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POLYBIUS the Megalopolitan, speaking of the great happiness which exists in Lusitania (and that is a district of Iberia, which the Romans now call Spania), O most excellent. Timocrates, in the thirty-fourth book of his Histories, says that in that country, on account of the excellent temperature of the air, both animals and men are exceedingly prolific; and the fruits, too, in that country never degenerate. “For there are roses there, and white violets, and asparagus, and other flowers and fruits like them, which last nine months in the year; and as for sea-fish, both in abundance, and in excellence, and in beauty, it is very superior to that produced in our seas. And a siclus (this is equal to a medimnus) of barley costs only a drachma; and one of wheat costs nine Alexandrian obols; and a measure of wine costs a drachma; and a moderate-sized kid costs an obol, and so does a hare. And of lambs, the price is three or four obols; and a fat pig, weighing a hundred minæ, costs five drachmæ; and a sheep costs two. And a talent weight of figs costs three obols; and a calf costs five drachmæ, and a draught-ox ten. And the meat of wild animals is scarcely ever valued at any price at all but people throw that in to purchasers into the bargain, or as a present.” But to us, whenever we sup with our excellent friend Laurentius, he makes Rome another Lusitania,—filling us with every sort of good thing every day, receiving us in a most princely manner with the greatest liberality, while we bring nothing from home as our contribution, except our arguments. [p. 524]
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