Imagens das páginas
PDF

Pliny is, perhaps, the first lo use citrus as a synonym of pomme de medic, but he gives it also to the citre aUantique, and it is because of an error in some translations we see arbor eedri. The more exact editions have arbor ciiri.

It is difficult to determine what has caused this confusion. It is not to be attributed to any similarity between the plauts, when the descriptions left us by the ancients prove that they were really two very different species.

We have already seen what Thcophrastus, Virgil and Pliny have said of the citron. I will now examine what Pliny says of the citre atlantif/uc: "The citre," he says, (book 13,) " is a tree resembling the wild female cyprus in leaf, in color, and in general appcarauce." The oyprus, among botanists, has not trees male and trees female; it is a monraciau plant, carrying the two sexes upon one foot, but there is a variety known among cultivators as the female tree, having spreading branches. It seems the ancients called this cypres male. They designate under the name of cypres femeUe, the ordinary cyprus, regarded by us as the type of the species, and in our countries, called male Cyprus.

Millar says that the ryprus with spreading branches isa peculiar species; but all accustomed to cultivate it, consider it as a variety, and I can affirm that I have seen this spreading oyprus grow among pyramidal cyprus, in seed-beds, where the seed had been gathered from Cyprus, very close and smooth.

Ibis is one of the facts which have driven me to search for the cause of these aberrations to be seen among all plants. But, whatever may be said of this variety, it is always certain that the citre of Africa resembles the cyprus, and that it has a pyramidal form, very smooth, which distinguishes it from juniper and arbor-vita).

We must then ascertain if there exists a species of cyprus whose wood is beautiful enough to make these precious tables, costing, as Pliny says, one million four hundred sesterces ($56,000.)

On reflecting upon the description of this furniture by the Latin naturalist, it appears to me that its beauty depended not so much upon the natural quality of the tree, as upon accidents which accompany, nearly always, the part ol its wood of which they were made.

Pliny says the taliies were made ol the roots, or the knots of the trees, and adds that they were esteemed becanse of the veins of dilferent colors, or of irregular and capricious waves with which they were mottled, and which gave them a resemblance to the skin of a tiger, or panther, or even to the tail of the peacock.

Now these waves and veins are in the roots of most of these trees, and chiefly in protuberances or exostoses, produced perhaps by a derangement in the course of the sap. We see it in all the species in our southern climate, and principally in the stump or the roots of the olive, the walnut, the box-tree, and in knots and bunches of woods most sought by the cabinet-maker. It would be nothing strange if these precious tables were made of the ordinary cypress, which, grown in Africa, has perhaps more color.

We can believe that at this period, Mt. Atlas was still covered with those old trees which date from the creation, and whose roots have ac

quired in the long course of centuries, remarkable peculiarities due to old age.

The forests of Madeira and of America offer like examples; they have furnished, and still supply, trees of immense size and rare beauty. But the}' vauish with time, and their description will be for our posterity an object of admiration, astonishment and doubt .

Pliny says Mount Ancorarius, which had been so famous for its trees, offered none in his time.

Perhaps the Cyprus of Mount Ancorarius is of the same species as that foemd in Southern America, known as eypres chnure, (cupressus disiirha, L.)

This tree (Dupraz' History of Louisana) grows to a great size, and has protuberances or exostoses, which, at intervals, cross the roots, and grow above the surface of the ground, like boundary posts. This coincides with what Pliny said of the African citre, in speaking of Nomio'.s table, which was nearly four feet in diameter.

However this may be, it is certain that the African citre has nothing in common with our citron; this tree furnishes no wood much desired by cabinet-workers; we never see it in the work-shops of Europe, where it does not attain sufficient size to make planks, and where the wood of it could only be had after frost had killed the tree, in which case it would scarcely be fit for working. ( 1

The few we know have qualities making them as precious as the tables of the ancients. And we think that though the citron tree may be more abundant in Media, yet its wood is by nature the same us ours.

The orange tree has not enough trunk to be serviceable as wood. It owes to its branches, which spread themselves, its resemblance to the walnut; when despoiled of these, it presents very little wood fit lor use. According to Herrera the orange and lemon of Spain have but little wood. The orange is sometimes used for delicate inlaid work; it is very beautiful and durable.

Perhaps they also use the wood in India, but in Europe 1 think furniture has never been made of it. I have worked some small pieces, and find that it receives polish, and that its clear yellow color is pretty, but it is not remarkably so.

