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Nautea, notia: A Nauseating Root in Plautus
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Nautea, notia: A Nauseating Root in Plautus

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Abstract: Dictionaries disagree over the meaning of nautea, which occurs four times in the... mehr
Nautea, notia: A Nauseating Root in Plautus
Abstract: Dictionaries disagree over the meaning of nautea, which occurs four times in the Plautine corpus, variously defining it as “bilge-water”, “vomit”, and “tanning fluid”. After finding the evidence for the “bilgewater” interpretation via a presumed Ionic etymon ναυτία to be lacking, this paper interprets nautea as a byform of notia (arguably nōtia), which refers to white bryony (bryonia alba L. or dioica Jacq.), a vine whose berries were used to remove the hair from animal hide. This interpretation is supported by a pun at the end of the Casina and suggests a conjectural solution to a textual difficulty at Catalepton 13.23, where the manuscripts read nauticum. The paper concludes with some remarks on the reliability of the “alphabetic” recension of Dioscorides as a witness to vowel quantity in later Latin and other phonological developments.