The platanus, or plane-tree, was a favourite of the ancients, by.whom it was propagated, for the sake of shade, from the East to Gaul. Pliny Hist. Natur. xii. 3, 4, 5. He mentions several of an enormous size; one in the Imperial villa at Velitrae, which Caligula called his nest, as the branches were capable of holding a large table, the proper attendants, and the emperor himself, whom Pliny quaintly styles pars umbrae; an expression which might, with equal reason, be applied to Alaric.