Pliny the Elder.

The Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) online

. (page 25 of 57)
Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 25 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


then comes the Promontory of Leucatas[4340], by which the Astacenian
Gulf is bounded, and thirty-seven miles distant from Nicomedia; and
then, the land again approaching the other side, the straits[4341]
which extend as far as the Thracian Bosporus. Upon these are situate
Chalcedon[4342], a free town, sixty-two miles from Nicomedia, formerly
called Procerastis[4343], then Colpusa, and after that the “City of
the Blind,” from the circumstance that its founders did not know where
to build their city, Byzantium being only seven stadia distant, a site
which is preferable in every respect.

In the interior of Bithynia are the colony of Apamea[4344], the
Agrippenses, the Juliopolitæ, and Bithynion[4345]; the rivers Syrium,
Laphias, Pharnacias, Alces, Serinis, Lilæus, Scopius, and Hieras[4346],
which separates Bithynia from Galatia. Beyond Chalcedon formerly stood
Chrysopolis[4347], and then Nicopolis, of which the gulf, upon which
stands the Port of Amycus[4348], still retains the name; then the
Promontory of Naulochum, and Estiæ[4349], a temple of Neptune[4350].
We then come to the Bosporus, which again separates Asia from Europe,
the distance across being half a mile; it is distant twelve miles
and a half from Chalcedon. The first entrance of this strait is
eight miles and three-quarters wide, at the place where the town of
Spiropolis[4351] formerly stood. The Thyni occupy the whole of the
coast, the Bithyni the interior. This is the termination of Asia,
and of the 282 peoples, that are to be found between the Gulf of
Lycia[4352] and this spot. We have already[4353] mentioned the length
of the Hellespont and Propontis to the Thracian Bosporus as being 239
miles; from Chalcedon to Sigeum, Isidorus makes the distance 322-1/2.




CHAP. 44.—THE ISLANDS OF THE PROPONTIS.


The islands of the Propontis are, before Cyzicus, Elaphonnesus[4354],
from whence comes the Cyzican marble; it is also known by the names
of Neuris and Proconnesus. Next come Ophiussa[4355], Acanthus, Phœbe,
Scopelos, Porphyrione, Halone[4356], with a city of that name,
Delphacia, Polydora, and Artaceon, with its city. There is also,
opposite to Nicomedia, Demonnesos[4357]; and, beyond Heraclea, and
opposite to Bithynia, the island of Thynias, by the barbarians called
Bithynia; the island of Antiochia: and, at the mouth of the Rhyndacus,
Besbicos[4358], eighteen miles in circumference; the islands also of
Elæa, the two called Rhodussæ, and those of Erebinthus[4359], Megale,
Chalcitis[4360], and Pityodes[4361].


SUMMARY.—Towns and nations spoken of ****. Noted rivers ****. Famous
mountains ****. Islands, 118 in number. People or towns no longer in
existence ****. Remarkable events, narratives, and observations ****.


ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Agrippa[4362], Suetonius Paulinus[4363],
M. Varro[4364], Varro Atacinus[4365], Cornelius Nepos[4366],
Hyginus[4367], L. Vetus[4368], Mela[4369], Domitius Corbulo[4370],
Licinius Mucianus[4371], Claudius Cæsar[4372], Arruntius[4373], Livius
the Son[4374], Sebosus[4375], the Register of the Triumphs[4376].

* * * * *

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—King Juba[4377], Hecatæus[4378],
Hellanicus[4379], Damastes[4380], Dicæarchus[4381], Bæton[4382],
Timosthenes[4383], Philonides[4384], Zenagoras[4385], Astynomus[4386],
Staphylus[4387], Aristoteles[4388], Aristocritus[4389],
Dionysius[4390], Ephorus[4391], Eratosthenes[4392], Hipparchus[4393],
Panætius[4394], Serapion[4395] of Antioch, Callimachus[4396],
Agathocles[4397], Polybius[4398], Timæus[4399] the mathematician,
Herodotus[4400], Myrsilus[4401], Alexander Polyhistor[4402],
Metrodorus[4403], Posidonius[4404], who wrote the Periplus and the
Periegesis, Sotades[4405], Periander[4406], Aristarchus[4407]
of Sicyon, Eudoxus[4408], Antigenes[4409], Callicrates[4410],
Xenophon[4411] of Lampsacus, Diodorus[4412] of Syracuse, Hanno[4413],
Himilco[4414], Nymphodorus[4415], Calliphanes[4416], Artemidorus[4417],
Megasthenes[4418], Isidorus[4419], Cleobulus[4420], and
Aristocreon[4421].

