University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Page View

Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume I: Books I-VII

Book II: epitome,   pp. 57-121

Page 118

118               THE DEIPNOSOPHISTS.        [EPIT. B. IL. 
of the books of his history. But Ptolemy Eiiergetes the king: 
of Egypt, being one of the pupils of Aristarchus the gram-; 
marian, in the second book of his Commentaries writes thus- 
" Near Berenice, in Libya, is the river Lethon, in which there- 
is the fish called the pike, and the chrysophrys, and a great 
multitude of eels, and also of lampreys which are half as big 
again as those which come from Macedonia and from the: 
Copaic lake. And the whole stream is full of fishes of all 
sorts. And in that district there are a great quantity of 
anchovies, and the soldiers who composed our army picked 
them, and ate them, and brought them to us, the generals 
having stripped them of their thorns. I know, too, that 
there is an island called Cinarus, which is mentioned by 
85. Now with respect to what is called the Brain of the 
Palm. -Theophrastus, speaking of the plant of the palm- 
tree, states, "The manner of cultivating it, and of its pro- 
pagation from the fruit, is as follows: when one has taken off 
the upper rind, one comes to a portion in which is what is 
called the brain."  And Xenophon, in the second book of 
the Anabasis, writes as follows:  There, too, the soldiers 
first ate the brain of the palm or date-tree. And many of' 
them marvelled at its appearance, and at the peculiarity of 
its delicious flavour. But it was found to have a great ten- 
dency to produce headache; but the date, when the brain was 
taken out of it, entirely dried up." Nicander says in his 
And at the same time cutting off the branches 
Loaded with dates they bring away the brain, 
A dainty greatly fancied by the young. 
And Diphilus the Siphnian states-" The brains of the dates 
are filling and nutritious; still they are heavy and not very 
digestible: they cause thirst, too, and constipation of the 
But we, says Athenzeus, 0 my friend Timocrates, shall 
appear to keep our brains to the end, if we stop this conver- 
sation and the book at this point. 

Go up to Top of Page