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Astroquinon aut quinarcon aut pardalicontes aut quinoton, aut quinoctambin dicunt fructex est longas virgas habens cum gravi odore et non fragilis folia edere similia, sed molliora et oblonga et gravi odore mucillaginosa lacrimo plena mellino et semen in folliculis habens sicut faba minutum et nigrum et durum et cetera.


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Astroquinon (Astra- ms. e) B ej | Astroquinõ p | Astroquiron AC
quinarcon (qui- B e) B ejp | quartõ AC | quinarcon Diosc. Long. | Graece κύναγχον /kýnankhon/
pardalicõtes (par- p; par- j) ABC jp | pardalicõtos e | pardalicontes Diosc. Long. | Graece παρδαλίαγχος /pardalíankhos/ or παρδαλιαγχές /pardaliankhés/
quĩoton C | quinoton A | quinoron B | quinoran (-ram j) ej | qui noran p | quinomoron Diosc. Long. | Graece κυνόμορον /kynómoron/ or RV: κυνοκτόνον /kynoktónon/.
quinoctambin (quĩoc- A) AC | quinocratubin B | quinoctabin (-tanbin j) ej | quinocrabin p | quinoctambin Diosc. Long. | Graece κυνοκάρμβη /kynokrámbē/
fructex ABC | frutex ejp
virgas longas | l. v. AC Diosc. Longob.
fragiles | fragilis AC Diosc. Longob.
molliora | moliora B e
{oblonga} et add. AC
{odore} et add. jp
mucillaginosa AC ep | mucilaginosa (-giosa j) B j
lacrimo | lacrima ms. e
{plena} flore add. B
{mellino} et add. AC
{sicut} faba | folia AC | sicut faba Diosc. Long. | Graece ὡς λοβὸς κυάνου /hōs lobòs kyánou/ {“like a bean pod”}.
minutum | minuta AC
minutum et durum et nigrum | m. & n. & n. AC | Graece σπερμάτια μικρά σκληρά μέλανα /spermátia mikrá sklērá mélana/ {"little seeds that are small, hard and black"}


Astroquinon, or they call it quinarcon or pardalicontes or quinoton or quinoctambin, is a shrub that has long stems with a strong smell and not easy to break; its leaves are similar to edera {"ivy"} but softer and oblong with a strong smell, mucilaginous, full of honey-coloured sap. And it has seeds in pods like faba {"bean"}, and they are very small, black and hard.


Unusually for Simon, in this entry he did not acknowledg his source, it is Dioscorides Longobardus 4, 77, ed. Stadler (1901: 44). De astroquinon [[1]]. The Greek original can be found in 4, 80, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: II.241-2): ἀπόκυνον /apókynon/ [[2]].

A very similar text is found in Pliny, for which see Commentary to Apochinus.

The synonym plant names produced in this entry are:

to be pronounced /astrokinon/, is the result of a contamination first occurring in Dioscorides Longobardus, where initial element of the compound was changed to ἀστρο- /astro-/ "star, relating to the stars" instead of ἀπο- the prefix/preposition meaning "off, away from". The Greek original ἀπόκυνον /apókynon/ - itacist /apókinon/ - consists of ἀπό- /apó-/ + κύων /kýōn/ "dog". The word allows two different interpretations: 1) "keeping dogs away" (tentatively Genaust (1996: 70), s.v. Apócynum) or 2) "bad, fatal for dogs" Carnoy (1959: 32), s.v. apocynon «plante fatale aux chiens»). This latter interpretation is based on Dioscorides' statement, here in the Longobardic translation: Folia eius cum absungia trita et proiecta canibus inferet mortem, vulpes et lupos et omnes feras obiectas occident – "Its leaves crushed/pounded with axle-grease and thrown before the dogs will induce death, and it will kill foxes and wolves and all wild animals it is thrown before."

< Greek κύναγχον /kýnankhon/ - itacist /kínankhon/ - a compound of κύν- /kyn-/ "dog" + ἄγχω /ánkhō/ "strangle", i.e "dog-strangler". The word would be adopted into Latin as cynanchon, written with "qu" to insure a pronunciation with initial /k/, quinanc(h)on > quinarcon {'n' misread as 'r' } > abbreviated quinarcon > abbreviation lost > *quarcon > *quarton {'c' misread as 't'} > quartõ.
Cynanchon could also occur in the Herbarius of Ps.Apuleius, 129, ed. Howald (1927: 217), Herba brassica silvatica. In the annotation at the end of the chapter some codd. are quoted as saying: A Graecis dicitur crambe, cynocharon.... This could well be a corruption of cynanchon. However, Howald & Sigerist see it as a corruption of κυνόμορον /kynómoron/.

