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Headword: *si/lfios
Adler number: sigma,422
Translated headword: silphium
Vetting Status: high
A highly esteemed plant. Here [is] the reason. Battos, also known as Aristoteles, founded a city in Libya called Cyrene. When the Cyreneans wished to thank their king for his benevolence, they created a signet-ring on which their city [was shown] bringing silphium to the king. Its leaf and fruit and shoot and juice are all very valuable. And the Ampeliotes, a Libyan people, dedicated a shaft of silphium at Delphi.[1]
See under "the silphium of Battos."[2]
Greek Original:
*si/lfios: bota/nh poluti/mhtos. h( de\ ai)ti/a au(/th. *ba/ttos, o( kai\ *)aristote/lhs, po/lin e)n *libu/h| *kurh/nhn legome/nhn e)/ktisen. oi( de\ *kurhnai=oi boulo/menoi a)ntapo/dosin th=s eu)ergesi/as xari/sasqai tw=| basilei= e)poi/hsan daktu/lion, e)n w(=| h( po/lis au)tw=n prosfe/rei tw=| basilei= to\ si/lfion. kai\ to\ fu/llon de\ au)tou= kai\ o( karpo\s kai\ o( kla/dos kai\ o( o)po\s pollh=s timh=s e)stin a)/cion. kai\ oi( *)ampeliw=tai, e)/qnh *libu/hs, ei)s *delfou\s a)ne/qesan kaulo\n silfi/ou. zh/tei e)n tw=| *ba/ttou si/lfion.
[1] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Wealth [Plutus] 925, where silphion (sic: the Suda is wrong to make the word masculine) is mentioned.
[2] beta 186 and beta 187; see also sigma 423; phi 604. Cf. Catullus 7.4-6 (web address 1).
OCD4 s.v. Cyrene and s.v. pharmacology
Dalby, A. Siren Feasts. London: Routledge: 1996, pp.86-87
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; biography; botany; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; ethics; geography; history; medicine; religion
Translated by: Ross Scaife ✝ on 18 December 2000@14:39:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added bibliography and keyword) on 19 December 2000@03:26:24.
Tony Natoli (added to note and bibliography) on 28 February 2003@22:55:13.
Ross Scaife ✝ (cosmetics) on 1 March 2003@10:32:03.
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 2 March 2003@04:54:56.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 4 May 2011@06:55:22.
David Whitehead on 24 December 2013@06:58:58.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@10:42:57.
Catharine Roth (coding; added a link) on 19 February 2022@01:19:37.


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