But the citre presents no other likeness than its name, which has a singular identity with that of the citron; and the tltyam, whose name has no sort of connection with either citron or lemon, shows only some equivocal features which might arrest attention, but, on examination, have nothing in common with the lemon. Pliny, who is the only one to speak of the thyam, made a vogue description of it, yet explicit enough to distinguish it from the lemon. He says: "The plant was sought by one, and rejected with horror by another, because of its odor and its bitterness, and sotno use it as an ornament to houses." Pliny, bk. 13, c. 16.

These characteristics do not belong to the lemon. It is, in truth, very proper to adorn houses, either on the outside, disposed against a trellis, or within, placed in vases for decorating apartments; but surely no person ever rejected with horror the lemon for its odor, which is most sweet, or for the bitterness of the skin, which is corrected by an aroma so agreeable, and which never affects the pulp, the principal part of this fruit. These two peculiarities would seem sufficient proof that the Ihyam of Pliny is not the lc^on.

f

Art. 111.—Search for the Natice Country of the Jjcmon and Orange Tree*Originally from IndiaPassage into Arabia, Syria and Egypt Brought to FJurope by the CrusadersEtymologics of thcir NamesProgress of their Culture Origin of Orangeries.

The orange and lemon trees were unknown to the RomanS, therefore they could only have been indigenous in a country where this great people had never penetrated. We all know the vast extent of this Empire, yet commercial relations extend themselves aiways far beyond political bounds. If these trees had been cultivated in places open to the traffic of the Romans, their fruits would have become at once the delight of the tables of Rome, given up to luxury. They could not then have been cultivated at this period, except in the remote parts of India, beyond the Ganges.

The north of Europe and of Asia, it is true, were equally unknown to the Romans, but their climates were not at all suited to these plants.

The interior and west coasts of Africa, although in great part deserts and destitute of the moisture necessary to the orange, enclosed, nevertheless, fertile districts where it might have thriven. But the state of culture of the tree at the present time in that country, and the historic facts proving to «s that it was not naturalized there till long after, make us certain that it was entirely unknown there as well as in Europe.

It is true, that at the time of the discovery of 'the Cape of Good Hope, the Portuguese found many citrons and bigarades upon the eastern coast of Africa, and in the part of Ethiopia where Romans had never penetrated; but they found these trees only in gardens, and in a state of domesticity, and we do not know but that the Arabs, who had cultivated them in Egypt, in Syria, and in Barbary, had penetrated into these countries in the first years of their conquests.

There remains, then, for us, only to seek the native country of the orange in Southern Asia— that is to say, in those vast countries known under the general name of East Indies. But these regions were in part known to the Romans, who, since the discovery of the monsoons made by Hippalus, carried their maritime commerce as far as Muziro (Massera; an island off the southeast coast of Arabia, Trans.) by way of the Bed Sea, the navigation of which employed a great number of vessels, and whose commerce, according to Pliny, should have been valued at fiftv million sesterces ($2,000,000, T.) per annum. Their fleets had penetrated even to Portvm (/ebenitarum, which appears to have been the present Ceylon; and, although these voyages cost them five years of fatigue and danger, nevertheless, the thirst for gold and the luxury of Rome had multiplied to the last degree the vessels engaged in this trade.

We must believe, then, that the lemon and orange did not exist in all that part of the country this side the Indus, and perhaps nA even in all the part lying between that river and the Ganges; otherwise, these fruits would have been

extolled by the Roman merchants—where the citron was so much vtdued; and we should find at least some mention made of them in narratives and voyages descended to us from those ancient times.

If we consult the description of the coasts of India from the river Indus to the Euphrates, which we have in the voyage of Nearchus, one of Alexander's captains; that of the Troglodytes, and coasts of the Indiau Sea, by Arianus; the voyage of Iambolus, reported by Diodorus of Sicily, where he gives a description of an isle of the Indian Sea, unknown before hiro, where he had been thrown by a storm; or, finally, the Indian voyage by Pliny, we find not the least indication of either orange, or even citron; yet Nearchus carefully notes the plants found in "his course, and speaks of palms, myrtles and vines; of wheat; and generally of all the trees of Asia, except the olive.r Arianus enlarges upon the vegetable productions of those districts, giving the description of those found in public roads. Iambolus saw, in the unknown island, which appears to have been Sumatra, a grain that we recosrnize as maize; which has been introduced into "Europe since the passage round the Cape of Good Hope.'

