But since I have mentioned Alexandria, I know that in that beautiful city there is a garland called the garland of Antinous, which is made of the lotus, which grows in those parts. And this lotus grows in the marshes in the summer season; and it bears flowers of two colours; one like that of the rose, and it is the garlands woven of the flower of this colour which are properly called the garlands of Antinous; but the other kind is called the lotus garland, being of a dark colour. And a man of the name of Pancrates, a native poet, with whom we ourselves were acquainted, made a great parade of showing a rose-coloured lotus to Adrian the emperor, when he was staying at Alexandria, saying, that [p. 1082] he ought to give this flower the name of the Flower of Antinous, as having sprung from the ground where it drank in the blood of the Mauritanian lion, which Hadrian killed when he was out hunting in that part of Africa, near Alexandria; a monstrous beast which had ravaged all Libya for a long time, so as to make a very great part of the district desolate. Accordingly, Hadrian being delighted with the utility of the invention, and also with its novelty, granted to the poet that he should be maintained for the future in the Museum at the public expense; and Cratinus the comic poet, in his Ulysseses, has called the lotus στεφάνωμα, because all plants which are full of leaf, are called στεφανώματα by the Athenians. But Pancrates said, with a good deal of neatness, in his poem—
The crisp ground thyme, the snow-white lily too,
The purple hyacinth, and the modest leaves
Of the white celandine, and the fragrant rose,
Whose petals open to the vernal zephyrs;
For that fair flower which bears Antinous' name
The earth had not yet borne.