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Osiris Dyascordies virga est illi nigra et tenuis et sarmentosa et minus fragilis que circa se folia habet sicut linum et nigra in initio: et cum maturaverint ruffa sunt et cetera, Plinius ospiris vocat.


Osiris | ORisis j
Dyascorides om. f
nigra om. f
sarmentosa ABC jp | sarmẽtossa f | serm̃tosa ms. e
minus efp Diosc.Longob. | ramulus AC | ramus B j
que | qui j
folia habet AC ejp | h. f. B f
linum | limuʒ f
initio ABC jp | inicio ef
cum | dũ j
maturuerĩt AC | maturauerit B ej | maturauerĩt fp
ruffa ABC fj | rufa ep
sunt | fiũt B Diosc.Longob.
et cetera om. efp


Osiris, says Dyascorides, has a dark thin stalk(?) {Greek Dioscorides: is a dark thin underbrush; see Commentary} full of little branchlets and a breakable twig {Diosc. Longob.: underbrush not easily breakable}, and around it there are leaves like those of linum {"flax"}, which are dark at the beginning, and as they mature they become reddish, et cetera. Pliny calls the plant ospiris.

Commentary: The Greek original is in 4, 140, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: II.284): ὄσιρις /ósiris [[1]].
The Latin text is from Dioscorides Longobardus, 4, 135, ed. Stadler (1901: 62), De osiris [[2]].

The Greek word is ὄσιρις /ósiris/ with vv.ll. ὄσυρις /ósyris/ ὄσειρις /óseiris/ listed in Wellmann's apparatus. Strömberg (1940: 130) mentions it in a list of plants that bear the name of a god, obviously here referring to the Egyptian god Osiris. Carnoy (1959: 200), s.v. osīris, osyris thinks the name is in keeping with its Oriental origin, although if this be the case the naming motive remains unclear, especially since the plant normally thought of as a candidate is not particularly associated with Egypt or the Orient and has a near pan-Mediterranean distribution.

The Dioscridean text when compared to Pliny's, see Ospiris, differs in the description of the plant: according to Dioscorides it is the leaves that go from dark to red when they ripen, but Pliny says it is the seeds, see next entry. Based on this evidence Wellmann inserted this addition: <σπερμάτια δὲ μέλανα> /spermátia dè mélana/ - "the little seeds are dark". Obviously Simon's text did not have this insertion, otherwise folia habet sicut linum et nigra in initio would read: folia habet sicut linum et nigra et semen nigrum in initio … .

WilfGunther 11:54, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

For further information and the botanical identification see Ospiris.

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