Ulpitium

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Ulpitium grece genus allii secundum Plinium.


Apparatus:

Ulpitium AC | Vlpicium (-ciuʒ p;-ciũ e) efp | Vlpiũ B

alii B e | allii AC fp


Translation:

Ulpitium is Greek for a kind of allium {"garlic, leek"} according to Pliny.


Commentary:

Etymologically ulpicum is of uncertain origin. It is found in early Latin authors like Cato and Plautus and is not a Greek word as Simon seems to think.

Simon is alluding to Pliny, 19, 34, 112, ed. Rackham (1938-63: V.492). In this chapter Pliny speaks of different kinds of alium {"garlic; leek"} and that they differ either in the time of their ripening or in size: Ulpicum quoque in hoc genere Graeci appellavere alium Cyprium, alii ἀντισκόροδον {/antiskórodon/}, paecipue Africae celebratum inter pulmentaria ruris, grandius alio - "Ulpicum also belongs to this kind {i.e. the kind that differs in size} and the Greeks call it Cyprian alium {'garlic; leek') and some call it ἀντισκόροδον {/antiskórodon/}. Especially in Africa it is highly regarded among the foods in the countryside. It is also larger than alium."

Greek ἀντισκόροδον /antiskórodon/ is a compound noun consisting of ἀντι- {"equal to,"} + σκόροδον /skórodon/ {"garlic"}. The other synonym mentioned by Pliny is alium Cyprium, "Cyprian garlic"; in Greek this would be σκόροδον τὸ Κύπριον /skórodon tò Kýprion/ (LSJ). These words are only attested in Pliny.


Botanical identification:

Lewis & Short simply gloss ulpicum as "a kind of leek".

But in her recent article Mezzabotta (2000: 230-7), [[1]] comes to the conclusion that ulpicum is Allium ampeloprasum L., "wild leek", [[2]], [[3]], [[4]].

WilfGunther 29/09/13

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