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subsequent part of the work; x. 47.

[374] The author, as it appears, portions out the whole of the year
into fourteen periods, during most of which certain winds are said to
blow, or, at least, to be decidedly prevalent. Although the winds of
Italy are less irregular than those of England, Pliny has considerably
exaggerated the real fact.

[375] On this subject the reader may peruse the remarks of Seneca, Nat.
Quæst. v. 18, written in his style of flowery declamation.

[376] The greatest part of the remarks on the nature of the winds, in
this chapter, would appear to be taken from Aristotle’s Treatise De
Meteor., and it may be stated generally, that our author has formed
his opinions more upon those of the Greek writers than upon actual

[377] 9 A.M.

[378] In the last chapter Ornithias is said to be a west wind.

[379] This obviously depends upon the geographical situation of the
northern parts of Africa, to which the observation more particularly
applies, with respect to the central part of the Continent and the
Mediterranean. See the remarks of Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 340.

[380] The influence of the fourth day of the moon is referred to by
Virgil, Geor. i. 432 _et seq._ “Sin ortu quarto,” &c.

[381] This refers to the genders of the names of the winds, analogous
to the remark in note [346], p. 71.

[382] Eudoxus was a native of Cnidus, distinguished for his knowledge
in astrology and science generally; he was a pupil of Plato, and is
referred to by many of the ancients; see Hardouin’s Index Auctorum, in
Lemaire, i. 187, and Enfield’s Hist. of Phil. i. 412, with the very
copious list of references.

[383] “flatus repentini.”

[384] Cicero refers to an opinion very similar to this as maintained by
the Stoics; De Div. ii. 44.

[385] “procella.”

[386] “ἐκ νέφους, ex nube, erumpente spiritu.” Hardouin, in Lemaire, i.
343. Perhaps it most nearly corresponds to the term “hurricane.”

[387] a τύφω, incendo, ardeo. We have no distinct term in our language
which corresponds to the account of the typhon; it may be considered as
a combination of a whirlwind and a hurricane.

[388] Plutarch, Sympos. Quæst. iii. 5, refers to the extraordinary
power of vinegar in extinguishing fire, but he ascribes this effect,
not to its coldness, but to the extreme tenuity of its parts. On this
Alexandre remarks, “Melius factum negassent Plinius et Plutarchus, quam
causam inanem rei absurdissimæ excogitarent.” Lemaire, i. 344.

[389] The terms here employed are respectively “turbines,” “presteres,”
and “vortices.”

[390] πρηστὴρ, a πρήθω, incendo. Seneca calls it “igneus turbo;” Nat.
Quæst. v. 13. p. 762. See also Lucretius, vi. 423.

[391] Plutarch.

[392] A water-spout. We have a description of this phænomenon in
Lucretius, vi. 425 _et seq._

[393] “fulmen.”

[394] This has been pointed out by Alexandre, Lemaire, i. 346, as one
of the statements made by our author, which, in consequence of his
following the Greek writers, applies rather to their climate than to
that of Italy. The reader may form a judgement of the correctness of
this remark by comparing the account given by Aristotle and by Seneca;
the former in Meteor. iii. 1. p. 573, 574, the latter in Nat. Quæst.
ii. 32 _et seq._

[395] “fulgur.” The account of the different kinds of thunder seems
to be principally taken from Aristotle; Meteor. iii. 1. Some of the
phænomena mentioned below, which would naturally appear to the ancients
the most remarkable, are easily explained by a reference to their
electrical origin.

[396] “quod clarum vocant.”

[397] This account seems to be taken from Aristotle, Meteor. iii. 1. p.
574; see also Seneca, Nat. Quæst. ii. 31. p. 711. We have an account of
the peculiar effects of thunder in Lucretius, vi. 227 _et seq._

[398] This effect may be easily explained by the agitation into which
the female might have been thrown. The title of “princeps Romanarum,”
which is applied to Marcia, has given rise to some discussion among the
commentators, for which see the remarks of Hardouin and Alexandre, in
Lemaire, i. 348.

