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Portugal and Spain

In the sea off Lusitania acorn-bearing oaks grow, upon which the tunnies feed and fatten themselves, which may, therefore, well be called sea-hogs, as they feed like hogs on acorns.

These acorns are sometimes carried by the tide as far as the coast of Latium, unless they may be thought to be the produce of Sardinia or neighbouring islands. . . .

In Lusitania both animals and man are extraordinarily productive, owing to the excellent temperature of the air; the fruits never wither; there is not more than three months in the year in which roses, white violets (or gilly-flowers), and asparagus do not grow; while the fish caught in its sea is far superior to what is found in our waters for quantity, quality, and beauty. There, too, a Sicilian medimnus of barley is sold for a drachma, and one of wheat for nine Alexandrine obols. A metreta of wine costs a drachma, and a good kid or hare an obol, and a lamb from three to four obols; a fat pig weighing a hundred minae costs five drachmae, and a sheep two. A talent of figs is sold for three obols, a calf for five drachmae, a draught-ox for ten. The flesh of wild animals is not thought worth fixing a price upon at all, but the people give it to each other for nothing and as a present.1 . . .

1 To enable the reader to follow this list of prices, a short table is here sub-joined of Greek weights and money,—though he must be warned that values varied at different times and places,—with approximate values in English weights and money. 1 obol =1/40 oz. =1/8 shilling. 6 obol =I drachma =3/20 oz. . . . 9d. 100 drachmac = 1 mina =151/2 oz. . . . £3:18:6. 60 minae =1 talent =57 lbs. . . £235. A medimnus =11 gals. 4 pts. (dry measure). A metreta =8 gals. 5 pts. (liquid measure).

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), EURO´PA
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