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But Theophrastus says that there are three kinds of cucumbers, the Lacedæmonian, the Scytalian, and the Bœotian; and that of these the Lacedæmonian, which is a watery one, is the best; and that the others do not contain water. “Cucumbers too,” says he, “contain a more agreeable and wholesome juice if the seed be steeped in milk or in mead before it is sown;” and he asserts in his book on the Causes of Plants, that they come up quicker if they are steeped either in water or milk before they are put in the ground. And Euthydemus says, in his treatise on Vegetables, that there is one kind of cucumber which is called δρακοντίας. But Demetrius Ixios states, in the first book of his treatise on Etymologies, that the name σίκυον is derived ἀπὸ τοῦ σεύεσθαι καὶ κιεῖν, from bursting forth and proceeding; for that it is a thing which spreads fast and wide. But Heraclides of Tarentum calls the cucumber ἡδύγαιον, which means growing in sweet earth, or making the earth sweet, in his Symposium. And Diocles of Carystos says that cucumber, if it is eaten with the sium in the first course, makes the eater uncomfortable; for that it gets into the head as the radish does; but that if it is eaten at the end of supper it causes no [p. 125] uncomfortable feelings, and is more digestible; and that when it is boiled it is moderately diuretic. But Diphilus says— “The cucumber being a cooling food is not very manageable, and is not easily digested or evacuated; besides that, it creates shuddering feelings and engenders bile, and is a great preventive against amatory feelings.” But cucumber grow in gardens at the time of full moon, and at that time they grow very visibly, as do the sea-urchins.
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