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CHAP. 1. (1.)—METALS.

WE are now about to speak of metals, of actual wealth,2 the standard of comparative value, objects for which we diligently search, within the earth, in numerous ways. In one place, for instance, we undermine it for the purpose of obtaining riches, to supply the exigencies of life, searching for either gold or silver, electrum3 or copper.4 In another place, to satisfy the requirements of luxury, our researches extend to gems and pigments, with which to adorn our fingers5 and the walls of our houses: while in a third place, we gratify our rash propensities by a search for iron, which, amid wars and carnage, is deemed more acceptable even than gold. We trace out all the veins of the earth, and yet, living upon it, undermined as it is beneath our feet, are astonished that it should occasionally cleave asunder or tremble: as though, forsooth, these signs could be any other than expressions of the indignation felt by our sacred parent! We penetrate into her entrails, and seek for treasures in the abodes even of the Manes,6 as though each spot we tread upon were not sufficiently bounteous and fertile for us!

And yet, amid all this, we are far from making remedies the object of our researches: and how few in thus delving into the earth have in view the promotion of medicinal knowledge! For it is upon her surface, in fact, that she has presented us with these substances, equally with the cereals, bounteous and ever ready, as she is, in supplying us with all things for our benefit! It is what is concealed from our view, what is sunk far beneath her surface, objects, in fact, of no rapid formation,7 that urge us to our ruin, that send us to the very depths of hell. As the mind ranges in vague speculation, let us only consider, proceeding through all ages, as these operations are, when will be the end of thus exhausting the earth, and to what point will avarice finally penetrate! How innocent, how happy, how truly delightful even would life be, if we were to desire nothing but what is to be found upon the face of the earth; in a word, nothing but what is provided ready to our hands!


Gold is dug out of the earth, and, in close proximity to it, chrysocolla,8 a substance which, that it may appear all the more precious, still retains the name9 which it has borrowed from gold.10 It was not enough for us to have discovered one bane for the human race, but we must set a value too upon the very humours of gold.11 While avarice, too, was on the search for silver, it congratulated itself upon the discovery of minium,12 and devised a use to be made of this red earth.

Alas for the prodigal inventions of man! in how many ways have we augmented the value of things!13 In addition to the standard value of these metals, the art of painting lends its aid, and we have rendered gold and silver still more costly by the art of chasing them. Man has learned how to challenge both Nature and art to become the incitements to vice! His very cups he has delighted to engrave with libidinous subjects, and he takes pleasure in drinking from vessels of obscene form!14 But in lapse of time, the metals passed out of fashion, and men began to make no account of them; gold and silver, in fact, became too common. From this same earth we have extracted vessels of murrhine15 and vases of crystal,16 objects the very fragility of which is considered to enhance their value. In fact, it has come to be looked upon as a proof of opulence, and as quite the glory of luxury, to possess that which may be irremediably destroyed in an instant. Nor was even this enough;—we now drink from out of a mass of gems,17 and we set our goblets with smaragdi;18 we take delight in possessing the wealth of India, as the promoter of intoxication, and gold is now nothing more than a mere accessory.19


Would that gold could have been banished for ever from the earth, accursed by universal report,20 as some of the most celebrated writers have expressed themselves, reviled by the reproaches of the best of men, and looked upon as discovered only for the ruin of mankind. How much more happy the age when things themselves were bartered for one another; as was the case in the times of the Trojan war, if we are to believe what Homer says. For, in this way, in my opinion, was commerce then carried on for the supply of the necessaries of life. Some, he tells us, would make their purchases by bartering ox-hides, and others by bartering iron or the spoil which they had taken from the enemy:21 and yet he himself, already an admirer of gold, was so far aware of the relative value of things, that Glaucus, he informs us, exchanged his arms of gold, valued at one hundred oxen, for those of Diomedes, which were worth but nine.22 Proceeding upon the same system of barter, many of the fines imposed by ancient laws, at Rome even, were levied in cattle,23 [and not in money].


The worst crime against mankind was committed by him who was the first to put a ring upon his fingers: and yet we are not informed, by tradition, who it was that first did so. For as to all the stories told about Prometheus, I look upon them as utterly fabulous, although I am aware that the ancients used to represent him with a ring of iron: it was their intention, however, to signify a chain thereby, and not an ornament. As to the ring of Midas,24 which, upon the collet being turned inwards, conferred invisibility upon the wearer, who is there that must not admit, perforce, that this story is even still more fabulous? It was the hand, and a sinister25 hand, too, in every sense, that first brought gold into such high repute: not a Roman hand, however, for upon that it was the practice to wear a ring of iron only, and solely as an indication of warlike prowess.

As to the usage followed by the Roman kings, it is not easy to pronounce an opinion: the statue of Romulus in the Capitol wears no ring, nor does any other statue—not that of L. Brutus even—with the sole exception of those of Numa and Servius Tullius. I am surprised at this absence of the ring, in the case of the Tarquinii more particularly, seeing that they were originally from Greece,26 a country from which the use of gold rings was first introduced; though even at the present day the people of Lacedæmon are in the habit of wearing rings made of iron. Tarquinius Priscus, however, it is well known, was the first who presented his son with the golden bulla,27 on the occasion of his slaying an enemy before he had laid aside the prætexta;28 from which period the custom of wearing the bulla has been continued, a distinction confined to the children of those who have served in the cavalry, those of other persons simply wearing a leather thong.29 Such being the case, I am the more surprised that the statue of this Tarquinius should be without a ring.

And yet, with reference to the very name of the ring, I find that there has been considerable uncertainty. That given to it originally by the Greeks is derived from the finger;30 while our ancestors styled it "ungulus;"31 and in later times both Greeks and Latins have given it the name of "symbolum."32 For a great length of time, it is quite clear, not even the Roman senators wore rings of gold: for rings were given, and at the public expense, to those only who were about to proceed on an embassy to foreign nations, the reason being, I suppose, because men of highest rank among foreign nations were perceived to be thus distinguished. Nor was it the practice for any person to wear these rings, except those who for this reason had received them at the public expense; and in most instances, it was without this distinction that the Roman generals celebrated their public triumphs.33 For whereas an Etruscan crown34 of gold was supported from behind over the head of the victor, he himself, equally with the slave probably, who was so supporting the crown, had nothing but a ring of iron upon his finger.35 It was in this manner that C. Marius celebrated his triumph over Jugurtha; and he never assumed36 the golden ring, it is said, until the period of his third consulship.37 Those, too, who had received golden rings on the occasion of an embassy, only wore them when in public, resuming the ring of iron when in their houses. It is in pursuance of this custom that even at the present day, an iron ring38 is sent by way of present to a woman when betrothed, and that, too, without any stone in it.

For my own part, I do not find that any rings were used in the days of the Trojan War; at all events, Homer nowhere makes mention of them; for although he speaks of the practice of sending tablets39 by way of letter,40 of clothes and gold and silver plate being kept laid up in chests,41 still he gives us to understand that they were kept secure by the aid of a knot tied fast, and not under a seal impressed by a ring. He does not inform us too, that when the chiefs drew lots to ascertain which one of them should reply to the challenge42 of the enemy, they made any use of rings43 for the purpose; and when he enumerates the articles that were manufactured at the forge44 of the gods, he speaks of this as being the origin45 of fibulæ46 and other articles of female ornament, such as earrings for example, but does not make any mention of rings.

47 Whoever it was that first introduced the use of rings, he did so not without hesitation; for he placed this ornament on the left hand, the hand which is generally concealed,48 whereas, if he had been sure of its being an honourable distinction, it would have been made more conspicuous upon the right. And if any one should raise the objection that this would have acted as an impediment to the right hand, I can only say that the usage in more recent times fortifies my opinion, and that the inconvenience of wearing rings on the left hand would have been still greater, seeing that it is with the left hand that the shield is held. We find mention made too, in Homer,49 of men wearing gold plaited with the hair; and hence it is that I am at a loss to say whether the practice first originated with females.


At Rome, for a long period of time, the quantity of gold was but very small. At all events, after the capture of the City by the Gauls, when peace was about to be purchased, not more than one thousand pounds' weight of gold could be collected. I am by no means unaware of the fact that in the third50 consulship of Pompeius there was lost from the throne of Jupiter Capitolinus two thousand pounds' weight of gold, originally placed there by Camillus; a circumstance which has led most persons to suppose, that two thousand pounds' weight was the quantity then collected. But in reality, this excess of one thousand pounds was contributed from the spoil taken from the Gauls, amplified as it was by the gold of which they had stripped the temples, in that part of the City which they had captured.

The story of Torquatus,51 too, is a proof that the Gauls were in the habit of wearing ornaments of gold when engaged in combat;52 from which it would appear that the sum taken from the Gauls themselves, and the amount of which they had pillaged the temples, were only equal to the amount of gold collected for the ransom, and no more; and this is what was really meant by the response given by the augurs, that Jupiter Capitolinus had rendered again the ransom twofold.53 As we were just now speaking on the subject of rings, it may be as well to add, by way of passing remark, that upon the officer54 in charge of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus being arrested, he broke the stone of his ring between his teeth,55 and expired upon the spot, thus putting an end to all possibility of discovering the perpetrator of the theft.

It appears, therefore, that in the year of the City 364, when Rome was captured by the Gauls, there was but two thousand pounds' weight of gold, at the very most; and this, too, at a period when, according to the returns of the census, there were already one hundred and fifty-two thousand five hundred and seventy-three free citizens in it. In this same city, too, three hundred and seven years later, the gold which C. Marius the younger56 conveyed to Præneste from the Temple of the Capitol when in flames, and all the other shrines, amounted to thirteen thousand pounds' weight, such being the sum that figured in the inscriptions at the triumph of Sylla; on which occasion it was displayed in the procession, as well as six thousand pounds' weight of silver. The same Sylla had, the day before, displayed in his triumph fifteen thousand pounds' weight of gold, and one hundred and fifteen thousand pounds' weight of silver, the fruit of all his other victories.


It does not appear that rings were in common use before the time of Cneius Flavius, the son of Annius. This Flavius was the first to publish a table57 of the days for pleading,58 which till then the populace had to ascertain each day from a few great personages.59 The son of a freedman only, and secretary to Appius Cæcus,60 (at whose request, by dint of natural shrewdness and continual observation, he had selected these days and made them public),61 he obtained such high favour with the people, that he was created curule ædile; in conjunction with Quintus Anicius Prænestinus, who a few years before had been an enemy to Rome,62 and to the exclusion of C. Pœtilius and Domitius, whose fathers respectively were of consular rank.63 The additional honour was also conferred on Flavius, of making him tribune of the people at the same time, a thing which occasioned such a degree of indignation, that, as we find stated in the more ancient Annals, "the rings64 were laid aside!"

Most persons, however, are mistaken in the supposition that on this occasion the members of the equestrian order did the same: for it is in consequence of these additional words, "the phaleræ,65 too, were laid aside as well," that the name of the equestrian order was added. These rings, too, as the Annals tell us, were laid aside by the nobility, and not66 by the whole body of the senate. This event took place in the consulship of P. Sempronius and P. Sulpicius.67 Flavius made a vow that he would consecrate a temple to Concord, if he should succeed in reconciling the privileged orders with the plebeians: and as no part of the public funds could be voted for the purpose, he accordingly built a small shrine of brass68 in the Græ- costasis,69 then situate above the Comitium,70 with the fines which had been exacted for usury. Here, too, he had an inscription engraved upon a tablet of brass, to the effect that the shrine was dedicated two hundred and three years after the consecration of the Capitol. Such were the events that happened four hundred and forty-nine years after the foundation of the City, this being the earliest period at which we find any traces of the common use of rings.

A second occasion, however, that of the Second Punic War, shows that rings must have been at that period in very general use; for if such had not been the case, it would have been impossible for Hannibal to send the three71 modii of rings, which we find so much spoken of, to Carthage. It was through a dispute, too, at an auction about the possession of a ring, that the feud first commenced between Cæpio72 and Drusus,73 a dispute which gave rise to the Social War,74 and the public disasters which thence ensued. Not even in those days, however, did all the senators possess gold rings, seeing that, in the memory of our grandsires, many personages who had even filled the prætorship, wore rings of iron to the end of their lives; Calpurnius,75 for example, as Fenestella tells us, and Manilius, who had been legatus to Caius Marius in the Jugurthine War. Many historians also state the same of L. Fufidius, he to whom Scaurus dedicated the history of his life.

In the family of the Quintii,76 it is the usage for no one, not the females even, ever to wear a ring; and even at the present day, the greater part of the nations known to us, peoples who are living under the Roman sway, are not in the habit of wearing rings. Neither in the countries of the East,77 nor in Egypt, is any use made of seals, the people being content with simple writing only.78

In this, as in every other case, luxury has introduced various fashions, either by adding to rings gems of exquisite brilliancy, and so loading the fingers with whole revenues, as we shall have further occasion to mention in our Book on Gems;79 or else by engraving them with various devices: so that it is in one instance the workmanship, in another the material, that constitutes the real value of the ring. Then again, in the case of other gems, luxury has deemed it no less than sacrilege to make a mark80 even upon them, and has caused them to be set whole, that no one may suppose that the ring was ever intended to be employed as a signet. In other instances, luxury has willed that certain stones, on the side even that is concealed by the finger, should not81 be closed in with gold, thus making gold of less account than thousands of tiny pebbles. On the other hand again, many persons will admit of no gems being set in their rings, but impress their seal with the gold82 itself, an invention which dates from the reign of Claudius Cæsar. At the present day, too, the very slaves even, incase their iron rings with gold (while other articles belonging to them, they decorate with pure gold),83 a licence which first originated in the Isle of Samothrace,84 as the name given to the invention clearly shows.

It was the custom at first to wear rings on a single finger85 only, the one, namely, that is next to the little finger; and this we see the case in the statues of Numa and Servius Tullius In later times, it became the practice to put rings on the finger next to the thumb, even in the case of the statues of the gods; and more recently, again, it has been the fashion to wear them upon the little finger86 as well. Among the peoples of Gallia and Britannia, the middle finger, it is said, is used for this purpose. At the present day, however, among us, this is the only finger that is excepted, all the others being loaded with rings, smaller rings even being separately adapted for the smaller joints of the fingers. Some there are who heap several rings upon the little finger alone; while others, again, wear but one ring upon this finger, the ring that sets a seal upon the signetring itself, this last being kept carefully shut up as an object of rarity, too precious to be worn in common use, and only to be taken from the cabinet87 as from a sanctuary. And thus is the wearing of a single ring upon the little finger no more than an ostentatious advertisement that the owner has property of a more precious nature under seal at home!

Some, too, make a parade of the weight of their rings, while to others it is quite a labour88 to wear more than one at a time: some, in their solicitude for the safety of their gems, make the hoop of gold tinsel, and fill it with a lighter material than gold, thinking thereby to diminish the risks of a fall.89 Others, again, are in the habit of inclosing poisons beneath the stones of their rings, and so wear them as instruments of death; Demosthenes, for instance, that greatest of the orators of Greece.90 And then, besides, how many of the crimes that are stimulated by cupidity, are committed through the instrumentality of rings!91 How happy the times, how truly innocent, in which no seal was ever put to anything! At the present day, on the contrary, our very food even and our drink have to be preserved from theft92 through the agency of the ring: a result owing to those legions of slaves, those throngs of foreigners which are introduced into our houses, multitudes so numerous that we require the services of a nomenclator93 even, to tell us the names of our own servants. Very different was it in the times of our forefathers, when each person possessed a single servant only, one of his master's own lineage, called Marcipor or Lucipor,94 from his master's name, as the case might be, and taking all his meals with him in common; when, too, there was no occasion for taking precautions at home by keeping a watch upon the domestics. But at the present day, we not only procure dainties which are sure to be pilfered, but hands to pilfer them as well; and so far is it from being sufficient to have the very keys sealed, that the signet-ring is often taken from off the owner's finger while he is overpowered with sleep or lying on his death-bed.95

Indeed the most important transactions of life are now made to depend upon this instrument, though at what period this first began to be the case, I am at a loss to say. It would appear, however, so far as foreign nations are concerned, that we may admit the importance attached to it, from the days of Polycrates,96 the tyrant of Samos, whose favourite ring, after being thrown in the sea, was recovered from a fish that was caught; and this Polycrates, we know, was put to death97 about the year of our City, 230. The use of the ring must, of necessity, have become greatly extended with the increase of usury; one proof of which is, the usage still prevalent among the lower classes, of whipping off the ring98 the moment a simple contract is made; a practice which takes its date, no doubt, from a period when there was no more expeditious method of giving an earnest on closing a bargain. We may therefore very safely conclude, that though money was first introduced among us, the use of rings was introduced very shortly after. Of money, I shall shortly have occasion to speak further.99


Rings, as soon as they began to be commonly worn, distinguished the second order from the plebeians, in the same manner as the use of the tunic100 distinguished the senate from those who only were the ring. Still, however, this last distinction was introduced at a later period only, and we find it stated by writers that the public heralds101 even were formerly in the habit of wearing the tunic with the purple laticlave; the father of Lucius Ælius Stilo,102 for instance, from whom his son received the cognomen of "Præconinus," in consequence of his father's occupation as a herald. But the use of rings, no doubt, was the distinguishing mark of a third and intermediate order, between the plebeians and the senators; and the title of "eques," originally derived from the possession of a war-horse,103 is given at the present day as an indication of a certain amount of income. This, however, is of comparatively recent introduction; for when the late Emperor Augustus made his regulations for the decuries,104 the greater part of the members thereof were persons who wore iron rings, and these bore the name, not of "equites," but of "judices," the former name being reserved solely for the members of the squadrons105 furnished with war-horses at the public charge.

Of these judices, too, there were at first but four106 decuries only, and in each of these decuries there was hardly one thousand men to be found, the provinces not having been hitherto admitted to the office; an observance which is still in force at the present day, no one newly admitted to the rights of citizenship being allowed to perform the duties of judex as a member of the decuries.

(2.) These decuries, too, were themselves distinguished by several denominations—" tribunes107 of the treasury," "selecti,"108 and "judices:" in addition to whom, there were the persons styled the "nine hundred,"109 chosen from all the decuries for the purpose of keeping the voting-boxes at the comitia. From the ambitious adoption, however, of some one of these names, great divisions ensued in this order, one person styling himself a member of the nine hundred, another one of the selecti, and a third a tribune of the treasury.


At length, however, in the ninth110 year of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius, the equestrian order was united in a single body; and a decree was passed, establishing to whom belonged the right of wearing the ring, in the consulship of C. Asinius Pollio and C. Antistius Vetus, the year from the foundation of the City, 775. It is a matter for surprise, how almost futile, we may say, was the cause which led to this change. C. Sulpicius Galba,111 desirous in his youth to establish his credit with the Emperor by hunting112 out grounds for prosecuting113 the keepers of victualling-houses, made complaint in the senate that the proprietors of those places were in the habit of protecting themselves from the consequences of their guilt by their plea of wearing the golden ring.114 For this reason, an ordinance was made that no person whatsoever should have this right of wearing the ring, unless, freeborn himself as regarded his father and paternal grandfather, he should be assessed by the censors at four hundred thousand sesterces, and entitled, under the Julian Law,115 to sit in the fourteen tiers of seats at the theatre. In later times, however, people began to apply in whole crowds for this mark of rank; and in consequence of the diversities of opinion which were occasioned thereby, the Emperor Caius116 added a fifth decury to the number. Indeed to such a pitch has conceit now arisen, that whereas, under the late Emperor Augustus, the decuries could not be completed, at the present day they will not suffice to receive all the members of the equestrian order, and we see in every quarter persons even who have been but just liberated from slavery, making a leap all at once to the distinction of the golden ring: a thing that never used to happen in former days, as it was by the ring of iron that the equites and the judices were then to be recognized.

Indeed, so promiscuously was this privilege at last conferred, that Flavius Proculus, one of the equites, informed against four hundred persons on this ground, before the Emperor Claudius, who was then censor:117 and thus we see, an order, which was established as a mark of distinction from other private individuals of free birth, has been shared in common with slaves !

The Gracchi were the first to attach to this order the separate appellation of "judices," their object being at the same moment a seditious popularity and the humiliation of the senate. After the fall of these men, in consequence of the varying results of seditious movements, the name and influence of the equestrian order were lost, and became merged in those of the publicani,118 who, for some time, were the men that constituted the third class in the state. At last, however, Marcus Cicero, during his consulship, and at the period of the Catilinarian troubles, re-established the equestrian name, it being his vaunt that he himself had sprung from that order, and he, by certain acts of popularity peculiar to himself, having conciliated its support. Since that period, it is very clear that the equites have formed the third body in the state, and the name of the equestrian order has been added to the formula—"The Senate and People of Rome." Hence119 it is, too, that at the present day even, the name of this order is written after that of the people, it being the one that was the last instituted.


