Fragment 500386



alcibiadion from Alcibiades;

Original French:  Alcibiadion, de Alcibiades:

Modern French:  Alcibiadion, de Alcibiades:



A kind of Bugloss mentioned under the name of Alcibion by Nicander, Ther. 541, and Pliny xxvii 5, § 22; called Alcibiadion by Galen, vol. xiii. 149, and Dioscorides, iv. 23, 24.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
The Five Books and Minor Writings. Volume 1: Books I-III
William Francis Smith [1842–1919], translator
London: Alexader P. Watt, 1893


Alcibium qualis esset herba non repperi apud auctores, sed radicem eius et folia trita ad serpentis morsum inponi et bibi, folia quantum manus capiat trita cum vini meri cyathis tribus aut radicem drachmarum trium pondere cum vini eadem mensura.

In my authorities I have found no description of alcibium, but only that its pounded root and leaves are applied locally, and taken in drink, for snake bite; a handful of the pounded leaves with three cyathi of neat wine, or three drachmae by weight of the root with the same measure of wine

Pliny the Elder [23–79 AD]
The Natural History. Volume 7: Books 24–27
William Henry Samuel Jones [1876–1963], translator
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1956
Loeb Classical Library


Pline nomme, sans le décrire, l’Alcibion (XXVII, 22); ailleurs, il le nomme anchusa ou arcebion (XXII, 25). Ce serait, pour Fée, l’ὰλχίστον de Nicander (Thér., 637) : Alcibii radicem echii pariter lege…, notre Echium creticum, L. — Mais Nicandre parle encore d’une autre Alcibie :

Est alia Alcibii cognomine planta…

(trad. de J. de Gorris); Anchusa altera, que certains, dit Dioscoride, appellent Ὰλχισιάσειον ou Όνοχειλέζ de Pena et Lobel, et qui est aussi une borraginée, l’Alkanna tinctoria, Tausch.
Ce nom vient-il d’Alcibiade? ou, comme dit J. Grévin, de ce qu’ « un homme nommé Alcibie la trouva et expérimenta le premier quelle force elle avait contre la morsure des serpens ? » D’autres étymologistes ont proprosé : ἀλχῄ force, et βίοζ, vie. (Paul Delaunay)

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Oeuvres. Tome Cinquieme: Tiers Livre. Édition critique
p. 347
Abel Lefranc [1863-1952], editor
Paris: Librairie Ancienne Honoré Champion, 1931


alcibiadion, a boraginaceous plant named after Alcibiades — unless, perhaps, it derives its title from Alcibias, the first to employ it against snake-bites, or, thus belonging to another group, from [gk], meaning strength, and [gk], meaning life

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Complete works of Rabelais
Jacques LeClercq [1891–1971], translator
New York: Modern Library, 1936


Voir Léonicérus, De Plini erroribus, Bâle, 1529, 22.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Le Tiers Livre. Edition critique
Michael A. Screech [b. 1926], editor
Paris-Genève: Librarie Droz, 1964

Niccolò Leoniceno

Niccolò Leoniceno (1428–1524), also known as Nicolo Leoniceno, Nicolaus Leoninus, Nicolaus Leonicenus of Vicenza, Nicolaus Leonicenus Vicentinus, Nicolo Lonigo, Nicolò da Lonigo da Vincenza, was an Italian physician and humanist. He was a pioneer in the translation of ancient Greek and Arabic medical texts by such authors as Galen and Hippocrates into Latin.

In 1492, Leoniceno published an article entitled De Plinii et plurium alorium medicorum in medicina erroribus. In this treatise, he “pointed out errors in the medical portions of Pliny as well as in the works of ‘barbarian’ (that is, medieval Arab) physicians.” A physician by training, Leoniceno was concerned that inaccuracies in Pliny’s translations would result in inaccurate medicinal preparations based on Pliny’s work. If Pliny’s translations were indeed flawed, then Leoniceno felt they should be replaced by the original Greek texts.



Décrit dans Pline, XXVII, xxii.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Œuvres complètes
p. 503, n. 12
Mireille Huchon, editor
Paris: Gallimard, 1994



Posted 10 February 2013. Modified 12 February 2017.

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