, Att. δᾴς, dim.
), a torch of fir-wood, called on this
account pinea taeda
(Catull. 61, 15; Ovid,
Ov. Fast. 2.558
). Hence the name
is given to the tree itself (Plin. Nat. 16.44
; cf. Hor. Od. 4.4
), for there can be no doubt that
“torch” was the primary sense of the word. Before the
adoption of the more artificial modes of obtaining light, described under
CANDELA, FAX, FUNALE, and LUCERNA
the inhabitants of
Greece and Asia Minor practised the following method, which still prevails
in those countries, and to a certain extent in Scotland and Ireland, as well
as in other parts of Europe, which abound in forests of pines (Fellows,
Exc. in Asia Minor,
pp. 140, 333-335):--A tree having
been selected of the species Pinus maritima, Linn.
, which was
by the ancient Greeks from the
time of Homer (Hom. Il. 11.494
), and which retains this name, with a
slight change in its termination, to the present day, a large incision was
made near its root, causing the turpentine to flow so as to accumulate in
its vicinity. This highly resinous wood was called δᾴς,
i. e. torchwood (Thuc.
); a tree so treated was called ἔνδᾳδος,
the process itself ἐνδᾳδοῦν
more fully δαδοκοπεῖν
(Theophr. H. P.
and a tree so affected is said by Pliny “taeda fieri”
16.45): the workmen employed in the manufacture
are called δᾳδουργοί.
After the lapse of
twelve months the portion thus impregnated was cut out and divided into
suitable lengths. This was repeated for three successive years, and then, as
the tree began to decay, the heart of the trunk was extracted, and the roots
were dug up for the same purpose (Theophr. H. P.
§ § 3, 5; 4.16.1; 10.2, § § 2, 3;--Ath. 15.700
f). These strips of resinous
pine-wood are now called δᾳδία
Greeks of Mount Ida (Hunt and Sibthorp, in Walpole's Mem.
For the uses of the torch by Greeks and Romans and its significance in
marriages and funerals, see FAX