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1 "Mundus." In translating from one language into another, it is proper, as a general principle, always to render the same word in the original by the same word in the translation. But to this rule there are two exceptions; where the languages do not possess words which precisely correspond, and where the original author does not always use the same word in the same sense. Both these circumstances, I apprehend, apply to the case in question. The term Mundus is used by Pliny, sometimes to mean the earth and its immediate appendages, the visible solar system; and at other times the universe; while I think we may venture to assert, that in some instances it is used in rather a vague manner, without any distinct reference to either one or other of the above designations. I have, in almost all cases, translated it by the term world, as approaching nearest to the sense of the original. The word mundus is frequently employed by Lucretius, especially in his fifth book, and seems to be almost always used in the more extended sense of universe. There are, indeed, a few passages where either meaning would be equally appropriate, and in one line it would appear to be equivalent to firmament or heavens; "et mundi speciem violare serenam," iv. 138. Cicero, in his treatise De Natura Deorum, generally uses the term mundus in the sense of universe, as in ii. 22, 37, 58 and 154; while in one passage, ii. 132, it would appear to be employed in the more limited sense of the earth. It occasionally occurs in the Fasti of Ovid, but it is not easy to ascertain its precise import; as in the line "Post chaos, ut primum data sunt tria corpora mundo," v. 41, where from the connexion it may be taken either in the more confined or in the more general sense. Manilius employs the word very frequently, and his commentators remark, that he uses it in two distinct senses, the visible firmament and the universe; and I am induced to think that he attaches still more meaning to the term. It occurs three times in the first eleven lines of his poem. In the third line, "deducere mundo aggredior," mundus may be considered as equivalent to the celestial regions as opposed to the earth. In the ninth line, "concessumque patri mundo," we may consider it as signifying the celestial regions generally; and in the eleventh, "Jamque favet mundus," the whole of the earth, or rather its inhabitants. We meet with it again in the sixty-eighth line, "lumina mundi," where it seems more properly to signify the visible firmament; again in the 139th, "Et mundi struxere globum," it seems to refer especially to the earth, synonymous with the general sense of the English term world; while in the 153rd line, "per inania mundi," it must be supposed to mean the universe. Hyginus, in his Poeticon Astronomicon, lib. i. p. 55, defines the term as follows: "Mundus appellatur is qui constat in sole et luna et terra et omnibus stellis;" and again, p. 57, "Terra mundi media regione collocata." We may observe the different designations of the term mundus in Seneca; among other passages I may refer to his Nat. Quæst. vii. 27 & iii. 30; to his treatise De Consol. § 18 and De Benef. iv. 23, where I conceive the precise meanings are, respectively, the universe, the terrestrial globe, the firmament, and the heavenly bodies. The Greek term κόσμος, which corresponds to the Latin word mundus, was likewise employed to signify, either the visible firmament or the universe. In illustration of this, it will be sufficient to refer to the treatise of Aristotle περὶ κόσμου, cap. 2. p. 601. See also Stephens's Thesaurus, in loco. In Apuleius's treatise De Mundo, which is a free translation of Aristotle's περὶ κόσμου, the term may be considered as synonymous with universe. It is used in the same sense in various parts of Apuleius's writings: see Metam. ii. 23; De Deo Socratis, 665, 667; De Dogmate Platonis, 574, 575, et alibi.
2 Cicero, in his Timæus, uses the same phraseology; "Omne igitur cœlum, sive mundus, sive quovis alio vocabulo gaudet, hoc a nobis nuncupatum est," § 2. Pomponius Mela's work commences with a similar expression; "Omne igitur hoc, quidquid est, cui mundi cœlique nomen indideris, unum id est." They were probably taken from a passage in Plato's Timæus, "Universum igitur hoc, Cœlum, sive Mundum, sive quo alio vocabulo gaudet, cognominemus," according to the translation of Ficinus; Platonis Op. ix. p. 302. The word cœlum, which is employed in the original, in its ordinary acceptation, signifies the heavens, the visible firmament; as in Ovid, Met. i. 5, "quod tegit omnia, cœlum." It is, in most cases, employed in this sense by Lucretius and by Manilius, as in i. 2. of the former and in i. 14. of the latter. Occasionally, however, it is employed by both of these writers in the more general sense of celestial regions, in opposition to the earth, as by Lucretius, i. 65, and by Manilius, i. 352. In the line quoted by Cicero from Pacuvius, it would seem to mean the place in which the planets are situated; De Nat. Deor. ii. 91. The Greek word οὐρανὸς may be regarded as exactly corresponding to the Latin word cœlum, and employed with the same modifications; see Aristotle, De Mundo and De Cœlo, and Ptolemy, Mag. Const. lib. i. passim; see also Stephens's Thesaurus, in loco. Aratus generally uses it to designate the visible firmament, as in 1. 10, while in 1. 32 it means the heavenly regions. Gesner defines cœlum, "Mundus exclusa terra," and mundus, "Cœlum et quidquid cceli ambitu continetur." In the passage from Plato, referred to above, the words which are translated by Ficinus cœlum and mundus, are in the original οὐρανὸς and κόσμος; Ficinus, however, in various parts of the Timæus, translates οὐρανβὸς by the word mundus: see t. ix. p. 306, 311, et alibi.
3 The following passage from Cicero may serve to illustrate the doctrine of Pliny: "Novem tibi orbibus, vel potius globis, connexa sunt omnia: quorum unus est ccelestis, extimus, qui reliquos omnes complectitur, summus ipse Deus, arcens et continens cœlum;" Som. Scip. § 4. I may remark, however, that the term here employed by our author is not Deus but Numen.
4 We have an interesting account of the opinions of Aristotle on this subject, in a note in M. Ajasson's translation, ii. 234 et seq., which, as well as the greater part of the notes attached to the second book of the Natural History, were written by himself in conjunction with M. Marcus.
5 The philosophers of antiquity were divided in their opinions respecting the great question, whether the active properties of material bodies, which produce the phenomena of nature, are inherent in them, and necessarily attached to them, or whether they are bestowed upon them by some superior power or being. The Academics and Peripatetics generally adopted the latter opinion, the Stoics the former: Pliny adopts the doctrine of the Stoics; see Enfield's Hist. of Phil. i. 229, 283, 331.
6 I may remark, that the astronomy of our author is, for the most part, derived from Aristotle; the few points in which they differ will be stated in the appropriate places.
7 This doctrine was maintained by Plato in his Timæus, p. 310, and adopted by Aristotle, De Cœlo, lib. ii. cap. 14, and by Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii 47. The spherical form of the world, οὐρανὸς, and its circular motion are insisted upon by Ptolemy, in the commencement of his astronomical treatise μεγάλη σύνταξις, Magna Constructio, frequently referred to by its Arabic title Almagestum, cap. 2. He is supposed to have made his observations at Alexandria, between the years 125 and 140 A.D. His great astronomical work was translated into Arabic in the year 827; the original Greek text was first printed in 1538 by Grynæus, with a commentary by Theon. George of Trebisond published a Latin version of it in 1541, and a second was published by Camerarius in 1551, along with Ptolemy's other works. John Muller, usually called Regiomontanus, and Purback published an abridgement of the Almagest in 1541. For an account of Ptolemy I may refer to the article in the Biog. Univ. xxxv. 263 et seq., by Delambre, also to Hutton's Math. Diet., in loco, and to the high character of him by Whewell, Hist. of the Inductive Sciences, p. 214.
8 See Ptolemy, ubi supra.
9 This opinion, which was maintained by Pythagoras, is noticed and derided by Aristotle, De Cœlo, lib. ii. cap. 9. p. 462–3. A brief account of Pythagoras's doctrine on this subject is contained in Enfield's Philosophy, i. 386.
10 Pliny probably here refers to the opinion which Cicero puts into the mouth of one of the interlocutors in his treatise De Nat. Deor. ii. 47, "Quid enim pulchrius ea figura, quæ sola omnes alias figuras complexa continet, quæque nihil asperitatis habere, nihil offensionis potest, nihil incisum angulis, nihil anfractibus, nihil eminens, nihil lacunosum?"
11 The letter δ, in the constellation of the triangle; it is named δελτωτὸν by Aratus, 1. 235; also by Manilius, i. 360. We may remark, that, except in this one case, the constellations have no visible resemblance to the objects of which they bear the name.
12 "Locum hunc Plinii de Galaxia, sive Lactea via, interpretantur omnes docti." Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 227. It may be remarked, that the word vertex is here used in the sense of the astronomical term zenith, not to signify the pole.
13 De Ling. Lat. lib. iv. p. 7, 8. See also the remarks on the derivation of the word in Gesner, Thes., in loco.
14 "Signifer." The English term is taken from the Greek word ζωδιακὸς, derived from ζῶον; see Aristotle, De Mundo, cap. 2. p. 602. The word Zodiacus does not occur in Pliny, nor is it employed by Ptolemy; he names it λοξὁς κύκλος, obliquus circulus; Magn. Const. i. 7, 13, et alibi. It is used by Cicero, but professedly as a Greek term; Divin. ii. 89, and Arati Phænom. 1. 317. It occurs in Hyginus, p. 57 et alibi, and in A. Gellius, 13. 9. Neither signifer taken substantively, nor zodiacus occur in Lucretius or in Manilius.
15 The account of the elements, of their nature, difference, and, more especially, the necessity of their being four, are fully discussed by Aristotle in various parts of his works, more particularly in his treatise De Cœlo, lib. iii. cap. 3, 4 and 5, lib. iv. cap. 5, and De Gener. et Cor. lib. ii. cap. 2, 3, 4 and 5. For a judicious summary of the opinions of Aristotle on this subject, I may refer to Stanley's History of Philosophy; Aristotle, doctrines of, p. 2. 1. 7, and to Enfield, i. 764 et seq. For the Epicurean doctrine, see Lucretius, i. 764 et seq.
16 Although the word planeta, as taken from the Greek πλανήτης, is inserted in the title of this chapter, it does not occur in any part of the text. It is not found either in Lucretius, Manilius, or Seneca, nor, I believe, was it used by any of their contemporaries, except Hyginus, p. 76. The planets were generally styled stellæ erraticæ, errantes, or vagæ, sidera palantia, as in Lucretius, ii. 1030, or simply the five stars, as in Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 51, and in Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vii. 24. Pliny, by including the sun and moon, makes the number seven. Aratus calls them πέντ᾽ ἄστερες, l. 454.
17 "Aër." "Circumfusa undique est (terra) hac animabili spirabilique natura, cui nomen est aër; Græcum illud quidem, sed perceptum jam tamen usu a nobis;" Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 91.
18 "universi cardine." "Revolutionis, ut aiunt, centro. Idem Plinius, hoc ipso libro, cap. 64, terram cœli cardinem esse dicit; "Alexandre, in Lem. i. 228. On this subject I may refer to Ptolemy, Magn. Const. lib. i. cap. 3, 4, 6. See also Apuleius, near the commencement of his treatise De Mundo.
19 "Sidera." The word sidus is used, in most cases, for one of the
heavenly bodies generally, sometimes for what we term a constellation,
a particular assemblage of them, and sometimes specially for an individual
star. Manilius employs the word in all these senses, as will appear by
the three following passages respectively; the first taken from the opening of his poem,
"Carmine divinas artes, et conscia fati
The second, "Hæc igitur texunt æquali sidera tractu
Ignibus in varias cœlum laqueantia formas." i. 275, 276.
The third "....pectus, fulgenti sidere clarius;"i. 356.
In the Fasti of Ovid, we have examples of the two latter of these significations:—
"Ex Ariadnæo sidere nosse potes;" v. 346.
"Et canis (Icarium dicunt) quo sidere noto
Tosta sitit tellus;" iv. 939, 940.
Lucretius appears always to employ the term in the general sense. J. Obsequens applies the word sidus to a meteor; "sidus ingens cœlo demissum," cap. 16. In a subsequent part of this book, chap. 18 et seq., our author more particularly restricts the term sidus to the planets.
20 Cicero remarks concerning them; "quæ (stellæ) falso vocantur errantes; "De Nat. Deor. ii. 51.
21 "....vices cierum alternat et noctium, quum sidera præsens occultat, illustrat absens;" Hard. in Lem. i. 230.
22 "ceteris sideribus." According to Hardouin, ubi supra, "nimium stellis errantibus." There is, however, nothing in the expression of our author which sanctions this limitation.
23 See Iliad, iii. 277, and Od. xii. 323.
24 It is remarked by Enfield, Hist. of Phil. ii. 131, that "with respect to philosophical opinions, Pliny did not rigidly adhere to any sect.... He reprobates the Epicurean tenet of an infinity of worlds; favours the Pythagorean notion of the harmony of the spheres; speaks of the universe as God, after the manner of the Stoics, and sometimes seems to pass over into the field of the Sceptics. For the most part, however, he leans to the doctrine of Epicurus."
25 "Si alius est Deus quam sol," Alexandre in Lem. i. 230. Or rather, if there be any God distinct from the world; for the latter part of the sentence can scarcely apply to the sun. Poinsinet and Ajasson, however, adopt the same opinion with M. Alexandre; they translate the passage, "s'il en est autre que le soleil," i. 17 and ii. 11.
