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quædam species intelligendæ sunt, quæ convolutæ et marcidæ in littus
ejiciuntur.” Lemaire, i. 432.

[629] It may cause some surprise to find that such an opinion has been
entertained even in modern times; but more correct observation has
shown it to be without foundation. Lemaire.

[630] “Spiritus sidus;” “Quod vitalem humorem ac spiritus in corporibus
rebusque omnibus varie temperet.” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 433.

[631] “Terras saturet;” as Alexandre interprets it, “succo impleat;”

[632] This circumstance is alluded to by Cicero, De Divin. ii. 33, and
by Horace, Sat. ii. 4, 30. It is difficult to conceive how an opinion
so totally unfounded, and so easy to refute, should have obtained
general credence.

[633] Lib. xviii. chap. 75.

[634] Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 1, remarks, that as the sun is continually
evaporating the water of the sea, it must eventually be entirely
dried up. But we have reason to believe, that all the water which is
evaporated by the solar heat, or any other natural process, is again
deposited in the form of rain or dew.

[635] “Terræ sudor;” according to Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 4: this
opinion was adopted by some of the ancients.

[636] The commentators discuss at considerable length the relative
merits of the three hypotheses here proposed, to account for the
saltness of the ocean; all of which are equally unfounded. See Hardouin
in Lemaire, i. 434, 435. Aristotle’s opinion on this subject is
contained in his Meteor.

[637] It is not easy to ascertain the origin of the very general
opinion respecting the peculiar physical action of the moon. The
alleged facts are, for the most part, without foundation, and I am
not aware of any circumstance which could, originally, have made them
a part of the popular creed of so many nations, ancient as well as
modern. Perhaps some of the effects which have been ascribed to the
specific action of the moon, may be explained by the lower temperature
and greater dampness of the air, during the absence of the sun.

[638] There appears to be some doubt respecting the history of the
person here referred to: according to the account of Hardouin, Fabianus
was a naturalist, who enjoyed a high reputation; he lived in the time
of Tiberius: see Lemaire, i. 188.

[639] This would be a depth of 3125 yards, not very far short of two
miles; see Adam’s Rom. Antiq. p. 503.

[640] “Βαθέα Ponti;” Aristotle refers to this as one of those parts
where the sea is unfathomable; Meteor. i. 13.

[641] A distance of nearly nine and a half miles.

[642] The specific gravity of sea water varies from 1·0269 to 1·0285.
The saline contents of the water of the English Channel are stated to
be 27 grs. in 1000. Turner’s Chem. p. 1289, 1290.

[643] The modern names of the rivers and lakes here mentioned are the
Liris, communicating with the Lago di Celano; the Adda, with the Lago
di Como; the Ticino, with the Lago Maggiore; the Mincio, with the Lago
di Guarda; the Oglio, with the Lago di Sero; and the Rhone with the
Lake of Geneva. There may be some foundation for the alleged fact,
because the specific gravity and the temperature of the lake may differ
a little from that of the river which passes through it.

[644] According to Brotier, “fons ille olim nobilissimus, nunc ignobile
est lavacrum, cujus aqua marino sapore inficitur.” He conceives that
there is no actual foundation for this so frequently repeated story;
and conjectures that it originated from the similitude of the names,
the fountain in Sicily and the river in the Peloponnesus being both
named Alpheus. He goes on to mention some examples of springs of fresh
water rising up on the sea-coast; Lemaire, i. 438. The allusion to
the fountain of Arethusa, by Virgil, in the commencement of the 10th
eclogue, is well known to all classical scholars. The lines of Virgil
have been elegantly imitated by Voltaire, in the Henriade, ix. 269, 270.

[645] This is mentioned by Ovid, Met. xv. 273, 274.

[646] This is again referred to by our author, vi. 31; also by Strabo,
and by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 26.

[647] Pausanias.

[648] The river here referred to is the Tanager, the modern Rio Negro.
See the remarks of Hardouin and Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 439.

[649] From a note in Poinsinet, i. 302, we learn that there has been
some doubt respecting the locality of this river. It is mentioned by
Virgil, Æn. i. 244, and it forms the subject of Heyne’s 7th Excursus,
ii. 124 _et seq._ Virgil also speaks of the Timavus, Ec. viii. 6; and
Heyne, in a note, gives the following description of it: “Timavus in
ora Adriæ, non longe ab Aquileia fluvius ex terra novem fontibus seu
capitibus progressus, brevi cursu, in unum alveum collectus, lato
altoque flumine in mare exit.” i. 127, 128.

