Reseda

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Reseda quam rerea vocant circa ariminum nota est Plinius.


Apparatus:

This entry is not rubricated in B but part of the paragraph starting with Relẽbach
Reseda AC efjp | Reseda ul’ receda B
et om. AC f
rerea AC | eroa B fjp | erea ms. e
ariminũ ABC p | arominuʒ e | eriminũ f | animinũ j
nota est om. e
Plinius om. p


Translation:

Reseda, which some people call rerea/erea/eroa, is well known in the region of Ariminum {modern: Rimini} according to Pliny.


Commentary:

This entry is a short excerpt taken from Pliny, cf. 27, 106, 131, ed. W.H.S. Jones (1938-63: VII.470): Circa Ariminum nota est herba quam resedam vocant. Discutit collectiones inflammationesque omnes – "In the region of Ariminum a herb, they call reseda, is well renowned. It disperses all gathering of matter and inflammations". And Pliny continues with mentioning this spell:
Qui curant ea addunt haec verba:
Reseda, morbis reseda,
Scisne, scisne quis hic pullus egerit radices?
Nec caput nec pedes habeat.
Haec ter dicunt totiensque despuunt. -
"Those who heal with it add these words:
Reseda {see comment below}, assuage disases, // Don’t you know, don’t you know which chick is uprooting your roots? // It shall have neither head nor legs.
They say these words three times spitting out as many times".

Reseda:
The word is only found in Pliny, it is possibly a folk etymology, here punning on reseda, which can be a noun but also the imperative of the rare word resedare "to assuage, calm".

rerea/erea/eroa:
The corrupted synonym offered is probably the result of a series of misreadings ultimately most likely derived from the word reseda itself, cf. reseda >*rereda, >rerea, >erea, >eroa.


Botanical identification:

There is too little information to discuss the plant Pliny or even Simon had in mind. Rimini {ancient: Ariminum} is a seaside town, could this mean that reseda is a littoral plant? Cf. André (1956: 271).

However most authors agree that it is some kind of Reseda [[1]], and the majority, including Sprengel (1807: 203) [[2]], mention Reseda alba L. [[3]], the "white mignonette".


WilfGunther (talk) 10:53, 29 August 2016 (BST)


See also: Eroa


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