The next thing to be mentioned are Gourds.—Euthy- [p. 97] demus, the Athenian, in his book on Vegetables, calls the long gourd, known as κολοκύντη, the Indian gourd; and it is called Indian because the seed was originally introduced from India. But the people of Megalopolis call the same the Sicyonian gourd. Theophrastus however says, that of the kind called κολοκύντη, there is not one species or genus only, but several, some better, some worse. While Meodorus, the follower of Erasistratus, the friend of Icesius, says, “Of the long gourds there is the Indian, which is the same which we call σικύα, and which is vulgarly called the κολοκύντη. Now the Indian gourd is usually boiled, but that called κολοκύντη is usually roasted.” And even to the present day the κολόκυνται are called by the Cnidians Indian gourds; while the people of the Hellespont call the long gourds σίκυαι, and the round gourds κολόκυνται. But Diocles states that the best round gourds are those grown near Magnesia; and, moreover, that the rape grown in that district runs to an exceedingly large size, and is sweet, and good for the stomach. He says, at the same time, that the best cucumbers are grown at Antioch, the best lettuce at Smyrna and Galatea, and the best rue at Myra. Diphilus says, "The gourd is far from nutritious, easily digested, apt to produce moisture in the skin, promotes the secretions of the body, and is full of agreeable and wholesome juice; but it is still more juicy when cooked. Its alterative qualities are increased when it is eaten with mustard, but it is more digestible, and it promotes the secretions more, when boiled. Mnesitheus too says, "All the vegetables and fruits which are easily affected by the action of fire, such as the cucumber, and the gourd, and the quince, and the small quince, and everything else of the same sort, when they are eaten after having been roasted, afford nutriment to the body, in no great quantity indeed, but still such as is pleasant and promotes moisture. However all these vegetables and fruits have a tendency to produce constipation, and they ought to be eaten boiled rather than raw. But the Attic writers call the gourd by no other name but κολοκύντη. Hermippus says—
What a huge head he has; it is as big as a gourd!And Phrynichus, using the diminutive, says—
Will you have a little maize (μάζιον) or gourd (κολοκύντιον)?[p. 98] And Epicharmus says—
That is much more wholesome than a gourd (κολοκύντη).