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We have accounts, too, no less remarkable, in reference even to the most contemptible of animals. M. Varro informs us, that a town in Spain was undermined by rabbits, and one in Thessaly, by mice; that the inhabitants of a district in Gaul were driven from their country by frogs,1 and a place in Africa by locusts;2 that the inhabitants of Gyarus,3 one of the Cyclades, were driven away by mice;4 and the Amunclæ, in Italy, by serpents. There is a vast desert tract on this side of the Æthiopian Cynamolgi,5 the inhabitants of which were exterminated by scorpions and venomous ants.6 and Theophrastus informs us, that the people of Rhœteum7 were driven away by scolopendræ.8 But we must now return to the other kinds of wild beasts.

1 Other instances are mentioned by Diodorus Siculus, B. iii. Justin, B. xv. c. 2, and Ælian, Hist. Anim. B. xvii. c. 41.—B. Showers of frogs are a thing not unknown in England even. They are probably caused by whirlwinds acting upon waters which are the haunt of these animals.

2 The ravages of locusts have been known in all ages; their destructive effects in Egypt and Judea, have formed the subject of a very elaborate dissertation by Bochart, in his work on the "Animals of Scripture," Part i. B. iv. c. 3 and 4.—B.

3 Used as a place of banishment by the Romans. See B. iv. c. 28, and c. 82, of the present Book.

4 See c. 82 of the present Book, and B. x. c. 85.—B.

5 The "dog-milkers." See B. vi. c. 35.

6 "Solipugis." There has been much discussion as to the word here employed by Pliny, and the animal which he intends to designate. The solipugus, solpugus, solipuga, or solipunga, probably different names of the same animal, is mentioned by various writers; among others, by Lucan, Phars. B. ix. 1. 837; Diodorus Siculus, B. iii.; Strabo, B. xvi.; and Ælian, Hist. Anim. B. xvii. c. 40. It is again referred to in B. xxix. c. 16. The description given is, however, too indefinite to enable us to identify it with any known animal; it would almost seem to indicate something between the spider and the ant.—B. We still hear in modern times of the venomous and destructive nature of the red ants on the coast of Guinea; and it is not improbable that it is to these that Pliny alludes.

7 See B. v. c. 33.

8 This is mentioned by Ælian, Anim. Nat. B. xv. c. 26.—B. The scolopendra is one of the multipede insects.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ARCA´DIA
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