The eye of Jupiter



the eye of Jupiter,

Original French:  l’œil de Iuppiter,

Modern French:  l’oeil de Jupiter,

Among the plants that are named for a higher resemblance.


flos Jovis

Etiamnum folio coronant Iovis flos, amaracum, hemerocalles, habrotonum, helenium, sisymbrium, serpullum, omnia surculosa rosae modo. colore tantum placet Iovis flos, odor abest, sicut et illi qui Graece phlox vocatur. et ramis autem et folio odorata sunt excepto serpullo. Helenium e lacrimis Helenae dicitur natum, et ideo in Helene insula laudatissimum. est autem frutex humi se spargens dodrantalibus ramulis, serpullo simili folio.

Chaplets are also made from the leaves of the flower of Jupiter, sweet marjoram, day-lily, southernwood, helenium, water-mint, wild thyme, all with woody stalks like those of the rose. The flower of Jupiter is pleasing only for its colour, as it has no scent; it is the same with the flower called in Greek phlox. Both the stalks however and the leaves of the plants just mentioned are fragrant, except those of wild thyme. Helenium is said to have sprung up from the tears of Helen, and therefore is very popular in the island of Helene. It is a shrub spreading over the ground with its nine-inch sprigs, the leaf being like wild thyme.

Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD), The Natural History. Volume 6: Books 20–23. William Henry Samuel Jones (1876–1963), translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1951. 21.33. Loeb Classical Library

oculus bouis

aizoi duo genera: maius in fictilibus vasculis seritur, quod aliqui buphthalmon appellant, alii zoophthalmon, alii stergethron, quod amatoriis conveniat, alii hypogeson, quoniam in subgrundiis fere nascitur, sunt qui ambrosiam potius vocant et qui amerimnon, Italia sedum magnum aut oculum aut digitillum. alterum minusculum, quod erithales vocant, alii trithales, quia ter floreat, alii erysithales, aliqui isoetes, Italia sedum, atque aizoum utrumque, quoniam vireat semper, aliqui sempervivum. maius et cubiti altitudinem excedit, crassitudine plus quam pollicari. folia in cacumine linguae similia, carnosa, pinguia, larga suco, latitudine pollicari, alia in terram convexa, alia stantia, ita ut ambitu effigiem imitentur oculi. quod minus est in muris parietinisque et tegulis nascitur, fruticosum a radice et foliosum usque ad cacumen, foliis angustis, mucronatis, sucosis, palmum alto caule. radix inutilis.

Of the aizoüm there are two kinds, the larger of which is planted in earthen pots, and is sometimes called buphthalmos [Ox-eye], zoophthalmos [Animal-eye], stergethronc (because it is useful for love-philtres) [Affection (although it means natural affection rather than sexual love)], hypogeson (for it generally grows under eaves) [Beneath the eaves (ὑπόγεισον)], although some prefer to call it ambrosia [Immortal food] or amerimnon [Care-free]; Italians call it great sedum, or eye, or little finger. The other kind is rather small, and is called erithales [Luxuriant blossom], trithales (because it flowers three times) [Thrice-blossoming], erysithales [Reddish blossom], isoetes [Possibly “equal all the year”], sedum by Italians, and both are called aizoüm, because they are always green, or sempervivum [Ever-flourishing]. The greater aizoüm grows to even more than a cubit in height and is thicker than a thumb. At the point the leaves are like a tongue, fleshy, rich with copious juice, as broad as a thumb, some bent to the ground and others upright, so that the circle of them is like an eye in shape. The smaller aizoüm grows on walls, ruins, and roof-tiles; it is bushy from the root and leafy to the top, with narrow, pointed and juicy leaves, and a stem a span high. The root is not used.

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. 25.102. Loeb Classical Library

oculus bouis

Pisser… Une herbe qu’on appelle Pisse-en-lict. Buphthalmos, Oculus bouis, vulgo Dens leonis, aliquibus Ambubeia, Hieracium minus, Corula non fœtida.

Nicot, Jean (1530–1600), Thresor de la langue françoyse, tant ancienne que moderne. Paris: David Douceur, 1606. p. 482. Bibliothèque nationale de France

Jupiter’s eye

Jupiter’s Eye. It is the Name which the Latins gave to the sempervivum majus. See Salmasius, who proves it by two Greek Authorities, ch. xix of his Homonymies, byles iatrica. Folia pinguis, says Gesner speaking of this Plant, carnosa, longitudine pollicari, in cacumine lingua familia, alia in terram convexa, alia in capite stantia invincem, ita ut ambitu effigiem imitentur oculi. Doubtless it was on Account of this Affinity the Latins called Jupiter’s Eye the sempervivum majus that just before for such another Affinity Rabelais with the Greeks uses the Word Jupiter’s Beard. [Ozell’s translation of a note by Le Duchat.]

