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Amylum is prepared from every kind of wheat, and from winter-wheat1 as well; but the best of all is that made from three-month wheat. The invention of it we owe to the island of Chios, and still, at the present day, the most esteemed kind comes from there; it derives its name from its being made without the help of the mill.2 Next to the amylum made with three-month wheat, is that which is prepared from the lighter kinds of wheat. In making it, the grain is soaked in fresh water, placed in wooden vessels; care being taken to keep it covered with the liquid, which is changed no less than five times in the course of the day. If it can be changed at night as well, it is all the better for it, the object being to let it imbibe the water gradually and equally. When it is quitæ soft, but before it turns sour, it is passed through linen cloth, or else wicker-work, after which it is poured out upon a tile covered with leaven, and left to harden in the sun. Next to the amylum of Chios, that of Crete is the most esteemed, and next to that the Ægyptian. The tests of its goodness are its being light and smooth: it should be used, too, while it is fresh. Cato,3 among our writers, has made mention of it.

1 Siligo.

2 ῎αμυλον.

3 De Re Rust. c. 87. This "amylum" seems somewhat to resemble our starch.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), LEX
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), VINUM
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