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[I have adopted the division of the chapters from Hardouin, as given in the editions of Valpy, Lemaire, Ajasson, and Sillig.; the Roman figures, enclosed between brackets, are the numbers of the chapters in Dalechamps, De Laët, Gronovius, Holland, and Poinsinet. The titles of the chapters are nearly the same with those in Valpy, Lemaire, and Ajasson.]


The world1, and whatever that be which we otherwise call the heavens2, by the vault of which all things are enclosed, we must conceive to be a Deity3, to be eternal, without bounds, neither created, nor subject, at any time, to destruction4. To inquire what is beyond it is no concern of man, nor can the human mind form any conjecture respecting it. It is sacred, eternal, and without bounds, all in all; indeed including everything in itself; finite, yet like what is infinite; the most certain of all things, yet like what is uncertain, externally and internally embracing all things in itself; it is the work of nature, and itself constitutes nature5.

It is madness to harass the mind, as some have done, with attempts to measure the world, and to publish these attempts; or, like others, to argue from what they have made out, that there are innumerable other worlds, and that we must believe there to be so many other natures, or that, if only one nature produced the whole, there will be so many suns and so many moons, and that each of them will have immense trains of other heavenly bodies. As if the same question would not recur at every step of our inquiry, anxious as we must be to arrive at some termination; or, as if this infinity, which we ascribe to nature, the former of all things, cannot be more easily comprehended by one single formation, especially when that is so extensive. It is madness, perfect madness, to go out of this world and to search for what is beyond it, as if one who is ignorant of his own dimensions could ascertain the measure of any thing else, or as if the human mind could see what the world itself cannot contain.


That it has the form of a perfect globe we learn from the name which has been uniformly given to it, as well as from numerous natural arguments. For not only does a figure of this kind return everywhere into itself7 and sustain itself, also including itself, requiring no adjustments, not sensible of either end or beginning in any of its parts, and is best fitted for that motion, with which, as will appear hereafter, it is continually turning round; but still more, because we perceive it, by the evidence of the sight, to be, in every part, convex and central, which could not be the case were it of any other figure.


The rising and the setting of the sun clearly prove, that this globe is carried round in the space of twenty-four hours, in an eternal and never-ceasing circuit, and with in- credible swiftness8. I am not able to say, whether the sound caused by the whirling about of so great a mass be excessive, and, therefore, far beyond what our ears can perceive, nor, indeed, whether the resounding of so many stars, all carried along at the same time and revolving in their orbits, may not produce a kind of delightful harmony of incredible sweetness9. To us, who are in the interior, the world appears to glide silently along, both by day and by night.

Various circumstances in nature prove to us, that there are impressed on the heavens innumerable figures of animals and of all kinds of objects, and that its surface is not perfectly polished like the eggs of birds, as some celebrated authors assert10. For we find that the seeds of all bodies fall down from it, principally into the ocean, and, being mixed together, that a variety of monstrous forms are in this way frequently produced. And, indeed, this is evident to the eye; for, in one part, we have the figure of a wain, in another of a bear, of a bull, and of a letter11; while, in the middle of them, over our heads, there is a white circle12.

(4.) With respect to the name, I am influenced by the unanimous opinions of all nations. For what the Greeks, from its being ornamented, have termed κόσμος, we, from its perfect and complete elegance, have termed mundus. The name cœlum, no doubt, refers to its being engraven, as it were, with the stars, as Varro suggests13. In confirmation of this idea we may adduce the Zodiac14, in which are twelve figures of animals; through them it is that the sun has continued its course for so many ages.


I do not find that any one has doubted that there are four elements. The highest of these is supposed to be fire, and hence proceed the eyes of so many glittering stars. The next is that spirit, which both the Greeks and ourselves call by the same name, air17. It is by the force of this vital principle, pervading all things and mingling with all, that the earth, together with the fourth element, water, is balanced in the middle of space. These are mutually bound together, the lighter being restrained by the heavier, so that they cannot fly off; while, on the contrary, from the lighter tending upwards, the heavier are so suspended, that they cannot fall down. Thus, by an equal tendency in an opposite direction, each of them remains in its appropriate place, bound together by the never-ceasing revolution of the world, which always turning on itself, the earth falls to the lowest part and is in the middle of the whole, while it remains suspended in the centre18, and, as it were, balancing this centre, in which it is suspended. So that it alone remains immoveable, whilst all things revolve round it, being connected with every other part, whilst they all rest upon it.

(6.) Between this body and the heavens there are suspended, in this aërial spirit, seven stars19, separated by determinate spaces, which, on account of their motion, we call wander- ing, although, in reality, none are less so20. The sun is carried along in the midst of these, a body of great size and power, the ruler, not only of the seasons and of the different climates, but also of the stars themselves and of the heavens21. When we consider his operations, we must regard him as the life, or rather the mind of the universe, the chief regulator and the God of nature; he also lends his light to the other stars22. He is most illustrious and excellent, beholding all things and hearing all things, which, I perceive, is ascribed to him exclusively by the prince of poets, Homer23.

CHAP. 5. (7.)—OF GOD24.

I consider it, therefore, an indication of human weakness to inquire into the figure and form of God. For whatever God be, if there be any other God25, and wherever he exists, he is all sense, all sight, all hearing, all life, all mind26, and all within himself. To believe that there are a number of Gods, derived from the virtues and vices of man27, as Chastity, Concord, Understanding, Hope, Honour, Clemency, and Fidelity; or, according to the opinion of Democritus, that there are only two, Punishment and Reward28, indicates still greater folly. Human nature, weak and frail as it is, mindful of its own infirmity, has made these divisions, so that every one might have recourse to that which he supposed himself to stand more particularly in need of29. Hence we find different names employed by different nations; the inferior deities are arranged in classes, and diseases and plagues are deified, in consequence of our anxious wish to propitiate them. It was from this cause that a temple was dedicated to Fever, at the public expense, on the Palatine Hill30, and to Orbona31, near the Temple of the Lares, and that an altar was elected to Good Fortune on the Esquiline. Hence we may understand how it comes to pass that there is a greater population of the Celestials than of human beings, since each individual makes a separate God for himself, adopting his own Juno and his own Genius32. And there are nations who make Gods of certain animals, and even certain obscene things33, which are not to be spoken of, swearing by stinking meats and such like. To suppose that marriages are contracted between the Gods, and that, during so long a period, there should have been no issue from them, that some of them should be old and always grey- headed and others young and like children, some of a dark complexion, winged, lame, produced from eggs, living and dying on alternate days, is sufficiently puerile and foolish. But it is the height of impudence to imagine, that adultery takes place between them, that they have contests and quarrels, and that there are Gods of theft and of various crimes34. To assist man is to be a God; this is the path to eternal glory. This is the path which the Roman nobles formerly pursued, and this is the path which is now pursued by the greatest ruler of our age, Vespasian Augustus, he who has come to the relief of an exhausted empire, as well as by his sons. This was the ancient mode of remunerating those who deserved it, to regard them as Gods35. For the names of all the Gods, as well as of the stars that I have mentioned above36, have been derived from their services to mankind. And with respect to Jupiter and Mercury, and the rest of the celestial nomenclature, who does not admit that they have reference to certain natural phænomena37? But it is ridiculous to suppose, that the great head of all things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs38. Can we believe, or rather can there be any doubt, that it is not polluted by such a disagreeable and complicated office? It is not easy to determine which opinion would be most for the advantage of mankind, since we observe some who have no respect for the Gods, and others who carry it to a scandalous excess. They are slaves to foreign ceremonies; they carry on their fingers the Gods and the monsters whom they worship39; they condemn and they lay great stress on certain kinds of food; they impose on themselves dreadful ordinances, not even sleeping quietly. They do not marry or adopt children, or indeed do anything else, without the sanction of their sacred rites. There are others, on the contrary, who will cheat in the very Capitol, and will forswear themselves even by Jupiter Tonans40, and while these thrive in their crimes, the others torment themselves with their superstitions to no purpose.

Among these discordant opinions mankind have discovered for themselves a kind of intermediate deity, by which our scepticism concerning God is still increased. For all over the world, in all places, and at all times, Fortune is the only god whom every one invokes; she alone is spoken of, she alone is accused and is supposed to be guilty; she alone is in our thoughts, is praised and blamed, and is loaded with reproaches; wavering as she is, conceived by the generality of mankind to be blind, wandering, inconstant, uncertain, variable, and often favouring the unworthy. To her are referred all our losses and all our gains, and in casting up the accounts of mortals she alone balances the two pages of our sheet41. We are so much in the power of chance, that change itself is considered as a God, and the existence of God becomes doubtful.

But there are others who reject this principle and assign events to the influence of the stars42, and to the laws of our nativity; they suppose that God, once for all, issues his decrees and never afterwards interferes. This opinion begins to gain ground, and both the learned and the unlearned vulgar are falling into it. Hence we have the admonitions of thunder, the warnings of oracles, the predictions of soothsayers, and things too trifling to be mentioned, as sneezing and stumbling with the feet reckoned among omens43. The late Emperor Augustus44 relates, that he put the left shoe on the wrong foot, the day when he was near being assaulted by his soldiers45. And such things as these so embarrass improvident mortals, that among all of them this alone is certain, that there is nothing certain, and that there is nothing more proud or more wretched than man. For other animals have no care but to provide for their subsistence, for which the spontaneous kindness of nature is all-sufficient; and this one circumstance renders their lot more especially preferable, that they never think about glory, or money, or ambition, and, above all, that they never reflect on death.

The belief, however, that on these points the Gods superintend human affairs is useful to us, as well as that the punishment of crimes, although sometimes tardy, from the Deity being occupied with such a mass of business, is never entirely remitted, and that the human race was not made the next in rank to himself, in order that they might be degraded like brutes. And indeed this constitutes the great comfort in this imperfect state of man, that even the Deity cannot do everything. For he cannot procure death for himself, even if he wished it, which, so numerous are the evils of life, has been granted to man as our chief good. Nor can he make mortals immortal, or recall to life those who are dead; nor can he effect, that he who has once lived shall not have lived, or that he who has enjoyed honours shall not have enjoyed them; nor has he any influence over past events but to cause them to be forgotten. And, if we illustrate the nature of our connexion with God by a less serious argument, he cannot make twice ten not to be twenty, and many other things of this kind. By these considerations the power of Nature is clearly proved, and is shown to be what we call God. It is not foreign to the subject to have digressed into these matters, familiar as they are to every one, from the continual discussions that take place respecting God46.


Let us return from this digression to the other parts of nature. The stars which are described as fixed in the heavens47, are not, as the vulgar suppose, attached each of them to different individuals48, the brighter to the rich, those that are less so to the poor, and the dim to the aged, shining according to the lot of the individual, and separately assigned to mortals; for they have neither come into existence, nor do they perish in connexion with particular persons, nor does a falling star indicate that any one is dead. We are not so closely connected with the heavens as that the shining of the stars is affected by our death49. When they are supposed to shoot or fall50, they throw out, by the force of their fire, as if from an excess of nutriment, the superabundance of the humour which they have absorbed, as we observe to take place from the oil in our lamps, when they are burning51. The nature of the celestial bodies is eternal, being interwoven, as it were, with the world, and, by this union, rendering it solid; but they exert their most powerful influence on the earth. This, notwithstanding its subtilty, may be known by the clearness and the magnitude of the effect, as we shall point out in the proper place52. The account of the circles of the heavens will be better understood when we come to speak of the earth, since they have all a reference to it; except what has been discovered respecting the Zodiac, which I shall now detail.

Anaximander the Milesian, in the 58th olympiad53, is said to have been the first who understood its obliquity, and thus opened the road to a correct knowledge of the subject54. Afterwards Cleostratus made the signs in it, first marking those of Aries and Sagittarius; Atlas had formed the sphere long before this time55. But now, leaving the further consideration of this subject, we must treat of the bodies that are situated between the earth and the heavens56.

It is certain that the star called Saturn is the highest, and therefore appears the smallest, that he passes through the largest circuit, and that he is at least thirty years in completing it57. The course of all the planets, and among others of the Sun, and the Moon, is in the contrary direction to that of the heavens58, that is towards the left, while the hea- vens are rapidly carried about to the right59. And although, by the stars constantly revolving with immense velocity, they are raised up, and hurried on to the part where they set, yet they are all forced, by a motion of their own, in an opposite direction60; and this is so ordered, lest the air, being always moved in the same direction, by the constant whirling of the heavens, should accumulate into one mass, whereas now it is divided and separated and beaten into small pieces, by the opposite motion of the different stars. Saturn is a star of a cold and rigid nature, while the orbit of Jupiter is much lower, and is carried round in twelve years61. The next star, Mars, which some persons call Hercules62, is of a fiery and burning nature, and from its nearness to the sun is carried round in little less than two years63. In consequence of the excessive heat of this star and the rigidity of Saturn, Jupiter, which is interposed between the two, is tempered by both of them, and is thus rendered salutary. The path of the Sun consists of 360 degrees; but, in order that the shadow may return to the same point of the dial64, we are obliged to add, in each year, five days and the fourth part of a day. On this account an intercalary day is given to every fifth year65, that the period of the seasons may agree with that of the Sun.

Below the Sun66 revolves the great star called Venus, wandering with an alternate motion67, and, even in its surnames, rivalling the Sun and the Moon. For when it precedes the day and rises in the morning, it receives the name of Lucifer, as if it were another sun, hastening on the day. On the contrary, when it shines in the west, it is named Vesper, as prolonging the light, and performing the office of the moon. Pythagoras, the Samian, was the first who discovered its nature68, about the 62nd olympiad, in the 222nd year of the City69. It excels all the other stars in size, and its brilliancy is so considerable, that it is the only star which produces a shadow by its rays. There has, consequently, been great interest made for its name; some have called it the star of Juno70, others of Isis, and others of the Mother of the Gods. By its influence everything in the earth is generated. For, as it rises in either direction, it sprinkles everything with its genial dew, and not only matures the productions of the earth, but stimulates all living things71. It completes the circuit of the zodiac in 348 days, never receding from the sun more than 46 degrees, according to Timæus72.

Similarly circumstanced, but by no means equal in size and in power, next to it, is the star Mercury, by some called Apollo73; it is carried in a lower orbit, and moves in a course which is quicker by nine days, shining sometimes before the rising of the sun, and at other times after its setting, but never going farther from it than 23 degrees74, as we learn from Timæus and Sosigenes75. The nature of these two stars is peculiar, and is not the same with those mentioned above, for those are seen to recede from the sun through one-third or one-fourth part of the heavens, and are often seen opposite to it. They have also other larger circuits, in which they make their complete revolutions, as will be described in the account of the great year76.

(9.) But the Moon77, which is the last of the stars, and the one the most connected with the earth, the remedy provided by nature for darkness, excels all the others in its admirable qualities. By the variety of appearances which it assumes, it puzzles the observers, mortified that they should be the most ignorant concerning that star which is the nearest to them. She is always either waxing or waning; sometimes her disc is curved into horns, sometimes it is divided into two equal portions, and at other times it is swelled out into a full orb; sometimes she appears spotted78 and suddenly becomes very bright; she appears very large with her full orb and suddenly becomes invisible; now continuing during all the night, now rising late, and now aiding the light of the sun during a part of the day; becoming eclipsed and yet being visible while she is eclipsed; concealing herself at the end of the month and yet not supposed to be eclipsed79. Sometimes she is low down, sometimes she is high up, and that not according to one uniform course, being at one time raised up to the heavens, at other times almost contiguous to the mountains; now elevated in the north, now depressed in the south; all which circumstances having been noticed by Endymion, a report was spread about, that he was in love with the moon80. We are not indeed sufficiently grateful to those, who, with so much labour and care, have enlightened us with this light81; while, so diseased is the human mind, that we take pleasure in writing the annals of blood and slaughter, in order that the crimes of men may be made known to those who are ignorant of the constitution of the world itself.

Being nearest to the axis82, and therefore having the smallest orbit, the Moon passes in twenty-seven days and the one-third part of a day83, through the same space for which Saturn, the highest of the planets, as was stated above, requires thirty years. After remaining for two days in conjunction with the sun, on the thirtieth day she again very slowly emerges to pursue her accustomed course84. I know not whether she ought not to be considered as our instructress in everything that can be known respecting the heavens; as that the year is divided into the twelve divisions of the months, since she follows the sun for the same number of times, until he returns to the commencement of his course; and that her brightness, as well as that of the other stars, is regulated by that of the sun, if indeed they all of them shine by light borrowed from him, such as we see floating about, when it is reflected from the surface of water. On this account it is that she dissolves so much moisture, by a gentle and less perfect force, and adds to the quantity of that which the rays of the sun con- sume85. On this account she appears with an unequal light, because being full only when she is in opposition, on all the remaining days she shows only so much of herself to the earth as she receives light from the sun86. She is not seen in conjunction, because, at that time, she sends back the whole stream of light to the source whence she has derived it. That the stars generally are nourished by the terrestrial moisture is evident, because, when the moon is only half visible she is sometimes seen spotted, her power of absorbing moisture not having been powerful enough; for the spots are nothing else than the dregs of the earth drawn up along with the moisture87. (10.) But her eclipses and those of the sun, the most wonderful of all the phænomena of nature, and which are like prodigies, serve to indicate the magnitude of these bodies and the shadow88 which they cast.


