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The Lotus

The lotus is not a large tree; but it is rough and thorny,
The lotus. See Herodotus, 2, 92.
and has a green leaf, like the rhamnus (black or white thorn), a little longer and broader. The fruit is like white myrtle-berries when they are come to perfection; but, as it grows, it becomes purple in colour, and in size about equal to round olives, and has a very small stone. When it is ripe they gather it: and some of it they pound up with groats of spelt, and store in vessels for their slaves; and the rest they also preserve for the free inhabitants, after taking out the stones, and use it for food. It tastes like a fig or a date, but is superior to them in aroma. A wine is made of it also by steeping it in water and crushing it, sweet and pleasant to the taste, like good mead; and they drink it without mixing it with water. It will not keep, however, more than ten days, and they therefore only make it in small quantities as they want it. Vinegar also is made out of it. . . .

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    • Herodotus, Histories, 2.92
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