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LEMON

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 413 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LEMON, the fruit of Citrus Limonum, which is regarded by some botanists as a variety of Citrus medica. The wild stock of the lemon tree is said to be a native of the valleys of Kumaon and Sikkim in the North-West provinces of India, ascending to a height of 4000 ft., and occurring under several forms. Sir George Watt (Dictionary of Economic Products of India, ii. 352) regards the wild plants as wild forms of the lime or citron and considers it highly probable that the wild form of the lemon has not yet been discovered. The lemon seems to have been unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and to have been introduced by the Arabs Athens, and Lemnos continued an Athenian possession till the Macedonian empire absorbed it. On the vicissitudes of its history in the 3rd century B.C. see Kohler in Mittheil. Inst. Athen. 261 The Romans declared it free in 197 B.C., but gave it over in 166 to Athens, which retained nominal possession; of it till the whole of Greece was made a Roman province. A colony of Attic cleruchs was established by Pericles, and many inscriptions on the island relate to Athenians After the division of the empire, Lemnos passed under the Byzantine emperors; it shared in the vicissitudes of the eastern provinces, being alternately in the power of Greeks, Italians and Turks, till finally the Turkish sultans became supreme in the Aegean. In 1476 the Venetians successfully defended Kotschinos against a Turkish siege; but in 1657 Kastro was captured by the Turks from the Venetians after a siege of sixty-three days. Kastro was again besieged by the Russians in 1770. Homer speaks as if there were one town in the island called Lemnos, but in historical times there was no such place. There were two towns, Myrina, now Kastro, and Hephaestia. The latter was the chief town; its coins are found in considerable number, the types being sometimes the Athenian goddess and her owl, sometimes native religious symbols, the caps of the Dioscuri, Apollo, &c. Few coins of Myrina are known. They belong to the period of Attic occupation, and bear Athenian types. A few coins are also known which bear the name, not of either city, but of the whole island. Conze was the first to discover the site of Hephaestia, at a deserted place named Palaeokastro on the east coast. It had once a splendid harbour, which is now filled up. Its situation on the east explains why Miltiades attacked it first when he came from the Chersonese. It surrendered at once, whereas Myrina, with its very strong citadel built on a perpendicular rock, sustained a siege. It is said that the shadow of Mount Athos fell at sunset on a bronze cow in the agora of Myrina. Pliny says that Athos was 87 M. to the north-west; but the real distance is about 40 English miles. One legend localized in Lemnos still requires notice. Philoctetes was left there by the Greeks on their way to Troy; and there he suffered ten years' agony from his wounded foot, until 'Ulysses and Neoptolemus induced him to accompany them to Troy. He is said by Sophocles to have lived beside Mount Hermaeus, which Aeschylus (Agam. 262) makes one of the beacon points to flash the news of Troy's downfall home to Argos. See Rhode, Res Lemnicae; Conze, Reise auf den Inseln des Thrakischen Meeres (from which the above-mentioned facts about the present state of the island are taken); also Hunt in Walpole's Travels; Belon du Mans, Observations de plusieurs singularitez, &c.; Finlay, Greece under the Romans; von Hammer, Gesch. des i )sman. Reiches; Gott. Gel. Anz. (1837). The chief references in ancient writers are Iliad i. 593, v. 138, xiv. 229, &c.; Herod. Ia. 145; Str. pp. 124, 330; Plin. iv. 23, xxxvi. 13.
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