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Democritus, who has declared that he was acquainted with every variety of the grape known in Greece, is the only person who has been of opinion that every kind could be enumerated; but, on the other hand, the rest of the authors have stated that they are quite innumerable1 and of infinite extent, an assertion the truth of which will be more evident, if we only consider the vast number of wines. I shall not attempt, then, to speak of every kind of vine, but only of those that are the most remarkable, seeing that the varieties are very nearly as numberless as the districts in which they grow. It will suffice, then, to point out those which are the most remarkable among the vines, or else are peculiar for some wonderful property.

The very highest rank is given to the Aminean2 grape, on account of the body and durability of its wine, which improves with old age. There are five varieties of the Aminean grape; of these, the smaller germana, or "sister" grape, has a smaller berry than the rest, and flowers more strongly, being able to tear up against rain and tempestuous weather; a thing that is not the case with the larger germana, though it is less exposed to danger when attached to a tree than when supported only by a trellis. Another kind, again, has obtained the name of the "gemella," or "twin" grape, because the clusters always grow3 in couples: the flavour of the wine is extremely rough, but it is remarkable for its strength. Of these several varieties the smaller one suffers from the south wind, but receives nutriment from all the others, upon Mount Vesuvius, for instance, and the hills of Surrentum: in the other parts of Italy it is never grown except attached to trees. The fifth kind is that known as the lanata, or "woolly" grape; so that we need not be surprised at the wool-bearing trees4 of the Seres or the Indians, for this grape is covered with a woolly down of remarkable thickness. It is the first of the Aminean vines that ripens, but the grape decays with remarkable rapidity.

The second rank belongs to the vines of Nomentum,5 the wood of which is red, from which circumstance the vines have received from some the name of "rubellæ." The grapes of this vine produce less wine than usual, in consequence of the extraordinary quantity of husk and lees they throw off: but the vine is remarkably strong, is well able to stand the frost, and is apt to receive more detriment from drought than from rain, from heat than from cold; hence it is that those are looked upon as the best that are grown in cold and moist localities. That variety which has the smallest grape is con- sidered the most fruitful: the one which has a jagged leaf is less productive.

The vine known as the "apiana,"6 has received that name from the bee, an insect which is remarkably fond of it: there are two varieties of this vine. This grape, too, is covered in its young state with a kind of down; the main difference between the two varieties is, that the one ripens more rapidly than the other, though this last ripens with considerable quickness. A cold locality is not at all hurtful to them, although there is no grape that ripens sooner: these grapes, however, very soon rot in the rain. The wines produced by this grape are sweet at first, but contract a rough flavour in the course of years. This vine is cultivated more than any other in Etruria. Thus far we have made mention of the more celebrated vines among those which are peculiar and indigenous to Italy; the rest have been introduced from Chios or Thasos.

The small Greek7 grape is not inferior to the Aminean for the excellence of its quality: the berry is remarkably thin- skinned, and the cluster so extremely small,8 that it is not worth while cultivating it, except on a soil of remarkable richness. The eugenia,9 so called from its high qualities, has been introduced into the Alban territory from the hills of Tauromenium:10 it is found, however, to thrive only there, for if transplanted elsewhere it degenerates immediately: in fact, there is in some vines so strong an attachment to their native soil, that they leave behind them all their high repute, and are never transplanted in their full entirety. This is the case, too, with the Rhætian and the Allobrogian grapes, of which we have made mention above as the pitch-flavoured11 grape; these are justly deemed excellent in their own coun- try, while elsewhere they are held in no esteem at all. Still, however, in consequence of their remarkable fertility, they make up for quality by abundance: the eugenia thrives in spots which are scorching hot, the Rhætian vine in places of a more moderate temperature, and the Allobrogian in cold, exposed situations, the fruit being of a black colour, and ripened by the agency of frost.

The wines produced from the vines of which we have hitherto made mention, even though the grapes are black, become, all of them, when old, of a white12 complexion. The other vines are of no note in particular, though sometimes, thanks to some peculiarity either in the climate or the soil, the wines produced from them attain a mature old age; such, for instance, as the Fecenian13 vine, and the Biturigian,14 which blossoms at the same time with it, but has not so many grapes. The blossoms of these last-mentioned vines are not liable to receive injury, both because they are naturally but transitory, and have the power of resisting the action of both wind and storm; still, however, those that grow in cold spots are considered superior to those produced in a warm site, and those found in moist places superior to those grown in dry, thirsty localities.

