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Title: The Natural History of Pliny -- Volume 5 of 6

Author: Pliny

Translator: John Bostock
            H.T. Riley

Release Date: November 14, 2019 [EBook #60688]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8

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THE
NATURAL HISTORY
OF
PLINY.

TRANSLATED,

WITH COPIOUS NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS

BY THE LATE

JOHN BOSTOCK, M.D., F.R.S.,

AND

H. T. RILEY, Esq., B.A.,
LATE SCHOLAR OF CLARE HALL, CAMBRIDGE.

VOL. V.

LONDON:
HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
MDCCCLVI.


J. BILLING, PRINTER AND STEREOTYPER (FROM WOKING),
GUILDFORD, SURREY.


CONTENTS

OF THE FIFTH VOLUME.


BOOK XXIV.
THE REMEDIES DERIVED PROM THE FOREST TREES.
Chap.   Page
1.

The antipathies and sympathies which exist among trees and plants

1
2.

The lotus of Italy: six remedies

3
3.

Acorns: thirteen remedies

4
4.

The kermes-berry of the holm-oak: three remedies

ib.
5.

Gall-nuts: twenty-three remedies

5
6.

Mistletoe: eleven remedies

ib.
7.

The excrescences which grow on the robur: one remedy. The cerrus: eight remedies

6
8.

The cork-tree: two remedies

7
9.

The beech: four remedies

ib.
10.

The cypress: twenty-three remedies

ib.
11.

The cedar: thirteen remedies

8
12.

Cedrides: ten remedies

9
13.

Galbanum: twenty-three remedies

10
14.

Hammoniacum: twenty-four remedies

11
15.

Storax: ten remedies

ib.
16.

Spondylium: seventeen remedies

12
17.

Sphagnos, sphacos, or bryon: five remedies

ib.
18.

The terebinth: six remedies

ib.
19.

The pitch-tree and the larch: eight remedies

13
20.

The chamæpitys: ten remedies

ib.
21.

The pityusa: six remedies

14
22.

Resins: twenty-two remedies

15
23.

Pitch: twenty-three remedies

17
24.

Pisselæon and palimpissa: sixteen remedies

18
25.

Pissasphaltos: two remedies

ib.
26.

Zopissa: one remedy

19
27.

The torch-tree: one remedy

ib.
28.

The lentisk: twenty-two remedies

ib.
29.

The plane-tree: twenty-five remedies

20
vi 30.

The ash: five remedies

21
31.

The maple: one remedy

ib.
32.

The poplar: eight remedies

ib.
33.

The elm: sixteen remedies

22
34.

The linden-tree: five remedies

23
35.

The elder: fifteen remedies

ib.
36.

The juniper: twenty-one remedies

24
37.

The willow: fourteen remedies. The willow of Ameria: one remedy

25
38.

The vitex: thirty-three remedies

26
39.

The erica: one remedy

28
40.

The broom: five remedies

ib.
41.

The myrica, otherwise called the tamarica, or tamarix: three remedies

29
42.

The brya: twenty-nine remedies

30
43.

The blood-red shrub: one remedy

31
44.

The siler: three remedies

ib.
45.

The privet: eight remedies

32
46.

The alder: one remedy

ib.
47.

The several varieties of the ivy: thirty-nine remedies

ib.
48.

The cisthos: five remedies

34
49.

The cissos erythranos: two remedies. The chamæcissos: two remedies. The smilax: three remedies. The clematis: eighteen remedies

ib.
50.

The reed: nineteen remedies

35
51.

The papyrus, and the paper made from it: three remedies

36
52.

The ebony: five remedies

37
53.

The rhododendron: one remedy

ib.
54.

The rhus or sumach-tree; two varieties of it: eight remedies. Stomatice

38
55.

Rhus erythros: nine remedies

ib.
56.

The erythrodanus: eleven remedies

ib.
57.

The alysson: two remedies

39
58.

The radicula or struthion: thirteen remedies. The apocynum: two observations upon it

ib.
59.

Rosemary: eighteen remedies

40
60.

The seed called cachrys.

41
61.

The herb savin: seven remedies

ib.
62.

Selago: two remedies

ib.
63.

Samolus: two remedies

42
64.

Gum: eleven remedies

ib.
65.

The Egyptian or Arabian thorn: four remedies

43
66.

The white thorn: two remedies. The acanthion: one remedy

ib.
67.

Gum acacia: eighteen remedies

ib.
68.

Aspalathos: one remedy

45
69.

The erysisceptrum, adipsatheon, or diaxylon: eight remedies

ib.
70.

The thorn called appendix: two remedies. The pyracantha: one remedy

46
71.

The paliurus: ten remedies

ib.
vii 72.

The agrifolia. The aquifolia: one remedy. The yew: one property belonging to it

ib.
73.

The bramble: fifty-one remedies

47
74.

The cynosbatos: three remedies

48
75.

The Idæan bramble

50
76.

The rhamnos; two varieties of it: five remedies

ib.
77.

Lycium: eighteen remedies

51
78.

Sarcocolla: two remedies

52
79.

Oporice: two remedies

ib.
80.

The trixago, chamædrys, chamædrops, or teucria: sixteen remedies

ib.
81.

The chamædaphne: five remedies

53
82.

The chamelæa: six remedies

ib.
83.

The chamæsyce: eight remedies

54
84.

The chamæcissos: one remedy

ib.
85.

The chamæleuce, farfarum, or farfugium: one remedy

ib.
86.

The chamæpeuce: five remedies. The chamæcyparissos: two remedies. The ampeloprason: six remedies. The stachys: one remedy

55
87.

The clinopodion, cleonicion, zopyron, or ocimoïdes: three remedies

ib.
88.

The clematis centunculus: three remedies

56
89.

The clematis echites, or lagine

ib.
90.

The Egyptian clematis, daphnoïdes, or polygonoïdes: two remedies

57
91.

Different opinions on dracontium

ib.
92.

The aron: thirteen remedies

58
93.

The dracunculus: two remedies

60
94.

The arisaros: three remedies

ib.
95.

The millefolium or myriophyllon: seven remedies

61
96.

The pseudobunion: four remedies

ib.
97.

The myrrhis, myriza, or myrrha: seven remedies

ib.
98.

The onobrychis: three remedies

62
99.

Coracesta and callicia

ib.
100.

The minsas or corinthia: one remedy

63
101.

The aproxis: six remedies

ib.
102.

The aglaophotis or marmaritis. The achæmenis or hippophobas. The theobrotion or semnion. The adamantis. The arianis. The therionarca. The ætheopis or merois. The ophiusa. The thalassegle or potamaugis. The theangelis. The gelotophyllis. The hestiatoris or protomedia. The casignetes or dionysonymphas. The helianthes or heliocallis. The hermesias. The æschynomene. The crocis. The œnotheris. The anacampseros

64
103.

The eriphia

67
104.

The wool plant: one remedy. The lactoris: one remedy. The militaris: one remedy

68
105.

The stratiotes: five remedies

ib.
106.

A plant growing on the head of a statue: one remedy

ib.
viii 107.

A plant growing on the banks of a river: one remedy

69
108.

The herb called lingua: one remedy

ib.
109.

Plants that take root in a sieve: one remedy

ib.
110.

Plants growing upon dunghills: one remedy

ib.
111.

Plants that have been moistened with the urine of a dog: one remedy

ib.
112.

The rodarum: three remedies

ib.
113.

The plant called impia: two remedies

70
114.

The plant called Venus’ comb: one remedy

ib.
115.

The exedum. The plant called notia: two remedies

71
116.

The philanthropos: one remedy. The lappa canaria: two remedies

ib.
117.

Tordylon or syreon: three remedies

ib.
118.

Gramen: seventeen remedies

72
119.

Dactylos: five remedies

73
120.

Fenugreek or silicia: thirty-one remedies

74
BOOK XXV.
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE WILD PLANTS.
1.

When the wild plants were first brought into use

77
2.

The Latin authors who have written upon these plants

78
3.

At what period the Romans acquired some knowledge of this subject

ib.
4.

Greek authors who have delineated the plants in colours

80
5.

The first Greek authors who wrote upon plants

ib.
6.

Why a few of the plants only have been used medicinally. Plants, the medicinal properties of which have been miraculously discovered. The cynorrhodos: two remedies. The plant called dracunculus: one remedy. The britannica: five remedies

83
7.

What diseases are attended with the greatest pain. Names of persons who have discovered famous plants

86
8.

Moly: three remedies

87
9.

The dodecatheos: one remedy

88
10.

The pæonia, pentorobus, or glycyside: one remedy

ib.
11.

The panaces asclepion: two remedies

89
12.

The panaces heracleon: three remedies

90
13.

The panaces chironion: four remedies

ib.
14.

The panaces centaurion or pharnacion: three remedies

ib.
15.

The heracleon siderion: four remedies

91
16.

The ampelos chironia: one remedy

ib.
17.

Hyoscyamos, known also as the apollinaris or altercum; five varieties of it: three remedies

ib.
18.

Linoxostis, parthenion, hermupoa, or mercurialis: two varieties of it: twenty-two remedies

92
19.

The achilleos, sideritis, panaces heracleon, millefolium, or scopæ regiæ; six varieties of it: three remedies

94
ix 20.

The teucrion, hemionion, or splenion: two remedies

95
21.

Melampodium, hellebore, or veratrum; three varieties of it. The way in which it is gathered, and how the quality of it is tested

96
22.

Twenty-four remedies derived from black hellebore. How it should be taken

98
23.

Twenty-three remedies derived from white hellebore

99
24.

Eighty-eight observations upon the two kinds of hellebore

100
25.

To what persons hellebore should never be administered

101
26.

The mithridatia

102
27.

The scordotis or scordion: four remedies

ib.
28.

The polemonia, philetæria, or chiliodynamus: six remedies

ib.
29.

The eupatoria: one remedy

103
30.

Centaurion or chironion: twenty remedies

ib.
31.

The centaurion lepton, or libadion, known also as fel terræ: twenty-two remedies

104
32.

The centauris triorchis: two remedies

ib.
33.

Clymenus: two remedies

105
34.

Gentian: thirteen remedies

ib.
35.

The lysimachia: eight remedies

106
36.

Artemisia, parthenis, botrys, or ambrosia: five remedies

ib.
37.

Nymphæa, heracleon, rhopalon, or madon; two varieties of it: four remedies

107
38.

Two varieties of euphorbia: four remedies. The chamelæa

ib.
39.

Two varieties of the plantago: forty-six remedies

109
40.

Buglossos; three remedies

ib.
41.

Cynoglossos: three remedies

110
42.

The buphthalmos or cachla: one remedy

ib.
43.

Plants which have been discovered by certain nations. The scythice: one remedy

ib.
44.

The hippace: three remedies

111
45.

The ischæmon: two remedies

ib.
46.

The cestros, psychotrophon, vettonica, or serratula: forty-eight remedies

ib.
47.

The cantabrica: two remedies

112
48.

Consiligo: one remedy

ib.
49.

The iberis: seven remedies

113
50.

Plants which have been discovered by certain animals. Chelidonia: six remedies

114
51.

The dog-plant: one remedy

ib.
52.

The elaphoboscon

115
53.

Dictamnon; eight remedies. Pseudodictamnon or chondris. In what places the most powerful plants are found. How that milk is drunk in Arcadia for the beneficial effects of the plants upon which the cattle feed

ib.
54.

The aristolochia, clematitis, cretica, plistolochia, lochia polyrrhizos, or apple of the earth: twenty-two remedies

116
55.

The employment of these plants for injuries inflicted by serpents

118
56.

The argemonia: four remedies

119
x 57.

Agaric: thirty-three remedies

120
58.

The echios; three varieties of it: two remedies

ib.
59.

Hierabotane, peristereon, or verbenaca; two varieties of it: ten remedies

121
60.

The blattaria: one remedy

122
61.

Lemonium: one remedy

ib.
62.

Quinquefolium, known also as pentapetes, pentaphyllon, or chamæzelon: thirty-three remedies

ib.
63.

The sparganion: one remedy

123
64.

Four varieties of the daucus: eighteen remedies

ib.
65.

The therionarca: two remedies

124
66.

The persolata or areion: eight remedies

ib.
67.

Cyclaminos or tuber terræ: twelve remedies

125
68.

The cyclaminos cissanthemos: four remedies

ib.
69.

The cyclaminos chamæcissos: three remedies

126
70.

Peucedanum: twenty-eight remedies

ib.
71.

Ebulum: six remedies

127
72.

Polemonia: one remedy

ib.
73.

Phlomos or verbascum: fifteen remedies

ib.
74.

The phlomis: one remedy. The lychnitis or thryallis

ib.
75.

The thelyphonon or scorpio: one remedy

128
76.

The phrynion, neuras, or poterion: one remedy

ib.
77.

The alisma, damasonion, or lyron: seventeen remedies

129
78.

Peristereos: six remedies

130
79.

Remedies against certain poisons

ib.
80.

The antirrhinum, anarrhinon, or lychnis agria: three remedies

131
81.

Euclea: one remedy

ib.
82.

The pericarpum; two varieties of it: two remedies

ib.
83.

Remedies for diseases of the head. Nymphæa heraclia: two remedies

132
84.

The lingulaca: one remedy

ib.
85.

The cacalia or leontice: three remedies

133
86.

The callitrichos: one remedy

ib.
87.

Hyssop: ten remedies

ib.
88.

The lonchitis: four remedies

134
89.

The xiphion or phasganion: four remedies

ib.
90.

Psyllion, cynoïdes, crystallion, sicelicon, or cynomyia; sixteen remedies. Thryselinum: one remedy

135
91.

Remedies for diseases of the eyes

136
92.

The anagallis, or corchoron; two varieties of it: six remedies

ib.
93.

The ægilops: two remedies

138
94.

Mandragora, circæon, morion, or hippophlomos; two varieties of it: twenty-four remedies

ib.
95.

Hemlock: thirteen remedies

140
96.

Crethmos agrios: one remedy

ib.
97.

Molybdæna: one remedy

ib.
98.

The first kind of capnos, known also as chicken’s foot: one remedy

142
99.

The arborescent capnos: three remedies

ib.
xi 100.

The acoron or agrion: fourteen remedies

ib.
101.

The cotyledon: two varieties of it: sixty-one remedies

143
102.

The greater aizoüm, also called buphthalmos, zoöphthalmos, stergethron, hypogeson, ambrosion, amcrimnon, seduni magnum, or digitellus: thirty-six remedies. The smaller aizoüm, also called erithales, trithales, chrysothales, isoëtes or sedum: thirty-two remedies

ib.
103.

The andrachle agria or illecebra: thirty-two remedies

144
104.

A remedy for diseases of the nostrils

145
105.

Remedies for diseases of the teeth

ib.
106.

Erigeron, pappus, acanthis, or senecio: eight remedies

146
107.

The ephemeron: two remedies

147
108.

The labrum Venereum: one remedy

148
109.

The batrachion, ranunculus, or strumus; four varieties of it: fourteen remedies

ib.
110.

Remedial preparations for offensive breath: two kinds of them

150
BOOK XXVI.
A CONTINUATION OF THE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM PLANTS, CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO PARTICULAR DISEASES.
1.

New forms of disease

152
2.

The nature of lichen

ib.
3.

At what period lichen first made its appearance in Italy

ib.
4.

Carbuncle

154
5.

Elephantiasis

ib.
6.

Colic

155
7.

The new system of medicine: Asclepiades the physician

156
8.

The changes effected by Asclepiades in the practice of medicine

157
9.

Remarks in dispraise of the practices of magic

159
10.

Lichen: five remedies

160
11.

Quinzy

161
12.

Scrofula

ib.
13.

The plant called bellis: two remedies

162
14.

The condurdum

ib.
15.

Cough

163
16.

Bechion, otherwise known as arcion, chamæleuce, or tussilago: three remedies

164
17.

The bechion, known also as salvia: four remedies

ib.
18.

Affections of the side, chest, and stomach

ib.
19.

Molon or syron. Amomum

165
20.

The ephedra or anabasis; three remedies

166
21.

Geum; three remedies

ib.
22.

Tripolium: three remedies

167
23.

The gromphæna

ib.
24.

The malundrum: two remedies

ib.
25.

Chalcetum; two remedies. Molemonium; one remedy

168
26.

Halus or cotonea: five remedies

169
xii 27.

The chamædrops: one remedy. The stœchas: one remedy

ib.
28.

Remedies for diseases of the belly

ib.
29.

The astragalus: six remedies

170
30.

Ladanum: eighteen remedies

171
31.

Chondris or pseudodictamnon: one remedy. Hypocisthis or orobethron; two varieties: eight remedies

172
32.

Laver or sion: two remedies

ib.
33.

Potamogiton: eight remedies. The statice: three remedies

ib.
34.

The ceratia: two remedies. Leontopodion, leuceoron, doripetron, or thorybethron. Lagopus: three remedies

173
35.

Epithymon or hippopheos; eight remedies

174
36.

Pycnocomon; four remedies

175
37.

Polypodion; three remedies

ib.
38.

Scammony; eight remedies

176
39.

The tithymalos characias

177
40.

The tithymalos myrtites, or caryites; twenty-one remedies

178
41.

The tithymalos paralios, or tithymalis; four remedies

179
42.

The tithymalos helioscopios; eighteen remedies

ib.
43.

The tithymalos cyparissias; eighteen remedies

180
44.

The tithymalos platyphyllos, corymbites, or amygdalites; three remedies

ib.
45.

The tithymalos dendroïdes, cobios, or leptophyllos; eighteen remedies

ib.
46.

The apios ischas, or raphanos agria; two remedies

ib.
47.

Remedies for griping pains in the bowels

181
48.

Remedies for diseases of the spleen

ib.
49.

Remedies for calculi and diseases of the bladder

182
50.

Crethmos; eleven remedies. Cachry

183
51.

The anthyllion; two remedies. The anthyllis; two remedies

184
52.

Cepæa; one remedy

ib.
53.

Hypericon, chamæpitys, or corison; nine remedies

185
54.

Caros or hypericon; ten remedies

ib.
55.

The callithrix; one remedy. The perpressa; one remedy. The chrysanthemum; one remedy. The anthemis; one remedy

186
56.

Silaus; one remedy

ib.
57.

The plant of Fulvius

187
58.

Remedies for diseases of the testes and of the fundament

ib.
59.

Inguinalis or argemo

188
60.

Remedies for inflamed tumours. Chrysippios; one remedy

ib.
61.

Aphrodisiacs and antaphrodisiacs

189
62.

The orchis or serapias; five medicinal properties. Satyrion

ib.
63.

Satyrion; three medicinal properties. Satyrion erythraïcon; four medicinal properties

190
64.

Remedies for the gout and diseases of the feet

192
65.

Lappago or mollugo; one remedy. Asperugo; one remedy

ib.
66.

Phycos thalassion or sea-weed; three varieties of it. Lappa boaria

193
67.

Maladies which attack the whole of the body

194
68.

The geranion, myrrhis or myrtis; three varieties of it: six remedies

195
xiii 69.

The onotheras or onear; three remedies

196
70.

Remedies for epilepsy

ib.
71.

Remedies for fevers

197
72.

Remedies for phrenitis, lethargy; and carbuncles

198
73.

Remedies for dropsy. Acte or ebulum. Chamæacte.

ib.
74.

Remedies for erysipelas

199
75.

Remedies for sprains

200
76.

Remedies for jaundice

ib.
77.

Remedies for boils

201
78.

Remedies for fistula

ib.
79.

Remedies for abscesses and hard tumours

ib.
80.

Remedies for burns

202
81.

Remedies for diseases of the sinews and joints

ib.
82.

Remedies for hæmorrhage

203
83.

Hippuris, otherwise called ephedron, anabasis, or equisætum; three kinds of it; eighteen remedies

ib.
84.

Stephanomelis

205
85.

Remedies for ruptures and convulsions. Erysithales; one remedy

ib.
86.

Remedies for phthiriasis

206
87.

Remedies for ulcers and wounds

ib.
88.

Polycnemon; one remedy

209
89.

Remedies for warts, and applications for the removal of scars

ib.
90.

Remedies for female diseases

210
91.

Arsenogonon; one medicinal property. Thelygonon; one medicinal property

213
92.

Mastos; one remedy

214
93.

Applications for the hair. Lysimachia. Ophrys

ib.
BOOK XXVII.
A DESCRIPTION OF PLANTS, AND OF THE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THEM.
1.

Researches of the ancients upon this subject

217
2.

Aconite, otherwise called thelyphonon, cammaron, pardalianches, or scorpio; four remedies

218
3.

Æthiopis; four remedies

221
4.

Ageraton; four remedies

ib.
5.

The aloe; twenty-nine remedies

222
6.

Alcea; one remedy

224
7.

The alypon; one remedy

ib.
8.

Alsine, a plant used for the same purposes as helxine; five remedies

ib.
9.

The androsaces; six remedies

225
10.

Androsæmon or ascyron; six remedies

ib.
11.

Ambrosia, botrys, or artemisia; three remedies

226
12.

The anonis or ononis; five remedies

ib.
13.

The anagyros or acopon; three remedies

ib.
14.

The anonymos; two remedies

227
15.

Aparine, omphalocarpos, or philanthropos; three remedies

ib.
xiv 16.

The arction or arcturum; five remedies

228
17.

The asplenon or hemionion; two remedies

ib.
18.

The asclepias; two remedies

229
19.

The aster or bubonion; three remedies

ib.
20.

Ascyron and ascyroïdes; three remedies

ib.
21.

The aphaca; three remedies

230
22.

Alcibium; one remedy

ib.
23.

Alectoroslophos or crista; two remedies

ib.
24.

Alum, also called symphyton petræon; fourteen remedies

231
25.

Alga rufa or red sea-weed; one remedy

232
26.

Actæa; one remedy

ib.
27.

The ampelos agria, or wild vine; four remedies

ib.
28.

Absinthium or wormwood; four varieties; forty-eight remedies

ib.
29.

Absinthium marinum or seriphum

235
30.

The ballotes, melamprasion, or black leek; three remedies

236
31.

Botrys, ambrosia, or artemisia; one remedy

ib.
32.

The brabyla; one remedy

ib.
33.

Bryon maritimum; five remedies

ib.
34.

The bupleuron; one remedy

237
35.

The catanance; one observation upon it. The cemos; one observation upon it

ib.
36.

The calyx; three remedies

238
37.

The calyx, known also as anchusa or onoclia; two remedies

ib.
38.

The circæa; three remedies

ib.
39.

The cirsion; one remedy

239
40.

The cratægonon; two kinds of it; eight remedies

ib.
41.

The crocodileon; two remedies

240
42.

The cynosorchis or orchis; four remedies

ib.
43.

The chrysolachanum; two varieties of it; three remedies. Coagulum terræ; two remedies

241
44.

The cucubalus, strumus, or strychnon; six remedies

ib.
45.

The conferva; two remedies

242
46.

The coccus Cnidius, or grain of Cnidos; two remedies

ib.
47.

The dipsacos; two remedies

ib.
48.

The dryopteris; two remedies

243
49.

The dryophonon

ib.
50.

The elatine; two remedies

ib.
51.

Empetros, by our people called calcifraga; four remedies

244
52.

The epipactis or elleborine; two remedies

ib.
53.

The epimedion; three remedies

ib.
54.

The enneaphyllon; two remedies

245
55.

Two varieties of filix or fern, known to the Greeks as pteris or blachnon, and as thelypteris or nymphæa pteris; eleven remedies

ib.
56.

Femur bubulum, or ox thigh

246
57.

Galeopsis, galeobdolon, or galion; six remedies

ib.
58.

The glaux; one remedy

247
59.

Glaucion; three remedies. Diaglaucia; two remedies

ib.
60.

The glycyside, pæonia, or pentorobos; twenty remedies

248
xv 61.

Gnaphalium or chamæzelon: six remedies

249
62.

The gallidraga: one remedy

ib.
63.

Holcus or aristis

250
64.

Hyoseris: one remedy

ib.
65.

The holosteon: three remedies

ib.
66.

The hippophæston: eight remedies

ib.
67.

The hypoglossa: one remedy

251
68.

Hypecoön

ib.
69.

The Idæa herba or plant of Ida: four remedies

ib.
70.

The isopyron or phasiolon: two remedies

ib.
71.

The lathyris: two remedies

252
72.

The leontopetalon or pardalion: two remedies

ib.
73.

The lycapsos: two remedies

ib.
74.

The lithospermum, exonychon, diospyron, or heracleos: two remedies

253
75.

Lapidis muscus, or stone moss: one remedy

254
76.

The limeum: one remedy

ib.
77.

The leuce, mesoleucon, or leucas: three remedies

ib.
78.

The leucographis: five remedies

255
79.

The medion: three remedies

ib.
80.

The myosota or myosotis: three remedies

ib.
81.

The myagros: one remedy

256
82.

The nyma: one remedy

ib.
83.

The natrix: one remedy

ib.
84.

Odontitis: one remedy

257
85.

The othonna: one remedy

ib.
86.

The onosma: one property

ib.
87.

The onopordon: five remedies

258
88.

The osyris: four remedies

ib.
89.

The oxys: two remedies

ib.
90.

The polyanthemum or batrachion: three remedies

ib.
91.

The polygonos, polygonatos, teuthalis, carcinethron, clema, or myrtopetalos, otherwise known as sanguinaria or orios: four varieties of it: forty remedies

259
92.

The pancratium: twelve remedies

260
93.

The peplis, syce, meconion, or mecon aphrodes: three remedies

261
94.

The periclymenos: five remedies

ib.
95.

Pelecinon: one remedy

262
96.

Polygala: one remedy

ib.
97.

Poterion, phrynion, or neuras: four remedies

ib.
98.

The phalangitis, phalangion, or leucacantha: four remedies

263
99.

The phyteuma: one property

ib.
100.

The phyllon: one property

ib.
101.

The phellandrion: two remedies

264
102.

The phalaris: two remedies

ib.
103.

The polyrrhizon: five remedies

ib.
104.

The proserpinaca: five remedies

ib.
105.

Rhacoma: thirty-six remedies

265
106.

The reseda: two remedies

ib.
xvi 107.

The stœchas: three remedies

266
108.

The solanum, by the Greeks called strychnon: two remedial properties

ib.
109.

Smyrnion: thirty-two remedies

ib.
110.

Telephion: four remedies

267
111.

The trichomanes: five remedies

268
112.

The thalictrum: one remedy

ib.
113.

Thlaspi and Persicon napy: four remedies

ib.
114.

The trachinia: one property

269
115.

The tragonis or tragion: four remedies

ib.
116.

The tragos or scorpion: four remedies

270
117.

The tragopogon or come

ib.
118.

The ages of plants

ib.
119.

How the greatest efficacy in plants may be ensured

271
120.

Maladies peculiar to various nations

ib.
BOOK XXVIII.
REMEDIES DERIVED FROM LIVING CREATURES.
1.

Introduction

275
2.

Remedies derived from man

276
3.

Whether words are possessed of any healing efficacy

278
4.

That prodigies and portents may be confirmed, or made of no effect

280
5.

A description of various usages

283
6.

Two hundred and twenty-six observations on remedies derived from man. Eight remedies derived from children

286
7.

Properties of the human spittle

288
8.

Remedies derived from the wax of the human ear

291
9.

Remedies derived from the human hair, teeth, &c.

ib.
10.

Remedies derived from the human blood, the sexual congress, &c.

292
11.

Remedies derived from the dead

ib.
12.

Various reveries and devices of the magicians

293
13.

Remedies derived from the human excretions

294
14.

Remedies depending upon the human will

295
15.

Remedies derived from sneezing

297
16.

Remedies derived from the sexual congress

ib.
17.

Various other remedies

298
18.

Remedies derived from the urine

299
19.

Indications of health derived from the urine

301
20.

Forty-one remedies derived from the female sex

ib.
21.

Remedies derived from woman’s milk

302
22.

Remedies derived from the spittle of females

304
23.

Facts connected with the menstrual discharge

ib.
24.

Remedies derived from foreign animals: the elephant, eight remedies

307
xvii 25.

Ten remedies derived from the lion

308
26.

Ten remedies derived from the camel

ib.
27.

Seventy-nine remedies derived from the hyæna

309
28.

Nineteen remedies derived from the crocodile

314
29.

Fifteen remedies derived from the chamæleon

315
30.

Four remedies derived from the scincus

318
31.

Seven remedies derived from the hippopotamus

ib.
32.

Five remedies derived from the lynx

319
33.

Remedies furnished in common by animals of the same class, whether wild or tame. Fifty-four medicinal uses of milk, with observations thereon

ib.
34.

Twelve remedies derived from cheese

322
35.

Twenty remedies derived from butter

323
36.

Oxygala: one remedy

324
37.

The various uses of fat, and observations upon it, fifty-two in number

ib.
38.

Suet

326
39.

Marrow

327
40.

Gall

ib.
41.

Blood

328
42.

Peculiar remedies derived from various animals, and classified according to the maladies. Remedies against the poison of serpents, derived from the stag, the fawn, the ophion, the she-goat, the kid, and the ass

ib.
43.

Remedies for the bite of the mad dog. Remedies derived from the calf, the he-goat, and various other animals

331
44.

Remedies to be adopted against enchantments.

ib.
45.

Remedies for poisons

332
46.

Remedies for diseases of the head, and for alopecy

334
47.

Remedies for affections of the eyes

335
48.

Remedies for diseases and affections of the ears

337
49.

Remedies for tooth-ache

338
50.

Remedies for diseases of the face

340
51.

Remedies for diseases of the tonsillary glands and for scrofula

342
52.

Remedies for pains in the neck

343
53.

Remedies for cough and for spitting of blood

ib.
54.

Remedies for affections of the stomach

344
55.

Remedies for liver complaints and for asthma

ib.
56.

Remedies for pains in the loins

ib.
57.

Remedies for affections of the spleen

345
58.

Remedies for bowel complaints

346
59.

Remedies for tenesmus, tapeworm, and affections of the colon

348
60.

Remedies for affections of the bladder, and for urinary calculi

349
61.

Remedies for diseases of the generative organs and of the fundament

350
62.

Remedies for gout and for diseases of the feet

352
63.

Remedies for epilepsy

353
64.

Remedies for jaundice

354
65.

Remedies for broken bones

ib.
xviii 66.

Remedies for fevers

ib.
67.

Remedies for melancholy, lethargy, and phthisis

355
68.

Remedies for dropsy

356
69.

Remedies for erysipelas, and for purulent eruptions

357
70.

Remedies for sprains, indurations, and boils

ib.
71.

Remedies for burns. The method of testing bull-glue; seven remedies derived from it

ib.
72.

Remedies for affections of the sinews and for contusions

358
73.

Remedies for hæmorrhage

ib.
74.

Remedies for ulcers and carcinomatous sores

359
75.

Remedies for the itch

360
76.

Methods of extracting foreign substances which adhere body, and of restoring scars to their natural colour

ib.
77.

Remedies for female diseases

ib.
78.

Remedies for the diseases of infants

364
79.

Provocatives of sleep

365
80.

Stimulants for the sexual passions

ib.
81.

Remarkable facts relative to animals

366
BOOK XXIX.
REMEDIES DERIVED FROM LIVING CREATURES.
1.

The origin of the medical art

370
2.

Particulars relative to Hippocrates. Date of the origin of clinical practice and of that of Iatraliptics

371
3.

Particulars relative to Chrysippus and Erasistratus

ib.
4.

The Empiric branch of medicine

372
5.

Particulars relative to Herophilus and other celebrated physicians. The various changes that have been made in the system of medicine

ib.
6.

Who first practised as a physician at Rome, and at what period

375
7.

The opinions entertained by the Romans on the ancient physicians

ib.
8.

Evils attendant upon the practice of medicine

376
9.

Thirty-five remedies derived from wool

381
10.

Thirty-two remedies derived from wool-grease

383
11.

Twenty-two remedies derived from eggs

385
12.

Serpents’ eggs

388
13.

The method of preparing commagenum. Four remedies derived from it

390
14.

Remedies derived from the dog

391
15.

Remedies classified according to the different maladies. Remedies for injuries inflicted by serpents. Remedies derived from mice

392
16.

Remedies derived from the weasel

ib.
17.

Remedies derived from bugs

ib.
18.

Particulars relative to the asp

394
19.

Remedies derived from the basilisk

ib.
xix 20.

Remedies derived from the dragon

395
21.

Remedies derived from the viper

ib.
22.

Remedies derived from the other serpents

396
23.

Remedies derived from the salamander

397
24.

Remedies derived from birds, for injuries inflicted by serpents. Remedies derived from the vulture

398
25.

Remedies derived from poultry

399
26.

Remedies derived from other birds

400
27.

Remedies for the bite of the phalangium. The several varieties of that insect, and of the spider

ib.
28.

Remedies derived from the stellio, or spotted lizard

402
29.

Remedies derived from various insects

403
30.

Remedies derived from cantharides

ib.
31.

Various counter-poisons

405
32.

Remedies for the bite of the mad dog

ib.
33.

Remedies for other poisons

407
34.

Remedies for alopecy

408
35.

Remedies for lice and porrigo

409
36.

Remedies for head-ache, and for wounds on the head

ib.
37.

Remedies for affections of the eyelids

410
38.

Remedies for diseases of the eyes

411
39.

Remedies for pains and diseases of the ears

416
BOOK XXX.
REMEDIES DERIVED FROM LIVING CREATURES.
1.

The origin of the magic art

421
2.

When and where the art of magic originated: by what persons it was practised

422
3.

Whether magic was ever practised in Italy. At what period the senate first forbade human sacrifices

425
4.

The Druids of the Gallic provinces

426
5.

The various branches of magic

427
6.

The subterfuges practised by the magicians

428
7.

Opinions of the magicians relative to the mole. Five remedies derived from it

429
8.

The other remedies derived from living creatures, classified according to the respective diseases. Remedies for tooth-ache

430
9.

Remedies for offensive odours and sores of the mouth

432
10.

Remedies for spots upon the face

ib.
11.

Remedies for affections of the throat

433
12.

Remedies for quinzy and scrofula

434
13.

Remedies for diseases of the shoulders

436
14.

Remedies for pains in the viscera

437
15.

Remedies for pains in the stomach

ib.
16.

Remedies for pains in the liver, and for spitting of blood

438
17.

Remedies for affections of the spleen

439
xx 18.

Remedies for pains in the side and in the loins

440
19.

Remedies for dysentery

441
20.

Remedies for the iliac passion, and for other maladies of the bowels

442
21.

Remedies for urinary calculi and affections of the bladder

443
22.

Remedies for diseases of the fundament and of the generative organs

445
23.

Remedies for gout and for diseases of the feet

446
24.

Remedies for evils which are liable to affect the whole body

448
25.

Remedies for cold shiverings

449
26.

Remedies for paralysis

450
27.

Remedies for epilepsy

ib.
28.

Remedies for jaundice

452
29.

Remedies for phrenitis

ib.
30.

Remedies for fevers

453
31.

Remedies for dropsy

456
32.

Remedies for erysipelas

ib.
33.

Remedies for carbuncles

457
34.

Remedies for boils

ib.
35.

Remedies for burns

ib.
36.

Remedies for affections of the sinews

ib.
37.

Remedies for maladies of the nails and fingers

458
38.

Methods for arresting hæmorrhage

ib.
39.

Remedies for ulcerous sores and wounds

ib.
40.

Remedies for broken bones

460
41.

Applications for cicatrizations, and for the cure of morphew

461
42.

Methods of extracting foreign substances from the body

ib.
43.

Remedies for female complaints

462
44.

Methods of facilitating delivery

463
45.

Methods of preserving the breasts from injury

464
46.

Various kinds of depilatories

465
47.

Remedies for the diseases of infants

ib.
48.

Provocatives of sleep

467
49.

Aphrodisiacs and antaphrodisiacs

ib.
50.

Remedies for phthiriasis, and for various other affections

468
51.

Remedies for intoxication

ib.
52.

Peculiarities relative to certain animals

469
53.

Other marvellous facts connected with animals

ib.
BOOK XXXI.
REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE AQUATIC PRODUCTIONS.
1.

Remarkable facts connected with water

471
2.

The different properties of waters

472
3.

Remedies derived from water

473
4.

Waters productive of fecundity. Waters curative of insanity

474
xxi 5.

Waters remedial for urinary calculi

ib.
6.

Waters curative of wounds

475
7.

Waters preventive of abortion

ib.
8.

Waters which remove morphew

ib.
9.

Waters which colour the hair

476
10.

Waters which colour the human body

ib.
11.

Waters which aid the memory, or are productive of forgetfulness

477
12.

Waters which sharpen or dull the senses. Waters which improve the voice

ib.
13.

Waters which cause a distaste for wine. Waters which produce inebriety

ib.
14.

Waters which serve as a substitute for oil

478
15.

Salt and bitter waters

ib.
16.

Waters which throw up stones. Waters which cause laughter and weeping. Waters which are said to be curative of love

ib.
17.

Waters which preserve their warmth for three days

479
18.

Other marvellous facts connected with water. Water in which everything will sink. Waters in which nothing will sink

ib.
19.

Deadly waters. Poisonous fishes

480
20.

Waters which petrify themselves, or cause other objects to petrify

482
21.

The wholesomeness of waters

ib.
22.

The impurities of water

484
23.

The modes of testing water

485
24.

The Marcian Waters

487
25.

The Virgin Waters

488
26.

The method of searching for water

ib.
27.

Signs indicative of the presence of water

489
28.

Differences in waters, according to the nature of the soil

ib.
29.

The qualities of water at the different seasons of the year

491
30.

Historical observations upon waters which have suddenly made their appearance or suddenly ceased

492
31.

The method of conveying water

494
32.

How mineral waters should be used

ib.
33.

The uses of sea-water. The advantages of a sea-voyage

496
34.

How artificial sea-water may be made in places at a distance from the sea

498
35.

How thalassomeli is made

ib.
36.

How hydromeli is made

ib.
37.

Methods of providing against the inconvenience of drinking suspected water

499
38.

Six remedies derived from moss. Remedies derived from sand

ib.
39.

The various kinds of salt; the methods of preparing it, and the remedies derived from it. Two hundred and four observations thereupon

500
40.

Muria

503
41.

The various properties of salt: one hundred and twenty historical remarks relative thereto

504
42.

Flower of salt: twenty remedies. Salsugo: two remedies

506
43.

Garum: fifteen remedies

507
xxii 44.

Alex: eight remedies

508
45.

The nature of salt

509
46.

The various kinds of nitrum, the methods of preparing it, and the remedies derived from it: two hundred and twenty-one observations thereon

512
47.

Sponges, and the remedies derived from them: ninety-two observations thereon

519

NATURAL HISTORY OF PLINY

BOOK XXIV.

THE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE FOREST TREES.

CHAP. 1. (1.)—THE ANTIPATHIES AND SYMPATHIES WHICH EXIST AMONG TREES AND PLANTS.

Not even are the forests and the spots in which the aspect of Nature is most rugged, destitute of their peculiar remedies; for so universally has that divine parent of all things distributed her succours for the benefit of man, as to implant for him medicinal virtues in the trees of the desert even, while at every step she presents us with most wonderful illustrations of those antipathies and sympathies which exist in the vegetable world.

Between the quercus1 and the olive2 there exists a hatred so inveterate, that transplanted, either of them, to a site previously occupied by the other, they will die.3 The quercus too, if planted near the walnut, will perish. There is a mortal feud4 existing also between the cabbage and the vine; and the cabbage itself, so shunned as it is by the vine, will wither immediately if planted in the vicinity of cyclamen5 or of origanum. We find it asserted even, that aged trees fit to be felled, are cut with all the greater difficulty, and dry all the more rapidly,2 if touched by the hand of man before the axe is applied: it is a common belief, too, that when their load consists of fruit, beasts of burden are immediately sensible6 of it, and will instantly begin to sweat, however trifling it may be, unless the fruit is duly shown to them before starting. Fennel-giant, as a fodder, is extremely grateful to the ass, and yet to other beasts of burden it is a deadly poison: hence it is that the ass is consecrated to Father Liber,7 to which deity the fennel is also sacred.

Inanimate objects again, even of the most insignificant character, have their own peculiar antipathies. Cooks disengage meat of the brine, when it has been too highly salted, by the agency of fine meal and the inner bark8 of the linden-tree. Salt again, tends to neutralize the sickly flavour of food when over-sweet. The taste of water, when nitrous or bitter, is modified by the addition of polenta,9 so much so indeed, as to be rendered potable10 in a couple of hours: it is for a similar reason, too, that a layer of polenta is put11 in our linen wine-strainers. A similar property is possessed also by the chalk12 of Rhodes, and the argilla of our own country.

Equal affinities exist as well; pitch, for instance, is extracted by the agency of oil, both of them being of an unctuous nature: oil again, will incorporate only with lime, both of them having a natural antipathy13 to water. Gum is most14 easily removed with vinegar, and ink15 with water; in addition to which, there3 are numberless other instances of sympathy and antipathy which we shall be careful to mention in their appropriate places.

It is in tendencies of this description that the medical art first took its rise; though it was originally intended, no doubt, by Nature, that our only medicaments should be those which universally exist, are everywhere to be found, and are to be procured at no great outlay, the various substances, in fact, from which we derive our sustenance. But at a later period the fraudulent disposition of mankind, combined with an ingenuity prompted by lucre, invented those various laboratories,16 in which each one of us is promised an extension of his life—that is, if he will pay for it. Compositions and mixtures of an inexplicable nature forthwith have their praises sung, and the productions of Arabia and India are held in unbounded admiration in the very midst17 of us. For some trifling sore or other, a medicament is prescribed from the shores of the Red Sea; while not a day passes but what the real remedies are to be found upon the tables of the very poorest man among us.18 But if the remedies for diseases were derived from our own gardens, if the plants or shrubs were employed which grow there, there would be no art, forsooth, that would rank lower than that of medicine.

Yes, avow it we must—the Roman people, in extending its empire, has lost sight of its ancient manners, and in that we have conquered we are the conquered:19 for now we obey the natives of foreign20 lands, who by the agency of a single art have even out-generalled our generals.21 More, however, on this topic hereafter.

CHAP. 2. (2.)—THE LOTUS OF ITALY: SIX REMEDIES

We have already22 spoken in their appropriate places of the4 herb called lotus, and of the plant of Egypt known by the same name and as the “tree of the Syrtes.” The berries of the lotus, which is known among us as the “Grecian bean,”23 act astringently upon the bowels; and the shavings of the wood, boiled in wine, are useful in cases of dysentery, excessive menstruation, vertigo, and epilepsy: they also prevent the hair from falling off. It is a marvellous thing—but there is no substance known that is more bitter than the shavings of this wood, or sweeter than the fruit. The sawdust also of the wood is boiled in myrtle-water, and then kneaded and divided into lozenges, which form a medicament for dysentery of remarkable utility, being taken in doses of one victoriatus,24 in three cyathi of water.

CHAP. 3. (3.)—ACORNS: THIRTEEN REMEDIES

Acorns,25 pounded with salted axle-grease,26 are curative of those indurations known as “cacoethe.”27 The acorn of the holm-oak, however, is the most powerful in its effects; and in all these trees the bark is still more efficacious, as well as the inner membrane which lies beneath it. A decoction of this last is good for cœliac affections; and it is applied topically in cases of dysentery, as well as the acorns, which are employed also for the treatment of stings inflicted by serpents, fluxes, and suppurations. The leaves, acorns, and bark, as well as a decoction prepared from them, are good as counter-poisons. A decoction of the bark, boiled in cows’ milk, is used topically for stings inflicted by serpents, and is administered in wine for dysentery. The holm-oak is possessed of similar properties.

CHAP. 4. (4.)—THE KERMES-BERRY OF THE HOLM-OAK: THREE REMEDIES.

The scarlet berry28 of the holm-oak is applied to fresh5 wounds with vinegar; and in combination with water it is dropt into the eyes in cases of defluxion of those organs or of ecchymosis. There grows also in most parts of Attica, and in Asia, a berry of this description, which becomes transformed with great rapidity into a diminutive worm, owing to which circumstance the Greeks have given it the name of “scolecion:”29 it is held, however, in disesteem. The principal varieties of this berry have been previously30 described.

CHAP. 5.—GALL-NUTS: TWENTY-THREE REMEDIES.

And no fewer are the varieties of the gall-nut which we have described:31 we have, for instance, the full-bodied gall-nut, the perforated one, the white, the black, the large, the small, all of them possessed of similar properties; that, however, of Commagene is generally preferred. These substances remove fleshy excrescences on the body, and are serviceable for affections of the gums and uvula,32 and for ulcerations of the mouth. Burnt, and then quenched in wine, they are applied topically in cases of cœliac affections and dysentery, and with honey, to whitlows, hangnails, malformed nails, running ulcers, condylomatous swellings, and ulcerations of the nature known as phagedænic.33 A decoction of them in wine is used as an injection for the ears, and as a liniment for the eyes, and in combination with vinegar they are employed for eruptions and tumours.

The inner part of the gall, chewed, allays tooth-ache, and is good for excoriations between the thighs, and for burns. Taken unripe in vinegar, they reduce the volume of the spleen; and, burnt and then quenched in salt and vinegar, they are used as a fomentation for excessive menstruation and procidence of the uterus. All varieties of the gall-nut stain the hair black.

CHAP. 6.—MISTLETOE: ELEVEN REMEDIES.

We have already34 stated that the best mistletoe is that which grows on the robur,35 and have described the manner in6 which it is prepared. Some persons, after bruising the berries, boil them in water, till nothing appears on the surface, while others, again, bite the berries with the teeth, and reject the skins.36 The best kind of viscus is that which has none of the outer skin in it, is extremely light, yellow without, and of a leek-green colour within. There is no substance more glutinous than this: it is of an emollient nature, disperses tumours, and acts as a desiccative upon scrofulous sores; combined with resin and wax, it heals inflamed swellings of every description. Some persons add galbanum as well, using equal proportions of each ingredient, and this preparation they employ also for the treatment of wounds.

The viscus of the mistletoe has the additional property also of rectifying malformed nails; but to effect this it must be taken off at the end of seven days, and the nails must be washed with a solution of nitre.37 Some persons have a sort of superstitious notion that the viscus will be all the more efficacious if the berries are gathered from the robur at new moon, and without the aid of iron. They have an impression too, that if it has not touched the ground, it will cure epilepsy,38 that it will promote conception in females if they make a practice of carrying it about them: the berries, chewed and applied to ulcers, are remarkably efficacious for their cure, it is said.

CHAP. 7.—THE EXCRESCENCES WHICH GROW ON THE ROBUR: ONE REMEDY. THE CERRUS: EIGHT REMEDIES.

The round excrescences39 which grow on the robur * * * and mixed with bear’s grease, are remedial in cases of loss of the hair by alopecy.

The leaves, bark, and acorns of the cerrus40 act as a desiccative upon gatherings and suppurations, and arrest fluxes. A decoction41 of them, used as a fomentation, strengthens such parts of the body as are paralyzed; and it is a very good plan7 to employ it as a sitting-bath, for its desiccative or astringent effects upon the lower extremities. The root of this tree neutralizes the venom of the scorpion.

CHAP. 8.—THE-CORK TREE: TWO REMEDIES.

The bark of the cork-tree,42 pulverized and taken in warm water, arrests hæmorrhage at the mouth and nostrils;43 and the ashes of it, taken in warm wine, are highly extolled as a cure for spitting of blood.

CHAP. 9. (5.)—THE BEECH: FOUR REMEDIES.

The leaves44 of the beech are chewed for affections of the lips and gums. A liniment is made of the ashes of beech-mast for urinary calculus, and, in combination with honey, for alopecy.

CHAP. 10.—THE CYPRESS: TWENTY-THREE REMEDIES.

The leaves of the cypress45 are pounded and applied to wounds inflicted by serpents, and with polenta, to the head, in cases of sunstroke. They are used also for hernia, and an infusion of them is taken in drink.46 They are applied with wax to swellings of the testes, and mixed with vinegar they stain the hair black.47 Beaten up with twice the quantity of light bread, and then kneaded with Aminean48 wine, they are found very soothing for pains in the feet and sinews.

The excrescences of this tree are taken in drink for the stings of serpents and for discharges of blood from the mouth; they are used also as a topical application for gatherings. Fresh-gathered and beaten up with axle-grease and bean-meal, they are good for hernia; and an infusion of them is8 taken in drink for the same complaint. In combination with meal, they are applied topically to imposthumes of the parotid glands, and to scrofulous sores. From these excrescences, pounded along with the seed, a juice is extracted, which, mixed with oil, disperses films of the eyes. Taken in doses of one victoriatus,49 in wine, and applied at the same time in a pulpy, dried fig, the seeds of which have been removed, this juice cures maladies of the testes and disperses tumours: mixed with leaven, it heals scrofulous sores.

The root of the cypress, bruised with the leaves and taken in drink, is curative of diseases of the bladder, strangury, and the sting of the phalangium.50 The shavings of the wood, taken in drink, act as an emmenagogue, and neutralize the venom of the scorpion.

CHAP. 11.—THE CEDAR: THIRTEEN REMEDIES.

The larger cedar, known as the “cedrelates,”51 produces a pitch called “cedria,” which is very useful for tooth-ache, it having the effect of breaking52 the teeth and extracting them, and so allaying the pain. We have already53 stated how the juices of cedar are extracted, so remarkably useful for seasoning books,54 were it not for the head-ache they produce. This extract from the cedar preserves55 the bodies of the dead uncorrupted for ages, but exercises a noxious effect upon the bodies of the living—singular that there should be such a diversity in its properties, taking away life from animated9 beings, and imparting a sort of life, as it were to the dead! It injures clothing also and destroys56 animal life. It is for this reason that I cannot recommend it to be taken internally for the cure of quinzy and indigestion though there are some who advise it: I should be greatly in dread too, to rinse the teeth with it in combination with vinegar, for tooth-ache, or to use it as an injection for the ears in cases of hardness of hearing, or for worms in those organs. There is one very marvellous story told about it—if the male organs, they say, are rubbed with it just before the sexual congress, it will effectually prevent impregnation.57

Still, however, I should not hesitate to employ it as a friction for phthiriasis or porrigo. It is strongly recommended also, in raisin wine, as an antidote to the poison of the sea-hare,58 but I should be more ready to use it as a liniment for elephantiasis. Some authors have prescribed it as an ointment for foul ulcers and the fleshy excrescences which grow in them, as also for spots and films on the eyes; and have recommended it to be taken, in doses of one cyathus, for ulcerations of the lungs, and for tapeworm.

There is an oil extracted from this pitch, known as “pisselæon,”59 the properties of which are of increased activity for all the purposes before-mentioned. It is a well-known fact that the saw-dust of cedar will put serpents to flight, and that a similar effect is produced by anointing the body with the berries60 bruised in oil.

CHAP. 12.—CEDRIDES: TEN REMEDIES.

Cedrides, or in other words, the fruit of the cedar,61 is curative of coughs, acts as a diuretic, and arrests looseness of the bowels. It is good also for ruptures, convulsions, spasms, and strangury, and is employed, as a pessary, for affections of the uterus. It is used also to neutralize the10 venom of the sea-hare,62 and for the cure of the various affections above-mentioned, as also of gatherings and inflammations.

CHAP. 13.—GALBANUM: TWENTY-THREE REMEDIES.

We have already63 given some description of galbanum: to be good, it should be neither too moist nor too dry, but just in the state which we have mentioned.64 It is taken by itself for inveterate coughs, asthma, ruptures, and convulsions; and it is employed externally for sciatica, pains in the sides, inflamed tumours,65 boils, denudations of the bones, scrofulous sores, nodes upon the joints, and tooth-ache. It is applied with honey also, to ulcerations of the head. In combination with oil of roses or with nard, it is used as an injection for suppurations of the ears; and the odour of it is useful for epilepsy, hysterical suffocations, and faintness at the stomach. Employed as a pessary or as a fumigation, it brings away the fœtus in cases of miscarriage; branches too of hellebore covered with it and laid beneath the patient, have a similar effect.

