The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Gardening in the Ancient World

Egyptian Fruit Gardens

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11. Egypt seems to have abounded in fruits. Strabo represents the country, in his time, as a delicious garden, through which a traveller might proceed from one end to the other, under the shade of all kinds of fruit trees. Egypt possessed vines: in speaking of the festival at Bubastis. Herodotus remarks, that more wine was consumed at it than in the whole year besides. The word used expresses �of the vine,� as if decisively to mark its not being the zea, or extract from grain. In the book of Numbers, the Israelites murmur that the place they are brought to has not the advantages of nature they left behind them in Egypt; among which figs, vines, and pomegranates are expressly enumerated. In the Psalms, we read, that God �destroyed their vines with hailstones;� and another incontrovertible testimony of the culture of the vine in Egypt, exists in the sculpture of the grottoes of Silsilis. (Notes to Rameses, vol. iii. p. 309.)