26 "totus animæ, totus animi;" "Anima est qua vivinus, animus quo sapimus." Hard. in Lem. i. 230, 231. The distinction between these two words is accurately pointed out by Lucretius, iii. 137 et seq.
27 "fecerunt (Athenienses) Contumeliæ fanum et Impudentiæ." Cicero, De Leg. ii. 28. See also Bossuet, Discours sur l'Histoire univ. i. 250.
28 The account which Cicero gives us of the opinions of Democritus scarcely agrees with the statement in the text; see De Nat. Deor. i. 120.
29 "In varios divisit Deos numen unicum, quod Plinio cœlum est aut mundus; ejusque singulas partes, aut, ut philosophi aiunt, attributa, separatim coluit; "Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 231.
30 "Febrem autem ad minus nocendum, templis celebrant, quorum adhue unum in Palafio...." Val. Max. ii. 6; see also Ælian, Var. Hist. xii. 11. It is not easy to ascertain the precise meaning of the terms Fanum, Ædes, and Templum, which are employed in this place by Pliny and Val. Maximus. Gesner defines Fanum "area templi et solium, templum vero ædificium;" but this distinction, as he informs us, is not always accurately observed; there appears to be still less distinction between Ædes and Templum; see his Thesaurus in loco, also Bailey's Facciolati in loco.
31 "Orbona est Orbitalis dea." Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 231.
32 "Appositos sibi statim ab ortu custodes credebant, quos viri Genios, Junones fœminæ vocabant." Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 232. See Tibullus, 4. 6. 1, and Seneca, Epist. 110, sub init.
33 We may suppose that our author here refers to the popular mythology of the Egyptians; the "fœtidi cibi" are mentioned by Juvenal; "Porrum et cæpe nefas violare et frangere morsu," xv. 9; and Pliny, in a subsequent part of his work, xix. 32, remarks, "Allium ceepeque inter Deos in jurejurando habet Ægyptus."
34 See Cicero, De Nat. Deor. i. 42 et alibi, for an illustration of these remarks of Pliny.
35 This sentiment is elegantly expressed by Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 62, and by Horace, Od. iii. 3. 9 et seq. It does not appear, however, that any of the Romans, except Romulus, were deified, previous to the adulatory period of the Empire.
36 "Planetarum nempe, qui omnes nomina mutuantur a diis." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 234.
37 This remark may be illustrated by the following passage from Cicero, in the first book of his treatise De Nat. Deor. Speaking of the doctrine of Zeno, he says, "neque enim Jovem, neque Junonem, neque Vestam, neque quemquam, qui ita appelletur, in deorum habet numero: sed rebus manimis, atque mutis, per quandam significationem, hæc docet tributa nomina." "Idemque (Chrysippus) disputat, æthera esse eum, quem homines Jovem appellant: quique aër per maria manaret, eum esse Nep- tunum: terramque eam esse, quæ Ceres diceretur: similique ratione persequitur vocabula reliquorum deorum."
38 The following remarks of Lucretius and of Cicero may serve to illustrate the opinion here expressed by our author:—
"Omnis enim per se Divum natura necesse est
Immortal ævo summa cum pace fruatur,
Semota ab nostris rebus, sejunctaque longe; "Lucretius, i. 57–69.
"Quod æternum beatumque sit, id nec habere ipsum negotii quidquam, nec exhibere alteri; itaque neque ira neque gratia teneri, quod, quæ talia essent, imbecilla essent omnia." Cicero, De Nat. Deor. i. 45.
39 The author here alludes to the figures of the Egyptian deities that were engraven on rings.
40 His specific office was to execute vengeance on the impious.
41 "sola utramque paginam facit." The words utraque pagina generally refer to the two sides of the same sheet, but, in this passage, they probably mean the contiguous portions of the same surface.
42 "astroque suo eventu assignat;" the word astrum appears to be
synonymous with sidus, generally signifying a single star, and, occasionally, a constellation; as in Manilius, i. 541, 2.
"....quantis bis sena ferantur
It is also used by synecdoche for the heavens, as is the case with the English word stars. See Gesner's Thesaurus.
43 "Quæ si suscipiamus, pedis offensio nobis...et sternutamenta erunt observanda." Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 84.
44 "Divus Augustus." The epithet divus may be regarded as merely a term of court etiquette, because all the Emperors after death were deified ex officio.
45 We learn the exact nature of this ominous accident from Suetonius; "....si mane sibi calceus perperam, et sinister pro dextro induceretur;" Augustus, Cap. 92. From this passage it would appear, that the Roman sandals were made, as we term it, right and left.
46 It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the opinions here stated respecting the Deity are taken partly from the tenets of the Epicureans, combined with the Stoical doctrine of Fate. The examples which are adduced to prove the power of fate over the Deity are, for the most part, rather verbal than essential.
47 "affixa mundo." The peculiar use of the word mundus in this passage is worthy of remark, in connexion with note1, ch. 1. page 13.
48 We have many references in Pliny to the influence of the stars upon the earth and its inhabitants, constituting what was formerly regarded as so important a science, judicial astrology. Ptolemy has drawn up a regular code of it in his "Centum dicta," or "Centiloquiums." We have a highly interesting account of the supposed science, its origin, progress, and general principles, in Whewell's History of the Inductive Sciences, p. 293 et seq. I may also refer to the same work for a sketch of the history of astronomy among the Greeks and the other nations of antiquity.
49 There are certain metaphorical expressions, which have originated from this opinion, adopted by the moderns; "his star is set;" "the star of his fortune," &c.
50 Ovid, when he compares Phaëton to a falling star, remarks, concerning this meteor,—
"Etsi non cecidit, potuit ceeidisse videri." Metam. ii. 322.
51 Manilius supposes that comets are produced and rendered luminous by an operation very similar to the one described in the text; i. 815 et seq. Seneca, in the commencement of his Nat. Quæst., and in other parts of the same treatise, refers to this subject. His remarks may be worth perusing by those who are curious to learn the hypotheses of the ancients on subjects of natural science. We may remark, that Seneca's opinions are, on many points, more correct than our author's.
52 The author probably refers to that part of his work in which he treats on agriculture, particularly to the 17th and 18th books.
53 The æra of the Olympiads commenced in the year 776 before Christ; each olympiad consists of 4 years; the 58th olympiad will therefore include the interval 548 to 544 B.C. The 21st vol. of the "Universal History" consists entirely of a "chronological table," and we have a useful table of the same kind in Brewster's Encycl., article "Chronology."
54 "rerum fores aperuisse....traditur." An account of the astronomy of Anaximander is contained in Brewster's Encycl., article "Astronomy," p. 587, and in the article "Anaximander" in the supplement to the same work by Scott of Aberdeen. I may remark, that these two accounts do not quite agree in their estimate of his merits; the latter author considers his opinions more correct. We have also an account of Anaximander in Stanley, pt. 2. p. 1 et seq., and in Enfield, i. 154 et seq.
55 In the translation of Ajasson, ii. 261–7, we have some valuable observations by Marcus, respecting the origin and progress of astronomy among the Greeks, and the share which the individuals mentioned in the text respectively had in its advancement; also some interesting remarks on the history of Atlas. Diodorus Siculus says, that "he was the first that discovered the knowledge of the sphere; whence arose the common opinion, that he carried the world upon his shoulders." Booth's trans. p. 115.
56 "nune relicto mundi ipsius corpore, reliqua inter cœlum terrasque tractentur." I have already had occasion to remark upon the various modes in which the author uses the word mundius; by cœlum, in this passage, he means the body or region beyond the planets, which is conceived to contain the fixed stars. Sphœra, in the preceding sentence, may be supposed to mean the celestial globe.
57 "ac trigesimo anno ad brevissima sedis suæ principia regredi;" I confess myself unable to offer any literal explanation of this passage; nor do the remarks of the commentators appear to me satisfactory; see Hardouin and Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 241, 2. It is translated by Ajasson "en trente ans il reviens à l'espace minime d'où il est parti." The period of the sidereal revolutions of the planets, as stated by Mrs. Somerville, in her "Mechanism of the Heavens," and by Sir J. Herschel, in his "Treatise on Astronomy," are respectively as follows:—
|Somerville, p. 358.||Herschel, p. 416.|
58 "'mundo;' hoc est, cælo inerrantium stellarum." Hardouin, in Lemaire, ii. 242.
59 Our author supposes, that the spectator has his face directed towards the south, as is the case with the modern observers. We are, however, informed by Hardouin, that this was not the uniform practice among the ancients; see the remarks of Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 242, and of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 269.
60 The constant revolution refers to the apparent daily motion; the opposite direction to their annual course through the zodiac. Ptolemy gives an account of this double motion in his Magna Constructio, i. 7.
61 For the exact period, according to Somerville and Herschel, see note3, p. 27.
62 Aristotle informs us, that Mars was also called Hercules or Pyrosis; De Mundo, cap. ii. p. 602. See also Apuleius, De Mundo, § 710. Hyginus is said by Hardouin to give the name of Hercules to the planet Mars, but this appears to be an inaccuracy; he describes the planet under its ordinary appellation; lib. ii. p. 62; and ii. 78, 9.
63 Cicero, speaking of the period of Mars, says, "Quatuor et viginti mensibus, sex, ut opinor, diebus minus;" De Nat. Deor. For the exact period, see note3, p. 27.
64 "Sed ut observatio umbrarum ejus redeat ad notas." According to the interpretation ot Hardouin, "Ad easdem lineas in solari horologio." Lemaire, ii. 243.
65 This is an example of the mode of computation which we meet with among the ancients, where, in speaking of the period of a revolution, both the time preceding and that following the interval are included.
66 The division of the planets into superior and inferior was not known to Aristotle, De Mundo, cap. ii. p. 602, to Plato, Timæus, p. 318, 319, or the older Greek astronomers. It was first made by the Egyptians, and was transferred from them to the Romans. It is one of the points in which our author differs from Aristotle. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 242 et seq. Marcus notices the various points which prove the deficiency of Pliny's knowledge of astronomy; he particularizes the four following :—his ignorance of the true situation of the constellations; his erroneous opinion respecting the cause of the seasons; his account of the phases of the moon, and of the position of the cardinal points. He appears not to have been aware, that certain astronomical phænomena undergo a regular progression, but supposed that they remained, at the time when he wrote, in the same state as in the age of Hipparchus or the original observers. Columella, when treating on these subjects, describes the phænomena according to the ancient calculation, but he informs us, that he adopts it, because it was the one in popular use, and better known by the farmers (De Re Rust. ix. 14), while Pliny appears not to have been aware of the inaccuracy.
67 "Modo solem antegrediens, modo subsequens." Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 243.
68 It was not known to the earlier writers that Lucifer and Vesper were the same star, differently situated with respect to the Sun. Playfair remarks, that Venus is the only planet mentioned in the sacred writings, and in the most ancient poets, such as Hesiod and Homer; Outlines, ii. 156.
69 There has been much discussion among the commentators respecting the correctness of the figures in the text; according to the sera of the olympiads, the date referred to will be between the years 750 and 754 B.C.; the foundation of Rome is commonly referred to the year 753 B.C. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 278, 9.
70 Aristotle informs us, that it was called either Phosphorus, Juno, or Venus; De Mundo, cap. 2. t. i. p. 602. See also Hyginus, Poet. Astr. lib. iii. p. 76, 7; and Apuleius, De Mundo, § 710.
71 It will be scarcely necessary to refer the reader to the well-known commencement of Lucretius's poem for the illustration of this passage; it is remarkable that Pliny does not refer to this writer.
72 The periodical revolution of Venus is 224ċ7 days, see note3, p. 27. Its greatest elongation is 47°1′; Somerville, § 641. p. 391.
73 According to Aristotle, this planet had the three appellations of Stilbon, Mercury, and Apollo; De Mundo, cap. 2. p. 602; see also Apuleius, De Mundo, § 710. Cicero inverts the order of the planets; he places Mercury next to Mars, and says of Venus, that it is "infima quinque errantium, terræque proxima;" De Nat. Deor. ii. 53. Aristotle places the stars in the same order, ubi supra, and he is followed in this by Apuleius, ubi supra; this appears to have been the case with the Stoics generally; see Enfield's Phil. i. 339.
74 For the periodical revolution of Mercury see note3, p. 27. Its greatest elongation, according to Playfair, p. 160, is 28 °. Mrs. Somerville, p. 386, states it to be 28°8′. Ptolemy supposed it to be 26ċ5 degrees; Almagest, ix. 7. We learn from Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 246, that there is considerable variation in the MSS. with respect to the greatest elongation of Mercury.
75 Sosigenes was an Egyptian mathematician and astronomer, who is said to have assisted Cæsar in the formation of his Kalendar, as our author informs us in a subsequent part of his work, xviii. 25; see also Aikin, Gen. Biog., in loco; Enfield's Phil. ii. 96; Whewell, p. 210; and Hardouin's "Index Auctorum," in Lemaire, i. 213.
76 Concerning the "magnus annus" Cicero remarks, "efficitur cum solis et lunæ et quinque errantium ad eandem inter se comparationem, confectis omnibus spatiis, est facta conversio." De Nat. Deor. ii. 51. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 281–3.
77 For the various appellations which the moon has received in the ancient and modern languages, and their relation to each other, the reader is referred to the learned remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 283–5.