We have already66 stated that serpents are driven away by the fumes of burnt galbanum, and they will equally avoid persons whose body has been rubbed with it. It is curative also of the sting of the scorpion. In protracted deliveries, a piece of galbanum the size of a bean is given in one cyathus of wine: it has the effect also of reducing the uterus when displaced, and, taken with myrrh and wine, it brings away the dead fœtus. In combination with myrrh and wine too, it neutralizes poisons—those which come under the denomination of “toxica”67 in particular. The very touch of it, mixed with oil and spondylium,68 is sufficient to kill a serpent.69 It is generally thought to be productive of strangury.

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CHAP. 14 (6.)—HAMMONIACUM: TWENTY-FOUR REMEDIES.

Of a similar nature to galbanum is hammoniacum, a tearlike gum, the qualities of which are tested in manner already70 stated. It is of an emollient, warming, resolvent, and dispellent nature. Employed as an ingredient in eye-salves, it improves the sight. It disperses prurigo, effaces the marks of sores, removes spots in the eyes, and allays tooth-ache, more particularly when burnt. It is very useful too, taken in drink, for hardness of breathing, pleurisy, affections of the lungs, diseases of the bladder, bloody urine, maladies of the spleen, and sciatica: employed in a similar manner, it acts as a purgative upon the bowels. Boiled with an equal proportion of pitch or wax, and with oil of roses, it is good for diseases of the joints, and for gout. Employed with honey it ripens hard tumours, extracts corns, and has an emollient effect upon indurations. In combination with vinegar and Cyprian wax, or oil of roses, it is extremely efficacious as a liniment for affections of the spleen. In cases of extreme lassitude, it is an excellent plan to use it as a friction, with vinegar and oil, and a little nitre.

CHAP. 15.—STORAX: TEN REMEDIES.

In speaking too of the exotic trees, we have made mention71 of the properties of storax. In addition to those which we have already mentioned, it ought to be very unctuous, without alloy, and to break to pieces in whitish fragments. This substance is curative of cough, affections of the fauces, diseases of the chest, and obstructions or indurations of the uterus. Taken in drink, or employed as a pessary, it acts as an emmenagogue; it has a laxative effect also upon the bowels. I find it stated that, taken in moderate doses, storax dispels melancholy; but that when employed in large quantities, it promotes it. Used as an injection it is good for singings in the ears, and employed as a friction, for scrofulous swellings and nodes of the sinews. It neutralizes poisons of a cold nature, and consequently, hemlock.72

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CHAP. 16.—SPONDYLIUM: SEVENTEEN REMEDIES.

At the same time we have also spoken73 of spondylium; an infusion of which is poured upon the head in cases of phrenitis and lethargy, and of head-ache of long standing. Combined with old oil, it is taken in drink for affections of the liver, jaundice, epilepsy, hardness of breathing, and hysterical suffocations, maladies for which it is equally serviceable in the shape of a fumigation. It relaxes the bowels, and with rue it is applied to ulcers of a serpiginous nature. The juice which is extracted from the blossom is a most useful injection for suppurations of the ears; but the moment it is extracted it should be covered up, as flies and other insects of a similar nature are remarkably fond of it.

Scrapings of the root, introduced into the interior of fistulas, have a caustic effect upon their callosities; and they are sometimes used, in combination with the juice, as an injection for the ears. The root itself also is prescribed for jaundice, and for diseases of the liver and uterus. If the head is rubbed with the juice, it will make the hair curl.74

CHAP. 17.—SPHAGNOS, SPHACOS, OR BRYON: FIVE REMEDIES.

Sphagnos, sphacos, or bryon, grows, as we have already75 stated, in Gaul. A decoction of it, employed as a sitting-bath, is useful for affections of the uterus: mixed with nasturtium, and beaten up in salt water, it is good for the knees and for swellings in the thighs. Taken in drink with wine and dried resin, it acts very powerfully as a diuretic. Pounded in wine with juniper berries, and taken in drink, it draws off the water in dropsy.

CHAP. 18.—THE TEREBINTH: SIX REMEDIES.

The leaves and root of the terebinth76 are used as applications13 for gatherings; and a decoction of them is strengthening to the stomach. The seed of it is taken in wine for head-ache and strangury: it is slightly laxative to the bowels, and acts as an aphrodisiac.

CHAP. 19.—THE PITCH-TREE AND THE LARCH: EIGHT REMEDIES.

The leaves of the pitch-tree77 and the larch,78 beaten up and boiled in vinegar, are good for tooth-ache. The ashes of the bark are used for excoriations and burns. Taken in drink this substance arrests diarrhœa, and acts as a diuretic; and used as a fumigation, it reduces the uterus when displaced. The leaves of the pitch-tree are particularly good for the liver, taken in doses of one drachma in hydromel.

It is a well-known fact that forests planted solely with trees from which pitch and resin are extracted, are remarkably beneficial for patients suffering from phthisis,79 or who are unable to recover their strength after a long illness: indeed it is said, that in such cases to breathe the air of localities thus planted, is more beneficial even than to take a voyage to Egypt,80 or to go on a summer’s journey to the mountains to drink the milk there, impregnated with the perfumes of plants.

CHAP. 20.—THE CHAMÆPITYS: TEN REMEDIES.

The chamæpitys,81 called in Latin “abiga,”82 because it promotes abortion, and known to some as “incense of the earth,”83 has branches a cubit in length, and the odour and14 blossoms of the pine. Another variety84 of it, which is somewhat shorter, has all the appearance of being bent85 downwards; and there is a third,86 which, though it has a similar smell, and consequently the same name, is altogether smaller, with a stem the thickness of one’s finger, and a diminutive, rough, pale leaf: it is found growing in rocky localities. All these varieties are in reality herbaceous productions; but in consequence of the resemblance of the name,87 I have thought it as well not to defer the consideration of them.

These plants are good for stings inflicted by scorpions, and are useful as an application, mixed with dates or quinces, for maladies of the liver: a decoction of them with barley-meal is used for the kidneys and the bladder. A decoction of them in water is used also for jaundice and for strangury. The kind last mentioned, in combination with honey, is good for wounds inflicted by serpents, and a pessary is made of it, with honey, as a detergent for the uterus. Taken in drink it brings away coagulated blood, and rubbed upon the body it acts as a sudorific: it is particularly useful also for the kidneys. Pills of a purgative nature are made of it for dropsy, with figs.88 Taken in wine, in doses of one victoriatus,89 it dispels lumbago, and cures coughs that are not of an inveterate description. A decoction of it in vinegar, taken in drink, will instantaneously bring away the dead fœtus, it is said.

CHAP. 21.—THE PITYUSA: SIX REMEDIES.

For a similar90 reason, too, we shall accord the same distinction to the pityusa, a plant which some persons reckon among the varieties of the tithymalus.91 It is a shrub,92 resembling15 the pitch-tree in appearance, and with a diminutive purple blossom. A decoction of the root, taken in doses of one hemina, carries off the bilious and pituitous secretions by93 stool, and a spoonful of the seed, used as a suppository, has a similar effect. A decoction of the leaves in vinegar removes scaly eruptions of the skin; and in combination with boiled rue, it effects the cure of diseases of the mamillæ, gripings in the bowels, wounds inflicted by serpents, and incipient gatherings of most kinds.

CHAP. 22.—RESINS: TWENTY-TWO REMEDIES.

In treating, first of wines,94 and then of trees,95 we have stated that resin is the produce of the trees above-mentioned, and have described the several varieties of it, and the countries in which they are respectively produced. There are two principal kinds of resin, the dry and the liquid.96 The dry resins are extracted from the pine97 and the pitch-tree,98 the liquid from the terebinth,99 the larch,100 the lentisk,101 and the cypress;102 these last producing it in the province of Asia and in Syria. It is an error103 to suppose that the resin of the pitch-tree is the same as that of the larch; for the pitch-tree yields an unctuous104 resin, and of the same consistency as frankincense, while that of the larch is thin, like honey in colour, and of a powerful odour. It is but very rarely that medical men make use of liquid resin, and when they do, it is mostly that produced by the larch, which is administered in an egg for16 cough and ulcerations of the viscera. The resin of the pine, too, is far from extensively used, and that of the other kinds is always boiled105 before use: on the various methods of boiling it, we have enlarged at sufficient length already.106

As to the produce of the various trees, the resin of the terebinth is held in high esteem, as being the most odoriferous and the lightest, the kinds107 which come from Cyprus and Syria being looked upon as the best. Both these kinds are the colour of Attic honey; but that of Cyprus has more body, and dries with greater rapidity. In the dry resins the qualities requisite are whiteness, purity, and transparency: but whatever the kind, the produce of mountainous108 districts is always preferred to that of champaign countries, and that of a north-eastern aspect to that of any other quarter. Resins109 are dissolved in oil as a liniment and emollient cataplasm for wounds; but when they are used as a potion, bitter almonds110 are also employed. The curative properties of resins consist in their tendency to close wounds, to act as a detergent upon gatherings and so disperse them, and to cure affections of the chest.

The resin of the terebinth * * * it is used too, warmed, as a liniment for pains in the limbs, the application being removed after the patient has taken a walk in the sun. Among slave-dealers too, there is a practice of rubbing the bodies of the slaves with it, which is done with the greatest care, as a corrective for an emaciated appearance; the resin having the property of relaxing the skin upon all parts of the body, and rendering it more capable of being plumped out by food.111

Next after the resin of the terebinth comes that of the17 lentisk:112 it possesses astringent properties, and is the most powerful diuretic of them all. The other resins are laxative to the bowels, promote the digestion of crudities, allay the violence of inveterate coughs, and, employed as a fumigation, disengage the uterus of foreign113 bodies with which it is surcharged: they are particularly useful too as neutralizing the effects of mistletoe; and, mixed with bull suet and honey, they are curative of inflamed tumours and affections of a similar nature. The resin of the lentisk is very convenient as a bandoline for keeping stubborn eyelashes in their place: it is useful also in cases of fractures, suppurations of the ears, and prurigo of the generative organs. The resin of the pine is the best of them all for the cure of wounds in the head.

CHAP. 23. (7.)—PITCH: TWENTY-THREE REMEDIES.

We have also stated on a previous occasion114 from what tree pitch is extracted, and the methods employed for that purpose. Of this also there are two kinds; thick pitch and liquid pitch.115 Of the several varieties of thick pitch the most useful for medicinal purposes is that of Bruttium;116 for being both extremely unctuous and very resinous, it reunites the properties both of resin and of pitch, that of a yellow reddish colour being the most highly esteemed. As to the statement made in addition to this, that the produce of the male tree is the best, I do not believe that any such distinction is at all possible.

Pitch is of a warming, cicatrizing tendency: mixed with polenta it is particularly useful as a neutralizer of the venom of the cerastes,117 and in combination with honey it is used for quinzy, catarrhs, and fits of sneezing caused by phlegm. With oil of roses it is used as an injection for the ears, and employed as a liniment with wax it heals lichens. It relaxes118 the bowels, also, and used as an electuary, or applied with18 honey to the tonsillary glands, it facilitates expectoration. Applied topically, it acts as a detergent upon ulcers, and makes new flesh. Mixed with raisins and axle-grease, it forms a detergent plaster for carbuncles and putrid ulcers, and, with pine-bark or sulphur, for serpiginous sores. Pitch has been administered too by some, in doses of one cyathus, for phthisis and inveterate coughs. It heals chaps of the feet and rectum, inflamed tumours, and malformed nails; and used as a fumigation, it is curative of indurations and derangements of the uterus, and of lethargy. Boiled with barley-meal and the urine of a youth, who has not arrived at puberty, it causes scrofulous sores to suppurate. Dry pitch is used also for the cure of alopecy. For affections of the mamillæ, Bruttian pitch is warmed in wine with fine spelt meal, and applied as hot as can be borne.

CHAP. 24.—PISSELÆON AND PALIMPISSA: SIXTEEN REMEDIES.

We have already119 described the way in which liquid pitch and the oil known as pisselæon are made. Some persons boil the pitch over again, and give it the name of “palimpissa.”120 For quinzy121 and affections of the uvula, liquid pitch is employed internally. It is used also for the cure of ear-ache, for the improvement of the sight, and as a salve for the lips; and is employed for hysterical suffocations, inveterate coughs, profuse expectorations, spasms, nervousness, opisthotony, paralysis, and pains in the sinews. It is a very excellent remedy too for itch in dogs and beasts of burden.

CHAP. 25.—PISSASPHALTOS: TWO REMEDIES.

There is pissasphaltos too, a natural production of the territory of the Apolloniates,122 and consisting of pitch mixed19 with bitumen. Some persons, however, make this mixture artificially, and employ it for the cure of itch in cattle, and of injuries done by the young sucklings to the mamillæ. The most esteemed portion of it is that which floats on the surface when boiled.

CHAP. 26.—ZOPISSA: ONE REMEDY.

We have already123 stated that zopissa is the pitch, macerated with salt-water and wax, that has been scraped from off the bottoms of ships. The best kind is that taken from ships which have been to sea for the first time. It is used as an ingredient in plasters of an emollient nature, employed to disperse gatherings.

CHAP. 27.—THE TORCH-TREE: ONE REMEDY.

A decoction in vinegar of the wood of the torch-tree124 makes a most efficacious gargle for tooth-ache.

CHAP. 28.—THE LENTISK: TWENTY-TWO REMEDIES.

The seed, bark, and tear-like juices of the lentisk are diuretics, and act astringently upon the bowels:125 a decoction of them, used as a fomentation, is curative of serpiginous sores, and is applied topically for humid ulcerations and erysipelas; it is employed also as a collutory for the gums. The teeth are rubbed with the leaves in cases of tooth-ache, and they are rinsed with a decoction of the leaves when loose:126 this decoction has the effect also of staining127 the hair. The gum of this tree is useful for diseases of the rectum, and all cases in which desiccatives and calorifics are needed; a decoction too of the gum is good for the stomach, acting as a carminative20 and diuretic; it is applied also to the head, in cases of headache, with polenta. The more tender of the leaves are used as an application for inflammations of the eyes.

The mastich128 produced by the lentisk is used as a bandoline for the hairs of the eye-lids, in compositions for giving a plumpness to the face, and in cosmetics for smoothing129 the skin. It is employed for spitting of blood and for inveterate coughs, as well as all those purposes for which gum acacia is in request. It is used also for the cure of excoriations; which are fomented either with the oil extracted from the seed, mixed with wax, or else with a decoction of the leaves in oil. Fomentations too are made of a decoction of it in water for diseases of the male organs.130 I know for a fact, that in the illness of Considia, the daughter of M. Servilius, a personage of consular rank, her malady, which had long resisted all the more severe methods of treatment, was at last successfully treated with the milk of goats that had been fed upon the leaves of the lentisk.

CHAP. 29. (8.)—THE PLANE-TREE: TWENTY-FIVE REMEDIES.

The plane-tree131 neutralizes the bad effects of bites inflicted by the bat.132 The excrescences of this tree, taken in doses133 of four denarii, in wine, act as an antidote to the venom of serpents of all kinds and of scorpions, and are curative of burns. Pounded with strong vinegar, squill vinegar in particular, they arrest hæmorrhage of every kind; and with the addition of honey, they remove freckles, carcinomatous sores, and black spots of long standing on the skin.

The leaves again, and the bark of this tree, are used in the form of liniments for gatherings and suppurations, and a decoction of them is employed for a similar purpose. A decoction of the bark in vinegar is remedial for affections of the teeth, and the more tender of the leaves boiled in white wine are good for the eyes. The down which grows upon the21 leaves134 is injurious to both the ears and eyes. The ashes of the excrescences of this tree heal such parts of the body as have been burnt or frost-bitten. The bark, taken in wine, reduces the inflammation caused by the stings of scorpions.

CHAP. 30.—THE ASH: FIVE REMEDIES.

We have already135 made some mention of the virtues possessed by the ash as an antidote to the venom of serpents. The seed of it is enclosed in follicules, which are good for diseases of the liver, and, in combination with wine, for pains in the sides: they are employed also for drawing off the water in dropsy. They have the property, too, of diminishing obesity, and of gradually reducing the body to a state of comparative emaciation,136 the follicules being pounded in wine and administered in proportion to the bodily strength; thus, for instance, to a child, five of them are given in three cyathi of wine, but for persons in more robust health, seven are prescribed, in five cyathi of wine.

We must not omit to state that the shavings and saw-dust of this wood are of a highly dangerous nature, according to some.

CHAP. 31.—THE MAPLE: ONE REMEDY.

The root of the maple,137 beaten up in wine, is extremely efficacious as a topical application for pains in the liver.

CHAP. 32.—THE POPLAR: EIGHT REMEDIES.

We have already138 mentioned, when speaking of the unguents, the use that is made of the berries139 of the white poplar. A potion prepared from the bark is good for sciatica22 and strangury, and the juice of the leaves is taken warm for ear-ache. So long140 as a person holds a sprig of poplar in his hand, there is no fear of141 chafing between the thighs.

The black poplar which grows in Crete is looked upon as the most efficacious of them all. The seed of it, taken in vinegar, is good for epilepsy. This tree produces a resin also to a small extent, which is made use of for emollient plasters. The leaves, boiled in vinegar, are applied topically for gout. A moisture that exudes from the clefts of the black poplar removes warts, and pimples caused by friction. Poplars produce also on the leaves a kind of sticky142 juice, from which bees prepare their propolis:143 indeed this juice, mixed with water, has the same virtues as propolis.

CHAP. 33.—THE ELM: SIXTEEN REMEDIES.

The leaves, bark, and branches of the elm144 have the property of filling up wounds and knitting the flesh together: the inner membrane145 too, of the bark, and the leaves, steeped in vinegar, are applied topically for leprosy. The bark, in doses of one denarius, taken in one hemina of cold water, acts as a purgative upon the bowels, and is particularly useful for carrying off pituitous and aqueous humours. The gum also which this tree produces is applied topically to gatherings, wounds, and burns, which it would be as well to foment with the decoction also. The moisture146 which is secreted on the follicules of the tree gives a finer colour to the skin, and improves the looks. The foot-stalks of the leaves that first appear,147 boiled in wine, are curative of tumours, and23 bring them to a head:148 the same, too, is the effect produced by the inner bark.

Many persons are of opinion that the bark of this tree, chewed, is a very useful application for wounds, and that the leaves, bruised and moistened with water are good for gout. The moisture too that exudes from the pith of the tree, as already149 stated, on an incision being made, applied to the head, causes the hair to grow and prevents it from falling off.

CHAP. 34.—THE LINDEN-TREE: FIVE REMEDIES.

The linden-tree150 is useful, though in a less marked degree, for nearly all the same purposes as the wild olive. The leaves, however, are the only part that is made use of for ulcers upon infants; chewed, too, or employed in the form of a decoction, they are diuretic. Used as a liniment they arrest menstruation when in excess, and an infusion of them, taken, in drink, carries off superfluous blood.

CHAP. 35.—THE ELDER: FIFTEEN REMEDIES.

There are two kinds of elder, one of which grows wild and is much smaller than the other; by the Greeks it is known as the “chamæacte,” or “helion.”151 A decoction of the leaves,152 seed, or root of either kind, taken in doses of two cyathi, in old wine, though bad for the upper regions of the stomach, carries off all aqueous humours by stool. This decoction is very cooling too for inflammations, those attendant upon recent burns in particular. A poultice is made also of the more24 tender leaves, mixed with polenta, for bites inflicted by dogs. The juice of the elder, used as a fomentation, reduces abscesses of the brain, and more particularly of the membrane which envelopes that organ. The berries, which have not so powerful an action as the other parts of the tree, stain the hair. Taken in doses of one acetabulum, in drink, they are diuretic. The softer leaves are eaten with oil and salt, to carry off pituitous and bilious secretions.

The smaller kind is for all these purposes the more efficacious of the two. A decoction of the root in wine, taken in doses of two cyathi, brings away the water in dropsy, and acts emolliently upon the uterus: the same effects are produced also by a sitting-bath made of a decoction of the leaves. The tender shoots of the cultivated kind, boiled in a saucepan and eaten as food, have a purgative effect: the leaves taken in wine, neutralize the venom of serpents. An application of the young shoots, mixed with he-goat suet, is remarkably good for gout; and if they are macerated in water, the infusion will destroy fleas. If a decoction of the leaves is sprinkled about a place, it will exterminate flies. “Boa”153 is the name given to a malady which appears in the form of red pimples upon the body; for its cure the patient is scourged with a branch of elder. The inner bark,154 pounded and taken with white wine, relaxes the bowels.

CHAP. 36.—THE JUNIPER: TWENTY-ONE REMEDIES.

The juniper is of a warming and resolvent nature beyond all other plants: in other respects, it resembles the cedar.155 There are two species of this tree, also, one of which is larger156 than the other:157 the odour of either, burnt, repels the approach25 of serpents.158 The seed159 is good for pains in the stomach, chest, and sides; it dispels flatulency and sudden chills, soothes cough, and brings indurations to a head. Applied topically, it checks the growth of tumours; and the berries, taken in red wine, act astringently upon the bowels: they are applied also to tumours of the abdomen. The seed is used as an ingredient in antidotes of an aperient nature, and is diuretic160 in its effects. It is used as a liniment for defluxions of the eyes, and is prescribed for convulsions, ruptures griping pains in the bowels, affections of the uterus, and sciatica, either in a dose of four berries in white wine, or in the form of a decoction of twenty berries in wine.

There are persons who rub the body with juniper berries as a preventive of the attacks of serpents.

CHAP. 37. (9.)—THE WILLOW: FOURTEEN REMEDIES. THE WILLOW OF AMERIA: ONE REMEDY.

The fruit of the willow,161 before it arrives at maturity, is covered with a down like a spider’s web: gathered162 before it is ripe, it arrests discharges of blood from the mouth. The bark of the upper branches, reduced to ashes and mixed with water, is curative of corns and callosities: it removes spots also upon the face, being still more efficacious for that purpose if mixed with, the juices of the tree.

The juices produced by the willow form three different varieties; one163 of which exudes in the shape of a gum from26 the tree itself, and another distils from an incision some three fingers in width, made in the bark while the tree is in blossom. This last is very useful for dispersing humours which impede the sight, acting also as an inspissative when needed, promoting the discharge of the urine, and bringing abscesses of all kinds to a head. The third kind of juice exudes from the wounds, when the branches are lopt off with the bill. Either of these juices, warmed in a pomegranate rind, is used as an injection for diseases of the ears. The leaves, too, boiled and beaten up with wax, are employed as a liniment for similar purposes, and for gout. The bark and leaves, boiled in wine, form a decoction that is remarkably useful as a fomentation for affections of the sinews. The blossoms, bruised with the leaves, remove scaly eruptions of the face; and the leaves, bruised and taken in drink, check libidinous tendencies,164 and effectually put an end to them, if habitually employed.

The seed of the black willow of Ameria,165 mixed with litharge in equal proportions, and applied to the body just after the bath, acts as a depilatory.

CHAP. 38.—THE VITEX: THIRTY-THREE REMEDIES.

Not much unlike the willow, for the use that is made of it in wicker-work, is the vitex,166 which also resembles it in the leaves and general appearance, though the smell of it is more agreeable. The Greeks call it “lygos,” or “agnos,”167 from the fact that the matrons of Athens, during the Thesmophoria,168 a period when the strictest chastity is observed, are in the habit of strewing their beds with the leaves of this tree.

There are two species of vitex: the larger169 one, like the willow, attains the full proportions of a tree; while the other,170 which is smaller, is branchy, with a paler, downy leaf. The first kind, generally known as the “white” vitex, bears a27 white blossom mixed with purple, whereas the black one has a flower that is entirely purple. Both of these trees grow on level spots of a marshy nature.

The seed of these trees, taken in drink, has a sort of vinous flavour, and has the reputation of being a febrifuge. It is said also to act as a sudorific, if the body is rubbed with it mixed with oil, and to have the effect of dispelling extreme lassitude: it acts too as a diuretic171 and emmenagogue. The produce of both trees is trying to the head, like wine, and indeed the odour of them is very similar. They have the effect also of removing flatulence in the lower regions of the body, act astringently upon the bowels, and are remarkably useful for dropsy and affections of the spleen. They promote the secretion of the milk, and neutralize the venom of serpents, when of a cold nature more particularly. The smaller kind, however, is the more efficacious of the two for injuries inflicted by serpents, the seed being taken in doses of one drachma, in wine or oxycrate, or else the more tender leaves in doses of two drachmæ.

From both trees also a liniment is prepared for the bites of spiders, but it is quite sufficient to rub the wounds with the leaves; and if a fumigation is made from them, or if they are spread beneath the bed, they will repel the attacks of all venomous creatures. They act also as an antaphrodisiac, and it is by this tendency in particular that they neutralize the venom of the phalangium, the bite of which has an exciting effect upon the generative organs. The blossoms and young shoots, mixed with oil of roses, allay head-aches arising from inebriation. A decoction of the seed used as a fomentation cures head-ache, however intense it may be; and employed as a fumigation or as a pessary, the seeds acts as a detergent upon the uterus. Taken in drink with honey and penny-royal, it has a laxative effect; pounded and used with barley-meal, it quickly brings abscesses and hard tumours to a head, and has an emollient effect.

The seed, in combination with saltpetre and vinegar, removes lichens and freckles; mixed with honey, it heals ulcers and eruptions of the mouth; applied with butter and vine-leaves, it reduces swellings of the testes; used with water, as a linment,28 it cures chaps of the rectum; and employed with salt, nitre, and wax, it is good for sprains. The seed and leaves are used as ingredients also in emollient plasters for diseases of the sinews, and for gout; and a decoction of the seed in oil is employed as a fomentation for the head in cases of phrenitis and lethargy. Persons172 who carry a sprig of this plant in the hand, or stuck in the girdle, will be proof, it is said, against chafing between the thighs.

CHAP. 39.—THE ERICA; ONE REMEDY.

The Greeks give the name of “erice,”173 to a shrub that is but little different from the myrice.174 It has the colour, and very nearly the leaf, of rosemary. It neutralizes175 the venom of serpents, it is said.

CHAP. 40.—THE BROOM; FIVE REMEDIES.

The broom is used for making withes;176 the flowers of it are greatly sought by bees. I have my doubts whether this is not the same plant that the Greek writers have called “sparton,” and of which, in those parts of the world, as I have already177 stated, they are in the habit of making fishing-nets. I doubt also whether Homer178 has alluded to this plant, when he speaks of the seams of the ships,—“the sparta” coming asunder; for it is certain that in those times the spartum179 of Spain or Africa was not as yet in use, and that vessels made of materials sown together, were united by the agency, not of spartum, but of flax.


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The seed of the plant to which the Greeks now give the name of “sparton,” grows in pods like those of the kidney-bean. It is as strongly drastic180 as hellebore, and is usually taken fasting, in doses of one drachma and a half, in four cyathi of hydromel. The branches also, with the foliage, are macerated for several days in vinegar, and are then beaten up, the infusion being recommended for sciatica, in doses of one cyathus. Some persons think it a better plan, however, to make an infusion of them in sea-water, and to inject it as a clyster. The juice of them is used also as a friction for sciatica, with the addition of oil. Some medical men, too, make use of the seed for strangury. Broom, bruised with axle-grease, is a cure for diseases of the knees.

CHAP. 41.—THE MYRICA, OTHERWISE CALLED TAMARICA, OR TAMARIX: THREE REMEDIES.

Lenæus says, that the myrice,181 otherwise known as the “erica,” is a similar plant to that of which brooms are made at Ameria.182 He states also that, boiled in wine and then beaten up and applied with honey, it heals carcinomatous sores. I would here remark, parenthetically, that some persons identify it with the tamarice. Be this as it may, it is particularly useful for affections of the spleen, the juice of it being extracted for the purpose, and taken in wine; indeed so marvellous, they say, is its antipathy to this part of the viscera, and this only, that if swine drink from troughs made of this wood,183 they will be found to lose the spleen. Hence it is that30 in maladies of the spleen victuals and drink are given to the patient in vessels made of this wood.

A medical author too, of high repute,184 has asserted that a sprig broken from off this tree, without being allowed to touch the earth or iron, will allay pains in the bowels, if applied to the body, and kept close to it by the clothes and girdle. The common people, as already185 stated, look upon this tree as ill-omened, because it bears no fruit, and is never propagated from seed.

CHAP. 42.—THE BRYA: TWENTY-NINE REMEDIES.

At Corinth, and in the vicinity of that city, the Greeks give the name of “brya”186 to a plant of which there are two varieties; the wild brya,187 which is altogether barren, and the cultivated one.188 This last, when found in Syria and Egypt, produces a ligneous fruit, somewhat larger than a gall-nut, in great abundance, and of an acrid flavour; medical men employ it as a substitute for galls in the compositions known as “antheræ.”189 The wood also, with the blossoms, leaves, and bark of the tree, is used for similar purposes, but their properties are not so strongly developed. The bark is pounded also, and given for190 discharges of blood from the mouth, irregularities of the catamenia, and cœliac affections: beaten up and applied to the part affected, it checks the increase of all kinds of abscesses.

The juice too is extracted from the leaves for similar purposes, and a decoction is made of them in wine; they are applied also to gangrenes, in combination with honey. A decoction of them taken in wine, or the leaves themselves applied with oil of roses and wax, has a sedative effect: it is in this form that they are used for the cure of epinyctis. This decoction is useful also for tooth-ache or ear-ache, and the root31 is employed for similar purposes. The leaves too have this additional use—they are applied with polenta to serpiginous sores. The seed, in doses of one drachma, is administered in drink for injuries inflicted by spiders or the phalangium; and mixed with the grease of poultry, it is applied to boils. It is very efficacious also for stings inflicted by all kinds of serpents, the asp excepted. The decoction used as a fomentation, is curative of jaundice, phthiriasis, and lice; it also arrests the catamenia when in excess. The ashes of the tree are employed for all these purposes; there is a story told, too, that mixed with the urine of an ox, and taken in the food or drink they will act most effectually as an antaphrodisiac. The charcoal too of this wood is quenched in urine of a similar nature, and kept in a shady spot. When it is the intention of the party to rekindle the flames191 of desire, it is set on fire again. The magicians say,192 that the urine of an eunuch, will have a similar effect.

CHAP. 43.—THE BLOOD-RED SHRUB: ONE REMEDY.

Nor is the blood-red193 shrub looked upon as a less ill-omened194 plant than the last. The inner bark of it is used to re-open ulcers which have healed too rapidly.

CHAP. 44.—THE SILER: THREE REMEDIES.

The leaves, of the siler,195 applied to the forehead, allay head-ache; and the seed of it, beaten up with oil, is curative of phthiriasis. Serpents also are greatly in dread of this tree, and it is for this reason that the country-people are in the habit of carrying a walking-stick made of it.

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CHAP. 45.—THE PRIVET: EIGHT REMEDIES.

The ligustrum, or privet, if it is the same tree as the cyprus196 of the East, has also its own medicinal uses in Europe. The juice of it is used for affections of the sinews and joints, and for sudden chills; and the leaves are universally employed, with a sprinkling of salt, for the cure of inveterate sores and of ulcerations of the mouth. The berries are curative of phthiriasis and chafings between the thighs, for which last purpose the leaves also are employed. The berries are made use of for the cure of pip in poultry.197

CHAP. 46.—THE ALDER: ONE REMEDY.

The leaves of the alder, steeped in boiling water, are an undoubted remedy for tumours.

CHAP. 47.—THE SEVERAL VARIETIES OF THE IVY: THIRTY-NINE REMEDIES.

We have already198 enumerated some twenty varieties of the ivy. The medicinal properties of them all are of a doubtful nature; taken in considerable quantities they disturb the mental faculties and purge the brain. Taken internally they are injurious to the sinews,199 but applied topically they are beneficial to those parts of the body. Ivy possesses properties similar200 to those of vinegar. All the varieties of the ivy are of a refrigerative nature, and taken in drink they are diuretic. The softer leaves, applied to the head, allay head-ache, acting more particularly upon the brain and the membrane which envelopes that organ. For this purpose the leaves are bruised with vinegar and oil of roses and then boiled, after which some more rose-oil is added. The leaves too are applied to the forehead33 and the mouth is fomented with a decoction of them, with which the head is rubbed as well. They are useful also for the spleen, the leaves being applied topically, or an infusion of them taken in drink. A decoction of them is used for cold shiverings in fevers, and for pituitous eruptions; or else they are beaten up in wine for the purpose. The umbels too taken in drink or applied externally, are good for affections of the spleen, and an application of them is useful for the liver; employed as a pessary, they act as an emmenagogue.

The juice of the ivy, the white cultivated kind more particularly, cures diseases of the nostrils and removes habitually offensive smells. Injected into the nostrils it purges the head, and with the addition of nitre it is still more efficacious for that purpose. In combination with oil, the juice is injected for suppurations or pains in the ears. It is a corrective also of the deformities of scars. The juice of white ivy, heated with the aid of iron, is still more efficacious for affections of the spleen; it will be found sufficient, however, to take six of the berries in two cyathi of wine. Three berries of the white ivy, taken in oxymel, expel tape-worm, and in the treatment of such cases it is a good plan to apply them to the abdomen as well. Erasistratus prescribes twenty of the golden-coloured berries of the ivy which we have mentioned as the “chrysocarpos,”201 to be beaten up in one sextarius of wine, and he says that if three cyathi of this preparation are taken for dropsy, it will carry off by urine the water that has been secreted beneath the skin. For cases of tooth-ache he recommends five berries of the chrysocarpos to be beaten up in oil of roses, and warmed in a pomegranate-rind, and then injected into the ear opposite the side affected. The berries which yield a juice of a saffron, colour, taken beforehand in drink, are a preservative against crapulence; they are curative also of spitting of blood and of griping pains in the bowels. The whiter umbels of the black ivy, taken in drink, are productive of sterility, in males even. A decoction in wine of any kind of ivy is useful as a liniment for all sorts of ulcers, those even of the malignant kind known as “cacoethes.” The tears202 which distil from the ivy are used34 as a depilatory, and for the cure of phthiriasis. The blossoms too, of all the varieties, taken twice a day in astringent wine, a pinch in three fingers at a time, are curative of dysentery and looseness of the bowels: they are very useful also, applied to burns with wax. The umbels stain the hair black. The juice extracted from the root is taken in vinegar for the cure of wounds inflicted by the phalangium. I find it stated too, that patients suffering from affections of the spleen are cured by drinking from vessels made of the wood of the ivy. The berries are bruised also, and then burnt, and a liniment is prepared from them for burns, the parts being fomented with warm water first.

Incisions are sometimes made in the ivy to obtain the juice, which is used for carious teeth, it having the effect of breaking them, it is said; the adjoining teeth being fortified with wax against the powerful action of the juice. A kind of gum even is said to be found in the ivy, which, it is asserted, is extremely useful, mixed with vinegar, for the teeth.

CHAP. 48.—THE CISTHOS: FIVE REMEDIES.

The Greeks give the name of “cisthos”—a word very similar to “cissos,” the Greek name of the ivy—to a plant which is somewhat larger than thyme, and has a leaf like that of ocimum. There are two varieties of this plant; the male,203 which has a rose-coloured blossom, and the female,204 with a white one. The blossom of either kind, taken in astringent wine, a pinch in three fingers at a time, is good for dysentery and looseness of the bowels. Taken in a similar manner twice a day, it is curative of inveterate ulcers: used with wax, it heals burns, and employed by itself it cures ulcerations of the mouth. It is beneath these plants more particularly that the hypocisthis grows, of which we shall have occasion205 to speak when treating of the herbs.

CHAP. 49.—THE CISSOS ERYTHRANOS: TWO REMEDIES. THE CHAMÆCISSOS: TWO REMEDIES. THE SMILAX: THREE REMEDIES. THE CLEMATIS: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

The plant called “cissos erythranos”206 by the Greeks, is35 similar to the ivy: taken in wine, it is good for sciatica and lumbago. The berries, it is said, are of so powerful a nature as to produce bloody urine. “Chamæcissos”207 also is a name given by them to a creeping ivy which never rises from the surface of the ground: bruised in wine, in doses of one acetabulum, it is curative of affections of the spleen, the leaves of it being applied topically with axle-grease to burns.

The smilax208 also, otherwise known as the “anthophoros,”209 has a strong resemblance to ivy, but the leaves of it are smaller. A chaplet, they say, made of an uneven number of the leaves, is an effectual cure for head-ache. Some writers mention two kinds of smilax, one of which is all but perennial, and is found climbing the trees in umbrageous valleys, the berries hanging in clusters. These berries, they say, are remarkably efficacious for all kinds of poisons; so much so indeed, that infants to whom the juice of them has been habitually administered, are rendered proof against all poisons for the rest of their life. The other kind, it is said, manifests a predilection for cultivated localities, and is often found growing there; but as for medicinal properties, it has none. The former kind, they say, is the smilax, the wood of which we have mentioned210 as emitting a sound, if held close to the ear.

Another plant, similar to this, they call by the name of “clematis:”211 it is found adhering to trees, and has a jointed stem. The leaves of it cleanse leprous212 sores, and the seed acts as an aperient, taken in doses of one acetabulum, in one hemina of water, or in hydromel. A decoction of it is prescribed also for a similar purpose.

CHAP. 50. (11.)—THE REED: NINETEEN REMEDIES.

We have already213 treated of twenty-nine varieties of the reed, and there is none of her productions in which that36 mighty power of Nature,214 which in our successive Books we have described, is more fully displayed than in this. The root of the reed, pounded and applied to the part affected, extracts the prickles of fern from the body, the root of the fern having a similar effect upon splinters of the reed. Among the numerous varieties which we have described, the scented reed215 which is grown in Judæa and Syria as an ingredient in our unguents, boiled with hay-grass or parsley-seed, has a diuretic effect: employed as a pessary, it acts as an emmenagogue. Taken in drink, in doses of two oboli, it is curative of convulsions, diseases of the liver and kidneys, and dropsy. Used as a fumigation, and with resin, more particularly, it is good for coughs, and a decoction of it with myrrh is useful for scaly eruptions and running ulcers. A juice, too, is collected from it which has similar properties to those of elaterium.216

In every kind of reed the part that is the most efficacious is that which lies nearest the root; the joints also are efficacious in a high degree. The ashes of the Cyprian reed known as the “donax,”217 are curative of alopecy and putrid ulcers. The leaves of it are also used for the extraction218 of pointed bodies from the flesh, and for erysipelas and all kinds of gatherings. The common reed, beaten up quite fresh, has also considerable extractive powers, and not in the root only, for the stem, it is said, has a similar property. The root is used also in vinegar as a topical application for sprains and for pains in the spine; and beaten up fresh and taken in wine it acts as an aphrodisiac. The down that grows on reeds, put into the ears, deadens the hearing.219

CHAP. 51.—THE PAPYRUS, AND THE PAPER MADE FROM IT: THREE REMEDIES.

Of a kindred nature with the reed is the papyrus220 of Egypt; a plant that is remarkably useful, in a dried state, for37 dilating and drying up fistulas, and, by its expansive powers, opening an entrance for the necessary medicaments. The ashes221 of paper prepared from the papyrus are reckoned among the caustics: those of the plant, taken in wine, have a narcotic effect. The plant, applied topically in water, removes callosities of the skin.

CHAP. 52.—THE EBONY: FIVE REMEDIES.

The ebony-tree222 does not grow in Egypt even, as we have already stated, and it is not our intention to speak here of the medicinal properties of the vegetable productions of foreign climates. Still, however, the ebony must not be omitted, on account of the marvels related of it. The saw-dust of this wood, it is said, is a sovereign remedy for diseases of the eyes, and the pulp of the wood, rubbed upon a whetstone moistened with raisin wine, dispels all films which impede the sight. The root too, they say, applied with water, is curative of white specks in the eyes, and, with the addition of root of dracunculus,223 in equal proportions, and of honey, of cough. Medical men reckon ebony also in the number of the caustics.224

CHAP. 53.—THE RHODODENDRON: ONE REMEDY.

The rhododendron225 has not so much as found a Latin name among us, its other names being “rhododaphne”226 and “nerium.” It is a marvellous fact, but the leaves227 of this plant are poisonous to quadrupeds; while for man, if taken in wine with rue, they are an effectual preservative against the venom of serpents. Sheep too, and goats, it is said, if they drink water in which the leaves have been steeped, will die immediately.

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CHAP. 54.—THE RHUS OR SUMACH-TREE; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: EIGHT REMEDIES. STOMATICE.

Nor yet has the tree called “rhus”228 any Latin name, although it is employed in numerous ways. Under this name are comprehended a wild plant,229 with leaves like those of myrtle, and a short stem, which is good as an expellent of tapeworm; and the shrub230 which is known as the “currier’s plant,” of a reddish colour, a cubit in height, and about the thickness of one’s finger, the leaves of which are dried and used, like pomegranate rind, for curing leather.

Medical men also employ the leaves of these plants for the treatment of contusions, and for the cure of cœliac affections, and of ulcers of the rectum and phagedænic sores; for all which, purposes they are pounded with honey and applied with vinegar. A decoction of them is injected for suppurations of the ears. With the branches, boiled, a stomatice231 is also made, which is used for the same purposes as that prepared from mulberries;232 it is more efficacious, however, mixed with alum. This preparation is applied also to reduce the swelling in dropsy.

CHAP. 55.—RHUS ERYTHROS: NINE REMEDIES.

Rhus233 erythros is the name given to the seed of this shrub. It possesses properties of an astringent and cooling nature, and is used as a seasoning234 for provisions, in place of salt. It has a laxative effect, and, used in conjunction with silphium, it gives a finer flavour to meat of all kinds. Mixed with honey, it is curative of running ulcers, pimples on the tongue,235 contusions, bruises, and excoriations. It causes ulcers of the head to cicatrize with the greatest rapidity; and taken with the food, it arrests excessive menstruation.

CHAP. 56.—THE ERYTHRODANUS: ELEVEN REMEDIES.

The erythrodanus,236 by some called “ereuthodanus,” and39 in Latin “rubia,” is quite a different plant. It is used for dyeing wool, and skins for leather are prepared with it. Used medicinally, it is a diuretic, and, employed with hydromel, it is curative of jaundice.237 Employed topically with vinegar, it heals lichens; and a potion is prepared from it for sciatica and paralysis, the patient while using it taking a bath daily. The root of it and the seed are effectual as an emmenagogue; they act astringently upon the bowels, and disperse gatherings. The branches, together with the leaves, are applied to wounds inflicted by serpents; the leaves too have the property of staining the hair.238 I find it stated by some writers that this shrub is curative of jaundice, even if worn as an amulet only, and looked at every now and then.

CHAP. 57.—THE ALYSSON: TWO REMEDIES.

The plant known as the “alysson”239 differs only from the preceding one in the leaves and branches, which are more diminutive. It receives its name from the fact, that, taken in vinegar and worn as an amulet, it prevents persons bitten by dogs from becoming rabid. It is a marvellous fact too, that is added, to the effect that the person bitten has only to look at this shrub, and the flow of corrupt matter from the wound will be staunched immediately.

CHAP. 58.—THE RADICULA OR STRUTHION: THIRTEEN REMEDIES. THE APOCYNUM: TWO OBSERVATIONS UPON IT.

The radicula, which we have already240 mentioned as being called “struthion” by the Greeks, is used by dyers for preparing wool. A decoction of it, taken internally, is curative of jaundice and diseases of the chest. It is diuretic also, and laxative, and acts as a detergent upon the uterus, for which reasons medical men have given it the name of the “golden40 beverage.”241 Taken with honey, it is a sovereign remedy for cough; and it is used for hardness of breathing, in doses of a spoonful. Applied with polenta and vinegar to the parts affected, it removes leprous sores. Used with panax and root of the caper-plant, it breaks and expels calculi, and a decoction of it in wine with barley-meal disperses inflamed tumours. It is used as an ingredient in emollient plasters and eye-salves for the sight, and is found to be one of the most useful sternutories known; it is good too for the liver and the spleen. Taken in hydromel, in doses of one denarius, it effects the cure of asthma, as also of pleurisy and all pains in the sides.

The apocynum242 is a shrub with leaves like those of ivy, but softer, and not so long in the stalk, and the seed of it is pointed and downy, with a division running down it, and a very powerful smell. Given in their food with water, the seed is poisonous243 to dogs and all other quadrupeds.

CHAP. 59.—ROSEMARY: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

There are two kinds of rosemary; one of which is barren, and the other has a stem with a resinous seed, known as “cachrys.” The leaves have the odour of frankincense.244 The root, applied fresh, effects the cure of wounds, prolapsus of the rectum, condylomata, and piles. The juice of the plant, as well as of the root, is curative of jaundice, and such diseases as require detergents; it is useful also for the sight. The seed is given in drink for inveterate diseases of the chest, and, with wine and pepper, for affections of the uterus; it acts also as an emmenagogue, and is used with meal of darnel as a liniment for gout. It acts also as a detergent upon freckles, and is used as an application in diseases which require calorifics or sudorifics, and for convulsions. The plant itself, or else the root, taken in wine, increases the milk, and the leaves and stem of the plant are applied with vinegar to scrofulous sores; used with honey, they are very useful for cough.

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CHAP. 60.—THE SEED CALLED CACHRYS.

As already245 stated, there are several kinds of cachrys;246 but that which is produced by rosemary above-mentioned, when rubbed, is found to be of a resinous nature. It neutralizes poisons and the venom of animals, that of serpents excepted. It acts also as a sudorific, dispels griping pains in the bowels, and increases the milk in nursing women.

CHAP. 61.—THE HERB SAVIN: SEVEN REMEDIES.

Of the herb savin, known as “brathy” by the Greeks,247 there are two varieties, one of them248 with a leaf like that of the tamarix, the other249 with that of the cypress; for which reason some persons have called this last the Cretan cypress. It is used by many for fumigations, as a substitute for frankincense;250 employed in medicine, it is said to have the same effect as cinnamon, if taken in doses twice as large. It reduces gatherings, disperses corrosive sores, acts as a detergent upon ulcers, and, used as a pessary and as a fumigation, brings away the dead fœtus.251 It is employed as a topical application for erysipelas and carbuncles, and, taken with honey in wine, is curative of jaundice.

The smoke of this plant, they say, cures the pip in all kinds of poultry.252

CHAP. 62.—SELAGO: TWO REMEDIES.

Similar to savin is the herb known as “selago.”253 Care is42 taken to gather it without the use of iron, the right hand being passed for the purpose through the left sleeve of the tunic, as though the gatherer were in the act of committing a theft.254 The clothing too must be white, the feet bare and washed clean, and a sacrifice of bread and wine must be made before gathering it: it is carried also in a new napkin. The Druids of Gaul have pretended that this plant should be carried about the person as a preservative against accidents of all kinds, and that the smoke of it is extremely good for all maladies of the eyes.

CHAP. 63.—SAMOLUS: TWO REMEDIES.

The Druids, also, have given the name of “samolus”255 to a certain plant which grows in humid localities. This too, they say, must be gathered fasting with the left hand, as a preservative against the maladies to which swine and cattle are subject. The person, too, who gathers it must be careful not to look behind him, nor must it be laid anywhere but in the troughs from which the cattle drink.

CHAP. 64.—GUM: ELEVEN REMEDIES.

We have already256 spoken of the different kinds of gum; the better sort of each kind will be found the most effective. Gum is bad for the teeth; it tends to make the blood coagulate, and is consequently good for discharges257 of blood from the mouth. It is useful for burns,258 but is bad for diseases of the trachea. It exercises a diuretic effect, and tends to neutralize all acridities, being astringent in other respects. The gum of the bitter-almond tree, which has the most25943 astringent properties of them all, is calorific also in its effects. Still, however, the gum of the plum, cherry, and vine is greatly preferred: all which kinds, applied topically, are productive of astringent and desiccative effects, and, used with vinegar, heal lichens upon infants. Taken in must, in doses of four oboli, they are good for inveterate coughs.

It is generally thought that gum, taken in raisin wine, improves the complexion,260 sharpens the appetite, and is good for calculi261 in the bladder. It is particularly useful too for wounds and affections of the eyes.

CHAP. 65. (12.)—THE EGYPTIAN OR ARABIAN THORN: FOUR REMEDIES.

When speaking262 of the perfumes, we have descanted upon the merits of the Egyptian or Arabian thorn. This, too, is of an astringent nature, and acts as a desiccative upon fluxes of all kinds, discharges of blood from the mouth, and excessive menstruation; for all which purposes the root is still more efficacious.

CHAP. 66.—THE WHITE THORN: TWO REMEDIES. THE ACANTHION; ONE REMEDY.

The seed of the white thorn is useful as a remedy for the stings of scorpions, and a chaplet made of it, is good for headache. Similar to this plant is that known to the Greeks as the “acanthion;”263 though it is much smaller in the leaf, which is pointed at the extremity, and covered with a down like a cobweb in appearance. This downy substance is gathered in the East, and certain textures are made of it similar to those of silk. An infusion of the leaves or root of this plant is taken for the cure of opisthotony.

CHAP. 67.—GUM ACACIA: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

Gum acacia is produced also from the white and black264 thorns of Egypt,44 and from a green thorn as well; the produce, however, of the former trees is by far the best. There is also a similar gum found in Galatia, but of very inferior quality, the produce of a more thorny tree265 than those last mentioned. The seed of all these trees resembles266 the lentil in appearance, only that it is smaller, as well as the pod which contains it: it is gathered in autumn, before which period it would be too powerful in its effects. The juice is left to thicken in the pods, which are steeped in rain-water for the purpose, and then pounded in a mortar; after which, the juice is extracted by means of presses. It is then dried in the mortars in the sun, and when dry is divided into tablets. A similar juice is extracted from the leaves, but it is by no means267 so useful as the other. The seed is used also, as a substitute for nut-galls in curing leather.268

The juice extracted from the leaves, as also the extremely black juice of the Galatian269 acacia, is held in no esteem. The same too with that of a deep red colour. The gum which is of a purple, or of an ashy, grey colour, and which dissolves with the greatest rapidity, possesses the most astringent and cooling qualities of them all, and is more particularly useful as an ingredient in compositions for the eyes. When required for these purposes, the tablets are steeped in water by some, while some again scorch them, and others reduce them to ashes. They are useful for dyeing the hair, and for the cure of erysipelas, serpiginous sores, ulcerations of the humid parts of the body, gatherings, contusions of the joints, chilblains, and hangnails. They are good also for cases of excessive menstruation, procidence of the uterus and rectum, affections of the eyes, and ulcerations of the generative organs270 and mouth.

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CHAP. 68. (13.)—ASPALATHOS: ONE REMEDY.

The common271 thorn too, with which the fulling coppers are filled is employed for the same purposes as the radicula.272 In the provinces of Spain it is commonly employed as an ingredient in perfumes and unguents, under the name of “aspalathos.” There is no doubt, however, that there is also a wild thorn of the same name in the East, as already mentioned,273 of a white colour, and the size of an ordinary tree.

CHAP. 69.—THE ERYSISCEPTRUM, ADIPSATHEON, OR DIAXYLON: EIGHT REMEDIES.

There is also found in the islands of Nisyros and of Rhodes, a shrub of smaller size, but full as thorny, known by some as the erysisceptrum,274 by others as the adipsatheon, and by the Syrians as the diaxylon. The best kind is that which is the least275 ferulaceous in the stem, and which is of a red colour, or inclining to purple, when the bark is removed. It is found growing in many places, but is not everywhere odoriferous. We have already276 stated, how remarkably sweet the odour of it is, when the rainbow has been extended over it.

This plant cures fetid ulcers of the mouth, polypus277 of the nose, ulcerations or carbuncles of the generative organs, and chaps; taken in drink it acts as a carminative, and is curative of strangury. The bark is good for patients troubled with discharges of blood, and a decoction of it acts astringently on the bowels. It is generally thought that the wild plant is productive of the same effects.

46

CHAP. 70.—THE THORN CALLED APPENDIX: TWO REMEDIES. THE PYRACANTHA: ONE REMEDY.