[650] This remark is not to be taken in its full extent; the water of
these lakes contains a large quantity of saline and other substances
dissolved in it, and, consequently, has its specific gravity so much
increased, that various substances float on it which sink in pure water.

[651] According to Hardouin, this is now called the Lake of Andoria,
near the town of Casalnuovo; Lemaire, i. 439. Poinsinet calls it
Anduria, i. 303.

[652] The petrifying quality of this river is referred to by Ovid, Met.
xv. 313, 314; Seneca quotes these lines when treating on this subject,
Nat. Quæst. iii. 20.

[653] Aristotle, Strabo, and Silius Italicus, viii. 582, 583, refer to
this property of the Silarus; but, according to Brotier, it does not
appear to be known to the present inhabitants of the district through
which it flows. Lemaire, i. 440.

[654] In a subsequent part of the work, xxxi. 8, our author remarks,
“Reatinis tantum paludibus ungulas jumentorum indurari.” We may presume
that the water contained some saline, earthy or metallic substance,
either in solution, or in a state of minute division, which would
produce these effects. It does not appear that anything of this kind
has been observed by the moderns in this water.

[655] The coral beds with which the Red Sea abounds may have given
rise to this opinion: see the remarks of Alexandre _in loco_. Hardouin
informs us, that this clause respecting the Red Sea is not found in
any of the MSS. Lemaire, i. 441. A similar observation occurs in a
subsequent part of the work, xiii. 48.

[656] There are thermal springs in the Alpine valleys, but not any in
the elevated parts of the Alps themselves.

[657] The volcanic nature of a large portion of the south of Italy
and the neighbouring islands may be regarded as the cause of the warm
springs which are found there.

[658] This river may be supposed to have been principally supplied by
melted snow; it would appear to be colder, because its temperature
would be less elevated than the other streams in the neighbourhood.

[659] The statement, if correct, may be referred to the discharge of a
quantity of inflammable gas from the surface of the water. The fact is
mentioned by Lucretius, vi. 879, 880, and by Mela.

[660] “Quasi alternis requiescens, ac meridians: diem diffindens, ut
Varro loquitur, insititia quiete.” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 443. He says
that there is a similar kind of fountain in Provence, called Collis

[661] There has been considerable difference of opinion among
the commentators, both as to the reading of the text and its
interpretation, for which I shall refer to the notes of Poinsinet,
i. 307, of Hardouin and Alexandre, Lemaire, i. 443, and of Richelet,
Ajasson, ii. 402.

[662] We have an account of the Troglodytæ in a subsequent part of the
work, v. 5. The name is generally applied by the ancients to a tribe
of people inhabiting a portion of Æthiopia, and is derived from the
circumstance of their dwellings being composed of caverns; a τρωγλὴ
and δύνω. Alexandre remarks, that the name was occasionally applied
to other tribes, whose habitations were of the same kind; Lemaire, i.
443. They are referred to by Q. Curtius as a tribe of the Æthiopians,
situated to the south of Egypt and extending to the Red Sea, iv. 7.

[663] Q. Curtius gives nearly the same account of this fountain.

[664] The Po derives its water from the torrents of the Alps, and is
therefore much affected by the melting of the snow or the great falls
of rain, which occur at different seasons of the year; but the daily
diminution of the water, as stated by our author, is without foundation.

[665] “Fontem ibi intermittentem frustra quæsivit cl. Le Chevalier,
Voyage de la Troade, t. i. p. 219.” Lemaire, i. 444.

[666] Strabo, in allusion to this circumstance, remarks, that some
persons make it still more wonderful, by supposing that this spring
is connected with the Nile. We learn from Tournefort, that there is a
well of this name in Delos, which he found to contain considerably more
water in January and February than in October, and which is supposed to
be connected with the Nile or the Jordan: this, of course, he regards
as an idle tale. Lemaire.

[667] Hardouin informs us, that these warm springs are called “i bagni
di Monte Falcone,” or “di S. Antonio.” They are situate so very near
the sea, that we may suppose some communication to exist, which may
produce the alleged effect. Lemaire.

[668] According to Hardouin this is the modern Torre di Pitino; he
conceives that the river here mentioned must be the Vomanus. The effect
here described is, to a certain extent, always the case with rivers
which proceed from mountains that are covered with snow. Lemaire, i.

[669] Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 25, makes the same remark: the fact
would seem to be, that in certain districts the cattle are found to
be for the most part white, and in other places black; but we have no
reason to suppose that their colour has any connexion with the water
which they employ.

