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1 Hardouin says, that though this assertion is repeated by Pliny in c. 74 of the present Book, it is a mistake; we learn, however, from Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. v. c. 11, and Athenæus, B. vii., that the young of the muræna are remarkable for the quickness of their growth.
2 This vulgar belief is, however, followed by Oppian, Halieut. B. i. c. 555; Athenæus, B. vii.; Ælian, Hist. Anim. B. i. c. 50, and B. ix. c. 66; and Nicander, Theriac., who, however, adds, "if indeed it is the truth." It is also alluded to by Basil, in Hexaem. Homil. vii., and Ambrose, Homil. v. c. 7.
3 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. V. C 11, only quotes this story as he had heard it, and does not vouch for its truth. Doro, as quoted by Athenæus, B. vii., makes the zmyrus and the muræna to be of totally different genera. The zmyrus, he says, is without bone, the whole of it is eatable, and it is remarkable for the tenderness of the flesh. There are two kinds, of which the best, he says, are those which are black.
4 The common muræna, Cuvier says, is spotted with brown and yellow, but there is a larger kind, with stronger teeth and brown all over, the Muræna Christini, of Risso. This, he has no doubt, is the zmyrus of the ancients. Modern naturalists, he says, have incorrectly called Muræna zmyrus, a small kind of conger, which has yellow spots upon the neck.
5 Cuvier has already made some remarks on this passage in one of his Notes to c. 24 of the present Book. See p. 395.
6 The Seven Terriones, or plough oxen. The constellation of Ursa Major was thus called by the Romans.
7 This wretched man was originally a freedman, and though he was on one occasion punished by Augustus for his cruelty, he left him a great part of his property. He died B. C. 15. He is supposed to be the same person as the one against whom Augustus wrote some Fescennine verses, mentioned by Macrobius, Sat. B. ii. c. 4.
8 Until the Roman youth assumed the toga virilis, they wore the toga prætexta, or senatorial gown. The toga virilis was assumed at the Liberalia, in the month of March; and though no age appears to have been positively fixed for the ceremony, it probably took place, as a general rule, on the feast which next followed the completion of the fourteenth year; though it is not certain that the completion of the fourteenth year was not always the time observed. So long as a male wore the prætexta, he was considered "impubes," and when he had assumed the toga virilis, he was "pubes." Hence the word "investis," or "prætextatus," (here employed), was the same as impubes.
9 Thus the "impubes" paid, as Hardouin says, "not in money, but in skin." Isidorus, in his Glossary, says, "'Anguilla' is the name given to the ordinary 'scutica,' or whip with which boys are chastised at school." The witty Rabelais says, B. ii. c. 30, "Whereupon his master gave him such a sound lashing with an eel-skin, that his own would have been worth nothing to make bag-pipe bags of."
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