[399] Sometimes a partial thunder-cloud is formed, while the atmosphere
generally is perfectly clear, or, as Hardouin suggests, the effect
might have been produced by a volcanic eruption. See Lemaire, i. 348.

[400] Seneca gives us an account of the opinions of the Tuscans; Nat.
Quæst. ii. 32; and Cicero refers to the “libri fulgurales” of the
Etrurians; De Divin. i. 72.

[401] According to Hardouin, “Summanus est Deus summus Manium, idem
Orcus et Pluto dictus.” Lemaire, i. 349; he is again referred to by
our author, xxix. 14; Ovid also mentions him, Fast. vi. 731, with the
remark, “quisquis is est.”

[402] The city of Bolsena is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient
Volsinium. From the nature of the district in which it is situate,
it is perhaps more probable, that the event alluded to in the test
was produced by a volcanic eruption, attended by lightning, than by a
simple thunder-storm.

[403] “Vocant et familiaria ... quæ prima fiunt familiam suam cuique
indepto.” This remark is explained by the following passage from
Seneca; Nat. Quæst. ii. 47. “Hæc sunt fulmina, quæ primo accepto
patrimonio, in novo hominis aut urbis statu fiunt.” This opinion, as
well as most of those of our author, respecting the auguries to be
formed from thunder, is combated by Seneca; _ubi supra_, § 48.

[404] This opinion is also referred to by Seneca in the following
passage; “privata autem fulmina negant ultra decimum annum, publica
ultra trigesimum posse deferri;” _ubi supra_.

[405] “in deductione oppidorum;” according to Hardouin, Lemaire, i.
350, “quum in oppida coloniæ deducuntur.”

[406] The following conjecture is not without a degree of probability;
“Ex hoc multisque aliis auctorum locis, plerique conjiciunt Etruscis
auguribus haud ignotam fuisse vim electricam, licet eorum arcana
nunquam divulgata sint.” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 350.

[407] Alexandre remarks in this place, “An morbus aliquis fuit, qui
primum in agros debacchatus, jam urbi minabatur, forsitan ab aëris
siccitate natus, quem advenientes cum procella imbres discusserunt?”
Lemaire, i. 350.

[408] For a notice of Piso, see Lemaire, i. 208.

[409] We have an account of the death of Tullus Hostilius in Livy, i.

[410] “ab eliciendo, seu quod precationibus cœlo evocaretur, id nomen
traxit.” This is confirmed by the following lines from Ovid, Fast. iii.
327, 328:—

“Eliciunt cœlo te, Jupiter: unde minores
Nunc quoque te celebrant, Eliciumque vocant.”

[411] “beneficiis abrogare vires.”

[412] “ictum autem et sonitum congruere, ita modulante natura.” This
remark is not only incorrect, but appears to be at variance both with
what precedes and what follows.

[413] The following remark of Seneca may be referred to, both as
illustrating our author and as showing how much more correct the
opinions of Seneca were than his own, on many points of natural
philosophy; “... necesse est, ut impetus fulminis et præmittat
spiritus, et agat ante se, et a tergo trahat ventum....;” Nat. Quæst.
lib. ii. § 20. p. 706.

[414] “quoniam læva parte mundi ortus est.” On this passage Hardouin
remarks; “a Deorum sede, quum in meridiem spectes, ad sinistram sunt
partes mundi exorientes;” Lemaire, i. 353. Poinsinet enters into a
long detail respecting opinions of the ancients on this point and the
circumstances which induced them to form their opinions; i. 34 _et seq._

[415] See Cicero de Divin. ii. 42.

[416] “Junonis quippe templum fulmine violatum ostendit non a Jove, non
a Deis mitti fulmina.” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 354. The consulate of
Scaurus was in the year of Rome 638. Lucan, i. 155, and Horace, Od. i.
2. refer to the destruction of temples at Rome by lightning.

[417] Obviously because faint flashes are more visible in the night.