The vine known as the "visula"15 * * * * more than abundance of fruit, being unable to endure the extreme variations of the atmosphere, though it is very well able to stand a continuation of either cold or heat. Of this last kind the smaller one is the best, but difficult to please in its choice; in a rich earth it is apt to rot, while in a thin soil it will come to nothing at all: in its fastidiousness it requires a soil of middling quality, and hence it is that it is so commonly found on the hills of the Sabine territory. Its grape is unsightly in appearance, but has a very pleasant flavour: if it is not gathered at the very moment that it is ripe, it will fall, even before it decays. The extreme size of the leaves, and its natural hardi- ness, are its great protection against the disastrous effects of hail.

The grapes known as "helvolæ"16 are remarkable for the peculiarity of their colour, which is a sort of midway between purple and black, but varies so frequently that it has made some persons give them the name of "varianæ." Of the two sorts of helvolæ, the black is the one generally preferred: they both of them produce every other year, but the wine is best when the vintage has been less abundant.

The vine that is known as the "precia"17 is also divided into two varieties, distinguished by the size of the grape. These vines produce a vast quantity of wood, and the grape is very good for preserving in jars;18 the leaves are similar in appearance to that of parsley.19 The people of Dyrrhachium hold in high esteem the vine known as the "basilica," the same which in Spain is called the "cocolobis."20 The grapes of this vine grow in thin clusters, and it can stand great heat, and the south winds. The wine produced from it is apt to fly to the head:21 the produce of the vine is very large. The people in Spain distinguish two kinds of this vine, the one with the oblong, the other with the round grape; they gather this fruit the very last of all. The sweeter the cocolobis is, the more it is valued; but even if it has a rough taste, the wine will become sweet by keeping, while, on the other hand, that which was sweet at first, will acquire a certain roughness; it is in this last state that the wine is thought to rival that of Alba.22 It is said that the juice of this grape is remarkably efficacious when drunk as a specific for diseases of the bladder.

The "albuelis"23 produces most of its fruit at the top of the tree, the visula at the bottom; hence, when planted around the same tree, in consequence of these peculiarities in their nature, they bear between them a two-fold crop. One of the black grape vines has been called the "inerticula,"24 though it might with more propriety have been styled the "sobria;"25 the wine from it is remarkably good, and more particularly when old; but though strong, it is productive of no ill effects, and, indeed, is the only wine that will not cause intoxication.

The abundance of their produce again recommends other vines to us, and, in the first place, that known as the "helvennaca."26 Of this vine there are two kinds; the larger, which is by some called the "long" helvennaca, and the smaller kind, which is known as the "emarcum,"27 not so prolific as the first, but producing a wine of more agreeable flavour; it is distinguished by its rounded leaf, but they are both of them of slender make. It is requisite to place forks beneath these vines for the support of their branches, as otherwise it would be quite impossible for them to support the weight of their produce: they receive nutriment from the breezes that blow from the sea, and foggy weather is injurious to them. There is not one among the vines that manifests a greater aversion to Italy, for there it becomes comparatively leafless and stunted, and soon decays, while the wine which it produces there will not keep beyond the summer: no vine, however, thrives better in a poor soil. Græcinus, who has copied from the works of Cornelius Celsus, gives it as his opinion that it is not that the nature of this vine is repugnant to the climate of Italy, but that it is the mode of cultivating it that is wrong, and the anxiety to force it to put forth its shoots; a mode of treatment, he thinks, which absorbs all its fertility, unless the soil in which it is planted happens to be remarkably rich, and by its support prevents it from being exhausted. It is said that this vine is never carbuncled,28 a remarkable quality, if, indeed, it really is the fact that there is any vine in existence that is exempt from the natural influences of the climate.

The spionia, by some called the "spinea,"29 is able to bear heat very well, and thrives in the autumn and rainy weather: indeed, it is the only one among all the vines that does well amid fogs, for which reason it is peculiar to the territory of Ravenna.30 The venicula31 is one of those that blossom the strongest, and its grapes are particularly well adapted for preserving in jars. The Campanians, however, prefer to give it the name of "scircula," while others, again, call it "stacula." Tarracina has a vine known as the "numisiana;" it has no qualities of its own, but has characteristics just according to the nature of the soil in which it is planted: the wine, however, if kept in the earthen casks32 of Surrentum, is remarkable for its goodness, that is to say, as far south as Vesuvius. On arriving in that district, we find the Murgentina,33 the very best among all those that come from Sicily. Some, indeed, call the vine "Pompeiana,"34 and it is more particularly fruitful when grown in Latium, just as the "horconia"35 is productive nowhere but in Campania. Of a contrary nature is the vine known as the "argeica," and by Virgil called "argitis:"36 it makes the ground all the more37 productive, and is remark- ably stout in its resistance to rain and the effects of old age, though it will hardly produce wine every year; it is remarkable for the abundant crops which it bears, though the grapes are held but in small esteem for eating. The vine known as the "metica" lasts well for years, and offers a successful resistance to all changes of weather; the grape is black, and the wine assumes a tawny hue when old.

