Fragment 500018

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under the autumnal equinox

Original French:  ſoubs l’æquinocte automnal

Modern French:  soubs l’aequinocte automnal



Notes

æquinocte automnal

« Semen ejus quum est maturum, ab æquinoctio autumni distringitur. » Pline, XIX, 56. (Paul Delaunay)

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Oeuvres. Tome Cinquieme: Tiers Livre. Édition critique
p. 345
Abel Lefranc [1863-1952], editor
Paris: Librairie Ancienne Honoré Champion, 1931
Archive.org

æquinocte automnal

Reliqua sunt ferulacei generis, ceu feniculum anguibus, ut diximus, gratissimum, ad condienda plurima cum inaruit utile, eique perquam similis thapsia, de qua diximus inter externos frutices, deinde utilissima funibus cannabis. seritur a favonio; quo densior est eo tenerior. semen eius, cum est maturum, ab aequinoctio autumni destringitur et sole aut vento aut fumo siccatur. ipsa cannabis vellitur post vindemiam ac lucubrationibus decorticata purgatur. optima Alabandica, plagarum praecipue usibus. tria eius ibi genera: inprobatur cortici proximum aut medullae, laudatissima est e medio quae mesa vocatur. secunda Mylasea. quod ad proceritatem quidem attinet, Rosea agri Sabini arborum altitudinem aequat. ferulae duo genera in peregrinis fruticibus diximus. semen eius in Italia cibus est; conditur quippe duratque in urceis vel anni spatio. duo ex ea olera, caules et racemi. corymbian hanc vocant corymbosque quos condunt.

There remain the garden plants of the fennel-giant class, for instance fennel, which snakes are very fond of, as we have said, and which when dried is useful for seasoning a great many dishes, and thapsia, which closely resembles it, of which we have spoken among foreign bushes, and then hemp, which is exceedingly useful for ropes. Hemp is sown when the spring west wind sets in; the closer it grows the thinner its stalks are. Its seed when ripe is stripped off after the autumn equinox and dried in the sun or wind or by the smoke of a fire. The hemp plant itself is plucked after the vintage, and peeling and cleaning it is a task done by candle light. The best is that of Arab-Hissar, which is specially used for making hunting-nets. Three classes of hemp are produced at that place: that nearest to the bark or the pith is considered of inferior value, while that from the middle, the Greek name for which is ‘middles’, is most highly esteemed. The second best hemp comes from Mylasa. As regards height, the hemp of Rosea in the Sabine territory grows as tall as a fruit-tree. The two kinds of fennel-giant have been mentioned above among exotic shrubs. In Italy its seed is an article of diet; in fact it is stored in pots and lasts for as much as a year. Two different parts of it are used as vegetables, the stalks and the branches. This fennel is called in Greek clump-fennel, and the parts that are stored, clumps.

Pliny the Elder [23–79 AD]
The Natural History. Volume 5: Books 17–19
19.56
Harris Rackham [1868–1944], translator
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1950
Loeb Classical Library

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Posted 10 February 2013. Modified 21 January 2017.

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