(κίτριον, the tree is κιτρία or κιτρέα, but was long without a special name among the Greeks, although they were well acquainted with it; see Smith, Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v. Citrus). In his account of Alexander Jannaeus, Josephus tells us, "His own people were seditious against him; for at a festival which was then celebrated, when he stood upon the altar and was going to sacrifice, the nation rose upon him, and pelted him with citrons, for the law of the Jews required that at the festival of tabernacles every one should have branches of the palm-tree and citron-tree" (Ant. 13, 13, 5). The late Lady Callcott, in her Scripture Herbal, mentions that, as the modern Jews still use citrons at the feast of tabernacles, "in London considerable sums of money are expended in importing them of the best kind for the purpose. They must be without blemish, and the stalk must still adhere to them. After the feast is over, the citrons are openly sold, and the money produced by the sale is placed in the common treasury, as part of the provision I for the poor of the congregation." Their anxiety to obtain them with the stalk still adhering is no doubt a faint effort to secure the "thick" branches and "boughs of goodly trees" required for that festival (Leviticus 33:40). But the chief importance of this fruit is its supposed identity with the תִּפּוּהִ, tappu'ach, or "apple" of the Bible, a conclusion, however, which has been ably disputed. SEE APPLE. The citron, or Citrus medica-so called because it was from Media' that the Romans first received it-belongs to the natural order of Auruntiaceae, a delightful group, including the orange, the lime, the lemon, and the shaddock (see the Penny
Cyclopaedia, s.v. Citrus). With its dark, glossy, laurel-looking leaves, its evergreen branches; often bearing simultaneously ripe fruits and newly- opened flowers, and thus vouchsafing to the pilgrim who rests in its deep shadow the twofold refreshment of a delicious banquet and a fragrant breeze, the citron may well claim pre-eminence "among the trees of the wood" (Song 2:3). Abounding in malic and citric acid, the juice of the orange and its congeners is one of the most agreeable antidotes which the Creator's bounty has provided against the exhausting thirst and incipient fever of sultry climes. A settler in the torrid swamps of the Amazon will devour a dozen oranges before his morning meal (Voyage up the Amazon, in the "Home and Colonial Library"), and in tropical regions such acidulous fruits are invaluable on account of their and-febrile virtues. These were doubtless well known to the Hebrews, and, in common with all antiquity, they greatly prized the pleasant pungent odor emitted by the rind. Macrobius speaks of "citrosa vestis," showing that it was usual to keep citrons in wardrobes for the sake of their perfume; and, like the modern Oriental ladies, whose favorite vinaigrette is a citron, in England two or three centuries ago an orange was so commonly used as a scentbottle that it may often be seen in old pictures of their queens and peeresses. It was also believed to have a disinfecting potency; and during the plague of London, people walked the streets smelling at oranges. Understood as belonging to this beautiful family, there is a peculiar felicity in the comparison, "A word fitly spoken is like citrons of gold in salvers (or baskets) of silver" (Pr 25:11). The famous golden apples which grew in the gardens of the Hesperides were unquestionably either citrons or oranges. SEE BOTANY.