[670] This is asserted by Aristotle, Hist. Anim. iii. 12. We have a
similar statement made by Ælian respecting the Scamander; viii. 21.

[671] “Annonæ mutationem significans.”

[672] The peculiar nature of the water of the Lyncestis is referred
to by many of the ancients: we may suppose that it was strongly
impregnated with carbonic acid gas. See Ovid, Met. xv. 329-331; also
Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 3, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 20.

[673] Vitruvius and Athenæus.

[674] Calenum was a town in Campania; this peculiar property of its
water is referred to by Val. Maximus, i. 8, 18.

[675] Literally, Jovis cultus; as interpreted by Hardouin, “tanquam si
dixeris, divinum Jovis munus hunc fontem esse.” Lemaire, i. 447.

[676] Seneca affirms its poisonous nature; Nat. Quæst. iii. 25.
Q. Curtius refers to a spring in Macedonia of the same name, “quo
pestiferum virus emanat.” x. 10.

[677] There appears to be some uncertainty respecting the locality of
this district; see the remarks of Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 447.

[678] “Hunc fontem describit eximie Plinius jun. lib. iv. epist. ult.
Est ad orientalem Larii lacus plagam, Lago di Como, x mill. pass. a
Como.” Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 448.

[679] Our author, in a subsequent passage, v. 39, speaks of Cydonea,
“cum fonte calido.”

[680] According to Hardouin, i. 448, there is a considerable variation
in the MSS. with respect to this name: he informs us that “Συναὸς urbs
est Magnæ Phrygiæ Ptolemæo, v. 2.”

[681] Tacitus gives an account of this oracle as having been visited by
Germanicus; Ann. ii. 54.

[682] Our author refers to this history in the First book of the
present work.

[683] “Comparatos scilicet cum aëris externi temperie.” Alexandre in
Lemaire, i. 448.

[684] Thin leaves or films of metal have little affinity for water, and
have, generally, bubbles of air attached to them; so that, when placed
upon the water, the fluid is prevented from adhering to them, and thus
they remain on the surface.

[685] Depending not upon their absolute, but their specific gravity.

[686] Being partly supported by the water.

[687] The stone may have floated in consequence of its being full of
pores: these are more quickly filled with water when it is broken into
small pieces. It was probably of the nature of pumice or some other
volcanic product.

[688] This is well known to depend upon the commencement of the
decomposition of some part of the viscera, by which there is an
evolution of gaseous matter.

[689] This is an erroneous statement; it is not easy to ascertain what
was the source of the error.

[690] Rain, as it falls from the clouds, is nearly pure; and rivers, or
receptacles of any kind, that are supplied by it, are considerably more
free from saline impregnations than the generality of springs.

[691] This statement is altogether incorrect.

[692] When salt water freezes, it is disengaged from the saline matter
which it previously held in solution; a greater degree of cold is
therefore required to overcome the attraction of the water for the
salt, and to form the ice, than when pure water is congealed.

[693] “Celerius accendi.” We can scarcely suppose that by this term
our author intended to express the actual burning or inflaming of the
water, which is its literal and ordinary meaning. This, however, would
appear to be the opinion of Hardouin and Alexandre; Lemaire, i. 449.
Holland translates it, “made hot and set a-seething,” i. 46; Poinsinet,
“s’échauffe le plus vîte,” i. 313; and Ajasson, “plus prompte à
s’échauffer,” ii. 217.

[694] The temperature of the ocean, in consequence of its great
mass and the easy diffusion and mixture of its various parts, may
be conceived to be longer in becoming raised or depressed than any
particular portion of the land, where contemporary observations may be

[695] The evaporation that is going on during the heats of summer, and
the heavy rains which in many countries fall during the autumn, may
produce the effects here described, in confined seas or inlets.

[696] The statement is true to a certain extent, as is proved by the
well-known experiments of Franklin and others; but the degree of the
effect is considerably exaggerated. See the observations of Hardouin,
Brotier, and Alexandre; Lemaire, i. 450, 451.

[697] In the Mediterranean the warm vapours rising from the water and
its shores may melt the snow as it descends; but this is not the case
in the parts of the main ocean which approach either to the Arctic or
the Antarctic regions.

[698] The theory of springs is well understood, as depending upon
the water tending to rise to its original level, so as to produce an
equilibrium of pressure.

[699] When we consider the great extent of the base of Ætna, and that
the crater is in the form of an inverted cone, we shall perceive that
there is ample space for the existence of springs in the lower part of
the mountain, without their coming in contact with the heated lava.

