the Punica granatum of Linneus, is by universal consent acknowledged to denote the Heb. rimmô (רמּוֹן, also רַמֹּן, so called, according to Gesenius, from an Arab. root signifying marrow; but according to Furst, from one signifying blood-red; Sept. ῥοά, ῥοιά, ῥοϊvσκος, κώδων; Vulg. malum punicum, matluen granatum, malogranatum), a word which occurs frequently in the O.T., and is used to designate either the pomegranate-tree or its fruit. It is described in the works of the Arabs by the name roman. The pomegranate is a native of Asia; and we may trace it from Syria, through Persia, even to the mountains of Northern India. It is common in Northern Africa. The pomegranate is not likely to have been a native of Egypt; it must, however, have been cultivated there at a very early period, as the Israelites, when in the desert lamented the loss of its fruit in the wilderness of Zin (Nu 20:5)-this "is no place of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates." The tree, with its characteristic calyx-crowned fruit, is easily recognized on the Egyptian sculptures (Wilkinson, Anc. Egyptians, 1, 36, ed. 1854). That it was produced in Palestine during the same early ages is evident from the spies bringing some back when sent into Canaan to see what kind of a land it was; for we are told that they "came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, etc., and they brought of the pomegranates and of the figs" (Nu 13:33; comp. also De 8:8). The villages or towns of Rimmon (Jos 15:32), Gath-rimmon (Jos 21:25), En-rimmon (Ne 11:29), possibly derived their names from pomegranate-trees which grew in their vicinity. These trees suffered occasionally from the devastations of locusts (Joe 1:12; see also Hag 2:19). Mention is made of "an orchard of pomegranates" in Song 4:13; and in 4:3 the cheeks (A.V. "temples") of the Beloved are compared to a section of "pomegranate within the locks," in allusion to the beautiful rosy color of the fruit. Carved figures of the pomegranate adorned the tops of the pillars in Solomon's Temple (1Ki 7:18,20,42; 2Ki 25:17; 2Ch 3; 2Ch 16; 2Ch 4:13); and worked representations of this fruit, in blue, purple, and scarlet, ornamented the hem of the robe of the ephod (Ex 28:33-34; Ex 39:24). This is explained mystically by Philo (Opera, 2, 153, 226), and differently by Meyer (Blotter Johere Wahrheit, 10, 85; see also Bahr,
Symbolik, 2, 123 sq.). The pomegranate seems also to have been used as a holy symbol in heathen religions (see Baihr, Symbol. 2, 122). Among the later Jews the pomegranate was used in some cases as a measure (Mishna, Chelim, 17, 1, 4). Mention is made of "spiced wine of the juice of the pomegranate" in Song 8:2; with this may be compared the pomegranate-wine (ῥοϊvτης οινος) of which Dioscorides (5, 44) speaks, and which is still used in the East. Chardin says that great quantities of it were made in Persia, both for home consumption and for exportation, in his time (Script. Herb. p. 399; Harmer, Obs. 1, 377). Being common in Syria and Persia, it must have early attracted the attention of Eastern nations. In the present day it is highly valued, and travelers describe the pomegranate as being delicious throughout Persia. The late Sir A. Burnes states that the famous pomegranates without seeds are grown in gardens under the snowy hills, near the river Cabul. It is still found in Palestine (Scholz, Reis. p. 140), Arabia (Niebuhr, Beschr. p. 148), Egypt (Pococke, East. 1, 319), East and West Indies, and also in the southern countries of Europe (comp. Ritter, Erdkünde, 11, 549 sq.). The pomegranate was well known to the Greeks, being the ῥοά of Theophrastus and of Dioscorides (1, 151). It was employed as a medicine by Hippocrates, and is mentioned by Homer under the name side, supposed to be of Phoenician origin; Baeot. σίδη (Athen. 14:650), and called by Pliny Punica arbor (13, 38). The Romans gave it the name of Punica because the tree was introduced from Carthage; its English name is derived from the pomum granatum ("grained apple") of the Romans. Various parts of the plant were employed medicinally. as, for instance, the root, or rather its bark, the flowers which are called κύτινος by Dioscorides, and the double flowers βαλαύστιον; also the rind of the pericarp, called malicorium by the Romans, and σίδιον by Dioscorides. Some of the properties which these plants possess make them useful both as drugs and as medicines. In a natural state it is but a bush, eight or ten feet high, with a straight stem and a large number of branches, a red bark, lance-formed leaves of a bright-green color, each on its own stem; and bears flowers which stand separate, star-shaped, and without odor, of a deep-red color, and producing a round fruit, green and partly red on the surface, but yellow within (comp. Song 4:3, and Celsius, 1, 275. The Romans called this fruit malum punicum, the Punic apple, but sometimes also malum granatum, Plin. 13:34; 16:36; Marcell. Med. c. 27). It is of the shape and size of an orange, three or four inches in diameter, divided into longitudinal apartments, in which the grains lie as compactly as corn on the cob, and look much like a pale-red Indian corn. save that they are nearly transparent. They ripen about the middle of October, and remain in good condition all winter (Thomson, Land and Book, 2, 392; but in August, according to Russell, Nat. Hist. of Aleppo, 1, 107). They are uncommonly fleshy, juicy, and sweet to the taste (Pliny, 13:34), and are much enjoyed by the Orientals as a refreshment (Carne, 1. 8). The rind isused in the manufacture of morocco leather, and, together with the bark, is sometimes used medicinally to expel the tape-worm. Russell (Nat. Hist. of Aleppo, 1, 85, 2d ed.) states that "lemons have by no means superseded the pomegranate; the latter is more easily procured through the winter, and is often in cooking' preferred to the lemon. The tree is much cultivated in the gardens and orchards of Palestine and Northern Syria. The fruit is seldom ripe earlier than the end of August, w- hen most families lay in a stock for winter consumption. There are three varieties of the fruit-one sweet. another very acid, and a third, in which both qualities are agreeably blended. The juice of the sour fruit is often used instead of vinegar. The others are cut open when served up to table; or the grains, taken out and besprinkled with sugar or rose water, are brought to table in saucers. 'he grains likewise, fresh as well as dried, make a considerable ingredient in cookery." He adds that the trees are apt to suffer much in severe winters from extraordinary cold. See Celsius, Hielobot. 1, 271 sq.; Oken, Lehrbtuch der Botmaik, II, 2, 917 sq.; Geiger, Pharmaceutische Botanik, 2. 1417 sq.; Plenk, P-'lantt. Med. Tüb. p. 376; Layard, Nineveh, 2, 233.