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crassitudo interposita solis arcet radios;” and of the second, “quum
nostra hujus globi pars a sole ambitur.” Lemaire, i. 389.

[501] One of these towers is mentioned by Livy, xxxiii. 48; it is said
to have been situated between Acholla and Thapsus, on the sea-coast.

[502] Hardouin, according to his usual custom, employs all his
learning and ingenuity to give a plausible explanation of this
passage. Alexandre, as it must be confessed, with but too much reason,
remarks, “Frustra desudavit Harduinus ut sanum aliquem sensum ex illis
Plinii deliramentis excuteret.” He correctly refers the interval
of time, which was said to occur between these signals, not to any
astronomical cause, but to the necessary delay which took place in the
transmission of them. He concludes, “Sed ad cursum solis hoc referre,
dementiæ est. Nam ut tanta horarum differentia intersit, si moram
omnem in speculandis ac transmittendis signis sustuleris, necesse
erit observatores illos ultimos 135 gradibus, id est, sesquidimidio
hemisphærio, a primis distare furribus. Recte igitur incredibilem
Plinii credulitatem ludibrio vertit Baylius in Dictionario suo.”
Lemaire, i. 389.

[503] The distance, as here stated, is about 150 miles, which he is
said to have performed in nine hours, but that the same distance, in
returning, required fifteen hours. We have here, as on the former
occasion, a note of Hardouin’s to elucidate the statement of the
author. On this Alexandre observes, “Optime; sed in tam parva locorum
distantia, Elidis et Sicyonis horologia vix quinque unius horæ
sexagesimis differre poterant; quare eunti ac redeunti ne discrimen
quidem quadrantis horæ intererat. Ineptos igitur auctores sequitur hoc
quoque loco Plinius.” Lemaire, i. 390, 391.

[504] “Vincunt spatia nocturnæ navigationis.” This expression would
appear to imply, that the author conceived some physical difficulty
in sailing during the night, and so it seems to be understood by
Alexandre; vide not. _in loco_.

[505] “Vasa horoscopica.” “Vasa horoscopica appellat horologia in plano
descripta, horizonti ad libellam respondentia. Vasa dicuntur, quod area
in qua lineæ ducebantur, labri interdum instar et conchæ erat, cujus in
margine describebantur horæ. Horoscopa, ab ὥρα et σκοπέω, hoc est, ab
inspiciendis horis.” Hardouin, in Lemaire, i. 391.

[506] These distances are respectively about 38 and 62 miles.

[507] We are not to expect any great accuracy in these estimates, and
we accordingly find, that our author, when referring to the subject in
his 6th book, ch. 39, makes the shadow at Ancona 1/35 greater than the
gnomon, while, in Venetia, which is more northerly, he says, as in the
present chapter, that the shadow and the gnomon are equal in length.
See the remarks of M. Alexandre in Lemaire, _ut supra_.

[508] This would be about 625 miles. Strabo, ii. 114, and Lucan, ii.
587, give the same distance, which is probably nearly correct. Syene
is, however, a little to the north of the tropic.

[509] This remark is not correct, as no part of this river is between
the tropics. For an account of Onesicritus see Lemaire, i. 203, 204.

[510] “In meridiem umbras jaci.” M. Ajasson translates this passage,
“les ombres tombent pendant quatre-vingt-dix jours sur le point central
du méridien.” ii. 165. But I conceive that Holland’s version is more
correct, “for 90 days’ space all the shadows are cast into the south.”
i. 36. The remarks of M. Alexandre are to the same effect; “... ut bis
solem in zenitho haberet (Ptolemais), Maii mensis et Augusti initio;
interea vero, solem e septemtrione haberet.” Lemaire, i. 393.

[511] About 625 miles.

[512] These days correspond to the 8th of May and the 4th of August

[513] There is considerable uncertainty respecting the identity of this
mountain; our author refers to it in a subsequent part of his work,
where it is said to be in the country of the Monedes and Suari; vi. 22.
See the note of Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 394.

[514] Our author, in a subsequent part of his work, vi. 23, describes
the island of Patale as situated near the mouth of the Indus; he again
refers to it, xii. 25. His account of the position of the sun does not,
however, apply to this place.

[515] If we may suppose this to have been actually the case, we might
calculate the time of the year when Alexander visited this place and
the length of his stay.

[516] We may presume, that our author means to say no more than that,
in those places, they are occasionally invisible; literally the
observation would not apply to any part of India.

[517] ἄσκια, shadowless.

[518] If this really were the case, it could have no relation to the
astronomical position of the country.

