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The Greeks give the name of "satyrion"1 to a plant with red leaves like those of the lily, but smaller, not more than three of them making their appearance above ground. The stem, they say, is smooth and bare and a cubit in length, and the root double; the lower part, which is also the larger, pro- moting the conception of male issue, the upper or smaller part, that of female.

They distinguish also another kind of satyrion, by the name of "erythraïcon"2 it has seed like that of the vitex,3 only larger, smooth, and hard; the root, they say, is covered with a red rind, and is white within and of a sweetish taste: it is mostly found in mountainous districts. The root, we are told, if only held in the hand, acts as a powerful aphrodisiac, and even more so, if it is taken in rough, astringent wine. It is administered in drink, they say, to rams and he-goats when inactive and sluggish; and the people of Sarmatia are in the habit of giving it to their stallions when fatigued with covering, a defect to which they give the name of "prosedamum." The effects of this plant are neutralized by the use of hydromel or lettuces.4

The Greeks, however, give the general name of "satyrion" to all substances of a stimulating tendency, to the cratægis5 for example, the thelygonon,6 and the arrenogonon, plants, the seed of which bears a resemblance to the testes.7 Persons who carry the pith of branches of tithymalos8 about them, are rendered more amorous thereby, it is said. The statements are really incredible, which Theophrastus,9 in most cases an author of high authority, makes in relation to this subject; thus, for instance, he says that by the contact only of a cer- tain plant, a man has been enabled, in the sexual congress, to repeat his embraces as many as seventy times even! The name and genus, however, of this plant, he has omitted to mention.

1 Littré identifies it with the Aceras anthropophora of Linnæus; Desfontaines with the Orchis bifolia, the Butterfly orchis. The Iris flornetina of Linnæus has also been named; but, though with some doubt, Fée is inclined to prefer the Tulipa Clusiana, or some other kind of tulip.

2 Mostly identified with the Erythronium dens canis of Linnæus, the Dog's tooth violet. M. Fraäs, however, in his Synopsis, p. 279, remarks that the E. dens canis is not to be found in Greece, and is of opinion that the Fritillaria Pyrenaica, the Pyrenean lily, or Fritillary, is meant. The Serapias cordigera of Linnæus has been suggested, and Fée thinks that it is as likely to be the plant meant by Pliny as any other that has been named.

3 See B. xxiv. c. 38.

4 See B. xix. c. 38.

5 "Cratægonon" is most probably the correct reading. See B. xvi. c. 52, and B. xxvii. c. 40.

6 See c. 91 of this Book.

7 Of the three plants named, the Thelygonon is the only one to which this assertion will apply. See c. 91 of this Book, and B. xxvii. c. 40.

8 See B. xxvi. c. 39.

9 Hist. Plant. B. ix. c. 20.

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