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Orchades olive dicuntur eo quod testiculis assimilantur nam greci testiculos orchis vocant Isidorus.


In ms. e this entry is one with: Orchis (1) which follows it.
assimilantur AC efjp | similãt~ B
orchis vocant | v. o. ms. f
Isidorus AC | ysidorus B efjp
{ysidorus} ms. p adds an attempt to write ὀρχάδες /orkhádes/ in Greek letters.


Orchades is the name of a kind of olives so named because they are reminiscent of testicles, for the Greeks called testicles orchis, according to Isidorus.


Simon's source is Isidorus Etymologiae 27, 6, 63, Oxford edition (1911) [[1]]: Orchades olivae graeca etymologia a similitudine testiculorum vocatae, quos Graeci ὄρχεις /órkheis/ vocant – "Orchades are a kind of olives, the name being of Greek origin, and they are named after their similarity to testicles, which the Greeks call ὄρχεις /órkheis/". Cf. also André (1981: 131, annotation 319), for further information on Isidore's text.
N.b. Simon's form orchis reflects either the singular ὄρχις /órkhis/ {"testicle"} or a later Greek pronunciation of the plural form ὄρχεις i.e. /órkhis/, see Orchis (2).

Greek ὀρχάς /orkhás/ (nom. sg.), pl. ὀρχάδες /orkhádes/, "a kind of olive, so called from its shape" (LSJ), is mentioned in Nicander's Ἁλεξιφάρμκα /Alexiphármaka/, v. 87, as one ingredient in an antidote to counteract white lead poisoning.

Orchades are also mentioned in Vergil's Georgics, 2, 86. In this passage Vergil speaks of the different varieties plants can have and he says:
v.85: nec pingues unam in faciem nascuntur olivae,
v.86: orchades et radii et amara pausia baca
translated by A. S. Kline [[2]]: "nor do rich olives only grow in one form, there are // oval orchads, long radii, and bitter-fruited pausians"

This same variety of olives is called orchis in other ancient authors, e.g. in Columella.

WilfGunther 11:40, 22 July 2015 (BST)

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