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Acus aceris purgamentum frumenti Plinius acus inquit vocatur cum per se pisatur spica tantum aurificum ad usus si in area vero teritur cum stipula palea maiore terrarum parte pabula equorum milii et panici et sisime adpludam vocant et cetera.


frumẽti AH ef | furmẽti C | furm̃ti B

acus inquit ABCH e | transp. f

pisatur (-at~ A) ACH e | pistat~ B | piscis f | pisitur Pliny

aurificuʒ (-cũ AC, cum f) CH ef | amerficũ B

si in area vero AC | si uero in area BH ef

palea ABCH f | pallea e

pabula BH ef Pliny | papula AC

equorum ABCH ef | iumentorum Pliny

adpludã ACH | ad pludam (-dã B) B e | ad plaudaʒ f | apludam Pliny

et cetera om. ef


Acus, genitive aceris {see Commentary} is a product from threshing corn. Pliny: acus he says is what the ear of the grain by itself is called when it is ground, {i.e. when the grain is removed} and it is only used by goldsmiths {see Commentary}. But when it is beaten out together with the straw, it is called palea {"chaff"}. In most places this is fodder for horses {Pliny: "beasts of burden"}. {The threshing by-product of} milium {"millet"}, panicum {"panic grass"}, and sesame they call adpluda; et cetera.


Simon's entry is a near-verbatim excerpt from Pliny, Natural History, 28, 23, 99, ed. Rackham (1938-63: V.252).

Simon unusually also mentions the genitive aceris of the word in order to distinguish it from acus, genitive acūs, "needle", although Columella uses the genitive acūs for "husk, chaff" as well.

H. Rackham (1938-63: V.252), who supplied the translation of this book by Pliny, mentions that chaff was used by goldsmiths to achieve "a very hot small fire".

Apluda and variants appluda. adpluda, aplauda "chaff; bran", are according to Walde & Hofmann (1930-56) and Lewis & Short "prob. from a and pludo or plaudo, that which is beaten off". Plaudo means "to clap, strike, beat anything". But Ernout (2001) see it as not Roman, a rare and archaic word.

Botanical identification:

The crops Pliny mentions are milium, seen by most (cf. André 85) as Panicum miliaceum L., "Proso or common millet", see [[1]], panicum or panicus, Setaria italica P.B., "Foxtail millet", see [[2]], and sesame [[3]].

WilfGunther 08/04/2013

See also: Dochon

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