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Encyclopedia > Mandrake (plant)
Mandrake
Mandragora officinarum
Mandragora officinarum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Mandragora
L.
Species

Mandragora autumnalis
Mandragora officinarum
Mandragora turcomanica
Mandragora caulescens Species Mandragora autumnalis Mandragora officinarum Mandragora turcomanica Mandragora caulescens Mandrake is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora belonging to the nightshades family (Solanaceae). ... Mandragora may refer to: Mandragora (book), a contemporary novel by David McRobbie Mandragora (demon), familiar demons who appear in the figures of little men without beards Mandrake (plant), the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora Category: ... Mandrake may refer to: The plant Mandrake The Harry Potter mandrake plant. ... Image File history File links Mandragora officarum En: Mandrake De: Alraune Description: Mandragore officinale, fruits, Jardin des plantes, Paris, le 14 juin 2004 Source: Bouba Licence: GFDL File links The following pages link to this file: Mandrake (plant) ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. ... Magnoliopsida is the botanical name for a class of flowering plants. ... Families at least the following: Solanaceae Convolvulaceae and others, varying between classification systems; for details see text The Solanales are an order of flowering plants, included in the asterid group of dicotyledons. ... “Nightshade” redirects here. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...

Mandragora is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora belonging to the nightshades family (Solanaceae). Because their curious bifurcations cause them to have a semblance to the human figure (male and female), their roots have long been used in magic rituals, today also in neopagan religions such as Wicca and Germanic revivalism religions such as Odinism. (It is alleged that magicians would form this root into a crude resemblance to the human figure, by pinching a constriction a little below the top, so as to make a kind of head and neck, and twisting off the upper branches except two, which they leave as arms, and the lower, except two, which they leave as legs.) For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Species See text Solanum is a genus of annuals, perennials, sub-shrubs, shrubs and climbers. ... Not to be confused with Magic (illusion). ... Neopaganism (sometimes Neo-Paganism, meaning New Paganism) is a heterogeneous group of religions which attempt to revive ancient, mainly European pre-Christian religions. ... For other uses, see Wicca (disambiguation). ... The Mjolnir is one of the primary symbols of Germanic neopaganism. ... Reconstructions of the traditions of Germanic paganism began with 19th century Romanticism. ...


The mandragora, Mandragora officinarum, is a plant called by the Arabs luffâh, or beid el-jinn ("djinn's eggs"). The parsley-shaped root is often branched. This root gives off at the surface of the ground a rosette of ovate-oblong to ovate, wrinkled, crisp, sinuate-dentate to entire leaves, 6 to 16 inches long, somewhat resembling those of the tobacco-plant. There spring from the neck a number of one-flowered nodding peduncles, bearing whitish-green flowers, nearly 2 inches broad, which produce globular, succulent, orange to red berries, resembling small tomatoes, which ripen in late spring. All parts of the mandrake plant are poisonous. The plant grows natively in southern and central Europe and in lands around the Mediterranean Sea, as well as on Corsica. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Genie is the anglicized word for the Arabic jinni. In Semitic mythology and Islamic religion, a jinni (also djinni or djini) is a member of the jinn (or djinn), a race of spirits. ... In botany, a peduncle is a flower stalk supporting either a cluster or a solitary flower. ... For other uses, see Poison (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Mediterranean redirects here. ... For other uses, see Corsica (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Hebrew Bible

In Genesis 30, Reuben, the eldest son of Jacob and Leah finds mandrakes in the field. Rachel, Jacob's second wife, the sister of Leah, is desirous of the mandrakes and she barters with her sister for them. The trade offered by Rachel is for Leah to spend the next night in Jacob's bed. Soon after this Leah, who previously had had four sons but had ceased to become pregnant for a long while then became pregnant once more and gave birth to a son. There are classical Jewish commentaries which suggest that mandrakes help barren women to conceive a child. For other uses, see Genesis (disambiguation). ... Reuben (רְאוּבֵן, Standard Hebrew Rəʾuven, Tiberian Hebrew Rəʾûḇēn) is the first-born son of Jacob and the founder of the Tribe of Reuben, as related in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible. ... This article is about Jacob in the Hebrew Bible. ... Look up Leah, לֵאָה in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the Biblical character. ... The term conception can refer to more than one meaning: Concept Fertilisation This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


