Re: Latin for VFT

Jan Schlauer (
Tue, 24 Oct 1995 15:45:49 +0100


>As long as you're here, Jan.
>Would you know where _for sure_ the "venus" in VFT came from?

Here we are entering the somewhat slippery field of divine nomenclature
(where not much is known _for sure_). Please feel free to comment or
correct me if necessary, anyone.

Dione (Delta, iota, omega, ny, eta) was in ancient Greece a kind of
sub-goddess of Aphrodite (=Venus of Romans), thought to be the mother of
the latter. Sometimes, Dione was also used as a synonym of Aphrodite.

Now what led the early botanists to call the plant after Dione? There are
principally two theories:

I think LINNAEUS said that this miraculum naturae (i.e. _D.m._) incited the
love of a botanist (to nature, plants, or whatsoever) like the goddes of
love did with ordinary people (i.e. to love each other).

The second theory compares the ciliae at the leaf margins of _Dionaea_ with
the eyelashes of _Homo sapiens_ (fem.; an obvious convergence without real
homology!). The closing of the trap reminding of the twinkling of a (female
human) eye, i.e. one of Venus' most powerful instruments (well, it's up to
you to decide if the consequences of the latter for human life are as fatal
as those of the former for the plant's victim).

Kind regards