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Lepon Dyascorides capitulo de dristeroth sunt castanee.


Lepon ABC efj | in ms. p Lepon is confused with lepidion, the last word in the text of the preceding entry Lepidũ; lepidion is then followed by: dya. cao. d’ drisberoth, sũt castanee; see entry Lepidum
Lepon (-põ AC) ABC efj | lepoma(ta) Diosc.Longob. | Graece λόπιμα, λώπιμα. /lópima, lṓpima/
drisberoth B p Diosc.Longob. Paris} | disberoth f | drisberoch j {’t’ misread as ‘c’} | dristeroth AC e {‘sb’ misread as ‘st’}


Lepon {"acorns"} according to Dyascorides in his chapter: De dristeroth {see commentary} are also {called} castanee {"sweet chestnuts"}.


Simon here alludes to a chapter in Dioscorides where the medicinal properties of “oak” species are described.

Simon’s ultimate source is Dioscorides Longobardus, 1, 116, ed. Hofmann/ Auracher (1883: 59/95f) [[1]], a chapter which is very truncated compared to the Greek original and badly translated.
For the Greek original see Materia medica, ed. Wellmann 1, 106 (1906-14: I.99f) [[2]].

Dioscorides Longobardus reads: Drisbero {Munich ms.)/ Drisberoth {Paris ms.} arbor est maxime stiptica. According to the editors of Dioscorides’ book 1 - Hofmann/ Auracher as well as Mihăescu - Drisbero(th) should be read "*Dris vero", the translation of this sentence then being “But/ and dris is a tree that is highly styptic …”. The final “th” in Drisberoth remains unexplained. It is possibly the word “et” {‘and’} or some other particle mistakenly added on to *vero.

Greek δρῦς /drŷs/ - here in the itacist pronunciation /dris -/ originally meant “tree”, but later the “oak, sacred to Zeus, Quercus Aegilops L”, but also the general term for “oak” and “other trees bearing acorns or mast” (LSJ). Cf. Driofagus.

Further down in this chapter the medicinal properties of Σαρδιαναὶ βάλανοι /Sardianaì bálanoi/ are mentioned, unsurprisingly translated in Dioscorides Longobardus: sardiane {Munich ms.} sardiani {Paris ms.} balani, “Sardinian acorns” i.e. “sweet chestnuts". Chestnut and acorn were seen as related in Antiquity. Dioscorides also lists a synonym of “sweet chestnuts”: λόπιμα., v.l. λώπιμα. /lópima, lṓpima/ from Greek λόπιμος /lópimos/ “easily stripped, of nuts which have a skin not a shell” (LSJ). This word becomes in the Longobardic translation - through vowel metathesis - lepoma in the singular and lepomata in the plural: Sardiane etiam balani, quas et castaneas aut lepomata dicunt … “Also there are ‘Sardinian acorns’ {sc. with the same medicinal properties as oak species}, which are also called castanea {“chestnut”} or lepomata ...".
Simon’s Lepon is most likely a false reading of *Lepom which was abbreviated to an ambiguous Lepõ. The loss of final –a remains unexplained.

Botanical identification:

As was mentioned above Greek δρῦς /drŷs/, the “oak, sacred to Zeus, Quercus Aegilops L.” (LSJ) [[3]], [[4]], [[5]] is the identification forwarded by many authors, but beware this word also denotes “other trees bearing acorns or mast”. See Driofagus.

The fruit of castanee is thought to be that of Castanea sativa Miller [[6]].

WilfGunther (talk) 11:56, 25 November 2016 (GMT)

See also: Castana, Driofagus, Fegos, Prinus, Balanos, Valanon

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