[700] Samosata is situated on the Euphrates, in the north of Syria.

[701] The Petroleum or Bitumen of the modern chemists; it is a tarry
substance, more or less fluid, which has probably been produced by
carbonaceous matter, as affected by heat or decomposition, below the
surface of the earth. Our author has exaggerated its properties and
action upon other bodies.

[702] Respecting the transaction here mentioned, I shall refer to the
note of Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 452.

[703] The substance here mentioned may be considered as not differing
essentially from the Maltha of the last chapter, except in being of a
more fluid consistence.

[704] The Astaceni are supposed to have inhabited a district near the
sources of the Indus, probably corresponding to the modern Cabul.

[705] We may conceive of a quantity of inflammable vapour on the
surface of the naphtha, which might, in some degree, produce the effect
here described.

[706] Horace, in one of his Epodes, where he refers to the magical arts
of Medea, says, that it was a cloak, “palla,” which was sent to Creüsa;
v. 65. So far as there is any foundation for the story, we may suppose
that some part of her dress had been impregnated with an inflammable
substance, which took fire when she approached the blazing altar.

[707] When the volcanos are less active the flame is visible in the
night only.

[708] The observations of modern travellers and geologists have proved,
that the number of extinct volcanos is considerably greater than those
now in action.

[709] Chimæra was a volcano in Lycia, not far from the Xanthus; the
circumstance of its summit emitting flame, while its sides were the
resort of various savage animals, probably gave rise to the fabulous
story of the Centaur of this name, a ferocious monster who was
continually vomiting forth flame.

[710] The word in the text is “fœnum”; Hardouin suggests that the
meaning of the author may have been litter, or the refuse of stables.
Lemaire, i. 454.

[711] The emission of a gas, which may be kindled by the application of
flame, is a phænomenon of no very rare occurrence; but the effects are,
no doubt, much exaggerated. See the remarks of Alexandre in Lemaire, i.

[712] The country of the Bactrians was a district to the S.E. of the
Caspian Sea, and to the north of the sources of the Indus, nearly
corresponding to the modern Bucharia.

[713] There would appear to be some uncertainty as to the locality of
this place: our author derived his statement from the writer of the
treatise de Mirab. Auscult.

[714] “Caminis.”

[715] Probably the crater of a former volcano.

[716] This mountain, as well as the Θεῶν ὄχημα mentioned below, has
been supposed to be situated on the west of Africa, near Sierra Leone,
or Cape Verd; but, as I conceive, without sufficient authority. See
Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 455.

[717] “Internus.” “In interiore nemore abditus.” Hardouin in Lemaire,
i. 455.

[718] If this account be not altogether fabulous, the appearance here
described may be, perhaps, referred to the combustion of an inflammable
gas which does not acquire a very high temperature.

[719] We have an account of this place in Strabo, vii. 310. Our author
has already referred to it in the 96th chapter of this book, as a pool
or lake, containing floating islands; and he again speaks of it in the
next chapter.

[720] We have an account of this volcano in Ælian, Var. Hist. xiii. 16.
It would appear, however, that it had ceased to emit flame previous to
the calamitous events of which it was supposed to be the harbinger.

[721] This circumstance is mentioned by Dion Cassius, xli. 174. We may
conceive that a sudden influx of water might force up an unusually
large quantity of the bitumen.

[722] We have a full account of this circumstance in Strabo, vi. 277.

[723] “Currum deorum Latine licet interpretari.” Hardouin in Lemaire,
i. 456.

[724] “torrentesque solis ardoribus flammas egerit;” perhaps the author
may mean, that the fires of the volcano assist those of the sun in
parching the surface of the ground.

[725] “Tot rogis terræ?” in reference to the remark in a former
chapter, “natura terras cremat.”

[726] “Humani ignes,” according to Hardouin, “Hi nostri ignes, quos
vitæ usus requirit, ut Tullius ait de Nat. Deor. ii. 67;” Lemaire, i.

[727] This is the mode which many savage tribes employ for exciting

[728] It is not known whether the Scantia was a river or a lake, or
where it was situated; see Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 457.

[729] This may have been owing to the emission of an inflammable gas
which burns at a comparatively low temperature, as was observed on a
former occasion.

[730] These are said by Columella, xi. 3, to occur in August; the
statement as to the fire occurring on these particular days we may
presume is erroneous.

