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The flesh of pigeons also, or of swallows, used fresh and minced, is a remedy for injuries inflicted by serpents: the same, too, with the feet of a horned owl, burnt with the plant plumbago.1 While mentioning this bird, too, I must not forget to cite another instance of the impositions practised by the magicians: among other prodigious lies of theirs, they pretend that the heart of a horned owl, applied to the left breast of a woman while asleep, will make2 her disclose all her secret thoughts. They say, also, in addition to this, that persons who have it about them in battle will be sure to display valour. They describe, too, certain remedies made from the egg of this bird for the hair. But who, pray, has ever had the opportunity of seeing the egg of a horned owl, considering that it is so highly ominous to see the bird itself?3 And then besides, who has ever thought proper to make the experiment, and upon his hair more particularly? In addition to all this, the magicians go so far as to engage to make the hair curl by using the blood of the young of the horned owl.

What they tell us, too, about the bat, appears to belong to pretty much the same class of stories: if one of these animals is carried alive, three times round a house, they say, and then nailed outside of the window with the head downwards, it will have all the effects of a countercharm: they assert, also, that the bat is a most excellent preservative for sheepfolds, being first carried three times round them, and then hung up by the foot over the lintel of the door.4 The blood of the bat is also recommended by them as a sovereign remedy, in combination with a thistle,5 for injuries inflicted by serpents.

1 See B. xxv. c. 97.

2 The same is said of a frog's tongue, in B. xxxii. c. 18.

3 That is no reason, as Ajasson remarks, why the egg should not be found, it being easy to take it from the nest at night, when, the bird being absent, no ill omen will arise from seeing it.

4 We still see bats nailed upon and over stable doors in various parts of this country.

5 "Carduus."

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CERO´MA
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