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We find it stated by many authors,1 that a serpent is produced from the spinal marrow of a man. Many creatures, in fact, among the quadrupeds even, have a secret and mysterious origin.

(67 ) Thus, for instance, the salamander, an animal like a lizard in shape, and with a body starred all over, never comes out except during heavy showers, and disappears the moment it becomes fine. This animal is so intensely cold as to extinguish fire by its contact, in the same way as ice does. It spits forth a milky matter from its mouth; and whatever part of the human body is touched with this, all the hair falls off, and the part assumes the appearance of leprosy.

1 Ovid, Met. B. xv. 1. 389, makes mention of this belief.

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