previous next


Sinopis1 was discovered in Pontus; and hence its name, from the city of Sinope there. It is produced also in Egypt, the Balearic islands, and Africa; but the best is found in Lemnos and Cappadocia, being extracted from quarries there. That part is considered the best which has been found adhering to the rock. In the native mass, it has its own proper colour within, but is spotted on the exterior; the ancients made use of it for tone.2

There are three kinds of sinopis, the red, the pale red, and the intermediate. The price of the best is twelve denarii per pound; it is used both for painting with the brush, and for colouring wood. The kind which comes from Africa sells at eight asses per pound; the name given to it is "cicerculum."3 That4 which is of the deepest red is the most in use for colouring compartitions. The sinopis known as the dull5 kind, being of a very tawny complexion, sells also at the price of eight asses per pound; it is used principally for the lower6 parts of compartitions.

Used medicinally, sinopis is of a soothing nature, and is employed as an ingredient in plasters and emollient poultices. It admits of being easily used, whether in the form of a dry or of a liquid composition, for the cure of ulcers situate in the humid parts of the body, the mouth and the rectum, for instance. Used as an injection, it arrests looseness of the bowels, and, taken in doses of one denarius, it acts as a check upon female discharges. Applied in a burnt state, with wine in particular, it has a desiccative effect upon granulations of the eyelids.

1 Or "rubrica Sinopica;" "red earth of Sinope," a brown red ochre, or red oxide of iron. Dioscorides identifies it with the Greekμιλτὸς, which indeed seems to have embraced the cinnabaris, minium, and rubricæ of the Romans.

2 "Splendorem." See Note 7 above.

3 So called from its deep grey brown colour, like that of the "cicer" or chick-pea.

4 The sense of this passage seems to require the insertion of "quæ," although omitted by the Bamberg MS.

5 "Pressior."

6 Those parts of the walls, probably, which were nearer to the ground, and more likely to become soiled.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), BASIL´ICA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PUTE´OLI
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (4):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: