Μηνὶ Ἀπριλίῳ

Τῷ μηνὶ τούτῳ ἁρμόζει ἀπέχεσθαι ῥεφάνους, ἡδύοσμον, κάππαρι, πέπερι, ὤκιμον, θρύμβην καὶ πάντα τὰ δριμέα. ἐν κρέοις ἁρμόζει ἐσθίειν τρυφερὰ καὶ εὔσαρκα, ἄρνας νεμομένας, μὴ γαλακτεροὺς καὶ γαλακτοτρόφους αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐρίφους γαλακτερούς· καὶ ὅσα διὰ προβέων, κριῶν νέων καὶ εὐνούχων ψαχνὰ δίεφθα. ἐκ δὲ τούτων λαμβάνειν καὶ ζωμοὺς μετρίως καρυκευτοὺς διὰ στάχους, κολιάνδρου χλωροῦ καὶ ὀλίγου πεπέρεως καὶ φυλλοσπέρματος κνήκου διὰ τὸ ἔκλυτον ποιεῖν τὴν κοιλίαν. τῶν δὲ τῶν ὑῶν κρεῶν ἀπέχεσθαι δεῖ. ἐκ δὲ τῶν ὀρνέων ἐσθίειν ὄρνιθας καὶ ὀρνιθόπουλα τὰ ἄρρενα καὶ περιστερόπουλα λευκὰ καὶ νήσσας καὶ χῆνας τρυφερὰς καὶ ψαχνὰ δίεφθα· ἐκ τούτων λαμβάνειν καὶ ζωμοὺς μετρίως καὶ γλύκιστα χλία καὶ ὀπτά. γλυκοφαγεῖν καὶ γλυκοποτεῖν. ἐκ δὲ τῶν ἰχθύων λάβρακας, συάκια, χρυσόφια, φάγρους ἐν ζωμῷ ὀλίγῳ καρυκευτῷ· λαπίνας δὲ καὶ χάνους καὶ κόκκυγας καὶ σαύρους καὶ μελανούρους καὶ ἁπλῶς εἰπεῖν ὅσα μαλακόσαρκα καὶ ἔχοντα λέπια ἐσθίειν τηγάνου, ὀλίγα δὲ καρυκεύειν, καὶ μὴ ἀπλήστως. ἐκ δὲ τῶν ὀσπρίων παντοίων ἀπέχεσθαι τῶν ξηρῶν. τὰ δὲ χλωρὰ ἐσθίειν μετὰ τῶν προλεχθέντων κρεῶν. ἐκ δὲ τῶν λαχάνων ἐσθίειν τὸ χρυσολάχανον, τὸ ἄνηθον καὶ τὸ κολίανδρον χλωρὰ καὶ μαρούλι μετρίως ὀξυγαρίζειν ἐν ὄξει σκιλλιτικῷ. ἐσθίειν δὲ καὶ σκόροδα ἑφθὰ σὺν ἐλαίῳ καὶ ἅλατι, καὶ τὸ πράσον ὀλίγον. παντοίων δὲ ξηρῶν ἀπέχεσθαι χρεὼν τῶν ὀπωρῶν. οἴνους δὲ τοὺς εὐωδεστάτους καὶ ἀνισάτους καὶ λευκοὺς χρᾶσθαι. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ μύρα ὀσφραίνεσθαι ἴα, ῥόδα, κρίνα, χαμαίμηλα καὶ πάντα ἄνθη τὰ εὔοσμα καὶ τῶν ξηρῶν μύρων τὸν μόσχον καὶ ῥοδόσταγμαν. καὶ μετρίως ἀφροδισιάζειν. λουτρὰ δὲ η’ δι’ ὅλου τοῦ μηνός· σμήχεσθαι δὲ διὰ σάπωνος γαλλικοῦ. ψίλωθρον δὲ χρίεσθαι ἅπαξ τοῦ μηνὸς ἄνευ τῆς ἀλόης, μόσχον δὲ ἐκεῖνον ἔχον, κρόκους ᾠῶν τριῶν καὶ ῥόδινον ἔλαιον.
(Hierophilus, Pōs opheilei diaitasthai anthrōpos eph’ hekastōi mēni, Mēni Apriliōi)


This month one should avoid radishes, mint, capers, pepper, basil, savory and all bitter flavours. Among meats choose those that are rich and well-fleshed: lambs that are grass-fed, not suckling, but that have been suckled by their mothers, and they may be young males or castrated; suckling kids: lean meat well boiled. With this take gravy moderately spiced with spikenard, green coriander and a little pepper, and the fruit of safflower because it relaxes the bowels. Avoid pork. Among birds, eat hens, male chickens, white pigeons, ducks and geese; lean meat well boiled. With this take gravy moderately [spiced]. Serve sweetened, while still hot. Sweet food and sweet drinks are the rule. Among fish, bass, syakia, daurade, pagre in a little well-spiced sauce; wrasse, perch, gurnard, scad, oblade, and to speak simply all tender-fleshed scaly fish are to be eaten fried, with a little spiced sauce, no excessive quantity. Avoid all dried pulses, but fresh pulses may be eaten with the meats listed above. Among vegetables eat orach, dill and coriander, all green, and lettuce, which requires moderate dressing in squill vinegar*. Also eat boiled garlic cloves with olive oil and salt, and a little leek. Avoid all dried fruits. Drink highly aromatic, anise-flavoured, and white wines. Inhale the scents of violets, roses, lilies, wild chamomile and all aromatic flowers, and among ‘dry’ scents those of musk and attar of roses. Moderate love-making. Eight baths in the course of the month; soap with Gallic soap. Apply a skin lotion once in the month, with no aloes; it should contain musk, three egg yolks and rose oil.

* Squill root (Urginea maritima), now often said to be poisonous, was once important in Byzantine cuisine and medicine.

(tr. Andrew Dalby, with his note)