There is a thorn also known as the appendix;278 that name being given to the red berries which hang from its branches. These berries eaten by themselves, raw, or else dried and boiled in wine, arrest looseness of the bowels and dispel griping pains in the stomach. The berries of the pyracantha279 are taken in drink for wounds inflicted by serpents.

CHAP. 71.—THE PALIURUS: TEN REMEDIES.

The paliurus,280 too, is a kind of thorn. The seed of it, known by the people of Africa as “zura,” is extremely efficacious for the sting of the scorpion, as also for urinary calculi and cough. The leaves are of an astringent nature, and the root disperses inflamed tumours, gatherings, and abscesses; taken in drink it is diuretic in its effects. A decoction of it in wine arrests diarrhœa, and neutralizes the venom of serpents: the root more particularly is administered in wine.

CHAP. 72.—THE AGRIFOLIA. THE AQUIFOLIA: ONE REMEDY. THE YEW: ONE PROPERTY BELONGING TO IT.

The agrifolia,281 pounded, with the addition of salt, is good for diseases of the joints, and the berries are used in cases of excessive menstruation, cœliac affections, dysentery, and cholera; taken in wine, they act astringently upon the bowels. A decoction of the root, applied externally, extracts foreign bodies from the flesh, and is remarkably useful for sprains and tumours.

The tree called “aquifolia,” planted282 in a town or country-house47 is a preservative against sorceries and spells. The blossom of it, according to Pythagoras, congeals283 water, and a staff284 made of the wood, if, when thrown at any animal, from want of strength in the party throwing it, it falls short of the mark will roll back again285 towards the thrower, of its own accord—so remarkable are the properties of this tree. The smoke of the yew kills286 rats and mice.

CHAP. 73. THE BRAMBLE: FIFTY-ONE REMEDIES.

Nor yet has Nature destined the bramble287 to be only an annoyance to mankind, for she has bestowed upon it mulberries of its own,288 or, in other words, a nutritive aliment even for mankind. These berries are of a desiccative, astringent, nature,289 and are extremely useful for maladies of the gums, tonsillary glands, and generative organs. They neutralize also the venom of those most deadly of serpents, the hæmorrhoïs290 and the prester;291 and the flowers or fruit will heal wounds inflicted by scorpions, without any danger of abscesses forming. The shoots of the bramble have a diuretic effect: and the more tender ones are pounded; and the juice extracted and then dried in the sun till it has attained the consistency of honey, being considered a most excellent remedy, taken in drink or applied externally, for maladies of the mouth and eyes, discharges of blood from the mouth, quinzy, affections of the48 uterus, diseases of the rectum, and cœliac affections. The leaves, chewed, are good for diseases of the mouth, and a topical application is made of them for running ulcers and other maladies of the head. In the cardiac disease they are similarly applied to the left breast by themselves. They are applied topically also for pains in the stomach and for procidence of the eyes. The juice of them is used as an injection for the ears, and, in combination with cerate of roses, it heals condylomata.

A decoction of the young shoots in wine is an instantaneous remedy for diseases of the uvula; and eaten by themselves like cymæ,292 or boiled in astringent wine, they strengthen loose teeth. They arrest fluxes of the bowels also, and discharges of blood, and are very useful for dysentery. Dried in the shade and then burnt, the ashes of them are curative of procidence of the uvula. The leaves too, dried and pounded, are very useful, it is said, for ulcers upon beasts of burden. The berries produced by this plant would seem to furnish a stomatice293 superior even to that prepared from the cultivated mulberry. Under this form, or else only with hypocisthis294 and honey, the berries are administered for cholera, the cardiac disease, and wounds inflicted by spiders.295

Among the medicaments known as “styptics,”296 there is none that is more efficacious than a decoction of the root of the bramble in wine, boiled down to one third. Ulcerations of the mouth and rectum are bathed with it, and fomentations of it are used for a similar purpose; indeed, it is so remarkably powerful in its effects, that the very sponges which are used become as hard as a stone.297

CHAP. 74. THE CYNOSBATOS: THREE REMEDIES.

There is another kind of bramble also,298 which bears a rose. It produces a round excrescence,299 similar to a chesnut in49 appearance, which is remarkably valuable as a remedy for calculus. This is quite a different production from the “cynorrhoda,” which we shall have occasion to speak of in the succeeding Book.300

(14.) The cynosbatos301 is by some called “cynapanxis,”302 and by others “neurospastos;”303 the leaf resembles the human footstep in shape. It bears also a black grape, in the berries of which there is a nerve, to which it is indebted for its name of “neurospastos.” It is quite a different plant from the capparis304 or caper, to which medical men have also given the name of “cynosbatos.” The clusters305 of it, pickled in vinegar, are eaten as a remedy for diseases of the spleen, and flatulency: and the string found in the berries, chewed with Chian mastich, cleanses the mouth.

The rose306 of the bramble, mixed with axle-grease, is curative of alopecy: and the bramble-berries themselves, combined with oil of omphacium,307 stain308 the hair. The blossom of the bramble is gathered at harvest, and the white blossom, taken in wine, is an excellent remedy for pleurisy and cœliac affections. The root, boiled down to one third, arrests looseness of the bowels and hæmorrhage, and a decoction of it, used as a gargle, is good for the teeth: the juice too is employed as a fomentation for ulcers of the rectum and generative organs. The ashes of the root are curative of relaxations of the uvula.

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CHAP. 75.—THE IDÆAN BRAMBLE.

The Idæan bramble309 is so called from the fact that it is the only plant of the kind found growing upon Mount Ida. It is of a more delicate nature than the others, and smaller; the canes too are thinner, and not310 so prickly: it mostly grows beneath the shade of trees. The blossom of it, mixed with honey, is applied topically for defluxions of the eyes, and is administered in water for erysipelas and affections of the stomach.311 In other respects, it has properties similar to those of the plants312 already mentioned.

CHAP. 76.—THE RHAMNOS; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: FIVE REMEDIES.

Among the several kinds313 of bramble is reckoned the plant called “rhamnos” by the Greeks. One variety of it is whiter314 than the other, and has a more shrublike appearance, throwing out branches armed with straight thorns, and not hooked, like those of the other kinds; the leaves too are larger. The other kind,315 which is found growing wild, is of a more swarthy hue, in some measure inclining to red; it bears too a sort316 of pod. With the root of it boiled in water a medicament is made, known as “lycium:”317 the seed of it is useful for bringing away the after-birth. The white kind, however, is of a more astringent and cooling nature, and better adapted for the treatment of gatherings and wounds. The leaves of both kinds, either raw or boiled, are employed topically with oil.

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CHAP. 77.—LYCIUM: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

The best lycium,318 they say, is that prepared from the thorn of that name, known also as the “Chironian pyxacanthus,”319 and mentioned by us when speaking of the trees of India, the lycium of those regions being generally looked upon as by far the best. The branches and roots, which are intensely bitter,320 are first pounded and then boiled for three days in a copper vessel, after which the woody parts are removed, and the decoction is boiled again, till it has attained the consistency of honey. It is adulterated with various bitter extracts,321 as also with amurca of olive oil and ox-gall. The froth or flower322 of this decoction is used as an ingredient in compositions for the eyes: and the other part of it is employed as a cosmetic for the face, and for the cure of itch-scabs, corroding sores in the corners of the eyes, inveterate fluxes, and suppurations of the ears. It is useful too for diseases of the tonsillary glands and gums, for coughs, and for discharges of blood from the mouth, being generally taken in pieces the size of a bean. For the cure of discharges from wounds, it is applied to the part affected; and it is similarly used for chaps, ulcerations of the genitals, excoriations, ulcers, whether putrid, serpiginous, or of recent date, hard excrescences323 of the nostrils, and suppurations. It is taken also by females, in milk, for the purpose of arresting the catamenia when in excess.

The Indian lycium is distinguished from the other kinds by its colour, the lumps being black outside, and, when broken, red within, though they turn black very quickly.324 It is bitter and remarkably astringent, and is employed for all the purposes above mentioned, diseases of the generative organs in particular.

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CHAP. 78.—SARCOCOLLA: TWO REMEDIES.

Some authors are of opinion that sarcocolla325 is a tearlike gum which exudes from a kind of thorn;326 it is similar to powdered incense in appearance, has a sweet flavour with a slight degree of bitter, and is of the consistency of gum. Pounded in wine, it arrests defluxions, and is used as a topical application for infants more particularly. This substance too becomes black327 when old; the whiter it is, the more highly it is esteemed.

CHAP. 79.—OPORICE: TWO REMEDIES.

We are indebted too to the medicinal properties of trees for one very celebrated medicament, known as “oporice.”328 This preparation is used for dysentery and various affections of the stomach; the following being the method of preparing it. Five quinces, seeds and all, with the same number of pomegranates, one sextarius of sorbs, a similar quantity of Syrian rhus,329 and half an ounce of saffron, are boiled in one congius of white grape-juice at a slow heat, till the whole mixture is reduced to the consistency of honey.

CHAP. 80.—THE TRIXAGO, CHAMÆDRYS, CHAMÆDROPS, OR TEUCRIA: SIXTEEN REMEDIES.

We shall now add to these plants, certain vegetable productions to which the Greeks have given names belonging to trees, so that it would be doubtful whether they themselves are not trees as well.

(15.) The chamædrys330 is the same plant that in Latin is called “trixago;” some persons, however, call it “chamædrops,” and others “teucria.” The leaves of it are the size53 of those of mint, but in their colour and indentations they resemble those of the oak. According to some, the leaves are serrated, and it was these, they say, that first suggested the idea of the saw:331 the flower of it borders closely upon purple. This plant is gathered in rough craggy localities, when it is replete with juice; and, whether taken332 internally or applied topically, it is extremely efficacious for the stings of venomous serpents, diseases of the stomach, inveterate coughs, collections of phlegm in the throat, ruptures, convulsions, and pains in the sides. It diminishes the volume of the spleen, and acts as a diuretic and emmenagogue; for which reasons it is very useful in incipient dropsy, the usual dose being a handful of the sprigs boiled down to one third in three heminæ of water. Lozenges too are made of it for the above-named purposes, by bruising it in water. In combination with honey, it heals abscesses and inveterate or sordid ulcers: a wine333 too is prepared from it for diseases of the chest. The juice of the leaves, mixed with oil, disperses films on the eyes; it is taken also, in vinegar, for diseases of the spleen; employed as a friction, it is of a warming nature.

CHAP. 81.—THE CHAMÆDAPHNE: FIVE REMEDIES.

The chamædaphne334 consists of a single diminutive stem, about a cubit in height, the limbs of it being smaller than those of the laurel. These leaves * * * The seed, which is of a red colour, and attached to the leaves, is applied fresh for head-ache, is of a cooling nature for burning heats, and is taken for griping pains in the bowels, with wine. The juice of this plant, taken in wine, acts as an emmenagogue and diuretic; and applied as a pessary in wool, it facilitates laborious deliveries.

CHAP. 82.—THE CHAMELÆA: SIX REMEDIES.

The leaves of the chamelæa335 resemble those of the olive; they are bitter, however, and odoriferous. This plant is found54 growing in craggy localities, and never exceeds a palm in height. It is of a purgative336 nature, and carries off phlegm and bile; for which purposes, the leaves are boiled with twice the quantity of wormwood, and the decoction taken with honey. The leaves, applied to ulcers, have a detergent effect. It is said, that if a person gathers it before sunrise, taking care to mention that he is gathering it for the cure of white specks337 in the eyes, and then wears it as an amulet, it will effect a cure: as also that, gathered in any way, it is beneficial for the eyes of beasts of burden and cattle.

CHAP. 83.—THE CHAMÆSYCE: EIGHT REMEDIES.

The chamæsyce338 has leaves similar to those of the lentil, and lying close to the ground; it is found growing in dry, rocky, localities. A decoction of it in wine is remarkably useful as a liniment for improving339 the sight, and for dispersing cataract, cicatrizations, films, and cloudiness of the eyes. Applied in a pledget of linen, as a pessary, it allays pains in the uterus; and used topically340 it removes warts and excrescences of all kinds. It is very useful also for hardness of breathing.

CHAP. 84.—THE CHAMÆCISSOS: ONE REMEDY.

The chamæcissos341 has ears like342 those of wheat, with numerous leaves, and small branches, about five in number. When in blossom it might almost be taken for the white violet: the root of it is diminutive. For sciatica, the leaves of it are taken, seven days consecutively, in doses of three oboli, in two cyathi of wine: this is a very bitter potion, however.

CHAP. 85.—THE CHAMÆLEUCE, FARFARUM, OR FARFUGIUM: ONE REMEDY.

The chamæleuce343 is known among us as the “farfarum” or “farfugium:” it grows on the banks of rivers, and has a leaf55 like that of the poplar, only larger. The root of it is burnt upon cypress charcoal, and, by the aid of a funnel,344 the smoke inhaled, in cases of inveterate cough.

CHAP. 86.—THE CHAMÆPEUCE: FIVE REMEDIES. THE CHAMÆCYPARISSOS: TWO REMEDIES. THE AMPELOPRASON; SIX REMEDIES. THE STACHYS: ONE REMEDY.

The chamæpeuce345 has a leaf which resembles that of the larch, and is useful more particularly for lumbago and pains in the back. The chamæcyparissos346 is a herb which, taken in wine, counteracts the venom of serpents of all kinds, and of scorpions.

The ampeloprason347 is found growing in vineyards; it has leaves like those of the leek, and produces offensive eructations. It is highly efficacious for the stings of serpents, and acts as an emmenagogue and diuretic. Taken in drink or applied externally, it arrests discharges of blood from the generative organs. It is prescribed also for females after delivery, and is used for bites inflicted by dogs.

The plant known as “stachys” bears a strong resemblance also to a leek,348 but the leaves of it are longer and more numerous. It has an agreeable smell, and in colour inclines to yellow. It promotes menstruation.

CHAP. 87.—THE CLINOPODION, CLEONICION, ZOPYRON, OR OCIMOÏDES: THREE REMEDIES.

The clinopodion,349 cleonicion, zopyron, or ocimoïdes, resembles56 wild thyme in appearance. The stem of it is tough and ligneous, and it is a palm in height. It grows in stony soils, and the leaves are trained regularly around the stem,350 which resembles a bed-post in appearance. This plant is taken in drink, for convulsions, ruptures, strangury, and wounds inflicted by serpents: a decoction is also made of it, and the juice is similarly employed.

CHAP. 88.—THE CLEMATIS CENTUNCULUS; THREE REMEDIES.

We shall now have to annex some plants, of a marvellous nature no doubt, but not so well known, reserving those of a higher reputation for the succeeding Books.

Our people give the name of “centunculus,”351 to a creeping plant that grows in the fields, the leaves of which bear a strong resemblance to the hoods attached to our cloaks. By the Greeks it is known as the “clematis.” Taken in astringent wine it is wonderfully effectual for arresting352 diarrhœa: beaten up, in doses of one denarius, in five cyathi of oxymel or of warm water, it arrests hæmorrhage, and facilitates the after-birth.

CHAP. 89.—THE CLEMATIS ECHITES, OR LAGINE.

The Greeks have other varieties also of the clematis, one of which is known as “echites”353 or “lagine,” and by some as the “little scammony.” Its stems are about two feet in height, and covered with leaves: in general appearance it is not unlike scammony, were it not that the leaves are darker and more diminutive; it is found growing in vineyards and cultivated soils. It is eaten as a vegetable, with oil and salt, and acts as a laxative upon the bowels. It is taken354 also for dysentery,57 with linseed, in astringent wine. The leaves of this plant are applied with polenta for defluxions of the eyes, the part affected being first covered with a pledget of wet linen. Applied to scrofulous sores, they cause them to suppurate, and if some axle-grease is then applied, a perfect cure will be effected. They are applied also to piles, with green oil, and are good for phthisis, in combination with honey. Taken with the food, they increase the milk in nursing women, and, rubbed upon the heads of infants, they promote the rapid growth of the hair. Eaten with vinegar, they act as an aphrodisiac.

CHAP. 90.—THE EGYPTIAN CLEMATIS, DAPHNOÏDES, OR POLYGONOÏDES: TWO REMEDIES.

There is another kind also, known as the “Egyptian”355 clematis, otherwise as “daphnoïdes”356 or “polygonoïdes:” it has a leaf like that of the laurel, and is long and slender. Taken in vinegar, it is very useful for the stings of serpents, that of the asp in particular.

CHAP. 91. (16.)—DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON THE DRACONTIUM.

It is Egypt more particularly that produces the clematis known as the “aron,” of which we have already357 made some mention when speaking of the bulbs. Respecting this plant and the dracontium, there have been considerable differences of opinion. Some writers, indeed, have maintained that they are identical, and Glaucias has made the only distinction between them in reference to the place of their growth, assuming that the dracontium is nothing else than the aron in a wild state. Some persons, again, have called the root “aron,” and the stem of the plant “dracontium:” but if the dracontium is the same as the one known to us as the “dracunculus,”358 it is a different plant altogether; for while the aron has a broad, black, rounded root, and considerably larger,—large enough, indeed, to fill the hand,—the dracunculus has a58 reddish root of a serpentine form, to which, in fact, it owes its name.359

CHAP. 92.—THE ARON: THIRTEEN REMEDIES.

The Greeks themselves, in fact, have established an immense difference between these two plants, in attributing to the seed of the dracunculus certain hot, pungent properties, and a fetid odour360 so remarkably powerful as to be productive of abortion,361 while upon the aron, on the other hand, they have bestowed marvellous encomiums. As an article of food, however, they give the preference to the female plant, the male plant being of a harder nature, and more difficult to cook. It carries off,362 they say, all vicious humours from the chest, and powdered and taken in the form either of a potion or of an electuary, it acts as a diuretic and emmenagogue. Powdered and taken in oxymel, it is good for the stomach; and we find it stated that it is administered in ewe’s milk for ulcerations of the intestines, and is sometimes cooked on hot ashes and given in oil for a cough. Some persons, again, are in the habit of boiling it in milk and administering the decoction; and it has been used also in a boiled state as a topical application for defluxions of the eyes, contusions, and affections of the tonsillary glands. * * * *363 prescribes it with oil, as an injection for piles, and recommends it as a liniment, with honey, for freckles.

Cleophantus has greatly extolled this plant as an antidote for poisons, and for the treatment of pleurisy and peripneumony, prepared the same way as for coughs. The seed too, pounded with olive oil or oil of roses, is used as an injection for pains59 in the ears. Dieuches prescribes it, mixed in bread364 with meal, for the cure of coughs, asthma, hardness of breathing, and purulent expectorations. Diodotus recommends it, in combination with honey, as an electuary for phthisis and diseases of the lungs, and as a topical application even for fractured bones. Applied to the sexual parts, it facilitates delivery in all kinds of animals; and the juice extracted from the root, in combination with Attic honey, disperses films upon the eyes, and diseases of the stomach. A decoction of it with honey is curative of cough; and the juice is a marvellous remedy for ulcers of every description, whether phagedænic, carcinomatous, or serpiginous, and for polypus of the nostrils. The leaves, boiled in wine and oil, are good for burns, and, taken with salt and vinegar, are strongly purgative; boiled with honey, they are useful also for sprains, and used either fresh or dried, with salt, for gout in the joints.

Hippocrates has prescribed the leaves, either fresh or dried, with honey, as a topical application for abscesses. Two drachmæ of the seed or root, in two cyathi of wine, are a sufficient dose to act as an emmenagogue, and a similar quantity will have the effect of bringing away the after-birth, in cases where it is retarded.365 Hippocrates used to apply the root also, for the purpose. They say too, that in times of pestilence the employment of aron as an article of food is very beneficial. It dispels the fumes of wine; and the smoke of it burnt drives away serpents,366 the asp in particular, or else stupefies them to such a degree as to reduce them to a state of torpor. These reptiles also will fly at the approach of persons whose bodies have been rubbed with a preparation of aron with oil of laurel: hence it is generally thought a good plan to administer it in red wine to persons who have been stung by serpents. Cheese, it is said, keeps remarkably well, wrapped in leaves of this plant.

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CHAP. 93.—THE DRACUNCULUS; TWO REMEDIES.

The plant which I have spoken of367 as the dracunculus, is taken out of the ground just when the barley is ripening, and at the moon’s increase. It is quite sufficient to have this plant about one, to be safe from all serpents; and it is said, that an infusion of the larger kind taken in drink, is very useful for persons who have been stung by those reptiles: it is stated also that it arrests the catamenia when in excess, due care being taken not to let iron touch it. The juice of it too is very useful for pains in the ears.

As to the plant known to the Greeks by the name of “dracontion,” I have368 had it pointed out to me under three different forms; the first369 having the leaves of the beet, with a certain proportion of stem, and a purple flower, and bearing a strong resemblance to the aron. Other persons, again, have described it as a plant370 with a long root, embossed to all appearance and full of knots, and consisting of three stems in all; the same parties have recommended a decoction of the leaves in vinegar, as curative of stings inflicted by serpents. The third371 plant that has been pointed out to me has a leaf larger than that of the cornel, and a root resembling that of the reed. This root, I have been assured, has as many knots on it as the plant is years old, the leaves, too, being as many in number. The plant is recommended also for the stings of serpents, administered either in wine or in water.

CHAP. 94.—THE ARISAROS: THREE REMEDIES.

There is a plant also called the “arisaros,”372 which grows in Egypt, and is similar to the aron in appearance, only that it is more diminutive, and has smaller leaves; the root too is smaller, though fully as large as a good-sized olive. The white arisaros throws out two stems, the other kind only one. They are curative, both of them, of running ulcers and burns, and are used as an injection for fistulas. The leaves, boiled in61 water, and then beaten up with the addition of oil of roses, arrest the growth of corrosive ulcers. But there is one very marvellous fact connected with this plant—it is quite sufficient to touch the sexual parts of any female animal with it to cause its instantaneous death.

CHAP. 95.—THE MILLEFOLIUM OR MYRIOPHYLLON; SEVEN REMEDIES.

The myriophyllon,373 by our people known as the “millefolium” has a tender stem, somewhat similar to fennel-giant in appearance, with vast numbers of leaves, to which circumstance it is indebted for its name. It grows in marshy localities, and is remarkably useful for the treatment of wounds. It is taken in vinegar for strangury, affections of the bladder, asthma, and falls with violence; it is extremely efficacious also for tooth-ache.

In Etruria, the same name is given to a small meadow-plant,374 provided with leaves at the sides, like hairs, and particularly useful for wounds. The people of that country say that, applied with axle-grease, it will knit together and unite the tendons of oxen, when they have been accidentally severed by the plough-share.375

CHAP. 96.—THE PSEUDOBUNION: FOUR REMEDIES.

The pseudobunion376 has the leaves of the turnip, and grows in a shrub-like form, about a palm in height; the most esteemed being that of Crete. For gripings of the bowels, strangury, and pains of the thoracic organs, some five or six sprigs of it are administered in drink.

CHAP. 97.—THE MYRRHIS, MYRIZA, OR MYRRHA: SEVEN REMEDIES.

The myrrhis,377 otherwise known as the myriza or myrrha,62 bears a strong resemblance to hemlock in the stem, leaves, and blossom, only that it is smaller and more slender: it is by no means unpleasant to the palate. Taken with wine, it acts as an emmenagogue, and facilitates parturition: they say too that in times of pestilence it is very wholesome, taken in drink. It is very useful also for phthisis, administered in broth. It sharpens the appetite, and neutralizes the venom of the phalangium. The juice of this plant, after it has been macerated some three days in water, is curative of ulcers of the face and head.

CHAP. 98.—THE ONOBRYCHIS: THREE REMEDIES.

The onobrychis378 has leaves like those of the lentil, only somewhat379 longer; the blossom is red, and the root small and slender. It is found growing in the vicinity of springs. Dried and reduced to powder, and sprinkled in white wine, it is curative of strangury, and arrests looseness of the bowels. The juice of it, used as a friction with oil, acts as a sudorific.

CHAP. 99. (17.)—CORACESTA AND CALLICIA.

While I am treating of plants of a marvellous nature, I am induced to make some mention of certain magical plants—for what, in fact, can there be more marvellous than they? The first who descanted upon this subject in our part of the world were Pythagoras and Democritus, who have adopted the accounts given by the Magi. Coracesta380 and callicia, according to Pythagoras, are plants which congeal381 water. I find no mention made of them, however, by any other author, and he himself gives no further particulars relative to them.

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CHAP. 100.—THE MINSAS OR CORINTHIA: ONE REMEDY.

Pythagoras gives the name of minsas382 too, or corinthia, to another plant; a decoction of which, used as a fomentation, will effect an instantaneous cure of stings inflicted by serpents, according to him. He adds too, that if this decoction is poured upon the grass, and a person happens to tread upon it, or if the body should chance to be sprinkled with it, the result is fatal beyond all remedy; so monstrously malignant are the venomous proporties of this plant, except as neutralizing other kinds of poison.

CHAP. 101.—THE APROXIS: SIX REMEDIES.

Pythagoras makes mention, too, of a plant called aproxis, the root of which takes fire383 at a distance, like naphtha, of which we have made some mention, when speaking384 of the marvellous productions of the earth. He says too, that if the human body happens to be attacked by any disease while the cabbage385 is in blossom, the person, although he may have been perfectly cured, will be sensible of a recurrence of the symptoms, every time that plant comes into blossom; a peculiarity which he attributes to it in common with wheat, hemlock, and the violet.

I am not ignorant, however, that the work of his from which I have just quoted is ascribed to the physician Cleemporus by some, though antiquity and the unbroken current of tradition concur in claiming it for Pythagoras. It is quite enough, however, to say in favour of a book, that the author has deemed the results of his labours worthy to be published under the name of so great a man. And yet who can believe that Cleemporus would do this, seeing that he has not hesitated to publish other works under his own name?

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CHAP. 102.—THE AGLAOPHOTIS OR MARMARITIS. THE ACHÆMENIS OR HIPPOPHOBAS. THE THEOBROTION OR SEMNION. THE ADAMANTIS. THE ARIANIS. THE THERIONARCA. THE ÆTHIOPIS OR MEROIS. THE OPHIUSA. THE THALASSEGLE OR POTAMAUGIS. THE THEANGELIS. THE GELOTOPHYLLIS. THE HESTIATORIS OR PROTOMEDIA. THE CASIGNETES OR DIONYSONYMPHAS. THE HELIANTHES OR HELIOCALLIS. HERMESIAS. THE ÆSCHYNOMENE. THE CROCIS. THE ŒNOTHERIS. THE ANACAMPSEROS.

As to Democritus, there can be no doubt that the work called “Chirocmeta”386 belongs to him. How very much more marvellous too are the accounts given in this book by the philosopher who, next to Pythagoras, has acquired the most intimate knowledge of the learning of the Magi! According to him, the plant aglaophotis,387 which owes its name to the admiration in which its beauteous tints are held by man, is found growing among the marble quarries of Arabia, on the side of Persia, a circumstance which has given it the additional name of “marmaritis.” By means of this plant, he says, the Magi can summon the deities into their presence when they please.

The achæmenis,388 he says, a plant the colour of amber, and destitute of leaves, grows in the country of the Tradastili, an Indian race. The root of it, divided into lozenges and taken in wine in the day time, torments the guilty to such a degree during the night by the various forms of avenging deities presented to the imagination, as to extort from them a confession of their crimes. He gives it the name also of “hippophobas,” it being an especial object of terror to mares.

The theobrotion389 is a plant found at a distance of thirty schœni390 from the river Choaspes; it represents the varied tints of the peacock, and the odour of it is remarkably fine. The65 kings of Persia, he says, are in the habit of taking it in their food or drink, for all maladies of the body, and derangements of the mind. It has the additional name of semnion,391 from the use thus made of it by majesty.

He next tells us of the adamantis,392 a plant grown in Armenia and Cappadocia: presented to a lion, he says, the beast will fall upon its back, and drop its jaws. Its name originates in the fact that it is impossible to bruise it. The arianis,393 he says, is found in the country of the Ariani; it is of a fiery colour, and is gathered when the sun is in Leo. Wood rubbed with oil will take fire on coming in contact with this plant. The therionarca,394 he tells us, grows in Cappadocia and Mysia; it has the effect of striking wild beasts of all kinds with a torpor which can only be dispelled by sprinkling them with the urine of the hyæna. He speaks too of the æthiopis,395 a plant which grows in Meroë; for which reason it is also known as the “meroïs.” In leaf it resembles the lettuce, and, taken with honied wine, it is very good for dropsy. The ophiusa,396 which is found in Elephantine, an island also of Æthiopia, is a plant of a livid colour, and hideous to the sight. Taken by a person in drink, he says, it inspires such a horror of serpents, which his imagination continually represents as menacing him, that he commits suicide at last; hence it is that persons guilty of sacrilege are compelled to drink an infusion of it. Palm wine, he tells us, is the only thing that neutralizes its effects.

The thalassægle397 he speaks of as being found on the banks of the river Indus, from which circumstance it is also known as the potamaugis.398 Taken in drink it produces a delirium,399 which presents to the fancy visions of a most extraordinary nature. The theangelis,400 he says, grows upon Mount Libanus66 in Syria, upon the chain of mountains called Dicte in Crete, and at Babylon and Susa in Persis. An infusion of it in drink, imparts powers of divination to the Magi. The gelotophyllis401 too, is a plant found in Bactriana, and on the banks of the Borysthenes. Taken internally with myrrh and wine, all sorts of visionary forms present themselves, and excite the most immoderate laughter, which can only be put an end to by taking kernels of the pine-nut, with pepper and honey, in palm wine.

The hestiatoris,402 he tells us, is a Persian plant, so called from its promotion of gaiety and good fellowship at carousals. Another name for it is protomedia, because those who eat of it will gain the highest place in the royal favour. The casignetes403 too, we learn, is so called, because it grows only among plants of its own kind, and is never found in company with any other; another name given to it is “dionysonymphas,”404 from the circumstance of its being remarkably well adapted to the nature of wine. Helianthes405 is the name he gives to a plant found in the regions of Themiscyra and the mountainous parts of maritime Cilicia, with leaves like those of myrtle. This plant is boiled up with lion’s fat, saffron and palm wine being added; the Magi, he tells us, and Persian monarchs are in the habit of anointing the body with the preparation, to add to its graceful appearance: he states also, that for this reason it has the additional name of “heliocallis.”406 What the same author calls “hermesias,”407 has the singular virtue of ensuring the procreation of issue, both beautiful as well as good. It is not a plant, however, but a composition made of kernels of pine nuts, pounded with honey, myrrh, saffron, and palm wine, to which theobrotium408 and milk are then added. He also67 recommends those who wish to become parents to drink this mixture, and says, that females should take it immediately after conception, and during pregnancy.409 If this is done, he says, the infant will be sure to be endowed with the highest qualities, both in mind and body. In addition to what has here been stated, Democritus gives the various names by which all these plants are known to the Magi.

Apollodorus, one of the followers of Democritus, has added to this list the herb æschynomene,410 so called from the shrinking of its leaves at the approach of the hand; and another called “crocis,”411 the touch of which is fatal to the phalangium. Crateuas, also, speaks of the œnotheris,412 an infusion of which in wine, sprinkled upon them, has the effect of taming all kind of animals, however wild. A celebrated grammarian,413 who lived but very recently, has described the anacampseros,414 the very touch of which recalls former love, even though hatred should have succeeded in its place. It will be quite sufficient for the present to have said thus much in reference to the remarkable virtues attributed to certain plants by the Magi; as we shall have occasion to revert to this subject in a more appropriate place.415

CHAP. 103. (18.)—THE ERIPHIA.

Many authors have made mention of the eriphia,416 a plant which contains a kind of beetle in its hollow stem. This68 beetle is continually ascending the interior of the stalk, and as often descending, while it emits a sound like the cry of a kid; a circumstance to which the plant is indebted for its name. There is nothing in existence, they say, more beneficial to the voice.

CHAP. 104.—THE WOOL PLANT: ONE REMEDY. THE LACTORIS: ONE REMEDY. THE MILITARIS: ONE REMEDY.

The wool plant,417 given to sheep fasting, greatly increases the milk. The plant commonly called lactoris,418 is equally well known: it is full of a milky juice, the taste of which produces vomiting. Some persons say that this is identical with, while others say that it only resembles, the plant known as “militaris,”419 from the fact that, applied with oil, it will effect the cure, within five days, of any wound that has been inflicted with iron.

CHAP. 105.—THE STRATIOTES: FIVE REMEDIES.

The Greeks speak in high terms also of the stratiotes,420 though that is a plant which grows in Egypt only, and during the inundations of the river Nilus. It is similar in appearance to the aizoön,421 except that the leaves are larger. It is of a remarkably cooling nature, and, applied with vinegar, it heals wounds, as well as erysipelas and suppurations. Taken in drink with male frankincense, it is marvellously useful for discharges of blood from the kidneys.

CHAP. 106. (19.)—A PLANT GROWING ON THE HEAD OF A STATUE: ONE REMEDY.

It is asserted also, that a plant growing422 on the head of a69 statue, gathered in the lappet of any one of the garments, and then attached with a red string to the neck, is an instantaneous cure for head-ache.

CHAP. 107.—A PLANT GROWING ON THE BANKS OF A RIVER: ONE REMEDY.

Any plant that is gathered before sunrise on the banks of a stream or river, due care being taken that no one sees it gathered, attached to the left arm without the patient knowing what it is, will cure a tertian fever, they say.

CHAP. 108.—THE HERB CALLED LINGUA: ONE REMEDY.

There is a herb called “lingua,”423 which grows in the vicinity of fountains. The root of it, reduced to ashes and beaten up with hog’s lard—the hog, they say, must have been black and barren—will cure alopecy, the head being rubbed with it in the sun.

CHAP. 109.—PLANTS THAT TAKE ROOT IN A SIEVE: ONE REMEDY.

Plants that take root in a sieve that has been thrown in a hedge-row, if gathered and worn upon the person by a pregnant woman, will facilitate delivery.

CHAP. 110.—PLANTS GROWING UPON DUNGHILLS: ONE REMEDY.

A plant that has been grown upon a dungheap in a field, is a very efficacious remedy, taken in water, for quinzy.

CHAP. 111.—PLANTS THAT HAVE BEEN MOISTENED WITH THE URINE OF A DOG: ONE REMEDY.

A plant upon which a dog has watered, torn up by the roots, and not touched with iron, is a very speedy cure for sprains.

CHAP. 112.—THE RODARUM: THREE REMEDIES.

We have already424 made mention of the rumpotinus, when speaking of the vine-growing425 trees. Near the tree, when not70 accompanied by the vine, there grows a plant, known to the Gauls as the “rodarum.”426 It has a knotted stem like the branch of a fig-tree, and the leaves, which are very similar to those of the nettle, are white in the middle, though in process of time they become red all over. The blossom of it is of a silvery hue. Beaten up with stale axle-grease, due care being taken not to touch it with iron, this plant is extremely useful for tumours, inflammations, and gatherings; the patient, however, on being anointed with it must spit three times on the right side. They say too, that as a remedy it is still more efficacious, if three persons of three different nations rub the right side of the body with it.

CHAP. 113.—THE PLANT CALLED IMPIA: TWO REMEDIES.

The plant called “impia”427 is white, resembling rosemary in appearance. It is clothed with leaves like a thyrsus, and is terminated by a head, from which a number of small branches protrude, terminated, all of them, in a similar manner. It is this peculiar conformation that has procured for it the name of “impia,” from the progeny thus surmounting the parent. Some persons, however, are of opinion that it is so called because no animal will touch it. Bruised between two stones it yields an effervescent juice, which, in combination with wine and milk, is remarkably efficacious for quinzy.

There is a marvellous property attributed to this plant, to the effect that persons who have once tasted it will never be attacked by quinzy; for which reason it is given to swine: those among them, however, which refuse to take it will be sure to die of that disease. Some persons too are of opinion that if slips of it are put into a bird’s nest, they will effectually prevent the young birds from choking themselves by eating too voraciously.

CHAP. 114.—THE PLANT CALLED VENUS’ COMB: ONE REMEDY.

From its resemblance to a comb, they give the name of “Venus’ comb”428 to a certain plant, the root of which, bruised71 with mallows, extracts all foreign substances from the human body.

CHAP. 115.—THE EXEDUM. THE PLANT CALLED NOTIA: TWO REMEDIES.

The plant called “exedum”429 is curative of lethargy. The herbaceous plant called “notia,” which is used by curriers for dyeing leather a bright, cheerful colour, and known by them under various names—is curative of cancerous ulcers; I find it also stated that, taken in wine or in oxycrate, it is extremely efficacious for stings inflicted by scorpions.

CHAP. 116.—THE PHILANTHROPOS: ONE REMEDY. THE LAPPA CANARIA: TWO REMEDIES.

The Greeks wittily give the name of “philanthropos”430 to a certain plant, because it attaches itself to articles of dress.431 A chaplet made of this plant has the effect of relieving headache.

As to the plant known as the “lappa canaria,”432 beaten up in wine with plantago and millefolium,433 it effects the cure of carcinomatous sores, the application being removed at the end of three days. Taken out of the ground without the aid of iron, and thrown into their wash, or given to them in wine and milk, it cures diseases in swine. Some persons add, however, that the person, as he takes it up, must say—“This is the plant argemon, a remedy discovered by Minerva for such swine as shall taste thereof.”

CHAP. 117.—TORDYLON OR SYREON: THREE REMEDIES.

Tordylon is, according to some authorities, the seed of sili,434 while according to others it is a distinct plant,435 known also as “syreon.” I find no particulars relative to it, except that72 it grows upon mountains, and that the ashes of it, taken in drink, act as an emmenagogue and facilitate expectoration. It is stated also, that for this last purpose the root is even more efficacious than the stem; that the juice of it, taken in doses of three oboli, cures diseases of the kidneys; and that the root is used as an ingredient for emollient plasters.

CHAP. 118.—GRAMEN: SEVENTEEN REMEDIES.

Gramen436 is of all herbaceous productions the most common. As it creeps along the ground it throws out jointed stems, from the joints of which, as well as from the extremity of the stem, fresh roots are put forth every here and there. In all other parts of the world the leaves of it are tapering, and come to a point; but upon Mount Parnassus437 they resemble the leaves of the ivy, the plant throwing out a greater number of stems than elsewhere, and bearing a blossom that is white and odoriferous. There is no vegetable production that is more grateful438 to beasts of burden than this, whether in a green state or whether dried and made into hay, in which last case it is sprinkled with water when given to them. It is said that on Mount Parnassus a juice is extracted from it, which is very abundant and of a sweet flavour.

In other parts of the world, instead of this juice a decoction of it is employed for closing wounds; an effect equally produced by the plant itself, which is beaten up for the purpose and attached to the part affected, thereby preventing inflammation. To the decoction wine and honey are added, and in some cases, frankincense, pepper, and myrrh, in the proportion of one third of each ingredient; after which it is boiled again in a copper vessel, when required for tooth-ache or defluxions of the eyes. A decoction of the roots, in wine, is curative of griping pains in the bowels, strangury, and ulcerations of the bladder, and it disperses calculi. The seed is still more powerful as a diuretic,439 arrests looseness and vomiting, and is particularly73 useful for wounds inflicted by dragons.440 There are some authorities which give the following prescription for the cure of scrofulous sores and inflamed tumours:—From one, two, or three stems, as many as nine joints must be removed, which must then be wrapped in black wool with the grease in it. The party who gathers them must do so fasting, and must then go, in the same state, to the patient’s house while he is from home. When the patient comes in, the other must say to him three times, “I come fasting to bring a remedy to a fasting man;” and must then attach the amulet to his person, repeating the same ceremony three consecutive days. The variety of this plant which has seven441 joints is considered a most excellent amulet for the cure of head-ache. For excruciating pains in the bladder, some recommend a decoction of gramen, boiled down in wine to one half, to be taken immediately after the bath.

CHAP. 119.—DACTYLOS; FIVE REMEDIES.

There are some authorities who mention three varieties of the pointed gramen. That which has at the extremity five442 points at the utmost, is called “dactylos.” Twisting these points together, persons introduce them into the nostrils and then withdraw them, with the view of preventing hæmorrhage. The second kind, which, resembles aizoön,443 is employed with axle-grease for whitlows and hangnails, and for fleshy excrescences upon the nails: this also is called “dactylos,” because it is so useful as a remedy for diseases of the fingers.

The third444 kind, which is also known as “dactylos,” is more diminutive, and is found growing upon walls or tiles. It has certain caustic properties, and arrests the progress of serpiginous ulcers. By placing a wreath of gramen round the head, bleeding at the nose is stopped. In Babylonia, it is said, the gramen445 which grows by the wayside is fatal to camels.

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CHAP. 120.—FENUGREEK OK SILICIA: THIRTY-ONE REMEDIES.

Nor is fenugreek held in less esteem. By some it is known as “telis,” by others as “carphos,” and by others again as “buceras,” or “ægoceras,”446 the produce of it bearing some resemblance to horns. Among us it is known as “silicia.” The mode of sowing it we have already447 described on the appropriate occasion. Its properties are desiccative,448 emollient, and resolvent. A decoction of it is useful for many female maladies, indurations for instance, tumours, and contractions of the uterus; in all which cases it is employed as a fomentation or used for a sitting-bath: it is serviceable also as an injection. It removes cutaneous eruptions on the face; and a decoction of it, applied topically with nitre or vinegar, cures diseases of the spleen or liver. In cases of difficult labour, Diodes recommends the seed pounded, in doses of one acetabulum, mixed with boiled449 must. After taking one third of the mixture, the patient must use a warm bath, and then, while in a perspiration, she must take another third, and, immediately after leaving the bath, the remainder—this, he says, will prove a most effectual means of obtaining relief.

The same authority recommends fenugreek boiled, with barley or linseed, in hydromel, as a pessary for violent pains in the uterus: he prescribes it also as an external application for the lower regions of the abdomen. He speaks also of treating leprous sores and freckles with a mixture composed of equal proportions of sulphur and meal of fenugreek, recommending it to be applied repeatedly in the course of the day, due care being taken not to rub the part affected.

For the cure of leprosy, Theodorus prescribes a mixture of fenugreek, and one fourth part of cleaned nasturtium, the whole to be steeped in the strongest vinegar. Damion used to give a potion by way of emmenagogue, consisting of half an acetabulum of fenugreek seed in nine cyathi of boiled must450 and water. There is no doubt too, that a decoction of it is remarkably useful for diseases of the uterus and for ulcerations75 of the intestines, and that the seed is beneficial for affections of the joints and chest. Boiled with mallows and then taken in honied wine, fenugreek is extolled in the highest terms, as serviceable for affections of the uterus and intestines. Indeed, the very steam that arises from the decoction may be productive of considerable benefit. A decoction too of fenugreek seed is a corrective of the rank odours of the armpits. Meal of fenugreek, with wine and nitre, speedily removes ring-worm and dandriff of the head; and a decoction of it in hydromel, with the addition of axle-grease, is used for the cure of diseases of the generative organs, inflamed tumours, imposthumes of the parotid glands, gout in the feet and hands, maladies of the joints, and denudations of the bones. Kneaded with vinegar, it effects the cure of sprains, and, boiled in oxymel only, it is used as a liniment for affections of the spleen. Kneaded with wine, it acts as a detergent upon carcinomatous sores; after which, applied with honey, it effects a perfect cure. A pottage too is made of this meal, which is taken for ulcerations of the chest and chronic coughs; it is kept boiling a considerable time, in order to remove the bitterness,451 after which honey is added.

We shall now proceed to speak of the plants which have gained a higher degree of reputation.

Summary.—Remedies, narratives, and observations, eleven hundred and seventy-six.

Roman authors quoted.—C. Valgius,452 Pompeius Lenæus,453 Sextius Niger454 who wrote in Greek, Julius Bassus455 who wrote in Greek, Antonius Castor,456 Cornelius Celsus.457

Foreign authors quoted.—Theophrastus,458 Apollodorus,459 Democritus,460 Orpheus,461 Pythagoras,462 Mago,463 Menander46476 who wrote the “Biochresta,” Nicander,465 Homer, Hesiod,466 Musæus,467 Sophocles,468 Anaxilaüs.469

Medical authors quoted.—Mnesitheus,470 Callimachus,471 Phanias472 the physician, Timaristus,473 Simus,474 Hippocrates,475 Chrysippus,476 Diocles,477 Ophelion,478 Heraclides,479 Hicesius,480 Dionysius,481 Apollodorus482 of Citium, Apollodorus483 of Tarentum, Praxagoras,484 Plistonicus,485 Medius,486 Dieuches,487 Cleophantus,488 Philistion,489 Asclepiades,490 Crateuas,491 Petronius Diodotus,492 Iollas,493 Erasistratus,494 Diagoras,495 Andreas, Mnesides,496 Epicharmus,497 Damion,498 Sosimenes,499 Tlepolemus,500 Metrodorus,501 Solon,502 Lycus,503 Olympias504 of Thebes, Philinus,505 Petrichus,506 Micton,507 Glaucias,508 Xenocrates.509

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BOOK XXV.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE WILD PLANTS.

CHAP. 1. (1.)—WHEN THE WILD PLANTS WERE FIRST BROUGHT INTO USE.

The more highly esteemed plants of which I am now about to speak, and which are produced by the earth for medicinal purposes solely, inspire me with admiration of the industry and laborious research displayed by the ancients. Indeed there is nothing that they have not tested by experiment or left untried; no discovery of theirs which they have not disclosed, or which they have not been desirous to leave for the benefit of posterity. We, on the contrary, at the present day, make it our object to conceal and suppress the results of our labours, and to defraud our fellow-men of blessings even which have been purchased by others. For true it is, beyond all doubt, that those who have gained any trifling accession of knowledge, keep it to themselves, and envy the enjoyment of it by others; to leave mankind uninstructed being looked upon as the high prerogative of learning. So far is it from being the habit with them to enter upon new fields of discovery, with the view of benefitting mankind at large, that for this long time past it has been the greatest effort of the ingenuity of each, to keep to himself the successful results of the experience of former ages, and so bury them for ever!

And yet, by Hercules! a single invention before now has elevated men to the rank of gods; and how many an individual has had his name immortalized in being bestowed upon some plant which he was the first to discover, thanks to the gratitude which prompted a succeeding age to make some adequate return! If it had been expended solely upon the plants which are grown to please the eye, or which invite us by their nutrimental properties, this laborious research on the part of the ancients would not have been so surprising; but in addition to this, we find them climbing by devious tracts to the very summit of mountains, penetrating to the very78 heart of wilds and deserts, and searching into every vein and fibre of the earth—and all this, to discover the hidden virtues of every root, the properties of the leaf of every plant, and the various purposes to which they might be applied; converting thereby those vegetable productions, which the very beasts of the field refuse to touch, into so many instruments for our welfare.

CHAP. 2. (2.)—THE LATIN AUTHORS WHO HAVE WRITTEN UPON THESE PLANTS.

This subject has not been treated of by the writers in our own language so extensively as it deserves, eager as they have proved themselves to make enquiry into everything that is either meritorious or profitable. M. Cato, that great master in all useful knowledge, was the first, and, for a long time, the only author who treated of this branch510 of learning; and briefly as he has touched upon it, he has not omitted to make some mention of the remedial treatment of cattle. After him, another illustrious personage, C. Valgius,511 a man distinguished for his erudition, commenced a treatise upon the same subject, which he dedicated to the late Emperor Augustus, but left unfinished. At the beginning of his preface, replete as it is with a spirit of piety,512 he expresses a hope that the majestic sway of that prince may ever prove a most efficient remedy for all the evils to which mankind are exposed.

CHAP. 3.—AT WHAT PERIOD THE ROMANS ACQUIRED SOME KNOWLEDGE OF THIS SUBJECT.

The only513 person among us, at least so far as I have been able to ascertain, who had treated of this subject before the time of Valgius, was Pompeius Lenæus,514 the freedman of Pompeius Magnus; and it was in his day, I find, that this branch of knowledge first began to be cultivated among us. Mithridates, the most powerful monarch of that period, and who was finally conquered by Pompeius, is generally thought to have been a79 more zealous promoter of discoveries for the benefit of mankind, than any of his predecessors—a fact evinced not only by many positive proofs, but by universal report as well. It was he who first thought, the proper precautions being duly taken, of drinking poison every day; it being his object, by becoming habituated to it, to neutralize its dangerous effects. This prince was the first discoverer too of the various kinds of antidotes, one515 of which, indeed, still retains his name; and it is generally supposed that he was the first to employ the blood of the ducks of Pontus as an ingredient in antidotes, from the circumstance that they derive their nutriment from poisons.516

It was to Mithridates that Asclepiades,517 that celebrated physician, dedicated his works, still extant, and sent them, as a substitute for his own personal attendance, when requested by that monarch to leave Rome and reside at his court. It is a well-known fact, that this prince was the only person that was ever able to converse in so many as two-and-twenty languages, and that, during the whole fifty-six years of his reign, he never required the services of an interpreter when conversing with any individuals of the numerous nations that were subject to his sway.

Among the other gifts of extraordinary genius with which he was endowed, Mithridates displayed a peculiar fondness for enquiries into the medical art; and gathering items of information from all his subjects, extended, as they were, over a large proportion of the world, it was his habit to make copies of their communications, and to take notes of the results which upon experiment had been produced. These memoranda, which he kept in his private cabinet,518 fell into the hands of Pompeius, when he took possession of the royal treasures; who at once commissioned his freedman, Lenæus the grammarian, to translate them into the Latin language: the result of which was, that his victory was equally conducive to the benefit of the republic and of mankind at large.

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CHAP. 4.—GREEK AUTHORS WHO HAVE DELINEATED THE PLANTS IN COLOURS.

In addition to these, there are some Greek writers who have treated of this subject, and who have been already mentioned on the appropriate occasions. Among them, Crateuas, Dionysius, and Metrodorus, adopted a very attractive method of description, though one which has done little more than prove the remarkable difficulties which attended it. It was their plan to delineate the various plants in colours, and then to add in writing a description of the properties which they possessed. Pictures, however, are very apt to mislead, and more particularly where such a number of tints is required, for the imitation of nature with any success; in addition to which, the diversity of copyists from the original paintings, and their comparative degrees of skill, add very considerably to the chances of losing the necessary degree of resemblance to the originals. And then, besides, it is not sufficient to delineate a plant as it appears at one period only, as it presents a different appearance at each of the four seasons of the year.519

CHAP. 5.—THE FIRST GREEK AUTHORS WHO WROTE UPON PLANTS.

Hence it is that other writers have confined themselves to a verbal description of the plants; indeed some of them have not so much as described them even, but have contented themselves for the most part with a bare recital of their names, considering it sufficient if they pointed out their virtues and properties to such as might feel inclined to make further enquiries into the subject. Nor is this a kind of knowledge by any means difficult to obtain; at all events, so far as regards myself, with the exception of a very few, it has been my good fortune to examine them all, aided by the scientific researches of Antonius Castor,520 who in our time enjoyed the highest reputation for an intimate acquaintance with this branch of knowledge. I had the opportunity of visiting his garden, in which, though he had passed his hundredth year, he cultivated vast numbers of plants with the greatest care. Though he had reached this great age, he had never experienced81 any bodily ailment, and neither his memory nor his natural vigour had been the least impaired by the lapse of time.

There was nothing more highly admired than an intimate knowledge of plants, in ancient times. It is long since the means were discovered of calculating before-hand, not only the day or the night, but the very hour even at which an eclipse of the sun or moon is to take place; and yet the greater part of the lower classes still remain firmly persuaded that these phænomena are brought about by compulsion, through the agency of herbs and enchantments, and that the knowledge of this art is confined almost exclusively to females. What country, in fact, is not filled with the fabulous stories about Medea of Colchis and other sorceresses, the Italian Circe in particular, who has been elevated to the rank of a divinity even? It is with reference to her, I am of opinion, that Æschylus,521 one of the most ancient of the poets, asserts that Italy is covered with plants endowed with potent effects, and that many writers say the same of Circeii,522 the place of her abode. Another great proof too that such is the case, is the fact, that the nation of the Marsi,523 descendants of a son of Circe, are well known still to possess the art of taming serpents.

