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Achilles too, the pupil of Chiron, discovered a plant which heals wounds, and which, as being his discovery, is known as the "achilleos." It was by the aid of this plant, they say, that he cured Telephus. Other authorities, however, assert that He was the first1 to discover that verdigris2 is an extremely useful ingredient in plasters; and hence it is that he is sometimes represented in pictures as scraping with his sword the rust from off a spear3 into the wound of Telephus. Some again, are of opinion that he made use of both remedies.

By some persons this plant is called "panaces heracleon," by others, "sideritis,"4 and by the people of our country, "millefolium:"5 I the stalk of it, they say, is a cubit in length, branchy, and covered from the bottom with leaves somewhat smaller than those of fennel. Other authorities, however, while admitting that this last plant is good for wounds, affirm that the genuine achilleos has a bluish stem a foot in length, destitute of branches, and elegantly clothed all over with isolated leaves of a round form. Others again, maintain that it has a squared stem, that the heads of it are small and like those of horehound,6 and that the leaves are similar to those of the quercus—they say too, that this last has the property of uniting the sinews when cut asunder. Another statement is, that the sideritis7 is a plant that grows on garden walls, and that it emits, when bruised, a fetid smell; that there is also another plant, very similar to it, but with a whiter and more unctuous leaf, a more delicate stem, and mostly found growing in vineyards.

They speak also of another8 sideritis, with a stem two cubits in length, and diminutive branches of a triangular shape: the leaf, they say, resembles that of fern, and has a long footstalk, the seed being similar to that of beet. All these plants, it is said, are remarkably good for the treatment of wounds. The one with the largest leaf is known among us by the name of "scopæ regiæ,"9 and is used for the cure of quinzy in swine.

1 Both stories are equally improbable.

2 See B. xxxiv. c. 45.

3 The weapons in early time, it must be remembered, were made of copper or bronze.

4 The third Sideritis of Dioscorides is thought to be the same with the Heracleon siderion of c. 15 of this Book. Pliny evidently confounds the Achillea and the Sideritis, totally different plants. The Achillea is identified by Fée with the Achillea tomentosa or abrotonifolia of Linnæus. As to the Sideritis, see B. xxvi. c. 12. The real Panaces heracleon has been mentioned in c. 12 of this Book.

5 Or "Thousand leaves," probably identical with the Achillea millefolium of Linnæus, milfoil or yarrow. See B. xxiv. c. 95.

6 "Marrubii."

7 "Ironwort." The third Sideritis of Dioscorides, above mentioned. See c. 15 of this Book. See also B. xxvi. cc. 12 and 88.

8 Identified by Desfontaines with the Sanguisorba officinalis of Linnæus.

9 "Royal broom," identified by many commentators with the Chenopodium scoparia of Linnæus.

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