darnel to wheat



darnel to wheat,

Original French:  l’Yuraye au Froment:

Modern French:  l’Yvraye au Froment:

Among the examples of pairings whose antipathies are not as vehement as the hatred thieves have of a certain usage of Pantagruelion.

The section from “La presle aux fauscheurs” (horse-tail to mowers) to “le Lierre aux Murailles” (ivy to walls), including this phrase, was added in the 1552 edition.



But no kind can change altogether into another, except one-seeded wheat and rice-wheat, as we said in our previous discussions, and darnel which comes from degenerate wheat and barley: at least, if this is not the true account, darnel loves chiefly to appear among wheat, as does the Pontic melampyros and the seed of purse-tassels, even as other seeds appear in other crops; thus aigilops seems to grow for choice among barley, and among lentils the rough hard kind of arakos, while among tares occurs the axe-weed,1 which resembles an axe-head in appearance.

Note 1. Plin. 18. 155; 27. 121; Diosc. 3. 130; Hesych. s.v. βέλλεκυς.

Theophrastus (c. 371-c. 287 BC), Enquiry into Plants. Volume 2: Books 6 – 9. Arthur Hort (1864–1935), translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1926. 8.8.3, p. 193. Loeb Classical Library

lolium, darnel

Est herba quae cicer enecat et ervum circum-ligando se, vocatur orobanche; tritico simili modo aera, hordeo festuca quae vocatur aegilops, lenti herba securiclata quam Graeci a similitudine pelecinum vocant; et hae conplexu necant.

There is a weed that kills off chick-pea and bitter vetch by binding itself round them, called orobanche; and in a similar way wheat is attacked by darnel, barley by a long-stalked plant called aegilops and lentils by an axe-leaved plant which the Greeks call axe-grass from its resemblance; these also kill the plants by twining round them.

Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD), The Natural History. Volume 5: Books 17–19. Harris Rackham (1868–1944), translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1950. 18.44. Loeb Classical Library


Yvraye: The vicious graine called Ray, or Darnell. Yvraye sauvage. Red Darnell, wall Barlie, way Bennet.

Cotgrave, Randle (–1634?), A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongue. London: Adam Islip, 1611. PBM

Tares to Wheat

Pliny xviii. 17, § 44 (155)

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’yvraye au froment

«Lolium ex tritico et hordeo corruptis nascitur» (Théophr., H.P., VIII, 8). «Lolium inter frugum morbos potius quam inter terræ pestes memoraverim», dit Pline, XVIII, 44. Lolium temulentum, L., Graminée. Les graines referment une saponine toxique, la témuline; mêlées aux céréales comestibles, elles peuvent entraîner des intoxications (témentulisme). (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. 359. Internet Archive

orobanche, aegilops, securidaca, antranium, l’yvraye

Les cinq exemples suivants sont tous empruntés au même chapitre de Pline (XVIII, 44) (LD).

Rabelais, François (1483?–1553), Le Tiers Livre. Edition critique. Michael Andrew Screech (1926-2018), editor. Paris-Genève: Librarie Droz, 1964.



Posted 27 January 2013. Modified 17 April 2020.

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