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Ydeus Plinus vocatur rubus qui in yda tantum et non alibi nascitur est autem tenerior et minor rarioribus calamis innocentioribusque spinis sub arborum umbra nascitur et cetera.


rubus | rubet j
yda fjp | india AC | yndia ms. e | inda B | Ida Pliny
alias B fjp | alr̄ ms. e | alibi AC | alius Pliny
innocentioribus (ino- C) AC jp | innocencioribus f | ĩnocẽtibus B | inde nocencioribus ms. e
spinis (spĩs B) ABC e | spinis ul' (l' f) aculeis fjp | {not in Pliny, but see Commentary}
arborum | alborum f | arbor B
nascitur | nascens f
et cetera om. ej


Ydeus, i.e. from Mount Ida, according to Pliny is the name of rubus {"raspberry"} that grows on Mount Ida and nowhere else. It is more slender and smaller with spaced out canes and quite harmless {less prickly} thorns. It grows under the shade of trees, et cetera.


< Greek Ἰδαῖος /Idaîos/, Latinised Idaeus, late Latin Ideus, i.e. “from Mount Ida”, i.e. Greek Ἴδα /Ída/ or Ἴδη /Ídē/.

This is a near-verbatim quote from Pliny, 24, 75, 123, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.88). In the texts of modern editions the word spinis is absent. However, Pliny describes Idaeus in a previous book of his in 16, 72, ed. Rackham (1938-63: IV.504), where he more explicitly speaks of minoribusque spinis "with smaller thorns".
This is in accord with Dioscorides' description of βάτος Ἰδαία /bátos Idaía/, where he describes it as ἀκάνθας μικρὰς ἔχουσα /akánthas mikràs ékhousa/ "having small thorns", cf. 4, 38, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: II.197) [[1]]; similarly the Longobardic translation says, 4, 35, ed. Stadler (1901: 23). De basilea {sic! misread instead of batos idea}: spinas minutas habens id. [[2]]. As so often Pliny and Dioscorides appear to have consulted the same source(s).

Botanical identification:

Berendes (1902: 385) and André (1985: 220) s.v. rubus identify it as Rubus idaeus L "{European} raspberry" [[3]]. In the more Southern countries this plant is found mainly in forests on higher ground, to which its name Ideus clearly refers, i.e. Mount Ida on Crete or Mount Ida in Turkey, the latter place being preferred by e.g. André op.cit. "de l'Ida de Troade" {"from the Ida mountain in the Troad" i.e. today's Biga peninsula in Turkey}. This all tallies well with the plant descriptions above. The other Mount Ida, the highest mountain on Crete, is a less likely candidate. According to Fielding, Turland & Mathew (2005: 383), the "only bramble {i.e. Rubus species} in Crete is the eastern Mediterranean Rubus sanctus (formerly misidentified as R. canescens or R. ulmifolius)" [[4]], a sprawling shrub that only grows on ground below 1000m.

WilfGunther 15:41, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

See Batus, Rubus

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