78 Marcus conceives that the epithet maculosa does not refer to what are called the spots on the moon, but to the circumstance of the edge of the disc being not illuminated when it is near the full; Ajasson, ii. 286. But, from the way in which the word is employed at the end of the chapter, and from the explanation which is given of the cause of the "maculæ," I think it ought to be referred to the spotted appearance of the face of the moon.
79 "Quum laborare non creditur." It was a vulgar notion among the ancients, that when the moon is eclipsed, she is suffering from the influence of magicians and enchanters, who are endeavouring to draw her down to the earth, in order to aid them in their superstitious ceremonies. It was conceived that she might be relieved from her sufferings by loud noises of various kinds which should drown the songs of the magicians. Allusion is frequently made to this custom by the ancient poets, as Virgil, Æn. i. 742, Manilius, i. 227, and Juvenal, vi. 444; and the language has been transferred to the moderns, as in Beattie's Minstrel, ii. 47, "To ease of fancied pangs the labouring moon."
80 We have some interesting remarks by Marcus respecting Endymion, and also on the share which Solon and Thales had in correcting the lunar observations; Ajasson, ii. 288–290.
81 "Lucem nobis aperuere in hac luce."
83 Astronomers describe two different revolutions or periods of the moon; the synodical and the sidereal. The synodical marks the time in which the moon passes from one conjunction with the sun to the next conjunction, or other similar position with respect to the sun. The sidereal period is the time in which the moon returns to the same position with respect to the stars, or in which it makes a complete revolution round the earth. These numbers are, for the synodical period, 29d 12h 44m 287s, and for the sidereal, 27d 7h 43m 11ċ5s; Herschel, pp. 213, 224.
84 Our author, as Marcus remarks, "a compté par nombres ronds;" Ajasson, ii. 291; the correct number may be found in the preceding note.
85 It was a general opinion among the ancients, and one which was entertained until lately by many of the moderns, that the moon possessed the power of evaporating the water of the ocean. This opinion appears to have been derived, at least in part, from the effect which the moon produces on the tides.
86 "quantum ex sole ipsa concipiat;" from this passage, taken singly, it might be concluded, that the author supposed the quantity of light received by the moon to differ at different times; but the succeeding sentence seems to prove that this is not the case; see the remarks of Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 249. Marcus, however, takes a different view of the subject; Ajasson, ii. 291, 292. He had previously pointed out Pliny's opinion respecting the phases of the moon, as one of the circumstances which indicate his ignorance of astronomy, ut supra, ii. 245, 246.
87 This doctrine is maintained by Seneca, Quæst. Nat. lib. ii. § 5. p. 701, 702. From the allusion which is made to it by Anacreon, in his 19th ode, we may presume that it was the current opinion among the ancients.
88 I may remark, that Poinsinet, in this passage, substitutes "umbra" for "umbræque," contrary to the authority of all the MSS., merely because it accords better with his ideas of correct reasoning. Although it may be of little consequence in this particular sentence, yet, as such liberties are not unfrequently taken, I think it necessary to state my opinion, that this mode of proceeding is never to be admitted, and that it has proved a source of serious injury to classical literature. In this account of the astronomical phenomena, as well as in all the other scientific dissertations that occur in our author, my aim has been to transfer into our language the exact sense of the original, without addition or correction. Our object in reading Pliny is not to acquire a knowledge of natural philosophy, which might be better learned from the commonest elementary work of the present day, but to ascertain what were the opinions of the learned on such subjects when Pliny wrote. I make this remark, because I have seldom if ever perused a translation of any classical author, where, on scientific topics, the translator has not endeavoured, more or less, to correct the mistakes of the original, and to adapt his translation to the state of modern science.
89 The terms here employed are respectively interventus, objectio, and interpositus; it may be doubted whether the author intended to employ them in the precise sense which is indicated by their etymology.
90 The terms here employed are respectively interventus, objectio, and interpositus; it may be doubted whether the author intended to employ them in the precise sense which is indicated by their etymology.
91 The terms here employed are respectively interventus, objectio, and interpositus; it may be doubted whether the author intended to employ them in the precise sense which is indicated by their etymology.
92 "metæ et turbini inverso." The metæ were small pyramids placed at the two extremities of the spina, or central division of the circus: see Montfaucon, v. iii. p. 176; Adam, p. 341.
93 The eclipses of the moon are only visible when the spectator is so situated as to be able to observe the shadow of the earth, or is on that side of the earth which is turned from the sun.
94 "non semper in scrupulis partium congruente siderum motu." On the term scrupulus Hardouin remarks, "Scrupuli, nodi sunt, in quibus circuli, quos in suo cursu Sol et Luna efficiunt, se mutuo secant." Lemaire, ii. 251. Ptolemy, Magn. Const. vi. 6–11, gives a full and generally correct account of the principal phenomena of eclipses.
95 Marcus conceives that our author must here mean, not the actual, but the apparent size of these bodies; Ajasson, ii. 295; but I do not perceive that the text authorizes this interpretation.
96 I have given the simple translation of the original as it now stands in the MSS.; whether these may have been corrupted, or the author reasoned incorrectly, I do not venture to decide. The commentators have, according to their usual custom, proposed various emendations and explanations, for which I may refer to the note of Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 252, with the judicious remarks of Alexandre, and to those of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 295–298, who appear to me to take a correct view of the subject.
97 Alexandre remarks, "Hinc tamen potius distantia quam magnitudo Solis colligi potest." Lemaire, ii. 252. And the same remark applies to the two next positions of our author.
98 Alexandre remarks on the argument of our author, perhaps a little too severely, "Absurde dictum; nam aliis oritur, aliis occidit, dum aliis est a vertice; quod vel pueri sentiunt." Lemaire, ii. 253. But we may suppose, that Pliny, in this passage, only meant to say, that as the sun became vertical to each successive part of the equinoctial district, no shadows were formed in it.
99 The commentators have thought it necessary to discuss the question, whether, in this passage, Pliny refers to the Ida of Crete or of Asia Minor. But the discussion is unnecessary, as the statement of the author is equally inapplicable to both of them. Mela appears to refer to this opinion in the following passage, where he is describing the Ida of Asia Minor; "ipse mens...orientem solem aiter quam in aliis terris solet aspici, ostentat." lib. i. cap. 18.
100 "Ut dictum est superiore capite, quo Plinius falso contendit Terram esse Luna minorem." Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 253. The words of the text, however, apply equally to the comparative size of the earth and the sun, as of the earth and the moon.
101 "turbo rectus;" literally an upright top.
103 This has been pointed out as one of our author's erroneous opinions on astronomy. The earth is really about 1/30 nearer the sun in our winters than in our summers. The greater degree of heat produced by his rays in the latter case depends upon their falling on the surface of the earth less obliquely. This is the principal cause of the different temperatures of the equatorial and polar regions.
104 This eclipse is calculated to have occurred on the 28th of June, 168 B.C.; Brewster's Encyc. "Chronology," p. 415, 424. We have an account of this transaction in Livy, xliv. 37, and in Plutarch, Life of Paulus Æmilius, Langhorne's trans. ii. 279; he however does not mention the name of Gallus. See also Val. Maximus, viii. 11. 1, and Quintilian, i. 10. Val. Maximus does not say that Gallus predicted the eclipse, but explained the cause of it when it had occurred; and the same statement is made by Cicero, De Repub. i. 15. For an account of Sulpicius, see Hardouin's Index auctorum, Lemaire, i. 214.
105 An account of this event is given by Herodotus, Clio, § 74. There has been the same kind of discussion among the commentators, respecting the dates in the text, as was noticed above, note 4, p. 29: see the remarks of Brotier and of Marcus in Lemaire and Ajasson, in loco. Astronomers have calculated that the eclipse took place May 28th, 585 B.C.; Brewster, ut supra, pp. 414,419.
106 Hipparchus is generally regarded as the first astronomer who prosecuted the science in a regular and systematic manner. See Whewell, C. 3. p. 169 et seq., 177–179. He is supposed to have made his observations between the years 160 and 125 B.C. He made a catalogue of the fixed stars, which is preserved in Ptolemy's Magn. Const. The only work of his now extant is his commentary on Aratus; it is contained in Petau's Uranologie. We find, among the ancients, many traces of their acquaintance with the period of 600 years, or what is termed the great year, when the solar and lunar phenomena recur precisely at the same points. Cassini, Mem. Acad., and Bailly, Hist. Anc. Astron., have shown that there is an actual foundation for this opinion. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 302, 303.
107 Seneca, the tragedian, refers to this superstitious opinion in some beautiful verses, which are given to the chorus at the termination of the fourth act of the Thyestes.
108 We have an account of this event in Thucydides, Smith's trans. ii. 244, and in Plutarch, Langhorne's trans. iii. 406. It is calculated to have happened Aug. 27th, 413 B.C.; Brewster, ut supra, p. 415, 421.
109 The elegant lines of Ovid, in his Fasti, i. 297 et seq., express the same sentiment: "Felices animos, quibus hoc cognoscere primis," &c.
110 I have already remarked upon the use of this term as applied to the eclipses of the moon in note4, p. 31.
111 According to the remarks of Marcus, it appears probable that this sol-lunar period, as it has been termed, was discovered by the Chaldeans; Ajasson, ii. 306, 307.
113 "Hoc enim periodo (223 mensium) plerumque redeunt eclipses, non multum differentes, denis tamen gradibus zodiaci antecedentes;" Kepler, as quoted by Alexandre, in Lemaire, ii. 238.
114 The terms "sub terra" and "superne" are interpreted, by most of the commentators, below and above the horizon respectively; see Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 307.
115 "globo terræ obstante convexitatibus mundi." The term convexus, as applied to the heavens, or visible firmament, simply signifies arched; not opposed to concave, like the English word convex.
116 This point is discussed by Ptolemy, Magn. Const. vi. 6; "De distantia eclipticorum mensium." See also the remarks of Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 260, 261; and of Poinsinet, i. 67.
117 These are styled horizontal eclipses; they depend on the refractive power of the atmosphere, causing the sun to be visible above the horizon, although it is actually below it. Brotier states, that eclipses of this description occurred on the 17th July, 1590, on the 30th November, 1648, and on the 16th January, 1660; Lemaire, ii. 260.
118 This is supposed to have been in the year 72 of our æra, when it is said that the sun was eclipsed, in Italy, on the 8th, and the moon on the 22nd of February; see Hardouin and Alexandre, in Lemaire, ii. 261.
119 In a subsequent part of the work, xviii. 75, the author gives a different rate of increase, viz. 51 1/2 minutes; neither of these numbers is correct; the mean rate of increase being, according to Alexandre, about 54′ or 55′; Lemaire, ii. 261, 262. See also Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 311–14.
120 It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the effect, as here stated, has no connexion with the supposed cause.
121 "luminum canonica."
122 Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
123 They are then said, in astronomical language, to rise heliacally.
124 In the last chapter this distance was stated to be 7 degrees; see the remarks of Alexandre, in Lemaire, ii. 263.
125 "radiorum ejus contactu reguntur." The doctrine of the ancient astronomers was, that the motions of the planets are always governed by the rays of the sun, according to its position, attracting or repelling them.
126 A planet appears to be stationary, i. e. to be referred to the same point of the zodiac, when it is so situated with respect to the earth, that a straight line passing through the two bodies forms a tangent to the smaller orbit. The apparent motion of the planets, sometimes direct and at other times retrograde, with their stationary positions, is occasioned by the earth and the planets moving in concentric orbits, with different velocities. One hundred and twenty degrees is the mean distance at which the three superior planets become stationary. We have an elaborate dissertation by Marcus, on the unequal velocities of the planets, and on their stations and retrogradations, as well according to the system of Aristotle as to that of Copernicus; Ajasson, ii. 316 et seq. He remarks, and, I conceive, with justice, "...ce n'est pas dans les traités d'astronomie de nos savans que l'on doit puiser les détails destinés à éclaircir le texte des chapitres xii, xiii, xiv et xv du second livre de Pline...Je ne dis rien des commentaires de Poinsinet, d'Hardouin et d'autres savans peu versés en matière d'astronomie, qui ont fait dire à Pline les plus grandes absurdités."
127 "Occasus planetæ vespertinus dicitur, quo die desinit post occasum sois supra horizontem oculis se præbere manifestum;" Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 265. It is then said to set heliacally.
128 The interpretation of this passage has given rise to much discussion among the commentators and translators; I may refer the reader to the remarks of Poinsinet, i. 70, 71; of Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 266; and of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 328. I conceive the meaning of the author to be, that while the other planets become stationary, when at 120 degrees from the sun, Mars becomes so at 90 degrees, being detained by the rays, which act upon him more powerfully, in consequence of his being nearer to their source.
129 I may refer to the remarks of Marcus on the respective distances from the sun at which Venus and Mercury become stationary, and when they attain their greatest elongations; Ajasson, ii. 328, 329. According to Ptolemy, Magn. Constr. lib. viii. cap. 7, the evening setting of Venus is at 5°40′ from the sun, and that of Mercury at 11°30′.
