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It is very remarkable that fresh water should burst out close to the sea, as from pipes. But there is no end to the wonders that are connected with the nature of waters. Fresh water floats on sea water, no doubt from its being lighter; and therefore sea water, which is of a heavier nature1, supports better what floats upon it. And, in some places, different kinds of fresh water float upon each other; as that of the river which falls into the Fucinus; that of the Addua into the Larius; of the Ticinus into the Verbanus; of the Mincius into the Benacus; of the Ollius into the Sevinus; and of the Rhone into the Leman lake2 (this last being beyond the Alps, the others in Italy): all which rivers passing through the lakes for many miles, generally carry off no more water than they bring with them. The same thing is said to occur in the Orontes, a river of Syria, and in many others

Some rivers, from a real hatred of the sea, pass under it, as does Arethusa, a fountain of Syracuse, in which the substances are found that are thrown into the Alpheus; which, after flowing by Olympia, is discharged into the sea, on the shore of the Peloponnesus3. The Lycus in Asia4, the Era- sinus in Argolis, and the Tigris5 in Mesopotamia, sink into the earth and burst out again. Substances which are thrown into the fountain of Æsculapius at Athens6 are cast up at the fountain of Phalerum. The river which sinks into the ground in the plain of Atinum7 comes up again at the distance of twenty miles, and the Timavus does the same in Aquileia8.

In the lake Asphaltites, in Judæa, which produces bitumen, no substance will sink, nor in the lake Arethusa9, in the Greater Armenia: in this lake, although it contains nitre, fish are found. In the country of the Salentini, near the town of Manduria, there is a lake10 full to the brim, the waters of which are never diminished by what is taken out of it, nor increased by what is added. Wood, which is thrown into the river of the Cicones11, or into the lake Velinus in Picenum, becomes coated with a stony crust, while in the Surius, a river of Colchis, the whole substance becomes as hard as stone. In the same manner, in the Silarus12, beyond Surrentum, not only twigs which are immersed in it, but likewise leaves are petrified; the water at the same time being proper for drinking. In the stream which runs from the marsh of Reate13 there is a rock, which continues to increase in size, and in the Red Sea olive-trees and green shrubs are produced14.

There are many springs which are remarkable for their warmth. This is the case even among the ridges of the Alps15, and in the sea itself, between Italy and Ænaria, as in the bay of Baiæ, and in the Liris and many other rivers16. There are many places in which fresh water may be procured from the sea, as at the Chelidonian Isles, and at Arados, and in the ocean at Gades. Green plants are produced in the warm springs of Padua, frogs in those of Pisa, and fish in those of Vetulonia in Etruria, which is not far from the sea. In Casinas there is a cold river called Scatebra, which in summer is more full of water17. In this, as in the river Stymphalis, in Arcadia, small water-mice are produced. The fountain of Jupiter in Dodona, although it is as cold as ice, and extinguishes torches that are plunged into it, yet, if they be brought near it, it kindles them again18. This spring always becomes dry at noon, from which circumstance it is called αναπαυόμενον19 it then increases and becomes full at midnight, after which it again visibly decreases. In Illyricum there is a cold spring, over which if garments are spread they take fire. The pool of Jupiter Ammon, which is cold during the day, is warm during the night20. In the country of the Troglodytæ21, what they call the Fountain of the Sun, about noon is fresh and very cold; it then gradually grows warm, and, at midnight, becomes hot and saline22.

In the middle of the day, during summer, the source of the Po, as if reposing itself, is always dry23. In the island of Tenedos there is a spring, which, after the summer solstice, is full of water, from the third hour of the night to the sixth24. The fountain Inopus, in the island of Delos, decreases and increases in the same manner as the Nile, and also at the same periods25. There is a small island in the sea, opposite to the river Timavus, containing warm springs, which increase and decrease at the same time with the tides of the sea26. In the territory of Pitinum, on the other side of the Apennines, the river Novanus, which during the solstice is quite a torrent, is dry in the winter27.

