And I will now take the pears (ἄπιον), which I see before me, and speak of them, since it is from them that the Peloponnesus was called ᾿απία,1 because plants of the pear- [p. 1040] tree were abundant in the country, as Ister tells us, in his treatise on the History of Greece. And that it was customary to bring up pears in water at entertainments, we learn from the Breutias of Alexis, where we read these lines—
A. Have you ne'er seen pears floating in deep waterBut the fruit called ἁμαμηλίδες are not the same as pears, as some people have fancied, but they are a different thing, sweeter, and they have no kernel. Aristomenes, in his Bacchus, says—
Served up before some hungry men at dinner?
B. Indeed I have, and often; what of that?
A. Does not each guest choose for himself, and eat
The ripest of the fruit that swims before him?
B. No doubt he does.
Know you not how the Chian garden growsAnd Aeschylides too, in the third book of his Georgics, shows us that it is a different fruit from the pear, and sweeter. For he is speaking of the island Ceos, and he expresses himself thus,—“The island produces the very finest pears, equal to that fruit which in Ionia is called hamamelis; for they are free from kernels, and sweet, and delicious.” But Aethlius, in the fifth book of his Samian Annals, if the book be genuine, calls them homomelides. And Pamphilus, in his treatise on Dialects and Names, says, “The epimelis is a species of pear.” Antipho, in his treatise on Agriculture, says that the phocides are also a kind of pear.