130 "῾αψὶς, ligneus rotæ circulus, ab ἅπτω necto;" Hederic in loco. The term is employed in a somewhat different sense by the modern astronomers, to signify the point in the orbit of a planet, when it is either at the greatest or the least distance from the earth, or the body about which it revolves; the former being termed the apogee, aphelion, or the higher apsis; the latter the perigee, perhelion, or lower apsis; Jennings on the Globes, pp. 64, 65.
132 "ratione circini semper indubitata."
133 In consequence of the precession of the equinoxes these points are continually advancing from W. to E., and are now about 30 degrees from the situation they were in when the observations were first made by the modern astronomers.
134 Our author here probably refers to the motions of the planets through their epicycles or secondary circles, the centres of which were supposed to be in the peripheries of the primary circles. See Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 270.
135 It is to this visible appearance of convexity in the heavens that Ovid refers in the story of Phaëton, where he is describing the daily path of the sun; Metam. ii. 63–67.
136 "quam quod illi subjacet;" under this designation the author obviously meant to include the temperate zones, although it technically applies only to the part between the tropics. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that modern discoveries have shown that this opinion respecting the Arctic zone is not strictly correct.
137 The breadth of the zodiac, which was limited by the ancients to 12 degrees, has been extended by the modern astronomers to 18, and would require to be much farther extended to include the newly discovered planet. Herschel's Astronomy, § 254.
138 There is considerable difficulty in ascertaining the meaning of the terms employed by our author in describing the course of the planet Mercury through the zodiac; "medio ejus," "supra," and "infra." Hardouin's comment is as follows: "Duas zodiaci partes seu gradus pererrat, quum ipse per medium incedit signiferum: supra, quum deflectit ad Aquilonem, per quatuor alias ejusdem partes vagatur: infra, quum descendit ad Austrum, discedit duabus." Lemaire, ii. 271, 272. But Marcus has shown that the opinion of Hardouin is inadmissible and inconsistent with the facts; Ajasson, ii. 338–341. He proposes one, which he conceives to be more correct, but we may probably be led to the conclusion, that the imperfect knowledge and incorrect opinions of our author on these subjects must render it impossible to afford an adequate explanation.
139 "flexuoso draconum meatu;" Poinsinet remarks, "Les Grecs... appellaient dragons les bracelets, les hausse-cols, les chainettes, et généralement tout ce qui avait une figure armillaire;" i. 79, 80.
140 As this remark appears to contradict what was said in the last sentence respecting the sun, we may suspect some error in the text; see Poinsinet, Alexandre, and Marcus, in loco.
141 The following comparative statement is given by Alexandre of the geocentric latitudes of the planets, as assigned by Pliny, and as laid down by the moderns. Lemaire, ii. 273:—
|Jupiter||1 30||1 30|
|Saturn||1 (or 2 °）||2 30|
142 It appears from the remark at the end of this chapter, that this explanation applies to the superior planets alone.
143 It is not easy, as Marcus observes, Ajasson, ii. 344, 345, to comprehend the exact meaning of this passage, or to reconcile it with the other parts of our author's theory.
144 "Ecliptica," called by the moderns the nodes; i. e. the two points where the orbits of the planets cut the ecliptic. See the remarks of Marcus on this term; Ajasson, ii. 345, 346.
145 We may presume that our author here refers to the apparent motion of the planets, not to their actual acceleration or retardation.
146 The editors have differed in the reading of this passage; I have followed that of Lemaire.
147 "incipit detrahi numerus." According to the explanation of Alexandre, "numerus nempe partium quas certo temporis intervallo emetiuntur." Lemaire, ii. 275. Marcus remarks in this place, "Dans tout ce chapitre et dans le suivant, Pline a placé dans une correlation de causité, tout ce qu'il croit arriver en même temps; mais il n'a pas prouvé par-là que les phénomènes célestes qui sont contemporains sont engendrés les uns par les autres." Ajasson, ii. 349.
148 The hypothesis of Pliny appears to be, that the planets are affected by the rays of the sun, and that according to the angle at which they receive the impulse, they are either accelerated or retarded in their course.
149 "ex priore triquetro."
150 Alexandre supposes, as I conceive justly, that our author, in this passage, only refers to the writings of his own countrymen; Lemaire, ii. 276.
151 According to Ptolemy, these numbers are respectively 47°51′ and 24°3′; the modern astronomers have ascertained them to be 48°and 29 °. The least elongations of the planets are, according to Ptolemy, 44°7′ and 18°50′, and according to the observations of the moderns, 45°and 16 °; Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 354.
152 I have not translated the clause, "quum sint diversæ stellæ," as, according to Hardouin, it is not found "in probatissimis codd.," and appears to have little connexion with the other parts of the sentence; it is omitted by Valpy and Lemaire, but is retained by Poinsinet and Ajasson.
153 When these inferior planets have arrived at a certain apparent distance from the sun, they are come to the extent of their orbits, as seen from the earth.
154 "Quum ad illam Solis distantiam pervenerunt, ultra procedere non possunt, deficiente circuli longitudine, id est, amplitudine." Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 277.
155 The transits of the inferior planets had not been observed by the ancients.
156 "utroque modo;" "latitudine et altitudine;" Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 279.
158 "....quæ (stella Martis) ut maxime excentrica volvitur, motus etiam maxime dissonos habere diu visa est....;" Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 180.
159 "....qui numerus sexangulas mundi efficit formas."
160 Lynceus was one of the Argonauts and was celebrated for the acuteness of his vision; Val. Flaccus, i. 462 et seq.
161 The relative situation of these astronomical phænomena has changed since the time of Pliny, in consequence of the precession of the equinoxes. For an illustration and explanation of the various statements in this chapter I may refer to the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 368–370.
162 Ptolemy's account of the colours of the planets is nearly similar to that of our author; "Candidus color Jovialis est, rutilus Martius, flavus Veneris, varius Mercurii;" De Jur. Astrol. ii. 9.
163 This effect cannot be produced by any of the planets, except perhaps, to a certain extent, by Venus.
165 It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the method which Pliny employs to explain the different phases of the moon betrays his ignorance, not only of the cause of these particular phenomena, but of the general principles which affect the appearance of the heavenly bodies.
166 "seminani ambitur orbe." According to the interpretation of Hardouin, "Orbe non perfecto et absoluto;" "major dimidia, minor plena;" Lemaire, ii. 284.
167 As Alexandre justly remarks, our author refers here to the aspects only of the planets, not to their phases; ii 284.
168 "centrum terræ;" the equator, the part equally distant from the two poles or extremities.
169 It may be remarked, that the equinoxes did not actually take place at this period in the points mentioned by Pliny, but in the 28th degrees of Pisces and Virgo respectively; he appears to have conformed to the popular opinion, as we may learn from Columella, lib. ix. cap. 14. The degrees mentioned above were those fixed by the Greek astronomers who formed the celestial sphere, and which was about 138 years before the Christian æra. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 246 & 373, 374.
170 The same remark applies to this as to the former observation.
172 The hypothesis of the author is, that the excess of moisture in the orbit of Saturn, and the excess of heat in that of Mars, unite in the orbit of Jupiter and are discharged in the form of thunder.
173 Alexandre remarks, that Pliny mentions this, not as his own opinion, but that of many persons; for, in chap. 21, he attempts to prove mathematically, that the moon is situated at an equal distance between the sun and the earth; Lemaire, ii. 286.
174 Marcus remarks upon the inconsistency between the account here given of Pythagoras's opinion, and what is generally supposed to have been his theory of the planetary system, according to which the sun, and not the earth, is placed in the centre; Enfield's Philosophy, i. 288, 289. Yet we find that Plato, and many others among the ancients, give us the same account of Pythagoras's doctrine of the respective distances of the heavenly bodies; Ajasson, ii. 374. Plato in his Timæus, 9. p. 312–315, details the complicated arrangement which he supposes to constitute the proportionate distances of the planetary bodies.
175 Sulpicius has already been mentioned, in the ninth chapter of this book, as being the first among the Romans who gave a popular explanation of the cause of eclipses.
176 "διὰ πασῶν, omnibus tonis contextam harmoniam." Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 287.
177 These appellations appear to have originated from different nations having assumed different notes as the foundation or commencement of their musical scale. The Abbé Barthelemi informs us, that "the Dorians executed the same air a tone lower than the Phrygians, and the latter a tone still higher than the Lydians; hence the denomination of the Dorian, Phrygian, and Lydian modes." It appears to have been a general practice to employ the lowest modes for the slowest airs; Anacharsis's Travels, iii. 73, 74.
178 Hence the passus will be equal to 5 Roman feet. If we estimate the Roman foot at 11ċ6496 English inches, we shall have the miliare of 8 stadia equal to 1618 English yards, or 142 yards less than an English statute mile. See Adam's Roman Antiquities, p. 503; also the articles Miliare and Pes in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities; and for the varieties of the stadium, as employed at different periods and in different countries, see the article Stadium. The stadium which Herodotus employed in measurements of Babylon has been supposed to consist of 490 English feet, while that of Xenophon and Strabo has been estimated at 505; see Ed. Rev. xlviii. 190. The Abbé Barthelemi supposes the stadium to be equal to 604 English feet; Anach. Travels, vii. 284.
179 There appears to have been two individuals of this name, who have been confounded with each other; the one referred to by Pliny was an astronomer of Alexandria, who flourished about 260 years B.C.; the other was a native of Apamea, a stoic philosopher, who lived about two centuries later; see Aikin's Biog. in loco; also Hardouin's Index Auctorum, Lemaire, i. 209.
180 The terms in the original are respectively nubila and nubes. The lexicographers and grammarians do not appear to have accurately discriminated between these two words.
181 The terms in the original are respectively nubila and nubes. The lexicographers and grammarians do not appear to have accurately discriminated between these two words.
182 The words in the text are "vicies centum millia "and "quinquies millia."
183 Archimedes estimated that the diameter of a circle is to its circumference as 1 to 3ċ1416; Hutton's Diet. in loco. Ptolemy states it to be precisely as 1 to 3; Magn. Const. i. 12.
184 The author's reasoning is founded upon the supposition of the length of the sun's path round the earth being twelve times greater than that of the moon's; the orbit therefore would be twelve times greater and the radius in the same proportion.
185 "Non inter Lunam et Saturnum, sed inter Lunam et cœlum affixarum stellarum, medium esse Solem modo dixerat. Quam parum sui meminit! "Alexandre in Lem. i. 291.
186 "Qui computandi modus plurimum habet verecundiæ et modestiæ, quum ibi sistit, nec ulterius progreditur." Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 292.
187 "....ad Saturni circulum addito Signiferi ipsius intervallo,..."
188 We may remark, that our author, for the most part, adopts the opinions of Aristotle respecting comets and meteors of all kinds, while he pays but little attention to those of his contemporary Seneca, which however, on some points, would appear to be more correct. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 244. Under the title of comets he includes, not only those bodies which are permanent and move in regular orbits, but such as are transient, and are produced from various causes, the nature of which is not well understood. See Aristotle, Meteor. lib. i. cap. 6, 7, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. lib. 7, and Manilius, i. 807 et seq.
190 a πωγωνίος, barbatus. Most of these terms are employed by Aristotle and by Seneca.
194 a πίθος, dolium. Seneca describes this species as "magnitudo vasti rotundique ignis dolio similis;" Nat. Quæst. lib. i. § 14. p. 964.
197 ab ἵππος, equus. Seneca mentions the fax, the jaculum, and the lampas among the prodigies that preceded the civil wars; Phars. i. 528 et seq.
198 Alexandre remarks, that these dates do not correspond, and adds, "Desperandum est de Pliniana chronologia; nec satis interdum scio, utrum librarios, an scriptorem ipsum incusem,...." Lemaire, i. 295. According to the most approved modern chronology, the middle of the 109th olympiad corresponds to the 211th year of the City.
199 "errantium modo;" this may mean, that they move in orbits like those of the planets and exhibit the same phænomena, or simply that they change their situation with respect to the fixed stars.
200 Seneca remarks on this point, "Placet igitur nostris (Stoicis) cometas ....denso aëri creari. Ideo circa Septemtrionem frequentissime apparent, quia illic plurimi est aëris frigor." Qusest. Nat. i. 7. Aristotle, on the contrary, remarks that comets are less frequently produced in the northern part of the heavens; Meteor. lib. i. cap. 6. p. 535.
201 Ubi supra.
202 See Aristotle, ut supra, p. 537.
203 "Videtur is non cometes fuisse, sed meteorus quidam ignis;" Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 296.
204 Virgil, Geor. i. 488 et seq., Manilius, i. 904 et seq., and Lucan, i. 526 et seq., all speak of the comets and meteors that were observed previous to the civil wars between Pompey and Cæsar. In reference to the existence of a comet about the time of Julius Cæsar, Playfair remarks, that Halley supposed the great comet of 1680 to have been the same that appeared in the year 44 A.C., and again in Justinian's time, 521 P.C., and also in 1106; Elem. Nat. Phil. ii. 197, 198. See Ptolemy's Cent. Dict. no. 100, for the opinion, that comets presented an omen especially unfavourable to kings. To this opinion the following passage in the Paradise Lost obviously refers; "And with fear of change perplexes monarchs."
