D) The gathering of the verbena

ā€˜est et altera cyclaminos cognomine cissanthemos, geniculatis caulibus supervacuis a priore distans, circa arbores se volvens, acinis hederae, sed mollibus, flore candido, specioso, radice supervacua. acini tantum in usu, gustu acres et lenti. siccantur in umbra tusique dividuntur in pastillos.
mihi et tertia cyclaminos demonstrata est cognomine chamaecissos, uno omnino folio, radice ramosa, qua pisces necabantur.2477

The people in the Gallic provinces make use of them both [two species of verbena] for soothsaying purposes, and for the predication of future events; but it is the magicians more particularly that give utterance to such ridiculous follies in reference to this plant. Persons, they tell us, if they rub themselves with it will be sure to gain the object of their desires; and they assure us that it keeps away fevers, conciliates friendship, and is a cure for every possible disease; they say, too, that it must be fathered about the rising of the Dog-star - but so as not to be shone upon by sun and moon - and that honey-combs and honey must be first presented to the earth by way of expiation. They tell us also that a circle must first be traced around it with iron; after which it must be taken up with the left hand, and raised aloft, care being taken to dry the leaves, stem and root separately in the shade [ā€¦].2478 ā€™

Book 25, 49, 2.


Bostock, 1855.