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THUS far we have been speaking of the trees which are valuable for the odours they produce, and each of which is a subject for our wonder in itself. Luxury, however, has thought fit to mingle all of these, and to make a single odour of the whole; hence it is that unguents have been invented.1 Who was the first to make unguents is a fact not recorded. In the times of the Trojan war2 they did not exist, nor did they use incense when sacrificing to the gods; indeed, people knew of no other smell, or rather stench,3 I may say, than that of the cedar and the citrus,4 shrubs of their own growth, as it arose in volumes of smoke from the sacrifices; still, however, even then, the extract of roses was known, for we find it mentioned as conferring additional value on olive-oil.

We ought, by good rights, to ascribe the first use of unguents to the Persians, for they quite soak themselves in it, and so, by an adventitious recommendation, counteract the bad odours which are produced by dirt. The first instance of the use of unguents that I have been able to meet with is that of the chest5 of perfumes which fell into the hands of Alexander, with the rest of the property of King Darius, at the taking of his camp.6 Since those times this luxury has been adopted by our own countrymen as well, among the most prized and, indeed, the most elegant of all the enjoyments of life, and has begun even to be admitted in the list of honours paid to the dead; for which reason we shall have to enlarge further on that subject. Those perfumes which are not the produce of shrubs7 will only be mentioned for the present by name: the nature of them will, however, be stated in their appropriate places.


The names of unguents are due, some of them, to the original place of their composition, others, again, to the extracts which form their bases, others to the trees from which they are derived, and others to the peculiar circumstance under which they were first made: and it is as well, first of all, to know that in this respect the fashion has often changed, and that the high repute of peculiar kinds has been but transitory. In ancient times, the perfumes the most esteemed of all were those of the island of Delos,8 and at a later period those of Mendes.9 This degree of esteem is founded, not only on the mode of mixing them and the relative proportions, but according to the degree of favour or disfavour in which the various places which produce the ingredients are held, and the comparative excellence or degeneracy of the ingredients themselves. The perfume of iris,10 from Corinth, was long held in the highest esteem, till that of Cyzicus came into fashion. It was the same, too, with the perfume of roses,11 from Phaselis,12 the repute of which was afterwards eclipsed by those of Neapolis, Capua, and Præneste. Oil of saffron,13 from Soli in Cilicia, was for a long time held in repute beyond any other, and then that from Rhodes; after which perfume of œnanthe,14 from Cyprus, came into fashion, and then that of Egypt was preferred. At a later period that of Adramytteum came into vogue, and then was supplanted by unguent of marjoram,15 from Cos, which in its turn was superseded by quince blossom16 unguent from the same place. As to perfume of cyprus,17 that from the island of Cyprus was at first preferred, and then that of Egypt; when all on a sudden the unguents of Mendes and metopium18 rose into esteem. In later times Phœnicia eclipsed Egypt in the manufacture of these last two, but left to that country the repute of producing the best unguent of cyprus.

Athens has perseveringly maintained the repute of her panathenaicon.19 There was formerly a famous unguent, known as "pardalium,"20 and made at Tarsus; at the present day its very composition and the mode of mixing it are quite unknown there: they have left off, too, making unguent of narcissus21 from the flowers of that plant.

There are two elements which enter into the composition of unguents, the juices and the solid parts. The former generally consist of various kinds of oils, the latter of odoriferous substances. These last are known as hedysmata, while the oils are called stymmata.22 There is a third element, which occu- pies a place between the two, but has been much neglected, the colouring matter, namely. To produce a colour, however, cinnabar23 and alkanet24 are often employed. If salt25 is sprinkled in the oil, it will aid it in retaining its properties; but if alkanet has been employed, salt is never used. Resin and gum are added to fix the odour in the solid perfumes; indeed it is apt to die away and disappear with the greatest rapidity if these substances are not employed.

The unguent which is the most readily prepared of all, and indeed, in all probability, the very first that was ever made, is that composed of bryon26 and oil of balanus,27 substances of which we have made mention already. In later times the Mendesian unguent was invented, a more complicated mixture, as resin and myrrh were added to oil of balanus, and at the present day they even add metopion28 as well, an Egyptian oil extracted from bitter almonds; to which have been added omphacium,29 cardamum,30 sweet rush,31 honey,32 wine, myrrh, seed of balsamum,33 galbanum,34 and resin of terebinth,35 as so many ingredients. Among the most common unguents at the present day, and for that reason supposed to be the most ancient, is that composed of oil of myrtle,36 calamus, cypress,37 cyprus, mastich,38 and pomegranate-rind.39 I am of opinion, however, that the unguents which have been the most universally adopted, are those which are compounded of the rose, a flower that grows everywhere; and hence for a long time the composition of oil of roses was of the most simple nature, though more recently there have been added omphacium, rose blossoms, cinnabar, calamus, honey, sweet-rush, flour of salt or else alkanet,40 and wine. The same is the case, too, with oil of saffron, to which have been lately addedcinnabar, alkanet, and wine; and with oil of sampsuchum,41 with which omphacium and calamus have been compounded. The best comes from Cyprus and Mitylene, where sampsuchum abounds in large quantities.

The commoner kinds of oil, too, are mixed with those of myrrh and laurel, to which are added sampsuchum, lilies, fenugreek, myrrh, cassia,42 nard,43 sweet-rush, and cinnamon.44 There is an oil, too, made of the common quince and the sparrow quince, called melinum, as we shall have occasion to mention hereafter;45 it is used as an ingredient in unguents, mixed with omphacium, oil of cyprus, oil of sesamum,46 balsamum,47 sweet-rush, cassia, and abrotonum.48 Susinum49 is the most fluid of them all: it is made of lilies, oil of balanus, calamus, honey, cinnamon, saffron,50 and myrrh; while the unguent of cyprus51 is compounded of cyprus, omphacium and cardamum, calamus, aspalathus,52 and abrotonum. There are some persons who, when making unguent of cyprus, employ myrrh also, and panax:53 the best is that made at Sidon, and the next best that of Egypt: care must be taken not to add oil of sesamum: it will keep as long as four years, and its odour is strengthened by the addition of cinnamon. Telinum54 is made of fresh olive-oil, cypirus,55 calamus, melilote,56 fenugreek, honey, marum,57 and sweet marjoram. This last was the perfume most in vogue in the time of the Comic poet Menander: a considerable time after that known as "megalium" took its place, being so called as holding the very highest rank;58 it was composed of oil of balanus, balsamum, calamus, sweet-rush, xylobalsamum,59 cassia, and resin. One peculiar property of this unguent is, that it requires to be constantly stirred while boiling, until it has lost all smell: when it becomes cold, it recovers its odour.60

There are some single essences also which, individually, afford unguents of very high character: the first rank is due to malobathrum,61 and the next to the iris of Illyricum and the sweet marjoram of Cyzicus, both of them herbs. There are perfumers who sometimes add some few other ingredients to these: those who use the most, employ for the purpose honey, flour of salt, omphacium, leaves of agnus,62 and panax, all of them foreign ingredients.63 The price of unguent64 of cinnamon is quite enormous; to cinnamon there is added oil of balanus, xylobalsamum, calamus, sweet-rush, seeds of balsamum, myrrh, and perfumed honey: it is the thickest in consistency of all the unguents; the price at which it sells ranges from thirty-five to three hundred denarii per pound. Unguent of nard,65 or foliatum, is composed of omphacium or else oil of balanus, sweet-rush, costus,66 nard, amomum,67 myrrh, and balsamum.

While speaking on this subject, it will be as well to bear in mind that there are nine different kinds of plants of a similar kind, of which we have already made mention68 as being employed for the purpose of imitating Indian nard; so abundant are the materials that are afforded for adulteration. All these perfumes are rendered still more pungent by the addition of costus and amomum, which have a particularly powerful effect on the olfactory organs; while myrrh gives them greater consistency and additional sweetness, and saffron makes them better adapted for medicinal purposes. They are most pungent, however, when mixed with amomum alone, which will often produce head-ache even. There are some persons who content themselves with sprinkling the more precious ingredients upon the others after boiling them down, for the purpose of economy; but the strength of the unguent is not so great as when the ingredients have been boiled together. Myrrh used by itself, and without the mixture of oil, forms an unguent, but it is stacte69 only that must be used, for otherwise it will be productive of too great bitterness. Unguent of cyprus turns other unguents green, while lily unguent70 makes them more unctuous: the unguent of Mendes turns them black, rose unguent makes them white, and that of myrrh of a pallid hue.

Such are the particulars of the ancient inventions, and the various falsifications of the shops in later times; we will now pass on to make mention of what is the very height of refinement in these articles of luxury, indeed, I may say, the beau ideal71 of them all. 72

(2.) This is what is called the "regal" unguent, from the fact that it is composed in these proportions for the kings of the Parthians. It consists of myrobalanus,73 costus, amomum, cinnamon, comacum,74 cardamum, spikenard, marum, myrrh, cassia, storax,75 ladanum,76 opobalsamum, Syrian calamus77 and Syrian sweet-rush,78 œnanthe, malobathrum, serichatum,79 cyprus, aspralathus, panax, saffron, cypirus, sweet marjoram, lotus,80 honey, and wine. Not one of the ingredients in this compound is produced either in Italy, that conqueror of the world, or, indeed, in all Europe, with the exception of the iris, which grows in Illyricum, and the nard, which is to be found in Gaul: as to the wine, the rose, the leaves of myrtle, and the olive-oil, they are possessed by pretty nearly all countries in common.


Those unguents which are known by the name of "dia- pasma,"81 are composed of dried perfumes. The lees82 of unguents are known by the name of "magma.83 In all these preparations the most powerful perfume is the one that is added the last of all. Unguents keep best in boxes of alabaster,84 and perfumes85 when mixed with oil, which conduces all the more to their durability the thicker it is, such as the oil of almonds, for instance. Unguents, too, improve with age; but the sun is apt to spoil them, for which reason they are usually stowed away in a shady place in vessels of lead. When their goodness is being tested, they are placed on the back of the hand, lest the heat of the palm, which is more fleshy, should have a bad effect upon them.


These perfumes form the objects of a luxury which may be looked upon as being the most superfluous of any, for pearls and jewels, after all, do pass to a man's representative,86 and garments have some durability; but unguents lose their odour in an instant, and die away the very hour they are used. The very highest recommendation of them is, that when a female passes by, the odour which proceeds from her may possibly attract the attention of those even who till then are intent upon something else. In price they exceed so large a sum even as four hundred denarii per pound: so vast is the amount that is paid for a luxury made not for our own enjoyment, but for that of others; for the person who carries the perfume about him is not the one, after all, that smells it.

And yet, even here, there are some points of difference that deserve to be remarked. We read in the works of Cicero,87 that those unguents which smell of the earth are preferable to those which smell of saffron; being a proof, that even in a matter which most strikingly bespeaks our state of extreme corruptness, it is thought as well to temper the vice by a little show of austerity.88 There are some persons too who look more particularly for consistency89 in their unguents, to which they accordingly give the name of "spissum;90 thus showing that they love not only to be sprinkled, but even to be plastered over, with unguents. We have known the very soles91 even of the feet to be sprinkled with perfumes; a refinement which was taught, it is said, by M. Otho92 to the Emperor Nero. How, I should like to know, could a perfume be at all perceptible, or, indeed, productive of any kind of pleasure, when placed on that part of the body? We have heard also of a private person giving orders for the walls of the bath-room to be sprinkled with unguents, while the Emperor Caius93 had the same thing done to his sitting-bath:94 that this, too, might not be looked upon as the peculiar privilege of a prince, it was afterwards done by one of the slaves that belonged to Nero.

But the most wonderful thing of all is, that this kind of luxurious gratification should have made its way into the camp even: at all events, the eagles and the standards, dusty as they are, and bristling with their sharpened points, are anointed on festive95 days. I only wish it could, by any possibility, be stated who it was that first taught us this practice. It was, no doubt, under the corrupting influence of such temptations as these, that our eagles achieved the conquest96 of the world: thus do we seek to obtain their patronage and sanction for our vices, and make them our precedent for using unguents even beneath the casque.97


I cannot exactly say at what period the use of unguents first found its way to Rome. It is a well-known fact, that when King Antiochus and Asia98 were subdued, an edict was published in the year of the City 565, in the censorship of P. Licinius Crassus and L. Julius Cæsar, forbidding any one to sell exotics;99 for by that name unguents were then called. But, in the name of Hercules! at the present day, there are some persons who even go so far as to put them in their drink, and the bitterness produced thereby is prized to a high degree, in order that by their lavishness on these odours they may thus gratify the senses of two parts100 of the body at the same moment.101 It is a well-known historical fact, that L. Plotius,102 the brother of L. Plancus, who was twice consul and censor, after being proscribed by the Triumvirs, was betrayed in his place of concealment at Salernum by the smell of his unguents, a disgrace which more than outweighed all the guilt103 attending his proscription. For who is there that can be of opinion that such men as this do not richly deserve to come to a violent end?


In other respects, Egypt is the country that is the best suited of all for the production of unguents; and next to it, Campania,104 from its abundance of roses.

(4.) Judæa, too, is greatly renowned for its perfumes, and even still more so for its palm-trees,105 the nature of which I shall take this opportunity of enlarging upon. There are some found in Europe also. They are not uncommon in Italy, but are quite barren there.106 The palms on the coast of Spain bear fruit, but it is sour.107 The fruit of those of Africa is sweet, but quickly becomes vapid and loses its flavour; which, however is not the case with the fruit of those that grow in the East.108 From these trees a wine is made, and bread by some nations,109 and they afford an aliment for numerous quadrupeds. It will be with very fair reason then, that we shall confine our description to the palm-tree of foreign countries. There are none in Italy that grow spontaneously,110 nor, in fact, in any other part of the world, with the exception of the warm countries: indeed, it is only in the very hottest climates that this tree will bear fruit.


