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BUTY´RUM

BUTY´RUM (βούτυρον, βούτυρος), butter, was only used by the Greeks and Romans as an unguent (Plin. Nat. 11.239) and a medicine (Id. 28.133; Galen, vi. p. 683 and xii. p. 274, Kuhn; Cels. 4.15 and 18, 5.26; Marcell. Empir. ix. p. 81), while as a food they left it to the barbarians who had invented it. Thus Aloxandrides (ap. Athen. 4.131) speaks contemptuously of “butter-eating Thracians,” and many writers note as something remarkable its use by Paeonians (Hecataeus, ap. Athen. 4.447), Lusitanians (Strabo, 3.3, 7), Aethiopians (Id. 17.2, 2), &c., showing by the curious phrase which they employ (ἔλαιον ἀπὸ γάλακτος), that the butter of the ancients was a liquid, as Pliny, (l.c.) expressly tells us.

[J.H.F]

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