For it is evident that the sun is hid by the intervention89 of the moon, and the moon by the opposition90 of the earth, and that these changes are mutual, the moon, by her interposition91, taking the rays of the sun from the earth, and the earth from the moon. As she advances darkness is suddenly produced, and again the sun is obscured by her shade; for night is nothing more than the shade of the earth. The figure of this shade is like that of a pyramid or an inverted top92; and the moon enters it only near its point, and it does not exceed the height of the moon, for there is no other star which is obscured in the same manner, while a figure of this kind always terminates in a point. The flight of birds, when very lofty, shows that shadows do not extend beyond a certain distance; their limit appears to be the termination of the air and the commencement of the æther. Above the moon everything is pure and full of an eternal light. The stars are visible to us in the night, in the same way that other luminous bodies are seen in the dark. It is from these causes that the moon is eclipsed during the night93. The two kinds of eclipses are not, however, at the stated monthly periods, on account of the obliquity of the zodiac, and the irregularly wandering course of the moon, as stated above; besides that the motions of these stars do not always occur exactly at the same points94.


This kind of reasoning carries the human mind to the heavens, and by contemplating the world as it were from thence, it discloses to us the magnitude of the three greatest bodies in nature95. For the sun could not be entirely concealed from the earth, by the intervention of the moon, if the earth were greater than the moon96. And the vast size of the third body, the sun, is manifest from that of the other two, so that it is not necessary to scrutinize its size, by arguing from its visible appearance, or from any conjectures of the mind; it must be immense, because the shadows of rows of trees, extending for any number of miles, are disposed in right lines97, as if the sun were in the middle of space. Also, because, at the equinox, he is vertical to all the inhabitants of the southern districts at the same time98; also, because the shadows of all the people who live on this side of the tropic fall, at noon, towards the north, and, at sunrise, point to the west. But this could not be the case unless the sun were much greater than the earth; nor, unless it much exceeded Mount Ida in breadth, could he be seen when he rises, passing considerably beyond it to the right and to the left, especially, considering that it is separated by so great an interval99.

The eclipse of the moon affords an undoubted argument of the sun's magnitude, as it also does of the small size of the earth100. For there are shadows of three figures, and it is evident, that if the body which produces the shadow be equal to the light, then it will be thrown off in the form of a pillar, and have no termination. If the body be greater than the light, the shadow will be in the form of an inverted cone101, the bottom being the narrowest part, and being, at the same time, of an infinite length. If the body be less than the light, then we shall have the figure of a pyramid102, terminating in a point. Now of this last kind is the shadow which produces the eclipse of the moon, and this is so manifest that there can be no doubt remaining, that the earth is exceeded in magnitude by the sun, a circumstance which is indeed indicated by the silent declaration of nature herself. For why does he recede from us at the winter half of the year103? That by the darkness of the nights the earth may be refreshed, which otherwise would be burned up, as indeed it is in certain parts; so great is his size.


The first among the Romans, who explained to the people at large the cause of the two kinds of eclipses, was Sulpicius Gallus, who was consul along with Marcellus; and when he was only a military tribune he relieved the army from great anxiety the day before king Perseus was conquered by Paulus104; for he was brought by the general into a public assembly, in order to predict the eclipse, of which he afterwards gave an account in a separate treatise. Among the Greeks, Thales the Milesian first investigated the subject, in the fourth year of the forty-eighth olympiad, predicting the eclipse of the sun which took place in the reign of Alyattes, in the 170th year of the City105. After them Hipparchus calculated the course of both these stars for the term of 600 years106, including the months, days, and hours, the situation of the different places and the aspects adapted to each of them; all this has been confirmed by experience, and could only be acquired by partaking, as it were, in the councils of nature. These were indeed great men, superior to ordinary mortals, who having discovered the laws of these divine bodies, relieved the miserable mind of man from the fear which he had of eclipses, as foretelling some dreadful events or the destruction of the stars. This alarm is freely acknowledged in the sublime strains of Stesichorus and Pindar, as being produced by an eclipse of the sun107. And with respect to the eclipse of the moon, mortals impute it to witchcraft, and therefore endeavour to aid her by producing discordant sounds. In consequence of this kind of terror it was that Nicias, the general of the Athenians, being ignorant of the cause, was afraid to lead out the fleet, and brought great distress on his troops108. Hail to your genius, ye interpreters of heaven! ye who comprehend the nature of things, and who have discovered a mode of reasoning by which ye have conquered both gods and men109! For who is there, in observing these things and seeing the labours110 which the stars are compelled to undergo (since we have chosen to apply this term to them), that would not cheerfully submit to his fate, as one born to die? I shall now, in a brief and summary manner, touch on those points in which we are agreed, giving the reasons where it is necessary to do so; for this is not a work of profound argument, nor is it less wonderful to be able to suggest a probable cause for everything, than to give a complete account of a few of them only.


It is ascertained that the eclipses complete their whole revolution in the space of 223 months111, that the eclipse of the sun takes place only at the conclusion or the commencement of a lunation, which is termed conjunction112, while an eclipse of the moon takes place only when she is at the full, and is always a little farther advanced than the preceding eclipse113. Now there are eclipses of both these stars in every year, which take place below the earth, at stated days and hours; and when they are above it114 they are not always visible, sometimes on account of the clouds, but more frequently, from the globe of the earth being opposed to the vault of the heavens115. It was discovered two hundred years ago, by the sagacity of Hipparchus, that the moon is sometimes eclipsed after an interval of five months, and the sun after an interval of seven116; also, that he becomes invisible, while above the horizon, twice in every thirty days, but that this is seen in different places at different times. But the most wonderful circumstance is, that while it is admitted that the moon is darkened by the shadow of the earth, this occurs at one time on its western, and at another time on its eastern side. And farther, that although, after the rising of the sun, that darkening shadow ought to be below the earth, yet it has once happened, that the moon has been eclipsed in the west, while both the luminaries have been above the horizon117. And as to their both being invisible in the space of fifteen days, this very thing happened while the Vespasians were emperors, the father being consul for the third time, and the son for the second118.


It is certain that the moon, having her horns always turned from the sun, when she is waxing, looks towards the east; when she is waning, towards the west. Also, that, from the second day after the change, she adds 47 1/2 minutes119 each day, until she is full, and again decreases at the same rate, and that she always becomes invisible when she is within 14 degrees of the sun. This is an argument of the greater size of the planets than of the moon, since these emerge when they are at the distance of 7 degrees only120. But their altitude causes them to appear much smaller, as we observe that, during the day, the brightness of the sun prevents those bodies from being seen which are fixed in the firmament, although they shine then as well as in the night: that this is the case is proved by eclipses, and by descending into very deep wells.


The three planets, which, as we have said, are situated above the sun122, are visible when they come into conjunction with him. They rise visibly123 in the morning, when they are not more than 11 degrees from the sun124; they are afterwards directed by the contact of his rays125, and when they attain the trine aspect, at the distance of 120 degrees, they take their morning stationary positions126, which are termed pri- mary; afterwards, when they are in opposition to the sun, they rise at the distance of 180 degrees from him. And again advancing on the other side to the 120th degree, they attain their evening stations, which are termed secondary, until the sun having arrived within 12 degrees of them, what is called their evening setting becomes no longer visible127. Mars, as being nearer to the sun, feels the influence of his rays in the quadrature, at the distance of 90 degrees, whence that motion receives its name, being termed, from the two risings, respectively the first and the second nonagenarian128. This planet passes from one station to another in six months, or is two months in each sign; the two other planets do not spend more than four months in passing from station to station.

The two inferior planets are, in like manner, concealed in their evening conjunction, and, when they have left the sun, they rise in the morning the same number of degrees distant from him. After having arrived at their point of greatest elongation129, they then follow the sun, and having overtaken him at their morning setting, they become invisible and pass beyond him. They then rise in the evening, at the distances which were mentioned above. After this they return back to the sun and are concealed in their evening setting. The star Venus becomes stationary when at its two points of greatest elongation, that of the morning and of the evening, according to their respective risings. The stationary points of Mercury are so very brief, that they cannot be correctly observed.


The above is an account of the aspects and the occultations of the planets, a subject which is rendered very complicated by their motions, and is involved in much that is wonderful; especially, when we observe that they change their size and colour, and that the same stars at one time approach the north, and then go to the south, and are now seen near the earth, and then suddenly approach the heavens. If on this subject I deliver opinions different from my predecessors, I acknowledge that I am indebted for them to those individuals who first pointed out to us the proper mode of inquiry; let no one then ever despair of benefiting future ages.

But these things depend upon many different causes. The first cause is the nature of the circles described by the stars, which the Greeks term apsides130, for we are obliged to use Greek terms. Now each of the planets has its own circle, and this a different one from that of the world131; because the earth is placed in the centre of the heavens, with respect to the two extremities, which are called the poles, and also in that of the zodiac, which is situated obliquely between them. And all these things are made evident by the infallible results which we obtain by the use of the compasses132. Hence the apsides of the planets have each of them different centres, and consequently they have different orbits and motions, since it necessarily follows, that the interior apsides are the shortest.

(16.) The apsides which are the highest from the centre of the earth are, for Saturn, when he is in Scorpio, for Jupiter in Virgo, for Mars in Leo, for the Sun in Gemini, for Venus in Sagittarius, and for Mercury in Capricorn, each of them in the middle of these signs; while in the opposite signs, they are the lowest and nearest to the centre of the earth133. Hence it is that they appear to move more slowly when they are carried along the highest circuit; not that their actual motions are accelerated or retarded, these being fixed and determinate for each of them; but because it necessarily follows, that lines drawn from the highest apsis must approach nearer to each other at the centre, like the spokes of a wheel; and that the same motion seems to be at one time greater, and at another time less, according to the distance from the centre.

Another cause of the altitudes of the planets is, that their highest apsides, with relation to their own centres, are in different signs from those mentioned above134. Saturn is in the 20th degree of Libra, Jupiter in the 15th of Cancer, Mars in the 28th of Capricorn, the Sun in the 19th of Aries, Venus in the 27th of Pisces, Mercury in the 15th of Virgo, and the Moon in the 3rd of Taurus.

The third cause of the altitude depends on the form of the heavens, not on that of the orbits; the stars appearing to the eye to mount up and to descend through the depth of the air135. With this cause is connected that which depends on the latitude of the planets and the obliquity of the zodiac. It is through this belt that the stars which I have spoken of are carried, nor is there any part of the world habitable, except what lies under it136; the remainder, which is at the poles, being in a wild desert state. The planet Venus alone exceeds it by 2 degrees, which we may suppose to be the cause why some animals are produced even in these desert regions of the earth. The moon also wanders the whole breadth of the zodiac, but never exceeds it. Next to these the planet Mercury moves through the greatest space; yet out of the 12 degrees (for there are so many degrees of latitude in the zodiac137), it does not pass through more than 8, nor does it go equally through these, 2 of them being in the middle of the zodiac, 4 in the upper part, and 2 in the lower part138. Next to these the Sun is carried through the middle of the zodiac, winding unequally through the two parts of his tortuous circuit139. The star Mars occupies the four middle degrees; Jupiter the middle degree and the two above it; Saturn, like the sun, occupies two140. The above is an account of the latitudes as they descend to the south or ascend to the north141. Hence it is plain that the generality of persons are mistaken in supposing the third cause of the apparent altitude to depend on the stars rising from the earth and climbing up the heavens. But to refute this opinion it is necessary to consider the subject with very great minuteness, and to embrace all the causes.

It is generally admitted, that the stars142, at the time of their evening setting, are nearest to the earth, both with respect to latitude and altitude143, that they are at the commencement of both at their morning risings, and that they become stationary at the middle points of their latitudes, what are called the ecliptics144. It is, moreover, acknowledged, that their motion is increased when they are in the vicinity of the earth, and diminished when they are removed to a greater altitude145; a point which is most clearly proved by the different altitudes of the moon. There is no doubt that it is also increased at the morning risings146, and that the three superior planets are retarded, as they advance from the first station to the second. And since this is the case, it is evident, that the latitudes are increased from the time of their morning risings, since the motions afterwards appear to receive less addition; but they gain their altitude in the first station, since the rate of their motion then begins to diminish147, and the stars to recede.

And the reason of this must be particularly set forth. When the planets are struck by the rays of the sun, in the, situation which I have described, i. e. in their quadrature, they are prevented from holding on their straight forward course, and are raised on high by the force of the fire148. This cannot be immediately perceived by the eye, and therefore they seem to be stationary, and hence the term station is derived. Afterwards the violence of the rays increases, and the vapour being beaten back forces them to recede.

This exists in a greater degree in their evening risings, the sun being then turned entirely from them, when they are drawn into the highest apsides; and they are then the least visible, since they are at their greatest altitude and are carried along with the least motion, as much less indeed as this takes place in the highest signs of the apsides. At the time of the evening rising the latitude decreases and becomes less as the motion is diminished, and it does not increase again until they arrive at the second station, when the altitude is also diminished; the sun's rays then coming from the other side, the same force now therefore propels them towards the earth which before raised them into the heavens, from their former triangular aspect149. So different is the effect whether the rays strike the planets from below or come to them from above. And all these circumstances produce much more effect when they occur in the evening setting. This is the doctrine of the superior planets; that of the others is more difficult, and has never been laid down by any one before me150.


I must first state the cause, why the star Venus never recedes from the sun more than 46 degrees, nor Mercury more than 23151, while they frequently return to the sun within this distance152. As they are situated below the sun, they have both of them their apsides turned in the contrary direction; their orbits are as much below the earth as those of the stars above mentioned are above it, and therefore they cannot recede any farther, since the curve of their apsides has no greater longitude153. The extreme parts of their apsides therefore assign the limits to each of them in the same manner, and compensate, as it were, for the small extent of their longitudes, by the great divergence of their latitudes154. It may be asked, why do they not always proceed as far as the 46th and the 23rd degrees respectively? They in reality do so, but the theory fails us here. For it would appear that the apsides are themselves moved, as they never pass over the sun155. When therefore they have arrived at the extremities of their orbits on either side, the stars are then supposed to have proceeded to their greatest distance; when they have been a certain number of degrees within their orbits, they are then supposed to return more rapidly, since the extreme point in each is the same. And on this account it is that the direction of their motion appears to be changed. For the superior planets are carried along the most quickly in their evening setting, while these move the most slowly; the former are at their greatest distance from the earth when they move the most slowly, the latter when they move the most quickly. The former are accelerated when nearest to the earth, the latter when at the extremity of the circle; in the former the rapidity of the motion begins to diminish at their morning risings, in the latter it begins to increase; the former are retrograde from their morning to their evening station, while Venus is retrograde from the evening to the morning station. She begins to increase her latitude from her morning rising, her altitude follows the sun from her morning station, her motion being the quickest and her altitude the greatest in her morning setting. Her latitude decreases and her altitude diminishes from her evening rising, she becomes retrograde, and at the same time decreases in her altitude from her evening station.

Again, the star Mercury, in the same way, mounts up in both directions156 from his morning rising, and having followed the sun through a space of 15 degrees, he becomes almost stationary for four days. Presently he diminishes his altitude, and recedes from his evening setting to his morning rising. Mercury and the Moon are the only planets which descend for the same number of days that they ascend. Venus ascends for fifteen days and somewhat more; Saturn and Jupiter descend in twice that number of days, and Mars in four times. So great is the variety of nature! The reason of it is, however, evident; for those planets which are forced up by the vapour of the sun likewise descend with difficulty.


There are many other secrets of nature in these points, as well as the laws to which they are subject, which might be mentioned. For example, the planet Mars, whose course is the most difficult to observe158, never becomes stationary when Jupiter is in the trine aspect, very rarely when he is 60 degrees from the sun, which number is one-sixth of the circuit of the heavens159; nor does he ever rise in the same sign with Jupiter, except in Cancer and Leo. The star Mercury seldom has his evening risings in Pisces, but very frequently in Virgo, and his morning risings in Libra; he has also his morning rising in Aquarius, very rarely in Leo. He never becomes retrograde either in Taurus or in Gemini, nor until the 25th degree of Cancer. The Moon makes her double conjunction with the sun in no other sign except Gemini, while Sagittarius is the only sign in which she has sometimes no conjunction at all. The old and the new moon are visible on the same day or night in no other sign except Aries, and indeed it has happened very seldom to any one to have witnessed it. From this circumstance it was that the tale of Lynceus's quick-sightedness originated160. Saturn and Mars are invisible at most for 170 days; Jupiter for 36, or, at the least, for 10 days less than this; Venus for 69, or, at the least, for 52; Mercury for 13, or, at the most, for 18161.


The difference of their colour depends on the difference in their altitudes; for they acquire a resemblance to those planets into the vapour of which they are carried, the orbit of each tinging those that approach it in each direction. A colder planet renders one that approaches it paler, one more hot renders it redder, a windy planet gives it a lowering aspect, while the sun, at the union of their apsides, or the extremity of their orbits, completely obscures them. Each of the planets has its peculiar colour162; Saturn is white, Jupiter brilliant, Mars fiery, Lucifer is glowing, Vesper refulgent, Mercury sparkling, the Moon mild; the Sun, when he rises, is blazing, afterwards he becomes radiating. The appearance of the stars, which are fixed in the firmament, is also affected by these causes. At one time we see a dense cluster of stars around the moon, when she is only half-enlightened, and when they are viewed in a serene evening; while, at another time, when the moon is full, there are so few to be seen, that we wonder whither they are fled; and this is also the case when the rays of the sun, or of any of the above-mentioned bodies163, have dazzled our sight. And, indeed, the moon herself is, without doubt, differently affected at different times by the rays of the sun; when she is entering them, the convexity of the heavens164 rendering them more feeble than when they fall upon her more directly165. Hence, when she is at a right angle to the sun, she is half-enlightened; when in the trine aspect, she presents an imperfect orb166, while, in opposition, she is full. Again, when she is waning, she goes through the same gradations, and in the same order, as the three stars that are superior to the sun167.