Homer, that great parent of the learning and traditions of antiquity, while extolling the fame of Circe in many other respects, assigns to Egypt the glory of having first discovered the properties of plants, and that too at a time when the portion of that country which is now watered by the river Nilus was not in existence, having been formed at a more recent period by the alluvion524 of that river. At all events, he states525 that numerous Egyptian plants were sent to the Helena of his story, by the wife of the king of that country, together with the celebrated nepenthes,526 which ensured oblivion of all sorrows and forgetfulness of the past, a potion which Helena was to administer to all mortals. The first person, however, of whom the remembrance has come down to us, as having82 treated with any degree of exactness on the subject of plants, is Orpheus; and next to him Musæus and Hesiod, of whose admiration of the plant called polium we have already made some mention on previous occasions.527 Orpheus and Hesiod too we find speaking in high terms of the efficacy of fumigations. Homer also speaks of several other plants by name, of which we shall have occasion to make further mention in their appropriate places.

In later times again, Pythagoras, that celebrated philosopher, was the first to write a treatise on the properties of plants, a work in which he attributes the origin and discovery of them to Apollo, Æsculapius, and the immortal gods in general. Democritus too, composed a similar work. Both of these philosophers had visited the magicians of Persia, Arabia, Æthiopia, and Egypt, and so astounded were the ancients at their recitals, as to learn to make assertions which transcend all belief. Xanthus, the author of some historical works, tells us, in the first of them, that a young dragon528 was restored to life by its parent through the agency of a plant to which he gives the name of “ballis,” and that one Tylon, who had been killed by a dragon, was restored to life and health by similar means. Juba too assures us that in Arabia a man was resuscitated by the agency of a certain plant. Democritus has asserted—and Theophrastus believes it—that there is a certain herb in existence, which, upon being carried thither by a bird, the name of which we have already529 given, has the effect, by the contact solely, of instantaneously drawing a wedge from a tree, when driven home by the shepherds into the wood.

These marvels, incredible as they are, excite our admiration nevertheless, and extort from us the admission that, making all due allowance, there is much in them that is based on truth. Hence it is too that I find it the opinion of most writers, that there is nothing which cannot be effected by the agency of plants, but that the properties of by far the greater part of them remain as yet unknown. In the number of these was Herophilus, a celebrated physician, a saying of whose is reported, to the effect that some plants may possibly exercise a beneficial influence, if only trodden under foot. Be this as it may, it has been remarked more than once, that wounds and83 maladies are sometimes inflamed530 upon the sudden approach of persons who have been journeying on foot.

CHAP. 6.—WHY A FEW OF THE PLANTS ONLY HAVE BEEN USED MEDICINALLY. PLANTS, THE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF WHICH HAVE BEEN MIRACULOUSLY DISCOVERED. THE CYNORRHODOS: TWO REMEDIES. THE PLANT CALLED DRACUNCULUS: ONE REMEDY. THE BRITANNICA: FIVE REMEDIES.

Such was the state of medical knowledge in ancient times, wholly concealed as it was in the language of the Greeks. But the main reason why the medicinal properties of most plants remain still unknown, is the fact that they have been tested solely by rustics and illiterate people, such being the only class of persons that live in the midst of them: in addition to which, so vast is the multitude of medical men always at hand, that the public are careless of making any enquiries about them. Indeed, many of those plants, the medicinal properties of which have been discovered, are still destitute of names—such, for instance, as the one which we mentioned531 when speaking of the cultivation of grain, and which we know for certain will have the effect of keeping birds away from the crops, if buried at the four corners of the field.

But the most disgraceful cause of all, why so few simples are known, is the fact that those even who are acquainted with them are unwilling to impart their knowledge; as though, forsooth, they should lose for ever anything that they might think fit to communicate to others! Added to all this, there is no well-ascertained method to guide us to the acquisition of this kind of knowledge; for, as to the discoveries that have been made already, they have been due, some of them, to mere accident, and others again, to say the truth, to the interposition of the Deity.

Down to our own times, the bite of the mad dog, the symptoms of which are a dread of water and an aversion to every kind of beverage, was incurable;532 and it was only recently that84 the mother of a soldier who was serving in the prætorian guard, received a warning in a dream, to send her son the root of the wild rose, known as the cynorrhodos,533 a plant the beauty of which had attracted her attention in a shrubbery the day before, and to request him to drink the extract of it. The army was then serving in Lacetania, the part of Spain which lies nearest to Italy; and it so happened that the soldier, having been bitten by a dog, was just beginning to manifest a horror of water when his mother’s letter reached him, in which she entreated him to obey the words of this divine warning. He accordingly complied with her request, and, against all hope or expectation, his life was saved; a result534 which has been experienced by all who have since availed themselves of the same resource. Before this, the cynorrhodos had been only recommended by writers for one medicinal purpose; the spongy excrescences, they say, which grow535 in the midst of its thorns, reduced to ashes and mixed with honey, will make the hair grow again when it has been lost by alopecy. I know too, for a fact, that in the same province there was lately discovered in the land belonging to a person with whom I was staying, a stalked plant, the name given to which was dracunculus.536 This plant, about an inch in thickness, and spotted with various colours, like a viper’s skin, was generally reported to be an effectual preservative against the sting of all kinds of serpents. I should remark, however, that it is a different plant from the one of the same name of which mention has been made in the preceding Book,537 having altogether another shape and appearance. There is also another marvellous property belonging to it: in spring, when the serpents begin to cast their slough, it shoots up from the ground to the height of about a couple of feet, and again, when they retire for the winter it conceals itself within the earth, nor is there a serpent to be seen so long as it remains out of sight. Even if this plant did nothing else but warn us of impending danger, and tell us when to be on our guard, it could not be looked upon otherwise than as a beneficent provision made by Nature in our behalves.

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(3.) It is not, however, the animals only that are endowed with certain baneful and noxious properties, but, sometimes, waters538 even, and localities as well. Upon one occasion, in his German campaign, Germanicus Cæsar had pitched his camp beyond the river Rhenus; the only fresh water to be obtained being that of a single spring in the vicinity of the sea-shore. It was found, however, that within two years the habitual use of this water was productive of loss of the teeth and a total relaxation of the joints of the knees: the names given to these maladies, by medical men, were “stomacace”539 and “sceloturbe.” A remedy for them was discovered, however, in the plant known as the “britannica,”540 which is good, not only for diseases of the sinews and mouth, but for quinzy541 also, and injuries inflicted by serpents. This plant has dark oblong leaves and a swarthy root: the name given to the flower of it is “vibones,”542 and if it is gathered and eaten before thunder has been heard, it will ensure safety in every respect. The Frisii, a nation then on terms of friendship with us, and within whose territories the Roman army was encamped, pointed out this plant to our soldiers: the name543 given to it, however,86 rather surprises me, though possibly it may have been so called because the shores of Britannia are in the vicinity, and only separated by the ocean. At all events, it was not called by this name from the fact of its growing there in any great abundance, that is quite certain, for at the time I am speaking of, Britannia was still independent.544

CHAP. 7.—WHAT DISEASES ARE ATTENDED WITH THE GREATEST PAIN. NAMES OF PERSONS WHO HAVE DISCOVERED FAMOUS PLANTS.

In former times there was a sort of ambition, as it were, of adopting plants, by bestowing upon them one’s name, a thing that has been done before now by kings even, as we shall have occasion to show:545 so desirable a thing did it appear to have made the discovery of some plant, and thus far to have contributed to the benefit of mankind. At the present day, however, it is far from impossible that there may be some who will look upon these researches of ours as frivolous even, so distasteful to a life of ease and luxury are the very things which so greatly conduce to our welfare.

Still, however, it will be only right to mention in the first place those plants the discoverers of which are known, their various properties being classified546 according to the several maladies for the treatment of which they are respectively employed: in taking a review of which one cannot do otherwise than bewail the unhappy lot of mankind, subject as it is, in addition to chances and changes, and those new afflictions which every hour is bringing with it, to thousands of diseases which menace the existence of each mortal being. It would seem almost an act of folly to attempt to determine which of these diseases is attended with the most excruciating pain, seeing that every one is of opinion that the malady with which for the moment he himself is afflicted, is the most excruciating and insupportable. The general experience, however, of the present age has come to the conclusion, that the most agonizing torments are those attendant upon strangury, resulting from calculi in the bladder; next to them, those arising from maladies of the stomach; and in the third place, those caused by pains and affections of the head; for it is more generally in87 these cases, we find, and not in others, that patients are tempted to commit suicide.

For my own part, I am surprised that the Greek authors have gone so far as to give a description of noxious plants even; in using which term, I wish it to be understood that I do not mean the poisonous plants merely; for such is our tenure of life that death is often a port of refuge to even the best of men. We meet too, with one case of a somewhat similar nature, where M. Varro speaks of Servius Clodius,547 a member of the Equestrian order, being so dreadfully tormented with gout, that he had his legs rubbed all over with poisons, the result of which was, that from that time forward all sensation, equally with all pain, was deadened in those parts of his body. But what excuse, I say, can there be for making the world acquainted with plants, the only result of the use of which is to derange the intellect, to produce abortion, and to cause numerous other effects equally pernicious? So far as I am concerned, I shall describe neither abortives nor philtres, bearing in mind, as I do, that Lucullus, that most celebrated general, died of the effects of a philtre.548 Nor shall I speak of other ill-omened devices of magic, unless it be to give warning against them, or to expose them, for I most emphatically condemn all faith and belief in them. It will suffice for me, and I shall have abundantly done my duty, if I point out those plants which were made for the benefit of mankind, and the properties of which have been discovered in the lapse of time.

CHAP. 8. (4.)—MOLY: THREE REMEDIES.

According to Homer,549 the most celebrated of all plants is that, which, according to him, is known as moly550 among the88 gods. The discovery of it he attributes to Mercury, who was also the first to point out its uses as neutralizing the most potent spells of sorcery. At the present day, it is said, it grows in the vicinity of Lake Pheneus, and in Cyllene; a district of Arcadia. It answers the description given of it by Homer, having a round black root, about as large as an onion, and a leaf like that of the squill: there is no551 difficulty experienced in taking it up. The Greek writers have delineated552 it as having a yellow flower, while Homer,553 on the other hand, has spoken of it as white. I once met with a physician, a person extremely well acquainted with plants, who assured me that it is found growing in Italy as well, and that he would send me in a few days a specimen which had been dug up in Campania, with the greatest difficulty, from a rocky soil. The root of it was thirty554 feet in length, and even then it was not entire, having been broken in the getting up.

CHAP. 9.—THE DODECATHEOS: ONE REMEDY.

The plant next in esteem to moly, is that called dodecatheos,555 it being looked upon as under the especial tutelage of all the superior gods.556 Taken in water, it is a cure, they say, for maladies of every kind. The leaves of it, seven in number, and very similar to those of the lettuce, spring from a yellow root.

CHAP. 10.—THE PÆONIA, PENTOROBUS, OR GLYCYSIDE: ONE REMEDY.

The plant known as “pæonia”557 is the most ancient of them all. It still retains the name558 of him who was the first to89 discover it, being known also as the “pentorobus”559 by some, and the “glycyside”560 by others; indeed, this is one of the great difficulties attendant on forming an accurate knowledge of plants, that the same object has different names in different districts. It grows in umbrageous mountain localities, and puts forth a stem amid the leaves, some four fingers in height, at the summit of which are four or five heads resembling Greek nuts561 in appearance; enclosed in which, there is a considerable quantity of seed of a red or black colour. This plant is a preservative against the illusions562 practised by the Fauni in sleep. It is generally recommended to take it up at night; for if the wood-pecker563 of Mars should perceive a person doing so, it will immediately attack his eyes in defence of the plant.

CHAP. 11.—THE PANACES ASCLEPION: TWO REMEDIES.

The panaces, by its very name,564 gives assurance of a remedy for all diseases: there are numerous kinds of it, and the discovery of its properties has been attributed to the gods. One of these kinds is known by the additional name of “asclepion,”565 in commemoration of the circumstance that Æsculapius gave the name of Panacia566 to his daughter. The juice of it, as we have had occasion to remark already,567 coagulates like that of fennel-giant; the root is covered with a thick rind of a salt flavour.

After this plant has been taken up, it is a point religiously observed to fill the hole with various kinds of grain, a sort of expiation, as it were, to the earth. We have already568 stated, when speaking of the exotic productions, where and in what manner this juice is prepared, and what kind is the most esteemed. That which is imported from Macedonia is known as “bucolicon,” from the fact that the neatherds there are in the habit of collecting it as it spontaneously exudes: it evaporates, however, with the greatest rapidity. As to the90 other kinds, that more particularly is held in disesteem which is black and soft, such being a proof, in fact, that it has been adulterated with wax.

CHAP. 12.—THE PANACES HERACLEON: THREE REMEDIES.

A second kind of panaces is known by the name of “heracleon,”569 from the fact that it was first discovered by Hercules. Some persons, however, call it “Heracleotic origanum,” or wild origanum, from its strong resemblance to the origanum of which we have already570 spoken: the root of it is good for nothing.

CHAP. 13.—THE PANACES CHIRONION: FOUR REMEDIES.

A third kind of panaces is surnamed “chironion,” from him571 who first discovered it. The leaf is similar to that of lapathum, except that it is larger and more hairy; the flower is of a golden colour, and the root diminutive. It grows in rich, unctuous soils. The flower of this plant is extremely efficacious; hence it is that it is more generally used than the kinds previously mentioned.

CHAP. 14.—THE PANACES CENTAURION OR PHARNACION: THREE REMEDIES.

A fourth kind of panaces, discovered also by Chiron, is known by the additional name of “centaurion:”572 it is also called “pharnacion,” from King Pharnaces, it being a matter in dispute whether it was really discovered by Chiron or by that prince. It is grown from seed,573 and the leaves of it are longer than those of the other kinds, and serrated at the edge. The root, which is odoriferous, is dried in the shade, and is used for imparting an aroma to wine. Some writers distinguish91 two varieties of this plant—the one with a smooth leaf, the other of a more delicate form.

CHAP. 15.—THE HERACLEON SIDERION: FOUR REMEDIES.

The heracleon siderion574 is also another discovery of Hercules. The stem is thin, about four fingers in length, the flower red, and the leaves like those of coriander. It is found growing in the vicinity of lakes and rivers, and is extremely efficacious for the cure of all wounds made by iron.575

CHAP. 16.—THE AMPELOS CHIRONIA: ONE REMEDY.

The ampelos Chironia576 also, which we have already577 mentioned when speaking of the vines, is a discovery due to Chiron. We have spoken too, on a previous occasion,578 of a plant, the discovery of which is attributed to Minerva.

CHAP. 17.—HYOSCYAMOS, KNOWN ALSO AS THE APOLLINARIS OR ALTERCUM; FIVE VARIETIES OF IT: THREE REMEDIES.

To Hercules also is attributed the discovery of the plant known as the “apollinaris,” and, among the Arabians, as the “altercum” or “altercangenum:” by the Greeks it is called “hyoscyamos.”579 There are several varieties of it; one of them,580 with a black seed, flowers bordering on purple, and a prickly stem, growing in Galatia. The common kind581 again, is whiter, more shrublike, and taller than the poppy. The seed of a third variety is similar to that of irio582 in appearance; but they have, all of them, the effect of producing vertigo and insanity. A fourth583 kind again is soft, lanuginous, and more unctuous than the others; the seed of it is white, and it grows in maritime localities. It is this kind that medical men92 employ, as also that with a red seed.584 Sometimes, however, the white seed turns of a reddish colour, if not sufficiently ripe when gathered; in which case it is rejected as unfit for use: indeed, none of these plants are gathered until they are perfectly dry. Hyoscyamos, like wine, has the property of flying to the head, and consequently of acting injuriously upon the mental faculties.

The seed is either used in its natural state, or else the juice of it is extracted: the juice also of the stem and leaves is sometimes extracted, separately from the seed. The root is sometimes made use of; but the employment of this plant in any way for medical purposes is, in my opinion, highly dangerous. For it is a fact well ascertained, that the leaves even will exercise a deleterious effect upon the mind, if more than four are taken at a time; though the ancients were of opinion that the leaves act as a febrifuge, taken in wine. From the seed, as already585 stated, an oil is extracted, which, injected into the ears, deranges the intellect. It is a singular thing, but we find remedies mentioned for those who have taken this juice, as though for a poison, while at the same time we find it prescribed as a potion among the various remedies. In this way it is that experiments are multiplied without end, even to forcing the very poisons themselves to act as antidotes.

CHAP. 18. (5.)—LINOZOSTIS, PARTHENION, HERMUPOA, OR MERCURIALIS; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: TWENTY-TWO REMEDIES.

Linozostis586 or parthenion is a discovery attributed to Mercury: hence it is that among the Greeks it is known as “hermupoa”587 by many, while among us it is universally known as “mercurialis.” There are two varieties of this plant, the male and the female, the last possessing more decided properties than the other, and having a stem a cubit in height, and sometimes branchy at the summit, with leaves somewhat narrower than those of ocimum. The joints of the stem lie close together, and the axils are numerous: the seed hangs downwards, having the joints for its basis. In the93 female plant the seed is very abundant, but in the male588 it is less so, lies closer to the joints, and is short and wreathed. In the female plant the seed hangs more loosely, and is of a white colour. The leaves of the male plant are swarthy, while those of the female are whiter: the root, which is made no use of, is very diminutive.

Both of these plants grow in cultivated champaign localities. A marvellous property is mentioned as belonging to them: the male plant, they say,589 ensures the conception of male children, the female plant of females; a result which is ensured by drinking the juice in raisin wine, the moment after conception, or by eating the leaves, boiled with oil and salt, or raw with vinegar. Some persons, again, boil the plant in a new earthen vessel with heliotropium and two or three ears of corn, till it is thoroughly done; and say that the decoction should be taken in drink by the female, and the plant eaten for three days successively, the regimen being commenced the second day of menstruation. This done, on the fourth day she must take a bath, immediately after which the sexual congress must take place.

Hippocrates590 has lavished marvellous encomiums upon these plants for the maladies of females, while at the present day no physician recognizes their utility for such purpose. It was his practice to employ them for affections of the uterus, in the form of a pessary, in combination with honey, rose-oil, oil of iris, or oil of lilies. He employed them also as an emmenagogue, and for the purpose of bringing away the after-birth; effects which are equally produced, according to him, by taking them in drink, or using them in the form of a fomentation. It was his practice also, to inject the juice of these plants in cases of fetid odours of the ears, and then to wash the ear with old wine. The leaves also were used by him as a cataplasm for the abdomen, defluxions of the eyes, strangury, and affections of the bladder; a decoction too, of the plants is prescribed by him, with frankincense and myrrh.

For the purpose of relaxing591 the bowels, or in cases of fever,94 a handful of this plant is boiled down to one half, in two sextarii of water, the decoction being taken with salt and honey: if a pig’s foot or a cock is boiled with it, it will be all the more beneficial. Some persons have been of opinion, that as a purgative the two kinds of mercurialis ought to be used together, or else that a decoction should be made of the plant in combination with mallows. These plants act as a detergent upon the chest, and carry off the bilious secretions, but they are apt to be injurious to the stomach. We shall have to speak further of their properties on the appropriate occasions.592

CHAP. 19.—THE ACHILLEOS, SIDERITIS, PANACES HERACLEON, MILLEFOLIUM, OR SCOPÆ REGIÆ; SIX VARIETIES OF IT: THREE REMEDIES.

Achilles too, the pupil of Chiron, discovered a plant which heals wounds, and which, as being his discovery, is known as the “achilleos.” It was by the aid of this plant, they say, that he cured Telephus. Other authorities, however, assert that he was the first593 to discover that verdigris594 is an extremely useful ingredient in plasters; and hence it is that he is sometimes represented in pictures as scraping with his sword the rust from off a spear595 into the wound of Telephus. Some again, are of opinion that he made use of both remedies.

By some persons this plant is called “panaces heracleon,” by others, “sideritis,”596 and by the people of our country, “millefolium:”597 the stalk of it, they say, is a cubit in length, branchy, and covered from the bottom with leaves somewhat smaller than those of fennel. Other authorities, however, while admitting that this last plant is good for wounds, affirm that the genuine achilleos has a bluish stem a foot in length,95 destitute of branches, and elegantly clothed all over with isolated leaves of a round form. Others again, maintain that it has a squared stem, that the heads of it are small and like those of horehound,598 and that the leaves are similar to those of the quercus—they say too, that this last has the property of uniting the sinews when cut asunder. Another statement is, that the sideritis599 is a plant that grows on garden walls, and that it emits, when bruised, a fetid smell; that there is also another plant, very similar to it, but with a whiter and more unctuous leaf, a more delicate stem, and mostly found growing in vineyards.

They speak also of another600 sideritis, with a stem two cubits in length, and diminutive branches of a triangular shape: the leaf, they say, resembles that of fern, and has a long footstalk, the seed being similar to that of beet. All these plants, it is said, are remarkably good for the treatment of wounds. The one with the largest leaf is known among us by the name of “scopæ regiæ,”601 and is used for the cure of quinzy in swine.

CHAP. 20.—THE TEUCRION, HEMIONION, OR SPLENION: TWO REMEDIES.

At the same period also, Teucer discovered the teucrion, a plant known to some as the “hemionion.”602 It throws out thin rush-like stems, with diminutive leaves, and grows in rugged, uncultivated spots: the taste of it is rough, and it never blossoms or produces seed. It is used for the cure of affections of the spleen,603 and it is generally understood that its properties were discovered in the following manner:—The entrails of a victim having been placed upon this plant, it attached itself to the milt, and entirely consumed it;604 a96 property to which it is indebted for the name of “splenion,” given to it by some. It is said too, that swine which have fed upon the root of this plant are found to have no milt.

Some authors give this name also to a ligneous plant,605 with branches like those of hyssop, and a leaf resembling that of the bean; they say too, that it should be gathered while in blossom, from which we may conclude that they entertain no doubt that it does blossom. That which grows on the mountains of Cilicia and Pisidia is more particularly praised by them.

CHAP. 21.—MELAMPODIUM, HELLEBORE, OR VERATRUM: THREE VARIETIES OF IT. THE WAY IN WHICH IT IS GATHERED, AND HOW THE QUALITY OF IT IS TESTED.

The repute of Melampus, as being highly skilled in the arts of divination, is universally known. This personage has given a name to one species of hellebore, known as the “melampodion.” Some persons, however, attribute the discovery of this plant to a shepherd of that name, who remarked that his she-goats were violently purged after browsing upon it, and afterwards cured the daughters of Prœtus of madness, by giving them the milk of these goats. It will be the best plan, therefore, to take this opportunity of treating of the several varieties of hellebore. The two principal kinds are the white606 and the black;607 though, according to most authorities, this difference exists in the root only. There are some authors, however, who assure us that the leaves of the black hellebore are similar to those of the plane-tree, only darker, more diminutive, and more jagged at the edges: and who say, that the white hellebore has leaves like those of beet when first shooting, though at the same time of a more swarthy colour, with reddish veins on the under side. The stem, in both kinds, is ferulaceous, a palm608 in height, and covered with coats like those of the bulbs, the root, too, being fibrous like that of the onion.609

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The black hellebore kills horses, oxen, and swine; hence it is that those animals avoid it, while they eat the white610 kind. The proper time, they say, for gathering this last, is harvest. It grows upon Mount Œta in great abundance; and the best of all is that found upon one spot on that mountain, in the vicinity of Pyra. The black hellebore is found growing everywhere, but the best is that of Mount Helicon; which is also equally celebrated for the qualities of its other plants. The white hellebore of Mount Œta is the most highly esteemed, that of Pontus occupying the second place, and the produce of Elea the third; which last, it is generally said, grows in the vineyards there. The fourth rank is held by the white hellebore of Mount Parnassus, though it is often, adulterated with that of the neighbouring districts of Ætolia.

Of these kinds it is the black hellebore that is known as the “melampodium:” it is used in fumigations, and for the purpose of purifying houses; cattle, too, are sprinkled with it, a certain form of prayer being repeated. This last plant, too, is gathered with more numerous ceremonies than the other: a circle is first traced around it with a sword, after which, the person about to cut it turns towards the East, and offers up a prayer, entreating permission of the gods to do so. At the same time he observes whether an eagle is in sight—for mostly while the plant is being gathered that bird is near at hand—and if one should chance to fly close at hand, it is looked upon as a presage that he will die within the year. The white hellebore, too, is gathered not without difficulty, as it is very oppressive to the head; more particularly if the precaution has not been used of eating garlic first, and of drinking wine every now and then, care being taken to dig up the plant as speedily as possible.

Some persons call the black hellebore “ectomon,”611 and others “polyrrhizon:” it purges612 by stool, while the white hellebore acts as an emetic, and so carries off what might otherwise have given rise to disease. In former days hellebore was regarded with horror, but more recently the use613 of it has become so familiar, that numbers of studious men are in the98 habit of taking it for the purpose of sharpening the intellectual powers required by their literary investigations. Carneades, for instance, made use of hellebore when about to answer the treatises of Zeno; Drusus614 too, among us, the most famous of all the tribunes of the people, and whom in particular the public, rising from their seats, greeted with loud applause—to whom also the patricians imputed the Marsic war—is well known to have been cured of epilepsy in the island of Anticyra;615 a place at which it is taken with more safety than elsewhere, from the fact of sesamoïdes being combined with it, as already616 stated. In Italy the name given to it is “veratrum.”

These kinds of hellebore, reduced to powder and taken alone, or else in combination with radicula, a plant used, as already mentioned,617 for washing wool, act as a sternutatory, and are both of them productive of narcotic effects. The thinnest and shortest roots are selected, and among them the lower parts in particular, which have all the appearance of having been cut short;618 for, as to the upper part, which is the thickest, and bears a resemblance to an onion, it is given to dogs only, as a purgative. The ancients used to select those roots the rind of which was the most fleshy, from an idea that the pith extracted therefrom was of a more refined619 nature. This substance they covered with wet sponges, and, when it began to swell, used to split it longitudinally with a needle; which done, the filaments were dried in the shade, for future use. At the present day, however, the fibres620 of the root with the thickest rind are selected, and given to the patient just as they are. The best hellebore is that which has an acrid, burning taste, and when broken, emits a sort of dust. It retains its efficacy, they say, so long as thirty years.

CHAP. 22.—TWENTY-FOUR REMEDIES DERIVED FROM BLACK HELLEBORE. HOW IT SHOULD BE TAKEN.

Black hellebore is administered for the cure of paralysis, insanity, dropsy—provided there is no fever—chronic gout, and diseases of the joints: it has the effect too, of carrying99 off the bilious secretions and morbid humours by stool. It is given also in water as a gentle aperient, the proportion being one drachma at the very utmost, and four oboli for a moderate dose. Some authorities have recommended mixing scammony with it, but salt is looked upon as more safe. If given in any considerable quantity in combination with a sweet substance, it is highly dangerous: used in the form of a fomentation, it disperses films upon the eyes; and hence it is that some medical men have pounded it and used it for an eye-salve. It ripens and acts detergently upon scrofulous sores, suppurations, and indurated tumours, as also upon fistulas, but in this latter case it must be removed at the end of a couple of days. In combination with copper filings621 and sandarach, it removes warts; and it is applied to the abdominal regions, with barley-meal and wine, in cases of dropsy.

This plant is employed for the cure of pituitous defluxions in cattle and beasts of burden, a slip of it being passed622 through the ear, and removed at the same hour on the following day. With frankincense also, wax, and pitch, or else pisselæon,623 it is used for the cure of itch in quadrupeds.

CHAP. 23.—TWENTY-THREE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM WHITE HELLEBORE.

The best white hellebore is that which acts most speedily as a sternutatory; but it would seem to be a much more formidable624 plant than the black kind; more particularly if we read in the ancient authors the precautions used by those about to take it, against cold shiverings, suffocation, unnatural drowsiness, continuous hiccup or sneezing, derangements of the stomach, and vomitings, either retarded or prolonged, too sparing or in excess. Indeed, it was generally the practice to administer other substances to promote vomiting, and to carry off the hellebore by the aid of purgatives or clysters, while bleeding even was frequently had recourse to. In addition to all this, however successful the results may prove, the symptoms by which it is attended are really most alarming, by reason of100 the various colours which the matter vomited presents: besides which, after the vomiting has subsided, the physician has to pay the greatest attention to the nature of the alvine evacuations, the due and proper use of the bath, and the general regimen adopted by the patient; all of them inconveniences in themselves, and preceded by the terrors naturally inspired by the character of the drug; for one story is, that it has the property of consuming flesh, if boiled with it.

The great error,625 however, on the part of the ancients was, that in consequence of these fears, they used to give it too sparingly, the fact being, that the larger the dose, the more speedily it passes through the body. Themison used to give no more than two drachmæ, but at a later period as much as four drachmæ was administered; in conformity with the celebrated eulogium passed upon it by Herophilus,626 who was in the habit of comparing hellebore to a valiant general, and saying, that after it has set in motion all within, it is the first to sally forth and show the way. In addition to these particulars, there has been a singular discovery made: the hellebore which, as we have already stated, has been cut with a small pair of scissors,627 is passed through a sieve, upon which the pith makes its way through, while the outer coat remains behind. The latter acts as a purgative, while the former is used for the purpose of arresting vomiting when that evacuation is in excess.

CHAP. 24.—EIGHTY-EIGHT OBSERVATIONS UPON THE TWO KINDS OF HELLEBORE.

In order to secure a beneficial result, due precautions must be taken not to administer hellebore in cloudy weather; for if given at such a time, it is sure to be productive of excruciating agonies. Indeed there is no doubt that summer is a better time for giving it than winter: the body too, by an abstinence from wine, must be prepared for it seven days previously, emetics being taken on the fourth and third days before, and101 the patient going without his evening meal the previous day. White hellebore, too, is administered in a sweet628 medium, though lentils or pottage are found to be the best for the purpose. There has been a plan also, lately discovered, of splitting a radish, and inserting the hellebore in it, after which the sections are pressed together; the object being that the strength of the hellebore may be incorporated with the radish, and modified thereby.

At the end of about four hours it generally begins to be brought up again; and within seven it has operated to the full extent. Administered in this manner, it is good for epilepsy, as already629 stated, vertigo, melancholy, insanity, delirium, white elephantiasis, leprosy, tetanus, palsy, gout, dropsy, incipient tympanitis, stomachic affections, cynic spasms,630 sciatica, quartan fevers which defy all other treatment, chronic coughs, flatulency, and recurrent gripings in the bowels.

CHAP. 25.—TO WHAT PERSONS HELLEBORE SHOULD NEVER BE ADMINISTERED.

It is universally recommended not to give hellebore to aged people or children, to persons of a soft and effeminate habit of body or mind, or of a delicate or tender constitution. It is given less frequently too to females than to males; and persons of a timorous disposition are recommended not to take it: the same also, in cases where the viscera are ulcerated or tumefied, and more particularly when the patient is afflicted with spitting of blood, or with maladies of the side or fauces. Hellebore is applied, too, externally, with salted axle-grease, to morbid eruptions of the body and suppurations of long standing: mixed with polenta, it destroys rats and mice. The people of Gaul, when hunting, tip their arrows with hellebore, taking care to cut away the parts about the wound in the animal so slain: the flesh, they say, is all the more tender for it. Flies are destroyed with white hellebore, bruised and sprinkled about a place with milk: phthiriasis is also cured by the use of this mixture.

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CHAP. 26. (6.)—THE MITHRIDATIA.

Crateuas ascribes the discovery of one plant to Mithridates himself, the name of which is “mithridatia.”631 Near the root it has two leaves resembling those of the acanthus, between which it puts forth a stem supporting a flower at the extremity, like a rose.

CHAP. 27.—THE SCORDOTIS OR SCORDION: FOUR REMEDIES.

Lenæus attributes to Mithridates the discovery of another plant, the scordotis632 or scordion, which has been described, he tells us, by the hand even of that prince. This plant, he says, is a cubit in height, and has a square stem, branchy, covered with downy leaves, and resembling the quercus633 in appearance: it is found growing in Pontus, in rich, humid soils, and has a bitter taste.

There is another634 variety also of this plant, with a larger leaf, and resembling wild mint in appearance. They are both of them used for numerous purposes, both individually and in combination with other ingredients, as antidotes.

CHAP. 28.—THE POLEMONIA, PHILETÆRIA, OR CHILIODYNAMUS: SIX REMEDIES.

The polemonia635 is known as the “philetæria” by some, in consequence of the contest which has arisen between certain kings for the honour of its discovery. The people of Cappadocia also give it the name of “chiliodynamus.”636 The root of it is substantial, and it has slender branches, with umbels103 hanging from the extremities, and a black seed. In other respects, it bears a resemblance to rue, and is found growing in mountainous localities.

CHAP. 29.—THE EUPATORIA: ONE REMEDY.

The eupatoria637 also is a plant under royal patronage. The stem of it is ligneous, hairy, and swarthy, and a cubit or more in length. The leaves, arranged at regular intervals, resemble those of cinquefoil or hemp; they have five indentations at the edge, and are swarthy like the stem, and downy. The root is never used. The seed, taken in wine, is a sovereign remedy for dysentery.

CHAP. 30.—CENTAURION OR CHIRONION: TWENTY REMEDIES.

Centaury,638 it is said, effected a cure for Chiron, on the occasion when, while handling the arms of Hercules, his guest, he let one of the arrows fall upon his foot: hence it is that by some it is called “chironion.” The leaves of it are large and oblong, serrated at the edge, and growing in thick tufts from the root upwards. The stems, some three cubits in height and jointed, bear heads resembling those of the poppy. The root is large and spreading, of a reddish colour, tender and brittle, a couple of cubits in length, and full of a bitter juice, somewhat inclining to sweet.

This plant grows in rich soils upon declivities; the best in quality being that of Arcadia, Elis, Messenia, Mount Pholoë, and Mount Lycæus: it grows also upon the Alps, and in numerous other localities, and in Lycia they prepare a lycium639 from it. So remarkable are its properties for closing wounds, that pieces of meat even, it is said, are soldered together, when boiled with it. The root is the only part in use, being administered in doses of two drachmæ in the several cases hereafter640 mentioned.104 If, however, the patient is suffering from fever, it should be bruised and taken in water, wine being used in other cases. A decoction of the root is equally useful for all the same purposes.

CHAP. 31.—THE CENTAURION LEPTON, OR LIBADION, KNOWN ALSO AS FEL TERRÆ: TWENTY-TWO REMEDIES.

There is another centaury also, with diminutive leaves, known by the additional name of “lepton.”641 By some persons it is called “libadion,”642 from the circumstance that it grows upon the borders of fountains. It is similar to origanum in appearance, except that the leaves are narrower and longer. The stem is angular, branchy, and a palm in height; the flower is like that of the lychnis,643 and the root is thin, and never used. It is in the juice that its medicinal properties are centred: it being gathered in the autumn, and the juice extracted from the leaves. Some persons cut up the stalks, and steep them for some eighteen days in water, and then extract the juice.

In Italy this kind of centaury is known as “gall644 of the earth,” from its extreme bitterness. The Gauls give it the name of “exacum;”645 from the circumstance that, taken in drink, it purges off all noxious substances by alvine evacuation.

CHAP. 32.—THE CENTAURIS TRIORCHIS: TWO REMEDIES.

There is a third kind of centaury also, known as the “centauris triorchis.”646 It is but rarely that a person cuts it without wounding himself. The juice emitted is just the colour of blood.647 Theophrastus relates that this plant is under105 the protection of the triorchis, a kind of hawk, which attacks those who gather it; a circumstance to which it owes its name. Ignorant648 persons are in the habit of confounding all these characteristics, and attributing them to the centaury first named.

CHAP. 33. (7.)—CLYMENUS: TWO REMEDIES.

Clymenus is a plant so called, after a certain king.649 It has leaves like those of ivy, numerous branches, and a hollow, jointed stem. The smell of it is powerful, and the seed like that of ivy: it grows in wild and mountainous localities. We shall have to state hereafter, of what maladies it is curative, taken in drink, but it is as well to take the present opportunity of remarking that, while effecting a cure, in the male sex it neutralizes the generative powers.

The Greeks speak650 of this plant as being similar to the plantago in appearance, with a square stem, and a seed in capsules, interlaced like the arms of the polypus. The juice of this plant, too, is used, being possessed of refreshing properties in a very high degree.

CHAP. 34.—GENTIAN: THIRTEEN REMEDIES.

Gentian651 was first discovered by Gentius, king of Illyria. It is a plant to be found everywhere,652 but that of Illyria is the finest. It has a leaf like that of the ash,653 but equal in size to a lettuce-leaf: the stem is tender, about the thickness of the thumb, hollow and empty, and covered with leaves at regular intervals. This stem is sometimes three cubits in length, and the root is flexible, swarthy,654 and inodorous. It is found in the greatest abundance in humid localities at the foot of the Alps. The root and juice are the parts of it that are used: the root is possessed of certain warming properties,106 but it should never be taken by women in a state of pregnancy.

CHAP. 35.—THE LYSIMACHIA: EIGHT REMEDIES.

King Lysimachus655 first discovered the plant which from him has received the name of lysimachia, and the merits of which have been so highly extolled by Erasistratus. This plant has green leaves resembling those of the willow, and a purple656 blossom: it has all the appearance of a shrub, the branches are erect, and it has a pungent smell. It is found growing in watery soils. The properties of it are so extremely powerful, that if placed upon the yoke when beasts of burden are restive, it will be sure to overcome all stubbornness on their part.657

CHAP. 36.—ARTEMISIA, PARTHENIS, BOTRYS, OR AMBROSIA: FIVE REMEDIES.

Women too have even affected an ambition to give their name to plants: thus, for instance, Artemisia, the wife of King Mausolus, adopted the plant, which before was known by the name of “parthenis.” There are some persons, however, who are of opinion that it received this surname from the goddess Artemis Ilithyia,658 from the fact of its being used for the cure of female complaints more particularly. It is a plant with numerous branches, like those of wormwood, but the leaves of it are larger and substantial.

There are two varieties of it; one has broader659 leaves than the other,660 which last is of a slender form, with a more diminutive leaf, and grows nowhere but in maritime districts.

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Some persons again, give this name to a plant661 which grows more inland, with a single stem, extremely diminutive leaves, and numerous blossoms which open at the ripening of the grape, and the odour of which is far from unpleasant. In addition to this name, this last plant is known as “botrys” to some persons, and “ambrosia” to others:662 it grows in Cappadocia.

CHAP. 37.—NYMPHÆA, HERACLEON, RHOPALON, OR MADON; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: FOUR REMEDIES.

The plant called “nymphæa,” owes its name, they say, to a Nymph who died of jealousy conceived on account of Hercules, for which reason it is also known as “heracleon” by some. By other persons, again, it is called “rhopalon,” from the resemblance of its root to a club.663 * * * * and hence it is that those who take it in drink become impotent for some twelve days, and incapacitated for procreation. That of the first quality is found in Orchomenia and at Marathon: the people of Bœotia call it “madon,” and use the seed for food. It grows in spots covered with water; the leaves664 of it are large, and float upon the surface, while others are to be seen springing from the roots below. The flower is very similar to a lily in appearance, and after the plant has shed its blossom, the place of the flower is occupied by a head like that of the poppy. The stem is slender, and the plant is usually cut in autumn. The root, of a swarthy hue, is dried in the sun; garlic665 manifests a peculiar antipathy to it.

There is another666 nymphæa also, which grows in the river Peneus, in Thessaly: the root of it is white, and the head yellow, about the size of a rose.

CHAP. 38.—TWO VARIETIES OF EUPHORBIA: FOUR REMEDIES. THE CHAMELÆA.

In the time, too, of our fathers, King Juba discovered667 a108 plant, to which he gave the name of “euphorbia,” in honour of his physician, Euphorbus, the brother of the same Musa, whom we have mentioned668 as having saved the life of the late Emperor Augustus. It was these brothers who introduced the practice of douching the body with large quantities of cold water, immediately after the bath, for the purpose of bracing the system: whereas in former times, as we find stated in the works of Homer669 even, it was the practice to wash the body with warm water only. With reference to euphorbia,670 there is a treatise still in existence, written upon it by King Juba, in which he highly extols its merits; he discovered it growing upon Mount Atlas, and describes it as resembling a thyrsus in appearance, and bearing leaves like those of the acanthus.671

The properties of this plant are so remarkably powerful,672 that the persons engaged in collecting the juices of it are obliged to stand at a considerable distance. The incisions are made with a long pole shod with iron, the juice flowing into receivers of kid-leather placed beneath. The juice has all the appearance of milk, as it exudes, but when it has coagulated and dried, it assumes the form and consistency of frankincense. The persons engaged in collecting it, find their sight improved673 thereby. This juice is an excellent remedy for the stings of serpents: in whatever part of the body the wound may have been inflicted, the practice is to make an incision in the crown of the head, and there introduce the medicament. The Gætuli who collect it, are in the habit of adulterating it with warm milk;674 a fraud, however, easily to be detected by the agency of fire, that which is not genuine emitting a most disgusting smell.

Much inferior to this is the juice extracted, in Gaul,675 from the chamelæa,676 a plant which bears the grain of Cnidos. When broken asunder, it resembles hammoniacum677 in appearance; and however slightly tasted, it leaves a burning sensation in109 the mouth, which lasts a considerable time, and increases every now and then, until, in fact, it has quite parched the fauces.

CHAP. 39. (8.)—TWO VARIETIES OF THE PLANTAGO: FORTY-SIX REMEDIES.

The physician Themiso, too, has conferred some celebrity upon the plantago, otherwise a very common plant; indeed he has written a treatise upon it, as though he had been the first to discover it. There are two varieties; one, more diminutive678 than the other, has a narrower and more swarthy leaf, strongly resembling a sheep’s tongue in appearance: the stem of it is angular and bends downwards, and it is generally found growing in meadow lands. The larger679 kind has leaves enclosed with ribs at the sides, to all appearance, from the fact of which being seven680 in number, the plant has been called “heptapleuron”681 by some. The stem of it is a cubit in height, and strongly resembles that of the turnip. That which is grown in a moist soil is considered much the most efficacious: it is possessed of marvellous virtues as a desiccative and as an astringent, and has all the effect of a cautery. There is nothing that so effectually arrests the fluxes known by the Greeks as “rheumatismi.”

CHAP. 40.—BUGLOSSOS: THREE REMEDIES.

To an account of the plantago may be annexed that of the buglossos, the leaf of which resembles an ox tongue.682 The main peculiarity of this plant is, that if put into wine, it promotes683 mirth and hilarity, whence it has obtained the additional name of “euphrosynum.”684

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CHAP. 41.—CYNOGLOSSOS: THREE REMEDIES.

To this plant we may also annex an account of the cynoglossos,685 the leaf of which resembles a dog’s tongue, and which produces so pleasing an effect686 in ornamental gardening. The root, it is said, of the kind which bears three687 stems surmounted with seed, is very useful, taken in water, for tertian, and of that with four stems, for quartan, fevers.

There is another plant688 very similar to it, which bears diminutive burrs resembling those of the lappa:689 the root of it, taken in water, is curative of wounds inflicted by frogs690 or serpents.

CHAP. 42.—THE BUPHTHALMOS OR CACHLA: ONE REMEDY.

There is the buphthalmos691 also, so called from its resemblance to an ox’s eye, and with a leaf like that of fennel. It grows in the vicinity of towns, and is a branchy plant, with numerous stems, which are boiled and eaten. Some persons give it the name of “cachla.” In combination with wax, it disperses scirrhi.692

CHAP. 43.—PLANTS WHICH HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED BY CERTAIN NATIONS. THE SCYTHICE: ONE REMEDY.

Entire nations, too, have been the discoverers of certain plants. The Scythæ were the first to discover the plant known as “scythice,”693 which grows in the vicinity of the Palus694111 Mæotis. Among its other properties, this plant is remarkably sweet, and extremely useful for the affection known as “asthma.” It is also possessed of another great recommendation—so long as a person keeps it in his month, he will never695 experience hunger or thirst.

CHAP. 44.—THE HIPPACE: THREE REMEDIES.

The hippace,696 another plant that grows in Scythia, is possessed of similar properties: it owes697 its name to the circumstance that it produces the like effect upon horses. By the aid of these two plants, the Scythæ, they say, are enabled to endure hunger and thirst, so long as twelve days even.

CHAP. 45.—THE ISCHÆMON: TWO REMEDIES.

The Thracians were the first to discover the ischæmon,698 which, it is said, has the property of stanching the flow of blood, not only when a vein has been opened, but when it has been cut asunder even. This is a creeping plant; it is like millet in appearance, and the leaves of it are rough and lanuginous. It is used as a plug699 for the nostrils. The kind that grows in Italy, attached to the body as an amulet, has the property of arresting hæmorrhage.

CHAP. 46.—THE CESTROS, PSYCHOTROPHON, VETTONICA, OR SERRATULA: FORTY-EIGHT REMEDIES.

The Vettones, a people of Spain, were the original discoverers of the plant known as the “vettonica”700 in Gaul, the “serratula”701 in Italy, and the “cestros” or “psychotrophon”702 in112 Greece. This is a plant more highly esteemed than any other: it puts forth an angular stem two cubits in height, and throws out leaves from the root, with serrated edges, and closely resembling those of lapathum.703 The seed of it is purple: the leaves are dried and powdered, and used for numerous purposes. There is a wine also prepared from it, and a vinegar, remarkably beneficial to the stomach and the eyesight. Indeed, this plant enjoys so extraordinary a reputation, that it is a common belief even that the house which contains it is insured against misfortunes of every kind.

CHAP. 47.—THE CANTABRICA: TWO REMEDIES.

In Spain, too, is found the cantabrica,704 which was first discovered by the nation of the Cantabri in the time of the late Emperor Augustus. It grows everywhere in those parts, having a stem like that of the bulrush, a foot in height, and bearing small oblong flowers, like a calathus705 in shape, and enclosing an extremely diminutive seed.

Nor indeed, in other respects, have the people of Spain been wanting in their researches into the nature of plants; for at the present day even it is the custom in that country, at their more jovial entertainments, to use a drink called the hundred-plant drink, combined with a proportion of honied wine; it being their belief, that the wine is rendered more wholesome and agreeable by the admixture of these plants. It still remains unknown to us, what these different plants are, or in what number exactly they are used: as to this last question, however, we may form some conclusion from the name that is given to the beverage.

CHAP. 48.—CONSILIGO: ONE REMEDY.

Our own age, too, can remember the fact of a plant being discovered in the country of the Marsi. It is found growing also in the neighbourhood of the village of Nervesia, in the territory of the Æquicoli, and is known by the name of113 “consiligo.”706 It is very useful, as we shall have occasion to mention707 in the appropriate place, in cases of phthisis where recovery is considered more than doubtful.

CHAP. 49.—THE IBERIS: SEVEN REMEDIES.

It is but very lately, too, that Servilius Democrates, one of our most eminent physicians, first called attention to a plant to which he gave the name of iberis,708 a fanciful appellation709 only, bestowed by him upon this discovery of his in the verses by him devoted710 to it. This plant is found mostly growing in the vicinity of ancient monuments, old walls, and overgrown footpaths: it is an evergreen, and its leaves are like those of nasturtium, with a stem a cubit in height, and a seed so diminutive as to be hardly perceptible; the root, too, has just the smell of nasturtium. Its properties are more strongly developed in summer, and it is only used fresh-gathered: there is considerable difficulty in pounding it.

Mixed with a small proportion of axle-grease, it is extremely useful for sciatica and all diseases of the joints; the application being kept on some four hours at the utmost, when used by the male sex, and about half that time in the case of females. Immediately after its removal, the patient must take a warm bath, and then anoint the body all over with oil and wine—the same operation being repeated every twenty days, so long as there are any symptoms of pain remaining. A similar method is adopted for the cure of all internal defluxions; it114 is never applied, however, so long as the inflammation is at its height, but only when it has somewhat abated.

CHAP. 50.—PLANTS WHICH HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED BY CERTAIN ANIMALS. CHELIDONIA: SIX REMEDIES.

The brute animals also have been the discoverers of certain plants: among them, we will name chelidonia first of all. It is by the aid of this plant that the swallow restores the sight of the young birds in the nest, and even, as some persons will have it, when the eyes have been plucked out. There are two varieties of this plant; the larger711 kind has a branchy stem, and a leaf somewhat similar to that of the wild parsnip,712 but larger. The plant itself is some two cubits in height, and of a whitish colour, that of the flower being yellow. The smaller713 kind has leaves like those of ivy, only rounder and not so white. The juice of it is pungent, and resembles saffron in colour, and the seed is similar to that of the poppy.

These plants blossom,714 both of them, at the arrival of the swallow, and wither at the time of its departure. The juice is extracted while they are in flower, and is boiled gently in a copper vessel on hot ashes, with Attic honey, being esteemed a sovereign remedy for films upon the eyes. This juice is employed also, unmixed with any other substance, for the eyesalves,715 which from it take their name of “chelidonia.”

CHAP. 51.—THE DOG-PLANT: ONE REMEDY.

Dogs, too, are in the habit of seeking a certain plant,716 as a stimulant to the appetite; but although they eat it in our presence, it has never yet been discovered what it is, it being quite impossible to recognize it when seen half-chewed. There has also been remarked another bit of spitefulness in this animal, though in a much greater degree, in reference to115 another plant. When stung by a serpent, it cures itself, they say, by eating a certain herb, taking care, however, never to gather it in presence of man.

CHAP. 52.—THE ELAPHOBOSCON.

The hind, with a much greater degree of frankness, has discovered to us the elaphoboscon, a plant of which we have already717 spoken, and which is also called “helxine,”718 from the assistance it affords those animals in yeaning.

CHAP. 53.—DICTAMNON: EIGHT REMEDIES. PSEUDODICTAMNON OR CHONDRIS. IN WHAT PLACES THE MOST POWERFUL PLANTS ARE FOUND. HOW THAT MILK IS DRUNK IN ARCADIA FOR THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF THE PLANTS UPON WHICH THE CATTLE FEED.

It is the hind, too, that, as already719 stated, first made us acquainted with dictamnon,720 or dittany; for when wounded, it eats some of this plant, and the weapon immediately falls from the body. This plant grows nowhere721 but in Crete. The branches of it are remarkably thin; it resembles pennyroyal in appearance, and is hot and acrid to the taste. The leaves are the only part employed, it being destitute of722 blossom, seed, and stem: the root is thin, and never used. In Crete even, it is found growing only in a very limited locality, and is sought by goats with singular avidity.

In place of it, the pseudodictamnum723 is employed, a plant that is found growing in many countries. In leaf it is similar to the other, but the branches are more diminutive: by some persons it is known as “chondris.” Its properties not being so strongly developed, the difference is immediately recognized: for an infusion of the very smallest piece of the real dittany,116 is sufficient to burn the mouth. The persons who gather it are in the habit of enclosing it in a stem of fennel-giant or in a reed, which they close at the ends that the virtues of it may not escape. Some persons say, that both plants grow indiscriminately in numerous localities, the inferior sort being the produce of rich soils, and the genuine dittany being found nowhere but in rugged, uncultivated spots.

There is, again, a third724 plant called “dictamnum,” which, however, has neither the appearance nor the properties of the other plant so called; the leaves of it are like those of sisymbrium,725 but the branches are larger.

There has long been this impression with reference to Crete, that whatever plant grows there is infinitely superior in its properties to a similar plant the produce of any other country; the second rank being given to the produce of Mount Parnassus. In addition to this, it is generally asserted that simples of excellent quality are found upon Mount Pelion in Thessaly, Mount Teleuthrius in Eubœa, and throughout the whole of Arcadia and Laconia. Indeed, the Arcadians, they say, are in the habit of using, not the simples themselves, but milk, in the spring season more particularly; a period at which the field plants are swollen with juice, and the milk is medicated by their agency. It is cows’ milk in especial that they use for this purpose, those animals being in the habit of feeding upon nearly every kind of plant. The potent properties of plants are manifested by their action upon four-footed animals in two very remarkable instances: in the vicinity of Abdera and the tract known as the Boundary726 of Diomedes, the horses, after pasturing, become inflamed with frantic fury; the same is the case, too, with the male asses, in the neighbourhood of Potniæ.