205 Seneca refers to the four comets that were seen, after the death of Cæsar, in the time of Augustus, of Claudius, and of Nero; Quæst. Nat. i. 7. Suetonius mentions the comet which appeared previous to the death of Claudius, cap. 46, and Tacitus that before the death of Nero, Ann. xiv. 22.
206 "A Julio Cæsare. Is enim paulo ante obitum collegium his ludis faciendis instituerat, confecto Veneris templo; "Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 299. Jul. Obsequens refers to a "stella crinita," which appeared during the celebration of these games, cap. 128.
207 "Hoc est, hora fere integra ante solis occasum;" Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 299.
208 All these circumstances are detailed by Suetonius, in Julio, § 88.p. 178.
210 Seneca remarks, "...quidam nullos esse cometas existimant, sed species illorum per repercussionem vicinorum siderum,....Quidam aiunt esse quidem, sed habere cursus suos et post certa lustra in conspectum mortalium exire." He concludes by observing, "Veniet tempus, quo ista quæ nune latent, in lucem dies extrahat, et longioris diei diligentia;" Nat. Quæst. lib. 7. § 19. p. 807.
211 For some account of Hipparchus, see note3, p. 37.
212 Nothing is known respecting the nature of these instruments, nor have we any means of forming even a conjecture upon the subject.
213 The terms "faces," "lampades," "bolides," and "trabes," literally torches, lamps, darts, and beams, which are employed to express different kinds of meteors, have no corresponding words in English which would correctly designate them.
214 From this account it would appear, that the "fax" was what we term a falling star. "Meteora ista, super cervices nostras transeuntia, diversaque a stellis labentibus, modo aërolithis ascribenda sunt, modo vaporibus incensis aut electrica vi prognata videntur, et quamvis frequentissime recurrant, explicatione adhuc incerta indigent." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 302.
215 Seneca refers to this meteor; "Vidimus non semel flammam ingenti pilæ specie, quæ tamen in ipso cursu suo dissipata est....nec Germanici mors sine tali demonstratione fuit;" Nat. Quæst. lib. i. cap. 1. p. 683.
216 This meteor is mentioned by Dion Cassius, lib. xlv. p. 278, but is described by him as a lampas.
217 We may presume that the trabes are, for the most part, to be referred to the aurora borealis. The chasma and the appearances described in the twenty-seventh chapter are probably varieties of this meteor. On these phænomena we have the following remarks by Seneca: "Lucem in aëre, seu quamdam albedinem, angustam quidem, sed oblongam, de noctu quandoque visam, sereno cælo, si parallelo situ sit, Trabem vocant; si perpendiculari, Columnam; si, cum cuspide Bolida, siveJaculum." Nat. Quæst. vii. 4, and again, vii. 5, "Trabes autem non transcurrunt nec prætervolant, ut faces, sed commorantur, et in eadem parte cceli collucent."
218 Seneca describes this meteor, ubi supra, i. 14. "Sunt chasmata, cum aliquando cœli spatium discedit, et flammam dehiscens velut in abdito ostentat. Colores quoque horum omnium plurimi sunt. Quidam ruboris acerrimi, quidam evanidæ et levis flammæ, quidam candidæ lucis, quidam micantes, quidam æquabiliter et sine eruptionibus aut radiis fulvi." Aristotle's account of chasmata is contained in his Meteor. lib. i. cap. 5. p. 534.
219 The meteor here referred to is probably a peculiar form of the aurora borealis, which occasionally assumes a red colour. See the remarks of Fouché, in Ajasson, i. 382.
220 The doctrine of the author appears to be, that the prodigies are not the cause, but only the indication of the events which succeed them. This doctrine is referred to by Seneca; "Videbimus an certus omnium rerum ordo ducatur, et alia aliis ita complexa sint, ut quod antecedit, aut causa sit sequentium aut signum." Nat. Quæst. i. 1.
221 It would appear that, in this passage, two phenomena are confounded together; certain brilliant stars, as, for example, Venus, which have been occasionally seen in the day-time, and the formation of different kinds of halos, depending on certain states of the atmosphere, which affect its transparency.
222 This occurrence is mentioned by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. i. 2; he enters into a detailed explanation of the cause; also by V. Paterculus, ii. 59, and by Jul. Obsequens, cap. 128. We can scarcely doubt of the reality of the occurrence, as these authors would not have ventured to relate what, if not true, might have been so easily contradicted.
223 The term here employed is "arcus," which is a portion only of a circle or "orbis." But if we suppose that the sun was near the horizon, a portion only of the halo would be visible, or the condition of the atmosphere adapted for forming the halo might exist in one part only, so that a portion of the halo only would be obscured.
224 The dimness or paleness of the sun, which is stated by various writers to have occurred at the time of Cæsar's death, it is unnecessary to remark, was a phænomenon totally different from an eclipse, and depending on a totally different cause.
225 Aristotle, Meteor. lib. iii. cap. 2. p. 575, cap. 6. p. 582, 583, and Seneca, Quæst. Nat. lib. i. § 11, describe these appearances under the title which has been retained by the moderns of παρήλια. Aristotle remarks on their cause as depending on the refraction (ἀνάκλασις) of the sun's rays. He extends the remark to the production of halos (ἅλως） and the rainbow, ubi supra.
226 This occurrence is referred to by Livy, xli. 21.
227 This meteor has been named παρασελήνη; they are supposed to depend upon the same cause with the Parhelia. A phænomenon of this description is mentioned by Jul. Obsequens, cap. 92, and by Plutarch, in Marcellus, ii. 360. In Shakspeare's King John the death of Prince Arthur is said to have been followed by the ominous appearance of five moons.
228 This phænomenon must be referred to the aurora borealis. See Livy, xxviii. 11. and xxix. 14.
230 Probably an aërolite. Jul. Obsequens describes a meteor as "orbis dypei similis," which was seen to pass from west to east, cap. 105.
231 "ceu nubilo die."
232 It would be difficult to reconcile this phænomenon with any acknowledged atmospherical phænomenon.
233 Perhaps the phænomena here alluded to ought to be referred to some electric action; but they are stated too generally to admit of our forming more than a conjecture on the subject. Virgil refers to the occurrence of storms of wind after the appearance of a falling star; Geor. i. 265–6.
234 These phænomena are admitted to be electrical; they are referred to by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. i. 1. This appearance is noticed as of frequent occurrence in the Mediterranean, where it is named the fire of St. Elmo; see Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 311, and Fouché in Ajasson, ii. 382.
235 Perhaps this opinion may be maintained on the principle, that, when there is a single luminous appearance only, it depends upon the discharge of a quantity of electrical fluid in a condensed state; its effects are, hi this case, those that would follow from a stroke of lightning.
236 This is said by Livy to have occurred to Servius Tullius while he was a child; lib. i. cap. 39; and by Virgil to Ascanius, Æn. ii. 632–5.
237 "Ut circumagendo balistæ vel fundæ impetus augetur." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 313.
238 "sed assidue rapta (natura) convolvitur, et circa terram immenso rerum causas globo ostendit, subinde per nubes cœlum aliud obtexens." On the words "immenso globo," Alexandre has the following comment: "Immensis cœli fornicibus appicta sidera, dumcircumvolvitur, terris ostendit;" and on the words "cœlum aliud," "obductæ scilicet nubes falsum quasi cœlum vero prætexunt." Lemaire, i. 313.
239 The author probably means to speak of all the atmospheric phænomena that have been mentioned above.
240 Marcus has made some remarks on this subject which may be read with advantage; Ajasson, ii. 245–6.
241 The diminutive of Sus.
243 The Hædi were in the constellation Auriga.
244 We have the same account of the Oryx in Ælian, lib. vii. cap. 8.
245 Our author again refers to this opinion, viii. 63, and it was generally adopted by the ancients; but it appears to be entirely unfounded.
246 "cum tempestatibus confici sidus intelligimus."
247 "afflantur." On this term Hardouin remarks, "Siderantur. Sideratio morbi genus est, partem aliquam corporis, ipsumque ssepe totum corpus percutientis subito: quod quum repentino eveniat impetu, e cœlo vi quadam sideris evenire putatur." Lemaire, i. 317.
248 Cicero alludes to these opinions in his treatise De Divin. ii. 33; see also Aul. Gellius, ix. 7.
249 The heliotropium of the moderns has not the property here assigned to it, and it may be doubted whether it exists in any plant, except in a very slight and imperfect degree: the subject will be considered more fully in a subsequent part of the work, xxii. 29, where the author gives a more particular account of the heliotrope.
250 "conchyliorum;" this term appears to have been specifically applied to the animal from which the Tyrian dye was procured.
251 "soricum fibras;" Alexandre remarks on these words, "fibras jecoris intellige, id est, lobos infimos.....;" Lemaire, i. 318; but I do not see any ground for this interpretation.
252 It does not appear from what source our author derived this number; it is considerably greater than that stated by Ptolemy and the older astronomers. See the remarks of Hardouin and of Brotier; Lemaire. i. 319.
253 The Vergiliæ or Pleiades are not in the tail of the Bull, according to the celestial atlas of the moderns.
255 The doctrine of Aristotle on the nature and formation of mists and clouds is contained in his treatises De Meteor. lib. i. cap. 9. p. 540, and De Mundo, cap. 4. p. 605. He employs the terms ἀτμισ`ς, νέφος, and νεφέλη, which are translated vapor, nubes and nebula, respectively. The distinction, however, between the two latter does not appear very clearly marked either in the Greek or the Latin, the two Greek words being indiscriminately applied to either of the Latin terms.
256 It is doubtful how far this statement is correct; see the remarks of Hardouin, Lem. i. 320.
257 The words in the original are respectively fulmen and fulgetrum; Seneca makes a similar distinction between fulmen and fulguratio: "Fulguratio est late ignis explicitus; fulmen est coactus ignis ot impetu jactus." Nat. Quæst. lib. ii. cap. 16. p. 706.
258 "Præsertim ex tribus superioribus planetis, uti dictum est, cap. 18." Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 322.
259 Our author's opinion respecting the origin of winds nearly agrees with that of Aristotle; "nihil ut aliud ventus (ἄνεμος) sit, nisi aër multus fluctuans et compressus, qui etiam spiritus (πνεῦμα) appellatur;" De Meteor. This treatise contains a full account of the phænomena of winds. Seneca also remarks, "Ventus est aër fluens;" Nat. Quæst. lib. 3 & 5.
260 Aristotle informs us, that the winds termed apogæi (ἀπόγαιοι) proceed from a marshy and moist soil; De Mundo, cap. 4. p. 605. For the origin and meaning of the terms here applied to the winds, see the remarks of Hardouin and Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 323.
261 This is mentioned by Pomp. Mela.
262 "In domibus etiam multis manu facta inclusa opacitate conceptacula....." Some of the MSS. have madefacta for manu facta, and this reading has been adopted by Lemaire; but nearly all the editors, as Dalechamps, Laët, Grovonius, Poincinet and Ajasson, retain the former word.
263 The terms in the original are "flatus" and "ventus."
264 "illos (flatus) states atque perspirantes."
265 "qui non aura, non procella, sed mares appellatione quoque ipsa venti sunt." This passage cannot be translated into English, from our language not possessing the technical distinction of genders, as depending on the termination of the substantives.
266 "Septem nimirum errantibus." Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 306.
267 In his account and nomenclature of the winds, Pliny has, for the most part, followed Aristotle, Meteor. lib. ii. cap. 4. pp. 558–560, and cap. 6. pp. 563–565. The description of the different winds by Seneca is not very different, but where it does not coincide with Aristotle's, our author has generally preferred the former; see Nat. Quæst. lib. 5. We have an account of the different winds, as prevailing at particular seasons, in Ptolemy, De Judiciis Astrol. 1. 9. For the nomenclature and directions of the winds, we may refer to the remarks of Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 328 et seq.
268 Odyss. v. 295, 296.
269 In giving names to the different winds, the author designates the points of the compass whence they proceed, by the place where the sun rises or sets, at the different periods of the year. The following are the terms which he employs :—"Oriens æquinoctialis," the place where the sun rises at the equinox, i. e. the East. "Oriens brumalis," where he rises on the shortest day, the S.E. "Occasus brumalis," where he sets on the shortest day, the S.W. "Occasus æquinoctialis," where he sets at the equinox, the W. "Occasus solstitialis," where he sets on the longest day, the N.W. "Exortus solstitialis," where he rises on the longest day, the N.E. "Inter septemtrionem et occasum solstitialem," between N. and N.W., N.N.W. "Inter aquilonem et exortum æquinoctialem," between N. and N.E., N.N.E. "Inter ortum brumalem et meridiem," between S. and S.E., S.S.E. Inter meridiem et hybernum occidentem," between S. and S.W., S.S.W.
270 "Quod sub sole nasci videtur."
271 This name was probably derived from the town Vulturnum in Campania.
272 Seneca informs us, that what the Latins name Subsolanus, is named by the Greeks ᾿αφηλιώτης; Quæst. Nat. lib. 5. § 16. p. 764.
273 "quia favet rebus nascentibus."
274 "....semper spirantes frigora Cauri." Virgil, Geor. iii. 356.
275 The eight winds here mentioned will bear the following relation to our nomenclature: Septemtrio, N.; Aquilo, N.E.; Subsolanus, E.; Vulturnus, S.E.; Auster, S.; Africus, N.W.; Favonius, W.; and Corus, N.W.
