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From milk, too, butter is produced; held as the most delicate of food among barbarous1 nations, and one which distinguishes2 the wealthy from the multitude at large. It is mostly made from cows' milk, and hence its name;3 but the richest butter is that made from ewes' milk. There is a butter made also from goats' milk; but previously to making it, the milk should first be warmed, in winter. In summer it is extracted from the milk by merely shaking it to and fro in a tall vessel, with a small orifice at the mouth to admit the air, but otherwise closely stopped, a little water4 being added to make it curdle the sooner. The milk that curdles the most, floats upon the surface; this they remove, and, adding salt to it, give it the name of "oxygala."5 They then take the remaining part and boil it down in pots, and that portion of it which floats on the surface is butter, a substance of an oily nature. The more6 rank it is in smell, the more higthly it is esteemed. When old, it forms an ingredient in numerous compositions. It is of an astringent, emollient, repletive, and purgative nature.

1 The people of Germany and Scythia, for instance.

2 In this passage also it is generally supposed that he refers to the nomadic life of barbarous nations, in which multitudes of sheep and cattle constituted the chief wealth. It is, however, not improbable that he means to say that among the Romans it was only the wealthy who could afford to use it.

3 βούτυρον, "cow cheese."

4 Qy. whether for "aquæ" "water," we should not read "acidi" here, "sour milk," as at the beginning of the next Chapter Beckmann suggests "aceti," "vinegar."—Hist. Inv. I. 505, Bohn's Ed.

5 Beckmann says on this passage, "what Pliny says respecting oxygala is attended with difficulties: and I am fully persuaded that his words are corrupted, though I find no variations marked in MSS. by which this con- jecture can be supported."—Hist. Inv. I. 505. He suggests another arrangement of the whole passage, but without improving it, for the difficulty would appear to be totally imaginary; as it is quite clear that by "oxygala," or "sour milk," Pliny means the thickest part of the curd, which is first removed and then salted, forming probably a sort of cream cheese. Though his meaning is clear, he may very possibly give an erroneous description of the process.

6 The remark of Holland on this passage is curious—"Some would amend this place, and for 'magis,' 'more,' put 'minus,' 'less,' in a contrary sense; but I suppose he writeth in regard of barbarous people, who make more account of such ranke butyr; like as the uncivile Irish in these daies."

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