The palm-tree grows in a light and sandy soil, and for the most part of a nitrous quality. It loves the vicinity of flowing water; and as it is its nature to imbibe the whole of the year, there are some who are of opinion that in a year of drought it will receive injury from being manured even, if the manure is not first mixed with running water: this, at least, is the idea entertained by some of the Assyrians.

The varieties of the palm are numerous. First of all, there are those which do not exceed the size of a shrub; they are mostly barren, though sometimes they are known to produce fruit; the branches are short, and the tree is well covered with leaves all round. In many places this tree is used as a kind of rough-cast,111 as it were, to protect the walls of houses against damp. The palms of greater height form whole forests, the trunk of the tree being protected all round by pointed leaves, which are arranged in the form of a comb; these, it must be understood, are wild palms, though sometimes, by some wayward fancy or other, they are known to make their appearance among the cultivated varieties. The other kinds are tall, round, and tapering; and being furnished with dense and projecting knobs or circles in the bark, arranged in regular gradation, they are found easy of ascent by the people in the East; in order to do which, the climber fastens a loop of osier round his body and the trunk, and by this contrivance ascends the tree with astonishing112 rapidity. All the foliage is at the summit, and the fruit as well; this last being situate, not among the leaves, as is the case with other trees, but hanging in clusters from shoots of its own among the branches, and partaking of the nature both of the grape and the apple. The leaves terminate in a sharp edge, like that of a knife, while the sides are deeply indented-a peculiarity which first gave the idea of a troop of soldiers presenting face on two sides at once; at the present day they are split asunder113 to form ropes and wythes for fastening, as well as light umbrellas114 for covering the head.

The more diligent115 enquirers into the operations of Nature state that all trees, or rather all plants, and other productions of the earth, belong to either one sex or the other; a fact which it may be sufficient to notice on the present occasion, and one which manifests itself in no tree more than in the palm. The male tree blossoms at the shoots; the female buds without blossoming, the bud being very similar to an ear of corn. In both trees the flesh of the fruit shows first, and after that the woody part inside of it, or, in other words, the seed: and that this is really the case, is proved by the fact, that we often find small fruit on the same shoot without any seed in it at all. This seed is of an oblong shape, and not rounded like the olive-stone. It is also divided down the back by a deep indentation, and in most specimens of this fruit there is exactly in the middle a sort of navel, as it were, from which the root of the tree first takes its growth.116 In planting this seed it is laid on its anterior surface, two being placed side by side, while as many more are placed above; for when planted singly, the tree that springs up is but weak and sickly, whereas the four seeds all unite and form one strong tree. The seed is divided from the flesh of the fruit by several coats of a whitish colour, some of which are attached to the body of it; it lies but loosely in the inside of the fruit, adhering only to the summit by a single thread.117

The flesh of this fruit takes a year to ripen, though in some places, Cyprus118 for instance, even if it should not reach maturity, it is very agreeable, for the sweetness of its flavour: the leaf of the tree too, in that island, is broader than elsewhere, and the fruit rounder than usual: the body of the fruit however, is never eaten, but is always spit119 out again, after the juice has been extracted. In Arabia, the palm fruit is said to have a sickly sweet taste, although Juba says that he prefers the date found among the Arabian Scenitæ,120 and to which they give the name of dablan," before those of any other country for flavour. In addition to the above particulars, it is asserted that in a forest of natural growth the female121 trees will become barren if they are deprived of the males, and that many female trees may be seen surrounding a single male with downcast heads and a foliage that seems to be bowing caressingly towards it; while the male tree, on the other hand, with leaves all bristling and erect, by its exhalations, and even the very sight of it and the dust122 from off it, fecundates the others: if the male tree, too, should happen to be cut down, the female trees, thus reduced to a state of widowhood, will at once become barren and unproductive. So well, indeed, is this sexual union between them understood, that it has been imagined even that fecundation may be ensured through the agency of man, by means of the blossoms and the down123 gathered from off the male trees, and, indeed, sometimes by only sprinkling the dust from off them on the female trees.


Palm-trees are also propagated by planting;124 the trunk is first divided with certain fissures two cubits in length which communicate with the pith of the tree, and is then buried in the earth. A slip also torn away from the root will produce a sucker with vitality, and the same may be obtained from the more tender among the branches. In Assyria, the tree itself is sometimes laid level, and then covered over in a moist soil; upon which it will throw out roots all over, but it will grow only to be a number of shrubs, and never a tree: hence it is that they plant nurseries, and transplant the young trees when a year old, and again when two years old, as they thrive all the better for being transplanted; this is done in the spring season in other countries, but in Assyria about the rising of the Dog-star. In those parts they do not touch the young trees with the knife, but merely tie up the foliage that they may shoot upwards, and so attain considerable height. When they are strong they prune them, in order to increase their thickness, but in so doing leave the branches for about half a foot; indeed, if they were cut off at any other place, the operation would kill the parent tree. We have already125 mentioned that they thrive particularly well in a saltish soil; hence, when the soil is not of that nature, it is the custom to scatter salt, not exactly about the roots, but at a little distance off. There are palm-trees in Syria and in Egypt which divide into two trunks, and some in Crete into three and as many as five even.126 Some of these trees bear immediately at the end of three years, and in Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt, when they are four years old; others again at the end of five years: at which period the tree is about the height of a man. So long as the tree is quite young the fruit has no seed within, from which circumstance it has received the nickname of the "eunuch."127


There are numerous varieties of the palm-tree. In Assyria, and throughout the whole of Persis, the barren kinds are made use of for carpenters' work, and the various appliances of luxury. There are whole forests also of palm-trees adapted for cutting,128 and which, after they are cut, shoot again from the root; the pith of them towards the top, which is usually called the brain129 of the tree, is sweet to the taste, and the tree will live even after it has been extracted, which is the case with no other kind. The name of this tree is "chammereps;"130 it has a broader and softer leaf than the others, which is extremely useful for various kinds of wickerwork;131 these trees are very numerous in Crete, and even more so in Sicily. The wood of the palm-tree, when ignited, burns both brightly and slowly.132 In some of those that bear fruit,133 the seed of the fruit is shorter than in others, while in some, again, it is longer; in some it is softer than in others, and in some harder; in some it is osseous and crescent-shaped; polished with a tooth, superstition employs the stone as an antidote against charms and fascination. This stone is enclosed in several coats, more or less in number; sometimes they are of a thick texture, and sometimes very thin.

Hence it is that we find nine and forty different kinds of palm-trees, if any one will be at the trouble of enumerating all their various barbarous names, and the different wines that are extracted from them. The most famous of all, are those which, for the sake of distinction, have received the name of "royal" palms, because they were preserved solely by the kings of Persia; these used to grow nowhere but at Babylon, and there only in the garden of Bagöus,134 that being the Persian for an eunuch, several of whom have even reigned over that country! This garden was always carefully retained within135 the precincts of the royal court.

In the southern parts of the world, the dates known as "syagri,136 hold the highest rank, and next after them those that are called "margarides." These last are short, white, and round, and bear a stronger resemblance to grapes than to dates; for which reason it is that they have received their name, in consequence of their close resemblance to "margaritæ," or pearls. It is said that there is only one tree that bears them, and that in the locality known as Chora.137 The same is the case also with the tree that bears the syagri. We have heard a wonderful story too, relative to this last tree, to the effect that it dies and comes to life again in a similar manner to the phoenix, which, it is generally thought, has borrowed its name from the palm-tree, in consequence of this peculiarity; at the moment that I am writing this, that tree is still bearing fruit. As for the fruit itself, it is large, hard, and of a rough appearance, and differing in taste from all other kinds, having a sort of wild flavour peculiar to itself, and not unlike that of the flesh of the wild boar; it is evidently this circumstance from which it has derived its name of "syagrus."

In the fourth rank are the dates called "sandalides," from their resemblance to a sandal in shape. It is stated, that on the confines of Æthiopia there are but five of these trees at the most, no less remarkable for the singular lusciousness of their fruit, than for their extreme rarity. Next to these, the dates known as "caryotæ"138 are the most esteemed, affording not only plenty of nutriment, but a great abundance of juice; it is from these that the principal wines139 are made in the East; these wines are apt to affect the head, a circumstance from which the fruit derives its name. But if these trees are remarkable for their abundance and fruitfulness, it is in Judæa that they enjoy the greatest repute; not, indeed, throughout the whole of that territory, but more particularly at Hiericus,140 although those that grow at Archelais, Phaselis, and Livias, vallies in the same territory, are highly esteemed. The more remarkable quality of these is a rich, unctuous juice; they are of a milky consistency, and have a sort of vinous flavour, with a remarkable sweetness, like that of honey. The Nicolaän141 dates are of a similar kind, but somewhat drier; they are of remarkable size, so much so, indeed, that four of them, placed end to end, will make a cubit in length. A less fine kind, but of sister quality to the caryotæ for flavour, are the "adelphides,"142 hence so called; these come next to them in sweetness, but still are by no means their equals. A third kind, again, are the patetæ, which abound in juice to excess, so much so, indeed, that the fruit bursts, in its excess of liquor, even upon the parent tree, and presents all the appearance of having been trodden143 under foot.

There are numerous kinds of dates also, of a drier nature, which are long and slender, and sometimes of a curved shape. Those of this sort which we consecrate to the worship of the gods are called "chydæi144 by the Jews, a nation remarkable for the contempt which they manifest of the divinities. Those found all over Thebais and Arabia are dry and small, with a shrivelled body: being parched up and scorched by the constant heat, they are covered with what more nearly resembles a shell145 than a skin. In Æthiopia the date is quite brittle even, so great is the driness of the climate; hence the people are able to knead it into a kind of bread, just like so much flour.146 It grows upon a shrub, with branches a cubit in length: it has a broad leaf, and the fruit is round, and larger than an apple. The name of this date is "coïx."147 It comes to maturity in three years, and there is always fruit to be found upon the shrub, in various stages of maturity. The date of Thebais is at once packed in casks, with all its natural heat and freshness; for without this precaution, it quickly becomes vapid; it is of a poor, sickly taste, too, if it is not exposed, before it is eaten, to the heat of an oven.

The other kinds of dates appear to be of an ordinary nature, and are generally known as "tragemata;"148 but in some parts of Phœnicia and Cilicia, they are commonly called "balani," a name which has been also borrowed by us. There are numerous kinds of them, which differ from one another in being round or oblong; as also in colour, for some of them are black, and others red-indeed it is said that they present no fewer varieties of colour than the fig: the white ones, however, are the most esteemed. They differ also in size, according to the number which it requires to make a cubit in length; some, indeed, are no larger than a bean. Those are the best adapted for keeping which are produced in salt and sandy soils, Sudca, and Cyrenaica in Africa, for instance: those, however, of Egypt, Cyprus, Syria, and Seleucia in Assyria, will not keep: hence it is that they are much used for fattening swine and other animals. It is a sign that the fruit is either spoilt or old, when the white protuberance disappears, by which it has adhered to the cluster. Some of the soldiers of Alexander's army were choked by eating green dates;149 and a similar effect is produced in the country of the Gedrosi, by the natural quality of the fruit; while in other places, again, the same results arise from eating them to excess. Indeed, when in a fresh state, they are so remarkably luscious, that there would be no end to eating them, were it not for fear of the dangerous consequences that would be sure to ensue.


In addition to the palm, Syria has several trees that are pe- culiar to itself. Among the nut-trees there is the pistacia,150 well known among us. It is said that, taken either in food or drink, the kernel of this nut is a specific against the bite of serpents. Among figs, too, there are those known as "ca- ricæ,"151 together with some smaller ones of a similar kind, the name of which is "cottana." There is a plum, too, which grows upon Mount Damascus,152 as also that known as the "myxa;"153 these last two are, however, now naturalized in Italy. In Egypt, too, they make a kind of wine from the myxa.


Phœnicia, too, produces a small cedar, which bears a strong resemblance to the juniper.154 Of this tree there are two varieties; the one found in Lycia, the other in Phœnicia.155 The difference is in the leaf: the one in which it is hard, sharp, and prickly, being known as the oxycedros,156 a branchy tree and rugged with knots. The other kind is more esteemed for its powerful odour. The small cedar produces a fruit the size of a grain of myrrh, and of a sweetish taste. There are two kinds of the larger cedar157 also; the one that blossoms bears no fruit, while, on the other hand, the one that bears fruit has no blossom, and the fruit, as it falls, is being continually replaced by fresh. The seed of this tree is similar to that of the cypress. Some persons give this tree the name of "cedrelates." The resin produced from it is very highly praised, and the wood of it lasts for ever, for which reason it is that they have long been in the habit of using it for making the statues of the gods. In a temple at Rome there is a statue of Apollo Sosianus158 in cedar, originally brought from Seleucia. There is a tree similar to the cedar, found also in Arcadia; and there is a shrub that grows in Phrygia, known as the "cedrus."

CHAP. 12. (6.)—THE TEREBINTH.159

Syria, too, produces the terebinth, the male tree of which bears no fruit, and the female consists of two different varieties;160 one of these bears a red fruit, the size of a lentil, while the other is pale, and ripens at the same period as the grape. This fruit is not larger than a bean, is of a very agreeable smell, and sticky and resinous to the touch. About Ida in Troas, and in Macedonia, this tree is short and shrubby, but at Damascus, in Syria, it is found of very considerable size. Its wood is remarkably flexible, and continues sound to a very advanced age: it is black and shining. The blossoms appear in clusters, like those of the olive-tree, but are of a red colour; the leaves are dense, and closely packed. It produces follicules, too, from which issue certain insects like gnats, as also a kind of resinous liquid161 which oozes from the bark.


