Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 370: 318-319

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Pliny: Natural History

eorum myxae, quae et ipsae nunc coeperun Romae nasci insitae in sorbis.

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XIII. In totum quidem Persica peregrina etiam Asiae Graeciaeque esse ex nomine ipso apparet, atque ex Perside advecta. sed pruna silvestria ubique nasci certum est, quo magis miror huius pomi mentionem a Catone non habitam, praesertim cum condenda 45demonstraret quaedam et silvestria. nam Persicae arbores sero et cum difficultate transiere, ut quae in Rhodo nihil ferant, quod primum ab Aegypto earum fuerat hospitium. falsum est venenata cum cruciatu in Persis gigni et poenarum causa ab regibus translata in Aegyptum terra mitigata; id enim de persea diligentiores tradunt, quae in totum alia est myxis rubentibus similis nec extra orientem nasci voluit. 46eam quoque eruditiores negaverunt ex Perside propter supplicia translatam, sed a Perseo Memphi satam, et ob id Alexandrum illa coronari victores ibi instituisse in honorem atavi sui. semper autem folia habet et poma subnascentibus aliis. sed pruna quoque omnia post Catonem coepisse manifestum erit.

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XIV. Malorum plura sunt genera. de citreis cum sua arbore diximus, Medica autem Graeci vocant

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Book XV

the myxa, which also has now begun to be grown at Rome by being grafted on the service-tree.

XIII. The Persian plum or peach, it is true, isThe peach. shown by its very name to be an exotic even in Asia Minor and in Greece, and to have been introduced from Persia. But the wild plum is known to grow everywhere, which makes it more surprising that this fruit is not mentioned by Cato, especially as he pointed out the way of storing some wild fruits also. As for the peach-tree, it was only introduced lately, and that with difficulty, inasmuch as in Rhodes, which was its first place of sojourn after leaving Egypt, it does not bear at all. It is not true that the peach grown in Persia is poisonous and causes torturing pain, and that, when it had been transplanted into Egypt by the kings to use as a punishment, the nature of the soil caused it to lose its dangerous properties; for the more careful writers relate this of the persea,a which is an entirely different tree, resembling the red myxa, and which has refused to grow anywhere but in the east. The sebesten also, according to the more learned authorities, was not introduced from Persia for punitive purposes, but was planted at Memphis by Perseus, and it was for that reason that Alexander, in order to do honour to his ancestor, established the custom of using wreaths of it for crowning victors in the gamesb at Memphis. It always has leaves and fruit upon it, fresh ones sprouting immediately after the others. But it will be obvious that all our plums also have been introduced since the time of Cato.

XIV. Of the apple class there are a number ofThe apple class: many varieties. varieties. We have spoken of citrons when describing the citron-tree; the Greeks, however, call themxiii. 103.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938