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1 "Sal fit." This expression is not correct, there being no such thing as made salt. It is only collected from a state of suspension or dissolution. Pliny, however, includes under the name "sal" many substances, which in reality are not salt. His "hammoniacum" for instance if identical with hydrochlorate of ammonia, can with justice be said to made, being formed artificially from other substances.
2 "Catco humere vel siccato." These two terms in reality imply the same process, by the medium of evaporation; the former perfect, the latter imperfect.
3 The evaporation not being sufficiently strong to dry up the deeper parts.
4 There is in reality nothing wonderful in this, considering' that most lakes are constantly fed with the streams of rivers, which carry mineral sails along with them, and that the work of evaporation is always going on.
6 Because it is necessarily purer than that found upon the sand.
7 The description is not sufficiently clear to enable us to identify these lakes with certainty. Ajasson,, thinks that one of them may be the Lake of Badakandir in the Khanat of Bokhara; and the other the lake that lies between Ankhio and Akeha, in the west of the territory of Balkh, and near the Usbek Tartars.
8 "Sale exæstuant."
9 In consequence of the intense heat.
10 All these regions, Ajasson remarks, are covered with salt. An immense desert of salt extends to the north-east of Irak-Adjemi, and to the north of Kerman, between Tabaristan, western Khoraclu, and Khohistan.
11 Identified by Ajasson with the Herat and the Djihioun. He thinks that it is of some of the small affluents of this last that Pliny speaks.
12 "Lapis specularis."
13 A "crumb" properly, in the Latin language.
14 See B. vi. c. 32.
15 More commonly known as Jupiter Hammon.
16 See B. xii. c. 49, and B. xxiv. c. 28, for an account of gum resin am- moniac, a produce of the same locality. The substance here spoken of is considered by Beckmann to be nothing but common salt in an impure state. See his Hist. Inv. Vol. II. pp. 398–9, where this passage is discussed at considerable length. Ajasson, on the other hand, considers it to be Hydrochlorate of ammonia, the Sal ammoniac of commerce. According to some accounts, it was originally made in the vicinity of the Temple of Jupiter Hammon, by burning camels' dung.
18 See B. xxxv. c. 52.
19 Sal ammoniac crystallizes in octahedrons.
20 "Intra specus suos." On this passage, Beckmann says, "From what is said by Pliny it may with certainty be concluded that this salt was dug up from pits or mines in Africa.——Many kinds of rock-salt, taken from the mines of Wieliczka, experience the same change in the air; so that blocks which a labourer can easily carry in the mine, can scarcely be lifted by him after being for some time exposed to the air. The cause here is undoubtedly the same as that which makes many kinds of artificial salt to become most and to acquire more weight."—Vol. II. p. 399, Bohn's Ed.
21 According to modern notions, his reason is anything but evident.
22 In Celtiberia. He alludes to the mountain of salt at Cardona, near Montserrat in Catalonia.
23 Speaking generally, this is true; but soils which contain it in small quantities as fruitful.
24 A simile method is still employed, Ajasson says, at the salt-mines near Innspruck in the Tyrol.
25 Native bitumen; always to be found in greater or less quantities, in saliferous earns.
26 The process of artificial evaporation.
27 This would produce an impure alkaline salt. According to Townson, this practice sll prevails in Transylvania and Moldavia.
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