Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume I: Books I-VII
Book II: epitome, pp. 57-121
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 Semus. 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 Georgics- 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 stomach." 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.
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