We must, then, admit that the lemon and orange-trees could not have orignated but in the regions beyond the Ganges, and that, in early centuries of the empires of the Ctesars, they had' not yet been brought from those climates where they were indigenous. They increased perhaps still without culture in the midst of woods, the hand of man not having yet appropriated them as ornaments for his garden. But this event could not long be delayed. The beauty of the tree, and the facility with which It reproduced itself, would naturally extend the culture to adjoining provinces; and the European, quick to seize the productions of all the rest of the globe, would uot fail to ennch himself from these regions.

Facts prove that this result has been reached, but wo know not the date of this passage, or the circumstances favoring it.f We will now make this the object of our researches.

The Romans at the time of Pliny had extended their commerce on the side of India, as far as it was ever carried during the empire; the power of Rome, instead of increasing, only became weaker from this period; and the fall of the western portion was accompanied in Europe by the decay of letters, arts, agriculture, nod commerce.

In this general overturn, the (>reeks preserved, it is true, with a taste for arts and luxury, some relations with India, but trade with those countries had never taken other course than by way of the Red Sea, and this was closed from the seventh century by the Arabian invasion of

* Of all the, trees of A,-itu This is the expression of the text; it is clear he means of the Asia known at that time.

t It is surprising that so little effort has been made to learn the history of the orancr, while so many less agreeable trees have been sought out. Sprengel, even, who has labored-so much for hiH learned work on the History of Botany (llistoria Ileifut-barhe. Amstelodami, 180?), is silent I upon all concerning this plant, lie has, however, drawn from nearly all the writers who have furnished me the data thrown together In this book ; and he shows u profound acquaintance with authors who can throw right upon' this subject.

Egypt, which soon followed the invasion of Arabia by the Barbarians of the West (Ethiopians, T.).

The commerce of these i ich lands must then have taken a much longer and more dangerous route. The traders were obliged, after going clown thefndus, to reascend that stream, and by the Bactria (Balkh) to roach the Oxus—and finally, by the last, pass into the Caspian Sea, from whence they went into the Black Sea by the river Don.

But this long and daugerous voyage was never undertaken by the traders of Constantinople: they would not have been able to traverse with safety such an extent of country, partly a desert, and iu part inhabited by wandering tribes, most of them nations with whom they were nearly always at war, aud who were destined, in the end, to swallow the Greek Empire.

They therefore limitedUbemselves to receiving upon the borders of the Caspian sea, the merchandise of India, brought to them by intermediate people.

One can scarcely realize that in such a state of affairs the orange tree could pass into Europe, for this beautiful partjif the world had never been in so general disorder or had so little intercourse with India. Her luxury and commerce were nearly annihilated, and the Arabians, whom the new religion of Mahomet rendered fanatics and conquerors, menaced, on one side the tottering empire of the Greeks, and on the other threatened to plunge into barbarism the West, Just beginning to be civilized. Yet it was precisely at this point of time, and by the conquering spiritof this people, that the great changes were prepared which should revive and extend farther than ever before the commercial relations of Europe with Asia, and of Asia herself with the more distant regions of her own continent.

The Arabs, placed iu a country which binds together three grand divisions of the globe, have extended their conquests Into Asia and Africa, much farther than any people before them. Masters of the Red sea and Mediterranean, they had invaded all the African coast this side of Atlas, and penetrated beyond to the region of the Troglodytes (Ethiopians living in caves— Tram.), the ancient limit of the Roman establishments on the east coast of this Continent: they had made settlements there, and according to the testimony of a historian of the country', cited by Barros, they had populated in the fourth century of the Hegira (A. D. 944), the towns of Brava, Mombas, and Quiloa, whence they extended themselves to Sofalo, Melinda, and to the islands of Bemba, Zanzibar, Monfra, Comoro, and St. Laurent. On the side of Asia they had carried their conquests, in the third century of the Hegira, to the extremities of the Relnahar, and towards the middle of the fourth century, under the Selucidte, they had established a colouy at Kashgar, the usual route of caravans to Toorkistan or to China, and which, according to Albufeda (a geographer and historian, of Damascus, Trans.), is situated in long. 87 deg. (7:5 deg., 57 min.— Trans.), consequently they had penetrated very far into Asia.

Never had there been in Asia an empire so vast, and never had the commerce of nations so near Europe been pushed as far into India.

A position thus advantageous aud favorable to the commercial spirit and love of luxury wbicli succeeded, among the Arabs, the fury of conquest, would naturally cause them to learn of andto appropriate many exotic plants peculiar to the legions they had conquered, or to the adjoining countries.

