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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 
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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