[519] “In contrarium,” contrary to what takes place at other times,
_i. e._ towards the south. This observation is not applicable to the
whole of this country, as its northern and southern parts differ from
each other by seven or eight degrees of latitude. For an account of
Eratosthenes see Lemaire, i. 186.

[520] “Hora duodecim in partes, ut as in totidem uncias dividebatur.
Octonas igitur partes horæ antiquæ, sive bessem, ut Martianus vocat,
nobis probe repræsentant horarum nostratium 40 sexagesimæ, quas minutas
vocamus.” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 396.

[521] For a notice of Pytheas see Lemaire, i. 210. He was a geographer
and historian who lived in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus; but
his veracity does not appear to have been highly estimated by his

[522] The Thule of Pliny has been generally supposed to be the Shetland
Isles. What is here asserted respecting the length of the day, as well
as its distance from Britain, would indeed apply much more correctly
to Iceland than to Shetland; but we have no evidence that Iceland was
known to the ancients. Our author refers to the length of the day in
Thule in two subsequent parts of his work, iv. 30 and vi. 36.

[523] Supposed to be Colchester in Essex; while the Mona of Pliny
appears to have been Anglesea. It is not easy to conceive why the
author measured the distance of Mona from Camelodunum.

[524] Chap. 6 of this book.

[525] a σκιὰ, umbra, and θηράω, sector. It has been a subject for
discussion by the commentators, how far this instrument of Anaximenes
is entitled to the appellation of a dial, whether it was intended to
mark the hours, or to serve for some other astronomical purpose. See
Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 398, 399. It has been correctly remarked by
Brotier, that we have an account of a much more ancient dial in the 2nd
book of Kings, xx. 9, 11.

[526] A. Gellius, iii. 3, informs us, that the question concerning
the commencement of the day was one of the topics discussed by Varro,
in his book “Rerum Humanarum:” this work is lost. We learn from the
notes of Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 399, that there are certain countries in
which all these various modes of computation are still practised; the
last-mentioned is the one commonly employed in Europe.

[527] It has been supposed, that in this passage the author intended
to say no more than that the nights are shorter at the summer solstice
than at the other parts of the year; see Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 399,
400. But to this, I conceive, it may be objected, that the words “inter
ortus solis” can scarcely apply to the period while the sun is below
the horizon, and that the solstices generally would seem to be opposed
to the equinoxes generally. Also the words “obliquior” and “rectior”
would appear to have some farther reference than merely to the length
of time during which the sun is above or below the horizon.

[528] “Vibrato;” the same term is applied by Turnus to the hair of
Æneas; Æn. xii. 100.

[529] “Mobilitate hebetes;” it is not easy to see the connexion between
these two circumstances.

[530] There is a passage in Galen, De Temperamentis, iii. 6, which may
appear to sanction the opinion of our author; “Siccos esse, quibus
macra sunt crura; humidos, quibus crassa.”

[531] The latter part of the remark is correct, but the number of
ferocious animals is also greater in the warmer regions; there is, in
fact, a greater variety in all the productions of nature in the warmer
districts of the globe, except in those particular spots where animal
or vegetable life is counteracted by some local circumstances, as in
many parts of Asia and Africa by the want of water.

[532] “Sensus liquidus;” Alexandre explains this expression, “judicium
sanum, mens intelligendo apta.” Lemaire, i. 401.

[533] Saturn, Jupiter and Mars: see the 8th chapter of this book.

[534] “Vel quando meant cum Sole in conjunctione cum eo, vel quando
cum eo conveniunt in aspectu, maxime vero in quadrato, qui fit, quum
distant a Sole quarta mundi sive cœli parte.” Hardouin in Lemaire, i.

[535] “Ut urbem et tecta custodirent.” This anecdote is referred to by
Cicero, who employs the words “ut urbem et tecta linquerent.” De Divin.
i. 112.

[536] This anecdote is also referred to by Cicero, de Div. ii.

[537] It has been observed that earthquakes, as well as other great
convulsions of nature, are preceded by calms; it has also been observed
that birds and animals generally exhibit certain presentiments of the
event, by something peculiar in their motions or proceedings; this
circumstance is mentioned by Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8, and by Seneca,
Nat. Quæst. vi. 12.

[538] It is scarcely necessary to remark, that this supposed
resemblance or analogy is entirely without foundation. The phænomena of
earthquakes are described by Aristotle, De Mundo, cap. 4, and Meteor.
ii. 7 and 8; also by Seneca in various parts of the 6th book of his
Quæst. Nat.

[539] On this subject we shall find much curious matter in Aristotle’s
Treatise de Mundo, cap. 4.

