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There are certain lands which shake when any one passes over them1; as in the territory of the Gabii, not far from the city of Rome, there are about 200 acres which shake when cavalry passes over it: the same thing takes place at Reate.

(95.) There are certain islands which are always floating2, as in the territory of the Cæcubum3, and of the above-mentioned Reate, of Mutina, and of Statonia. In the lake of Vadimonis and the waters of Cutiliæ there is a dark wood, which is never seen in the same place for a day and a night together. In Lydia, the islands named Calaminæ are not only driven about by the wind, but may be even pushed at pleasure from place to place, by poles: many citizens saved themselves by this means in the Mithridatic war. There are some small islands in the Nymphæus, called the Dancers4, because, when choruses are sung, they are moved by the motions of those who beat time. In the great Italian lake of Tarquinii, there are two islands with groves on them, which are driven about by the wind, so as at one time to exhibit the figure of a triangle and at another of a circle; but they never form a square5.

1 "Ad ingressum ambulantium, et equorum cursus, terræ quoque tremere sentiuntur in Brabantino agro, quæ Belgii pars, et circa S. Audomari fanum." Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 421, 422.

2 See Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 25.

3 Martial speaks of the marshy nature of the Cæcuban district, xiii. 115. Most of the places mentioned in this chapter are illustrated by the remarks of Hardouin; Lemaire, i. 422, 423.

4 "Saltuares." In some of the MSS. the term here employed is Saliares, or Saltares; but in all the editions which I am in the habit of consulting, it is Saltuares.

5 There is, no doubt, some truth in these accounts of floating islands, although, as we may presume, much exaggerated. There are frequently small portions of land detached from the edges of lakes, by floods or rapid currents, held together and rendered buoyant by a mass of roots and vegetable matter. In the lake of Keswick, in the county of Cumberland, there are two small floating islands, of a few yards in circumference, which are moved about by the wind or by currents; they appear to consist, principally, of a mass of vegetable fibres.

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