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This tree is emblematical of peace:1 when a branch of it is extended, it is to denote a truce between enemies in arms. For the Romans more particularly it is the messenger of joyful tidings, and of victory: it accompanies the despatches2 of the general, and it decorates the lances and javelins of the soldiers and the fasces which precede their chief. It is of this tree that branches are deposited on the lap of Jupiter All-good and All-great,3 so often as some new victory has imparted uni- versal gladness. This is done, not because it is always green, nor yet because it is an emblem of peace—for in both of those respects the olive would take the precedence of it—but because it is the most beauteous tree on Mount Parnassus, and was pleasing for its gracefulness to Apollo even; a deity to whom the kings of Rome sent offerings at an early period, as we learn from the case of L. Brutus.4 Perhaps, too, honour is more particularly paid to this tree because it was there that Brutus5 earned the glory of asserting his country's liberties, when, by the direction of the oracle, he kissed that laurel-bearing soil. Another reason, too, may be the fact, that of all the shrubs that are planted and received in our houses, this is the only one that is never struck by lightning.6 It is for these reasons, in my opinion, that the post of honour has been awarded to the laurel more particularly in triumphs, and not, as Massurius says, because it was used for the purposes of fumigation and purification from the blood of the enemy.

In addition to the above particulars, it is not permitted to defile the laurel and the olive by applying them to profane uses; so much so, indeed, that, not even for the propitiation of the divinities, should a fire be lighted with them at either altar or shrine.7 Indeed, it is very evident that the laurel protests against such usage by crackling8 as it does in the fire, thus, in a manner, giving expresssion to its abhorrence of such treatment. The wood of this tree when eaten is good as a specific for internal maladies and affections of the sinews.9

It is said that when it thundered, the Emperor Tiberius was in the habit of putting on a wreath of laurel to allay his apprehensions of disastrous effects from the lightning.10 There are also some remarkable facts connected with the laurel in the history of the late Emperor Augustus: once while Livia Drusilla, who afterwards on her marriage with the Emperor assumed the name of Augusta, at the time that she was affianced to him, was seated, there fell into her lap a hen of remarkable whiteness, which an eagle let fall from aloft without its receiving the slightest injury: on Livia viewing it without any symptoms of alarm, it was discovered that miracle was added to miracle, and that it held in its beak a branch of laurel covered with berries. The aruspices gave orders that the hen and her progeny should be carefully preserved, and the branch planted and tended with religious care. This was accordingly done at the country-house belonging to the Cæsars, on the Flaminian Way, near the banks of the Tiber, eight miles from the City; from which circumstance that road has since received the title "Ad gallinas."11 From the branch there has now arisen, wondrous to relate, quite a grove: and Augustus Cæsar afterwards, when celebrating a triumph, held a branch of it in his hand and wore a wreath of this laurel on his head; since which time all the succeeding emperors have followed his example. Hence, too, has originated the custom of planting the branches which they have held on these occasions, and we thus see groves of laurel still existing which owe their respective names to this circumstance. It was on the above occasion, too, that not improbably a change was effected in the usual laurel of the triumph.12 The laurel is the only one among the trees that in the Latin language has given an appellation to a man,13 and it is the only one the leaf of which has a distinct name of its own,—it being known by the name of "laurea." The name of this tree is still retained by one place in the city of Rome, for we find a spot on the Aventine Mount still known by the name of "Loretum,"14 where formerly a laurel-grove existed. The laurel is employed in purifications, and we may here mention, incidentally, that it will grow from slips15—though Democritus and Theophrastus have expressed their doubts as to that fact.

We shall now proceed to speak of the forest trees.

SUMMARY.—Remarkable facts, narratives, and observations, one hundred and twenty.

ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Fenestella,16 Fabianus,17 Virgil,18 Corn. Valerianus,19 Celsus,20 Cato the Censor,21 Saserna22 father and son, Scrofa,23 M. Varro,24 D. Silanus,25 Fabius Pictor,26 Trogus,27 Hyginus,28 Flaccus Verrius,29 Græcinus,30 Atticus Julius,31 Columella,32 Massurius Sabinus,33 Tergilla,34 Cotta Messalinus,35 L. Piso,36 Pompeius Lenæus,37 Maccius Plautus,38 Flavius,39 Dossenus,40 Scævola,41 Ælius,42 Ateius Capito,43 Sextius Niger,44 Vibius Rufus.45

