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Lemons in ancient Rome

Reportedly discovered in the Orient and brought to Breece by Alexander the Great, the lemon was called malum medicum (the fruit or apple of the Medes) by the Romans.(1) Wall-paintings in the House of the Fruit Orchard in Pompeii show trees laden with lemons, along with cherries, yellow and purple plums, pears, pomegranates, grapes and strawberries, interspersed with a wide variety of flowers and birds.(2) A cold-sensitive tropical plant, it was carefully acclimatized, through hothouse cultivation then in the open air.(3)

Related Links

footnotes & bibliography

(1) Giacosa, Ilaria Gozzini; A Taste of Ancient Rome; University of Chicago; 1992; p12

(2) Johnson, Stephen; Rome and its Empire; Routledge; 1989; p140

(3) Giacosa; p12