This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 In the country of Musicanus there grows, he says, spontaneously grain resembling wheat, and a vine that produces wine, whereas other authors affirm that there is no wine in India. Hence, according to Anacharsis, they had no pipes, nor any musical instruments, except cymbals, drums, and crotala, which were used by jugglers. Both Aristobulus and other writers relate that India produces many medicinal plants and roots, both of a salutary and noxious quality, and plants yielding a variety of colours. He adds, that, by a law, any person discovering a deadly substance is punished with death unless he also discover an antidote; in case he discovers an antidote, he is rewarded by the king. Southern India, like Arabia and Ethiopia, produces cinnamon, nard, and other aromatics. It resembles these countries as regards the effect of the sun's rays, but it surpasses them in having a copious supply of water, whence the atmosphere is humid, and on this account more conducive to fertility and fecundity; and this applies to the earth and to the water, hence those animals which inhabit both one and the other are of a larger size than are found in other countries. The Nile contributes to fecundity more than other rivers, and among other animals of large bulk, produces the amphibious kind. The Egyptian women also sometimes have four children at a birth, and Aristotle says that one woman had seven children at one birth.1 He calls the Nile most fecundating and nutritive, on account of the moderate coction effected by the sun's rays, which leave behind the nutritious part of substances, and evaporate that which is superfluous.
1 Arist. Hist. An vii. 4, who speaks however of five only.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.