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Racanto Dyascorides asparagus aspratilis quam multi racanto aut mion vocant.


Racanto (-cãto B p) B efp | Rakauto AC {'n' misread as 'u'} | Rarauco j
racanto (-cãto B) ABC | racando ms. e | racanti f | racauto j | ricanto p
mion p | imon j
vocant | d t ms. f


Racanto: In Dyascorides the rough asparagus is called by many people racanto or mion.


Dioscorides Longobardus, the ultimate source for Simon's statement, reads: 2, 109, ed. Stadler (1899: 221) [[1]] De sparagu, Sparagus aspratalis {sic!}, quem multi racanto aut mion appellant.

Latin aspratilis, "rough", here translates the original πετραῖος /petraîos/ "of a rock or mountain", i.e. "wild, uncultivated".

As for the two synonyms mentioned they are both non-words that are nowhere else recorded. However the Greek text, cf. 125, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: I.197), is revealing. Here the synonyms given are:

1) μυάκανθος /myákanthos/ with vv.ll. μυάκινθος /myákinthos/ and μυάκανθα /myákantha/. The most likely explanation is that racanto and μυάκανθος /myákanthos/ are the same: in the Latin of Late Antiquity this Greek word would be written miacantos, which shares most of the word body –acanto- with racanto.

2) The second synonym shows great variation too in the different Greek codices, but they all resemble Simon's mion, e.g. μύιον /mýion/, μύνιον /mýnion/, μύρον /mýron/, μύον /mýon/, cf. Wellmann loc.cit. However Pliny, who often excerpted from the same sources as Dioscorides, has a brief passage in 19, 151, ed. Rackham (1938-63: V.518), where he speaks of asparagus silvestris "wild asperagus": quem Graeci ὄρμινον aut μυάκανθον vocant - "which the Greeks call horminos and myacanthos." Mion is therefore most likely the surviving tail-end of horminon, which is the form Wellmann adopted for his Dioscoridean text version.

WilfGunther 20/01/2014

See also: Asparagus (1), Ymon (1)

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