END OF VOL. I.




APPENDIX OF CORRECTIONS.


Page 1, line 9, The allusion, otherwise obscure, is to the fact that
some friends of Catullus had filched a set of
table-napkins, which had been given to him by
Veranius and Fabius, and substituted others
in their place.

„ 13, „ 2, _for_ Roman figures, _read_ other figures.

„ 20, „ 7, _for_ the God of nature; he also tends, _down to_
and most excellent, _read_ the God of nature. He
supplies light to the universe, and dispels all
darkness; He both conceals and reveals the other
stars. It is He that regulates the seasons, and,
in the course of nature, governs the year as it
ever springs anew into birth; it is He that dispels
the gloom of the heavens, and sheds his light upon
the clouds of the human mind. He, too, lends his
brightness to the other stars. He is most brilliant
and most excellent.

„ 21, „ 13, _for_ elected, _read_ erected.

„ 21, „ 13, _for_ good fortune, _read_ evil fortune.

„ 23, „ 18, _for_ our scepticism concerning God is still
increased, _read_ our conjectures concerning God
become more vague still.

„ 23, „ 31, _for_ and the existence of God becomes doubtful,
_read_ whereby the very existence of a God is shewn
to be uncertain.

„ 33, „ 4, _for_ as she receives, _read_ as receives.

„ 54, „ 15, _for_ the seventh of the circumference, _read_ the
seventh of the third of the circumference.

„ 59, „ 36, _for_ transeuntia, _read_ transcurrentia.

„ 67, „ 26, _for_ circumstances, _read_ influences.

„ 78, „ 9, _for_ higher winds, _read_ higher waves.

„ 78, „ 17, _for_ the male winds are therefore regulated by
the odd numbers, _read_ hence it is that the odd
numbers are generally looked upon as males.

„ 79, „ 15, _for_ of the cloud, _read_ of the icy cloud.

„ 79, „ 21, _for_ sprinkling it with vinegar, _read_ throwing
vinegar against it.

„ 79, „ 22, _for_ this substance, _read_ that liquid.

„ 80, „ 13, _for_ but not until, _read_ and not after.

„ 80, „ 14, _for_ the former is diffused, _down to_ impulse,
_read_ the latter is diffused in the blast, the
former is condensed by the violent impulse.

„ 80, „ 17, _for_ dash, _read_ crash.

„ 81, „ 21, _for_ thunder-storms, _read_ thunder-bolts.

„ 81, „ 27, _for_ their operation, _read_ its operation.

„ 82, „ 8, _for_ thunder-storms, _read_ thunder-bolts.

„ 85, „ 2, _for_ blown up, _read_ blasted.

„ 88, „ 15, _for_ the east, _read_ the west.

„ 89, „ 11, _for_ even a stone, _read_ ever a stone.

„ 92, „ 9, _for_ how many things do we compel her to produce
spontaneously, _read_ how many things do we compel
her to produce! How many things does she pour forth
spontaneously!

„ 92, „ 10, _for_ odours and flowers, _read_ odours and
flavours.

„ 93, „ 16, _for_ luxuries, _read_ caprices.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] The weight of testimony inclines to the latter. The mere titles of
the works which have been written on the subject would fill a volume.

[2] At a wedding feast, as mentioned by him in B. ix. c. 58. She was
then the wife of Caligula.

[3] Related in B. ix. c. 5.

[4] Here at Tusdrita, he saw L. Coisicius, who it was said had been
changed from a woman into a man. See B. vii. c. 3. Phlegon Trallianus
and Ausonius also refer to the story.

