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Ladanum \  Labdanum (Ladanum)                 

LAD'ANUM - The resinous juice which exsudes from the leaves of the Cistus ladanifera, a shrub which grows in Arabia, Candia, and other parts of the Archipelago. It is collected with a kind of rake, with leather thongs attached to it, with which the shrubs are brushed. The best sort is in dark-colored black masses, of the consistence of a soft plaster. The other sort is in long rolls coiled up, harder than the former, and of a paler color. It is chiefly used in external applications.

"…Is to be made by putting Benjamin into a glass retort, and fitting it to the furnace.  Then increase the fire without any fear of combustion, and you will obtain a fragent oil, to be used in precious ointments.  So Oil of Storax, Calamite, and Labdanum, and other Gums…"

"…Beat the Ladanum, and macerate it fifteen days in AquaVita, or Greek wine, at least ten.  For the longer it infuses, the sooner it will run into oil…"

Lacedamonian Dogs   

"…Aristotle, and out of him Galen, report, that beasts may couple together, though they be of a diverse kind, so that their nature do not much differ, and they be of a like bigness, and thereby suitable for their times of breeding and bringing forth, as it is betwixt dogs and wolves, of both which, are gendred swift dogs, called Lacedaemonian dogs…"

Ladies Mantel (Lady's Mantel)      

Lady's Mantel - The Lady's Mantle and the Parsley Piert, two small, inconspicuous plants, have considerable reputation as herbal remedies. They both belong to the genus Alchemilla of the great order Rosaceae, most of the members of which are natives of the American Andes, only a few being found in Europe, North America and Northern and Western Asia.

 "…. Vulnerary potions…Or take two handfuls of Pirole, of Sanicle, of Sowbread one.  Of Ladies Mantel half one.  Boil them in two measures of Wine, and drink it morning and evening…"

 "…But I use the juice of Ladies Mantel from the leaves of it.  And I wet Linen in it and lay it on the breasts, and renew it.  For it will not only hinder Virgin's breasts from increasing, but will fasten the loose breasts of matrons, and make them firm…"


Ladle - . A cuplike spoon, often of large size, with a long handle, used in lading or dipping.

"…To nine vessels of water put eighteen pounds of Honey, into Brass Caldrons convered with Tin, and let them boil a long time, stirring all with wooden Ladles…"


See:   Hare

"…The Greeks call the Hare Lagos form the great ears.  For La in composition augments, and Os signifies an ear, and it was fit that a fearful creature should hear well, that it might perceive dangers farther off, and take care for itself in time…"


Caius Lalius

"…Pliny writes, that in the year of Caius Lalius and Lucius Domitus Consulship, there was born a maid-child that had two heads, four hands, and was of double nature in all respects…"


"… Dissolve in what quantity of warm water you think proper or be in need of a sufficient quantity of that salt as may saturate it which you know when you see the water can dissolve no more of it in this disolution, you put in a drachem of Calx or Magister of gold, then put in digestion in it silver Laminas cut small and thin, let them so for twentyfour hours over a very gentle fire…"


Lamb - The young of the sheep.

"…So a Lions skin wastes and eats out the skins of other beasts, and so does the Wolf's skin eat up the Lamb's skin…"


Lamprey - An eel-like marsipobranch of the genus Petromyzon, and allied genera. The lampreys have a round, sucking mouth, without jaws, but set with numerous minute teeth, and one to three larger teeth on the palate.

"…The Lamprey fights with serpents, and with her biting, kills the Basilisk, which is the most poisonous serpent that is…"

"…Before you boil your Lamprey, take out his bones, to make it more graceful, for his flesh is full of bones, which you shall do with two little sticks held in both hands…"

Lanthorns (Lantern)  

Lantern - Something inclosing a light, and protecting it from wind, rain, etc. ; -- sometimes portable, as a closed vessel or case of horn, perforated tin, glass, oiled paper, or other material, having a lamp or candle within; sometimes fixed, as the glazed inclosure of a street light, or of a lighthouse light.

"… Let there be measure made like Lanthorns, so that they may go in at the mouths of the Brass Guns.  Fill them with powder of Euphorbium, Pepper, Quicklime, Vine ashes, and Arsnick Sublimate…"  


Lapwing - A small European bird of the Plover family (Vanellus cristatus, or V. vanellus). It has long and broad wings, and is noted for its rapid, irregular fight, upwards, downwards, and in circles. Its back is coppery or greenish bronze. Its eggs are the plover's eggs" of the London market, esteemed a delicacy. It is called also peewit, dastard plover, and wype. The gray lapwing is the Squatarola cinerea.

"…The Doves, for a preservative against enchantments, first gather some little Bay tree boughs, and then lay them upon their nests, to preserve their young, so do the Kites use White Brambles, the turtles Swordgrass, the Crows Withy, the Lapwings Venus-hair, the Ravens Ivy, the hens Carrot, the Partridges Reed-leaves, the Blackbirds Myrtle, the larks grass, the Swans Park-leaves, the Eagle uses Maidenhair, or the stone Etites for the same purpose…"

Larch Tree   

Larch - A genus of coniferous trees, having deciduous leaves, in fascicles.

"… Whence, Pliny writes, the Larch tree will neither burn to coals, nor is otherwise consumed by fire, then stones are…"

"… Vitruvius says, that the Larch tree wood will not burn, or kindle by itself, but like a stone in the furnace, will make no coals, but burn very slowly…"


Lard - The fat of swine, esp. the internal fat of the abdomen; also, this fat melted and strained. Lard oil, an illuminating and lubricating oil expressed from lard.

"…And if you Lard the Bullets, they will penetrate through arms of proof…"

"…Let the Goose be smeared all over with Suet, and well Larded, that he may be the better meat, and roast the better.."


