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
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.