276 The four winds here mentioned, added to eight others, making, in the whole, twelve, will give us the following card:—
|N. Septemtrio.||S. Notos or Auster.|
|N.N.E. Boreas or Aquilo.||S.S.W. Libonotos.|
|E.N.E. Cæcias.||W.S.W. Libs or Africus.|
|E. Apeliotes or Subsolanus.||W. Zephyrus or Favonius.|
|E.S.E. Eurus or Vulturnus.||W.N.W. Argestes or Corus.|
|S.S.E. Euronotus or Phœnices.||N.N.W. Thrascias.|
|᾿απαρκτίας, Septemtrio.||νότος, Auster.|
|βορέας, Aquilo.||αιβόνοτος, Austroafricus.|
|καικίας, Vulturnus.||αὶψ, Africus.|
|᾿αφηλιώτης, Solanus.||ζέφυρος, Zephyrus.|
|εῦρος, Eurus.||᾿ιάπυξ, Corus.|
|εὐρόνοτος, Euronotus.||θρασκίας, Circius.|
277 This wind must have been N.N.W.; it is mentioned by Strabo, iv. 182; A. Gellius, ii. 22; Seneca, Nat. Quæst. v. 17; and again by our author, xvii. 2.
278 We may learn the opinions of the Romans on the subject of this chapter from Columella, xi. 2.
279 corresponding to the 8th day of the month.
280 ...lustro sequenti...; "tribus annis sequentibus." Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 334.
281 corresponding to the 22nd of February.
283 This will be either on March 2nd or on February 26th, according as we reckon from December the 21st, the real solstitial day, or the 17th, when, according to the Roman calendar, the sun is said to enter Capricorn.
284 "quasi Avicularem dixeris." Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 334.
285 Corresponding to the 10th of May.
286 According to the Roman calendar, this corresponds to the 20th July, but, according to the text, to the 17th. Columella says, that the sun enters Leo on the 13th of the Calends of August; xi. 2.
287 "quasi præcursores;" Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 335. Cicero refers to these winds in one of his letters to Atticus; xiv. 6.
289 This will be on the 13th of September, as, according to our author, xviii. 24, the equinox is on the 24th.
290 This corresponds to the 11th of November; forty-four days before this will be the 29th of September.
291 Or Halcyonides. This topic is considered more at length in a subsequent part of the work; x. 47.
292 The author, as it appears, portions out the whole of the year into fourteen periods, during most of which certain winds are said to blow, or, at least, to be decidedly prevalent. Although the winds of Italy are less irregular than those of England, Pliny has considerably exaggerated the real fact.
293 On this subject the reader may peruse the remarks of Seneca, Nat. Quæst. v. 18, written in his style of flowery declamation.
294 The greatest part of the remarks on the nature of the winds, in this chapter, would appear to be taken from Aristotle's Treatise De Meteor., and it may be stated generally, that our author has formed his opinions more upon those of the Greek writers than upon actual observation.
296 In the last chapter Ornithias is said to be a west wind.
297 This obviously depends upon the geographical situation of the northern parts of Africa, to which the observation more particularly applies, with respect to the central part of the Continent and the Mediterranean. See the remarks of Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 340.
298 The influence of the fourth day of the moon is referred to by Virgil, Geor. i. 432 et seq. "Sin ortu quarto," &c.
299 This refers to the genders of the names of the winds, analogous to the remark in note5, p. 71.
300 Eudoxus was a native of Cnidus, distinguished for his knowledge in astrology and science generally; he was a pupil of Plato, and is referred to by many of the ancients; see Hardouin's Index Auctorum, in Lemaire, i. 187, and Enfield's Hist. of Phil. i. 412, with the very copious list of references.
301 "flatus repentini."
302 Cicero refers to an opinion very similar to this as maintained by the Stoics; De Div. ii. 44.
304 "ἐκ νέφους, erumpente spiritu." Hardouin, in Lemaire, i.343. Perhaps it most nearly corresponds to the term "hurricane."
305 a τύφω, incendo, ardeo. We have no distinct term in our language which corresponds to the account of the typhon; it may be considered as a combination of a whirlwind and a hurricane.
306 Plutarch, Sympos. Quæst. iii. 5, refers to the extraordinary power of vinegar in extinguishing fire, but he ascribes this effect, not to its coldness, but to the extreme tenuity of its parts. On this Alexandre remarks, "Melius factum negassent Plinius et Plutarchus, quam causam inanera rei absurdissimæ excogitarent." Lemaire, i. 344.
307 The terms here employed are respectively "turbines," "presteres," and "vortices."
308 πρηστὴο, a πρήθω, incendo. Seneca calls it "igneus turbo;" Nat. Quæst. v. 13. p. 762. See also Lucretius, vi. 423.
310 A water-spout. We have a description of this phenomenon in Lucretius, vi. 425 et seq.
312 This has been pointed out by Alexandre, Lemaire, i. 346, as one of the statements made by our author, which, in consequence of his following the Greek writers, applies rather to their climate than to that of Italy. The reader may form a judgement of the correctness of this remark by comparing the account given by Aristotle and by Seneca; the former in Meteor. iii. 1. p. 573, 574, the latter in Nat. Quæst. ii. 32 et seq.
313 "fulgur." The account of the different kinds of thunder seems to be principally taken from Aristotle; Meteor. iii. 1. Some of the phænomena mentioned below, which would naturally appear to the ancients the most remarkable, are easily explained by a reference to their electrical origin.
314 "quod clarum vocant."
315 This account seems to be taken from Aristotle, Meteor. iii 1. p. 574; see also Seneca, Nat. Quest. ii. 31. p. 711. We have an account of the peculiar effects of thunder in Lucretius, vi. 227 et seq.
316 This effect may be easily explained by the agitation into which the female might have been thrown. The title of "princeps Romanarum," which is applied to Marcia, has given rise to some discussion among the commentators, for which see the remarks of Hardouin and Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 348.
317 Sometimes a partial thunder-cloud is formed, while the atmosphere generally is perfectly clear, or, as Hardouin suggests, the effect might have been produced by a volcanic eruption. See Lemaire, i. 348.
318 Seneca gives us an account of the opinions of the Tuscans; Nat. Quæst. ii. 32; and Cicero refers to the "libri fulgurales" of the Etrurians; De Divin. i. 72.
319 According to Hardouin, "Summanus est Deus summus Manium, idem Orcus et Pluto dictus." Lemaire, i. 349; he is again referred to by our author, xxix. 14; Ovid also mentions him, Fast. vi. 731, with the remark, "quisquis is est."
320 The city of Bolsena is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient Volsinium. From the nature of the district in which it is situate, it is perhaps more probable, that the event alluded to in the text was produced by a volcanic eruption, attended by lightning, than by a simple thunderstorm.
321 "Vocant et familiaria.....quæ prima fiunt familiam suam cuique indepto." This remark is explained by the following passage from Seneca; Nat. Quæst. ii. 47. "Hæc sunt fulmina, quæ primo accepto patrimonio, in novo hominis aut urbis statu fiunt." This opinion, as well as most of those of our author, respecting the auguries to be formed from thunder, is combated by Seneca; ubi supra, § 48.
322 This opinion is also referred to by Seneca. in the following passage; "privata autem fulmina negant ultra decimum annum, publica ultra trigesimum posse deferri;" ubi supra.
323 "in deductione oppidorum;" according to Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 350, "quum in oppida coloniee deducuntur."
324 The following conjecture is not without a degree of probability; "Ex hoc multisque aliis auctorum locis, plerique conjiciunt Etruscis auguribus haud ignotam fuisse vim electricam, licet eorum arcana nunquam divulgata sint." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 3, 50.
325 Alexandre remarks in this place, "An morbus aliquis fuit, qui primum in agros debacchatus, jam urbi minabatur, forsitan ab aëris siccitate natus, quem advenientes cum procella imbres discusserunt? "Lemaire, i. 350.
326 For a notice of Piso, see Lemaire, i. 208.
327 We have an account of the death of Tullus Hostilius in Livy, i. 31.
328 "ab eliciendo, seu quod precationibus cœlo evocaretur, id nomen
traxit." This is confirmed by the following lines from Ovid, Fast. iii.
"Eliciunt cœlo te, Jupiter: unde minores
Nunc quoque te celebrant, Eliciumque vocant."
329 "beneficiis abrogare vires."
330 "ictum autem et sonitum congruere, ita modulante natura." This remark is not only incorrect, but appears to be at variance both with what precedes and what follows.
331 The following remark of Seneca may be referred to, both as illustrating our author and as showing how much more correct the opinions of Seneca were than his own, on many points of natural philosophy; "....necesse est, ut impetus fulminis et præmittat spiritus, et agat ante se, et a tergo trahat ventum....;" Nat. Quæst. lib. ii. § 20. p. 706.
332 "quoniam læva parte mundi ortus est." On this passage Hardouin remarks; "a Deorum sede, quum in meridiem spectes, ad sinistram sunt partes mundi exorientes;" Lemaire, i. 353. Poinsinet enters into a long detail respecting opinions of the ancients on this point and the circumstances which induced them to form their opinions; i. 34 et seq.
333 See Cicero de Divin. ii 42.
334 "Junonis quippe templum fulmine violatum ostendit non a Jove, non a Deis mitti fulmina." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 354. The consulate of Scaurus was in the year of Rome 638. Lucan, i. 155, and Horace, Od. i. 2. refer to the destruction of temples at Rome by lightning.
335 Obviously because faint flashes are more visible in the night.
336 We have an explanation of this peculiar opinion in Tertullian, as referred to by Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 355; "Qui de cœlo tangitur, salvus est, ut nullo igne decinerescat."
337 Although it has been thought necessary by M. Fée, in the notes to Ajasson's trans., ii. 384, 385, to enter into a formal examination of this opinion of the author's, I conceive that few of our readers will agree with him in this respect.
338 Suetonius informs us, that Augustus always wore a seal's skin for this purpose; Octavius, § 90.
339 The eagle was represented by the ancients with a thunderbolt in its claws.
340 There is strong evidence for the fact, that, at different times, various substances have fallen from the atmosphere, sometimes apparently of mineral, and, at other times, of animal or vegetable origin. Some of these are now referred to those peculiar bodies termed aërolites, the nature and source of which are still doubtful, although their existence is no longer so. These bodies have, in other instances, been evidently discharged from distant volcanoes, but there are many cases where the substance could not be supposed to have proceeded from a volcano, and where, in the present state of our knowledge, it appears impossible to offer an explanation of their nature, or the source whence they are derived. We may, however, conclude, that notwithstanding the actual occurrence of a few cases of this description, a great proportion of those enumerated by the ancients were either entirely without foundation or much exaggerated. We meet with several variations of what we may presume to have been aërolites in Livy; for example, xxiv. 10, xxx. 38, xli. 9, xliii. 13, and xliv. 18, among many others. As naturally may be expected, we have many narratives of this kind in Jul. Obsequens.
341 The same region from which lightning was supposed to proceed.
342 We have several relations of this kind in Livy, xxiv. 10, xxxix. 46 and 56, xl. 19, and xliii. 13. The red snow which exists in certain alpine regions, and is found to depend upon the presence of the Uredo nivalis, was formerly attributed to showers of blood.
343 This occurrence may probably be referred to an aërolite, while the wool mentioned below, i.e. a light flocculent substance, was perhaps volcanic.
344 Armorum sonitum toto Germania cœlo
Audiit.—Virgil, Geor. i. 474, 475.
"....in Jovis Vicilini templo, quod in Compsano agro est, arma concrepuisse." Livy, xxiv. 44.
345 See Plutarch, by Langhorne; Marius, iii. 133.
346 See Livy, iii. 5 & 10, xxxi. 12, xxxii. 9, et alibi.
347 I have already had occasion to remark, concerning this class of phænomena, that there is no doubt of their actual occurrence, although their origin is still unexplained.
348 The life of Anaxagoras has been written by Diogenes Laërtius. We have an ample account of him by Enfield in the General Biography, in loco; he was born B.C. 500 and died B.C. 428.
349 There is some variation in the exact date assigned by different authors to this event; in the Chronological table in Brewster's Encyc. vi. 420, it is said to have occurred 467 B.C.
350 Aristotle gives us a similar account of this stone; that it fell in the daytime, and that a comet was then visible at night; Meteor. i. 7. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the authority for this fact must be referred entirely to Aristotle, without receiving any additional weight from our author. The occurrence of the comet at the same time with the aërolite must have been entirely incidental.
351 "Deductis eo sacri lapidis causa colonis, extructoque oppido, cui nomen a colore adusto lapidis, est inditum, Potidæa. Est enim ποτὶ Dorice πρὸς, ad, apud; δαίομαι, uror." Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 361. It was situated in the peninsula of Pallene, in Macedonia.
352 The Vocontii were a people of Gallia Narbonensis, occupying a portion of the modern Dauphiné.
353 "Manifestum est, radium Solis immissum cavæ nubi, repulsa acie in Solem, refringi."
