) was used as a
seasoning both by Greeks and Romans, though not, as far as our evidence
goes, among the former before the period of the Middle Comedy, and it is
unlikely that we should hear nothing of it in Aristophanes if it was in
common use in his time. The Romans probably began to use it after their
conquest of Greece. It was brought from India (Plin.
. § § 26-29), but by way of Alexandria,
where it was transferred from camels and sent by sea to Rome (Pers. 5.136;
Mayor on Juv. 14.293
). The two kinds of pepper,
black and white, were obtained merely by different treatment of the berry
cf. Hor. Sat.
2.4, 74). The pepper-box (piperatorium
) is mentioned by Paulus (Sent.
86) among vasa argentea.
The woodcut represents
Piperatorium. (Brltish Museum.)
a small silver piperatorium, probably of the 2nd century A.D. (see
1885, p. 335) found at
Chaourse in France, and recently (1889) acquired by the British Museum. It
is formed of the figure of a negro slave clad in a paenula
with a hood, having small holes drilled in the head.