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Finally, the notes on the Rhamnusian Nemesis in Suidas and Photius indicate that the apple was universally known as an attribute of Aphrodite. Suidas, under the caption 'Paμvovoía Népeσis, says: αὖτη πρῶτον ἀφίδρυτο ἐν ̓Αφροδίτης σχήματι· διὸ καὶ κλάδον εἶχε μnéas, and the same words are found in the note of Photius.
Two other myths should be mentioned here, after which I shall consider the apple as used in historic times. These are the story of the apples which Mother Earth caused to grow, as a wedding gift to Hera,1 and the story about Persephone, which relates that she was compelled to remain with Pluto in the lower world, because she had eaten of a pomegranate there, and had thereby sealed irrevocably the marriage compact. With these myths should be compared the following statement in Plutarch: ὁ Σόλων ἐκέλευε τὴν νύμφην τῷ νυμφίῳ συγκατακλίνεσθαι μήλου Κυδωνίου κατατραγοῦσαν· αἰνιττόμενος, ὡς ἔοικεν, ὅτι δεῖ τὴν ἀπὸ στόματος καὶ φωνῆς χάριν εὐάρμοστον εἶναι πρῶτον Kai deîav. Coniug. Praecept. 1, p. 138 D; cf. Quaest. Rom. 65, p. 279 F. This passage proves the use of the apple in marriage rites. to have been a very ancient one, and I agree with Dilthey (p. 115) that the myths arose from the actual custom, not the custom from the myths. It is likely, too, that there was some basis in real life for the throwing of apples at the bridegroom which Stesichorus speaks of in his Epithalamium of Helen:
πολλὰ μὲν Κυδώνια μᾶλα ποτερρίπτουν ποτὶ δίφρον ἄνακτι,
καὶ ῥοδίνους στεφάνους ἴων τε κορωνίδας οὔλας
frag. 27, Bgk. and for their use by Laodamia in a religious ceremony performed in honor of her dead husband.3
We have seen above, that, with the Greeks of our own day, the apple is used in courtship. In Furtwängler's Catalogue of Vases in Berlin is described a painting which the editor thinks may represent such a scene. The young man, however, is presenting the lovetoken not to the maiden herself, but to her father, and Furtwängler's
1 Eratosthenes, Catast. iii.; Hyg. Astron. ii.; Athen. iii. p. 83 C (quoting Asclepiades of Myrlea); Serv. ad Aen. iv. 484.
2 Apollod. i. 5, 3.
8 Hyg. Fab. 104.
4 No. 2518.
interpretation is not convincing. In literature, the notices of this custom are numerous. In the lexicon of Suidas the words μήλῳ βληθῆναι are thus explained: ἐπὶ τῶν εἰς ἔρωτά τινα ἐπαγομένων. (Hesychius interprets μήλῳ βαλεῖν similarly. His words are: πτοῆσαί τινα καὶ εἰς ἔρωτα ὑπαγαγέσθαι.) Here, then, we have the expression ‘to be hit with an apple' used as a metaphor. The practice itself must, of course, have been common, and of long standing, before the words descriptive of it could have become a stereotyped phrase, synonymous with ‘love-making.” And yet, strangely enough, this figurative use of the words does not make its first appearance in late writers, but was taken, by Suidas, from one of our earliest sources on the custom, Aristophanes, whom the lexicographer quotes, in the passage just cited, as furnishing an illustration of his definition. The words of Aristophanes occur in the Clouds, in the speech of the Just Argument, who is made to say to the Athenian youth:
μήδ ̓ εἰς ὀρχηστρίδος εἰσάττειν, ἵνα μὴ πρὸς ταῦτα κεχηνὼς
Nub. 996 f.1
We labor under the disadvantage, then, of having to investigate a custom which, by the time of our earliest source, has already become so stale as to furnish this metaphor.
