« februarie 2006 | Titulus | decembrie 2005 »

01/31/2006

Some names of beer in ancient Europe: Tuesday's Greek quotation

Those who have no vines ... have imitated wine by preparing other seeds or fruits or combining roots ... The Egyptians drink zythos, the Paeonians kamon, the Celts kerbesia, the Babylonians sikera.

c. 200 Sextus Julius Africanus, Kestoi 1.19.21. For the Greek text click here 

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:26
Categories: Florilegium, Graeca, Vocabula

01/29/2006

In eastern Europe they make a wine from sorbs: Monday's Latin quotation

Hic noctem ludo ducunt, et pocula laeti
fermento atque acidis imitantur vitea sorbis.

29 BC Vergil, Georgics 3.379-380

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 15:08
Categories: Florilegium

Equine source of the Prussians' food and drink: Sunday's food quotation

Sembi vel Pruzzi ... carnes iumentorum pro cibo sumunt, quorum lacte vel cruore utuntur in potu, ita ut inebriari dicantur.

1076 Adam of Bremen, History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen 4.18. Translation by Francis J. Tschan (1959):
The Sembi or Prussians ... take the meat of their draft animals for food and use their milk and blood as drink so freely that they are said to become intoxicated.

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 12:54
Categories: Florilegium

01/28/2006

The smoked cheese of Velabrum is the best: Saturday's Latin quotation

Caseus fumosus: Non quemcumque focum nec fumum caseus omnem, sed Velabrensem qui bibit, ille sapit.

103 Martial, Epigrams 13.32. One of the many extracts quoted in translation in Andrew Dalby's Empire of Pleasures. Click here for translation

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 12:35
Edited on: 01/28/2006 14:20
Categories: Florilegium

01/27/2006

Clove wine is less desiccating if sugar or licorice are added: Friday's Latin quotation

De vino gariofilorum. Vinum gariofilorum tantum cum suspensione gariofilorum in sacculo positorum pendent in musto infra vegetem; sed est vinum nimis desiccatiuum. & habet virtutem dissoluendi, consumendi, desiccandi, & attrahendi, & valet contra asma antiquum et tussim senum putredinalem ... & confortat digestionem & retentiuam, & facit anhelitum odoriferum. zuccarum autem et liquiritia minuunt de siccitate repentius.

c. 1310 Arnaldus de Villanova, Tractatus de vinis

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:09
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium, Medicamenta

01/25/2006

Aphrodisiac and other properties of salep root: Thursday's Latin quotation

Herba priapiscus. Herbae priapisci radices tundis et imponis: expurgat et cicatrices curant. Herbae priapisci suco oculos inungis et lippitudinem et dolores tollit sine mora. Si quis ad mulierem non potuerit, herbae priapisci radicem (sed et testiculum dextrum qui maior est) teres eum et piperis grana xlvii, mellis uncias iv, in uino optimo medicamen soluis et pondus scripula ix per triduo sumes.
Nomina herbae: a Graecis dicitur satirion, alii cinos <orchis>, alii entaticon, alii eritronion, alii panion, alii serapion, alii orchis, Aegyptii mene, Galli ura, Itali priapiscus, alii testiculos.

Pseudo-Apuleius, Herbarius 15. Source: Antonii Musae de herba vettonica liber; Pseudoapulei herbarius; Anonymi de taxone liber; Sexti Placiti liber medicinae ex animalibus, etc. ed. Ernestus Howald, Henricus E. Sigerist. Leipzig: Teubner, 1927.