[731] Aricia was a town in Campania, near the modern Lake of Nemi:
this place, as well as the other places mentioned by our author, were
probably of volcanic origin.

[732] Sidicinum was a town in Campania, also called Teanum; probably
the modern Teano.

[733] Egnatia was a town in Calabria, on the coast of the Adriatic: the
circumstance mentioned by our author is ridiculed by Horace, in his
well-known lines, Sat. i. 5, 97; but it is not improbable that there
may be some foundation for it.

[734] This circumstance is referred to by Val. Maximus, i. 8, 18. The
altar was probably in the neighbourhood of the Lacinian Promontory,
at the S.W. extremity of the Bay of Tarentum, the modern Capo delle

[735] This may be referred to the inflammable vapours mentioned above,
unless we regard the whole narrative as fabulous.

[736] See Livy, i. 39, and Val. Maximus, i. 6. 2. Although it would
be rash to pronounce this occurrence and the following anecdotes
respecting Marcius to be absolutely impossible, we must regard them as
highly improbable, and resting upon very insufficient evidence.

[737] In the 66th chapter of this book.

[738] In the estimate of distances I have given the numbers as they
occur in the text of Lemaire, although, in many cases, there is
considerable doubt as to their accuracy. See the observations of
Hardouin and Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 460.

[739] Artemidorus was an Ephesian, who wrote on geography; see
Hardouin’s Index Auct., Lemaire, i. 167.

[740] Isidorus was a native of Nicæa; he appears to have been a writer
on various topics in natural history, but not much estimated; see
Hardouin’s Index Auct., in Lemaire, i. 194.

[741] The modern Cape St. Vincent and Cape Finisterre.

[742] This was a city on the Sinus Issicus, the present Gulf of Aiasso,
situated, according to Brotier, between the sites of the modern towns
of Scanderoon and Rosos. See Lemaire, i. 461.

[743] Respecting this and the other distances mentioned in this
chapter, I may refer the reader to the remarks of Hardouin in Lemaire,
i. 461.

[744] It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the calculations of our
author do not indicate the real distance between the extreme points of
the habitable parts of the globe, as known to the ancients, but the
number of miles which must be passed over by a traveller, in going from
place to place; in the first instance, a considerable part of the way
by sea, and, in the second, almost entirely by land.

[745] It appears to be difficult to ascertain the identity of the place
here mentioned; I may refer to the remarks of Hardouin and Brotier in
Lemaire, i. 464.

[746] The same remarks may be made upon this and the following numbers
as upon those in the former paragraph; for further information I shall
refer my readers to the notes of Hardouin, Brotier, and Alexandre, in
Lemaire, i. 465-468.

[747] There is great uncertainty respecting the locality of the Thule
of the ancients; there was, in fact, nothing known respecting the
locality or identity of any of the places approaching to the Arctic
circle; the name appears to have been vaguely applied to some country
lying to the north of the habitable parts of Europe. In note [522], p. 109,
I have already had occasion to offer some remarks on the locality of
Thule. Our author speaks of Thule in two subsequent parts of his work,
iv. 30 and vi. 39.

[748] It is probable, that these supposed “immense islands,” if they
were not entirely imaginary, were the countries of Sweden and Norway,
the southern extremities alone of which had been visited by the

[749] Strabo, ii.; Vitruvius, i. 6; Macrobius, in Somn. Scip. ii. 20.

[750] Our author has previously referred to Eratosthenes, in the 76th
chapter of this book.

[751] Our author has referred to Hipparchus, in the 9th chapter of this

[752] “Aliter, inquit, et cautius multo Dionysodorus est audiendus, qui
miraculo solo nititur, quam Hipparchus et Eratosthenes, qui geometricis
nituntur principiis.” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 469. Nothing further is
known of Dionysodorus; see Hardouin’s Index Auct. in Lemaire, i. 123.

[753] Marcus Terentius Varro. He was born B.C. 116, espoused the cause
of Pompey against Cæsar, and served as his lieutenant in Spain. He
afterwards became reconciled to Cæsar, and died in the year B.C. 26.
He is said to have written 500 volumes, but nearly all his works are
lost (destroyed, it is said, by order of Pope Gregory VII.). His only
remains are a Treatise on Agriculture, a Treatise on the Latin Tongue,
and the fragments of a work called _Analogia_.

[754] C. Sulpicius Gallus was Consul in the year 166 B.C. He wrote a
Roman History, and a work on the Eclipses of the Sun and Moon.

[755] Titus Vespasianus, the Emperor, to whom Pliny dedicates his work.

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