[540] Poinsinet enters into a long detail of some of the most
remarkable earthquakes that have occurred, from the age of Pliny to the
period when he wrote, about fifty years ago; i. 249. 2.

[541] See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.

[542] See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 13.

[543] “Fervente;” “Fremitum aquæ ferventis imitante.” Alexandre in
Lemaire, i. 404.

[544] The reader will scarcely require to be informed, that many of the
remarks in the latter part of this chapter are incorrect. Our author
has principally followed Aristotle, whose treatise on meteorology,
although abounding in curious details, is perhaps one of the least
correct of his works.

[545] This observation is taken from Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.

[546] Phænomena of this kind have been frequently noticed, and are not
difficult of explanation.

[547] “In iisdem;” “Iidem, inquit, putei inclusum terra spiritum libero
meatu emittentes, terræ motus avertunt.” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 406.

[548] “Quæ pendent.” M. Ajasson translates this passage, “qui sont
comme suspendues.” Hardouin’s explanation is, “Structis fornice cameris
imposita ædificia intelligit; quod genus camerarum spiramenta plerumque
habet non pauca, quibus exeat ad libertatem aer.” Lemaire, i. 407.

[549] Many of these circumstances are referred to by Seneca, Nat.
Quæst. vi. 30. On the superior security of brick buildings, M.
Alexandre remarks, “Muri e lateribus facti difficilius quam cæteri
dehiscunt, unde fit ut in urbibus muniendis id constructionum genus
plerumque præferatur. Ex antiquæ Italiæ palatiis templisve nihil fere
præter immensas laterum moles hodie superest.”

[550] These remarks upon the different kinds of shocks are probably
taken from Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.

[551] This observation is also in Aristotle, ii. 8.

[552] In the year of the city 663; A.C. 90.

[553] In the year of the city 821; A.D. 68.

[554] The continuation of Aufidius Bassus’ history; our author refers
to it in the first book.

[555] We have no authentic accounts of this mutual change of place
between two portions of land, nor can we conceive of any cause capable
of effecting it. Our author mentions this circumstance again in book
xvii. ch. 38.

[556] See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.

[557] “Eodem videlicet spiritu infusi (maris) ac terræ residentis sinu

[558] U.C. 770; A.D. 17. We have an account of this event in Strabo,
xii. 57; in Tacitus, Ann. ii. 47; and in the Universal History,
xiv. 129, 130. We are informed by Hardouin, that coins are still in
existence which were struck to commemorate the liberality of the
emperor on the occasion, inscribed “civitatibus Asiæ restitutis.”
Lemaire, i. 410.

[559] U.C. 537; A.C. 217.

[560] This circumstance is mentioned by Livy, xxii. 5, and by Floras,
ii. 6.

[561] “Præsagiis, inquit, quam ipsa clade, sæviores sunt terræ motus.”
Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 410.

[562] This phænomenon is distinctly referred to by Seneca, Nat. Quæst.
vi. 21. It presents us with one of those cases, where the scientific
deductions of the moderns have been anticipated by the speculations of
the ancients.

[563] Odyss. iv. 354-357; see also Arist. Meteor. i. 14; Lucan, x.
509-511; Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 26; Herodotus, ii. 4, 5; and Strabo,
i. 59.

[564] These form, at this day, the Monte Circello, which, it is
remarked, rises up like an island, out of the Pontine marshes. It
seems, however, difficult to conceive how any action of the sea could
have formed these marshes.

[565] See Strabo, i. 58.

[566] ii. 5. _et alibi_.

[567] The plain in which this river flows, forming the windings from
which it derives its name, appears to have been originally an inlet of
the sea, which was gradually filled up with alluvial matter.

[568] “Paria secum faciente natura.” This appears to have been a
colloquial or idiomatic expression among the Romans. See Hardouin in
Lemaire, i. 412.

[569] It may be remarked, that the accounts of modern travellers and
geologists tend to confirm the opinion of the volcanic origin of many
of the islands of the Archipelago.

[570] Brotier remarks, that, according to the account of Herodotus,
this island existed previous to the date here assigned to it; Lemaire,
i. 412, 413: it is probable, however, that the same name was applied to
two islands, one at least of which was of volcanic origin.

[571] U.C. 517, A.C. 237; and U.C. 647, A.C. 107; respectively.

[572] Hiera, Automata; ab ἱερὰ, sacer, et αὐτομάτη, sponte nascens.
Respecting the origin of these islands there would appear to be some
confusion in the dates, which it is difficult to reconcile with each
other; it is, I conceive, impossible to decide whether this depends
upon an error of our author himself, or of his transcribers.