(3.) The varieties that have been mentioned thus far are those that are generally known; the others belong to peculiar countries or individual localities, or else are of a mixed nature, the produce of grafting. Thus the vine known as the "Tudernis,"38 is peculiar to the districts of Etruria, and so too is the vine that bears the name of "Florentia." At Arretium the talpona, the etesiaca, and the consemina, are particularly excellent.39 The talpona,40 which is a black grape, produces a pale, straw-coloured41 must: the etesiaca42 is apt to deceive; the more the wine it produces the better the quality, but it is a remarkable fact, that just as it has reached that point its fecundity ceases altogether. The consemina43 bears a black grape, but its wine will not keep, though the grape itself is a most excellent keeper; it is gathered fifteen days later than any other kind of grape: this vine is very fruitful, but its grape is only good for eating. The leaves of this tree, like those of the wild vine, turn the colour of blood just before the fall: the same is the case also with some44 other varieties, but it is a proof that they are of very inferior quality.

The irtiola45 is a vine peculiar to Umbria and the terri- tories of Mevania and Picenum, while the pumula46 belongs to Amiternum. In the same districts we find the vine called bannannica,47 which is very deceptive, though the people are remarkably fond of its fruit. The municipal town of Pompeii has given its name to the Pompeia,48 although it is to be found in greater abundance in the territory of Clusium. The Tiburina, also, is so called from the municipal town of Tibûr, although it is in this district that they have lately discovered the grape known as the "oleaginea," from its strong resemblance to an olive: this being the very last kind of grape that has been introduced. The Sabines and the Laurentes are the only people acquainted with the vinaciola.49 As to the vines of Mount Gaurus,50 I am aware that, as they have been transplanted from the Falernian territory, they bear the name of "Falernian:" but it is a fact that the Falernian vine, when transplanted, rapidly degenerates. Some persons, too, have made out a Tarentine variety, with a grape of remarkable sweetness: the grapes of the "capnios,"51 the "bucconiatis,"52 and the "tarrupia," grow on the hills of Thurii, and are never gathered till after the frost commences. Pisæ enjoys the Parian vine, and Mutina the prusinian,53 with a black grape, the wine of which turns pale within four years. It is a very remarkable thing, but there is a grape here that turns round with the sun, in its diurnal motion, a circumstance from which it has received the name of "streptos."54 In Italy, the 55 Gallic vine is a great favourite, while beyond the Alps that of Picenum56 is preferred. Virgil has made mention57 of the Thasian vine, the Mareotis, the lagea, and several other foreign varieties, which are not to be found in Italy.

There are some vines, again, that are remarkable, not for their wine, but for their grapes, such, for instance, as the ambrosia,58 one of the "duracinus"59 kind, a grape which requires no potting, but will keep perfectly well if left on the vine, so remarkable is the strength with which it is endowed for withstanding the effects of cold, heat, and stormy weather. The "orthampelos,"60 too, is a vine that requires neither tree nor stay, as it is well able to sustain its own weight. This, however, is not the case with the "dactylis,"61 the stem of which is no thicker than the finger. The "columbina"62 is one of those with the finest clusters, and still more so is the purple "bimammia;" it does not bear in clusters,63 but only secondary bunches. There is the tripedanea,64 too, a name which it owes to the length of its clusters, and the scirpula,65 with its shrivelled berry; the Rhætica,66 too, so called in the Maritime Alps, though very different from the grape of that name which is so highly esteemed, and of which we have previously spoken; for in this variety the clusters are small, the grapes lie closely packed, and it produces but a poor wine. It has, however, the thinnest skin of all the grapes, and a single stone,67 of very diminutive size, which is known as the "Chian;"68 one or two of the grapes on the cluster are remarkably large. There is also the black Aminean, to which the name of Syriaca is given: the Spanish vine, too, the very best of all those of inferior quality.

The grapes that are known as escariæ,69 are grown on trellises. Of the duracinus70 kind, there are those known as the white and the black varieties; the bumastus, too, is similarly distinguished in colour. Among the vines too, that have not as yet been mentioned, there are the Ægian and the Rhodian71 kinds, as also the uncialis, so called, it would seem, from its grape being an ounce in weight. There is the picina72 too, the blackest73 grape known, and the stephanitis,74 the clusters of which Nature, in a sportive mood, has arranged in the form of a garland, the leaves being interspersed75 among the grapes; there are the grapes, too, known as the "forenses,"76 and which quickly come to maturity, recommend themselves to the buyer by their good looks, and are easily carried from place to place.

