[63] Locis frigidis, ubi timor est, ne autumnalis satio hiemis gelicidiis peruratur, harundinibus humiles cantherii fiunt virgaeque et virgis stramenta supra iaciuntur, et sic a pruinis semina defenduntur. Vbi vero apricis regionibus post pluvias noxia incesserunt animalia, quae a nobis appellantur urucae, Graece autem kampai nominantur, vel manu conligi debent vel matutinis temporibus frutices holerum concuti. Sic enim dum adhuc torpent nocturno frigore, si deciderint, non amplius in superiorem partem prorepunt. [64] Id tamen supervacuum est facere, si ante sationem semina, uti iam praedixi, suco herbae sedi macerata sunt. Nihil enim sic medicatis nocent urucae. Sed Democritus in eo libro, qui Graece inscribitur peri antipathon, adfirmat has ipsas bestiolas enecari, si mulier, quae in menstruis est, solutis crinibus et nudo pede unamquamque aream ter circumeat; post hoc enim decidere omnes vermiculos et ita emori.


valeo, -ere, -ui
be able to, have force for.
medicina, -ae f.
means of treatment; remedy; modified by nulla.
repello, -ere, reppuli, repulsum
push back; reject; remove; hold back; complementary infinitive following valet.
pestis, -is f.
pestilence, plague; Columella here addresses the blight of caterpillars attacking the crops.
Dardanius, -a, -um
Dardanian, Trojan. Columella refers to Dardanus of Phoenicia, whose writings on magic the pre-Socratic Democritus of Abdera (c. 460-370 BCE) is said to have uncovered, studied and incorporated into his medical texts (click on SPQR for the location of Abdera). In the prose version of this recipe Columella cites Democritus's lost work "On Antipathies" (De Re Rustica XI.63-64).
venio, -ire, veni, ventum
come forth; spring; be descended; happen; the subject is Dardaniae artes (understand "magic"). The Mss preserve two readings: veniunt and veniant; consider the virtues of each.
nudatus, -a, -um
naked, divested, stripped bare; modifies femina, the subject of ducitur in line 362.
planta, -ae f.
foot, sole of the foot; accusative of respect after nudata.
iustus, -a, -um
lawful, proper; correct, regular; ablative of cause after operata, modifies legibus.
demum adverb
at length, at last.
operatus, -a, -um
engaged in, occupied with, busied; perfect passive participle of operor modifying femina.
iuvenca, -ae f.
young cow, heifer i.e., it has not borne a calf yet; in the genitive after legibus. Columella perhaps suggests that the femina is menstruating for the first time.
obscenus, -a, -um
foul, repulsive; ill-omened, unpropitious; modifying cruore, the adjective reveals aversion to menstrual blood.
mano (1)
flow, drip; the subject is femina.
pudibundus, -a, -um
shamefaced, modest; modifies femina.
cruor, -oris m.
blood, gore; here blood from menstruation.
resolutus, -a, -um
unbound, released, loosened; disheveled; modifying femina. To allow the magic to flow freely, clothing, belts, and hair had to be unbound.
sinus, -us m.
fold of a garment; heart; bosom; lap; accusative plural after resoluta (see Greek accusative).
maestus, -a, -um
sad, sorrowful; modifying femina.
capillus, -i m.
hair; ablative of description with resoluto.
ter adverb
three times, thrice.
areola, -ae f.
seed bed; garden plot; open courtyard.
saepes, -is f.
hedge, fence.
hortus, -i m.
garden; click on the SPQR for a partial view of the garden fresco from the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta (30-25 BCE).
lustro (1)
purify, cleanse by sacrifice; go around (in a ceremonial purification). The indicative after cum expresses definite time. The Mss preserve two readings: the subject quae, whose antecedent is femina, and the direct object quem, whose antecedent is hortus; which do you consider the better reading?
gradior, gradi, gressus, -a, um
step, walk.
mirabile visu: neuter adjective + supine
amazing/marvelous to see (idiomatic expression).
aliter adverb
otherwise, in another way; non aliter quam= in no other way, just as when.
decutio, -ere, -cussi, -cussum
strike down, shake off; in an ablative absolute modifying arbore.
pluo, -ere, -ui
drip with rain, rain down.
nimbus, –i m.
rain cloud, rain storm; shower.
vel . . .vel correllative conjunction
either . . . or.
teres, -itis/etis
rounded, smooth; modifies mali.
malum, -i n.
apple, fruit; genitive describing arbore.
tectus, -a, um
covered, concealed; protected; modifies glandis.
cortex, -icis m./f.
bark, rind, shell; ablative of description after tectae.
glans, -ndis f.
acorn, nut; genitive describing arbore.
volvo, -ere, volvi, volutum
roll around; the subject is campe.
distortus, -a, um
deformed, distorted; twisted, curled up dead; modifies corpore.
campe, -es f.
quondam adverb
at a certain occasion in the past, formerly, once.
sopio, -ire
lull to sleep, cause to sleep; modifies anguem. Note the effect of the interlocking word order.
cantus, -us m.
song, incantation. Oddly Columella doesn't identify the hero of the myth: click on SPQR for a vase painting of Medea controling the serpent while Jason prepares to snatch the golden fleece.
anguis, -is m.
snake, serpent; the snake guarded the Golden Fleece, which hung on an oak tree in a garden sacred to Ares. Click on SPQR for a red-figure kylix tondo of the snake, the fleece, Jason, and Athena.
vellus, eris n.
fleece; modified by Phrixeo, in the ablative after delapsum.
Phrixeus, -a, um
of or connected to Phrixus, the son of Athanas, King of Boeotia, and Nephele. Together with his twin sister, Helle, he fled his stepmother Ino's attempt to kill them, escaping to Colchis on the flying golden ram their mother sent to save them (click on SPQR for relief on a silver mirror of their flight).
delabor, -labi, lapsus/a sum
slip, fall down, sink; modifies anguem.
Iolcos, -i f.
Iolcus, the Greek seaport in northern Thessaly (click on SPQR for location) from which the Argonauts set out on a quest to capture the Golden Fleece. Here, Iolcos stands for Jason.

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