[573] July 25th, U.C. 771; A.C. 19.

[574] U.C. 628; A.C. 125.

[575] See Ovid, Metam. xv. 290, 291; also Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 29.

[576] This event is mentioned by Thucydides, lib. 3, Smith’s Trans, i.
293; and by Diodorus, xii. 7, Booth’s Trans. p. 287, as the consequence
of an earthquake; but the separation was from Locris, not from Eubœa.
See the remarks of Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 415.

[577] It is somewhat uncertain to what island our author applied this
name; see the remarks of Alexandre in Lemaire.

[578] See Ovid, Metam. xv. 287.

[579] It is not improbable, from the situation and geological structure
of the places here enumerated, that many of the changes mentioned above
may have actually occurred; but there are few of them of which we have
any direct evidence.

[580] This celebrated narrative of Plato is contained in his Timæus,
Op. ix. p. 296, 297; it may be presumed that it was not altogether a
fiction on the part of the author, but it is, at this time, impossible
to determine what part of it was derived from ancient traditions and
what from the fertile stores of his own imagination. It is referred
to by various ancient writers, among others by Strabo. See also the
remarks of Brotier in Lemaire, i. 416, 417.

[581] Many of these changes on the surface of the globe, and others
mentioned by our author in this part of his work, are alluded to by
Ovid, in his beautiful abstract of the Pythagorean doctrine, Metam. xv.

[582] See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8, and Strabo, i. For some account of
the places mentioned in this chapter the reader may consult the notes
of Hardouin _in loco_.

[583] Poinsinet, as I conceive correctly, makes the following clause
the commencement of the next chapter.

[584] See Ovid, Metam. xv. 293-295; also the remarks of Hardouin in
Lemaire, i. 418.

[585] “Spatium intelligit, fretumve, quo Sicilia nunc ab Italia
dispescitur.” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 419.

[586] See Strabo, ix.

[587] “Spiracula.”

[588] “Busta urbium.”

[589] “Suboriens,” as M. Alexandre explains it, “renascens;” Lemaire,
i. 420.

[590] “Scrobibus;” “aut quum terra fossis excavatur, ut in Pomptina
palude, aut per naturales hiatus.” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 420.

[591] This circumstance is mentioned by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 28,
as occurring “pluribus Italiæ locis;” it may be ascribed to the
exhalations from volcanos being raised up into the atmosphere. It does
not appear that there is, at present, any cavern in Mount Soracte which
emits mephitic vapours. But the circumstance of Soracte being regarded
sacred to Apollo, as we learn from our author, vii. 2, and from Virgil,
Æn. xi. 785, may lead us to conjecture that something of the kind may
formerly have existed there.

[592] The author may probably refer to the well-known Grotto del Cane,
where, in consequence of a stratum of carbonic acid gas, which occupies
the lower part of the cave only, dogs and other animals, whose mouths
are near the ground, are instantly suffocated.

[593] Celebrated in the well-known lines of Virgil, Æn. vii. 563 _et
seq._, as the “sævi spiracula Ditis.”

[594] Apuleius gives us an account of this place from his own
observation; De Mundo, § 729. See also Strabo, xii.

[595] See Aristotle, De Mundo, cap. iv.

[596] “Ad ingressum ambulantium, et equorum cursus, terræ quoque
tremere sentiuntur in Brabantino agro, quæ Belgii pars, et circa S.
Audomari fanum.” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 421, 422.

[597] See Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 25.

[598] Martial speaks of the marshy nature of the Cæcuban district,
xiii. 115. Most of the places mentioned in this chapter are illustrated
by the remarks of Hardouin; Lemaire, i. 422, 423.

[599] “Saltuares.” In some of the MSS. the term here employed is
Saliares, or Saltares; but in all the editions which I am in the habit
of consulting, it is Saltuares.

[600] There is, no doubt, some truth in these accounts of floating
islands, although, as we may presume, much exaggerated. There are
frequently small portions of land detached from the edges of lakes, by
floods or rapid currents, held together and rendered buoyant by a mass
of roots and vegetable matter. In the lake of Keswick, in the county
of Cumberland, there are two small floating islands, of a few yards in
circumference, which are moved about by the wind or by currents; they
appear to consist, principally, of a mass of vegetable fibres.

[601] It has been observed, that there are certain places where bodies
remain for a long time without undergoing decomposition; it depends
principally upon a dry and cool condition of the air, such as is
occasionally found in vaults and natural caverns. See the remarks of
Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 424.

