Quick, Make that River Illegal!

Ps.Plutarch On Rivers, 18.2

“the Inakhos is a river in Argos…near it grows a plant called kunoura [‘dog’s tail] which is similar to rue and which women, when they want to abort a fetus without danger, steep in wine and then place on their navels.”

(1) ῎Ιναχος ποταμός ἐστι τῆς ᾽Αργείας χώρας … (2) γεννᾶται δ᾽ ἐν αὐτῶι βοτάνη κύνουρα καλουμένη, πηγάνῳ παρόμοιος, ἣν αἱ γυναῖκες, ὅταν ἀκινδύνως ἐκτρῶσαι θελήσωσιν, ἐν οἴνωι βεβρεγμένην τοῖς ὀμφαλοῖς ἐπιτιθέασιν.



“Moly: an antidote; Or, a plant which wards off evil, and also, wild rue.”

Μῶλυ: ἀντιπάθιον· ἢ βοτάνη ἀλεξιφάρμακος, ἤτοι πήγανον ἄγριον.

Image result for medieval manuscript river with women
British Library: Yates_thompson_ms_10_f011r

Wondrous Wednesday: Some Wicked Waters

We posted previously about paradoxographical records of magical waters. Here are some more.

Paradoxographus Vaticanus, 10-13

10 “The Skamandros [river] makes hair light colored. This is why it is called Xanthus in Homer.”

῾Ο Σκάμανδρος ξανθὰς ποιεῖ τὰς τρίχας· ὅθεν καὶ Ξάνθος παρ’ ῾Ομήρῳ προσηγορεύθη.

11 “Antigonos says that the warm water in Hierapolis turns everything into stone—and when the water itself [ripens] it also becomes stone.”

᾿Αντίγονος τὸ μὲν ἐν ῾Ιεραπόλει θερμὸν ὕδωρ πάντα ἀπολιθοῦν φησι, καὶ αὐτὸ δὲ πέσσεσθαι καὶ λίθον γίνεσθαι.

12 “Theopompos says that among the Lungkêstai there is a certain bitter water which makes those who drink it drunk.”

Θεόπομπος ἐν Λυγκήσταις φησίν τι εἶναι ὕδωρ ὀξύ, ὃ τοὺς πίνοντας μεθύσκει.

13 “Herakleides says that there is a lake among the Sauromati which does not support any birds; any bird which approaches dies because of a smell. For this reason, indeed, [other lakes?] seem to be birdless throughout Italy.”

῾Ηρακλείδης [φησὶ] τὴν ἐν Σαυρομάταις λίμνην οὐδὲν τῶν ὀρνέων ὑπεραίρειν φησί, τὸ δὲ προσελθὸν ὑπὸ τῆς ὀσμῆς τελευτᾶν. ὃ δὴ καὶ περὶ τὴν ἄορνιν κατὰ τὴν ᾿Ιταλίαν δοκεῖ γίνεσθαι.

File:Piri Reis - Map of the River Nile From Its Estuary South - Google Art Project.jpg
Map of the River Nile from the Walters Art Museum