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IN former parts of this work, I have had occasion more than. once, when the subject demanded it, to refute the impostures of the magic art, and it is now my intention to continue still further my exposure thereof. Indeed, there are few subjects on which more might be profitably said, were it only that, being, as it is, the most deceptive of all known arts, it has exercised the greatest influence in every country and in nearly every age. And no one can be surprised at the extent of its influence and authority, when he reflects that by its own energies it has embraced, and thoroughly amalgamated with itself; the three other sciences1 which hold the greatest sway upon the mind of man.

That it first originated in medicine, no one entertains a doubt;2 or that, under the plausible guise of promoting health, it insinuated itself among mankind, as a higher and more holy branch of the medical art. Then, in the next place, to promises the most seductive and the most flattering, it has added all the resources of religion, a subject upon which, at the present day, man is still entirely in the dark. Last of all, to complete its universal sway, it has incorporated with itself the astrological art;3 there being no man who is not desirous to know his future destiny, or who is not ready to believe that this knowledge may with the greatest certainty be obtained, by observing the face of the heavens. The senses of men being thus enthralled by a three-fold bond, the art of magic has attained an influence so mighty, that at the present day even, it holds sway throughout a great part of the world, and rules the kings4 of kings in the East.


There is no doubt that this art originated in Persia,5 under Zoroaster,6 this being a point upon which authors are generally agreed; but whether there was only one Zoroaster, or whether in later times there was a second person of that name, is a matter which still remains undecided. Eudoxus,7 who has endeavoured to show that of all branches of philosophy the magic art is the most illustrious and the most beneficial, informs us that this Zoroaster existed six thousand years before the death of Plato, an assertion in which he is supported by Aristotle. Hermippus,8 again, an author who has written with the greatest exactness on all particulars connected with this art, and has commented upon the two millions9 of verses left by Zoroaster, besides completing indexes to his several works, has left a statement, that Agonaces was the name of the master from whom Zoroaster derived his doctrines, and that he lived five thousand years before the time of the Trojan War. The first thing, however, that must strike us with surprise, is the fact that this art, and the traditions connected with it, should have survived for so many ages, all written commentaries thereon having perished in the meanwhile; and this, too, when there was no continuous succession of adepts, no professors of note, to ensure their transmission.

For how few there are, in fact, who know anything, even by hearsay, about the only professors of this art whose names have come down to us, Apusorus10 and Zaratus of Media, Marmarus and Arabantiphocus of Babylonia, and Tarmoendas of Assyria, men who have left not the slightest memorials of their existence. But the most surprising thing of all is, that Homer should be totally silent upon this art in his account11 of the Trojan War, while in his story of the wanderings of Ulysses, so much of the work should be taken up with it, that we may justly conclude that the poem is based upon nothing else; if, indeed, we are willing to grant that his accounts of Proteus and of the songs of the Sirens are to be understood in this sense, and that the stories of Circe and of the summoning up of the shades below,12 bear reference solely to the practices of sorcerers. And then, too, to come to more recent times, no one has told us how the art of sorcery reached Telmessus,13 a city devoted to all the services of religion, or at what period it came over and reached the matrons of Thessaly; whose name14 has long passed, in our part of the world, as the appellation of those who practise an art, originally introduced among themselves even, from foreign lands.15 For in the days of the Trojan War, Thessaly was still contented with such remedies16 as she owed to the skill of Chiron, and her only17 lightnings were the lightnings hurled by Mars.18 Indeed, for my own part, I am surprised that the imputation of magical practices should have so strongly attached to the people once under the sway of Achilles, that Menander even, a man unrivalled for perception in literary knowledge, has entitled one of his Comedies "The Thessalian Matron," and has therein described the devices practised by the females of that country in bringing down the moon from the heavens.19 I should have been inclined to think that Orpheus had been the first to introduce into a country so near his own, certain magical superstitions based upon the practice of medicine, were it not the fact that Thrace, his native land, was at that time totally a stranger to the magic art.

The first person, so far as I can ascertain, who wrote upon magic, and whose works are still in existence, was Osthanes,20 who accompanied Xerxes, the Persian king, in his expedition against Greece. It was he who first21 disseminated, as it were, the germs of this monstrous art, and tainted therewith all parts of the world through which the Persians passed. Authors who have made diligent enquiries into this subject, make mention of a second Zoroaster, a native of Proconnesus, as living a little before the time of Osthanes. That it was this same 'Osthanes, more particularly, that inspired the Greeks, not with a fondness only, but a rage, for the art of magic, is a fact beyond all doubt: though at the same time I would remark, that in the most ancient times, and indeed almost invariably, it was in this22 branch of science, that was sought the highest point of celebrity and of literary renown. At all events, Pythagoras, we find, Empedocles, Democritus, and Plato, crossed the seas, in order to attain a knowledge thereof, submitting, to speak the truth, more to the evils of exile23 than to the mere inconveniences of travel. Returning home, it was upon the praises of this art that they expatiated—it was this that they held as one of their grandest mysteries. It was Democritus, too, who first drew attention to Apollobeches24 of Coptos, to Dardanus,25 and to Phœnix: the works of Dardanus he sought in the tomb of that personage, and his own were composed in accordance with the doctrines there found. That these doctrines should have been received by any portion of mankind, and transmitted to us by the aid of memory, is to me surprising beyond anything I can conceive.26 All the particulars there found are so utterly incredible, so utterly re- volting, that those even who admire Democritus in other respects, are strong in their denial that these works were really written by him. Their denial, however, is in vain; for it was he, beyond all doubt, who had the greatest share in fascinating men's minds with these attractive chimeras.

There is also a marvellous coincidence, in the fact that the two arts—medicine, I mean, and magic—were developed simultaneously: medicine by the writings of Hippocrates, and magic by the works of Democritus, about the period of tile Peloponnesian War, which was waged in Greece in the year of the City of Rome 300.

There is another sect, also, of adepts in the magic art, who derive their origin from Moses,27 Jannes,28 and Lotapea,29 Jews by birth,30 but many thousand years posterior to Zoroaster: and as much more recent, again, is the branch of magic cultivated in Cyprus.31 In the time, too, of Alexander the Great, this profession received no small accession to its credit from the influence of a second Osthanes, who had the honour of accompanying that prince in his expeditions, and who, evidently, beyond all doubt, travelled32 over every part of the world.


It is clear that there are early traces still existing of the introduction of magic into Italy; in our laws of the Twelve Tables for instance; besides other convincing proofs, which I have already noticed in a preceding Book.33 At last, in the year of the City 657, Cneius Cornelius Lentulus and P. Licinius Crassus being consuls, a decree forbidding human sacrifices34 was passed by the senate; from which period the celebration of these horrid rites ceased in public, and, for some35 time, altogether.


The Gallic provinces, too, were pervaded by the magic art,36 and that even down to a period within memory; for it was the Emperor Tiberius that put down their Druids,37 and all that tribe of wizards and physicians. But why make further mention of these prohibitions, with reference to an art which has now crossed the very Ocean even, and has penetrated to the void38 recesses of Nature? At the present day, struck with fascination, Britannia still cultivates this art, and that, with ceremonials so august, that she might almost seem39 to have been the first to communicate them to the people of Persia.40 To such a degree are nations throughout the whole world, totally different as they are and quite unknown to one another, in accord upon this one point!

Such being the fact, then, we cannot too highly appreciate the obligation that is due to the Roman people, for having put an end to those monstrous rites, in accordance with which, to murder a man was to do an act of the greatest devoutness, and to eat41 his flesh was to secure the highest blessings of health.


According to what Osthanes tells us, there are numerous sorts of magic. It is practised42 with water, for instance, with balls, by the aid of the air, of the stars, of lamps, basins, hatchets, and numerous other appliances; means by which it engages to grant a foreknowledge of things to come, as well as converse with ghosts and spirits of the dead. All these practices, however, have been proved by the Emperor Nero, in our own day, to be so many false and chimærical illusions; entertaining as he did a passion for the magic art, unsurpassed even by his enthusiastic love for the music of the lyre, and for the songs of tragedy; so strangely did his elevation to the highest point of human fortune act upon the deep-seated vices of his mind! It was his leading desire to command the gods of heaven, and no aspiration could he conceive more noble than this. Never did person lavish more favours upon any one of the arts; and for the attainment of this, his favourite object, nothing was wanting to him, neither riches, nor power, nor aptitude at learning, and what not besides, at the expense of a suffering world.

It is a boundless, an indubitable proof, I say, of the utter falsity of this art, that such a man as Nero abandoned it; and would to heaven that he had consulted the shades below, and any other spirits as well, in order to be certified in his suspicions, rather than commissioned the denizens of stews and brothels to make those inquisitions of his [with reference to the objects of his jealousy]. For assuredly there can be no superstition, however barbarous and ferocious the rites which it sanctions, that is not more tolerant than the imaginations which he conceived, and owing to which, by a series of bloodstained crimes, our abodes were peopled with ghosts.


The magicians, too, have certain modes of evasion, as, for instance, that the gods will not obey, or even appear to, persons who have freckles upon the skin. Was this perchance the obstacle43 in Nero's way? As for his limbs, there was44 nothing deficient in them. And then, besides, he was at liberty to make choice of the days prescribed by the magic ritual: it was an easy thing for him to make choice of sheep whose colour was no other than perfectly black: and as to sacrificing human beings, there was nothing in the world that gave him greater pleasure. The Magian Tiridates45 was at his court, having repaired thither, in token of our triumph over Armenia, accompanied by a train which cost dear to the provinces through which it passed. For the fact was, that he was unwilling to travel by water, it being a maxim with the adepts in this art that it is improper to spit into the sea or to profane that element by any other of the evacuations that are inseparable from the infirmities of human nature. He brought with him, too, several other Magi, and went so far as to initiate the emperor in the repasts46 of the craft; and yet the prince, for all he had bestowed a kingdom upon the stranger, found himself unable to receive at his hands, in return, this art.

We may rest fully persuaded then, that magic is a thing detestable in itself. Frivolous and lying as it is, it still bears, however, some shadow of truth upon it; though reflected, in reality, by the practices of those who study the arts of secret poisoning, and not the pursuits of magic. Let any one picture to himself the lies of the magicians of former days, when he learns what has been stated by the grammarian Apion,47 a person whom I remember seeing myself when young. He tells us that the plant cynocephalia,48 known in Egypt as "osiritis," is useful for divination, and is a preservative against all the malpractices of magic, but that if a person takes it out of the ground entire, he will die upon the spot. He asserts, also, that he himself had raised the spirits49 of the dead, in order to make enquiry of Homer in reference to his native country and his parents; but he does not dare, he tells us, disclose the answer he received.


Let the following stand as a remarkable proof of the frivolous nature of the magic art. Of all animals it is the mole that the magicians admire most! a creature that has been stamped with condemnation by Nature in so many ways; doomed as it is to perpetual blindness,50 and adding to this darkness a life of gloom in the depths of the earth, and a state more nearly resembling that of the dead and buried. There is no animal in the entrails of which they put such implicit faith, no animal, they think, better suited for the rites of religion; so much so, indeed, that if a person swallows the heart of a mole, fresh from the body and still palpitating, he will receive the gift of divination, they assure us, and a foreknowledge of future events. Tooth-ache, they assert, may be cured by taking the tooth of a live mole, and attaching it to the body. As to other statements of theirs relative to this animal, we shall draw attention to them on the fitting occasions, and shall only add here that one of the most probable of all their assertions is, that the mole neutralizes the bite of the shrew-mouse; seeing that, as already51 stated, the very earth even that is found in the rut of a cart-wheel, acts as a remedy in such a case.


But to proceed with the remedies for tooth-ache—the magicians tell us, that it may be cured by using the ashes of the head of a dog that has died in a state of madness. The head, however, must be burnt without the flesh, and the ashes injected with oil of cyprus52 into the ear on the side affected. For the same purpose also, the left eye-tooth of a dog is used. the gum of the affected tooth being lanced with it; one of the vertebræ also of a dragon or of an enhydris, which is a male white serpent.53 The eye-tooth, too, of this last, is used for scarifying the gums; and when the pain affects the teeth of the upper jaw, they attach to the patient two of the upper teeth of the serpent, and, similarly, two of the lower ones for tooth-ache in the lower jaw. Persons who go in pursuit of the crocodile, anoint themselves with the fat of this animal. The gums are also scarified with the frontal bones of a lizard, taken from it at full moon, and not allowed to touch the ground: or else the mouth is rinsed with a decoction of dogs' teeth in wine, boiled down to one half.