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 21:05
Categories: Florilegium, Medicamenta, Vocabula

01/24/2006

Raisin wine and its health benefits: Wednesday's Latin quotation

De vino mellito. Vinum mellitum sic fit. Permittuntur morari vue dulces albe in vite ad solem elevatis foliis donec passentur. & tunc exprimitur mustum ex eis & reponitur, & peruenit dulcissimum ad spissitudinem tendens. Quam dulcedinem suscipit ex magna digestione a sole facta et est nutribile et generatiuum crassitiei & delectabile, maxime tempore hyemis.

c. 1310 Arnaldus de Villanova, Tractatus de vinis

Note: vue = uvae

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 23:22
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium, Medicamenta

The health benefits of yogurt, and how to spell it: Tuesday's Latin quotation

...aut acidi lactis genus, Galeno non ignoti, quod ipse oxygalam, isti jugurtham dicunt, nihil requirant præterea. Lac illud diluunt aqua frigidissima, panemque interunt: eoque utuntur in magno æstu & siti. Cujus sane utilitatem nos quoque in magnis caloribus sæpe experti sumus. Cibus is cum palato & ventriculo gratissimus est; tum ad extinguendam vehementiorem sitim vim habet admirabilem. Magna ejus copia passim venalis est, ubicunque sunt Caravasciarai; hoc est (ut dixi) Turcarum diversoria, quemadmodum & aliorum obsoniorum.

1554 Busbecq, Legationis Turcicae Epistulae

Contributed by Justin Mansfield. Posted at 9:48
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium, Medicamenta, Vocabula

01/23/2006

How to stop beer going sour: Monday's Latin quotation

[In] ceruisiam uolentem acetare suspende in uas duo uel tria oua uel aliquantulum tritici bene purgati & reformabitur.

1488 Tractatus de vini conservatione

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 24:02
Categories: Florilegium, Medicamenta

01/22/2006

Burdock juice in old wine cures snakebite: Sunday's Latin quotation

Herbae personaciae sucus cum vino veteri, potione data, omnes morsus serpentium vel colubri mirifice sanat ...
Nomina herbae: a Graecis dicitur prosopis, alii bacchion, alii elefantosis, alii elefas, alii nefelion, Itali personacia, alii bardana, alii manifolium, Galli betilolen, Daci riborasta.

Pseudo-Apuleius, Herbarius 36. And for a list of ancient Dacian plant names click here

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:07
Categories: Florilegium, Medicamenta, Vocabula

01/20/2006

The appetisers at Cyprian's Feast: Saturday's Latin quotation

Mox infertur gustui cena : convivis sedentibus.
Olus captat Esaias : et Ioanas cucurbitas,
Accepit betas Israel, : mora tincta Ezechiel,
Adam citrum manducavit, : Zacheus sicomora,
Danihel gaudet lupinis, : Pharao peponibus,
Cain cardum lapsus captat, : Eva ficus involat,
Pruna prendit Ananias, : Rachel mala punica,
Bulbos sterilis fert Lia, : Noe letas oleas,
Simeon nucleos capit : et Iesus oxygarum.

Iohannis Diaconi versiculi de cena Cypriani 37-46

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 23:23
Categories: Cenae, Florilegium

The aromatic herbs of Circeii: an addition to Empire of Pleasures

[page 41] ... the old hill town Circeii. It was supposed to be named after Circe, daughter of the Sun, the witch of Homer's Odyssey. On these hills her magical herbs had been picked; here Nereids and nymphs worked in her palace, sorting herbs and flowers into baskets under her direction. If Circeii did not fit their metre, poets felt free to call the place Circe instead ...

The link of Kirke to Circeii was already known as a local Italian belief to Theophrastos in Athens in the late 4th century BC; aromatic bay and myrtle grew there abundantly (Theophrastos, Study of Plants 5.8.3, cf. Pliny, Natural History 15.119). Elsewhere (9.15.1) Theophrastos quotes a line of Aischylos, 'the Etruscan race, a medicine-making people'.

For the complete set of updates to Andrew Dalby's Empire of Pleasures look at the new page Empire of Pleasures Extra.
Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 23:23
Categories: Additamenta, Medicamenta

01/19/2006

Japanese hospitality: Friday's Latin quotation

Cubum ergo primum, deinde uxorem, postremo separatis in aedibus matrem invisimus, honesto comitatu ad regiam usque deducti: & cum benigne accepti sumus ab omnibus: tum vero a matre humanissime, quippe quae non modo potionem nobis misceri iussit a famulis, verumetiam Zacanam (salsamenti genus id est olivarum instar) de more paxillis insertam; suis ipsa manibus honoris caussa porrexit.