CHAP. 54.—THE ARISTOLOCHIA, CLEMATITIS, CRETICA, PLISTOLOCHIA, LOCHIA POLYRRHIZOS, OR APPLE OF THE EARTH: TWENTY-TWO REMEDIES.

In the number of the most celebrated plants is the aristolochia,117 which would appear to have derived its name from females in a state of pregnancy, as being ἀρίστη λοχούσαις.727 Among us, however, it is known as the “malum terræ,” or apple of the earth,728 four different varieties of it being distinguished. One of these has a root covered with tubercles of a rounded729 shape, and leaves of a mixed appearance, between those of the mallow and the ivy, only softer and more swarthy. The second730 kind is the male plant, with an elongated root some four fingers in length, and the thickness of a walking-stick. A third731 variety is extremely thin and long, similar to a young vine in appearance: it has the most strongly-marked properties of them all, and is known by the additional names of “clematitis,” and “cretica.” All these plants are the colour of boxwood, have a slender stem, and bear a purple flower and small berries like those of the caper: the root is the only part that is possessed of any virtues.

There is also a fourth732 kind, the name given to which is “plistolochia;” it is more slender than the one last mentioned, has a root thickly covered with filaments, and is about as thick as a good-sized bulrush: another name given to it is “polyrrhizos.” The smell of all these plants is medicinal, but that of the one with an oblong root and a very slender stem, is the most agreeable: this last, in fact, which has a fleshy outer coat, is well adapted as an ingredient for nardine unguents even. They grow in rich champaign soils, and the best time for gathering them is harvest; after the earth is scraped from off them, they are put by for keeping.

The aristolochia that is the most esteemed, however, is that118 which comes from Pontus; but whatever the soil may happen to be, the more weighty it is, the better adapted it is for medicinal purposes. The aristolochia with a round root is recommended for the stings of serpents, and that with an oblong root * * * * But in this is centred its principal reputation; applied to the uterus with raw beef, as a pessary, immediately after conception, it will ensure the birth of male733 issue, they say. The fishermen on the coasts of Campania give the round root the name of “poison of the earth;” and I myself have seen them pound it with lime, and throw it into the sea; immediately on which the fish flew towards it with surprising avidity, and being struck dead in an instant, floated upon the surface.

The kind that is known as “polyrrhizos,”734 is remarkably good, they say, for convulsions, contusions, and falls with violence, an infusion of the root being taken in water: the seed, too, is useful for pleurisy and affections of the sinews. It is considered, too, to be possessed of warming and strengthening properties, similar to those of satyrion,735 in fact.

CHAP. 55.—THE EMPLOYMENT OF THESE PLANTS FOR INJURIES INFLICTED BY SERPENTS.

But it will be as well now to mention the various uses made of these plants, and the effects produced by them, beginning with that most dangerous of all evils that can befall us, stings inflicted by serpents. In such cases the plant britannica736 effects a cure, and the same is the case with the root of all the varieties of panaces,737 administered in wine. The flower, too, and seed of panaces chironion are taken in drink, or applied externally with wine and oil: cunila bubula,738 too, is looked upon as particularly useful for this purpose, and the root of polemonia or philetæris is taken in doses of four drachmæ in unmixed wine. Teucria,739 sideritis,740 and scordotis,741 are used in wine, plants particularly good, all of them, for injuries inflicted by snakes; the juice or leaves, or else a decoction of119 them, being taken in drink or applied to the wound. For a similar purpose also, the root of the greater centaury is taken, in doses of one drachma to three cyathi of white wine. Gentian, too, is particularly good for the stings of snakes, taken either fresh or dried, in doses of two drachmæ, mixed with rue and pepper in six cyathi of wine. The odour, too, of lysimachia742 puts serpents to flight.

Chelidonia743 is also given in wine to persons who have been stung; and betony in particular is used as an external application to the wound, a plant the virtues of which are so extraordinary, it is said, that if a circle of it is traced around a serpent, it will lash itself to death744 with its tail. The seed of this plant is also administered in such cases, in doses of one denarius to three cyathi of wine; or else it is dried and powdered, and applied to the wound, in the proportion of three denarii of powder to one sextarius of water.

Cantabrica, dittany, and aristolochia, are also similarly used, one drachma of the root of this last plant being taken every now and then in a semisextarius of wine. It is very useful too, rubbed in with vinegar, and the same is the case, also, with plistolochia:745 indeed it will be quite sufficient to suspend this last over the hearth, to make all serpents leave the house.

CHAP. 56. (9.)—THE ARGEMONIA: FOUR REMEDIES.

The argemonia,746 too, is remedial in such cases; the root of it being taken, in doses of one denarius, in three cyathi of wine. It will be as well, however, to enter into some further details in reference to this plant and others, which I shall have occasion next to mention; it being my intention first to describe, under each head, those plants which are the most efficacious for the treatment of the affection under consideration.

The argemonia has leaves like those of the anemone, but divided747 like those of parsley: the head grows upon a slender stem resembling that of the wild poppy, and the root is also120 very similar to that of the same plant. The juice is of a saffron colour, acrid and pungent: the plant is commonly found in the fields of this country. Among us there are three748 varieties of it distinguished, the one being the most highly approved of, the root of which smells749 like frankincense.750

CHAP. 57.—AGARIC: THIRTY-THREE REMEDIES.

Agaric751 is found growing in the form of a fungus of a white colour, upon the trees in the vicinity of the Bosporus. It is administered in doses of four oboli, beaten up in two cyathi of oxymel. The kind that grows in Galatia is generally looked upon as not so efficacious. The male752 agaric is firmer than the other, and more bitter; it is productive too of head-ache. The female plant is of a looser texture; it has a sweet taste at first, which speedily changes into a bitter flavour.

CHAP. 58.—THE ECHIOS; THREE VARIETIES OF IT: TWO REMEDIES.

Of the echios there are two kinds; one753 of which resembles pennyroyal in appearance, and has a concave leaf. It is administered, in doses of two drachmæ, in four cyathi of wine. The other754 kind is distinguished by a prickly down, and bears small heads resembling those of vipers: it is usually taken in wine and vinegar. Some persons give the name of “echios personata”755 to a kind of echios with larger leaves than the others, and burrs of considerable size, resembling that of the lappa.756 The root of this plant is boiled and administered in vinegar.121 Henbane, pounded with the leaves on, is taken in wine, for the sting of the asp in particular.

CHAP. 59.—HIERABOTANE, PERISTEREON, OR VERBENACA; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: TEN REMEDIES.

But among the Romans there is no plant that enjoys a more extended renown than hierabotane757 known to some persons as “peristereon,”758 and among us more generally as “verbenaca.”759 It is this plant that we have already760 mentioned as being borne in the hands of envoys when treating with the enemy, with this that the table of Jupiter is cleansed,761 with this that houses are purified and due expiation made. There are two varieties of it: the one that is thickly covered with leaves762 is thought to be the female plant; that with fewer leaves,763 the male. Both kinds have numerous thin branches, a cubit in length, and of an angular form. The leaves are smaller than those of the quercus, and narrower, with larger indentations. The flower is of a grey colour, and the root is long and thin. This plant is to be found growing everywhere, in level humid localities. Some persons make no distinction between these two varieties, and look upon them as identical, from the circumstance of their being productive of precisely similar effects.

The people in the Gallic provinces make use of them both for soothsaying purposes, and for the prediction of future events; but it is the magicians more particularly that give utterance to such ridiculous follies in reference to this plant. Persons, they tell us, if they rub themselves with it will be sure to gain the object of their desires; and they assure us that it keeps away fevers, conciliates friendship, and is a cure for every possible disease; they say, too, that it must be gathered about the rising of the Dog-star—but so as not to be shone upon by sun or moon—and that honey-combs and honey must be first presented to the earth by way of expiation. They tell us also122 that a circle must first be traced around it with iron; after which it must be taken up with the left hand, and raised aloft, care being taken to dry the leaves, stem, and root, separately in the shade. To these statements they add, that if the banqueting couch is sprinkled with water in which it has been steeped, merriment and hilarity will be greatly promoted thereby.

As a remedy for the stings of serpents, this plant is bruised in wine.

CHAP. 60.—THE BLATTARIA: ONE REMEDY.

There is a plant very similar in appearance to verbascum,764 so much so, indeed, as to be frequently gathered for it by mistake. The leaves,765 however, are not so white, the stems are more numerous, and the flower is of a yellow colour. Thrown upon the ground, this plant attracts black beetles766 to it, whence its Roman appellation “blattaria.”

CHAP. 61.—LEMONIUM: ONE REMEDY.

Lemonium767 furnishes a milky juice, which thickens like gum. It grows in moist, watery localities, and is generally administered, in doses of one denarius, in wine.

CHAP. 62.—QUINQUEFOLIUM, KNOWN ALSO AS PENTAPETES, PENTAPHYLLON, OR CHAMÆZELON: THIRTY-THREE REMEDIES.

There is no one to whom quinquefolium768 is unknown, being recommended by a sort of strawberry769 which it bears: The Greeks give it the name of pentapetes,770 pentaphyllon,770 and chamæzelon.771 The root, when taken up, is red; but as it123 dries it becomes black and angular. Its name is derived from the number of its leaves: it puts forth and withers with the leaves of the vine. This plant also is employed in the purification of houses.

CHAP. 63.—THE SPARGANION: ONE REMEDY.

The root, too, of the plant known as the sparganion,772 is taken in white wine, as a remedy for the stings of serpents.

CHAP. 64.—FOUR VARIETIES OF THE DAUCUS: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

Petronius Diodotus has distinguished four kinds of daucus, which it would be useless here to describe, the varieties being in reality but two773 in number. The most esteemed kind is that of Crete,774 the next best being the produce of Achaia, and of all dry localities. It resembles fennel in appearance, only that its leaves are whiter, more diminutive, and hairy on the surface. The stem is upright, and a foot in length, and the root has a remarkably pleasant taste and smell. This kind grows in stony localities with a southern aspect.

The inferior sorts are found growing everywhere, upon declivities for instance, and in the hedges of fields, but always in a rich soil. The leaves are like those of coriander,775 the stem being a cubit in length, the heads round, often three or more in number, and the root ligneous, and good for nothing when dry. The seed of this kind is like that of cummin, while that of the first kind bears a resemblance to millet; in all cases it is white, acrid, hot, and odoriferous. The seed of the second kind has more active properties than that of the first; for which reason it should be used more sparingly.

If it is considered really desirable to recognize a third124 variety of the daucus, there is a plant776 of this nature very similar to the staphylinos, known as the “pastinaca777 erratica,” with an oblong seed and a sweet root. Quadrupeds will touch none of these plants, either in winter or in summer, except indeed, after abortion.778 The seed of the various kinds is used, with the exception of that of Crete, in which case it is the root that is employed; this root being particularly useful for the stings of serpents. The proper dose is one drachma, taken in wine. It is administered also to cattle when stung by those reptiles.

CHAP. 65.—THE THERIONARCA: TWO REMEDIES.

The therionarca, altogether a different plant from that of the Magi,779 grows in our own climates, and is a branchy plant, with greenish leaves, and a rose-coloured flower. It has a deadly effect upon serpents, and the very contact of it is sufficient to benumb780 a wild beast, of whatever kind it be.

CHAP. 66.—THE PERSOLATA OR ARCION; EIGHT REMEDIES.

The persolata,781 a plant known to every one, and called “arcion” by the Greeks, has a leaf, larger, thicker, more swarthy, and more hairy than that of the gourd even, with a large white root. This plant also is taken, in doses of two denarii, in wine.

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CHAP. 67.—CYCLAMINOS OR TUBER TERRÆ: TWELVE REMEDIES.

So too, the root of cyclaminos782 is good for injuries inflicted by serpents of all kinds. It has leaves smaller than those of ivy, thinner, more swarthy, destitute of angles, and covered with whitish spots. The stem is thin and hollow, the flowers of a purple colour, and the root large and covered with a black rind; so much so, in fact, that it might almost be taken for the root of rape. This plant grows in umbrageous localities, and by the people of our country is known as the “tuber terræ.”783 It ought to be grown in every house, if there is any truth in the assertion that wherever it grows, noxious spells can have no effect. This plant is also what is called an “amulet;” and taken in wine, they say, it produces all the symptoms and appearances of intoxication. The root is dried, cut in pieces, like the squill, and put away for keeping. When wanted, a decoction is made of it, of the consistency of honey. Still, however, it has some deleterious784 properties; and a pregnant woman, it is said, if she passes over the root of it, will be sure to miscarry.

CHAP. 68.—THE CYCLAMINOS CISSANTHEMOS: FOUR REMEDIES.

There is also another kind of cyclaminos, known by the additional name of “cissanthemos;”785 the stems of it, which are jointed, are good for nothing. It is altogether different from the preceding plant, and entwines around the trunks of trees. It bears a berry similar to that of the ivy, but soft; and the flower is white and pleasing to the sight. The root is never used. The berries are the only part of it in use, being of an126 acrid, viscous taste. They are dried in the shade, after which they are pounded and divided into lozenges.

CHAP. 69.—THE CYCLAMINOS CHAMÆCISSOS: THREE REMEDIES.

A third kind786 of cyclaminos has also been shown to me, the additional name of which is “chamæcissos.” It consists of but a single leaf, with a branchy root, formerly employed for killing fish.

CHAP. 70.—PEUCEDANUM: TWENTY-EIGHT REMEDIES.

But in the very first rank among these plants, stands peucedanum,787 the most esteemed kind of which is that of Arcadia, the next best being that of Samothrace, The stem resembles that of fennel, is thin and long, covered with leaves close to the ground, and terminating in a thick black juicy root, with a powerful smell. It grows on umbrageous mountains, and is taken up at the end of autumn. The largest and tenderest roots are the most esteemed; they are cut with bone-knives into slips four fingers in length, and left to shed their juice788 in the shade; the persons employed taking the precaution of rubbing the head and nostrils with rose-oil, as a preservative against vertigo.

There is also another kind of juice, which adheres to the stems, and exudes from incisions made therein. It is considered best when it has arrived at the consistency of honey: the colour of it is red, and it has a strong but agreeable smell, and a hot, acrid taste. This juice, as well as the root and a decoction of it, enters into the composition of numerous medicaments, but the juice has the most powerful properties of the two. Diluted with bitter almonds or rue, it is taken in drink as a remedy for injuries inflicted by serpents. Rubbed upon the body with oil, it is a preservative against the attacks of those reptiles.

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CHAP. 71. (10.)—EBULUM; SIX REMEDIES

A fumigation, too, of ebulum,789 a plant known to every one, will put serpents to flight.

CHAP. 72.—POLEMONIA: ONE REMEDY.

The root of polemonia,790 even worn as an amulet only, is particularly useful for repelling the attacks of scorpions, as also the phalangium and other small insects of a venomous nature. For injuries inflicted by the scorpion, aristolochia791 is also used, or agaric, in doses of four oboli to four cyathi of wine. For the bite of the phalangium, vervain is employed, in combination with wine or oxycrate: cinquefoil, too, and daucus, are used for a similar purpose.

CHAP. 73.—PHLOMOS OR VERBASCUM: FIFTEEN REMEDIES.

Verbascum has the name of “phlomos” with the Greeks. Of this plant there are two principal kinds; the white,792 which is considered to be the male, and the black,793 thought to be the female. There is a third794 kind, also, which is only found in the woods. The leaves of these plants are larger than those of the cabbage, and have a hairy surface: the stem is upright, and more than a cubit in height, and the seed black, and never used. The root is single, and about the thickness of the finger. The two principal kinds are found growing in champaign localities. The wild verbascum has leaves like those of elelisphacus,795 but of an elongated form; the branches are ligneous.

CHAP. 74.—THE PHLOMIS: ONE REMEDY. THE LYCHNITIS OR THRYALLIS.

There are also two796 varieties of the phlomis, hairy plants,128 with rounded leaves, and but little elevated above the surface of the earth. A third kind, again, is known as the “lychnitis”797 by some persons, and as the “thryallis” by others: it has three leaves only, or four at the very utmost, thick and unctuous, and well adapted for making wicks for lamps. The leaves of the phlomos which we have mentioned as the female plant, if wrapped about figs, will preserve them most efficiently from decay, it is said. It seems little better than a loss of time to give the distinguishing characteristics of these three798 kinds, the effects of them all being precisely the same.

For injuries inflicted by scorpions, an infusion of the root is taken, with rue, in water. Its bitterness is intense, but it is quite as efficacious as the plants already mentioned.

CHAP. 75.—THE THELYPHONON OR SCORPIO: ONE REMEDY.

The thelyphonon799 is a plant known as the “scorpio” to some, from the peculiar form of its roots, the very touch of which kills800 the scorpion: hence it is that it is taken in drink for stings inflicted by those reptiles. If a dead scorpion is rubbed with white hellebore, it will come to life, they say. The thelyphonon is fatal to all quadrupeds, on the application of the root to the genitals. The leaf too, which bears a resemblance to that of cyclaminos, is productive of a similar effect, in the course of the same day. It is a jointed plant, and is found growing in unbrageous localities. Juice of betony or of plantago is a preservative against the venom of the scorpion.

CHAP. 76.—THE PHRYNION, NEURAS, OR POTERION; ONE REMEDY.

Frogs, too, have their venom, the bramble-frog801 in particular,129 and I myself have seen the Psylli, in their exhibitions, irritate them by placing them upon flat vessels made red hot,802 their bite being fatal more instantaneously than the sting even of the asp. One remedy for their poison is the phrynion,803 taken in wine, which has also the additional names of “neuras”804 and “poterion:” it bears a small flower, and has numerous fibrous roots, with an agreeable smell.

CHAP. 77.—THE ALISMA, DAMASONION, OR LYRON: SEVENTEEN REMEDIES.

Similar too, are the properties of the alisma,805 known to some persons as the “damasonion,” and as the “lyron” to others. The leaves of it would be exactly those of the plantago, were it not that they are narrower, more jagged at the edges, and bent downwards in a greater degree. In other respects, they present the same veined appearance as those of the plantago. This plant has a single stem, slender, a cubit in height, and terminated by a spreading head.806 The roots of it are numerous, thin like those of black hellebore, acrid, unctuous, and odoriferous: it is found growing in watery localities.

There is another kind also, which grows in the woods, of a more swarthy colour, and with larger leaves. The root of them both is used for injuries inflicted by frogs and by the sea-hare,807 in doses of one drachma taken in wine. Cyclaminos, too, is an antidote for injuries inflicted by the sea-hare.

The bite of the mad dog has certain venomous properties, as an antidote to which we have the cynorrhodos, of which130 we have spoken808 elsewhere already. The plantago is useful for the bites of all kinds of animals, either taken in drink or applied topically to the part affected. Betony is taken on similar occasions, in old wine, unmixed.

CHAP. 78.—PERISTEREOS: SIX REMEDIES.

The name of peristereos809 is given to a plant with a tall stem, covered with leaves, and throwing out other stems from the top. It is much sought by pigeons, to which circumstance it owes its name. Dogs will never bark, they say, at persons who have this plant about them.

CHAP. 79.—REMEDIES AGAINST CERTAIN POISONS.

Closely approaching in their nature to these various kinds of poisons, are those which have been devised by man for his own destruction. In the number of antidotes to all these artificial poisons as well as to the spells of sorcery, the very first place must be accorded to the moly810 of Homer; next to which come the mithridatia,811 scordotis,812 and centaury. The seed of betony carries off all kinds of noxious substances by stool; being taken for the purpose in honied wine or raisin wine, or else pulverized, and taken, in doses of one drachma, in four cyathi of old wine: in this last case, however, the patient must bring it off the stomach by vomit and then repeat the dose. Persons who accustom themselves to take this plant daily, will never experience any injury, they say, from substances of a poisonous nature.

When a person has taken poison, one most powerful remedy is aristolochia,813 taken in the same proportions as those used for injuries inflicted by serpents.814 The juice, too, of cinquefoil is given for a similar purpose; and in both cases, after the patient has vomited, agaric is administered, in doses of one denarius, in three cyathi of hydromel.

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CHAP. 80.—THE ANTIRRHINUM, ANARRHINON, OR LYCHNIS AGRIA: THREE REMEDIES.

The name of antirrhinum815 or anarrhinon is given to the lychnis agria,816 a plant which resembles flax in appearance, is destitute of root, has a flower like that of the hyacinth, and a seed similar in form to the muzzle of a calf. According to what the magicians say, persons who rub themselves with this plant improve their personal appearance thereby; and they may ensure themselves against all noxious substances and poisons, by wearing it as a bracelet.

CHAP. 81.—EUCLEA: ONE REMEDY.

The same is the case, too, with the plant to which they give the name of “euclea,”817 and which, they tell us, rubbed upon the person, will ensure a more extended consideration. They say, too, that if a person carries artemisia818 about him, he will be ensured against all noxious drugs, the attacks of wild beasts of every kind, and sunstroke even. This last plant is taken also in wine, in cases of poisoning by opium. Used as an amulet, or taken in drink, it is said to be particularly efficacious for injuries inflicted by frogs.

CHAP. 82.—THE PERICARPUM; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: TWO REMEDIES.

The pericarpum is a kind of bulbous plant. There are two varieties of it; one with a red819 outer coat, and the other,820132 similar is appearance to the black poppy, and possessed of greater virtues than the first. They are both, however, of a warming nature, for which reason, they are administered to persons who have taken hemlock, a poison for which frankincense and panaces are used, chironion821 in particular. This last, too, is given in cases of poisoning by fungi.

CHAP. 83. (11.)—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE HEAD. NYMPHÆA HERACLIA: TWO REMEDIES.

But we shall now proceed to point out the various classes of remedies for the several parts of the body, and the maladies to which those parts are subject, beginning in the first place with the head.

The root of nymphæa heraclia822 effects the cure of alopecy, if they are beaten up together,823 and applied. The polythrix824 differs from the callitrichos825 in having white, rushlike suckers, larger leaves, and more numerous; the main stem,826 too, is larger. This plant strengthens the hair, prevents it from falling off, and makes it grow more thickly

CHAP. 84.—THE LINGULACA: ONE REMEDY.

The same is the case too with the lingulaca,827 a plant that grows in the vicinity of springs, and the root of which is reduced to ashes, and beaten up with hog’s lard. Due care must be taken, however, that it is the lard of a female, of a black colour, and one that has never farrowed. The application is rendered additionally efficacious, if the ointment is applied in the sun. Root, too, of cyclaminos is employed in the same133 manner for a similar purpose. A decoction of root of hellebore in oil or in water is used for the removal of porrigo. For the cure of head-ache, root of all kinds of panaces828 is used, beaten up in oil; as also aristolochia829 and iberis,830 this last being applied to the head for an hour or more, if the patient can bear it so long, care being taken to bathe m the meanwhile. The daucus, too, is curative of head-ache. Cyclaminos,831 introduced into the nostrils with honey, clears the head; used in the form of a liniment, it heals ulcers of the head. Peristereos,832 also, is curative of diseases of the head.

CHAP. 85.—THE CACALIA OR LEONTICE: THREE REMEDIES.

The name of “cacalia”833 or “leontice” is given to a plant with seed resembling small pearls in appearance, and hanging down between large leaves: it is mostly found upon mountains. Fifteen grains of this seed are macerated in oil, and the head is rubbed with the mixture, the contrary way to the hair.

CHAP. 86.—THE CALLITRICHOS: ONE REMEDY.

A sternutatory, too, is prepared from the callitrichos.834 The leaves of this plant are similar to those of the lentil, and the stems resemble fine rushes; the root is very diminutive. It grows in shady, moist localities, and has a burning taste in the mouth.

CHAP. 87.—HYSSOP: TEN REMEDIES.

Hyssop,835 beaten up in oil, is curative of phthiriasis and134 prurigo of the head. The best hyssop is that of Mount Taurus in Cilicia, next to which in quality is the produce of Pamphylia and Smyrna. This plant is injurious to the stomach: taken with figs, it produces alvine evacuations, and used in combination with honey, it acts as an emetic. It is generally thought that, beaten up with honey, salt, and cummin, it is curative of the stings of serpents.

CHAP. 88.—THE LONCHITIS: FOUR REMEDIES.

The lonchitis836 is not, as most writers have imagined, the same plant as the xiphion837 or phasganion, although the seed of it does bear a resemblance to the point of a spear. The lonchitis, in fact, has leaves like those of the leek, of a reddish colour near the root, and more numerous there than on the upper part of the stem. It bears diminutive heads, which are very similar to our masks of comedy, and from which a small tongue protrudes:838 the roots of it are remarkably long. It grows in thirsty, arid soils.

CHAP. 89.—THE XIPHION OR PHASGANION: FOUR REMEDIES.

The xiphion839 or phasganion, on the other hand, is found growing in humid localities. On first leaving the ground it has the appearance of a sword; the stem of it is two cubits in length, and the root is fringed like a hazel nut.840

This root should always be taken up before harvest, and dried in the shade. The upper part of it, pounded with frankincense, and mixed with an equal quantity of wine, extracts fractured bones of the cranium, purulent matter in all parts of the body, and bones of serpents,841 when accidentally135 trodden upon; if is very efficacious, too, for poisons. In cases of head-ache, the head should be rubbed with hellebore, boiled and beaten up in olive oil, or oil of roses, or else with peucedanum steeped in olive oil or rose oil, and vinegar. This last plant, made lukewarm, is very good also for hemicrania842 and vertigo. It being of a heating nature, the body is rubbed with the root as a sudorific.

CHAP. 90.—PSYLLION, CYNOÏDES, CRYSTALLION, SICELICON, OR CYNOMYIA; SIXTEEN REMEDIES. THRYSELINUM: ONE REMEDY.

Psyllion,843 cynoïdes, crystallion, sicelicon, or cynomyia, has a slender root, of which no use is made, and numerous thin branches, with seeds resembling those of the bean, at the extremities.844 The leaves of it are not unlike a dog’s head in shape;845 and the seed, which is enclosed in berries, bears a resemblance to a flea—whence its name “psyllion.” This plant is generally found growing in vineyards, is of a cooling nature, and is extremely efficacious as a dispellent. The seed of it is the part made use of; for head-ache, it is applied to the forehead and temples with rose oil and vinegar, or else with oxycrate; it is used as a liniment for other purposes also. Mixed in the proportion of one acetabulum to one sextarius of water, it is left to coagulate and thicken; after which it is beaten up, and the thick solution is used as a liniment for all kinds of pains, abscesses, and inflammations.

Aristolochia is used as a remedy for wounds in the head; it has the property, too, of extracting fractured bones, not only from other parts of the body, but the cranium in particular. The same, too, with plistolochia.

Thryselinum846 is a plant not unlike parsley; the root of it, eaten, carries off pituitous humours from the head.

136

CHAP. 91. (12.)—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE EYES.

It is generally thought that the greater centaury847 strengthens the sight, if the eyes are fomented with it steeped in water; and that by employing the juice of the smaller kind, in combination with honey, films and cloudiness may be dispersed, marks obliterated, and small flies removed which have got into the eye. It is thought also that sideritis is curative of albugo in beasts of burden. As to chelidonia,848 it is marvellously good for all the affections above mentioned. Root of panaces849 is applied, with polenta,850 to defluxions of the eyes; and for the purpose of keeping them down, henbane-seed is taken, in doses of one obolus, with an equal proportion of opium, in wine. Juice, too, of gentian is used as a liniment, and it sometimes forms an ingredient in the more active eyesalves,851 as a substitute for meconium. Euphorbia,852 applied in the form of a liniment, improves the eyesight, and for ophthalmia juice of plantago853 is injected into the eyes.

Aristolochia disperses films upon the eyes; and iberis,854 attached to the head with cinquefoil, is curative of defluxions and other diseases of the eyes. Verbascum855 is applied topically to defluxions of the eyes, and vervain is used for a similar purpose, with rose oil and vinegar. For the treatment of cataract and dimness of sight, cyclaminos is reduced to a pulp and divided into lozenges. Juice, too, of peucedanum, as already mentioned,856 mixed with meconium and oil of roses, is good for the sight, and disperses films upon the eyes. Psyllion,857 applied to the forehead, arrests defluxions of the eyes.

CHAP. 92. (13.)—THE ANAGALLIS, OR CORCHORON; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: SIX REMEDIES.

The anagallis is called “corchoron”858 by some. There are137 two kinds of it, the male859 plant, with a red blossom, and the female,860 with a blue flower. These plants do not exceed a palm in height, and have a tender stem, with diminutive leaves of a rounded form, drooping upon the ground. They grow in gardens and in spots covered with water, the blue anagallis being the first to blossom. The juice861 of either plant, applied with honey, disperses films upon the eyes, suffusions of blood862 in those organs resulting from blows, and argema863 with a red tinge: if used in combination with Attic honey, they are still more efficacious. The anagallis has the effect also of dilating864 the pupil; hence the eye is anointed with it before the operation of couching865 for cataract. These plants are employed also for diseases of the eyes in beasts of burden.

The juice, injected into the nostrils, which are then rinsed with wine, acts as a detergent upon the head: it is taken also, in doses of one drachma, in wine, for wounds inflicted by serpents. It is a remarkable fact, that cattle will refuse to touch the female plant; but if it should so happen that, deceived by the resemblance—the flower being the only distinguishing mark—they have accidentally tasted it, they immediately have recourse, as a remedy, to the plant called “asyla,”866 but more generally known among us as “ferus oculus.”867 Some persons recommend those who gather it, to prelude by saluting it before sunrise, and then, before uttering another word, to take care and extract the juice immediately; if this is done, they say, it will be doubly efficacious.

As to the juice of euphorbia, we have spoken868 of its properties at sufficient length already. In cases of ophthalmia,138 attended with swelling, it will be a good plan to apply wormwood beaten up with honey, as well as powdered betony.

CHAP. 93.—THE ÆGILOPS: TWO REMEDIES.

The fistula of the eye, called “ægilops,” is cured by the agency of the plant of the same name,869 which grows among barley, and has a leaf like that of wheat. The seed is pounded for the purpose, and applied with meal; or else the juice is extracted from the stem and more pulpy leaves, the ears being first removed. This juice is incorporated with meal of three-month wheat, and divided into lozenges.

CHAP. 94.—MANDRAGORA, CIRCÆON, MORION, OR HIPPOPHLOMOS; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: TWENTY-FOUR REMEDIES.

Some persons, too, were in the habit of employing mandragora for diseases of the eyes; but more recently, the use of it for such a purpose has been abandoned. It is a well-ascertained fact, however, that the root, beaten up with rose oil and wine, is curative of defluxions of the eyes and pains in those organs; and, indeed, the juice of this plant still forms an ingredient in many medicaments for the eyes. Some persons give it the name of “circæon.”870 There are two varieties, the white871 mandragora, which is generally thought to be the male plant, and the black,872 which is considered to be the female. It has a leaf narrower than that of the lettuce, a hairy stem, and a double or triple root, black without and white within, soft and fleshy, and nearly a cubit in length.

Both kinds bear a fruit about the size of a hazel-nut, enclosing a seed resembling the pips of a pear in appearance. The name given to the white plant by some persons is “arsen,”873 by others “morion,”874 and by others again, “hippophlomos.” The leaves of it are white, while those of the other139 one875 are broader, and similar to those of garden lapathum876 in appearance. Persons, when about to gather this plant, take every precaution not to have the wind blowing in their face; and after tracing three circles round it with a sword, turn towards the west and dig it up.877 The juice is extracted both from the fruit and from the stalk, the top being first removed; also from the root, which is punctured for the purpose, or else a decoction is made of it. The filaments, too, of the root are made use of, and it is sometimes cut up into segments and kept in wine.

It is not the mandragora of every country that will yield a juice, but where it does, it is about vintage time that it is collected: it has in all cases a powerful odour, that of the root and fruit the most so. The fruit is gathered when ripe, and dried in the shade; and the juice, when extracted, is left to thicken in the sun. The same is the case, too, with the juice of the root, which is extracted either by pounding it or by boiling it down to one third in red wine. The leaves are best, kept in brine; indeed, when fresh, the juice of them is a baneful poison,878 and these noxious properties are far from being entirely removed, even when they are preserved in brine. The very odour of them is highly oppressive to the head, although there are countries in which the fruit is eaten. Persons ignorant of its properties are apt to be struck dumb by the odour of this plant when in excess, and too strong a dose of the juice is productive of fatal effects.

Administered in doses proportioned to the strength of the patient, this juice has a narcotic effect; a middling dose being one cyathus. It is given, too, for injuries inflicted by serpents, and before incisions or punctures are made in the body, in140 order to ensure insensibility to the pain.879 Indeed, for this last purpose, with some persons, the odour of it is quite sufficient to induce sleep. The juice is taken also as a substitute for hellebore, in doses of two oboli, in honied wine: hellebore, however, is more efficacious as an emetic, and as an evacuant of black bile.

CHAP. 95.—HEMLOCK: THIRTEEN REMEDIES.

Hemlock,880 too, is a poisonous plant, rendered odious by the use made of it by the Athenian people, as an instrument of capital punishment: still,881 however, as it is employed for many useful purposes, it must not be omitted. It is the seed that is noxious, the stalk being eaten by many people, either green, or cooked882 in the saucepan. This stem is smooth, jointed like a reed, of a swarthy hue, often as much as two cubits in height, and branchy at the top. The leaves are like those of coriander, only softer, and possessed of a powerful odour. The seed is more substantial than that of anise, and the root is hollow and never used. The seed and leaves are possessed of refrigerating properties; indeed, it is owing to these properties that it is so fatal, the cold chills with which it is attended commencing at the extremities. The great remedy883 for it, provided it has not reached the vitals, is wine, which is naturally of a warming tendency; but if it is taken in wine, it is irremediably fatal.

A juice is extracted from the leaves and flowers; for it is at the time of its blossoming that it is in its full vigour. The seed is crushed, and the juice extracted from it is left to thicken in the sun, and then divided into lozenges. This141 preparation proves fatal by coagulating the blood—another deadly property which belongs to it; and hence it is that the bodies of those who have been poisoned by it are covered with spots. It is sometimes used in combination with water as a medium for diluting certain medicaments. An emollient poultice is also prepared from this juice, for the purpose of cooling the stomach; but the principal use made of it is as a topical application, to check defluxions of the eyes in summer, and to allay pains in those organs. It is employed also as an ingredient in eyesalves, and is used for arresting fluxes in other parts of the body: the leaves, too, have a soothing effect upon all kinds of pains and tumours, and upon defluxions of the eyes.

Anaxilaüs makes a statement to the effect, that if the mamillæ884 are rubbed with hemlock during virginity, they will always be hard and firm: but a better-ascertained fact is, that applied885 to the mamillæ, it dries up the milk in women recently delivered; as also that, applied to the testes at the age of puberty, it acts most effectually as an antaphrodisiac.886 As to those cases in which it is recommended to take it internally as a remedy, I shall, for my own part, decline to mention them. The most powerful hemlock is that grown at Susa, in Parthia, the next best being the produce of Laconia, Crete, and Asia.887 In Greece, the hemlock of the finest quality is that of Megara, and next to it, that of Attica.

CHAP. 96.—CRETHMOS AGRIOS: ONE REMEDY.

Crethmos agrios,888 applied to the eyes, removes rheum; and, with the addition of polenta, it causes tumours to disappear.

CHAP. 97.—MOLYBDÆNA: ONE REMEDY.

Molybdæna889 also grows everywhere in the fields, a plant commonly known as “plumbago.”889 It has leaves like those of lapathum,890 and a thick, hairy root. Chewed and applied to the142 eye from time to time, it removes the disease called “plum-bum,”891 which affects that organ.

CHAP. 98.—THE FIRST KIND OF CAPNOS, KNOWN ALSO AS CHICKEN’S FOOT: ONE REMEDY.

The first kind of capnos,892 known also as “chicken’s foot,”893 is found growing on walls and hedges: it has very thin, straggling branches, with a purple blossom. It is used in a green state, and the juice of it disperses films upon the eyes; hence it is that it is employed as an ingredient in medicinal compositions for the eyes.

CHAP. 99.—THE ARBORESCENT CAPNOS: THREE REMEDIES.

There is another kind894 of capnos also, similar both in name and properties, but different in appearance. It is a branchy plant, is extremely delicate, has leaves like those of coriander, is of an ashy colour, and bears a purple flower: it grows in gardens, and amid crops of barley. Employed in the form of an ointment for the eyes, it improves the sight, producing tears in the same way that smoke does, to which, in fact, it owes its name. It has the effect also of preventing the eyelashes, when pulled out, from growing again.

CHAP. 100.—THE ACORON OR AGRION: FOURTEEN REMEDIES.

The acoron895 has leaves similar to those of the iris,896 only narrower, and with a longer stalk; the roots of it are black, and not so veined, but in other respects are similar to those of the iris, have an acrid taste and a not unpleasant smell, and act as a carminative. The best roots are those grown in Pontus, the next best those of Galatia, and the next those of143 Crete; but it is in Colchis, on the banks of the river Phasis, and in various other watery localities, that they are found in the greatest abundance. When fresh, they have a more powerful odour than when kept for some time: these of Crete are more blanched than the produce of Pontus. They are cut into pieces about a finger in length, and dried in leather bags897 in the shade.

There are some authors who give the name of “acoron” to the root of the oxymyrsine;898 for which reason also some prefer giving that plant the name of “acorion.” It has powerful properties as a calorific and resolvent, and is taken in drink for cataract and films upon the eyes; the juice also is extracted, and taken for injuries inflicted by serpents.

CHAP. 101.—THE COTYLEDON: TWO VARIETIES OF IT: SIXTY-ONE REMEDIES.

The cotyledon899 is a small herbaceous plant, with a diminutive, tender stem, and an unctuous leaf, with a concave surface like that of the cotyloïd cavity of the thigh. It grows in maritime and rocky localities, is of a green colour, and has a rounded root like an olive: the juice of it is remedial for diseases of the eyes.

There is another900 kind also of the same plant, the leaves of which are of a dirty green901 colour, larger than those of the other, and growing in greater numbers about the root, which is surrounded with them just as the eye is with the socket. These leaves have a remarkably astringent taste, and the stem is of considerable length, but extremely slender. This plant is employed for the same purposes as the iris and aizoüm.

CHAP. 102.—THE GREATER AIZOÜM, ALSO CALLED BUPHTHALMOS, ZOÖPHTHALMOS, STERGETHRON, HYPOGESON, AMBROSION, AMERIMNON, SEDUM MAGNUM, OR DIGITELLUS: THIRTY-SIX REMEDIES. THE SMALLER AIZOÜM, ALSO CALLED ERITHALES, TRITHALES, CHRYSOTHALES, ISOËTES OR SEDUM: THIRTY-TWO REMEDIES.

Of the plant known as aizoüm902 there are two kinds; the144 larger of which is sown in earthen pots. By some persons it is known as “buphthalmos,”903 and by others as “zoöphthalmos,” or else as “stergethron,” because it forms an ingredient in the composition of philtres. Another name given to it is “hypogeson,” from the circumstance that it generally grows upon the eaves904 of houses: some persons, again, give it the names of “ambrosion” and “amerimnon.” In Italy it is known as “sedum magnum,”905 “oculus,” or “digitellus.” The other kind906 of aizoüm is more diminutive, and is known by some persons as “erithales”907 and by others as “trithales,” from the circumstance that it blossoms three times in the year. Other names given to it are “chrysothales”908 and “isoëtes:”909 but aizoüm is the common appellation of them both, from their being always green.

The larger kind exceeds a cubit in height, and is somewhat thicker than the thumb: at the extremity, the leaves are similar to a tongue in shape, and are fleshy, unctuous, full of juice, and about as broad as a person’s thumb. Some are bent downwards towards the ground, while others again stand upright, the outline of them resembling an eye in shape. The smaller kind grows upon walls, old rubbish of houses, and tiled roofs; it is branchy from the root, and covered with leaves to the extremity. These leaves are narrow, pointed, and juicy: the stem is a palm in height, and the root is never used.

CHAP. 103.—THE ANDRACHLE AGRIA OR ILLECEBRA: THIRTY-TWO REMEDIES.

A similar plant is that known to the Greeks by the name of “andrachle agria,”910 and by the people of Italy as the “illecebra145.” Its leaves, though small, are larger than those of the last-named plant, but growing on a shorter stem. It grows in craggy localities, and is gathered for use as food. All these plants have the same properties, being cooling and astringent. The leaves, applied topically, or the juice, in form of a liniment, are curative of defluxions of the eyes: this juice too acts as a detergent upon ulcers of the eyes, makes new flesh, and causes them to cicatrize; it911 cleanses the eyelids also of viscous matter. Applied to the temples, both the leaves and the juice of these plants are remedial for head-ache; they neutralize the venom also of the phalangium; and the greater aizoüm, in particular, is an antidote to aconite. It is asserted, too, that those who carry this last plant about them will never be stung by the scorpion.

These plants are curative of pains in the ears; which is the case also with juice of henbane, applied in moderate quantities, of achillea,912 of the smaller centaury and plantago, of peucedanum in combination with rose-oil and opium, and of acoron913 mixed with rose-leaves. In all these cases, the liquid is made warm, and introduced into the ear with the aid of a syringe.914 The cotyledon is good, too, for suppurations in the ears, mixed with deer’s marrow made hot. The juice of pounded root of ebulum915 is strained through a linen cloth, and then left to thicken in the sun: when wanted for use, it is moistened with oil of roses, and made hot, being employed for the cure of imposthumes of the parotid glands. Vervain and plantago are likewise used for the cure of the same malady, as also sideritis,916 mixed with stale axle-grease.

CHAP. 104.—A REMEDY FOR DISEASES OF THE NOSTRILS.

Aristolochia,917 mixed with cyperus,918 is curative of polypus of the nose.919

CHAP. 105.—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE TEETH.

The following are remedies for diseases of the teeth: root146 of panaces,920 chewed, that of the chironion in particular, and juice of panaces, used as a collutory; root, too, of henbane, chewed with vinegar, and root of polemonia.921 The root of plantago is chewed for a similar purpose, or the teeth, are rinsed with a decoction of the juice mixed with vinegar. The leaves, too, are said to be useful for the gums, when swollen with sanious blood, or if there are discharges of blood therefrom. The seed, too, of plantago is a cure for abscesses in the gums, and for gum-boils. Aristolochia has a strengthening effect upon the gums and teeth; and the same with vervain, either chewed with the root of that plant, or boiled in wine and vinegar, the decoction being employed as a gargle. The same is the case, also, with root of cinquefoil, boiled down to one third, in wine or vinegar; before it is boiled, however, the root should be washed in sea or salt water: the decoction, too, must be kept a considerable time in the mouth. Some persons prefer cleaning the teeth with ashes of cinquefoil.

Root of verbascum922 is also boiled in wine, and the decoction used for rinsing the teeth. The same is done too with hyssop and juice of peucedanum, mixed with opium; or else the juice of the root of anagallis,923 the female plant in particular, is injected into the nostril on the opposite side to that in which the pain is felt.

CHAP. 106.—ERIGERON, PAPPUS, ACANTHIS, OR SENECIO: EIGHT REMEDIES.

Erigeron924 is called by our people “senecio.” It is said that if a person, after tracing around this plant with an implement of iron, takes it up and touches the tooth affected with it three times, taking care to spit each time on the ground, and then replaces it in the same spot, so as to take root again, he will never experience any further pain in that tooth. This plant has just the appearance and softness of trixago,925 with a number of small reddish-coloured stems: it is found growing upon walls, and the tiled roofs of houses. The Greeks have147 given it the name of “erigeron,”926 because it is white in spring. The head is divided into numerous downy filaments, which resemble those of the thorn,927 protruding from between the divisions of the head: hence it is that Callimachus has given it the name of “acanthis,”928 while others, again, call it “pappus.929

After all, however, the Greek writers are by no means agreed as to this plant; some say, for instance, that it has leaves like those of rocket, while others maintain that they resemble those of the robur, only that they are considerably smaller. Some, again, assert that the root is useless, while others aver that it is beneficial for the sinews, and others that it produces suffocation, if taken in drink. On the other hand, some have prescribed it in wine, for jaundice and all affections of the bladder, heart, and liver, and give it as their opinion that it carries off gravel from the kidneys. It has been prescribed, also, by them for sciatica, the patient taking one drachma in oxymel, after a walk; and has been recommended as extremely useful for griping pains in the bowels, taken in raisin wine. They assert, also, that used as an aliment with vinegar, it is wholesome for the thoracic organs, and recommend it to be grown in the garden for these several purposes.

In addition to this, there are some authorities to be found, which distinguish another variety of this plant, but without mentioning its peculiar characteristics. This last they recommend to be taken in water, to neutralize the venom of serpents, and prescribe it to be eaten for the cure of epilepsy. For my own part, however, I shall only speak of it in accordance with the uses made of it among us Romans, uses based upon the results of actual experience. The down of this plant, beaten up with saffron and a little cold water, is applied to defluxions of the eyes; parched with a little salt, it is employed for the cure of scrofulous sores.

CHAP. 107.—THE EPHEMERON: TWO REMEDIES.

The ephemeron930 has leaves like those of the lily, but smaller;148 a stem of the same height, a blue flower, and a seed of which no use is made. The root is single, about the thickness of one’s finger, and an excellent remedy for diseases of the teeth; for which purpose it is cut up in pieces, and boiled in vinegar, the decoction being used warm as a collutory. The root, too, is employed by itself to strengthen the teeth, being inserted for the purpose in those that are hollow or carious.

Root of chelidonia931 is also beaten up with vinegar, and kept in the mouth. Black hellebore is sometimes inserted in carious teeth; and a decoction of either of these last-mentioned plants, in vinegar, has the effect of strengthening loose teeth.

CHAP. 108.—THE LABRUM VENEREUM: ONE REMEDY.

Labrum Venereum932 is the name given to a plant that grows in running streams.933 It produces a small worm,934 which is crushed by being rubbed upon the teeth, or else enclosed in wax and inserted in the hollow of the tooth. Care must be taken, however, that the plant, when pulled up, does not touch the ground.

CHAP. 109.—THE BATRACHION, RANUNCULUS, OR STRUMUS; FOUR VARIETIES OF IT: FOURTEEN REMEDIES.

The plant known to the Greeks as “batrachion,”935 we call ranunculus.936 There are four varieties of it,937 one of which149 has leaves somewhat thicker than those of coriander, nearly the size of those of the mallow, and of a livid hue: the stem of the plant is long and slender, and the root white; it grows on moist and well-shaded embankments. The second938 kind is more foliated than the preceding one, the leaves have more numerous incisions, and the stems of the plant are long. The third939 variety is smaller than the others, has a powerful smell, and a flower of a golden colour. The fourth940 kind is very like the one last mentioned, but the flower is milk-white.

All these plants have caustic properties: if the leaves are applied unboiled, they raise blisters like those caused by the action of fire; hence it is that they are used for the removal of leprous spots, itch-scabs, and brand marks upon the skin. They form an ingredient also in all caustic preparations, and are applied for the cure of alopecy, care being taken to remove them very speedily. The root, if chewed for some time, in cases of tooth-ache, will cause941 the teeth to break; dried and pulverized, it acts as a sternutatory.

Our herbalists give this plant the name of “strumus,” from the circumstance of its being curative of strumous942 sores and inflamed tumours, for which purpose a portion of it is hung up in the smoke. It is a general belief, too, with them, that if it is replanted, the malady so cured will reappear943—a criminal practice, for which the plantago is also employed. The juice of this last-mentioned plant is curative of internal ulcerations of the mouth; and the leaves and root are chewed for a similar150 purpose, even when the mouth is suffering from defluxions. Cinquefoil effects the cure of ulcerations and offensive breath; psyllium944 is used also for ulcers of the mouth.

CHAP. 110.—REMEDIAL PREPARATIONS FOR OFFENSIVE BREATH: TWO KINDS OF THEM.

We shall also here make mention of certain preparations for the cure of offensive breath—a most noisome inconvenience. For this purpose, leaves of myrtle and lentisk are taken in equal proportions, with one half the quantity of Syrian nut-galls; they are then pounded together and sprinkled with old wine, and the composition is chewed in the morning. In similar cases, also, ivy berries are used, in combination with cassia and myrrh; these ingredients being mixed, in equal proportions, with wine.

For offensive odours of the nostrils, even though attended with carcinoma, the most effectual remedy is seed of dracontium945 beaten up with honey. An application of hyssop has the effect of making bruises disappear. Brand marks946 in the face are healed by rubbing them with mandragora.947

Summary.—Remedies, narratives, and observations, twelve hundred and ninety-two.

Roman authors quoted.—C. Valgius,948 Pompeius Lenæus,949 Sextius Niger950 who wrote in Greek, Julius Bassus951 who wrote in Greek, Antonius Castor,952 Cornelius Celsus,953 Fabianus.954

Foreign authors quoted.—Theophrastus,955 Apollodorus,956 Democritus,957 Juba,958 Orpheus,959 Pythagoras,960 Mago,961 Menander962151 who wrote the “Biochresta,” Nicander,963 Homer, Hesiod,964 Musæus,965 Sophocles,966 Xanthus,967 Anaxilaüs.968

Medical authors quoted.—Mnesitheus,969 Callimachus,970 Phanias971 the physician, Timaristus,972 Simus,973 Hippocrates,974 Chrysippus,975 Diocles,976 Ophelion,977 Heraclides,978 Hicesius,979 Dionysius,980 Apollodorus981 of Citium, Apollodorus982 of Tarentum, Praxagoras,983 Plistonicus,984 Medius,985 Dieuches,986 Cleophantus,987 Philistion,988 Asclepiades,989 Crateuas,990 Petronius Diodotus,991 Iollas,992 Erasistratus,993 Diagoras,994 Andreas,995 Mnesides,996 Epicharmus,997 Damion,998 Sosimenes,999 Tlepolemus,1000 Metrodorus,1001 Solon,1002 Lycus,1003 Olympias1004 of Thebes, Philinus,1005 Petrichus,1006 Micton,1007 Glaucias,1008 Xenocrates.1009

152

BOOK XXVI.

A CONTINUATION OF THE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM PLANTS, CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO PARTICULAR DISEASES.

CHAP. 1. (1.)—NEW FORMS OF DISEASE.

The face of man has recently been sensible of new forms of disease, unknown1010 in ancient times, not only to Italy, but to almost the whole of Europe. Still, however, they have not as yet extended to the whole of Italy, nor have they made any very great inroads in Illyricum, Gaul, or Spain, or indeed any other parts, to so great an extent as in Rome and its environs. Though unattended with pain, and not dangerous to life, these diseases are of so loathsome a nature, that any form of death would be preferable to them.

CHAP. 2.—THE NATURE OF LICHEN.

The most insupportable of all these diseases is the one which, after its Greek appellation, is known to us as “lichen.”1010 In consequence, however, of its generally making its first appearance at the chin, the Latins, by way of joke, originally—so prone are mankind to make a jest of the misfortunes of others—gave it the name of “mentagra;”1011 an appellation which has since become established in general use. In many cases, however, this disease spreads over the interior of the mouth, and takes possession of the whole face, with the sole exception of the eyes; after which, it passes downwards to the neck, breast, and hands, covering them with foul furfuraceous eruptions.

CHAP. 3.—AT WHAT PERIOD LICHEN FIRST MADE ITS APPEARANCE IN ITALY.