Ashes of dogs' teeth, mixed with honey, are useful for difficult dentition in children, and a dentifrice is similarly prepared from them. Hollow teeth are plugged with ashes of burnt mouse-dung, or with a lizard's liver, dried. To eat a snake's heart, or to wear it, attached to the body, is considered highly efficacious. There are some among the magicians, who recommend a mouse to be eaten twice a month, as a preventive of tooth-ache. Earth-worms, boiled in oil and injected into the ear on the side affected, afford considerable relief: ashes, too, of burnt earth-worms, introduced into carious teeth, make them come out easily; and, used as a friction, they allay pains in such of the teeth as are sound: the proper way of burning them is in an earthen potsherd. They are useful, too, boiled with root of the mulberry-tree in squill vinegar, and employed as a collutory for the teeth. The small worm that is found in the plant known as Venus'54 bath, is remarkably useful, introduced55 into a hollow tooth; and as to the cabbage caterpillar, it will make hollow teeth come out, by the mere contact only. The bugs56 that are found upon mallows, are injected into the ears, beaten up with oil of roses.

The small grits of sand that are found in the horns of snails, introduced into hollow teeth, remove the pain instantaneously. Ashes of empty snail-shells, mixed with myrrh,57 are good for the gums; the ashes also of a serpent, burnt with salt in an earthen pot, and injected, with oil of roses, into the ear opposite to the side affected; or else the slough of a snake, warmed with oil and torch-pine resin,58 and injected into either ear. Some persons add frankincense and oil of roses, a preparation which, of itself, introduced into hollow teeth, makes them come out without pain. It is all a fiction, in my opinion, to say that white snakes cast this slough about the rising of the Dog-star; for such a thing has never been seen in Italy, and it is still more improbable that sloughing should take place at so late a period in the warmer climates. We find it stated also, that this slough, even when it has been kept for some time, mixed with wax, will extract a tooth very expeditiously, if applied thereto: a snake's tooth, also, attached to the body as an amulet, allays tooth-ache. Some persons think that it is a good remedy to catch a spider with the left hand, to beat it up with oil of roses, and then to inject it into the ear on the side affected.

The small bones of poultry, preserved in a hole in a wall, the medullary channel being left intact, will immediately cure tooth-ache, they say, if the tooth is touched or the gum scarified therewith, care being taken to throw away the bone the moment the operation is performed. A similar result is obtained by using raven's dung, wrapped in wool and attached to the body, or else sparrow's dung, warmed with oil and injected into the ear on the side affected. This last remedy, however, is productive of an intolerable itching, for which reason it is considered a better plan to rub the part with the ashes of young sparrows burnt upon twigs, mixed with vinegar for the purpose.


To impart sweetness to the breath, it is recommended to rub the teeth with ashes of burnt mouse-dung and honey: some persons are in the habit of mixing fennel root. To pick the teeth with a vulture' s feather, is productive of a sour breath; but to use a porcupine's quill for that purpose, greatly strengthens the teeth. Ulcers of the tongue and lips are cured by taking a decoction of swallows, boiled in honied wine; and chapped lips are healed by using goose-grease or poultry-grease, wool-grease mixed with nut-galls, white spiders' webs, or the fine cobwebs that are found adhering to the beams of roofs. If the inside of the mouth has been scalded with any hot substance, bitches' milk will afford an immediate cure.


Wool-grease, mixed with Corsican honey-which by the way is considered the most acrid honey of all-removes spots upon the face. Applied with oil of roses in wool, it causes scurf upon the face to disappear: some persons add butter to it. In cases of morphew, the spots are first pricked with a needle, and then rubbed with dog's gall. For livid spots and bruises on the face, the lights of a ram or sheep are cut fine and applied warm, or else pigeons' dung is used. Goose-grease or poultry-grease is a good preservative of the skin of the face. For lichens a liniment is used, made of mouse-dung in vinegar, or of the ashes of a hedge-hog mixed with oil: but, when these remedies are employed, it is recommended first to foment the face with nitre dissolved in vinegar. Maladies of the face are also removed by employing the ashes of the small, broad, snail that is so commonly found, mixed with honey. Indeed, the ashes of all snails are of an inspissative nature, and are possessed of certain calorific and detersive properties: hence it is that they form an ingredient in caustic applications, and are used in the form of a liniment for itch-scabs, leprous sores, and freckles on the face.

I find it stated that a certain kind of ant known by the name of "Herculanea,"59 is beaten up, with the addition of a little salt, and used for the cure of these diseases. The buprestis60 is an insect but rarely found in Italy, and very similar to a scarabæus, with long legs. Concealed among the grass, it is very liable to be swallowed unobserved, by oxen in particular; and the moment it comes in contact with the gall, it causes such a degree of inflammation, that the animal bursts asunder; a circumstance to which the insect owes its name. Applied topically with he-goat suet, it removes lichens on the face, owing to its corrosive properties, as previously61 stated. A vulture's blood, beaten up with cedar resin and root of white chamæleon—a plant which we have already62 mentioned—and covered with a cabbage leaf, when applied, is good for the cure of leprosy; the same, too, with the legs of locusts, beaten up with he-goat suet. Pimples are treated with poultry grease, beaten up and kneaded with onions. One very useful substance for the face is honey in which the bees have died; but a sovereign detergent for that part is swans' grease, which has also the property of effacing wrinkles. Brand-marks63 are removed by using pigeons' dung, diluted in vinegar.


I find it stated that catarrhs oppressive to the head may be cured by the patient kissing a mule's nostrils. Affections of the uvula and pains in the fauces are alleviated by using the dung of lambs before they have begun to graze, dried in the shade. Diseases of the uvula are cured with the juices of a snail pierced with a needle; the snail, however, must be then hung up in the smoke. The same maladies are treated also with ashes of burnt swallows, mixed with honey; a preparation which is equally good for affections of the tonsillary glands. Sheep's milk, used as a gargle, alleviates diseases of the fauces and tonsillary glands. Millepedes, bruised with pigeons' dung, are taken as a gargle, with raisin wine; and they are applied, externally, with dried figs and nitre, for the purpose of soothing roughness of the fauces and catarrhs. For such cases, too, snails should be boiled unwashed, the earth only being removed, and then pounded and administered to the patient in raisin wine. Some persons are of opinion that for these pur- poses the snails of Astypalæa64 are the most efficacious, and they give the preference to the detersive preparation65 made from them. The parts affected are sometimes rubbed with a cricket, and affections of the tonsillary glands are alleviated by being rubbed with the hands of a person who has bruised a cricket.


For quinzy we have very expeditious remedies in goose-gall, mixed with elaterium66 and honey, an owlet's brains, or the ashes of a burnt swallow, taken in warm water; which last remedy we owe67 to the poet Ovid. But of all the remedies spoken of as furnished by the swallow, one of the most efficacious is that derived from the young of the wild swallow, a bird which may be easily recognized by the peculiar conformation of its nest.68 By far the most effectual, however, of them all, are the young of the bank-swallow,69 that being the name given to the kind which builds its nest in holes on the banks of rivers. Many persons recommend the young of any kind of swallow as a food, assuring us that the person who takes it need be in no apprehension of quinzy for the whole of the ensuing year. The young of this bird are sometimes stifled and then burnt in a vessel with the blood, the ashes being administered to the patient with bread or in the drink: some, however, mix with them the ashes of a burnt weasel, in equal proportion. The same remedies are recommended also for scrofula, and they are administered for epilepsy, once a day, in drink. Swallows preserved in salt are taken for quinzy, in (loses of one drachma, in drink: the nest,70 too, of the bird, taken internally, is said to be a cure for the same disease.

Millepedes,71 it is thought, used in the form of a liniment, are peculiarly efficacious for quinzy: some persons, also, administer eleven of them, bruised in one semi-sextarius of hydromel, through a reed, they being of no use whatever if once touched by the teeth. Other remedies mentioned are, the broth of a mouse boiled with vervain, a thong of dogskin passed three times round the back, and pigeons' dung mixed with wine and oil. For the cure of rigidity of the muscles of the neck, and of opisthotony, a twig of vitex, taken from a kite's nest, is attached to the body as an amulet.

(5.) For ulcerated scrofula, a weasel's blood is employed, or the animal itself, boiled in wine; but not in cases where the tumours have been opened with the knife. It is said, too, that a weasel, eaten with the food, is productive of a similar effect; sometimes, also, it is burnt upon twigs, and the ashes are applied with axle-grease. In some instances, a green lizard is attached to the body of the patient, a fresh one being substituted at the end of thirty days. Some persons preserve the heart of this animal in a small silver vessel,72 as a cure for scrofula in females. Old snails, those found adhering to shrubs more particularly, are pounded with the shells on, and applied as a liniment. Asps, too, are similarly employed, reduced to ashes and mixed with bull suet; snakes' fat also, diluted with oil; and the ashes of a burnt snake, applied with oil or wax. It is a good plan also, in cases of scrofula, to eat the middle of a snake, the extremities being first removed, or to drink the ashes of the reptile, similarly prepared and burnt in a new earthen vessel: they will be found much more efficacious, however, when the snake has been killed between the ruts made by wheels. It is recommended also, to dig up a cricket with the earth about its hole, and to apply it in the form of a liniment; to use pigeons' dung, either by itself, or with barleymeal, or oatmeal and vinegar; or else to apply the ashes of a burnt mole, mixed with honey.

Some persons apply the liver of this last animal, crumbled in the hands, due care being taken not to wash it off for three days: it is said, too, that a mole's right foot is a remedy for scrofula. Others, again, cut off the head of a mole, and after kneading it with earth thrown up by those animals, divide it into tablets, and keep it in a pewter box, for the treatment of all kinds of tumours, diseases of the neck, and the affections known as "apostemes:" in all such cases the use of swine's flesh is forbidden to the patient. "Taurus"73 is the name usually given to an earth-beetle, very similar to a tick in appearance, and which it derives from the diminutive horns with which it is furnished: some persons call it the "earth-louse."74 From the earth thrown up by these insects a liniment is prepared for scrofula and similar diseases, and for gout, the application not being washed off till the end of three days. This last remedy is effectual for a whole year, and all those other properties are attributed to it which we have mentioned75 when speaking of crickets. There are some, again, who make a similar use of the earth thrown up by ants; while others attach to the patient as many earth-worms as there are scrofu- lous tumours, the sores drying as the worms dry up.

Some persons cut off the head and tail of a viper, as already mentioned,76 about the rising of the Dog-star, which done, they

burn the middle, and give a pinch of the ashes in three fingers, for thrice seven days, in drink-such is the plan they use for

the cure of scrofula. Others, again, pass round the scrofulous tumours a linen thread, with which a viper has been suspended by the neck till dead. Millepedes77 are also used, with one fourth part of turpentine; a remedy which is equally recommended for the cure of all kinds of apostemes.


The ashes of a burnt weasel, mixed with wax, are a cure for pains in the shoulders. To prevent the arm-pits of young persons from becoming hairy, they should be well rubbed with ants' eggs. Slave-dealers also, to impede the growth of the hair in young persons near puberty, employ the blood that flows from the testes of lambs when castrated. This blood, too, applied to the arm-pits,78 the hairs being first pulled out, is a preventive of the rank smell of those parts.


We give the one general name of "præcordia" to the human viscera; for pains in any part of which, a sucking whelp is applied, being pressed close to the part affected.79 The malady, it is said, will in such case pass into the animal; a fact which may be satisfactorily ascertained; for on disembowelling it, and sprinkling the entrails with wine, that part of the viscera will be found affected in which the patient himself was sensible of pain: to bury the animal in such a case is a point most religiously observed. The dogs,80 too, which we call "Melitæi," applied to the stomach every now and then, allay pains in that region: the malady, it is supposed, passes into the animal's body, as it gradually loses its health, and it mostly dies.