1589 Giampetro Maffei, Historiae Indicae

Justin adds: Cubus: a Japanese title. Zacana: Latinization of the Japanese word sakana "fish.": what exactly was this salsamentum? Paxillus, paxillulus: the normal words for "chopstick" among Jesuit writers of that era.

Contributed by Justin Mansfield. Posted at 22:18
Categories: Florilegium

01/18/2006

The perfect sauce for moray eel: Thursday's Latin quotation

his mixtum ius est: oleo, quod prima Venafri
pressit cella; garo de sucis piscis Hiberi;
vino quinquenni, verum citra mare nato,
dum coquitur (cocto Chium sic convenit, ut non
hoc magis ullum aliud); pipere albo, non sine aceto,
quod Methymnaeam vitio mutaverit uvam.
erucas viridis, inulas ego primus amaras
monstravi incoquere. inlutos Curtillus echinos,
ut melius muria quod testa marina remittat.

c. 30 BC Horace, Satires 2.8.45-52. One of the many extracts quoted in translation in Andrew Dalby's Empire of Pleasures. Click here for translation

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 22:32
Edited on: 01/28/2006 14:19
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium

01/17/2006

The difference between silphium and asafoetida: Wednesday's Greek quotation

Silphion: grows in the Syria-Armenia-Media region and in Libya. Its stem, called maspeton, resembles giant fennel; it has leaves like celery; a flat seed, leaf-like, called magydaris ...
The juice is collected by making an incision in the root and the stem. Its quality is shown in being reddish and translucent, myrrh-like and powerfully scented, not greenish, not rough in taste, not readily turning white. The Cyrenaic, even if one just tastes it, at once arouses a humour throughout the body and has a very healthy aroma, so that it is not noticed on the breath, or only a little; but the Median and Syrian are weaker in power and have a nastier smell. Note that the juice may have been adulterated before it dries, by mixing with sagapenon or bean-meal: this can be diagnosed by taste, smell, appearance or by moistening.

c. AD 50 Dioscorides, Materia Medica 3.80.1-6. One of the many quotations from ancient sources in Andrew Dalby's Siren Feasts.

The 'Median silphium' is evidently asafoetida; the 'Libyan' is the true silphium, which (according to Pliny) was by this time nearly extinct. The original Greek text is here

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 12:40
Categories: Florilegium, Graeca, Medicamenta

01/16/2006

Turmeric and its use in curry: Tuesday's Latin quotation

Curcuma in India tam ad cibum quam ad medecinam adhibetur, Indi enim ... adeo ipsi adsueti sunt ut cum cunctis admiscent condimentis et piscibus, praesertim autem isti quod karri ipsis vocatur.

c. 1690 G. E. Rumphius, Herbarium Amboinense vol. 5 p. 166

If you want to know more about Georgius Everhardus Rumphius and his Ambon Herbal, start here

Contributed by Justin Mansfield. Posted at 22:06
Categories: Florilegium, Textus, Vocabula

Decocta 'iced water': Monday's Latin quotation

Iam si tibi ex illo conclamatissimo fontium decocta referatur, videbis in calicibus repente perfusis nivalium maculas et frusta nebularum et illam lucem lubricam poculorum quadam quasi pinguedine subiti algoris hebetatem. tum respondentes poculis potiones, quarum rigentes cyathi siticuloso cuique, ne dicam tibi granditer abstemio, metuerentur.

Sidonius Apollinaris, Letter to Domitius [Letters 2.2]

[Translation from Perseus Digital Library:] If water of our famous springs is served and quickly poured into the cups, one sees snowy spots and clouded patches form outside them; the sudden chill dulls the fugitive reflections of the surface almost as if it had been greased. Such cups restrict one's draughts; the thirstiest soul on earth, to say nothing of Your Abstemiousness, would set lip to the freezing brims with caution.