This curse was unknown to the ancients,1012 and in the times of our fathers even, having first entered Italy in the middle of153 the reign of the Emperor Tiberius1013 Claudius Cæsar; where it was introduced from Asia,1014 in which country it had lately made1015 its appearance, by a member of the equestrian order at Rome, a native of Perusium, secretary to the quæstor. The disease, however, did not attack either females or slaves,1016 nor yet the lower orders, or, indeed, the middle classes, but only the nobles, being communicated even by the momentary contact requisite for the act of salutation.1017 Many of those who persevered in undergoing a course of remedial treatment, though cured of the disease, retained scars upon the body more hideous even than the malady itself; it being treated with cauteries, as it was certain to break out afresh, unless means were adopted for burning it out of the body by cauterizing to the very bone.

Upon this occasion several physicians repaired to Rome from Egypt, that fruitful parent of maladies of this nature, men who devoted themselves solely to this branch of medical practice; and very considerable were the profits they made. At all events, it is a well-known fact that Manilius Cornutus, a personage of prætorian rank, and legatus of the province of Aquitania, expended no less a sum than two hundred thousand1018 sesterces upon his cure.

It is much more frequently, on the other hand, that we hear of new forms of diseases attacking the lower orders; a singular fact, and one quite unequalled for the marvellous phænomena which sometimes attend these outbreaks. Thus, for instance, we find an epidemic suddenly making its appearance in a certain country, and then confining itself, as though it had made its election so to do, to certain parts of the body, certain ages, and even certain pursuits in life. In the same way, too, while154 one class of diseases attacks the young, another confines itself to adults; while one malady extends itself only to the higher classes, another is felt exclusively by the poor.

CHAP. 4.—CARBUNCLE.

We find it stated in the Annals, that it was in the censorship1019 of L. Paulus and Q. Marcius that carbuncle1020 was first introduced into Italy, a malady which till then had confined itself solely to the province of Gallia Narbonensis. In the year in which I am writing these lines, two persons of consular rank have died of this disease, Julius Rufus1021 and Q. Lecanius Bassus;1022 the former in consequence of an incision unskilfully made by his medical attendants, the latter through a wound upon the thumb of the left hand by pricking a carbuncle with a needle, a wound so small originally as to be hardly perceptible.

This disease makes its appearance in the more hidden1023 parts of the human body, and mostly beneath the tongue. It originally has the form of a hard, red, pimple, with a blackish head mostly, though sometimes of a livid colour. It produces tension of the flesh, but unattended with swelling, pain, or any itching sensation; indeed, the only symptom that accompanies it is a confirmed drowsiness, which overpowers the patient, and carries him off in the course of three days. Sometimes, however, it is accompanied with shuddering, and small pustules about the sore; and occasionally, though but rarely, with fever. When these symptoms extend to the fauces and œsophagus, death ensues with the greatest rapidity.

CHAP. 5.—ELEPHANTIASIS.

We have already1024 stated that elephantiasis1025 was unknown155 in Italy before the time of Pompeius Magnus. This malady, too, like those already mentioned, mostly makes its first appearance in the face. In its primary form it bears a considerable resemblance to a small lentil upon the nose; the skin gradually dries up all over the body, is marked with spots of various colours, and presents an unequal surface, being thick in one place, thin in another, indurated every here and there, and covered with a sort of rough scab. At a later period, the skin assumes a black hue, and compresses the flesh upon the bones, the fingers and toes becoming swollen.

This disease was originally peculiar to Egypt. Whenever it attacked the kings of that country, it was attended with peculiarly fatal effects to the people, it being the practice to temper their sitting-baths with human blood, for the treatment of the disease. As for Italy, however, its career was very soon cut short: the same was the case, too, with the disease known as “gemursa”1026 to the ancients, a malady which made its appearance between the toes, and the very name of which is now buried in oblivion.

CHAP. 6.—COLIC.

It is a remarkable fact that some diseases should disappear from among us, while others, again, should continue to prevail, colic1027 for example. It was only in the reign of Tiberius Cæsar that this malady made its appearance in Italy, the emperor himself being the first to be attacked by it; a circumstance which produced considerable mystification throughout the City, when it read the edict issued by that prince excusing his inattention to public business, on the ground of his being laid up with a disease, the very name of which was till then unknown. To what cause are we to attribute these various diseases, or how is it that we have thus incurred the anger of the gods? Was it deemed too little for man to be exposed to156 fixed and determinate classes of maladies, already more than three hundred in number, that he must have new forms of disease to alarm him as well? And then, in addition to all these, not less in number are the troubles and misfortunes which man brings upon himself!

The remedies which I am here describing, are those which were universally employed in ancient times, Nature herself, so to say, making up the medicines: indeed, for a long time these were the only medicines employed.

(2.) Hippocrates,1028 it is well known, was the first to compile a code of medical precepts, a thing which he did with the greatest perspicuity, as his treatises, we find, are replete with information upon the various plants. No less is the information which we gain from the works of Diocles1029 of Carystus, second only in reputation, as well as date, to Hippocrates. The same, too, with reference to the works of Praxagoras, Chrysippus, and, at a later period, Erasistratus1030 of Cos. Herophilus1031 too, though himself the founder of a more refined system of medicine, was extremely profuse of his commendations of the use of simples. At a later period, however, experience, our most efficient instructor in all things, medicine in particular, gradually began to be lost sight of in mere words and verbiage: it being found, in fact, much more agreeable to sit in schools, and to listen to the talk of a professor, than to go a simpling in the deserts, and to be searching for this plant or that at all the various seasons of the year.

CHAP. 7. (3.)—THE NEW SYSTEM OF MEDICINE: ASCLEPIADES THE PHYSICIAN.

Still, however, the ancient theories remained unshaken, based as they were upon the still existing grounds of universally acknowledged experience; until, in the time of Pompeius Magnus, Asclepiades,1032 a professor of rhetoric, who considered himself not sufficiently repaid by that pursuit, and whose readiness and sagacity rendered him better adapted for any other than forensic practice, suddenly turned his attention to the medical art. Having never practised medicine, and being totally unacquainted with the nature of remedies—a157 knowledge only to be acquired by personal examination and actual experience—as a matter of course, he was obliged to renounce all previously-established theories, and to trust rather to his flowing periods and his well-studied discourses, for gaining an influence upon the minds of his audience.

Reducing the whole art of medicine to an estimation solely of primary causes, he made it nothing but a merely conjectural art, and established it as his creed, that there are five great principles of treatment for all diseases in common; diet, use or non-use of wine, frictions, exercise on foot, and exercise1033 in a carriage or on horseback. As every one perceived that each of these methods of treatment lay quite within his own reach, all, of course, with the greatest readiness gave their assent, willing as they were to believe that to be true which was so easy of acquisition; and hence it was that he attracted nearly all the world about him, as though he had been sent among mankind on a special mission from heaven.

CHAP. 8.—THE CHANGES EFFECTED BY ASCLEPIADES IN THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.

In addition to this, he had a wonderful tact in gaining the full confidence of his patients: sometimes he would make them a promise of wine, and then seize the opportune moment for administering it, while on other occasions, again, he would prescribe cold water: indeed, as Herophilus, among the ancients, had been the first to enquire into the primary causes of disease, and Cleophantus had brought into notice the treatment of diseases by wine, so did Asclepiades, as we learn from M. Varro, prefer to be indebted for his surname and repute to the extensive use made by him of cold water as a remedy. He employed also various other soothing remedies for his patients; thus, for instance, it was he that introduced swinging beds, the motion of which might either lull the malady, or induce sleep, as deemed desirable. It was he, too, that brought baths into such general use,—a method of treatment that was adopted with the greatest avidity—in addition to numerous other modes of treatment of a pleasant and soothing nature. By these means he acquired a great professional reputation, and a no less extended fame; which158 was very considerably enhanced by the following incident: meeting the funeral procession of a person unknown to him, he ordered the body to be removed from the funeral pile1034 and carried home, and was thus the means of saving his life. This circumstance I am the more desirous to mention, that it may not be imagined that it was on slight grounds only that so extensive a revolution was effected in the medical art.

There is, however, one thing, and one thing only, at which we have any ground for indignation,—the fact, that a single individual, and he belonging to the most frivolous nation1035 in the world, a man born in utter indigence, should all on a sudden, and that, too, for the sole purpose of increasing his income, give a new code of medical laws to mankind; laws, however, be it remembered, which have been annulled by numerous authorities since his day. The success of Asclepiades was considerably promoted by many of the usages of ancient medicine, repulsive in their nature, and attended with far too much anxiety: thus, for instance, it was the practice to cover up the patient with vast numbers of clothes, and to adopt every possible method of promoting the perspiration; to order the body to be roasted before a fire; or else to be continually sending the patient on a search for sunshine, a thing hardly to be found in a showery climate like that of this city of ours; or rather, so to say, of the whole of Italy, so prolific1036 as it is of fogs and rain.1037 It was to remedy these inconveniences, that he introduced the use of hanging baths,1038 an invention that was found grateful to invalids in the very highest degree.

In addition to this, he modified the tortures which had hitherto attended the treatment of certain maladies; as in quinzy for instance, the cure of which before his time had been usually effected by the introduction of an instrument1039 into the throat. He condemned, and with good reason, the indiscriminate use of emetics, which till then had been resorted to in a159 most extraordinary degree. He disapproved also of the practice of administering internally potions that are naturally injurious to the stomach, a thing that may truthfully be pronounced of the greater part of them. Indeed it will be as well to take an early opportunity of stating what are the medicaments which act beneficially upon the stomach.

CHAP. 9. (4.)—REMARKS IN DISPRAISE OF THE PRACTICES OF MAGIC.

But above all things, it was the follies of magic more particularly that contributed so essentially to his success—follies which had been carried to such a pitch as to destroy all confidence in the remedial virtues of plants. Thus, for instance, it was stoutly maintained that by the agency of the plant æthiopis1040 rivers and standing waters could be dried up, and that by the very touch1041 * * * * all bars and doors might be opened: that if the plant achæmenis1042 were thrown into the ranks of the enemy it would be certain to create a panic and put them to flight: that latace1043 was given by the Persian kings to their ambassadors, to ensure them an abundant supply of everything wherever they might happen to be: with numerous other reveries of a similar nature. Where, I should like to know, were all these plants, when the Cimbri and Teutones brought upon us the horrors of warfare with their terrific yells? or when Lucullus defeated, with a few legions, so many kings who ruled over the Magi?1044 Why is it too that the Roman generals have always made it their first care in warfare to make provision for the victualling of their troops? And how was it that at Pharsalia the troops of Cæsar were suffering from famine, if an abundance of everything could have been ensured by the fortunate possession of a single plant? Would it not have been better too for Scipio Æmilianus to have opened the gates of Carthage by touching them with a herb, than to have taken so many years to batter down its bulwarks with his engines of war?

Turning to the present moment, let them, by the agency of the herb meroïs,1045 dry up the Pomptine1046 Marshes, if they can,160 and by these means restore so much territory to the regions of Italy in the neighbourhood of our city. In the works, too, of Democritus, already mentioned,1047 we find a recipe for the composition of a medicament which will ensure the procreation of issue, both sure to be good and fortunate.—What king of Persia, pray, ever obtained that blessing? It really would be a marvellous fact that human credulity, taking its rise originally in the very soundest of notions, should have ultimately arrived at such a pitch as this, if the mind of man understood, under any circumstances, how to keep within the bounds of moderation; and if the very system of medicine thus introduced by Asclepiades, had not been carried to a greater pitch of extravagance than the follies of magic even, an assertion which I shall prove on a more appropriate occasion.1048

Such, however, is the natural constitution of the human mind, that, be the circumstances what they may, commencing with what is necessary it speedily arrives at the point of launching out in excess.

We will now resume our account of the medicinal properties of the plants mentioned in the preceding Book, adding to our description such others as the necessities of the case may seem to require.

CHAP. 10.—LICHEN: FIVE REMEDIES.

As to the treatment of lichen, so noisome a disease as it is, we shall here give a number of additional remedies for it, gathered from all quarters, although those already described are by no means few in number. For the cure of lichen plantago is used, pounded, cinquefoil also, root of albucus1049 in combination with vinegar, the young shoots of the fig-tree boiled in vinegar, or roots of marsh-mallow boiled down to one-fourth with glue and vinegar. The sores are rubbed also with pumice, and then fomented with root of rumex1050 bruised in vinegar, or with scum of viscus1051 kneaded up with lime. A decoction, too, of tithymalos1052 with resin is highly esteemed for the same purpose.

But to all these remedies the plant known as “lichen,” from161 its efficacy as a cure, is held in preference. It is found growing among rocks, and has a single broad leaf1053 near the root, and a single long stem, with small leaves hanging from it. This plant has the property also of effacing brand marks, being beaten up with honey for that purpose. There is another kind1054 of lichen also, which adheres entirely to rocks, like moss, and which is equally used as a topical application. The juice of it, dropt into wounds, or applied to abscesses, has the property of arresting hæmorrhage: mixed with honey, it is curative of jaundice, the face and tongue being rubbed with it. Under this mode of treatment, the patient is recommended to wash in salt water, to anoint himself with oil of almonds, and to abstain from garden vegetables. For the cure of lichen, root of thapsia1055 is also used, bruised in honey.

CHAP. 11.—QUINZY.

For the treatment of quinzy, we find argemonia1056 recommended, in wine; a decoction of hyssop, boiled with figs, used as a gargle; peucedanum,1057 with an equal proportion of sea-calf’s rennet; proserpinaca,1058 beaten up in the pickle of the mæna1059 and oil, or else placed beneath the tongue; as also juice of cinquefoil, taken in doses of three cyathi. Used as a gargle, juice of cinquefoil is good for the cure of all affections of the fauces: verbascum,1060 too, taken in wine, is particularly useful for diseases of the tonsillary glands.

CHAP. 12. (5.)—SCROFULA.

For the cure of scrofula1061 plantago is employed, chelidonia1062 mixed with honey and axle-grease, cinquefoil, and root of persolata1063—this162 last being applied topically, and covered with the leaf of the plant—artemisia,1064 also, and an infusion of the root of mandragora1065 in water. The large-leaved sideritis,1066 cleft by the left hand with a nail, is worn attached as an amulet: but after the cure has been effected, due care must be taken to preserve the plant, in order that it may not be set again, to promote the wicked designs of the herbalists and so cause the disease to break out afresh; as sometimes happens in the cases already mentioned,1067 and others which I find stated, in reference to persons cured by the agency of artemisia or plantago.

Damasonion,1068 also known as alcea, is gathered at the summer solstice, and applied with rain-water, the leaves being beaten up, or the root pounded, with axle-grease, so as to admit, when applied, of being covered with a leaf of the plant. The same plan is adopted also for the cure of all pains in the neck, and tumours on all parts of the body.

CHAP. 13.—THE PLANT CALLED BELLIS: TWO REMEDIES.

Bellis1069 is the name of a plant that grows in the fields, with a white flower somewhat inclining to red; if this is applied with artemisia,1070 it is said, the remedy is still more efficacious.

CHAP. 14.—THE CONDURDUM.

The condurdum,1071 too, is a plant with a red blossom, which flowers at the summer solstice. Suspended from the neck, it163 arrests scrofula, they say: the same being the case also with vervain, in combination with plantago. For the cure of all diseases of the fingers, hangnails in particular, cinquefoil is used.

CHAP. 15.—COUGH.

Of all diseases of the chest, cough is the one that is the most oppressive. For the cure of this malady, root of panaces1072 in sweet wine is used, and in cases where it is attended with spitting of blood, juice of henbane. Henbane, too, used as a fumigation, is good for cough; and the same with scordotis,1073 mixed with nasturtium and dry resin, beaten up with honey: employed by itself also, scordotis facilitates expectoration, a property which is equally possessed by the greater centaury, even where the patient is troubled with spitting of blood; for which last juice of plantago is very beneficial. Betony, taken in doses of three oboli in water, is useful for purulent or bloody expectorations: root also of persolata,1074 in doses of one drachma, taken with eleven pine-nuts; and juice of peucedanum.1075

For pains in the chest, acoron1076 is remarkably useful; hence it is that it is so much used an ingredient in antidotes. For cough, daucus1077 and the plant scythice1078 are much employed, this last being good, in fact, for all affections of the chest, coughs, and purulent expectorations, taken in doses of three oboli, with the same proportion of raisin wine. The verbascum1079 too, with a flower like gold, is similarly employed.

(6.) This last-named plant is so remarkably energetic, that an infusion of it, administered in their drink, will relieve beasts of burden, not only when troubled with cough, but when broken-winded even—a property which I find attributed to gentian also. Root of cacalia1080 chewed, or steeped in wine, is good for cough as well as all affections of the throat. Five sprigs of hyssop, with two of rue and three figs, act detergently upon the thoracic organs and allay cough.

164

CHAP. 16.—BECHION, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS ARCION, CHAMÆLEUCE OR TUSSILAGO: THREE REMEDIES.

Bechion1081 is known also as tussilago: there are two kinds of it. Wherever it is found growing wild, it is generally thought that there is a spring of water below, and it is looked upon as a sure sign that such is the case, by persons in search1082 of water. The leaves are somewhat larger than those of ivy, and are some five or seven in number, of a whitish hue beneath, and a pale green on the upper surface. The plant is destitute of stem, blossom, and seed, and the root is very diminutive. Some persons are of opinion that this bechion is identical with the arcion, known also as the “chamæleuce.”1083 The smoke1084 of this plant in a dry state, inhaled by the aid of a reed and swallowed, is curative, they say, of chronic cough; it is necessary, however, at each inhalation to take a draught of raisin wine.

CHAP. 17.—THE BECHION, KNOWN ALSO AS SALVIA: FOUR REMEDIES.

There is another bechion1085 also, known to some persons as “salvia,”1086 and bearing a strong resemblance to verbascum. This plant is triturated, and the juice strained off and taken warm for cough and for pains in the side: it is considered very beneficial also for the stings of scorpions and sea-dragons.1087 It is a good plan, too, to rub the body with this juice, mixed with oil, as a preservative against the stings of serpents. A bunch of hyssop is sometimes boiled down with a quarter of a pound of honey, for the cure of cough.

CHAP. 18. (7.)—AFFECTIONS OF THE SIDE, CHEST, AND STOMACH.

For the cure of pains in the side and chest, verbascum1088 is used in water, with rue; powdered betony is also taken in warm water. Juice of scordotis1089 is used as a stomachic,165 centaury also, gentian taken in water, and plantago, either eaten with the food, or mixed with lentils or a pottage of alica.1090 Betony, which is in general prejudicial to the stomach, is remedial for some stomachic affections, taken in drink or chewed, the leaves being used for the purpose. In a similar manner too, aristolochia1091 is taken in drink, or dried agaric is chewed, a draught of undiluted wine being taken every now and then. Nymphæa heraclia1092 is also applied topically in these cases, and juice of peucedanum.1093 For burning pains in the stomach psyllion1094 is applied, or else cotyledon1095 beaten up with polenta, or aizoüm.1096

CHAP. 19.—MOLON OR SYRON. AMOMUM.

Molon1097 is a plant with a striated stem, a soft diminutive leaf, and a root four fingers in length, at the extremity of which there is a head like that of garlic; by some persons it is known as “syron.” Taken in wine, it is curative of affections of the stomach, and of hardness of breathing. For similar purposes the greater centaury is used, in an electuary; juice also of plantago, or else the plant itself, eaten with the food; pounded betony, in the proportion of one pound to half an ounce of Attic honey, taken daily in warm water; and aristolochia1098 or agaric, taken in doses of three oboli, in warm water or asses’ milk.

For hardness of breathing an infusion of cissanthemos1099 is taken in drink, and for the same complaint, as also for asthma, hyssop. For pains in the liver, chest, and side, if unattended with fever, juice of peucedanum is used. For spitting of blood agaric is employed, in doses of one victoriatus,1100 bruised and administered in five cyathi of honied wine: amomum,1101 too, is equally useful for that purpose. For liver diseases in166 particular, teucria1102 is taken fresh, in doses of four drachmæ to one hemina of oxycrate; or else betony, in the proportion of one drachma to three cyathi of warm water. For diseases of the heart, betony is recommended, in doses of one drachma to two cyathi of cold water. Juice of cinquefoil is remedial for diseases of the liver and lungs, and for spitting of blood as well as all internal affections of the blood. The two varieties of anagallis1103 are wonderfully efficacious for liver complaints. Patients who eat the plant called “capnos”1104 discharge the bile by urine. Acoron1105 is also remedial for diseases of the liver, and daucus1106 is useful for the thorax and the pectoral organs.

CHAP. 20.—THE EPHEDRA OR ANABASIS: THREE REMEDIES.

The ephedra,1107 by some persons called “anabasis,” mostly grows in localities exposed to the wind. It climbs the trunks of trees, and hangs down from the branches, is destitute of leaves, but has numerous suckers, jointed like a bulrush; the root is of a pale colour. This plant is given, pounded, in astringent red wine, for cough, asthma, and gripings in the bowels. It is administered also in the form of a pottage, to which some wine should be added. For these complaints, gentian is also used, being steeped in water the day before, and then pounded and given in doses of one denarius, in three cyathi of wine.

CHAP. 21.—GEUM: THREE REMEDIES.

Geum1108 is a plant with thin, diminutive roots, black, and aromatic.1109 It is curative not only of pains in the chest and sides, but is useful also for dispelling crudities, owing to its agreeable flavour. Vervain, too, is good for all affections of the viscera, and for diseases of the sides, lungs, liver, and167 thorax. But one invaluable remedy for diseases of the lungs, and for cases of incipient phthisis, is the root of consiligo, a plant only very recently discovered, as already1110 mentioned. It is a most efficient remedy also for pulmonary diseases in swine and cattle, even though only passed through the ear of the animal. When used, it should be taken in water, and kept for a considerable time in the mouth, beneath the tongue. Whether the part of this plant which grows above ground is useful or not for any purpose, is at present unknown. Plantago, eaten with the food, betony taken in drink, and agaric taken in the way prescribed for cough, are useful, all of them, for diseases of the kidneys.

CHAP. 22.—TRIPOLIUM: THREE REMEDIES.

Tripolium1111 is a plant found growing upon cliffs on the sea-shore against which the waves break, springing up, so to say, neither upon dry land nor in the sea. The leaves are like those of isatis,1112 only thicker; the stem is a palm in height and divided at the extremity, and the root white, thick, and odoriferous, with a warm flavour; it is recommended for diseases of the liver, boiled with spelt. This plant is thought by some to be identical with polium, of which we have already spoken in the appropriate place.1113

CHAP. 23.—THE GROMPHÆNA.

Gromphæna1114 is the name of a plant, the stem of which is covered with leaves of a green and rose colour, arranged alternately. The leaves of it are administered in oxycrate, in cases of spitting of blood.

CHAP. 24.—THE MALUNDRUM: TWO REMEDIES.

For diseases of the liver the malundrum1115 is prescribed, a168 plant which grows in meadows and corn-fields, with a white odoriferous flower. The stem is diminutive, and is beaten up in old wine.

CHAP. 25.—CHALCETUM; TWO REMEDIES. MOLEMONIUM; ONE REMEDY.

Chalcetum1116 also is the name of a plant, which is pounded with grape husks and applied topically, for the cure of liver complaints. Root of betony acts as a gentle emetic, taken in the same way as hellebore, in doses of four drachmæ in raisin wine or honied wine. Hyssop, too, is beaten up with honey for similar purposes; but it is more efficacious if nasturtium or irio1117 is taken first.

Molemonium1118 is used as an emetic, being taken in doses of one denarius; the same, too, with sillybum.1119 Both of these plants have a milky juice, which thickens like gum, and is taken with honey in the proportions above-mentioned, being particularly good for carrying off bile. On the other hand, vomiting is arrested by the use of wild cummin or powdered betony, taken in water. Crudities and distaste for food are dispelled, and the digestion promoted by employing daucus,1120 powdered betony1121 taken in hydromel, or else plantago boiled like greens. Hiccup is arrested by taking hemionium1122 or aristolochia,1123 and asthma by the use of clymenus.1124 For pleurisy and peripneumony, the greater centaury is used, or else hyssop, taken in drink. Juice of peucedanum1125 is also good for pleurisy.

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CHAP. 26.—HALUS OR COTONEA: FIVE REMEDIES.

The plant halus,1126 by the people of Gaul called “sil,” and by the Veneti “cotonea,” is curative of pains in the side, affections of the kidneys, ruptures, and convulsions. It resembles cunila bubula1127 in appearance, and the tops of it are like those of thyme. It is of a sweet flavour, and allays thirst; the roots of it are sometimes white, sometimes black.

CHAP. 27.—THE CHAMÆROPS: ONE REMEDY. THE STŒCHAS: ONE REMEDY.

The chamærops,1128 also, is similarly efficacious for pains in the side. It is a plant with leaves like those of myrtle, arranged in pairs around the stem, the heads of it resembling those of the Greek rose: it is taken in wine. Agaric, administered in drink, in the same manner1129 as for cough, assuages sciatica and pains in the vertebræ: the same, too, with powdered stœchas1130 or betony, taken in hydromel.

CHAP. 28. (8.)—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE BELLY.

But it is the belly, for the gratification of which the greater part of mankind exist, that causes the most suffering to man. Thus, for instance, at one time it will not allow the aliments to pass, while at another it is unable to retain them. Sometimes, again, it either cannot receive the food, or, if it can, cannot digest it; indeed, such are the excesses practised at the present day, that it is through his aliment, more than anything else, that man hastens his end. This receptacle,1131 more troublesome to us than any other part of the body, is ever craving, like some importunate creditor, and makes its calls repeatedly in the day. It is for its sake, more particularly, that avarice is so insatiate, for its sake that luxury is so refined,1132 for its sake that men voyage to the shores even of the Phasis, for its sake that the very depths of the ocean are ransacked. And yet, with all this, no one ever gives a thought how abject is the condition of this part of our body, how disgusting the results of its action upon what it has received! No wonder then,170 that the belly should have to be indebted to the aid of medicine in the very highest degree!

Scordotis,1133 fresh-gathered and beaten up, in doses of one drachma, with wine, arrests flux of the bowels; an effect equally produced by a decoction of it taken in drink. Polemonia,1134 too, is given in wine for dysentery, or two fingers’ length of root of verbascum,1135 in water; seed of nymphæa heraclia,1136 in wine; the upper root of xiphion,1137 in doses of one drachma, in vinegar; seed of plantago, beaten, up in wine; plantago itself boiled in vinegar, or else a pottage of alica1138 mixed with the juice of the plant; plantago boiled with lentils; plantago dried and powdered, and sprinkled in drink, with parched poppies pounded; juice of plantago, used as an injection, or taken in drink; or betony taken in wine heated with a red-hot iron. For cœliac affections, betony is taken in astringent wine, or iberis is applied topically, as already1139 stated. For tenesmus, root of nymphæa heraclia is taken in wine, or else psyllion1140 in water, or a decoction of root of acoron.1141 Juice of aizoüm1142 arrests diarrhœa and dysentery, and expels round tape-worm. Root of symphytum,1143 taken in wine, arrests diarrhœa and dysentery, and daucus1144 has a similar effect. Leaves of aizoüm1145 beaten up in wine, and dried alcea1146 powdered and taken in wine, are curative of griping pains in the bowels.

CHAP. 29.—THE ASTRAGALUS: SIX REMEDIES.

Astragalus1147 is the name of a plant which has long leaves, with numerous incisions, and running aslant near the root. The stems are three or four in number, and covered with leaves: the flower is like that of the hyacinth, and the roots are red, hairy, matted, and remarkably hard. It grows on stony localities,171 equally exposed to the sun and to falls of snow, those in the vicinity of Pheneus in Arcadia, for instance. Its properties are highly astringent; the root of it, taken in wine, arrests looseness of the bowels, having the additional effect of throwing downward the aqueous humours, and so acting as a diuretic; a property, in fact, which, belongs to most substances which act astringently upon the bowels.

Bruised in red1148 wine, this plant is curative of dysentery; it is only bruised, however, with the greatest difficulty. It is extremely useful, also, as a fomentation for gum-boils. The end of autumn is the time for gathering it, after the leaves are off; it being then left to dry in the shade.

CHAP. 30.—LADANUM: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

Diarrhœa may be also arrested by the use of either kind of ladanum.1149 The kind which, is found in corn-fields is pounded for this purpose, and then passed through a sieve, being taken either in hydromel, or in wine of the highest quality. “Ledon” is the name of the plant from which ladanum1150 is obtained in Cyprus, it being found adhering to the beard of the goats there; the most esteemed, however, is that of Arabia.1151 At the present day, it is prepared in Syria and Africa also, being known as “toxicum,” from the circumstance that in gathering it, they pass over the plant a bow,1152 with the string stretched, and covered with wool, to which the dewlike flocks of ladanum adhere. We have described it at further length, when treating of the perfumes.1153

This substance has a very powerful odour, and is hard in the extreme; for, in fact, there is a considerable quantity of earth adhering to it: it is most esteemed when in a pure state, aromatic, soft, green, and resinous. It is of an emollient, desiccative, and ripening nature, and acts as a narcotic: it prevents the hair from falling off, and preserves its dark colour. In combination with hydromel or oil of roses, it is used as an172 injection for the ears; with the addition of salt, it is employed for the cure of furfuraceous eruptions of the skin, and for running ulcers. Taken with storax, it is good for chronic cough; it is also extremely efficacious as a carminative.

CHAP. 31.—CHONDRIS OR PSEUDODICTAMNON: ONE REMEDY. HYPOCISTHIS OR OROBETHRON; TWO VARIETIES: EIGHT REMEDIES.

Chondris, too, or pseudodictamnon,1154 acts astringently on the bowels. Hypocisthis,1155 by some known also as “orobethron,” is similar to an unripe pomegranate in appearance; it grows, as already stated,1156 beneath the cisthus, whence its name. Dried in the shade, and taken in astringent, red wine, these plants arrest diarrhœa—for there are two kinds of hypocisthis, it must be remembered, the white and the red. It is the juice of the plant that is used, being of an astringent, desiccative, nature: that of the red kind, however, is the best for fluxes of the stomach. Taken in drink, in doses of three oboli, with amylum,1157 it arrests spitting of blood; and, employed either as a potion or as an injection, it is useful for dysentery. Vervain, too, is good for similar complaints, either taken in water, or, when there are no symptoms of fever, in Aminean1158 wine, the proportion being five spoonfuls to three cyathi of wine.

CHAP. 32.—LAVER OR SION: TWO REMEDIES.

Laver,1159 too, a plant which grows in streams, preserved and boiled, is curative of griping pains in the bowels.

CHAP. 33.—POTAMOGITON: EIGHT REMEDIES. THE STATICE: THREE REMEDIES.

Potamogiton,1160 too, taken in wine, is useful for dysentery and cœliac affections: it is a plant similar to beet in the leaves, but smaller and more hairy, and rising but little above the surface of the water. It is the leaves that are used, being of a refreshing, astringent nature, and particularly good for diseases of the legs, and, with honey or vinegar, for corrosive ulcers.




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Castor has given a different description of this plant. According to him, it has a smaller leaf,1161 like horse-hair,1162 with a long, smooth, stem, and grows in watery localities. With the root of it he used to treat scrofulous sores and indurations. Potamogiton neutralizes the effects of the bite of the crocodile; hence it is that those who go in pursuit of that animal, are in the habit of carrying it about them.

Achillea1163 also arrests looseness of the bowels; an effect equally produced by the statice,1164 a plant with seven heads, like those of the rose, upon as many stems.

CHAP. 34.—THE CERATIA: TWO REMEDIES. LEONTOPODION, LEUCEORON, DORIPETRON, OR THORYBETHRON. LAGOPUS: THREE REMEDIES.

The ceratia1165 is a plant with a single1166 leaf, and a large knotted root: taken with the food, it is curative of coeliac affections and dysentery.

Leontopodion,1167 a plant known also as “leuceoron,” “doripetron,” or “thorybethron,” has a root which acts astringently upon the bowels and carries off bile, being taken in doses of two denarii in hydromel. It grows in champaign localities with a poor soil: the seed, taken in drink, produces night-mare,1168 it is said, in the sleep.

Lagopus1169 arrests diarrhœa, taken in wine, or, if there are symptoms of fever, in water. This plant is attached to the groin, for tumours in that part of the body: it grows in cornfields. Many persons recommend, in preference to anything else,174 for desperate cases of dysentery, a decoction of roots of cinquefoil in milk, or else aristolochia,1170 in the proportion of one victoriatus1171 to three cyathi of wine. In the case of the preparations above-mentioned, which are recommended to be taken warm, it will be the best plan to heat them with a red-hot iron.

On the other hand, again, the juice of the smaller centaury acts as a purgative upon the bowels, and carries off bile, taken, in doses of one drachma, in one hemina of water with a little salt and vinegar. The greater centaury is curative of griping pains in the bowels. Betony, also, has a laxative effect, taken in the proportion of four drachmæ to nine cyathi of hydromel: the same, too, with euphorbia1172 or agaric, taken, in doses of two drachmæ, with a little salt, in water, or else in three oboli of honied wine. Cyclaminos,1173 also, is a purgative, either taken in water or used as a suppository; the same, too, with chamæcissos,1174 employed as a suppository. A handful of hyssop, boiled down to one third with salt, or beaten up with oxymel and salt, and applied to the abdomen, promotes pituitous evacuations, and expels intestinal worms. Root also of peucedanum1175 carries off pituitous humours and bile.

CHAP. 35.—EPITHYMON OR HIPPOPHEOS: EIGHT REMEDIES.

The two kinds of anagallis, taken in hydromel, are purgative; the same, too, with epithymon,1176 which is the blossom of a sort1177 of thyme similar to savory; the only difference being that the flower of this plant is nearer grass green, while that of the other thyme is white. Some persons call it “hippopheos.”1178 This plant is by no means wholesome to the stomach, as it is apt to cause vomiting, but at the same time it disperses175 flatulency and gripings of the bowels. It is taken also, in the form of an electuary, for affections of the chest, with honey, or in some cases, with iris.1179 Taken in doses of from four to six drachmæ, with honey and a little salt and vinegar, it relaxes the bowels.

Some persons, again, give a different description of epithymon: according to them, it is a plant without1180 a root, diminutive, and bearing a flower resembling a small hood, and of a red colour. They tell us, too, that it is dried in the shade and taken in water, in doses of half an acetabulum; and that it has a slightly laxative effect upon the bowels, and carries off the pituitous humours and bile. Nymphæa1181 is taken for similar purposes, in astringent wine.

CHAP. 36.—PYCNOCOMON; FOUR REMEDIES.

Pycnocomon,1182 too, is a purgative. It is a plant with leaves like those of rocket, only thicker and more acrid; the root is round, of a yellow colour, and with an earthy smell. The stem is quadrangular, of a moderate length, thin, and surmounted with a flower like that of ocimum.1183 It is found growing in rough stony soils. The root, taken in doses of two denarii in hydromel, acts as a purgative upon the bowels, and effectually carries off bile and pituitous humours. The seed, taken in doses of one drachma in wine, is productive of dreams and restlessness. Capnos,1184 too, carries off bile by the urine.

CHAP. 37.—POLYPODION: THREE REMEDIES.

Polypodion,1185 known to us by the name of “filicula,” bears some resemblance to fern. The root of it is used medicinally;176 being fibrous, and of a grass green colour within, about the thickness of the little finger, and covered with cavernous suckers like those on the arms of the polypus. This plant is of a sweetish1186 taste, and is found growing among rocks and under trees. The root is steeped in water, and the juice extracted; sometimes, too, it is cut in small pieces and sprinkled upon cabbage, beet, mallows, or salt meat; or else it is boiled with pap,1187 as a gentle aperient for the bowels, in cases of fever even. It carries off bile also and the pituitous humours, but acts injuriously upon the stomach. Dried and powdered and applied to the nostrils, it cauterizes polypus1188 of the nose. It has neither seed1189 nor flower.

CHAP. 38.—SCAMMONY; EIGHT REMEDIES.

Scammony,1190 also, is productive of derangement of the stomach. It carries off bile, and acts strongly as a purgative upon the bowels; unless, indeed, aloes are added, in the proportion of two drachmæ of aloes to two oboli of scammony. The drug thus called is the juice of a plant that is branchy from the root, and has unctuous, white, triangular, leaves, with a solid, moist root, of a nauseous flavour: it grows in rich white soils. About the period of the rising of the Dog-star, an excavation is made about the root, to let the juice collect: which done, it is dried in the sun and divided into tablets. The root itself, too, or the outer coat of it, is sometimes dried. The scammony most esteemed is that of Colophon, Mysia, and Priene. In appearance it ought to be smooth and shiny, and as much like bull glue as possible: it should present a fungous surface also, covered with minute holes; should melt with the greatest rapidity, have a powerful smell, and be sticky like gum. When touched with the tongue, it should give out a white milky liquid; it ought also to be extremely light, and to turn white when melted.


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This last feature is recognized in the spurious scammony also, a compound of meal of fitches and juice of marine tithymalos,1191 which is mostly imported from Judea, and is very apt to choke those who use it. The difference may be easily detected, however, by the taste, as tithymalos imparts a burning sensation to the tongue. To be fully efficacious, scammony should be two1192 years old; before or after that age it is useless. It has been prescribed to be taken by itself also, in doses of four oboli, with hydromel and salt: but the most advantageous mode of using it is in combination with aloes, care being taken to drink honied wine the moment it begins to operate. The root, too, is boiled down in vinegar to the consistency of honey, and the decoction used as a liniment for leprosy. The head is also rubbed with this decoction, mixed with oil, for head-ache.

CHAP. 39.—THE TITHYMALOS CHARACIAS.

The tithymalos is called by our people the “milk plant,”1193 and by some persons the “goat lettuce.”1194 They say, that if characters are traced upon the body with the milky juice of this plant, and powdered with ashes, when dry, the letters will be perfectly visible; an expedient which has been adopted before now by intriguers, for the purpose of communicating with their mistresses, in preference to a correspondence by letter. There are numerous varieties of this plant.1195 The first kind has the additional name of “characias,”1196 and is generally looked upon as the male plant. Its branches are about a finger in thickness, red and full of juice, five or six in number, and a cubit in length. The leaves near the root are almost exactly those of the olive, and the extremity of the stem is surmounted with a tuft like that of the bulrush: it is found growing in rugged localities near the sea-shore. The seed is gathered in autumn, together with the tufts, and after being dried in the sun, is beaten out and put by for keeping.178 As to the juice, the moment the down begins to appear upon, the fruit, the branches are broken off and the juice of them is received upon either meal of fitches or else figs, and left to dry therewith. Five drops are as much as each fig ought to receive; and the story is, that if a dropsical patient eats one of these figs he will have as many motions as the fig has received drops. While the juice is being collected, due care must be taken not to let it touch the eyes. From the leaves, pounded, a juice is also extracted, but not of so useful a nature as the other kind: a decoction, too, is made from the branches.

The seed also is used, being boiled with honey and made up, into purgative1197 pills. These seeds are sometimes inserted in hollow teeth with wax: the teeth are rinsed too, with a decoction of the root in wine or oil. The juice is used externally for lichens, and is taken internally both as an emetic and to promote alvine evacuation: in other respects, it is prejudicial to the stomach. Taken in drink, with the addition of salt, it carries off pituitous humours; and in combination with saltpetre,1198 removes bile. In cases where it is desirable that it should purge by stool, it is taken with oxycrate, but where it is wanted to act as an emetic, with raisin wine or hydromel; three oboli being a middling dose. The best method, however, of using it, is to eat the prepared figs above-mentioned, just after taking food. In taste, it is slightly burning to the throat; indeed it is of so heating a nature, that, applied externally by itself, it raises blisters on the flesh, like those caused by the action of fire. Hence it is that it is sometimes employed as a cautery.

CHAP. 40.—THE TITHYMALOS MYRTITES, OR CARYITES; TWENTY-ONE REMEDIES.

A second kind of tithymalos is called “myrtites”1199 by some persons, and “caryites” by others. It has leaves like those of myrtle, pointed and prickly, but with a softer surface, and grows, like the one already mentioned, in rugged soils. The tufted heads of it are gathered just, as barley is beginning to swell in the ear, and, after being left for nine days in the shade, are thoroughly dried in the sun. The fruit does not ripen all at179 once, some, indeed, not till the ensuing year. The name given to this fruit is the “nut,” whence the Greek appellation “caryites.”1200 It is gathered at harvest, and is washed and dried, being given with twice the quantity of black poppy, in doses of one acetabulum in all.

As an emetic, this kind is not so efficacious as the preceding one, and, indeed, the same may be said of all the others. Some physicians recommend the leaf to be taken in the manner already mentioned, but say that the nut should either be taken in honied wine or raisin wine, or else with sesame. It carries off pituitous humours and bile by stool, and is curative of ulcerations of the mouth. For corrosive sores of the mouth, the leaf is eaten with honey.

CHAP. 41.—THE TITHYMALOS PARALIOS, OR TITHYMALIS: FOUR REMEDIES.

A third kind of tithymalos is known by the additional name of “paralios,”1201 or else as “tithymalis.”1202 The leaf is round, the stem a palm in height, the branches red, and the seed white. This seed is gathered just as the grape is beginning to form, and is dried and pounded; being taken as a purgative, in doses of one acetabulum.

CHAP. 42.—THE TITHYMALOS HELIOSCOPIOS: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

A fourth kind of tithymalos1203 is known by the additional name of “helioscopios.”1204 It has leaves like those of purslain,1205 and some four or five small branches standing out from the root, of a red colour, half a foot in height, and full of juice. This plant grows in the vicinity of towns: the seed is white, and pigeons1206 are remarkably fond of it. It receives its additional name of “helioscopios” from the fact that the heads of it turn1207 with the sun. Taken in doses of half an acetabulum, in oxymel, it carries off bile by stool: in other respects it has the same properties as the characias, above-mentioned.

180

CHAP. 43.—THE TITHYMALOS CYPARISSIAS: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

In the fifth place we have the tithymalos known as “cyparissias,”1208 from the resemblance of its leaves to those of the cypress. It has a double or triple stem, and grows in champaign localities. Its properties are exactly similar to those of the helioscopios and characias.

CHAP. 44.—THE TITHYMALOS PLATYPHYLLOS, CORYMBITES, OR AMYGDALITES: THREE REMEDIES.

The sixth kind is called “platyphyllos”1209 by some, and “corymbites” or “amygdalites” by others, from its resemblance to the almond-tree. The leaves of this kind are the largest of all: it has a fatal effect upon fish. An infusion of the root or leaves, or the juice, taken in doses of four drachmæ, in honied wine, or hydromel, acts as a purgative. It is particularly useful also for carrying off the aqueous humours.

CHAP. 45.—THE TITHYMALOS DENDROÏDES, COBIOS, OR LEPTOPHYLLOS: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

The seventh kind has the additional name of “dendroïdes,”1210 and is known by some persons as “cobios,” and by others as “leptophyllos.”1211 It grows among rocks, and is by far the most shrubby of all the varieties of the tithymalos. The stems of it are small and red, and the seed is remarkably abundant. Its properties are the same as those of the characias.1212

CHAP. 46.—THE APIOS ISCHAS, OR RAPHANOS AGRIA: TWO REMEDIES.

The apios ischas or raphanos agria,1213 throws out two or three rush-like branches of a red colour, creeping upon the ground, and bearing leaves like those of rue. The root resembles that of an onion, only that it is larger, for which181 reason some have called it the “wild radish.” The interior of this root is composed of a mammose substance, containing a white juice: the outer coat is black. It grows in rugged, mountainous spots, and sometimes in pasture lands. It is taken up in spring, and pounded and put into an earthen vessel, that portion of it being removed which floats upon the surface. The part which remains acts purgatively, taken in doses of an obolus and a half in hydromel, both as an emetic and by stool. This juice is administered also, in doses of one acetabulum, for dropsy.

The root of this plant is dried and powdered, and taken in drink: the upper part of it, they say, carries off bile by acting as an emetic, the lower part, by promoting alvine evacuation.

CHAP. 47.—REMEDIES FOR GRIPING PAINS IN THE BOWELS.

Every kind of panaces1214 is curative of gripings in the bowels; as also betony, except in those cases where they arise from indigestion. Juice of peucedanum1215 is good for flatulency, acting powerfully as a carminative: the same is the case, also, with root of acoron1216 and with daucus,1217 eaten like lettuce as a salad. Ladanum1218 of Cyprus, taken in drink, is curative of intestinal affections; and a similar effect is produced by powdered gentian, taken in warm water, in quantities about as large as a bean. For the same purpose, plantago1219 is taken in the morning, in doses of two spoonfuls, with one spoonful of poppy in four cyathi of wine, due care being taken that it is not old wine. It is given, too, at the last moment before going to sleep, and with the addition of nitre or polenta,1220 if a considerable time has elapsed since the last meal. For colic, an injection of the juice is used, one hemina at a time, even in cases where fever has supervened.

CHAP. 48.—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE SPLEEN.

Agaric, taken in doses of three oboli in one cyathus of old wine, is curative of diseases of the spleen. The same, too, with the root of every kind of panaces,1221 taken in honied wine: teucria,1222 also, is particularly useful for the same purpose,182 taken in a dry state, or boiled down in the proportion of one handful to three heminæ of vinegar. Teucria, too, is applied with vinegar to wounds of the spleen, or, if the patient cannot bear the application of vinegar, with figs or water. Polemonia1223 is taken in wine, and betony, in doses of one drachma, in three cyathi of oxymel: aristolochia, too, is used in the same manner as for injuries inflicted by serpents.1224 Argemonia,1225 it is said, taken with the food for seven consecutive days, diminishes the volume of the spleen; and a similar effect is attributed to agaric, taken in doses of two oboli, in oxymel. Root, too, of nymphæa heraclia,1226 taken in wine, or by itself, diminishes the spleen.

Cissanthemos,1227 taken twice a day, in doses of one drachma in two cyathi of white wine, for forty consecutive days, gradually carries off the spleen, it is said, by urine. Hyssop, boiled with figs, is very useful for the same purpose: root of lonchitis,1228 also, boiled before it has shed its seed. A decoction of root of peucedanum1229 is good for the spleen and kidneys. Acoron,1230 taken in drink, diminishes the spleen; and the roots of it are very beneficial for the viscera and iliac regions. For similar purposes, seed of clymenus1231 is taken, for thirty consecutive days, in doses of one denarius, in white wine. Powdered betony is also used, taken in a potion with honey and squill vinegar; root too of lonchitis is taken in water. Teucrium1232 is used externally for diseases of the spleen; scordium,1233 also, in combination with wax; and agaric, mixed with powdered, fenugreek.

CHAP. 49.—REMEDIES FOR CALCULI AND DISEASES OF THE BLADDER.

For diseases of the bladder and calculi (affections which, as already observed,1234 produce the most excruciating torments), polemonia1235 is highly efficacious, taken in wine; agaric also, and leaves or root of plantago, taken in raisin wine. Betony,183 too, is very good, as already observed, when speaking1236 of diseases of the liver. This last plant is used also for hernia, applied topically or taken in drink: it is remarkably efficacious too for strangury. For calculi some persons recommend betony, vervain, and milfoil, in equal proportions in water, as a sovereign remedy. It is universally agreed that dittany is curative of strangury, and that the same is the case with cinquefoil, boiled down to one third in wine: this last plant is very useful, too, taken internally and applied topically, for rupture of the groin.

The upper part of the root of xiphion1237 has a diuretic effect upon infants; it is administered also in water for rupture of the groin, and is applied topically for diseases of the bladder. Juice of peucedanum1238 is employed for hernia in infants, and psyllion1239 is used as an application in cases of umbilical hernia. The two kinds of anagallis1240 are diuretic, and a similar effect is produced by a decoction of root of acoron,1241 or the plant itself bruised and taken in drink; this last is good too for all affections of the bladder. Both the stem and root of cotyledon1242 are used for the cure of calculi; and for all inflammations of the genitals, myrrh is mixed in equal proportions with the stem and seed. The more tender leaves of ebulum,1243 beaten up and taken with wine, expel calculi of the bladder, and an application of them is curative of diseases of the testes. Erigeron,1244 with powdered frankincense and sweet wine, is curative of inflammation of the testes; and root of symphytum,1245 applied topically, reduces rupture of the groin. The white hypocisthis1246 is curative of corroding ulcers of the genitals. Artemisia1247 is prescribed also in sweet wine for the cure of calculi and of strangury; and root of nymphæa heraclia,1248 taken in wine, allays pains in the bladder.

CHAP. 50.—CRETHMOS: ELEVEN REMEDIES. CACHRY.

A similar property belongs also to crethmos,1249 a plant highly184 praised by Hippocrates.1250 This is one of the wild plants that are commonly eaten—at all events, we find Callimachus mentioning it as one of the viands set on table by the peasant Hecale.1251 It is a species of garden batis,1252 with a stem a palm in height, and a hot seed, odoriferous like that of libanotis,1253 and round. When dried, the seed bursts asunder, and discloses in the interior a white kernel, known as “cachry” to some. The leaf is unctuous and of a whitish colour, like that of the olive, only thicker and of a saltish taste. The roots are three or four in number, and about a finger in thickness: the plant grows in rocky localities, upon the sea-shore. It is eaten raw or else boiled with cabbage, and has a pleasant, aromatic flavour; it is preserved also in brine.

This plant is particularly useful for strangury, the leaves, stem, or root being taken in wine. It improves the complexion of the skin also, but if taken in excess is very apt to produce flatulency. Used in the form of a decoction it relaxes the bowels, has a diuretic effect, and carries off the humours from the kidneys. The same is the case also with alcea:1254 dried and powdered and taken in wine, it removes strangury, and, with the addition of daucus,1255 is still more efficacious: it is good too for the spleen, and is taken in drink as an antidote to the venom of serpents. Mixed with their barley it is remarkably beneficial for beasts of burden, when suffering from pituitous defluxions or strangury.

CHAP. 51.—THE ANTHYLLION; TWO REMEDIES. THE ANTHYLLIS: TWO REMEDIES.

The anthyllion1256 is a plant very like the lentil. Taken in wine, it is remedial for diseases of the bladder, and arrests hæmorrhage, Another variety of it is the anthyllis, a plant resembling the chamæpitys,1257 with a purple flower, a powerful smell, and a root like that of endive.

CHAP. 52.—CEPÆA: ONE REMEDY.

The plant known as “cepæa”1258 is even more efficacious. It185 resembles purslain in appearance, but has a darker root, that is never used: it grows upon the sands of the sea-shore, and has a bitter taste. Taken in wine with root of asparagus, it is remarkably useful for diseases of the bladder.

CHAP. 53.—HYPERICON, CHAMÆPITYS, OR CORISON: NINE REMEDIES.

Hypericon,1259 otherwise known as the “chamæpitys”1260 or “corison,”1261 is possessed of similar properties. It is a plant1262 with a stem like that1263 of a garden vegetable, thin, red, and a cubit in length. The leaf is similar to that of rue, and has an acrid smell: the seed is enclosed in a swarthy pod, and ripens at the same time as barley. This seed is of an astringent nature, arrests diarrhœa, and acts as a diuretic: it is taken also for diseases of the bladder, in wine.

CHAP. 54.—CAROS OR HYPERICON: TEN REMEDIES.

There is another hypericon also, known as “caros”1264 by some. The leaves of it resemble those of the tamarix,1265 beneath1266 which it grows, but are more unctuous1267 and not so red. It is an odoriferous plant, somewhat more than a palm1268 in height, of a sweet flavour, and slightly pungent. The seed is of a warming nature, and is consequently productive of eructations; it is not, however, injurious to the stomach. This plant is particularly useful for strangury, provided the bladder186 be not ulcerated; taken in wine, it is curative of pleurisy also.

CHAP. 55.—THE CALLITHRIX: ONE REMEDY. THE PERPRESSA: ONE REMEDY. THE CHRYSANTHEMUM: ONE REMEDY. THE ANTHEMIS: ONE REMEDY.

Callithrix,1269 beaten up with cummin seed, and administered in white wine, is useful also for diseases of the bladder. Leaves of vervain, boiled down to one third, or root of vervain, in warm honied wine, expel calculi of the bladder.