(6.) Affections of the lungs are cured by using mice, those of Africa more particularly, the animal being skinned and boiled in salt and oil, and then taken with the food. The same preparation is used also, for the cure of purulent or bloody expectorations.


One of the very best remedies for affections of the stomach, is to use a snail diet.81 They must first be left to simmer in water for some time, without touching the contents of the shell, after which, without any other addition, they must be grilled upon hot coals, and eaten with wine and garum;82 the snails of Africa being the best of all for the purpose. The efficacy of this remedy has been proved in numerous instances of late. Another point, too, to be observed, is to take an uneven number of them. Snails, however, have a juice, it should be remembered, which imparts to the breath an offensive smell. For patients troubled with spitting of blood, they are remarkably good, the shell being first removed, and the contents bruised and administered in water. The most esteemed kinds of all are those of Africa—those which come from Iol,83 in particular—of Astypalæa, and, after them, those of Ætna, in Sicily, those I mean of moderate size, for the large ones are hard, and destitute of juice. The Balearic snails, called "cavaticæ," from being found in caverns, are much esteemed; and so, too, are those from the islands of Capreæ.84 Those of Greece, on the other hand, are never used for food, either old or fresh.

River snails, and those with a white shell, have a strong, rank, juice, and forest snails are by no means good for the stomach, having a laxative effect upon the bowels; the same, too, with all kinds of small snails. Sea-snails,85 on the other hand, are more beneficial to the stomach; but it is for pains in that region that they are found the most efficacious: the best plan, it is said, is to eat them alive, of whatever kind they may happen to be, with vinegar. In addition to these, there are the snails called "aceratæ,"86 with a broad shell, and found in numerous localities: of the uses to which they are put we shall87 speak further on the appropriate occasions. The craw of poultry, dried and sprinkled in the drink, or else used fresh and grilled, has a soothing effect upon pectoral catarrhs and coughs attended with phlegm.88 Snails, beaten up raw and taken in three cyathi of warm water, allay cough. A piece of dog's skin, wrapped round any one of the fingers, affords relief to patients suffering from catarrh. A broth made of boiled partridges is strengthening for the stomach.


For the cure of pains in the liver, a wild weasel is taken with the food, or the liver only of that animal; a ferret also, roasted like a sucking-pig. In cases of asthma, millepedes are used, thrice seven of them being soaked in Attic honey, and taken internally by the aid of a reed:89 for all vessels, it should be remembered, turn black on coming in contact with them. Some persons grill one sextarius of these insects on a flat pan, till they become white, and then mix them with honey. There are some authorities who call this insect a "centipede," and recommend it to be given in warm water. Snails are administered to persons subject to fainting fits, alienation of the senses, and vertigo: for which purposes, a snail is beaten up, shell and all, with three cyathi of raisin wine, and the mixture is administered warm with the drink, for nine days at most. Others, again, give one snail the first day, two the second, three the third, two the fourth, and one the fifth; a mode of treatment also adopted for the cure of asthma and of abscesses.

There is, according to some authorities, an insect resembling the locust in appearance, destitute of wings, and known by the Greek name of "troxallis," it being without a name in Latin: a considerable number of writers, however, consider it as identical with the insect known to us as "gryllus."90 Twenty of these insects, they say, should be grilled, and taken in honied wine, by patients troubled with hardness of breathing or spitting of blood. Some persons pour pure grape-juice,91 or sea-water, upon unwashed snails, and then boil and eat them for food; or else they bruise the snails, shells and all, and take them with this grape-juice. A similar method is also adopted for the cure of cough. Honey in which the bees have died, is particularly good for the cure of abscesses. For spitting of blood a vulture's lungs are used, burnt upon vine logs, and mixed with half the quantity of pomegranate blossoms, or with the same proportion of quince and lily blossom: the whole being taken morning and evening, in wine, if there is no fever; but where there are symptoms of fever, instead of wine, water is used in which quinces have been boiled.


According to the prescriptions given by the magicians, a fresh sheep's milt is the best application for pains in the spleen, the person who applies it uttering these words: "This I do for the cure of the spleen." This done, it is enjoined that the milt should be covered up with mortar in the wall of the patient's sleeping-room, and sealed with a ring, a charm92 being repeated thrice nine times. A dog's milt, removed from the animal while still alive, taken with the food, is a cure for diseases of the spleen: some, again, attach it fresh to that part of the patient's body. Others give the patient—without his knowing it—the milt of a puppy two days old, to eat, in squill vinegar; the milt, too, of a hedge-hog is similarly used. Ashes of burnt snails are employed, in combination with linseed, nettle-seed, and honey, the treatment being persisted in till the patient is thoroughly cured.

A green lizard has a remedial effect, suspended alive in an earthen vessel, at the entrance of the sleeping-room of the patient, who, every time he enters or leaves it, must take care to touch it with his hand: the head, too, of a horned owl, reduced to ashes and incorporated with an unguent; honey, also, in which the bees have died; and spiders, the one known as the "lycos"93 in particular.


For pains in the side, the heart of a hoopoe is highly esteemed; ashes, too, of burnt snails, that have been boiled in a ptisan, snails being sometimes applied in the form of a liniment, alone. Potions employed for this purpose have a sprinkling in them of the ashes of a mad dog's skull. For the cure of lumbago, the spotted lizard94 from beyond seas is used: the head and intestines being first removed, the body is boiled in wine, with half a denarius of black poppy, and the decoction is taken in drink. Green lizards, also, are taken with the food, the feet and head being first removed; or else three snails are crushed, shells and all, and boiled with fifteen peppercorns in wine. The feet of an eagle are wrenched off in a contrary direction to the joint, and the right foot is attached to the right side, the left foot to the left, according as the pains are situate. The miilepede,95 which we have spoken of as being called the "oniscos," is a cure for these pains, taken, in doses of one denarius, in two cyathi of wine. The magicians recommend an earth-worm to be put in a wooden dish, which has been split and mended with iron wire; which done, some water must be taken up with the dish, the worm drenched with it and buried in the spot from which it was taken, and the water drunk from the dish. They assert, also, that this is a marvellously excellent cure for sciatica.


Dysentery is cured by taking the broth of a leg of mutton, boiled with linseed in water; by eating old ewe-milk cheese; or by taking mutton suet boiled in astringent wine. This last is good, too, for the iliac passion, and for inveterate coughs. Dysentery is removed also, by taking a spotted lizard from beyond seas, boiled down till the skin only is left, the head, feet, and intestines, being first removed. A couple of snails also, and an egg, are beaten up, shells and all, in both cases, and made lukewarm in a new vessel, with some salt, three cyathi of water, and two cyathi of raisin-wine or date-juice, the decoction being taken in drink. Ashes, too, of burnt snails, are very serviceable, taken in wine with a modicum of resin.

The snails without shells, which we have96 mentioned as being mostly found in Africa, are remarkably useful for dysentery, five of them being burnt with half a denarius of gum acacia, and taken, in doses of two spoonfuls, in myrtle wine or any other kind of astringent wine, with an equal quantity of warm water. Some persons employ all kinds of African snails indiscriminately in this manner; while others, again, make use of a similar number of African snails or broad-shelled snails, as an injection, in preference: in cases, too, where the flux is considerable, they add a piece of gum acacia, about the size of a bean. For dysentery and tenesmus, the cast-off slough of a snake is boiled in a pewter vessel with oil of roses: if prepared in any other kind of vessel, it is applied with an instru- ment made of pewter. Chicken-broth is also used as a remedy for these affections; but the broth of an old cock, strongly salted, acts more powerfully as a purgative upon the bowels. A pullet's craw, grilled and administered with salt and oil, has a soothing effect upon cœliac affections; but it is absolutely necessary that neither fowl nor patient should have eaten corn97 for some time before. Pigeons' dung, also, is grilled and taken in drink. The flesh of a ring-dove, boiled in vinegar, is curative of dysentery and cœliac affections: and for the cure of the former, a thrush is recommended, roasted with myrtleberries; a blackbird, also; or honey, boiled, in which the bees have died.


One of the most dangerous of maladies is that known by the name of "ileos:"98 it may be combatted, they say, by tearing a bat asunder, and taking the blood, or by rubbing the abdo. men with it. Diarrhœa is arrested more particularly by taking snails, prepared in manner already99 mentioned for cases of asthma; the ashes, also, of snails burnt alive, administered in astringent wine; the liver of poultry grilled; the dried craw of poultry, a part that is usually thrown away, mixed with poppy-juice—in some cases it is used fresh, grilled, and taken in wine—partridge broth; the craw of partridges beaten up by itself in red wine; a wild ringdove boiled in oxycrate; a sheep's milt, grilled and beaten up in wine; or else pigeons' dung, applied with honey. The crop of an ossifrage, dried and taken in drink, is remarkably useful for patients whose digestion is impaired-indeed, its good effects may be felt if they only hold it in the hand while eating. Hence it is that some persons wear it attached to the body as an amulet; a practice which must not be too long continued, it being apt to cause a wasting of the flesh. The blood, too, of a drake has an astringent effect.

Flatulency is dispelled by eating snails; and griping pains in the bowels, by taking a sheep's milt grilled, with wine; a wild ringdove boiled in oxycrate; the fat of an otis100 in wine; or the ashes of an ibis, burnt without the feathers, administered in drink. Another prescription mentioned for griping pains in the bowels is of a very marvellous nature: if a duck, they say, is applied to the abdomen, the malady will pass into the bird, and it will die.101 Gripings of the bowels are treated also with boiled honey in which the bees have died.

Colic is most effectually cured by taking a roasted lark with the food. Some recommend, however, that it should be burnt to ashes in a new vessel, feathers and all, and then pounded and taken for four consecutive days, in doses of three spoonfuls, in water. Some say that the heart of this bird should be attached to the thigh, and, according to others, the heart should be swallowed fresh, quite warm, in fact. There is a family of consular dignity, known as the Asprenates,102 two brothers, members of which, were cured of colic; the one by eating a lark and wearing its heart in a golden bracelet; the other, by performing a certain sacrifice in a chapel built of raw bricks, in form of a furnace, and then blocking up the edifice the moment the sacrifice was concluded. The ossifrage has a single intestine only, which has the marvellous property of digesting all that the bird has swallowed: the extremity of this intestine, it is well known, worn as an amulet, is an excellent remedy for colic.

There are certain concealed maladies incident to the intestines, in relation to which there are some marvellous statements made. If to the stomach and chest, more particularly, blind puppies are applied, and suckled with milk from the patient's mouth,103 the virulence of the malady, it is said, will be transferred to them, and in the end they will die: on opening them, too, the causes of the malady will be sure to be discovered. In all such cases, however, the puppies must be allowed to die, and must be buried in the earth. According to what the magicians say, if the abdomen is touched with a bat's blood, the person will be proof against colic for a whole year: when a patient, too, is attacked with the pains of colic, if he can bring himself to drink the water in which he has washed his feet, he will experience a cure.


For the cure of urinary calculi, it is a good plan to rub the abdomen with mouse-dung. The flesh of a hedge-hog is agreeable eating, they say, if killed with a single blow upon the head, before it has had time to discharge its urine104 upon its body: [persons105 who eat this flesh, it is said, will never by any possibility suffer from strangury.] The flesh of a hedgehog thus killed, is a cure for urinary obstructions of the bladder; and the same, too, with fumigations made therewith. If, on the other hand, the animal has discharged its urine upon its body, those who eat the flesh will be sure to be attacked by strangury, it is said. As a lithontriptic,106 earth-worms are recommended, taken in ordinary wine or raisin wine; or else boiled snails, prepared the same way107 as for the cure of asthma. For the cure of urinary obstructions, snails are taken from the shells, pounded, and administered in one cyathus of wine, three the first day, two the second, and one the third. For the expulsion of calculi, the empty shells are reduced to ashes and taken in drink: the liver also of a water-snake, and the ashes of burnt scorpions are similarly employed, or are taken with bread or eaten with a locust. For the same purpose, the small grits that are found in the gizzard of poultry or in the craw of the ringdove, are beaten up and sprinkled in the patient's drink; the craw, too, of poultry is taken, dried, or if fresh, grilled.