The male sumach-tree162 of Syria is productive, but the female is barren. The leaf resembles that of the elm, though it is a little longer, and has a downy surface. The footstalks of the leaves lie always alternately in opposite directions, and the branches are short and slender. This tree is used in the preparation of white skins.163 The seed, which strongly re- sembles a lentil in appearance, turns red with the grape; it is known by the name of "ros," and forms a necessary in- gredient in various medicaments."164


Egypt, too, has many trees which are not to be found elsewhere, and the kind of fig more particularly, which fur this reason has been called the Egypitian fig.165 In leaf this tree resembles the mulberry-tree, as also in size and general appearance. It bears fruit, not upon branches, but upon the trunk itself: the fig is remarkable for its extreme sweetness, and has no seeds166 in it. This tree is also remarkable for its fruitfulness, which, however, can only be ensured by making incisions167 in the fruit with hooks of iron, for otherwise it will not come to maturity. But when this has been done, it may he gathered within fur days, immediately upon which another shoots up in its place. Hence it is that in the year it produces seven abundant crops, and throughout all the summer there is an abundance of milky juice in the fruit. Even if the incisions are not made, the fruit will shoot afresh four times during the summer, the new fruit supplanting the old, and forcing it off before it has ripened. The wood, which is of a very peculiar nature, is reckoned among the most useful known. When cut down it is immediately plunged into standing water, such being the means employed for drying168 it. At first it sinks to the bottom, after which it begins to float, and in a certain length of time the additional moisture sucks it dry, which has the effect of penetrating and soaking all169 other kinds of wood. It is a sign that it is fit for use170 when it begins to float.


The fig-tree that grows in Crete, and is known there as the Cyprian fig,171 bears some resemblance to the preceding one; for it bears fruit upon the trunk of the tree, and upon the branches as well, when they have attained a certain degree of thickness. This tree, however, sends forth buds without any leaves,172 but similar in appearance to a root. The trunk of the tree is similar to that of the poplar, and the leaves to those of the elm. It produces four crops in the year, and germinates the same number of times, but its green173 fruit will not ripen unless an incision is made in it to let out the milky juice. The sweetness of the fruit and the appearance of the inside are in all respects similar to those of the fig, and in size it is about as large as a sorb-apple.


Similar to this is the carob-tree, by the Ionians known as the "ceraunia,"174 which in a similar manner bears fruit front the trunk, this fruit being known by the name of "siliqua," or "pod." For this reason, committing a manifest error, some persons175 have called it the Egyptian fig; it being the fact that this tree does not grow in Egypt, but in Syria and Ionia, in the vicinity, too, of Cnidos, and in the island of Rhodes. It is always covered with leaves, and bears a white flower with a very powerful odour. It sends forth shoots at the lower part, and is consequently quite yellow on the surface, as the young suckers deprive the trunk of the requisite moisture. When the fruit of the preceding year is gathered, about the rising of the Dog-star, fresh fruit immediately makes its appearance; after which the tree blossoms while the constellation of Arcturus176 is above the horizon, and the winter imparts nourishment to the fruit.


Egypt, too, produces another tree of a peculiar description, the Persian177 tree, similar in appearance to the pear-tree, but retaining its leaves during the winter. This tree produces without intermission, for if the fruit is pulled to-day, fresh fruit will make its appearance to-morrow: the time for ripening is while the Etesian178 winds prevail. The fruit of this tree is more oblong than a pear, but is enclosed in a shell and a rind of a grassy colour, like the almond; but what is found within, instead of being a nut as in the almond, is a plum, differing from the almond179 in being shorter and quite soft. This fruit, although particularly inviting for its luscious sweetness, is productive of no injurious effects. The wood, for its goodness, solidity, and blackness, is in no respect inferior to that of the lotus: people have been in the habit of making statues of it. The wood of the tree which we have mentioned as the "balanus,"180 although very durable, is not so highly esteemed as this, as it is knotted and twisted in the greater part: hence it is only employed for the purposes of shipbuilding.


On the other hand, the wood of the cucus181 is held in very high esteem. It is similar in nature to the palm, as its leaves are similarly used for the purposes of texture: it differs from it, however, in spreading out its arms in large branches. The fruit, which is of a size large enough to fill the hand, is of a tawny colour, and recommends itself by its juice, which is a mixture of sweet and rough. The seed in the inside is large and of remarkable hardness, and turners use it for making curtain rings.182 The kernel is sweet, while fresh; but when dried it becomes hard to a most remarkable degree, so much so, that it can only be eaten after being soaked in water for several days. The wood is beautifully mottled with circling veins,183 for which reason it is particularly esteemed among the Persians.


No less esteemed, too, in the same country, is a certain kind of thorn,184 though only the black variety, its wood being imperishable, in water even, a quality which renders it particularly valuable for making the sides of ships: on the other hand, the white kinds will rot very rapidly. It has sharp, prickly thorns on the leaves even, and bears its seeds in pods; they are employed for the same purposes as galls in the preparation of leather. The flower, too, has a pretty effect when made into garlands, and is extremely useful in medicinal preparations. A gum, also, distils from this tree; but the principal merit that it possesses is, that when it is cut down, it will grow again within three years. It grows in the vicinity of Thebes, where we also find the quercus, the Persian tree, and the olive: the spot that produces it is a piece of woodland, distant three hundred stadia from the Nile, and watered by springs of its own.

(10.) Here we find, too, the Egyptian185 plum-tree, not much unlike the thorn last mentioned, with a fruit similar to the medlar, and which ripens in the winter. This tree never loses its leaves. The seed in the fruit is of considerable size, but the flesh of it, by reason of its quality, and the great abundance in which it grows, affords quite a harvest to the inhabitants of those parts; after cleaning it, they subject it to pressure, and then make it up into cakes for keeping. There was formerly186 a woodland district in the vicinity of Memphis, with trees of such enormous size, that three men could not span one with their arms: one of these trees is remarkable, not for its fruit, or any particular use that it is, but for the singular phænomenon that it presents. In appearance it strongly resembles a thorn,187 and it has leaves which have all the appearance of wings, and which fall immediately the branch is touched by any one, and then immediately shoot again.


It is universally agreed, that the best gum is that produced from the Egyptian thorn;188 it is of variegated appearance, of azure colour, clean, free from all admixture of bark, and adheres to the teeth; the price at which it sells is three denarii per pound. That produced from the bitter almond- tree and the cherry189 is of an inferior kind, and that which is gathered from the plum-tree is the worst of all. The vine, too, produces a gum,190 which is of the greatest utility in healing the sores of children; while that which is sometimes found on the olive-tree191 is used for the tooth-ache. Gum is also found on the elm192 upon Mount Corycus in Cilicia, and upon the juniper,193 but it is good for nothing; indeed, the gum of the elm found there is apt to breed gnats. From the sarcocolla194 also—such is the name of a certain tree—a gum exudes that is remarkably useful to painters195 and medical men; it is similar to incense dust in appearance, and for those purposes the white kind is preferable to the red. The price of it is the same as that mentioned above.196


We have not as yet taken any notice of the marsh plants, nor yet of the shrubs that grow upon the banks of rivers: before quitting Egypt, however, we must make some mention of the nature of the papyrus, seeing that all the usages of civilized life depend in such a remarkable degree upon the employment of paper—at all events, the remembrance of past events. M. Varro informs us that paper owes its discovery to the victorious197 career of Alexander the Great, at the time when Alexandria in Egypt was founded by him; before which period paper had not been used, the leaves of the palm having been employed for writing at an early period, and after that the bark of certain trees. In succeeding ages, public documents were inscribed on sheets of lead, while private memoranda were impressed upon linen cloths, or else engraved on tablets of wax; indeed, we find it stated in Homer,198 that tablets were employed for this purpose even before the time of the Trojan war. It is generally supposed, too, that the country which that poet speaks of as Egypt, was not the same that is at present understood by that name, for the Sebennytic and the Saitic199 Nomes, in which all the papyrus is produced, have been added since his time by the alluvion of the Nile; indeed, he himself has stated200 that the main-land was a day and a night's sail from the island of Pharos201, which island at the present day is united by a bridge to the city of Alexandria. In later times, a rivalry having sprung up between King Ptolemy and King Eumenes,202 in reference to their respective libraries, Ptolemy prohibited the export of papyrus; upon which, as Varro relates, parchment was invented for a similar purpose at Pergamus. After this, the use of that commodity, by which immortality is ensured to man, became universally known.


Papyrus grows either in the marshes of Egypt, or in the sluggish waters of the river Nile, when they have overflowed and are lying stagnant, in pools that do not exceed a couple of cubits in depth. The root lies obliquely,203 and is about the thickness of one's arm; the section of the stalk is triangular, and it tapers gracefully upwards towards the extremity, being not more than ten cubits at most in height. Very much like a thyrsus204 in shape, it has a head on the top, which has no seed205 in it, and, indeed, is of no use whatever, except as a flower employed to crown the statues of the gods. The natives use the roots by way of wood, not only for firing, but for various other domestic purposes as well. From the papyrus itself they construct boats206 also, and of the outer coat they make sails and mats, as well as cloths, besides coverlets and ropes; they chew it also, both raw and boiled, though they swallow the juice only.

The papyrus grows in Syria also, on the borders of the same lake around which grows the sweet-scented calamus;207 and King Antiochus used to employ the productions of that country solely as cordage for naval purposes; for the use of spartum208 had not then become commonly known. More recently it has been understood that a papyrus grows in the river Euphrates, in the vicinity of Babylon, from which a similar kind of paper may easily be produced: still, however, up to the present time the Parthians have preferred to impress209 their characters upon cloths


Paper is made from the papyrus, by splitting it with a needle into very thin leaves, due care being taken that they should be as broad as possible. That of the first quality is taken from the centre of the plant, and so in regular succession, according to the order of division. "Hieratica"210 was the name that was anciently given to it, from the circumstance that it was entirely reserved for the religious books. In later times, through a spirit of adulation, it received the name of "Augusta," just as that of second quality was called "Liviana," from his wife, Livia; the consequence of which was, that the name "hieratica" came to designate that of only third-rate quality. The paper of the next quality was called "amphitheatrica," from the locality211 of its manufacture. The skilful manufactory that was established by Fannius212 at Rome, was in the habit of receiving this last kind, and there, by a very careful process of insertion, it was rendered much finer; so much so, that from being a common sort, he made it a paper of first-rate quality, and gave his own213 name to it: while that which was not subjected to this additional process retained its original name of "amphitheatrica." Next to this is the Saitic paper, so called from the city of that name,214 where it is manufactured in very large quantities, though of cuttings of inferior215 quality. The Tæniotic paper, so called from a place in the vicinity,216 is manufactured from the materials that lie nearer to the outside skin; it is sold, not according to its quality, but by weight only. As to the paper that is known as "emporetica,"217 it is quite useless for writing upon, and is only employed for wrapping up other paper, and as a covering for various articles of merchandize, whence its name, as being used by dealers. After this comes the bark of the papyrus, the outer skin of which bears a strong resemblance to the bulrush, and is solely used for making ropes, and then only for those which have to go into the water.218

All these various kinds of paper are made upon a table, moistened with Nile water; a liquid which, when in a muddy state, has the peculiar qualities of glue.219 This table being first inclined,220 the leaves of papyrus are laid upon it lengthwise, as long, indeed, as the papyrus will admit of, the jagged edges being cut off at either end; after which a cross layer is placed over it, the same way, in fact, that hurdles are made. When this is done, the leaves are pressed close together, and then dried in the sun; after which they are united to one another, the best sheets being always taken first, and the inferior ones added afterwards. There are never more than twenty of these sheets to a roll.221


There is a great difference in the breadth of the various kinds of paper. That of best quality222 is thirteen fingers wide, while the hieratica is two fingers less. The Fanniana is ten fingers wide, and that known as "amphitheatrica," one less. The Saitic is of still smaller breadth, indeed it is not so wide as the mallet with which the paper is beaten; and the emporetica is particularly narrow, being not more than six fingers in breadth.

In addition to the above particulars, paper is esteemed according to its fineness, its stoutness, its whiteness, and its smoothness. Claudius Cæsar effected a change in that which till then had been looked upon as being of the first quality: for the Augustan paper had been found to be so remarkably fine, as to offer no resistance to the pressure of the pen; in addition to which, as it allowed the writing upon it to run through, it was continually causing apprehensions of its being blotted and blurred by the writing on the other side; the remarkable transparency, too, of the paper was very unsightly to the eye. To obviate these inconveniences, a groundwork of paper was made with leaves of the second quality, over which was laid a woof, as it were, formed of leaves of the first. He increased the width also of paper; the width [of the common sort] being made a foot, and that of the size known as "macrocollum,"223 a cubit; though one inconvenience was soon detected in it, for, upon a single leaf224 being torn in the press, more pages were apt to be spoilt than before.225 In consequence of the advantages above-mentioned, the Claudian has come to be preferred to all other kinds of paper, though the Augustan is still used for the purposes of epistolary correspondence. The Livian, which had nothing in common with that of first quality, but was entirely of a secondary rank, still holds its former place.


The roughness and inequalities in paper are smoothed down with a tooth226 or shell; but the writing in such places is very apt to fade. When it is thus polished the paper does not take the ink so readily, but is of a more lustrous and shining surface. The water of the Nile that has been originally employed in its manufacture, being sometimes used without due precaution, will unfit the paper for taking writing: this fault, however, may be detected by a blow with the mallet, or even by the smell,227 when the carelessness has been extreme. These spots, too, may be detected by the eye; but the streaks that run down the middle of the leaves where they have been pasted together, though they render the paper spongy and of a soaking nature, can hardly ever be detected before the ink runs, while the pen is forming the letters; so many are the openings for fraud to be put in practice. The consequence is, that another labour has been added to the due preparation of paper.


The common paper paste is made of the finest flour of wheat mixed with boiling water, and some small drops of vinegar sprinkled in it: for the ordinary workman's paste, or gum, if employed for this purpose, will render the paper brittle. Those, however, who take the greatest pains, boil the crumb of leavened bread, and then strain off the water: by the adoption of this method the paper has the fewest seams caused by the paste that lies between, and is softer than the nap of linen even. All kinds of paste that are used for this purpose, ought not to be older or newer than one day. The paper is then thinned out with a mallet, after which a new layer of paste is placed upon it; then the creases which have formed are again pressed out, and it then undergoes the same process with the mallet as before. It is thus that we have memorials preserved in the ancient handwriting of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, which I have seen in the possession of Pomponius Secundus,228 the poet, a very illustrious citizen, almost two hundred years since those characters were penned. As for the handwriting of Cicero, Augustus, and Virgil, we frequently see them at the present day.


