Diphilus of Siphnos says, that of figs some are tender, and not very nutritious, but full of bad juice, nevertheless easily secreted, and rising easily to the surface; and that these are more easily managed than the dry figs; but that those which are in season in the winter, being ripened by artificial means, are very inferior: but that the best are those which are ripe at the height of the summer, as being ripened naturally; and these have a great deal of juice; and those which are not so juicy are still good for the stomach, though somewhat heavy. And the figs of Tralles are like the Rhodian: and the Chian, and all the rest, appear to be inferior to these, both in the quality and quantity of their juice. But Mnesitheus the Athenian, in his treatise on Eatables, says— “But with respect to whatever of these fruits are eaten raw, such as pears, and figs, and Delphic apples, and such fruits, one ought to watch the opportunity when they will have the juice which they contain, neither unripe on the one hand, nor tainted on the other; nor too much dried up by the season.” But Demetrius the Scepsian, in the fifteenth book of the Trojan Preparation, says, that those who never eat figs have [p. 135] the best voices. At all events, he says, that Hegesianax the Alexandrian, who wrote the Histories, was originally a man with a very weak voice, and that he became a tragedian and a fine actor, and a man with a fine voice, by abstaining from figs for eighteen years together. And I know too that there are some proverbs going about concerning figs, of which the following are samples:—
Figs after fish, vegetables after meat.
Figs are agreeable to birds, but they do not choose to plant them.