The following epigram, which appears to have been written to accompany the gift of an apple, is ascribed to the philosopher Plato:
τῷ μήλῳ βάλλω σε, σὺ δ ̓ εἰ μὲν ἑκοῦσα φιλεῖς με
εἰ δ ̓ ἄρ ̓, ὃ μὴ γίγνοιτο, νοεῖς, τοῦτ ̓ αὐτὸ λαβοῦσα
Diog. Laert. iii. 23. The next one, also ascribed to Plato, apparently served the same purpose :
μῆλον ἐγώ· βάλλει με φιλῶν σέ τις. ἀλλ ̓ ἐπίνευσον,
1 Cf. Schol. ad loc.: μήλῳ βληθείς: οὕτως ἔλεγον οἱ παλαιοὶ τὸ πτοῆσαι καὶ εἰς ἔρωτα ἀγαγεῖν.
In the fifth idyl of Theocritus, it is the lady who does the wooing. The goat-herd Comatas is the speaker:
βάλλει καὶ μάλοισι τὸν αἰπόλον ὁ Κλεαρίστα
Theoc. Idyll. v. 88 f.
One can scarcely believe that Theocritus merely meant, here, 'Clearista makes love to her goat-herd,' but so the scholiast took it. His note runs thus: βάλλει καὶ μάλοισιν: ἀντὶ τοῦ πειρᾶταί με εἰς ἔρωτα ὑπαγαγέσθαι. τὸ γὰρ μῆλα βάλλειν ἐπὶ τούτοις ἔτασσον. The initiative is similarly taken by the girl in another idyl:
βάλλει τοι, Πολύφαμε, τὸ ποίμνιον ὁ Γαλάτεια
Vergil was thinking of these two places, when he wrote:
malo me Galatea petit, lasciva puella,
et fugit ad salices, et se cupit ante videri.
1 Theoc. Idyll. ii. 120 :
In the second and third idyls, imitated in the third bucolic, the lover brings a present of apples to his mistress,' and, in the eleventh (ν. 39), Polyphemus calls Galatea γλυκύμαλον.3
Ibid. iii. no f. :
Theoc. Idyll. vi. 6 f.
μᾶλα μὲν ἐν κόλποισι Διωνύσοιο φυλάσσων.
Verg. Ecl. iii. 7o f. :
Verg. Ecl. iii. 64 f.
ἠνίδε τοι δέκα μᾶλα φέρω· τηνῶθε καθεῖλον,
quod potui, puero silvestri ex arbore lecta
Compare, also, Verg. Ecl. ii. 51 f., and Martial, vii. 91.
2 Explained by the scholiast, ad loc., as πρόσφθεγμα ἐρωτικόν. With this place in Theocritus may be compared Sappho, frag. 93 (Bergk):
οἷον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ ̓ ὕσδῳ
ἄκρον ἐπ ̓ ἀκροτάτῳ· λελάθοντο δὲ μαλοδρόπηες,
This passage is explained by one in Himerius (i. 16): Σαπφοῦς ἦν ἄρα μήλῳ μὲν
Theocritus, indeed, used this idea so often that I cannot feel that the editors have any excuse for meddling with the received text in Idyll. xiv. 38. The injured lover is upbraiding his false sweetheart for the favor she has shown his rival. Finally she bursts into tears, and he exclaims, as she rushes from the room:
θάλπε φίλον. Evidently his meaning is tokens for him.'1
In another place we are told of Polyphemus:
τήνῳ τὰ σὰ δάκρυα μᾶλα ῥέοντι.
These tears of thine are flowing as love
ἤρατο δ ̓ οὐ μάλοις, οὐδὲ ῥόδῳ, οὐδὲ κικίννοις,
Theoc. Idyll. xi. 10 f.
In the first book of Propertius is a charming bit of description, where the poet tells how he came into Cynthia's house and found her sleeping:
et modo solvebam nostra de fronte corollas,
Prop. i. 3, 21 ff.
Another Propertian passage describes Cydonian apples as a lovegift: illis munus erant decussa Cydonia ramo.
Prop. iv. 13, 27.
