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Theophrastus and Mucianus are of opinion that there are certain stones which bring1 forth other stones. Theophrastus states, also, that a fossil2 ivory is found, both white and black; that the earth, too, produces bones, and that osseous3 stones are sometimes found. In the vicinity of Munda in Spain, the place where the Dictator Cæsar defeated Pompeius,4 there are stones found, which, when broken asunder, bear the impression of palm leaves.5

There are some black stones, also, which are held in much the same esteem as the marbles; the Tænarian6 stone, for example. Varro says that the black stone of Africa is more durable than that of Italy; while, on the other hand, the white corani7 are harder than Parian marble. He states, also, that the silex of Luna admits of being cut with a saw; that that of Tusculum decrepitates in the fire; that the tawny silex of the Sabine districts, with the addition of oil, will yield a flame even; and that, at Volsinii, molar stones8 for grinding are found. Among the prodigies that have happened, I find mention made of millstones that have moved of themselves.

1 Democritus, amongst the ancients, and Savonarola and Cardan, in more recent times, have attributed to stones the powers of reproduction. Vivès speaks of certain diamonds which conceive and fructify; and Avicenna speaks of the selenite or moon-stone of Arabia, which, when suspended from a tree, generates other stones of a similar nature. Tournefort also entertained similar opinions.

2 Fossil teeth of mammiferæ, probably.

3 Fossil animal remains, no doubt.

4 Cneius Pompeius. See B. iii. c. 3.

5 "Palmati." This is more probably the meaning, than the "human palm," as Littré renders it. They were fossil impressions of leaves, in all probability.

6 See Chapter 43 of this Book: also B. iv. cc. 7, 8.

7 Stones so called, possibly, from being found in the vicinity of Cora in Italy: See B. iii. c. 9. These stones are also mentioned by Isidorus, Orig. B. xvi. c. 4.

8 Identified by Ajasson and Defontaines with Quartz molar agate, very abundant in this volcanic region of Italy.

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