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Paper is made from the papyrus, by splitting it with a needle into very thin leaves, due care being taken that they should be as broad as possible. That of the first quality is taken from the centre of the plant, and so in regular succession, according to the order of division. "Hieratica"1 was the name that was anciently given to it, from the circumstance that it was entirely reserved for the religious books. In later times, through a spirit of adulation, it received the name of "Augusta," just as that of second quality was called "Liviana," from his wife, Livia; the consequence of which was, that the name "hieratica" came to designate that of only third-rate quality. The paper of the next quality was called "amphitheatrica," from the locality2 of its manufacture. The skilful manufactory that was established by Fannius3 at Rome, was in the habit of receiving this last kind, and there, by a very careful process of insertion, it was rendered much finer; so much so, that from being a common sort, he made it a paper of first-rate quality, and gave his own4 name to it: while that which was not subjected to this additional process retained its original name of "amphitheatrica." Next to this is the Saitic paper, so called from the city of that name,5 where it is manufactured in very large quantities, though of cuttings of inferior6 quality. The Tæniotic paper, so called from a place in the vicinity,7 is manufactured from the materials that lie nearer to the outside skin; it is sold, not according to its quality, but by weight only. As to the paper that is known as "emporetica,"8 it is quite useless for writing upon, and is only employed for wrapping up other paper, and as a covering for various articles of merchandize, whence its name, as being used by dealers. After this comes the bark of the papyrus, the outer skin of which bears a strong resemblance to the bulrush, and is solely used for making ropes, and then only for those which have to go into the water.9

All these various kinds of paper are made upon a table, moistened with Nile water; a liquid which, when in a muddy state, has the peculiar qualities of glue.10 This table being first inclined,11 the leaves of papyrus are laid upon it lengthwise, as long, indeed, as the papyrus will admit of, the jagged edges being cut off at either end; after which a cross layer is placed over it, the same way, in fact, that hurdles are made. When this is done, the leaves are pressed close together, and then dried in the sun; after which they are united to one another, the best sheets being always taken first, and the inferior ones added afterwards. There are never more than twenty of these sheets to a roll.12

1 Or "holy" paper. The priests would not allow it to be sold, lest it might be used for profane writing; but after it was once written upon, it was easily procurable. The Romans were in the habit of purchasing it largely in the latter state, and then washing off the writing, and using it as paper of the finest quality. Hence it received the name of "Augustus," as representing in Latin its Greek name "hieraticus," or "sacred." In length of time it became the common impression, as here mentioned, that this name was given to it in honour of Augusus Cæsar.

2 Near the amphitheatre, probably, of Alexandria.

3 He alludes to Q. Remmius Fannius Palæmon, a famous grammarian of Rome, though originally a slave. Being mantumitted, he opened a school at Rome, which was resorted to by great numbers of pupils, notwithstanding his notoriously bad character lie appears to have established, also, a manufactory for paper at Rome. Suetonius, in his treatise on Illustrious Grammarians, gives a long account of him. He is supposed to have been the preceptor of Quintilian.

4 Fanniana.

5 In Lower Egypt.

6 Ex vilioribus ramentis.

7 Of Alexandria, probably.

8 "Shop-paper," or "paper of commerce."

9 Otherwise, probably, the rope would not long hold together.

10 Fée remarks, that this is by no means the fact. With M. Poiret, he questions the accuracy of Pliny's account of preparing the papyrus, and is of opinion that it refers more probably to the treatment of some other vegetable substance from which paper was made.

11 Primo supinâ tabule schedâ.

12 "Scapus." This was, properly, the cylinder on which the paper was rolled.

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