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Of balamites1 there are two kinds, the one of a greenish hue, and the other like Corinthian bronze in appearance; the former comes from Coptos, and the latter from Troglodytica. They are both of them intersected by a flame-like vein, which runs through the middle. Coptos, too, sends us batrachitis;2 one kind of which is like a frog in colour, another has the tint of ebony, and a third is blackish inclining to red. Baptes3 is a soft stone, and of a most excellent smell. Beli oculus4 is a stone of a whitish hue, surrounding a black pupil in the middle, which shines amid a lustre like that of gold. This stone, in consequence of its singular beauty, has been consecrated to the deity5 held in the highest veneration by the people of Assyria. According to Democritus, there is also a stone called belus, and found at Arbela; it is about the size of a walnut, and looks6 like glass. Baroptenus or barippe is black, and covered with knots of a white and blood-red colour: the use of it as an amulet is avoided, as being apt to produce monstrosities.

Botryitis7 is sometimes black and sometimes purple-red,8 and resembles a bunch of grapes9 in form, when making its first appearance. Zoroaster says, that bostrychitis10 is a stone which is more like the hair of females than anything else. Bucardia11 resembles an ox-heart in appearance, and is only found at Babylon. Brontea12 is a stone like the head of a tortoise, which falls with thunder, it is supposed: if too, we are to believe what is said, it has the property of quenching the fire in objects that have been struck by lightning. Bolos13 is the name of a stone found in Iberia,14 similar to a clod of earth in appearance.

1 "Acorn stone." Like an olive in appearance, and now known as "Jew stone," probably, a fossil.

2 "Frog-stone." Varieties of quartz, probably.

3 "Dipped stone." Dalechamps says that it was amber stained with alkanet, but on what authority does not appear.

4 "Eye of Belus." Supposed by Ajasson and Desfontaines to be Cat's eye Chalcedony. See Chapter 50, Note 10.

5 Belus, the father of Ninus, the "Bel" of Scripture. See Chapter 58.

6 A kind of Tecolithos, Dalechamps says. See B. xxxvi. c. 35, and Chapter 68 of this Book.

7 "Grape-cluster stone."

8 "Puniceus" seems to be a preferable reading to "pampineus," "like a vine-tendril," given by the Bamberg MS.

9 Possibly it may have been Datholite or Borate of lime, a variety of which is known as Botryolite.

10 "Hair-stone." This was probably either Iron alum, known also as Alun de plume; Alunogen, known also as Feather Alum or hair salt; or Amianthus, also called satin Asbestus. See B. xxxvi. c 31.

11 "Ox-heart." Supposed to be a sort of Turquois, Hardouin says.

12 "Thunder-stone.

13 "Clod-stone." It may possibly have been a kind of Geodes. See B. xxxvi. c. 32. Dalechamps, however, identifies it with Crapaudine, Toad-stone, or Bufonite, supposed in former times to be produced by the toad, but in reality the fossil tooth of a fish.

14 See B. iii. c. 4.

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