2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

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2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:29 am

● Were raisins dried in bunches or individually? (σταφιδόω LSJ / σταφίς in the LXX rather than LSJ sense)
● Were "cakes of dried fruit" (παλάθη - figs, ie דְּבֵלִ֑ים in the LXX and prunes in Herodotus) caked together when they were fresh or after they were dry?
Longus 3.20.3 wrote:Κἀκ τῆς πήρας προκομίσασα παλάθης μοῖραν καὶ ἄρτους τινὰς ἔδωκε φαγεῖν:
Herodotus 4.23.3 wrote:καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς παχύτητος αὐτοῦ τῆς τρυγὸς παλάθας συντιθεῖσι καὶ ταύτας σιτέονται.
1 Kings 25:18 wrote:καὶ γομὸρ ἓν σταφίδος καὶ διακοσίας παλάθας
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:35 pm

Apart from an ancient text describing the actual processes involved, I doubt that anyone knows the answer to this.
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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Apart from an ancient text describing the actual processes involved, I doubt that anyone knows the answer to this.
Frescoes, mosaics, physical remains in very dry dig sites, and modern practices in non-packaging cultures are all possible sources that might contribute to an understanding of the first question. I don't know what the morphological element -υλη contributes to our understanding here, and the singularin the LXX text quotes leaves me a little surprised.

The issues raised in the second could be approached through archeological evidence for an answer, but the constitution (the mode of constituting) the cakes would not be so easily depicted in art. Conservation practices in pre-mechanised societies could also suggest how humans have worked with food stuffs considering their natural properties. If what holds for the μέρος-μέλος pair also holds for the related word μοῖρα, then Longus' use of μοῖρα may suggest a a lack of distinction of parts. If it is not related, then the "lot" sense, might mean little more than "the part which was for him", without describing its internal quality. Not using κομμάτιον may suggest that the παλάθη was not so dense that it needed to be cut, or it may not.

The third question that I didn't ask, viz. "What other fruits could be make into a παλάθη?" both could be asked, and perhaps doesn't need to be asked. Herodotus taken together with the LXX shows that the παλάθη is not limited to just one fruit. In some ways that is enough to give definition to the LSJ entry. If I hadn't looked up the references in LSJ, and asked this 3rd question, then the statements you make about doubt could equally be applied to it too.

As an aside, to comment on the cultural assuptions of (reasonable) doubt, it seems that it is your expectation that if you can create sufficient doubt then that carries some culturally endorsed credibility as a proof that something is wong or not credible. I've seen a similar phenomenon in other presentations of ideas too, when someone says something like, "and that might be all we ever know" at the end of a point they make. Effectively, they give themselves the last word without there being any reason for that being the case. I find the practice slightly amusing: slightly annoying. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by jeidsath » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 am

You can check Youtube to find how raisins are dried. Also, the first reference σταφιδόω in the LSJ describes a way.
σταφίς in the LXX rather than LSJ sense
The first definition in the LSJ for σταφίς is ἀσταφίς, or "raisins", so I'm not sure what you mean by that.
caked together when they were fresh or after they were dry?
Dry, with some sort of flour to serve as the body, as are fruit cakes today. There are some recipes in the Deipnosophists. Unless you wanted to eat your fruit crop all at once, back in ye olden days, you needed a way to preserve it. Fermenting was one way. Another was drying. The vast majority of fruit throughout the year would have been consumed this way. A fresh fruit cake would probably not have been portable enough to go in a πήρα for later consumption. And σιτέονται in Hdt. certainly makes it sound like they are consuming it as a staple.
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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:08 am

Is Columella's De Re Rustica books 5 and later available online (in translation)? I specifically want the part dealing with the drying of grapes.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:51 am

jeidsath wrote:You can check Youtube to find how raisins are dried.
Australia - in desert like conditions on the vine supported but cut off from the sap, then on trays. California - sun-dried in desert like conditions laid out on the ground. Turpan - in desert like conditions hanging in brick airing buildings. All three of those regions require irrigation
ἑκηβόλος wrote:
1 Kings 25:18 wrote:καὶ γομὸρ ἓν σταφίδος καὶ διακοσίας παλάθας
the singularin the LXX text quotes leaves me a little surprised.
It is apparent from the videos about the drying process that shaking the dried bunches of raisins results in some of them falling off. Raisins couldn't have been transported without some sirt if packaging. The singular seems to be a collective noun for the (little) raisins rather than a plural for relatively big things like for the παλάθας.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:59 am