Lark - Any one numerous species of singing birds of the genus Alauda and allied genera (family Alaudidæ). They mostly belong to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. The true larks have holaspidean tarsi, very long hind claws, and usually, dull, sandy brown colors.

"…The Doves, for a preservative against enchantments, first gather some little Bay tree boughs, and then lay them upon their nests, to preserve their young, so do the Kites use White Brambles, the turtles Swordgrass, the Crows Withy, the Lapwings Venus-hair, the Ravens Ivy, the hens Carrot, the Partridges Reed-leaves, the Blackbirds Myrtle, the Larks grass, the Swans Park-leaves, the Eagle uses Maidenhair, or the stone Etites for the same purpose…"

"…Galen says, that the Lark has a crested crown, of the fashion of the Herb Fumitory, and that either of them is good against the Colick…"


"…So the herb Laser in Africa, is generated of a kind of pitchy or clammy rain and thick dirt.  And the herb will show itself out of the earth presently after the rain is fallen…"

"… Pulse will keep long…If they are sprinkled with Vinegar mixed with the juice of Laser…"


Latro  - (Marcus Porcius), a Roman rhetorician in the reign of Augustus; a Spaniard by birth. ("I became as mad as the disciples of Porcius Latro, who, when they had made themselves as pale as their master by drinking decoctions of cumin, imagined themselves as learned." -Lesage: Gil Blas, vii. 9 (1735).)

"… Cumine taken in drink causes paleness.  So it is reported, that the followers of Portius Latro, that famous maser of rhetoric, endeavored to imitate that color which he had contracted by study…"


Latin - Of or pertaining to Latium, or to the Latins, a people of Latium; Roman; as, the Latin language.

"…Make a great cup of Silver, red Arsenic and Latin, with a cover that fits close, that nothing may exhale…"

"…Wet the vessel in cold water, and set it in the fire.  When it is red hot, quench it in cold water.  Then scrape off the Gold with Latin wire bound together…"


Latitude - Distance north or south of the equator, measured on a meridian.

"…And sailing under the Equator, we do observe the chief motions of the Needle.  And the Declinations of it.  And shall accommodate the same to the proportion of our voyage.  We shall easily know the Longitude and Latitude in dark nights, and the greatest tempests may be certainly discovered…"

"…The Latitude whereof will be about twenty foot. .."


Lattice - Any work of wood or metal, made by crossing laths, or thin strips, and forming a network; as, the lattice of a window; -- called also latticework.

"…Then wash or Steep them a whole day in cold water, and afterward lay them a drying upon Wicker Lattices, handling them very gently..."


Laurel - An evergreen shrub, of the genus Laurus (L. nobilis), having aromatic leaves of a lanceolate shape, with clusters of small, yellowish white flowers in their axils; -- called also sweet bay.

"…Thus you may without any fear of burning, draw oil out of flowers, leaves, spices, gums, and wood with the most vehement fires, as also out of Juniper and Laurel berries…"


"…To which end, let water be often poured into the Lavel, and stirred about, the dust of the Mortar will rise to the top, by reason of its levity, and powder of pebbles will retire to the bottom by the reason of its weight…"


Lavender -  is a shrubby plant indigenous to the mountainous regions of the countries bordering the western half of the Mediterranean, and cultivated extensively for its aromatic flowers in various parts of France, in Italy and in England and even as far north as Norway. It is also now being grown as a perfume plant in Australia.

"…Either with Cinders, or in Balneo Mariae, but only, observe to kindle the fire by degrees, lest they burn.  There are also in some plants, sweet leaves, as in Myrtle, Lavender, Citron, and such like, which if you mix with the flowers, will no way hinder the favour of them, but add a pleasantness to the waters…"

"…Take two pounds of Rosewater, of Lavender half one, of Cretan Wine thirteen Drachms, of the flowers of Gilliflowers, Roses, Rosemary, Jasmine, the leaves of Marjoram, wild Betony, Savory, Fennel, and Basil Gentle, half a pound…"  ("To make a most sweet perfumed water.")


Laxative - A substance which promotes bowel movements.

 "…They Grafted it into the Service tree, likely for this cause, that whereas the fruit of itself would make a man Laxative, the sharp taste of the Service tree being mixed with it, might cause it to be more binding…"


Lead - A bluish-white metal of bright luster, very soft, highly malleable, ductile, and a poor conductor of electricity; very resistant to corrosion; a cumulative poison.

"…Then take a Foil of Wax or Lead, of a convenient thickness, that exceeds the breadth of the arch of the Hexagon, and in length exceeds them both…"

"…Let it not be a Steel glass, because it cannot sustain the heat of burning, and by burning it loses its brightness.  Let it be therefore of glass a finger thick.  Let the Tin Foil be of purged Antimony and Lead, such as they make in Germany…"


League - An alliance or combination of two or more nations, parties, or persons, for the accomplishment of a purpose which requires a continued course of action, as for mutual defense, or for furtherance of commercial, religious, or political interests, etc.

"…Because there is such a natural concord and sympathy between the Iron and the Loadstone, as if they had made a League.  That when the Loadstone comes near the Iron, the Iron presently stirs, and runs to meet it, to be embraced by the Loadstone…"


Leather - The skin of an animal, or some part of such skin, tanned, tawed, or otherwise dressed for use; also, dressed hides, collectively.

"… Into these cells you must put your   Figs and wrap the Gourd about with a swath of cloth or Leather.  And then hang up the Gourd in a dark place where neither fire nor smoke may come at them…"

"…After this, you must take the congealed stuff when it is cold and bind it up hard with your hands in Leather thongs, or Linen cloth, or Osiers, that all the juice and moisture that is in it, may be sqeezed out of it…"


Leaven - An agent, such as yeast, that causes batter or dough to rise, especially by fermentation.