Fond of medicine and agriculture, in which' they have specially excelled, and of the pleasures of the open country, in which they have always delighted, they continued to profit with eagerness from the advantages offered by their settlements and the hot climates which they inhabited.

Indeed, it is to them that we owe the knowledge of many plants, perfumes, and Oriental aromatics, such as musk, nutmegs, mace and cloves.

It was the Arabs who naturalized in Spain, Sardinia, and Sicily the cotton-tree of Africa, and the sugar-cane of India; and in their medicirfcs we for the first time hear of the chemical change known as distillation, which appears to have originated iu the desire to steal from nature the perfumes of flowers and aroma of fruits.

It is, then, not surprising that we are indebted to them for the acclimatization of the orange, and lemon-trees, in Syria, Africa, and some Eu- I ropean islands.

It is certain that the orange was kuown to their physicians from the commencement of the fourth century of the Hegira. The Damascene has given, in his Antldotary, the recipe for making oil, with oranges, and their seeds (oleum tkdtraiijfula, et oleum citrmigulorum teminibut. Mat. Silv., f. 58), and Avicenna* who died in 438 of the Hegira (1050), has added the juice of the bigarade to his syrup of alkedere, "et sucei acetomtatix citri (otrodj), et sucri acetomhttis eitranguli (narendj)."

These two Arabiaus seem to have first em. ployed it iu medicine. I have examined with care the authors of this nation who preceded these, and find in no other the least hint relating to these species. Mesne, even, who speaks ot the citron, says not a word of orange or lemon.*

1 have observed, on the contrary, that Avicenna, in giving his recipe for making syrup of alkedere, in which he puts juice of the bigarade, announces it as a composition of his own invention.!

This circumstance would indicate that this fruit had been known but a short time in Persia; but it suffices that it was cultivated there to prove that it might, at once, pass into Irak (probably lrak-Arabee, in Asiatic Turkey, comprising Bagdad, Tram.), and into Syria. These countries, which joined, were also connected by political ties, which facilitate communication, and their inhabitants were more civilized tlten than before or since.

A passage by Massoudi, reported bv the learned M. do Sacy in the notes to his translation of Abd-Allatif, a writer of the twelfth century of our era, seems to confirm our ideas upon this

• Mono, who wan of Syria, appears to be the first to mentlon confects of citron, but he nays nothing of the lemon or orange. Sylvius, who commented on aim, observep that these confectionH were more efficacious than those of oranges ifirniiciontm). which are, hoirtvtr. much tutrrf.

t Avicenna, l>k. 5. pose rSW—K,lition «f Venice, by Vul'..Tislum, lfttH.

subject, and to determine the date of this event. It accords with all the data just given, and with historic facts that we have collected. He expresses himself thus: "The round citron (otrodj modawar) was brought from India since the'year three huridred of the Hegira. It was first sowed in Oman, (part of Arabia, Tram.,) from thence carried to Irak, (part of Old Persin, Trans.) and 'Syria, becoming very common in the houses of Tarsus and other frontier cities of Syria, at Antioch, upon the coasts of Syria, in Palestine and in Egypt. One knew it not before, but it lost much of the sweet odor and fine color which it had in India, because it had not the same climate, soil, and all that which is peculiar to that couutry."

The lemon appeared perhaps a little later in these different countries, for we see no mention of it cither in the Damascene or in Avicenna, but its description meets our eye in all the works of Arabian writers of the twelfth century; especially in Ebn-Beitar, who has given to it an article in his dictionary of simple remedies. The Latin translation of this article was published in Paris in 1702 by Andres Baluuense. The Imperial library contains several manuscripts of this dictionary.

I had thought to have found proof that the lemon was known b'y the Arabs in the ninth century; having seen in a history of India and China, dated 238 of the Hegira (A D. 8G0, 7'.), of which a French translation was printed in Paris in 1718, the writers had spoken of the lemon as a fruit found in China. But M. de Sacy, who examined the original, ascertained that the word limon was inserted by the translator; in the Arabian text one finds only that of atrodj, which signifies merely citron. Therefore this history,* far from proving that the Arabs knew the lemontree at this period, proves quite the contrary.

It was not until the tenth century of our era that this warlike people enriched with these trees the garden of Oman (in southeastern Arabia, Tr.), whence they were propagated in Palestine and Egypt. From these countries they passed into Barbary and Spain; perhaps, also, into Sicily.