Indeed, the name itself of the equites even, has been frequently changed, and that too, in the case of those who only owed their name to the fact of their service on horseback. Under Romulus and the other kings, the equites were known as "Celeres,"120 then again as "Flexuntes,"121 and after that as "Trossuli,"122 from the fact of their having taken a certain town of Etruria, situate nine miles on this side of Volsinii, without any assistance from the infantry; a name too which survived till after the death of C. Gracchus.

At all events, in the writings left by Junius, who, from his affection for C. Gracchus, took the name of Gracchanus,123 we find the following words—"As regards the equestrian order, its members were formerly called 'Trossuli,' but at the present day they have the name of 'Equites;' because it is not understood what the appellation 'Trossuli' really means, and many feel ashamed at being called by that name."124—He125 then goes on to explain the reason, as above mentioned, and adds that, though much against their will, those persons are still called "Trossuli."


There are also some other distinctions connected with gold, the mention of which ought not to be omitted. Our ancestors, for instance, presented tores126 of gold to the auxiliaries and foreign troops, while to Roman citizens they only granted silver127 ones: bracelets128 too, were given by them to citizens, but never to foreigners.


But, a thing that is more surprising still, crowns129 of gold were given to the citizens as well. As to the person who was first presented with one, so far as I have enquired, I have not been able to ascertain his name: L. Piso says, however, that the Dictator130 A. Posthumius was the first who conferred one: on taking the camp of the Latins at Lake Regillus,131 he gave a crown of gold, made from the spoil, to the soldier whose valour had mainly contributed to this success. L. Lentulus, also, when consul,132 presented one to Servius Cornelius Merenda, on taking a town of the Samnites; but in his case it was five pounds in weight. Piso Frugi, too, presented his son with a golden crown, at his own private expense, making133 it a specific legacy in his will.


To honour the gods at their sacrifices, no greater mark of honour has been thought of than to gild the horns of the animals sacrificed—that is, of the larger victims134 only. But in warfare, this species of luxury made such rapid advances, that in the Epistles of M. Brutus from the Plains of Philippi, we find expressions of indignation at the fibulæ135 of gold that were worn by the tribunes. Yes, so it is, by Hercules! and yet you, the same Brutus, have not said a word about women wearing gold upon their feet; while we, on the other hand, charge him with criminality136 who was the first to confer dignity upon gold by wearing the ring. Let men even, at the present day, wear gold upon the arms in form of bracelets—known as "dardania," because the practice first originated in Dardania, and called "viriolæ" in the language of the Celts, "viriæ"137 in that of Celtiberia, let women wear gold upon their arms138 and all their fingers, their necks, their ears, the tresses of their hair; let chains of gold run meandering along their sides; and in the still hours of the night let sachets filled with pearls hang suspended from the necks of their mistresses, all bedizened with gold, so that in their very sleep even they may still retain the consciousness that they are the possessors of such gems: but are they to cover their feet139 as well with gold, and so, between the stola140 of the matrons and the garb of the plebeians, establish an intermediate141 or equestrian142 order of females? Much more becomingly do we accord this distinction to our pages,143 and the adorned beauty of these youths has quite changed the features of our public baths.

At the present day, too, a fashion has been introduced among the men even, of wearing effigies upon their fingers representing Harpocrates144 and other divinities of Egypt. In the reign of Claudius, also, there was introduced another unusual distinction, in the case of those to whom was granted the right of free admission,145 that, namely, of wearing the likeness of the emperor engraved in gold upon a ring: a circumstance that gave rise to vast numbers of informations, until the timely elevation of the Emperor Vespasianus rendered them impossible, by proclaiming that the right of admission to the emperor belonged equally to all. Let these particulars suffice on the subject of golden rings and the use of them.


The next146 crime committed against the welfare of mankind was on the part of him who was the first to coin a denarius147 of gold, a crime the author of which is equally unknown. The Roman people made no use of impressed silver even before the period of the defeat148 of King Pyrrhus. The "as" of copper weighed exactly one libra; and hence it is that we still use the terms "libella"149 and "dupondius."150 Hence it is, too, that fines and penalties are inflicted under the name of "æs grave,"151 and that the words still used in keeping accounts are "expensa,"152 "impendia,"153 and "dependere."154 Hence, too, the word "stipendium," meaning the pay of the soldiers, which is nothing more than "stipis pondera;"155 and from the same source those other words, "dispensatores"156 and "libripendes."157 It is also from this circumstance that in sales of slaves, at the present day even, the formality of using the balance is introduced.

King Servius was the first to make an impress upon copper. Before his time, according to Timæus, at Rome the raw metal only was used. The form of a sheep was the first figure impressed upon money, and to this fact it owes its name, "pecunia."158 The highest figure at which one man's property was assessed in the reign of that king was one hundred and twenty thousand asses, and consequently that amount of property was considered the standard of the first class.

Silver was not impressed with a mark until the year of the City 485, the year of the consulship of Q. Ogulnius and C. Fabius, five years before the First Punic War; at which time it was ordained that the value of the denarius should be ten libræ159 of copper, that of the quinarius five libræ, and that of the sestertius two libræ and a half. The weight, however, of the libra of copper was diminished during the First Punic War, the republic not having means to meet its expenditure: in consequence of which, an ordinance was made that the as should in future be struck of two ounces weight. By this contrivance a saving of five-sixths was effected, and the public debt was liquidated. The impression upon these copper coins was a two-faced Janus on one side, and the beak of a ship of war on the other: the triens,160 however, and the quadrans,161 bore the impression of a ship. The quadrans, too, had, previously to this, been called "teruncius," as being three unciæ162 in weight. At a later period again, when Hannibal was pressing hard upon Rome, in the dictatorship of Q. Fabius Maximus, asses of one ounce weight were struck, and it was ordained that the value of the denarius should be sixteen asses, that of the quinarius eight asses, and that of the sestertius four asses; by which last reduction of the weight of the as the republic made a clear gain of one half. Still, however, so far as the pay of the soldiers is concerned, one denarius has always been given for every ten asses. The impressions upon the coins of silver were two-horse and four-horse chariots, and hence it is that they received the names of "bigati" and "quadrigati."

Shortly after, in accordance with the Law of Papirius, asses were coined weighing half an ounce only. Livius Drusus, when163 tribune of the people, alloyed the silver with one-eighth part of copper. The coin that is known at the present day as the "victoriatus,"164 was first struck in accordance with the Clodian Law: before which period, a coin of this name was imported from Illyricum, but was only looked upon as an article of merchandize. The impression upon it is a figure of Victory, and hence its name.

The first golden coin was struck sixty-two years after that of silver, the scruple of gold being valued at twenty sesterces; a computation which gave, according to the value of the sesterce then in use, nine hundred sesterces to each libra of gold.165 In later times, again, an ordinance was made, that denarii of gold should be struck, at the rate of forty denarii166 to each libra of gold; after which period, the emperors gradually curtailed the weight of the golden denarius, until at last, in the reign of Nero, it was coined at the rate of forty-five to the libra.


But the invention of money opened a new field to human avarice, by giving rise to usury and the practice of lending money at interest, while the owner passes a life of idleness: and it was with no slow advances that, not mere avarice only, but a perfect hunger167 for gold became inflamed with a sort of rage for acquiring: to such a degree, in fact, that Septimuleius, the familiar friend of Caius Gracchus, not only cut off his head, upon which a price had been set of its weight in gold, but, before168 bringing it to Opimius,169 poured molten lead into the mouth, and so not only was guilty of the crime of parricide, but added to his criminality by cheating the state. Nor was it now any individual citizen, but the universal Roman name, that had been rendered infamous by avarice, when King Mithridates caused molten gold to be poured into the mouth of Aquilius170 the Roman general, whom he had taken prisoner: such were the results of cupidity.

One cannot but feel ashamed, on looking at those new-fangled names which are invented every now and then, from the Greek language, by which to designate vessels of silver filagreed171 or inlaid with gold, and the various other practices by which such articles of luxury, when only gilded,172 are made to sell at a higher price than they would have done if made of solid gold: and this, too, when we know that Spartacus173 forbade any one of his followers to introduce either gold or silver into the camp—so much more nobleness of mind was there in those days, even in our runaway slaves.

The orator Messala has informed us that Antonius the triumvir made use of golden vessels when satisfying the most humiliating wants of nature, a piece of criminality that would have reflected disgrace upon Cleopatra even! Till then, the most consummate instances of a similar licentiousness had been found among strangers only—that of King Philip, namely, who was in the habit of sleeping with a golden goblet placed beneath his pillows, and that of Hagnon of Teos, a commander under Alexander the Great, who used to fasten the soles of his sandals with nails of gold.174 It was reserved for Antonius to be the only one thus to impart a certain utility to gold, by putting an insult upon Nature. Oh how righteously would he himself have been proscribed! but then the proscription should have been made by Spartacus.175


For my own part, I am much surprised that the Roman people has always imposed upon conquered nations a tribute in silver, and not in gold; Carthage, for instance, from which, upon its conquest under Hannibal, a ransom was exacted in the shape of a yearly176 payment, for fifty years, of eight hundred thousand pounds' weight of silver, but no gold. And yet it does not appear that this could have arisen from there being so little gold then in use throughout the world. Midas and Crœsus, before this, had possessed gold to an endless amount: Cyrus, already, on his conquest of Asia,177 had found a booty consisting of twenty-four thousand pounds' weight of gold, in addition to vessels and other articles of wrought gold, as well as leaves178 of trees, a plane-tree, and a vine, all made of that metal.

It was through this conquest too, that he carried off five hundred thousand179 talents of silver, as well as the vase of Semiramis,180 the weight of which alone amounted to fifteen talents, the Egyptian talent being equal, according to Varro, to eighty of our pounds. Before this time too, Saulaces, the descendant of Æëtes, had reigned in Colchis,181 who, on finding a tract of virgin earth, in the country of the Suani,182 extracted from it a large amount of gold and silver, it is said, and whose kingdom besides, had been famed for the possession of the Golden Fleece. The golden arches, too, of his palace, we find spoken of, the silver supports and columns, and pilasters, all of which he had come into possession of on the conquest of Sesostris,183 king of Egypt; a monarch so haughty, that every year, it is said, it was his practice to select one of his vassal kings by lot, and yoking him to his car, celebrate his triumph afresh.


We, too, have done things that posterity may probably look upon as fabulous. Cæsar, who was afterwards dictator, but at that time ædile, was the first person, on the occasion of the funeral games in honour of his father, to employ all the apparatus of the arena184 in silver; and it was on the same occasion that for the first time criminals encountered wild beasts with implements of silver, a practice imitated at the present day in our municipal towns even.

At the games celebrated by C. Antonius the stage was made of185 silver; and the same was the case at those celebrated by L. Muræna. The Emperor Caius had a scaffold186 introduced into the Circus, upon which there were one hundred and twenty-four thousand pounds' weight of silver. His successor Claudius, on the occasion of his triumph over Britain, announced by the inscriptions that among the coronets of gold, there was one weighing seven thousand187 pounds' weight, contributed by Nearer Spain, and another of nine thousand pounds, presented by Gallia Comata.188 Nero, who succeeded him, covered the Theatre of Pompeius with gold for one day,189 the occasion on which he displayed it to Tiridates, king of Armenia. And yet how small was this theatre in comparison with that Golden Palace190 of his, with which he environed our city.


In the consulship of Sextus Julius and Lucius Aurelius,191 seven years before the commencement of the Third Punic War, there was in the treasury of the Roman people seventeen thousand four hundred and ten pounds' weight of uncoined gold, twenty-two thousand and seventy pounds' weight of silver, and in specie, six million one hundred and thirty-five thousand four hundred sesterces.

In the consulship of Sextus Julius and Lucius Marcius, that is to say, at the commencement of the Social War,192 there was in the public treasury one million193 six hundred and twenty thousand eight hundred and thirty-one pounds' weight of gold. Caius Cæsar, at his first entry into Rome, during the civil war which bears his name, withdrew from the treasury fifteen thousand pounds' weight in gold ingots, thirty thousand pounds' weight in uncoined silver, and in specie, three hundred thousand sesterces: indeed, at no194 period was the republic more wealthy. Æmilius Paulus, too, after the defeat of King Perseus, paid into the public treasury, from the spoil obtained in Macedonia, three hundred millions195 of sesterces, and from this period the Roman people ceased to pay tribute.


The ceilings which, at the present day, in private houses even, we see covered with gold, were first gilded in the Capi- tol, after the destruction of Carthage, and during the censorship of Lucius Mummius.196 From the ceilings this luxuriousness has been since transferred to the arched roofs of buildings, and the party-walls even, which at the present day are gilded like so many articles of plate: very different from the times when Catulus197 was far from being unanimously approved of for having gilded the brazen tiles of the Capitol!


We have already stated, in the Seventh198 Book, who were the first discoverers of gold, as well as nearly all the other metals. The highest rank has been accorded to this substance, not, in my opinion, for its colour, (which in silver is clearer199 and more like the light of day, for which reason silver is preferred for our military ensigns, its brightness being seen at a greater distance); and those persons are manifestly in error who think that it is the resemblance of its colour to the stars200 that is so prized in gold, seeing that the various gems201 and other things of the same tint, are in no such particular request. Nor yet is it for its weight or malleability202 that gold has been preferred to other metals, it being inferior in both these respects to lead—but it is because gold is the only203 substance in nature that suffers204 no loss from the action of fire, and passes unscathed through conflagrations and the flames of the funeral pile. Nay, even more than this, the oftener gold is subjected to the action of fire, the more refined in quality it becomes; indeed, fire is one test of its goodness, as, when sub- mitted to intense heat, gold ought to assume a similar colour, and turn red and igneous in appearance; a mode of testing which is known as "obrussa."205

The first great proof, however, of the goodness of gold, is its melting with the greatest difficulty: in addition to which, it is a fact truly marvellous, that though proof against the most intense fire, if made with wood charcoal, it will melt with the greatest readiness upon a fire made with chaff;206 and that, for the purpose of purifying it, it is fused with lead.207 There is another reason too, which still more tends to enhance its value, the fact that it wears the least of all metals by continual use: whereas with silver, copper, and lead, lines may be traced,208 and the hands become soiled with the substance that comes from off them. Nor is there any material more malleable than this, none that admits of a more extended division, seeing that a single ounce of it admits of being beaten out into seven hundred and fifty209 leaves, or more, four fingers in length by the same in breadth. The thickest kind of gold-leaf is known as "leaf of Præncste,"it still retaining that name from the excellence of the gilding upon the statue of Fortune210 there. The next in thickness is known as the "quæstorian leaf." In Spain, small pieces of gold are known by the name of "striges."211

A thing that is not the case with any other metal, gold is found pure in masses212 or in the form of dust;213 and whereas all other metals, when found in the ore, require to be brought to perfection by the aid of fire, this gold that I am speaking of is gold the moment it is found, and has all its component parts already in a state of perfection. This, however, is only such gold as is found in the native state, the other kinds that we shall have to speak of, being refined by art. And then, more than anything else, gold is subject to no rust, no verdigris,214 no emanation whatever from it, either to alter its quality or to lessen its weight. In addition to this, gold steadily resists the corrosive action of salt and vinegar,215 things which obtain the mastery over all other substances: it admits, too, beyond all other metals, of being spun out and woven216 like wool.217 Verrius tells us that Tarquinius Priscus celebrated a triumph, clad in a tunic of gold; and I myself have seen Agrippina, the wife of the Emperor Claudius, on the occasion of a naval combat which he exhibited, seated by him, attired in a military scarf218 made entirely of woven gold without any other material. For this long time past, gold has been interwoven in the Attalic219 textures, an invention of the kings of Asia.


On marble and other substances which do not admit of being brought to a white heat, gilt is laid with glair of egg, and on wood by the aid of a glutinous composition,220 known as "leucophoron:" what this last is, and how it is prepared, we shall state on the appropriate occasion.221 The most convenient method for gilding copper would be to employ quicksilver, or, at all events, hydrargyros;222 but with reference to these substances, as we shall have occasion to say when describing the nature223 of them, methods of adulteration have been devised. To effect this mode of gilding, the copper is first well hammered, after which it is subjected to the action of fire, and then cooled with a mixture of salt, vinegar, and alum.224 It is then cleansed of all extraneous substances, it being known by its brightness when it has been sufficiently purified. This done, it is again heated by fire, in order to enable it, when thus prepared, with the aid of an amalgam of pumice, alum, and quicksilver, to receive the gold leaf when applied. Alum has the same property of purifying copper, that we have already225 mentioned as belonging to lead with reference to gold.


Gold is found in our own part of the world; not to mention the gold extracted from the earth in India by the ants,226 and in Scythia by the Griffins.227 Among us it is procured in three different ways; the first of which is, in the shape of dust, found in running streams, the Tagus228 in Spain, for instance, the Padus in Italy, the Hebrus in Thracia, the Pactolus in Asia, and the Ganges in India; indeed, there is no gold found in a more perfect state than this, thoroughly polished as it is by the continual attrition of the current.

A second mode of obtaining gold is by sinking shafts or seeking it among the debris of mountains; both of which methods it will be as well to describe. The persons in search of gold in the first place remove the "segutilum,"229 such being the name of the earth which gives indication of the presence of gold. This done, a bed is made, the sand of which is washed, and, according to the residue found after washing, a conjecture is formed as to the richness of the vein. Sometimes, indeed, gold is found at once in the surface earth, a success, however, but rarely experienced. Recently, for instance, in the reign of Nero, a vein was discovered in Dalmatia, which yielded daily as much as fifty pounds' weight of gold. The gold that is thus found in the surface crust is known as "talutium,"230 in cases where there is auriferous earth beneath. The mountains of Spain,231 in other respects arid and sterile, and productive of nothing whatever, are thus constrained by man to be fertile, in supplying him with this precious commodity.

The gold that is extracted from shafts is known by some persons as "canalicium," and by others as "canaliense;"232 it is found adhering to the gritty crust of marble,233 and, altogether different from the form in which it sparkles in the sapphirus234 of the East, and in the stone of Thebais235 and other gems, it is seen interlaced with the molecules of the marble. The channels of these veins are found running in various directions along the sides of the shafts, and hence the name of the gold they yield—"canalicium."236 In these shafts, too, the superincumbent earth is kept from falling in by means of wooden pillars. The substance that is extracted is first broken up, and then washed; after which it is subjected to the action of fire, and ground to a fine powder. This powder is known as "apitascudes," while the silver which becomes disengaged in the237 furnace has the name of "sudor"238 given to it. The im- purities that escape by the chimney, as in the case of all other metals, are known by the name of "scoria." In the case of gold, this scoria is broken up a second time, and melted over again. The crucibles used for this purpose are made of "tasconium,"239 a white earth similar to potter's clay in appearance; there being no other substance capable of with-standing the strong current of air, the action of the fire, and the intense heat of the melted metal.

The third method of obtaining gold surpasses the labours of the Giants240 even: by the aid of galleries driven to a long distance, mountains are excavated by the light of torches, the duration of which forms the set times for work, the workmen never seeing the light of day for many months together. These mines are known as "arrugiæ;"241 and not unfrequently clefts are formed on a sudden, the earth sinks in, and the workmen are crushed beneath; so that it would really appear less rash to go in search of pearls and purples at the bottom of the sea, so much more dangerous to ourselves have we made the earth than the water! Hence it is, that in this kind of mining, arches are left at frequent intervals for the purpose of supporting the weight of the mountain above. In mining either by shaft or by gallery, barriers of silex are met with, which have to be driven asunder by the aid of fire and vinegar;242 or more frequently, as this method fills the galleries with suffocating vapours and smoke, to be broken to pieces with bruising- machines shod with pieces of iron weighing one hundred and fifty pounds: which done, the fragments are carried out on the workmen's shoulders, night and day, each man passing them on to his neighbour in the dark, it being only those at the pit's mouth that ever see the light. In cases where the bed of silex appears too thick to admit of being penetrated, the miner traces along the sides of it, and so turns it. And yet, after all, the labour entailed by this silex is looked upon as comparatively easy, there being an earth—a kind of potter's clay mixed with gravel, "gangadia" by name, which it is almost impossible to overcome. This earth has to be attacked with iron wedges and hammers like those previously mentioned,243 and it is generally considered that there is nothing more stubborn in existence—except indeed the greed for gold, which is the most stubborn of all things.

When these operations are all completed, beginning at the last, they cut away244 the wooden pillars at the point where they support the roof: the coming downfall gives warning, which is instantly perceived by the sentinel, and by him only, who is set to watch upon a peak of the same mountain. By voice as well as by signals, he orders the workmen to be immediately summoned from their labours, and at the same moment takes to flight himself. The mountain, rent to pieces, is cleft asunder, hurling its debris to a distance with a crash which it is impossible for the human imagination to conceive; and from the midst of a cloud of dust, of a density quite incredible, the victorious miners gaze upon this downfall of Nature. Nor yet even then are they sure of gold, nor indeed were they by any means certain that there was any to be found when they first began to excavate, it being quite sufficient, as an inducement to undergo such perils and to incur such vast expense, to entertain the hope that they shall obtain what they so eagerly desire.

Another labour, too, quite equal to this, and one which entails even greater expense, is that of bringing rivers245 from the more elevated mountain heights, a distance in many instances of one hundred miles perhaps, for the purpose of washing these debris. The channels thus formed are called "corrugi," from our word "corrivatio,"246 I suppose; and even when these are once made, they entail a thousand fresh labours. The fall, for instance, must be steep, that the water may be precipitated, so to say, rather than flow; and it is in this manner that it is brought from the most elevated points. Then, too, vallies and crevasses have to be united by the aid of aqueducts, and in another place impassable rocks have to be hewn away, and forced to make room for hollowed troughs of wood; the person hewing them hanging suspended all the time with ropes, so that to a spectator who views the operations from a distance, the workmen have all the appearance, not so much of wild beasts, as of birds upon the wing.247 Hanging thus suspended in most instances, they take the levels, and trace with lines the course the water is to take; and thus, where there is no room even for man to plant a footstep, are rivers traced out by the hand of man. The water, too, is considered in an unfit state for washing, if the current of the river carries any mud along with it. The kind of earth that yields this mud is known as "urium;"248 and hence it is that in tracing out these channels, they carry the water over beds of silex or pebbles, and carefully avoid this urium. When they have reached the head of the fall, at the very brow of the mountain, reservoirs are hollowed out, a couple of hundred feet in length and breadth, and some ten feet in depth. In these reservoirs there are generally five sluices left, about three feet square; so that, the moment the reservoir is filled, the floodgates are struck away, and the torrent bursts forth with such a degree of violence as to roll onwards any fragments of rock which may obstruct its passage.

When they have reached the level ground, too, there is still another labour that awaits them. Trenches—known as "agogæ"249—have to be dug for the passage of the water; and these, at regular intervals, have a layer of ulex placed at the bottom. This ulex250 is a plant like rosemary in appearance, rough and prickly, and well-adapted for arresting any pieces of gold that may be carried along. The sides, too, are closed in with planks, and are supported by arches when carried over steep and precipitous spots. The earth, carried onwards in the stream, arrives at the sea at last, and thus is the shattered mountain washed away; causes which have greatly tended to extend the shores of Spain by these encroachments upon the deep. It is also by the agency of canals of this description that the material, excavated at the cost of such immense labour by the process previously described,251 is washed and car- ried away; for otherwise the shafts would soon be choked up by it.

The gold found by excavating with galleries does not require to be melted, but is pure gold at once. In these excavations, too, it is found in lumps, as also in the shafts which are sunk, sometimes exceeding ten pounds even. The names given to these lumps are "palagæ," and "palacurnæ,"252 while the gold found in small grains is known as "baluce." The ulex that is used for the above purpose is dried and burnt, after which the ashes of it are washed upon a bed of grassy turf, in order that the gold may be deposited thereupon.

Asturia, Gallæcia, and Lusitania furnish in this manner, yearly, according to some authorities, twenty thousand pounds' weight of gold, the produce of Asturia forming the major part. Indeed, there is no part of the world that for centuries has maintained such a continuous fertility in gold. I have already253 mentioned that by an ancient decree of the senate, the soil of Italy has been protected from these researches; otherwise, there would be no land more fertile in metals. There is extant also a censorial law relative to the gold mines of Victumulæ, in the territory of Vercellæ,254 by which the farmers of the revenue were forbidden to employ more than five thousand men at the works.


There is also one other method of procuring gold; by making it from orpiment,255 a mineral dug from the surface of the earth in Syria, and much used by painters. It is just the colour of gold, but brittle, like mirror-stone,256 in fact. This substance greatly excited the hopes of the Emperor Caius,257 a prince who was most greedy for gold. He accordingly had a large quantity of it melted, and really did obtain some excellent gold;258 but then the proportion was so extremely small, that he found himself a loser thereby. Such was the result of an experiment prompted solely by avarice: and this too, although the price of the orpiment itself was no more than four denarii per pound. Since his time, the experiment has never been repeated.


In all259 gold ore there is some silver, in varying proportions; a tenth part in some instances, an eighth in others. In one mine, and that only, the one known as the mine of Albucrara, in Gallæcia,260 the proportion of silver is but one thirty-sixth: hence it is that the ore of this mine is so much more valuable than that of others. Whenever the proportion of silver is one-fifth, the ore is known also by the name of "electrum;"261 grains, too, of this metal are often found in the gold known as "canaliense."262 An artificial263 electrum, too, is made, by mixing silver with gold. If the proportion of silver exceeds one-fifth, the metal offers no resistance on the anvil.

Electrum, too, was highly esteemed in ancient times, as we learn from the testimony of Homer, who represents264 the palace of Menelaüs as refulgent with gold and electrum, silver and ivory. At Lindos, in the island of Rhodes, there is a temple dedicated to Minerva, in which there is a goblet of electrum, consecrated by Helena: history states also that it was moulded after the proportions of her bosom. One peculiar advantage of electrum is, its superior brilliancy to silver by lamp-light. Native electrum has also the property of detecting poisons; for in such case, semicircles, resembling the rainbow in appearance, will form upon the surface of the goblet, and emit a crackling noise, like that of flame, thus giving a twofold indication of the presence of poison.265


The first statue of massive gold, without any hollowness within, and anterior to any of those statues of bronze even, which are known as "holosphyratæ,"266 is said to have been erected in the Temple of the goddess Anaïtis. To what particular region this name belongs, we have already267 stated, it being that of a divinity268 held in the highest veneration by the nations in that part of the world. This statue was carried off during the wars of Antonius with the people of Parthia; and a witty saying is told, with reference to it, of one of the veterans of the Roman army, a native of Bononia. Entertaining on one occasion the late Emperor Augustus at dinner, he was asked by that prince whether he was aware that the person who was the first to commit this violence upon the statue, had been struck with blindness and paralysis, and then expired. To this he made answer, that at that very moment Augustus was making his dinner off of one of her legs, for that he himself was the very man, and to that bit of plunder he had been indebted for all his fortune.269

As regards statues of human beings, Gorgias of Leontini270 was the first to erect a solid statue of gold, in the Temple at Delphi, in honour of himself, about the seventieth271 Olympiad: so great were the fortunes then made by teaching the art of oratory!


Gold is efficacious as a remedy in many ways, being applied to wounded persons and to infants, to render any malpractices of sorcery comparatively innocuous that may be directed against them. Gold, however, itself is mischievous in its effects if carried over the head, in the case of chickens and lambs more particularly. The proper remedy in such case is to wash the gold, and to sprinkle the water upon the objects which it is wished to preserve. Gold, too, is melted with twice its weight of salt, and three times its weight of misy;272 after which it is again melted with two parts of salt and one of the stone called "schistos."273 Employed in this manner, it withdraws the natural acridity from the substances torrefied with it in the crucible, while at the same time it remains pure and incorrupt; the residue forming an ash which is preserved in an earthen vessel, and is applied with water for the cure of lichens on the face: the best method of washing it off is with bean-meal. These ashes have the property also of curing fistulas and the discharges known as "hæmorrhoides:" with the addition, too, of powdered pumice, they are a cure for putrid ulcers and sores which emit an offensive smell.

Gold, boiled in honey with melanthium274 and applied as a liniment to the navel, acts as a gentle purgative upon the bowels. M. Varro assures us that gold is a cure for warts.275


Chrysocolla276 is a liquid which is found in the shafts already mentioned,277 flowing through the veins of gold; a kind of slime which becomes indurated by the cold of winter till it has attained the hardness even of pumice. The most esteemed kind of it, it has been ascertained, is found in copper-mines, the next best being the produce of silver-mines: it is found also in lead-mines, but that found in combination with gold ore is much inferior.

In all these mines, too, an artificial chrysocolla is manu- factured; much inferior, however, to the native chrysocolla. The method of preparing it consists in introducing water gradually into a vein of metal, throughout the winter and until the month of June; after which, it is left to dry up during the months of June and July: so that, in fact, it is quite evident that chrysocolla is nothing else but the putrefaction of a metallic vein. Native chrysocolla, known as "uva," differs from the other in its hardness more particularly; and yet, hard as it is, it admits of being coloured with the plant known as "lutum."278 Like flax and wool, it is of a nature which imbibes liquids. For the purpose of dyeing it, it is first bruised in a mortar, after which, it is passed through a fine sieve. This done, it is ground, and then passed through a still finer sieve; all that refuses to pass being replaced in the mortar, and subjected once more to the mill. The finest part of the powder is from time to time measured out into a crucible, where it is macerated in vinegar, so that all the hard particles may be dissolved; after which, it is pounded again, and then rinsed in shell-shaped vessels, and left to dry. This done, the chrysocolla is dyed by the agency of schist alum279 and the plant above-mentioned; and thus is it painted itself before it serves to paint. It is of considerable importance, too, that it should be absorbent and readily take the dye: indeed, if it does not speedily take the colour, scytanum and turbistum280 are added to the dye; such being the name of two drugs which compel it to absorb the colouring matter.


When chrysocolla has been thus dyed, painters call it "orobitis," and distinguish two kinds of it, the cleansed281 orobitis,282 which is kept for making lomentum,283 and the liquid, the balls being dissolved for use by evaporation.284 Both these kinds are prepared in Cyprus,285 but the most esteemed is that made in Armenia, the next best being that of Macedonia: it is Spain, however, that produces the most. The great point of its excellence consists in its producing exactly the tint of corn when in a state of the freshest verdure.286 Before now, we have seen, at the spectacles exhibited by the Emperor Nero, the arena of the Circus entirely sanded with chrysocolla, when the prince himself, clad in a dress of the same colour, was about to exhibit as a charioteer.287

The unlearned multitude of artisans distinguish three kinds of chrysocolla; the rough chrysocolla, which is valued at seven denarii per pound; the middling, worth five denarii; and the bruised, also known as the "herbaceous" chrysocolla, worth three denarii per pound. Before laying on the sanded288 chrysocolla, they underlay coats of atramentum289 and parætonium,290 substances which make it hold, and impart a softness to the colours. The parætonium, as it is naturally very unctuous, and, from its smoothness, extremely tenacious, is laid on first, and is then covered with a coat of atramentum, lest the parætonium, from its extreme whiteness, should impart a paleness to the chrysocolla. The kind known as "lutea," derives its name, it is thought, from the plant called "lutum;" which itself is often pounded with cæruleum291 instead of real chrysocolla, and used for painting, making a very inferior kind of green and extremely deceptive.292


Chroysocolla, too, is made use of in medicine. In combination with wax and oil, it is used as a detergent for wounds; and used by itself in the form of a powder, it acts as a desiccative, and heals them. In cases, too, of quinsy and hardness of breathing, chrysocolla is prescribed, in the form of an electuary, with honey. It acts as an emetic also, and is used as an ingredient in eye-salves, for the purpose of effacing cicatrizations upon the eyes. In green plasters too, it is used, for soothing pain and making scars disappear. This kind of chrysocolla293 is known by medical men as "acesis," and is altogether different from orobitis.


The goldsmiths also employ a chrysocolla294 of their own, for the purpose of soldering gold; and it is from this chrysocolla, they say, that all the other substances, which present a similar green, have received their name. This preparation is made from verdigris of Cyprian copper, the urine of a youth who has not arrived at puberty, and a portion of nitre.295 It is then pounded with a pestle of Cyprian copper, in a copper mortar, and the name given to the mixture is "santerna." It is in this way that the gold known as "silvery"296 gold is soldered; one sign of its being so alloyed being its additional brilliancy on the application of santerna. If, on the other hand, the gold is impregnated with copper, it will contract, on coming in contact with the santerna, become dull, and only be soldered with the greatest difficulty: indeed, for this last kind of gold, there is a peculiar solder employed, made of gold and one- seventh part of silver, in addition to the materials above-mentioned, the whole beaten up together.


While speaking on this subject, it will be as well to annex the remaining particulars, that our admiration may here be drawn to all the marvels presented by Nature in connection therewith. The proper solder for gold is that above described; for iron, potter's clay; for copper, when in masses, cadmia,297 and in sheets, alum; for lead and marble, resin. Lead is also united by the aid of white lead;298 white lead with white lead, by the agency of oil; stannum, with copper file-dust; and silver, with stannum.299

For smelting copper and iron, pine-wood is the best, Egyptian papyrus being also very good for the purpose. Gold is melted most easily with a fire made of chaff.300 Limestone and Thracian stone301 are ignited by the agency of water, this last being extinguished by the application of oil. Fire, however, is extinguished most readily by the application of vinegar, viscus,302 and unboiled eggs. Earth will under no circumstance ignite. When charcoal has been once quenched, and then again ignited, it gives out a greater heat than before.

CHAP. 31. (6.)—SILVER.

After stating these facts, we come to speak of silver ore, the next303 folly of mankind. Silver is never found but in shafts sunk deep in the ground, there being no indications to raise hopes of its existence, no shining sparkles, as in the case of gold. The earth in which it is found is sometimes red, sometimes of an ashy hue. It is impossible, too, to melt304 it, except in combination with lead305 or with galena,306 this last being the name given to the vein of lead that is mostly found running near the veins of the silver ore. When submitted, too, to the action of fire, part of the ore precipitates itself in the form of lead,307 while the silver is left floating on the surface,308 like oil on water.

Silver is found in nearly all our provinces, but the finest of all is that of Spain; where it is found, like gold, in uncultivated soils, and in the mountains even. Wherever, too, one vein of silver has been met with, another is sure to be found not far off: a thing that has been remarked, in fact, in the case of nearly all the metals, which would appear from this circumstance to have derived their Greek name of "metalla."309 It is a remarkable fact, that the shafts opened by Hannibal310 in the Spanish provinces are still worked, their names being derived from the persons who were the first to discover them. One of these mines, which at the present day is still called Bæbelo, furnished Hannibal with three hundred pounds' weight of silver per day. The mountain is already excavated for a distance of fifteen hundred311 paces; and throughout the whole of this distance there are water-bearers312 standing night and day, baling out the water in turns, regulated by the light of torches, and so forming quite a river.

The vein of silver that is found nearest the surface is known by the name of "crudaria."313 In ancient times, the excavations used to be abandoned the moment alum314 was met with, and no further315 search was made. Of late, however, the discovery of a vein of copper beneath alum, has withdrawn any such limits to man's hopes. The exhalations from silver-mines are dangerous to all animals, but to dogs more particularly. The softer they are, the more beautiful gold and silver are considered. It is a matter of surprise with most persons, that lines traced316 with silver should be black.


There is a mineral also found in these veins of silver, which yields a humour that is always317 liquid, and is known as "quicksilver."318 It acts as a poison319 upon everything, and pierces vessels even, making its way through them by the agency of its malignant properties.320 All substances float upon the surface of quicksilver, with the exception of gold,321 this being the only substance that it attracts to itself.322 Hence it is, that it is such an excellent refiner of gold; for, on being briskly shaken in an earthen vessel with gold, it rejects all the impurities that are mixed with it. When once it has thus expelled these superfluities, there is nothing to do but to separate it from the gold; to effect which, it is poured out upon skins that have been well tawed, and so, exuding through them like a sort of perspiration, it leaves the gold in a state of purity behind.323

Hence it is, too, that when copper has to be gilded,324 a coat of quicksilver is laid beneath the gold leaf, which it retains in its place with the greatest tenacity: in cases, however, where the leaf is single, or very thin, the presence of the quicksilver is detected by the paleness of the colour.325 For this reason, persons, when meditating a piece of fraud, have been in the habit of substituting glair of egg for quicksilver, and then laying upon it a coat of hydrargyros, a substance of which we shall make further mention in the appropriate place.326 Generally speaking, quicksilver has not been found in any large quantities.


In the same mines in which silver is found, there is also found a substance which, properly speaking, may be called a stone made of concrete froth.327 It is white and shining, without being transparent, and has the several names of stimmi, stibi, alabastrum,328 and larbasis. There are two kinds of it, the male and the female.329 The latter kind is the more approved of, the male330 stimmi being more uneven, rougher to the touch, less ponderous, not so radiant, and more gritty. The female kind, on the other hand, is bright and friable, and separates in laminæ, and not in globules.331


Stimmi is possessed of certain astringent and refrigerative properties, its principal use, in medicine, being for the eyes. Hence it is that most persons call it "platyophthalmon,"332 it being extensively employed in the calliblepharie333 preparations of females, for the purpose of dilating the eyes. It acts also as a check upon fluxes of the eyes and ulcerations of those organs; being used, as a powder, with pounded frankincense and gum. It has the property, too, of arresting discharges of blood from the brain; and, sprinkled in the form of a powder, it is extremely efficacious for the cure of recent wounds and bites of dogs which have been some time inflicted. For the cure of burns it is remarkably good, mixed with grease, litharge,334 ceruse, and wax.

The method of preparing it, is to burn it, enclosed in a coat of cow-dung, in a furnace; which done, it is quenched with woman's milk, and pounded with rain-water in a mortar.335 While this is doing, the thick and turbid part is poured off from time to time into a copper vessel, and purified with nitre.336 The lees of it, which are rejected, are recognized by their being full of lead and falling to the bottom. The vessel into which the turbid part has been poured off, is then covered with a linen cloth and left untouched for a night; the portion that lies upon the surface being poured off the following day, or else removed with a sponge. The part that has fallen to the bottom of the vessel is regarded as the choicest337 part, and is left, covered with a linen cloth, to dry in the sun, but not to become parched. This done, it is again pounded in a mortar, and then divided into tablets. But the main thing of all is, to observe such a degree of nicety in heating it, as not to let it become lead.338 Some persons, when preparing it on the fire, use grease339 instead of dung. Others, again, bruise it in water and then pass it through a triple strainer of linen cloth; after which, they reject the lees, and pour off the remainder of the liquid, collecting all that is deposited at the bottom, and using it as an ingredient in plasters and eye-salves.


The scoria of silver is called by the Greeks "helcysma."340 It has certain restringent and refrigerative effects upon bodies, and, like molybdæna, of which we shall make further mention when speaking341 of lead, is used as an ingredient in making plasters, those more particularly which are to promote the cicatrization of wounds. It is employed also for the cure of tenesmus and dysentery, being injected in the form of a clyster with myrtle-oil. It forms an ingredient, too, in the medicaments known as "liparæ,"342 for the removal of fleshy excrescences in sores, ulcerations arising from chafing, or running ulcers on the head.

The same mines also furnish us with the preparation known as "scum of silver."343 There are three344 varieties of it; the best, known as "chrysitis;" the second best, the name of which is "argyritis;" and a third kind, which is called "molybditis." In most instances, too, all these tints are to be found in the same cake.345

The most approved kind is that of Attica; the next being that which comes from Spain. Chrysitis is the produce of the metallic vein,346 argyritis is obtained from the silver itself, and molybditis is the result of the smelting of lead,347 a work that is done at Puteoli; to which last circumstance, in fact, molybditis owes its name.348 All these substances are prepared in the following manner: the metal is first melted, and then allowed to flow from a more elevated receiver into a lower. From this last it is lifted by the aid of iron spits, and is then twirled round at the end of the spit in the midst of the flames, in order to make it all the lighter. Thus, as may be easily per- ceived from the name, it is in reality the scum of a substance in a state of fusion—of the future metal, in fact. It differs from scoria in the same way that the scum of a liquid differs from the lees, the one349 being an excretion thrown out by the metal while purifying itself, the other350 an excretion of the metal when purified.