"…But Tarentinus speaks of this matter more precisely.  If, says he, you cut the stock of a Black Poplar piecemeal into the earth, and pour upon it some Leaven that has been steeped in water, there will soon grow up some Poplar Toadstools…"

"…Out of Didymus some add Nitre, for Nitre makes Bread more crumbly, as it does flesh also.  Some the day before they make their Bread, cast Grapes into the water, and the next day when they will make their Bread they take them away, for they swim above the water, and they press them out, and use the moisture pressed forth for Leaven…"


Leech - Any one of numerous genera and species of annulose worms, belonging to the order Hirudinea, or Bdelloidea.

"…Anoint your hair in the sun with Leeches that have lain to corrupt in the blackest wine sixty days, and they will become very black…"

 "…They contract the place with the Decoction of the formentioned things, then they set a Leech fast on upon the place, and so they make a crusty matter or scab.  Which being rubbed will bleed…"


Leek - A plant of the genus Allium (A. Porrum), having broadly linear succulent leaves rising from a loose oblong cylindrical bulb.  A vegetable which looks like a white stick with long green leaves on top and which tastes a little like onion.

"… Phaseoli, or French Beans, cause the same.  Lentils, Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Weedbine, Dorycnium, Picnocomum, new red Wine, these infuse dreams, wherein the Phantasms are broken, crooked, angry, troubled…"

"… Partridges eat Leeks, to make their voices clear, eat nothing but oil of Leeks, certain days of every month…"


 "… Leeks discusses Drunkenness.  And he that takes Saffron before, shall feel no Drunkenness…"


Lees - That which settles at the bottom, as, of a cask of liquor (esp. wine); sediment; dregssediment in wine/oil making process.

See:   Lees of Wine, Lees of Oil

"…  Cato does in short enumerate the faculties of Lees of Oil, he subjects the barn stores with Lees of Oil, that Mice may not eat his Corn…"

"… And that is, by watering it continually with Urine, and which is a thing very comfortable to an Apple tree.  Some do use Goat Dung and the Lees or dregs of old wine…"

Lembus, Heraclides    

"…The generation of them is so easy, and sudden, that some write it has rained frogs, as if they were gendered in the air. Phylarchus in Athenaus writes so, and Heraclides Lembus writes, `that it rained frogs about Dardany and Poeonia, so plentifully, that the very ways and houses were full of them…"


See:   Terra Lemnia

"…But Zenocrates promises by experiment, that the faultiness of the armpits will pass forth by Urine.  If you take one ounce of the Pith of the root boiled in three Lemina's of Muskadel to thirds.  And after bathing, fasting, or after meat, drink a cup thereof…"


Lemon - Synonyms---Citrus medica. Citron. Citrus Limonum. Citronnier. Neemoo. Leemoo. Limoun. Limone.---Description---The name Limonum is derived from the Arabic Limun or Limu, which in its turn probably comes from the Sanscrit Nimbuka. There are several varieties of Citrus medica, only differing in the character of their fruits. The principal ones are the lemon, Citron or cedrat, and lime. The Bergamot is also closely related. The trees reached Europe by way of Persia or Media and were grown first in Greece and then in Italy in the second century.

See:   Limon celleum incancellatum, Limoncellum picciolum

"…Take a great glass Receiver, and fill the third part almost of it with Aqua Vita.  Put into it Lavender flowers, Jasmine, Roses, Orange and Lemon flowers.  Then add roots of Iris, Cypress, Sanders, Cinnamon, Storax, Labdanum, Cloves, Nutmegs, Calamus Aromaticus, with a little Musk, Amber and Civit. Fill the glass, and stop it well. .."

"…these are very fit to be Grafted by Emplastering, and these kinds of compound Oranges and Lemons are very commonly to be seen in many orchards in Naples…"

Lenticular (Crystal) / Lenticulars      

Lenticular - Resembling a lentil in size or form; having the form of a double-convex lens.

"…Of the effects of a Lenticular Crystal…"

 "…That no space may be empty, I shall touch some things here, I call Lenticulars, portions of circles compacted …"together


Lentil - A leguminous plant of the genus Ervum (Ervum Lens), of small size, common in the fields in Europe.

"… Lentils be hastened in their growth…"

"…As Columella shows.  For if you put them  ( Lentils ) into oil vessels, or else into salting tubs, that they may be full.  And so plaster them over with Morter, whenever you take them out again for your use, you shall find your Lentils sweet and good…"

Leo the Emperor   

"…   Leo the Emperor, burnt with this kind of fire those of the East, that sailed against Constantinople with 1800 Carvels…"


"…For these causes, Columella and Leontinus the Greek, give counsel to air and purge the houses where the Hens are, and their nests, yes, and the very Hens themselves, with brimstone, and Pitch, and torches, and many do lay a plate of Iron, or some nail heads, and some Bay-tree boughs upon their nests, for all these are supposed to be very good preservatives against monstrous and prodigious births…"

"…Leontinus teaches you to do it after this manner.   Take two shoots of diverse kinds of fig trees, but you must see that both the shoots be of the same age, and the same growth as near as you can…"


See:   Lion's Bane

"… Lion's Bane is called Leontophonon. It is a little creature that breeds nowhere but where the Lion is.  Being taken, it is burnt.  And with the ashes thereof, flesh is strewn, and being cast in the highways where they meet, Lions are killed…"


Leopard - A large, savage, carnivorous mammal (Felis leopardus). It is of a yellow or fawn color, with rings or roselike clusters of black spots along the back and sides.

"…A Leopard is gendered of a Libard and a Lioness"  

"…Now as there are two sorts of Mules, one a Horse and an Ass  an the other of an Ass and a mare, so there are two sorts of Leopards, one of a libard and a Lioness, the other of a Lion and a panther, or She-libard…"


 "…Dirty mud genders Oysters, sandy mud Perwincles, the mud in the rocks breeds Holoturia, Lepades, and such-like…"

Leprosy \ Lepry             

Leprosy - Caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an obligate intracellular parasite that survives lysosomal enzyme attack by possessing a waxy coat. Leprosy is a chronic disease associated with depressed cellular (but not humoral) immunity, the bacterium requires a lower temperature than 37­C and thrives particularly in peripheral Schwann cells and macrophages.

