Cyphi 1 is a compound composed of sixteen ingredients : honey, wine, raisins, cyperus, resin, myrrh, aspalathus, seselis, mastich, bitumen, rush, sorrel, and in addition to these both the junipers, of which they call one the larger and one the smaller, cardamum, and calamus. These are compounded, not at random, but while the sacred writings are being read to the perfumers as they mix the ingredients. As for this number, even if it appears quite clear that it is the square of a square and is the only one of the numbers forming a square that has its perimeter equal [p. 189] to its area,2 and deserves to be admired for this reason, yet it must be said that its contribution to the topic under discussion is very slight. Most of the materials that are taken into this compound, inasmuch as they have aromatic properties, give forth a sweet emanation and a beneficent exhalation, by which the air is changed, and the body, being moved gently and softly3 by the current, acquires a temperament conducive to sleep; and the distress and strain of our daily carking cares, as if they were knots, these exhalations relax and loosen without the aid of wine. The imaginative faculty that is susceptible to dreams it brightens like a mirror, and makes it clearer no less effectively than did the notes of the lyre which the Pythagoreans4 used to employ before sleeping as a charm and a cure for the emotional and irrational in the soul. It is a fact that stimulating odours often recall the failing powers of sensation, and often again lull and quiet them when their emanations are diffused in the body by virtue of their ethereal qualities ; even as some physicians state that sleep supervenes when the volatile portion of our food, gently permeating the digestive tract and coming into close contact with it, produces a species of titillation.

They use cyphi as both a potion and a salve ; for taken internally it seems to cleanse properly the internal organs, since it is an emollient. Apart from this, resin and myrrh result from the action of the sun when the trees exude them in response to the heat. Of the ingredients which compose cyphi, [p. 191] there are some which delight more in the night, that is, those which are wont to thrive in cold winds and shadows and dews and dampness. For the light of day is single and simple, and Pindar5 says that the sun is seen ‘through the deserted aether.’ But the air at night is a composite mixture made up of many lights and forces, even as though seeds from every star were showered down into one place. Very appropriately, therefore, they burn resin and myrrh in the daytime, for these are simple substances and have their origin from the sun ; but the cyphi, since it is compounded of ingredients of all sorts of qualities, they offer at nightfall.6

1 Cf. Müller, Frag. Hist. Graec. ii. p. 616 (Manetho, frag. 84). An interesting note in Parthey's edition (pp. 277-280) describes the different kinds of cyphi mentioned in ancient writers, and gives in modern terms recipes for three.

2 Cf. 367 f, supra.

3 Cf. Moralia, 1087 e.

4 Cf. Plato, Timaeus, 45 d, and Quintilian, ix. 4. 12.

5 Pindar, Olympian Odes, i. 6.

6 Some think the essay ends too abruptly; others think it is quite complete; each reader may properly have his own opinion.

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