previous next


There are certain differences, also, by no means inconsiderable, in the predispositions of the various nations of the earth. I have been informed, for instance, that the people of Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Cilicia, are subject to tapeworm and mawworm, while those of Thracia and Phrygia, on the other hand, are totally exempt from them. This, however, is less surprising than the fact that, although Attica and Bœotia are adjoining territories, the Thebans are troubled with these inflictions, while among the people of Athens they are unknown.

Considerations of this description lead me now to turn my attention to the nature of the animated beings themselves, and the medicinal properties which are inborn in them, the most assured remedies, perhaps, for all diseases.

For Nature, in fact, that parent of all things, has produced no animated being for the purpose solely of eating; she has willed that it should be born to satisfy the wants of others, and in its very vitals has implanted medicaments conducive to health. While she has implanted them in mute1 and inanimate objects even, she has equally willed that these, the most in- valuable aids of life, should be also derived from the life of another—a subject for contemplation, marvellous in the highest degree!2

SUMMARY.—Remedies, narratives, and observations, six hundred and two.

ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Caius Valgius,3 Pompeius Lenæus,4 Sextius Niger5 who wrote in Greek, Julius Bassus6 who wrote in Greek, Antonius Castor,7 Cornelius Celsus.8

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Theophrastus,9 Apollodorus,10 Democritus,11 Aristogiton,12 Orpheus,13 Pythagoras,14 Mago,15 Menander16 who wrote the "Biochresta," Nicander.17

MEDICAL AUTHORS QUOTED.—Mnesitheus,18 Timaristus,19 Simus,20 Hippocrates,21 Chrysippus,22 Diocles,23 Ophelion,24 Hera- clides,25 Hicesius,26 Dionysius,27 Apollodorus28 of Citium, Apol- lodorus29 of Tarentum, Praxagoras,30 Plistonicus,31 Medius,32 Dieuches,33 Cleophantus,34 Philistion,35 Asclepiades,36 Crateuas,37 Petronius Diodotus,38 Iollas,39 Erasistratus,40 Diagoras,41 Andreas,42 Mnesides,43 Epicharmus,44 Damion,45 Tlepolemus,46 Me- trodorus,47 Solo,48 Lycus,49 Olympias50 of Thebes, Philinus,51 Petrichus,52 Micton,53 Glaucias,54 Xenocrates.55

*** Before quitting the Botanical Books of Pliny, it is a duty both to our author and to the reader, to call attention to the illustrations of a few passages in this work, which will he found in the Textrinum Antiquorum, by Dr. James Yates, F.R.S., a book characterized by learning, equally profound and extensive, and the most indefatigable research: it being hut recently, we are sorry to say, that we have been made acquainted with its valuable contents.

The following are selected as among the most useful and interesting results of his enquiries.

B. vi. c. 20 [V. ii. p. 36]. Dr. Yates is of opinion that Pliny has here mistranslated a passage of Aristotle, Hist. Anim. v. 19, and that he has mistaken the word βομβύκια, "cocoons," for webs, similar to those of the spider, attached to the leaves of trees. Not understanding the original, he would seem to have given a distorted account of the simple operation of winding the threads from off the cocoons of the silkworm upon bobbins, by the hands of females; the threads upon which bobbins would be afterwards unwound for the manufacture of silken fabrics. See Notes 8 and 9 on the passage in question; also B. xi. c. 26.

B. viii. c. 74 [V. ii. p. 336]. For the word "Sororiculata," Dr. Yates proposes to read "Soriculata," and he suggests that the cloth thus called may have been a velvet or plush, which received its name from its resemblance to the coat of the field-mouse, "sorex," the diminutive of which would be "soricula"

B. xix. c. 2 [V. iv. p. 133] and c. 6 [p. 138]. I)r. Yates expresses it as his opinion that the words "Carbasus" and "Carbasa" are derived from the oriental word Carpas, signifying "cotton," and thinks that Pliny, in B. xix. c. 2, may have used the word by Catachresis, as meaning linen, in the same manner as the Latin poets repeatedly use the word "carbasa," as signifying various kinds of woven textures. If this view be correct, the word "Carbasina" in B. xix. c. 6, will probably mean "awnings of woven material" generally, and not of fine linen, or cambric, as suggested in Note 55.

B. xix. c. 2 [V. iv. p. 134]. The genuineness of the passage which makes mention of the "Gossypium," is questioned by Dr. Yates, who thinks it possible that it is an interpolation: such, however, if we may judge from the result of Sillig's researches, does not appear to have been the case. If, on the other hand, the passage is genuine, Dr. Yates is of opinion that the statement is incorrect, and that cotton was not grown in Egypt. It seems just possible, however, that Pliny may have had in view the trees mentioned by him in B. xiv. c. 28.

B. xix. c. 4 [V. iv. p. 137, also p. 134, Note 37]. Dr. Yates has adduced a number of convincing arguments to prove that the "Byssus" of the ancients cannot have been cotton, but that in all probability it was a texture of fine flax. The passages of Pausanias, (B. v. c. 25, and 1. vi. c. 26) in which "Byssus" is mentioned, would certainly seem to apply to flax, a product which is still cultivated near the mouth of the river Peneus, in ancient Elis. There is no doubt, however, that Philostratus, though perhaps erroneously, has used the word "Byssus" as meaning cotton.

1 See B. xxii. c. 3.

2 It is with regret that at the close of this Book, we take leave of the valuable Annotations of M. Fée, a series of illustrations which reflect the highest credit on his learning, his industry, and his critical acumen. Were the ancient authors in general subjected to the same minute examination and thorough enquiry which he has expended upon the Sixteen Botanical Books of Pliny, their value would be greatly enhanced, equally to the critical scholar, and to the general reader who makes his acquaintance with them through the medium of a translation. To say, that, in reference to their respective labours upon Pliny, M. Fée deserves our thanks almost equally with the learned Sillig—now, alas! no more—is to say much indeed in his praise, and to bestow upon him a commendation to which he is eminently entitled.

3 See end of B. xx.

4 See end of B. xiv.

5 See end of B. xii.

6 See end of B. xx.

7 See end of B. xx.

8 See end of B. vii.

9 See end of B. iii.

10 See end of B. xi.

11 See end of B. ii.

12 Beyond being mentioned here, and in c. 14 of this Book, nothing is known of this writer.

13 See end of B. xx.

14 See end of B. ii.

15 See end of B. viii.

16 See end of B. xix.

17 See end of B. viii.

18 See end of B. xix.

19 See end of B. xxi.

20 See end of B. xxi.

21 See end of B. vii.

22 See end of B. xx.

23 See end of B. xx.

24 See end of B. xv.

25 See end of B. xii.

26 See end of B. xv.

27 See end of B. xii.

28 See end of B. xx.

29 See end of B. xx.

30 See end of B. xx.

31 See end of B. xx.

32 See end of B. xx.

33 See end of B. xx.

34 See end of B. xx.

35 See end of B. xx.

36 See end of B. vii.

37 See end of B. xx.

38 See end of B. xx.

39 See end of B. xii.

40 See end of B. xi.

41 See end of B. xii.

42 See end of B. xx.

43 See end of B. xii.

44 See end of B. xx.

45 See end of B. xx.

46 See end of B. xx.

47 See end of B. xx.

48 See end of B. xx.

49 See end of B. xii.

50 See end of B. xx.

51 See end of B. xx.

52 See end of B. xxi.

53 See end of B. xx.

54 See end of B. xx.

55 See end of B. xx.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (4 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: