Brata arbor

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Brata arbor Plinius in helimeos nascens cipresso similis exalbidis ramis iocundioris ut odor cedri accenso ligno et cetera.


Brata arbor ABCD f | Bratha arbor e | (petunt …) arborem bratum Pliny

helimeos ABCD ef | Elymaeos Pliny

exalbidis ACD ef | et albidis B

iocũdioris ut odor ABCD e | iccundi odori ut odor f | iucundi odoris Pliny

accenso ACD ef | accẽsso B

et cetera om. f


Pliny says: the brata tree grows in helimeos, it is similar to a cipressus {"cypress"}, with whitish branches, and when the wood is being burnt it is like the odour of the very agreeable cedrus {"cedar"} – {Pliny’s version: "while burning it is of an agreeable odour"}.

Commentary and botanical identification:

Simon's brief entry consists of a reworded excerpt from Pliny, 12, 39, 78, ed. Rackham (1938-63: 58), where Pliny speaks of the Arabs’ craving for foreign perfumes. And among the examples of plants whose products are imported by them is the "bratus tree" from the land of Elymais, a region of Persia.

Bratus - changed in Simon to brata - probably because trees were thought to be feminine, is a name only occurring in Pliny. A botanical identification seems impossible due to the paucity of information given.

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