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 24:00
Categories: Florilegium, Vocabula

01/14/2006

The chef instructs (without using the f word): Sunday's Latin quotation

Dromo, desquama piscis. tu, Machaerio,
congrum, murenam exdorsua quantum potest.
ego hinc artoptam ex proximo utendam peto
a Congrione. tu istum gallum, si sapis,
glabriorem reddes mihi quam volsus ludiust.

Plautus, Aulularia 398

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 22:42
Categories: Florilegium

01/13/2006

A spiced wine mix for travellers: Saturday's Latin quotation

CONDITVM MELIZOMVM VIATORIVM: Conditum melizomum perpetuum, quod subministratur per viam peregrinanti: piper tritum cum melle despumato in cupellam mittis conditi loco, et ad momentum quantum sit bibendum, tantum aut mellis proferas aut vinum misceas sed, si vas erit, nonnihil vini melizomo mittas, adiciendum propter mellis exitum solutiorem.

c. 400 Apicius 1.2

Translation (from the forthcoming edition by Sally Grainger and Chris Grocock): A long-lasting honeyed wine, which is served to travellers on the road: you put ground pepper with skimmed honey in a small cask instead of spiced wine and, as required, you pour out as much honey and mix with it as much wine as is to be drunk; but if you use a (thin-necked) vessel, you put a little wine in the honey mixture. Add enough for the honey to pour freely.

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:46
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium

Some medieval texts

Justin Mansfield pointed me to an on-line copy of Jodocus Willichius, Ars Magirica (Tiguri, 1563) from the Biblioteca Complutense at Madrid. This made me look at the catalogue of their Biblioteca Digital Dioscórides, which appears to be rich in pharmacological, scientific and culinary texts. I note from it three editions of Carolus Clusius's important Latin translation of the Portuguese spice book by García de Orta , plus a supplement or commentary on Orta by Clusius of which I was previously unaware; also a Latin edition and two French editions of the medieval farming book by Petrus de Crescentiis, usually known (though not on these title pages) as Liber commodorum ruralium.

Justin also directed me to Io. Bruyerinus, De Re Cibaria libri xxii (Lyon, 1560) in an on-line edition from the Grewe collection at the University of Barcelona. The catalogue of 16th, 17th and 18th century electronic books of the Grewe collection is here, and I note from it what is perhaps the first printed edition of the Byzantine dietary manual of Simeon Seth: Syntagma trophon dynameon = De alimentorum facultatibus : Greek text with Latin translation by Martinus Bogdanus (Paris, 1658).

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:44
Categories: Catenaria, Textus

How to salt a ham: Friday's Latin translation

Pernas sallire sic oportet in dolio aut in seria: cum pernas emeris, ungulas earum praecidito. salis romaniensis moliti in singulas semodios; in fundo dolii aut seriae sale sternito, deinde pernam ponito, cutis deosum spectet; sale obruito totam; deinde alteram insuper ponito, eodem modo obruito; caueto ne caro carnem tangat; ita omnes obruito. ubi iam omnes composueris, sale insuper obrue, ne caro appareat; aequale facito. ubi iam dies quinque in sale fuerint, eximito omnis cum suo sale; quae tum summae fuerint, imas facito eodemque modo obruito et componito. post diem omnino XII pernas eximito et salem omnem detergeto et suspendito in uento biduum; die tertio extergito spongea bene, perunguito oleo, suspendito in fumo biduo; tertio die demito, perunguito oleo et aceto commixto, suspendito in carnario: nec tinia nec uermes tangent.

160 BC Cato, On Farming 162. An extract from Cato On Farming (text, new translation and commentary) : click here for a translation of this recipe

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 9:54
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium

01/12/2006

Latin Libraries

Here's the Perseus Digital Library of Latin and Greek texts and translations. Here's a less-known competitor, The Latin Library (in which, admittedly, not all the links work). But the Latin Library has more medieval and later Latin. It includes something I had been looking for for a long time, an electronic text of Gregory of Tours' Histories, and something I never expected to find, the erotic lyrics of Joannes Secundus , though on this site he's called Janus Secundus.