There are some facts of considerable importance which make against the opinion expressed by M. Varro, relative to the invention of paper. Cassius Hemina, a writer of very great antiquity, has stated in the Fourth Book of his Annals, that Cneius Terentius, the scribe, while engaged in digging on his land in the Janiculum, came to a coffer, in which Numa had been buried, the former king of Rome, and that in this coffer were also found some books229 of his. This took place in the consulship of Publius Cornelius Cethegus, the son of Lucius, and of M. Bæbius Tamphilus, the son of Quintus, the interval between whose consulship and the reign of Numa was five hundred and thirty-five years. These books were made of paper, and, a thing that is more remarkable still, is the fact that they lasted so many years buried in the ground. In order, therefore, to establish a fact of such singular importance, I shall here quote the words of Hemina himself—"Some persons expressed wonder how these books could have possibly lasted so long a time—this was the explanation that Terentius gave: 'In nearly the middle of the coffer there lay a square stone, bound on every side with cords enveloped in wax;230 upon this stone the books had been placed, and it was through this precaution, he thought, that they had not rotted. The books, too, were carefully covered with citrus leaves,231 and it was through this, in his belief, that they had been protected from the attacks of worms.' In these books were written certain doctrines relative to the Pythagorean philosophy; they were burnt by Q. Petilius, the prætor, because they treated of philosophical subjects."232

Piso, who had formerly been censor, relates the same facts in the First Book of his Commentaries, but he states in addition, That there were seven books on Pontitical Rights, and seven on the Pythagorean philosophy.233 Tuditanus, in his Fourteenth Book, says that they contained the decrees of uma: Varro, in the Seventh Book of his "Antiquities of Mankind,"234 states that they were twelve in number; and Antias, in his Second Book, says that there were twelve written in Latin, on pontifical matters, and as many in Greek, containing philosophical precepts. The same author states also in his Third Book why it was thought proper to burn them.

It is a fact acknowledged by all writers, that the Sibyl235 brought three books to Tarquinius Superbus, of which two were burnt by herself, while the third perished by fire with the Capitol236 in the days of Sylla. In addition to these facts, Mucianus, who was three times consul, has stated that he had recently read, while governor of Lycia, a letter written upon paper, and preserved in a certain temple there, which had been written from Troy, by Sarpedon; a thing that surprises me the more, if it really was the fact that even in the time of Homer the country that we call Egypt was not in existence.237 And why too, if paper was then in use, was it the custom, as it is very well known it was, to write upon leaden tablets and linen cloths? Why, too, has Homer238 stated that in Lycia tablets239 were given to Bellerophon to carry, and not a paper letter?

Papyrus, for making paper, is apt to fail occasionally; such a thing happened in the time of the Emperor Tiberius, when there was so great a scarcity240 of paper that members of the senate were appointed to regulate the distribution of it: had not this been done, all the ordinary relations of life would have been completely disarranged.


Æthiopia, which borders upon Egypt, has in general no remarkable trees, with the exception of the wool-bearing241 ones, of which we have had occasion to speak242 in our description of the trees of India and Arabia. However, the produce of the tree of Æthiopia bears a much stronger resemblance to wool, and the follicule is much larger, being very similar in appearance to a pomegranate; as for the trees, they are otherwise similar in every respect. Besides this tree, there are some palms, of which we have spoken already.243 In describing the islands along the coast of Æthiopia, we have already made mention244 of their trees and their odoriferous forests.


Mount Atlas is said to possess a forest of trees of a peculiar character,245 of which we have already spoken.246 In the vicinity of this mountain is Mauretania, a country which abounds in the citrus,247 a tree which gave rise to the mania248 for fine tables, an extravagance with which the women reproach the men, when they complain of their vast outlay upon pearls. There is preserved to the present day a table which belonged to M. Cicero,249 and for which, notwithstanding his comparatively moderate means, and what is even more surprising still, at that day too, he gave no less than one"250 million sesterces: we find mention made also of one belonging to Gallus Asinius, which cost one million one hundred thousand sesterces. Two tables were also sold by auction which had belonged to King Juba; the price fetched by one was one million two hundred thousand sesterces, and that of the other something less. There has been lately destroyed by fire, a table which came down from the family of the Cethegi, and which had been sold for the sum of one million four hundred thousand sesterces, the price of a considerable domain, if any one, indeed, could be found who would give so large a sum for an estate.

The largest table that has ever yet been known was one that belonged to Ptolemæus, king of Mauretania; it was made of two semicircumferences joined together down the middle, being four Feet and a half in diameter, and a quarter of a foot in thickness: the most wonderful fact, however, connected with it, was the surprising skill with which the joining had been concealed,251 and which rendered it more valuable than if it had been by nature a single piece of wood. The largest table that is made of a single piece of wood, is the one that takes its name252 from Nomius, a freedman of Tiberius Cæsar. The diameter of it is four Feet, short by three quarters of an inch, and it is half a foot in thickness, less the same fraction. While speaking upon this subject, I ought not to omit to mention that the Emperor Tiberius had a table that exceeded four Feet in diameter by two inches and a quarter, and was an inch and a half in thickness: this, however, was only covered with a veneer of citrus-wood, while that which belonged to his freedman Nomius was so costly, the whole material of which it was composed being knotted253 wood.

These knots are properly a disease or excrescence of the root, and those used for this purpose are more particularly esteemed which have lain entirely concealed under ground; they are much more rare than those that grow above ground, and that are to be found on the branches also. Thus, to speak correctly, that which we buy at so vast a price is in reality a defect in the tree: of the size and root of it a notion may be easily formed from the circular sections of its trunk. The tree resembles the wild female cypress254 in its foliage, smell, and the appearance of the trunk. A spot called Mount Ancorarius, in Nearer Mauretania, used formerly to furnish the most esteemed citrus-wood, but at the present day the supply is quite exhausted.


The principal merit of these tables is to have veins255 arranged in waving lines, or else forming spirals like so many little whirlpools. In the former arrangement the lines run in an oblong direction, for which reason these are called "tiger"256 tables; while in the latter the marks are circling and spiral, and hence they are styled "panther"257 tables. There are some tables also with wavy, undulating marks, and which are more particularly esteemed if these resemble the eyes on a peacock's tail. Next in esteem to these last, as well as those previously mentioned, is the veined wood,258 covered, as it were, with dense masses of grain, for which reason these tables have received the name of "apiatæ."259 But the colour of the wood is the quality that is held in the highest esteem of all: that of wine mixed with honey260 being the most prized, the veins being peculiarly refulgent. Next to the colour, it is the size that is prized; at the present day whole trunks are greatly admired, and sometimes several are united in a single table.

The peculiar defects in these kinds of tables are woodiness,261 such being the name given to the table when the wood is dull, common-looking, indistinct, or else has mere simple marks upon it, resembling the leaves of the plane-tree; also, when it resembles the veins of the holm-oak or the colour of that tree; and, a fault to which it is peculiarly liable from the effect of heat or wind, when it has flaws in it or hair-like lines resembling flaws; when it has a black mark, too, running through it resembling a murena in appearance, various streaks that look like crow scratches, or knots like poppy heads, with a colour all over nearly approaching to black, or blotches of a sickly hue. The barbarous tribes bury this wood in the ground while green, first giving it a coating of wax. When it comes into the workmen's hands, they put it for seven days beneath a heap of corn, and then take it out for as many more: it is quite surprising how greatly it loses in weight by this process. Shipwrecks have recently taught us also that this wood is dried by the action of sea-water, and that it thereby acquires a hardness262 and a degree of density which render it proof against corruption no other method is equally sure to produce these results. These tables are kept best, and shine with the greatest lustre, when rubbed with the dry hand, more particularly just after bathing. As if this wood had been created for the behoof of wine, it receives no injury from it.

(16.) As this tree is one among the elements of more civilized life, I think that it is as well on the present occasion to dwell a little further upon it. It was known to Homer even, and in the Greek it is known by the name of "thyon,"263 or sometimes "thya." He says that the wood of this tree was among the unguents that were burnt for their pleasant odour by Circe,264 whom he would represent as being a goddess; a circumstance which shows the great mistake committed by those who suppose that perfumes are meant under that name,265 seeing that in the very same line he says that cedar and larch were burnt along with this wood, a thing that clearly proves that it is only of different trees that he is speaking. Theophrastus, an author who wrote in the age succeeding that of Alexander the Great, and about the year of the City of Rome 440, has awarded a very high rank to this tree, stating that it is related that the raftering of the ancient temples used to be made of this wood, and that the timber, when employed in roofs, will last for ever, so to say, being proof against all decay,—quite incorruptible, in fact. He also says that there is nothing more full of wavy veins266 than the root of this tree, and that there is no workmanship in existence more precious than that made of this material. The finest kind of citrus grows, he says, in the vicinity of the Temple of Jupiter Hammon; he states also that it is produced in the lower part of Cyre- naica. He has made no mention, however, of the tables that are made of it; indeed, we have no more ancient accounts of them than those of the time of Cicero, from which it would appear that they are a comparatively recent invention.


There is another tree also which has the same name of "citrus,"267 and bears a fruit that is held by some persons in particular dislike for its smell and remarkable bitterness; while, on the other hand, there are some who esteem it very highly. This tree is used as an ornament to houses; it requires, however, no further description.

CHAP. 32. (17.)—THE LOTUS.

Africa, too, at least that part of it which looks towards our shores, produces a remarkable tree, the lotus,268 by some known as the "celtis," which has also been naturalized in Italy,269 though it has been somewhat modified by the change of soil. The finest quality of lotus is that found in the vicinity of the Syrtes and among the Nasamones. It is the same size as the pear-tree, although Cornelius Nepos states to the effect that it is but short. The leaves have numerous incisions, just as with those of the holm-oak. There are many varieties of the lotus, which are characterized more particularly by the difference in their respective fruits. The fruit is of about the size of a bean, and its colour is that of saffron, though before it is ripe it is continually changing its tints, like the grape. It has branches thickly set with leaves, like the myrtle, and not, as with us in Italy, like the cherry. In the country to which this tree is indigenous, the fruit of it is so remarkably sweet and luscious, that it has even given its name to a whole territory, and to a nation270 who, by their singular hospitality, have even seduced strangers who have come among them, to lose all remembrance of their native country. It is said also, that those who eat this fruit are subject to no maladies of the stomach. The fruit which has no stone in the inside is the best: this stone in the other kind seems to be of an osseous nature. A wine is also extracted from this fruit very similar to honied wine; according to Nepos, however, it will not last above ten days; he states also that the berries are chopped up with alica,271 and then put away in casks for the table. Indeed, we read that armies have been fed upon this food when marching to and fro through the territory of Africa. The wood is of a black colour, and is held in high esteem for making flutes; from the root also they manufacture handles for knives, and various other small articles.

Such is the nature of the tree that is so called in Africa; the same name being also given to a certain272 herb, and to a stalk273 that grows in Egypt belonging to the marsh plants. This last plant springs up when the waters of the Nile have retired after its overflow: its stalk is similar to that of the bean, and its leaves are numerous and grow in thick clusters, but are shorter and more slender than those of the bean. The fruit grows on the head of the plant, and is similar in appearance to a poppy in its indentations274 and all its other characteristics; within there are small grains, similar to those of millet.275 The inhabitants lay these heads in large heaps, and there let them rot, after which they separate the grain from the residue by washing, and then dry it; when this is done they pound it, and then use it as flour for making a kind of bread. What is stated in addition to these particulars, is a very singular276 fact; it is said that when the sun sets, these poppy-heads shut and cover themselves in the leaves, and at sun-rise they open again; an alternation which continues until the fruit is perfectly ripe, and the flower, which is white, falls off.

(18.) Even more than this, of the lotus of the Euphrates,277 it is said that the head and flower of the plant, at nightfall, sink into the water, and there remain till midnight, so deep in the water, that on thrusting in one's arm, the head cannot be reached: after midnight it commences to return upwards, and gradually becomes more and more erect till sunrise, when it emerges entirely from the water and opens its flower; after which it still continues to rise, until at last it is to be seen raised quite aloft, high above the level of the water. This lotus has a root about the size of a quince, enveloped in a black skin, similar to that with which the chesnut is covered. The substance that lies within this skin is white, and forms very pleasant food, but is better cooked, either in water or upon hot ashes, then in a raw state. Swine fatten upon nothing better than the peelings of this root.


The region of Cyrenaica places before the lotus its paliurus,278 which is more like a shrub in character, and bears a fruit of a redder colour. This fruit contains a nut, the kernel of which is eaten by itself, and is of a very agreeable flavour. The taste of it is improved by wine, and, in fact, the juices are thought to be an improvement to wine. The interior of Africa, as far as the Garamantes and the deserts, is covered with palms, remarkable for their extraordinary size and the lusciousness of their fruit. The most celebrated are those in the vicinity of the Temple of Jupiter Hammon.


But the vicinity of Carthage is claimed more particularly as its own by the fruit the name of which is the "Punic apple;"279 though by some it is called "granatum."280 This fruit has been distinguished into a variety of kinds; the name of "apyrenum"281 being given to the one which has no282 woody seeds inside, but is naturally whiter than the others, the pips being of a more agreeable flavour, and the membranes by which they are separated not so bitter. Their conformation in 283 other respects, which is very similar to the partitions of the cells in the honeycomb, is much the same in all. Of those that have a kernel there are five kinds, the sweet, the acrid, the mixed, the acid, and the vinous: those of Samos and Egypt are distinguished into those with red, and those with white foliage.284 The skin, while the fruit is yet sour, is held in high esteem for tanning leather. The flower of this tree is known by the name of "balaustium," and is very useful for medicinal purposes;285 also for dyeing cloths a colour which from it has derived its name.286


In Asia and Greece are produced the following shrubs, the epipactis,287 by some known as "elleborine," the leaves of which are of small size, and when taken in drink, are an antidote against poison; just in the same way that those of the erica288 are a specific against the sting of the serpent.