"…Take Saltpeter, three ounces, Oil of bitter Almonds, two pounds, of Squils, half a pound.  One Lemon without the Pills.  Mingle them, and let them ferment three days.  Then, with chemical instruments, extract the oil, and anoint your Tetters therewith, and they will be gone, though they seem to turn to a Leprosy…"

"…So the Essence of Juniper, is reckoned the first degree of operation, because it cures the Leprosy by purging the blood only…"


Hydra - a mythical being with nine serpent heads that when cut off were replaced by two more heads; this monster was destroyed by Herakles.

"...Hydra Lernaea which was one of Hercules labors to overcome…"


Lettuce - A composite plant of the genus Lactuca (L. sativa), the leaves of which are used as salad. Plants of this genus yield a milky juice, from which lactucarium is obtained.

"…There are other things prepared by the ancients, to extinguish Drunkenness, as to eat Lettuce at the end of supper, for they are very cold…"

"…If you take, says he, a Truttle of Goats Dung , and bore it through, and make it hollow cunningly with a Bodkin, and then fill it up with the seed of Lettuce, Cresses, Basil, Rotchet, and Radish, and when you have so done, lap them up in more of the same Dung…"


Leucippus  - c. 475 BC, Greek philosopher; laid the foundation for the atomic theory of matter developed by his student, Democritus. Aristotle gives a clear and intelligible account of the way Leucippus' theory arose. It originated from Parmenides' denial of the void, from which the impossibility of multiplicity and motion had been deduced. Leucippus supposed himself to have discovered a theory which would avoid this consequence.

"…  Leucippus held, that there was no cause either in the seed or heat, or solidity, or place, that they should be different sexes.  But only as it pleases nature to mark the young ones with different genitories, that the male has a Yard, and the female a womb…"


Levigate - To make smooth in various senses: (a) To free from grit; to reduce to an impalpable powder or paste. (b) To mix thoroughly, as liquids or semiliquids. (c) To polish. (d) To make smooth in action.

"…Wet them  ( Copper Rays) with water, lay the powder on them, and rub them with your thumbs, that they may become of a Silver color.  Steep them in water, and Levigate them with the Blood stone upon the before mentioned Copper…"


Levity - . The quality of weighing less than something else of equal bulk; relative lightness, especially as shown by rising through, or floating upon, a contiguous substance; buoyancy; -- opposed to gravity.

"…I can do this another way, not by Levity and Gravity, as I said, but by thinness and thickness..."


"…so there are two sorts of Leopards, one of a Libard and a Lioness, the other of a Lion and a Panther, or She-libard; that is in body like a Lion, but not in courage, this is in body and color like a Libard…"

"…The Libards, very thirsty, come to the fountain, and so soon as they have drunk Wine, that they delight in, first they leap, then they fall fast asleep on the ground, and so they are easily taken…"

Libard's Bane  

See:   Bane

"…Is reckoned Libards Bane, by whose root, powdered, and given with flesh, they are killed.  Flesh is strewn with Aconite, and panthers are killed if they taste thereof.  Their jaws and throat are presently in pain.  Therefore it is called Pardalianches…"

"… Is reckoned Libards Bane, by whose root, powdered, and given with flesh, they are killed..."


Lice (Louse) - . Any one of numerous species of small, wingless, suctorial, parasitic insects belonging to a tribe (Pediculina), now usually regarded as degraded Hemiptera. To this group belong of the lice of man and other mammals.

"…as those creatures that are divided between the head and the belly, some out of the dew that lies upon leaves, as Canker-worms, some out of mud, as shell-creatures, and some out of living creatures themselves, and the excrement's of their parts as Lice…"

"…To make speckled Smalt, which being full of small specks, shall seem to be compounded of a great many Lice, and very pleasant to behold…"

Licorice  / Liquorish      

Licorice - A plant of the genus Glycyrrhiza (G. glabra), the root of which abounds with a juice, and is much used in demulcent compositions.

"… For Hippace signifies Cheese made of Mares Milk, and is no herb.   Theodorus translated it Equestrem, as it were a root like Licorice, fit to drive away hunger and thirst…"

"…Or make a lye of oak ashes, put in the quantity of a Bean of Rhubarb, as much as Tobacco, a handful of barley straw and Feny-Graec.  Shells of oranges, the raspings of Guaiacum, a good deal of wild Saffron and Liquorish…"


"… Liccorish Gluttons found out the ways to fat Cattle, that they might feed on them more plentifully and daintily…"

Life of Numa  

See:   Plutarch

 "…As we find it in Plutarch, in the Life of Numa.  And then in the time of the civil war, and of Mithridates, it ( Perpetual Fire) went out…"


Lights - The lungs of an animal or bird; -- sometimes coarsely applied to the lungs of a human being.

"…Therefore as in us, the brain, the Lights, the heart, the liver, and other parts of us do receive and draw mutual benefit from each other, so that when one part suffers, the rest also suffer with it…"

Lignum Aloes   / Lingnum Aloes         

Aloe - A genus of succulent plants, some classed as trees, others as shrubs, but the greater number having the habit and appearance of evergreen herbaceous plants; from some of which are prepared articles for medicine and the arts.

