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1 He was a contemporary of L. Crassus, and was distinguished for his great wealth, and his love of luxury and refinement, but possessed an unblemished character. His surname, Orata or Aurata, was given to him, it is said, because he was remarkably fond of gold-fish—auratæ pisces—though, according to other authorities, it was because he was in the habit of wearing two very large gold rings.
2 "Pensiles balineas." This expression has been differently rendered by various commentators, but it is now generally supposed to refer to the manner in which the flooring of the bathing rooms was suspended over the hollow cells of the hypocaust or heating furnace. This is called by Vitruvius, "Suspensura caldariorum."
3 "Ita mangonicatas villas subinde vendendo."—By the use of the word "ita," Pliny may possibly mean that he was in the habit of filling up the villas with the "balineæ pensiles," which he had invented. "Mangonizo" was to set off or trim up a thing, that it might sell again all the better.
4 Varro speaks of those of Tarentum, as being the best. The Greeks preferred the oysters of Abydos; the Romans, under the empire, those of Britain.
5 It does not appear to be known what two bridges are here alluded to; the Sublician, or wooden bridge, was probably one of them, and, perhaps, the Palatine bridge was the other. The former was built by Ancus Martius.
6 For some further account of the British oyster, see B. xxxii. c. 21.
7 See B. xxxii c. 21.
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