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With respect to Vetches.—Crobylus says—
They took a green vetch,
And toss'd it empty, as if playing cottabus.
These are the sweetmeats of the wretched monkey.
And Homer says—
Black beans spring up, or vetches.
Xenophanes the Colophonian says, in his Parodies—
These are what one should talk of near the fire,
In winter season, on soft couch reclined,
After a plenteous meal, drinking rich wine,
And eating vetches.1 Then a man may ask,
"Who are you? How old are you, my friend?
How many years old were you when the Mede came"
And Sappho says—
Golden vetches on the sea-shore grew.
But Theophrastus, in his book on Plants, calls some kinds of vetches κρεῖοι. And Sophilus says—
This maiden's sire is far the greatest man,
A regular κρεῖος vetch.
And Phenias says, in his book about Plants,—“While they are green and tender, the bean and vetch take the place of [p. 90] sweetmeats; but when they are dry they are usually eaten boiled or roasted.” Alexis says—
My husband is a poor old man, and I
Am an old woman, and I have a daughter
And a young son,
And this good girl besides—we're five in all—
And three of them are now at supper,
And we two who here remain share with them
A little maize; and when we have nothing
To eat, we utter a wail unsuited to the lyre.
And as we never have any meat for dinner,
Our countenance is become pale. These are the parts,
And this is the arrangement of our life:
Beans, lupins, cabbages, rape,
Pulse, morepulse, mastnuts, onions.
Grasshoppers, vetches, wild pears,
And that which was given by my mother
As an object of devout care, the fig,
The great invention of the Phrygian fig.
Pherecrates says—
You must at once take care and make the vetches tender.
And in another place he says—
He was choked eating roasted vetches.
And Diphilus says—“Vetches are very indigestible, create moisture, they are also diuretic, and apt to cause flatulence.” And according to Diocles, they produce a sort of fermentation in the body. The white vetches are better than the black; and so also are the yellow or box-coloured. And the Milesian are better than those called κρεῖοι; and the green are better than the dry, and those which have been soaked are better than those which have not been. The discoverer of the vetch is said to have been Neptune.

1 Liddell and Scott quote Arist. Pac. 1136, to show that ἐρέβινθοι were eaten roasted like chestnuts, and sometimes raw, for dessert.

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