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But there are other resources also, which are derived immediately from the earth. Who, indeed, cannot but be surprised at finding the most inferior constituent parts of it, known as "dust"1 only, on the hills about Puteoli, forming a barrier against the waves of the sea, becoming changed into stone the moment of its immersion, and increasing in hardness from day to day—more particularly when mixed with the cement of Cumæ? There is an earth too, of a similar nature found in the districts about Cyzicus; but there, it is not a dust, but a solid earth, which is cut away in blocks of all sizes, and which, after being immersed in the sea, is taken out transformed into stone. The same thing may be seen also, it is said, in the vicinity of Cassandrea;2 and at Cnidos, there is a spring of fresh water which has the property of causing earth to petrify within the space of eight months. Between Oropus and Aulis, every portion of the land upon which the sea encroaches becomes transformed into solid rock.

The finer portion of the sand of the river Nilus is not very different in its properties from the dust of Puteoli; not, indeed, that it is used for breaking the force of the sea and withstanding the waves, but only for the purpose, forsooth, of subduing3 the body for the exercises of the palestra! At all events, it was for this purpose that it used to be brought over for Patrobius,4 a freedman of the Emperor Nero. I find it stated also, that Craterus, Leonnatus, and Meleager, generals of Alexander the Great, had this sand transported along with their munitions of war. But I forbear to enlarge any further upon this subject; or indeed, by Hercules! upon those preparations of earth and wax of which the ceromata are made, so much employed by our youth in their exercises of the body, at the cost of all vigour of the mind.

1 "Pulvis." See B. iii. c. 9, B. xvi. c. 76, and B. xxxvi. c. 14. He alludes to the cement made of volcanic ashes, now known as "Pozzuolane."

2 See B. iv. c. 17.

3 It being the practice to rub the bodies of the athletes with sand.

4 This circumstance is mentioned also by Suetonius, in his life of Nero. Patrobius was slain by order of the Emperor Galba.

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