Aluta (2)

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Aluta latine dicitur herba que grece ysatis vocatur ut reperi in libro antiquo de simplici medicina.


ysatis ACH j | isatis B ep | satis f
vocatur | vocant H


Aluta is the Latin name for a herb, which is called ysatis in Greek, as I found it in an ancient book of simples medicine.


Simon's liber antiquus de simplici medicina {"ancient book of simples medicine"} is very likely the Herbarius of Ps. Apuleius, 70, ed. Howald (1927: 127), LXX HERBA ISATIS, it reads: Nomina herbae: A Graecis dicitur isatis, ... Itali alutam – "Synonyms - By the Greeks it is called isatis, … the Italics say aluta".

This synonymy is confirmed in the Greek Dioscorides, 2, 184, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: I. 253-4): ἰσάτις ... Ῥωμαῖοι ἀλούταμ /isátis: Rhōmaîoi aloútam/ - "isatis - the Romans say alouta", and 185, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: 254) ἰσάτις ἀγρία ... Ῥωμαῖοι ἀλούταμ μινῶρεμ /isátis: Rhōmaîoi aloútam minōrem/ - "wild isatis – the Romans say alouta minōr {'lesser aluta'}".

Latin aluta means "a kind of soft leather, tanned by means of an infusion of alum" (Lewis & Short), whether this has any connection with isatis remains unexplained. Cf. previous entry Aluta (1).

For further information and botanical identification see Isatis (1).

WilfGunther 02/12/2013

See also: Isatis (2)

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