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Antirinon Dyascorides aut araninon quam multi lignidam agrestem dixerunt herba est similis anagalidi foliis et astis flores habet ‡crocinos aut purpureos minutos pro qua re lignis agrestis dicta est, semen est illi simile oscordo est cetera.


Whole entry missing in f

araninõ AC | anarinũ B | anarinion e | | anarinon Diosc.Longob.

lignidã AC | ligridã B | linidam e | lignida Diosc.Longob.

crocinos B e | crocĩos A | crocĩos or crocios C

dicta ABC | dc͞m ms. e

semen est illi simile oscordo et cetera | simle isti sim'le ms. e

oscordo AC | oscorido B | om. e | oscordi Diosc.Longob.


Antirinon or araninon many have called wild lignis. The herb is similar to anagalis in leaves and stalks, it has ‡saffron-coloured or purple tiny flowers, and for that reason it is called wild lignis. It has fruit looking similar to oscordo {should be: "nostrils of a bull-calf", see below}.

‡ This colour adjective is not mentioned in the original Greek text.

Commentary and botanical identification:

This is a near-verbatim quote from ultimately Dioscorides Longobardus, 4, 125, ed. Stadler (1901: 59), De antirinon.

- Antirinon < ἀντίρρινον /antírrhinon/, lit. "as good as or like a nose" is referring to the shape of the flowers, Most authors identify it as Misopates orontium (L.) Raf., with a commonly used synonym Antirrhinum orontium L. "lesser snapdragon or weasel's snout" [[1]], [[2]]. It was adopted into Latin as antirrhinon or antirrhinum.

- araninon < ἀνάρρινον /anárrhinon/, lit. "up nose", possibly alluding to the smell, is here a synonym of ἀντίρρινον /antírrhinon/. The word was adopted into Latin as anarrhinon. The form in witnesses A,C is simply a metathesis of anarinon > araninon.

- lignis agrestis < λυχνìς ἀγρία /lykhnὶs agría/, here treated as a synonym of ἀντίρρινον /antírrhinon/, is sometimes identified with "corn cockle", Agrostemma Githago L." [[3]], [[4]]. Simon's form lignida reproduces the Greek accusative of λυχνίς /lykhnís/, i.e. λυχνίδα /lykhnída/. λυχνίς /lykhnís/ became in Latin lychnis.

- anagalis < ἀναγαλλίς /anagallís/, with an uncertain etymology, but sometimes analysed as lit. meaning "delighting again and again" referring to the opening of the flower dependant on sunshine, is possibly Anagallis arvensis L. "Scarlet pimpernel" [[5]], [[6]] or A. foemina Mill., "Poor man's weatherglass" [[7]], [[8]]. Simon's form anagalidi copies the Greek dative ἀναγαλλίδι /anagallídi/ "{similar} to anagallis".

- Oscordo, v.l. oscoridi, a book word, is the truncated leftover from Greek μόσχου ῥισίν /móskhou rhisín/ {sc. "bears a similarity to} the nostrils of a bull-calf" > μόσχου ῥισί = *moscu risi > *oscurisi > oscuridi, etc.

All the plants mentioned have an almost pan-European distribution.

Antirrhinum, Anarrhinum, Lychnis and Anagallis have all survived into botanical Latin, naturally without any claim to being identical to those plants to which the Greeks and Romans gave these same names.

WilfGunther 20:40, 29 July 2014 (BST)

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