Some persons distinguish two kinds of scum of silver, and give them the names of "scirerytis" and "peumene;351 a third variety being molybdæna, of which we shall have to make further mention when treating of lead.352 To make this scum fit for use, the cakes are again broken into pieces the size of a hazel-nut, and then melted, the fire being briskly blown with the bellows. For the purpose of separating the charcoal and ashes from it, it is then rinsed with vinegar or with wine, and is so quenched. In the case of argyritis, it is recommended, in order to blanch it, to break it into pieces the size of a bean, and then to boil it with water in an earthen vessel, first putting with it, wrapped in linen cloths, some new wheat and barley, which are left there till they have lost the outer coat. This done, they bruise the whole in mortars for six consecutive days, taking care to rinse the mixture in cold water three times a day, and after that, in an infusion of hot water and fossil salt, one obolus of the latter to every pound of scum: at the end of the six days it is put away for keeping in a vessel of lead.

Some persons boil it with white beans and a ptisan353 of barley, and then dry it in the sun; others, again, with white wool and beans, till such time as it imparts no darkness to the wool; after which, first adding fossil354 salt, they change the water from time to time, and then dry it during the forty hot- test days of summer. In some instances the practice is, to boil it in water in a swine's paunch, and then to take it out and rub it with nitre; after which, following the preceding method, they pound it in a mortar with salt. Some again never boil it, but pound it only with salt, and then rinse it with water.

Scum of silver is used as an ingredient in eye-salves, and, in the form of a liniment, by females, for the purpose of removing spots and blemishes caused by scars, as also in washes for the hair. Its properties are desiccative, emollient, refrigerative, temperative, and detergent. It fills up cavities in the flesh produced by ulceration, and reduces tumours. For all these purposes it is employed as an ingredient in plaster, and in the liparæ previously mentioned.355 In combination with rue, myrtle, and vinegar, it removes erysipelas: and, with myrtle and wax, it is a cure for chilblains.


It is also in silver-mines that minium356 is found, a pigment held at the present day in very high estimation; and by the Romans in former times not only held in the highest estimation, but used for sacred purposes as well. Verrius enumerates certain authors, upon whose testimony we find it satisfactorily established that it was the custom upon festivals to colour the face of the statue of Jupiter even with minium, as well as the bodies357 of triumphant generals; and that it was in this guise that Camillus celebrated his triumph. We find, too, that it is through the same religious motives that it is employed at the present day for colouring the unguents used at triumphal banquets, and that it is the first duty of the censors to make a contract for painting the statue of Jupiter358 with this colour.

For my own part, I am quite at a loss for the origin of this usage; but it is a well-known fact, that at the present day even, minium is in great esteem with the nations of Æthiopia, their nobles being in the habit of staining the body all over with it, and this being the colour appropriated to the statues of their gods. I shall therefore use all the more diligence in enquiring into all the known facts respecting it.


Theophrastus states that, ninety years before the magistracy of Praxibulus at Athens—a date which answers to the year of our City, 439—minium was discovered by Callias the Athenian, who was in hopes to extract gold, by submitting to the action of fire the red sand that was found in the silver-mines. This, he says, was the first discovery of minium. He states, also, that in his own time, it was already found in Spain, but of a harsh and sandy nature; as also in Colchis, upon a certain inaccessible rock there, from which it was brought down by the agency of darts. This, however, he says, was only an adulterated kind of minium, the best of all being that procured in the Cilbian Plains,359 above Ephesus, the sand of which has just the colour of the kermes berry.360 This sand, he informs us, is first ground to powder and then washed, the portion that settles at the bottom being subjected to a second washing. From this circumstance, he says, arises a difference in the article; some persons being in the habit of preparing their minium with a single washing, while with others it is more diluted. The best kind, however, he says, is that which has undergone a second washing.


I am not surprised that this colour should have been held in such high esteem; for already, in the days of the Trojan War, rubrica361 was highly valued, as appears from the testimony of Homer, who particularly notices the ships that were coloured with it, whereas, in reference to other colours and paintings, he but rarely notices them. The Greeks call this red earth "miltos," and give to minium the name of "cinnabaris," and hence the error362 caused by the two meanings of the same word; this being properly the name given to the thick matter which issues from the dragon when crushed beneath the weight of the dying elephant, mixed with the blood of either animal, as already described.363 Indeed this last is the only colour that in painting gives a proper representation of blood. This cinnabaris, too, is extremely useful as an ingredient in antidotes and various medicaments. But, by Hercules ! our physicians, because minium also has the name of "cinnabaris," use it as a substitute for the other, and so employ a poison, as we shall shortly364 show it to be.


The ancients used to paint with cinnabaris365 those pictures of one colour, which are still known among us as " monochromata."366 They painted also with the minium of Ephesus:367 but the use of this last has been abandoned, from the vast trouble which the proper keeping of the picture entailed. And then besides, both these colours were thought to be too harsh; the consequence of which is, that painters have now adopted the use of rubrica368 and of sinopis, substances of which I shall make further mention in the appropriate places.369

Cinnabaris370 is adulterated by the agency of goats' blood, or of bruised sorb-apples. The price of genuine cinnabaris is fifty sesterces per pound.


According to Juba minium is also a production of Carmania,371 and Timagenes says that it is found in Æthiopia. But from neither of those regions is it imported to Rome, nor, indeed, from hardly any other quarter but Spain ; that of most note coming from Sisapo,372 a territory of Bætica, the mine of minium there forming a part of the revennes of the Roman people. Indeed there is nothing guarded with a more constant circumspection; for it is not allowable to reduce and refine the ore upon the spot, it being brought to Rome in a crude state and under seal, to the amount of about two thousand pounds per annum. At Rome, the process of washing is performed, and, in the sale of it, the price is regulated by statute; it not being allowed to exceed373 seventy sesterces per pound. There are numerous ways, however, of adulterating it, a source of considerable plunder to the company.374

For there is, in fact, another kind375 of minium, found in most silver-mines as well as lead-mines, and prepared by the calcination of certain stones that are found mixed with the metallic vein—not the minerals, however, to the fluid humours of which we have given376 the name of quicksilver; for if those are subjected to the action of fire they will yield silver—but another kind of stone377 that is found with them. These barren378 stones, too, may be recognized by their uniform leaden colour, and it is only when in the furnace that they turn red. After being duly calcined they are pulverized, and thus form a minium of second-rate quality, known to but very few, and far inferior to the produce of the native sand that we have mentioned.379 It is with this substance, then, as also with syricum, that the genuine minium is adulterated in the manufactories of the company. How syricum is prepared we shall describe in the appropriate place.380 One motive, however, for giving an under-coat of syricum to minium, is the evident saving of expense that results therefrom. Minium, too, in another way affords a very convenient opportunity to painters for pilfering, by wash- ing their brushes,381 filled with the colouring matter, every now and then. The minium of course falls to the bottom, and is thus so much gained by the thief.

Genuine minium ought to have the brilliant colour of the kermes berry;382 but when that of inferior quality is used for walls, the brightness of it is sure to be tarnished by the moisture, and this too, although the substance itself is a sort of metallic mildew. In the mines of Sisapo, the veins are composed exclusively of the sandy particles of minium, without the intermixture of any silver whatever; the practice being to melt it like gold. Minium is assayed by the agency of gold in a state of incandescence: if it has been adulterated, it will turn black, but if genuine, it retains its colour. I find it stated also that minium is adulterated with line; the proper mode of detecting which, is similarly to employ a sheet of red hot iron, if there should happen to be no gold at hand.

To objects painted with minium the action of the sun and moon is highly injurious. The proper method of avoiding this inconvenience, is to dry the wall, and then to apply, with a hair brush, hot Punic wax, melted with oil; after which, the varnish must be heated, with an application of gall-nuts, burnt to a red heat, till it quite perspires. This done, it must be smoothed down with rollers383 made of wax, and then polished with clean linen cloths, like marble, when made to shine. Persons employed in the manufactories in preparing minium protect the face with masks of loose bladder-skin, in order to avoid inhaling the dust, which is highly pernicious; the covering being at the same time sufficiently transparent to admit of being seen through.

Minium is employed also for writing384 in books; and the letters made with it being more distinct, even on gold or marble, it is used for the inscriptions upon tombs.


Human industry has also discovered a method of extracting hydrargyros385 from the inferior minium, a substitute for quick-silver, the further mention of which was deferred, a few pages before,386 to the present occasion. There are two methods of preparing this substance; either by pounding minium and vinegar with a brazen pestle and mortar, or else by putting minium into flat earthen pans, covered with a lid, and then enclosed in an iron seething-pot well luted with potter's clay. A fire is then lighted under the pans, and the flame kept continually burning by the aid of the bellows; which done, the steam is carefully removed, that is found adhering to the lid, being like silver in colour, and similar to water in its fluidity. This liquid, too, is easily made to separate in globules, which, from their fluid nature, readily unite.387

As it is a fact generally admitted, that minium is a poison,388 I look upon all the recipes given as highly dangerous which recommend its employment for medicinal purposes; with the exception, perhaps, of those cases in which it is applied to the head or abdomen, for the purpose of arresting hæmorrhage, due care being taken that it is not allowed to penetrate to the viscera, or to touch any sore. Beyond such cases as these, for my own part, I should never recommend it to be used in medicine.


At the present day silver is gilded almost exclusively by the agency of hydrargyros;389 and a similar method should always be employed in laying gold leaf upon copper. But the same fraud which ever shows itself so extremely ingenious in all departments of human industry, has devised a plan of substituting an inferior material, as already mentioned.390


A description of gold and silver is necessarily accompanied by that of the stone known as "coticula."391 In former times, according to Theophrastus, this stone was nowhere to be found, except in the river Tmolus,392 but at the present day it is found in numerous places. By some persons it is known as the "Heraclian," and by others as the "Lydian" stone. It is found in pieces of moderate size, and never exceeding four inches in length by two in breadth. The side that has lain facing the sun is superior393 to that which has lain next to the ground. Persons of experience in these matters, when they have scraped a particle off the ore with this stone, as with a file, can tell in a moment the proportion of gold there is in it, how much silver, or how much copper; and this to a scruple, their accuracy being so marvellous that they are never mistaken.


There are two kinds of silver. On placing a piece of it upon an iron fire-shovel at a white heat, if the metal remains perfectly white, it is of the best quality: if again it turns of a reddish colour, it is inferior; but if it becomes black, it is worthless. Fraud, however, has devised means of stultifying this test even; for by keeping the shovel immersed in men's urine, the piece of silver absorbs it as it burns, and so displays a fictitious whiteness. There is also a kind of test with reference to polished silver: when the human breath comes in contact with it, it should immediately be covered with steam,394 the cloudiness disappearing at once.

CHAP. 45. (9.)—MIRRORS.

It is generally supposed among us that it is only the very finest silver that admits of being laminated, and so converted into mirrors. Pure silver was formerly used for the purpose, but, at the present day, this too has been corrupted by the devices of fraud. But, really, it is a very marvellous property that this metal has, of reflecting objects; a property which, it is generally agreed, results from the repercussion of the air,395 thrown back as it is from the metal upon the eyes. The same too is the action that takes place when we use a mirror. If, again, a thick plate of this metal is highly polished, and is rendered slightly concave,396 the image or object reflected is enlarged to an immense extent; so vast is the difference between a surface receiving,397 and throwing back the air. Even more than this-drinking-cups are now made in such a manner, as to be filled inside with numerous398 concave facets, like so many mirrors; so that if but one person looks into the interior, he sees reflected a whole multitude of persons.

Mirrors, too, have been invented to reflect monstrous399 forms; those, for instance, which have been consecrated in the Temple at Smyrna. This, however, all results from the configuration given to the metal; and it makes all the difference whether the surface has a concave form like the section of a drinking cup, or whether it is [convex] like a Thracian400 buckler; whether it is depressed in the middle or elevated; whether the surface has a direction401 transversely or obliquely; or whether it runs horizontally or vertically; the peculiar configuration of the surface which receives the shadows, causing them to undergo corresponding distortions: for, in fact, the image is nothing else but the shadow of the object collected upon the bright surface of the metal.

However, to finish our description of mirrors on the present402 occasion—the best, in the times of our ancestors, were those of Brundisium,403 composed of a mixture of404 stannum and copper: at a later period, however, those made of silver were preferred, Pasiteles405 being the first who made them, in the time406 of Pompeius Magnus. More recently,407 a notion has arisen that the object is reflected with greater distinctness, by the application to the back of the mirror of a layer of gold.408


The people of Egypt stain their silver vessels, that they may see represented in them their god Anubis;409 and it is the custom with them to paint,410 and not to chase, their silver. This usage has now passed to our own triumphal statues even; and, a truly marvellous fact, the value of silver has been enhanced by deadening its brilliancy.411 The following is the method adopted: with the silver are mixed two-thirds of the very finest Cyprian copper, that known as "coronarium,"412 and a proportion of live sulphur equal to that of the silver. The whole of these are then melted in an earthen vessel well luted with potter's clay, the operation being completed when the cover becomes detached from the vessel. Silver admits also of being blackened with the yolk of a hard-boiled egg; a tint, however, which is removed by the application of vinegar and chalk.

The Triumvir Antonius alloyed the silver denarius with iron: and in spurious coin there is an alloy of copper employed. Some, again, curtail413 the proper weight of our denarii, the legitimate proportion being eighty-four denarii to a pound of silver. It was in consequence of these frauds that a method was devised of assaying the denarius: the law ordaining which was so much to the taste of the plebeians, that in every quarter of the City there was a full-length statue erected414 in honour of Marius Gratidianus. It is truly marvellous, that in this art, and in this only, the various methods of falsification should be made a study:415 for the sample of the false denarius is now an object of careful examination, and people absolutely buy the counterfeit coin at the price of many genuine ones!


The ancients had no number whereby to express a larger sum than one hundred thousand; and hence it is that, at the present day, we reckon by multiples of that number, as, for instance, ten times one hundred thousand, and so on.416 For these multiplications we are indebted to usury and the use of coined money; and hence, too, the expression "æs alienum," or "another man's money," which we still use.417 In later times, again, the surname "Dives"418 was given to some: only be it known to all, that the man who first received this surname became a bankrupt and so bubbled his creditors.419 M. Crassus,420 a member of the same family, used to say that no man was rich, who could not maintain a legion upon his yearly income. He possessed in land two hundred millions421 of sesterces, being the richest Roman citizen next to Sylla. Nor was even this enough for him, but he must want to possess all the gold of the Parthians too!422 And yet, although he was the first to become memorable for his opulence—so pleasant is the task of stigmatizing this insatiate cupidity—we have known of many manumitted slaves, since his time, much more wealthy than he ever was; three for example, all at the same time, in the reign of the Emperor Claudius, Pallas,423 Callistus,424 and Narcissus.425

But to omit all further mention of these men, as though they were still426 the rulers of the empire, let us turn to C. Cæcilius Claudius Isidorus, who, in the consulship of C. Asinius Gallus and C. Marcius Censorinus,427 upon the sixth day before the calends of February, declared by his will, that though he had suffered great losses through the civil wars, he was still able to leave behind him four thousand one hundred and sixteen slaves, three thousand six hundred pairs of oxen, and two hundred and fifty-seven thousand heads of other kind of cattle, besides, in ready money, sixty millions of sesterces. Upon his funeral, also, he ordered eleven hundred thousand sesterces to be expended.

And yet, supposing all these enormous riches to be added together, how small a proportion will they bear to the wealth of Ptolemæus; the person who, according to Varro, when Pompeius was on his expedition in the countries adjoining Judæa, entertained eight thousand horsemen at his own expense, and gave a repast to one thousand guests, setting before every one of them a drinking-cup of gold, and changing these vessels at every course! And then, again, how insignificant would his wealth have been by the side of that of Pythius the Bithynian428—for I here make no mention of kings, be it remarked. He it was who gave the celebrated plane-tree and vine of gold to King Darius, and who entertained at a banquet the troops of Xerxes, seven hundred and eighty-eight thousand men in all; with a promise of pay and corn for the whole of them during the next five months, on condition that one at least of his five children, who had been drawn for service, should be left to him as the solace of his old age. And yet, let any one compare the wealth of Pythius to that possessed by King Crœsus!

In the name of all that is unfortunate, what madness it is for human nature to centre its desires upon a thing that has either fallen to the lot of slaves, or else has reached no known limit in the aspirations even of kings!


The Roman people first began to make voluntary contributions429 in the consulship of Spurius Posthumius and Quintus Marcius.430 So abundant was money at that period, that the people assessed themselves for a contribution to L. Scipio, to defray the expenses of the games which he celebrated.431 As to the contribution of the sixth part of an as, for the purpose of defraying the funeral expenses of Agrippa Menenius, I look upon that to have been a mark of respect paid to him, an honour, too, that was rendered necessary by his poverty, rather than in the light of a largess.


The caprice of the human mind is marvellously exemplified in the varying fashions of silver plate; the work of no individual manufactory being for any long time in vogue. At one period, the Furnian plate, at another the Clodian, and at another the Gratian,432 is all the rage—for we borrow the shop even at our tables.433—Now again, it is embossed plate434 that we are in search of, and silver deeply chiselled around the marginal lines of the figures painted435 upon it; and now we are building up on our sideboards fresh tiers436 of tables for supporting the various dishes. Other articles of plate we nicely pare away,437 it being an object that the file may remove as much of the metal as possible.

We find the orator Calvus complaining that the saucepans are made of silver; but it has been left for us to invent a plan of covering our very carriages438 with chased silver, and it was in our own age that Poppæa, the wife of the Emperor Nero, ordered her favourite mules to be shod even with gold!


The younger Scipio Africanus left to his heir thirty-two pounds' weight of silver; the same person who, on his triumph over the Carthaginians, displayed four thousand three hundred and seventy pounds' weight of that metal. Such was the sum total of the silver possessed by the whole of the inhabitants of Carthage, that rival of Rome for the empire of the world! How many a Roman since then has surpassed her in his display of plate for a single table! After the destruction of Numantia, the same Africanus gave to his soldiers, on the day of his triumph, a largess of seven denarii each—and right worthy were they of such a general, when satisfied with such a sum! His brother, Scipio Allobrogicus,439 was the very first who possessed one thousand pounds' weight of silver, but Drusus Livius, when he was tribune of the people, possessed ten thousand. As to the fact that an ancient warrior,440 a man, too, who had enjoyed a triumph, should have incurred the notice of the censor for being in possession of five pounds' weight of silver, it is a thing that would appear quite fabulous at the present day.441 The same, too, with the instance of Catus Ælius,442 who, when consul, after being found by the Ætolian ambassadors taking his morning meal443 off of common earthenware, refused to receive the silver vessels which they sent him; and, indeed, was never in possession, to the last day of his life, of any silver at all, with the exception of two drinking-cups, which had been presented to him as the reward of his valour, by L. Paulus,444 his father-in-law, on the conquest of King Perseus.

We read, too, that the Carthaginian ambassadors declared that no people lived on more amicable terms among themselves than the Romans, for that wherever they had dined they had always met with the same445 silver plate. And yet, by Hercules! to my own knowledge, Pompeius Paulinus, son of a Roman of equestrian rank at Arelate,446 a member, too, of a family, on the paternal side, that was graced with the fur,447 had with him, when serving with the army, and that, too, in a war against the most savage nations, a service of silver plate that weighed twelve thousand pounds!


For this long time past, however, it has been the fashion to plate the couches of our women, as well as some of our ban- quetting-couches,448 entirely with silver. Carvilius Pollio,449 a Roman of equestrian rank, was the first, it is said, to adorn these last with silver; not, I mean, to plate them all over, nor yet to make them after the Delian pattern; the Punic450 fashion being the one he adopted. It was after this last pattern too, that he had them ornamented with gold as well: and it was not long after his time that silver couches came into fashion, in imitation of the couches of Delos. All this extravagance, however, was fully expiated by the civil wars of Sulla.


In fact, it was but very shortly before that period that these couches were invented, as well as chargers451 of silver, one hundred pounds in weight: of which last, it is a well-known fact, that there were then upwards of one hundred and fifty in Rome, and that many persons were proscribed through the devices of others who were desirous to gain possession thereof. Well may our Annals be put to the blush for having to impute those civil wars to the existence of such vices as these!

Our own age, however, has waxed even stronger in this respect. In the reign of Claudius, his slave Drusillanus, surnamed Rotundus, who acted as his steward452 in Nearer Spain, possessed a silver charger weighing five hundred pounds, for the manufacture of which a workshop had had to be expressly built. This charger was accompanied also by eight other dishes, each two hundred and fifty pounds in weight. How many of his fellow-slaves,453 pray, would it have taken to introduce these dishes, or who454 were to be the guests served therefrom?

