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Silphion
(248 words)

[German version]

(Greek σίλφιον/sílphion, word of non-Greek origin, from σίλφι/sílphi or σίρφι/sírphi; Latin sirpe, laserpicium from lac sirpicium). An as yet unidentified plant, imported from the 6th cent. BC from Cyrenaeca in northern Africa, and the resinous milky juice obtained from its stem and root (Latin laser, main citation in Plin. HN 19,38-46 and 22,100 f. according to Theophr. Hist. pl. 3,1,6; 6,3,1; 6,3,3; 6,4). It seems to have been related to asafoetida (Ferula asa-foetida L.). The plant is supposed to have had a strong but pleasant smell. Theophr. (Hi…

Cite this page
Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg), “Silphion”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 16 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1113160>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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