Leon of Ostia tells us that in 1002 a prince of Salerna presented citrine apples (poma citrina) to the Norman princes who had rescued him from the Saracens.f

The expression, poma citrina, used by this author, appears to me to designate fruit like the citron rather than the citron itself, then known under the name of citri, or of mala medica. It is thus that we should recognize the orange in the citron rond spoken of by Massoudi in a passage already quoted.

This conjecture accorded with known events and data. The Arabs invaded Sicily about the beginning of the ninth century (828); the orange was taken from India to Arabia after the year 300 of the Hegira—that is to say, early in the ninth century of our era; the citrine apples of Leon d'Ostia date from 1,002, and were regarded , as objects rare and precious enough to be offered

*The original of this history is in the Imperial librnry. M. Langles, a learned orientalist, is preparing a new translation to be printed at the Imperial press.

t Leo Ostiensis. bk. 3. c. 38. A. D. 1CKH.

as gifts to princes. Thus we have between its introduction into Arabia and propagation in Sicily an interval of nearly a century. In order to conform to the expression of Massoudi, let us. suppose that the orange tree was brought from Arabia some thirty or forty years later—say about 330 of the Hegira; if we allow fifty years for its propagation in Palestine, Egypt and Barbary, and finally twenty years for its naturalization in Sicily, we fill precisely the interval between one epocji and the other.

A passage in the History of Sicily, by Nicolas Specialis, written in the fourteenth century, gives still more probability to this opinion.

This writer, in recounting the devastation by the army of the Duke of Calabria in 1383, in the vicinity of Palermo, says that it did not spare even the trees of sour apples (pommes acidet,) called by the people arangi, which had adorned since old times the royal palace of Oubba. (Nicolas Specialis, bk 7, c. 17.)

The name Uubba, given to this royal pleasurehouse, seems to refer to the time of the Arab rule; it is probably derived from the Arabic word cobbah, meaning vault or arch. Perhaps some grand dome upon this country-house gave the place its name.

These data, however, do not appear to me sufficiently strong to combat the anthority of a very reliable historian, who says expressly that the lemon and the orange trees were not known in Italy or France, or in other parts of Christian Europe, in the eleventh century.

Such are the words of Jacques de Vitry, In speaking of Syrian trees, in his History of Jerusalem. The testimony of this bishop, who ought to have known these countries, would appear to have more weight than simple conjectures based upon reasonings from analogy.

Whatever be the autl»ority of this historian, compared with the presumptions advanced by us with regard to Sicily, it will always be decisive respecting Lake Garda and the coasts of Liguria and Provence.

There is not a doubt that in these last named countries the lemon and orange were unknown, not only in the tenth but even in the eleventh century.

But an extraordinary event, destined to change the face of Europe, was to open anew to the people of the West the entrance to Syria and Palestine.

This was also the time when the Crusa'des, which began at the close of the eleventh century (1,096, Tr.), reawakened among Europeans the spirit of commerce and a taste for arts and luxury.

the Crusaders entered Asia Minor as conquerors, and thence spread themselves as traders into all parts of Asia. They were not mere soldiers, but bravo men drawn from their families by religious enthusiasm, and who, in consequence, would hold fast to their country and their homes.

They could not see without coveting these charming trees which embellished the vicinity of Jerusalem, with whose exquisite fruits Nature has favored the climates of Asia.

It was, indeed, at this time that Europe enriched its orchards by many of these trees, and that the French princes carried into their country the damson, the St. Catharine (a pear, l'r.), the aprico\, from Alexandria, and other species indigenous to those regions.

Sicilians, Genoese, and Provincials transported to Salcrnto, St. Remo, and Ilyeres the lemon and orange trees. Hear what a historian of the thirteenth century says to us on this subject; he j had been in Palestine with the Crusaders, and his word should have great weight.

Jacques de Vitry expressed himself thus: " Besides many trees cultivated i* Italy, Genoa, France, and other pirts of Europe, we fmd here (in Palestine) species peculiar to the conntry.and of which some are sterile and others bear fruit. Here are trees bearing very beautiful apples— the color of the citron—upon which is distinctly seen the mark of a man's tooth. This has given them the common name of pomme d'Adam (Adam's apple); others produce sour fruit, of a 1 disagreeable taste (pontici), which are called I limorut. Their juice is used for seasoning food, because it is cool, pricks the palate, and provokes appetite.

"We also see cedars of Lebanon, very fine and tall, but sterile. There is a species of cedar called cedre maritime, whose plant is small but productive, giving very fine fruits—as large as a man's head. Some call them citrons or pommes citrines. These fruits are formed of a triple substance, and have three differing tastes. The first is warm, the second is temperate, the last is cold.

