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There are some miraculous properties, too, in certain wines. It is said that in Arcadia there is a wine grown which is productive of fruitfulness1 in women, and of madness in men; while in Achaia, and more especially in the vicinity of Carynia, there is a wine which causes abortion; an effect which is equally produced if a woman in a state of pregnancy happens only to eat a grape of the vine from which it is grown, although in taste it is in no way different from ordinary grapes: again, it is confidently asserted that those who drink the wine of Trœzen never bear children. Thasos, it is said, produces two varieties of wine with quite opposite properties. By one kind sleep is produced,2 by the other it is prevented. There is also in the same island a vine known as the "theriaca,"3 the wine and grapes of which are a cure for the bites of serpents. The libanian vine4 also produces a wine with the smell of frankincense, with which they make libations to the gods, while, on the other hand, the produce of that known as "aspendios,"5 is banished from all the altars: it is said, too, that this last vine is never touched by any bird.

The Egyptians call by the name of "Thasian,"6 a certain grape of that country, remarkable for its sweetness and its laxative qualities. On the other hand, there is in Lycia a certain grape which proves astringent to the stomach when relaxed. Egypt has a wine, too, known as "ecbolas,"7 which is productive of abortion. There are some wines, which at the rising of the Dog-star change their nature in the wine-lofts8 where they are kept, and afterwards recover9 their original quality. The same is the case, too, with wines when carried across the seas: those that are able to withstand the motion of the waves, appear afterwards to be twice as old10 as they really are.

1 There is little doubt that this is fabulous: wine taken in excess, we know, is productive of loss of the senses, frenzy in the shape of delirium tremens.

2 This is not unlikely; for, as Fée remarks, the red wines, containing a large proportion of alcohol, act upon the brain and promote sleep, while the white wines, charged with carbonic gas, are productive of wakefulness.

3 Or healing vine. See B. xxiii. c. 11.

4 "Libanios." Probably incense was put in this wine, to produce the flavour.

5 From , "not," and σπένδειν, to make libation."

6 See c. 9 of this Book. It was introduced, probably, from Thasos.

7 From e)kaba/llw, "to eject."

8 Apothecis.

9 He alludes to the working of wines in periods of extreme heat; also in the spring.

10 Of our modern wines, Madeira and Bourdeaux improve by being carried across sea. Burgundy, if any thing, deteriorates, by the diminution of its bouquet.

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