[5] See B. xvi. c. 2, and B. xxxi. c. 19.

[6] Plinii Ep. B. vi. Ep. 16.

[7] Twenty-fourth August.

[8] “Fortes fortuna juvat.”

[9] B. iii. Ep. 5.

[10] Nero Claudius Drusus, the son of Livia, afterwards the wife of
Augustus. He was the father of the Emperor Claudius, and died in
Germany of the effects of an accident.

[11] “Studiosus.” This work has perished.

[12] “De Dubia Sermone.” A few scattered fragments of it still survive.

[13] 23rd of August.

[14] For astrological presages.

[15] At midwinter, this hour would answer at Rome to our midnight.

[16] At midwinter, this would be between six and seven in the evening.

[17] “Electorum Commentarii.”

[18] B. viii. c. 34. His acrimony may however, in this instance, have
outstripped his discretion. Though indebted to them for by far the
largest amount of his information on almost every subject, he seems to
have had a strong aversion to the Greeks, and repeatedly charges them
with lying, viciousness, boasting, and vanity. See B. ii. c. 112; B.
iii. c. 6; B. v. c. 1; B. xv. c. 5; B. xix. c. 26; B. xxviii. c. 29; B.
xxxvii. c. 74.

[19] Of Vespasian and Titus for certain; and probably of Nero, who
appointed him “procurator Cæsaris” in Spain.

[20] Even on that point he contradicts himself in the next Book. See B.
viii. c. 19, and 64, in reference to the lion and the horse.

[21] See B. vii. c. 51.

[22] “Summa vitæ felicitas.” B. vii. c. 54.

[23] B. vii. c. 53.

[24] He loses no opportunity of inveighing against luxury and
sensuality.

[25] The question as to a future existence he calls “Manium ambages,”
“quiddities about the Manes.” B. vii. c. 56.

[26] See B. vii. c. 53.

[27] We have already seen that in his earlier years he was warned in a
vision by Drusus to write the history of the wars in Germany; but there
is a vast difference between paying attention to the suggestions of a
dream, and believing in the immortality of the soul, or the existence
of disembodied spirits.

[28] B. vii. c. 53.

[29] B. vii. c. 58, 59, 60.

[30] Mankind must surely have agreed before this in making the
instruments employed in shaving.

[31] “Discours Premier sur l’Histoire Naturelle.”

[32] Biographie Universelle. Vol. 35. Art. _Pline_.

[33] This, however, is not the fault of Pliny, but the result of
imperfect tradition. To have described _every_ object _minutely_ that
he has named, and of which he has given the peculiar properties, would
have swollen his book to a most enormous size, almost indeed beyond
conception.

[34] Lemaire informs us, in his title-page, that the two first books of
the Natural History are edited by M. Alexandre, in his edition.

[35] “Jucundissime;” it is not easy to find an epithet in our language
which will correctly express the meaning of the original, affectionate
and familiar, at the same time that it is sufficiently dignified and
respectful.

[36] Lamb’s trans.; Carm. i. 4. of the original.

[37] “Conterraneus;” we have no word in English which expresses the
idea intended by the original, and which is, at the same time, a
military term. There is indeed some reason to doubt, whether the word
now inserted in the text was the one employed by the author: see
the remarks of M. Alexandre, in Lem. i. 3; also an observation in
Cigalino’s dissertation on the native country of Pliny; Valpy, 8.

[38] “Permutatis prioribus sætabis;” Carm. xii. 14; xxv. 7; see the
notes in Lamb’s trans. pp. 135 & 149.

[39] These names in the original are Varaniolus and Fabullus, which are
supposed to have been changed from Veranius and Fabius, as terms of
familiarity and endearment; see Poinsinet, i. 24, and Lemaire, i. 4.