Cornelius Nepos says that before the victory gained455 by Sylla, there were but two banquetting couches adorned with silver at Rome, and that in his own recollection, silver was first used for adorning sideboards. Fenestella, who died at the end of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, informs us that at that period sideboards, inlaid even with tortoiseshell,456 had come into fashion; whereas, a little before his time, they had been made of solid wood, of a round shape, and not much larger than our tables. He says, however, that when he was quite a boy, they had begun to make the sideboards square, and of different457 pieces of wood, or else veneered with maple or citrus:458 and that at a later period the fashion was introduced of overlaying the corners and the seams at the joinings with silver. The name given to them in his youth, he says, was "tympana;"459 and it was at this period, too, that the chargers which had been known as "magides" by the ancients, first received the name of "lances," from their resemblance460 to the scales of a balance.


It is not, however, only for vast quantities of plate that there is such a rage among mankind, but even more so, if possible, for the plate of peculiar artists: and this too, to the exculpation of our own age, has long been the case. C. Gracchus possessed some silver dolphins, for which he paid five thousand sesterces per pound. Lucius Crassus, the orator, paid for two goblets chased by the hand of the artist Mentor,461 one hundred thousand sesterces: but he confessed that for very shame he never dared use them, as also that he had other articles of plate in his possession, for which he had paid at the rate of six thousand sesterces per pound. It was the conquest of Asia462 that first introduced luxury into Italy; for we find that Lucius Scipio, in his triumphal procession, exhibited one thousand four hundred pounds' weight of chased silver, with golden vessels, the weight of which amounted to one thousand five hundred pounds. This463 took place in the year from the foundation of the City, 565. But that which inflicted a still more severe blow upon the Roman morals, was the legacy of Asia,464 which King Attalus465 left to the state at his decease, a legacy which was even more disadvantageous than the victory of Scipio,466 in its results. For, upon this occasion, all scruple was entirely removed, by the eagerness which existed at Rome, for making purchases at the auction of the king's effects. This took place in the year of the City, 622, the people having learned, during the fifty-seven years that had intervened, not only to admire, but to covet even, the opulence of foreign nations. The tastes of the Roman people had received, too, an immense impulse from the conquest of Achaia,467 which, during this interval, in the year of the City, 608, that nothing might be wanting, had introduced both statues and pictures. The same epoch, too, that saw the birth of luxury, witnessed the downfall of Carthage; so that, by a fatal coincidence, the Roman people, at the same moment, both acquired a taste for vice and obtained a license for gratifying it.

Some, too, of the ancients sought to recommend themselves by this love of excess; for Caius Marius, after his victory over the Cimbri, drank from a cantharus,468 it is said, in imitation of Father Liber;469 Marius, that ploughman470 of Arpinum, a general who had risen from the ranks.!471


It is generally believed, but erroneously, that silver was first employed for making statues of the deified Emperor Augustus, at a period when adulation was all the fashion: for I find it stated, that in the triumph celebrated by Pompeius Magnus there was a silver statue exhibited of Pharnaces, the first472 king of Pontus, as also one of Mithridates Eupator,473 besides chariots of gold and silver.

Silver, too, has in some instances even supplanted gold; for the luxurious tastes of the female plebeians having gone so far as to adopt the use of shoe-buckles of gold,474 it is considered old-fashioned to wear them made of that metal.475 I myself, too, have seen Arellius Fuscus476—the person whose name was erased from the equestrian order on a singularly calumnious charge,477 when his school was so thronged by our youth, attracted thither by his celebrity—wearing rings made of silver. But of what use is it to collect all these instances, when our very soldiers, holding ivory even in contempt, have the hilts of their swords made of chased silver? when, too, their scabbards are heard to jingle with their silver chains, and their belts with the plates of silver with which they are inlaid?

At the present day, too, the continence of our very pages is secured by the aid of silver:478 our women, when bathing, quite despise any sitting-bath that is not made of silver: while for serving up food at table, as well as for the most unseemly purposes, the same metal must be equally employed! Would that Fabricius could behold these instances of luxuriousness, the baths of our women—bathing as they do in company with the men—paved with silver to such an extent that there is not room left for the sole of the foot even! Fabricius, I say, who would allow of no general of an army having any other plate than a patera and a salt-cellar of silver. —Oh that he could see how that the rewards of valour in our day are either composed of these objects of luxury, or else are broken up to make them!479 Alas for the morals of our age! Fabricius puts us to the blush.


It is a remarkable fact that the art of chasing gold should have conferred no celebrity upon any person, while that of embossing silver has rendered many illustrious. The greatest renown, however, has been acquired by Mentor, of whom mention has been made already.480 Four pairs [of vases] were all that were ever481 made by him; and at the present day, not one of these, it is said, is any longer in existence, owing to the conflagrations of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus and of that in the Capitol.482 Varro informs us in his writings that he also was in possession of a bronze statue, the work of this artist. Next to Mentor, the most admired artists were Acra- gas,483 Boëthus,484 and Mys.485 Works of all these artists are still extant in the Isle of Rhodes; of Boëthus, in the Temple of Minerva, at Lindus; of Acragas, in the Temple of Father Liber, at Rhodes, consisting of cups engraved with figures in relief of Centaurs and Bacchantes; and of Mys, in the same temple, figures of Sileni and Cupids. Representations also of the chase by Acragas on drinking cups were held in high estimation.

Next to these in repute comes Calamis.486 Antipater487 too, it has been said, laid, rather than engraved,488 a Sleeping Satyr upon a drinking-bowl.489 Next to these come Stratonicus490 of Cyzicus, and Tauriscus:491 Ariston492 also, and Eunicus,493 of Mytilene are highly praised; Hecatæus494 also, and, about the age of Pompeius Magnus, Pasiteles,495 Posidonius496 of Ephesus, Hedystratides497 who engraved battle-scenes and armed warriors, and Zopyrus,498 who represented the Court of the Areopa- gus and the trial of Orestes,499 upon two cups valued at twelve thousand sesterces. There was Pytheas500 also, a work of whose sold at the rate of ten thousand denarii for two ounces: it was a drinking-bowl, the figures on which represented Ulysses and Diomedes stealing the Palladium.501 The same artist engraved also, upon some small drinking-vessels, kitchen scenes,502 known as "magiriscia;"503 of such remarkably fine workmanship and so liable to injury, that it was quite impossible to take copies504 of them. Teucer too, the inlayer,505 enjoyed a great reputation.

All at once, however, this art became so lost in point of excellence, that at the present day ancient specimens are the only ones at all valued; and only those pieces of plate are held in esteem the designs on which are so much worn that the figures cannot be distinguished.

Silver becomes tainted by the contact of mineral waters, and of the salt exhalations from them, as in the interior of Spain, for instance.


In the mines of gold and silver there are some other pigments also found, sil506 and cæruleum. Sil is, properly speaking, a sort of slime.507 The best kind is that known as Attic sil; the price of which is two denarii per pound. The next best kind is the marbled508 sil, the price of which is half that of the Attic kind. A third sort is the compressed sil, known to some persons as Scyric sil, it coming from the Isle of Scyros. Then, too, there is the sil of Achaia, which painters make use of for shadow-painting, and the price of which is two sesterces per pound. At a price of two asses less per pound, is sold the clear509 sil, which comes from Gaul. This last kind, as well as the Attic sil, is used for painting strong lights: but the marbled sil only is employed for colouring compartitions,510 the marble in it offering a resistance to the natural acridity of the lime. This last kind is extracted also from some mountains twenty miles distant from the City. When thus extracted, it is submitted to the action of fire; in which form it is adulterated by some, and sold for compressed sil. That it has been burnt, however, and adulterated, may be very easily detected by its acridity, and the fact that it very soon crumbles into dust.

Polygnotus511 and Micon512 were the first to employ sil in painting, but that of Attica solely. The succeeding age used this last kind for strong lights only, and employed the Scyric and Lydian kinds for shadow painting. The Lydian sil used to be bought at Sardes; but at the present day we hear nothing of it.

CHAP. 57. (13.)—CÆRULEUM.

Cæruleum513 is a kind of sand. In former times there were three kinds of it; the Egyptian, which was the most esteemed of all; the Scythian, which is easily dissolved, and which produces four colours when pounded, one of a lighter blue and one of a darker blue, one of a thicker consistency and one comparatively thin;514 and the Cyprian, which is now preferred as a colour to the preceding. Since then, the kinds imported from Puteoli and Spain have been added to the list, this sand having of late been prepared there. Every kind,515 however, is submitted to a dyeing process, it being boiled with a plant516 used particularly for this purpose,517 and imbibing its juices. In other respects, the mode of preparing it is similar to that of chrysocolla. From cæruleum, too, is prepared the substance known as "lomentum,"518 it being washed and ground for the purpose. Lomentum is of a paler tint than cæruleum; the price of it is ten denarii per pound, and that of cæruleum but eight. Cæruleum is used upon a surface of clay, for upon lime it will not hold. A more recent invention is the Vestorian519 cæruleum, so called from the person who first manufactured it: it is prepared from the finer parts of Egyptian cæruleum, and the price of it is eleven denarii per pound. That of Puteoli is used in a similar manner,520 as also for windows:521 it is known as "cylon."

It is not so long since that indicum522 was first imported to Rome, the price being seventeen523 denarii per pound. Painters make use of it for incisures, or in other words, the division of shadows from light. There is also a lomentum of very inferior quality, known to us as "ground" lomentum, and valued at only five asses per pound.

The mode of testing the genuineness of cæruleum, is to see whether it emits a flame, on being laid upon burning coals. One method of adulterating it is to boil dried violets in water, and then to strain the liquor through linen into Eretrian524 clay.


Cæruleum has the medicinal property of acting as a detergent upon ulcers. Hence it is, that it is used as an ingredient in plasters, as also in cauteries. As to sil, it is pounded with the greatest difficulty: viewed as a medicament, it is slightly mordent and astringent, and fills up the cavities left by ulcers. To make it the more serviceable, it is burnt in earthen vessels.

The prices of things, which I have in different places annexed, vary, I am well aware, according to the locality, and experience a change almost every year: variations dependent upon the opportunities afforded for navigation, and the terms upon which the merchant may have purchased the article. It may so happen, too, that some wealthy dealer has engrossed the market, and so enhanced the price: for I am by no means forgetful of the case of Demetrius, who in the reign of the Emperor Nero was accused before the consuls by the whole community of the Seplasia.525 Still, however, I have thought it necessary to annex the usual price of each commodity at Rome, in order to give some idea of their relative values.

SUMMARY.—Remedies, narratives, and observations, one thousand one hundred and twenty-five.

ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Domitianus Cæsar,526 Junius Gracchanus,527 L. Piso,528 Verrius,529 M. Varro,530 Corvinus,531 Atticus Pomponius,532 Calvus Licinius,533 Cornelius Nepos,534 Mucianus,535 Bocchus,536 Fetialis,537 Fenestella,538 Valerius Maximus,539 Julius Bassus540 who wrote on Medicine in Greek, Sextius Niger541 who did the same.

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Theophrastus,542 Democritus,543 Juba,544 Timæus545 the historian, who wrote on Metallic Medicines, Heraclides,546 Andreas,547 Diagoras,548 Botrys,549 Archidemus,550 Dionysius,551 Aristogenes,552 Democles,553 Mnesides,554 Attalus555 the physician, Xenocrates556 the son of Zeno, Theomnestus,557 Nymphodorus,558 Iollas,559 Apollodorus,560 Pasiteles561 who wrote on Wonderful Works, Antigonus562 who wrote on the Toreutic art, Menæchmus563 who did the same, Xenocrates564 who did the same, Duris565 who did the same, Menander566 who wrote on Toreutics, Heliodorus567 who wrote on the Votive Offerings of the Athenians, Metrodorus568 of Scepsis.

1 We now enter upon the Sixth division of Pliny's work, containing an account of mineral substances of all descriptions.—Dr. Bostock.

2 "Ipsæ opes." The metals were looked upon by the ancients as the only true riches. It is in this sense that Ovid says, Metam. B. i.: "Effodiuntur opes, irritamenta malorum." Pliny applies the term "pretia rerum" to metals, as forming the unit of value.

3 Electrum is described in c. 23, as gold mixed with a certain quantity of silver. The word "electrum" is also used to signify amber, as in B. iii. c. 30.—B.

4 "Æs;" by "æs" is here probably meant copper, as the author is speaking of what is dug out of the earth; it is more fully described in the first two Chapters of the next Book. According to the analysis of Klaproth, the œs of the ancients, when employed in works of art, cutting instruments, statues, vases, &c., was the "bronze" of the moderns, a mixture of copper and tin, in which the proportion of tin varied, from a little more than 2 to 1.14 per cent. according as the object was to procure a flexible or a hard substance. Agricola speaks of "æs" as synonymous with "cuprum," and Pliny will be found several times in the present Book, speaking of "æs Cyprium," meaning probably the finest kind of copper, and that without alloy.—B.

5 Pliny has already referred to this topic in B. ii. c. 63.—B.

6 Or shades below.

7 "Illa quæ non nascuntur repente."

8 "Chrysocolla" is fully described in Chapter 26 of this Book.—B.

9 Meaning "gold glue," or "gold solder."

10 There is considerable variation in the text of this passage, as found in the different editions. In that of Dalechamps, the Variorum, and those of De Laët and Sillig, the sentence concludes with the words "nomen ex auro custodiens;" while in those of Valpy, Lemaire, Poinsinet, Ajasson, and others, we find substituted for them the words, "Non natura," "Nomen natura," "Nomine natura," or "Nomen naturam."—B. The first reading is warranted by the Bamberg MS.

11 "Auri sanies." More properly speaking, "the corrupt matter discharged by gold." See Chapter 26.

12 "Minium" is treated of in Chapter 36 of this Book.—B.

13 "Pretia rerum." The value of the raw material.

14 Pliny here refers both to the art of producing figures in relief on drinking vessels made of the precious metals, and also of giving them particular forms. A well-known line of Juvenal, Sat. ii. 1. 95, affords a striking illustration of the depraved taste which existed in his time.—B. Lampridius also speaks of vessels of silver "defiled with representations of a most libidinous character;" and Capitolinus speaks of "phallovitroboli," glass drinking vessels shaped like a phallus.

15 "Murrhina" or "myrrhina," are described in B. xxxvii. c. 8; they were, perhaps, onyxes or opals, though possibly the term was not strictly confined to these substances, but signified any transparent minerals, that exhibited a variety of colours. Salmasius, however, ridicules the idea of their being onyxes, and is of opinion that these vessels were made of porcelain; Exer. Plin. p. 144.—B.

16 See B. xxxvii. c. 9.

17 He alludes to the cups known as "chrysendeta," adorned with circlets of gold, exquisite chasings, and groups of precious stones. See Juvenal, Sat. v. 1. 42.

18 The "Smaragdus" is described in B. xxxvii. c. 13.

19 "Et aurum jam accessio est."

20 "Sacrum famæ." This is the reading given by the Bamberg MS. in substitution for "aurum, sacra fames" and other readings of a similar nature, in which Pliny was thought by the commentators to allude to the famous lines of Virgil—
"Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
Auri sacra fames!"
Had he alluded to the passage of Virgil, it is not probable that he would have used the expression in the plural, "celeberrimi auctores."

21 Il. B. vii. ll. 472–5.—B.

22 Il. B. vi. l. 236.

23 We may infer that this was the reason why the figure of an ox or other animal was impressed on the earliest Roman coins.—B.

24 As Hardouin remarks, "This story is told by others, of Gyges, and not of Midas." He refers to Cicero, De Off. B. iii. c. 9, in confirmation of his assertion.—B. Both Gyges and Midas were noted for their wealth.

25 "Sinistræ." The play here upon the word "sinister" cannot be so well transferred into the English language; but it bears reference to the double meaning of the word, "on the left hand," and "unlucky," "illomened," or, as we say "sinister." We may remark, that rings were very generally employed by the Romans, not merely as ornaments, but as indications of office and rank.—B.

26 From Corinth, it was said: Damaratus of Corinth being the father of the first Tarquin. See B. xxxv. c. 5.

27 On the subject of "Bullæ," golden balls, worn hy the children of the nobles, see Dr. Smith's Dict. Antiq. p. 168.—B.

28 As to the "Toga prætexta," see B. viii. c. 74.

29 "Lorum." This word literally signifies a leather strap or thong, and Pliny is supposed by Hardouin to mean simply, that, in this latter case the strap was worn without the bulla, which was in other cases attached to it. Juvenal, Sat. v. l. 164, speaks of the "lorum" of the children of the poor.—B.

30 δακτύλιον, from δάκτυλος, a "finger."

31 Festus says that this was the Oscan name for a ring. It would appear to be allied to the word "unguis," which means a nail of the finger or toe, and would perhaps signify a "nail ornament."

32 As meaning a seal or signet, for which purpose, as we shall find explained in the sequel, the ring was used.

33 This seems to be the meaning of "Vulgoque sic triumphabant."

34 As to these crowns, see B. xxi. c. 4.

35 As to some other particulars connected with this usage, see the end of B. xxviii. c. 7.

36 And yet, as Hardouin remarks, before his time, when Scipio was besieging Carthage, the bodies of the Roman tribunes, when selected for burial by Hasdrubal, were distinguished by their rings of gold. The object of Marius, no doubt, was to ingratiate himself with the upper classes.

37 A. U. C. 651.

38 Known as the "anulus pronubus," or "engaged ring," according to Dalechamps.

39 "Codicillos." Il. B. vi. l. 168.

40 See B. xiii. c. 21.

41 Od. B. viii. ll. 424, 443, 447.

42 See the Iliad. B. iii. and B. vii. l. 175, et seq.

43 His meaning is, that although were used, lots or balls made of earth, we do not read that the impressions on them were made by the aid of signet-rings.

44 "Fabrieæ deûm." He alludes to the forge of Vulcan, described in the Eighteenth Book of the Iliad, l. 400, et seq.

45 This seems to be the meaning of "In primordio factitâsse."

46 The "fibulæ" were the brooches of the ancients, consisting of a pin, and of a curved portion furnished with a hook. See Dr. Smith's Diet. Antiq. p. 417.

47 As the meaning of this passage has been the subject of much discussion with commentators, we give it in full, as found in the Edition of Sillig. "Et quisquis primus instituit, cunctanter id fecit, lævis manibus latentibusque induit, cum, si honos securus fuisset, dextrâ fuerit ostentandus. Quodsi impedimentum potuit in eo aliquod intelligi, etiam serior is usus argumentum est, et majus in lævâ fuisset, quâ seutum capitur." Sillig is of opinion that Pliny is here alluding to the reason given by Ateius Capito (quoted in Maerobius, Saturn. B. vii. c. 13), for wearing the ring on the left hand. It was so worn, he says, from an apprehension that the precious stone with which it was set, might receive injury from the continual use made of the right hand.

48 Under the folds of the toga.

49 Il. B. xvii. l. 52.

50 The reading in most MSS. is the "fourth consulship." This, however, is an error which has been rectified by the Bamberg and some other MSS. Pompey was but thrice consul. M. Crassus was the person generally accused of the act of robbery here alluded to.

51 Who took the golden tore (torques) from the Gaul whom he slew; whence his name.

52 "Cum auro pugnare solitos."

53 "Quod equidem in augurio intellectum est, cum Capitolinus duplum reddidisset." The meaning of this passage is obscure, and cannot with certainty be ascertained. Holland renders it, "To the light and knowledge whereof we come by means of revelation from Augurie, which gave us to understand, that Jupiter Capitolinus had rendered again the foresaid summe in duple proportion." Littré gives a similar translation. Ajasson translates it, "This, at least, is what we may presume, from the fact of there being discovered double the amount expected;" following the explanation given by Hardouin.

54 The "ædituus," or "temple keeper." See B. xxxvi. 4.

55 Beneath which there was poison concealed, Hardouin says. Hannibal killed himself in a similar manner; also Demosthenes, as mentioned in the next Chapter.

56 The adopted son of the great Marius. This event happened in his consulship, B.C. 82. After his defeat by Sylla at Sacriportus, he retired into the fortified town of Præneste, where he had deposited the treasures of the Capitoline temple. The temple, after this conflagration, was rebuilt by order of Sylla.