For urinary calculi and other obstructions of the bladder, dung of ring-doves is taken, with beans; ashes also of wild ring-doves' feathers, mixed with vinegar and honey; the intestines of those birds, reduced to ashes, and administered in doses of three spoonfuls; a small clod from a swallow's nest, dissolved in warm water; the dried crop of an ossifrage; the dung of a turtle-dove, boiled in honied wine; or the broth of a boiled turtle-dove.

It is very beneficial also for urinary affections to eat thrushes with myrtle-berries, or grasshoppers grilled on a shallow-pan; or else to take the millepedes, known as "onisci,"108 in drink. For pains in the bladder, a decoction of lambs' feet is used. Chicken-broth relaxes the bowels and mollifies acridities; swallows' dung, too, with honey, employed as a suppository, acts as a purgative.


The most efficacious remedies for diseases of the rectum are wool-grease—to which some add pompholix109 and oil of roses—a dog's head, reduced to ashes; or a serpent's slough, with vinegar. In cases where there are chaps and fissures of those parts, the ashes of the white portion of dogs' dung are used, mixed with oil of roses; a prescription due, they say, to Æsculapius,110 and remarkably efficacious also for the removal of warts. Ashes of burnt mouse-dung, swan's fat, and cow suet, are also used. Procidence of the rectum is reduced by an application of the juices discharged by snails when punctured. For the cure of excoriation of those parts, ashes of burnt woodmice are used, with honey; the gall of a hedge-hog, with a bat's brains and bitches' milk; goose-grease, with the brains of the bird, alum, and wool-grease; or else pigeons' dung, mixed with honey. A spider, the head and legs being first removed, is remarkably good as a friction for condylomata. To prevent the acridity of the humours from fretting the flesh, goosegrease is applied, with Punic wax, white lead, and oil of roses; swan's grease also, which is said to be a cure for piles.

A very good thing, they say, for sciatica, is, to pound raw snails in Aminean111 wine, and to take them with pepper; to eat a green lizard, the feet, head, and intestines being first removed; or to eat a spotted lizard, with the addition of three oboli of black poppy. Ruptures and convulsions are treated with sheep's gall, diluted with woman's milk. The gravy which escapes from a ram's lights roasted, is used for the cure of itching pimples and warts upon the generative organs: for other affections of those parts, the ashes of a ram's wool, unwashed even, are used, applied with water; the suet of a sheep's caul, and of the kidneys more particularly, mixed with ashes of pumice-stone and salt; greasy wool, applied with cold water; sheep's flesh, burnt to ashes, and applied with water; a mule's hoofs, burnt to ashes; or the powder of pounded horse teeth, sprinkled upon the parts. In cases of decidence of either of the testes, an application of the slime discharged by snails is remedial, they say. For the treatment of sordid or running ulcers of those parts, the fresh ashes of a burnt dog's head are found highly useful; the small, broad kind of snail, beaten up in vinegar; a snake's slough, or the ashes of it, applied in vinegar; honey in which the bees have died, mixed with resin; or the kind of snail without a shell, that is found in Africa, as already112 mentioned, beaten up with powdered frankincense and white of eggs, the application being renewed at the end of thirty days; some persons, however, substitute a bulb for the frankincense.

For the cure of hydrocele, a spotted lizard, they say, is marvellously good, the head, feet, and intestines being first removed, and the rest of the body roasted and taken frequently with the food. For incontinence113 of urine dogs' fat is used, mixed with a piece of split alum the size of a bean; ashes, also, of African snails burnt with the shells, taken in drink; or else the tongues of three geese roasted and eaten with the food, a remedy which we owe to Anaxilaiis. Mutton-suet,114 mixed with parched salt, has an aperient effect upon inflammatory tumours, and mouse-dung, mixed with powdered frankincense and sandarach, acts upon them as a dispellent: the ashes, also, of a burnt lizard, or the lizard itself, split asunder and applied; or else bruised millepedes, mixed with one third part of turpentine. Some make use of earth of Sinope115 for this purpose, mixed with a bruised snail. Ashes of empty snail-shells burnt alone, mixed with wax, possess certain repercussive properties; the same, too, with pigeons' dung, employed by itself, or applied with oat-meal or barley-meal. Cantharides, mixed with lime, remove inflammatory tumours quite as effectually as the lancet; and small snails, applied topically with honey, have a soothing effect upon tumours in the groin.


To prevent varicose veins, the legs of children are rubbed with a lizard's blood: but both the party who operates and the patient must be fasting at the time. Wool-grease, mixed with woman's milk and white lead, has a soothing effect upon gout; the liquid dung also voided by sheep; a sheep's lights; a ram's gall, mixed with suet; mice, split asunder and applied; a weasel's blood, used as a liniment with plantago; the ashes of a weasel burnt alive, mixed with vinegar and oil of roses, and applied with a feather, or used in combination with wax and oil of roses; a dog's gall, due care being taken not to touch it with the hand, and to apply it with a feather; poultry dung; or else ashes of burnt earth-worms, applied with honey, and removed at the end of a couple of days. Some, however, prefer using this last with water, while others, again, apply the worms themselves, in the proportion of one acetabulum116 to three cyathi of honey, the feet of the patient being first anointed with oil of roses. The broad, flat, kind of snail, taken in drink, is used for the removal of pains in the feet and joints; two of them being pounded for the purpose and taken in wine. They are employed, also, in the form of a liniment, mixed with the juice of the plant helxine:117 some, however, are content to beat up the snails with vinegar. Some say that salt, burnt in a new earthen vessel with a viper, and taken repeatedly, is curative of gout, and that it is an excellent plan to rub the feet with viper's fat. It is asserted, too, that similar results are produced by keeping a kite till it is dry, and then powdering it and taking it in water, a pinch in three fingers at a time; by rubbing the feet with the blood of that bird mixed with nettles; or by bruising the first feathers of a ring-dove with nettles. The dung of ring-doves is used as a liniment for pains in the joints; the ashes also of a burnt weasel, or of burnt snails, mixed with amylum118 or gum tragacanth.

A very excellent cure for contusions of the joints is a spider's web; but there are persons who give the preference to ashes of burnt cobwebs or of burnt pigeons' dung, mixed with polenta and white wine. For sprains of the joints a sovereign remedy is mutton suet, mixed with the ashes of a woman's hair; a good application, too, for chilblains is mutton suet, mixed with alum, or else ashes of a burnt dog's head or of burnt mouse-dung. Ulcers, free from discharge, are brought to cicatrize by using the above-named substances in combination with wax; ashes, also, of burnt dormice, mixed with oil; ashes of burnt wood-mice, mixed with honey; ashes of burnt earthworms, applied with old oil; or else ashes of the snails without a shell that are so commonly found. All ulcers on the feet are cured by the application of ashes of snails, burnt alive; and for excoriations of the feet, ashes of burnt poultry-dung are used, or ashes of burnt pigeons' dung, mixed with oil. When the feet have been galled by the shoes, the ashes of an old shoe- sole are used, or the lights of a lamb or ram. For gatherings beneath119 the nails, a horse's tooth, powdered, is a sovereign remedy. A light application of a green lizard's blood, will cure the feet of man or beast when galled beneath.

For the removal of corns upon the feet, the urine of a mule of either sex is applied, mixed with the mud which it has formed upon the ground; sheep's dung, also; the liver of a green lizard, or the blood of that animal, applied in wool; earth-worms, mixed with oil; the head of a spotted lizard, pounded with an equal quantity of vitex and mixed with oil; or pigeons' dung, boiled with vinegar. For the cure of all kinds of warts, dogs' urine is applied fresh, with the mud which it has formed upon the ground; dogs' dung, also, reduced to ashes and mixed with wax; sheep's dung; the blood of mice, ap- plied fresh, or the body of a mouse, split asunder; the gall of a hedgehog; a lizard's head or blood, or the ashes of that animal, burnt entire; the cast-off slough of a snake; or else poultry dung, applied with oil and nitre. Cantharides, also, bruised with Taminian120 grapes, act corrosively upon warts: but when warts have been thus removed, the remedies should be employed which we have pointed out for ulcerations on the skin.


We will now turn our attention to those evils which are a cause of apprehension, as affecting the whole body. According to what the magicians say, the gall of a male black dog is a counter-charm for the whole of a house; and it will be quite sufficient to make fumigations with it, or to use it as a purification, to ensure its preservation against all noxious drugs and preparations. They say the same, too, with reference to a dog's blood, if the walls are sprinkled with it; and the genitals of that animal, if buried beneath the threshold. This will surprise persons the less who are aware how highly these same magicians extol that most abominable insect, the tick, and all because it is the only one that has no121 passage for the evacuations, its eating ending only in its death, and it living all the longer for fasting: in this latter state it has been known to live so long as seven days, they say, but when it gorges to satiety it will burst in a much shorter period. According to these authorities, a tick from a dog's left ear, worn as an amulet, will allay all kinds of pains. They presage, too, from it on matters of life and death; for if the patient, they say, gives an answer to a person who has a tick about him, and, standing at the foot of the bed, asks how he is, it is an infallible sign that he will survive; while, on the other hand, if he makes no answer, he will be sure to die. They add, also, that the dog from whose left ear the tick is taken, must be entirely black. Nigidius has stated in his writings that dogs will avoid the presence all day of a person who has taken a tick from off a hog.

The magicians likewise assure us that patients suffering from delirium will recover their reason on being sprinkled with a mole's blood; and that persons who are apt to be troubled by the gods of the night122 and by Fauni, will experience relief by rubbing themselves morning and evening with the tongue, eyes, gall, and intestines of a dragon,123 boiled in oil, and cooled in the open air at night.


A remedy for cold shiverings, according to Nicander, is a dead amphisbæna,124 or its skin only, attached to the body: in addition to which, he informs us that if one of these reptiles is attached to a tree that is being felled, the persons hewing it will never feel cold, and will fell it all the more easily. For so it is, that this is the only one among all the serpents that faces the cold, making its appearance the first of all, and even before the cuckoo's note is heard. There is another marvellous fact also mentioned, with reference to the cuckoo: if, upon the spot where a person hears this bird for the first time, he traces round the space occupied by his right foot and then digs up the earth, it will effectually prevent fleas from breeding, wherever it is thrown.


For persons apprehensive of paralysis the fat of dormice and of field-mice, they say, is very useful, boiled: and for patients threatened with phthisis, millepedes are good, taken in drink, in manner already125 mentioned for the cure of quinzy. The same, too, with a green lizard, boiled down to one cyathus in three sextarii of wine, and taken in doses of one spoonful daily, until the patient is perfectly cured; the ashes also of burnt snails, taken in wine.


For the cure of epilepsy wool-grease is used, with a modicum of myrrh, a piece about the size of a hazel-nut being dissolved and taken after the bath, in two cyathi of wine: a ram's testes, also, dried and pounded, and taken in doses of half a denarius, in water, or in a semi-sextarius of asses' milk; the patient being forbidden wine five days before and after using the remedy. Sheep's blood, too, is mightily praised, taken in drink; sheep's gall, also, and lambs' gall in particular, mixed with honey; the flesh of a sucking puppy, taken with wine and myrrh, the head and feet being first removed; the callosities from a mule's legs, taken in three cyathi of oxymel; the ashes of a spotted lizard from beyond seas, taken in vinegar; the thin coat of a spotted lizard, which it casts like a snake, taken in drink—indeed some persons recommend the lizard itself; gutted with a reed and dried and taken in drink; while others, again, are for roasting it on a wooden spit and taking it with the food.

It is worth while knowing how the winter slough of this lizard is obtained when it casts it off, before it has had the opportunity of devouring126 it; there being no creature, it is said, that resorts in its spite to more cunning devices for the deception of man; a circumstance owing to which, the name of "stellio"127 his been borrowed as a name of reproach. The place to which it retires in summer is carefully observed, being generally some spot beneath the projecting parts of doors or windows, or else in vaults or tombs. In the early days of spring, cages made of split reeds are placed before these spots; and the narrower the interstices the more delighted is the animal with them, it being all the better enabled thereby to disengage itself of the coat which adheres to its body and impedes its freedom of action: when, however, it has once quitted it, the construction of the cage prevents its return. There is nothing whatever preferred to this lizard as a remedy for epilepsy. The brains of a weasel are also considered very good, dried and taken in drink; the liver, too, of that animal, or the testes, uterus, or paunch, dried and taken with coriander, in manner already128 mentioned; the ashes also of a burnt weasel; or a wild weasel, eaten whole with the food. All these properties are equally attributed to the ferret. A green lizard is some- times eaten, dressed with seasonings to stimulate the appetite, the feet and head being first removed; the ashes, too, of burnt snails are used, as an ointment, with linseed, nettle-seed, and honey.