"…Take a Drachm of Hartwort and Gentian, two Scruples of Sanders and Lignum Aloes, half a Drachm of Powder of Coral, Spodium, and Harts Horn burned, a handful of Sowthistle, Scordium, Betony, Scabious, and a half of Mercury precipitate…"

"…Which a man may use after unclean women.  Take a Drachm of Hartwort and Gentian, two Scruples of Sanders and Lignum Aloes, half a Drachm of Powder of Coral, Spodium, and Hart horn burned…"

Lilly / Lily                      

Lily - A plant and flower of the genus Lilium, endogenous bulbous plants, having a regular perianth of six colored pieces, six stamens, and a superior three-celled ovary.

"…Wherefore we must lay their leaves only in the best Aqua Vita, that is, the leaves of Lillies , Jasmine, Musk, Roses, and the rest, hanging them on a thread, that when the water has sucked out their odour, we may pluck them out, because their odor lies only on their superficies…"

"…you shall by this means have Lillies all the year long, and so many several flowers of them as you have planted several roots.  And as this may be done by Lillies, so Anatolius thinks the same practice will take like effect in all other flowers…"

Limature of Iron  

Limature - . That which is filed off; filings.

"…Take three or four pounds of the Limature of iron, wash it well in a broad vessel, for by putting it into water, the weight of the iron will carry that to the bottom, but the straws and chips, and such kind of filth, will swim on the top, so you will have your filings clean and washed…"

Limbeck (Alembeck)     

Alembic - retort, in old chemistry according to Diderot's Encyclopedia. A retort is a spherical container, generally of glass, with a long, angled neck. It is used for distilling substances or decomposing them by heat

See:   Alembeck

 "…I make a Trestle with legs of two foot in length.  There must a hole be bored in the plank of it, to receive the neck of the Limbeck…"

"…Three pounds of salt water, will give two pounds of fresh water.  But if the cap of the Limbeck  be of Lead, it will afford more water, yet not so good…"


Lime - Oxide of calcium; the white or gray, caustic substance, usually called quicklime, obtained by calcining limestone or shells, the heat driving off carbon dioxide and leaving lime.

See:  Quicklime

"…therefore we will try to ripen fruit and flowers before their time, by laying warm cherishers, as Lime, or Chalk, and Nitre, and warm water, to the roots of trees and herbs…"

"…And because the Lead that is put in will bear up the Tin aloft therefore you must make certain little balls or pills compounded of Soap and Lime, or else Saltpeter and Brimstone, or some other like fat earthy stuff…"


See:   Oyster

"…So then Oysters are generated in the sea, in rivers and in lakes, and therefore are called Limnoslrea, because they breed in muddy places…"

Limon celleum incancellatum  

See:   Lemon

"…And this kind of Lemon is usual among us.  And is termed by the common people Limon celleum incancellatum…"

Limoncellum picciolum  

See:   Lemon

"…If we take that least kind of Lemon, which is called Limoncellum picciolum, and Engraff into a Citron tree, the stock will inspire the fruit with a very nice smell…"

Limpin  (Limpet)     

Limpets - primitive snails of the class Gastropoda, phylum Mollusca. These rock-dwelling, usually intertidal forms are characterized by a flattened, conical shell, with no apparent spiraling. Keyhole limpets, family Fissurellidae, comprise three genera. These have a cleft at the front of the shell or a keyholelike opening at the top for the passage of ventilatory and excretory currents.

"… Limpins, as experience has shown, have bred of rotten hedges made to fish by, and as soon as the hedges are gone, there have been found no more Limpins."

"…So the fish called Ortica, and the Purple, and Muscles, and Scallops, and Perwincles, and Limpins, and all shellfish are generated of mud…"


Line - Flax.

See:   Flax

"…It is a received opinion among gardeners, that if you take a Hemp seed or Line seed, and Engraff it into an ordinary Onion, or else into a Sea Onion as it grows near the sea, or else into a Radish root, then will grow the herb Dragon, which is a notable and famous salad herb…"


Linen - A cloth (and sewing thread) made from straw of the flax plant, genus Linum, and especially L. usitatissimum.

"…Make three long scrolls of paper, or of Linen, and let them be one longer then another, equally.  For all of them being made equal at the lower end, and turned about equally, they take one the others place, and change their situation…"

"…Make your cotton of some Linen of the same color or Bombast…"


Linden - A handsome tree (Tilia Europæa), having cymes of light yellow flowers, and large cordate leaves.

"…So the Olive tree, the Sallow, the Linden tree, the elm, the White poplar tree, they declare the times of the suns standing, when it turns back again from the poles, for then they hide their leaves, and show only their hoar-white backs…"

Lingnum Guaiacum        

Guaiacum - A tree (Guaiacum officinale) found in the warm latitudes of America, from which the guaiacum of medicine is procured. Its wood is very hard and heavy, and is used for various mechanical purposes, as for the wheels of ships' blocks, cogs, bearings, and the like.

See:   Guaiacum

"…Take a pound of Lingnum Guaiacum, half a pound of Sarsaperilla beaten small, five ounces of the stalks and leaves of Sena, one handful of Agrimony and Horsetail, a Drachm of Cinnamon, and as much Cloves, and one Nutmeg…"

"…Is a excellent remedy against the Pox, and is thus Extracted.  Take the shavings of Lingnum Guaiacum, or the dust of it, which the Turners work off.  For the file by continual friction, heats it, and exhausts the best Spirits.  Lay it in clarified Aqua Vita a whole day…"


Liniment - A liquid or semiliquid preparation of a consistence thinner than an ointment, applied to the skin by friction, esp. one used as a sedative or a stimulant.

"…And for Soap, use the Lees of Oil of Nuts well pressed forth, or Lees of Olive Oil.  Other use this Liniment only…"

"…With two ounces of it, mingle one ounce of Oil of Tartar, and as much Oil of Almonds.  When at night you go to bed, wash your hands in Fountain water.  Dry them, and anoint them with this Liniment, and put on your gloves…"

Linseed / Linseed Oil                

Linseed - The seeds of flax, from which linseed oil is obtained. [Written also lintseed.] Linseed cake, the solid mass or cake which remains when oil is expressed. -- Linseed meal, linseed cake reduced to powder. -- Linseed oil, oil obtained by pressure from flax seed.