[40] The narrative of Suetonius may serve to illustrate the observation
of Pliny: “Triumphavit (Titus) cum patre, censuramque gessit una. Eidem
collega et in tribunicia potestate, et in septem consulatibus fuit.
Receptaque ad se prope omnium officiorum cura, cum patris nomine et
epistolas ipse dictaret, et edicta conscriberet, orationesque in Senatu
recitaret etiam quæstoris vice, præfecturam quoque prætorii suscepit,
nunquam ad id tempus, nisi ab Equite Romano, administratum.” (viii. 5.)

[41] “Perfricui faciem.” This appears to have been a proverbial
expression among the Romans; Cicero, Tusc. Quæs. iii. 41, employs “os
perfricuisti,” and Martial, xi. 27. 7, “perfricuit frontem,” in the
same sense.

[42] Suetonius speaks of Domitian’s taste for poetry, as a part of his
habitual dissimulation, viii. 2; see also the notes of Poinsinet, i.
26, and of Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 351.

[43] “Non eras in hoc albo;” see the note of Alexandre, in Lemaire,
i. 8. A passage in Quintilian, xii. 4, may serve to illustrate this
use of the term ‘album’; “... quorum alii se ad album ac rubricas
transtulerunt....”

[44] It appears that the passage in which Cicero makes this quotation
from Lucilius, is not in the part of his treatise De Republica which
was lately discovered by Angelus Maius; Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 9.
Cicero refers to this remark of Lucilius in two of his other works,
although with a variation in the expression and in the individuals
specified; De Orat. ii. 6, and De Fin. i. 3.

[45] “Qui primus condidit styli nasum.”

[46] “Sed hæc ego mihi nunc patrocinia ademi nuncupatione.”

[47] “Pecunias deponerent.” Ajasson, i. 11, remarks on these words,
“Qui videri volebant ambitu alienissimi, pecuniam apud sanctum aliquem
virum deponebant, qua scilicet multarentur, si unquam hujus criminis
manifesti fierent.”

[48] This expression is not found in any of the works of Cicero which
are now extant, nor, indeed, is it certain that it was anything more
than a remark made in conversation.

[49] “Provocatio,” calling forth.

[50] Horace, Epist. ii. 1. 143; Ovid, Fast. iv. 746 and v. 121, and
Tibullus, i. 1. 26 and ii. 5. 37, refer to the offerings of milk made
by the country people to their rural deities.

[51] “... id est, artium et doctrinarum omnium circulus;” Alexandre in
Lem. i. 14.

[52] These words are not found in any of the books of Livy now extant;
we may conclude that they were introduced into the latter part of his
work.

[53] “Quem nunc primum historiæ Plinianæ librum vocamus, hic non
numeratur, quod sit operis index.” Hardouin in Lem. i. 16.

[54] Nothing is known of Domitius Piso, either as an author or an
individual.

[55] The names of these authors will be found, arranged by Hardouin
alphabetically, with a brief account of them and their works, in Lem.
i. 157 _et seq._; we have nearly the same list in Valpy, p. 4903.

[56] “Musinamur.” We learn from Hardouin, Lem. i. 17, that there is
some doubt as to the word employed by our author, whether it was
_musinamur_ or _muginamur_; I should be disposed to adopt the former,
as being, according to the remark of Turnebus, “verbum a Musis
deductum.”

[57] “A fine Aufidii Bassi;” as Alexandre remarks, “Finis autem
Aufidii Bassi intelligendus est non mors ejus, sed tempus ad quod
suas ipse perduxerat historias. Quodnam illud ignoramus.” Lem. i. 18.
For an account of Aufidius Bassus we are referred to the catalogue of
Hardouin, but his name does not appear there. Quintilian (x. 1) informs
us, that he wrote an account of the Germanic war.

[58] “Jam pridem peracta sancitur.”

[59] This sentiment is not found in that portion of the treatise which
has been lately published by Angelus Maius. Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 19.

[60] The following is probably the passage in the Offices to which
Pliny refers: “Panæcius igitur, qui sine controversia de officiis
accuratissime disputavit, quemque nos, correctione quadam exhibita,
potissimum secuti sumus....” (iii. 2.)