57 Called the "Fasti;" probably because this was the first word of the title.

58 "Dies fasti." These were the days on which the courts sat, and the Prætor, who was the chief judge, gave his decisions. The word "fasti" is derived from the ancient Latin "for," or from the old Greek word φάω, both signifying "to speak:" consequently the "dies fasti" were "the speaking days," and the "dies nefasti" the "non-speaking days," in allusion to the restrictions put upon the judgments of the Prætor.

59 This complex state of the Roman Calendar long remained one of the sources from which the priesthood and the patrician order derived their power and influence over the plebeians. Having no other method of ascertaining what days were "fasti," and what were "nefasti," the lower classes were obliged either to apply to the priests and nobles for information, or to await the proclamation by the priests of the various festivals about to take place.

60 Appius Claudius Cæcus, the Censor and jurisconsult, who constructed the Appian Way.

61 A.U.C. 440, or B.C. 314.

62 In the war, probably, with the twelve nations of Etruria, who were conquered by the Consul Fabius A.U.C. 444. See Livy, B. ix.

63 The father of the former C. Pœtilius Libo, was Consul A.U.C. 428: the father of the latter, Cneius Domitius Calvinus, was Consul A.U.C. 432.

64 "Anulos abjectos."

65 The "phaleræ" were bosses of metal, often gold, attached to the harness of the horse. See B. vii. c. 29.

66 He would probably imply hereby that, as he states subsequently, at this period gold rings were not as yet worn by all the members of the senate.

67 A.U.C. 449.

68 "Ædiculam æream"—of brass or bronze.

69 For the explanation of this term, see B. vii. c. 60.

70 See B. x. c. 2. Livy tells us that this shrine or temple was built in the area or place of Vulcan.

71 Livy, B. xxiii. speaks of one modius as being the real quantity. Florus, B. ii. c. 16, says two modii: but Saint Augustin, De Civit. Dei. B. iii. c. 19, and most other writers, mention three modii.

72 Q. Servilius Cæpio. He and M. Livius Drusus had been most intimate friends, and each had married the other's sister. The assassination of Drusus was supposed by some to have been committed at the instigation of Cæpio. The latter lost his life in an ambush, B.C. 90.

73 See B. xxviii. c. 41.

74 See B. ii. c. 85.

75 M. Calpurnius Flamma. See B. xxii. c. 6.

76 A patrician family; branches of which were the Cincinnati, the Capitolini, the Crispini, and the Flaminini.

77 This is an erroneous assertion, both as to the East, and as to Egypt. See instances to the contrary in Genesis, c. xli. v. 42; and in Esther, c. iii. verses 10, 12, and c. viii. verses 2, 8, 10.

78 "Literis contenta solis."

79 The Thirty-seventh Book. See also his remarks in B. ii. c. 63: "We tear out earth's entrails in order to extract the gems with which we may load our fingers. How many hands are worn down that one little joint may be ornamented!" Martial, Epigr. B. v. Ep. 11, speaks of his friend Stella as wearing on the joint of one finger sardonyxes, emeralds, and jaspers.

80 "Violari." See B. xxxvii. c. 1.

81 A fashion much followed at the present day.

82 This also is a not uncommon fashion at the present day.

83 From the "Trinummus" of Plautus, A. iv. s. 4, we learn that the ring worn by slaves was called "condalium." From the "Truculentus" of Plautus we learn also that these rings were sometimes made of bronze. The "jus anuli," or right of wearing a gold ring, was never conceded to slaves.

84 See B. iv. c. 23. In the Origines of Isidorus Hispalensis, B. xix. c. 32, we find mention made of "A Samothracian gold ring, with an iron bezil, so called from the place of its invention." Pliny has already made allusion to the luxurious habits of the slaves, in B. xiii. c. 4; and B. xviii. c. 2; a subject upon which Juvenal enlarges in his Third Satire.

85 The reasons are mentioned by Ateius Capito, as quoted by Macrobius, Saturnal. B. vii. c. 13: also by Apion the Grammarian, as quoted by Aulus Gellius, B. x. c. 10.

86 The ring of each finger had its own appropriate name.

87 The "dactyliotheca," or "ring-box."

88 Juvenal, Sat. i. l. 26, et. seq., speaks of the summer rings of the Roman fops, and their fingers sweating beneath the weight.

89 Martial, Epigr. B. xiv., speaks of the numerous accidents to which a weighty ring was liable.

90 Hannibal, too, for instance, as mentioned in Note 51 to the preceding Chapter.

91 He alludes, probably, to forgeries perpetrated through the agency of false signets.

92 Plautus, Cicero, Horace, and Martial, each in his own age, bears testimony to the truth of this statement.

93 Or remembrancer; a slave whose duty it was to remind his master of the name of each member of his household; see B. xxix. c. 8. Athenæus, B. vi., speaks of as many as twenty thousand slaves belonging to one household. Demetrius, the freedman of Pompey, mentioned in B. xxxv. c. 58, had a retinue of slaves equal to an army in amount.

94 Meaning "Marci puer," or "Luci puer"—"Marcius' boy," or "Lucius' boy."

95 Suetonius says, c. 73, that Tiberius, in his last illness, awoke after a long lethargy, and demanded his signet-ring, which his son-in-law, Caligula, had removed from his finger, under the supposition that he was dead. Macro, to avoid any unpleasant results in the way of punishment, caused the emperor to be smothered with the pillows and bedclothes.

96 This famous and somewhat improbable story of the ring of Polycrates is told by Valerius Maximus, B. vi. c. 9; Herodotus, B. iii.; and Cicero, De Finibus, B. iv. Pliny again mentions it in B. xxxvii. cc. 2, 4.

97 He was crucified by Oroetes, the Persian satrap of Sardis.

98 "Anulo exsiliente."

99 In Chapter 13 of this Book.

100 The laticlave tunic. See B. viii. c. 73, and B. ix. c. 63.

101 "Præcones."

102 See the list of writers at the end of B. ix.

103 "Equus militaris."

104 See B. xxix. c. 8. The "Decuriæ" of "judices," or "judges," were so called, probably, from ten (decem) having been originally chosen from each tribe. As to the Decuriæ of the judices, see Smith's Diet. Antiq. pp. 531–2. The account given by Pliny is confused in the extreme.

105 "Turmæ." Squadrons of thirty "equites" or horsemen; ten of which squadrons were attached to each legion.

106 Before the time of Augustus, there were but three decuries.

107 A law introduced by Aurelius Cotta, B.C. 70, enacted that the Judices should be chosen from the three classes—of Senators, Equites, and Tribuni æarii, or Tribunes of the treasury, these last being taken from the body of the people, and being persons possessed of some property.

108 Members selected by lot.

109 "Nongenti."

110 Tacitus says that this took place the year before, in the consulship of C. Sulpicius, and D. Haterius. See the Annales, B. iii. c. 86.

111 Brother of the Emperor Galba.

112 "Aucupatus."

113 Suetonius says that Tiberius instructed the ædiles to prohibit stews and eating-houses: from which we may conclude, Hardouin says, that C. Sulpicius Galba was an ædile.

114 Or, in other words, belonging to the equestrian order. The Roman equites often followed the pursuits of bankers, and farmers of the public revenues.

115 A law passed in the time of Julius Cæsar, B.C. 69, which permitted Roman equites, in case they or their parents had ever had a Census equestris, to sit in the fourteen rows fixed by the Lex Roscia Theatralis.

116 Caligula.

117 Conjointly with L. Vitellius.

118 Or farmers of the public revenues; the "publicans" of Scripture. In reality, they were mostly members of the equestrian order, and the words "equites" and "publicani" are often used as synonymous.

119 "This passage seems to be the addition of some ignorant copyist. It is indeed a remarkable fact, that we have no inscription in which we see the Equites named after the people as well as the Senate."—Laboulaye, Essai sur les lois Criminelles des Romains: Paris, 1845, p. 224.

120 According to Livy, B. i. c. 15, the Celeres were three hundred Roman knights whom Romulus established as a body-guard. Their name, probably, was derived from the Greek κέλης, a "war-horse," or "charger," and the body consisted, no doubt, of the patricians in general, or such of them as could keep horses. Another origin assigned to the appellation is "Celer," the name of a chieftain, who was a favourite of Romulus. The adjective "celer," "swift," owes its origin, probably, to the title of these horsemen.

121 A title derived, possibly, as Delafosse suggests, "a flectendis habenis," from "managing the reins."

122 Called "Trossum" or "Trossulum," it is supposed. The remains of a town are still to be seen at Trosso, two miles from Montefiascone in Tuscany. The Greek word τρωξαλλὶς, a "cricket," and the Latin "torosulus," "muscular," have been suggested as the origin of this name. Ajasson suggests the Latin verb "truso," to "push on," as its origin.

123 See the end of this Book.

124 From the ambiguous nature of the name, it being in later times an expression of contempt, like our word "fop," or "beau." In this latter sense, Salmasius derives it from the Greek τρυσσὸς, "effeminate."

125 This concluding passage is omitted in most editions.

126 See B. vii. c. 29.

127 Dionysius of Halicarnassus is therefore probably wrong in his assertion that tores of gold were given to Siccius Dentatus, a Roman citizen, as the reward of valour.

128 See B. vii. c. 29.

129 On this subject, see B. xvi. c. 3, and B. xxi. c. i.

130 A.U.C. 323, or 431 B.C.

131 Situate about fourteen miles from Rome, and on the road to the town called La Colonna.

132 A.U.C. 479, and B.C. 275. In the following year Merenda himself was consul, with Manius Curius Dentatus.

133 "Testamento prælegavit." Properly speaking, "prælegare" was "to bequeath a thing to be given before the inheritance was divided." The crown thus left by Piso was to be three pounds in weight.

134 Oxen, namely. The smaller victims had the head encircled with chaplets.

135 The clasps by which the "sagum" or military cloak was fastened on the shoulders.

136 See the beginning of Chapter 4 of the present Book.

137 Isidorus Hispalensis, Orig. B. xix. c. 30, says that bracelets were formerly so called from the circumstance of being conferred on warriors as the reward of bravery—"ob virtutem." Scævola, Ulpian, and others speak of "viriolæ" as ornaments worn by females.

138 See B. xxxvii. c. 6.

139 In allusion to the use of gold as an ornament for the shoes and sandal-ties.

140 A dress worn over the tunic, and which came as low as the ankles or feet. The stola was the characteristic dress of the Roman matrons of rank; other females being restricted to the use of the toga, which did not reach so low.

141 Between the matrons of rank whose feet were not to be seen at all, and the plebeian females, whose feet were seen, but comparatively unadorned.

142 In the same way that the gold ring was the distinguishing mark of the Equites, so would the gold ankle-jewels be the characteristic of this new order of females. In the use of the word "Equcstrem," Ajasson absolutely detects an indelicate allusion, and rallies our author on thus retaining "the aroma of the camp!"

143 "Pædagogiis." The origin of our word "page." The pages of the Romans were decorated with gold ankle-jewels and other ornaments for the legs.

144 Or Horus, the god of silence. Ajasson is of opinion that this impression on the seal was symbolical of the secrecy which ought to be preserved as to written communications.

145 To the Emperor's presence.

146 The first crime having been committed by him who introduced the use of gold rings. See the beginning of c. 4 of this Book.

147 The golden denarius was known also as the "aureus" or "gold coin." It was worth 25 silver denarii. As to the modern value of the money used by the ancients, see the Introduction to Vol. III. The golden denarius is mentioned also in B. xxxiv. c. 17, and in B. xxxvii. c. 3.

148 A.U.C. 479.

149 Meaning, literally, the "little pound," in reference to the diminished weight of the "as."

150 Meaning "two pounds," or in other words, "two asses." See B. xxxiv. c. 2. As to the weight of the "libra," or pound, see the Introduction to Vol. III.

151 "Brasse bullion, or in masse."—Holland.

152 "Money weighed out," i.e. "expenses."

153 "Money weighed out for the payment of interest."

154 "To weigh out money for payment," i.e. "to pay."

155 "A weight of money."

156 "Weighers-out;" meaning "keepers of accounts," or "paymasters."

157 "Weighers-out" of the soldiers' wages; i.e. "paymasters."

158 From "pecus," a sheep. See B. xviii. c. 3.

159 "Pounds" or "asses."

160 The third of an "as."

161 The fourth of an "as."

162 Or ounces; being one-fourth of the "as," of one "libra" in weight. See Introduction to Vol. III.

163 A.U.C. 663.

164 The same as the quinarius, one-half of the denarius. In B. xx. c. 100, it is mentioned as a weight. See also the Introduction to Vol. III.

165 As, originally, there were 288 "scripula," or scruples, to the "libra" or pound, this would appear to give 5760 sestertii to the pound of gold, and not 900 merely. Though this apparent discrepancy has generally puzzled the commentators, the solution, as suggested by M. Parisot, in the Notes to Ajasson's Translation, appears equally simple and satisfactory. He suggests that in the "as," or "libra," of two ounces, there were 288 scruples. Now, the scruple remaining the same, when the as or libra was reduced to one ounce, it would contain but 144 of these scruples. Then, on making the as the sixteenth part of a denarius instead of the tenth, it would lose three-eighths of its value in scruples, or in other words, 54 scruples, thus making it worth but 90 scruples. Then again, as above stated, by the Papirian Law, the weight or value of the libra or as was reduced one-half, making its value in scruples only 45; or, in other words, five thirty-seconds of its original value, when worth two unciæ or ounces. This number of scruples to the libra would give, at the rate of twenty sesterces to the scruple of gold, exactly 900 sesterces to the libra of gold.

166 Or "aurei."

167 "Fames auri." Similar to the words of Virgil, "Auri sacra fames." "The curst greed for gold." See Note 17 to Chapter 3 of this Book.

168 Another version of this story was, that he extracted the brain, and inserted lead in its place.

169 See B. xiv. c. 16.

170 In B.C. 88, M. Aquilius proceeded to Asia Minor as one of the consular legati to prosecute the war against Mithridates. On being defeated near Protomachium, he was delivered up to Mithridates by the inhabitants of Mytilene, and after being treated in the most barbarous manner, was put to death by pouring molten gold down his throat.

171 "Insperso." Sillig is of opinion that Pliny is here speaking of the work now known by Italian artists as tausia or lavoro all' agemina.

172 Hardouin thinks that Pliny is here making allusion to the Greek word "chrysendeta," vessels "encircled with gold." It is frequently used in Martial's works.

173 See B. xv. c. 38.

174 It is against such practices as these that Martial inveighs, B. i, Ep. 28, and B. ix. Ep. 12.

175 A slave only; and not by any of his brother patricians. Antony was rendered infamous by his proscriptions.

176 Appian and Livy mention the fine as consisting of ten thousand talents in all, or in other words, eight hundred thousand pounds of silver (at eighty pounds to the talent). Sillig is therefore of opinion that Pliny is in error here in inserting the word "annua." The payment of the ten thousand talents, we learn from the same authorities, was spread over fifty years.

177 Asia Minor.

178 "Folia." Hardouin prefers the reading "solia," meaning "thrones," or "chairs of state," probably.

179 Ajasson refuses to place credit in this statement.

180 This vase of Semiramis was her drinking bowl, in much the same sense that the great cannon at Dover was Queen Elizabeth's "pocket pistol."

181 The country to which, in previous times, the Argonauts had sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece, or in other words in search of gold, in which those regions were probably very prolific.

182 See B. vi. c. 4.

183 This story of the defeat of the great Ramses-Sesostris by a petty king of Colchis, would almost appear apocryphal. It is not improbable, how ever, that Sesostris, when on his Thracian expedition, may have received a repulse on penetrating further north, accustomed as his troops must have been, to a warmer climate.

184 Of the amphitheatre.

185 Covered, probably, with plates of silver.

186 "Pegma." A scaffold with storeys, which were raised or depressed, to all appearance, spontaneously. Caligula is the emperor meant.

187 Another reading is "seven" pounds in weight, and "nine" pounds; which would appear to be more probable than seven thousand, and nine thousand, as given by the Bamberg MS. It is just possible, however, that the latter may have been the united weights of all the coronets contributed by Spain and Gaul respectively, the word "inter" being an interpolation.

188 See B. iv. c. 31, B. xi. c. 47, and B. xviii. c. 20.

189 Hence known as the "Golden Day," according to Dion Cassius, B. lxiii.

190 For further particulars as to the Golden Palace, see B. xxxvi. c. 24.

191 A.U.C. 597.

192 Or Marsic War. See B. ii. c. 85.

193 There is an error in this statement, probably, unless we understand by it the small libra or pound of two ounces, mentioned in c. 13 of this Book.

194 This remark is confirmatory of the incorrectness of the preceding statement.

195 The reading here is doubtful.

196 A.U.C. 612.

197 See B. xix. c. 6.

198 Chapter 57.

199 In fact, no colour at all.

200 In this climate, the light of most of the stars has the complexion, not of gold, but of silver.

201 The topaz, for instance.

202 For ductility and malleability, both which terms may perhaps be included in the "facilitas" of Pliny, gold is unrivalled among the metals. As to weight, it is heavier than lead, the specific gravity of gold being 19.258, and that of lead 11 352. Pliny is therefore wrong in both of these assertions.

203 He forgets asbestus here, a substance which he has mentioned in B. xix. c. 4.

204 Chlorine, however, and nitro-muriatic acid corrode and dissolve gold, forming a chloride of gold, which is soluble in water. Ajasson remarks, that gold becomes volatilized by the heat of a burning glass of three or four feet in diameter; and that when it acts as the conductor of a strong current of electricity, it becomes reduced to dust instantaneously, presenting a bright greenish light.

205 The gold thus tested was called "obrussum," "obryzum," or "obrizum," from the Greek ὄβρυζον, meaning "pure gold."

206 See B. xviii. c. 23, where he calls the chaff used for this purpose by the name of "acus."

207 The present mode of assaying the precious metals, is by fusing them upon a cupel with lead.

208 For which purpose, lead was used, no doubt, in drawing the lines in the MSS. of the ancients. See Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. 11. p. 389, Bohn's Ed.

209 This is far surpassed at the present day, its malleability being such that it may be beaten into leaves not more than one two hundred and eighty thousandth of an inch in thickness, and its ductility admitting of one grain being drawn out into five hundred feet of wire. For further particulars as to the gold leaf of the ancients, and the art of gilding, as practised by them, see Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 391, et seq. Bohn's Edition.

210 See B. xxxvi. c. 64.

211 He alludes to what are now known as pepitas, oval grains of rivergold. "Striges" is the reading in the Bamberg MS., "strigles" in the former editions.

212 "Massa." As we should say at the present day, "nuggets."

213 "Ramentum."

214 The contrary is now known to be the case; gold is sometimes, though rarely, found in an oxidized state.

215 As to the solvents of gold, see Note 2 above. Stahl says that three parts of sub-carbonate of potash, dissolved in water, and heated with three parts of sulphur and one part of gold, will yield a complete solution of the metal.

216 Aldrovandus relates, in his "Museum Metallicum," that the grave of the Emperor Honorius was discovered at Rome about the year 1544, and that thirty-six pounds' weight of gold were procured from the mouldering dress that covered the body. See, on the subject of gold threads, Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. I. p. 415. Bohn's Edition.

217 The "cloth of gold" of the present day, is made of threads of silk or hair, wound round with silver wire flattened and gilded.

218 "Paludamento."

219 See B. viii. c. 74. Beckmann is of opinion, from a passage of Silius Italicus, B. xiv. 1. 661, that the cloth of Attalns was embroidered with the needle. See this subject fully discussed in his Hist. Inv. Vol. I. p. 415. See also Dr. Yates's "Textrinum Antiquorum," pp. 371, 464.

220 "Without entering into any research respecting the minerals employed for this cement, called 'leucophoron,' one may readily conceive that it must have been a ferruginous ochre, or kind of bole, which is still used as a ground. Gilding of this kind must have suffered from dampness, though many specimens of it are still preserved."—Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 294. Bohn's Edition.

221 B. xxxv. c. 17.

222 Literally, "fluid silver." "The first name here seems to signify native quicksilver, and the second that separated from the ore by an artificial process." Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 72.

223 In Chapters 32 and 41 of this Book.

224 As to the identity of the "alumen" of Pliny, see B. xxxv. c. 52.

225 In the preceding Chapter.

226 See B. xi. c. 36.

227 See B. vii. c. 2.

228 See B. iv. c. 17.

229 Ajasson remarks, that the Castilians still call the surface earth of auriferous deposits by the name of segullo. He also doubts the correctness of Pliny's assertion as to the produce of the mines of Dalmatia.