Finally, here's a collection of Christian Latin texts in English translation .

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 15:28
Categories: Catenaria, Textus

A good minestrone: Thursday's Latin quotation

Sic fac ministrum pro Romanis. recipe iecorem et pulmonem capritti buliti, et fac inde parvas pecias, et pone illas in lacte amigdolatis cum bono brodio et bonis speciebus et fac illa insimul modicum bulire. Et erit bonum.

c. 1430 Johann von Bockenheim, Registrum Coquine 9

See Bruno Laurioux, 'Le registre de cuisine de Jean de Bockenheim, cuisinier du Pape Martin V' in Mélanges de l'Ecole Française de Rome vol. 100 (1988) pp. 709-760.

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 9:58
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium

01/10/2006

What women used to drink: Wednesday's Latin quotation

antiquae mulieres maiores natu bibebant loream aut sapam aut defretum aut passum … passam nominabant si in uindemia uuam diutius coctam legerent eamque passi essent in sole aduri; uino addito <uel> lorea passum uocare coeperunt.

Varro, Life of the Roman People fragment 39

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 21:31
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium

01/09/2006

How to make kumiss: Tuesday's Latin quotation

Ipsum comos, hoc est lac iumentinum, fit hoc modo. Extendunt cordam longam super terram ad duos palos fixos in terra, et ad illam cordam ligant circiter horas tres, pullos equarum quas volunt mungere. Tunc stant matres iuxta pullos suos et permittunt se pacifice mungi. Et si aliqua est nimis indomita, tunc accipit unus homo pullum et supponit ei permittens parum sugere, tunc retrahit illum, et emunctor lactis succedit. Congregata ergo multitudine lactis, quod est ita dulce sicut uaccinum, dum est recens, fundunt illud in magnum utrem siue bucellam, et incipiunt illud concutere cum ligno ad hoc aptato, quod grossum est inferius sicut caput hominis et cauatum subtus: et quam cito concutiunt illud, incipit bullire sicut vinum nouum, et acescere siue fermentari, et excutiunt illud donec extrahant butirum. Tunc gustant illud; et quando est temperate pungitiuum bibunt: pungit enim super linguam sicut vinum raspei dum bibitur. Et postquam homo cessat bibere, relinquit saporem super linguam lactis amygdalini, et multum reddit interiora hominis iucunda, et etiam inebriat debilia capita: multum etiam prouocat urinam.

1253 William of Rubruck, Itinerarium

[Translation by Peter Jackson:] Comos -- namely, mare's milk -- is made in the following way. They stretch above the ground a long rope between two stakes stuck in the soil, and around the third hour tether to the rope the foals of the mares they intend to milk. Then the mares stand beside their foals and let themselves be milked peacefully. In the event of any of them proving intractable, one man takes the foal and puts it underneath her to let it suck a little, and then withdraws it while the milker takes its place. So having collected a large quantity of milk, which when fresh is as sweet as cow's milk, they pour it into a large skin or bag, and set about churning it with a club which is made for this purpose, as think at the lower end as a man's head and hollowed out. As they stir it rapidly, it begins to bubble like new wine, and to turn sour or ferment, and they keep churning it until they extract the butter. Next they taste it, and when it is moderately pungent they drink it. While one is drinking it, it stings the tongue like râpé wine, but after one has finished drinking it leaves on the tongue a taste of milk of almonds. It produces a very agreeable sensation inside and even intoxicates those with no strong head; it also markedly brings on urination.

Buy this translation:

Contributed by Justin Mansfield. Posted at 23:48
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium, Vocabula

Olives as apéritif at Trimalchio's dinner: Monday's food quotation

in promulsidari asellus erat Corinthius cum bisaccio positus, qui habebat olivas in altera parte albas, in altera nigras.

