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Nigma plinius herba tribus foliis longis intubaceis .i. similibus intubo.


& cetˇ add. B


Nigma: Pliny mentions a herb with three "intubaceus" leaves, which means: they {i.e. the leaves} are similar to intubus {"endive"}


Simon's entry is a quote from Pliny, 27, 106, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.454): Herba quae vocatur nyma, tribus foliis longis intubaceis, which Jones (1938-63: VII.455) translates: "The plant called nyma, with its three long leaves like those of endive". Here the rare word intubaceus "similar to intubo {'endive'}" occurs, and Simon explains it: .i. similibus intubo. The plant name nyma only occurs in Pliny. In [Loeb] op.cit. in the 'Index of plants', p.526, a variant reading of the word is mentioned: "Nigina, false reading for nyma", and André (1985: 174), s.v. nyma mentions further variants: nygrma, nuga and nygma.

Botanical identification:

As for the identification of nyma all dictionaries agree: cf. the above-mentioned 'Index of plants', p. 526: "Nyma, unknown herb, XXVII 106" and in Lewis & Short (1879): nyma,ae (f.) "a plant, otherwise unknown" (Plin. 27,12,82, § 106) (al.nigina), and s.v. nīgīna,ae (f.) "a false read. for nyma" (Plin. 27,12,82, § 106). It is very doubtful whether Simon had any botanical identification in mind, and if so it cannot have been anything other than fanciful.

Wilf Gunther 30/12/13

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