The Sun himself is in four different states; twice the night is equal to the day, in the Spring and in the Autumn, when he is opposed to the centre of the earth168, in the 8th degree of Aries and Libra169. The length of the day and the night is then twice changed, when the day increases in length, from the winter solstice in the 8th degree of Capricorn, and afterwards, when the night increases in length from the summer solstice in the 8th degree of Cancer170. The cause of this inequality is the obliquity of the zodiac, since there is, at every moment of time, an equal portion of the firmament above and below the horizon. But the signs which mount directly upwards, when they rise, retain the light for a longer space, while those that are more oblique pass along more quickly.


It is not generally known, what has been discovered by men who are the most eminent for their learning, in consequence of their assiduous observations of the heavens, that the fires which fall upon the earth, and receive the name of thunder-bolts, proceed from the three superior stars171, but principally from the one which is situated in the middle. It may perhaps depend on the superabundance of moisture from the superior orbit communicating with the heat from the inferior, which are expelled in this manner172; and hence it is commonly said, the thunder-bolts are darted by Jupiter. And as, in burning wood, the burnt part is cast off with a crackling noise, so does the star throw off this celestial fire, bearing the omens of future events, even the part which is thrown off not losing its divine operation. And this takes place more particularly when the air is in an unsettled state, either because the moisture which is then collected excites the greatest quantity of fire, or because the air is disturbed, as if by the parturition of the pregnant star.


Many persons have attempted to discover the distance of the stars from the earth, and they have published as the result, that the sun is nineteen times as far from the moon, as the moon herself is from the earth173. Pythagoras, who was a man of a very sagacious mind, computed the distance from the earth to the moon to be 126,000 furlongs, that from her to the sun is double this distance, and that it is three times this distance to the twelve signs174; and this was also the opinion of our countryman, Gallus Sulpicius175.


Pythagoras, employing the terms that are used in music, sometimes names the distance between the Earth and the Moon a tone; from her to Mercury he supposes to be half this space, and about the same from him to Venus. From her to the Sun is a tone and a half; from the Sun to Mars is a tone, the same as from the Earth to the Moon; from him there is half a tone to Jupiter, from Jupiter to Saturn also half a tone, and thence a tone and a half to the zodiac. Hence there are seven tones, which he terms the diapason harmony176, meaning the whole compass of the notes. In this, Saturn is said to move in the Doric time, Jupiter in the Phrygian177, and so forth of the rest; but this is a refinement rather amusing than useful.


The stadium is equal to 125 of our Roman paces, or 625 feet178. Posidonius179 supposes that there is a space of not less than 40 stadia around the earth, whence mists180, winds and clouds181 proceed; beyond this he supposes that the air is pure and liquid, consisting of uninterrupted light; from the clouded region to the moon there is a space of 2,000,000 of stadia, and thence to the sun of 500,000,000182. It is in consequence of this space that the sun, notwithstanding his immense magnitude, does not burn the earth. Many persons have imagined that the clouds rise to the height of 900 stadia. These points are not completely made out, and are difficult to explain; but we have given the best account of them that has been published, and if we may be allowed, in any degree, to pursue these investigations, there is one infallible geometrical principle, which we cannot reject. Not that we can ascertain the exact dimensions (for to profess to do this would be almost the act of a madman), but that the mind may have some estimate to direct its conjectures. Now it is evident that the orbit through which the sun passes consists of nearly 366 degrees, and that the diameter is always the third part and a little less than the seventh of the circumference183. Then taking the half of this (for the earth is placed in the centre) it will follow, that nearly one-sixth part of the immense space, which the mind conceives as constituting the orbit of the sun round the earth, will compose his altitude. That of the moon will be one-twelfth part, since her course is so much shorter than that of the sun; she is therefore carried along midway between the sun and the earth184. It is astonishing to what an extent the weakness of the mind will proceed, urged on by a little success, as in the abovementioned instance, to give full scope to its impudence! Thus, having ventured to guess at the space between the sun and the earth, we do the same with respect to the heavens, because he is situated midway between them; so that we may come to know the measure of the whole world in inches. For if the diameter consist of seven parts, there will be twenty-two of the same parts in the circumference; as if we could measure the heavens by a plumb-line!

The Egyptian calculation, which was made out by Petosi- ris and Necepsos, supposes that each degree of the lunar orbit (which, as I have said, is the least) consists of little more than 33 stadia; in the very large orbit of Saturn the number is double; in that of the sun, which, as we have said, is in the middle185, we have the half of the sum of these numbers. And this is indeed a very modest calculation186, since if we add to the orbit of Saturn the distance from him to the zodiac, we shall have an infinite number of degrees187.


A few things still remain to be said concerning the world; for stars are suddenly formed in the heavens themselves; of these there are various kinds.

(25.) The Greeks name these stars comets189; we name them Crinitæ, as if shaggy with bloody locks, and surrounded with bristles like hair. Those stars, which have a mane hanging down from their lower part, like a long beard, are named Pogoniæ190. Those that are named Acontiæ191 vibrate like a dart with a very quick motion. It was one of this kind which the Emperor Titus described in his very excellent poem, as having been seen in his fifth consulship; and this was the last of these bodies which has been observed. When they are short and pointed they are named Xiphiæ192; these are the pale kind; they shine like a sword and are without any rays; while we name those Discei193, which, being of an amber colour, in conformity with their name, emit a few rays from their margin only. A kind named Pitheus194 exhibits the figure of a cask, appearing convex and emitting a smoky light. The kind named Cerastias195 has the appearance of a horn; it is like the one which was visible when the Greeks fought at Salamis. Lampadias196 is like a burning torch; Hippias197 is like a horse's mane; it has a very rapid motion, like a circle revolving on itself. There is also a white comet, with silver hair, so brilliant that it can scarcely be looked at, exhibiting, as it were, the aspect of the Deity in a human form. There are some also that are shaggy, having the appearance of a fleece, surrounded by a kind of crown. There was one, where the appearance of a mane was changed into that of a spear; it happened in the 109th olympiad, in the 398th year of the City198. The shortest time during which any one of them has been observed to be visible is 7 days, the longest 180 days.


Some of them move about in the manner of planets199, others remain stationary. They are almost all of them seen towards the north200, not indeed in any particular portion of it, but generally in that white part of it which has obtained the name of the Milky Way. Aristotle informs us that several of them are to be seen at the same time201, but this, as far as I know, has not been observed by any one else; also that they prognosticate high winds and great heat202. They are also visible in the winter months, and about the south pole, but they have no rays proceeding from them. There was a dreadful one observed by the Æthiopians and the Egyptians, to which Typhon, a king of that period, gave his own name; it had a fiery appearance, and was twisted like a spiral; its aspect was hideous, nor was it like a star, but rather like a knot of fire203. Sometimes there are hairs attached to the planets and the other stars. Comets are never seen in the western part of the heavens. It is generally regarded as a terrific star, and one not easily expiated; as was the case with the civil commotions in the consulship of Octavius, and also in the war of Pompey and Cæsar204. And in our own age, about the time when Claudius Cæsar was poisoned and left the Empire to Domitius Nero, and afterwards, while the latter was Emperor205, there was one which was almost constantly seen and was very frightful. It is thought important to notice towards what part it darts its beams, or from what star it receives its influence, what it resembles, and in what places it shines. If it resembles a flute, it portends some- thing unfavourable respecting music; if it appears in the parts of the signs referred to the secret members, something respecting lewdness of manners; something respecting wit and learning, if they form a triangular or quadrangular figure with the position of some of the fixed stars; and that some one will be poisoned, if they appear in the head of either the northern or the southern serpent.

Rome is the only place in the whole world where there is a temple dedicated to a comet; it was thought by the late Emperor Augustus to be auspicious to him, from its appearing during the games which he was celebrating in honour of Venus Genetrix, not long after the death of his father Cæsar, in the College which was founded by him206. He expressed his joy in these terms: "During the very time of these games of mine, a hairy star was seen during seven days, in the part of the heavens which is under the Great Bear. It rose about the eleventh hour of the day207, was very bright, and was conspicuous in all parts of the earth. The common people supposed the star to indicate, that the soul of Cæsar was admitted among the immortal Gods; under which designation it was that the star was placed on the bust which was lately consecrated in the forum208." This is what he proclaimed in public, but, in secret, he rejoiced at this auspicious omen, interpreting it as produced for himself; and, to confess the truth, it really proved a salutary omen for the world at large209.

Some persons suppose that these stars are permanent, and that they move through their proper orbits, but that they are only visible when they recede from the sun. Others suppose that they are produced by an accidental vapour together with the force of fire, and that, from this circumstance, they are liable to be dissipated210.


This same Hipparchus, who can never be sufficiently commended, as one who more especially proved the relation of the stars to man, and that our souls are a portion of heaven, discovered a new star that was produced in his own age, and, by observing its motions on the day in which it shone, he was led to doubt whether it does not often happen, that those stars have motion which we suppose to be fixed. And the same individual attempted, what might seem presumptuous even in a deity, viz. to number the stars for posterity and to express their relations by appropriate names; having previously devised instruments212, by which he might mark the places and the magnitudes of each individual star. In this way it might be easily discovered, not only whether they were destroyed or produced, but whether they changed their relative positions, and likewise, whether they were increased or diminished; the heavens being thus left as an inheritance to any one, who might be found competent to complete his plan.


The faces shine brilliantly, but they are never seen excepting when they are falling214 one of these darted across the heavens, in the sight of all the people, at noon-day, when Germanicus Cæsar was exhibiting a show of gladiators215. There are two kinds of them; those which are called lampades and those which are called bolides, one of which latter was seen during the troubles at Mutina216. They differ from each other in this respect, that the faces produce a long train of light, the fore-part only being on fire; while the bolides, being entirely in a state of combustion, leave a still longer track behind them.


The trabes also, which are named δοκοὶ217, shine in the same manner; one of these was seen at the time when the Lacedæmonians, by being conquered at sea, lost their influence in Greece. An opening sometimes takes place in the firmament, which is named chasma218.


There is a flame of a bloody appearance (and nothing is more dreaded by mortals) which falls down upon the earth219, such as was seen in the third year of the 103rd olympiad, when King Philip was disturbing Greece. But my opinion is, that these, like everything else, occur at stated, natural periods, and are not produced, as some persons imagine, from a variety of causes, such as their fine genius may suggest. They have indeed been the precursors of great evils, but I conceive that the evils occurred, not because the prodigies took place, but that these took place because the evils were appointed to occur at that period220. Their cause is obscure in consequence of their rarity, and therefore we are not as well acquainted with them as we are with the rising of the stars, which I have mentioned, and with eclipses and many other things.


Stars are occasionally seen along with the sun, for whole days together, and generally round its orb, like wreaths made of the ears of corn, or circles of various colours221; such as occurred when Augustus, while a very young man, was entering the city, after the death of his father, in order to take upon himself the great name which he assumed222. (29.) The same coronæ occur about the moon and also about the principal stars, which are stationary in the heavens.


A bow appeared round the sun in the consulship of L. Opimius and L. Fabius223, and a circle in that of C. Porcius and M. Acilius. (30.) There was a little circle of a red colour in the consulship of L. Julius and P. Rutilius.


Eclipses of the sun also take place which are portentous and unusually long, such as occurred when Cæsar the Dictator was slain, and in the war against Antony, the sun remained dim for almost a whole year224.

CHAP. 31. (31.)—MANY SUNS.

And again, many suns have been seen at the same time225; not above or below the real sun, but in an oblique direction, never near nor opposite to the earth, nor in the night, but either in the east or in the west. They are said to have been seen once at noon in the Bosphorus, and to have continued from morning until sunset. Our ancestors have frequently seen three suns at the same time226, as was the case in the consulship of Sp. Postumius and L. Mucius, of L. Marcius and M. Portius, that of M. Antony and Dolabella, and that of M. Lepidus and L. Plancus. And we have ourselves seen one during the reign of the late Emperor Claudius, when he was consul along with Corn. Orfitus. We have no account transmitted to us of more than three having been seen at the same time.

CHAP. 32, (32.)—MANY MOONS.

Three moons have also been seen, as was the case in the consulship of Cn. Domitius and C. Fannius; they have generally been named nocturnal suns227.


A bright light has been seen proceeding from the heavens in the night time, as was the case in the consulship of C. Cæcilius and Cn. Papirius, and at many other times, so that there has been a kind of daylight in the night228.


A burning shield darted across at sunset, from west to east, throwing out sparks, in the consulship of L. Valerius and C. Marius230.


We have an account of a spark falling from a star, and increasing as it approached the earth, until it became of the size of the moon, shining as through a cloud231; it afterwards returned into the heavens and was converted into a lampas; this occurred in the consulship of Cn. Octavius and C. Scri- bonius. It was seen by Silanus, the proconsul, and his attendants232.


Stars are seen to move about in various directions, but never without some cause, nor without violent winds proceeding from the same quarter233.


These stars occur both at sea and at land. I have seen, during the night-watches of the soldiers, a luminous appearance, like a star, attached to the javelins on the ramparts. They also settle on the yard-arms and other parts of ships while sailing, producing a kind of vocal sound, like that of birds flitting about. When they occur singly they are mischievous, so as even to sink the vessels, and if they strike on the lower part of the keel, setting them on fire235. When there are two of them they are considered auspicious, and are thought to predict a prosperous voyage, as it is said that they drive away that dreadful and terrific meteor named Helena. On this account their efficacy is ascribed to Castor and Pollux, and they are invoked as gods. They also occasionally shine round the heads of men in the evening236, which is considered as predicting something very important. But there is great uncertainty respecting the cause of all these things, and they are concealed in the majesty of nature.


So far I have spoken of the world itself and of the stars. I must now give an account of the other remarkable phænomena of the heavens. For our ancestors have given the name of heavens, or, sometimes, another name, air, to all the seemingly void space, which diffuses around us this vital spirit. It is situated beneath the moon, indeed much lower, as is admitted by every one who has made observations on it, and is composed of a great quantity of air from the upper regions, mixed with a great quantity of terrestrial vapour, the two forming a compound. Hence proceed clouds, thunder and lightning of all kinds; hence also hail, frost, showers, storms and whirlwinds; hence proceed many of the evils incident to mortals, and the mutual contests of the various parts of nature. The force of the stars keeps down all terrestrial things which tend towards the heavens, and the same force attracts to itself those things which do not go there spontaneously. The showers fall, mists rise up, rivers are dried up, hail-storms rush down, the rays of the sun parch the earth, and impel it from all quarters towards the centre. The same rays, still unbroken, dart back again, and carry with them whatever they can take up. Vapour falls from on high and returns again to the same place. Winds arise which contain nothing, but which return loaded with spoils. The breathing of so many animals draws down the spirit from the higher regions; but this tends to go in a contrary direction, and the earth pours out its spirit into the void space of the heavens. Thus nature moving to and fro, as if impelled by some machine237, discord is kindled by the rapid motion of the world. Nor is the contest allowed to cease, for she is continually whirled round and lays open the causes of all things, forming an immense globe about the earth, while she again, from time to time, covers this other firma- ment with clouds238. This is the region of the winds. Here their nature principally originates, as well as the causes of almost all other things239; since most persons ascribe the darting of thunder and lightning to their violence. And to the same cause are assigned the showers of stones, these having been previously taken up by the wind, as well as many other bodies in the same way. On this account we must enter more at large on this subject.


It is obvious that there are causes of the seasons and of other things which have been stated, while there are some things which are casual, or of which the reason has not yet been discovered. For who can doubt that summer and winter, and the annual revolution of the seasons are caused by the motion of the stars240? As therefore the nature of the sun is understood to influence the temperature of the year, so each of the other stars has its specific power, which produces its appropriate effects. Some abound in a fluid retaining its liquid state, others, in the same fluid concreted into hoar frost, compressed into snow, or frozen into hail; some are prolific in winds, some in heat, some in vapours, some in dew, some in cold. But these bodies must not be supposed to be actually of the size which they appear, since the consideration of their immense height clearly proves, that none of them are less than the moon. Each of them exercises its influence over us by its own motions; this is particularly observable with respect to Saturn, which produces a great quantity of rain in its transits. Nor is this power confined to the stars which change their situations, but is found to exist in many of the fixed stars, whenever they are impelled by the force of any of the planets, or excited by the impulse of their rays; as we find to be the case with respect to the Suculæ241, which the Greeks, in reference to their rainy nature, have termed the Hyades242. There are also certain events which occur spontaneously, and at stated periods, as the rising of the Kids243. The star Arcturus scarcely ever rises without storms of hail occurring.


Who is there that does not know that the vapour of the sun is kindled by the rising of the Dog-star? The most powerful effects are felt on the earth from this star. When it rises, the seas are troubled, the wines in our cellars ferment, and stagnant waters are set in motion. There is a wild beast, named by the Egyptians Oryx, which, when the star rises, is said to stand opposite to it, to look steadfastly at it, and then to sneeze, as if it were worshiping it244. There is no doubt that dogs, during the whole of this period, are peculiarly disposed to become rabid245.