jeidsath wrote:
caked together when they were fresh or after they were dry?
Dry, with some sort of flour to serve as the body, as are fruit cakes today. There are some recipes in the Deipnosophists. ... The vast majority of fruit throughout the year would have been consumed this way.
Longus 3.20.3 wrote:Κἀκ τῆς πήρας προκομίσασα παλάθης μοῖραν καὶ ἄρτους τινὰς ἔδωκε φαγεῖν:
Longus description of Daphnis and Chloe eating the παλάθη with bread suggests that most of the παλάθη was fruit, unlike the fruit bread that we can readily buy in the supermarket.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:33 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote: As an aside, to comment on the cultural assuptions of (reasonable) doubt, it seems that it is your expectation that if you can create sufficient doubt then that carries some culturally endorsed credibility as a proof that something is wong or not credible. I've seen a similar phenomenon in other presentations of ideas too, when someone says something like, "and that might be all we ever know" at the end of a point they make. Effectively, they give themselves the last word without there being any reason for that being the case. I find the practice slightly amusing: slightly annoying. :lol: :lol: :lol:
You read far more into my simple statement than was ever intended. I was simply saying that without a description of the process, it is doubtful that anyone can answer your question. Archeology has it's limitations, but I noted the Joel provided some textual evidence as well.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by jeidsath » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:43 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:The singular seems to be a collective noun for the (little) raisins
Well yes, that's what the LSJ says if look up ἀσταφίς as it points you to. A γομὸρ is one donkey-load.

"παλάθης μοῖραν καὶ ἄρτους τινὰς" could mean they are dissimilar or it could mean that they are similar. ἄρτος is cake just as much as it is bread. It doesn't look like much to go on, and I've given some other sources that you'll want to look at.
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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:38 pm

jeidsath wrote:A γομὸρ is one donkey-load.
As far as the history of the pronunciation of gamma is concerned, transliterating the ח of חֲמוֹר as gamma suggests gamma was a velar fricative by that time.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:58 pm

jeidsath wrote:
σταφίς in the LXX rather than LSJ sense
The first definition in the LSJ for σταφίς is ἀσταφίς, or "raisins", so I'm not sure what you mean by that.
Nor do I now. For some reason it made sense at the time of writing.
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No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:00 pm

jeidsath wrote:I've given some other sources that you'll want to look at.
Are you alluding to the ones from the Deipnosophists (Ath. 8.60 and Ath. 11.102)? The significance of those two passages to the production of παλάθη doesn't strike me. The description at 8.60 lists the παλάθη with other staples, which is in itself interesting, but is it relevent to production? The description at 11.102 sounds more like what one would do with a concentrate to boil up and get a drink (cf. قمر الدين, which is made from dried apricot paste), except without the boiling. The passage in Herodotus also suggests the use of παλάθη for creating a beverage.

Where is a reference that makes clear that this παλάθη is a (flour) cake made from dried fruit, rather than dried caked together fruit (pulp)? [cf. a search for "apricot fruit bars" or "fruit leather"]
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by jeidsath » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:02 pm

I didn't cite either of those. I was thinking of Book XIV, which includes a number of recipes for various dried fruit snacks, including some made from (almond) flour and dried fruit.

Anyway, if you're interested, Hesychius makes παλαθίς simply a synonym for ἄρτος or μαγίς. Photius describes a specific type more similar to what you're thinking of: Παλάσια: τὰ συγκεκομμένα σῦκα· παλάθην λέγουσι καὶ παλαθίδα· εἰσὶ δὲ ἐξ ἰσχάδων ἢ σύκων κεκομμένοι βῶλοι πλινθοειδεῖς.

I would be extremely surprised if this collection of words described a single recipe across the entire span of their usage.
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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:02 am

jeidsath wrote:Photius describes a specific type more similar to what you're thinking of: Παλάσια: τὰ συγκεκομμένα σῦκα· παλάθην λέγουσι καὶ παλαθίδα· εἰσὶ δὲ ἐξ ἰσχάδων ἢ σύκων κεκομμένοι βῶλοι πλινθοειδεῖς.
LSJ wrote:παλάσιον , τό, = παλάθιον, Ar.Pax574 codd. (lyr.; “παλάθιον” Suid.).
Aristoph. Peace 571-581 wrote:Τρυγαῖος

ἀλλ᾽ ἀναμνησθέντες ὦνδρες
τῆς διαίτης τῆς παλαιᾶς,
ἣν παρεῖχ᾽ αὕτη ποθ᾽ ἡμῖν,
τῶν τε παλασίων ἐκείνων
τῶν τε σύκων τῶν τε μύρτων, 575
τῆς τρυγός τε τῆς γλυκείας
τῆς ἰωνιᾶς τε τῆς πρὸς
τῷ φρέατι τῶν τ᾽ ἐλαῶν
ὧν ποθοῦμεν,
ἀντὶ τούτων τήνδε νυνὶ 580
τὴν θεὸν προσείπατε.
For which F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart's (1907) translation renders it metyonymically as "dried figs".
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by jeidsath » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:57 pm

παλάσιον , τό, = παλάθιον, Ar.Pax574 codd. (lyr.; “παλάθιον” Suid.).
Which means that you'll want to see the entry for παλάθιον.
πᾰλάθ-ιον, τό, Dim. of foreg., Polem.Hist.88; cf. παλάσιον.
The abbreviation "foreg." means see the previous entry, which is παλάθη.
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Re: 2 questions about dried fruits - παλάθη and σταφίς.

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:31 pm

jeidsath wrote:Which means that you'll want to see the entry for παλάθιον.
Is that the colloqial English idiom where you means I? I had assumed that, at your level of competency, you would have been able to infer that.

A more interesting line of inquiry might be whether πλάσιον or παλάσιον fits the meter in Aristophanes.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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