66 Petronius, Satyrica 31

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:12
Categories: Florilegium

01/08/2006

Ordering water to mix with your wine: from a Latin-Greek phrasebook. Sunday's Latin quotation

Misce mihi calidum. noli fervente neque tepidum sed temperatum ... mitte recentem; adic merum.
Cerason my thermon mi zeston mite chliaron alla sinceraston ... bale neron, prostes acraton.

c. 200 Hermeneumata Monacensia [sometimes attributed to Pollux] p. 218 Goetz. For reconstruction in Greek script click here

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:06
Categories: Florilegium, Graeca

01/06/2006

The gastronomic wealth of Ireland: Saturday's food quotation

Hibernia ... diues lactis ac mellis insula, nec uinearum expers, piscium uolucrumque sed et ceruorum caprearumque uenatu insignis.

731 Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People 1.1

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 15:36
Edited on: 01/06/2006 15:38
Categories: Florilegium

Chester and its dairy products: Friday's Latin quotation

Cestra legionum civitas dicitur ... Regio farris et maxime tritici ... ieiuna et inops, pecorum et piscium ferax. Incolae lac et butirum delitias habent; qui ditiores sunt carnibus vivunt, panem ordeitium et siligineum pro magno amplectuntur.

1140 William of Malmesbury, History of the Bishops of England p. 308 Hamilton

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:22
Categories: Florilegium

01/04/2006

Recipe for hare: Thursday's Latin quotation

Leporis vero si novellae fuerint, et ipsi sumendi in dulci piper habentem, parum cariofilum et gingiber, costo et spicanardi vel folio. [MS A adds: Leporem licet comedere et bona est pro dissenteria.]

c. 500 Anthimus, Letter on Diet no. 13. Click here for a translation

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 13:42
Categories: Culinaria, Florilegium, Medicamenta

01/03/2006

The dinner that Septicius Clarus missed: Wednesday's Latin quotation

C. Plinius Septicio Claro suo s.
Heus tu! promittis ad cenam, nec uenis? Dicitur ius: ad assem impendium reddes, nec id modicum. Paratae erant lactucae singulae, cochleae ternae, oua bina, halica cum mulso et niue (nam hanc quoque computabis, immo hanc in primis quae perit in ferculo), oliuae betacei cucurbitae bulbi, alia mille non minus lauta. Audisses comoedos uel lectorem uel lyristen uel (quae mea liberalitas) omnes. At tu apud nescio quem ostrea uuluas echinos Gaditanas maluisti.

c. AD 96 Pliny the Younger, Letters 1.15. What did Septicius Clarus miss, and what did he enjoy instead? Click here for a translation

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 22:51
Categories: Cenae, Florilegium

Cure for a cough: Tuesday's Latin quotation

Salis quantum intra palmam tenere potest qui tussiet in potionem cervisae aut curmi mittat et calidum bibat cum dormitum vadit, neque postea loquatur, sed tacitus somnum capiat; cito sanabitur, si hoc vel triduo fecerit.

c. 400 Marcellus of Bordeaux, De Medicamentis 16.33. Click here for a translation

Archive of prescriptions

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 9:53
Categories: Florilegium, Medicamenta

01/01/2006

Snack for Augustus: Monday's Latin quotation

Dum lectica ex regia domum redeo, panis unciam cum paucis acinis uuae duracinae comedi.

Augustus, Letters [quoted by Suetonius, Life of Augustus 76]. Click here for a translation

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 19:23
Categories: Cenae, Florilegium

Possibly the first imputation of brewer's droop: Sunday's Latin quotation

When the emperor Valens besieged Chalcedon in AD 365, the citizens insulted him from the walls:
... e muris probra in eum iaciebantur et iniuriose conpellebatur ut sabaiarius: est autem sabaia ex ordeo uel frumento in liquorem conuersis paupertinus in Illyrico potus.

c. 400 Ammianus Marcellinus, History 26.8.2

Contributed by Andrew Dalby. Posted at 10:30
Categories: Florilegium