The Syrian being convicted by these arguments, and being a good deal annoyed, said—But I see here on the table some pistachio nuts (ψιττάκια); and if you can tell me what author has ever spoken of them, I will give you, not ten golden staters, as that Pontic trifler has it, but this goblet. And as Democritus made no reply, he said, But since you cannot answer me, I will tell you; Nicander of Colophon, in his Theriacans, mentions them, and says—
Pistachio nuts (ψιττάκια) upon the highest branches,The word is also written βιστάκια,, in the line—
Like almonds to the sight.
And almond-looking βιστάκια were there.And Posidonius the Stoic, in the third book of his History, writes thus: "But both Arabia and Syria produce the peach, and the nut which is called βιστάκιον; which bears a fruit in bunches like bunches of grapes, of a sort of tawny white, long shaped, like tears, and the nuts lie on one another like berries. But the kernel is of a light green, and it is less juicy than the pine-cone, but it has a more pleasant smell. And the brothers who together composed the Georgics, write thus, in the third book—“There is also the ash, and the turpentine tree, which the Syrians call πιστάκια.” And these people spell the word πιστάκια with a π, but Nicander writes it φιττάκια, and Posidonius βιστάκια.