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I am not surprised, then, that for these many ages there have been invented almost innumerable varieties of artificial wines, of which I shall now make some mention; they are all of them employed for medicinal purposes. We have already stated in a former Book how omphacium,1 which is used for unguents, is made. The liquor known as "œnanthinum" is made from the wild vine,2 two pounds of the flowers of which are steeped in a cadus of must, and are then changed at the end of thirty days. In addition to this, the root and the husks of the grapes are employed in dressing leather. The grapes, too, a little after the blossom has gone off, are singularly efficacious as a specific for cooling the feverish heat of the body in certain maladies, being, it is said, of a nature remarkable for extreme coldness. A portion of these grapes wither away, in consequence of the heat, before the rest, which are thence called solstitial3 grapes; indeed, the whole of them never attain maturity; if one of these grapes, in an unripe state, is given to a barn-door fowl to eat, it is productive of a dislike to grapes for the future.4

1 B. xii. c. 61.

2 Or "labrusca." "Œnanthinum" means "made of vine flowers." The wild vine is not a distinct species from the cultivated vine: it is only a variety of it, known in botany as the Vitis silvestris labrusca of Tournefort. Fée thinks that as the must could only be used in autumn, when the wild vine was not flowering, the flowers of it must have been dried.

3 "Solstitiales." Because they withstand the heat of the solstice. Marcellus Empiricus calls them "caniculati," because they bear the heat of the Dog-star.

4 Fée remarks that this assertion is quite erroneous.

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  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ARRETIUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HERAEA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PISAE
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