There is moreover a peculiar influence in the different degrees of certain signs, as in the autumnal equinox, and also in the winter solstice, when we find that a particular star is connected with the state of the weather246. It is not so much the recurrence of showers and storms, as of various circumstances, which act both upon animals and vegetables. Some are planet-struck247, and others, at stated times, are affected in the bowels, the sinews, the head, or the intellect. The olive, the white poplar, and the willow turn their leaves round at the summer solstice. The herb pulegium, when dried and hanging up in a house, blossoms on the very day of the winter solstice, and bladders burst in consequence of their being distended with air248. One might wonder at this, did we not observe every day, that the plant named heliotrope always looks towards the setting sun, and is, at all hours, turned towards him, even when he is obscured by clouds249. It is certain that the bodies of oysters and of whelks250, and of shell-fish generally, are increased in size and again diminished by the influence of the moon. Certain accurate observers have found out, that the entrails of the field-mouse251 correspond in number to the moon's age, and that the very small animal, the ant, feels the power of this luminary, always resting from her labours at the change of the moon. And so much the more disgraceful is our ignorance, as every one acknowledges that the diseases in the eyes of certain beasts of burden increase and diminish according to the age of the moon. But the immensity of the heavens, divided as they are into seventy-two252 constellations, may serve as an excuse. These are the resemblances of certain things, animate and inanimate, into which the learned have divided the heavens. In these they have announced 1600 stars, as being remarkable either for their effects or their appearance; for example, in the tail of the Bull there are seven stars, which are named Vergiliæ253; in his forehead are the Suculæ; there is also Bootes, which follows the seven northern stars254.


But I would not deny, that there may exist showers and winds, independent of these causes, since it is certain that an exhalation proceeds from the earth, which is sometimes moist, and at other times, in consequence of the vapours, like dense smoke; and also, that clouds are formed, either from the fluid rising up on high, or from the air being compressed into a fluid255. Their density and their substance is very clearly proved from their intercepting the sun's rays, which are visible by divers, even in the deepest waters256.


It cannot therefore be denied, that fire proceeding from the stars which are above the clouds, may fall on them, as we frequently observe on serene evenings, and that the air is agitated by the impulse, as darts when they are hurled whiz through the air. And when it arrives at the cloud, a discordant kind of vapour is produced, as when hot iron is plunged into water, and a wreath of smoke is evolved. Hence arise squalls. And if wind or vapour be struggling in the cloud, thunder is discharged; if it bursts out with a flame, there is a thunderbolt; if it be long in forcing out its way, it is simply a flash of lightning257. By the latter the cloud is simply rent, by the former it is shattered. Thunder is pro- duced by the stroke given to the condensed air, and hence it is that the fire darts from the chinks of the clouds. It is possible also that the vapour, which has risen from the earth, being repelled by the stars, may produce thunder, when it is pent up in a cloud; nature restraining the sound whilst the vapour is struggling to escape, but when it does escape, the sound bursting forth, as is the case with bladders that are distended with air. It is possible also that the spirit, whatever it be, may be kindled by friction, when it is so violently projected. It is possible that, by the dashing of the two clouds, the lightning may flash out, as is the case when two stones are struck against each other. But all these things appear to be casual. Hence there are thunderbolts which produce no effect, and proceed from no immediate actual cause; by these mountains and seas are struck, and no injury is done. Those which prognosticate future events proceed from on high and from stated causes, and they come from their peculiar stars258.


In like manner I would not deny that winds, or rather sudden gusts, are produced by the arid and dry vapours of the earth; that air may also be exhaled from water, which can neither be condensed into a mist, nor compressed into a cloud; that it may be also driven forward by the impulse of the sun, since by the term 'wind' we mean nothing more than a current of air, by whatever means it may be produced259. For we observe winds to proceed from rivers and bays, and from the sea, even when it is tranquil; while others, which are named Altani, rise up from the earth; when they come back from the sea they are named Tropæi, but if they go straight on, Apogæi260.

(44.) The windings and the numerous peaks of mountains, their ridges, bent into angles or broken into defiles, with the hollow valleys, by their irregular forms, cleaving the air which rebounds from them (which is also the cause why voices are, in many cases, repeated several times in succession), give rise to winds.

(45.) There are certain caves, such as that on the coast of Dalmatia, with a vast perpendicular chasm, into which, if a light weight only be let down, and although the day be calm, a squall issues from it like a whirlwind. The name of the place is Senta. And also, in the province of Cyrenaica, there is a certain rock, said to be sacred to the south wind, which it is profane for a human hand to touch, as the south wind immediately rolls forwards clouds of sand261. There are also, in many houses, artificial cavities, formed in the walls262, which produce currents of air; none of these are without their appropriate cause.


But there is a great difference between a gale and a wind263. The former are uniform and appear to rush forth264; they are felt, not in certain spots only, but over whole countries, not forming breezes or squalls, but violent storms265. Whether they be produced by the constant revolution of the world and the opposite motion of the stars, or whether they both of them depend on the generative spirit of the nature of things, wandering, as it were, up and down in her womb, or whether the air be scourged by the irregular strokes of the wandering stars266, or the various projections of their rays, or whether they, each of them, proceed from their own stars, among which are those that are nearest to us, or whether they descend from those that are fixed in the heavens, it is manifest that they are all governed by a law of nature, which is not altogether unknown, although it be not completely ascertained.

(46.) More than twenty old Greek writers have published their observations upon this subject. And this is the more remarkable, seeing that there is so much discord in the world, and that it is divided into different kingdoms, that is into separate members, that there should have been so many who have paid attention to these subjects, which are so difficult to investigate. Especially when we consider the wars and the treachery which everywhere prevail; while pirates, the enemies of the human race, have possession of all the modes of communication, so that, at this time, a person may acquire more correct information about a country from the writings of those who have never been there, than from the inhabitants themselves. Whereas, at this day, in the blessed peace which we enjoy, under a prince who so greatly encourages the advancement of the arts, no new inquiries are set on foot, nor do we even make ourselves thoroughly masters of the discoveries of the ancients. Not that there were greater rewards held out, from the advantages being distributed to a greater number of persons, but that there were more individuals who diligently scrutinized these matters, with no other prospect but that of benefiting posterity. It is that the manners of men are degenerated, not that the advantages are diminished. All the seas, as many as there are, being laid open, and a hospitable reception being given us at every shore, an immense number of people undertake voyages; but it is for the sake of gain, not of science. Nor does their understanding, which is blinded and bent only on avarice, perceive that this very thing might be more safely done by means of science. Seeing, therefore, that there are so many thousands of persons on the seas, I will treat of the winds with more minuteness than perhaps might otherwise appear suitable to my undertaking.


The ancients reckoned only four winds (nor indeed does Homer mention more268) corresponding to the four parts of the world; a very poor reason, as we now consider it. The next generation added eight others, but this was too refined and minute a division; the moderns have taken a middle course, and, out of this great number, have added four to the original set. There are, therefore, two in each of the four quarters of the heavens. From the equinoctial rising of the sun269 proceeds Subsolanus270, and, from his brumal rising, Vulturnus271; the former is named by the Greeks Apeliotes272, the latter Eurus. From the south we have Auster, and from the brumal setting of the sun, Africus; these were named Notos and Libs. From the equinoctial setting proceeds Favonius273, and from the solstitial setting, Corus274; these were named Zephyrus and Argestes. From the seven stars comes Septemtrio, between which and the solstitial rising we have Aquilo, named Aparctias and Boreas275. By a more minute subdivision we interpose four others, Thrascias, between Septemtrio and the solstitial setting; Cæcias, between Aquilo and the equinoctial rising; and Phœnices, between the brumal rising and the south. And also, at an equal distance from the south and the winter setting, between Libs and Notos, and compounded of the two, is Libonotos. Nor is this all. For some persons have added a wind, which they have named Meses, between Boreas and Cæcias, and one between Eurus and Notos, named Euronotus276.

There are also certain winds peculiar to certain countries, which do not extend beyond certain districts, as Sciron in Attica, deviating a little from Argestes, and not known in the other parts of Greece. In other places it is a little higher on the card and is named Olympias; but all these have gone by the name of Argestes. In some places Cæcias is named Hellespontia, and the same is done in other cases. In the province of Narbonne the most noted wind is Circius; it is not inferior to any of the winds in violence, frequently driving the waves before it, to Ostia277, straight across the Ligurian sea. Yet this same wind is unknown in other parts, not even reaching Vienne, a city in the same province; for meeting with a high ridge of hills, just before it arrives at that district, it is checked, although it be the most violent of all the winds. Fabius also asserts, that the south winds never penetrate into Egypt. Hence this law of nature is obvious, that winds have their stated seasons and limits.


The spring opens the seas for the navigators. In the beginning of this season the west winds soften, as it were, the winter sky, the sun having now gained the 25th degree of Aquarius; this is on the sixth day before the Ides of February279. This agrees, for the most part, with all the remarks that I shall subsequently make, only anticipating the period by one day in the intercalary year, and again, preserving the same order in the succeeding lustrum280. After the eighth day before the Calends of March281, Favonius is called by some Chelidonias282, from the swallows making their appearance. The wind, which blows for the space of nine days, from the seventy-first day after the winter solstice283, is sometimes called Ornithias, from the arrival of the birds284. In the contrary direction to Favonius is the wind which we name Subsolanus, and this is connected with the rising of the Vergiliæ, in the 25th degree of Taurus, six days before the Ides of May285, which is the time when south winds prevail: these are opposite to Septemtrio. The dog-star rises in the hottest time of the summer, when the sun is entering the first degree of Leo286; this is fifteen days before the Calends of August. The north winds, which are called Prodromi287, precede its rising by about eight days. But in two days after its rising, the same north winds, which are named Etesiæ288, blow more constantly during this period; the vapour from the sun, being increased twofold by the heat of this star, is supposed to render these winds more mild; nor are there any which are more regular. After these the south winds become more frequent, until the appearance of Arcturus289, which rises eleven days before the autumnal equinox. At this time Corus sets in; Corus is an autumnal wind, and is in the opposite direction to Vulturnus. After this, and generally for forty-four days after the equinox, at the setting of the Vergiliæ, the winter commences, which usually happens on the third of the Ides of November290. This is the period of the winter north wind, which is very unlike the summer north wind, and which is in the opposite direction to Africus. For seven days before the winter solstice, and for the same length of time after it, the sea becomes calm, in order that the king-fishers may rear their young; from this circumstance they have obtained the name of the halcyon days291; the rest of the season is winterly292. Yet the severity of the storms does not entirely close up the sea. In former times, pirates were compelled, by the fear of death, to rush into death, and to brave the winter ocean; now we are driven to it by avarice293.


Those are the coldest winds which are said to blow from the seven stars, and Corus, which is contiguous to them; these also restrain the others and dispel the clouds. The moist winds are Africus, and, still more, the Auster of Italy. It is said that, in Pontus, Cæcias attracts the clouds. The dry winds are Corus and Vulturnus, especially when they are about to cease blowing. The winds that bring snow are Aquilo and Septemtrio; Septemtrio brings hail, and so does Corus; Auster is sultry, Vulturnus and Zephyrus are warm. These winds are more dry than Subsolanus, and generally those which blow from the north and west are more dry than those which blow from the south and east. Aquilo is the most healthy of them all; Auster is unhealthy, and more so when dry; it is colder, perhaps because it is moist. Animals are supposed to have less appetite for food when this wind is blowing. The Etesiæ generally cease during the night, and spring up at the third hour of the day295. In Spain and in Asia these winds have an easterly direction, in Pontus a northerly, and in other places a southerly direction. They blow also after the winter solstice, when they are called Ornithiæ296, but they are more gentle and continue only for a few days. There are two winds which change their nature with their situation; in Africa Auster is attended with a clear sky, while Aquilo collects the clouds297. Almost all winds blow in their turn, so that when one ceases its opposite springs up. When winds which are contiguous succeed each other, they go from left to right, in the direction of the sun. The fourth day of the moon generally determines their direction for the whole of the monthly period298. We are able to sail in opposite directions by means of the same wind, if we have the sails properly set; hence it frequently happens that, in the night, vessels going in different directions run against each other. Auster produces higher winds than Aquilo, because the former blows, as it were, from the bottom of the sea, while the latter blows on the surface; it is therefore after south winds that the most mischievous earthquakes have occurred. Auster is more violent during the night, Aquilo during the day; winds from the east continue longer than from the west. The north winds generally cease blowing on the odd days, and we observe the prevalence of the odd numbers in many other parts of nature; the male winds are therefore regulated by the odd numbers299. The sun sometimes increases and sometimes restrains winds; when rising and setting it increases them; while, when on the meridian, it restrains them during the summer. They are, therefore, generally lulled during the middle of the day and of the night, because they are abated either by excessive cold or heat; winds are also lulled by showers. We generally expect them to come from that quarter where the clouds open and allow the clear sky to be seen. Eudoxus300 supposes that the same succession of changes occurs in them after a period of four years, if we observe their minute revolutions; and this applies not only to winds, but to whatever concerns the state of the weather. He begins his lustrum at the rising of the dog-star, in the intercalary year. So far concerning winds in general.


And now respecting the sudden gusts301, which arising from the exhalations of the earth, as has been said above, and falling down again, being in the mean time covered by a thin film of clouds, exist in a variety of forms. By their wandering about, and rushing down like torrents, in the opinion of some persons, they produce thunder and lightning302. But if they be urged on with greater force and violence, so as to cause the rupture of a dry cloud, they produce a squall303, which is named by the Greeks Ecnephias304. But, if these are compressed, and rolled up more closely together, and then break without any discharge of fire, i. e. without thunder, they produce a squall, which is named Typhon305, or an Ecnephias in a state of agitation. It carries along a portion of the cloud which it has broken off, rolling it and turning it round, aggravating its own destruction by the weight of it, and whirling it from place to place. This is very much dreaded by sailors, as it not only breaks their sail-yards, but the vessels themselves, bending them about in various ways. This may be in a slight degree counteracted by sprinkling it with vinegar, when it comes near us, this substance being of a very cold nature306. This wind, when it rebounds after the stroke, absorbs and carries up whatever it may have seized on.


But if it burst from the cavity of a cloud which is more depressed, but less capacious than what produces a squall, and is accompanied by noise, it is called a whirlwind, and throws down everything which is near it. The same, when it is more burning and rages with greater heat, is called a blasting wind308, scorching and, at the same time, throwing down everything with which it comes in contact. (49.) Typhon never comes from the north, nor have we Ecnephias when it snows, or when there is snow on the ground. If it breaks the clouds, and, at the same time, catches fire or burns, but not until it has left the cloud, it forms a thunderbolt. It differs from Prester as flame does from fire; the former is diffused in a gust, the latter is condensed with a violent impulse309. The whirlwind, when it rebounds, differs from the tornado in the same manner as a loud noise does from a dash.

The squall differs from both of them in its extent, the clouds being more properly rent asunder than broken into pieces. A black cloud is formed, resembling a great animal, an appearance much dreaded by sailors. It is also called a pillar, when the moisture is so condensed and rigid as to be able to support itself. It is a cloud of the same kind, which, when drawn into a tube, sucks up the water310.


Thunder is rare both in winter and in summer312, but from different causes; the air, which is condensed in the winter, is made still more dense by a thicker covering of clouds, while the exhalations from the earth, being all of them rigid and frozen, extinguish whatever fiery vapour it may receive. It is this cause which exempts Scythia and the cold districts round it from thunder. On the other hand, the excessive heat exempts Egypt; the warm and dry vapours of the earth being very seldom condensed, and that only into light clouds. But, in the spring and autumn, thunder is more frequent, the causes which produce summer and winter being, in each season, less efficient. From this cause thunder is more frequent in Italy, the air being more easily set in motion, in consequence of a milder winter and a showery summer, so that it may be said to be always spring or autumn. Also in those parts of Italy which recede from the north and lie towards the south, as in the district round our city, and in Campania, it lightens equally both in winter and in summer, which is not the case in other situations.


We have accounts of many different kinds of thunder-storms. Those which are dry do not burn objects, but dissipate them; while those which are moist do not burn, but blacken them. There is a third kind, which is called bright lightning314, of a very wonderful nature, by which casks are emptied, without the vessels themselves being injured, or there being any other trace left of their operation315. Gold, copper, and silver are melted, while the bags which contain them are not in the least burned, nor even the wax seal much defaced. Marcia, a lady of high rank at Rome, was struck while pregnant; the fœtus was destroyed, while she herself survived without suffering any injury316. Among the prognostics which took place at the time of Catiline's conspiracy, M. Herennius, a magistrate of the borough of Pompeii, was struck by lightning when the sky was without clouds317.


The Tuscan books inform us, that there are nine Gods who discharge thunder-storms, that there are eleven different kinds of them, and that three of them are darted out by Jupiter. Of these the Romans retained only two, ascribing the diurnal kind to Jupiter, and the nocturnal to Summanus319; this latter kind being more rare, in consequence of the heavens being colder, as was mentioned above. The Etrurians also suppose, that those which are named Infernal burst out of the ground; they are produced in the winter and are particularly fierce and direful, as all things are which proceed from the earth, and are not generated by or proceeding from the stars, but from a cause which is near at hand, and of a more disorderly nature. As a proof of this it is said, that all those which proceed from the higher regions strike obliquely, while those which are termed terrestrial strike in a direct line. And because these fall from matter which is nearer to us, they are supposed to proceed from the earth, since they leave no traces of a rebound; this being the effect of a stroke coming not from below, but from an opposite quarter. Those who have searched into the subject more minutely suppose, that these come from the planet Saturn, as those that are of a burning nature do from Mars. In this way it was that Volsinium, the most opulent town of the Tuscans, was entirely consumed by lightning320. The first of these strokes that a man receives, after he has come into possession of any property, is termed Familiar321, and is supposed to prognosticate the events of the whole of his life. But it is not generally supposed that they predict events of a private nature for a longer space than ten years, unless they happen at the time of a first marriage or a birth-day; nor that public predictions extend beyond thirty years322, unless with respect to the founding of colonies323.