< παρδαλίαγχος /pardalíankhos/ or παρδαλιαγχές /pardaliankhés/ is a compound of παρδαλι- /pardali-/ "panther" + ἄγχω /ánkhō/ "strangle", i.e. "panther strangler". The name also occurs in Pliny as pardalianches, although for a different plant. In the Longobardic translation pardaliances becomes corrupted to pardalicontes. See entry Achonitum.

< Greek κυνόμορον /kynómoron/ - itacist /kinómoron/ - is a compound of κύνο- /kyno-/ "dog" + μόρος /móros/ "fate; doom, death", i.e. "dog's death". The word would be Latinized as cynomoron > quinomoron {to ensure the pronunciation /kinomoron/} > quĩomoron > {tilde lost} quiomoron > quinoton {'m' misread as 'n', 'r' misread as 't'}. In the RV version of the Greek text, op. cit. p. 242, another synonym is mentioned, which is a likely source of Quinoton: κυνοκτόνος /kynktónos/, acc. κυνοκτόνον /kynktónon/, a compound of κυνο- /kyno-/ "dog" + κτόνος /któnos/ "murder". After undergoing latinization > (acc.) cynoctonon > quinoctonon > quinocton {haplology} > quinoton.

< Greek κυνοκάρμβη /kynokrámbē/ - itacist /kinokrámbi/ - is a compound of κύνο- /kyno-/ "dog" + /krámbē/ κράμβη, "cabbage", i.e "dog's cabbage", in its accusative case κυνοκάρμβην /kynokrámbēn/ dependent on καλοῦσιν /kaloûsin/ "they call it"; Latinized as cynocramben > quinocramben {to ensure the pronunciation /kinokrámbēn/} > quinoctambin {'r' misread as 't', /ē/ in itacist pronunciation > /i/}.
Apart from being mentioned in Dioscorides, cynocrambe also occurs in the Herbarius of Ps. Apuleius, 129, ed. Howald (1927: 217), Herba brassica silvatica, which is often seen as the Latin name for apocynon. In the annotation at the end of the chapter some codd. are quoted as saying: A Graecis dicitur ….cynocrambe, Latini brassicam rusticam … .

Botanical identification:

Although doubts remain concerning the botanical identification of this plant some authors – e.g. Berendes (1902), André (1956) - consider Cynanchum erectum L., syn. Marsdenia erecta R.Br., syn. Cionura erecta Griseb. "dogbane" [[3]], [[4]] to be a good candidate. Berendes' (1902: 415) comment, says that the plant is a plant of the Orient, {to be more precise: the Balkan Peninsula, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan}, has a bushy stalk and contains a sharp milky juice, which causes blisters on the skin. Internally it causes violent vomiting and purging.

Another plant considered is Cynanchum acutum L., "stranglewort" [[5]] cf. André (1956: 21), s.v. apocynum, which has a Mediterranean and Eastern European distribution. However it is a climbing plant, which fits in less well with descriptions like its stalks being non fragilis "not fragile", in the Greek original: δύσθραυστος /dýsthraustos/ "hard to break".

Lewis & Short (1879) see it as Aconitum lycoctonum L., “northern wolf’s bane” [[6]], [[7]], a very poisoinous plant.

Some of the above mentioned plant names have survived into botanical Latin:
Apocynum as a genus name and in the plant family Apocynaceae, the "dogbane family";
pardalianches as a specific epithet in e.g. Doronicum paradlianches L. "great leopard's bane";
and the afore-mentioned Cynanchum as a genus name, as a specific epithet cynanchicus,-a, and the plant family name Cynanchaeceae, the preferred name being Apocynaceae.

NB.: Modern botanical terminology only uses Greek and Latin plant names as a naming pool, and it is best not to assume any connection between the modern plants and those that had the same name in Antiquity.

WilfGunther (talk) 12:17, 19 September 2015 (BST)

See also Apochinus

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