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1 "Chrysocolla" is fully described in Chapter 26 of this Book.—B.
2 Meaning "gold glue," or "gold solder."
3 There is considerable variation in the text of this passage, as found in the different editions. In that of Dalechamps, the Variorum, and those of De Laët and Sillig, the sentence concludes with the words "nomen ex auro custodiens;" while in those of Valpy, Lemaire, Poinsinet, Ajasson, and others, we find substituted for them the words, "Non natura," "Nomen natura," "Nomine natura," or "Nomen naturam."—B. The first reading is warranted by the Bamberg MS.
4 "Auri sanies." More properly speaking, "the corrupt matter discharged by gold." See Chapter 26.
5 "Minium" is treated of in Chapter 36 of this Book.—B.
6 "Pretia rerum." The value of the raw material.
7 Pliny here refers both to the art of producing figures in relief on drinking vessels made of the precious metals, and also of giving them particular forms. A well-known line of Juvenal, Sat. ii. 1. 95, affords a striking illustration of the depraved taste which existed in his time.—B. Lampridius also speaks of vessels of silver "defiled with representations of a most libidinous character;" and Capitolinus speaks of "phallovitroboli," glass drinking vessels shaped like a phallus.
8 "Murrhina" or "myrrhina," are described in B. xxxvii. c. 8; they were, perhaps, onyxes or opals, though possibly the term was not strictly confined to these substances, but signified any transparent minerals, that exhibited a variety of colours. Salmasius, however, ridicules the idea of their being onyxes, and is of opinion that these vessels were made of porcelain; Exer. Plin. p. 144.—B.
9 See B. xxxvii. c. 9.
10 He alludes to the cups known as "chrysendeta," adorned with circlets of gold, exquisite chasings, and groups of precious stones. See Juvenal, Sat. v. 1. 42.
11 The "Smaragdus" is described in B. xxxvii. c. 13.
12 "Et aurum jam accessio est."
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