Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Absinthe

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(Hebrew la'anah.)

Wormwood, known for its repulsive bitterness (Jer., ix, 15; xxiii, 15; Deut., xxix, 18; Lam., iii, 19; Prov., V, 4). Figuratively it stands for a curse or calamity (Lam., iii, 15), or also for injustice (Amos, V, 7; vi, 13). In Apoc., viii, 11, the Greek equivalent ho apsinthos is given as a proper name to the star which fell into the waters and made them bitter. The Vulgate renders the Hebrew expression by absinithium, except in Deut., xxix, 18, where it translates it amaritudo. It seems that the biblical absinthe is identical with the Artemisia monosperma (Delile), or the Artemisia herba-alba (ASSO); or, again, the Artemisia juidaica Linné. (See PLANTS IN BIBLE.)

HAGEN, Lexicon Biblicum (Paris, 1905); VIGOUROUX, in Dict. de la Bible (Paris, 1895); TRISTAM, Natural History of the Bible (London, 1889).

A.J. MAAS