Perpressa,1270 a plant which grows in the vicinity of Arretium and in Illyricum, is boiled down to one third in three heminæ of water, and the decoction taken in drink: the same too with trefoil,1271 which is administered in wine; and the same with the chrysanthemum.1272 The anthemis1273 also is an expellent of calculi. It is a plant with five small leaves running from the root, two long stems, and a flower like a rose. The roots of it are pounded and administered alone, in the same way as raw laver.1274

CHAP. 56.—SILAUS: ONE REMEDY.

Silaus1275 is a plant which grows in running streams with a gravelly bed. It bears some resemblance to parsley, and is a cubit in height. It is cooked in the same manner as the acid vegetables,1276 and is of great utility for affections of the bladder. In cases where that organ is affected with eruptions,1277 it is used in combination with root of panaces,1278 a plant which is otherwise bad for the bladder.187 The erratic apple,1279 too, is an expellent of calculi. For this purpose, a pound of the root is boiled down to one half in a congius of wine, and one hemina of the decoction is taken for three consecutive days, the remainder being taken in wine with sium.1280 Sea-nettle1281 is employed too for the same purpose, daucus,1282 and seed of plantago in wine.

CHAP. 57.—THE PLANT OF FULVIUS.

The plant of Fulvius1283 too—so called from the first discoverer of it, and well known1284 to herbalists—bruised in wine, acts as a diuretic.

CHAP. 58.—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE TESTES AND OF THE FUNDAMENT.

Scordion1285 reduces swellings of the testes. Henbane is curative of diseases of the generative organs. Strangury is cured by juice of peucedanum,1286 taken with honey; as also by the seed of that plant. Agaric is also used for the same purpose, taken in doses of three oboli in one cyathus of old wine; root of trefoil, in doses of two drachmæ in wine; and root or seed of daucus,1287 in doses of one drachma. For the cure of sciatica, the seed and leaves of erythrodanum1288 are used, pounded; panaces,1289 taken in drink; polemonia,1290 employed as a friction; and leaves of aristolochia,1291 in the form of a decoction. Agaric, taken in doses of three oboli in one cyathus of old wine, is curative of affections of the tendon known as “platys”1292 and of pains in the shoulders. Cinquefoil is either taken in drink or applied topically for the cure of sciatica; a decoction of scammony is used also, with barley meal; and the seed of either kind of hypericon1293 is taken in wine.




188

For diseases of the fundament and for excoriations plantago is remarkably efficacious; for condylomata, cinquefoil; and for procidence of the rectum, root of cyclaminos,1294 applied in vinegar. The blue anagallis1295 reduces procidence of the rectum, while, on the contrary, that with a red flower has a tendency to bear it down. Cotyledon1296 is a marvellous cure for condylomatous affections and piles; and root of acoron,1297 boiled in wine and beaten up, is a good application for swelling of the testes. According to what Cato1298 says, those who carry about them Pontic1299 wormwood, will never experience chafing between the thighs.

(9.) Some persons add pennyroyal to the number of these plants: gathered fasting, they say, and attached to the hinder part of the body, it will be an effectual preservative against all pains in the groin, and will allay them in cases where they already exist.

CHAP. 59.—INGUINALIS OR ARGEMO.

Inguinalis1300 again, or, as some persons call it, “argemo,” a plant commonly found growing in bushes and thickets, needs only to be held in the hand to be productive of beneficial effects upon the groin.

CHAP. 60.—REMEDIES FOR INFLAMED TUMOURS. CHRYSIPPIOS: ONE REMEDY.

Panaces,1301 applied with honey, heals inflammatory tumours; an effect which is equally produced by plantago applied with salt, cinquefoil, root of persolata1302 used in the same way as for scrofula; damasonium1303 also, and verbascum1304 pounded with the root, and then sprinkled with wine, and wrapped in a leaf warmed upon ashes, and applied hot. Persons of experience in these matters have asserted that it is of primary importance that the application should be made by a maiden, as also that she must be naked at the time, and fasting. The patient must189 be fasting too, and the damsel must say, touching him with the back of her hand,1305 “Apollo forbids that a disease shall increase which a naked virgin restrains.” So saying, she must withdraw her hand, and repeat to the above effect three times, both of them spitting upon the ground each time.

Root, too, of mandragora1306 is used for this purpose, with water; a decoction of root of scammony with honey; sideritis1307 beaten up with stale grease; horehound with stale axle-grease; or chrysippios,1308 a plant which owes its name to its discoverer—with pulpy figs.

CHAP. 61. (10.)—APHRODISIACS AND ANTAPHRODISIACS.

Nymphæa heraclia, used as already stated,1309 acts most powerfully as an antaphrodisiac; the same too if taken once every forty days in drink. Taken in drink fasting, or eaten with the food, it effectually prevents the recurrence of libidinous dreams. The root too, used in the form of a liniment and applied to the generative organs, not only represses all prurient desires, but arrests the seminal secretions as well; for which reason, it is said to have a tendency to make flesh and to improve the voice.1310

The upper part of the root of xiphion,1311 taken in wine, acts as an aphrodisiac. The same is the case too with the wild crethmos,1312 or agrios as it is called, and with horminum,1313 beaten up with polenta.1314

CHAP. 62.—THE ORCHIS OR SERAPIAS: FIVE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES. SATYRION.

But there are few plants of so marvellous a nature as the orchis1315 or serapias, a vegetable production with leaves like190 those of the leek, a stem a palm in height, a purple flower, and a twofold root, formed of tuberosities which resemble the testes in appearance. The larger of these tuberosities, or, as some say, the harder of the two, taken in water, is provocative of lust; while the smaller, or, in other words, the softer one, taken in goat’s milk, acts as an antaphrodisiac. Some persons describe this plant as having a leaf like that of the squill, only smoother and softer, and a prickly stem. The roots heal liberations of the mouth, and are curative of pituitous discharges from the chest; taken in wine they act astringently upon the bowels.

Satyrion is also a powerful stimulant. There are two kinds of it: the first1316 has leaves like those of the olive, but longer, a stem four fingers in length, a purple flower, and a double root, resembling the human testes in shape. This root swells and increases in volume one year, and resumes its original size the next. The other kind is known as the “satyrios orchis,”1317 and is supposed to be the female plant. It is distinguished from the former one by the distance between its joints, and its more branchy and shrublike form. The root is employed in philtres: it is mostly found growing near the sea. Beaten up and applied with polenta,1318 or by itself, it heals tumours and various other affections of the generative organs. The root of the first kind, administered in the milk of a colonic1319 sheep, causes tentigo; taken in water it produces a contrary effect.

CHAP. 63.—SATYRION: THREE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES. SATYRION ERYTHRAÏCON: FOUR MEDICINAL PROPERTIES.

The Greeks give the name of “satyrion”1320 to a plant with191 red leaves like those of the lily, but smaller, not more than three of them making their appearance above ground. The stem, they say, is smooth and bare and a cubit in length, and the root double; the lower part, which is also the larger, promoting the conception of male issue, the upper or smaller part, that of female.

They distinguish also another kind of satyrion, by the name of “erythraïcon:”1321 it has seed like that of the vitex,1322 only larger, smooth, and hard; the root, they say, is covered with a red rind, and is white within and of a sweetish taste: it is mostly found in mountainous districts. The root, we are told, if only held in the hand, acts as a powerful aphrodisiac, and even more so, if it is taken in rough, astringent wine. It is administered in drink, they say, to rams and he-goats when inactive and sluggish; and the people of Sarmatia are in the habit of giving it to their stallions when fatigued with covering, a defect to which they give the name of “prosedamum.” The effects of this plant are neutralized by the use of hydromel or lettuces.1323

The Greeks, however, give the general name of “satyrion” to all substances of a stimulating tendency, to the cratægis1324 for example, the thelygonon,1325 and the arrenogonon, plants, the seed of which bears a resemblance to the testes.1326 Persons who carry the pith of branches of tithymalos1327 about them, are rendered more amorous thereby, it is said. The statements are really incredible, which Theophrastus,1328 in most cases an author of high authority, makes in relation to this subject; thus, for instance, he says that by the contact only of a certain192 plant, a man has been enabled, in the sexual congress, to repeat his embraces as many as seventy times even! The name and genus, however, of this plant, he has omitted to mention.

CHAP. 64.—REMEDIES FOR THE GOUT AND DISEASES OF THE FEET.

Sideritis,1329 attached to the body as an amulet, reduces varicose veins, and effects a painless cure. Gout used to be an extremely rare disease, not in the times of our fathers and grandfathers only, but within my own memory even. Indeed, it may justly be considered a foreign complaint; for if it had been formerly known in Italy, it would surely have found a Latin name. It should, however, by no means be looked upon as an incurable malady; for before now, in many instances, it has quitted the patient all at once, and still more frequently, a cure has been effected by proper treatment.

For the cure of gout, roots of panaces1330 are used, mixed with raisins; juice of henbane, or the seed, combined with meal; scordion,1331 taken in vinegar; iberis, as already mentioned;1332 vervain, beaten up with axle-grease; or root of cyclaminos,1333 a decoction of which is good also for chilblains.

As cooling applications for gout, root of xiphion1334 is used; seed of psyllion;1335 hemlock, with litharge or axle-grease; and, at the first symptoms of red gout, or, in other words, hot gout, the plant aizoüm.1336 For either kind of gout, erigeron,1337 with axle-grease, is very useful; leaves of plantago, beaten up with a little salt; or argemonia,1338 pounded with honey. An application of vervain is also remedial, and it is a good plan to soak the feet in a decoction of that plant in water.

CHAP. 65. LAPPAGO OR MOLLUGO: ONE REMEDY. ASPERUGO: ONE REMEDY.

Lappago1339 is employed also for this disease; a plant similar to the anagallis,1340 were it not that it is more branchy,193 bristling with a greater number of leaves, covered with rugosities, full of a more acrid juice, and possessed of a powerful smell. The kind that resembles anagallis most closely, is known as mollugo.1341 Asperugo1342 is a similar plant, only with a more prickly leaf. The juice of the first is taken daily, in doses of one denarius, in two cyathi of wine.

CHAP. 66.—PHYCOS THALASSION OR SEA-WEED: THREE VARIETIES OF IT. LAPPA BOARIA.

But it is the phycos thalassion, or sea-weed,1343 more particularly, that is so excellent a remedy for the gout. It resembles the lettuce in appearance, and is used as the basis in dyeing tissues with the purple of the murex.1344 Used before it becomes dry, it is efficacious as a topical application not only for gout, but for all diseases of the joints. There are three kinds of it; one with a broad leaf, another with a longer leaf of a reddish hue, and a third with a crisped leaf, and used in Crete for dyeing cloths.1345 All these kinds have similar properties; and we find Nicander prescribing them in wine as an antidote to the venom of serpents even. The seed also of the plant which we have spoken of as “psyllion,”1346 is useful for the cure of gout: it is first steeped in water, and one hemina of the seed is then mixed with two spoonfuls of resin of Colophon, and one spoonful of frankincense. Leaves of mandragora,1347 too, are highly esteemed for this purpose, beaten up with polenta.

(11.) For swellings of the ankles, slime,1348 kneaded up with oil, is wonderfully useful, and for swellings of the joints the juice of the smaller centaury; this last being remarkably good also for diseases of the sinews. Centauris,1349 too, is very useful; and for pains in the sinews of the shoulder-blades, shoulders,194 vertebræ, and loins, an infusion of betony is taken in drink in the same way as for diseases of the liver.1350 Cinquefoil is applied topically to the joints, and a similar use is made of the leaves of mandragora, mixed with polenta,1351 or else the root, beaten up fresh with wild cucumber1352 or boiled in water. For chaps upon the toes, root of polypodion1353 is used; and for diseases of the joints, juice of henbane with axle-grease; amomum,1354 with a decoction of the plant; centunculus,1355 boiled; or fresh moss steeped in water, and attached to the part till it is quite dry.

The root, too, of lappa boaria,1356 taken in wine, is productive of similar effects. A decoction of cyclaminos1357 in water, is curative of chilblains, and all other affections resulting from cold. For chilblains, cotyledon1358 is also employed with axle-grease, leaves of batrachion,1359 and juice of epithymum.1360 Ladanum,1361 mixed with castoreum,1361 and vervain applied with wine, extract corns from the feet.

CHAP. 67.—MALADIES WHICH ATTACK THE WHOLE OF THE BODY.

Having now finished the detail of the diseases which are perceptible in individual parts of the body, we shall proceed to speak of those which attack the whole of the body. The following I find mentioned as general remedies: in preference to anything else, an infusion of dodecatheos,1362 a plant already described, should be taken in drink, and then the roots of the several kinds1363 of panaces, in maladies of long standing more particularly: seed, too, of panaces should be used for intestinal complaints. For all painful affections of the body we find juice of scordium1364 recommended, as also that of betony: this last, taken in a potion, is particularly excellent for removing a wan and leaden hue of the skin, and for improving its general appearance.

195

CHAP. 68.—THE GERANION, MYRRILIS, OR MYRTIS; THREE VARIETIES OF IT: SIX REMEDIES.

The plant geranion has the additional names of “myrrhis”1365 and “myrtis.” It is similar to hemlock in appearance, but has a smaller leaf and a shorter stem, rounded, and of a pleasant taste and odour. Such, at all events, is the description given of it by our herbalists; but the Greeks speak of it as bearing leaves a little whiter than those of the mallow, thin downy stems, and branches at intervals some two palms in length, with small heads at their extremities, in the midst of the leaves, resembling the bill1366 of a crane.1367 There is also another1368 variety of this plant, with leaves like those of the anemone, but with deeper incisions, and a root rounded like an apple, sweet, and extremely useful and refreshing1369 for invalids when recovering their strength; this last would almost seem to be the true geranion.

For phthisis this plant is taken, in the proportion of one drachma to three cyathi of wine, twice a day; as also for flatulency. Eaten raw, it is productive of similar effects. The juice of the root is remedial for diseases of the ear; and for opisthotony the seed is taken in drink, in doses of four drachmæ, with pepper and myrrh. Juice of plantago,1370 taken in drink, is curative of phthisis, and a decoction of it is equally good for the purpose. Plantago taken as a food with oil and salt, immediately after rising in the morning, is extremely refreshing; it is prescribed, too, in cases of atrophy, on alternate days. Betony is given with honey, in the form of an electuary, for phthisis, in pieces the size of a bean; agaric, too, is taken in doses of two oboli in raisin wine, or else daucus1371 with the greater centaury in wine. For the cure of phagedæna, a196 name given in common to bulimia1372 and to a corrosive kind of ulcer, tithymalos1373 is taken in combination with sesame.

CHAP. 69.—THE ONOTHERAS OR ONEAR: THREE REMEDIES.

Among the various evils by which the whole of the body in common is afflicted, that of wakefulness is the most common. Among the remedies for it we find panaces1374 mentioned, clymenus,1375 and aristolochia,1376 the odour of the plant being inhaled and the head rubbed with it. Aizoüm, or houseleek, is beneficial, wrapped in black cloth and placed beneath the pillow, without the patient being aware of it. The onotheras1377 too, or onear, taken in wine, has certain exhilarating properties; it has leaves like those of the almond tree, a rose-coloured flower, numerous branches, and a long root, with a vinous smell when dried: an infusion of this root has a soothing effect upon wild beasts even.

For fits of indigestion1378 attended with nausea, betony is taken in drink: used similarly after the evening meal, it facilitates the digestion. Taken in the proportion of one drachma to three cyathi of oxymel, it dispels crapulence. The same is the case, too, with agaric, taken in warm water after eating. Betony is curative of paralysis, it is said; the same, too, with iberis, as already stated.1379 This last is good, too, for numbness of the limbs; the same being the case with argemonia,1380 a plant which disperses those affections which might otherwise necessitate the application of the knife.

CHAP. 70.—REMEDIES FOR EPILEPSY.

Epilepsy is cured by the root of the panaces which we have spoken1381 of as the “heraclion,” taken in drink with sea-calf’s rennet, the proportions being three parts of panaces and one of rennet. For the same purpose an infusion of plantago1382 is taken, or else betony or agaric, with oxymel, the former in doses of one drachma, the latter in doses of three oboli; leaves197 of cinquefoil are taken, also, in water. Archezostis1383 is also curative of epilepsy, but it must be taken constantly for a year; root of bacchar,1384 too, dried and powdered, and taken in warm water, in the proportion of three cyathi to one cyathus of coriander; centunculus1385 also, bruised in vinegar, warm water, or honey; vervain, taken in wine; hyssop1386 berries, three in number, pounded and taken in water, for sixteen days consecutively; peucedanum,1387 taken in drink with sea-calf’s rennet, in equal proportions; leaves of cinquefoil, bruised in wine and taken for thirty days; powdered betony, in doses of three denarii, with one cyathus of squill vinegar and an ounce of Attic honey; as also scammony, in the proportion of two oboli to four drachmæ of castoreum.

CHAP. 71.—REMEDIES FOR FEVERS.

Agaric, taken in warm water, alleviates cold fevers: sideritis, in combination with oil, is good for tertian fevers; bruised ladanum1388 also, which is found in corn fields; plantago,1389 taken in doses of two drachmæ, in hydromel, a couple of hours before the paroxysms come on; juice of the root of plantago made warm or subjected to pressure; or else the root itself beaten up in water made warm with a hot iron. Some medical men prescribe three roots of plantago, in three cyathi of water; and in a similar manner, four roots for quartan fevers. When buglossos1390 is beginning to wither, if a person takes the pith out of the stem, and says while so doing, that it is for the cure of such and such a person suffering from fever, and then attaches seven leaves to the patient, just before the paroxysms come on, he will experience a cure, they say.

Fevers too, those which are attended with recurrent cold shiverings more particularly, are cured by administering one drachma of betony, or else agaric, in three cyathi of hydromel. Some medical men recommend three leaves of cinquefoil for tertian, four for quartan, and an increased number for other fevers; while others again prescribe in all cases three oboli of cinquefoil, with pepper, in hydromel.

Vervain, administered in water, is curative of fever, in beasts198 of burden even; but care must be taken, in cases of tertian fever, to cut the plant at the third joint, and of quartan fever at the fourth. The seed of either kind of hypericon1391 is taken also for quartan fevers and cold shiverings. Powdered betony modifies these fits, and panaces1392 is of so warming a nature that persons when about to travel amid the snow are recommended to drink an infusion of it, and to rub the body all over with the plant. Aristolochia1393 also arrests shivering produced by cold.

CHAP. 72.—REMEDIES FOR PHRENITIS, LETHARGY, AND CARBUNCLES.

Phrenitis is cured by sleep induced by the agency of an infusion of peucedanum1394 in vinegar, poured upon the head, or else by the juice of either kind of anagallis.1395 On the other hand, when patients are suffering from lethargy, it is with the greatest difficulty that they are aroused; a result which may be effected, they say, by touching the nostrils with juice of peucedanum in vinegar. For the cure of insanity, betony is administered in drink. Panaces1396 brings carbuncles to a head, and makes them break; and they are equally cured by powdered betony applied in water, or else cabbage leaves mixed with frankincense in warm water, and taken in considerable quantities. For a similar purpose, a red-hot coal is extinguished in the patient’s presence, and the ashes are taken up with the finger and applied to the sore. Bruised plantago1397 is also used for the cure of carbuncles.

CHAP. 73.—REMEDIES FOR DROPSY. ACTE OR EBULUM. CHAMÆACTE.

For the cure of dropsy, tithymalos characias1398 is employed; panaces1399 also; plantago,1400 used as a diet, dry bread being eaten first, without any drink; betony, taken in doses of two drachmæ in two cyathi of ordinary wine or honied wine; agaric or seed of lonchitis,1401 in doses of two spoonfuls, in199 water; psyllion,1402 taken in wine; juice of either anagallis;1403 root of cotyledon1404 in honied wine; root of ebulum,1405 fresh gathered, with the mould shaken off, but not washed in water, a pinch in two fingers being taken in one hemina of old wine mulled; root of trefoil, taken in doses of two drachmæ in wine; the tithymalos1406 known as “platyphyllos;” seed of the hypericon,1407 otherwise known as “caros;” the plant called “acte”—the same thing as ebulum1408 according to some—the root of it being pounded in three cyathi of wine, if there are no symptoms of fever, or the seed of it being administered in red wine; a good handful of vervain also, boiled down in water to one half. But of all the remedies for this disease, juice of chamæacte1409 is looked upon as by far the most efficacious.

Morbid or pituitous eruptions are cured by the agency of plantago, or else root of cyclaminos1410 with honey. Leaves of ebulum,1411 bruised in old wine and applied topically, are curative of the disease called “boa,” which makes its appearance in the form of red pimples. Juice of strychnos,1412 applied as a liniment, is curative of prurigo.

CHAP. 74.—REMEDIES FOR ERYSIPELAS.

For the cure of erysipelas, aizoüm1413 is used, or else pounded leaves of hemlock, or root of mandragora;1414 this last being cut into round slices like cucumber and suspended over must,1415 after which it is hung up in the smoke, and then pounded in wine or vinegar. It is a good plan too to use fomentations with myrtle wine: two ounces of mint beaten up in vinegar with one ounce of live sulphur, form a mixture sometimes employed; as also soot mixed with vinegar.

There are several kinds of erysipelas, one in particular which attacks the middle of the body, and is known as “zoster:”1416 should it entirely surround the body, its effects are200 fatal. For this disease, plantago1417 is remedial, mixed with Cimolian1418 chalk; vervain, used by itself; or root of persolata.1419 For other kinds of erysipelas of a spreading nature, root of cotyledon1420 is used, mixed with honied wine; aizoüm also,1421 or juice of linozostis,1422 in combination with vinegar.

CHAP. 75. (12.)—REMEDIES FOR SPRAINS.

For the cure of sprains, root of polypodion1423 is used, in the form, of a liniment: the pain and swelling are modified also by using seed of psyllion;1424 leaves of plantago1425 beaten up with a little salt; seed of verbascum,1426 boiled in wine and pounded; or hemlock with axle-grease. Leaves of ephemeron1427 are applied topically to tumours and tuberosities, so long as they are capable of being dispersed.

CHAP. 76.—REMEDIES FOR JAUNDICE.

It is upon the eyes in particular that jaundice is productive of so remarkable an effect; the bile penetrating between the membranes, so extremely delicate as they are and so closely united. Hippocrates1428 tells us that the appearance of jaundice on or after the seventh day in fevers is a fatal symptom; but I am acquainted with some instances in which, the patients survived after having been reduced to this apparently hopeless state. We may remark also, that jaundice sometimes comes on without fever supervening. It is combated by taking the greater centaury,1429 as already mentioned, in drink; agaric, in doses of three oboli in old wine; or leaves of vervain, in doses of three oboli, taken for four consecutive days in one hemina of mulled wine. But the most speedy cure of all is effected by using juice of cinquefoil, in doses of three cyathi, with salt and honey. Root of cyclaminos1430 is also taken in drink in doses of three drachmæ, the patient sitting in a warm room free from all cold and draughts, the infusion expelling the bile by its action as a sudorific.








201

Leaves of tussilago1431 are also used in water for this purpose; the seed of either kind of linozostis,1432 sprinkled in the drink, or made into a decoction with chick-pease or wormwood: hyssop berries taken in water; the plant lichen,1433 all other vegetables being carefully abstained from while it is being used; polythrix,1434 taken in wine; and struthion,1435 in honied wine.

CHAP. 77.—REMEDIES FOR BOILS.

There are boils also, known as “furunculi,”1436 which make their appearance indiscriminately on all parts of the body, and are productive of the greatest inconvenience: sometimes indeed, when the constitution is exhausted, they are fatal in their effects. For their cure, leaves of pycnocomon1437 are employed, beaten up with polenta,1438 if the boil has not come to a head. They are dispersed also by an application of leaves of ephedron.1439

CHAP. 78.—REMEDIES FOR FISTULA.

Fistulas, too, insidiously attack all parts of the body, owing to unskilfulness on the part of medical men in the use of the knife. The smaller centaury1440 is used for their cure, with the addition of lotions1441 and boiled honey: juice of plantago1442 is also employed, as an injection; cinquefoil, mixed with salt and honey; ladanum,1443 combined with castoreum;1444 cotyledon,1445 applied hot with stag’s marrow; pith of the root of verbascum1446 reduced to a liquid state in the shape of a lotion, and injected; root of aristolochia;1447 or juice of tithymalos.1448

CHAP. 79.—REMEDIES FOR ABSCESSES AND HARD TUMOURS.

Abscesses and inflammations are cured by an application of leaves of argemonia.1449 For indurations and gatherings of all descriptions a decoction of vervain or cinquefoil in vinegar is202 used; leaves or root of verbascum;1450 a liniment made of wine and hyssop; root of acoron,1451 a decoction of it being used as a fomentation; or else aizoüm.1452 Contusions also, hard tumours, and fistulous abscesses are treated with, illecebra.1453

All kinds of foreign substances which have pierced the flesh are extracted by using leaves of tussilago,1454 daueus,1455 or seed of leontopodium1456 pounded in water with polenta.1457 To suppurations, leaves of pycnocomon1458 are applied, beaten up with polenta, or else the seed of that plant, or orchis.1459 An application of root of satyrion1460 is said to be a most efficacious remedy for deep-seated diseases of the bones. Corrosive ulcers and all kinds of gatherings are treated with sea-weed,1461 used before it has dried. Root, too, of alcima1462 disperses gatherings.

CHAP. 80.—REMEDIES FOB BURNS.

Burns are cured by the agency of plantago,1463 or of arction,1464 so effectually indeed as to leave no scar. The leaves of this last plant are boiled in water, beaten up, and applied to the sore. Boots of cyclaminos1465 are used, in combination with aizoüm;1466 the kind of hypericon also, which we have mentioned as being called “corissum.”1467

CHAP. 81. REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE SINEWS AND JOINTS.

For diseases of the sinews and joints, plantago,1468 beaten up with salt, is a very useful remedy, or else argemonia,1469 pounded with honey. Patients affected with spasms or tetanus are rubbed with juice of peucedanum.1470 For indurations of the sinews, juice of ægilops1471 is employed, and for pains in those parts of the body erigeron1472 or epithymum,1473 used as a liniment,203 with vinegar. In cases of spasms and opisthotony, it is an excellent plan to rub the part affected with seed of the hypericon known as “caros,”1474 and to take the seed in drink. Phrynion,1475 it is said, will effect a cure even when the sinews have been severed, if applied instantaneously, bruised or chewed. For spasmodic affections, fits of trembling, and opisthotony, root of alcima1476 is administered in hydromel; used in this manner, if has a warming effect when the limbs are benumbed with cold.

CHAP. 82.—REMEDIES FOR HÆMORRHAGE.

The red seed of the plant called “pæonia”1477 arrests hæmorrhage; the root also is possessed of similar properties. But it is clymenus1478 that should be employed, when there are discharges of blood at the mouth or nostrils, from the bowels, or from the uterus. In such cases, lysimachia1479 also is taken in drink, applied topically, or introduced into the nostrils; or else seed of plantago,1480 or cinquefoil, is taken in drink, or employed in the form of a liniment. Hemlock seed is introduced into the nostrils, for discharges of blood there, or else it is pounded and applied in water; aizoüm.1481 also, and root of astragalus.1482 Ischæmon1483 and achillea1484 likewise arrest hæmorrhage.

CHAP. 83. (13.)—HIPPURIS, OTHERWISE CALLED EPHEDRON, ANABASIS, OB EQUISÆTUM; THREE KINDS OF IT: EIGHTEEN REMEDIES.

Equisætum, a plant called “hippuris” by the Greeks, and which we have mentioned in terms of condemnation, when treating of meadow lands1485—it being, in fact, a sort of hair of the earth, similar in appearance to horse-hair1486—is used by runners for the purpose of diminishing1487 the spleen. For this204 purpose it is boiled down in a new earthen vessel to one third, the vessel being filled to the brim, and the decoction taken in doses of one hemina for three successive days. It is strictly forbidden, however, to eat any food of a greasy nature the day before taking it.

Among the Greeks there are various opinions in relation to this plant. According to some, who give it the same name of “hippuris,” it has leaves like those of the pine tree, and of a swarthy hue; and, if we are to believe them, it is possessed of virtues of such a marvellous nature, that if touched by the patient only, it will arrest hæmorrhage. Some authorities call it “hippuris,” others, again, “ephedron,” and others “anabasis;” and they tell us that it grows near trees, the trunks of which it ascends, and hangs down therefrom in numerous tufts of black, rush-like hair, much like a horse’s tail in appearance. The branches, we are told, are thin and articulated, and the leaves, few in number, small, and thin, the seed round, and similar to coriander in appearance, and the root ligneous: it grows, they say, in plantations more particularly.

This plant is possessed of astringent properties. The juice of it, kept in the nostrils, arrests bleeding therefrom, and it acts astringently upon the bowels. Taken in doses of three cyathi, in sweet wine, it is a cure for dysentery, is an efficient diuretic, and is curative of cough, hardness of breathing, ruptures, and serpiginous affections. For diseases of the intestines and bladder, the leaves are taken in drink; it has the property, also, of reducing ruptures of the groin.

The Greek writers describe another1488 hippuris, also, with shorter tufts, softer and whiter. This last, they say, is remarkably good for sciatica, and, applied with vinegar, for wounds, it having the property of stanching the blood. Bruised nymphæa1489 is also applied to wounds. Peucedanum1490 is taken in drink with cypress seed, for discharges of blood at the mouth or by the lower passages. Sideritis1491 is possessed of such remarkable virtues, that applied to the wound of a gladiator just inflicted, it will stop the flow of blood; an effect which is equally produced by an application of charred fennel-giant, or of the205 ashes of that plant. For a similar purpose, also, the fungus that is found growing near the root of fennel-giant is still more efficacious.

CHAP. 84.—STEPHANOMELIS.

For bleeding at the nostrils, seed of hemlock, pounded in water is considered efficacious, as also stephanomelis,1492 applied with water. Powdered betony, taken with goat’s milk, or bruised plantago,1493 arrests discharges of blood from the mamillæ. Juice of plantago is administered to patients when vomiting blood. For local discharges of blood, an application of root of persolata1494 with stale axle-grease is highly spoken of.

CHAP. 85.—REMEDIES FOR RUPTURES AND CONVULSIONS. ERYSITHALES: ONE REMEDY.

For ruptures, convulsions, and falls with violence, the greater centaury1495 is used; root of gentian pounded or boiled; juice of betony—this last being employed also for ruptures produced by straining the vocal organs or sides—panaces;1496 scordium;1497 or aristolochia1498 taken in drink. For contusions and falls, agaric is taken, in doses of two oboli, in three cyathi of honied wine, or if there are symptoms of fever, hydromel; the verbascum,1499 also, with a golden flower; root of acoron;1500 the several varieties of aizoüm,1501 the juice of the larger kind being particularly efficacious; juice of symphytum,1502 or a decoction of the root of that plant; daucus,1503 unboiled; erysithales,1504 a plant with a yellow flower and a leaf like that of acanthus, taken in wine; chamærops;1505 irio,1506 taken in pottage; plantago1507 taken any way, as also * * * *

206

CHAP. 86.—REMEDIES FOR PHTHIRIASIS.

Phthiriasis is a disease which proved fatal to the Dictator Sylla,1508 and which developes itself by the production of insects in the blood, which ultimately consume the body. It is combated by using the juice of Taminian grapes1509 or of hellebore, the body being rubbed all over with it, in combination with oil. A decoction of Taminian grapes in vinegar, has the effect, also, of ridding the clothes of these vermin.

CHAP. 87. (14.)—REMEDIES FOR ULCERS AND WOUNDS.

Of ulcers there are numerous kinds, which are treated in various ways. The root of all the varieties of panaces1510 is used as an application for running ulcers, in warm wine.

That which we have spoken of as the “chironion”1511 is particularly good as a desiccative: bruised with honey, it opens tumours, and is useful for serpiginous ulcers, the cure of which appears more than doubtful; in which case it is amalgamated with flower1512 of copper tempered with wine, either the seed, flower, or root, being employed for the purpose. Mixed with polenta1513 it is good for old wounds. The following are also good detergents for wounds: heraclion siderion,1514 apollinaris,1515 psyllion,1516 tragacantha,1517 and scordotis1518 mixed with honey. Powdered scordotis, applied by itself, consumes fleshy excrescences on the body. Polemonia1519 is curative of the malignant ulcer known as “cacoëthes.” The greater centaury,1520 sprinkled in powder, or applied in the form of a liniment, or the leaves of the smaller1521 centaury, boiled or pounded, act as a detergent upon inveterate ulcers, and effect a cure. To recent wounds, the follicules of the clymenus1522 are applied. Gentian is applied to serpiginous ulcers, the root being bruised or else boiled down in water to the consistency of honey; the juice also of the plant is employed. For wounds, a kind of lycium1523 is prepared from gentian.

207

Lysimachia1524 is curative of recent wounds, and plantago1525 of all kinds of liberations, those on females, infants, and aged persons more particularly. This plant, when softened by the action of fire, is better still: in combination with cerate it acts as a detergent upon ulcers with indurated edges, and arrests the progress of corrosive sores: when applied bruised, it should be covered with its own leaves. Chelidonia1526 also acts as a desiccative upon suppurations, abscesses, and fistulous ulcers; indeed, it is so remarkably useful for the cure of wounds, as to be employed as a substitute for spodium1527 even. In cases where the cure is almost hopeless, it is applied with axle-grease. Dittany,1528 taken internally, causes arrows to fall from the flesh; used as a liniment, it has the effect of extracting other kinds of pointed weapons: the leaves are taken in the proportion of one obolus to one cyathus of water. Nearly equal in its efficacy is pseudo-dictamnon:1529 they are both of them useful, also, for dispersing suppurations.

Aristolochia1530 cauterizes putrid sores, and, applied with honey, acts as a detergent upon sordid ulcers. At the same time also, it removes maggots, and extracts hard cores, and all foreign bodies adhering to the flesh, arrows more particularly, and, applied with resin, splintered bones. Used by itself, it fills the cavities made by ulcers with new flesh, and, employed with iris,1531 in vinegar, it closes recent wounds. Vervain, or cinquefoil with salt and honey, is remedial for ulcers of long standing. Roots of persolata1532 are applied to recent wounds inflicted with iron, but for old wounds, it is the leaves that are employed: in both cases, in combination with axle-grease, the sore being then covered with the leaves of the plant. Damasonium1533 is used for wounds the same way as for scrofula,1534 and leaves of verbascum1535 are employed with vinegar or wine.

Vervain is useful for all kinds of callosities or putrid sores; root of nymphæa heraclia1536 is curative of running ulcers; and208 the same is the case with root of cyclaminos,1537 either used by itself, or in combination with vinegar or honey. This last root is useful also for the cure of steatomatous tumours, and hyssop for that of running ulcers; an effect equally produced by peucedanum,1538 a plant which exercises so powerful an influence upon fresh wounds, as to cause exfoliation even of the bones. The two varieties of anagallis1539 are possessed of similar properties, and act as a check upon the corrosive sores known as “nomæ” and upon defluxions; they are useful also in cases of recent wounds, those of aged people in particular. Fresh leaves of mandragora,1540 applied with cerate, are curative of apostemes and sordid ulcers: the root too is used, with honey or oil, for wounds.

Hemlock, incorporated with flour of winter wheat1541 by the agency of wine—as also the plant aizoüm1542—is curative of herpetic eruptions, and corrosive or putrid sores. Erigeron1543 is employed for ulcers which breed maggots. Root of astragalus1544 is used for the cure of recent wounds or of ulcers of long standing; and upon these last either kind of hypocisthis1545 acts as a detergent. Seed of leontopodium,1546 bruised in water and applied with polenta,1547 extracts pointed weapons from the flesh: a result equally produced by using seed of pycnocomon.1548 The tithyinalos characias1549 supplies its juice for the cure of gangrenes, phagedænic sores, and putrid ulcers; or else a decoction is made of the branches with polenta and oil. Boots of orchis1550 have a similar effect; in addition to which, applied, either dry or fresh gathered, with honey and vinegar, they are curative of the ulcer known as “cacoëthes.” Onothera1551 also, used by itself, is curative of ulcers when rapidly gaining head.

The people of Scythia employ scythice1552 for the treatment of wounds. For carcinoma, argemonia,1553 applied with honey, is extremely efficacious. For sores that have prematurely closed, root of asphodel is boiled, in manner already1554 stated209 and then beaten up with polenta,1555 and applied. For all kinds of wounds apollinaris1556 is very useful. Root of astragalus,1557 reduced to powder, is good for running ulcers; the same, too, with callithrix,1558 boiled in water. For blisters, more particularly when caused by the shoes, vervain is used, as also pounded lysimachia,1559 or nymphæa1560 dried and powdered; but when they have assumed the form of inveterate ulcers, polythrix1561 will be found more serviceable.

CHAP. 88.—POLYCNEMON: ONE REMEDY.

Polycnemon1562 is a plant which resembles cunila bubula;1563 it has a seed like that of pennyroyal, a ligneous stem with numerous articulations, and odoriferous umbels, with a pleasant though pungent smell. This plant is chewed and applied to wounds inflicted with iron, the application being removed at the end of four days. Symphyton1564 causes sores to cicatrize with the greatest rapidity; the same, too, with sideritis,1565 which is applied in combination with honey. The seed and leaves of verbascum,1566 boiled in wine and pounded, are used for the extraction of all foreign substances adhering to the body; and a similar use is made of leaves of mandragora1567 mixed with polenta,1568 and roots of cyclaminos1569 with honey. Leaves of trixago,1570 bruised in oil, are used for ulcers of a serpiginous nature more particularly, as also sea-weed bruised with honey. Betony, with the addition of salt, is employed for the cure of carcinomatous sores and inveterate blisters on the neck.

CHAP. 89.—REMEDIES FOB WARTS, AND APPLICATIONS FOR THE REMOVAL OF SCARS.

Argemonia1571 with vinegar, or root of batrachion,1572 removes warts; this last having the effect also of bringing off malformed210 nails. The juice or the leaves, applied topically, of either kind of linozostis,1573 remove warts. All the varieties of tithymalos1574 are efficacious for the removal of every kind of wart, as also of hangnails1575 and wens. Ladanum1576 imparts a fresh colour and seemly appearance to scars.

(15.) The traveller who carries artemisia1577 attached to his person, or elelisphacus,1578 will never be sensible of lassitude, it is said.

CHAP. 90.—REMEDIES FOR FEMALE DISEASES.

One great remedy for all female diseases in common, is the black seed of the herbaceous plant pæonia,1579 taken in hydromel: the root also is an effectual emmenagogue. Seed of panaces,1580 mixed with wormwood, acts as an emmenagogue and as a sudorific: the same, too, with scordotis,1581 taken internally or applied topically. Betony, in doses of one drachma to three cyathi of wine, is taken for various affections of the uterus, as also directly after child-birth. Excessive menstruation is arrested by a pessary of achillea,1582 or else a sitting-bath composed of a decoction of that plant. Seed of henbane in wine is used as a liniment for diseases of the mamillæ, and the root is employed in the form of a plaster for uterine affections; chelidonia,1583 too, is applied to the mamillæ.

Roots of panaces,1584 applied as a pessary, bring away the after-birth and the dead fœtus, and the plant itself, taken in wine, or used as a pessary with honey, acts as a detergent upon the uterus. Polemonia,1585 taken in wine, brings away the after-birth; used as a fumigation, it is good for suffocations of the uterus. Juice of the smaller centaury,1586 taken in drink, or employed as a fomentation, acts as an emmenagogue. The root also of the larger centaury, similarly used, is good for pains in the uterus; scraped and used as a pessary, it expels the dead fœtus. For pains of the uterus, plantago1587 is applied as a pessary, in wool, and for hysterical suffocations, it is taken in211 drink. But it is dittany that is of the greatest efficacy in cases of this description; it acts as an emmenagogue, and is an expellent of the fœtus when dead or lying transversely in the uterus. In these cases the leaves of it are taken, in doses of one obolus, in water: indeed so active is it in its effects that ordinarily it is forbidden to be introduced into the chamber of a woman lying-in. Not only is it thus efficacious when taken in drink, but even when applied topically or used as a fumigation. Pseudodictamnum1588 possesses pretty nearly the same virtues, but it acts as an emmenagogue also, boiled in doses of one denarius in unmixed wine. Aristolochia,1589 however, is employed for a greater number of purposes: in combination with myrrh and pepper, either taken in drink or used as a pessary, it acts as a powerful emmenagogue, and brings away the dead fœtus and the after-birth. This plant, the smaller kind in particular, used either as a fomentation, fumigation, or pessary, acts as a preventive of procidence of the uterus.

Hysterical suffocations and irregularities of the catamenia are treated with agaric, taken in doses of three oboli, in one cyathus of old wine: vervain is used also in similar cases, as a pessary, with fresh hog’s lard; or else antirrhinum,1590 with rose, oil and honey. Root of Thessalian nymphæa,1591 used as a pessary, is curative of pains in the uterus; taken in red wine, it arrests uterine discharges. Root of cyclaminos,1592 on the other hand, taken in drink and employed as a pessary, acts as an emmenagogue: a decoction of it, used as a sitting-bath, cures affections of the bladder. Cissanthemos,1593 taken in drink, brings away the after-birth, and is curative of diseases of the uterus. The upper part of the root of xiphion,1594 taken in doses of one drachma, in vinegar, promotes menstruation. A fumigation of burnt peucedanum1595 has a soothing effect in cases of hysterical suffocation. Psyllion,1596 taken in the proportion of one drachma to three cyathi of hydromel, is particularly good for promoting the lochial discharge. Seed of mandragora,1597 taken in drink, acts as a detergent upon the212 uterus; the juice, employed in a pessary, promotes menstruation and expels the dead fœtus. The seed of this plant, used with live sulphur,1598 arrests menstruation when in excess; while batrachion,1599 on the other hand, acts as an emmenagogue. This last plant is either used as an article of food, or is taken in drink: in a raw state, as already stated,1600 it has a burning flavour; but when cooked, the taste of it is greatly improved by the addition of salt, oil, and cummin. Daucus,1601 taken in drink, promotes the catamenia, and is an expellent of the after-birth in a very high degree. Ladanum,1602 used as a fumigation, acts as a corrective upon the uterus, and is employed topically for pains and ulcerations of that organ.

Scammony, taken in drink or used as a pessary, is an expellent of the dead fœtus. Either kind of hypericon,1603 used as a pessary, promotes menstruation: but for this purpose it is crethmos,1604 according to Hippocrates, that is the most efficacious, the seed or root of it being taken in wine.1605 * * * of the outer coat brings away the after-birth. This plant, taken in water, is good for hysterical suffocations; root of geranion1606 also, which is peculiarly useful for the after-birth, and for inflation of the uterus. Hippuris,1607 taken in drink or applied as a pessary, acts as a detergent upon the uterus: polygonos,1608 taken in drink, promotes menstruation; and the same with root of alcima.1609 Leaves of plantago,1610 and agaric in hydromel, have a similar effect. Artemisia,1611 bruised and applied as a pessary, with oil of iris,1612 figs, or myrrh, is curative of diseases of the uterus; the root, too, of this plant, taken in drink, is so strongly purgative as to expel the dead fœtus even. A decoction of the branches, used as a sitting-bath, promotes menstruation and brings away the after-birth; the213 same too, with the leaves, taken in doses of one drachma in drink. The leaves, if applied to the lower regions of the abdomen with barley-meal, will prove equally efficacious.

Acoron1613 is very useful for internal complaints of females; as also the two varieties of conyza,1614 and crethmos.1615 Either kind of anthyllis,1616 taken in wine, is remarkably good for uterine affections, griping pains in that organ, and retardations of the after-birth. Callithrix,1617 applied as a fomentation, is curative of affections of the vagina: it removes scaly eruptions1618 also of the head, and, beaten up in oil, it stains the hair. Geranion,1619 taken in white wine, or hypocisthis1620 in red, arrests all uterine discharges. Hyssop modifies hysterical suffocations. Root of vervain, taken in water, is a most excellent remedy for all accidents incident to, or consequent upon, delivery. Some persons mix bruised cypress seed with peucedanum1621 in red wine. Seed, too, of psyllion,1622 boiled in water and taken warm, has a soothing effect upon all defluxions of the uterus. Symphyton,1623 bruised in wine, promotes menstruation. Juice of scordotis,1624 in the proportion of one drachma to four cyathi of hydromel, accelerates delivery. Leaves of dittany are given for the same purpose, in water, with remarkable success. It is a well-known fact, too, that these leaves, to the extent of a single obolus even, will bring away the fœtus instantaneously, even when dead, without the slightest inconvenience to the patient. Pseudodictamnum1625 is productive of a somewhat similar effect, but not in so marked a degree: cyclaminos,1626 too, attached as an amulet; cissanthemos,1627 taken in drink; and powdered betony, in hydromel.

CHAP. 91.—ARSENOGONON: ONE MEDICINAL PROPERTY. THELYGONON: ONE MEDICINAL PROPERTY.

Arsenogonon1628 and thelygonon are plants, both of them,214 with clusters resembling the blossoms of the olive, but paler, and a white seed like that of the poppy. By taking thelygonon in drink, they say, the conception of female issue is ensured. Arsenogonon differs from it in the seed, which resembles that of the olive, but in no other respect. By taking this last plant in drink, male issue may be ensured—that is, if we choose to believe it. Some persons, however, assert that both plants resemble ocimum,1629 but that the seed of arsenogonon is double, and resembles the testes in appearance.

CHAP. 92.—MASTOS: ONE REMEDY.

Aizoüm, which we have spoken of under the name of digitellus,1630 is the great specific for diseases of the mamillæ. The milk is increased by taking erigeron1631 in raisin wine, or else sonchos1632 boiled with spelt. The plant known as “mastos,”1633 applied topically, removes the hairs from the mamillæ,1634 which make their appearance after child-birth: it has the effect also of dispersing scaly crusts1635 upon the face, and other cutaneous affections. Gentian also, nymphæa heraclia1636 employed in a liniment, and root of cyclaminos,1637 remove all blemishes of the skin. Seeds of cacalia,1638 mixed with melted wax, plump out the skin of the face and make wrinkles disappear. Root of acoron,1639 also, removes all spots upon the skin.

CHAP. 93.—APPLICATIONS FOR THE HAIR. LYSIMACHIA. OPHRYS.

Lysimachia1640 imparts a blonde tint1641 to the hair, and the hypericon,1642 otherwise called “corisson,” makes it black. The same too, with ophrys,1643 a plant with indentations, which resembles215 the cabbage, but has only two leaves. Polemonia,1644 too, boiled in oil, imparts blackness to the hair.

As for depilatories, I reckon them in the number of cosmetics, fit for women only, though men use them now-a-days. For this purpose archezostis1645 is looked upon as highly efficacious, as also juice of tithymalos,1646 applied with oil every now and then in the sun, or after pulling out the hairs. Hyssop, applied with oil, heals itch-scab in beasts, and sideritis1647 is particularly useful for quinzy in swine.

But let us now turn to the remaining plants of which we have to speak.

Summary.—Remedies, narratives, and observations, one thousand and nineteen.

Roman authors quoted.—M. Varro,1648 C. Valgius,1649 Pompeius Lenæus,1650 Sextius Niger1651 who wrote in Greek, Julius Bassus1652 who wrote in Greek, Antonius Castor,1653 Cornelius Celsus.1654

Foreign authors quoted.—Theophrastus,1655 Democritus,1656 Juba,1657 Orpheus,1658 Pythagoras,1659 Mago,1660 Menander1661 who wrote the “Biochresta,” Nicander,1662 Homer, Hesiod,1663 Musæus,1664 Sophocles,1665 Xanthus,1666 Anaxilaüs.1667

Medical authors quoted.—Mnesitheus,1668 Callimachus,1669216 Phanias1670 the physician, Timaristus,1671 Simus,1672 Hippocrates,1673 Chrysippus,1674 Diocles,1675 Ophelion,1676 Heraclides,1677 Hicesius,1678 Dionysius,1679 Apollodorus1680 of Citium, Apollodorus1681 of Tarentum, Praxagoras1682 Plistonieus,1683 Medius,1684 Dieuches,1685 Cleophantus,1686 Philistion,1687 Asclepiades,1688 Crateuas,1689 Petronius Diadotus,1690 Iollas,1691 Erasistratus,1692 Diagoras,1693 Andreas,1694 Mnesides,1695 Epicharmus1696 Damion,1697 Tlepolemus,1698 Metrodorus,1699 Solo,1700 Lycus,1701 Olympias1702 of Thebes, Philinus,1703 Petrichus,1704 Micton,1705 Glaucias,1706 Xenocrates.1707

217

BOOK XXVII.

A DESCRIPTION OF PLANTS, AND OF THE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THEM.

CHAP. 1. (1.)—RESEARCHES OF THE ANCIENTS UPON THIS SUBJECT.

The further I proceed in this work, the more I am impressed with admiration of the ancients; and the greater the number of plants that remain to be described, the more I am induced to venerate the zeal displayed by the men of former times in their researches, and the kindly spirit manifested by them in transmitting to us the results thereof. Indeed their bounteousness in this respect would almost seem to have surpassed the munificent disposition even of Nature herself, if our knowledge of plants had depended solely upon man’s spirit of discovery: but as it is, it is evident beyond all doubt that this knowledge has emanated from the gods themselves, or, at all events, has been the result of divine inspiration, even in those cases where man has been instrumental in communicating it to us. In other words, if we must confess the truth—a marvel surpassed by nothing in our daily experience—Nature herself, that common parent of all things, has at once produced them, and has discovered to us their properties.

Wondrous indeed is it, that a Scythian1708 plant should be brought from the shores of the Palus Mæotis, and the euphorbia1709 from Mount Atlas and the regions beyond the Pillars of Hercules, localities where the operations of Nature have reached their utmost limit! That in another direction, the plant britannica1710 should be conveyed to us from isles of the Ocean situate beyond the confines of the earth!1711 That the æthiopis1712 should reach us from a climate scorched by the218 luminaries of heaven! And then, in addition to all this, that there should be a perpetual interchange going on between all parts of the earth, of productions so instrumental to the welfare of mankind! Results, all of them, ensured to us by the peace that reigns under the majestic sway of the Roman power, a peace which brings in presence of each other, not individuals only, belonging to lands and nations far separate, but mountains even, and heights towering above the clouds, their plants and their various productions! That this great bounteousness of the gods may know no end, is my prayer, a bounteousness which seems to have granted the Roman sway as a second luminary for the benefit of mankind.

CHAP. 2. (2.)—ACONITE, OTHERWISE CALLED THELYPHONON, CAMMARON, PARDALIANCHES, OR SCORPIO; FOUR REMEDIES.

But who, I say, can sufficiently venerate the zeal and spirit of research displayed by the ancients? It is they who have shown us that aconite is the most prompt of all poisons in its effects—so much so indeed, that female animals, if the sexual parts1713 are but touched with it, will not survive a single day. With this poison it was that M. Cæcilius1714 accused Calpurnius Bestia of killing his wives in their sleep, and this it was that gave rise to that fearful peroration of his, denouncing the murderous finger of the accused.1715 According to the fables of mythology, this plant was originally produced from the foam of the dog Cerberus, when dragged by Hercules from the Infernal1716 Regions; for which reason, it is said, it is still so remarkably abundant in the vicinity of Heraclea in Pontus, a spot where the entrance is still pointed out to the shades below.

And yet, noxious as it is, the ancients have shown us how to employ aconite for the benefit of mankind, and have taught us as the result of their experience, that, taken in mulled wine, it neutralizes the venom of the scorpion: indeed such is the nature of this deadly plant, that it kills man, unless it can find219 in man something else to kill. When such is the case, as though it had discovered in the body a fit rival to contend with, that substance is the sole object of its attack; finding another poison in the viscera, to it alone it confines its onslaught; and thus, a truly marvellous thing! two poisons, each of them of a deadly nature, destroy one another within the body, and the man survives. Even more than this, the ancients have handed down to us remedies employed by the animals themselves, and have shown how that venomous creatures even effect their own cure. By the contact of aconite the scorpion is struck with torpor,1717 is quite benumbed, assumes a pallid hue, and so confesses itself vanquished. When this is the case, white hellebore is its great auxiliary: the very touch of it dispels its torpor, and the aconite is forced to yield before two foes, its own enemy1718 and the common1719 enemy of all.

