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[103] There is an island called Melita, O judges, separated from Sicily by a sufficiently wide and perilous navigation, in which there is a town of the same name, to which Verres never went, though it was for three years a manufactory to him for weaving women's garments. Not far from that town, on a promontory, is an ancient temple of Juno, which was always considered so holy, that it was not only always kept inviolate and sacred in those Punic wars, which in those regions were carried on almost wholly by the naval forces, but even by the bands of pirates which ravage those seas. Moreover, it has been handed down to us by tradition, that once, when the fleet of King Masinissa was forced to put into these ports, the king's lieutenant took away some ivory teeth of an incredible size out of the temple, and carried them into Africa, and gave them to Masinissa; that at first the king was delighted with the present, but afterwards, when he heard where they had come from, he immediately sent trustworthy men in a quinquereme to take those teeth back; and that there was engraved on them in Punic characters, “that Masinissa the king had accepted them ignorantly; but that, when he knew the truth, he had taken care that they should be replaced and restored.” There was besides an immense quantity of ivory, and many ornaments, among which were some ivory victories of ancient workmanship, and wrought with exquisite skill.


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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, William Peterson, 1917)
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