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[188] This Ptolemais is a maritime city of Galilee, built in the great plain. It is encompassed with mountains: that on the east side, sixty furlongs off, belongs to Galilee; but that on the south belongs to Carmel, which is distant from it a hundred and twenty furlongs; and that on the north is the highest of them all, and is called by the people of the country, The Ladder of the Tyrians, which is at the distance of a hundred furlongs. The very small river Belus 1 runs by it, at the distance of two furlongs; near which there is Menmon's monument, 2 and hath near it a place no larger than a hundred cubits, which deserves admiration; for the place is round and hollow, and affords such sand as glass is made of; which place, when it hath been emptied by the many ships there loaded, it is filled again by the winds, which bring into it, as it were on purpose, that sand which lay remote, and was no more than bare common sand, while this mine presently turns it into glassy sand. And what is to me still more wonderful, that glassy sand which is superfluous, and is once removed out of the place, becomes bare common sand again. And this is the nature of the place we are speaking of.

1 This account of a place near the mouth of the river Belus in Phoenicia, whence came that sand out of which the ancients made their glass, is a known thing in history, particularly in Tacitus and Strabo, and more largely in Pliny.

2 This Memnon had several monuments, and one of them appears, both by Strabo and Diodorus, to have been in Syria, and not improbably in this very place.

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