Roman Soldiers and Daffodil Bulbs

Sorry for the rather poor attribution, but I heard from a cow orker today that somewhere, somehow, Martha Stewart said that Roman Soldiers used to carry daffodil bulbs at all times, just in case they wanted to commit suicide.

Is this true?

Are daffodil bulbs that poisonous?

I suspect that the answer to both is “no.” After all, why would a Roman footsoldier wnat to commit suicide? I am sure his commanding officers would be more than happy to dispatch him, if required.

Well, this site says that there have been several cases of Daffodil poisoning caused by people eating the bulbs, mistaking them for onions.

I’ve never heard of roman soliders carrying around daffodils though. I think they would have been more busy hoarding their salt.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Taking poison was not an honourable death for a Legionnaire.

The honourable way out was to use your sword, or a dagger, preferably into your own chest.

I hope this is a lesson to you not to hang around with cow orkers. It doesn’t help you and it bothers the cows.

“Vandelay!! Say Vandelay!!”

How, exactly, does one ork a cow? Does it require a daffodil ?

Only if you’re doing it right…

“Actually, Centurion, the rest of the Legion just rides the cow into town.”

I KNEW I shoulda got here right away. but I didn’t know nuthin about no daffydills. Then there it was right in the first line. next time you leave one layin around like that make a note of it in the topic name.Yall should be ashamed of yourselves, cracking wise when some one asks a straight forward question. i live in a conservative area and orking ,cows or any thing else, is well known to detroy traditional family values.However if you wanta see a nice methane explosion I can intruduce you to some cow corkers.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Thanks for the help.

“Cow orker” is alt.folklore.urban slang for “coworker.” I do not know if it was an original typo, or made up.

I believe “orking” is British slang for what most British slang is slang for. 8^)

I think I will retire from my position as the guy in the office who can find all the answers, and leave it to Cecil.

I have no idea of the truth of the story, and have never heard it before.

As to the question of “why commit suicide?” there are two general reasons:

  1. You’re taken prisoner, and you know what these guys do to prisoners.

  2. You’re in a hopeless last stand. You’re beaten, and you’re going to be dead soon. If you kill yourself, at least the enemy is cheated.

Carrying around a handy poison fits (1) better.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Okay, it’s a serious answer you want.

Apparently daffodil bulbs are pretty toxic. From I got this:

However, I found no reference to Roman soldiers carrying them for suicidal purposes.

Yes, I agree that suicide might be desirable in some circumstances, but the question is, would you carry a daffodil bulb a few thousand miles “just in case?” Especially when you have along lots of other implements of destruction.

After walking a few thousand miles without a bath, a Roman soldier could probably commit suicide by just sniffing his armpit.