See:   Flax

"…Oil of Olives, and Linseed Oil…"

"…But you must bruise your Brimstone and Colophonia very well, and sprinkle them with Linseed Oil, and work them in your hands…"


Lion - A large carnivorous feline mammal (Felis leo), found in Southern Asia and in most parts of Africa, distinct varieties occurring in the different countries. The adult male, in most varieties, has a thick mane of long shaggy hair that adds to his apparent size, which is less than that of the largest tigers. The length, however, is sometimes eleven feet to the base of the tail. The color is a tawny yellow or yellowish brown; the mane is darker, and the terminal tuft of the tail is black.

"…The Lion being sick of a Quatrain ague, eats and devours Ape, and so is healed…"

"…And you must counterfeit Stags, Boar, Rhinocerets, Elephants, Lions, and what other creatures you please…"

Lion's Bane   

See: Bane

"… Lion's Bane is called Leontophonon. It is a little creature that breeds nowhere but where the Lion is…"


Lion Dog - A cross between a dog and a lion.

See:   Arcadian dog

"…And these are strong Dogs, and good hunters. Pollux says, that Arcadian dogs first came of a Dog and a Lion, and called Lion-Dogs…"

Lion's Fat    

See:   Lion

"…For in some membranes, where the Testes are bound together, under which there are some soft Carbuncles, and tender, that are called Lions Fat…"

"…I will not omit Aelian's experiment of a Lion, which is kind of a Locust. .."

Lions Herb   

"…Because I see that there is great antipathy between Pulse and Chokefitch, that destroys and strangles them.  Some call this Lions Herb.  For as a lion does with great rage and furiously kill cattle and sheep, so does Chokefitch all Pulse…"


Liquor - Any liquid substance, as water, milk, blood, sap, juice, or the like. Specifically, alcoholic or spirituous fluid, either distilled or fermented, as brandy, wine, whisky, beer, etc. A solution of a medicinal substance in water.

"…And began to drench the fruit themselves in diverse kinds of Liquors.  Supposing that they might be the longer preserved if they were soused in Honey, Wine, Vinegar, Brine, and such like…"

"…You must take the roots of the Wild Cucumber, and pound them, and steep them in fair water two or three days.  And then water your Cucumbers with that Liquor for five days together.  And do all this five times.  Again, you may make them Purgative…"

Litharge    / Lithargy  / Lithargyron / Lytharge                                 

Litharge:  Lead monoxide; a yellowish red substance, obtained as an amorphous powder, or crystallized in fine scales, by heating lead moderately in a current of air or by calcining lead nitrate or carbonate. It is used in making flint glass, in glazing earthenware, in making red lead minium, etc. Called also massicot.

See:   Gold Litharge

"…The chief and essential things that are of force to endue brass with a whiter color, are these. Arsenic or Oker, that kind of Quicksilver that is sublimated, as the alchemists call it, the foam or froth of silver, which is called by the Greeks, Lithargyron…"

"…Then take it out, and you shall have it.  Or else draw forth of the yolks of Eggs and the Litharge of Gold, water with a strong fire, and quench red hot Gold in it…."

"…The dust which falls from the Curry combs, while the Ostler dresses Horses, or such kind of beasts, cures them ( Crab Lice) without any pain.  Or the powder of Lithargy, Aloes, Frankincense, Verdegreese, and Alome, beaten and mixed together with Oil of Mastic, and annointing the place.  The powder of Mercury precipitate, is best by far being applied…"


"…I have tried the same virtue in Lithoxylon, which physicians use for the Worms in children…"

Little Bear     

Little Bear - Constellation.

"…Wherefore it is false that Cardanus says, that the Needle in the Compass declines from the Meridian line, because it inclines to the Pole Star in the Little Bears tail…"


See:   Asbestinum, Flax

"… I shall now speak of Flax called Asbestinum.  Pliny says there is Flax also found, that fire will not consume.  They call it Live-Flax…"


Livy of Portugal (The). Joào de Barros, the best of the Portuguese historians. (1496-1570.)

"…Livy says, that at Seffa-Arunca, a city of Italy, there was birthed a lamb that had two heads, and at Apolis, another lamb having five feet, and there was a kitling with but three feet…"

"…For a bow that is strong, puts out the fire, and there is no means to put it out, but by casting on dust or Lees of Oil.   Livy…"


Lixivium - A solution of alkaline salts extracted from wood ashes; hence, any solution obtained by lixiviation.

"… So that the wood, boughs, Figs, are almost all full of it.  Wherefore, when it is burnt, the smoke it sends forth, does bite and tear one very much.  And a Lixivium made of them burned, is very Detergent and cleansing…"

"…But if they be hoary, white, or yellow, we may dye them (hair) black with a strong Lixivium, wherein Litharge is boiled…"


Lizard - Any one of the numerous species of reptiles belonging to the order Lacertilia; sometimes, also applied to reptiles of other orders, as the Hatteria.

"…Neither is it hard to generate Toads of women's putrefied flowers, for women do breed this kind of cattle, together with their children, as Celius Aurelianus and Platearius call them, Frogs, Toads , Lizards, and such like…"

"… After this manner I have lapped up Bees and Lizards in Amber, which I have show to many, and they have been persuaded that they were the Bees and Lizards that Martial speaks of…"

Loadstone   (Magnetite)          

Loadstone (Magnetite) - An oxide of iron (Fe3O4) occurring in isometric crystals, also massive, of a black color and metallic luster. It is readily attracted by a magnet and sometimes possesses polarity, being then called loadstone. It is an important iron ore. Called also magnetic iron.