It is related in our Annals, that by certain sacred rites and imprecations, thunder-storms may be compelled or invoked324. There is an old report in Etruria, that thunder was invoked when the city of Volsinium had its territory laid waste by a monster named Volta325. Thunder was also in- voked by King Porsenna. And L. Piso326, a very respectable author, states in the first book of his Annals, that this had been frequently done before his time by Numa, and that Tullus Hostilius, imitating him, but not having properly performed the ceremonies, was struck with the lightning327. We have also groves, and altars, and sacred places, and, among the titles of Jupiter, as Stator, Tonans, and Feretrius, we have a Jupiter Elicius328. The opinions entertained on this point are very various, and depend much on the dispositions of different individuals. To believe that we can command nature is the mark of a bold mind, nor is it less the mark of a feeble one to reject her kindness329. Our knowledge has been so far useful to us in the interpretation of thunder, that it enables us to predict what is to happen on a certain day, and we learn either that our fortune is to be entirely changed, or it discloses events which are concealed from us; as is proved by an infinite number of examples, public and private. Wherefore let these things remain, according to the order of nature, to some persons certain, to others doubtful, by some approved, by others condemned. I must not, however, omit the other circumstances connected with them which deserve to be related.


It is certain that the lightning is seen before the thunder is heard, although they both take place at the same time. Nor is this wonderful, since light has a greater velocity than sound. Nature so regulates it, that the stroke and the sound coincide330; the sound is, however, produced by the discharge of the thunder, not by its stroke. But the air is impelled quicker than the lightning331, on which account it is that everything is shaken and blown up before it is struck, and that a person is never injured when he has seen the lightning and heard the thunder. Thunder on the left hand is supposed to be lucky, because the east is on the left side of the heavens332. We do not regard so much the mode in which it comes to us, as that in which it leaves us, whether the fire rebounds after the stroke, or whether the current of air returns when the operation is concluded and the fire is consumed. In relation to this object the Etrurians have divided the heavens into sixteen parts333. The first great division is from north to east; the second to the south; the third to the west, and the fourth occupies what remains from west to north. Each of these has been subdivided into four parts, of which the eight on the east have been called the left, and those on the west the right divisions. Those which extend from the west to the north have been considered the most unpropitious. It becomes therefore very important to ascertain from what quarter the thunder proceeds, and in what direction it falls. It is considered a very favourable omen when it returns into the eastern divisions. But it prognosticates the greatest felicity when the thunder proceeds from the first-mentioned part of the heavens and falls back into it; it was an omen of this kind which, as we have heard, was given to Sylla, the Dictator. The remaining quarters of the heavens are less propitious, and also less to be dreaded. There are some kinds of thunder which it is not thought right to speak of, or even to listen to, unless when they have been disclosed to the master of a family or to a parent. But the futility of this observation was detected when the temple of Juno was struck at Rome, during the consulship of Scaurus, he who was afterwards the Prince of the Senate334.

It lightens without thunder more frequently in the night than in the day335. Man is the only animal that is not always killed by it, all other animals being killed instantly, nature having granted to him this mark of distinction, while so many other animals excel him in strength. All animals fall down on the opposite side to that which has been struck; man, unless he be thrown down on the parts that are struck, does not expire. Those who are struck directly from above sink down immediately. When a man is struck while he is awake, he is found with his eyes closed; when asleep, with them open. It is not considered proper that a man killed in this way should be burnt on the funeral pile; our religion enjoins us to bury the body in the earth336. No animal is consumed by lightning unless after having been previously killed. The parts of the animal that have been wounded by lightning are colder than the rest of the body.


Among the productions of the earth, thunder never strikes the laurel337, nor does it descend more than five feet into the earth. Those, therefore, who are timid consider the deepest caves as the most safe; or tents made of the skins of the animal called the sea-calf, since this is the only marine animal which is never struck338; as is the case, among birds, with the eagle; on this account it is represented as the bearer of this weapon339. In Italy, between Terracina and the temple of Feronia, the people have left off building towers in time of war, every one of them having been destroyed by thunderbolts.


Besides these, we learn from certain monuments, that from the lower part of the atmosphere341 it rained milk and blood, in the consulship of M'Acilius and C. Porcius, and frequently at other times342. This was the case with respect to flesh, in the consulship of P. Volumnius and Servius Sulpicius, and it is said, that what was not devoured by the birds did not become putrid. It also rained iron among the Lucanians, the year before Crassus was slain by the Parthians, as well as all the Lucanian soldiers, of whom there was a great number in this army. The substance which fell had very much the appearance of sponge343; the augurs warned the people against wounds that might come from above. In the consulship of L. Paulus and C. Marcellus it rained wool, round the castle of Carissanum, near which place, a year after, T. Annius Milo was killed. It is recorded, among the transactions of that year, that when he was pleading his own cause, there was a shower of baked tiles.


We have heard, that during the war with the Cimbri, the rattling of arms and the sound of trumpets were heard through the sky, and that the same thing has frequently happened before and since344. Also, that in the third consulship of Marius, armies were seen in the heavens by the Amerini and the Tudertes, encountering each other, as if from the east and west, and that those from the east were repelled345. It is not at all wonderful for the heavens themselves to be in flames346, and it has been more frequently observed when the clouds have taken up a great deal of fire.


The Greeks boast that Anaxagoras348, the Clazomenian, in the second year of the 78th Olympiad, from his knowledge of what relates to the heavens, had predicted, that at a certain time, a stone would fall from the sun349. And the thing accordingly happened, in the daytime, in a part of Thrace, at the river Ægos. The stone is now to be seen, a waggonload in size and of a burnt appearance; there was also a comet shining in the night at that time350. But to believe that this had been predicted would be to admit that the divining powers of Anaxagoras were still more wonderful, and that our knowledge of the nature of things, and indeed every thing else, would be thrown into confusion, were we to suppose either that the sun is itself composed of stone, or that there was even a stone in it; yet there can be no doubt that stones have frequently fallen from the atmosphere. There is a stone, a small one indeed, at this time, in the Gymnasium of Abydos, which on this account is held in veneration, and which the same Anaxagoras predicted would fall in the middle of the earth. There is another at Cassandria, formerly called Potidæa351, which from this circumstance was built in that place. I have myself seen one in the country of the Vocontii352, which had been brought from the fields only a short time before.

CHAP. 60. (59.)—THE RAINBOW.

What we name Rainbows frequently occur, and are not considered either wonderful or ominous; for they do not predict, with certainty, either rain or fair weather. It is obvious, that the rays of the sun, being projected upon a hollow cloud, the light is thrown back to the sun and is re- fracted353, and that the variety of colours is produced by a mixture of clouds, air, and fire354. The rainbow is certainly never produced except in the part opposite to the sun, nor even in any other form except that of a semicircle. Nor are they ever formed at night, although Aristotle asserts that they are sometimes seen at that time; he acknowledges, however, that it can only be on the 14th day of the moon355. They are seen in the winter the most frequently, when the days are shortening, after the autumnal equinox356. They are not seen when the days increase again, after the vernal equinox, nor on the longest days, about the summer solstice, but frequently at the winter solstice, when the days are the shortest. When the sun is low they are high, and when the sun is high they are low; they are smaller when in the east or west, but are spread out wider; in the south they are small, but of a greater span. In the summer they are not seen at noon, but after the autumnal equinox at any hour: there are never more than two seen at once,


I do not find that there is any doubt entertained respecting the following points. (60.) Hail is produced by frozen rain, and snow by the same fluid less firmly concreted, and hoar by frozen dew357. During the winter snow falls, but not hail; hail itself falls more frequently during the day than the night, and is more quickly melted than snow. There are no mists either in the summer or during the greatest cold of winter. There is neither dew nor hoar formed during great heat or winds, nor unless the night be serene. Fluids are diminished in bulk by being frozen, and, when the ice is melted, we do not obtain the same quantity of fluid as at first358.

(61.) The clouds are varied in their colour and figure according as the fire which they contain is in excess or is absorbed by them.


There are, moreover, certain peculiarities in certain places. In Africa dew falls during the night in summer. In Italy, at Locri, and at the Lake Velinum, there is never a day in which a rainbow is not seen359. At Rhodes and at Syracuse the sky is never so covered with clouds, but that the sun is visible at one time or another; these things, however, will be better detailed in their proper place. So far respecting the air.


Next comes the earth, on which alone of all parts of nature we have bestowed the name that implies maternal veneration. It is appropriated to man as the heavens are to God. She receives us at our birth, nourishes us when born, and ever afterwards supports us; lastly, embracing us in her bosom when we are rejected by the rest of nature, she then covers us with especial tenderness; rendered sacred to us, inasmuch as she renders us sacred, bearing our monuments and titles, continuing our names, and extending our memory, in opposition to the shortness of life. In our anger we imprecate her on those who are now no more360, as if we were ignorant that she is the only being who can never be angry with man. The water passes into showers, is concreted into hail, swells into rivers, is precipitated in torrents; the air is condensed into clouds, rages in squalls; but the earth, kind, mild, and indulgent as she is, and always ministering to the wants of mortals, how many things do we compel her to produce spontaneously! What odours and flowers, nutritive juices, forms and colours! With what good faith does she render back all that has been entrusted to her! It is the vital spirit which must bear the blame of producing noxious animals; for the earth is constrained to receive the seeds of them, and to support them when they are produced. The fault lies in the evil nature which generates them. The earth will no longer harbour a serpent after it has attacked any one361, and thus she even demands punishment in the name of those who are indifferent about it themselves362. She pours forth a profusion of medicinal plants, and is always producing something for the use of man. We may even suppose, that it is out of compassion to us that she has ordained certain substances to be poisonous, in order that when we are weary of life, hunger, a mode of death the most foreign to the kind disposition of the earth363, might not consume us by a slow decay, that precipices might not lacerate our mangled bodies, that the unseemly punishment of the halter may not torture us, by stopping the breath of one who seeks his own destruction, or that we may not seek our death in the ocean, and become food for our graves, or that our bodies may not be gashed by steel. On this account it is that nature has produced a substance which is very easily taken, and by which life is extinguished, the body remaining undefiled and retaining all its blood, and only causing a degree of thirst. And when it is destroyed by this means, neither bird nor beast will touch the body, but he who has perished by his own hands is reserved for the earth.

But it must be acknowledged, that everything which the earth has produced, as a remedy for our evils, we have converted into the poison of our lives. For do we not use iron, which we cannot do without, for this purpose? But although this cause of mischief has been produced, we ought not to complain; we ought not to be ungrateful to this one part of nature364. How many luxuries and how many insults does she not bear for us! She is cast into the sea, and, in order that we may introduce seas into her bosom, she is washed away by the waves. She is continually tortured for her iron, her timber, stone, fire, corn, and is even much more subservient to our luxuries than to our mere support. What indeed she endures on her surface might be tolerated, but we penetrate also into her bowels, digging out the veins of gold and silver, and the ores of copper and lead; we also search for gems and certain small pebbles, driving our trenches to a great depth. We tear out her entrails in order to extract the gems with which we may load our fingers. How many hands are worn down that one little joint may be ornamented! If the infernal regions really existed, certainly these burrows of avarice and luxury would have penetrated into them. And truly we wonder that this same earth should have produced anything noxious! But, I suppose, the savage beasts protect her and keep off our sacrilegious hands365. For do we not dig among serpents and handle poisonous plants along with those veins of gold? But the Goddess shows herself more propitious to us, inasmuch as all this wealth ends in crimes, slaughter, and war, and that, while we drench her with our blood, we cover her with unburied bones; and being covered with these and her anger being thus appeased, she conceals the crimes of mortals366. I consider the ignorance of her nature as one of the evil effects of an ungrateful mind.


Every one agrees that it has the most perfect figure367. We always speak of the ball of the earth, and we admit it to be a globe bounded by the poles. It has not indeed the form of an absolute sphere, from the number of lofty mountains and flat plains; but if the termination of the lines be bounded by a curve368, this would compose a perfect sphere. And this we learn from arguments drawn from the nature of things, although not from the same considerations which we made use of with respect to the heavens. For in these the hollow convexity everywhere bends on itself, and leans upon the earth as its centre. Whereas the earth rises up solid and dense, like something that swells up and is protruded outwards. The heavens bend towards the centre, while the earth goes from the centre, the continual rolling of the heavens about it forcing its immense globe into the form of a sphere369.


On this point there is a great contest between the learned and the vulgar. We maintain, that there are men dispersed over every part of the earth, that they stand with their feet turned towards each other, that the vault of the heavens appears alike to all of them, and that they, all of them, appear to tread equally on the middle of the earth. If any one should ask, why those situated opposite to us do not fall, we directly ask in return, whether those on the opposite side do not wonder that we do not fall. But I may make a remark, that will appear plausible even to the most unlearned, that if the earth were of the figure of an unequal globe, like the seed of a pine370, still it may be inhabited in every part.

But of how little moment is this, when we have another miracle rising up to our notice! The earth itself is pendent and does not fall with us; it is doubtful whether this be from the force of the spirit which is contained in the universe371, or whether it would fall, did not nature resist, by allowing of no place where it might fall. For as the seat of fire is nowhere but in fire, nor of water except in water, nor of air except in air, so there is no situation for the earth except in itself, everything else repelling it. It is indeed wonderful that it should form a globe, when there is so much flat surface of the sea and of the plains. And this was the opinion of Dicæarchus, a peculiarly learned man, who measured the heights of mountains, under the direction of the kings, and estimated Pelion, which was the highest, at 1250 paces perpendicular, and considered this as not affecting the round figure of the globe. But this appears to me to be doubtful, as I well know that the summits of some of the Alps rise up by a long space of not less than 50,000 paces372. But what the vulgar most strenuously contend against is, to be compelled to believe that the water is forced into a rounded figure373; yet there is nothing more obvious to the sight among the phænomena of nature. For we see everywhere, that drops, when they hang down, assume the form of small globes, and when they are covered with dust, or have the down of leaves spread over them, they are observed to be completely round; and when a cup is filled, the liquid swells up in the middle. But on account of the subtile nature of the fluid and its inherent softness, the fact is more easily ascertained by our reason than by our sight. And it is even more wonderful, that if a very little fluid only be added to a cup when it is full, the superfluous quantity runs over, whereas the contrary happens if we add a solid body, even as much as would weigh 20 denarii. The reason of this is, that what is dropt in raises up the fluid at the top, while what is poured on it slides off from the projecting surface. It is from the same cause374 that the land is not visible from the body of a ship when it may be seen from the mast; and that when a vessel is receding, if any bright object be fixed to the mast, it seems gradually to descend and finally to become invisible. And the ocean, which we admit to be without limits, if it had any other figure, could it cohere and exist without falling, there being no external margin to contain it? And the same wonder still recurs, how is it that the extreme parts of the sea, although it be in the form of a globe, do not fall down? In opposition to which doctrine, the Greeks, to their great joy and glory, were the first to teach us, by their subtile geometry, that this could not happen, even if the seas were flat, and of the figure which they appear to be. For since water always runs from a higher to a lower level, and this is admitted to be essential to it, no one ever doubted that the water would accumulate on any shore, as much as its slope would allow it. It is also certain, that the lower anything is, so much the nearer is it to the centre, and that all the lines which are drawn from this point to the water which is the nearest to it, are shorter than those which reach from the beginning of the sea to its extreme parts375. Hence it follows, that all the water, from every part, tends towards the centre, and, because it has this tendency, does not fall.


We must believe, that the great artist, Nature, has so arranged it, that as the arid and dry earth cannot subsist by itself and without moisture, nor, on the other hand, can the water subsist unless it be supported by the earth, they are connected by a mutual union. The earth opens her harbours, while the water pervades the whole earth, within, without, and above; its veins running in all directions, like connecting links, and bursting out on even the highest ridges; where, forced up by the air, and pressed out by the weight of the earth, it shoots forth as from a pipe, and is so far from being in danger of falling, that it bounds up to the highest and most lofty places. Hence the reason is obvious, why the seas are not increased by the daily accession of so many rivers376.

(66.) The earth has, therefore, the whole of its globe girt, on every side, by the sea flowing round it. And this is not a point to be investigated by arguments, but what has been ascertained by experience.


