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Heliotropium1 is found in Æthiopia, Africa, and Cyprus: it is of a leek-green colour, streaked with blood-red veins. It has been thus named,2 from the circumstance that, if placed in a vessel of water and exposed to the full light of the sun, it changes to a reflected colour like that of blood; this being the case with the stone of Æthiopia more particularly. Out of the water, too, it reflects the figure of the sun like a mirror, and it discovers eclipses of that luminary by showing the moon passing over its disk. In the use of this stone, also, we have a most glaring illustration of the impudent effrontery of the adepts in magic, for they say that, if it is combined with the plant3 heliotropium, and certain incantations are then repeated over it, it will render the person invisible who carries it about him.

Hephæsititis4 also, though a radiant stone, partakes of the properties of a mirror in reflecting objects. The mode of testing it is to put it into boiling water, which should immediately become cold. If exposed to the rays of the sun, it should instantly cause dry fuel to ignite:5 Corycus6 is the place where it is found. Hermuaidoion7 is so called from the resemblance to the male organs which it presents, on a ground that is sometimes white, sometimes black, and sometimes of a pallid hue, with a circle surrounding it of a golden colour. Hexecontalithos8 receives its name from the numerous variety of colours which, small as it is, it presents: it is found in Troglodytica.9 Hieracitis10 is entirely covered with mottled streaks, resembling a kite's feathers alternately with black. Hammitis11 is similar in appearance to the spawn of fish: there is also one variety of it which has all the appearance of being composed of nitre,12 except that it is remarkably hard. Hammonis cornu13 is reckoned among the most sacred gems of Æthiopia; it is of a golden colour, like a ram's horn in shape, and ensures prophetic dreams, it is said.

Hormiscion14 is one of the most pleasing stones to the sight; it is of a fiery colour, and emits rays like gold, tipped at the extremity with a whitish light. Hyænia15 is derived from the eyes of the hyæna, it is said, the animal being hunted to obtain it; placed beneath the tongue, if we believe the story, it will enable a person to prophesy the future. Hæmatitis,16 of the very finest quality, comes from Æthiopia, but it is found in Arabia and Africa as well. It is a stone of a blood-red colour, and we must not omit to mention the assurance given [by the magicians], that the possession of it reveals treacherous designs on the part of the barbarians. Zachalias of Babylon, in the books which he dedicated to King Mithridates, attributing the destinies of man to certain properties innate in precious stones, is not content with vaunting the merits of this stone as curative of diseases of the eyes and liver, but recommends it also as ensuring success to petitions addressed to kings. He also makes it play its part in lawsuits and judg- ments, and even goes so far as to say that it is highly beneficial to be rubbed with it on the field of battle. There is another stone of the same class, called "menui" by the people of India, and "xanthos"17 by the Greeks: it is of a whitish, tawny colour.

1 Now known as Heliotrope, bloodstone, or blood jasper. It is of a deep-green colour, with red spots.

2 "Furning under the sun."

3 See B. xxii. c. 29.

4 "Stone of Hephæstos" or "Vulcan."

5 It acting as a burning-glass, probably.

6 See B. iv. c. 20, and B. v. c. 22.

7 "Genitals of Mercury." This singular stone does not appear to have been identified. See Note 9 above.

8 "Sixty colour stone."

9 See B. v. cc. 5, 8, and B. vi. c. 34.

10 "Hawk stone." It is perhaps identical with the "Circos," mentioned in Chapter 56. Aëtius says that Hieracitis was of a greenish hue.

11 "Sand-stone." Ajasson thinks that this was a granular quartz, of a friable nature when subjected to compression.

12 As to the identity of "nitrum," see B. xxxi. c. 46.

13 "Horn of [Jupiter] Hammon." He here alludes to the Ammonites of modern Geology, an extinct race of molluscous animals that inhabited convoluted shells, and which are commonly known as "snake-stones." They abound in strata of the secondary formation, and vary from the size of a bean to that of a coach-wheel.

14 The reading of this word is doubtful.

15 "Hyæna stone."

16 As to this stone, see B. xxxvi. c. 25.

17 "Yellow" stone. See Chapter 45.

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