354 Aristotle treats of the Rainbow much in detail, principally in his Meteor. iii. 2, 3, 4, and 5, where he gives an account of the phænomena, which is, for the most part, correct, and attempts to form a theory for them; see especially cap. 4. p. 577 et seq. In the treatise De Mundo he also refers to the same subject, and briefly sums up his doctrine with the following remark: "arcus est species segmenti solaris vel lunaris, edita in nube humida, et cava, et perpetua; quam velut in speculo intuemur, imagine relata in speciem circularis ambitiûs." cap. 4. p. 607. Seneca also treats very fully on the phenomena and theory of the Rainbow, in his Nat. Quæst. i. 3–8.
355 Vide supra, also Meteor. iii. 2, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. i. 3.
356 Aristotle, Meteor. iii. 5. p. 581, observes, that the rainbow is less frequently seen in the summer, because the sun is more elevated, and that, consequently, a less portion of the arch is visible. See also Seneca, Nat. Quæst. i. 8. p. 692.
357 Aristotle treats at some length of dew, snow, and hail, in his Meteor. i. cap. 10, 11 & 12 respectively.
358 When water is frozen, its bulk is increased in consequence of its assuming a crystalline structure. Any diminution which may be found to have taken place in the bulk of the fluid, when thawed, must be ascribed to evaporation or to some accidental circumstance.
359 "Velini lacus.....præcipiti cursu in gurgitem subjectum defertur, et illo aquarum lapsu, dispersis in aëra guttis humidis,.....iridis multiplicis phænomenon efficit....." Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 365.
360 We have an example in Martial, v. 34. 9, of the imprecation which
has been common in all ages:
Mollia nec rigidus cespes tegat ossa, nec illi
Terra gravis fueris;
and in Seneca's Hippolytus, sub finem:
.....istam terra defossam premat,
Gravisque tellus impio capiti incubet.
361 The author refers to this opinion, xxix. 23, when describing the effects of venomous animals.
362 inertium; "ultione abstinentium," as explained by Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 367.
363 "Qued mortis genus a terræ meritis et benignitate valde abhorret." Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 367.
364 "Terra, inquit, sola est, e quatuor naturæ partibus sive elementis, adversus quam ingrati simus." Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 368.
365 "Est ironifæ formula. Quid, ait, feras et serpentes et venena terræ exprobramus, quæ ne ad tuendam quidem illam satis valent?" Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 369.
366 "ossa vel insepulta cum tempore tellus occultat, deprimentia pondere suo mollitam pluviis humum." Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 370.
367 "figura prima." I may refer to the second chapter of this book, where the author remarked upon the form of the earth as perfect in all its parts, and especially adapted for its supposed position in the centre of the universe.
368 "....si capita linearum comprehendantur ambitu;" the meaning of this passage would appear to be: if the extremities of the lines drawn from the centre of the earth to the different parts of the surface were connected together, the result of the whole would be a sphere. I must, however, remark, that Hardouin interprets it in a somewhat different manner; "Si per extremitates linearum ductarum a centro ad summos quosque vertices montium circulus exigatur." Lemaire, i. 370.
369 "....immensum ejus globum in formam orbis assidua circa eam mundi volubilitate cogente." As Hardouin remarks, the word mundus is here used in the sense of cœlum. Lemaire, i. 371.
370 As our author admits of the existence of antipodes, and expressly
states that the earth is a perfect sphere, we may conclude that the
resemblance to the cone of the pine is to be taken in a very general
How far the ancients entertained correct opinions respecting the globular
figure of the earth, or rather, at what period this opinion became generally
admitted, it is perhaps not easy to ascertain. The lines in the Georgics,
i. 242, 243, which may be supposed to express the popular opinion in the
time of Virgil, certainly do not convey the idea of a sphere capable of
being inhabited in all its parts:
Hic vertex nobis semper sublimis; at illum
Sub pedibus Styx atra videt, manesque profundi.
371 "spiritus vis mundo inclusi."
372 ".....Alpium vertices, iongo tractu, nee breviore quinquaginta millibus passuum assurgere." To avoid the apparent improbability of the author conceiving of the Alps as 50 miles high, the commentators have, according to their usual custom, exercised their ingenuity in altering the text. See Poinsinet, i. 206, 207, and Lemaire, i. 373. But the expression does not imply that he conceived them as 50 miles in perpendicular height, but that there is a continuous ascent of 50 miles to get to the summit. This explanation of the passage is adopted by Alexandre; Lemaire, ut supra. For what is known of Dicæarchus I may refer to Hardouin, Index Auctorum, in Lemaire, i. 181.
373 "coactam in verticem aquarum quoque figuram."
374 "aqunrum nempe convexitas." Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 374.
375 "Quam quæ ad extremum mare a primis aquis." I profess myself altogether unable to follow the author's mode of reasoning in this paragraph, or to throw any light upon it. He would appear to be arguing in favour of the actual flatness of the surface of the ocean, whereas his previous remarks prove its convexity.
376 Alexandre remarks on this passage, "Nempe quod remotissimos etiam fontes alat oceanus. Sed omittit Plinius vaporationis intermedia ope hoc fieri." Lemaire, i. 376. Aristotle has written at considerable length on the origin of springs, in his Meteor. i. 13. p. 543 et seq. He argues against the opinion of those who suppose that the water of springs is entirely derived from evaporation. Seneca's account of the origin of springs is found in his Nat. Quæst. iii. 1.
377 The voyage which is here alluded to was probably that performed by Drusus; it is mentioned by Dio, lib. iv., Suetonius, Claud. § 1, Vel. Paterculus, ii. 106, and by Tacitus, Germ. § 34.
378 What is here spoken of we may presume to have been that part of the German Ocean which lies to the N.W. of Denmark; the term Scythian was applied by the ancients in so very general a way, as not to afford any indication of the exact district so designated.
379 "Sub eodem sidere;" "which lies under the same star."
380 The ancients conceived the Caspian to be a gulf, connected with the northern ocean. Our author gives an account of it, vi. 15.
381 That is, of the Caspian Sea.
382 The remarks which our author makes upon the Palus Mæotis, in the different parts of his work, ii. 112 and vi. 7, appear so inconsistent with each other, that we must suppose he indiscriminately borrowed them from various writers, without comparing their accounts, or endeavouring to reconcile them to each other. Such inaccuracies may be thought almost to justify the censure of Alexandre, who styles our author, "indiligens plane veri et falsi compilator, et ubi dissentiunt auctores, nunquam aut raro sibi constans." Lemaire, i. 378.
383 The son of Agrippa, whom Augustus adopted. Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 378.
384 See Beloe's Herodotus, ii. 393, 394, for an account of the voyage round Africa that was performed by the Phœnicians, who were sent to explore those parts by Necho king of Egypt.
385 It is generally supposed that C. Nepos lived in the century previous to the Christian æra. Ptolemy Lathyrus commenced his reign U.C. 627 or B.C. 117, and reigned for 36 years. The references made to C. Nepos are not found in any of his works now extant.
386 We have previously referred to Eudoxus, note3, p. 78.
387 We have a brief account of Antipater in Hardouin's Index Auctorum; Lemaire, i. 162.
388 We are informed by Alexandre that this was in the year of the City 691, the same year in which Cicero was consul; see note in Lemaire, i. 379.
389 It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the account here given must be incorrect; the reader who may be disposed to learn the opinions of the commentators on this point, may consult the notes in Poinsinet and Lemaire in loco.
390 Dividuo globo; "Eoas partes a vespertinis dividente oceano." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 380.
391 "Jam primum in dimidio computari videtur."
392 "Cœlum;" the rigour of the climate.
393 The division of the globe into five zones is referred to by Virgil, Geor. i. 233–239, and by Ovid, Met. i. 45, 46.
394 "...interna maria allatrat,..."
395 This is considerably more than the distance in the present day. The Isthmus of Suez appears, according to the statement of the most accurate geographers, to be about 70 miles in breadth.
396 Hæ tot portiones terræ, as Alexandre correctly remarks, "ironice dictum. Quam paucæ enim supersunt!" Lemaire, i. 383.
397 "Mundi punctus." This expression, we may presume, was taken from Seneca; "Hoc est illud punctum, quod inter tot gentes ferro et igni dividitur." Nat. Quæst. i. præf. p. 681.
398 Nostro solo adfodimus; "addimus, adjungimus, annectimus, ut una fossione aretur." Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 383.
399 "Mundi totius."
400 "Æquinoctii paribus horis."
401 Dioptra. "Græce διόπτρα, instrumentum est geometricum, un quart de cerele, quo apparentes rerum inter se distantiæ anguli apertura dijudicantur." Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 384.
402 This title does not correspond with the contents of the chapter.
403 "Tropici duo, cum æquinoctiali circulo;" Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 884.
404 The Troglodytice of the ancients may be considered as nearly corresponding to the modern Abyssinia and Nubia.
405 This remark is incorrect, as far as respects nearly the whole of Egypt; see the remarks of Marcus, in Ajasson, ii. 245.
406 This is a star of the first magnitude in the southern constellation of Argo; we have a similar statement in Manilius, i. 216, 217.
407 The commentators suppose that the star or constellation here referred to cannot be the same with what bears this name on the modern celestial atlas; vide Hardouin in loco, also Marc. in Ajasson, ut supra. The constellation of Berenice's hair forms the subject of Catullus's 67th poem.
408 In Troglodytice and in Egypt.
409 The first watch of the night was from 6 P.M. to 9; the second from 9 to midnight.
410 According to Columella, xi. 2. 369, this was 9 Calend. Mart., corresponding to the 21st of February.
411 "In alia adverso, in alia prono mari." I have adopted the opinion of Alexandre, who explains the terms "adverso" and "prono," "ascendenti ad polum," and "ad austrum devexo;" a similar sense is given to the passage by Poinsinet and Ajasson, in their translations.
412 "Anfractu pilæ." See Manilius, i. 206 et seq. for a similar mode of expression.
413 "Aut;" as Poinsinet remarks, "aut est ici pour alioqui;" and he quotes another passage from our author, xix. 3, where the word is employed in a similar manner.
414 We may presume that the author meant to convey the idea, that the eclipses which are visible in any one country are not so in those which are situated under a different meridian. The terms "vespertinos," "matutinos," and "meridianos," refer not to the time of the day, but to the situation of the eclipse, whether recurring in the western, eastern, or southern parts of the heavens.
415 Brewster, in the art. "Chronology," p. 415, mentions this eclipse as having taken place Sept. 21st, U.C. 331, eleven days before the battle of Arbela; while, in the same art. p. 423, the battle is said to have taken place on Oct. 2nd, eleven days after a total eclipse of the moon.
416 It took place on the 30th of April, in the year of the City 811, A.D. 59; see Brewster, ubi supra. It is simply mentioned by Tacitus, Ann. xiv. 12, as having occurred among other prodigies which took place at this period.
417 We have an account of Corbulo's expedition to Armenia in Dion Cassius, lx. 19–24, but there is no mention of the eclipse or of any peculiar celestial phænomenon.
418 The terms employed in the original are "oppositu" and "ambitu." Alexandre's explanation of the first is, "quum globi terraquei crassitudo interposita solis arcet radios;" and of the second, "quum nostra hujus globi pars a sole ambitur." Lemaire, i. 389.
419 One of these towers is mentioned by Livy, xxxiii. 48; it is said to have been situated between Acholla and Thapsus, on the sea-coast.
420 Hardouin, according to his usual custom, employs all his learning and ingenuity to give a plausible explanation of this passage. Alexandre, as it must be confessed, with but too much reason, remarks, "Frustra desudavit Harduinus ut sanum aliquem sensum ex illis Plinii deliramentis excuteret." He correctly refers the interval of time, which was said to occur between these signals, not to any astronomical cause, but to the necessary delay which took place in the transmission of them. He concludes, "Sed ad cursum solis hoc referre, dementiæ est. Nam ut tanta horarum differentia intersit, si moram omnem in speculandis ac transmittendis signis sustuleris, necesse erit observatores illos ultimos 135 gradibus, id est, sesquidimidio hemisphærio, a primis distare turribus. Recte igitur incredibilem Plinii credulitatem ludibrio vertit Baylius in Dictionario suo." Lemaire, i. 389.
421 The distance, as here stated, is about 150 miles, which he is said to have performed in nine hours, but that the same distance, in returning, required fifteen hours. We have here, as on the former occasion, a note of Hardouin's to elucidate the statement of the author. On this Alexandre observes, "Optime; sed in tam parva locorum distantia, Elidis et Sicyonis horologia vix quinque unius hore sexagesimis differre poterant; quare eunti ac redeunti ne discrimen quidem quadrantis horæ intererat. Ineptos igitur auctores sequitur hoc quoque loco Plinius." Lemaire, i. 390, 391.
422 "Vincunt spatia nocturnæ navigationis." This expression would appear to imply, that the author conceived some physical difficulty in sailing during the night, and so it seems to be understood by Alexandre; vide not. in loco.
423 "Vasa horoscopica." "Vasa horoscopica appellat horologia in plano descripta, horizonti ad libellam respondentia. Vasa dicuntur, quod area in qua lineæ ducebantur, labri interdum instar et conchæ erat, cujus in margine describebantur horæ. Horoscopa, ab ὥρα et σκοπέω, hoc est, ab inspiciendis horis." Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 391.