(21.) Here is also found another shrub, upon which grows the grain of Cnidos,289 by some known as "linum;" the name of the shrub itself being thymelæa,290 while others, again, call it "chamelæa,291 others pyrosachne, others cnestron, and others cneorum; it bears a strong resemblance to the wild olive, but has a narrow leaf, which has a gummy taste in the mouth. The shrub is of about the size of the myrtle; its seed is of the same colour and appearance, but is solely used for medicinal purposes.


The island of Crete is the only place that produces the shrub called "tragion."292 It is similar in appearance to the terebinth;293 a similarity which extends to the seed even, said to be remarkably efficacious for healing wounds made by arrows. The same island produces tragacanthe294 also, with a root which resembles that of the white thorn; it is very much preferred295 to that which is grown in Media or in Achaia; the price at which it sells is three denarii per pound.


Asia, too, produces the tragos296 or scorpio, a thorny shrub, destitute of leaves, with red clusters upon it that are employed in medicine. Italy produces the myrica, which some persons call the "tamarix;"297 and Achaia, the wild brya,298 remarkable for the circumstance that it is only the cultivated kind that bears a fruit, not unlike the gall-nut. In Syria and Egypt this plant is very abundant. It is to the trees of this last country that we give the name of "unhappy;"299 but yet those of Greece are more unhappy still, for that country produces the tree known as "ostrya," or, as it is sometimes called, "ostrya,"300 a solitary tree that grows about rocks washed by the water, and very similar in the bark and branches to the ash. It re- sembles the pear-tree in its leaves, which, however, are a little longer and thicker, with wrinkled indentations running down the whole length of the leaf. The seed of this tree resembles barley in form and colour. The wood is hard and solid; it is said, that if it is introduced into a house, it is productive of painful deliveries and of shocking deaths.


There is no tree productive of a more auspicious presage than one which grows in the Isle of Lesbos, and is known by the name of euonymos.301 It bears some resemblance to the pomegranate tree, the leaf being in size between the leaf of that and the leaf of the laurel, while in shape and softness it resembles that of the pomegranate tree: it has a white blossom,302 by which it immediately gives us notice of its dangerous properties.303 It bears a pod304 very similar to that of sesame, within which there is a grain of quadrangular shape, of coarse make and poisonous to animals. The leaf, too, has the same noxious effects; sometimes, however, a speedy alvine discharge is found to give relief on such occasions.


Alexander Cornelius has called a tree by the name of "eon,"305 with the wood of which, he says, the ship Argo was built. This tree has on it a mistletoe similar to that of the oak, which is proof against all injury from either fire or water, in the same manner, in fact, as that of no other tree known. This tree, however, appears to have been known to no other author, that I am aware of.


Nearly all the Greek writers interpret the name of the tree called "andrachle," as meaning the same as "purslain:"307 whereas purslain is, in reality, a herb, and, with the difference of a single letter, is called "andrachne." The andrachne is a wild tree, which never grows in the plain country, and is similar to the arbute tree in appearance, only that its leaves are smaller, and never fall off. The bark, too, is not rough, but might be taken to be frozen all over, so truly wretched is its appearance.


Similar, too, in leaf to the preceding tree, is the coccygia,308 though not so large; it has this peculiarity, that it loses its fruit while still in the downy309 state—they then call it "pappus"—a thing that happens to no other tree. The apharce310 is another tree that is similar to the andrachle, and like it, bears twice in the year: just as the grape is beginning to flower the first fruit is ripening, while the second fruit ripens at the commencement of winter; of what nature this fruit is we do not find stated.


We ought to place the ferula311 also in the number of the exotics, and as making one of the trees. For, in fact, we distinguish the trees into several different kinds: it is the nature of some to have wood entirely in place of bark, or, in other words, on the outside; while, in the interior, in place of wood, there is a fungous kind of pith, like that of the elder; others, again, are hollow within, like the reed. The ferula grows in hot countries and in places beyond sea, the stalk being divided into knotted joints. There are two kinds of it; that which grows upwards to a great height the Greeks call by the name of "narthex,"312 while the other, which never rises far from the ground, is known as the "narthecya."313 From the joints very large leaves shoot forth, the largest lying nearest to the ground: in other respects it has the same nature as the anise, which it resembles also in its fruit. The wood of no shrub is lighter than this; hence it is very easily carried, and the stalks of it make good walking-sticks314 for the aged.


The seed of the ferula has been by some persons called "thapsia;"315 deceived, no doubt, by what is really the fact, that the thapsia is a ferula, but of a peculiar kind, with leaves like those of fennel, and a hollow stalk not exceeding a walking-stick in length; the seed is like that of the ferula, and the root of the plant is white. When an incision is made in the thapsia, a milky juice oozes from it, and, when pounded, it produces a kind of juice; the bark even is never thrown316 away. All these parts of the shrub are poisonous, and, indeed, it is productive of injurious effects to those engaged in digging it up; for if the slightest wind should happen to be blowing towards them from the shrub, the body begins to swell, and erysipelas attacks the face: it is for this reason that, before beginning work, they anoint the face all over with a solution of wax. Still, however, the medical men say that, mixed with other ingredients, it is of considerable use in the treatment of some diseases. It is employed also for the cure of scald-head, and for the removal of black and blue spots upon the skin, as if, indeed, we were really at a loss for remedies in such cases, without having recourse to things of so deadly a nature. These plants, however, act their part in serving as a pretext for the introduction of noxious agents; and so great is the effrontery now displayed, that people would absolutely persuade one that poisons are a requisite adjunct to the practice of the medical art.

The thapsia of Africa317 is the most powerful of all. Some persons make an incision in the stalk at harvest-time, and bore holes in the root, too, to let the juice flow; after it has become quite dry, they take it away. Others, again, pound the leaves, stalk, and root in a mortar, and after drying the juice in the sun, divide it into lozenges.318 Nero Cæsar, at the beginning of his reign, conferred considerable celebrity on this plant. In his nocturnal skirmishes319 it so happened that he received several contusions on the face, upon which he anointed it with a mixture composed of thapsia, frankincense, and wax, and so contrived the next day effectually to give the lie to all rumours, by appearing with a whole skin.320 It is a well-known fact, that fire321 is kept alight remarkably well in the hollow stalk of the ferula, and that for this purpose those of Egypt are the best.


In Egypt, too, the capparis322 is found, a shrub with a wood of much greater solidity. The seed of it is a well-known article of food,323 and is mostly gathered together with the stalk. It is as well, however, to be on our guard against the foreign kinds;324 for that of Arabia has certain deleterious properties, that from Africa is injurious to the gums, and that from Marmarica is prejudicial to the womb and causes flatulence in all the organs. That of Apulia, too, is productive of vomiting, and causes derangement in the stomach and intestines. Some persons call this shrub "cynosbaton,"325 others, again, "ophiostaphyle."326


The saripha,327 too, that grows on the banks of the Nile, is one of the shrub genus. It is generally about two cubits in height, and of the thickness of one's thumb: it has the foliage of the papyrus, and is eaten in a similar manner. The root, in consequence of its extreme hardness, is used as a substitute for charcoal in forging iron.


We must take care, also, not to omit a peculiar shrub that is planted at Babylon, and only upon a thorny plant there, as it will not live anywhere else, just in the same manner as the mistletoe will live nowhere but upon trees. This shrub, however, will only grow upon a kind of thorn, which is known as the royal thorn.328 It is a wonderful fact, but it germinates the very same day that it has been planted. This is done at the rising of the Dog-star, after which it speedily takes possession of the whole tree. They use it in the preparation of wine, and it is for this purpose that it is planted. This thorn grows at Athens also, upon the Long Walls there.329


The cytisus330 is also a shrub, which, as a food for sheep; has been extolled with wonderful encomiums by Aristomachus the Athenian, and, in a dry state, for swine as well: the same author, too, pledges his word that a jugerum of very middling land, planted with the cytisus, will produce an income of two thousand sesterces per annum. It is quite as useful as the ervum,331 but is apt to satiate more speedily: very little of it is necessary to fatten cattle; to such a degree, indeed, that beasts of burden, when fed upon it, will very soon take a dislike to barley. There is no fodder known, in fact, that is productive of a greater abundance of milk, and of better quality; in the medical treatment of cattle in particular, this shrub is found a most excellent specific for every kind of malady. Even more than this, the same author recommends it, when first dried and then boiled in water, to be given to nursing women, mixed with wine, in cases where the milk has failed them: and he says that, if this is done, the infant will be all the stronger and taller for it. In a green state, or, if dried, steeped in water, he recommends it for fowls. Both Democritus and Aristomachus promise us also that bees will never fail us so long as they can obtain the cytisus for food. There is no crop that we know of, of a similar nature, that costs a smaller price. It is sown at the same time as barley, or, at all events, in the spring, in seed like the leek, or else planted in the autumn, and before the winter solstice, in the stalk. When sown in grain, it ought to be steeped in water, and if there should happen to be no rain, it ought to be watered when sown: when the plants are about a cubit in height, they are replanted in trenches a foot in depth. It is transplanted at the equinoxes, while the shrub is yet tender, and in three years it will arrive at maturity. It is cut at the vernal equinox, when the flower is just going off; a child or an old woman is able to do this, and their labour may be had at a trifling rate. It is of a white appearance, and if one would wish to express briefly what it looks like, it is a trifoliated shrub,332 with small, narrow leaves. It is always given to animals at intervals of a couple of days, and in winter, when it is dry, before being given to them, it is first moistened with water. Ten pounds of cytisus will suffice for a horse, and for smaller animals in proportion: if I may here mention it by the way, it is found very profitable to sow garlic and onions between the rows of cytisus.

This shrub has been found in the Isle of Cythnus, from whence it has been transplanted to all the Cyclades, and more recently to the cities of Greece, a fact which has greatly increased the supply of cheese: considering which, I am much surprised that it is so rarely used in Italy. This shrub is proof, too, against all injuries from heat, from cold, from hail, and from snow: and, as Hyginus adds, against the depredations of the enemy even, the wood333 produced being of no value whatever.


Shrubs and trees grow in the sea334 as well; those of our sea335 are of inferior size, while, on the other hand, the Red Sea and all the Eastern Ocean are filled with dense forests. No other language has any name for the shrub which is known to the Greeks as the "phycos,"336 since by the word "alga"337 a mere herb is generally understood, while the "phycos" is a complete shrub. This plant has a broad leaf of a green colour, which is by some called "prason,"338 and by others is known as "zoster."339 Another kind,340 again, has a hairy sort of leaf, very similar to fennel, and grows upon rocks, while that previously mentioned grows in shoaly spots, not far from the shore. Both kinds shoot in the spring, and die in autumn.341 The phycos342 which grows on the rocks in the neighbourhood of Crete, is used also for dyeing purple; the best kind being that produced on the north side of the island, which is the case also with sponges of the very best quality. A third kind,343 again, is similar in appearance to grass; the root of it is knotted, and so is the stalk, which resembles that of a reed.


There is another kind of marine shrub, known by the name of "bryon;"344 it has the leaf of the lettuce, only that it is of a more wrinkled appearance; it grows nearer land, too, than the last. Far out at sea we find a fir-tree345 and an oak,346 each a cubit in height; shells are found adhering to their branches. It is said that this sea-oak is used for dyeing wool, and that some of them even bear acorns347 in the sea, a fact which has been ascertained by shipwrecked persons and divers. There are other marine trees also of remarkable size, found in the vicinity of Sicyon; the sea-vine,348 indeed, grows everywhere. The sea-fig349 is destitute of leaves, and the bark is red. There is a palm-tree350 also in the number of the sea-shrubs. Beyond the columns of Hercules there is a sea-shrub that grows with the leaf of the leek, and others with those of the carrot,351 and of thyme. Both of these last, when thrown up by the tide, are transformed 352 into pumice.


In the East, it is a very remarkable thing, that immediately after leaving Coptos, as we pass through the deserts, we find nothing whatever growing, with the exception of the thorn that is known as the "thirsty"353 thorn; and this but very rarely. In the Red Sea, however, there are whole forests found growing, among which more particularly there are plants that bear the laurel-berry and the olive;354 when it rains also certain fungi make their appearance, which, as soon as they are touched by the rays of the sun, are turned into pumice.355 The size of the shrubs is three cubits in height; and they are all filled with sea-dogs,356 to such a degree, that it is hardly safe to look at them from the ship, for they will frequently seize hold of the very oars.


The officers357 of Alexander who navigated the Indian seas, have left an account of a marine tree, the foliage of which is green while in the water; but the moment it is taken out, it dries and turns to salt. They have spoken also of bulrushes358 of stone bearing a strong resemblance to real ones, which grew along the sea-shore, as also certain shrubs359 in the main sea, the colour of an ox's horn, branching out in various directions, and red at the tips. These, they say, were brittle, and broke like glass when touched, while, on the other hand, in the fire they would become red-hot like iron, and when cool resume their original colour.

In the same part of the earth also, the tide covers the forests that grow on the islands, although the trees there are more lofty360 than the very tallest of our planes and poplars! The leaves of these trees resemble that of the laurel, while the blossom is similar to the violet, both in smell and colour: the berries resemble those of the olive, and they, too, have an agreeable smell: they appear in the autumn, and the leaves of the trees never fall off. The smaller ones are entirely covered by the waves, while the summits of those of larger size protrude from the water, and ships are made fast to them; when the tide falls the vessels are similarly moored to the roots. We find the same persons making mention of certain other trees which they saw out at sea, which always retained their leaves, and bore a fruit very similar to the lupine.


