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 On the road between Tralles and Nysa is a village of the Nysæans, not far from the city Acharaca, in which is the Plutonium, to which is attached a large grove, a temple of Pluto and Proserpine, and the Charonium, a cave which overhangs the grove, and possesses some singular physical properties. The sick, it is said, who have confidence in the cures performed by these deities, resort thither, and live in the village near the cave, among experienced priests, who sleep at night in the open air, on behoof of the sick, and direct the modes of cure by their dreams. The priests invoke the gods to cure the sick, and frequently take them into the cave, where, as in a den, they are placed to remain in quiet without food for several days. Sometimes the sick themselves observe their own dreams, but apply to these persons, in their character of priests and guardians of the mysteries, to interpret them, and to counsel what is to be done. To others the place is interdicted and fatal. An annual festival, to which there is a general resort, is celebrated at Acharaca, and at that time particularly are to be seen and heard those who frequent it, conversing about cures performed there. During this feast the young men of the gymnasium and the ephebi, naked and anointed with oil,1 carry off a bull by stealth at midnight, and hurry it away into the cave. It is then let loose, and after proceeding a short distance falls down and expires.
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