Of Daphni. cap. 48.
THe Laurel trée is called Daphnis in Gréeke, and Laurus in Latine, as Isi∣dore saith, li. 17. and this hath the name Page [unnumbered]Laurus of Lau•, praising: for in great worship and praising Conquerors were sometime crowned with Garlandes of boughes of the Laurell trée. In old time it was called Laudea, but afterward D. was changed into R. and the Tree was called Laurus, as sometime ye vndertide, was called Medidies, as Isi. saith. And ye Gréekes call this trée Daphnes, for it is alway gréene winter & sūmer. Therfore ••ctors were speciallye crowned there∣with, as Isidore sayth: and saieth there∣to, that the common fame is, that onelye this tree is not smit with Lightening, therefore it was hallowed to Apollo, by olde time.
Of this trée speaketh the Maister in history, super illud verbum, Consiluit I∣saac Dominum, super Gen. 17. and saith: that Rebecca for trembling of Nations that she had séene in them that perished, she laid a manner Laurell trée that she called Tripodem, vnder hir head, & sate hir vpon boughes of an hearbe that was called Agnus castus, for to vse very Re∣uelations and sights, and not fantasies.
Lib. 16. cap. 30. Pliny speaketh of the Laurell trée and saieth, that this Tree is properly hallowed to triumphal worship of Conquerours, and is had in houses of Emperours and of Bishops, for it wor∣shippeth the house, and maketh it faire. And there is two kindes, one is called Delphica, and the other Ciprica: With the Laurell Delphica, the Delphes were first crowned, when they were first Uic∣tors. And afterwarde with the Laurell Ciprica the Romanes crowned their vic∣tors. And now is manye manner kinde of Laurell trée, but they be diuers in gréene colour and in greatnesse of leaues, and in likenesse of Bayes: and is a trée of many manner kinde. And Plin. rec∣koneth thirteene manner kindes of the same tree, among whom he reckoneth one manner kinde, that was hallowed to the great Iupiter, and to Appollo Delphi∣cus. Therefore the lande that beareth Laurell trée, is safe from lightening both in field and in house, and Appollo vsed not to giue answeres, but in presence of Laurell trees.
And some men supposed, that this trée was according to the seruice and wor∣ship of God, and for that cause it was had in worship in Triumphes and victorie. And it was not lawful to defile ye Lau∣rell trée in vnhonest and vnlawful vses, for it should be offered and set vpon Al∣tars to please the Gods therewith.
The Emperour Tiberius Caesar, in thundering and lightening, vsed a Gar∣land of Laurell trée on his head, against dread of lightening, as it is sayde. Also ther Plinius telleth a wonderous thing, that the Emperour sate by Drucilla the Empresse in a certaine gardeine, and an Eagle threwe from a right high place, a wonderful white Hen into the Empresse lappe whole and sound, and the Hen held in hir bill a bough of Laurell trée full of Bayes, and Diuinors tooke heeds to the Hen, and sowed the Bayes, & kept them wisely, and of them came a Woode, that was called Silua Triumphans, as it wer the Wood of worship, for victorie & ma∣sterie: for afterward the Emperour bare Laurell trée in his hand, and a garlande thereof on his head. And afterward other Emperors in ye same wise shuld be crow∣ned with Laurell trée of the same wood, when they had victory. Huc vsque Plin. And Diosco. telleth more of the Laurel trée and sayth, that it is a trée of séemly shape and of great smell, and is good and of wonderfull vertue, for ye gréene leaues thereof, that smell full well, if they bée stamped, healeth stinging of Bées and of Waspes, and doth away all swellings, and keepeth bookes and cloathes that it is among, from mothes & other wormes, and saueth them from frétling and gna∣wing. The fruite of Laurell trée are cal∣led Bayes, and be browne or red with∣out, and white within and vnctuous.
They be round in shape, hot in complec∣tion, and drye in the second degrée, with subtill substaunce and vertue of pourg∣ing and comforting, therfore they be pro∣fitable to be put in many medicines. Of Bayes is made precious oyle, that help∣eth against many euills & colde passions.
(*The Bay trée is of some taken for the Lauriell: notwithstanding they are two seuerall trées, & yet the Lauriell is rather an hearb than a trée. Read Dod.)