The whole of the western ocean is now navigated, from Gades and the Pillars of Hercules, round Spain and Gaul. The greater part of the northern ocean has also been navigated, under the auspices of the Emperor Augustus, his fleet having been carried round Germany to the promontory of the Cimbri377; from which spot they descried an immense sea, or became acquainted with it by report, which extends to the country of the Scythians, and the districts that are chilled by excessive moisture378. On this account it is not at all probable, that the ocean should be deficient in a region where moisture so much abounds. In like manner, towards the east, from the Indian sea, all that part which lies in the same latitude379, and which bends round towards the Caspian380, has been explored by the Macedonian arms, in the reigns of Seleucus and Antiochus, who wished it to be named after themselves, the Seleucian or Antiochian Sea. About the Caspian, too, many parts of the shores of the ocean have been explored, so that nearly the whole of the north has been sailed over in one direction or another. Nor can our argument be much affected by the point that has been so much discussed, respecting the Palus Mæotis, whether it be a bay of the same ocean381, as is, I understand, the opinion of some persons, or whether it be the overflowing of a narrow channel connected with a different ocean382. On the other side of Gades, proceeding from the same western point, a great part of the southern ocean, along Mauritania, has now been navigated. Indeed the greater part of this region, as well as of the east, as far as the Arabian Gulf, was surveyed in consequence of Alexander's victories. When Caius Cæsar, the son of Augustus383, had the conduct of affairs in that country, it is said that they found the remains of Spanish vessels which had been wrecked there. While the power of Carthage was at its height, Hanno published an account of a voyage which he made from Gades to the extremity of Arabia384; Himilco was also sent, about the same time, to explore the remote parts of Europe. Besides, we learn from Corn. Nepos, that one Eudoxus, a contemporary of his385, when he was flying from king Lathyrus, set out from the Arabian Gulf, and was carried as far as Gades386. And long before him, Cælius Antipater387 informs us, that he had seen a person who had sailed from Spain to Æthiopia for the purposes of trade. The same Cornelius Nepos, when speaking of the northern circumnavigation, tells us that Q. Metellus Celer, the colleague of L. Afranius in the consulship, but then a proconsul in Gaul388, had a present made to him by the king of the Suevi, of certain Indians, who sailing from India for the purpose of commerce, had been driven by tempests into Germany389. Thus it appears, that the seas which flow com- pletely round the globe, and divide it, as it were, into two parts390, exclude us from one part of it, as there is no way open to it on either side. And as the contemplation of these things is adapted to detect the vanity of mortals, it seems incumbent on me to display, and lay open to our eyes, the whole of it, whatever it be, in which there is nothing which can satisfy the desires of certain individuals.


In the first place, then, it appears, that this should be estimated at half the globe391, as if no portion of this half was encroached upon by the ocean. But surrounding as it does the whole of the land, pouring out and receiving all the other waters, furnishing whatever goes to the clouds, and feeding the stars themselves, so numerous and of such great size as they are, what a great space must we not suppose it to occupy! This vast mass must fill up and occupy an infinite extent. To this we must add that portion of the remainder which the heavens392 take from us. For the globe is divided into five parts393, termed zones, and all that portion is subject to severe cold and perpetual frost which is under the two extremities, about each of the poles, the nearer of which is called the north, and the opposite the south, pole. In all these regions there is perpetual darkness, and, in consequence of the aspect of the milder stars being turned from them, the light is malignant, and only like the whiteness which is produced by hoar frost. The middle of the earth, over which is the orbit of the sun, is parched and burned by the flame, and is consumed by being so near the heat. There are only two of the zones which are temperate, those which lie between the torrid and the frigid zones, and these are separated from each other, in consequence of the scorching heat of the heavenly bodies. It appears, therefore, that the heavens take from us three parts of the earth; how much the ocean steals is uncertain.

And with respect to the part which is left us, I do not know whether that is not even in greater danger. This same ocean, insinuating itself, as I have described it, into a number of bays, approaches with its roaring394 so near to the inland seas, that the Arabian Gulf is no more than 115 miles from the Egyptian Sea395, and the Caspian only 375 miles from the Euxine. It also insinuates itself into the numerous seas by which it separates Africa, Europe, and Asia; hence how much space must it occupy? We must also take into account the extent of all the rivers and the marshes, and we must add the lakes and the pools. There are also the mountains, raised up to the heavens, with their precipitous fronts; we must also subtract the forests and the craggy valleys, the wildernesses, and the places, which, from various causes, are desert. The vast quantity which remains of the earth396, or rather, as many persons have considered it, this speck of a world397 (for the earth is no more in regard to the universe), this is the object, the seat of our glory—here we bear our honours, here we exercise our power, here we covet wealth, here we mortals create our disturbances, here we continually carry on our wars, aye, civil wars, even, and unpeople the earth by mutual slaughter. And not to dwell on public feuds, entered into by nations against each other, here it is that we drive away our neighbours, and enclose the land thus seized upon within our own fence398; and yet the man who has most extended his boundary, and has expelled the inhabitants for ever so great a distance, after all, what mighty portion of the earth is he master of? And even when his avarice has been the most completely satisfied, what part of it can he take with him into the grave?


It is evident from undoubted arguments, that the earth is in the middle of the universe399, but it is the most clearly proved by the equality of the days and the nights at the equinox400. It is demonstrated by the quadrant401, which affords the most decisive confirmation of the fact, that unless the earth was in the middle, the days and nights could not be equal; for, at the time of the equinox, the rising and setting of the sun are seen on the same line, and the rising of the sun, at the summer solstice, is on the same line with its setting at the winter solstice; but this could not happen if the earth was not situated in the centre


The three circles403, which are connected with the abovementioned zones, distinguish the inequalities of the seasons; those are, the solstitial circle, which proceeds from the part of the Zodiac the highest to us and approaching the nearest to the district of the north; on the other side, the brumal, which is towards the south pole; and the equinoctial, which traverses the middle of the Zodiac.


The cause of the other things which are worthy of our admiration depends on the figure of the earth itself, which, together with all its waters, is proved, by the same arguments, to be a globe. This certainly is the cause why the stars of the northern portion of the heavens never set to us, and why, on the other hand, those in the south never rise, and again, why the latter can never be seen by the former, the globe of the earth rising up and concealing them. The Northern Wain is never seen in Troglodytice404, nor in Egypt, which borders on it405; nor can we, in Italy, see the star Canopus406, or Berenice's Hair407; nor what, under the Emperor Augustus, was named Cæsar's Throne, although they are, there408, very brilliant stars. The curved form of the earth is so obvious, rising up like a ridge, that Canopus appears to a spectator at Alexandria to rise above the horizon almost the quarter of a sign; the same star at Rhodes appears, as it were, to graze along the earth, while in Pontus it is not seen at all; where the Northern Wain appears considerably elevated. This same constellation cannot be seen at Rhodes, and still less at Alexandria. In Arabia, in the month of November, it is concealed during the first watch of the night, but may be seen during the second409; in Meroë it is seen, for a short time, in the evening, at the solstice, and it is visible at day-break, for a few days before the rising of Arcturus410. These facts have been principally ascertained by the expeditions of navigators; the sea appearing more elevated or depressed in certain parts411; the stars suddenly coming into view, and, as it were, emerging from the water, after having been concealed by the bulging out of the globe412. But the heavens do not, as some suppose, rise higher at one pole, otherwise413 its stars would be seen from all parts of the world; they indeed are supposed to be higher by those who are nearest to them, but the stars are sunk below the horizon to those who are more remote. As this pole appears to be elevated to those who are beneath it; so, when we have passed along the convexity of the earth, those stars rise up, which appear elevated to the inhabitants of those other districts; all this, however, could not happen unless the earth had the shape of a globe.


Hence it is that the inhabitants of the east do not see those eclipses of the sun or of the moon which occur in the evening, nor the inhabitants of the west those in the morning, while such as take place at noon are more frequently visible414. We are told, that at the time of the famous victory of Alexander the Great, at Arbela415, the moon was eclipsed at the second hour of the night, while, in Sicily, the moon was rising at the same hour. The eclipse of the sun which occurred the day before the calends of May, in the consulship of Vipstanus and Fonteius416, not many years ago, was seen in Campania between the seventh and eighth hour of the day; the general Corbulo informs us, that it was seen in Armenia, between the eleventh and twelfth hour417; thus the curve of the globe both reveals and conceals different objects from the inhabitants of its different parts. If the earth had been flat, everything would have been seen at the same time, from every part of it, and the nights would not have been unequal; while the equal intervals of twelve hours, which are now observed only in the middle of the earth, would in that case have been the same everywhere.


Hence it is that there is not any one night and day the same, in all parts of the earth, at the same time; the intervention of the globe producing night, and its turning round producing day418. This is known by various observations. In Africa and in Spain it is made evident by the Towers of Hannibal419, and in Asia by the beacons, which, in consequence of their dread of pirates, the people erected for their protection; for it has been frequently observed, that the signals, which were lighted at the sixth hour of the day, were seen at the third hour of the night by those who were the most remote420. Philonides, a courier of the above-mentioned Alexander, went from Sicyon to Elis, a distance of 1200 stadia, in nine hours, while he seldom returned until the third hour of the night, although the road was down-hill421. The reason is, that, in going, he followed the course of the sun, while on his return, in the opposite direction, he met the sun and left it behind him. For the same reason it is, that those who sail to the west, even on the shortest day, compensate for the difficulty of sailing in the night and go farther422, because they sail in the same direction with the sun.


The same dial-plates423 cannot be used in all places, the shadow of the sun being sensibly different at distances of 300, or at most of 500 stadia424. Hence the shadow of the dial-pin, which is termed the gnomon, at noon and at the summer solstice, in Egypt, is a little more than half the length of the gnomon itself At the city of Rome it is only 1/9 less than the gnomon, at Ancona not more than 1/35 less, while in the part of Italy which is called Venetia, at the same hour, the shadow is equal to the length of the gnomon425.


It is likewise said, that in the town of Syene, which is 5000 stadia south of Alexandria426, there is no shadow at noon, on the day of the solstice; and that a well, which was sunk for the purpose of the experiment, is illuminated by the sun in every part. Hence it appears that the sun, in this place, is vertical, and Onesicritus informs us that this is the case, about the same time, in India, at the river Hypasis427. It is well known, that at Berenice, a city of the Troglodytæ, and 4820 stadia beyond that city, in the same country, at the town of Ptolemais, which was built on the Red Sea, when the elephant was first hunted, this same thing takes place for forty-five days before the solstice and for an equal length of time after it, and that during these ninety days the shadows are turned towards the south428. Again, at Meroë, an island in the Nile and the metropolis of the Æthiopians, which is 5000 stadia429 from Syene, there are no shadows at two periods of the year, viz. when the sun is in the 18th degree of Taurus and in the 14th of Leo430. The Oretes, a people of India, have a mountain named Maleus431, near which the shadows in sum- mer fall towards the south and in winter towards the north. The seven stars of the Great Bear are visible there for fifteen nights only. In India also, in the celebrated sea-port Patale432, the sun rises to the right hand and the shadows fall towards the south. While Alexander was staving there it was observed, that the seven northern stars were seen only during the early part of the night433. Onesicritus, one of his generals, informs us in his work, that in those places in India where there are no shadows, the seven stars are not visible434; these places, he says, are called "Ascia435," and the people there do not reckon the time by hours436.


Eratosthenes informs us, that in the whole of Troglodytice, for twice forty-five days in the year, the shadows fall in the contrary direction437.


Hence it follows, that in consequence of the daylight increasing in various degrees, in Meroë the longest day consists of twelve æquinoctial hours and eight parts of an hour438, at Alexandria of fourteen hours, in Italy of fifteen, in Britain of seventeen; where the degree of light, which exists in the night, very clearly proves, what the reason of the thing also obliges us to believe, that, during the solstitial period, as the sun approaches to the pole of the world, and his orbit is contracted, the parts of the earth that lie below him have a day of six months long, and a night of equal length when he is removed to the south pole. Pytheas, of Marseilles439, informs us, that this is the case in the island of Thule440, which is six days' sail from the north of Britain. Some persons also affirm that this is the case in Mona, which is about 200 miles from Camelodunum441, a town of Britain.


Anaximenes the Milesian, the disciple of Anaximander, of whom I have spoken above442, discovered the theory of shadows and what is called the art of dialling, and he was the first who exhibited at Lacedæmon the dial which they call sciothericon443.


The days have been computed by different people in different ways. The Babylonians reckoned from one sunrise to the next; the Athenians from one sunset to the next; the Umbrians from noon to noon; the multitude, universally, from light to darkness; the Roman priests and those who presided over the civil day, also the Egyptians and Hipparchus, from midnight to midnight444. It appears that the interval from one sunrise to the next is less near the solstices than near the equinoxes, because the position of the zodiac is more oblique about its middle part, and more straight near the solstice445.


To these circumstances we must add those that are connected with certain celestial causes. There can be no doubt, that the Æthiopians are scorched by their vicinity to the sun's heat, and they are born, like persons who have been burned, with the beard and hair frizzled446; while, in the opposite and frozen parts of the earth, there are nations with white skins and long light hair. The latter are savage from the inclemency of the climate, while the former are dull from its variableness447. We learn, from the form of the legs, that in the one, the fluids, like vapour, are forced into the upper parts of the body, while in the other, being a gross humour, it is drawn downwards into the lower parts448. In the cold regions savage beasts are produced, and in the others, various forms of animals, and many kinds of birds449. In both situations the body grows tall, in the one case by the force of fire, and in the other by the nutritive moisture.

In the middle of the earth there is a salutary mixture of the two, a tract fruitful in all things, the habits of the body holding a mean between the two, with a proper tempering of colours; the manners of the people are gentle, the intellect clear450, the genius fertile and capable of comprehending every part of nature. They have formed empires, which has never been done by the remote nations; yet these latter have never been subjected by the former, being severed from them and remaining solitary, from the effect produced on them by their savage nature.


According to the doctrine of the Babylonians, earthquakes and clefts of the earth, and occurrences of this kind, are supposed to be produced by the influence of the stars, especially of the three to which they ascribe thunder451; and to be caused by the stars moving with the sun, or being in conjunction with it, and, more particularly, when they are in the quartile aspect452. If we are to credit the report, a most admirable and immortal spirit, as it were of a divine nature, should be ascribed to Anaximander the Milesian, who, they say, warned the Lacedæmonians to beware of their city and their houses453. For he predicted that an earthquake was at hand, when both the whole of their city was destroyed and a large portion of Mount Taygetus, which projected in the form of a ship, was broken off, and added farther ruin to the previous destruction. Another prediction is ascribed to Pherecydes, the master of Pythagoras, and this was divine; by a draught of water from a well, he foresaw and predicted that there would be an earthquake in that place454. And if these things be true, how nearly do these individuals approach to the Deity, even during their lifetime! But I leave every one to judge of these matters as he pleases. I certainly conceive the winds to be the cause of earthquakes; for the earth never trembles except when the sea is quite calm, and when the heavens are so tranquil that the birds cannot maintain their flight, all the air which should support them being withdrawn455; nor does it ever happen until after great winds, the gust being pent up, as it were, in the fissures and concealed hollows. For the trembling of the earth resembles thunder in the clouds; nor does the yawning of the earth differ from the bursting of the lightning; the enclosed air struggling and striving to escape456.


The earth is shaken in various ways, and wonderful effects are produced457; in one place the walls of cities being thrown down, and in others swallowed up by a deep cleft458; some- times great masses of earth are heaped up, and rivers forced out, sometimes even flame and hot springs459, and at others the course of rivers is turned. A terrible noise precedes and accompanies the shock460; sometimes a murmuring, like the lowing of cattle, or like human voices, or the clashing of arms. This depends on the substance which receives the sound, and the shape of the caverns or crevices through which it issues; it being more shrill from a narrow opening, more hoarse from one that is curved, producing a loud reverberation from hard bodies, a sound like a boiling fluid461 from moist substances, fluctuating in stagnant water, and roaring when forced against solid bodies. There is, therefore, often the sound without any motion. Nor is it a simple motion, but one that is tremulous and vibratory. The cleft some- times remains, displaying what it has swallowed up; some- times concealing it, the mouth being closed and the soil being brought over it, so that no vestige is left; the city being, as it were, devoured, and the tract of country engulfed. Maritime districts are more especially subject to shocks. Nor are mountainous tracts exempt from them; I have found, by my inquiries, that the Alps and the Apennines are fre- quently shaken. The shocks happen more frequently in the autumn and in the spring, as is the case also with thunder. There are seldom shocks in Gaul and in Egypt; in the latter it depends on the prevalence of summer, in the former, of winter. They also happen more frequently in the night than in the day. The greatest shocks are in the morning and the evening; but they often take place at day-break, and some- times at noon. They also take place during eclipses of the sun and of the moon, because at that time storms are lulled. They are most frequent when great heat succeeds to showers, or showers succeed to great heat462.


There is no doubt that earthquakes are felt by persons on shipboard, as they are struck by a sudden motion of the waves, without these being raised by any gust of wind. And things that are in the vessels shake as they do in houses, and give notice by their creaking; also the birds, when they settle upon the vessels, are not without their alarms. There is also a sign in the heavens; for, when a shock is near at hand, either in the daytime or a little after sunset, a cloud is stretched out in the clear sky, like a long thin line463. The water in wells is also more turbid than usual, and it emits a disagreeable odour464.


These same places465, however, afford protection, and this is also the case where there is a number of caverns, for they give vent to the confined vapour; a circumstance which has been remarked in certain towns, which have been less shaken where they have been excavated by many sewers. And, in the same town, those parts that are excavated466 are safer than the other parts, as is understood to be the case at Naples in Italy, the part of it which is solid being more liable to injury. Arched buildings are also the most safe, also the angles of walls, the shocks counteracting each other; walls made of brick also suffer less from the shocks467. There is also a great difference in the nature of the motions468, where various motions are experienced. It is the safest when it vibrates and causes a creaking in the building, and where it swells and rises upwards, and settles with an alternate motion. It is also harmless when the buildings coming together butt against each other in opposite directions, for the motions counteract each other. A movement like the rolling of waves is dangerous, or when the motion is impelled in one direction. The tremors cease when the vapour bursts out469; but if they do not soon cease, they continue for forty days; generally, indeed, for a longer time: some have lasted even for one or two years.


