\lˌazəpˈɪti͡əm], \lˌazəpˈɪtiəm], \l_ˌa_z_ə_p_ˈɪ_t_iə_m]\
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By Thomas Davidson
A term applied, anciently, both to a plant and its juice, regarding the nature of neither of which we possess any precise information. Bentley, Laurence, Geoffroi, etc., regard it to have been the same as asafoetida: - Theophrastus, Dioscorides, and the ancient scholiast of Aristophanes, however, by assigning a sweet and agreeable flavour to the laserpitium, discountenance the idea. From whatever plant obtained, it was so rare, and consequently so costly, that the Romans deposited it in the public treasury. It was obtained from Cyrene -Succcus Cyrenaicus- and likewise from Persia- the latter being the most valuable. The Laserpitium is called by Avicenna, Altihit.
By Robley Dunglison