230 See B. xxxiv. c. 47.

231 We learn from Ajasson that numerous pits or shafts are still to be seen in Spain, from which the Romans extracted gold. At Riotento, he says, there are several of them.

232 Both meaning "channel gold."

233 "Marmoris glareæ." Under this name, he no doubt means quartz and schist

234 See B. xxxvii. c. 39.

235 See B. xxxvi. c. 13.

236 "Channel-gold" or "trench-gold."

237 Becoming volatilized, and attaching itself in crystals to the side of the chimney.

238 Or "sweat." This "sweat" or "silver" would in reality be a general name for all the minerals that were volatilized by the heat of the furnace; while under the name of "scoria" would be comprised pyrites, quartz, petrosilex, and other similar substances.

239 The cupel or crucible is still known in Spain by the name of tasco.

240 Who were said to have heaped one mountain on another in their war with the gods.

241 Deep mines in Spain are still called arrugia, a term also used to signify gold beneath the surface. According to Grimm, arruzi was the ancient High German name for iron.

242 See B. xxiii. c. 27.

243 The breaking-machines, used for crushing the silex.

244 "Cædunt" is certainly a preferable reading to "cadunt," though the latter is given by the Bamberg MS.

245 A similar method of washing auriferous earth or sand in the mines, is still employed in some cases.

246 The bringing of water into one channel."

247 Or as Holland quaintly renders it, "Some flying spirit or winged devill of the air."

248 Magnesian carbonate of lime, or dolomite, Ajasson thinks.

249 From the Greek, ὰγωγὴ.

250 It does not appear to have been identified; and it can hardly be the same as the Ulex Europæus of modern Natural History, our Furze or Gorse.

251 That of sinking shafts, described already in this Chapter.

252 All these names, no doubt, are of Spanish origin, although Salmasius would assign them a Greek one.

253 In B. iii. c. 24.

254 See B. iii. c. 21.

255 "Auripigmentum." Yellow sulphuret of arsenic. See B. xxxiv. c. 56.

256 "Lapis specularis." See B. xxxvi. c. 45.

257 Caligula.

258 It was accidently mixed with the ore of arsenic, no doubt, unless, indeed, the emperor was imposed upon.

259 This is almost, but not quite, universally the case.

260 In Spain. See B. iii. c. 4, B. iv. c. 34, and B. ix. c. 2. The locality alluded to is now unknown.

261 A name also given by the ancients to amber. Artificial "electrum," or gold alloyed with silver, was known in the most ancient times.

262 The gold found by sinking shafts. See Chapter 21.

263 See B. ix. c. 65.

264 Od. B. iv. 1. 71.

265 Pliny no doubt has been imposed upon in this instance.

266 "Solid hammer-work," in opposition to works in metal, cast and hollow within.

267 In B. v. c. 20, most probably. See also B. xvi. c. 64.

268 The worship of Anaitis was probably a branch of the Indian worship of Nature. The Greek writers sometimes identify this goddess with their Artemis and their Aphrodite.

269 Holland has strangely mistaken the meaning of the veteran's reply; "Yea, sir, that it is; and that methinks you should know best, for even now a leg of his you have at supper, and all your wealth besides is come unto you by that saccage." He then adds, by way of Note, "For Augustus Cæsar defeited Antonie, and was mightily enriched by the spoile of him."

270 In Sicily. According to Valerius Maximus and other writers, a statue of solid gold was erected by the whole of Greece, in the temple at Delphi, in honour of Gorgias, who was distinguished for his eloquence and literary attainments. The leading opinion of Gorgias was, that nothing had any real existence.

271 The ninetieth Olympiad, about the year 420 B.C., is much more probably the correct reading; as it was about the seventieth Olympiad, or somewhat later, that Gorgias was born.

272 See B. xxxiv. c. 29.

273 See B. xxix. c. 38. and B. xxxvi. cc. 27, 38.

274 Or gith. See B. xx. c. 71.

275 Similar to the notion still prevalent, that the application of pure gold will remove styes on the eyelids.

276 It has been supposed by some, that the "Chrysocolla" of the ancients, as well as the "Cæruleum," mentioned in c. 57 of this Book, were the produce of cobalt; but the more generally received opinion is that "chrysocolla" (gold-solder) was green verditer, or mountain-green, carbonate and hydrocarbonate of copper, green and blue, substances which are sometimes found in gold mines, but in copper mines more particularly. It must not be confounded with the modern chrysocolla or Borax.

277 In Chapter 21 of this Book.

278 The "Reseda luteola," Dyer's weed, or Wild woad. See Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. I. p. 478–481, where the identity of the Chrysocolla of the ancients is discussed at considerable length.

279 As to the identity of this substance, see B. xxxv. c. 52.

280 These drugs have not been identified.

281 "Elutam." Though this is the reading given by the Bamberg MS., "luteam" seems preferable; a name owing, probably, to its being coloured with the plant "lutum," as mentioned at the end of this Chapter.

282 So called, probably, from being made up into little balls resembling the "orobus" or vetch.

283 A powder, probably, prepared from "cæruleum." See the end of the present Chapter, and Chapter 57 of this Book. Littré renders the words "in lomentum," kept "in the form of power," without reference to the peculiar pigment known as "lomentum."

284 "Sudore resolutis."

285 A strong proof that chrysocolla was a preparation from copper, and not cobalt. Copper owes its name to the Isle of Cyprus, in which it was found in great abundance. See Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 480. Bohn's Edition.

286 The colour now known by painters as Emerald green.

287 As a "trigarius." See B. xxviii. c. 72, and B. xxix. c. 5. From Suetonius, c. 18, we learn that the Emperor Caligula, also, had the Circus sanded with minium and chrysocolla. Ajasson is of opinion that the chrysocolla thus employed was a kind of yellow mica or talc.

288 "Arenosam." He alludes, probably, to the kind previously mentioned as "aspera" or "rough chrysocolla."

289 For its identification, see B. xxxiv. cc. 26, 32.

290 See B. xxxv. cc. 12, 18.

291 Making a spurious kind of "lomentum," possibly, a pigment mentioned in c. 57 of this Book. This passage seems to throw some light. upon the words "in lomentum," commented upon in Note 81 above.

292 As to durability, probably.

293 It was the mineral, probably, in an unprepared state.

294 Gold-glue or gold-solder.

295 See B. xxxi. c. 46, as to the "nitrum" of Pliny. Galen, in de- scribing the manufacture of "santerna," omits the nitre as an ingredient.

296 "Argentosum." The "electrum," probably, mentioned in c. 23.

297 As to the "cadmia" of Pliny, see B. xxxiv. c. 22.

298 "Plumbum album." Tin, most probably. See B. xxxiv. cc. 47, 48, 49. Also Beckmann's Hist. Inv., Vol. II. p. 219. Bohn's Edition.

299 Of doubtful identity. See B. xxxiv. c. 48.

300 See Chapter 19 of this Book.

301 "Thracius lapis." This stone, which is mentioned also by Nicander, Galen, Simplicius, and Dioscorides, has not been identified. Holland has the following Note on this passage: "Which some take for pit-cole, or sea-cole rather, such as commeth from Newcastle by sea; or rather, a kind of jeat (jet)." In either case, he is probably wide of the mark, neither coal nor jet igniting on the application of water.

302 Or mistletoe.

303 In due succession to gold.

304 See B. xxxiv. cc. 17, 53.

305 "Plumbum nigrum"—"Black lead," literally: so called by the ancients, in contradistinction to "plumbum album," white lead," our "tin," probably.

306 Lead ore; identified with "molybdæna" in B. xxxiv. c. 53. Native sulphurate of lead is now known as "galena." See Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 211, where this passage is commented upon.

307 This Beckmann considers to be the same as the "galena" above mentioned; half-vitrified lead, the "glätte" of the Germans.

308 The specific gravity of lead is 11.352, and of silver only 10.474.

309 From the words μετ̓ ἄλλα, "one after another."

310 It is supposed that these shafts were in the neighbourhood of Castulo, now Cazlona, near Linares in Spain. It was at Castulo that Hannibal married his rich wife Himilce; and in the hills north of Linares there are ancient silver mines still known as Los Pozos de Anibal.

311 A mile and a half.

312 The proper reading here, as suggested by Sillig, is not improbably "aquatini," "water-carriers." That, however, found in the MSS. is "Aquitani;" but those were a people, not of Spain, but of Gaul. Hardouin suggests that "Accitani" may be the correct reading, a people of that name in Spain being mentioned in B. iii. c. 5.

313 Meaning "raw" silver, apparently.

314 "Alumen." See B. xxxv. c. 52.

315 Kircher speaks of this being still the case in his time.

316 See Chapter 19 of this Book.

317 "Vomica liquoris æterni." Mercury or quicksilver becomes solidified and assumes a crystalline texture at 40° below zero. It is found chiefly in the state of sulphuret, which is decomposed by distillation with iron or lime. It is also found in a native state.

318 "Argentum vivum," "living silver."

319 Ajasson thinks that this is not to be understood literally, but that Pliny's meaning is, that mercury is a universal dissolvent.

320 "Permanans tabe dirâ."

321 The specific gravity of mercury is 13.598, that of hammered gold 19.361. Platinum is only a recent discovery.

322 "Id unum ad se trahit."

323 "The first use of quicksilver is commonly reckoned a Spanish invention, discovered about the middle of the sixteenth century; but it appears from Pliny, that the ancients were acquainted with amalgam and its use, not only for separating gold and silver from earthy particles, but also for gilding."—Beckmann, Hist. Inv., Vol. I. p. 15. Bohn's Edition.

324 See the description of the mode of gilding, given in Chapter 20 of this Book. Beckmann has the following remarks on the present passage; "That gold-leaf was affixed to metals by means of quicksilver, with the assistance of heat, in the time of Pliny, we are told by himself in more passages than one. The metal to be gilded was prepared by salts of every kind, and rubbed with pumice-stone in order to clean it thoroughly (see Chapter 20), and to render the surface a little rough. This process is similar to that used at present for gilding with amalgam, by means of heat, especially as amalgamation was known to the ancients. But, to speak the truth, Pliny says nothing of heating the metal after the gold is applied, or of evaporating the quicksilver, but of drying the cleaned metal before the gold is laid on. Had he not mentioned quicksilver, his gilding might have been considered as that with gold leaf by means of heat, dorure en feuille à feu, in which the gold is laid upon the metal after it has been cleaned and heated, and strongly rubbed with blood-stone, or polished steel. Felibien (Principes de l'Architecture. Paris, 1676, p. 280) was undoubtedly right when he regretted that the process of the ancients, the excellence of which is proved by remains of antiquity, has been lost."—Hist. Inv. Vol. II. pp. 294, 295. Bohn's Edition.

325 Beckmann finds considerable difficulties in this description—"I acknowledge that this passage I do not fully comprehend. It seems to say that the quicksilver, when the gold was laid on too thin, appeared through it, but that this might be prevented by mixing with the quicksilver the white of an egg. The quicksilver then remained under the gold: a thing which is impossible. When the smallest drop of quicksilver falls upon gilding, it corrodes the noble metal, and produces an empty spot. It is, therefore, incomprehensible to me how this could be prevented by using the white of an egg. Did Pliny himself completely understand gilding? Perhaps he only meant to say that many artists gave out the cold-gilding. where the gold-leaf was laid on with the white of an egg, as gilding by means of heat."—Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 295.

326 Chapter 42 of this Book. See also Chapter 20, in Note 20, to which it has been mentioned as artificial quicksilver.

327 He is speaking of Antimony.

328 From its whiteness.

329 Under the name of "female stimmi," Ajasson thinks that pure, or native, antimony is meant, more particularly the lamelliform variety, remarkable for its smoothness. He thinks it possible, also, that it may have derived its Greek name "larbason," or "larbasis," from its brittleness.

330 Ajasson thinks that under this name, crude antimony or sulphuret of antimony may have been included; as also sulphuret of lead, sulphuret of antimony and copper, and sulphuret of antimony and silver; the last of which is often found covered with an opaque pellicle.

331 "Globis." The fracture of sulphuret of antimony is, in reality, small subconchoïdal.

332 "Eye dilating." Belladonna, a preparation from the Atropa belladonna, is now used in medicine for this purpose. A similar effect is attributed in B. xxv. c. 92, to the plant Anagallis. In reality, the application of prepared antimony would contract the eyelids, and so appear to enlarge the eyes. This property is peculiar, Ajasson remarks, to sulphuret of antimony, and sulphuret of antimony and silver.

333 Preparations "for beautifying the eyebrows." See B. xxi. c. 73, B. xxiii. c. 51, and B. xxxv. c. 56. Omphale, the Lydian queen, who captivated Hercules, is represented by the tragic poet Ion, as using "stimmi" for the purposes of the toilet. It was probably with a preparation of antimony that Jezebel "painted her face, and tired her head." 2 Kings, ix. 30. The "Kohl" used by the females in Egypt and Persia is prepared from antimony.

334 "Spuma argenti." See the next Chapter.

335 According to Dioscorides, it was prepared as a cosmetic by enclosing it in a lump of dough, and then burning it in the coals till reduced to a cinder. It was then extinguished with milk and wine, and again placed upon coals, and blown till ignition.

336 As to the "nitrum" of the ancients, see B. xxxi. c. 46.

337 "Flos"—literally the "flower."

338 "From this passage we may infer that the metal antimony was occasionally seen by the ancients, though not recognized by them as distinct from lead."—Dana's System of Mineralogy, p. 418. New York, 1850.

339 Pliny has here mistaken the sense of the word στέαρ, which in the passage of Dioscorides, B. v. c. 99, borrowed probably from the same source, evidently means dough, and not grease.

340 From ἕλκω, "to drag"—in consequence of its viscous consistency, Hardouin says.

341 In B. xxxiv. c. 53.

342 Cerates, adipose or oleaginous plasters. See B. xxiii. c. 81.

343 "Spuma argenti." This he uses as a general name for fused oxide of lead, the Litharge of commerce.

344 Ajasson thinks it possible that the "chrysitis," or "golden" litharge, may have been the yellow deutoxide of lead; the argyritis, or "silver" litharge, the white variety of the same deutoxide; and the "molybditis," or "leaden" litharge, a general name for sulphuret of lead and silver; of lead and antimony; of lead, antimony, and bismuth; and of lead, antimony, and copper. Or perhaps, he thinks, they may have been the respective names of yellow or golden litharge, white or silver litharge, and terne. With the latter opinion Delafosse seems to coincide.

345 "Tubulis." These cakes were probably made in a tubular form.

346 "Vena;" meaning the ore probably in its raw state, and mixed with earth. All these distinctions are probably unfounded.

347 See B. xxxiv. c. 53.

348 Of "Puteolana."

349 The litharge.

350 The scoria.

351 Nothing whatever is known as to the identity of these varieties of litharge. Indeed the words themselves are spelt in various ways in the respective MSS.

352 In B. xxxiv. c. 53, where he identifies it with "galena," mentioned in Chapter 31 of this Book.

353 See B. xviii. c. 13, B. xxi. c. 61, and B. xxii. c. 66.

354 Sal gem, or common salt.

355 In this Chapter. See note 36 above.

356 The minium spoken of in this and the following Chapter is our Cinnabar, a bisulphurate of mercury. This ore is the great source of the mercury of commerce, from which it is obtained by sublimation. When pure, it is the same as the manufactured vermilion of commerce.

357 Intended, no doubt, to be typical of blood and carnage; and indicative of a very low state of civilization.

358 See B. xxxv. c. 45.

359 See B. v. c. 31.

360 See B. xvi. c. 12, and B. xxiv. c. 4.

361 The same as the miltos mentioned below, "miltos" being the word used by Homer, II. II. 637. This substance is totally different from the minium of the preceding Chapters, and from that mentioned in c. 40. It is our red ochre, peroxide of iron, mixed in a greater or less degree with argillaceous earth.

362 See B. xxix. c. 8; where he speaks of the mistake made by the physicians in giving mineral vermilion or minium to their patients instead of Indian cinnabar. The latter substance is probably identical with that which is now used for varnishes, being imported from India, and still known as " dragons' blood," the resin of the Ptero-carpus draco, or Calamus palm.

363 In B. viii. c. 12.

364 In Chapter 41.

365 The dragon's blood, mentioned in the preceding Chapter.

366 "Single colour paintings." See B. xxxv. cc. 5, 11, 34, 36.

367 Mentioned in Chapter 37.

368 The "miltos" of the preceding Chapter. See Note 55 above.

369 In B. xxxv. c. 13, et seq.

370 He is here speaking of our cinnabar, or vermilion, mentioned in Chapter 36.

371 See B. vi. cc. 27, 28, 32.

372 See B. iii. c. 3, Vol. I. p. 163. He alludes to the district of Almaden, in Andalusia, still famous for its quicksilver mines.

373 When sold by the "publicani," or farmers of the revenue.

374 Of the publicani.

375 Red oxide of lead, a much inferior pigment to cinnabar, or the minium of Chapter 36.

376 In Chapter 32 of this Book.

377 Dana informs us that minium is usually associated with galena and with calamine. Syst. Mineral, p. 495.

378 "Steriles." Barren of silver, probably; though Hardouin thinks that it means "barren of lead." Holland renders it "barraine and void of the right vermilion."

379 In Chapter 37.

380 B. xxxv. c. 24.

381 When hired by the job for colouring walls or objects of art. See B. xxxv. c. 12.

382 See B. xvi. c. 12, and B. xxiv. c. 4.

383 "Candelis." The Abate Requeno thinks that these "candelæ" were used as a delicate cauterium, simply to keep the wax soft, that it might receive a polish from the friction of the linen.

384 Hence the use of it in the middle ages; a reminiscence of which still exists in our word "rubric."

385 Or artificial quicksilver. In reality, hydrargyrus is prepared from the genuine minium of Pliny, the cinnabar mentioned in Chapter 36: it being obtained by the sublimation of sulphuret of mercury.

386 In Chapters 20 and 32.

387 This, probably, is the meaning of "lubrico humore compluere."

388 See the end of Chapter 38.

389 Artificial quicksilver is still used for this purpose. See Note 24 to Chapter 32 of this Book; also Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 295. Bohn's Edition.

390 In Chapter 32. He alludes to the use of glair of eggs.

391 Literally "whetstone." He is speaking of the stone known to us as Touchstone, Lydian stone, or Basanite—"a velvet-black siliceous stone or flinty jasper, used on account of its hardness and black colour for trying the purity of the precious metals. The colour left on the stone after rubbing the metal across it, indicates to the experienced eye the amount of the alloy." —Dana, Syst. Mineral. p. 242.

392 In Lydia. See B. v. cc. 30, 31.

393 As a test. At the present day, concentrated nitric acid is dropped on the mark left by the metal; and the more readily the mark is effaced, the less pure is the metal.

394 This seems to be the meaning of "si sudet protinus."

395 A very far-fetched explanation, and very wide of the mark.

396 "Paulum propulsa."

397 Which he supposes a concave surface to do.

398 This passage is noticed by Beckmann, in his account of Mirrors; Vol. II. p. 58. Bohn's Edition.

399 Distorting the image reflected, by reason of the irregularities of the surface. See Seneca, Nat. Quæst. B. i. c. 5.

400 "Parma Thræcidica."

401 He probably means, whether the surface is made convex or concave at these different angles.

402 A subject to which he returns iu various parts of B. xxxvi.

403 See B. xxxiv. c. 48.

404 As to the identification of "stannum," on which there have been great differences of opinion, see B. xxxiv cc. 47, 48, and the Notes.

405 For some account of this artist, see Chapter 55 and the Notes at the end of this Book.

406 "Silver mirrors were known long before this period, as is proved by a passage in the Mostellaria of Plautus, A. 1, S. 3. 1. 101, where they are distinctly mentioned. To reconcile this contradiction, Meursius remarks that Pliny speaks only of his countrymen, and not of the Greeks, who had such articles much earlier, though the scene in Plautus is at Athens."— Beckmann, Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 62. Bohn's Edition.

407 "Nuper credi cœptum certiorem imaginem reddi auro opposito aversis."—"Of what Pliny says here I can give no explanation. Hardouin (qy. if not Dalechamps ?) is of opinion that mirrors, according to the newest invention, at that period were covered behind with a plate of gold, as our mirrors are with an amalgam. But as the ancient plates of silver were not transparent, how could the gold at the back of them produce any effect in regard to the image ? May not the meaning be that a thin plate of gold was placed at some distance before the mirror, in order to throw more light upon its surface ? Whatever may have been the case, Pliny himself seems not to have had much confidence in the invention."— Beckmann, Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 62.