in Hebrew is דודאים (dûwôdãym), meaning “love plant”. Among certain Asian cultures it is believed to ensure conception. Most interpreters hold Mandragora officinarum to be the plant intended in Genesis 30:14 ("love plant") and Song of Songs 7:13 ("the mandrakes send out their fragrance"). Numbers of other plants have been suggested, as bramble-berries, Zizyphus Lotus, the sidr of the Arabs, the banana, the lily, the citron, and the fig. None of these renderings are supported by satisfactory evidence. The word Hebrew most likely means to cross over, referring to the Semitic people crossing over the Euphrates River. ... Song of Solomon is also the title of a novel by Toni Morrison. ... The blackberry is a bramble fruit Bramble refers to thorny plants of the Genus Rubus, in the Rose family (Rosaceae). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... lily is the best name in the whole wide world. ... Binomial name L. For other uses, see Citron (disambiguation). ... Species About 800, including: Ficus altissima Ficus americana Ficus aurea Ficus benghalensis- Indian Banyan Ficus benjamina- Weeping Fig Ficus broadwayi Ficus carica- Common Fig Ficus citrifolia Ficus coronata Ficus drupacea Ficus elastica Ficus godeffroyi Ficus grenadensis Ficus hartii Ficus lyrata Ficus macbrideii Ficus macrophylla- Moreton Bay Fig Ficus microcarpa- Chinese...


Magic, spells and witchcraft

Mandragora, from Tacuinum Sanitatis (1474).

In legend it is alleged that when the plant is pulled from the ground, it shrieks in pain. Supposedly, this shriek is able to madden, deafen or even kill an unprotected human; the occult literature includes complex directions for harvesting a mandrake root in relative safety. For example Josephus (c. 37 AD/CE Jerusalem – c. 100) gives the following directions for pulling it up: Image File history File linksMetadata Mandragora_Tacuinum_Sanitatis. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Mandragora_Tacuinum_Sanitatis. ... The Tacuinum (sometimes Taccuinum) Sanitatis is a medieval handbook on wellness, based on the Taqwin al‑sihha (Tables of Health), an Arab medical treatise by Ibn Butlan; it exists in several variant Latin versions, the manuscripts of which are profusely illustrated. ... For other uses, see Occult (disambiguation). ... A fanciful representation of Flavius Josephus, in an engraving in William Whistons translation of his works Josephus (37 – sometime after 100 CE),[1] who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus,[2] was a 1st-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and...

A furrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the person tying the dog must get away. The dog then endeavours to follow him, and so easily pulls up the root, but dies suddenly instead of his master. After this the root can be handled without fear.

Extract from Chapter XVI, Witchcraft and Spells: Transcendental Magic its Doctrine and Ritual by Eliphas Levi. A Complete Translation of Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie by Arthur Edward Waite. 1896 “Witch” redirects here. ... The spell is a magical act intended to cause an effect on reality using supernatural means of liturgical or ritual nature. ... Eliphas Lévi Eliphas Lévi, born Alphonse Louis Constant, (February 8, 1810 - May 31, 1875) was a French occult author and magician. ... Arthur Edward Waite in the early 1880s Arthur Edward Waite (October 2, 1857 - May 19, 1942) was an occultist and co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. ...

... we will add a few words about mandragores (mandrakes) and androids, which several writers on magic confound with the waxen image; serving the purposes of bewitchment. The natural mandragore is a filamentous root which, more or less, presents as a whole either the figure of a man, or that of the virile members. It is slightly narcotic, and an aphrodisiacal virtue was ascribed to it by the ancients, who represented it as being sought by Thessalian sorcerers for the composition of philtres. Is this root the umbilical vestige of our terrestrial origin ? We dare not seriously affirm it, but all the same it is certain that man came out of the slime of the earth, and his first appearance must have been in the form of a rough sketch. The analogies of nature make this notion necessarily admissible, at least as a possibility. The first men were, in this case, a family of gigantic, sensitive mandragores, animated by the sun, who rooted themselves up from the earth ; this assumption not only does not exclude, but, on the contrary, positively supposes, creative will and the providential co-operation of a first cause, which we have reason to call God. Map showing Thessaly periphery in Greece Thessaly (Θεσσαλια; modern Greek Thessalía; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is one of the 13 peripheries of Greece, and is further sub-divided into 4 prefectures. ...


