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1 "Magnes lapis." See B. xxxiv. c. 42, and Chapter 25 of this Book. Beckmann is of opinion that an ore of Manganese is meant, a substance which has a resemblance to the magnet, and is of the greatest utility in making glass. Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 237.
2 This appears to be the meaning of "Quoniam in se liquorem vitri quoque ut ferrum trahere creditur."
3 In the description given by Isidorus in the "Origines," which in other respects is similar, these words are omitted, and it is possible that they are a gloss by some one who was better acquainted with the Old Testament than with Pliny. On the other hand, as Sillig remarks, the Phœnicians may, at an early period, have imported into Greece a substance which they called "nitre of Ophir."
4 See Beckmann, Hist. Inv. Vol. II. p. 84.
5 "Excogitaverat." Beckmann would seem to give this word the force only of "thought of," for he gives it as his opinion that attempts were made at Sidon to form glass mirrors, but that the experiments had not completely succeeded. "Had this invention formed an epoch in the art of making mirrors, Pliny, in another place (B. xxxiii. c. 45), where he describes the various improvements of it so fully, would not have omitted it: but of those experiments he makes no further mention." He also expresses an opinion that the Sidonian mirrors consisted of dark-coloured glass, resembling obsidian stone."—Hist. Inv. Vol. II. pp 69,70. Bohn's Edition.
6 Knowles says, in his Turkish History, p.1273, that in 1610, among other rare presents sent to the King of Spain from the Sophy of Persia, there were six drinking-glasses, made of malleable glass so exquisitely tempered that they could not be broken.
7 Dion Cassius and Suetonius tell a similar story; and, according to one account, Tiberius ordered the artist to be put to death.
8 This reading is doubtful. It would appear to mean "stone bandled." Another reading is "pterotos," "with winged handles."
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