Rabelais, François (1483?–1553), The Works of Francis Rabelais, M.D. The Third Book. Now carefully revised, and compared throughout with the late new edition of M. Le du Chat. John Ozell (d. 1743), editor. London: J. Brindley, 1737.

L’œil de Jupiter

C’est le nom que les Latins donnoient au Sempervivum majus.Voyez Saumaise, qui le prouve par deux autoritez grecques, chapitre XIX de ses Homonymes hyles ïatricœ. Folia pinguia, dit Gesner parlant de cette plante, carnosa, longitudine pollicari, in cacumine linguœ similia, alia in terram convexa, alia in capute stantia invicem, ita ut ambitu effigiem imitentur oculi. C’est sans doute à cause de ce rapport que les Latins appellèrent œil de Jupiter le Sempervivum majus, qu’immédiatement auparavant, à cause d’un autre rapport, Rabelais venoit de nommer avec les Grecs barbe de Jupiter. (L.)

Rabelais, François (1483?–1553), Œuvres de Rabelais (Edition Variorum). Tome Cinquième. Charles Esmangart (1736–1793), editor. Paris: Chez Dalibon, 1823. p. 270. Google Books

Jupiter’s Eye

Translated by Smith as “House-leek.”

Rabelais, François (1483?–1553), The Five Books and Minor Writings. Volume 1: Books I-III. William Francis Smith (1842–1919), translator. London: Alexader P. Watt, 1893. Internet Archive

l’œil de Juppiter

Appellation qu’on ne trouve pas chez les Anciens. Pline cite seulement flos Iovis, (XXI, 33), qui serait le φλὀξ, des Grecs, et notre Agrostemma coronaria, L., ou Coque-lourde des jardins ou, pour d’autres, l’A. flos Jovis, D.C. Le Διὀζ ὀφρύζ ou Sourcil de Jupiter était le nom magique de notre Anthémis (Cota) tinctoria L. var discoidea, Willd. Pour J.-B. Porta et Saumaise, cité par Le Duchat, l’œil de Jupiter est le joubarbe, notre Sempervivum tectorum, L.; et Brémond, sans autre prevue, y veut voir l’aunée. (Paul Delaunay)

Rabelais, François (1483?–1553), Oeuvres. Édition critique. Tome Cinquieme: Tiers Livre. Abel Lefranc (1863-1952), editor. Paris: Librairie Ancienne Honoré Champion, 1931. p. 356. Internet Archive

par plus haulte resemblance

Tous ces noms sont attestés, sauf «œil de Jupiter» (oculus Iouis), qui est peut-etre une mauvaise lecture pour oculus bouis (Pline, XXV, 8), que Nicot identifie au pissenlit.

Rabelais, François (1483?–1553), Le Tiers Livre. Edition critique. Jean Céard, editor. Librarie Général Français, 1995. p. 456.

Sempervivum tectorum

Sempervivum tectorum (common houseleek)[1] is a species of flowering plant in the family Crassulaceae, native to the mountains of southern Europe, cultivated in the whole of Europe for its appearance and a Roman tradition claiming that it protects buildings against lightning strikes. Sempervivum tectorum was described in 1753 by Linnaeus, who noted that its leaves are ciliate, that is, fringed with hairs.
This plant has been known to humans for thousands of years, and has attracted many common names and traditions. In addition to common houseleek, names include variations of the following: … Jove’s beard, Jupiter’s eye …
The plant has been traditionally thought to protect against thunderstorms, and grown on house roofs for that reason,[13] which is why it is called House Leek.[6] Many of its popular names in different languages reflect an association with the Roman thunder-god Jupiter, notably the Latin barba Jovis (Jupiter’s beard), referred to in the Floridus traditionally attributed to Aemilius Macer,[14] and its French derivative joubarbe, which has in turn given rise to jubard and jo-barb in English…
It has been believed to protect more generally against decay and against witchcraft…

Wikipedia. Wikipedia



Posted 29 January 2013. Modified 19 March 2019.

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