[61] “Cum præsertim sors fiat ex usura.” The commentators and
translators have differed respecting the interpretation of this
passage; I have given what appears to me the obvious meaning of the
words.

[62] “Lac gallinaceum;” “Proverbium de re singulari et admodum rara,”
according to Hardouin, who quotes a parallel passage from Petronius;
Lemaire, i. 21.

[63] The titles in the original are given in Greek; I have inserted in
the text the words which most nearly resemble them, and which have been
employed by modern authors.

[64] “Lucubratio.”

[65] The pun in the original cannot be preserved in the translation;
the English reader may conceive the name Bibaculus to correspond to our
surname Jolly.

[66] “Sesculysses” and “Flextabula;” literally, Ulysses and a Half, and
Bend-table.

[67] Βιβλιοθήκη.

[68] “Cymbalum mundi” and “publicæ famæ tympanum.”

[69] “Pendenti titulo;” as Hardouin explains it, “qui nondum absolutum
opus significaret, verum adhuc pendere, velut imperfectum.” Lemaire, i.
26.

[70] “Homeromastigæ.”

[71] “Dialectici.” By this term our author probably meant to
designate those critics who were disposed to dwell upon minute verbal
distinctions; “dialecticarum captionum amantes,” according to Hardouin;
Lem. i. 28.

[72] “Quod argutiarum amantissimi, et quod æmulatio inter illos
acerbissima.” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 28.

[73] Pliny the younger, in one of his letters (iii. 5), where he
enumerates all his uncle’s publications, informs us, that he wrote “a
piece of criticism in eight books, concerning ambiguity of expression.”
Melmoth’s Pliny, i. 136.

[74] The ancients had very exaggerated notions respecting the period of
the elephant’s pregnancy; our author, in a subsequent part of his work
(viii. 10), says, “Decem annis gestare vulgus existimat; Aristoteles
biennio.”

[75] His real name was Tyrtamus, but in consequence of the beauty of
his style, he acquired the appellation by which he is generally known
from the word θεῖος φράσις. Cicero on various occasions refers to him;
Brutus, 121; Orator, 17, _et alibi_.

[76] “Suspendio jam quærere mortem oportere homines vitæque renunciare,
cum tantum licentiæ, vel feminæ, vel imperiti homines sumant, ut in
doctissimos scribant;” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 29. We learn from
Cicero, De Nat. Deor. i. 33, that the name of this female was Leontium;
“... sed meretricula etiam Leontium contra Theophrastum scribere ausa
sit.”

[77] A. Gellius (vii. 4) refers to this work and gives an extract from
it.

[78] The hostility which Cato bore to Scipio Africanus is mentioned by
Livy, xxxviii. 54, and by Corn. Nepos, Cato, i.

[79] Lucius Munatius Plancus took a conspicuous part in the political
intrigues of the times and was especially noted for his follies and
extravagance.

[80] Asinius Pollio is a name which stands high in Roman literature;
according to the remark of Alexandre, “Vir magnus fuit, prono tamen
ad obtrectandum ingenio, quod arguunt ejus cum Cicerone simultates,”
Lemaire, i. 30. This hostile feeling towards Cicero is supposed to have
proceeded from envy and mortification, because he was unable to attain
the same eminence in the art of oratory with his illustrious rival. See
Hardouin’s Index Auctorum, in Lemaire, i. 168.

[81] “Vitiligatores.”

[82] The table of contents, which occupies no less than 124 pages in
Lemaire’s edition, I have omitted, in consequence of its length; the
object which the author proposed to effect by the table of contents
will be gained more completely by an alphabetical index.

[83] “Ἐποπτίδων.” For an account of Valerius Soranus see Hardouin’s
Index Auctorum, in Lemaire, i. 217.

[84] To the end of each book of the Natural History is appended, in the
original, a copious list of references to the sources from which the
author derived his information. These are very numerous; in the second
book they amount to 45, in the third to 35, in the 4th to 53, in the
fifth to 60, in the sixth to 54, and they are in the same proportion in
the remaining books.

[85] “Spartum;” this plant was used to make bands for the vines and
cables for ships.