In Faliscum, all the water which the oxen drink turns them white; in Bœotia, the river Melas turns the sheep black; the Cephissus, which flows out of a lake of the same name, turns them white28; again, the Peneus turns them black, and the Xanthus, near Ilium, makes them red, whence the river derives its name29. In Pontus, the river Astaces waters certain plains, where the mares give black milk, which the people use in diet. In Reate there is a spring called Neminia, which rises up sometimes in one place and sometimes in another, and in this way indicates a change in the produce of the earth30. There is a spring in the harbour of Brundisium that yields water which never becomes putrid at sea. The water of the Lyncestis, which is said to be acidulous, intoxicates like wine31; this is the case also in Paphlagonia32 and in the territory of Calenum33. In the island of Andros, at the temple of Father Bacchus, we are assured by Mucianus, who was thrice consul, that there is a spring, which, on the nones of January, always has the flavour of wine; it is called διὸς θεοδοσία34. Near Nonacris, in Arcadia, the Styx35, which is not unlike it either in odour or in colour, instantly destroys those who drink it. Also in Librosus, a hill in the country of the Tauri, there are three springs which inevitably produce death, but without pain. In the territory of the Carrinenses in Spain36, two springs burst out close together, the one of which absorbs everything, the other throws them out. In the same country there is another spring, which gives to all the fish the appearance of gold, although, when out of the water, they do not differ in any respect from other fish. In the territory of Como, near the Larian lake, there is a copious spring, which always swells up and subsides again every hour37. In the island of Cydonea38, before Lesbos, there is a warm fountain, which flows only during the spring season. The lake Sinnaus39, in Asia, is impregnated with wormwood, which grows about it. At Colophon, in the cave of the Clarian Apollo, there is a pool, by the drinking of which a power is acquired of uttering wonderful oracles; but the lives of those who drink of it are shortened40. In our own times, during the last years of Nero's life, we have seen rivers flowing backwards, as I have stated in my history of his times41.

And indeed who can be mistaken as to the fact, that all springs are colder in summer than in winter42, as well as these other wonderful operations of nature; that copper and lead sink when in a mass, but float when spread out43; and of things that are equally heavy, some will sink to the bottom, while others will remain on the surface44; that heavy bodies are more easily moved in water45; that a stone from Scyros, although very large, will float, while the same, when broken into small pieces, sinks46; that the body of an animal, newly deprived of life, sinks, but that, when it is swelled out, it floats47; that empty vessels are drawn out of the water with no more ease than those that are full48; that rain-water is more useful for salt-pits than other kinds of water49; that salt cannot be made, unless it is mixed with fresh water50; that salt water freezes with more difficulty51, and is more readily heated52; that the sea is warmer in winter53 and more salt in the autumn54; that everything is soothed by oil, and that this is the reason why divers send out small quantities of it from their mouths, because it smoothes any part which is rough55 and transmits the light to them; that snow never falls in the deep part of the sea56; that although water generally has a tendency downwards, fountains rise up57, and that this is the case even at the foot of Ætna58, burning as it does, so as to force out the sand like a ball of flame to the distance of 150 miles?

1 The specific gravity of sea water varies from 1ċ0269 to 1ċ0285. The saline contents of the water of the English Channel are stated to be 27 grs. in 1000. Turner's Chem. p. 1289, 1290.

2 The modern names of the rivers and lakes here mentioned are the Liris, communicating with the Lago di Celano; the Adda, with the Lago di Como; the Ticino, with the Lago Maggiore; the Mincio, with the Lago di Guarda; the Oglio, with the Lago di Sero; and the Rhone with the Lake of Geneva. There may be some foundation for the alleged fact, because the specific gravity and the temperature of the lake may differ a little from that of the river which passes through it.

3 According to Brotier, "fons ille olim nobilissimus, nunc ignobile est lavacrum, cujus aqua marino sapore inficitur." He conceives that there is no actual foundation for this so frequently repeated story; and conjectures that it originated from the similitude of the names, the fountain in Sicily and the river in the Peloponnesus being both named Alpheus. He goes on to mention some examples of springs of fresh water rising up on the sea-coast; Lemaire, i. 438. The allusion to the fountain of Arethusa, by Virgil, in the commencement of the 10th eclogue, is well known to all classical scholars. The lines of Virgil have been elegantly imitated by Voltaire, in the Henriade, ix. 269, 270.

4 This is mentioned by Ovid, Met. xv. 273, 274.

5 This is again referred to by our author, vi. 31; also by Strabo, and by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 26.

6 Pausanias.

7 The river here referred to is the Tanager, the modern Rio Negro. See the remarks of Hardouin and Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 439.