"…We pass from jewels to stones: The chief whereof, and the most admirable is the Loadstone, and in it the majesty of nature does most appear…"

 "…Then take a silver Loadstone, or Talk, most finely powdered, mingle it with the white of an Egg, and make an ointment…"


Loam - A kind of soil; an earthy mixture of clay and sand, with organic matter to which its fertility is chiefly due.  A mixture of sand, clay, and other materials, used in making molds for large castings, often without a pattern.

"…But we must not here omit to speak of the Loam, or that clammy Mortar, which makes the Graft and the stock to close more easily together…"

"…But when you have disposed of your Apples that they are set in good order, then shut up the lids of the Coffer or cell upon them and plaster the lids over with Loam, that has Straw chopped in it, lest the air get in…"

Lodognium  (Alabaster)   

Alabaster - A compact variety or sulphate of lime, or gypsum, of fine texture, and usually white and translucent, but sometimes yellow, red, or gray.

See:   Alabaster

"…The Alabaster stone, called vulgarly Lodognium, moves excellently…"


Locust - Any one of numerous species of long-winged, migratory, orthopterous insects, of the family Acrididæ, allied to the grasshoppers; esp., (Edipoda, Pachytylus, migratoria, and Acridium perigrinum, of Southern Europe, Asia, and Africa.

"…And the Drone is called Fucus quafi Fagos, because he eats that which he never labored for. But others hold that the Locusts, and not Drones, are generated of Mule's flesh.."

"… If you search in Barley, you shall find a small ear of wild Oats, that is black and wrested, like the foot of a Locust…"


Loft - That which is lifted up; an elevation. Hence, especially:  The room or space under a roof and above the ceiling of the uppermost story.  A gallery or raised apartment in a church, hall, etc.; as, an organ loft.  A floor or room placed above another; a story.

 "… Columella teaches us to lay them  (Apples) up in a very cold and a very dry Loft, where neither smoke, nor any noisome favor can come at them…"

"…if you keep Apples in store, you must gather them very charily, that they be taken off from the tree without any blemish, and you must drench their stalks in scalding Pitch, and so place them upon a boarded Loft…"


"…In a Lohoch.  Take the heads of Poppy, and cut them crossways, with a tender hand, lest the knife enter too deep.  Let your nail direct the issuing juice into a glass, where let it stand a while, and will congeal.  The Thebane Poppy is best.  You may do the same with Nightshade, Henbane…"


Longitude - The arc or portion of the equator intersected between the meridian of a given place and the meridian of some other place from which longitude is reckoned, as from Greenwich, England, or sometimes from the capital of a country, as from Washington or Paris. The longitude of a place is expressed either in degrees or in time; as, that of New York is 74° or 4 h. 56 min. west of Greenwich.

Longitude - The distance in degrees, reckoned from the vernal equinox, on the ecliptic, to a circle at right angles to the ecliptic passing through the heavenly body whose longitude is designated; as, the longitude of Capella is 79°. Geocentric longitude (Astron.), the longitude of a heavenly body as seen from the earth. -- Heliocentric longitude, the longitude of a heavenly body, as seen from the sun's center. -- Longitude stars, certain stars whose position is known, and the data in regard to which are used in observations for finding the longitude, as by lunar distances.

"…And sailing under the Equator, we do observe the chief motions of the Needle.  And the Declinations of it.  And shall accommodate the same to the proportion of our voyage.  We shall easily know the Longitude and Latitude in dark nights, and the greatest tempests may be certainly discovered…"

"… Nor does it kindle in the Cane where the rays meet, but the bruning line proceeds from the center of the glass of any Longitude, and it burns all it meets with in the way…"


Looking-glass - or a speculum; any glass or polished substance that forms images by the reflection of rays of light.

"…It remains now to teach you how Spectacles and Looking-glasses are made, that every man may provide them for his use…"

 "…First, for the terminating of Looking-glasses, that are made of Crystal and Glass, then of other mixtures, and polishings, that a knowing artificer may know, and know how to make them…"

Lords prayer     

"… Cast a little Stibium in, and in a little time it will melt also.  And when you see it, cast in the rest of the Stibium in, and in a cover the vessel with a cover.  Let the mixture boil, as long as one may repeat the Lords prayer…"  


Lote Tree - A large tree (Celtis australis), found in the south of Europe. It has a hard wood, and bears a cherrylike fruit. Called also nettle tree.

"…The Indian Rat, called Ichneumon, does harness himself with some of the Lote-tree and so fights against the asp…"

"…The ancients used the decoction of the Lote Tree rasp, which we call Melo Fiocco.  And so they made their hair Red.  Or else, by burning the Foeces of the old Wine, as I said, they added oil of Mastick thereto, which they provided thus to the purpose…"


"…And Theophrastus says, that the flower of the herb Lotum, is not only open and shut, but also sometimes hides, and sometimes shows here stalk for sunset to midnight, and this, says he, is done about the river Euphrates…"


Lovage - An umbelliferous plant (Levisticum officinale), sometimes used in medicine as an aromatic stimulant.

"…Add to the liver of a sow fatted with figs, Winepickle, Pepper, Thyme, Lovage, Suet, and a little wine and oil.   Aetius…"


Love - A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preëminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness.

"…  Musaus will have the eyes to lay the foundation of Love, and to the the chief allurement of it.  And Diogenianus says, that Love is begotton by looks, affirming that it is impossible for a man to fall in Love unawares…"

Lowsie stone   

"…Also with Vinegar does that spotted Marble walk.  Which is spotted with red, yellow, and brown spots.  They call it the Lowsie stone, and it make the beholders to wonder at it…"


Lozenge - . A small cake of sugar and starch, flavored, and often medicated. -- originally in the form of a lozenge. Lozenge coach, the coach of a dowager, having her coat of arms painted on a lozenge.

 "…We may also make Lozenges and round cakes of it, by pouring it on a cold Marble…."


