How did the lotus-eater get its name and Where does the term lotus-eater come from?

According to ancient Greek myth, the people dwelling in a certain region in northern Africa derived particular enjoyment from the fruit of a tree which the Greeks called lotus.

The fruit itself was pleasant to the palate, but a wine made from it was especially enjoyable.

Those who partook of it forgot all cares and worries.

Thus, to the Greeks, these people, and also any others who allowed themselves to become similarly lulled into a state of indifference or a sense of luxurious ease, were lotophagi, “lotus-eaters.”

It was said by Homer that the companions of Odysseus lost all desire to return to their native land when, in their wanderings, their vessel reached these shores and they tasted the fruit and wine of this tree.

Botanists have identified the tree with the jujube; today’s lozenge so named is flavored with the juice of its fruit or an imitation thereof.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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