A great prodigy of the earth, which never happened more than once, I have found mentioned in the books of the Etruscan ceremonies, as having taken place in the district of Mutina, during the consulship of Lucius Martius and Sextus Julius470. Two mountains rushed together, falling upon each other with a very loud crash, and then receding; while in the daytime flame and smoke issued from them; a great crowd of Roman knights, and families of people, and travellers on the Æmilian way, being spectators of it. All the farm-houses were thrown down by the shock, and a great number of animals that were in them were killed; it was in the year before the Social war; and I am in doubt whether this event or the civil commotions were more fatal to the territory of Italy. The prodigy which happened in our own age was no less wonderful; in the last year of the emperor Nero471, as I have related in my history of his times472, when certain fields and olive grounds in the district of Marrucinum, belonging to Vectius Marcellus, a Roman knight, the steward of Nero, changed places with each other473, although the public highway was interposed.


Inundations of the sea take place at the same time with earthquakes474; the water being impregnated with the same spirit475, and received into the bosom of the earth which subsides. The greatest earthquake which has occurred in our memory was in the reign of Tiberius476, by which twelve cities of Asia were laid prostrate in one night. They occurred the most frequently during the Punic war, when we had accounts brought to Rome of fifty-seven earthquakes in the space of a single year. It was during this year477 that the Carthaginians and the Romans, who were fighting at the lake Thrasimenus, were neither of them sensible of a very great shock during the battle478. Nor is it an evil merely consisting in the danger which is produced by the motion; it is all equal or a greater evil when it is considered as a prodigy479. The city of Rome never experienced a shock, which was not the forerunner of some great calamity.


The same cause produces an increase of the land; the vapour, when it cannot burst out forcibly lifting up the surface480. For the land is not merely produced by what is brought down the rivers, as the islands called Echinades are formed by the river Achelous, and the greater part of Egypt by the Nile, where, according to Homer, it was a day and a night's journey from the main land to the island of Pharos481; but, in some cases, by the receding of the sea, as, according to the same author, was the case with the Circæan isles482. The same thing also happened in the harbour of Ambracia, for a space of 10,000 paces, and was also said to have taken place for 5000 at the Piræus of Athens483, and likewise at Ephesus, where formerly the sea washed the walls of the temple of Diana. Indeed, if we may believe Herodotus484, the sea came beyond Memphis, as far as the mountains of Ethiopia, and also from the plains of Arabia. The sea also surrounded Ilium and the whole of Teuthrania, and covered the plain through which the Mæander flows485.


Land is sometimes formed in a different manner, rising suddenly out of the sea, as if nature was compensating the earth for its losses486, restoring in one place what she had swallowed up in another.


Delos and Rhodes487, islands which have now been long famous, are recorded to have risen up in this way. More lately there have been some smaller islands formed; Anapha, which is beyond Melos; Nea, between Lemnos and the Hellespont; Halone, between Lebedos and Teos; Thera488 and Therasia, among the Cyclades, in the fourth year of the 135th Olympiad489. And among the same islands, 130 years afterwards, Hiera, also called Automate490, made its appearance; also Thia, at the distance of two stadia from the former, 110 years afterwards, in our own times, when M. Junius Silanus and L. Balbus were consuls, on the 8th of the ides of July491.

(88.) Opposite to us, and near to Italy, among the Æolian isles, an island emerged from the sea; and likewise one near Crete, 2500 paces in extent, and with warm springs in it; another made its appearance in the third year of the 163rd Olympiad492, in the Tuscan gulf, burning with a violent explosion. There is a tradition too that a great number of fishes were floating about the spot, and that those who employed them for food immediately expired. It is said that the Pithecusan isles rose up, in the same way, in the bay of Campania, and that, shortly afterwards, the mountain Epopos, from which flame had suddenly burst forth, was reduced to the level of the neighbouring plain. In the same island, it is said, that a town was sunk in the sea; that in consequence of another shock, a lake burst out, and that, by a third, Prochytas was formed into an island, the neighbouring mountains being rolled away from it.


In the ordinary course of things islands are also formed by this means. The sea has torn Sicily from Italy493, Cyprus from Syria, Eubœa from Bœotia494, Atalante and Macris495 from Eubœa, Besbycus from Bithynia, and Leucosia from the promontory of the Sirens.


Again, islands are taken from the sea and added to the main land; Antissa496 to Lesbos, Zephyrium to Halicarnassus, Æthusa to Myndus, Dromiscus and Perne to Miletus, Narthecusa to the promontory of Parthenium. Hybanda, which was formerly an island of Ionia, is now 200 stadia distant from the sea. Syries is now become a part of Ephesus, and, in the same neighbourhood, Derasidas and Sophonia form part of Magnesia; while Epidaurus and Oricum are no longer islands497.


The sea has totally carried off certain lands, and first of all, if we are to believe Plato498, for an immense space where the Atlantic ocean is now extended. More lately we see what has been produced by our inland sea; Acarnania has been overwhelmed by the Ambracian gulf, Achaia by the Corinthian, Europe and Asia by the Propontis and Pontus. And besides these, the sea has rent asunder Leucas, Antirrhium, the Hellespont, and the two Bosphori499.


And not to speak of bays and gulfs, the earth feeds on itself; it has devoured the very high mountain of Cybotus, with the town of Curites; also Sipylus in Magnesia500, and formerly, in the same place, a very celebrated city, which was called Tantalis; also the land belonging to the cities Galanis and Gamales in Phœnicia, together with the cities themselves; also Phegium, the most lofty ridge in Æthiopia501. Nor are the shores of the sea more to be depended upon.


The sea near the Palus Mæotis has carried away Pyrrha and Antissa, also Elice and Bura502 in the gulf of Corinth, traces of which places are visible in the ocean. From the island Cea it has seized on 30,000 paces, which were suddenly torn off, with many persons on them. In Sicily also the half of the city of Tyndaris, and all the part of Italy which is wanting503; in like manner it carried off Eleusina in Bœotia504.


But let us say no more of earthquakes and of whatever may be regarded as the sepulchres of cities506; let us rather speak of the wonders of the earth than of the crimes of nature. But, by Hercules! the history of the heavens themselves would not be more difficult to relate:—the abundance of metals, so various, so rich, so prolific, rising up507 during so many ages; when, throughout all the world, so much is, every day, destroyed by fire, by waste, by shipwreck, by wars, and by frauds; and while so much is consumed by luxury and by such a number of people:—the figures on gems, so multiplied in their forms; the variously-coloured spots on certain stones, and the whiteness of others, excluding everything except light:-the virtues of medicinal springs, and the perpetual fires bursting out in so many places, for so many ages:-the exhalation of deadly vapours, either emitted from caverns508, or from certain unhealthy districts; some of them fatal to birds alone, as at Soracte, a district near the city509; others to all animals, except to man510, while others are so to man also, as in the country of Sinuessa and Puteoli. They are generally called vents, and, by some persons, Charon's sewers, from their exhaling a deadly vapour. Also at Amsanctum, in the country of the Hirpini, at the temple of Mephitis511, there is a place which kills all those who enter it. And the same takes place at Hierapolis in Asia512, where no one can enter with safety, except the priest of the great Mother of the Gods. In other places there are prophetic caves, where those who are intoxicated with the vapour which rises from them predict future events513, as at the most noble of all oracles, Delphi. In which cases, what mortal is there who can assign any other cause, than the divine power of nature, which is everywhere diffused, and thus bursts forth in various places?


There are certain lands which shake when any one passes over them514; as in the territory of the Gabii, not far from the city of Rome, there are about 200 acres which shake when cavalry passes over it: the same thing takes place at Reate.

(95.) There are certain islands which are always floating515, as in the territory of the Cæcubum516, and of the above-mentioned Reate, of Mutina, and of Statonia. In the lake of Vadimonis and the waters of Cutiliæ there is a dark wood, which is never seen in the same place for a day and a night together. In Lydia, the islands named Calaminæ are not only driven about by the wind, but may be even pushed at pleasure from place to place, by poles: many citizens saved themselves by this means in the Mithridatic war. There are some small islands in the Nymphæus, called the Dancers517, because, when choruses are sung, they are moved by the motions of those who beat time. In the great Italian lake of Tarquinii, there are two islands with groves on them, which are driven about by the wind, so as at one time to exhibit the figure of a triangle and at another of a circle; but they never form a square518.


There is at Paphos a celebrated temple of Venus, in a certain court of which it never rains; also at Nea, a town of Troas, in the spot which surrounds the statue of Minerva: in this place also the remains of animals that are sacrificed never putrefy519.


Near Harpasa, a town of Asia, there stands a terrific rock, which may be moved by a single finger; but if it be pushed by the force of the whole body, it resists520. In the Tauric peninsula, in the state of the Parasini, there is a kind of earth which cures all wounds521. About Assos, in Troas, a stone is found, by which all bodies are consumed; it is called Sarcophagus522. There are two mountains near the river Indus; the nature of one is to attract iron, of the other to repel it: hence, if there be nails in the shoes, the feet cannot be drawn off the one, or set down on the other523. It has been noticed, that at Locris and Crotona, there has never been a pestilence, nor have they ever suffered from an earthquake; in Lycia there are always forty calm days before an earthquake. In the territory of Argyripa the corn which is sown never springs up. At the altars of Mucius, in the country of the Veii, and about Tusculum, and in the Cimmerian Forest, there are places in which things that are pushed into the ground cannot be pulled out again. The hay which is grown in Crustuminium is noxious on the spot, but elsewhere it is wholesome524.


Much has been said about the nature of waters; but the most wonderful circumstance is the alternate flowing and ebbing of the tides, which exists, indeed, under various forms, but is caused by the sun and the moon. The tide flows twice and ebbs twice between each two risings of the moon, always in the space of twenty-four hours. First, the moon rising with the stars525 swells out the tide, and after some time, having gained the summit of the heavens, she declines from the meridian and sets, and the tide subsides. Again, after she has set, and moves in the heavens under the earth, as she approaches the meridian on the opposite side, the tide flows in; after which it recedes until she again rises to us. But the tide of the next day is never at the same time with that of the preceding; as if the planet was in attendance526, greedily drinking up the sea, and continually rising in a different place from what she did the day before. The intervals are, however, equal, being always of six hours; not indeed in respect of any particular day or night or place527, but equinoctial hours, and therefore they are unequal as estimated by the length of common hours, since a greater number of them528 fall on some certain days or nights, and they are never equal everywhere except at the equinox. This is a great, most clear, and even divine proof of the dullness of those, who deny that the stars go below the earth and rise up again, and that nature presents the same face in the same states of their rising and setting529; for the course of the stars is equally obvious in the one case as in the other, producing the same effect as when it is manifest to the sight.

There is a difference in the tides, depending on the moon, of a complicated nature, and, first, as to the period of seven days. For the tides are of moderate height from the new moon to the first quarter; from this time they increase, and are the highest at the full: they then decrease. On the seventh day they are equal to what they were at the first quarter, and they again increase from the time that she is at first quarter on the other side. At her conjunction with the sun they are equally high as at the full. When the moon is in the northern hemisphere, and recedes further from the earth, the tides are lower than when, going towards the south, she exercises her influence at a less distance530. After an interval of eight years, and the hundredth revolution of the moon, the periods and the heights of the tides return into the same order as at first, this planet always acting upon them; and all these effects are likewise increased by the annual changes of the sun531, the tides rising up higher at the equinoxes, and more so at the autumnal than at the vernal; while they are lower532 about the winter solstice, and still more so at the summer solstice; not indeed precisely at the points of time which I have mentioned, but a few days after533; for example, not exactly at the full nor at the new moon, but after them; and not immediately when the moon becomes visible or invisible, or has advanced to the middle of her course, but generally about two hours later than the equinoctial hours534; the effect of what is going on in the heavens being felt after a short interval; as we observe with respect to lightning, thunder, and thunderbolts.

But the tides of the ocean cover greater spaces and produce greater inundations than the tides of the other seas; whether it be that the whole of the universe taken together is more full of life than its individual parts, or that the large open space feels more sensibly the power of the planet, as it moves freely about, than when restrained within narrow bounds. On which account neither lakes nor rivers are moved in the same manner. Pytheas535 of Massilia informs us, that in Britain the tide rises 80 cubits536. Inland seas are enclosed as in a harbour, but, in some parts of them, there is a more free space which obeys the influence537. Among many other examples, the force of the tide will carry us in three days from Italy to Utica, when the sea is tranquil and there is no impulse from the sails538. But these motions are more felt about the shores than in the deep parts of the seas, as in the body the extremities of the veins feel the pulse, which is the vital spirit, more than the other parts539. And in most estuaries, on account of the unequal rising of the stars in each tract, the tides differ from each other, but this respects the period, not the nature of them; as is the case in the Syrtes.


There are, however, some tides which are of a peculiar nature, as in the Tauromenian Euripus540, where the ebb and flow is more frequent than in other places, and in Eubœa, where it takes place seven times during the day and the night. The tides intermit three times during each month, being the 7th, 8th and 9th day of the moon541. At Gades, which is very near the temple of Hercules, there is a spring enclosed like a well, which sometimes rises and falls with the ocean, and, at other times, in both respects contrary to it. In the same place there is another well, which always agrees with the ocean. On the shores of the Bætis542, there is a town where the wells become lower when the tide rises, and fill again when it ebbs; while at other times they remain stationary. The same thing occurs in one well in the town of Hispalis543, while there is nothing peculiar in the other wells. The Euxine always flows into the Propontis, the water never flowing back into the Euxine544.


All seas are purified at the full moon545; some also at stated periods. At Messina and Mylæ refuse matter, like dung546, is cast up on the shore, whence originated the story of the oxen of the Sun having had their stable at that place. To what has been said above (not to omit anything with which I am acquainted) Aristotle adds, that no animal dies except when the tide is ebbing. The observation has been often made on the ocean of Gaul; but it has only been found true with respect to man547.


Hence we may certainly conjecture, that the moon is not unjustly regarded as the star of our life548. This it is that replenishes the earth549; when she approaches it, she fills all bodies, while, when she recedes, she empties them. From this cause it is that shell-fish grow with her increase550, and that those animals which are without blood more particularly experience her influence; also, that the blood of man is increased or diminished in proportion to the quantity of her light; also that the leaves and vegetables generally, as I shall describe in the proper place551, feel her influence, her power penetrating all things.


Fluids are dried up by the heat of the sun; we have therefore regarded it as a masculine star, burning up and absorbing everything552.


Hence it is that the widely-diffused sea is impregnated with the flavour of salt, in consequence of what is sweet and mild being evaporated from it, which the force of fire easily accomplishes; while all the more acrid and thick matter is left behind; on which account the water of the sea is less salt at some depth than at the surface. And this is a more true cause of the acrid flavour, than that the sea is the continued perspiration of the land553, or that the greater part of the dry vapour is mixed with it, or that the nature of the earth is such that it impregnates the waters, and, as it were, medicates them554. Among the prodigies which have occurred, there is one which happened when Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, was expelled from his kingdom; that, for the space of one day, the water in the harbour became sweet.

(101.) The moon, on the contrary, is said to be a feminine and delicate planet, and also nocturnal; also that it resolves humours and draws them out, but does not carry them off. It is manifest that the carcases of wild beasts are rendered putrid by its beams, that, during sleep, it draws up the accumulated torpor into the head, that it melts ice, and relaxes all things by its moistening spirit555. Thus the changes of nature compensate each other, and are always adequate to their destined purpose; some of them congealing the elements of the stars and others dissolving them. The moon is said to be fed by fresh, and the sun by salt water.


Fabianus556 informs us that the greatest depth of the sea is 15 stadia557. We learn from others, that in the Euxine, opposite to the nation of the Coraxi, at what is called the Depths of the Euxine558. about 300 stadia559 from the main land, the sea is immensely deep, no bottom having been found.


It is very remarkable that fresh water should burst out close to the sea, as from pipes. But there is no end to the wonders that are connected with the nature of waters. Fresh water floats on sea water, no doubt from its being lighter; and therefore sea water, which is of a heavier nature560, supports better what floats upon it. And, in some places, different kinds of fresh water float upon each other; as that of the river which falls into the Fucinus; that of the Addua into the Larius; of the Ticinus into the Verbanus; of the Mincius into the Benacus; of the Ollius into the Sevinus; and of the Rhone into the Leman lake561 (this last being beyond the Alps, the others in Italy): all which rivers passing through the lakes for many miles, generally carry off no more water than they bring with them. The same thing is said to occur in the Orontes, a river of Syria, and in many others

Some rivers, from a real hatred of the sea, pass under it, as does Arethusa, a fountain of Syracuse, in which the substances are found that are thrown into the Alpheus; which, after flowing by Olympia, is discharged into the sea, on the shore of the Peloponnesus562. The Lycus in Asia563, the Era- sinus in Argolis, and the Tigris564 in Mesopotamia, sink into the earth and burst out again. Substances which are thrown into the fountain of Æsculapius at Athens565 are cast up at the fountain of Phalerum. The river which sinks into the ground in the plain of Atinum566 comes up again at the distance of twenty miles, and the Timavus does the same in Aquileia567.

In the lake Asphaltites, in Judæa, which produces bitumen, no substance will sink, nor in the lake Arethusa568, in the Greater Armenia: in this lake, although it contains nitre, fish are found. In the country of the Salentini, near the town of Manduria, there is a lake569 full to the brim, the waters of which are never diminished by what is taken out of it, nor increased by what is added. Wood, which is thrown into the river of the Cicones570, or into the lake Velinus in Picenum, becomes coated with a stony crust, while in the Surius, a river of Colchis, the whole substance becomes as hard as stone. In the same manner, in the Silarus571, beyond Surrentum, not only twigs which are immersed in it, but likewise leaves are petrified; the water at the same time being proper for drinking. In the stream which runs from the marsh of Reate572 there is a rock, which continues to increase in size, and in the Red Sea olive-trees and green shrubs are produced573.

