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Bunion Dyascorides aut action dicunt, hastam habet quadram et longam digiti grossitudinem habens, folia minuta ab apio sicut coriandrum, flores sicut anetum, semen odoratum sicut iusquiamum sed minus et cetera.


Whole entry missing in f
Bumon (or Bunion p) ABC jp | Bunion Diosc.Longob.
aut AC p | aūt {= autem} j | ara. B
action | accion B
hastam (-stã A p) AC p | om. j but hastã is written in margin by a different hand | astã B
grossitudinem | cossitudine p
habens (hñs AC j) AC j | hñtẽ B | om. p
minuta ABC | intãta (ĩtãta j) jp
odoratum | odinatuʒ j
iusquiamum | iusquianũ j


Bunion, according to Dyascorides, they also call action. It has a square stalk that is long and has the thickness of a finger, its leaves are smaller than apium {"parsley, celery"} just like coriandrum {"coriander"} and a flower like anethum {"dill, anise"}; the seed/fruit is scented like hyoscyamus {"henbane"} but it is smaller, etc.


Simon’s entry is a near-verbatim quote from Dioscorides Longobardus, 4, 119, ed. Stadler (1901: 58) De bunion [[1]]. The original Greek text can be found in Wellmann, vol. II, book IV, p. 271, chapter 123 βούνιον /boúnion/ [[2]].

All of Simon’s witnesses - with the possible exception of ms. p - have Bumon, the result of an early misreading of Bunion. Greek βούνιον /boúnion/ is sometimes derived from βουνός /bounós/ "hill" with βούνιον /boúnion/ being the diminutive form, i.e. "little hill", alluding to the mountainous habitat of the plant, a view shared by Berendes (1902: 434), who calqued βούνιον /boúnion/ into German as "Bergpflanze" {i.e. "mountain plant"}. Others, e.g. Genaust (1996: 111), s.v. Búnium and Carnoy (1959: 56), s.v. bunion, see in it a direct derivation from the Indo-European root *b(e)u- ""swell", perhaps reflecting the tuberous nature of the plant’s root .

ἄκτιον /áktion/ like ἀκτίνη /aktínē/ - another synonym mentioned in the RV version of the Greek Dioscorides - is seen by Strömberg (1940: 115) as probably being linked to ἀκτή /aktḗ/, which he translates "Ufer" (i.e."bank, shore, beach"} alluding to its habitat, i.e. watery places – although this plant’s habitat is in fact on slopes in the mountains. Carnoy (1959: 8), s.v. action derives it also from ἀκτή /aktḗ/, but he translates it "falaise" {i.e. "cliff"}.

Botanical identification:

Most authors see in it Bunium ferulaceum Sibth. et Smith, [[3]], e.g. André (1985: 41), s.v. būnion; also Beck (2005: 297), LSJ and Carnoy (1959: 56). Berendes (1902: 434) quotes Fraas who thought of Bunium pumilum Sm., syn. of Geocaryum pumilum (Sm.) Nyman. Its habitat is exposed stony mountain areas [[4]].

WilfGunther (talk) 15:02, 23 August 2015 (BST)

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