Juba relates, that about the islands of the Troglodytæ there is a certain shrub found out at sea, which is known as the "air of Isis:"361 he says that it bears a strong resemblance to coral, is destitute of leaves, and if cut will change its colour, becoming quite black and hard, and so brittle as to break if it falls. He speaks also of another marine plant, to which he gives the name of "Charito-blepharon,"362 and which, he says, is particularly efficacious in love-charms.363 Bracelets364 and necklaces are made of it. He says also that it is sensible365 when it is about to be taken, and that it turns as hard as horn, so hard, indeed, as to blunt the edge of iron. If, on the other hand, it is cut before it is sensible of the danger, it is immediately transformed to stone.

SUMMARY.—Remarkable facts, narratives, and observations, four hundred and sixty-eight.

ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—M. Varro,366 Mucianus,367 Virgil,368 Fabianus,369 Sebosus,370 Pomponius Mela,371 Fabius,372 Procilius,373 Hyginus,374 Trogus,375 Claudius Cæsar,376 Cornelius Nepos,377 Sextius Niger378 who wrote in Greek on Medicine, Cassius Hemina,379 L. Piso,380 Tuditanus,381 Antias.382

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Theophrastus,383 Herodotus,384 Callisthenes,385 Isigonus,386 Clitarchus,387 Anaximenes,388 Duris,389 Nearchus,390 Onesicritus,391 Polycritus,392 Olympiodorus,393 Diognetus,394 Cleobulus,395 Anticlides,396 Chares397 of Mitylene, Menæchmus,398 Dorotheus399 of Athens, Lycus,400 Antæus,401 Ephip- pus,402 Dion,403 Adimantus,404 Ptolemy Lagus,405 Marsyas406 of Macedon, Zoilus407 of Macedon, Democritus,408 Amphilochus,409 Alexander Polyhistor,410 Aristomachus,411 King Juba,412 Apollodorus413 who wrote on Perfumes, Heraclides414 the physician, Botrys415 the physician, Archidemus416 the physician, Dionysius417 the physician, Democlides418 the physician, Euphron419 the physician, Mnesides420 the physician, Diagoras421 the physician, Iollas422 the physician, Heraclides423 of Tarentum, Xenocrates424 of Ephesus.

1 Fée remarks, that most of the unguents and perfumes of which Pliny here speaks would find but little favour at the present day.

2 This does not appear to be exactly the case, for in the twenty-third Book of the Iliad, 1. 186, we find "rose-scented" oil mentioned, indeed, Pliny himself alludes to it a little further on.

3 "Nidorem." This term was used in reference to the smell of burnt or roasted animal substances. It is not improbable that he alludes to the stench arising from the burnt sacrifices.

4 The "Thuya articulata." See c. 29 of the present Book.

5 "Serinium." See B. vii. c. 30.

6 The use of perfumes more probably originated in India, than among the Persians.

7 But of seeds or plants

8 The perfumes of Delos themselves had nothing in particular to recommend them; but as it was the centre of the worship of Apollo, it is not improbable that exquisite perfumes formed a large proportion of the offerings brought thither from all parts of the world.

9 In Egypt. See B. v. c. 11. The unguents of Mendes are again mentioned in the present Chapter.

10 Or flower-de-luce. This perfume was called Irinum. The Iris Florentina of the botanists, Fée says, has the smell of the violet. For the composition of this perfume, see Dioscorides, B. i.. c. 67.

11 Rhodinum.

12 See B. v. c. 26.

13 Crocinum; made from the Crocus sativus of naturalists.

14 See B. xii. c. 62. It was made from the flowers of the vine, mixed with omphacium.

15 Amaracinum. The amaracus is supposed to have been the Origanum majoranoides of the moderns. Dioscorides, B. i. c. 59, says that the best was made at Cyzicus.

16 Melinum. See B. xxiii. c. 54.

17 Cyprinum. See B. xii. c. 51. The cyprus was the modern Lawsonia inermis.

18 Made from the oil of bitter almonds. See B. xv. c. 7.

19 Or "all Athenian." We find in Athenæus, B. xv. c. 15, the composition of this unguent.

20 From what is said by Apollonius in the passage of Athenæus last quoted, it has been thought that this was the same as the unguent called nardinum. It is very doubtful, however.

21 Narcissinum. See B. xxi. c. 75. Dioscorides gives the composition of this unguent, B. i. c. 54.

22 Among the stymmata, Dioscorides ranges the sweet-rush, the sweet- scented calamus and xylo-balsamum; and among the hedysmata amomum, nard, myrrh, balsam, costus, and marjoram. The latter constituted the base of unguents, the former were only added occasionally.

23 Cinnabar is never used to colour cosmetics at the present day, from its tendency to excoriate the skin. See B. xxiii. c. 39.

24 This is still used for colouring cosmetics at the present day. See B. xxii, c. 23.

25 Fée remarks, that salt can be of no use; but by falling to the bottom without dissolving, would rather tend to spoil the unguent.

26 See B. xii. c. 60. The name "bryon" seems also to have been extended to the buds of various trees of the Conifera class and of the white poplar. It is probably to the buds of the last tree that Pliny here alludes.

27 Oil of ben. See B. xii. c. 48.

28 Or metopium. See Note 18 above.

29 Made from olives. See B. xii. c. 60.

30 See B. xii. c. 29.

31 The modern Andropogon schœnanthus. See B. xii. c. 48.

32 See B. xii. c. 48.

33 Carpobalsamum. See. B. xii, c. 54.

34 See B. xii. c. 56.

35 Fluid resin of coniferous trees of Europe.

36 See B. xv. c. 35.

37 Cupressus semper-virens. He does not say what part of the tree was employed.

38 See B. xii. c. 36.

39 See c. 34 of the present Book.

40 The alkanet and cinnabar were only used for colouring.

41 "Sampsuchinum." It is generally supposed that the sampsuchum, and the amaracus were the same, the sweet marjoram, or Origanum marjorana of Linnæus. Fée, however, is of a contrary opinion, See B. xxi. c. 35. In Dioscorides, B. i. c. 59, there is a difference made between sampsuchinum and amaracinum, though but a very slight one.

42 The bark of the Cassia lignea of the pharmacopœa, the Laurus cassia of botany. See B. xii. c. 43.

43 See B. xii. c. 26. The Andropogon nardus of Linnæus.

44 See B. xii. c. 41.

45 See B. xxiii. c. 64, also B. xv. c. 10. The Malun struthium, or "sparrow quince," was an oblong variety of the fruit.

46 Sesamum orientale of Linnæus. See B. xviii. c. 22, and B. xxii. c. 54.

47 Balm of Gilead. See B. xii. c. 54.

48 Southernwood. The Artemisia abrotonum of Linnæus.

49 Or lily unguent, made of the lily of Susa, which had probably a more powerful smell than that of Europe. Dioscorides gives its composition, B. i. c. 63.

50 The Crocus sativus of Linnæus.

51 Cyprinum. It has been previously mentioned in this Chapter.

52 See B. xii. c. 52.

53 The gum resin of the Pastinaca opopanax of Linnæus. See B. xii. c. 57.

54 Or unguent of fenugreek, from the Greek τῆλις, meaning that plant, the Trigonella fœnum Græcum of Linnæus. See B. xxiv. c. 120.

55 See B. ii. c. 26, and B. xxi. c. 68–70.

56 The Trifolium melilotus of Linnæus. See B. xxi. c. 30.

57 See B. xii. c. 53.

58 He would imply that it was so called from the Greek μεγὰς, "great;" but it was more generally said that it received its name from its inventor, Megalus.

59 See B. xii. c. 5.

60 Fée does not appear to credit this statement. By the use of the word "ventiletur" "fanned" may be possibly implied.

61 See B. xii. c. 59.

62 The Agnus castus of Linnæus. See B. xxiv. c. 38. The leaves are quite inodorous, though the fruit of this plant is slightly aromatic.

63 "Externa." The reading is doubtful, and it is difficult to say what is the exact meaning of the word.

64 Cinnamomino.

65 Or leaf unguent, so called from being made of leaves of nard. See B. xii. c. 27.

66 See B. xii. c. 25.

67 See B. xii. c. 28.

68 See B. xii. c. 26, 27, where the list is given.

69 See B. xii. c. 35.

70 Susinum. See p. 163.

71 Summa auctoritas rei.

72 Nardinum.

73 See B. xii. c. 46.

74 See B. xii. c. 53.

75 See B. xii. c. 55.

76 See B. xii. c. 37.

77 See B. xii. c. 48.

78 See B. xii. c. 48.

79 See B. xii. c. 45.

80 Fée suggests that this may be the Nymphæa cœrulea of Savigny, a plant that is common in the Nile, and the flowers of which exhale a sweet odour.

81 The diapasmata were dry, odoriferous powders, similar to those used at the present day in sachets and scent-bags.

82 "Fæcem unguenti."

83 This word is still used in pharmacy to denote the husks or residuary matter left after the extraction of the juice.

84 See B. xxxvi. c. 12. See also Mark xiv. 7, and John xii. 3. Leaden boxes were also used for a similar purpose.

85 Odores.

86 "Heres." The person was so called who succeeded to the property, whether real or personal, of an intestate.

87 See B. xvii. c. 3, where he quotes this passage from Cicero at length. It appears to be from De Orat. B. iii. c. 69. Both Cicero and Pliny profess to find a smell that arises from the earth itself, through the agency of the sun. But, as Fée remarks, pure earth is perfectly inodorous. He suggests, however, that this odour attributed by the ancients to the earth, may in reality have proceeded from the fibrous roots of thyme and other plants. If such is not the real solution, it seems impossible to suggest any other.

88 By giving preference to the more simple odours.

89 "Crassitudo."

90 Or "thick" unguent.

91 We learn from Athenæus, and a passage in the Aulularia of Plautus, that this was done long before Nero's time, among the Greeks.

92 Who succeeded Galba. He was one of Nero's favourite companions in his debaucheries.

93 Caligula.

94 Solium.

95 After victories, for instance, or when marching orders were given.

96 This is said in bitter irony.

97 Sub casside.

98 Asia Minor more particularly.

99 Exotica.

100 The organs of taste and of smell.

101 We have this fact alluded to in the works of Plautus, Juvenal, Martial, and Ælian. The Greeks were particularly fond of mixing myrrh with their wine. Nard wine is also mentioned by Plautus. Miles Gl. iii. 2, 11.

102 Or Lucius Plautius Plancus. He was proscribed by the triumvirs, with the sanction of his brother. In consequence of his use of perfumes, the place of his concealment "got wind;" and in order to save his slaves, who were being tortured to death because they would not betray him, he voluntarily surrendered himself.

103 Attaching to the triumvirate.

104 Capua, its capital, was the great seat of the unguent and perfume manufacture in Italy.

105 The Phœnix dactylifera of Linnæus. See also B. xii. c. 62, where he seems also to allude to this tree.

106 At the present day this is not the fact. The village of La Bordighiera, situate on an eminence of the Apennines, grows great quantities of dates, of good quality. At Hieres, Nice, San Remo, and Genoa, they are also grown.

107 This, too, is not the fact. The dates of Valencia, Seville, and other provinces of Spain, are sweet, and of excellent quality.

108 Pliny is wrong again in this statement. The date of Barbary, Tunis, Algiers, and Bildulgerid, the "land of dates," is superior in every respect to that of the East.

109 The Æthiopians, as we learn from Theophrastus, B. ii. c. 8.

110 Or in a wild state.

111 "Tectorii vicem." They were probably planted in rows, close to the wall.

112 This mode of ascending the date-palm is still practised in the East.

113 See B. xvi. c. 37.

114 "Umbracula." The fibres of the leaves were probably platted or woven, and the "umbracula" made in much the same manner as the straw and fibre hats of the present day.

115 Most of this is borrowed from Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. ii. 9.

116 Fée remarks, that this account is quite erroneous.

117 This he copies also from Theophrastus, B. ii. c. 8.

118 Theophrastus, B. ii. c. 8, mentions this as a kind of date peculiar to Cyprus.

119 This is said solely in relation to the date of Cyprus.

120 Or dwellers in tents;" similar to the modern Bedouins.

121 Feé remarks, that in these words we find the first germs of the sexual system that has been established by the modern botanists. He thinks that it is clearly shown by this account, that Pliny was acquainted with the fecundation of plants by the agency of the pollen.

122 In allusion to the pollen, possibly. See the last Note.

123 "Lanugine." It is possible that in the use of this word, also, he may allude to the pollen. Under the term "pulvis," "dust," he probably alludes in exaggerated terms to the same theory.

124 The same methods of propagating the palm are still followed in the East, and in the countries near the tropics.

125 In c. 7 of the present Book. See also B. xvii. c. 3.

126 Fée mentions one near Elvas in Spain, which shot up into seven distinct trees, as it were, from a single trunk. The Douma Thebaica, he says, of Syria and Egypt, a peculiar kind of palm, is also bifurcated. The fruit of it, he thinks, are very probably the Phænicobalanus of B. xii. c. 47.

127 "Spado." Represented by the Greek εὔνουχος and ἔνορχος.

128 "Cæduæ." Though this is the fact as to some palm-trees, the greater part perish after being cut; the vital bud occupying the summit, and the trunk not being susceptible of any increase.

129 Cerebrum.

130 The Chamæreps humilis of the modern botanists. It is found, among other countries, in Spain, Morocco, and Arabia.

131 Vitilia.

132 "Vivaces." Perhaps it may mean that the wood retains the fire for a long time, when it burns.

133 Fée suggests that Pliny may possibly have confounded the fruit of other palms with the date.

134 This seems to have been a general name, as Pliny says, meaning an eunuch; but it is evident that it was also used as a proper name, as in the case of the eunuch who slew Artaxerxes, Ochus, B.C. 338, by poison, and of another eunuch who belonged to Darius, but afterwards fell into the hands of Alexander, of whom he became an especial favourite. The name is sometimes written "Bagoüs," and sometimes "Bagoas."

135 Dominantis in aula.

136 From the Greek σύαγρος, "a wild boar," as Pliny afterwards states; they being so called from their peculiar wild taste.

137 See B. vi. c. 39.

138 Said to have been so called from the Greek κάρη, "the head," and ὑωδία, "stupidity," owing to the heady nature of the wine extracted from the fruit.

