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Maratrum grece feniculus ut Macer, nos autem pro ipsius semine solum in usu habemus.


feniculus AC efjp | fenichulus B
nos autem om. e
solum om. f


Maratrum is Greek for Latin feniculus {"fennel"} as Macer says, but we only use the word {maratrum} for the seeds of fennel.


Greek μάραθρον /márathron/, μάραθον /márathon/ and μάραθος /márathos/ are variants from a foreign loan plant name. Several possible explanations concerning the origin of the word have been offered but they must remain conjectures. The word is adopted into Latin as marath(r)um, marathrus, marath(r)os, where it is first mentioned by Pliny (marathum or marathrum) and e.g. by Ovid in his Medicamina Faciei Femineae {“Cosmetics for the woman’s face”}, line 91, where he uses the Graecising form marathos [[1]].

Simon’s form maratrum is typical of late and medieval Latin, cf. Dioscorides Longobardus: 3, 75, ed. Stadler (1899: 409), De maratro [[2]].

Simon is alluding to Macer Floridus, 17, ed. Choulant (1832: 56). Feniculum, [[3]] vss.
686 Expressus Marathri viridi de semine succus
687 Soleque siccatus magnum medicamen habetur
688 Ad quoscunque voles oculorum pellere morbos.
686: “The juice pressed out of green marathrum seeds // 687 and dried in the sun, is a great medication // 688 for whatever kind of eye afflictions you will want to drive away.”

Simon’s statement that in his community maratrum is only used for the seeds of fennel is supported by this entry in Alphita, ed. Mowat (1887: 108), which says: Maratrum … , semen feniculi [[4]]; on the other hand another entry states: Alphita, García González (2007: 246), comment s.v. (2007: 474, 475); also ed. Mowat (1887: 106): “Maratrum … tam semen quam herba est, feniculus idem, quidam tamen dicunt quod maratrum est semen feniculi tantum … - “Maratrum denotes the seed as well as the herb; it is the same as feniculus {‘fennel’}; but some say that maratrum is only the seed of feniculus”. [[5]].

Simon has also an entry headworded Marathron q.v., which is the result of a confusion between marathron and maron.

WilfGunther 17:41, 6 October 2014 (BST)

See also: Feniculus

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