[602] We may conceive of a large mass of rock being so balanced upon
the fine point of another rock, as to be moved by the slightest touch;
but, that if it be pushed with any force, it may be thrown upon a plane
surface, and will then remain immovable.

[603] Perhaps the author may refer to some kind of earth, possessed
of absorbent or astringent properties, like the Terra Sigillata or
Armenian Bole of the old Pharmacopœias.

[604] A σὰρξ, caro, and φάγω, edo. We may conceive this stone to have
contained a portion of an acrid ingredient, perhaps of an alkaline
nature, which, in some degree, might produce the effect here described.
It does not appear that the material of which the stone coffins are
composed, to which this name has been applied, the workmanship of which
is so much an object of admiration, are any of them possessed of this

[605] Alexandre remarks on this statement, “Montes istæ videntur
originem dedisse fabulæ quæ in Arabicis Noctibus legitur ...;” Lemaire,
i. 425. Fouché, indeed, observes, that there are mountains composed
principally of natural loadstone, which might sensibly attract a shoe
containing iron nails. Ajasson, ii. 386. But I conceive that we have no
evidence of the existence of the magnetic iron pyrites having ever been
found in sufficient quantity to produce any sensible effect of the kind
here described.

[606] We may remark generally, that of the “miracula” related in this
chapter, the greatest part are entirely without foundation, and the
remainder much exaggerated.

[607] “Mundo;” the heavens or visible firmament, to which the stars and
planets appear to be connected, so as to be moved along with it.

[608] “Ancillante;” “Credas ancillari sidus, et indulgere mari, ut non
ab eadem parte, qua pridie, pastum ex oceano hauriat.” Hardouin in
Lemaire, i. 427.

[609] Not depending on the time of the rising and setting of the sun
or the latitude of the place, but determinate portions of the diurnal

[610] By a conjectural variation of a letter, viz. by substituting
“eos” for “eas,” Dalechamp has, as he conceives, rendered this passage
more clear; the alteration is adopted by Lemaire.

[611] “In iisdem ortus occasusque operibus;” “Eodem modo utrinque
orientibus occidentibusque sideribus,” as interpreted by Alexandre in
Lemaire, i. 428.

[612] It is scarcely necessary to remark, that both the alleged fact
and the supposed cause are incorrect. And this is the case with what
our author says in the next sentence, respecting the period of eight
years, and the hundred revolutions of the moon.

[613] “Solis annuis causis.” The circumstances connected with the
revolution of the sun, acting as causes of the period and height of the
tides, in addition to the effect of the moon.

[614] “Inanes;” “Depressiores ac minus tumentes.” Hardouin in Lemaire,
i. 429.

[615] According to the remark of Alexandre, “Uno die et dimidio altero,
36 circiter horis, in Gallia.” Lemaire, i. 429.

[616] Alexandre remarks on this passage, “Variat pro locis hoc
intervallum a nullo fere temporis momento ad undecim horas et amplius;”
Lemaire, i. 429.

[617] Our author has already referred to Pytheas, in the 77th chapter
of this book.

[618] It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the space here
mentioned, which is nearly 120 feet, is far greater than the actual

[619] “Ditioni paret;” “Lunæ solisque efficientiæ, quæ ciet æstum.”
Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 430.

[620] The effect here described could not have depended upon the tides,
but upon some current, either affecting the whole of the Mediterranean,
or certain parts of it. See the remarks of Hardouin in Lemaire.

[621] Pliny naturally adopted the erroneous opinions respecting the
state of the blood-vessels, and the cause of the pulse, which were
universally maintained by the ancients.

[622] The name of Euripus is generally applied to the strait between
Bœotia and Eubœa, but our author here extends it to that between Italy
and Sicily. A peculiarity in the tide of this strait is referred to by
Cicero, De Nat. Deor. iii. 24.

[623] “Æstus idem triduo in mense consistit.” “Consistentia, sive
mediocritas aquarum non solum septima die sentitur, sed et octava, ac
nona durat,” as Hardouin explains this passage, Lemaire, i. 431.

[624] Now called the Guadalquivir.

[625] The modern Seville.

[626] This circumstance is noticed by most of the ancients, as by
Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 1; by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iv. 2; and by Strabo.
It has, however, no relation to the tide, but depends upon the quantity
of water transmitted into the Euxine by the numerous large rivers that
empty themselves into it.

[627] It has been suggested, with some plausibility, that the greater
height of the tides at this period will cause a greater quantity of
matter to be cast on shore. This circumstance is referred to by Seneca,
Nat. Quæst. iii. 26; and by Strabo.

[628] Alexandre observes on this supposed fact, “Algarum molles

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