The magicians think highly of a dragon's tail, attached to the body, with a deer's sinews, in the skin of a gazelle; as also the small grits found in the crops of young swallows, tied to the left arm of the patient; for swallows, it is said, give small stones to their young the moment they are hatched. If, at the commencement of the first paroxysm, an epileptic patient eats the first of a swallow's brood that has been hatched, he will experience a perfect cure: but at a later period the disease is treated by using swallow's blood with frankincense, or by eating the heart of the bird quite fresh. Nay, even more than this, a small stone taken from a swallow's nest will relieve the patient the moment it is applied, they say; worn, too, as an amulet, it will always act as a preservative against the malady. A kite's liver, too, eaten by the patient, is highly vaunted; the slough also of a serpent; a vulture's liver, beaten up with the blood of the bird, and taken thrice seven days in drink; or the heart of a young vulture, worn attached to the body.

And not only this, but the vulture itself is recommended as a food for the patient, and that, too, when it has been glutted with human flesh. Some recommend the breast of this bird to be taken in drink from a cup made of cerrus129 wood, or the testes of a dunghill cock to be taken in milk and water; the patient abstaining from wine the five preceding days, and the testes being dried for the purpose. There have been authorities found to recommend one-and-twenty red flies-and those found dead, too!-taken in drink, the number being reduced where the patient is of a feeble habit.


Jaundice is combated by administering ear-wax to the patient, or else the filth that adheres to the udders of sheep, in doses of one denarius, with a modicum of myrrh, in two cyathi of wine; the ashes, also, of a dog's head, mixed with honied wine; a millepede, in one semi-sextarius of wine; earth- worms, in hydromel with myrrh; wine in which a hen's feet have been washed, after being first cleansed with water— the hen must be one with yellow130 feet—the brains of a partridge or of an eagle, in three cyathi of wine; the ashes of a ring- dove's feathers or intestines, in honied wine, in doses of three spoonfuls; or ashes of sparrows burnt upon twigs, in doses of two spoonfuls, in hydromel.

There is a bird, known as the "icterus,"131 from its peculiar colour: if the patient looks at it, he will be cured of jaun- dice, they say, and the bird will die. In my opinion this is the same bird that is known in Latin by the name of "galgulus."132


In cases of phrenitis a sheep's lights, attached warm round the patient's head, would appear to be advantageous. But as to giving a man suffering from delirium a mouse's brains in water to drink, the ashes of a burnt weasel, or the dried flesh even of a hedgehog, who could possibly do it, supposing even the effects of the remedy were certain? I should be inclined, too, to rank the ashes of the eyes of a horned owl in the number of those monstrous prescriptions with which the adepts in the magic art abuse the credulity of mankind.

It is in cases, too, of fever, more particularly, that the acknowledged rules of medicine run counter to the prescriptions of these men: for they have classified the various modes of treating the disease in accordance with the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and relatively to the revolutions of the sun and moon, a system which deserves to be utterly repudiated, as I shall prove by a few instances selected from many. They recommend, for example, when the sun is passing through Gemini, that the patient should be rubbed with ashes of the burnt combs, ears, and claws of cocks, beaten up and mixed with oil. If, again, it is the moon that is passing through that sign, it is the spurs and wattles of cocks that must be similarly employed. When either of these luminaries is passing through Virgo, grains of barley must be used; and when through Sagittarius, a bat's wings. When the moon is passing through Leo, it is leaves of tamarisk that must be employed, and of the cultivated tamarisk, they add: if, again, the sign is Aquarius, the patient must use an application of box-wood charcoal, pounded.

Of the remedies, however, that we find recommended by them, I shall be careful to insert those only the efficacy of which has been admitted, or, at least, is probable in any degree; such, for instance, as the use of powerful odours, as an excitant for patients suffering from lethargy; among which, perhaps, may be reckoned the dried testes of a weasel, or the liver of that animal, burnt. They consider it a good plan, too, to attach a sheep's lights, made warm, round the head of the patient.


In the treatment of quartan fevers, clinical medicine is, so to say, pretty nearly powerless; for which reason we shall insert a considerable number of remedies recommended by professors of the magic art, and, first of all, those prescribed to be worn as amulets: the dust, for instance, in which a hawk has bathed itself, tied up in a linen cloth, with a red string, and attached to the body; the longest tooth of a black dog; or the wasp known by the name of "pseudosphex,"133 which is always to be seen flying alone, caught with the left hand and attached beneath the patient's chin. Some use for this purpose the first wasp that a person sees in the current year. Other amulets are, a viper's head, severed from the body and wrapped in a linen cloth; a viper's heart, removed from the reptile while still alive; the muzzle134 of a mouse and the tips of its ears, wrapped in red cloth, the animal being set at liberty after they are removed; the right eye plucked from a living lizard, and enclosed with the head, seperated from the body, in goat's skin; the scarabænus also that forms pellets135 and rolls them along.

It is on account of this kind of scarabæus that the people of a great part of Egypt worship those insects as divinities; an usage for which Apion gives a curious reason, asserting, as he does, by way of justifying the rites of his nation, that the, insect in its operations pictures the revolution of the sun. There is also another kind of scarabæus, which the magicians recom- mend to be worn as an amulet—the one that has small horns136 thrown backwards; it must be taken up, when used for this purpose, with the left hand. A third kind also, known by the name of "fullo,"137 and covered with white spots, they recom- mend to be cut asunder and attached to either arm, the other kinds being worn upon the left arm. Other amulets recom- mended by them, are, the heart of a snake taken from the living animal with the left hand; or four joints of a scorpion's tail. together with the sting,, attached to the body in a piece of black cloth; due care being taken that the patient does not see the scorpion, which is set at liberty after the operation, or the person who has attached the amulet, for the space of three days: after the recurrence, too, of the third paroxysm, he must bury the whole in the ground. Some enclose a caterpillar in a piece of linen with a thread passed three times round it, and tie as many knots, repeating at each knot why it is that the patient performs that operation. A slug is sometimes wrapped in a piece of skin, or the heads of four slugs, cut from the body with a reed: a millepede is rolled up in wool: the small grubs that produce the gadfly,138 are used before the wings of the insect are developed; or any other kind of hairy grub is employed that is found adhering to prickly shrubs. Some persons attach to the body four of these grubs, enclosed in an empty walnut shell, or else some of the snails that are found without a shell.

In other cases, again, it is the practice to enclose a spotted lizard in a little box, and to place it beneath the pillow, of the patient, taking care to set it at liberty when the fever abates. It is recommended also, that the patient should swallow the heart of a sea-diver, removed from the bird without the aid of iron, it being first dried and then bruised and taken in warm water. The heart of a swallow is also recommended, with honey; and there are persons who say that, just before the paroxysms come on, the patient should take one drachma of swallow's dung in three cyathi of goats' milk or ewes' milk, or of raisin wine: others, again, are of opinion that the birds themselves should be taken, whole. The nations of Parthia, as a remedy for quartan fevers, take the skin of the asp, in doses of one sixth of a denarius, with an equal quantity of pepper. The philosopher Chrysippus has left a statement to the effect, that the phryganion,139 worn as an amulet, is a remedy for quartan fevers; but what kind of animal this is he has nowhere informed us, nor have I been able to meet with any one who knows. Still, however, I felt myself bound to notice a remedy that was mentioned by an author of such high repute, in case any other person should happen to be more successful in his researches. To eat the flesh of a crow, and to use nitre in the form of a liniment, is considered highly efficacious for the treatment of chronic diseases.

In cases of tertian fever—so true it is that suffering takes delight in prolonging hope by trying every remedy—it may be worth while to make trial whether the web of the spider called "lycos"140 is of any use, applied, with the insect itself, to the temples and forehead in a compress covered with resin and wax; or the insect itself, attached to the body in a reed, a form in which it is said to be highly beneficial for other fevers. Trial may be made also of a green lizard, enclosed alive in a vessel just large enough to receive it, and worn as an amulet; a method, it is said, by which recurrent fevers are often dispelled.


For the cure of dropsy, wool-grease, a piece about the size of a hazel-nut, is given in wine, with the addition of a little myrrh: some add goose-grease, steeped in myrtle wine. The filth that adheres to the udders of sheep is productive of a similar effect, as also the dried flesh of a hedge-hog, taken with the food. Matter vomited by a dog, we are assured, applied to the abdomen, will draw off the water that has accumulated there.


For the cure of erysipelas, wool-grease is used, with pomnpholix141 and oil of roses; the blood142 also extracted from a tick; earth worms, applied in vinegar; or else a cricket crushed between the hands—the good effect of this last being that the person who uses this precaution before the malady has made its appearance, will be preserved therefrom for a whole year. Care must be taken also that iron is used for the removal of the cricket, with some of the earth about its hole. Goose-grease is also employed for this purpose; a viper's head, dried and burnt, and applied with vinegar; or a serpent's slough, applied to the body, immediately after the bath, with bitumen and lamb suet.


Carbuncles are removed by an application of pigeons' dung, either alone or in combination with linseed and oxymel; or of bees that have died in the honey. A sprinkling of polenta upon the sores is also used. For carbuncles and other sores of the generative organs, wool-grease is used as a remedy, with refuse of lead; and for incipient carbuncles, sheep's dung is employed.. Tumours and all other affections that stand in need of emollients are treated most effectually with goose-grease; that of cranes, too, is equally efficacious.


For boils the following remedies are prescribed; a spider, applied before mentioning the insect by name, care being taken to remove it at the end of two days; a shrew-mouse, suspended by the neck till it is dead, care being taken not to let it touch the earth when dead, and to pass it three times around the boil, both operator and patient spitting on the floor each time; poultry-dung, that of a red colour in particular, applied fresh with vinegar; the crop of a stork, boiled in wine; flies, an uneven number of them, rubbed upon the patient with the ring143 finger; the filth from sheep's ears; stale mutton suet, with ashes of women's hair; ram suet also, with ashes of' burnt pumice and an equal quantity of salt.


For burns, the ashes of a dog's head are used; ashes of burnt dormice, with oil; sheep's dung, with wax; ashes also of burnt snails, an application so effectual, as not to leave a scar even. Viper's fat, too, is used, and ashes of burnt pigeons' dung, applied with oil.


For nodosities in the sinews, the ashes of a viper's head are applied, with oil of cyprus;144 or else earth-worms, with honey. Pains in the sinews should be treated with an application of grease; the body of a dead amphisbæna, worn as an amulet; vulture's grease, dried with the crop of the bird and beaten up with stale hog's lard; or else ashes of the head of a horned owl, taken in honied wine with a lily root-that is, if we believe what the magicians tell us. For contractions of the sinews, the flesh of ring-doves is very good, dried and taken with the food: and for spasmodic affections, the ashes of a hedge-hog or weasel are used. A serpent's slough, attached to the patient's body in a piece of bull's hide, is a preventive of spasms: and the dried liver of a kite, taken in doses of three oboli, in three cyathi of hydromel, is a preservative against opisthotony.


Agnails and hangnails upon the fingers are removed by using the ashes of a burnt dog's head, or the uterus of a bitch boiled in oil, the fingers being first rubbed with a liniment of ewe-milk butter, mixed with honey. The gall-bladder, too, of any animal is very useful for this purpose. Malformed nails are healed with an application of canthlarides and pitch, which is removed at the end of two days; or else with locusts friel with he-goat suet; or with an application of mutton suet. Some mix mistletoe and purslain with these ingredients; while others, again, use verligrease and mistletoe, removing the application at the end of two days.