On the other hand, those known as the "cinerea"77 are condemned by their very looks, and so are the rabuscula78 and the asinusca;79 the produce of the alopecis,80 which resembles in colour a fox's tail, is held in less disesteem. The Alexandrina81 is the name of a vine that grows in the vicinity of Pha- lacra: it is of stunted growth, and has branches a cubit in length; the grape is black, about the size of a bean, with a berry that is soft, and remarkably small: the clusters hang in a slanting direction, and are remarkably sweet; the leaves are small and round, without any division.82 Within the last seven years there has been introduced at Alba Helvia,83 in the province of Gallia Narbonensis, a vine which blossoms but a single day, and is consequently proof against all accidents: the name given to it is "Narbonica," and it is now planted throughout the whole of that province.

1 Many years ago, there were in the gardens of the Luxembourg one thousand four hundred varieties of the French grape, and even then there were many not to be found there; while, at the same time, it was considered that the French kinds did not form more than one-twentieth part of the species known in Europe.

2 This vine was said to be of Grecian origin, and to have been con- veyed by a Thessalian tribe to Italy, where it was grown at Aminea, a village in the Falernian district of Campania. It is supposed to have been the same as the gros plant of the French. The varieties mentioned by Pliny seem not to have been recognized by the moderns.

3 Fée does not give credit to this statement.

4 In allusion to the cotton-tree, or else the mulberry leaves covered with the cocoons of the silkworm. See B. vi. c. 20, and B. xii. c. 21. Virgil, in the Georgics, has the well-known line: "Velleraque ut foliis depectant tenuia Seres."

5 See B. iii. c. 9. There are many vines, the wood of which is red, but this species has not been identified.

6 From "apis," a "bee." He alludes, it is thought, to the muscatel grape, said to have had its name from "musca," a "fly;" an insect which is greatly attracted by its sweetness.

7 Græcula.

8 Fée is inclined to think that he alludes to the vine of Corinth, the dried fruit of which are the currants of commerce.

9 From the Greek ἐυγένεια,

10 Now Taormina, in Sicily, where, Fée says, it is still to be found. The grapes are red, similar to those of Mascoli near Etna, and much esteemed.

11 Picata. Seep. 221.

12 I. e., pale straw colour.

13 It has been supposed that this vine received its name from "fæx;" the wine depositing an unusually large quantity of lees.

14 It is doubtful whether this vine had its name from being grown in the district now called Bourges, or that of Bourdeaux. Dalechamps identifies it with the plant d' Orleans.

15 The origin of its name is unknown. The text is evidently defective.

16 By this name it would be understood that they were of an intermediate colour between rose and white, a not uncommon colour in the grape. Pliny, however, says otherwise, and he is supported by Columella.

17 C. Bauhin took this to mean one of the garden currant trees, the Ribes uva crispa of Linnæus, called by Bauhin Grossularia simplici acino, or else Spinosa agrestis. But, as Fée observes, the ancients were not so ignorant as to confound a vine with a currant-bush.

18 Like the Portuguese grapes of the present day.

19 Crisped and indented.

20 This variety, according to Christian de la Vega, was cultivated abundantly in Grenada he word cocolab, according to some, meant cock's comb. It is mentioned as a Spanish word by Columella.

21 Dalechamps says, that a similar wine was made at Montpellier, and that it was called "piquardant."

22 See B. xxiii. cc. 20, 21.

23 Probably from "albus," "white." Poinsinct thinks that it may have been so called from the Celtic word alb, or alp, a mountain, and that it grew on elevated spots. This, however, is probably fanciful.

24 Called by the Greeks ἀμέθυστον, from its comparatively harmless qualities.

25 Or "sober" vine.

26 Hardouin says that in his time it was still cultivated about Macerata, in the Roman States. Fée thinks that it may be one of the climbing vines, supported by forks, cultivated in the central provinces of France. See also B. xxiii. c. 19, as to the effects produced by its wine.

27 Poinsinet gives a Celto-Scythian origin to this word, and says that it means "injured by fogs." This appears to be supported in some measure by what is stated below.

28 See B. xvii. c. 37.

29 Or "thorny" vine. Fée queries why it should be thus called.

30 This humid, marshy locality was noted for the badness of its grapes, and consequently of its wine.

31 Hardouin thinks that this is the "Marze mina" of the Venetians: whence, perhaps, its ancient name.

32 "Testis." See B. xxxv. c. 46.