Lucan - sometimes called "sir Lucas," butler of king Arthur, and a knight of the Round Table.-Sir T. Malory: History of Prince Arthur ("Lucan," ii. 160; "Lucas," ii. 78; 1470).

"…  Lucan speaks of burning ships…"

This plague to water is not consonant,

For burning Torches, Oil and brimstone joined,

Are cast abroad, and fuel was not scant.

The Ships do burn with Pitch or Wax combined.…"


"…For when she  (the moon) is at the full, as Lucilius says, she feeds oysters, craps, shellfish, and such like, which her warm light does temper kindly in the night season; but when she is burns half or the quarter light, then she withdraws her nourishment, and they waste…"


"… I will not omit the description of it, which I have found out, together with a friend of mine very knowing in experiments, by the assistance of Lulius…"


Lucretius - Titus Lucretius Carus. Author of De Rerum Natura .  Titus Lucretius Carus was a Roman poet and philosopher who was born probably in BC 98 or 96; the year is uncertain.

Lucretius left one work, the De Rerum Natura, a didactic poem in six books containing nearly 7,500 hexameter lines. The purpose of the poem is to set forth the Epicurean system of philosophy, particularly those portions dealing with the origin of the world and the operations of natural forces. The poet's aim in writing was, as he tells us, to free men's minds from the baneful influence of superstition and of the belief in the hereafter, to which he attributed the greater portion of the fears and troubles of life. He tried to explain how, without the direction or intervention of supernatural agencies in any degree, all natural phenomena may be accounted for. In Book I, he lays down as fundamental truths the propositions that nothing can come from nothing, and that to nothing no one returns. The universe is made up of matter and void, or space. It has no center; for matter exists in infinite quantity, and space is without limit. Matter is composed of atoms, which are inconceivably minute, perfectly solid, and indestructible. Book II is devoted to an elaborate discussion of the atoms, treating their movements, shapes, and combinations. Sensation and feeling are declared to be an accident of atomic combination, a result of the coming together of atoms of certain shapes in certain ways.

 "… Epicurus would fain give a reason for it, as Galen and Lucretius report.  For, say they, the Atoms that flew out of the iron, and meet in the Loadstone in one figure, so that they easily embrace one the other…"

"…  Lucretius, seeking the cause of this effect,…"How it should be that Loadstone Iron draws…"


L. Licinius Lucullus (ca. 110-57 BC), successful general and Epicurean gourmand, served under Sulla in the Social War (90-88) & supported him against Marius in his march on Rome (88), continuing to work well with Sulla (especially in the fighting in the east) till the dictator's death in 78. Consul in 74, he still supported the conservative views of Sulla about the tribunes. He got the command in the East against Mithridates & fought successfully, but was hampered by Mithridates' alliances & the mutiny of his own troops because of his strict discipline.

"…So they defended the walls, when Lucullus besieged them, and the soldier burned in his armor…"

"…But Lucullus, as the same Frontinus reports, that he might declare to the Cyziceni, that were besieged by Mithridates, that he was coming to relieve them, all narrow passages being stopped by the enemy guards, that were joined to the continent by a small bridge, he fought a way by sea…"


Lunatic - . Affected by lunacy; insane; mad.

 "…And this it does by exaggeration of black Melancholy.  Or it will make people Lunatic and Melancholic if they do but hold in their mouths…"

Lupine / Lupin             

Lupine - A leguminous plant of the genus Lupinus, especially L. albus, the seeds of which have been used for food from ancient times.

See also:   Pulse  

"...Pulse called Lupines, may be long preserved,…"

"… Let the woman annoint her hair with it when she goes to bed, and in the morning, let her wash it off with a lye, wherein the most bitter Lupines were boiled…"


Lust - Inclination; desire.

"…The herb Corruda, whereof Sperage comes, is most fitly planted where Reed grows, because they are of such likeness and nearness; and both of them are inciters to Lust…"


Lute - A cement of clay or other tenacious infusible substance for sealing joints in apparatus, or the mouths of vessels or tubes, or for coating the bodies of retorts, etc, when exposed to heat; called also luting.

"…They fit them to the vessel with a long neck set them on, bind them and Lute them, that they have no vent…"

"…Then put it into a pot of the strongest Clay.  Cover it, and bind it with the strongest wire. Lute it well all over, and stop the joints that nothing may breath out…"


Lute - A stringed instrument formerly much in use. It consists of four parts, namely, the table or front, the body, having nine or ten ribs or sides," arranged like the divisions of a melon, the neck, which has nine or ten frets or divisions, and the head, or cross, in which the screws for tuning are inserted. The strings are struck with the right hand, and with the left the stops are pressed.

"…Whence I think it is not against reason, that the same may be done by the Lute or Harp alone, but what is done by art or cunning, is more to be wondered at, which none can deny…"

"…For the fire must not be made in the bottom, but about the vessel.  The use is this; fill the glass with flowers or other things, put in some wire Lute-strings after them, that they may not fall out again when the glass is inverted…"


Luxation - The act of luxating, or the state of being luxated; a dislocation.

"… Theopohrastus gives the reason why they turn round, in his books, De Causis Plantarum.  Moreover we read in Dioscorides, that a reed with Vinegar, applied to the Huclebones will cure the Luxation of the loins, without words of superstition…"


"...Ovid and Virgil both, mention the dog Lycisca, which, as Isiodore writes, are generated of wolves and dogs coupling together…"


Lye - A strong caustic alkaline solution of potassium salts, obtained by leaching wood ashes. It is much used in making soap, etc.

"…Take some small thin plates of Iron, and make them red hot.  Then quench them in strong Lye and Vinegar which have been boiled with ordinary Salt and Alome…"

"…If you would produce a Tarentine Nut, Palladius says, you must water the tree with Lye thrice a month throughout the whole year, and so you may obtain your purpose…"


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