[418] We have an explanation of this peculiar opinion in Tertullian, as
referred to by Hardouin, Lemaire. i. 355; “Qui de cœlo tangitur, salvus
est, ut nullo igne decinerescat.”

[419] Although it has been thought necessary by M. Fée, in the notes to
Ajasson’s trans., ii. 384, 385, to enter into a formal examination of
this opinion of the author’s, I conceive that few of our readers will
agree with him in this respect.

[420] Suetonius informs us, that Augustus always wore a seal’s skin for
this purpose; Octavius, § 90.

[421] The eagle was represented by the ancients with a thunderbolt in
its claws.

[422] There is strong evidence for the fact, that, at different
times, various substances have fallen from the atmosphere, sometimes
apparently of mineral, and, at other times, of animal or vegetable
origin. Some of these are now referred to those peculiar bodies termed
aërolites, the nature and source of which are still doubtful, although
their existence is no longer so. These bodies have, in other instances,
been evidently discharged from distant volcanoes, but there are many
cases where the substance could not be supposed to have proceeded
from a volcano, and where, in the present state of our knowledge,
it appears impossible to offer an explanation of their nature, or
the source whence they are derived. We may, however, conclude,
that notwithstanding the actual occurrence of a few cases of this
description, a great proportion of those enumerated by the ancients
were either entirely without foundation or much exaggerated. We meet
with several variations of what we may presume to have been aërolites
in Livy; for example, xxiv. 10, xxx. 38, xli. 9, xliii. 13, and xliv.
18, among many others. As naturally may be expected, we have many
narratives of this kind in Jul. Obsequens.

[423] The same region from which lightning was supposed to proceed.

[424] We have several relations of this kind in Livy, xxiv. 10, xxxix.
46 and 56, xl. 19, and xliii. 13. The red snow which exists in certain
alpine regions, and is found to depend upon the presence of the Uredo
nivalis, was formerly attributed to showers of blood.

[425] This occurrence may probably be referred to an aërolite, while
the wool mentioned below, i. e. a light flocculent substance, was
perhaps volcanic.


Armorum sonitum toto Germania cœlo
Audiit.—Virgil, Geor. i. 474, 475.

“ ... in Jovis Vicilini templo, quod in Compsano agro est, arma
concrepuisse.” Livy, xxiv. 44.

[427] See Plutarch, by Langhorne; Marius, iii. 133.

[428] See Livy, iii. 5 & 10, xxxi. 12, xxxii. 9, _et alibi_.

[429] I have already had occasion to remark, concerning this class of
phænomena, that there is no doubt of their actual occurrence, although
their origin is still unexplained.

[430] The life of Anaxagoras has been written by Diogenes Laërtius. We
have an ample account of him by Enfield in the General Biography, _in
loco_; he was born B.C. 500 and died B.C. 428.

[431] There is some variation in the exact date assigned by different
authors to this event; in the Chronological table in Brewster’s Encyc.
vi. 420, it is said to have occurred 467 B.C.

[432] Aristotle gives us a similar account of this stone; that it fell
in the daytime, and that a comet was then visible at night; Meteor.
i. 7. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the authority for this
fact must be referred entirely to Aristotle, without receiving any
additional weight from our author. The occurrence of the comet at the
same time with the aërolite must have been entirely incidental.

[433] “Deductis eo sacri lapidis causa colonis, extructoque oppido,
cui nomen a colore adusto lapidis, est inditum, Potidæa. Est enim ποτὶ
Dorice πρὸς, ad, apud; δαίομαι, uror.” Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 361. It
was situated in the peninsula of Pallene, in Macedonia.

[434] The Vocontii were a people of Gallia Narbonensis, occupying a
portion of the modern Dauphiné.

[435] “Manifestum est, radium Solis immissum cavæ nubi, repulsa acie in
Solem, refringi.”

