Table of Contents:
And Melanippides the Melian, in his Danaides, calls the fruit of the palm-tree by the name of φοίνιξ, mentioning them in this manner:—“They had the appearance of inhabitants of the shades below, not of human beings; nor had they voices like women; but they drove about in chariots with seats, through the woods and groves, just as wild beasts do, holding in their hands the sacred frankincense, and the fragrant dates (φοίνικας), and cassia, and the delicate perfumes of Syria.” 1 And Aristotle, in his treatise on Plants, speaks thus:— “The dates (φοίνικες) without stones, which some call eunuchs and others ἀπύρηνοι..” Hellanicus has also called the fruit φοίνιξ, in his Journey to the Temple of Ammon, if at least. the book be a genuine one; and so has Phormus the comic poet, in his Atalantæ. But concerning those that are called [p. 1043] the Nicolaan dates, which are imported from Syria, I can give you this information; that they received this name from Augustus the emperor, because he was exceedingly fond of the fruit, and because Nicolaus of Damascus, who was his friend, was constantly sending him presents of it. And this Nicolaus was a philosopher of the Peripatetic School, and wrote a very voluminous history.
1 This fragment is full of corruptions. I have adopted the reading and interpretation of Casaubon.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.