Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 370: 164-165


Pliny: Natural History

crudum sed gratius decoctum sive aqua sive pruna. neque aliunde magis quam purgamentis eius sues crassescunt.


XXXIII. Cyrenaica regio loton suae postponit paliuro. fruticosior haec fructuque magis rubens, cuius nucleus non simul mandatur,iucundus per se ac suavior e vino, quin et vina suco suo commendans. interior Africa ad Garamantas usque et deserta palmarum magnitudine et suavitate constat,1 nobilibus2 maxime 112circa delubrum Hammonis;

XXXIV. sed circa Carthaginem Punicum malum cognomine sibi vindicat: aliqui granatum appellant; divisit et in genera apyrenum vocando cui lignosus nucleus abesset: candidior ei natura et blandiores acini minusque amaris distincti membranis; alias structura eorum quaedam ut in 113favis, communis nucleos habentium. horum quinque species: dulcia, acria, mixta, acida, vinosa; Samia et Aegyptia distinguntur erythrocomis et leucocomis. corticis maior usus ex acerbis ad perficienda coria. flos balaustium vocatur, et medicis idoneus et tinguendis vestibus, quarum color inde nomen accepit.


XXXV. In Asia et Graecia nascuntur frutices: epicactis, quem alii embolinen vocant, parvis foliis quae pota contra venena prosunt sicut erices contra



in water or roasted in the ashes. Its peelings are more useful than any other fodder for fattening pigs.

XXXIII. The region of the Cyrenaica ranks theChris’s-thorn, palm, pomegranate. lotus below its own Christ’s-thorn. This is more in the nature of a shrub, and its fruit is redder, and contains a kernel that is eaten by itself, as it is agreeable alone; it is improved by being dipped in wine, and moreover its juice improves wine. The interior of Africa as far as the Garamantes and the desert is covered with palms remarkable for their size and their luscious fruit, the most celebrated being in the neighbourhood of the temple of Ammon.

XXXIV. But the country in the neighbourhood of Carthage claims by the name of Punic apple what some call the pomegranate; this it has also split up into classes, by giving the name of apyrenuma to the variety that lacks a woody kernel: the consistency of this is whiter than that of the others, and its pips have a more agreeable taste and the membranes enclosing them are not so bitter; but in other respects these apples have a special structure resembling the cells in a honeycomb, which is common to all that have a kernel. Of these there are five kinds, the sweet, the sour, the mixed, the acid and the vinous; those of Samos and of Egypt are divided into the red-leaved and the white-leaved varieties. The skin of the unripe fruit is specially used for dressing leather. The flower is called balaustium, and is serviceable for doctors and also for dyeing cloth; it has given its name to a special colour.b

XXXV. Shrubs growing in Asia and Greece are theOther shrubs and thorns. epicactis,c which others call emboline, with small leaves which taken in drink are an antidote against poisons, as those of the heath are against snakes, and the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938