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Adjoining the countries which we have previously mentioned is Persis, lying along the shores of the Red Sea, which, when describing1 it, we have mentioned as the Persian Sea, the tides of which penetrate far into the land. The trees in these regions are of a marvellous nature; for, corroded by the action of the salt, and bearing a considerable resemblance to vegetable substances that have been thrown up and abandoned by the tide, they are seen to embrace the arid sands of the seashore with their naked roots, just like so many polypi. When the tide rises, buffeted by the waves, there they stand, fixed and immoveable; nay, more, at high water they are completely covered; a fact which proves to conviction, that they derive their nutriment from the salt contained in the water. The size of these trees is quite marvellous; in appearance they strongly resemble the arbute; the fruit, which on the outside is very similar to the almond, has a spiral kernel within.2

1 B. vi. c. 28.

2 It is supposed that the Rhizophora Mangle of Linnæus is the tree that is here described. It grows on all the coasts of India, from Siam to the entrance of the Persian Gulf. It takes root on spots which have been inundated by the sea, and its boughs bend downwards, and taking root in the earth, advance gradually towards the sea. The leaf and fruit have the characteristics of those of the arbute and almond as here mentioned.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PERSIS
    • Smith's Bio, Drusus
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