Some alchemists, impressed by this idea, speculated on the culture of the mandragore, and experimented in the artificial reproduction of a soil sufficiently fruitful and a sun sufficiently active to humanise the said root, and thus create men without the concurrence of the female. (See: Homunculus) Others, who regarded humanity as the synthesis of animals, despaired about vitalising the mandragore, but they crossed monstrous pairs and projected human seed into animal earth, only for the production of shameful crimes and barren deformities. The third method of making the android was by galvanic machinery. One of these almost intelligent automata was attributed to Albertus Magnus, and it is said that St Thomas (Thomas Aquinas) destroyed it with one blow from a stick because he was perplexed by its answers. This story is an allegory; the android was primitive scholasticism, which was broken by the Summa of St Thomas, the daring innovator who first substituted the absolute law of reason for arbitrary divinity, by formulating that axiom which we cannot repeat too often, since it comes from such a master: " A thing is not just because God wills it, but God wills it because it is just. The concept of a homunculus (Latin for little man, sometimes spelled homonculus, plural homunculi) is often used to illustrate the functioning of a system. ... In biology, galvanism is the contraction of a muscle that is stimulated by an electric current. ... Albertus Magnus (b. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P.(also Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino; c. ...


The real and serious android of the ancients was a secret which they kept hidden from all eyes, and Mesmer was the first who dared to divulge it; it was the extension of the will of the magus into another body, organised and served by an elementary spirit; in more modern and intelligible terms, it was a magnetic subject. Franz Anton Mesmer. ... The Three Wise Men are given the names Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar in this Romanesque mosaic from the Basilica of St Apollinarius in Ravenna, Italy. ... Animal magnetism (French: magnétisme animal) is also known eponymously as mesmerism after Franz Mesmer who postulated the existence of a magnetic fluid or ethereal medium as a therapeutic agent. ...

Mandrake twin roots.

It was a common belief in some countries that a mandrake would grow where the semen of a hanged man dripped on to the earth; this would appear to be the reason for the methods employed by the alchemists who "projected human seed into animal earth". In Germany, the plant is known as the Alraune: the novel (later adapted as a film) Alraune by Hanns Heinz Ewers is based around a soulless woman conceived from a hanged man's semen, the title referring to this myth of the Mandrake's origins. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (576x876, 455 KB) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (576x876, 455 KB) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Alraune - The Legend and Fiction (German for Mandrake) is the name given to a female character in fiction. ... Hanns Heinz Ewers (November 3, 1871, Düsseldorf - June 12, 1943, Berlin) was a German actor, poet, philosopher, and writer of short stories and novels. ...


Mandragora is also reference to a "little man in a bottle". The following is taken from "Paul Christian". [1] pp. 402-403, The History and Practice of Magic by Paul Christian. 1963: Friar Paul Christian (Pablo Christiani), a figure of the thirteenth century, was born to a pious Jewish family, with the name Saul. ...

Would you like to make a Mandragora, as powerful as the homunculus (little man in a bottle) so praised by Paracelsus? Then find a root of the plant called bryony. Take it out of the ground on a Monday (the day of the moon), a little time after the vernal equinox. Cut off the ends of the root and bury it at night in some country churchyard in a dead man's grave. For thirty days water it with cow's milk in which three bats have been drowned. When the thirty-first day arrives, take out the root in the middle of the night and dry it in an oven heated with branches of verbena; then wrap it up in a piece of a dead man's winding-sheet and carry it with you everywhere. The concept of a homunculus (Latin for little man, sometimes spelled homonculus, plural homunculi) is often used to illustrate the functioning of a system. ... Presumed portrait of Paracelsus, attributed to the school of Quentin Matsys. ... Species (White Bryony) (Cretan Bryony), Bryony or briony is the common name for species in the genus Bryonia of perennial, tendril-climbing, dioecious herbs with palmately lobed leaves and flowers in axillary clusters. ... Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of equinox The vernal equinox (or spring equinox) marks the beginning of astronomical spring. ... For other uses, see Verbena (disambiguation). ...