8 From a note in Pomsinet, i. 302, we learn that there has been some doubt respecting the locality of this river. It is mentioned by Virgil, Æn. i. 244, and it forms the subject of Heyne's 7th Excursus, ii. 124 et seq. Virgil also speaks of the Timavus, Ec. viii. 6; and Heyne, in a note, gives the following description of it: "Timavus in ora Adriæ, non longe ab Aquileia fluvius ex terra novem fontibus seu capitibus progressus, brevi cursu, in unum alveum collectus, lato altoque flumine in mare exit." i. 127, 128.

9 This remark is not to be taken in its full extent; the water of these lakes contains a large quantity of saline and other substances dissolved in it, and, consequently, has its specific gravity so much increased, that various substances float on it which sink in pure water.

10 According to Hardouin, this is now called the Lake of Andoria, near the town of Casalnuovo; Lemaire, i. 439. Poinsinet calls it Anduria, i. 303.

11 The petrifying quality of this river is referred to by Ovid, Met. xv. 313, 314; Seneca quotes these lines when treating on this subject, Nat. Quæst. iii. 20.

12 Aristotle, Strabo, and Silius Italicus, viii. 582, 583, refer to this property of the Silarus; but, according to Brotier, it does not appear to be known to the present inhabitants of the district through which it flows. Lemaire, i. 440.

13 In a subsequent part of the work, xxxi. 8, our author remarks, "Reatinis tantum paludibus ungulas jumentorum indurari." We may presume that the water contained some saline, earthy or metallic substance, either in solution, or in a state of minute division, which would produce these effects. It does not appear that anything of this kind has been observed by the moderns in this water.

14 The coral beds with which the Red Sea abounds may have given rise to this opinion: see the remarks of Alexandre in loco. Hardouin informs us, that this clause respecting the Red Sea is not found in any of the MSS. Lemaire, i. 441. A similar observation occurs in a subsequent part of the work, xiii. 48.

15 There are thermal springs in the Alpine valleys, but not any in the elevated parts of the Alps themselves.

16 The volcanic nature of a large portion of the south of Italy and the neighbouring islands may be regarded as the cause of the warm springs which are found there.

17 This river may be supposed to have been principally supplied by melted snow; it would appear to be colder, because its temperature would be less elevated than the other streams in the neighbourhood.

18 The statement, if correct, may be referred to the discharge of a quantity of inflammable gas from the surface of the water. The fact is men- tioned by Lucretius, vi. 879, 880, and by Mela.

19 "Quasi alternis requiescens, ac meridians: diem diffindens, ut Varro loquitur, insititia quiete." Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 443. He says that there is a similar kind of fountain in Provence, called Collis Martiensis.

20 There has been considerable difference of opinion among the commentators, both as to the reading of the text and its interpretation, for which I shall refer to the notes of Poinsinet, i. 307, of Hardouin and Alexandre, Lemaire, i. 443, and of Richelet, Ajasson, ii. 402.

21 We have an account of the Troglodytsæ in a subsequent part of the work, v. 5. The name is generally applied by the ancients to a tribe of people inhabiting a portion of Æthiopia, and is derived from the circumstance of their dwellings being composed of caverns; a τρωγλὴ and δύνω. Alexandre remarks, that the name was occasionally applied to other tribes, whose habitations were of the same kind; Lemaire, i. 443. They are referred to by Q. Curtius as a tribe of the Æthiopians, situated to the south of Egypt and extending to the Red Sea, iv. 7.

22 Q. Curtius gives nearly the same account of this fountain.

23 The Po derives its water from the torrents of the Alps, and is therefore much affected by the melting of the snow or the great falls of rain, which occur at different seasons of the year; but the daily diminution of the water, as stated by our author, is without foundation.

24 "Fontem ibi intermittentem frustra qusæsivit cl. Le Chevalier, Voyage de la Troade, t. i. p. 219." Lemaire, i. 444.

25 Strabo, in allusion to this circumstance, remarks, that some persons make it still more wonderful, by supposing that this spring is connected with the Nile. We learn from Tournefort, that there is a well of this name in Delos, which he found to contain considerably more water in January and February than in October, and which is supposed to be connected with the Nile or the Jordan: this, of course, he regards as an idle tale. Lemaire.

26 Hardouin informs us, that these warm springs are called "i bagni di Monte Falcone," or "di S. Antonio." They are situate so very near the sea, that we may suppose some communication to exist, which may produce the alleged effect. Lemaire.

27 According to Hardouin this is the modern Torre di Pitino; he conceives that the river here mentioned must be the Vomanus. The effect here described is, to a certain extent, always the case with rivers which proceed from mountains that are covered with snow. Lemaire, i. 445.

