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All salt is either native or artificial;1 both kinds being formed in various ways, but produced from one of these two causes, the condensation or the desiccation, of a liquid.2 The Lake of Tarentum is dried up by the heat of the summer sun, and the whole of its waters, which are at no time very deep, not higher than the knee in fact, are changed into once mass of salt. The same, too, with a lake in Sicily, Cocanicus by name, and another in the vicinity of Gela. But in the case of these two last, it is only the sides3 that are thus dried up: whereas in Phrygia, in Cappadocia, and at Aspendus, where the same phænomena are observable, the water is dried up to a much larger extent, to the very middle of the lake, in fact. There is also another marvellous4 circumstance connected with this last—however much salt is taken out of it in the day, its place is supplied again during the night. Every kind of lake- salt is found in grains, and not in the form of blocks.5

Sea-water, again, spontaneously produces another kind of salt, from the foam which it leaves on shore at high-water n-ark, or adhering to rocks; this being, in all cases, condensed by the action of the sun, and that6 salt being the most pun- gent of the two which is found upon the rocks.

There are also three different kinds of native salt. In Bac- triana there arc two vast lakes;7 one of them situate on the side of Scythia, the other on that of Ariana, both of which throw up vast quantities of salt.8 So, too, at Citium, in Cyprus; and, in the vicinity of Memphis, they extract salt from the lake and dry it in the sun. The surface-waters of some rivers, also, condense9 in the form of salt, the rest of the stream flowing beneath, as though under a crust of ice; such as the running waters near the Caspian Gates10 for instance, which are known as the "Rivers of Salt." The same is the case, too, in the vicinity of the Mardi and of the people of Armenia. In Bactriana, also, the rivers Ochus11 and Oxus carry down from the mountains on their banks, fragments of salt. There are also in Africa some lakes, the waters of which are turbid, that are productive of salt. Some hot springs, too, produce salt-those at Pagasæ for example. Such, then, are the various kinds of salt produced spontaneously by water.

There are certain mountains, also, formed of native salt; that of Oromenus, in India, for example, where it is cut out like blocks from a quarry, and is continually reproduced, bringing in a larger revenue to the sovereigns of those countries than that arising from their gold and pearls. In some instances it is dug out of the earth, being formed there, evidently, by the condensation of the moisture, as in Cappadocia for example, where it is cut in sheets, like those of mirror-stone.12 The blocks of it are very heavy, the name commonly given to them being "mica."13 At Gerrhæ,14 a city of Arabia, the ramparts and houses are constructed of blocks of salt, which are soldered together by being moistened with water. King Ptole- mæs discovered salt also in the vicinity of Pelusium, when he encamped there; a circumstance which induced other persons to seek and discover it in the scorched tracts that lie between Egypt and Arabia, beneath the sand. In the same manner, too, it has been found in the thirsting deserts of Africa, as far as the oracle of Hammon,15 a locality in which the salt increases at night with the increase of the moon.

The districts of Cyrenaica are ennobled, too, by the production of hammoniacum,16 a salt so called from the fact of its being found beneath the sands17 there. It is similar in colour to the alum known as "schiston,"18 and consists of long pieces, by no means transparent, and of an unpleasant flavour, but highly useful in medicine; that being held in the highest esteem, which is the clearest and divides into straight19 flakes. There is one remarkable fact mentioned in connexion with it: so long as it lies under ground in its bed20 it is extremely light, but the moment it is exposed to the light, it is hardly credible to what an extent its weight is increased. The reason for this is evident:21 the humid vapours of the excavations bear the masses upwards, as water does, and so aid the workmen. It is adulterated with the Sicilian salt which we have mentioned as being found in Lake Cocanicus, as also with that of Cyprus, which is marvellously like it. At Egelasta,22 in Nearer Spain, there is a salt, hewn from the bed in almost transparent blocks, and to which for this long time past most medical men, it is said, have given the preference over all other salt. Every spot in which salt23 is found is naturally barren, and produces nothing. Such are the particulars, in general, which have been ascertained with reference to native salt.

