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Quitinos a grecis flores granatorum latini vero caducos vocant agrestium vero balaustion Isidorus.


Quitinos ABC e | Quitines or Quitinos f {'o' misread as 'e'}

agrestium (-iũ B e) ABC e | agrestum f

balaustion D e | bala͡stion f | bulaustion AC | bllaustion B {printing error}


Quitinos is the word used by the Greeks for the flowers of the pomegranate trees, but Latin speakers call them caduci {lit. "the fallen ones"}; but those of the wild ones the Greeks call balaustion, so says Isidore.

Commentary and botanical identification:

This quote is from Isidore’s Etymologiae, 17, 7, 6 [[1]]: Malum Punicum …. Flores malorum a Graecis appellati sunt κύτινος {vv.ll. quitinus/quitinas}, Latini caducum vocant. Agrestium autem malorum flores Graeci βαλαύστιον appellaverunt - "Pomegranate … The flowers of the pomegranate trees are called κύτινος /kýtinos/ by the Greeks, Latin speakers call them caduci. But the flowers of the wild growing trees the Greeks have called βαλαύστιον /balaústion/.

The exact botanical meaning of κύτινος /kýtinos/ is unclear. Lewis & Short (1879) gloss cytinus, the Latin adoption of this word, as "the calyx of the pomegrante blossom", quoting Pliny as the source; whereas André (1981) defines it as 'le bourgeon floral du grenadier’ – "the flower bud of the pomegranate tree", but, he adds, with Dioscorides as with Isidore it is 'la fleur même’ – "the flower itself".

Concerning caducum, Simon has caducus, André op.cit.ibid. defines the word as 'le bouton floral chez les médecins des IV-Ve siècles’ - "the expression for flower bud used by the medici from the 4th – 5th c." and Georges has: caducum 'die abgefallene Blüte’ {i.e. "the shed flower"} and he quotes 'māli Punici’ – "of the pomegrante" from Caelius Aurelianus chron. 4, 3, 52.

André op.cit.ibid. mentions that βαλαύστιον /balaústion/ in Pliny is "the flower of the cultivated pomegranate" but in Dioscorides it is "the flower of the wild pomegranate". Simon here follows Isidore who follows Dioscorides, cf. 1, 111, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: I.104) [[2]]: βαλαύστιὸν ἐστιν ἄνθος ἀγρίας ῥόας /balaústiòn estin ánthos agrías rhóas/ "balaustion is the flower of the wild pomegranate tree".

Wilf Gunther 21/05/2014

See also: Balaustia

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