There are many springs which are remarkable for their warmth. This is the case even among the ridges of the Alps574, and in the sea itself, between Italy and Ænaria, as in the bay of Baiæ, and in the Liris and many other rivers575. There are many places in which fresh water may be procured from the sea, as at the Chelidonian Isles, and at Arados, and in the ocean at Gades. Green plants are produced in the warm springs of Padua, frogs in those of Pisa, and fish in those of Vetulonia in Etruria, which is not far from the sea. In Casinas there is a cold river called Scatebra, which in summer is more full of water576. In this, as in the river Stymphalis, in Arcadia, small water-mice are produced. The fountain of Jupiter in Dodona, although it is as cold as ice, and extinguishes torches that are plunged into it, yet, if they be brought near it, it kindles them again577. This spring always becomes dry at noon, from which circumstance it is called αναπαυόμενον578 it then increases and becomes full at midnight, after which it again visibly decreases. In Illyricum there is a cold spring, over which if garments are spread they take fire. The pool of Jupiter Ammon, which is cold during the day, is warm during the night579. In the country of the Troglodytæ580, what they call the Fountain of the Sun, about noon is fresh and very cold; it then gradually grows warm, and, at midnight, becomes hot and saline581.

In the middle of the day, during summer, the source of the Po, as if reposing itself, is always dry582. In the island of Tenedos there is a spring, which, after the summer solstice, is full of water, from the third hour of the night to the sixth583. The fountain Inopus, in the island of Delos, decreases and increases in the same manner as the Nile, and also at the same periods584. There is a small island in the sea, opposite to the river Timavus, containing warm springs, which increase and decrease at the same time with the tides of the sea585. In the territory of Pitinum, on the other side of the Apennines, the river Novanus, which during the solstice is quite a torrent, is dry in the winter586.

In Faliscum, all the water which the oxen drink turns them white; in Bœotia, the river Melas turns the sheep black; the Cephissus, which flows out of a lake of the same name, turns them white587; again, the Peneus turns them black, and the Xanthus, near Ilium, makes them red, whence the river derives its name588. In Pontus, the river Astaces waters certain plains, where the mares give black milk, which the people use in diet. In Reate there is a spring called Neminia, which rises up sometimes in one place and sometimes in another, and in this way indicates a change in the produce of the earth589. There is a spring in the harbour of Brundisium that yields water which never becomes putrid at sea. The water of the Lyncestis, which is said to be acidulous, intoxicates like wine590; this is the case also in Paphlagonia591 and in the territory of Calenum592. In the island of Andros, at the temple of Father Bacchus, we are assured by Mucianus, who was thrice consul, that there is a spring, which, on the nones of January, always has the flavour of wine; it is called διὸς θεοδοσία593. Near Nonacris, in Arcadia, the Styx594, which is not unlike it either in odour or in colour, instantly destroys those who drink it. Also in Librosus, a hill in the country of the Tauri, there are three springs which inevitably produce death, but without pain. In the territory of the Carrinenses in Spain595, two springs burst out close together, the one of which absorbs everything, the other throws them out. In the same country there is another spring, which gives to all the fish the appearance of gold, although, when out of the water, they do not differ in any respect from other fish. In the territory of Como, near the Larian lake, there is a copious spring, which always swells up and subsides again every hour596. In the island of Cydonea597, before Lesbos, there is a warm fountain, which flows only during the spring season. The lake Sinnaus598, in Asia, is impregnated with wormwood, which grows about it. At Colophon, in the cave of the Clarian Apollo, there is a pool, by the drinking of which a power is acquired of uttering wonderful oracles; but the lives of those who drink of it are shortened599. In our own times, during the last years of Nero's life, we have seen rivers flowing backwards, as I have stated in my history of his times600.

And indeed who can be mistaken as to the fact, that all springs are colder in summer than in winter601, as well as these other wonderful operations of nature; that copper and lead sink when in a mass, but float when spread out602; and of things that are equally heavy, some will sink to the bottom, while others will remain on the surface603; that heavy bodies are more easily moved in water604; that a stone from Scyros, although very large, will float, while the same, when broken into small pieces, sinks605; that the body of an animal, newly deprived of life, sinks, but that, when it is swelled out, it floats606; that empty vessels are drawn out of the water with no more ease than those that are full607; that rain-water is more useful for salt-pits than other kinds of water608; that salt cannot be made, unless it is mixed with fresh water609; that salt water freezes with more difficulty610, and is more readily heated611; that the sea is warmer in winter612 and more salt in the autumn613; that everything is soothed by oil, and that this is the reason why divers send out small quantities of it from their mouths, because it smoothes any part which is rough614 and transmits the light to them; that snow never falls in the deep part of the sea615; that although water generally has a tendency downwards, fountains rise up616, and that this is the case even at the foot of Ætna617, burning as it does, so as to force out the sand like a ball of flame to the distance of 150 miles?


And now I must give an account of some of the wonders of fire, which is the fourth element of nature; but first those produced by means of water.

CHAP. 108. (104.)—OF MALTHA.

In Samosata, a city of Commagene618, there is a pool which discharges an inflammable mud, called Maltha619. It adheres to every solid body which it touches, and moreover, when touched, it follows you, if you attempt to escape from it. By means of it the people defended their walls against Lucullus, and the soldiers were burned in their armour620. It is even set on fire in water. We learn by experience that it can be extinguished only by earth.

CHAP. 109. (105.)—OF NAPHTHA.

Naphtha is a substance of a similar nature621 (it is so called about Babylon, and in the territory of the Astaceni, in Parthia622), flowing like liquid bitumen. It has a great affinity to fire, which instantly darts on it wherever it is seen623. It is said, that in this way it was that Medea burned Jason's mistress; her crown having taken fire, when she approached the altar for the purpose of sacrificing624.


Among the wonders of mountains there is Ætna, which always burns in the night625, and for so long a period has always had materials for combustion, being in the winter buried in snow, and having the ashes which it has ejected covered with frost. Nor is it in this mountain alone that nature rages, threatening to consume the earth626; in Pha- selis, the mountain Chimæra burns, and indeed with a continual flame, day and night627. Ctesias of Cnidos informs us, that this fire is kindled by water, while it is extinguished by earth and by hay628. In the same country of Lycia, the mountains of Hephæstius, when touched with a flaming torch629, burn so violently, that even the stones in the river and the sand burn, while actually in the water: this fire is also increased by rain. If a person makes furrows in the ground with a stick which has been kindled at this fire, it is said that a stream of flame will follow it. The summit of Cophantus, in Bactria630, burns during the night; and this is the case in Media and at Sittacene631, on the borders of Persia; likewise in Susa, at the White Tower, from fifteen apertures632, the greatest of which also burns in the daytime. The plain of Babylon throws up flame from a place like a fishpond633, an acre in extent. Near Hesperium, a mountain of the Æthiopians634, the fields shine in the night-time like stars; the same thing takes place in the territory of the Megalopo- litani. This fire, however, is internal635, mild, and not burning the foliage of a dense wood which is over it636. There is also the crater of Nymphæum637, which is always burning, in the neighbourhood of a cold fountain, and which, according to Theopompus, presages direful calamities to the inhabitants of Apollonia638. It is increased by rain639, and it throws out bitumen, which, becoming mixed with the fountain, renders it unfit to be tasted; it is, at other times, the weakest of all the bitumens. But what are these compared to other wonders? Hiera, one of the Æolian isles, in the middle of the sea, near Italy, together with the sea itself, during the Social war, burned for several days640, until expiation was made, by a deputation from the senate. There is a hill in Æthiopia called θεῶν ὄχημα641, which burns with the greatest violence, throwing out flame that consumes everything, like the sun642. In so many places, and with so many fires, does nature burn the earth!


But since this one element is of so prolific a nature as to produce itself, and to increase from the smallest spark, what must we suppose will be the effect of all those funeral piles of the earth643 ? What must be the nature of that thing, which, in all parts of the world, supplies this most greedy voracity without destroying itself? To these fires must be added those innumerable stars and the great sun itself. There are also the fires made by men644, those which are innate in certain kinds of stones, those produced by the friction of wood645, and those in the clouds, which give rise to lightning. It really exceeds all other wonders, that one single day should pass in which everything is not consumed, especially when we reflect, that concave mirrors placed opposite to the sun's rays produce flame more readily than any other kind of fire; and that numerous small but natural fires abound everywhere. In Nymphæum there issues from a rock a fire which is kindled by rain; it also issues from the waters of the Scantia646. This indeed is a feeble flame, since it passes off, remaining only a short time on any body to which it is applied: an ash tree, which overshadows this fiery spring, remains always green647. In the territory of Mutina fire issues from the ground on the days that are consecrated to Vulcan648. It is stated by some authors, that if a burning body falls on the fields below Aricia649, the ground is set on fire; and that the stones in the territory of the Sabines and of the Sidicini650, if they be oiled, burn with flame. In Egnatia651, a town of Salentinum, there is a sacred stone, upon which, when wood is placed, flame immediately bursts forth. In the altar of Juno Lacinia652, which is in the open air, the ashes remain unmoved, although the winds may be blowing from all quarters.

It appears also that there are sudden fires both in waters and even in the human body; that the whole of Lake Thrasymenus was on fire653; that when Servius Tullius, while a child, was sleeping, flame darted out from his head654; and Valerius Antias informs us, that the same flame appeared about L. Marcius, when he was pronouncing the funeral oration over the Scipios, who were killed in Spain; and exhorting the soldiers to avenge their death. I shall presently mention more facts of this nature, and in a more distinct manner; in this place these wonders are mixed up with other subjects. But my mind, having carried me beyond the mere interpretation of nature, is anxious to lead, as it were by the hand, the thoughts of my readers over the whole globe.


Our part of the earth, of which I propose to give an account, floating as it were in the ocean which surrounds it (as I have mentioned above655), stretches out to the greatest extent from east to west, viz. from India to the Pillars consecrated to Hercules at Gades, being a distance of 8568 miles656, according to the statement of Artemidorus657, or ac- cording to that of Isidorus658, 9818 miles. Artemidorus adds to this 491 miles, from Gades, going round by the Sacred Promontory, to the promontory of Artabrum659, which is the most projecting part of Spain.

This measurement may be taken in two directions. From the Ganges, at its mouth, where it discharges itself into the Eastern ocean, passing through India and Parthyene, to Myriandrus660, a city of Syria, in the bay of Issus, is a distance of 5215 miles661. Thence, going directly by sea, by the island of Cyprus, Patara in Lycia, Rhodes, and Astypalæa, islands in the Carpathian sea, by Tænarum in Laconia, Lilybæum in Sicily and Calaris in Sardinia, is 2103 miles. Thence to Gades is 1250 miles, making the whole distance from the Eastern ocean 8568 miles662.

The other way, which is more certain, is chiefly by land. From the Ganges to the Euphrates is 5169 miles; thence to Mazaca, a town in Cappadocia, is 319 miles; thence, through Phrygia and Caria, to Ephesus is 415 miles; from Ephesus, across the Ægean sea to Delos, is 200 miles; to the Isthmus is 212 1/2 miles; thence, first by land and afterwards by the sea of Lechæum and the gulf of Corinth, to Patræ in Peloponnesus, 90 miles; to the promontory of Leucate 87 1/2 miles; as much more to Corcyra; to the Acroceraunian mountains 132 1/2, to Brundisium 87 1/2, and to Rome 360 miles. To the Alps, at the village of Scingomagum663, is 519 miles; through Gaul to Illiberis at the Pyrenees, 927; to the ocean and the coast of Spain, 331 miles; across the passage of Gades 7 1/2 miles; which distances, according to the estimate of Artemidorus, make altogether 8945 miles.

The breadth of the earth, from south to north, is commonly supposed to be about one-half only of its length, viz. 4490 miles; hence it is evident how much the heat has stolen from it on one side and the cold on the other: for I do not suppose that the land is actually wanting, or that the earth has not the form of a globe; but that, on each side, the uninhabitable parts have not been discovered. This measure then extends from the coast of the Æthiopian ocean, the most distant part which is habitable, to Meroë, 1000 miles664; thence to Alexandria 1250; to Rhodes 562; to Cnidos 87 1/2; to Cos 25; to Samos 100; to Chios 94; to Mitylene 65; to Tenedos 44; to the promontory of Sigæum 12 1/2; to the entrance of the Euxine 312 1/2; to the promontory of Carambis 350; to the entrance of the Palus Mæotis 312 1/2; and to the mouth of the Tanais 275 miles, which distance, if we went by sea, might be shortened 89 miles. Beyond the Tanais the most diligent authors have not been able to obtain any accurate measurement. Artemidorus supposes that everything beyond is undiscovered, since he confesses that, about the Tanais, the tribes of the Sarmatæ dwell, who extend towards the north pole. Isidorus adds 1250 miles, as the distance to Thule665; but this is mere conjecture. For my part, I believe that the boundaries of Sarmatia really extend to as great a distance as that mentioned above: for if it were not very extensive, how could it contain the innumerable tribes that are always changing their residence ? And indeed I consider the uninhabitable portion of the world to be still greater; for it is well known that there are innu- merable islands lying off the coast of Germany666, which have been only lately discovered.

The above is all that I consider worth relating about the length and the breadth of the earth667. But Eratosthenes668, a man who was peculiarly well skilled in all the more subtle parts of learning, and in this above everything else, and a person whom I perceive to be approved by every one, has stated the whole of this circuit to be 252,000 stadia, which, according to the Roman estimate, makes 31,500 miles. The attempt is presumptuous, but it is supported by such subtle arguments that we cannot refuse our assent. Hipparchus669, whom we must admire, both for the ability with which he controverts Eratosthenes, as well as for his diligence in everything else, has added to the above number not much less than 25,000 stadia.

(109.) Dionysodorus is certainly less worthy of confidence670; but I cannot omit this most remarkable instance of Grecian vanity. He was a native of Melos, and was celebrated for his knowledge of geometry; he died of old age in his native country. His female relations, who inherited his property, attended his funeral, and when they had for several successive days performed the usual rites, they are said to have found in his tomb an epistle written in his own name to those left above; it stated that he had descended from his tomb to the lowest part of the earth, and that it was a distance of 42,000 stadia. There were not wanting certain geometricians, who interpreted this epistle as if it had been sent from the middle of the globe, the point which is at the greatest distance from the surface, and which must necessarily be the centre of the sphere. Hence the estimate has been made that it is 252,000 stadia in circumference.


That harmonical proportion, which compels nature to be always consistent with itself, obliges us to add to the above measure, 12,000 stadia; and this makes the earth one ninety-sixth part of the whole universe.

Summary.—The facts, statements, and observations contained in this Book amount in number to 417.

Roman Authors Quoted.—M. Varro671, Sulpicius Gallus672, Titus Cæsar673 the Emperor, Q. Tubero674, Tullius Tiro675, L. Piso676, T. Livius677, Cornelius Nepos678, Sebosus679, Cælius Antipater680, Fabianus681, Antias682, Mucianus683, Cæcina684, who wrote on the Etruscan discipline, Tarquitius685, who did the same, Julius Aquila686, who also did the same, and Sergius687.

Foreign Authors Quoted.—Plato688, Hipparchus689, Timæus690, Sosigenes691, Petosiris692, Necepsos693, the Pythago- rean694 Philosophers, Posidonius695, Anaximander696, Epigenes697 the philosopher who wrote on Gnomonics, Euclid698, Coeranus699 the philosopher, Eudoxus700, Democritus701, Critodemus702, Thrasyllus703, Serapion704, Dicæarchus705, Archimedes706, Onesi- critus707, Eratosthenes708, Pytheas709, Herodotus710, Aristotle711, Ctesias712, Artemidorus713 of Ephesus, Isidorus714 of Charax, and Theopompus715.

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
Finibus astra...."
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 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; " 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."

82 "Cardo."

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.

102 "meta."

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.

112 "coitus."

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.

131 "mundo."

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:—

Venus8 °9°22′
Moon66 0
Mercury56 54
Jupiter1 301 30
Saturn1 (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.

157 "Catholica."

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.

164 "mundi."

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.

171 "siderum."

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 " 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.

189 a κόμη, coma.

190 a πωγωνίος, barbatus. Most of these terms are employed by Aristotle and by Seneca.

191 ab ἀκόντιον, jaculum.

192 a ξίφος, ensis.

193 a δίσκος, orbis.

194 a πίθος, dolium. Seneca describes this species as "magnitudo vasti rotundique ignis dolio similis;" Nat. Quæst. lib. i. § 14. p. 964.

195 a κέρας, cornu.

196 a λαμπἀς, fax.

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.

209 "terris."

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 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.

229 "clypei."

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.

242 Ab ὕω, pluo.

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.

254 "Septemtriones."

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.

We are informed by Alexandre, Lemaire, i. 330, that there is an ancient dial plate in the Vatican, consisting of twelve sides, in which the names of the twelve winds are given both in Greek and in Latin. They differ somewhat from those given above, both absolutely and relatively; they are as follows:—

᾿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.

282 a χελιδὼν, hirundo.

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.

288 ἐτησίαι, ab ἔτος, annus.

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.

295 A.M.

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.

303 "procella."

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.

309 Plutarch.

310 A water-spout. We have a description of this phenomenon in Lucretius, vi. 425 et seq.

311 "fulmen."

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. 327, 328:—
"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.
" 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 " 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 sense. 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.

435 ἄσκια, shadowless.

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.

505 "Spiracula."

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.