Bleeding at the nostrils is arrested by mutton suet taken from the caul, introduced into the nostrils; by draing up rennet, lamb's rennet in particular, mixed with water, into the nostrils, or by using it as an injection, a remedy which succeeds even where other remedies; have failed: by making up goosegrease into a bolus with an equall quantity of butter, and plugging the nostrils with it; or by using the earth that adheres to snails, or else the snails themselves, extracted from the shell. Excessive discharges from the nostrils are arrested also by applying crushed snails, or cobwebs, to the forehead. For issues of blood from the brain, the blood or brains of poultry are used, as also pigeons' dung, thickened and kept for the purpose. In cases where there is and immoderate flow of blood from a wound, an application of horse-dung, burnt with egg-shells, is marvellously good for stopping it.


For the cure of ulcers, wool-grease is used, with ashes of burnt barley and verdigrease, in equal quantities; a preparation which is good, too, for carcinomata and spreading sores. It cauterizes the flesh also around the margins of ulcers, and reduces and makes level fungous excrescences formed by sores. Ashes, too, of burnt sheep's dung, mixed with nitre, are of great efficacy for the cure of carcinomata; as also those of lambs' thigh-bones, in cases more particularly where ulcers refuse to cicatrize. Very considerable, too, is the efficacy of lights, ram's lights in particular, which are of the greatest utility for reducing and making level the fleshy excrescences formed by ulcerous sores. With sheep's dung, warmed beneath an earthen pan and kneaded, the swellings attendant upon wounds are reduced, and fistulous sores and epinyctis are cleansed and made to heal.

But it is in the ashes of a burnt dog's head that the greatest efficacy is found; as it quite equals spodium145 in its property of cauterizing all kinds of fleshy excrescences, and causing sores to heal. Mouse-dung, too, is used as a cautery, and weasels' dung, burnt to ashes. Pounded millepedes, mixed with turpentine and earth of Sinope,146 are used for penetrating carcinomata and fleshy indurations in deep- seated sores; and the same substances are remarkably useful for the treatment of ulcers threatened with maggots.

Indeed the several varieties of worms themselves are possessed of marvellously useful properties. The worms,147 for instance, that breed in wood are curative of all kinds of ulcers: reduced to ashes, with an equal quantity of anise, and applied with oil, they heal cancerous sores. Earthworms are so remark- ably healing for wounds recently inflicted, that it is a very general belief that by the end of seven days they will unite sinews even that have been cut as under: hence it is that it is re- commended to keep them preserved in honey. Ashes of burnt earth-worms, in combination with tar or Simblian honey,148 cau- terize the indurated margins of ulcerous sores. Some persons dry earthworms in the sun, and apply them to wounds with vinegar, the application not being removed till the end of acouple of days. The earth also that adheres to snails is useful, similarly em- ployed; snails, too, taken whole from the shell, are pounded and applied to fresh wounds, to heal them, and they arrest the progress of cancerous sores.

There is an insect called "herpes"149 by the Greeks, which is particularly useful for the cure of all kinds of serpiginous150 sores. Snails, beaten up, shells and all, are very good for this purpose; and it is said that, with myrrh and frankincense, they will unite the sinews even when cut asunder. The fat, too, of a dragon,151 dried in the sun, is remarkably usefull, and so are the brains of a cock or capon for recent wounds. By taking with the food salt in which vipers have been preserved, ulcers are rendered more easy of treatment, it is said, and are made to heal all the sooner. Antonius152 the physician, after operating in vain upon ulcers, that were incurable with the knife, used to prescribe viper's flesh to be eaten by the patient, whereby a marvellously speedy cure was effected.

The locust called "troxallis,"153 reduced to ashes and applied with honey, removes the indurated margins of ulcerous sores: ashes, also, of burnt pigeons' dung, with arsenic and honey, are very effectual in all cases where a cautery is required. The brains of a horned owl, applied with goose-grease, are marvellously efficacious for uniting wounds, it is said. For the malignant ulcer known as "cacoëthes,"154 the ashes of a ram's thigh-bones are used, mixed with woman's milk, the sores being washed with linen cloths well rinsed. For the same purpose, the bird known as the screech-owl155 is boiled in oil, ewe-milk butter and honey being added to the preparation, when properly dissolved. An application of bees that have died in the honey, acts emolliently upon the indurated margins of ulcerous sores; and for the cure of elephantiasis, the blood and ashes of a weasel are employed. Wounds and weals pro- duced by blows are effaced by an application of sheep-skins fresh from the body.


For fractures of the joints, ashes of sheep's thigh-bones are particularly useful, applied in combination with wax; and the remedy is all the more efficacious, if a sheep's jaw-bones are burnt with the other ingredients, together with a deer's antler, and some wax dissolved in oil of roses. For broken bones, a dog's brains are used, spread upon a linen cloth, with wool laid upon the surface and moistened every now and then. The fractured bone will mostly unite in the course of fourteen days; and a cure equally expeditious may be effected by using the ashes of burnt field-mice, with honey, or of burnt earthworms; a substance which is extremely useful for the extraction of splintered bones.


Cicatrizations are restored to their original colour by applying sheep's lights, those of a ram in particular; mutton-suet, mixed with nitre; the ashes of a green lizard; a snake's slough, boiled in wine; or else pigeons' dung, mixed with honey; a preparation which, in combination with wine, is good for the removal of white morphew. For the cure, also, of mor- phew, cantharides are used, with two-thirds of rue-leaves; a preparation which the patient must keep applied, in the sun, till the skin itches and rises in blisters; after which it must be fomented and well rubbed with oil, and the application repeated. This must be done for several days in succession, due precautions being taken that the ulcerations do not penetrate too deep.

For the cure, too, of morphew, a liniment is recommended, made of flies and root of agrimony; the white part also of poultry dung, kept in a horn box with stale oil; a bat's blood; or else the gall of a hedge-hog applied with water. Itch-scab is cured by using the brains of a horned owl, incorporated with saltpetre; but dog's blood is the best thing to keep it in check. The small, broad, snail that is found, crushed and ap- plied topically, is an effectual cure for itching sensations.


Arrows, pointed weapons, and other foreign substances that require to be extracted from the body, are removed by the application of a mouse split asunder, or of a lizard more particularly, similarly divided, or else the head only of the animal, pounded with salt. The snails, too, that are found in clusters upon leaves, are pounded and applied with their shells on; as also those that are used as food, the shells being first removed, applied with hare's rennet in particular. The bones of a snake, applied with the rennet of any four-footed animal, will produce a similar effect before the end of two days: cantha- rides, also, bruised applied with barley-meal, are highly extolled.


For diseases incident to females, a ewe's placenta is very useful, as already156 mentioned by us, when speaking of goats: sheep's dung, too, is equally good. A fumigation of' burnt locusts, applied to the lower parts, affords relief to strangury, in females more particularly. It; immediately after conception, a woman eats a cock's testes every now and then, the child of which she is pregnant will become157 a male, it is said. The ashes of a burnt poricupinel taken in drink, are a preventive of abortion: bitches' milk facilitates delivery: and the after- birth of a bitch, provided it has not touched the ground, will act as an expellent of the fœtus. Milk, taken as a drink, strengthens the loins of women when in travail. Mouse-dung, diluted with rain water, reduces the breasts of females, when swollen after delivery. The ashes of a burnt hedge-hog, applied with oil, act as a preventive of abortion. Delivery is facilitated, in cases where the patient has taken, either goose- dung in two cyathi of water, or the liquid that escapes from the uterus of a weasel by its genitals.

Earth-wormrs, applied topically, effectually prevent pains in the sinews of the neck and shoulders; taken in raisin wine, they expel the after-birth, when retarded. Applied by themselves, earthworms ripen abscesses of the breasts, open them, draw the humours, and make them cicatrize: taken in honied wine, they promote the secretion of the milk. In hay-grass there are small worms found, which, attached to the neck, act as a preventive of premature delivery; they are removed, however, at the moment of childbirth, as otherwise they would have the effect of impeding delivery; care must be taken, also, not to put them on the ground. To promote conception, five or seven of them are administered in drink. Snails, taken with the food, accelerate delivery; and, applied with saffron, they promote conception. Used in the form of a liniment, with amylum158 and gum tragacanth, they arrest uterine discharges. Taken with the food, they promote menstruation; and, mixed with deer's marrow, in the proportion of one denarius and the same quantity of cyprus159 to each snail, they reduce the uterus when displaced. Taken from the shell, and beaten up with oil of roses, they dispel inflations of the uterus; the snails of Astypalæa being those that are mostly chosen for these purposes.

Those of Africa, again, are employed in a different manner, two of them being beaten up with a pinch of fenulgreek in three fingers, and four spoonfuls of honey, and the preparation applied to the abdomen, after it has been rubbed with juice of iris.160 There is a kind of small, white, elongated snail,161 that is found straying here and there: dried upon tiles in the sun, and reduced to powder, these snails are mixed with bean-meal, in equal proportions, forming a cosmetic which whitens and softens the skin. The small, broad, kind of snail, mixed with polenta, is good for the removal of a tendency to scratch and rub the skin.

If a pregnant woman steps over a viper, she will be sure to miscarry;162 the same, too, in the case of the anphisbæna, but only when it is dead. If, however, a woman carries about her a live amphlisbæna in a box, she may step over one with impunity, even though it be dead. An amphisbæna, preserved for the purpose, will ensure an easy delivery, even though it be dead.163 It is a truly marvellous fact, but if a pregnant woman steps over one of these serpents that has not been preserved, it will be perfectly harmless, provided she immediately steps over another that has been preserved. A fumigation made with a dried snake, acts powerfully as an emmenagogue.


The cast-off slough of a snake, attached to the loins, facili- tates delivery: care must be taken, however, to remove it immediately after. It is administered, too, in wine, mixed with frankincense: taken in any other form, it is productive of abortion. A staff, by the aid of which a person has parted164 a frog from a snake, will accelerate parturition. Ashes of the troxallis,165 applied with honey, act as an emmenagogue; the same, too, with the spider that descends as it spins its thread from aloft; it must be taken, however, in the hollow of the hand, crushed, and applied accordingly: if, on the contrary, the spider is taken while ascending, it will arrest menstruation.

The stone aëtites,166 that is found in the eagle's nest, preserves the fœtus against all insidious attempts at producing abortion. A vulture's feather, placed beneath the feet of the woman, accelerates parturition. It is a well-known fact, that pregnant women must be on their guard against ravens' eggs, for if a female in that state should happen to step over one, she will be sure to miscarry by the mouth.167 A hawk's dung, taken in honied: wine, would appear to render females fruitful. Goose- grease, or that of the swan, acts emolliently upon indurations and abscesses of the uterus.


Goose-grease, mixed up with oil of roses and a spider, protects the breasts after delivery. The people of Phrygia and Lycaonia have made the discovery, that the grease of the otis168 is good for affections of the breasts, resulting from recent de- livery: for females affected with suffocations of the uterus, they employ a liniment made of beetles. The shells of par- tridges' eggs, burnt to ashes and mixed with cadmia169 and wax, preserve the firmness170 of the breasts. It is generally thought, that if the egg of a partridge or * * * * is passed three times round a woman's breasts, they will never become flaccid; and that, if these eggs are swallowed, they will be productive of fruitfulness, and promote the plentiful secretion of the milk. It is believed, too, that by anointing a woman's breasts with goose-grease, pains therein may be allayed; that moles formed in the uterus may be dispersed thereby; and that itch171 of the uterus may be dispelled by the application of a liniment made of crushed bugs.


Bats' blood has all the virtues of a depilatory: but if applied to the cheeks of youths, it will not be found sufficiently efficacious, unless it is immediately followed up by an application of verdigrease or hemlock-seed; this method having the effect of entirely removing the hair, or at least reducing it to the state of a fine down. It is generally thought, too, that bats' brains are productive of a similar effect; there being two kinds of these brains, the red and the white. Some persons mix with the brains the blood and liver of the same animal: others, again, boil down a viper in three semisextarii of oil, and, after boning it, use it as a depilatory, first pulling out the hairs that are wanted not to grow. The gall of a hedgehog is a depilatory, more particularly if mixed with bats' brains and goats' milk: the ashes, too, of a burnt hedgehog are used for a similar purpose. If, after plucking out the hairs that arc wanted not to grow, or if, before they make their appearance, the parts are well rubbed with the milk of a bitch with her first litter, no hairs will grow there. The same result is ensured, it is said, by using the blood of a tick taken from off a dog, or else the blood or gall of a swallow.