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Aristotle,46 Democritus,47 King Hiero,48 King Attalus Philometor,49 Archytas,50 Xenophon,51 Amphilochus52 of Athens, Anaxipolis53 of Thasos, Apollodorus54 of Lemnos, Aristophanes55 of Miletus, Antigonus56 of Cymæ, Agathocles57 of Chios, Apollonius58 of Pergamus, Aristander59 of Athens, Bacchius60 of Miletus, Bion61 of Soli, Chæreas62 of Athens, Chæristus63 of Athens, Diodorus64 of Priene, Dion65 of Colophon, Epigenes66 of Rhodes, Euagon67 of Thasos, Euphronius68 of Athens, Androtion69 who wrote on Agriculture, Æschrion70 who wrote on Agriculture, Lysimachus71 who wrote on Agriculture, Dionysius72 who translated Mago,73 Diophanes74 who made an Epitome of the work of Dionysius, Asclepiades75 the Physician, Erasistratus76 the Physician, Commiades77 who wrote on the preparation of Wines, Aristomachus78 who wrote on the same subject, Hicesius79 who wrote on the same subject, Themiso80 the Physician, Onesicritus,81 King Juba.82

1 Curiously enough, it is generally considered now more suggestive of war than of peace.

2 The despatches were wrapped in laurel leaves.

3 Optimus Maximus.

4 L. Junius Brutus, the nephew of Tarquin. Pliny alludes to the message sent to Delphi, for the purpose of consulting the oracle on a serpent being seen in the royal palace.

5 He alludes to the circumstance of the priestess being asked who should reign at Rome after Tarquin; upon which she answered, "He who first kisses his mother;" on which Brutus, the supposed idiot, stumbled to the ground, and kissed the earth, the mother of all.

6 A mere absurdity; the same has been said of the beech, and with equal veracity.

7 He makes a distinction between "altar" and "ara" here. The former was the altar of the superior Divinities, the latter of the superior and inferior as well.

8 The crackling of the laurel is caused by efforts of the essential oil to escape from the parenchyma or cellular tissue of the leaf, which it breaks with considerable violence when burning.

9 Nervorum. See B. xxiii. c. 80.

10 Suetonius, c. 66, confirms this. Fée says that the same superstition still exists in some parts of France. See B. ii. c. 56.

11 "The Poultry."

12 See c. 39 of this Book.

13 See B. xxxi. c. 3. As Poinsinet remarks, this is not strictly true; the name "Vinucius" most probably came from "vinea," a vineyard. Numerous names were derived also from seeds and vegetables; Piso, Cicero, and Lactuca, for instance, among a host of others. "Scipio," too, means a "walking-stick."

14 The "laurel-grove."

15 See B. xvii. c. 11.

16 See end of B. viii

17 See end of B. ii.

18 See end of B. vii

19 See end of B. iii.

20 See end of B. vii.

21 See end of B. iii.

22 See end of B. x.

23 See end of B. xi.

24 See end of B. ii.

25 See end of B. xiv.

26 See end of B. x.

27 See end of B. vii.

28 See end of B. iii.

29 See end of B. iii.

30 See end of B. xiv.

31 See end of B. xiv.

32 See end of B. viii.

33 See end of B. vii.

34 See end of B. xiv.

35 See end of B. xiv.

36 See end of B. ii.

37 See end of B. xiv.

38 See end of B. xiv.

39 See end of B. xii.

40 See end of B. xiv.

41 See end of B. xiv.

42 See end of B. xiv.

43 See end of B. iii.

44 See end of B. xii.

45 See end of B. xiv.

46 See end of B. ii.

47 See end of B. ii.

48 See end of B. viii.

49 See end of B. viii.

50 See end of B. viii.

51 See end of B. iv.

52 See end of B. viii

53 See end of B. viii.

54 See end of B. viii.

55 See end of B. viii.

56 See end of B. viii.

57 See end of B. viii.

58 See end of B. viii.

59 See end of B. viii.

60 See end of B. viii.

61 See end of B. vi.

62 See end of B. viii.

63 See end of B. xiv.

64 He is mentioned also by Varro and Columella, as a writer upon agri- culture; but all further particulars of him are unknown.

65 See end of B. viii.

66 See end of B. ii.

67 See end of B. x.

68 See end of B. viii.

69 See end of B. viii.

70 See end of B. viii.

71 See end of B. viii.

72 See end of B. xii.

73 See end of B. viii.

74 See end of B. viii.

75 See end of B. vii.

76 See end of B. xi.

77 Beyond what Pliny here says, nothing is known of him.

78 See end of B. xi.

79 A physician who lived probably at the end of the first century B.C. He was a disciple of Erasistratus, and founded a medical school at Smyrna. He is quoted by Athenæus, and in B. xxvii. c. 14, Pliny calls him "a physician of no small authority." He seems to have been a voluminous writer; but none of his works have survived.

80 See end of B. xi.

81 See end of B. ii.

82 See end of B. v.

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