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We must now pass on to the stones that are employed for handicrafts, and, first of all, whetstones for sharpening iron. Of these stones there are numerous varieties; the Cretan stones having been long held in the highest estimation, and the next best being those of Mount Taygetus, in Laconia; both of which are used as hones, and require oil. Among the water-whetstones, the first rank belonged to those of Naxos, and the second to the stones of Armenia, both of them already1 mentioned. The stones of Cilicia are of excellent quality, whether used with oil or with water; those of Arsinöe,2 too, are very good, but with water only. Whetstones have been found also in Italy, which with water give a remarkably keen edge; and from the countries beyond the Alps, we have the whetstones known as "passernices."3

To the fourth class belong the hones which give an edge by the agency of human saliva, and are much in use in barbers' shops. They are worthless, however, for all other purposes, in consequence of their soft and brittle nature: those from the district of Laminium,4 in Nearer Spain, are the best of the kind.

1 In Chapter 10 of this Book.

2 See B. v. cc. 22, 35, for two places of this name.

3 A Celtic word, probably

4 See B. iii. c. 2.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), MURUS
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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), TEMPLUM
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