[436] Aristotle treats of the Rainbow much in detail, principally in
his Meteor. iii. 2, 3, 4, and 5, where he gives an account of the
phænomena, which is, for the most part, correct, and attempts to form
a theory for them; see especially cap. 4. p. 577 _et seq._ In the
treatise De Mundo he also refers to the same subject, and briefly sums
up his doctrine with the following remark: “arcus est species segmenti
solaris vel lunaris, edita in nube humida, et cava, et perpetua;
quam velut in speculo intuemur, imagine relata in speciem circularis
ambitûs.” cap. 4. p. 607. Seneca also treats very fully on the
phænomena and theory of the Rainbow, in his Nat. Quæst. i. 3-8.

[437] _Vide supra_, also Meteor. iii. 2, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. i. 3.

[438] Aristotle, Meteor. iii. 5. p. 581, observes, that the rainbow is
less frequently seen in the summer, because the sun is more elevated,
and that, consequently, a less portion of the arch is visible. See also
Seneca, Nat. Quæst. i. 8. p. 692.

[439] Aristotle treats at some length of dew, snow, and hail, in his
Meteor. i. cap. 10, 11 & 12 respectively.

[440] When water is frozen, its bulk is increased in consequence of its
assuming a crystalline structure. Any diminution which may be found
to have taken place in the bulk of the fluid, when thawed, must be
ascribed to evaporation or to some accidental circumstance.

[441] “Velini lacus ... præcipiti cursu in gurgitem subjectum defertur,
et illo aquarum lapsu, dispersis in aëra guttis humidis, ... iridis
multiplicis phænomenon efficit....” Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 365.

[442] We have an example in Martial, v. 34. 9, of the imprecation which
has been common in all ages:

Mollia nec rigidus cespes tegat ossa, nec illi
Terra gravis fueris;

and in Seneca’s Hippolytus, _sub finem_:

... istam terra defossam premat,
Gravisque tellus impio capiti incubet.

[443] The author refers to this opinion, xxix. 23, when describing the
effects of venomous animals.

[444] inertium; “ultione abstinentium,” as explained by Alexandre, in
Lemaire, i. 367.

[445] “Quod mortis genus a terræ meritis et benignitate valde
abhorret.” Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 367.

[446] “Terra, inquit, sola est, e quatuor naturæ partibus sive
elementis, adversus quam ingrati simus.” Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 368.

[447] “Est ironiæ formula. Quid, ait, feras et serpentes et venena
terræ exprobramus, quæ ne ad tuendam quidem illam satis valent?”
Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 369.

[448] “ossa vel insepulta cum tempore tellus occultat, deprimentia
pondere suo mollitam pluviis humum.” Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 370.

[449] “figura prima.” I may refer to the second chapter of this book,
where the author remarked upon the form of the earth as perfect in all
its parts, and especially adapted for its supposed position in the
centre of the universe.

[450] “... si capita linearum comprehendantur ambitu;” the meaning of
this passage would appear to be: if the extremities of the lines drawn
from the centre of the earth to the different parts of the surface were
connected together, the result of the whole would be a sphere. I must,
however, remark, that Hardouin interprets it in a somewhat different
manner; “Si per extremitates linearum ductarum a centro ad _summos_
quosque vertices montium circulus exigatur.” Lemaire, i. 370.

[451] “... immensum ejus globum in formam orbis assidua circa eam mundi
volubilitate cogente.” As Hardouin remarks, the word _mundus_ is here
used in the sense of _cœlum_. Lemaire, i. 371.

[452] As our author admits of the existence of antipodes, and expressly
states that the earth is a perfect sphere, we may conclude that the
resemblance to the cone of the pine is to be taken in a very general
sense. How far the ancients entertained correct opinions respecting the
globular figure of the earth, or rather, at what period this opinion
became generally admitted, it is perhaps not easy to ascertain. The
lines in the Georgics, i. 242, 243, which may be supposed to express
the popular opinion in the time of Virgil, certainly do not convey the
idea of a sphere capable of being inhabited in all its parts:

Hic vertex nobis semper sublimis; at illum
Sub pedibus Styx atra videt, manesque profundi.