424 These distances are respectively about 38 and 62 miles.
425 We are not to expect any great accuracy in these estimates, and we accordingly find, that our author, when referring to the subject in his 6th book, ch. 39, makes the shadow at Ancona 1/35 greater than the gnomon, while, in Venetia, which is more northerly, he says, as in the present chapter, that the shadow and the gnomon are equal in length. See the remarks of M. Alexandre in Lemaire, ut supra.
426 This would be about 625 miles. Strabo, ii. 114, and Lucan, ii. 587, give the same distance, which is probably nearly correct. Syene is, however, a little to the north of the tropic.
427 This remark is not correct, as no part of this river is between the tropics. For an account of Onesicritus see Lemaire, i. 203, 204.
428 "In meridiem umbras jaci." M. Ajasson translates this passage, "les ombres tombent pendant quatre-vingt-dix jours sur le point central du méridien." ii. 165. But I conceive that Holland's version is more correct, "for 90 days' space all the shadows are cast into the south." i. 36. The remarks of M. Alexandre are to the same effect; ".....ut bis solem in zenitho haberet (Ptolemais), Malii mensis et Augusti initio; interea vero, solem e septemtrione haberet." Lemaire, i. 393.
429 About 625 miles.
430 These days correspond to the 8th of May and the 4th of August respectively.
431 There is considerable uncertainty respecting the identity of this mountain; our author refers to it in a subsequent part of his work, where it is said to be in the country of the Monedes and Suari; vi. 22. See the note of Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 394.
432 Our author, in a subsequent part of his work, vi. 23, describes the island of Patale as situated near the mouth of the Indus; he again refers to it, xii. 25. His account of the position of the sun does not, however, apply to this place.
433 If we may suppose this to have been actually the case, we might calculate the time of the year when Alexander visited this place and the length of his stay.
434 We may presume, that our author means to say no more than that, in those places, they are occasionally invisible; literally the observation would not apply to any part of India.
436 If this really were the case, it could have no relation to the astronomical position of the country.
437 "In contrarium," contrary to what takes place at other times, i. e. towards the south. This observation is not applicable to the whole of this country, as its northern and southern parts differ from each other by seven or eight degrees of latitude. For an account of Eratosthenes see Lemaire, i. 186.
438 "Hora duodecim in partes, ut as in totidem uncias dividebatur. Octonas igitur partes horæ antiquæ, sive bessem, ut Martianus vocat, nobis probe repræsentant horarum nostratium 40 sexagesimæ, quas miuntas vocamus." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 396.
439 For a notice of Pytheas see Lemaire, i. 210. He was a geographer and historian who lived in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus; but his veracity does not appear to have been highly estimated by his contemporaries.
440 The Thule of Pliny has been generally supposed to be the Shetland Isles. What is here asserted respecting the length of the day, as well as its distance from Britain, would indeed apply much more correctly to Iceland than to Shetland; but we have no evidence that Iceland was known to the ancients. Our author refers to the length of the day in Thule in two subsequent parts of his work, iv. 30 and vi. 36.
441 Supposed to be Colchester in Essex; while the Mona of Pliny appears to have been Anglesea. It is not easy to conceive why the author measured the distance of Mona from Camelodunum.
442 Chap. 6 of this book.
443 a σκιὰ, umbra, and θηράω, sector. It has been a subject for discussion by the commentators, how far this instrument of Anaximenes is entitled to the appellation of a dial, whether it was intended to mark the hours, or to serve for some other astronomical purpose. See Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 398, 399. It has been correctly remarked by Brotier, that we have an account of a much more ancient dial in the 2nd book of Kings, xx. 9, 11.
444 A. Gellius, iii. 3, informs us, that the question concerning the commencement of the day was one of the topics discussed by Varro, in his book "Rerum Humanarum:" this work is lost. We learn from the notes of Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 399, that there are certain countries in which all these various modes of computation are still practised; the last-mentioned is the one commonly employed in Europe.
445 It has been supposed, that in this passage the author intended to say no more than that the nights are shorter at the summer solstice than at the other parts of the year; see Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 399, 400. But to this, I conceive, it may be objected, that the words "inter ortus solis" can scarcely apply to the period while the sun is below the horizon, and that the solstices generally would seem to be opposed to the equinoxes generally. Also the words "obliquior" and "rectior" would appear to have some farther reference than merely to the length of time during which the sun is above or below the horizon.
446 "Vibrato;" the same term is applied by Turnus to the hair of Æneas; Æn. xii. 100.
447 "Mobilitate hebetes;" it is not easy to see the connexion between these two circumstances.
448 There is a passage in Galen, De Temperamentis, iii. 6, which may appear to sanction the opinion of our author; "Siccos esse, quibus macra sunt crura; humidos, quibus crassa."
449 The latter part of the remark is correct, but the number of ferocious animals is also greater in the warmer regions; there is, in fact, a greater variety in all the productions of nature in the warmer districts of the globe, except in those particular spots where animal or vegetable life is counteracted by some local circumstances, as in many parts of Asia and Africa by the want of water.
450 "Sensus liquidus;" Alexandre explains this expression, "judicium sanum, mens intelligendo apta." Lemaire, i. 401.
451 Saturn, Jupiter and Mars: see the 8th chapter of this book.
452 "Vel quando meant cum Sole in conjunctione cum eo, vel quando cum eo conveniunt in aspectu, maxime vero in quadrato, qui fit, qunm distant a Sole quarta mundi sive cœli parte." Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 401.
453 "Ut urbem et tecta custodirent." This anecdote is referred to by Cicero, who employs the words "ut urbem et tecta linquerent." De Divin. i. 112.
454 This anecdote is also referred to by Cicero, de Div. ii.
455 It has been observed that earthquakes, as well as other great convulsions of nature, are preceded by calms; it has also been observed that birds and animals generally exhibit certain presentiments of the event, by something peculiar in their motions or proceedings; this circumstance is mentioned by Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8, and by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 12.
456 It is scarcely necessary to remark, that this supposed resemblance or analogy is entirely without foundation. The phænomena of earthquakes are described by Aristotle, De Mundo, cap. 4, and Meteor. ii. 7 and 8; also by Seneca in various parts of the 6th book of his Qusest. Nat.
457 On this subject we shall find much curious matter in Aristotle's Treatise de Mundo, cap. 4.
458 Poinsinet enters into a long detail of some of the most remarkable earthquakes that have occurred, from the age of Pliny to the period when he wrote, about fifty years ago; i. 249. 2.
459 See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.
460 See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 13.
461 "Fervente;" "Fremitum aque ferventis imitante." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 404.
462 The reader will scarcely require to be informed, that many of the remarks in the latter part of this chapter are incorrect. Our author has principally followed Aristotle, whose treatise on meteorology, although abounding in curious details, is perhaps one of the least correct of his works.
463 This observation is taken from Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.
464 Phænomena of this kind have been frequently noticed, and are not difficult of explanation.
465 "In iisdem;" "Iidem, inquit, putei inclusum terra spiritum libero meatu emittentes, terræ motus avertunt." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 406.
466 "Quæ pendent." M. Ajasson translates this passage, "qui sont comme suspendues." Hardouin's explanation is, "Structis fornice cameris imposita ædificia intelligit; quod genus camerarum spiramenta plerumque habet non pauca, quibus exeat ad libertatem aer." Lemaire, i. 407.
467 Many of these circumstances are referred to by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 30. On the superior security of brick buildings, M. Alexandre remarks, "Muri e lateribus facti difficilius quam ceeteri dehiscunt, unde fit ut in urbibus muniendis id constructionum genus plerumque præferatur. Ex antiquæ Italiæ palatiis templisve nihil fere præter immensas laterum moles hodie superest."
468 These remarks upon the different kinds of shocks are probably taken from Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.
469 This observation is also in Aristotle, ii. 8.
470 In the year of the city 663; A.C. 90.
471 In the year of the city 821; A.D. 68.
472 The continuation of Aufidius Bassus' history; our author refers to it in the first book.
473 We have no authentic accounts of this mutual change of place between two portions of land, nor can we conceive of any cause capable of effecting it. Our author mentions this circumstance again in book xvii. ch. 38.
474 See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.
475 "Eodem videlicet spiritu infusi (maris) ac terræ residentis sinu recept i."
476 U.C. 770; A.D. 17. We have an account of this event in Strabo, xii. 57; in Tacitus, Ann. ii. 47; and in the Universal History, xiv. 129, 130. We are informed by Hardouin, that coins are still in existence which were struck to commemorate the liberality of the emperor on the occasion, inscribed "civitatibus Asiæ restitutis." Lemaire, i. 410.
477 U.C. 537; A.C. 217.
478 This circumstance is mentioned by Livy, xxii. 5, and by Florus, ii. 6.
479 "Præsagiis, inquit, quam ipsa clade, sæviores sunt terræ motus." Alexander in Lemaire, i. 410.
480 This phænomenon is distinctly referred to by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 21. It presents us with one of those cases, where the scientific deductions of the moderns have been anticipated by the speculations of the ancients.
481 Odyss. iv. 354–357; see also Arist. Meteor. i. 14; Lucan, x. 509–511; Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 26; Herodotus, ii. 4, 5; and Strabo, i. 59.
482 These form, at this day, the Monte Circello, which, it is remarked, rises up like an island, out of the Pontine marshes. It seems, however, difficult to conceive how any action of the sea could have formed these marshes.
483 See Strabo, i. 58. ii.
484 ii. 5. et alibi.
485 The plain in which this river flows, forming the windings from which it derives its name, appears to have been originally an inlet of the sea, which was gradually filled up with alluvial matter.
486 "Paria secum faciente natura." This appears to have been a colloquial or idiomatic expression among the Romans. See Hardouin in Lemaire, 1. 412.
487 It may be remarked, that the accounts of modern travellers and geologists tend to confirm the opinion of the volcanic origin of many of the islands of the Archipelago.
488 Brotier remarks, that, according to the account of Herodotus, this island existed previous to the date here assigned to it; Lemaire, i. 412, 413: it is probable, however, that the same name was applied to two islands, one at least of which was of volcanic origin.
489 U.C. 517, A.C. 237; and U.C. 617, A.C. 107; respectively.
490 Hiera, Automata; ab ἱερὰ, sacer, et αὐτομάτη, sponte nascens. Respecting the origin of these islands there would appear to be some confusion in the dates, which it is difficult to reconcile with each other; it is, I conceive, impossible to decide whether this depends upon an error of our author himself, or of his transcribers.
491 July 25th, U.C. 771; A.C. 19.
492 U.C. 628; A.C. 125.
493 See Ovid, Metam. xv. 290, 291; also Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 29.
494 This event is mentioned by Thucydides, lib. 3, Smith's Trans. i. 293; and by Diodorus, xii. 7, Booth's Trans. p. 287, as the consequence of an earthquake; but the separation was from Locris, not from Eubœa. See the remarks of Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 415.
495 It is somewhat uncertain to what island our author applied this name; see the remarks of Alexandre in Lemaire.
496 See Ovid, Metam. xv. 287.
497 It is not improbable, from the situation and geological structure of the places here enumerated, that many of the changes mentioned above may have actually occurred but there are few of them of which we have any direct evidence.
498 This celebrated narrative of Plato is contained in his Timæus, Op. ix. p. 296, 297; it may be presumed that it was not altogether a fiction on the part of the author, but it is, at this time, impossible to determine what part of it was derived from ancient traditions and what from the fertile stores of his own imagination. It is referred to by various ancient writers, among others by Strabo. See also the remarks of Brotier in Lemaire, i. 416, 417.
499 Many of these changes on the surface of the globe, and others mentioned by our author in this part of his work, are alluded to by Ovid, in his beautiful abstract of the Pythagorean doctrine, Metam. xv. passim.
500 See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8, and Strabo, i. For some account of the places mentioned in this chapter the reader may consult the notes of Hardouin in loco.
501 Poinsinet, as I conceive correctly, makes the following clause the commencement of the next chapter.
502 See Ovid, Metam. xv. 293–295; also the remarks of Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 418.
503 "Spatium intelligit, fretumve, quo Sicilia nunc ab Italia dispescitur." Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 419.
504 See Strabo, ix.
506 "Busta urbium."
507 "Suboriens," as M. Alexandre explains it, "renascens;" Lemaire, i. 420.
508 "Scrobibus;" "aut quum terra fossis excavatur, ut in Pomptina palude, aut per naturales hiatus." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 420.
509 This circumstance is mentioned by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 28, as occurring "pluribus Italiæ locis;" it may be ascribed to the exhalations from volcanos being raised up into the atmosphere. It does not appear that there is, at present, any cavern in Mount Soracte which emits mephitic vapours. But the circumstance of Soracte being regarded sacred to Apollo, as we learn from our author, vii. 2, and from Virgil, Æn. xi. 785, may lead us to conjecture that something of the kind may formerly have existed there.
510 The author may probably refer to the well-known Grotto del Cane, where, in consequence of a stratum of carbonic acid gas, which occupies the lower part of the cave only, dogs and other animals, whose mouths are near the ground, are instantly suffocated.
511 Celebrated in the well-known lines of Virgil, Æn. vii. 563 et seq., as the "sævi spiracula Ditis."
512 Apuleius gives us an account of this place from his own observation; De Mundo, § 729. See also Strabo, xii.
513 See Aristotle, De Mundo, cap. iv.
514 "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.