(15.) Ants' eggs, they say, beaten up with flies, impart a black colour172 to the eyebrows. If it is considered desirable that the colour of the infant's eyes should be black, the preg- nant woman must eat a rat.173 Ashes of burnt earth-worms, applied with oil, prevent the hair from turning white.


For infants that are troubled with coagulation of the milk, a grand preservative is lamb's rennet, taken in water; and in cases where the milk has so coagulated, it may be remedied by administering rennet in vinegar. For the pains incident to dentition, sheep's brains are a very useful remedy. The inflammation called "siriasis,"174 to which infants are liable, is cured by attaching to them the bones that are found in the dung of dogs. Hernia in infants is cured by letting a green lizard bite the child's body while asleep, after which the lizard is attached to a reed, and hung up in the smoke; by the time the animal dies, the child will be perfectly cured, it is said. The slime of snails, applied to the eyes of children, straightens the eyelashes, and makes them grow. Ashes of burnt snails, applied with frankincense and juice of white grapes, are a cure for hernia [in infants], if applied for thirty days consecutively. Within the horns175 of snails, there are certain hard substances found, like grits of sand: attached to infants, they facilitate dentition.

Ashes of empty snail-shells, mixed with wax, are a preventive of procidence of the rectum; but they must be used in combination with the matter that exudes from a viper's brains, on the head being pricked. Vipers' brains, attached to the infant's body in a piece of skin, facilitate dentition, a similar effect being produced by using the larger teeth of serpents. Ravens' dung, attached to an infant with wool, is curative of cough.

It is hardly possible to preserve one's seriousness in describing some of these remedies, but as they have been transmitted to us, I must not pass them in silence. For the treatment of hernia in infants, a lizard is recommended; but it must be a male lizard, a thing that may be ascertained by its having but one orifice beneath the tail. The method of proceeding, is for the lizard to bite the part affected through cloth of gold, cloth of silver, and cloth dyed purple; after which it is tied fast in a cup that has never been used, and smoked. Incontinence of urine in infants is checked by giving them boiled mice176 with their food. The large indented horns of the scarabmus, attached to the bodies of infants, have all the virtues of an amulet. In the head of the boa;177 there is a small stone, they say, which the serpent spits out, when it is in fear of death: if the reptile is taken by surprise, and the head cut off, and this stone ex- tracted, it will aid dentition to a marvellous degree, attached to the neck of infants. The brains, too, of the same serpent are recommended to be attached to the body for a similar purpose, as also the small stone or bone that is found in the back of the slug.

An admirable promoter of dentition is found in sheep's brains, applied to the gums; and equally good for diseases of the ears, is an application of goose-grease, with juice of ocimum. Upon prickly plants there is found a kind of rough, hairy, grub: attached to the neck of infants, these insects give instant relief, it is said, when any of the food has stuck in the throat.


As a soporific, wool-grease is employed, diluted in two cyathi of wine with a modicum of myrrh, or else mixed with goose-grease and myrtle wine. For a similar purpose also, a cuckoo is attached to the body in a hare's skin, or a young heron's bill to the forehead in an ass's skin: it is thought, too, that the beak alone, steeped in wine, is equally efficacious. On the other hand, a bat's head, dried and worn as an amulet, acts as a preventive of sleep.


A lizard drowned in a man's urine has the effect of an antaphrodisiac upon the person whose urine it is; for this animal is to be reckoned among the philtres, the magicians say. The same property is attributed to the excrements of snails, and to pigeons' dung, taken with oil and wine. The right lobe of a vulture's lungs, attached to the body in the skin of a crane, acts powerfully as a stimulant upon males: an effect equally produced by taking the yolks of five pigeons' eggs, in honey, mixed with one denarius of hog's lard; sparrows, or eggs of sparrows, with the food; or by wearing the right testicle of a cock, attached to the body in a ram's skin. The ashes of a burnt ibis, it is said, employed as a friction with goose-grease and oil of iris, will prevent abortion when a female has once, conceived; while the testes of a game-cock, on the other hand, rubbed with goose-grease and attached to the body in a ram's skin, have all the effect of an antaphrodisiac: the same, too, with the testes of any kind of dunghill cock, placed, together with the blood of a cock, beneath the bed. Hairs taken from the tail of a she-mule while being covered by the stallion, will make a woman conceive, against her will even, if knotted together at the moment of the sexual congress.178 If a man makes water upon a dog's urine, he will become disinclined to copulation, they say.

A singular thing, too, is what is told about the ashes of a spotted lizard—if indeed it is true—to the effect that, wrapped in linen and held in the left hand, they act as an aphrodisiac, while, on the contrary, if they are transferred to the right, they will take effect as an antaphrodisiac. A bat's blood, too, they say, received on a flock of wool and placed beneath a woman's head, will promote sexual desire; the same being the case also with a goose's tongue, taken with the food or drink.


In phthiriasis, all the vermin upon the body may be killed in the course of three days, by taking the cast-off slough of a serpent, in drink, or else whey of milk after the cheese is removed, with a little salt, Cheese, it is said, will never become rotten with age or be touched by mice, if a weasel's brains have been mixed with the rennet. It is asserted, too, that if the ashes, of a burnt weasel are mixed with the cramming for chickens or young pigeons, they will be safe from the attacks of weasels. Beasts of burden, when troubled with pains in staling, find immediate relief, if a bat is attached to the body; and they are effectually cured of bots by passing a ring-dove three times round their generative parts—a truly marvellous thing to relate, the ring-dove, on being set at liberty, dies, and the beast is in- stantly relieved from pain.


The eggs of an owlet, administered to drunkards three days in wine, are productive of a distaste for that liquor. A sheep's lights roasted, eaten before drinking,179 act as a preventive of inebriety. The ashes of a swallow's beak, bruised with myrrh and sprinkled in the wine, act as a preservative against intoxica- tion: Horus,180 king of Assyria, was the first to discover this.181


In addition to these, there are some other peculiar properties attributed to certain animals, which require to be mentioned in the present Book. Some authors state that there is a bird in Sardinia, resembling the crane and called the "gromphena;"182 but it is no longer known even by the people of that country, in my opinion. In the same province, too, there is the ophion, an animal which resembles the deer in the hair only, and to be found183 nowhere else. The same authors have spoken also of the "subjugus,"184 but have omitted to state what animal it is, or where it is to be found. That it did formerly exist, however, I have no doubt, as certain remedies are described as being derived from it. M. Cicero speaks of animals called "biuri,"185 which gnaw the vines in Campania.


There are still some other marvellous facts related, with reference to the animals which we have mentioned. A dog will not bark at a person who has any part of the secundines of a bitch about him, or a hare's dung or fur. The kind of gnats called "muliones,"186 do not live more than a single day. Persons when taking honey from the hives, will never be touched by the bees if they carry the beak of a wood-pecker187 about them. Swine will be sure to follow the person who has given them a raven's brains, made up into a bolus. The dust in which a she-mule has wallowed, sprinkled upon the body, will allay the flames of desire. Rats may be put to flight by castrating a male rat, and setting it at liberty. If a snake's slough is beaten up with some spelt, salt, and wild thyme, and introduced into the throat of oxen, with wine, at the time that grapes are ripening, they will be in perfect health for a whole year to come: the same, too, if three young swallows are given to them, made up into three boluses. The dust gathered from the track of a snake, sprinkled among bees, will make them return to the hive. If the right testicle of a ram188 is tied up, he will generate females only. Persons who have about them the sinews taken from the wings or legs of a crane, will never be fatigued with any kind of laborious exertion. Mules will never kick when they have drunk wine.

Of all known substances, it is a mule's189 hoofs only that are not corroded by the poisonous waters of the fountain Styx: a memorable discovery made by Aristotle,190 to his great infamy, on the occasion when Antipater sent some of this water to Alexander the Great, for the purpose of poisoning him.

We will now pass on to the aquatic productions.

SUMMARY.—Remedies, narratives, and observations, eight hundred and fifty-four.

ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—M. Varro,191 Nigidius,192 M. Cicero,193 Sextius Niger194 who wrote in Greek, Licinius Macer.195

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Eudoxus,196 Aristotle,197 Hermippus,198 Homer, Apion,199 Orpheus,200 Democritus,201 Anaxilaiis.202

MEDICAL AUTHORS QUOTED.—Botrys,203 Horus,204 Apollodorus,205 Menander,206 Archidemus,207 Aristogenes,208 Xenocrates,209 Diodorus,210 Chrysippus,211 Nicander,212 Apollonius213 of Pitanæ.

1 "Artes." Medicine, religion, and the art of divination.

2 Ajasson remarks that, on the contrary, this is a subject of great doubt.

3 "Mathematicas artes."

4 The title of the ancient kings of Persia.

5 Or Bactriana, more properly.

6 Magic, no doubt, has been the subject of belief from the earliest times, whatever may have been the age of Zoroaster, the Zaratbustra of the Zend- avesta, and the Zerdusht of the Persians. In the Zendavesta he is represented as living in the reign of Gushtasp, generally identified with Darius Hystaspes. He probably lived at a period anterior to that of the Median and Persian kings. Niebuhr regards him as a purely mythical personage

7 See end of B. ii.

8 See end of this Book.

9 An exaggeration, of Oriental origin, most probably.

10 These names have all, most probably, been transmitted to us in a corrupted form. Ajasson gives some suggestions as to their probable Eastern form and origin.

11 One among the many proofs, Ajasson says, that the Iliad and the Odyssey belong to totally different periods.

12 In reference to the Tenth Book of the Odyssey.

13 See B. v. cc. 28, 29. Cicero mentions a college of Aruspices established at this city.

14 The name "Thessala" was commonly used by the Romans to signify an enchantress, sorceress, or witch. See the story of Apuleius, Books i. and iii.

15 The countries of the East.

16 Purely medicinal remedies.

17 In contradistinction to lightnings elicited by the practice of Magic.

18 A poetical figure, alluding to the "thunderbolts of war," as wielded probably by Achilles and other heroes of Thessaly.

19 See B. ii. c. 9.

20 Ajasson queries whether this is a proper name, or an epithet merely.

21 Ajasson combats this assertion at considerable length, and with good reason. It is quite inadmissible.

22 The mysteries of philosophy, as Ajasson remarks, were not necessarily identical with the magic art.

23 In reality, Pythagoras was an exile from the tyranny of the ruler of Samos, Plato from the court of Dionysius the Younger, and Democritus from the ignorance of his fellow-countrymen of Abdera. There is no doubt that Pythagoras and Democritus made considerable researches into the art of magic as practised in the East.

24 Nothing is known of this writer.

25 Dardanus, the ancestor of the Trojans, if he is the person here meant, is said to have introduced the worship of the gods into Samothrace.

26 The works of Homer were transmitted in a similar manner.

27 Moses, no doubt, was represented by the Egyptian priesthood as a magician, in reference more particularly to the miracles wrought by him before Pharaoh. From them the Greeks would receive the notion.

28 In 2 Tim. iii. 8, we find the words, "Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth." Eusebius, in his Prœ paratio Evangeliea, B. ix., states that Jannes and Jambres, or Mambres, were the names of Egyptian writers, who practised Magic, and opposed Moses before Pharaoh. This contest was probably represented by the Egyptian priesthood as merely a dispute between two antagonistic schools of Magic.

29 Of this person nothing is known. The former editions mostly have "Jotapea." "Jotapata" was the name of a town in Syria, the birthplace of Josephus.

30 He is mistaken here as to the nation to which Jannes belonged.

31 By some it has been supposed that this bears reference to Christianity, as introduced into Cyprus by the Apostle Barnabas Owing to the miracles wrought in the infancy of the Church, the religion of the Christians was very generally looked upon as a sort of Magic. The point is very doubtful.

32 His itinerary, Ajasson remarks, would have been a great curiosity.

33 B. xxviii. c. 4.

34 These sacrifices forming the most august rite of the Magic art, as practised in Italy.

35 That this art was still practised in secret in the days of Pliny himself, we learn from the testimony of Tacitus (Annals, II. 69), in his account of the enquiries instituted on the death of Germanicus.

36 More particularly in the worship of their divinity lieu or Hesus, the god of war.

37 This he did officially, but not effectually, and the Druids survived as a class for many centuries both in Gaul and Britain.

38 He alludes to the British shores bordering on the Atlantic. See B. xix. c. 2.

39 It is a curious fact that the round towers of Ireland bear a strong resemblance to those, the ruins of which are still to be seen on the plains of ancient Persia.

40 "Ut dedisse Persis videri possit." This might possibly mean, "That Persia might almost seem to have communicated it direct to Britain." Ajasson enumerates the following superstitions of ancient Britain, as bearing probable marks of an Oriental origin: the worship of the stars, lakes, forests, and rivers; the ceremonials used in cutting the plants samiolus, selago, and mistletoe, and the virtues attributed to the adder's egg.

41 Ajasson seems inclined to suggest that this may possibly bear reference to the Christian doctrines of redemption and the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

42 These kinds of divination, rather than magic, were called hydromancy, sphæromancy, aëromancy, astromancy, lychnomancy, lecanomancy, and axinomancy. See Rabelais, B. iii. c. 25, where a very full account is given of the Magic Art, as practised by the ancients. Coffee-grounds, glair of eggs, and rose-leaves, are still used in France for purposes of divination by the superstitious.

43 Suetonius says that his body was full of foul spots.

44 It was probably a doctrine of Magic, that an adept must not be de- ficient in any of his limbs.

45 After being conquered by the Roman general, Corbulo, he received the crown of Armenia from Nero, A.D. 63.

46 All vegetable substances were divided, according to their doctrine, into the pure and the impure, the rule being strictly observed at their repasts.

47 See end of this Book.

48 See B. xxv. c. 80.

49 Like the assertions of the famous impostor of the close of the last century, Count Cagliostro.

50 A mistake, of course; and one for which there is little excuse, as its eyes are easily perceptible. It is not improbable, however, that it was an impression with the ancients that its sight is impeded by the horny covering of its eyes.

51 In B. xxix. c. 27.

52 See B. xii. c. 51.

53 It is doubtful what is meant by this male white "water-serpent." In B. xxxii. c. 26, he appears to include it among the fishes.

54 See 13. xxv. c. 108.

55 It is a singular thing that we still hear of the maggots found in filberts being used for the same purpose.

56 See B. xxix. c. 17.

57 Marcus Empiricus says, honey.

58 See B. xvi. c. 19.

59 Dalechamps thinks that these "Herculean" ants were so called from their great size. Ajasson queries whether they may not be the "grenadier ants" of Dupont de Nemours.

60 See B. xxii. c. 36. Belon takes it to be the Lixus paraplecticus.

61 In B. xxix. c. 30.

62 In B. xxii. c. 21.

63 "Stigmata."

64 See B. iv. c. 23, B. viii. c. 59, and cc. 15 and 43 of the present Book.

65 "Smegma."

66 See B. xx. c. 2.

67 No very great obligation, apparently.

68 See B. x. c. 49.

69 "Riparia."

70 The only birds' nests that are now taken internally are the soutton bourong, or, edible birds' nests of the Chinese.

71 See B. xxix. c. 39.

72 Marcus Empiricus says that the heart must be enclosed in a silver lupine and worn suspended from the neck, being efficacious for scrofula both in males and females. The silver lupine was probably what we should call a "locket."

73 "The bull." Dalechamps takes this to be the stag-beetle or bull-fly; but that, as Ajasson remarks, has four horns, two antenne, and two large mandibules; in addition to which, from its size, it would hardly be called the "earth-louse." He concludes that a lamellicorn is meant; but whether belonging to the Lucanidæ or the Scarabæidæ, it is impossible to say.

74 "Pediculus terræ."

75 In B. xxix. c. 33.

76 In B. xxix. c. 21.

77 He probably speaks of woodlice here. Ettmuller asserts their utility in this form for scrofula. Valisnieri says the same; Spielmann prescribes them for arthrosis; Riviere considers them as a detergent for ulcers, and a resolvent for tumours of the mamillæ; and Baglivi maintains that they are a first-rate diuretic, and unequalled as a lithontriptic. They contain muriate of lime and of potash, which may possibly, in some small degree, give them an aperitive virtue.

78 See Horace, Epode xii. 1. 5.

79 Hence, perhaps, the practice of nursing lap-dogs.

80 See B. iii. c. 30, and Note 2, p. 267.

81 In France and Italy, snails are considered a delicacy by some. Snail milk is sometimes used medicinally in England for consumptive patients: it is doubtful with what effect.

82 Or fish-sauce. See B. xxxi. c. 43.

83 See B. v. c. 20.

84 See B. iii. c. 12.

85 Our periwinkles.

86 Dalechamps takes this to mean "without horns:" and Hardouin is of opinion that it means "genuine" or "unmixed." In either sense, the word is derived from the Greek.

87 He has omitted to do so.

88 "Humida tussis."

89 See c. 12 of this Book.

90 Our "cricket." The troxallis was probably a kind of locust, still known to naturalists by that name.

91 "Protropum." Wine of the first running.

92 "Carmen." Holland says "the aforesaid charm:" but this does not appear from the context. From the account, however, given by Marcus Empiricus, we learn that the charm, thus repeated twenty-seven times, is the same as that already given.

93 Or "wolf." See B. xi. c. 28.

94 See B. xxix. c. 28.

95 Or woodlouse. See B. xxix. c. 39.

96 In B. xxix. c. 36.

97 See B. xxix. c. 36.

98 The iliac passion, or ileus volvulus.

99 In c. 16 of this Book.

100 A kind of bustard. See B. x. cc. 29, 50, and c. 45 of this Book.

101 See c. 14 of this Book, where a similar notion is mentioned.

102 There were three consuls of this name, L. Nonius Asprenas, A.D. 7; L. Nonius Asprenas, A.D. 29; and P. Nonius Asprenas, A.D. 38. They are mentioned also by Suetonius, Tacitus, Dion Cassius, Frontinus, and Seneca.

103 See c. 14 of this Book.

104 See B. viii. c. 56.

105 This passage is omitted by Sillig as an evident interpolation from the context a couple of lines below.

106 The belief in lithontriptics can hardly be said to exist at the present day. Ajasson refers to the grant made by the British Parliament of £5000 to Mrs. Stephens for her lithontriptic!!

107 In c. 16 of this Book.

108 See B. xxix. c. 39.

109 See B. xxxiv. c. 33.

110 It can hardly be said to add to his fame.

111 See B. xiv. c. 4.

112 In B. xxix. c. 36 and in c. 19 of this Book.

113 See B. xxxii. c. 35.

114 Ajasson remarks that this may probably be useful.

115 See B. xxxv. cc. 12, 13.

116 "Acetabuli mensurâ" seems a preferable reading to "aceto mensurâ," which makes no sense.

117 See B. xxi. c. 56.

118 See B. xviii. c. 17.

119 "Subluviem." The same, probably, as the disease of the fingers which he elsewhere calls "paronychia," and perhaps identical with whitlow.

120 See B. xxiii. c. 13.

121 A popular fallacy of Pliny's time. See B. xi. c. 40.

122 Spectres and nightmare.

123 The serpent so called.

124 See B. viii. c. 35.

125 In c. 12 of this Book. Woodlice are meant.

126 See B. viii. c. 49.

127 A cozener, cheat, or rogue. Ajasson has a page of discussion on the origin of this appellation.

128 In B. xxix. c. 16.

129 See B. xvi. e. 6.

130 Like our game poultry.

131 This word being also the Greek name for the jaundice.

132 See B. x. c. 50. The witwall.

133 "Bastard-wasp."

134 "Rostellum." Holland renders it "The little prettie snout's end of a mouse."

135 Of cowdung. It was supposed that there was no female scarabæus, and that the male insect formed these balls for the reproduction of its species. It figures very largely in the Egyptian mythology and philosophy as the emblem of the creative and generative power. It has been suggested that its Coptic name "skalouks" is a compound Sinscrit word. signifying —"The ox-insect that collects dirt into a round mass." See B. xi, c. 34.

136 Probably the "lucanus" mentioned in B. xi. c. 34; supposed to be the same as the stag-beetle.

137 The "fuller," apparently. This name may possibly be derived, however, from the Greek φυλλὸν, a "leaf."

138 See B. xi. c. 38.

139 Some suppose that this was an insect that lived among dry wood, and derive the name from the Greek φρυγανὸν. Queslon is of opinion that it is the salamander.

140 The "wolf" spider. See c. 17 of this Book.

141 See B. xxxiv. c. 33.

142 Ajasson remarks that, in reality, this is not blood, but a kind of viscous liquid.

143 "Digitus medicus"—"The physician's finger," properly. Why the fourth finger, or that next to the little finger, was thus called, it seems impossible to say.

144 See B. xii. c. 51.

145 See B. xxxiv. c. 34.

146 See B. xxxv. cc. 12, 13.

147 "Cosses."

148 Dioscorides speaks of this honey as the produce of Sicily.

149 The "creeper." It has not been identified.

150 Which are also called "herpetic" or "creeping."

151 The serpent so called.

152 Antonius Castor, probably. See end of B. xx.

153 See c. 16 of this Book.

154 A chronic cancer.

155 "Ulula."

156 In B. xxvi. c. 77.

157 "Fieri."

158 See B. xviii. c. 17.

159 See B. xii. c. 51.

160 See B. xxi. cc. 19, 83.

161 Varro calls them "albulæ," and says that they were found at Reate.

162 Of course she will be liable to do so, from fright.

163 The whole of this account appears to be in a very confused state; and is probably corrupt. Sillig's punctuation has not been adopted.

164 Ajasson has wasted ten lines of indignation upon the question where such a staff is to be found!

165 See c. 16 of this Book.

166 See B. xxxvi. c. 39.

167 An impossibility. See B. x. c. 15, for the stories about the raven on which this notion was based.

168 See B. x. cc. 29, 50.

169 See B. xxxiv. cc. 22, 23.

170 See B. xxviii. c. 77.

171 "Scabiem vulvarum."

172 Ajasson queries whether "denigrare" may not mean here "to render pale."

173 "Sorex."

174 Supposed to be an inflammation of the membranes of the brain.

175 See c. 8 of this Look.

176 A remedy still used, Ajasson says, in the French provinces.

177 See B. vii. c. 14, and B. xxix. c. 38.

178 "Inter se conligatæ in coitu."

179 See B. xxviii. c. 80.

180 See end of B. xxix.

181 He has hardly immortalized his name by it.

182 Possibly a kind of crane.

183 See B. viii. c. 75, and B. xxviii. c. 42.

184 It has not been identified.

185 Hardouin thinks that the worm called ἴξ by the Greeks is meant. Ovid speaks in his Fasti, B. i. 11. 354—360, of the goat, as being very fond of gnawing the vine.

186 See B. xi. c. 19.

187 See B. x. c. 20.

188 See B. viii. c. 72.

189 Some authorities say the ass, and others the Onager, or wild ass.

190 This story is generally regarded as an absurdity, and is rejected by Arrian and Plutarch.

191 See end of B. ii.

192 See end of B. vi.

193 See end of B. vii.

194 See end of B. xii.

195 See end of B. xix.

196 See end of B. ii.

197 See end of B. ii.

198 An eminent philosopher, a native of Smyrna, and disciple of Callimachus. He flourished about the middle of the third century B.C., and left numerous works, the principal of which was a Biography of the Philosophers, Poets, and Historians, which seems to have been highly esteemed. It is thought, too, that he wrote a work on Magic and Astrology; but there are some doubts about the writer's identity.

199 A native of Oasis in Egypt, who taught rhetoric at Rome in the reigns of Tiberius and Claudius. Some curious particulars are given respecting him in c. 6 of the present Book. His ostentation, vanity, and insolent pretensions fully merited the title "Cymbalum mundi," which Tiberius bestowed on him. He was a man, however, of considerable learning and great eloquence, and was distinguished for his hatred to the Jews. Of his numerous works only some fragments remain.

200 See end of B. xx.

201 See end of B. ii.

202 See end of B. xxi.

203 See end of B. xiii.

204 See end of B. xxix.

205 See end of . xi.

206 See end of B. xix.

207 See end of B. xii.

208 See end of B. xxix.

209 See end of B. xx.

210 See end of B. xxix.

211 See end of B. xx.

212 See end of B. viii.

213 See end of B. xxix.

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