139 See B. vi. c. 32, and B. xiv. c. 19.

140 The Jericho of Scripture.

141 Athenæus, B. xiv. c. 22, tells us that these dates were thus called from Nicolaus of Damascus, a Peripatetic philosopher, who, when visiting Rome with Herod the Great, made Augustus a present of the finest fruit of the palm-tree that could be procured. This fruit retained its name of "Nicolaän," down to the middle ages.

142 Pliny would imply that they are so called from the Greek ἀδέλφια, "a sister," as being of sister quality to the caryotæ; but it is much more probable, as Fée remarks, that they got this name from being attached in pairs to the same pedicie or stalk.

143 Pliny certainly seems to imply that they are so called from the Greek πατέω, "to tread under foot," and Hardouin is of that opinion. Fée, however, thinks the name is from the Hebrew or Syriac "patach," "to expand," or "open," or else from the Hebrew "pathah," the name of the first vowel, from some fancied resemblance in the form.

144 From the Greek χυδαῖος, "vulgar," or "common," it is supposed. The Jews probably called them so, as being common, or offered by the Gentiles to their idols and divinities. Pliny evidently considers that in the name given to them no compliment was intended to the deities of the heathen mythology.

145 From its extreme driness, and its shrivelled appearance.

146 From Theophrastus, B. i. c. 16.

147 κύκως, in the Greek. It is supposed by Sprengel to be the same as the Cycas circinnalis of Linnæus; but, as Fée remarks, that is only found in India.

148 From the Greek, meaning "sweetmeats," or "dessert fruit:" he probably means that in Syria and some parts of Phœnicia they were thus called.

149 This story, which is borrowed from Theophrastus, B. iv. c. 5, is doubted by Fée, who says that in the green state they are so hard and nauseous, that it is next to impossible to eat sufficient to be materially incommoded by them.

150 The Pistacia vera of Linnæus. It was introduced into Rome in the reign of Tiberius. The kernel is of no use whatever in a medical point of view, and what Pliny says about its curing the bite of serpents is per- fectly fabulous.

151 See B. xv. c. 19. The "carica was properly the "Carian" fig. "Ficus carica" is, however, the name given to the common fig by the modern botanists.

152 The parent of our Damascenes, or damsons. See B. xv. c. 13.

153 Supposed to be the Corda myxa of Linnæus. See B. xv. c. 15.

154 The Juniperus communis of Linnæus.

155 The Juniperus Lycia, and the Juniperus Phœnicia, probably, of Lin- næus. It has been supposed by some, that it is these trees that produce the frankincense of Africa; but, as Fée observes, the subject is enveloped in considerable obscurity.

156 The "sharp-leaved" cedar. The Juniperus oxycedrus of Linnæus.

157 The "Pinus cedrus" of Linnæus. The name "cedrus" was given by the ancients not only to the cedar of Lebanon, but to many others of the Coniferæ as well, and more particularly to several varieties of the juniper.

158 See B. xxxvi. c. 4.

159 Pistacia terebinthus of Linnæus.

160 These varieties, Fée says, are not observed by modern naturalists.

161 Garidel has remarked, that the trunk of this tree produces coriaceous vesicles, filled with a clear and odoriferous terebinthine, in which pucerons, or aphides, are to be seen floating.

162 "Rhus." The Rhus coriaria of Linnæus. Pliny is wrong in distinguishing this tree into sexes, as all the flowers are hermaphroditical, and therefore fruitful.

163 It is still used by curriers in preparing leather.

164 See B. xxiv. c. 79. The fruit, which has a pleasant acidity, was used the culinary purposes by the ancients, as it is by the Turks at the present day.

165 The Ficus sycamorus of Linnæus. It receives its name from being a fig-tree that bears a considerable resemblance to the "morus," or mulberry-tree.

166 This is not the case.

167 This appears to be doubtful, although, as Fée says, the fruit ripens but very slowly.

168 This, Fée says, is a fallacy

169 "Aliam" omanem." This reading seems to be very doubtful.

170 This wood was very extensively used in Egypt for making the outer cases, or coffins, in which the mummies were enclosed.

171 This account is borrowed almost entirely from Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. B. iv. c. 2. A variety of the sycamore is probably meant. It is still found in the Isle of Crete.

172 He seems to mean that the buds do not shoot forth into leaves; the reading, however, varies in the editions, and is extremely doubtful.

173 Grossus.

174 The Ceratonia siliqua of Linnæus. It is of the same size as the sycamore, but resembles it in no other respect. It is still common in the localities mentioned by Pliny, and in the south of Spain.

175 Theophrastus in the number, Hist. Plant. i. 23, and iv. 2. It bears no resemblance to the fig-tree, and the fruit is totally different from the fig. Pliny, too, is wrong in saying that it does not grow in Egypt; the fact being that it is found there in great abundance.

176 See B. xviii. c. 74.

177 Fée identifies it with the Egyptian almond, mentioned by Pliny in B. xv. c. 28; the Myrobalanus chebulus of Wesling, the Balanites Ægyptiaca of Delille, and the Xymenia Ægyptiaca of Linnæus. Schreber and Sprengel take it to be the Cordia Sebestana of Linnæus; but that is a tree peculiar to the Antilles. The fruit is in shape like a date, enclosing a large stone with five sides, and covered with a little viscous flesh, of somewhat bitter, though not disagreeable flavour. It is found in the vicinity of Sennaar, and near the Red Sea. The Arabs call it the "date of the Desert."

178 See B. xviii. c. 68.

179 See B. xv. c. 34.

180 Or ben. See B. xii. cc. 46, 47.

181 Many have taken this to be the cocoa-nut tree; but, as Fée remarks, that is a tree of India, and this of Egypt. There is little doubt that it is the doum of the Arabs, the Cucifera Thebaica of Delille. The timber of the trunk is much used in Egypt, and of the leaves carpets, bags, and panniers are made. In fact, the description of it and its fruit is almost identical with that here given by Pliny.

182 The seed or stone of the doum is still used in Egypt for making the beads of chaplets: it admits of a very high polish.

183 Materies crispioris elegantiæ.

184 See B. xxiv. c. 67. This is, no doubt, the Acacia Nilotica of Linnæus, which produces the gum Arabic of modern commerce.

185 This is from Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. B. iv. c. 3. Fée suggests that it may have been a kind of myrobalanus. Sprengel identifies it with the Cordia sebestana of the botanists.

186 "Fuit." From the use of this word he seems uncertain as to its existence in his time; the account is copied from Theophrastus, Hist. Plant. B. iv. c. 3. Fée suggests that he may here allude to the Baobab, the Adansonia digitata, which grows in Senegal and Sennaar to an enormous size. Prosper Alpinus speaks of it as existing in Egypt. The Arabs call it El-omarah, and the fruit El-kongles.

187 The Mimosa polyacanthe, probably. Fée says that the mimosæ, respectively known as casta, pudibunda, viva, and sensitiva, with many of the inga, and other leguminous trees, are irritable in the highest degree. The tree here spoken of he considers to be one of the acacias. The passage in Theophrastus speaks of the leaf as shrinking, and not falling, and then as simply reviving.

188 The Acacia Nilotica of Linnæus, from which we derive the gum Arabic of commerce; and of which a considerable portion is still derived from Egypt.

189 These gums are chemically different from gum Arabic, and they are used for different purposes in the arts.

190 The vine does not produce a gum; but when the sap ascends, a juice is secreted, which sometimes becomes solid on the evaporation of the aqueous particles. This substance contains acetate of potassa, which, by the decomposition of that salt, becomes a carbonate of the same base.

191 This is not a gum, but a resinous product of a peculiar nature. It is known to the moderns by the name of "olivine."

192 The sap of the eim leaves a saline deposit on the bark, principally formed of carbonate of potassa. Fée is at a loss to know whether Pliny here alludes to this or to the manna which is incidentally formed by certain insects on some trees and reeds. But, as he justly says, would Pliny say of the latter that it is "ad nihil utile"—"good for nothing"?

193 A resinous product, no doubt. The frankincense of Africa has been attributed by some to the Juniperus Lycia and Phoenicia.

194 The Penæa Sarcocolla of Linnæus. The gum resin of this tree is still brought from Abyssinia, but it is not used in medicine. This account is from is Dioscorides, B. iii. c. 99. The name is from the Greek σαρξ, "flesh," and κόλλα, "glue."

195 See B. xxiv. c. 7.

196 Three denarii per pound.

197 It is hardly necessary to state that this is not the fact. This plant is the Cyperus papyrus of Linnæus, the "berd" of the modern Egyptians.

198 II. B. vi. 1. 168. See B. xxxiii. c. 4, where the tablets which are here called "pugillares," are styled "codicilli" by Pliny.

199 His argument is, that paper made from the papyrus could not be known in the time of Homer, as that plant only grew in certain districts which had been rescued from the sea since the time of the poet.

200 Od. B. iv. 1. 355.

201 See B. ii. c. 87.

202 There is little doubt that parchment was really known many years before the time of Eumenes II., king of Pontus. It is most probable that this king introduced extensive improvements in the manufacture of parchment, for Herodotus mentions writing on skins as common in his time; and in B. v. c. 58, he states that the Ionians had been accustomed to give the name of skins,διφθέραι, , to books.

203 Brachiali radicis obliqueæ crassitudine.

204 This was a pole represented as being carried by Bacchus and his Bacchanalian train. It was mostly terminated by the fir cone, that tree being dedicated to Bacchus, in consequence of the use of its cones and turpentine in making wine. Sometimes it is surmounted by vine or fig leaves, with grapes or berries arranged in form of a cone.

205 This is not the fact: it has seed in it, though not very easily percep. tible. The description here given is otherwise very correct.

206 Among the ancients the term papyrus was used as a general appellation for all the different plants of the genus Cyperus, which was used for making mats, boats, baskets, and numerous other articles: but one species only was employed for making paper, the Cyperus papyrus, or Byblos. Fee states that the papyrus is no longer to be found in the Delta, where it formerly abounded.

207 See B. xii. c. 48.

208 Sometimes translated hemp. A description will be given of it in B. xix. c. 7.

209 "Intexere." This would almost appear to mean that they embroidered or interwove the characters. The Persians still write on a stuff made of white silk, gummed and duly prepared for the purpose.

210 Or "holy" paper. The priests would not allow it to be sold, lest it might be used for profane writing; but after it was once written upon, it was easily procurable. The Romans were in the habit of purchasing it largely in the latter state, and then washing off the writing, and using it as paper of the finest quality. Hence it received the name of "Augustus," as representing in Latin its Greek name "hieraticus," or "sacred." In length of time it became the common impression, as here mentioned, that this name was given to it in honour of Augusus Cæsar.

211 Near the amphitheatre, probably, of Alexandria.

212 He alludes to Q. Remmius Fannius Palæmon, a famous grammarian of Rome, though originally a slave. Being mantumitted, he opened a school at Rome, which was resorted to by great numbers of pupils, notwithstanding his notoriously bad character lie appears to have established, also, a manufactory for paper at Rome. Suetonius, in his treatise on Illustrious Grammarians, gives a long account of him. He is supposed to have been the preceptor of Quintilian.

213 Fanniana.

214 In Lower Egypt.

215 Ex vilioribus ramentis.

216 Of Alexandria, probably.

217 "Shop-paper," or "paper of commerce."

218 Otherwise, probably, the rope would not long hold together.

219 Fée remarks, that this is by no means the fact. With M. Poiret, he questions the accuracy of Pliny's account of preparing the papyrus, and is of opinion that it refers more probably to the treatment of some other vegetable substance from which paper was made.

220 Primo supinâ tabule schedâ.

221 "Scapus." This was, properly, the cylinder on which the paper was rolled.

222 Augustan.

223 Or "long glued" paper: the breadth probably consisted of that of two or more sheets glued or pasted at the edges, the seam running down the roll.

224 Scheda. One of the leaves of the papyrus, of which the roll of twenty, joined side by side, was formed.

225 This passage is difficult to be understood, and various attempts have been made to explain it. It is not unlikely that his meaning is that the breadth being doubled, the tearing of one leaf or half breadth entailed of necessity the spoiling of another, making the corresponding half breadth.

226 He perhaps means a portion of an elephant's tusk.

227 Meaning a damp, musty smell.

228 See B. vii. c. 18, and B. xiv. c. 6. Also the Life of Pliny, in the Introduction to Vol. i. p. vii.

229 This story, no doubt, deserves to be rejected as totally fabulous, even though we have Hemina's word for it.

230 See B. xvi. c. 70.

231 B. xii. c. 7, and B. xiii. c. 31. It was thought that the leaves and juices of the cedar and the citrus preserved books and linen from the attacks of noxious insects.

232 And because, as Livy says, their doctrines were inimical to the then existing religion.

233 Val. Maximus says that there were some books written in Latin, on the pontifical rights, and others in Greek on philosophical subjects.

234 Humanæ, Antiquitates.

235 See B. xxxiv. c. 11.

236 See B. xxxiii. c. 5.

237 He implies that it could not have been written upon paper, as the papyrus and the districts which produced it were not in existence in the time of Homer. No doubt this so-called letter, if shown at all, was a for- gery, a "pia fraus." See c. 21 of the present Book.

238 Il. B. vi. 1. 168.

239 "Codicillos," as meaning characters written on a surface of wood. πιναξ, as Homer calls it.

240 It was probably then that the supply of it first began to fail; in the sixth century it was still used, but by the twelfth it had wholly fallen into disuse.

241 The cotton-tree, Gossypium arboreum of Linnæus.

242 See B. xii. c. 21, 22.

243 In c. 9 of the present Book.

244 See B. vi. c. 36, 37.

245 Desfontaines observed in the vicinity of Atlas, several trees peculiar to that district. Among others of this nature, he names the Pistacia Atlantica, and the Thuya articulata.

246 See B. v. c. 1.

247 Generally supposed to be the Thuya articulata of Desfontaines, the Cedrus Atlantica of other botanists.

248 This rage for fine tables made of the citrus is alluded to, among others, by Martial and Petronius Arbiter. See also Lucan, A. ix. B. 426, et. seq.