"Some say that this is the fruit of which God commanded, in Leviticus: 'Take you the first day j of the year the fruit of the finest tree?

"We see in this country another species of cit-! rine apples, horue by small trees, and of which the cool part is less, and of a disagreeable and acid taste; these the natives call orenges."

Behold, then, the Adam's apple, the lemoo,, the citron, and the bigarade found in Palestine by the Crusaders, and regarded as new trees foreign to Europe.

This passage docs not accord, as far as thu citron is concerned, with what Palladius says. He tells us that this plant was, in his time, cultivated in Sardinia and in Siiily. But we see, by Jacques de Vitry, that the citron of Palestine was distinguished by the extraordinary size of its fruit, equal to a man's head, and it must be that this last was a variety unknown to Europe.

It is, indeed, only since this epoch that we find in European historians and writers upon agriculture any mention of these trees.

Doubtless the Arabians had already naturalized them in Africa and Spain, where the'temperature favored so much their growth.

Doubtless Liguria is the part of Italy where the culture of the Agrumi has made most progress. We have certain testimony to this in the work of a doctor of medicine of Mantua, writing near the middle of the thirteenth century. He says:

"The lemon is one of the species of citrine apples, which are four in number. First, citron; secondly, orange (eitrangulum), of which wc have spoken betore; thirdly, the lemon; fourthly, the fruit vulgarly called lima. These four species are very well known, principally in Liguria. The lemon is a handsome fruit, of fine odor; its form is more oblong than that of the orange, and, like the orange, it is full of a sharp, acid juice,

very proper for seasoning meats. They make of , its Mowers odoriferous waters, fit for the use of 11 m luxurious."

"The trees of these four species are very similar, and all are thorned. The leaves of the cit . ron and lime are larger and less deeply colored than those of the orange or lemon. The lemon is composed of lour different substances, as well as the citron, lime, and orange. It has an outer skin, not as deep in color as that of the orange, but which has more of (he white; it is hot and biting, thus it shows its bitter taste. The second skin, or pith, between the outer skiu and the juice, is white, cold, and difficult to digest. The third substance is its juice, which is sharp, and of a strong aeid, which will expel worms, and is very cold. The fourth is the seed, which, like that of the orange, is warm, dry, and hitter." (See Mat. Silv., Pandectm Medicine, fol. 125.)

This testimony of Silvaticus is strengthened by all Ihe authors w ho have written upon the citrus; there is not one but is convinced that these trees were for a long time very rare in Italy and in France, and that Liguria alone has traded in them since the}- were first known there.

Sicily and the kingdom of Naples cultivated, perhaps before the Ligurians, the citron ami orange trees, but in spite of the advantage ol climate, it was only as objects of curiosity, limited to some delightful spots.

This fact is established by the manner in which most writers of the twelfth century express themselves on this subject. Hugo Falcandus, who wrote of the exploits of the Normans in Sicily, from 114.3 to 1109, saw there lutnies and orangers, and points them out as singular plants, whose culture was still very rare. (Hugo Falcandus. See Muratori, Iierum Italicarum Scriplores.)

EbnAl-Awam, an Arabian writer upon agri culture at Seville, near the end of the twelfth century, and whose work, translated into Spanish, was published at Madrid in 1802, speaks as if the culture were very ranch exteuded in Spain.

Abd-AUatif, w ho was cotemporary with the last named author, expresses, himself in like manner, and describes also a number of varieties cultivated in his time in Egypt; a circumstance showing that these trees had greatly multiplied.

Their progress was slower in Italy and France. It appears that the lemon tree, brought first into these parts as a variety of citron, was for a long time designated by European writers under the generic name of citrus, although in Italy and the south of France the people had known it from the beginning under the proper name of limon; a name which has come down to us without submitting to auy change.

In fact, we find it in botanical works called citrus limon, or mala limonia, and sometimes citrus medica. The last was indefinitely used to designate lemon, citron, and orange, and very often the genus citrus*

* It is not until the middle of the sixteenth century thai wc begin to find in Latin authors the differing spectes of ciints under different names; but one sees that this nomenclature was not well settled in the language of the learned.

Judoco Hondio, in his Xara Italia Hodierna Desaiptio, printed in I62C, says the plain of St. Kemo was covered with citreie, medicis, and limonibut. He begins to give the lemon its own name, and to distln<niish it (rom citron:

« AnteriorContinuar »