Artichokes were often eaten. And Sophocles, in his Colchian Women, calls an artichoke κινάρα, but in his Phœnix he writes the word κύναρος, saying—
The artichoke fills every field with its thorn.But Hecatæus the Milesian, in his Description of Asia, at least if the book under this title is a genuine work of that author, (for Callimachus attributes it to Nesiotas;) however, whoever it was who wrote the book speaks in these terms— “Around the sea which is called the Hyrcanian sea there are mountains lofty and rough with woods, and on the mountains there is the prickly artichoke.” And immediately afterwards he subjoins—“Of the Parthian tribes the Chorasmians dwell towards the rising sun, having a territory partly champaign and partly mountainous. And in the mountains there are wild trees; the prickly artichoke, the willow, the tamarisk.” He says moreover that the artichoke grows near the river Indus. And Scylax, or Polemo, writes, “that that land is well watered with fountains and with canals, and on the mountains there grow artichokes and many other plants.” And immediately afterwards he adds, “From that point a mountain stretches on both sides of the river Indus, very lofty, and very thickly overgrown with wild wood and the prickly artichoke.” But Didymus the grammarian, explaining what is meant by Sophocles when he speaks of the prickly artichoke (which he calls κύναρος), says, "Perhaps he means the dog-brier, because that plant is prickly and rough; for the Pythian priestess did call that plant a wooden bitch. And the Locrian, after he had been ordered by an oracle to build a city in that place in which he was bitten by a wooden bitch, having had his leg scratched by a dog-brier, built the city in the place [p. 117] where the brier had stood. And there is a plant called the dog-brier, something between a brier and a tree, according to the statement of Theophrastus, and it has a red fruit, like a pomegranate, and it has a leaf like that of the willow.