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Cantabrica Plinius herba in hyspania inventa per divi augusti tempora a cantabris reperta, nascitur ubique caule iunceo pedali in quo sunt flosculi oblongi velut calathi in his semen perquam minimum et cetera.


hyspania AC | yspania B efjp
herba in (ē ms. f) hyspania | i. y. h. ms. e
herba in (h)yspania | in yspania herba ms. e
divi augusti tempora | t. d. a. ms. f
augusti BC | augustini f | augusta p | angusti A ej
a cantabris reperta om. f
ubique | ibiqʒ (ibi- p) fp
iunceo (iũ- A p) AC p | iuncceo B | Jucceo e | Jucuceo f | Jũcteo j
flosculi | fluscoli ms. e
velut | uelud ms. e | ut f
calathi | calati ep
in his om. B efjp
perquam | quam B | om. f
et cetera om. efj


Cantabrica, says Pliny, is a herb found in Spain. It was discovered by the Cantabri at the time of the godly Emperor Augustus. It grows everywhere, it has a stem like iuncus {"a rush"} the length of one foot and on it are rather long small flowers resembling calathi {i.e. trumpet-shaped wicker baskets} [[1]] in which there are extremely small seeds et cetera.


the herb name is obviously connected to the Spanish region of Cantabria.

Simon’s entry is a near verbatim quote from Pliny, 25, 46, 85, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.198). The plant name Cantabrica is only attested in Pliny and he attributes the finding of this plant to the Cantabri: In eadem Hispania inventa est cantabrica per divi Augusti tempora a Cantabris reperta - "Also in Spain the plant cantabrica was discovered, found by the Cantabrians at the time of the late emperor Augustus".

Botanical identification:

In André (1985) Cantabrica is identified as Convolvulus cantabrica L. "Cantabrican morning glory" [[2]], [[3]]. Although the shape of the calyx fits Pliny's description, i.e. it can be described as "trumpet-shaped", the plant is however widely distributed along the Mediterranean shores. For this reason, according to André, op.cit. another plant, more typical of the Atlantic shore, has been proposed: Narcissus calathinus Delarbre, synonym of Narcissus triandrus L. [[4]], [[5]].

WilfGunther 15:43, 21 June 2015 (BST)

See also: Calatus

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