Blactaria

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Blactaria Plinius est similis verbasco que sepe fallit pro ea capta foliis minus candidis cauliculis pluribus flore luteo hec abiecta[s] blactas in se contrahit ideo rome blactaria dicitur.


Apparatus:

Blactaria | Blacharia f | blattaria Pliny
est similis | s. ē B
fallit | falit B
luteo | lucteo f
abiectas ABC ejp | abiectus f | abiecta Pliny
blactaria dicitur | d. b. ms. f | dicitur om. jp | blattaria vocatur Pliny


Translation:

Pliny says: this plant is similar to verbascum {"mullein"}, a herb that is often picked instead by mistake. But its leaves are less light; it has many stems and a yellow flower. When this herb is thrown away it draws blattae {"cockroach, chafer, moth"} towards itself, which is why it is called blattaria here in Rome".


Commentary:

Simon's forms blactaria and blacte are hypercorrect for blattaria and blatte. Lewis & Short define blatta as "an insect that shuns the light; of several kinds: the cockroach, chafer, moth, etc.".

Simon's entry is a near verbatim quote from Pliny, 25, 60, 108, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.216).

Simon's abiectas blactas {lit. "discarded cockroaches"} makes little sense, and it was corrected in accord with the Plinian version to abiecta blactas.

Much of Pliny's text on blattaria is repeated by Simon under the lemma Verbascum, q.v.


Botanical identification:

Most authors agree that Verbascum blattaria L., the "moth mullein" is a reasonable candidate, [[1]], [[2]].


WilfGunther (talk) 10:59, 8 August 2015 (BST)


See also Verbascum


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