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But of all animals, it is the hyæna that has been held in the highest admiration by the magicians, who have gone so far as to attribute to it certain magical virtues even, and the power of alluring1 human beings and depriving them of their senses. Of its change of sex each year, and other monstrous peculiarities2 in its nature, we have spoken already;3 we will now proceed to describe the medicinal virtues that are ascribed to it.

The hyæna, it is said, is particularly terrible to panthers; so much so, indeed, that they will not attempt to make the slightest resistance to it, and will never attack a man who has any portion of a hyæna's skin about him. A thing truly marvellous to tell of, if the hides of these two animals are hung up facing one another, the hair will fall from off the panther's skin! When the hyæna flies before the hunter, it turns off on the right, and letting the man get before it, follows in his track: should it succeed in doing which, the man is sure to lose his senses and fall from his horse even. But if, on the other hand, it turns off to the left, it is a sign that the animal is losing strength, and that it will soon be taken. The easiest method, however, of taking it, they say, is for the hunter to tie his girdle with seven knots, and to make as many knots in the whip with which he guides his horse. In addition to all this, so full of quirks and subtleties are the vain conceits of the magicians, they recommend the hyæna to be captured while the moon is passing through the sign of Gemini, and every hair of it to be preserved, if possible. They say, too, that the skin of the head is highly efficacious, if attached to a person suffering from head-ache; that the gall, applied to the forehead, is curative of ophthalmia; and that if the gall is boiled down with three cyathi of Attic honey and one ounce of saffron, it will be a most effectual preservative against that disease, the same preparation being equally good for the dispersion of films on the eyes and cataract. If, again, this preparation is kept till it is old, it will be all the better for improving the sight, due care being taken to preserve it in a box of Cyprian copper: they assert also, that it is good for the cure of argema, eruptions and excrescences of the eyes, and marks upon those organs. For diseases4 of the crystalline humours of the eyes, it is recommended to anoint them with the gravy of hyæna's liver roasted fresh, incorporated with clarified honey.

We learn also, from the same sources, that the teeth of the hyæna are useful for the cure of tooth-ache, the diseased tooth being either touched with them, or the animal's teeth being arranged in their regular order, and attached to the patient; that the shoulders of this animal are good for the cure of pains in the arms and shoulders; that the teeth, extracted from the left side of the jaw, and wrapped in the skin of a sheep or hegoat, are an effectual cure for pains in the stomach; that the lights of the animal, taken with the food, are good for cœliac affections; that the lights, reduced to ashes and applied with oil, are also soothing to the stomach; that the marrow of the backbone, used with old oil and gall, is strengthening to the sinews; that the liver, tasted thrice just before the paroxysms, is good for quartan fevers; that the ashes of the vertebræ, applied in hyena's skin with the tongue and right foot of a sea-calf and a bull's gall, the whole boiled up together, are soothing for gout; that for the same disease hyæna's gall is advantageously employed in combination with stone of Assos;5 that for cold shiverings, spasms, sudden fits of starting, and palpitations of the heart, it is a good plan to eat some portion of a hyæna's heart cooked, care being taken to reduce the rest to ashes, and to apply it with the brains of the animal to the part affected; that this last composition, or the gall applied alone, acts as a depilatory, the hairs being first plucked out which are wanted not to grow again; that by this method superfluous hairs of the eyelids may be removed; that the flesh of the loins, eaten and applied with oil, is a cure for pains in the loins; and that sterility in females may be removed by giving them the eye of this animal to eat, in combination with liquorice and dill, conception within three days being warranted as the result.

Persons afflicted with night-mare and dread of spectres, will experience relief, they say, by attaching one of the large teeth of a hyæna to the body, with a linen thread. In fits of delirium too, it is recommended to fumigate the patient with the smoke of one of these teeth, and to attach one in front of his chest, with the fat of the kidneys, or else the liver or skin. They assert also that a pregnant woman will never miscarry, if she wears suspended from her neck, the white flesh from a hyena's breast, with seven hairs and the genitals of a stag, the whole tied up in the skin of a gazelle. The genitals, they say, eaten with honey, act as a stimulant upon a person, according to the sex, and this even though it should be the case of a man who has manifested an aversion to all intercourse with females.

Nay, even more than all this, we are assured that if the genitals and a certain joint of the vertebræ are preserved in a house with the hide adhering to them, they will ensure peace and concord between all members of the family; hence it is that this part is known as the "joint of the spine,"6 or "Atlantian7 knot." This joint, which is the first, is reckoned among the remedies for epilepsy.