[453] “spiritus vis mundo inclusi.”

[454] “... Alpium vertices, longo tractu, nec breviore quinquaginta
millibus passuum assurgere.” To avoid the apparent improbability of
the author conceiving of the Alps as 50 miles high, the commentators
have, according to their usual custom, exercised their ingenuity in
altering the text. See Poinsinet, i. 206, 207, and Lemaire, i. 373. But
the expression does not imply that he conceived them as 50 miles in
perpendicular height, but that there is a continuous ascent of 50 miles
to get to the summit. This explanation of the passage is adopted by
Alexandre; Lemaire, _ut supra_. For what is known of Dicæarchus I may
refer to Hardouin, Index Auctorum, in Lemaire, i. 181.

[455] “coactam in verticem aquarum quoque figuram.”

[456] “aquarum nempe convexitas.” Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 374.

[457] “Quam quæ ad extremum mare a primis aquis.” I profess myself
altogether unable to follow the author’s mode of reasoning in this
paragraph, or to throw any light upon it. He would appear to be arguing
in favour of the actual flatness of the surface of the ocean, whereas
his previous remarks prove its convexity.

[458] Alexandre remarks on this passage, “Nempe quod remotissimos etiam
fontes alat oceanus. Sed omittit Plinius vaporationis intermedia ope
hoc fieri.” Lemaire, i. 376. Aristotle has written at considerable
length on the origin of springs, in his Meteor. i. 13. p. 543 _et seq._
He argues against the opinion of those who suppose that the water of
springs is entirely derived from evaporation. Seneca’s account of the
origin of springs is found in his Nat. Quæst. iii. 1.

[459] The voyage which is here alluded to was probably that performed
by Drusus; it is mentioned by Dio, lib. iv., Suetonius, Claud. § 1,
Vel. Paterculus, ii. 106, and by Tacitus, Germ. § 34.

[460] What is here spoken of we may presume to have been that part of
the German Ocean which lies to the N.W. of Denmark; the term Scythian
was applied by the ancients in so very general a way, as not to afford
any indication of the exact district so designated.

[461] “Sub eodem sidere;” “which lies under the same star.”

[462] The ancients conceived the Caspian to be a gulf, connected with
the northern ocean. Our author gives an account of it, vi. 15.

[463] That is, of the Caspian Sea.

[464] The remarks which our author makes upon the Palus Mæotis, in the
different parts of his work, ii. 112 and vi. 7, appear so inconsistent
with each other, that we must suppose he indiscriminately borrowed
them from various writers, without comparing their accounts, or
endeavouring to reconcile them to each other. Such inaccuracies may
be thought almost to justify the censure of Alexandre, who styles our
author, “indiligens plane veri et falsi compilator, et ubi dissentiunt
auctores, nunquam aut raro sibi constans.” Lemaire, i. 378.

[465] The son of Agrippa, whom Augustus adopted. Hardouin, in Lemaire,
i. 378.

[466] See Beloe’s Herodotus, ii. 393, 394, for an account of the voyage
round Africa that was performed by the Phœnicians, who were sent to
explore those parts by Necho king of Egypt.

[467] It is generally supposed that C. Nepos lived in the century
previous to the Christian æra. Ptolemy Lathyrus commenced his reign
U.C. 627 or B.C. 117, and reigned for 36 years. The references made to
C. Nepos are not found in any of his works now extant.

[468] We have previously referred to Eudoxus, note [382], p. 78.

[469] We have a brief account of Antipater in Hardouin’s Index
Auctorum; Lemaire, i. 162.

[470] We are informed by Alexandre that this was in the year of the
City 691, the same year in which Cicero was consul; see note in
Lemaire, i. 379.

[471] It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the account here given
must be incorrect; the reader who may be disposed to learn the opinions
of the commentators on this point, may consult the notes in Poinsinet
and Lemaire _in loco_.

[472] Dividuo globo; “Eoas partes a vespertinis dividente oceano.”
Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 380.

[473] “Jam primum in dimidio computari videtur.”