Of artificial salt there are several kinds; the common salt, and the most abundant, being made from sea-water drained into salt-pans, and accompanied with streams of fresh water; but it is rain more particularly, and, above all things, the sun, that aids in its formation; indeed without this last it would never dry. In the neighbourhood of Utica, in Africa, they build up masses of salt, like hills in appearance; and when these have been hardened by the action of the sun and moon, no moisture will ever melt them, and iron can hardly divide them. In Crete, however, salt is made without the aid of fresh water, and merely by introducing sea-water into the salt-pans. On the shores of Egypt, salt is formed by the overflow of the sea upon the land, already prepared for its reception, in my opinion, by the emanations of the river Nilus. It is made here, also, from the water24 of certain wells, discharged into salt-pans. At Babylon, the result of the first condensation is a bituminous25 liquid, like oil, which is used for burning in lamps; when this is skimmed off, the salt is found beneath. In Cappadocia, also, both well and spring-water are introduced into the saltpans. In Chaonia there is a spring, from the water of which, when boiled26 and left to cool, there is an inert salt obtained, not so white as ordinary salt. In the Gallic provinces and in Germany, it is the practice to pour salt-water upon burning wood.27

1 "Sal fit." This expression is not correct, there being no such thing as made salt. It is only collected from a state of suspension or dissolution. Pliny, however, includes under the name "sal" many substances, which in reality are not salt. His "hammoniacum" for instance if identical with hydrochlorate of ammonia, can with justice be said to made, being formed artificially from other substances.

2 "Catco humere vel siccato." These two terms in reality imply the same process, by the medium of evaporation; the former perfect, the latter imperfect.

3 The evaporation not being sufficiently strong to dry up the deeper parts.

4 There is in reality nothing wonderful in this, considering' that most lakes are constantly fed with the streams of rivers, which carry mineral sails along with them, and that the work of evaporation is always going on.

5 "Glæbas."

6 Because it is necessarily purer than that found upon the sand.

7 The description is not sufficiently clear to enable us to identify these lakes with certainty. Ajasson,, thinks that one of them may be the Lake of Badakandir in the Khanat of Bokhara; and the other the lake that lies between Ankhio and Akeha, in the west of the territory of Balkh, and near the Usbek Tartars.

8 "Sale exæstuant."

9 In consequence of the intense heat.

10 All these regions, Ajasson remarks, are covered with salt. An immense desert of salt extends to the north-east of Irak-Adjemi, and to the north of Kerman, between Tabaristan, western Khoraclu, and Khohistan.

11 Identified by Ajasson with the Herat and the Djihioun. He thinks that it is of some of the small affluents of this last that Pliny speaks.

12 "Lapis specularis."

13 A "crumb" properly, in the Latin language.

14 See B. vi. c. 32.

15 More commonly known as Jupiter Hammon.

16 See B. xii. c. 49, and B. xxiv. c. 28, for an account of gum resin am- moniac, a produce of the same locality. The substance here spoken of is considered by Beckmann to be nothing but common salt in an impure state. See his Hist. Inv. Vol. II. pp. 398–9, where this passage is discussed at considerable length. Ajasson, on the other hand, considers it to be Hydrochlorate of ammonia, the Sal ammoniac of commerce. According to some accounts, it was originally made in the vicinity of the Temple of Jupiter Hammon, by burning camels' dung.

17 Called ἄμμος, in Greek.

18 See B. xxxv. c. 52.

19 Sal ammoniac crystallizes in octahedrons.

20 "Intra specus suos." On this passage, Beckmann says, "From what is said by Pliny it may with certainty be concluded that this salt was dug up from pits or mines in Africa.——Many kinds of rock-salt, taken from the mines of Wieliczka, experience the same change in the air; so that blocks which a labourer can easily carry in the mine, can scarcely be lifted by him after being for some time exposed to the air. The cause here is undoubtedly the same as that which makes many kinds of artificial salt to become most and to acquire more weight."—Vol. II. p. 399, Bohn's Ed.

21 According to modern notions, his reason is anything but evident.

22 In Celtiberia. He alludes to the mountain of salt at Cardona, near Montserrat in Catalonia.

23 Speaking generally, this is true; but soils which contain it in small quantities as fruitful.

24 A simile method is still employed, Ajasson says, at the salt-mines near Innspruck in the Tyrol.

25 Native bitumen; always to be found in greater or less quantities, in saliferous earns.

26 The process of artificial evaporation.

27 This would produce an impure alkaline salt. According to Townson, this practice sll prevails in Transylvania and Moldavia.

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