εἰκάσαι τὴν κόρην, τοσοῦτον χαρισαμένην τοῖς πρὸ ὥρας δρέψασθαι σπεύδουσιν, ὅσον [οὐδ ̓] ἄκρῳ τοῦ δακτύλου γεύσασθαι, τῷ [δὲ] καθ ̓ ὥραν τρυγᾶν τὸ μῆλον μέλλοντι τηρῆσαι τὴν χάριν ἀκμάζουσαν.
This place in Sappho is imitated by Longus, Past. iii. 33; 34. Two other places in Longus may be noted here, i. 24; iii. 25.
1 For parallels to the construction of μâλa — which I take to be predicateapposition — cf. Idyll. v. 124: ̔Ιμέρα ἀνθ ̓ ὕδατος ῥείτω γάλα; ibid. 126: ῥείτω χὰ
Zvẞapîris éμiv péλ; Verg. Ecl. iii. 89: mella fluant illi.
This line bears a close resemblance to Lucretius's mention of them, in his account of primitive customs:
vel pretium [sc. amoris], glandes atque arbuta, vel pira lecta.
Both places are probably reminiscences of Theocritus.
A very pretty picture of this lover's custom is found in the poem addressed by Catullus to his friend Ortalus (lxv. 15 ff.):
sed tamen in tantis maeroribus, Ortale, mitto
ne tua dicta vagis nequiquam credita ventis.
ut missum sponsi furtivo munere malum
Philostratus gives a minute description of a picture in which apples are prominent. The parts of chief interest to us are: Μῆλα ἔρωτες ἰδοὺ τρυγῶσιν . . . οἱ γὰρ κάλλιστοι τῶν ἐρώτων ἰδοὺ τέτταρες ὑπεξελθόντες τῶν ἄλλων δύο μὲν αὐτῶν ἀντιπέμπουσι μῆλον ἀλλήλοις, ἡ δὲ ἑτέρα δυὰς ὁ μὲν τοξεύει τὸν ἕτερον, ὁ δὲ ἀντιτοξεύει καὶ οὐδὲ ἀπειλὴ τοῖς προσώποις ἔπεστιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ στέρνα παρέχουσιν ἀλλήλοις, ἵν ̓ ἐκεῖ που τὰ βέλη πελάσῃ. καλὸν τὸ αἴνιγμα· σκόπει γάρ, εἴ τι ξυνίημι τοῦ ζωγράφου· φιλία ταῦτα, ὦ παῖ, καὶ ἀλλήλων ἵμερος, οἱ μὲν γὰρ διὰ τοῦ μήλου παίζοντες πόθου ἄρχονται, ὅθεν ὁ μὲν ἀφίησι φιλήσας τὸ μῆλον, ὁ δὲ ὑπτίαις αὐτὸ ὑποδέχεται ταῖς χερσὶ δῆλον ὡς ἀντιφιλήσων, εἰ λάβοι, καὶ ἀντιπέμψων αὐτό, τὸ δὲ τῶν τοξοτῶν ζεῦγος ἐμπεδοῦσιν ἔρωτα ἤδη φθάνοντα, καὶ φημὶ τοὺς μὲν παίζειν ἐπὶ τῷ ἄρξασθαι τοῦ ἐρᾶν, τοὺς δὲ τοξεύειν ἐπὶ τῷ μὴ λῆξαι τοῦ πόθου. Philost. Imag. i. 6.
There is an entertaining account, in Lucian, of a lovers' quarrel. Ioessa, complaining of the shameful way her lover, Lysias, carries on with other women, in her presence, says: τέλος δὲ τοῦ μήλου ἀποδακών, ὁπότε τὸν Δίφιλον εἶδες ἀσχολούμενον — ἐλάλει γὰρ Θράσωνι — προκύψας πως εὐστόχως προσηκόντισας ἐς τὸν κόλπον αὐτῆς, οὐδὲ λαθεῖν γε πειρώμενος ἐμέ· ἡ δὲ φιλήσασα μεταξὺ τῶν μαστῶν ὑπὸ τῷ ἀποδέσμῳ