33 From Murgentum, in Sicily. See B. iii. c. 14.

34 From Pompeii, afterwards destroyed. See B. iii c. 9.

35 Hardouin, as Fée thinks, without good reason, identifies this with the "Arelaca" of Columella.

36 Georgics, ii. 99.

37 This seems to be the meaning of "ultro solum lætius facit." These two lines have been introduced by Sillig, from one of the MSS., for the first time.

38 Hardouin thinks that it is so called from Tuder, a town of Etruria. See B. iii. c. 19.

39 Sillig suggests that the reading here is corrupt, and that Pliny means to say that the vine called Florentia is particularly excellent, and merely to state that the talpona, &c., are peculiar to Arretium: for, as he says, speaking directly afterwards in disparagement of them, it is not likely he would pronounce them "opima," of "first-rate quality."

40 From "talpa," a "mole," in consequence of its black colour.

41 "Album."

42 Probably so called from the Etesian winds, which improved its growth.

43 Perhaps meaning "double-seeded." We may here remark, that the wines of Tuscany, though held in little esteem in ancient times, are highly esteemed at the present day.

44 The leaves of most varieties turn red just before the fall.

45 And Baccius thinks that this is the kind from which the raisins of the sun, common in Italy, and more particularly in the Valley of Bevagna, the Mevania of Pliny, are made.

46 Perhaps from "pumilio," a dwarf.

47 The "royal" vine, according to Poinsinet, who would derive it from the Sclavonic "ban."

48 Previously mentioned, p. 228.

49 Baccius says that the wine of this grape was thin like water, and that the vine was trained on lofty trees, a mode of cultivation still followed in the vicinity of Rome. Laurentum was situate within a short distance of it, near Ostia.

50 See B. iii. c. 9.

51 So called from the smoky or intermediate colour of its grapes. Fee suggests that this may be the slow-ripening grape of France, called the "verjus," or "rognon de coq."

52 Possibly meaning the "mouthful."

53 Perhaps so called from Prusa in Bithynia, a district which bore ex- cellent grapes.

54 Or the "turning" grape. A fabulous story no doubt, originating in the name, probably. Fée suggests that it may have originated in the not uncommon practice of letting the bunches hang after they were ripe, and then twisting them, which was thought to increase the juice.

55 The residence of Horace, now Tivoli.

56 In the modern Marches of Ancona.

57 Georgics, ii. 91, et seq. Sunt Thasiæ vites, sunt et Mareotides albsæ:
Et passo Psithia utilior, tenuisque Lageos,
Tentatura pedes olim, vincturaque linguam,
Purpureæ, Preciæque——

58 A muscatel, Fée thinks.

59 Or "hard-berried." Fée thinks that the maroquin, or Morocco grape, called the "pied de poule" (or fowl's foot), at Montpellier, may be the duracinus.

60 Or "upright vine." In Anjou and Herault the vines are of similar character.

61 The "finger-like" vine.

62 The "pigeon" vine.

63 Though very fruitful, it does not bear in large clusters (racemi), but only in small bunches (uvæ).

64 The "three-foot" vine.

65 Perhaps meaning the "rush" grape, from its shrivelled appearance.

66 See c. 3 of this Book.

67 The ordinary number of pips or stones is five. It is seldom that we find but one. Virgil mentions this grape, Georg. ii. 95.

68 "Chium." This reading is doubtful. Fée says that between Narni and Terni, eight leagues from Spoleto, a small grape is found, without stones. It is called "uva passa," or "passerina." So, too, the Sultana raisin of commerce.

69 "Grown for the table."

70 Or "hard-berry."

71 Mentioned by Virgil, Georg. ii. 101.

72 Or pitch-grape.

73 Perhaps the "noirant," or "teinturier" of the French.

74 Or "garland-clustered" vine.

75 Fée says that this is sometimes accidentally the case, but is not the characteristic of any variety now known.

76 Or "market-grapes."

77 The "ash-coloured."

78 The "russet-coloured."

79 Probably so called from its grey colour, like that of the ass.

80 Or "fox" vine. This variety is unknown.

81 So called from Alexandria, in Troas, not in Egypt. Phalacra was in the vicinity of Mount Ida.

82 As the leaves of the vine are universally divided, it has been considered by many of the commentators that this is not in reality a vine, but the Arbutus uva ursi of Linnæus. The fruit, however, of that ericaceous plant is remarkably acrid, and not sweet, as Pliny states. Fée rejects this solution.

83 Aubenns, in the Vivarais, according to Hardouin; Alps, according to Brotier. We must reject this assertion as fabulous.

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