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Dexeris Dyascorides aut cestris a romanis gladiolus dicitur habet folia iridi similia sed latiora et acutiora et astam in medio foliorum cubiti unius longitudine grossam in qua virge sunt capitella habentes semen eius in foliculis est simile cucumeris semen rotundum et nigrum gustu viscidum, radix est illi nodosa et longa et rufa, et cetera, in capitulo alio de gladiolo deteris scribitur.


cestris ABC ejp | cesteris f
iridi AC | yridi B efjp
latiora | laciora ef
acutiora ABC jp | accutiora ms. e | acuciora f
astam | hastã p
unius om. B
longitudine | longitudinẽ ms. e
grossam AB efj | crossam (cossaʒ p) C p
sunt capitella habentes semen eius om. j
capitella | capitela B
habentes | hʒ f {= habet}
foliculis ABC fj | folliculis p | follicl’o ms. e
est simile | s. e. ms. j
{cucumeris} semen | seĩe f
nodosa et longa et rufa A e | nodosa & lõga & rufa (ruffa jp) C p | lõga nodosa & ruffa B | nodosa longa et ruffa fj
et cetera om. e
gladiolo | gladiolao f {with superscript o for correction}
Ms. j adds a note written by a different hand: vide gladiolus


Concerning Dexeris Dyascorides says: Dexeris - or they also call it cestris, the Romans call it gladiolus - has leaves similar to iris, but broader and more pointed, in the middle of the leaves is a stalk that is one cubit long and it is thick, and on its stalk there are little heads that have their seeds in pods, similar to cucumis {"cucumber"}, the seed is round and dark and of pungent taste; its root is knotty, long and reddish, etc. And in another chapter with the title De gladiolo {"On the gladiole"} it is witten as deteris.


This chapter is made up of large excerpts from Dyascorides alphabeticus (cf. Bodmer f 35r) [[1]] Dexeris, which is ultimately taken from Dioscorides Longobardus, 4, 22, ed. Stadler (1901: 18-9), De xeris [[2]], with the heading obviously misinterpreted in the alphabetic Dyascorides as one word: Dexeris and adopted by Simon or his predecessors. In more classical Latin the heading would be : De xyride. xeris itself is a Vulgar Latin form of the classical xyris,idis, i.e. xўris > xĭris > xẹris. The word is borrowed from Greek where it has a large number of variants: ξυρίς /xyrís/, ξιρίς /xirís/, ξειρίς /xeirís/ and ξείρης /xeírēs/.
The original Greek text can be found in De materia medica 4, 22, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: II.186-7) ξυρίς /xyrís/ [[3]].

Simon is reporting the fact that in Dyascorides alphabeticus there are two chapters with near-verbatim texts concerning a plant called xeris and gladiolus. Apparently the compiler(s) of Dyascorides alphabeticus can’t have been aware of the synonymity of xeris and gladiolus, although it is expressly stated from the Greek original downwards. In the Gladiolus entry q.v. the word Dexeris is indeed corrupted to Deteris. For further information see Gladiolus.

Botanical identification:

The plant is often identified with "gladwyn", Iris foetidissima L. [[4]].

WilfGunther (talk) 12:03, 27 December 2016 (GMT)

See also: Cestras, Deteris, Gladiolus, Xifion

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