The Plane-tree

September 8, 2010 § 2 Comments


Pliny writes about a famous plane-tree in Lycia which incidentally was situated in close proximity to a fountain “of the most refreshing coolness”. This tree had a cavity in its interior of eighty-one feet in width. The huge branches, in themselves equal to ordinary trees in size, threw long shadows across the fields. Inside the grotto-like interior of this tree, there was a circle of seats of stone, overgrown with moss. A prominent consul and legatus of the province once held a banquet there, with eighteen persons present at the table. Sheltered inside the splendid foliage of the tree, they enjoyed themselves more than they would have, if they had been in a room full of marble with a multitude of paintings.

In the territory of Veleternum, there was another plane-tree, that presented floor after floor like several stories of a house, with the help of benches laid from branch to branch. The Emperor Caligula was so taken by the sight of this tree that he held a banquet inside that tree, naming this dining-room his “nest”. Fifteen guests plus attendants could fit inside the room of this tree.

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§ 2 Responses to The Plane-tree

  • cathay12 says:

    anyone who writes about Pliny & plane-trees has got a mind like a dusty, cluttered attic–more power to you for it! Freedom is the power to ask the question that can’t be asked & read the book that can’t be found…..yours in poetry & wonder! RT

    • Maria says:

      I am very fond of dusty old things, such as cluttered attics and the unexpected finds one might make there… And Pliny is a never ceasing source of inspiration for me, so your comment, from my view-point, is certainly positive feed-back!

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