[474] “Cœlum;” the rigour of the climate.

[475] The division of the globe into five zones is referred to by
Virgil, Geor. i. 233-239, and by Ovid, Met. i. 45, 46.

[476] “... interna maria allatrat, ...”

[477] This is considerably more than the distance in the present day.
The Isthmus of Suez appears, according to the statement of the most
accurate geographers, to be about 70 miles in breadth.

[478] Hæ tot portiones terræ, as Alexandre correctly remarks, “ironice
dictum. Quam paucæ enim supersunt!” Lemaire, i. 383.

[479] “Mundi punctus.” This expression, we may presume, was taken from
Seneca; “Hoc est illud punctum, quod inter tot gentes ferro et igni
dividitur.” Nat. Quæst. i. præf. p. 681.

[480] Nostro solo adfodimus; “addimus, adjungimus, annectimus, ut una
fossione aretur.” Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 383.

[481] “Mundi totius.”

[482] “Æquinoctii paribus horis.”

[483] Dioptra. “Græce διόπτρα, instrumentum est geometricum, _un quart
de cercle_, quo apparentes rerum inter se distantiæ anguli apertura
dijudicantur.” Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 384.

[484] This title does not correspond with the contents of the chapter.

[485] “Tropici duo, cum æquinoctiali circulo;” Hardouin, in Lemaire, i.

[486] The Troglodytice of the ancients may be considered as nearly
corresponding to the modern Abyssinia and Nubia.

[487] This remark is incorrect, as far as respects nearly the whole of
Egypt; see the remarks of Marcus, in Ajasson, ii. 245.

[488] This is a star of the first magnitude in the southern
constellation of Argo; we have a similar statement in Manilius, i. 216,

[489] The commentators suppose that the star or constellation here
referred to cannot be the same with what bears this name on the modern
celestial atlas; vide Hardouin _in loco_, also Marc. in Ajasson, _ut
supra_. The constellation of Berenice’s hair forms the subject of
Catullus’s 67th poem.

[490] In Troglodytice and in Egypt.

[491] The first watch of the night was from 6 P.M. to 9; the second
from 9 to midnight.

[492] According to Columella, xi. 2. 369, this was 9 Calend. Mart.,
corresponding to the 21st of February.

[493] “In alia adverso, in alia prono mari.” I have adopted the opinion
of Alexandre, who explains the terms “adverso” and “prono,” “ascendenti
ad polum,” and “ad austrum devexo;” a similar sense is given to the
passage by Poinsinet and Ajasson, in their translations.

[494] “Anfractu pilæ.” See Manilius, i. 206 _et seq._ for a similar
mode of expression.

[495] “Aut;” as Poinsinet remarks, “_aut_ est ici pour _alioqui_;” and
he quotes another passage from our author, xix. 3, where the word is
employed in a similar manner.

[496] We may presume that the author meant to convey the idea, that
the eclipses which are visible in any one country are not so in those
which are situated under a different meridian. The terms “vespertinos,”
“matutinos,” and “meridianos,” refer not to the time of the day, but
to the situation of the eclipse, whether recurring in the western,
eastern, or southern parts of the heavens.

[497] Brewster, in the art. “Chronology,” p. 415, mentions this eclipse
as having taken place Sept. 21st, U.C. 331, eleven days before the
battle of Arbela; while, in the same art. p. 423, the battle is said to
have taken place on Oct. 2nd, eleven days after a total eclipse of the

[498] It took place on the 30th of April, in the year of the City 811,
A.D. 59; see Brewster, _ubi supra_. It is simply mentioned by Tacitus,
Ann. xiv. 12, as having occurred among other prodigies which took place
at this period.

[499] We have an account of Corbulo’s expedition to Armenia in Dion
Cassius, lx. 19-24, but there is no mention of the eclipse or of any
peculiar celestial phænomenon.

[500] The terms employed in the original are “oppositu” and “ambitu.”
Alexandre’s explanation of the first is, “quum globi terraquei

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