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BELUS (Βηλεύς), called also Pagida by Pliny (5.19), a small river of Palestine, described by Pliny as taking its rise from a lake named Cendevia, at the roots of Mount Carmel, which after running five miles enters the sea near Ptolemais (36.26) two stadia from the city, according to Josephus. (B. J. 2.2.9.) It is chiefly celebrated among the ancients for its vitreous sand, and the accidental discovery of the manufacture of glass is ascribed by Pliny to the banks of this river, which he describes as a sluggish stream, of unwholesome water, but consecrated by religious ceremonies. (Comp. Tac. Hist. 5.7.) It is now called Nahr Na'mân; but the lake Cendevia has disappeared. It is an ingenious conjecture of Reland that its ancient appellation may be the origin of the Greek name for glass, ὑελός, or ὑαλός. (Balaest. p. 290.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 5.7
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.19
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