28 Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 25, makes the same remark: the fact would seem to be, that in certain districts the cattle are found to be for the most part white, and in other places black; but we have no reason to suppose that their colour has any connexion with the water which they employ.

29 This is asserted by Aristotle, Hist. Anim. iii. 12. We have a similar statement made by Ælian respecting the Scamander; viii. 21.

30 "Annonæ mutationem significans."

31 The peculiar nature of the water of the Lyncestis is referred to by many of the ancients: we may suppose that it was strongly impregnated with carbonic acid gas. See Ovid, Met. xv. 329–331; also Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 3, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 20.

32 Vitruvius and Athenæus.

33 Calenum was a town in Campania; this peculiar property of its water is referred to by Val. Maximus, i. 8, 18.

34 Literally, Jovis cultus; as interpreted by Hardouin, "tanquam si dixeris, divinum Jovis munus hunc fontem esse." Lemaire, i. 447.

35 Seneca affirms its poisonous nature; Nat. Quæst. iii. 25. Q. Curtius refers to a spring in Macedonia of the same name, "quo pestiferum virus emanat." x. 10.

36 There appears to be some uncertainty respecting the locality of this district; see the remarks of Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 447.

37 "Hunc fontem describit eximie Plinius jun. lib. iv. epist. ult. Est ad orientalem Larii lacus plagam, Lago di Como, x mill. pass. a Como." Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 448.

38 Our author, in a subsequent passage, v. 39, speaks of Cydonea, "cum fonte calido."

39 According to Hardouin, i. 448, there is a considerable variation in the MSS. with respect to this name: he informs us that "συναὸς urbs est Magnæ Phrygiæ Ptolemæo, v. 2."

40 Tacitus gives an account of this oracle as having been visited by Germanicus; Ann. ii. 54.

41 Our author refers to this history in the First book of the present work.

42 "Comparatos scilicet cum aëris externi temperie." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 448.

43 Thin leaves or films of metal have little affinity for water, and have, generally, bubbles of air attached to them; so that, when placed upon the water, the fluid is prevented from adhering to them, and thus they remain on the surface.

44 Depending not upon their absolute, but their specific gravity.

45 Being partly supported by the water.

46 The stone may have floated in consequence of its being full of pores: these are more quickly filled with water when it is broken into small pieces. It was probably of the nature of pumice or some other volcanic product.

47 This is well known to depend upon the commencement of the decomposition of some part of the viscera, by which there is an evolution of gaseous matter.

48 This is an erroneous statement; it is not easy to ascertain what was the source of the error.

49 Rain, as it falls from the clouds, is nearly pure; and rivers, or receptacles of any kind, that are supplied by it, are considerably more free from saline impregnations than the generality of springs.

50 This statement is altogether incorrect.

51 When salt water freezes, it is disengaged from the saline matter which it previously held in solution; a greater degree of cold is therefore required to overcome the attraction of the water for the salt, and to form the ice, than when pure water is congealed.

52 "Celerius accendi." We can scarcely suppose that by this term our author intended to express the actual burning or inflaming of the water, which is its literal and ordinary meaning. This, however, would appear to be the opinion of Hardouin and Alexandre; Lemaire, i. 449. Holland translates it, "made hot and set a-seething," i. 46; Poinsinet, "s'éhauffe le plus vîte," i. 313; and Ajasson, "plus prompte à s'échauffer," ii. 217.

53 The temperature of the ocean, in consequence of its great mass and the easy diffusion and mixture of its various parts, may be conceived to be longer in becoming raised or depressed than any particular portion of the land, where contemporary observations may be made.

54 The evaporation that is going on during the heats of summer, and the heavy rains which in many countries fall during the autumn, may produce the effects here described, in confined seas or inlets.

55 The statement is true to a certain extent, as is proved by the well-known experiments of Franklin and others; but the degree of the effect is considerably exaggerated. See the observations of Hardouin, Brotier, and Alexandre; Lemaire, i. 450, 451.

56 In the Mediterranean the warm vapours rising from the water and its shores may melt the snow as it descends; but this is not the case in the parts of the main ocean which approach either to the Arctic or the Antarctic regions.

57 The theory of springs is well understood, as depending upon the water tending to rise to its original level, so as to produce an equilibrium of pressure.

58 When we consider the great extent of the base of Ætna, and that the crater is in the form of an inverted cone, we shall perceive that there is ample space for the existence of springs in the lower part of the mountain, without their coming in contact with the heated lava.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CHIMAERA
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