The fumes of the burnt fat of this animal will put serpents to flight, they say; and the jawbone, pounded with anise and taken with the food, is a cure for shivering fits. A fumigation made therewith has the effect of an emmenagogue; and such are the frivolous and absurd conceits of the professors of the magic art, that they boldly assert that if a man attaches to his arm a tooth from the right side of the upper jaw, he will never miss any object he may happen to aim at with a dart. The palate, dried and warmed with Egyptian alum,8 is curative of bad odours and ulcers of the mouth, care being taken to renew the application three times. Dogs, they say, will never bark at persons who have a hyæna's tongue in the shoe, beneath the sole of the foot. The left side of the brain, applied to the nostrils, is said to have a soothing effect upon all dangerous maladies either in men or beasts. They say, too, that the skin of the forehead is a preservative against all fascinations; that the flesh of the neck, whether eaten or dried and taken in drink, is good for pains in the loins; that the sinews of the back and shoulders, used as a fumigation, are good for pains in the sinews; that the bristles of the snout, applied to a woman's lips, have all the effect of a philtre; and that the liver, administered in drink, is curative of griping pains and urinary calculi.

The heart, it is said, taken with the food or drink, is remedial for all kinds of pains in the body; the milt for pains in the spleen; the caul, in combination with oil, for inflammatoryulcers; and the marrow for pains in the spine and weakness in the sinews. The strings of the kidneys, they say, if taken with wine and frankincense, will restore fruitfulness, in cases where it has been banished through the agency of noxious spells; the uterus, taken in drink with the rind of a sweet pomegranate, is highly beneficial for diseases of the uterus; and the fat of the loins, used as a fumigation, removes all impediments to delivery, and accelerates parturition. The marrow of the back, attached to the body as an amulet, is an effectual remedy for fantastic illusions,9 and the genitals of the male animal, used as a fumigation, are good for the cure of spasms. For ophthalmia, ruptures, and inflammations, the feet, which are kept for the purpose, are touched; the left feet for affections on the right side of the body, and the right feet for affections on the left. The left foot, if laid upon the body of a woman in travail, will be productive, they say, of fatal effects; but the right foot, similarly employed, will facilitate delivery. The vesicle which has contained the gall, taken in wine or with the food. is beneficial for the cardiac disease; and the bladder, taken in wine, is a good preservative against incontinence of urine. The urine, too, which is found in the bladder, taken with oil, sesame, and honey, is said to be useful for diseases of long standing.

The first rib and the eighth, used as a fumigation, are said to be useful for ruptures; the vertebræ for women in travail; and the blood, in combination with polenta,10 for griping pains in the bowels. If the door-posts are touched with this blood, the various arts of the magicians will be rendered of no effect; they will neither be able to summon the gods into their presence nor to converse with them, whatever the method to which they have recourse, whether lamps or basin, water or globe,11 or any other method.

The flesh of the hyæna, taken as food, is said to be efficacious for the bite of a mad dog, and the liver still more so. The flesh or bones of a human being which have been found in the belly of a slain hyæna, used as a fumigation, are said to be remedial for gout: but if among these remains the nails are found, it is looked upon as a presage of death to some one among those who have captured it. The excrements or bones which have been voided by the animal at the moment when killed, are looked upon as counter-charms to magic spells. The dung found in the intestines is dried and administered in drink for dysentery; and it is applied to all parts of the body with goose-grease, in the form of a liniment, in the case of persons who have received injury from some noxious medicament. By rubbing themselves with the grease, and lying upon the skin, of a hyæna, persons who have been bitten by dogs are cured.

On the other hand, the ashes of the left pastern-bone, they say, boiled with weasel's blood, and applied to a person's body, will ensure universal hatred; a similar effect being equally produced by the eye when boiled. But the most extraordinary thing of all is, their assertion that the extremity of the rectum of this animal is a preservative against all oppression on the part of chiefs and potentates, and an assurance of success in all petitions, judgments, and lawsuits, and this, if a person only carries it about him. The anus, according to them, has so powerful an effect as a philtre, that if it is worn on the left arm, a woman will be sure to follow the wearer the moment he looks at her. The hairs, too, of this part, reduced to ashes, and applied with oil to the body of a man who is living a life of disgraceful effeminacy, will render him not only modest, they assure us, but of scrupulous morals even.

1 See B. viii. c. 44.

2 One peculiarity not mentioned by Pliny, is, that its skin, like that of the sea-calf, was said to be proof against the effects of lightning.

3 In 13. viii. c. 44.

4 "Glaucomata." Littré considers, on the authority of M. Sichel, that "Glaucoma" and "suffusio" are different names for the same disease—cataract.

5 See B. xxxvi. c. 27.

6 "Spinæ" seems a preferable reading to "ruinæ," adopted by Sillig.

7 "Nodum Atlantion." From the Greek ἄτλας, "much enduring," Julius Pollux says, because it was fitted for supporting burdens. The "hinc"—"hence," of Pliny here appears to be a non sequitur.

8 We shall have occasion to make enquiry as to the identity of the "alumen" of Pliny on a future occasion.

9 "Vanas species."

10 See B. xviii. c. 14.

11 "Pila."

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