[86] “Mundus.” In translating from one language into another, it is
proper, as a general principle, always to render the same word in the
original by the same word in the translation. But to this rule there
are two exceptions; where the languages do not possess words which
precisely correspond, and where the original author does not always
use the same word in the same sense. Both these circumstances, I
apprehend, apply to the case in question. The term _Mundus_ is used
by Pliny, sometimes to mean _the earth_ and its immediate appendages,
the visible solar system; and at other times _the universe_; while
I think we may venture to assert, that in some instances it is used
in rather a vague manner, without any distinct reference to either
one or other of the above designations. I have, in almost all cases,
translated it by the term _world_, as approaching nearest to the
sense of the original. The word _mundus_ is frequently employed by
Lucretius, especially in his fifth book, and seems to be almost always
used in the more extended sense of _universe_. There are, indeed, a
few passages where either meaning would be equally appropriate, and in
one line it would appear to be equivalent to _firmament_ or _heavens_;
“et mundi speciem violare serenam,” iv. 138. Cicero, in his treatise
De Natura Deorum, generally uses the term _mundus_ in the sense of
_universe_, as in ii. 22, 37, 58 and 154; while in one passage, ii.
132, it would appear to be employed in the more limited sense of _the
earth_. It occasionally occurs in the Fasti of Ovid, but it is not
easy to ascertain its precise import; as in the line “Post chaos, ut
primum data sunt tria corpora mundo,” v. 41, where from the connexion
it may be taken either in the more confined or in the more general
sense. Manilius employs the word very frequently, and his commentators
remark, that he uses it in two distinct senses, _the visible firmament_
and the _universe_; and I am induced to think that he attaches still
more meaning to the term. It occurs three times in the first eleven
lines of his poem. In the third line, “deducere mundo aggredior,”
_mundus_ may be considered as equivalent to the celestial regions as
opposed to the earth. In the ninth line, “concessumque patri mundo,”
we may consider it as signifying the celestial regions generally; and
in the eleventh, “Jamque favet mundus,” the whole of the earth, or
rather its inhabitants. We meet with it again in the sixty-eighth line,
“lumina mundi,” where it seems more properly to signify the visible
firmament; again in the 139th, “Et mundi struxere globum,” it seems
to refer especially to the earth, synonymous with the general sense
of the English term _world_; while in the 153rd line, “per inania
mundi,” it must be supposed to mean the universe. Hyginus, in his
Poeticon Astronomicon, lib. i. p. 55, defines the term as follows:
“Mundus appellatur is qui constat in sole et luna et terra et omnibus
stellis;” and again, p. 57, “Terra mundi media regione collocata.” We
may observe the different designations of the term _mundus_ in Seneca;
among other passages I may refer to his Nat. Quæst. vii. 27 & iii. 30;
to his treatise De Consol. § 18 and De Benef. iv. 23, where I conceive
the precise meanings are, respectively, the universe, the terrestrial
globe, the firmament, and the heavenly bodies. The Greek term κόσμος,
which corresponds to the Latin word _mundus_, was likewise employed to
signify, either the visible firmament or the universe. In illustration
of this, it will be sufficient to refer to the treatise of Aristotle
Περὶ Κόσμου, cap. 2. p. 601. See also Stephens’s Thesaurus, _in loco_.
In Apuleius’s treatise De Mundo, which is a free translation of
Aristotle’s Περὶ Κόσμου, the term may be considered as synonymous with
universe. It is used in the same sense in various parts of Apuleius’s
writings: see Metam. ii. 23; De Deo Socratis, 665, 667; De Dogmate
Platonis, 574, 575, _et alibi_.

[87] Cicero, in his Timæus, uses the same phraseology; “Omne igitur
cœlum, sive mundus, sive quovis alio vocabulo gaudet, hoc a nobis
nuncupatum est,” § 2. Pomponius Mela’s work commences with a similar
expression; “Omne igitur hoc, quidquid est, cui mundi cœlique nomen
indideris, unum id est.” They were probably taken from a passage in



Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 25 of 57)