408 Dr. Watson (Chemical Essays. Vol. IV. p. 246) seems to think that Pliny is here speaking of glass mirrors: "If we admit that Pliny was acquainted with glass mirrors, we may thus understand what he says respecting an invention which was then new, of applying gold behind a mirror. Instead of an amalgam of tin, some one had proposed to cover the back of the mirror with an amalgam of gold, with which the ancients were certainly acquainted, and which they employed in gilding." See Chapter 20 of the present Book. On the above passage by Dr. Watson, Beckmann has the following remarks: "This conjecture appears, at any rate, to be ingenious; but when I read the passage again, without prejudice, I can hardly believe that Pliny alludes to a plate of glass in a place where he speaks only of metallic mirrors; and the overlaying with amalgam requires too much art to allow me to ascribe it to such a period without sufficient proof. I consider it more probable, that some person had tried, by means of a polished plate of gold, to collect the rays of light, and to throw them either on the mirror or the object, in order to render the image brighter."—Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 72.

409 The dog-headed divinity. The seat of his worship was at Cynopolis, mentioned in B. v. c. 11. Under the Empire his worship became widely spread both in Greece and at Rome.

410 Under the word "pingit," he probably includes the art of enamelling silver.

411 "Fulgoris excæcati."

412 "Chaplet" copper.

413 He either alludes to the practice of clipping the coin, or else to the issue of forged silver denarii, short of weight.

414 During the prætorship of Marius Gratidianus. He was on terms of great intimacy with Cicero, and was murdered by Catiline in a most barbarous manner during the proscriptions of Sylla.

415 By public enactment probably; samples of the false denarius being sold for the purpose of showing the difference between it and the genuine coin.

416 Twenty times one hundred thousand, &c.

417 As signifying a "debt owing to another."

418 "The Rich."

419 This seems the best translation for "decoxisse creditoribus suis," which literally means that he "boiled" or "melted away" his fortune from his creditors. In this remark Pliny is more witty than usual.

420 The Triumvir. The first person mentioned in Roman history as having the cognomen "Dives," is P. Licinius Crassus, the personage mentioned in B. xxi. c. 4. As he attained the highest honours of the state, and died universally respected, he cannot be the person so opprobriously spoken of by Pliny.

421 The meaning appears to be doubtful here, as it is not clear whether "sesterces," or "sestertia," "thousands of sesterces," is meant.

422 Who cut off his head after his death, and poured molten gold down his throat.

423 Originally the slave of Antonia, the mother of Claudius. Agrippina, the wife of Claudius, admitted him to her embraces, and in conjunction with her he for some time ruled the destinies of the Roman Empire. He was poisoned by order of Nero, A.D. 63.

424 C. Julius Callistus, the freedman of Caligula, in whose assassination he was an accomplice. The physician Scribonius Largus dedicated his work to Callistus.

425 A freedman of the Emperor Claudius, whose epistolary correspondence he superintended. He was put to death on the accession of Nero, A.D. 54.

426 In which case it would be dangerous to speak of them.

427 A.U.C. 746.

428 According to some authorities, he was a Lydian. He derived his wealth from his gold mines in the neighbourhood of Celænæ in Phrygia, and would appear, in spite of Pliny's reservation, to have been little less than a king. His five sons accompanied Xerxes; but Pythius, alarmed by an eclipse of the sun, begged that the eldest might be left behind. Upon this, Xerxes had the youth put to death, and his body cut in two, the army being ordered to march between the portions, which were placed on either side of the road. His other sons were all slain in battle, and Pythius passed the rest of his life in solitude.

429 "Stipem spargere."

430 A.U.C. 568.

431 In performance of a vow made in the war with King Antiochus. See Livy, B. xxxix.

432 So called from the silversmiths who respectively introduced them. The Gratian plate is mentioned by Martial, B. iv. Epigr. 39.

433 "Etenim tabernas mensis adoptamus."

434 "Anaglypta." Plate chased in relief. It is mentioned in the Epigram of Martial above referred to.

435 "Asperitatemque exciso circa liniarum picturas,"—a passage, the obscurity of which, as Littré remarks, seems to set translation at defiance.

436 He alludes, probably to tiers of shelves on the beaufets or sideboards —"repositoria"—similar to those used for the display of plate in the middle ages. Petronius Arbiter speaks of a round "repositorium," which seems to have borne a considerable resemblance to our "dumb waiters." The "repositoria" here alluded to by Pliny were probably made of silver.

437 "Interradimus."

438 "Carrucæ." The "carruca" was a carriage, the name of which only occurs under the emperors, the present being the first mention of it. It had four wheels and was used in travelling, like the "carpentum." Martial, B. iii. Epig. 47, uses the word as synonymous with "rheda." Alexander Severus allowed the senators to have them plated with silver. The name is of Celtic origin, and is the basis of the mediæval word "carucate," and the French carrosse.

439 So called from his victory over the Allobroges.

440 In allusion to the case of P. Cornelius Rufinus, the consul, who was denounced in the senate by the censors C. Fabricius Luscinus and Q. Æmilius Rufus, for being in possession of a certain quantity of silver plate. This story is also referred to in B. xviii. c. 8, where ten pounds is the quantity mentioned.

441 This is said ironically.

442 Sextus Ælius Pœtus Catus, Consul B.C. 198.

443 "Prandentem."

444 L. Paulus Æmilius.

445 It being lent from house to house. This, no doubt, was said ironically, and as a sneer at their poverty.

446 Now Arles. It was made a military colony in the time of Augustus. See B. iii. c. 5, and B. x. c. 57.

447 "Pellitum." There has been considerable doubt as to the meaning of this, but it is most probable that the "privilege of the fur," or in other words, a license to be clad in certain kinds of fur, was conferred on certain men of rank in the provinces. Holland considers it to be the old participle of "pello," and translates the passage "banished out of the country and nation where his father was born."

448 "Triclinia." The couches on which they reclined when at table.

449 See B. ix. c. 13.

450 This pattern, whatever it may have been, is also spoken of by Cicero, pro Murenâ, and by Valerius Maximus, B. vii. c. 1.

451 "Lances."

452 "Dispensator."

453 "Conservi"—said in keen irony.

454 Giants, at least, one would think.

455 Over the party of Marius.

456 See B. ix. c. 13.

457 "Compacta;" probably meaning inlaid like Mosaic.

458 See B. xiii. c. 29, B. xv. c. 7, and B. xvi. cc. 26, 27, 84.

459 Meaning, "drum sideboards," or "tambour sideboards," their shape, probably, being like that of our dumb waiters.

460 The name given to which was "lanx," plural "lances."

461 His age and country are uncertain. We learn, however, from Chapter 55 of this Book, that he flourished before the burning of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, B.C. 356. He is frequently mentioned in the classical writers. See also B. vii. c. 39.

462 He includes, probably, under this name both Asia Minor and Syria. See a similar passage in Livy, B. xxxix.

463 This passage is rejected by Sillig as a needless interpolation.

464 Asia Minor.

465 King of Pergamus.

466 Over King Antiochus.

467 He alludes to the destruction of Corinth, by L. Mummius Achaïcus.

468 A drinking cup with handles, sacred to Bacchus. See B. xxxiv. c. 25.

469 Bacchus.

470 In allusion to the plebeian origin of C. Marius, who was born at the village of Cereatæ, near Arpinum. It is more than probable that the story that he had worked as a common peasant for wages, was an invention of the faction of Sylla.

471 "Ille arator Arpinas, et manipularis imperator."

472 Meaning the first king of that name. He was son of Mithridates IV., king of Pontus.

473 Appian says that there "was a gold statue of this Mithridates, exhibited in the triumph of Pompey, eight cubits in height," Plutarch speaks of another statue of the same king, exhibited by Lucullus, six feet in height.

474 "Compedes." See Chapter 12 of this Book.

475 The translation of this passage is somewhat doubtful. We will, therefore, subjoin that of Holland, who adopts the other version. "As we may see by our proud and sumptuous dames, that are but commoners and artizans' wives, who are forced to make themselves carquans and such ornaments for their shoes, of silver, because the rigour of the statute provided in that case will not permit them to weare the same of gold."

476 A rhetorician who taught at Rome in the reign of Augustus. The poet Ovid was one of his pupils. His rival in teaching declamation was Porcius Latro.

477 Of an improper intimacy with his pupils.

478 Rings of silver being passed through the prepuce. This practice is described by Celsus, B. vii. c. 25.

479 "Videret hinc dona fortium fieri, aut in hæc frangi."

480 In B. vii. c. 39, and in Chapter 53 of this Book.

481 "Quatuor paria ab eo omnino facta sunt." Sillig, in his Dictionary of Ancient Artists, finds a difficulty in this passage. "The term 'omnino' seems to imply that the productions in question, all of which perished, were the only works executed by this artist; but we find several passages of ancient writers, in which vases, &c. engraved by Mentor, are mentioned as extant. Thus, then, we must conclude, either that the term 'omnino' should be understood in the sense of 'chiefly,' 'pre-eminently,' or that the individuals claiming to possess works of Mentor, were themselves misinformed, or endeavoured to deceive others." If, however, we look at the word "paria" in a strictly technical sense, the difficulty will probably be removed. Pliny's meaning seems to be that Mentor made four pairs, and no more, of some peculiar kind of vessel probably, and that all these pairs were now lost. He does not say that Mentor did not make other works of art, in single pieces. Thiersch, Act. Acad. Monac. v. p. 128, expresses an opinion that the word "omnino" is a corruption and that in it lies concealed the name of the kind of plate that is meant.

482 See B. vii. c. 39.

483 His age and country are unknown.

484 From Pausanias we learn that he was a statuary and engraver on plate, born at Carthage; but Raoul Rochette thinks that he was a native of Chalcedon. He is mentioned also by Cicero, In Verrem, 4. 14, and in the Culex, 1. 66, ascribed by some to Virgil.

485 His country is uncertain. According to the statements of Pausanias, B. i. c. 28, he must have been a contemporary of Phidias, about Olymp. 84, B.C. 444. He is mentioned also by Propertius, Martial, and Statius.

486 His birth-place is unknown, but he probably lived about the time of Phidias, and we learn from Pausanias that he was living when the plague ceased at Athens, in B.C. 429. He is mentioned also by Cicero, Ovid, Quintilian, Lucian, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus.

487 Nothing further is known of this artist.

488 "Collocavisse verius quam cælasse."

489 "Phiala."

490 He lived probably about Olymp. 126; but his country is unknown. He is mentioned by Athenæus. See also B. xxxiv. c. 19.

491 Nothing whatever is known of him, unless indeed he is identical with the Tauriscus mentioned in B. xxxvi. c. 5.

492 Nothing is known of his age or country. He is also mentioned in B. xxxiv. c. 19.

493 His age and country are unknown. See B. xxxiv. c.19.

494 Nothing further is known of him. See B. xxxiv. c. 19.

495 See the end of this Book.

496 Beyond the mention made of him in B. xxxiv. c. 19, no particulars relative to him are known.

497 Other readings of this name are "Lædus Stratiotes," "Ledis Thracides," "Hieris Thracides," and "Lidistratices." The Bamberg MS. has "Hedys Trachides." Salmasius, Hardouin, and Sillig propose "Leostratides," and Thiersch "Lysistratides."

498 Nothing further is known of him.

499 For the murder of his mother Clytæmnestra.

500 Nothing is known of this artist.

501 From Troy.

502 "Coquos," literally, "cooks."

503 "Cooks in miniature."

504 By the process of moulding, probably.

505 "Crustarius." Of this artist nothing further is known.

506 Yellow or brown Ochre, probably. Ajasson thinks that under this name may be included peroxide of iron, hydroxide of iron in a stalactitic and mamillary form, and compact peroxide of iron, imparting a colour to argillaceous earth.

507 "Scaly and ochrey brown iron ore are decomposed earthy varieties, often soft like chalk; yellow ochre is here included."—Dana, Syst. Mineral, p. 436.

508 "Marmorosum."

509 "Lucidum."

510 "Abacos." Small compartments or partitions in a square form on the walls of rooms.

511 See B. vii. c. 57, where he is called an Athenian, whereas he was a native of Thasos. He was one of the most eminent painters of antiquity, and flourished in the age of Pericles. See a further account of him in B. xxxv. c. 35.

512 Son of Phanochus, and contemporary of Polygnotus. See B. xxxv. c. 25, where it is stated that in conjunction with Polygnotus, he either invented some new colours, or employed them in his paintings on a better plan than that previously adopted.

513 "It is possible that the 'cæruleum' of the ancients may in some cases have been real ultramarine, but properly and in general, it was only copper ochre."—Beckmann's Hist. Inv. Vol. I. p. 472. Bohn's Edition. Delafosse identifies it with blue carbonate and hydrocarbonate of copper, one of the two azurites.

514 "Candidiorem nigrioremve, et crassiorem tenuioremve."

515 Beckmann thinks that Pliny is here alluding to an artificial kind of "cæruleum." "Pliny clearly adds to it an artificial colour, which in my opinion was made in the same manner as our lake; for he speaks of an earth, which when boiled with plants, acquired their blue colour."—Hist. Inv., Vol. II. p. 480.

516 Supposed by Hardouin to have been "glastum" or "woad," the Isatis tinctoria of Linnæus, mentioned in B. xxii. c. 2.

517 "In suâ coquitur herbâ."

518 A blue powder; see Chapter 27 of this Book. Beckmann has the following remarks on this and the preceding lines: "The well-known passage of Pliny in which Lehmann thinks he can with certainty discover cobalt, is so singular a medley that nothing to be depended on can be gathered from it. The author, it is true, where he treats of mineral pigments, seems to speak of a blue sand which produced different shades of blue paint, according as it was pounded coarser or finer. The palest powder was called lomentum, and this Lehmann considers as our powder-blue. I am, however, fully convinced that the cyanus of Theophrastus, the cæruleum of Pliny, and the chrysocolla (see Chapter 26), were the blue copper earth already mentioned, which may have been mixed and blended together."— Hist. Inv. Vol. I. pp. 480, 481. Bohn's Edition.

519 According to Vitruvius, B. vii. c. 11, the manufactory of Vestorius was at Puteoli, now Pozzuoli. This was probably the same C. Vestorius who was also a money-lender and a friend of Atticus, and with whom Cicero had monetary transactions. He is mentioned as "Vestorium meum," in the Epistles of Cicero to Atticus.

520 For colouring surfaces of clay or cretaceous earth. This kind was also manufactured by Vesturius, most probably.

521 "Idem et Puteolani usus, præterque ad fenestras." "The expression here, usus ad fenestras, has been misapplied by Lehmann, as a strong proof of his assertion; for he explained it as if Pliny had said that a blue pigment was used for painting window-frames; but glass windows were at that time unknown. I suspect that Pliny meant to say only that one kind of paint could not be employed near openings which afforded a passage to the light, as it soon decayed and lost its colour. This would have been the case in particular with lake, in which there was a mixture of vegetable particles."—Beckmann, Hist. Inv. Vol. I. p. 480.

522 "Indian" pigment. Probably our "indigo." It is again mentioned, and at greater length, in B. xxxv. c. 27. See also Beckmann, Hist. Inv. Vol. II. pp. 259, 267. Bohn's Edition.

523 This is probably a more correct reading than "seven."

524 See B. xxxv. c. 19. Vitruvius, B. vii. c. 14, describes an exactly similar method adopted by dyers for imitating the colour of Attic sil, or ochre, mentioned in Chapter 56.

525 A quarter in the city of Capua, inhabited by druggists and perfumers; see B. xvi. c. 18, and B. xxxiv. c. 25.

526 In some MSS. the reading here is "Domitius," and in others the name is omitted altogether. We learn from the writings of Suetonius, that the Emperor Domitian devoted himself to literary pursuits in his younger days, and Quintilian and the younger Pliny speak of his poetical productions as equal to those of the greatest masters. Sillig expresses an opinion that Pliny may possibly have borrowed something from his works, and inserted his name, with a view of pleasing the young prince and his father, the Emperor Vespasian.

527 He is quoted in Chapter 9 of this Book, where it appears that he took his cognomen on account of his friendship for C. Gracchus. He wrote a work, "De Potestatibus," which gave an account of the Roman magistrates from the time of the kings. A few fragments of this work, which was highly esteemed by the ancients, are all that remain.

528 See end of B. ii.

529 See end of B. iii.

530 See end of B. ii.

531 Valerius Messala Corvinus. See end of B. ix.

532 See end of B. vii.

533 Calvus Licinius Macer was the son of C. Licinius Macer, a person of prætorian rank, who, on being impeached of extortion by Cicero, committed suicide. We learn from our author, B. xxxiv. c. 50, that in his youth he devoted himself to study with the greatest zeal, and applied himself with singular energy to intellectual pursuits. His constitution, however, was early exhausted, and he died in his 35th or 36th year, leaving behind him twenty-one orations. We learn from Cicero and Quintilian that his compositions were carefully moulded after the models of the Attic school, but were deficient in ease and freshness. As a poet he was the author of many short pieces, equally remarkable for their looseness and elegance. He wrote also some severe lampoons on Pompey and Cæsar, and their respective partisans. Ovid and Horace, besides several of the prose writers, make mention of him.

534 See end of B. ii.

535 See end of B. ii.

536 Cornelius Bocchus. See end of B. xvi.

537 Annius or Annæus Fetialis. See end of B. xvi.

538 See end of B. viii.

539 See end of B. vii.

540 See end of B. xx.

541 See end of B. xii.

542 See end of B. iii.

543 See end of B. ii.

544 See end of B. v.

545 The person mentioned in Chapter 13 of this Book, is probably different from those of the same name mentioned at the end of Books ii. and iv. If so, no further particulars are known of him.

546 It seems impossible to say which of the physicians of this name is here alluded to. See end of Books iv. and xii.

547 See end of B. xx.

548 See end of B. xii.

549 See end of B. xiii.

550 See end of B. xii.

551 See end of B. xii.; and for Sallustius Dionysius, see end of B. xxxi.

552 See end of B. xxix.

553 See end of B. xii.

554 See end of B. xii.

555 As King Attalus was very skilful in medicine, Hardouin is of opinion that he is the person here meant; see end of B. viii.

556 A different person, most probably, from the writer of Pliny's age, mentioned in B. xxxvii. c. 2. The Xenocrates here mentioned is probably the same person that is spoken of in B. xxxv. c. 36, a statuary of the school of Lysippus, and the pupil either of Tisicrates or of Euthycrates, who flourished about B.C. 260.

557 There were two artists of this name, prior to the time of Pliny; a sculptor, mentioned by him in B. xxxiv. c. 19, and a painter, contemporary with Apelles, mentioned in B. xxxv. c. 36. It is impossible to say which of them, if either, is here meant.

558 See end of B. iii.

559 See end of B. xii.

560 It is impossible to say which writer of this name is here meant. See end of Books iv., viii., xi., and xx.

561 A statuary, sculptor, and chaser in silver, who flourished at Rome about B.C. 60. He was a native of Magna Græcia, in the south of Italy. He is not only mentioned in Chapter 55 of the present Book, but also in B. xxxv. c. 45, as an artist of the highest distinction. His narrow escape from a panther, while copying from nature, is mentioned in B. xxxvi. c. 4. His five Books on the most celebrated works of sculpture and chasing were looked upon as a high authority in art. He was also the head of a school of artists.

562 A writer on painting of this name is mentioned by Diogenes Laertius, B. vii. c. 12. He is probably the same as the person here mentioned, and identical with the Greek sculptor mentioned by Pliny in B. xxxiv. c. 19, who probably flourished about 240 B.C. The Toreutic Art, "Toreutice," was the art of making raised work in silver or bronze, either by graving or casting: but the exact meaning of the word is somewhat uncertain.

563 Menæchmus of Sievon, probably; see end of B. iv., also B. xxxiv. c. 19.

564 If he is really a different person from the Xenocrates mentioned above, nothing is known of him.

565 See end of B. vii.

566 Possibly one of the persons mentioned at the end of Books viii., xix., and xxxi. If not, nothing whatever is known of him.

567 An Athenian writer, surnamed "Periegetes." The work here mentioned, is alluded to by other writers under different names. From a passage in Athenæus, he is supposed to have lived after the time of Antiochus Epiphanes.

568 See end of B. iii.

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