Narcha (2)

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Narcha Dyascorides multi sic centauream maiorem vocant.


Translation:

Narcha; according to Dioscorides this is what many people call centaurea maior {"centaury"}.


Commentary:

This alludes to the third book of the early Latin translation of Dioscorides' De materia medica, often called Dioscorides Longobardus, chapter ϛ (6) De centauria maiore, which begins p. 378: Centauria maior, quem multi narcan aut gentiana dicunt - "Centauria maior {'greater centaury'} which many people call narca or gentiana". In the Greek original text, cf. 3, 6, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: II.10-2): κενταύρειον τò μέγα· /kentaúreion tò méga/ the word is written in Greek as νάρκη /nárkē/, which also occurs in the Herbarius Apulei, 16, ed. Howald (1927: 51) HERBA GENTIANA, where it is a synonym of gentiana and where it appears as narcin, i.e. acc. sg. νάρκην /nárkēn/, reflecting the late Greek pronunciation /nárkin/. LSJ gloss the word νάρκη /nárkē/, if it is the same as the name of the plant, as "numbness, deadness, caused by palsy, frost, fright, etc".

For further information see also: Centaurea, Lepton (2), [[1]] s.v. centaurea

WilfGunther 26/12/2013

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