Gnaphalium

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Gnaphalium Plinius aliqui cametelon vocant cuius foliis albis mollibus pro tomento utuntur sane et similia sunt tomento intelligo.


Apparatus:

Gnaphalium (-liũ A f) AC f | GNafalium B | Gkafaliũ? e

cametelon (-lõ B) ABC e | chamotelon f | chamæzelon Pliny

albis mollibus (-bus C) AC | albis & mollibus e | albis molibusqʒ (-bus qʒ f) B f

pro tomento (-mẽto A e) ABC e | pro cemento f

sunt om. B


Translation:

Gnaphalium - Pliny says: some people call it cametelon and they use its pale and soft leaves for stuffing, and it is true, they are similar to {the normal, i.e. wool-refuse or cloth-rag} stuffing I know.


Commentary:

Simon's entry is a near-verbatim excerpt from Pliny, 27, 88, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.442), to which Simon adds: tomento intelligo - "{similar} to the stuffing I know".

For gnaphalium see Gnafalon. Ms. e has - difficult to read - Gkafaliũ with the 'n' apparently missed out, but other entries further on clearly show that the scribe writes routinely 'Gkn-' for 'Gn-' as in Gkneoron, cf. Gneoron. It may be his idiosyncratic way of indicating that the "g" should be pronounced "hard", i.e as a stop sound, meaning as /g+n/ and not as /ny-/ {= IPa [ɲ]}, i.e. the palatal nasal as in modern Italian gnocchi or French vigne or Spanish viña.

Chamaezelon: the witnesses have cametelon or chamotelon, which must be the result of an early misreading of –zelon > -ʒelon > -celon > -telon or some such line of corruption. Chamaezelon comes from Greek χαμαίζηλον /khamaízēlon/, a nominalized compound adjective made up of χαμαί /khamaí/ {"low, growing on the ground"} + ζῆλος /zêlos/ {i.a. "fervour, zeal"}, i.e. "seeking the ground".

It is strange that Simon has two separate entries for granphalium/gnaphalion, the former for Pliny and the latter for Dioscorides. These two antique authors obviously used the same source, which explains why their statements are virtually identical.


Botanical identification:

See Gnafalon.

Wilf Gunther 23/11/13


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