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Red Mulberry or Silkworm tree, from Mattioli's Commentaires, Lyons, 1579. The Mulberry was highly esteemed in ancient times. The Romans ate Mulberries at their feasts, a fact known from 'Satires of Horace.' Mulberries are also mentioned in Ovid, who in the Metamorphoses refers to the legend of Pyramus and Thisbe, who were slain beneath its shade, the fruit being fabled to have thereby changed from white to deep red through absorbing their blood. By Virgil, the tree is termed sanguinea morus. Pliny speaks of its employment in medicine and also describes its use in Egypt and Cyprus. It was included among a large number of plants ordered by Charlemagne to be cultivated on the imperial farm.
March 7th, 2013
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