The fig was one among the earliest fruit trees to be cultivated, and its cultivation spread in remote ages over all the districts round the Aegean and throughout the Levant. The Greeks are said to possess received it from Caria (hence the precise name); Attic figs became celebrated within the East, and special laws were made to manage their exportation. The fig was one of the principal articles of sustenance among the Greeks; the Spartans especially used it at their public tables. Pliny the Elder enumerated many sorts and described those of home growth as furnishing an outsized portion of the food of slaves. In Latin myth the fig was held sacred to Bacchus and employed in religious ceremonies; the tree that overshadowed the dual founders of Rome within the wolf’s cave was an emblem of the longer term prosperity of the race.

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