FLORUS, when we were entertained at his house, put this question, What are those in the proverb who are said to be about the salt and cummin? Apollophanes the grammarian presently satisfied him, saying, by that proverb were meant intimate acquaintance, who could sup together on salt and cummin. Thence we proceeded to enquire how salt should come to be so much honored as it is; for Homer plainly says,
And after that he strewed his salt divine,1and Plato delivers that by man's laws salt is to be accounted most sacred. And this difficulty was increased by the customs of the Egyptian priests, who professing chastity eat no salt, no, not so much as in their bread. For if it be divine and holy, why should they avoid it?