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Pliny the Elder, 77-79. Book XII-XXVII

Document reference 
Pliny the Elder, 77. Natural History. Book XII-XXVII
Alternative title 

Naturalis Historia


Book XIII, 9

Servantur hi demum qui nascuntur in salsis atque sabulosis, ut in ludaea atque Cyrenaica Africa, non item in Aegypto, Cypro, Syria, Selcucia Assyriae, quamobrem sues etreliqua animalia iis saginantur. vitiati aut vetusti eius pomi signum est decidisse candidam verrucam qua racemo adhaeserint. Alexandri milites palmis viridibus strangulati sunt ; in Gedrosis id factum est pomi genere, alibi copia evenit, est enim tanta suavitas musteis ut finis mandendi non nisi periculo fiat.

The best kinds for keeping are those that grow in salt and sandy soils, for instance in Judaea and the Cyrenaic district of Africa ; the dates in Egypt, Cyprus, Syria and Seleucia in Assyria do not keep, and consequently are used for fattening swine and other stock. It is a sign that the fruit is spoilt or old if the white excrescence by which the dates are attached to the cluster has fallen off. Soldiers of Alexander were choked by eating green dates ; this effect was produced in the Gedrosi country by the quality of the fruit, and occurs elsewhere from eating it to excess, for fresh dates are so sweet that people will not stop eating them except because of the danger.

Citation key 
Pliny the Elder, 77-79