249 It is a rather curious fact that it is in Cicero's works that we find the earliest mention made of citrus tables, 2nd Oration ag. Verres, s. 4:— "You deprived Q. Lutatius Diodorus of Lilybæum of a citrus table of remarkable age and beauty."

250 Somewhere about £9000.

251 This is considered nothing remarkable at the present day, such is the skill displayed by our cabinet-makers.

252 Called "Nomiana."

253 Tuber.

254 The European cyprus, the Cupressus sempervirens of Linnæus.

255 These veins were nothing in reality but the lines of the layers or strata lignea, running perpendicularly in the trunk, and the number of which denotes the age of the tree.

256 "Tigrinæ."

257 "Pantherinæ." The former tables were probably made of small pieces from the trunk, the latter from the sections of the tubers or knots.

258 "Crispis."

259 Or "parsley-seed" tables. It has also been suggested that the word comes from "apis," a bee; the wood presenting the appearance of being covered with swarms of bees.

260 "Mulsum." This mixture will be found frequently mentioned in the next Book.

261 Lignum.

262 Fée remarks that this is incorrect, and that this statement betrays an entire ignorance of the vegetable physiology.

263 θύον, "wood of sacrifice."

264 Od. B. v. 1. 60. Pliny makes a mistake in saying "Circe;" it should be "Calypso.

265 θύον.

266 Crispius

267 He alludes to the citron, the Citrus Medica of Linnæus. See B. xii. c. 7.

268 The Rhamnus lotus of Linnæus; the Zizyphus lotus of Desfontaines.

269 The Celtis australis of Linnæus. Fée remarks that Pliny is in error in giving the name of Celtis to the lotus of Africa.

270 The Lotophagi. See B. v. c. 7.

271 A kind of grain diet. See B. xviii. c. 29, and B. xxii. c. 61.

272 The Melilotus officinalis of Linnæus.

273 The Nymphæaa Nelumbo of Linnæus, or Egyptian bean.

274 He speaks of the indentations on the surface of the poppy-head.

275 See B. xxii. c. 28.

276 Fée remarks that there is nothing singular about it, the sun more or less exercising a similar influence on all plants.

277 The same as the Nymphæa Nelumbo of the Nile, according to Fée .

278 Probably the Rhamnus paliurus of Linnæus; the Spina Christi of other botanists.

279 The pomegranate, the Punica granatum of botanists.

280 Or "grained apple."

281 From the Greek ἀπύρηνον, "without kernel." This Fée would not translate literally, but as meaning that by cultivation the grains had been reduced to a very diminutive size. See B. xxiii. c. 67.

282 This variety appears to be extinct. Fée doubts if it ever existed.

283 See B. xxiii. c. 57

284 See B xxiii. c. 57.

285 See B. xxiii. c. 60.

286 "Puniceus," namely, a kind of purple.

287 See B. xxvii. c. 52. Sprengel thinks that this is the Neottia spiralis of Schwartz; but Fée is of opinion that it has not hitherto been identified.

288 Probably the Erica arborea of Linnæus, or "heath" in its several varieties.

289 Granum Cnidium. The shrub is the Daphne Cnidium of Linnæus.

290 The "thyme-olive."

291 The "ground olive," or "small olive." Dioscorides makes a distinction between these two last; and Sprengel has followed it, naming the last Daphne Cnidium, and the first Daphne Cneorum.

292 See B. xxvii. c. 115.

293 He says elsewhere that it is like the juniper, which, however, is not the case. Guettard thinks that the tragion is the Androsæmon fetidum, the Hyperium hircinum of the modern botanists. Sprengel also adopts the same opinion. Fée is inclined to think that it was a variety of the Pistacia lentiscus.

294 Goat's thorn. The Astragalus Creticus of Linnæus.

295 He speaks of gum tragacanth.

296 See B. xxvii. c. 116. Sprengel identifies it with the Salsola tragus of Linnæus.

297 Probably the Tamarix Gallica of Linnæus. Fée says, in relation to the myrica, that it would seem that the ancients united in one collective name, several plants which resembled each other, not in their botanical characteristics, but in outward appearance. To this, he says, is owing the fact that Dioscorides calls the myrica a tree, Favorinus a herb; Dioscorides says that it is fruitful, Nicander and Pliny call it barren; Virgil calls it small, and Theophrastus says that it is large.

298 Fee thinks that it is the Tamarix orientalis of Delille.

299 "Infelix," meaning "sterile." He seems to say this more particularly in reference to the brya, which Egypt produces. As to this use of the word "infelix," see B. xvi. c. 46.

300 Sprengel and Fée identify this with the Ostrya vulgaris of Willdenow, the Carpinus ostrya of Linnæus.

301 Or the "luckily named." It grew on Mount Ordymnus in Lesbos. See Theophrastus, B. ii. c. 31.

302 The Evonymus Europæus, or else the Evonymus latifolius of botanists, is probably intended to be indicated; but it is a mistake to say that it is poisonous to animals. On the contrary, Fée says that sheep will fatten on its leaves very speedily.

303 "Statim pestem denuntians." Pliny appears to be in error here. In copying from Theophrastus, he seems to have found the word φόνος, used, really in reference to a blood-red juice which distils from the plant; but as the same word also means slaughter, or death, he seems to have thought that it really bears reference to the noxious qualities of the plant.

304 Fée censures the use of the word "siliqua," as inappropriate, although the seed does resemble that of sesamum, the Sesamum orientale of Linnæus.

305 Or eonis. Fée suggests that in this story, which probably belongs to the region of Fable, some kind of oak may possibly be alluded to.

306 In the former editions, "adrachne"—the Arbutus integrifolia, Fee says, and not the Arbutus andrachne of Linnæus, as Sprengel thinks.

307 "Porcillaca." The Portulaca oleracea of Linnæus.

308 The Rhus cotinus of Linnæus, a sort of sumach.

309 This is not the fact; the seeds when ripe are merely lost to view in the large tufts of down which grow on the stems.

310 Generally supposed to be the same as the alaternus, mentioned in B. xvi. c. 45. Some writers identify it with the Phyllirea angustifolia of Linnæus.

311 Probably the Ferula communis of Linnæus, the herb or shrub known as ".fennel giant."

312 The Ferula glauca of Linnæus.

313 The Ferula nodiflora of Linnæus.

314 It is still used for that purpose in the south of Europe. The Roman schoolmasters, as we learn from Juvenal, Martial, and others, employed it for the chastisement of their scholars. Pliny is in error in reckoning it among the trees, it really having no pretensions to be considered such. It is said to have received its name from "ferio," to "beat."

315 Sprengel thinks that this is the Thapsia asclepium of the moderns; but Fée takes it to be the Thapsia villosa of Linnæus.

316 It was valued, Dioscorides says, for its cathartic properties.

317 Either the Thapsia garganica of Willdenow, or the Thapsia villosa, found in Africa and the south of Europe, though, as Pliny says, the thapsia of Europe is mild in its effects compared with that of Africa. It is common on the coast of Barbary.

318 Pastillos.

319 Nocturnis grassationibus.

320 It is still used in Barbary for the cure of tetter and ringworm.

321 The story was, that Prometheus, when he stole the heavenly fire from Jupiter, concealed it in a stalk of narthex.

322 The "caper-tree," the Capparis spinosa of Linnæus. Fée suggests that Pliny may possibly allude, in some of the features which he describes, to kinds less known; such, for instance, as the Capparis inermis of Forsk- hal, found in Arabia; the Capparis ovata of Desfontaines, found in Barbary; the Capparis Sinaica, found on Mount Sinai, and remarkable for the size of its fruit; and the Capparis Ægyptiaca of Lamarck, commonly found in Egypt.

323 The stalk and seed were salted or pickled. The buds or unexpanded flowers of this shrub are admired as a pickle or sauce of delicate flavour.

324 Fée remarks that this is not the truth, all the kinds possessing the same qualities. There may, however, have been some difference in the mode of salting or pickling them, and possibly productive of noxious effects.

325 Probably from its thorns, that being the name of the sweet-briar, or dog-rose.

326 "Serpent grapes."

327 Sprengel and Fée take this to be the Cyperus fastigiatus of Linnæus, which Forskhal found in the river Nile.

328 Spina regia. Some writers have considered this to be the same with the Centaurea solstitialis of Linnæus. .Sprengel takes it to be the Cassyta filiformis of Linnæus, a parasitical plant of India. We must conclude, however, with Fée, that both the thorn and the parasite have not hitherto been identified.

329 The Makron Teichos. See B. iv. c. 11.

330 From the various statements of ancient authors, Fée has come to the conclusion that this name was given to two totally different productions. The cytisus which the poets speak of as grateful to bees and goats, and sheep, he takes to be the Medicago arborea of Linnæus, known to us as Medic trefoil, or lucerne; while the other, a tree with a black wood, he considers identical with the Cytisus laburnum of Linnæus, the laburnum, or false ebony tree.

331 A kind of vetch or tare. See B. xviii.

332 "Frutex." When speaking of it as a shrub, he seems to be confounding the tree with the plant.

333 Evidently in allusion to the tree.

334 He alludes to various kinds of fucus or sea-weed, which grows to a much larger size in the Eastern seas.

335 The Mediterranean.

336 Whence the word "fucus" of the naturalists.

337 Fée suggests that this may be the Laminaria saccharina of Linnæus, being one of the "ulvæ" often thrown up on the coasts of Europe.

338 The "green" plant.

339 The "girdle" plant.

340 The Fucus barbatus, probably, of Linnæus, or else the Fucus eroïdes.

341 They are in reality more long-lived than this.

342 Fée suggests that it is the Roccella tinctoria of Linnæus.

343 The Zostera marina of Linnæus, according to Fée .

344 The Ulva lactuca of the moderns, a very common sea-weed.

345 The Fucus ericoïdes, Fée suggests, not unlike a fir in appearance.

346 Quercus. According to Gmellin, this is the Fucus vesiculosus of Linnæus. Its leaves are indented, somewhat similarly to those of the oak.

347 Polybius, as quoted by Athenæus, says that in the Lusitanian Sea there are oaks that bear acorns, on which the thunnies Feed and grow fat.

348 On the contrary, Theophrastus says, B. iv. c. 7, that the sea-vine grows near the sea, from which Fée is disposed to consider it a phanerogamous plant. If, on the other hand, it is really a fucus, he thinks that the Fucus uvarius may be meant, the vesicles of which resemble a grape in shape.

349 He speaks of a madrepore, Fée thinks, the identity of which it is difficult to determine. Professor Pallas speaks of an Alcyonidium ficus, which lives in the Mediterranean and in the ocean, and which resembles a fig, and has no leaves, but its exterior is not red.

350 Feé queries whether this may not be the Gorgonia palma of Linnæus, which has received its name from its resemblance to a small palm-tree.

351 These three, Fée thinks, are madrepores or zoophytes, which it would be vain to attempt to identify.

352 That is, they dry up to the consistency of pumice.

353 "Sitiens." Delille considers this as identical with his Acacia seyal, a thorny tree, often to be seen in the deserts of Africa.

354 Probably zoophytes now unknown.

355 Fée suggests that he may allude to the Madrepora fungites of Linnæus, the Fungus lapideus of Bauhin, These are found in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean; but, of course, the story of their appearance during rain is fabulous.

356 Sharks; see B. ix. c. 70.

357 The companions of Onesicritus and Nearchus.

358 Fée hazards a conjecture that this may be the Gorgonia scirpea of Pallas, found in the Indian Seas.

359 One of the Gorgoniæ, Fée thinks; but its characteristics are not sufficiently stated to enable us to identify it.

360 A fable worthy of Sinbad the Sailor!

361 "Isidis crinem." Fée says that this is evidently black coral, the Gorgonia antipathes of Linnæus.

362 "The eyelid of the Graces." Fée is almost tempted to think that he means red coral.

363 Amatoriis.

364 Spatalia. Armlets or bracelets.

365 By this apparently fabulous story, one would be almost inclined to think that he is speaking of a zoophyte.

366 See end of B. ii.

367 See end of B. ii.

368 See end of B vii.

369 Papirius Fabianus. See end of B. ii.

370 See end of B. ii.

371 See end of B. iii.

372 Fabius Pictor. See end of B. x.

373 See end of B. viii.

374 See end of B. iii.

375 Trogus Pompeius. See end of B. vii.

376 See end of B. v.

377 See end of B. ii.

378 See end of B. xii.

379 See end of B. xii.

380 See end of B. ii.

381 See end of B. xii.

382 See end of B. ii.

383 See end of B. iii.

384 See end of B. ii.

385 See end of B. xii.

386 See end of B. vii.

387 See end of B. vi.

388 See end of B. xii.

389 See end of B. vii.

390 See end of B. vi.

391 See end of B. ii.

392 See end of B. xii.

393 See end of B. xii.

394 See end of B. vi.

395 See end of B. iv.

396 See end of B. iv.

397 See end of B. xii.

398 See end of B. iv.

399 See end of B. viii.

400 See end of B. xii.

401 See end of B. xii.

402 See end of B. xii.

403 See end of B. viii.

404 Nothing certain is known of him; but he appears to be the geographer, a native of Lampsacus, mentioned by Strabo in B. xiii.

405 See end of B. xii.

406 See end of B. xii.

407 See end of B. xii.

408 See end of B. ii.

409 See end of B. viii.

410 See end of B. iii.

411 A writer on Agriculture, or domestic economy; but nothing further is known of him.

412 See end of B. v.

413 Perhaps the same writer that is mentioned at the end of B. xi.

414 For two physicians of this name, see end of B. xii.

415 One of his prescriptions is preserved in the works of Galen. Nothing else is known of him.

416 See end of B. xii.

417 See end of B. xii.

418 See end of B. xii.

419 See end of B. xii.

420 See end of B. xii.

421 See end of B. xii.

422 See end of B. xii.

423 See end of B. xii.

424 See end of B. xii.

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