar to the ivy: taken in wine, it is good for sciatica and lumbago. The berries, it is said, are of so powerful a nature as to produce bloody urine. "Chamæcissos"2 also is a name given by them to a creeping ivy which never rises from the surface of the ground: bruised in wine, in doses of one acetabulum, it is curative of affections of the spleen, the leaves of it being applied topically with axle-grease to burns.

The smilax3 also, otherwise known as the "anthophoros,"4 has a strong resemblance to ivy, but the leaves of it are smaller. A chaplet, they say, made of an uneven number of the leaves, is an effectual cure for head-ache. Some writers mention two kinds of smilax, one of which is all but perennial, and is found climbing the trees in umbrageous valleys, the berries hanging in clusters. These berries, they say, are remarkably efficacious for all kinds of poisons; so much so indeed, that infants to whom the juice of them has been habitually administered, are rendered proof against all poisons for the rest of their life. The other kind. it is said, manifests a predilection for cultivated localities, and is often found growing there; but as for medicinal properties, it has none. The former kind, they say, is the smilax, the wood of which we have mentioned5 as emitting a sound, if held close to the ear.

Another plant, similar to this, they call by the name of "clematis:"6 it is found adhering to trees, and has a jointed stem. The leaves of it cleanse leprous7 sores, and the seed acts as an aperient, taken in doses of one acetabulum, in one hemina of water, or in hydromel. A decoction of it is prescribed also for a similar purpose.

1 "Red-berried" or "red-leaved ivy." See B. xvi. c. 62. This kind, Fée says, appears not to have been identified.

2 "Ground-ivy." See B. xvi. c. 62, Note 17. M. Fraäs adopts Sprengel's opinion that it is the Antirrhinum Azarina, the bastard asarum.

3 See B. xvi. c.

4 "Flower-bearer."

5 In B. xvi. c. 63.

6 Sprergel thinks that this is the Clematis viticella, but Fée identifies it with the Clematis vitalba of Linnæus, the climber, or traveller's joy.

7 The leaves of it, Fée says, are of a caustic nature, and have been employed before now by impostors for producing sores on the skin of a frightful appearance, but easily healed.

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 References (3 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (3):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: