This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 "Quum cerificavere." Cuvier remarks that Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. v. c. 14, says, that these shell-fish make "waxen combs," meaning thereby collections of cells, similar to those formed by the bee; and it is to this notion that Pliny refers in the use of the word "cerificavere." It is the fact, Cuvier says, that the univalve sea shell-fish, and more particularly the buccini and the murices, envelope their eggs with glutinous vesicles of varied forms, according to the respective species; which, when massed together, may be not inappropriately termed "combs."
2 In c. 60. As Cuvier remarks, with considerable justice, this description by Pliny of the process of dyeing in purple, is very difficult to explain, seeing that the art is now entirely lost. Reaumur, he says, made some attempts at dyeing with a small buccinum found off the French coasts, the Buccinum lapillus of Linnæus; but without any result.
3 About twenty ounces.
4 Because iron or brazen vessels might impart a tinge to the colour. The same would probably be the case if the word "plumbo "were to be considered as signifying "lead." As, however, Pliny uses this word in the signification of "tin," it is most probable that that is his meaning. Littré, however, translates the word "plombe," "lead."
5 Hardouin says, that the weight of the contents of the amphora would be about eighty pounds: it would therefore take eight thousand pounds of material, to make five hundred pounds of dye. The passage, however, which runs as follows, "Fervere in plumbo, singulasque amphoras centenas ad quingentenas medicaminis libras aequari," may be rendered, "It is then set to boil in vessels of tin, and every hundred amphoræ of water ought to he proportioned to five hundred pounds of the material;" indeed, this is probably the correct translation, though Littré, who is generally very exact, adopts that given in the text.
6 "Alligatur:" which word may also mean, that mixed with the buccinum, it will hold fast, and not speedily fade or wash out.
7 So called from the gem of that name; see B. xxxvii. c. 40.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.