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THERE is a certain sacrifice of very ancient institution, which the chief magistrate or archon performs always in the common-hall, and every private person in his own house. 'Tis called the driving out of bulimy; for they whip out of doors some one of their servants with a bunch of willow rods, repeating these words, Get out of doors, bulimy; and enter riches and health. Therefore in my year there was a great concourse of people present at the sacrifice; and, after all the rights and ceremonies of the sacrifice were over, when we had seated ourselves again at the table, there was an enquiry made first of all into the signification of the word bulimy, then into the meaning of the words which are repeated when the servant is turned out of doors. But the principal dispute was concerning the nature of it, and all its circumstances. First, as for the word bulimy, it was agreed upon by all to denote a great and public famine, especially among us who use the Aeolic dialect, putting π for β. For it was not called by the ancients βούλιμος but πούλιμος, that is, πολὺς λιμός, much hunger. We concluded that it was not the same with the disease called Bubrostis, by an argument fetched out of Metrodorus's Ionics. For the said Metrodorus informs us that the Smyrnaeans, who were once Aeolians, sacrificed to Bubrostis a black bull cut into pieces with the skin on, and so burnt it. Now, forasmuch as every species of hunger resembles a disease, but more particularly bulimy, which [p. 356] is occasioned by an unnatural disposition of the body, these two differ as riches and poverty, health and sickness. But as the word nauseate (ναυτιᾶν) first took its name from men who were stomach-sick in a ship, and afterwards custom prevailed so far that the word was applied to all persons that were any way in like sort affected; so the word bulimy, rising at first from hence, was at last extended to a more large and comprehensive signification. What has been hitherto said was a general club of the opinions of all those who were at table.
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