In literature

  • Machiavelli wrote a play Mandragola (The Mandrake) in which the plot revolves around the use of a mandrake potion as a ploy to bed a woman.
  • Shakespeare refers four times to mandrake and twice under the name of mandragora.
"...Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday."
Shakespeare: Othello III.iii
"Give me to drink mandragora...
That I might sleep out this great gap of time
My Antony is away."
Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra I.v
"Shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth."
Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet IV.iii
"Would curses kill, as doth the mandrake's groan"
King Henry IV part II III.ii
Ferdinand "I have this night digged up a mandrake..."
"Go and catch a falling star
Get with child a mandrake root
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot..."
(This poem can be heard set to music by John Renbourn [of Pentangle fame] on his eponymous cd [Transatlantic TRA 135, 1965])
  • Ezra Pound used it as metaphor in his poem "Portrait d'une femme":
"You are a person of some interest, one comes to you
And takes strange gain away: [...]
Pregnant with mandrakes, or with something else
That might prove useful and yet never proves, [...]"
  • Samuel Beckett, in Act I of Waiting for Godot the two attendants discuss hanging themselves and reference is made to the belief that mandrake is seeded by the ejaculate of hanged men.

Detail of the portrait of Machiavelli, ca 1500, in the robes of a Florentine public official Niccolò Machiavelli (May 3, 1469—June 21, 1527) was an Italian political philosopher during the Renaissance. ... The Mandrake, by Niccolò Machiavelli (written between 1512 and 1520 and first printed in 1524) is an acclaimed satirical play on the corruption of Italian society written whilst Machiavelli was in exile having plotted against the Medici. ... Shakespeare redirects here. ... For other uses, see Othello (disambiguation). ... Anthony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. ... Romeo and Juliet in the famous balcony scene by Ford Madox Brown For other uses, see Romeo and Juliet (disambiguation). ... William Shakespeare—born April 1564; baptised April 26, 1564; died April 23, 1616 (O.S.), May 3, 1616 (N.S.)—has a reputation as the greatest of all writers in English. ... Thomas Lovell Beddoes (June 30, 1803 - January 26, 1849) was an English poet and dramatist. ... John Webster (c. ... For the Welsh courtier and diplomat, see Sir John Donne. ... John Renbourn (born August 8, 1944, Marylebone, North London, England) is a British guitarist and songwriter. ... Pentangle is a British folk-rock band. ... David Herbert Richards Lawrence (11 September 1885 - 2 March 1930) was a very important and controversial English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. ... Ezra Pound in 1913. ... Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish dramatist, novelist and poet. ... Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Beckett in which the characters wait for a man (Godot) who never arrives. ... Joanne Jo Murray, née Rowling OBE (born 31 July 1965),[1] who writes under the pen name J. K. Rowling,[2] is an English writer and author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. ... “HP2” redirects here. ... Pomona Sprout is a fictional character in J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series. ...

In film

  • In Pan's Labyrinth, the main character Ofelia places a mandrake root shaped like a baby beneath the bed of her pregnant mother to cure her mysterious illness.

Pans Labyrinth (Spanish: El Laberinto del Fauno; literally The Labyrinth of the Faun) is an Academy Award-winning Spanish language fantasy film[2][3] written and directed by Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro. ...

See also

In her fictional Harry Potter fantasy series, author J. K. Rowling has imagined a wide variety of plants with magical properties. ...

References

  1. ^ pp. 402-403, The History and Practice of Magic by Paul Christian. 1963

  Results from FactBites:
 
The mandrake (3654 words)
Another superstition is that when the mandrake is uprooted it utters a scream, in explanation of which Thomas Newton, in his Herball to the Bible, says, “It is supposed to be a creature having life, engendered under the earth of the seed of some dead person put to death for murder”.
A dog, generally a fl one, was secured to the plant by means of a stout cord, and the mandrake-gatherer, standing at a little distance with a trumpet to his lips, threw a piece of meat to the hungry, captive animal.
The mandrake is not native to Briatain; it was often replaced by the similarly formed white bryony, invested with similar virtues and, in the United States, by the American mandrake, or May apple (Pseudophyllum peltatum), with a thick, yellowish, fleshly root in the mandrake tradition.
Mandrake (plant) (1608 words)
Mandrake is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora belonging to the nightshades family (Solanaceae).
It was a common belief in some countries that a mandrake would grow where the semen of a hanged man dripped on to the earth; this would appear to be the reason for the methods employed by the alchemists who "projected human seed into animal earth".
In Germany, the plant is known as the Alraune: the novel (later adapted as a film) Alraune by Hanns Heinz Ewers is based around a soulless woman conceived from a hanged man's semen, the title referring to this myth of the Mandrake's origins.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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