Now, after this, if any one should be of opinion that man could, by any chance or possibility, make such discoveries as these, he must surely be guilty of ingratitude in thus appreciating the beneficence of the gods! In countries frequented by the panther, they rub meat with aconite, and if one of those animals should but taste it, its effects are fatal: indeed were not these means adopted, the country would soon be over-run by them. It is for this reason, too, that some persons have given to hellebore the name of “pardalianches.”1720 It has been well ascertained, however, that the panther instantaneously recovers if it can find the opportunity of eating human ordure.1721 So far as these animals are concerned, who can entertain a doubt that it was chance only that first led them to this discovery; and that as often as this happens the discovery is only a mere repetition of the accident, there being neither reason nor an appreciation of experience to ensure its transmission among them?

(3.) It is chance,1722 yes, it is chance that is the Deity who has made to us these numerous revelations for our practical220 benefit;1723 always understanding that under this name we mean Nature, that great parent and mistress of all things: and this is evident, whether we come to the conclusion, that these wild beasts make the discovery from day to day, or that they are gifted from the first with these powers of perception. Regarded in another point of view, it really is a disgrace that all animated beings should have an exact knowledge of what is beneficial to them, with the exception of man!

The ancients, openly professing their belief that there is no evil without some admixture of good, have asserted that aconite is a remarkably useful ingredient in compositions for the eyes. It may therefore be permitted me, though I have hitherto omitted a description of the poisonous plants, to point out the characteristics of aconite, if only that it may be the more easily detected. Aconite1724 has leaves like those of cyclaminos1725 or of the cucumber, never more than four in number, slightly hairy, and rising from near the root. This root, which is of moderate size, resembles the sea-fish known as the “cammarus,”1726 a circumstance owing to which the plant has received the name of “cammaron” from some; while others, for the reason already1727 mentioned, have called it “thelyphonon.”1728 The root is slightly curved, like a scorpion’s tail, for which reason some persons have given it the name of “scorpio.” Others, again, have preferred giving it the name of “myoctonon,”1729 from the fact that the odour of it kills mice at a considerable distance even.

This plant is found growing upon the naked rocks known as “aconæ;”1730 and hence it is, according to some authorities,221 that it is called “aconitum,” there being not so much as dust even about it to conduce to its nutriment. Such is the reason given for its name by some: but according to others, it receives this appellation from the fact that it fatally exercises the same effects upon the body that the whetstone1731 does upon the edge of iron, being no sooner employed than its effects are felt.

CHAP. 3. (4.)—ÆTHIOPIS: FOUR REMEDIES.

Æthiopis1732 is a plant with leaves resembling those of phlomos,1733 large, numerous, hairy, and springing from the root. The stem is square, rough, similar to that of arction1734 in appearance, and with numerous axillary concavities. The seed resembles that of the fitch, being white and twofold; the roots are several in number, long, fleshy, soft, and of a viscous taste; when dry they turn black and hard, and might easily be taken for horns. In addition to Æthiopia, this plant grows upon Mount Ida in Troas, and in Messenia. The roots are gathered in autumn, and left to dry for some days in the sun, to prevent them from turning mouldy. Taken in white wine they are curative of affections of the uterus, and a decoction of them is administered for sciatica, pleurisy, and eruptions of the throat. The kind, however, which comes from Æthiopia, is by far the best, and gives instantaneous relief.

CHAP. 4.—AGERATON: FOUR REMEDIES.

Ageraton1735 is a ferulaceous plant, a couple of palms in height, similar to origanum1736 in appearance, and bearing flowers like balls of gold. Used as a fumigation, this plant acts as a diuretic; and as a detergent upon the uterus, when used in a sitting bath more particularly. Its name has been given to it, from the circumstance that it keeps a very long time without fading.

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CHAP. 5.—THE ALOE; TWENTY-NINE REMEDIES.

The aloe1737 bears a resemblance to the squill, except that it is larger, and has more substantial leaves, with streaks running obliquely. The stem is tender, red in the middle, and not unlike that of the anthericus.1738 It has a single root, which runs straight downwards, like a stake driven into the ground; its smell is powerful, and it has a bitter taste. The most esteemed aloes are those imported from India, but it grows in the Asiatic provinces1739 as well. This last kind, however, is never used, except that the leaves are applied fresh to wounds; indeed, these leaves, as well as the juice, are glutinous to a marvellous degree, and it is for this property that it is grown in vessels of a conical form, in the same way as the greater aizoüm.1740 Some persons make incisions in the stem to obtain the juice, before the seed is ripe, while others, again, make them in the leaves as well. Tearlike drops are also found adhering to it, which exude spontaneously: hence it is that some recommend that the place should be paved where it is grown, to prevent this juice from being absorbed.

Some authors have stated, that there is found in Judæa, beyond Hierosolyma, a mineral1741 aloe, but that it is inferior to the other kinds, being of a darker colour and more humid than any of the rest. Aloes1742 of the finest quality should be unctuous and shining, of a red colour, brittle, compact, like the substance of liver, and easily liquefied. That which is hard and black should be rejected; the same, too, when it is mixed with sand or adulterated with gum and acacia, a fraud which, may be easily detected by the taste.

This plant is of an astringent nature, binding, and slightly calorific. It is employed for numerous purposes, but principally as a purgative,1743 it being almost the only one of all the medicaments223 which produce that effect, that is at the same time a good stomachic, and does not exercise the slightest noxious influence upon the stomach. It is taken in doses of one drachma, and, in cases of derangement of the stomach, it is administered two or three times a day, in the proportion of one spoonful to two cyathi of warm or cold water, at intervals, according to the nature of the emergency. As a purgative it is mostly taken in doses of three drachmæ; and it operates still more efficaciously, if food is eaten directly afterwards. Used with astringent wine, it prevents1744 the hair from falling off, the head being rubbed with it the contrary way of the hair, in the sun. Applied to the temples and forehead, with rose oil and vinegar, or used as an infusion, in a more diluted form, it allays head-ache. It is generally agreed that it is remedial for all diseases1745 of the eyes, but more particularly for prurigo and scaly eruptions of the eye-lids; as also for marks and bruises, applied in combination with honey, Pontic honey in particular.

It is employed, also, for affections of the tonsillary glands and gums, for all ulcerations of the mouth, and for spitting of blood, if not in excess—the proper dose being one drachma, taken in water or else vinegar. Used by itself, or in combination, with vinegar, it arrests hæmorrhage, whether proceeding from wounds or from other causes. In addition to these properties, it is extremely efficacious for the cure of wounds, producing cicatrization very rapidly: it is sprinkled also upon ulcerations of the male organs, and is applied to condylomata and chaps of the fundament, either in common wine, raisin wine, or by itself in a dry state, according as a mollifying or restrictive treatment is required. It has the effect, also, of gently arresting hæmorrhoidal bleeding, when in excess. In cases of dysentery, it is used as an injection, and where the digestion is imperfect it is taken shortly after the evening meal. For jaundice, it is administered in doses of three oboli, in water. As a purgative for the bowels, it is taken in pills, with boiled honey or turpentine. It is good also for the removal of hangnails. When employed in ophthalmic preparations, it is first washed, that the more gravelly portions of it may subside;224 or else it is put over the fire in a pipkin, and stirred with a feather from time to time, that the whole of it may be equally warmed.

CHAP. 6.—ALCEA: ONE REMEDY.

Alcea1746 is a plant with leaves, resembling those of vervain,1747 known also as “peristereon,” some three or four stems covered with leaves, a flower like that of the rose, and white roots, at most six in number, a cubit in length, and running obliquely. It grows in a soil that is rich without being dry. The root is given in wine or water, for dysentery, diarrhœa, ruptures, and convulsions.

CHAP. 7.—THE ALYPON: ONE REMEDY.

The alypon1748 has a small stem, with a soft head, and is not unlike beet in appearance. It has an acrid, viscous taste, extremely pungent and burning. Taken in hydromel, with a little salt, it acts as a purgative. The smallest dose is two drachmæ, a moderate dose, four, and the largest, six. When used as a purgative, it is taken in chicken broth.

CHAP. 8.—ALSINE, A PLANT USED FOR THE SAME PURPOSES AS HELXINE: FIVE REMEDIES.

Alsine,1749 a plant known as “myosoton”1750 to some, grows in the woods, to which fact it is indebted for its name of “alsine.”1751 It begins to make its appearance at mid-winter, and withers in the middle of summer. When it first puts forth, the leaves bear a strong resemblance to the ears of mice. We shall have225 occasion,1752 however, to speak of another plant which may, with much more justice, be called “myosotis.” As for alsine, it would be the same thing as helxine,1753 were it not that it is smaller and not so hairy. It grows in1754 gardens and upon walls more particularly: when rubbed, it emits a smell like that of cucumber. It is used for abscesses, inflammations, and all those purposes for which helxine is employed; its properties, however, are not so active. It is applied topically, also, to defluxions of the eyes, and to sores upon the generative organs, and ulcerations, with barley meal. The juice is used as an injection for the ears.

CHAP. 9.—THE ANDROSACES: SIX REMEDIES.

The androsaces1755 is a white plant, bitter, without leaves, and bearing arms surmounted with follicules, containing the seed. It grows in the maritime parts of Syria, more particularly. This plant is administered for dropsy, in doses of two drachmæ, pounded or boiled, in either water, wine, or vinegar: it acts most powerfully as a diuretic. It is used also for gout, either taken internally or used as a liniment. The seed is possessed of similar properties.

CHAP. 10.—ANDROSÆMON OR ASCYRON: SIX REMEDIES.

Androsæmon1756 or, as some persons call it, “ascyron,” is not unlike hypericon, a plant of which we have spoken already:1757 the stems, however, are larger, redder, and lie more closely together. The leaves are of a white colour, and like those of rue in shape; the seed resembles that of the black poppy, and the upper branches, when bruised, emit a red juice the colour of blood: these branches have also a resinous smell.

This plant grows in vineyards, and it is usually in the middle226 of autumn that it is taken up and hung to dry. Used as a purgative, it is bruised with the seed, and taken in the morning or just after the evening meal, in doses of two drachmæ, in hydromel, wine, or pure water, the draught amounting to one sextarius in all. It carries off bile, and is particularly good for sciatica; but in this last case, caper root must be taken with resin the day after, the dose being one drachma, to be repeated every four days: after being purged, it is the practice for the patient, if in robust health, to take wine, but if in a weak state of body, water. It is employed topically, also, for gout, burns, and wounds, as it tends to arrest the flow of blood.

CHAP. 11.—AMBROSIA, BOTRYS, OR ARTEMISIA: THREE REMEDIES.

Ambrosia is a vague name, which has fluctuated between various plants: there is one,1758 however, which has been more particularly designated by this appellation, a branchy, shrub-like plant, with a thin stem, some three palms in height; the root of it is one third shorter, and the leaves, towards the lower part of the stem, resemble those of rue. Its diminutive branches bear a seed which hangs down in clusters, and has a vinous smell: hence it is that by some persons the plant is called “botrys,”1759 while to others it is known as “artemisia.” The people of Cappadocia use it for garlands. It is employed in medicine as a resolvent.

CHAP. 12.—THE ANONIS OR ONONIS: FIVE REMEDIES.

The anonis,1760 by some called “ononis” in preference, is a branchy plant, and similar to fenugreek in appearance, except that it is more shrub-like and more hairy. It has an agreeable smell, and becomes prickly after spring. It is pickled in brine for eating. Applied fresh to ulcers, it cauterizes the margins of them. For the cure of tooth-ache, the root is boiled in oxycrate: taken in drink, with honey, the root expels urinary calculi. For epilepsy, it is administered in oxymel, boiled down to one half.

CHAP. 13.—THE ANAGYROS OR ACOPON: THREE REMEDIES.

The anagyros, known to some by the name of “acopon,”1761227 is a shrub-like plant, with an offensive smell, and a blossom like that of the cabbage. The seed grows in small hornlike pods of considerable length and resembles a kidney in shape; it hardens about the time of harvest. The leaves of this plant are applied to gatherings, and are attached to the person in cases of difficult parturition, care being taken to remove them the moment after delivery. In cases where the extraction of the dead fœtus is attended with difficulty, or where the after-birth or catamenia are retarded, the leaves are taken, in doses of one drachma, in raisin wine. The leaves are administered in the same manner for asthma: they are prescribed also in old wine, for injuries inflicted by the phalangium.1762 The root is employed medicinally as a resolvent and maturative: the seed, chewed, acts as an emetic.

CHAP. 14.—THE ANONYMOS: TWO REMEDIES.

The anonymos,1763 through not having a name, has at last found one.1764 It is brought from Scythia, and has been highly extolled by Hicesius, a physician of no small repute, as also by Aristogiton. Bruised in water and applied, it is remarkably useful for wounds, and taken in drink it is good for blows upon the chest or mamillæ, as also for spitting of blood: it has been thought, too, that it might be advantageously taken in a potion for wounds. I am of opinion that the additional statement, to the effect that, burnt fresh, it acts as a solder to iron or copper, is wholly fabulous.

CHAP. 15. (5.)—APARINE, OMPHALOCARPOS, OR PHILANTHROPOS: THREE REMEDIES.

Aparine,1765 otherwise called “omphalocarpos”1766 or “philanthropos,”1767 is a ramose, hairy, plant, with five or six leaves at regular intervals, arranged circularly around the branches.228 The seed is round, hard, concave, and of a sweetish taste. It grows in cornfields, gardens, and meadows, and, by the aid of its prickly points, adheres to the clothes. The seed is employed to neutralize the venom of serpents, being taken in doses of one drachma, in wine: it is useful also for the bite of the phalangium.1768 The leaves, applied topically, arrest hæmorrhage from wounds. The juice is used as an injection for the ears.

CHAP. 16.—THE ARCTION OR ARCTURUM: FIVE REMEDIES.

The arction1769 is by some called “arcturum” in preference: the leaves of it are like those of verbascum,1770 except that they are more hairy; the stem is long and soft, and the seed resembles that of cummin. It grows in rocky localities, and has a tender root, white and sweet. A decoction of it is made with wine for tooth-ache, being retained for that purpose in the mouth. The plant is taken in drink for sciatica and strangury, and is applied with wine to burns and chilblains, which are fomented also with the root and seed bruised in wine.

CHAP. 17.—THE ASPLENON OR HEMIONION: TWO REMEDIES.

Some persons call the asplenon1771 by the name of “hemionion.”1772 It has numerous leaves, a third of a foot in length, and a slimy root, pierced with holes like that of fern, white, and hairy. It is destitute of stem, flower, and seed,1773 and is found growing upon rocks or sheltered damp walls. The most approved kind is that of Crete. A decoction of the leaves in vinegar, taken in drink for a period of thirty days, will229 consume the spleen, it is said, the leaves being applied simultaneously. The leaves give relief also in hiccup. This plant should never be given to females, being productive of sterility.

CHAP. 18.—THE ASCLEPIAS: TWO REMEDIES.

The asclepias1774 has leaves like those of ivy,1775 long branches, and numerous roots, thin, and odoriferous. The flower has a strong offensive smell, and the seed is like that of securidaca:1776 it is found growing in mountainous districts. The roots are used for the cure of griping pains in the bowels, and of stings inflicted by serpents, either taken in drink or applied topically.

CHAP. 19.—THE ASTER OR BUBONION: THREE REMEDIES.

The aster1777 is called “bubonion” by some, from the circumstance of its being a sovereign remedy for diseases of the groin. It has a diminutive stem with oblong leaves, two or three in number; and at the summit it is surmounted with small radiated heads, like stars. This plant is taken also in drink as an antidote to the venom of serpents: but if required for the cure of inguinal complaints, it is recommended that it should be gathered with the left hand, and attached to the body near the girdle. It is of great service also, worn as an amulet, for sciatica.

CHAP. 20.—ASCYRON AND ASCYROÏDES: THREE REMEDIES.

Ascyron1778 and ascyroïdes are plants similar to one another, and to hypericon1779 as well, except that the plant known as230 “ascyroïdes”1780 has larger branches, ferulaceous, red all over, and bearing small yellow heads. The seed, enclosed in small calyces, is diminutive, black, and resinous. The tops of the branches, when bruised, stain like blood; for which reason some persons have given it the name of “androsæmon.”1781 The seed is used for the cure of sciatica, being taken in doses of two drachmæ, in one sextarius of hydromel. It relaxes the bowels, and carries off bile: it is applied also to burns.

CHAP. 21.—THE APHACA: THREE REMEDIES.

The aphaca1782 has remarkably diminutive leaves, and is but little taller than the lentil. The pods are of a larger size, and enclose some three or four seeds, of a darker colour, moister, and more diminutive than those of the lentil: it grows in cultivated fields. It is naturally more astringent than the lentil, but in other respects is applied to much the same purposes. The seed, used in a decoction, arrests fluxes of the stomach and bowels.

CHAP. 22.—ALCIBIUM: ONE REMEDY.

I have not found it stated by authors what kind of plant alcibium1783 is; but the root, I find, and the leaves, are pounded and employed, both externally and internally, for injuries inflicted by serpents. When the leaves are used, a handful of them is bruised in three cyathi of undiluted wine: the root is employed in the proportion of three drachmæ to the same quantity of wine.

CHAP. 23.—ALECTOROSLOPHOS OR CRISTA: TWO REMEDIES.

Alectoroslophos,1784 or crista,1785 as we call it, has numerous231 leaves resembling a cock’s comb, a thin stem, and a black seed enclosed in pods. Boiled with broken beans and honey, it is useful for cough and for films upon the eyes. The seed, too, is sprinkled whole into the eyes, and so far is it from injuring them, that it attracts and collects the filmy matter. When thus used, it changes colour, and from black becomes white, gradually swells, and comes out of itself.

CHAP. 24. (6.)—ALUM, ALSO CALLED SYMPHYTON PETRÆON: FOURTEEN REMEDIES.

The plant which we call “alum,”1786 and which is known to the Greeks as “symphyton1787 petræon,” is similar to cunila bubula1788 in appearance, having a diminutive leaf and three or four branches springing from the root, with tops like those of thyme. It is a ligneous plant, odoriferous, of a sweet flavour, and provocative of saliva: the root of it is long and red. It grows upon rocks, to which circumstance it is indebted for its additional name of “petræon;” and is extremely useful1789 for affections of the sides and kidneys, griping pains in the bowels, diseases of the chest and lungs, spitting of blood, and eruptions of the fauces. The root is pounded and taken in drink, or else a decoction is made of it in wine; sometimes, also, it is applied externally. Chewed, it allays thirst, and is particularly refreshing to the pulmonary organs. It is employed topically for sprains and contusions, and has a soothing effect upon the intestines.

Cooked upon hot ashes, with the follicules removed, and then beaten up with nine peppercorns and taken in water, it acts astringently upon the bowels. For the cure of wounds it232 is remarkably efficacious, being possessed of agglutinating1790 properties to such a remarkable degree as to solder pieces of meat together with which it is boiled; to which, in fact, it is indebted for its Greek name.1791 It is used also for the cure of fractured bones.

CHAP. 25. (7.)—ALGA RUFA OR RED SEA-WEED: ONE REMEDY.

Red sea-weed1792 is useful as an application for the sting of the scorpion.

CHAP. 26.—ACTÆA: ONE REMEDY.

Actæa1793 has leaves with a powerful smell, rough knotted stems, a black seed like that of ivy, and soft berries. It grows in umbrageous, rugged, watery localities; and is used, in doses of one full acetabulum, for female complaints.

CHAP. 27.—THE AMPELOS AGRIA, OR WILD VINE: FOUR REMEDIES.

Ampelos agria, or wild vine, is the name of a plant with leaves of an ashy colour, as already1794 stated in our description of the cultivated plants, and long, tough twigs of a red hue, like that of the flower which we have mentioned,1795 when speaking of violets, under the name of “flame of Jove.” It bears a seed which resembles the grains of the pomegranate. The root, boiled in three cyathi of water, with the addition of two cyathi of Coan wine, is slightly laxative to the bowels, and is consequently given for dropsy. It is curative also of uterine affections, and of spots upon the face in females. It is found a good plan for patients afflicted with sciatica to use the juice of this plant, bruised, applied topically, with the leaves.

CHAP. 28.—ABSINTHIUM OR WORMWOOD; FOUR VARIETIES: FORTY-EIGHT REMEDIES.

There are numerous kinds of absinthium; the Santonic,1796 for233 instance, so called from a city in Gaul, and the Pontic,1797 which comes from Pontus, where the cattle are fattened upon it—a diet which causes them to be destitute of gall.1798 The Pontic wormwood, we may remark, is of the finest quality, superior to that of Italy,1799 and much more bitter; the pith, however, of the Pontic wormwood is sweet. As to its general utility, a plant so commonly found and applied to such numerous uses, people are universally agreed; but with the Romans more particularly it has been always held in the highest esteem, from the fact of its being employed in their religious ceremonials. Thus, for instance, upon the Latin1800 Festival, it is the custom to have a race of four-horsed chariots in the Capital, and for the conqueror to be presented with a draught of wormwood; from the circumstance, no doubt, that our forefathers were of opinion that good health was the most valuable reward they could bestow upon his skill.

This plant is very strengthening to the stomach, and hence it is that wines are flavoured with it, as already1801 stated. A decoction of it in water is also taken, the following being the method employed in preparing it. Six drachmæ of the leaves are boiled, with the branches, in three sextarii of rain water, and the preparation is then left to cool in the open air a day and a night. Salt, too, should be added to it. When old, it is utterly useless. A dilution of wormwood steeped in water is also used, such being the name1802 given to this method of preparing it. This dilution is made by leaving the vessel covered up for three days, any kind of water being used. Pounded wormwood is but rarely employed, and the same with the extracted juice of the seed.1803 In cases, however, where it is extracted, the seed is subjected to pressure as soon as it begins to swell, after which it is soaked for three days in water, if used fresh, and seven, if dry. It is then boiled in a copper vessel, in the proportion of ten heminæ to forty-five sextarii of water, after which it is strained off and boiled234 gently to the consistency of honey, in the same way as the juice is extracted from the smaller centaury. The juice, however, of wormwood, thus extracted, is bad for the head and stomach; whereas the decoction, on the other hand, is wholesome in the highest degree, as it acts astringently upon the stomach, carries off bile, is a powerful diuretic, has a soothing effect upon the bowels, and assuages pains in the intestines. With the addition of sile,1804 Gallic nard, and a little vinegar, it dispels nausea and flatulency, and expels intestinal worms. It removes qualmishness, promotes the digestion, and, with the addition of rue, pepper, and salt, disperses crudities of the stomach.

The ancients were in the habit of giving wormwood as a purgative, the dose being six drachmæ of the seed with three of salt and one cyathus of honey, in one sextarius of sea water kept for some time. This preparation, however, is rendered more efficacious by doubling the proportion of salt; the seed, too, must be bruised with the greatest care, as there is considerable difficulty in pounding it. Some authorities have prescribed the dose above mentioned to be given in polenta,1805 with the addition of pennyroyal; while others recommend the leaves to be given to children in a dried fig, to disguise their bitterness. Taken with iris,1806 wormwood acts as a detergent upon the thoracic organs: for jaundice it is used raw, with parsley or adiantum.1807 In cases of flatulency, it is sipped every now and then, warmed in water; for liver complaints it is taken with Gallic nard, and for diseases of the spleen, with vinegar, pap,1808 or figs. Taken in vinegar it neutralizes the bad effects of fungi and of viscus:1809 in wine it is an antidote to the poison of hemlock, and to the bite of the shrew-mouse, and is curative of wounds inflicted by the sea-dragon1810 and the scorpion. It contributes also very greatly to the improvement of the sight, and is used as an external application, with raisin wine, for defluxions of the eyes, and with honey, for bruises.

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The steam of a decoction of wormwood is curative of affections of the ears; and when they are attacked with running sores, a liniment of wormwood bruised with honey is applied. Three or four sprigs of wormwood, with one root of Gallic nard, taken in six cyathi of water, act as a diuretic and as an emmenagogue; indeed, if taken with honey, or employed as a pessary with wool, it has especial virtues as an emmenagogue. In combination with honey and nitre it is useful for quinzy, and an infusion of it in water is good for epinyctis. A topical application is made of it for recent wounds, provided always they have not been touched with water: it is employed also for ulcers upon the head. In combination with Cyprian wax or figs, it is highly recommended as a plaster for the iliac regions: it is curative also of prurigo, but it must never be administered in fevers. Taken in drink, it is a preventive of sea sickness; and, worn attached to the body, beneath an apron, it arrests inguinal swellings. The smell of it1811 induces sleep, a similar effect being produced by placing it under the pillow unknown to the party. Kept among clothes it preserves them from worms, and used as a liniment, with oil, or burnt as a fumigation, it has the effect of driving away gnats.

Writing ink, mixed with an infusion of wormwood, effectually protects the writings from the attacks of mice. Ashes of wormwood, mixed with rose unguent, stain the hair black.

CHAP. 29.—ABSINTHIUM MARINUM OR SERIPHUM.

There is a sea wormwood1812 also, known as “seriphum” by some, the most esteemed being that of Taposiris in Egypt. Those initiated in the mysteries of Isis carry a branch of it in the hand. It has a narrower leaf than the preceding plant, and is not so bitter; it is injurious to the stomach, has a laxative effect upon the bowels, and expels intestinal worms. It is taken in drink with oil and salt; or else an infusion of it is taken in a pottage made of meal of three-month wheat. When employed as a decoction, a handful is used to one sextarius of water, the mixture being boiled down to one half.

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CHAP. 30. (8.)—THE BALLOTES, MELAMPRASION, OR BLACK LEEK: THREE REMEDIES.

The Greeks give to the ballotes1813 the other name of “melamprasion,” meaning “black leek.”1814 It is a branchy plant, with black angular stems, covered with hairy leaves, larger and darker than those of the leek,1815 and possessed of a powerful smell. The leaves, bruised and applied with salt, are highly efficacious for bites inflicted by dogs: cooked upon hot ashes and applied in a cabbage leaf, they are curative of condylomata. Mixed with honey, this plant acts as a detergent upon sordid ulcers.

CHAP. 31.—BOTRYS, AMBROSIA, OR ARTEMISIA: ONE REMEDY.

Botrys1816 is a shrublike plant, which has small yellow branches, with the seed growing all round them, and leaves resembling1817 those of endive. It is found upon the banks of running streams, and is used for the cure of hardness of breathing. The people of Cappadocia call this plant “ambrosia,” others again, “artemisia.”

CHAP. 32.—THE BRABYLA: ONE REMEDY.

The brabyla1818 is possessed of astringent properties like those of the quince, but beyond this, authors give no particulars relative to it.

CHAP. 33.—BRYON MARITIMUM: FIVE REMEDIES.

Sea bryon1819 is a plant, no doubt,1820 with leaves like those of237 the lettuce, of a wrinkled, pursed appearance, and destitute of stem, the leaves arising from a single root: it grows upon rocks more particularly, and shells sunk in the sand. It has desiccative1821 and astringent qualities in a very high degree, properties which render it useful for reducing all kinds of abscesses and inflammations, those attendant upon gout in particular. It is good also for all affections which stand in need of cooling applications.

CHAP. 34.—THE BUPLEURON: ONE REMEDY.

I find it stated that seed of bupleuron1822 is given for injuries inflicted by serpents; and that the wound is fomented with a decoction of the plant, in combination with leaves of the mulberry or of origanum.1823

CHAP. 35.—THE CATANANCE; ONE OBSERVATION UPON IT. THE CEMOS: ONE OBSERVATION UPON IT.

The catanance1824 is a Thessalian plant, which it would be a mere loss of time to describe, seeing that it is only used as an ingredient in philtres. In order, however, to expose the follies of the magical art, it may not be out of place to remark that this plant has been selected for the above-named purpose, from the fact that, as it withers, it gradually contracts and assumes the shape of the claws of a dead kite.1825

For a similar reason we shall give no description of the plant called “cemos.”1826

238

CHAP. 36.—THE CALYX: THREE REMEDIES.

Of the calyx1827 there are two kinds. One of these resembles arum, and is found growing in ploughed soils; the proper time for gathering it being before it begins to wither. It is employed for the same purposes as arum;1828 and an infusion of the root is taken as a purgative and as an emmenagogue. The stalks, boiled with the leaves and some pulse, are curative of tenesmus.

CHAP. 37.—THE CALYX, KNOWN ALSO AS ANCHUSA OK ONOCLÏA: TWO REMEDIES.

The other1829 kind of calyx is known by some persons as “anchusa,” and by others as “onoclia.” The leaves are like those of the lettuce, but longer, and with a downy surface. The root is red, and is employed topically, in combination with fine polenta,1830 for the cure of erysipelas: taken internally with white wine, it is good for affections of the liver.

CHAP. 38.—THE CIRCÆA: THREE REMEDIES.

The circæa1831 resembles the cultivated trychnon1832 in appearance. It has a small swarthy flower, a diminutive seed, like millet, growing in small horn-shaped pods, and a root half a foot in length, generally triple or fourfold, white, odoriferous, and hot in the mouth. It is found growing upon rocks exposed to the sun. An infusion of it is prepared with wine, and administered for pains and affections of the uterus: to make it, three ounces of the pounded root should be steeped239 in three sextarii of wine a day and a night. This potion is effectual also for bringing away the after-birth. The seed of this plant, taken in wine or hydromel, diminishes the milk in nursing women.

CHAP. 39.—THE CIRSION: ONE REMEDY.

The cirsion1833 is a plant consisting of a diminutive and delicate stem, two cubits in height, of a triangular form, and covered with prickly leaves. The prickles on the leaves are downy, and the leaves themselves resemble those of buglossos1834 in shape, but are smaller, and of a whitish colour. At the summit of the plant there are small purple heads, which fall off in the shape of down. This plant or the root of it, worn as an amulet, it is said, is curative of the pains attendant upon varicose veins.

CHAP. 40.—THE CRATÆGONON; TWO KINDS OF IT: EIGHT REMEDIES.

The cratægonon1835 is similar to an ear of corn in appearance. It is formed of numerous shoots, springing from a single root, and full of joints. It grows in umbrageous localities, and has a seed like that of millet, with a remarkably acrid taste. If a man and woman, before the evening meal, take three oboli of this seed in three cyathi of water, for forty days consecutively, before the conception of their issue, it will be sure to be of the male1836 sex, they say.

There is another cratægonon, known also as “thelygonos,”1837 and distinguished from the last mentioned plant by the mildness of the taste. Some persons assert that females, if they take the blossom of this plant in drink, will be sure to conceive before the end of forty days. These plants, used in combination with honey, are curative of black ulcers of a chronic nature; they also fill the concavities made by fistulous240 ulcers with new flesh, and restore such parts of the body as are wasted by atrophy. They act as a detergent upon purulent sores, disperse inflammatory tumours, and alleviate gout and all kind of abscesses, those of the mamillæ in particular.

Under the name of “cratægos”1838 or “cratægon,” Theophrastus1839 speaks of the tree known in Italy as the “aquifolia.”

CHAP. 41.—THE CROCODILEON: TWO REMEDIES.

The crocodileon1840 resembles the black chamæleon1841 in shape: the root is long, of an uniform thickness, and possessed of a pungent smell. It is found growing in sandy soils. Taken in drink, it causes a copious discharge of coagulated blood at the nostrils, and in this way, it is said, diminishes the volume of the spleen.

CHAP. 42.—THE CYNOSORCHIS OR ORCHIS: FOUR REMEDIES.

The cynosorchis,1842 by some called “orchis,” has leaves like1843 those of the olive, soft, three in number, half a foot in length, and lying upon the ground. The root is bulbous, oblong, and divided into two portions,1844 the upper one hard, and the lower one soft. These roots are eaten boiled, like bulbs,1845 and are mostly found growing in vineyards. If males eat the upper part, they will be parents of male issue, they say, and females, if they eat the lower part, of female. In Thessaly, the men take the soft portion in goats’ milk as an aphrodisiac, and the hard part as an antaphrodisiac. Of these parts, the one effectually neutralizes the action of the other.1846

241

CHAP. 43.—THE CHRYSOLACHANUM; TWO VARIETIES OF IT: THREE REMEDIES. COAGULUM TERRÆ: TWO REMEDIES.

The chrysolachanum1847 grows in pine plantations, and is similar to the lettuce in appearance. It heals wounds of the sinews, if applied without delay. There is another kind1848 of chrysolachanum mentioned, with a golden flower, and a leaf like that of the cabbage: it is boiled and eaten as a laxative vegetable. This plant, worn as an amulet by a patient suffering from jaundice, provided it be always kept in sight, is a cure for that disease, it is said. I am not certain whether this is all that might be said about the chrysolachanum, but, at all events, it is all that I have found respecting it; for it is a very general fault on the part of our more recent herbalists, to confine their account of plants to the mere name, with a very meagre description of the peculiar features of the plant,—just as though, forsooth, they were universally known. Thus, they tell us, for instance, that a plant known as “coagulum1849 terræ,” acts astringently upon the bowels, and that it dispels strangury, taken in water or in wine.

CHAP. 44.—THE CUCUBALUS, STRUMUS, OR STRYCHNON: SIX REMEDIES.

The leaves of the cucubalus,1850 they tell us, bruised with vinegar, are curative of the stings of serpents and of scorpions. Some persons call this plant by the name of “strumus,”1851 while others give it the Greek name of “strychnon:” its berries are black. The juice of these berries, administered in doses of one cyathus, in two cyathi of honied wine, is curative of lumbago; an infusion of them with rose oil is used for headache, and they are employed as an application for scrofulous sores.

242

CHAP. 45.—THE CONFERVA: TWO REMEDIES.

The conferva1852 is peculiar to running streams, those of the Alpine regions more particularly; receiving its name from “conferrumino,”1853 to solder together. Properly speaking, it is rather a fresh-water sponge than a moss or a plant, being a dense, porous mass of filaments. I know an instance where a man, who fell to the ground while lopping a tree of considerable height, and broke nearly every bone of his body, was cured by the agency of this plant. The patient’s body was covered all over with conferva, the application being continually sprinkled with water the moment it began to dry, and only removed for the purpose of changing it when the plant gave signs of losing its virtues.1854 It is hardly credible with what rapidity he recovered.

CHAP. 46. (9.)—THE COCCUS CNIDIUS, OR GRAIN OF CNIDOS: TWO REMEDIES.

The Cnidian grain1855 has just the colour of the kermes berry.1856 It is larger than a peppercorn, and has very heating properties: hence it is that when used, it is taken in crumb of bread, that it may not burn the throat in passing downwards. It is a sovereign remedy for hemlock, and arrests1857 looseness of the bowels.

CHAP. 47.—THE DIPSACOS: TWO REMEDIES.

The dipsacos1858 has leaves like those of the lettuce, with prickly tubercles on the middle of the back. The stem of it, two cubits in length, is bristling all over with prickles of a similar nature. The joints of the stem are closely covered with two leaves, which form a concave axil in which a saltish dew-like liquid collects.1859 At the summit of the stem there243 are small heads covered with prickles: it grows in watery localities.

This plant is used for the cure of chaps of the fundament and of fistula; in which latter case the root is boiled down in wine to the consistency of wax, to allow of its being introduced into the fistula in the form of a salve.1860 It is employed too, for the cure of all kinds of warts: as a liniment for which, the juice collected in the axils, as above mentioned, is also used by some.

CHAP. 48.—THE DRYOPTERIS: TWO REMEDIES.

The dryopteris,1861 which resembles fern in appearance, is found growing upon trees; the leaves are of a somewhat sweetish1862 flavour and marked with slight indentations, and the root is hairy. This plant is possessed of caustic properties,1863 and hence the root is pounded and used as a depilatory. In using it the skin is rubbed with it till perspiration is excited, the operation being repeated a second and a third time, care being taken not to remove the perspiration.

CHAP. 49.—THE DRYOPHONON.

The dryophonon1864 is a similar plant, with thin stems a cubit in length, and surrounded on either side with leaves about as large as the thumb and like those of the oxymyrsine1865 in appearance, only whiter and softer: the blossom is white, and similar to that of the elder. The shoots of it are eaten boiled, and the seed is used as a substitute for pepper.

CHAP. 50.—THE ELATINE: TWO REMEDIES.

The elatine1866 has leaves like those of the helxine,1867 diminutive,244 round, and hairy; its branches are small, half a foot in length, five or six in number, and covered with leaves from the root upwards. It grows in corn-fields, and has a rough flavour: hence it is found very useful for defluxions of the eyes, the leaves being beaten up and applied with polenta1868 in a linen pledget. A decoction of this plant with linseed, taken in pottage, is good for dysentery.

CHAP. 51.—EMPETROS, BY OUR PEOPLE CALLED CALCIFRAGA: FOUR REMEDIES.

Empetros,1869 by the people of our country called “calcifraga,”1870 grows on mountains near the sea, and is generally found upon rocks: the nearer it grows to the sea the salter it is, acting as an evacuant of bile and pituitous secretions. That, on the other hand, which grows at a greater distance and more inland, is of a more bitter flavour. It carries off the aqueous humours of the body, being taken for that purpose in broth of some kind, or else hydromel. When old, it loses its strength; but used fresh, either boiled in water or pounded, it acts as a diuretic, and disperses urinary calculi. Authorities who wish full credence to be given to this asserted property, assure us that pebbles boiled with it will split asunder.

CHAP. 52.—THE EPIPACTIS OR ELLEBORINE: TWO REMEDIES.

The epipactis,1871 called “elleborine” by some, is a diminutive plant with small leaves. Taken in drink, it is extremely useful for diseases of the liver, and as an antidote to poisons.

CHAP. 53.—THE EPIMEDION: THREE REMEDIES.

The epimedion1872 consists of a stem of moderate size, with ten or twelve leaves like those of ivy: it never flowers, and245 has a thin, black root, with a powerful smell. It grows in humid soils. This plant also has certain astringent and cooling properties, but females must be on their guard1873 against it. The leaves, beaten up in wine, prevent the bosom from growing too large in young girls.

CHAP. 54.—THE ENNEAPHYLLON: TWO REMEDIES.

The enneaphyllon1874 has nine long leaves, and is of a caustic nature. It is employed topically, but when used it is wrapped in wool to prevent it from cauterising further than desirable, for it blisters immediately. For lumbago and sciatica it is of the greatest utility.

CHAP. 55.—TWO VARIETIES OF FILIX OR FERN, KNOWN TO THE GREEKS AS PTERIS, OR BLACHNON, AND AS THELYPTERIS, OR NYMPHÆ PTERIS: ELEVEN REMEDIES.

Of fern there are two varieties, equally destitute of blossom and of seed.1875 The Greeks give the name of “pteris,” and sometimes “blachnon,” to the kind1876 in which numerous shoots take their rise from a single root, exceeding two cubits even in length, and with a not unpleasant smell:1877 this plant is thought to be the male fern.

The other kind is known to the Greeks as “thelypteris,”1878 and sometimes, “nymphæa pteris:” it has a single stem only, with comparatively few branches, is shorter, softer, and more tufted than the other, and has channelled leaves growing near the root. Swine are fattened upon the roots of either kind. The leaves of both kinds are arranged on either side in the form of wings, whence the Greek name “pteris.” The roots are long, run obliquely, and are of a swarthy colour, more particularly246 when dried: when wanted for use, they should be dried in the sun. These plants are found growing everywhere, but in cold soils more particularly; they should be taken up, too, at the setting of the Vergiliæ.1879 The root is only used at the end of three years, neither before that period nor after. They act as an expellent of intestinal worms; for tapeworm1880 honey is taken with them, but in other cases sweet wine, for three days.

They are, both of them, extremely detrimental to the stomach, but are laxative to the bowels, carrying off first the bile and then the aqueous humours of the body. When used for tapeworm, it is the best plan to take scammony with them, in equal proportions. For rheumatic defluxions, the root is taken in doses of two oboli, in water, after a day’s abstinence from food, a little honey being taken first. Neither kind must ever be given to females; for in pregnancy they are productive of abortion, and in other cases entail sterility. Powdered fern is sprinkled upon sordid ulcers, as also upon the necks of beasts of burden, when chafed. Fern-leaves kill bugs, and serpents will never harbour among them: hence it is a good plan to strew them in places where the presence of those reptiles is suspected. The very smell, too, of burnt fern will put serpents to flight. Medical men have made this distinction as to ferns; that of Macedonia, they say, is the best, and that of Cassiope the next.

CHAP. 56.—FEMUR BUBULUM, OR OX THIGH.

The name of femur bubulum1881 is given to a plant which is good for the sinews, applied fresh, and beaten up with salt and vinegar.

CHAP. 57.—GALEOPSIS, GALEOBDOLON, OR GALION: SIX REMEDIES.

Galeopsis,1882 or as some call it, “galeobdolon” or “galion247,” is a plant with a stem and leaves like those of the nettle, only smaller; and which, when bruised, emit a powerful smell. The flower is purple, and the plant is found growing everywhere, about hedges and foot-paths. The leaves and stems, bruised in vinegar, and applied topically, are curative of indurations, carcinomata, and scrofulous sores. They disperse also inflammatory tumours and imposthumes of the parotid glands, and it is found a useful plan to foment the parts affected with a decoction of them. Applied with salt, this plant is curative of putrid ulcers and gangrenous sores.

CHAP. 58.—THE GLAUX: ONE REMEDY.

The glaux1883 was known in ancient times as the “eugalacton.”1884 In the leaves it resembles the cytisus and the lentil, only that they are whiter beneath. The branches, five or six in number, are extremely thin, and, springing from the root, creep upon the ground, with small purple blossoms upon them. This plant is found in localities near the sea. It is boiled in a pottage made of similago,1885 to increase the milk: females, however, after taking it, must immediately use the bath.

CHAP. 59. (10.)—GLAUCION: THREE REMEDIES. DIAGLAUCIA: TWO REMEDIES.

Glaucion1886 grows in Syria and Parthia; it is a plant of stunted growth, and thickly covered with leaves, like those of the poppy in appearance, only smaller and of a more repulsive aspect: it has an offensive smell, and a bitter, astringent taste. The seed, which is of a saffron colour, is put into a vessel coated with potter’s clay, and heated in an oven; when taken out, a juice1887 is extracted, which is known by the same name as the plant. This juice and the leaves, bruised, are used for defluxions of the eyes, which disappear in an instant, under this248 treatment: an eye-salve, too, is prepared from the juice, known as “diaglaucia,” to medical men. The milk, when the secretion of it is stopped, is restored by the agency of this plant, for which purpose it is taken in water.

CHAP. 60.—THE GLYCYSIDE, PÆONIA, OR PENTOBOROS: TWENTY REMEDIES.

The glycyside,1888 by some called “pæonia” or “pentorobos,” has a stem two cubits in length, accompanied by two or three others, and of a reddish colour, with a bark like that of the laurel. The leaves are similar to those of isatis,1889 but more unctuous, rounder, and more diminutive; the seed is enclosed in capsules, some being red and some black, there being two varieties of the plant. The female plant is generally thought to be the one to the root of which some six or eight bulbs are attached, of an elongated form; those of the male plant1890 being more in number, as it throws out more roots than one, a palm in length, and of a white colour: it has also an astringent taste. The leaves of the female plant smell like myrrh,1891 and lie closer together than those of the male.

Both plants grow in the woods, and they should always be taken up at night,1892 it is said; as it would be dangerous to do so in the day-time, the woodpecker of Mars being sure to attack the eyes1893 of the person so engaged. It is stated also that the person, while taking up the root, runs great risk of being attacked with procidence of the anus: all this, however, I take to be so much fiction, most frivolously invented to puff off their supposed marvellous properties. Both plants are used1894 for various purposes: the red seed, taken in red wine, about fifteen in number, arrest menstruation; while the black seed, taken in the same proportion, in either raisin or other wine, are curative of diseases of the uterus. The root, taken in wine, allays all kinds of pains in the bowels, and acts as a purgative; it cures opisthotony also, jaundice, nephritic diseases, and affections of the bladder. Boiled in wine, it is used for diseases of249 the trachea and stomach, and acts astringently upon the bowels. It is eaten also by beasts of burden, but when wanted for remedial purposes, four drachmæ are sufficient.

The black seed is useful as a preventive of night-mare,1895 being taken in wine, in number above stated: it is very good, too, to eat this seed, and to apply it externally, for gnawing pains of the stomach. Suppurations are also dispersed, when recent, with the black seed, and when of long standing, with the red: both kinds are very useful, too, for wounds inflicted by serpents, and in cases where children are troubled with calculi, being employed at the crisis when strangury first makes its appearance.

CHAP. 61.—GNAPHALIUM OR CHAMÆZELON: SIX REMEDIES.

Gnaphalium1896 is called “chamæzelon” by some: its white, soft, leaves are used as flock, and, indeed, there is no perceptible difference. This plant is administered in astringent wine, for dysentery: it arrests looseness of the bowels and the catamenia, and is used as an injection for tenesmus. It is employed topically for putrid sores.

CHAP. 62.—THE GALLIDRAGA: ONE REMEDY.

Xenocrates gives the name of “gallidraga”1897 to a plant which resembles the leucacanthus,1898 and grows in the marshes. It is a prickly plant, with a tall, ferulaceous stem, surmounted with a head somewhat similar to an egg in appearance. When this head is growing, in summer, small worms,1899 he says, are generated, which are put away in a box for keeping, and are attached as an amulet, with bread, to the arm on the side on which tooth-ache is felt; indeed it is quite wonderful, he says, how soon the pain is removed. These worms, however, are of no use after the end of a year, or in cases where they have been allowed to touch the ground.

250

CHAP. 63.—HOLCUS OR ARISTIS.

Holcus1900 is a plant that grows in arid, stony, spots: it has an ear at the end of a fine stem, and looks like barley that has put forth again when cut. Attached to the head or around the arm, it extracts1901 spikes of corn adhering to the flesh; for which reason, some persons give it the name of “aristis.”

CHAP. 64.—HYOSERIS: ONE REMEDY.

Hyoseris1902 resembles endive in appearance, but is a smaller plant, and rougher to the touch: pounded and applied to wounds, it heals them with remarkable rapidity.

CHAP. 65.—THE HOLOSTEON: THREE REMEDIES.

The holosteon,1903 so called by the Greeks by way of antiphrasis,1904 (in the same way that they give the name of “sweet”1905 to the gall,) is a plant destitute of all hardness, of such extreme fineness as to resemble hairs in appearance, four fingers in length, and very similar to hay-grass. The leaves of it are narrow, and it has a rough flavour: it grows upon elevated spots composed of humus. Taken in wine, it is used for ruptures and convulsions. It has the property, also, of closing wounds; indeed, if applied to pieces of meat it will solder them together.

CHAP. 66.—THE HIPPOPHÆSTON: EIGHT REMEDIES.

The hippophæston is one of those prickly plants which fullers1906 use in their coppers; it has neither stem nor flower,251 but only diminutive, empty heads, numerous small leaves of a grass-green colour, and small, soft, white roots. From these roots a juice is extracted in summer, which, taken in doses of three oboli, acts as a purgative; being used for this purpose in cases of epilepsy, fits of trembling, dropsy, vertigo, hardness of breathing, and incipient paralysis.

CHAP. 67. (11.)—THE HYPOGLOSSA: ONE REMEDY.

The hypoglossa1907 is a plant with leaves like those of the wild myrtle, of a concave form, prickly, and presenting another small leaf within, resembling a tongue in shape. A wreath made of these leaves, placed upon the head, alleviates headache.

CHAP. 68.—HYPECOÖN.

Hypecoön1908 is a plant found growing in corn-fields, with leaves like those of rue. Its properties are similar to those of juice of poppies.

CHAP. 69.—THE IDÆA HERBA, OR PLANT OF IDA: FOUR REMEDIES.

The Idæan1909 plant has leaves like those of the oxymyrsine;1910 to which leaves a sort of tendril adheres, that bears a flower. This plant arrests diarrhœa, the catamenia, when in excess, and all kinds of hæmorrhage. It is of an astringent and repercussive nature.

CHAP. 70.—THE ISOPYRON OR PHASIOLON: TWO REMEDIES.

The isopyron1911 is called “phasiolon” by some, from the circumstance that the leaf of it, which resembles that of anise, assumes a spiral form like the tendrils of the phasiolus.1912 At252 the summit of the stem, it bears small heads full of a seed like that of melanthium.1913 These heads, taken with honey or hydromel, are good for cough and other affections of the chest; they are extremely useful also for liver complaints.

CHAP. 71.—THE LATHYRIS: TWO REMEDIES.

The lathyris1914 has numerous leaves like those of the lettuce,1915 with numbers of small buds, in which the seed is contained, enclosed in envelopes like that of the caper. When these buds are dry, the seeds, about the size of a peppercorn, are taken out: they are white, sweet, and easily cleansed from the husk. Twenty of them, taken in pure water or in hydromel, are curative of dropsy, and carry off bile. Persons who require a stronger purgative, take them with the husks on. They are apt, however, to be injurious to the stomach; for which reason a plan has been adopted of taking them with fish or else chicken broth.

CHAP. 72.—THE LEONTOPETALON OR PARDALION: TWO REMEDIES.

The leontopetalon1916 is called “pardalion” by some: it has a leaf like that of the cabbage, and a stem half a foot in height, with numerous lateral branches, and a seed at the extremities of them, enclosed in pods like those of the chick-pea. The root resembles that of rape, and is large and black: it grows in plough lands. The root, taken in wine, neutralizes the venom of all kinds of serpents; indeed, there is nothing known that is more speedily efficacious for that purpose. It is given also for sciatica.

CHAP. 73.—THE LYCAPSOS: TWO REMEDIES.

The lycapsos1917 has longer and thicker leaves than those of the lettuce,1918 and a long, hairy stem, with numerous offshoots a253 cubit in length; the flower is diminutive, and of a purple colour; it grows in champaign localities. In combination with barley-meal, it is used as an application for erysipelas: the juice of it, mixed with warm water, is employed as a sudorific, in fevers.

CHAP. 74.—THE LITHOSPERMUM, EXONYCHON, DIOSPYRON, OR HERACLEOS: TWO REMEDIES.

Among all the plants, however, there is none of a more marvellous nature than the lithospermum,1919 sometimes called “exonychon,” “diospyron,”1920 or “heracleos.” It is about five inches in height, with leaves twice the size of those of rue, and small ligneous branches, about the thickness of a rush. It bears close to the leaves a sort of fine beard or spike, standing by itself, on the extremity of which there are small white stones, as round as a pearl, about the size of a chick-pea, and as hard as a pebble. These stones,1921 at the part where they adhere to the stalk, have a small cavity, and contain a seed within.

This plant is found in Italy, no doubt, but that of Crete is the most esteemed. Among all the plants, there is none that I ever contemplated with greater admiration than this; so beauteous is the conformation, that it might be fancied that the hand of an artist1922 had arranged a row of lustrous pearls alternately among the leaves; so exquisite too the nicety in thus making a stone to grow upon a plant! The authorities say that this is a creeping plant, and that it lies upon the ground; but for my own part, I have only seen it when plucked, and not while growing. It is well known that these small stones, taken in doses of one drachma, in white wine, break and expel urinary calculi,1923 and are curative of strangury. Indeed, there is no plant that so instantaneously proclaims, at254 the mere sight of it, the medicinal purposes for which it was originally intended; the appearance of it, too, is such, that it can be immediately recognized, without the necessity of having recourse to any botanical authority.

CHAP. 75.—LAPIDIS MUSCUS, OR STONE MOSS: ONE REMEDY.

There grows near running streams, a dry, white moss,1924 upon ordinary stones. One of these stones, with the addition of human saliva, is rubbed against another; after which the first stone is used for touching impetigo,1925 the party so doing uttering these words:—

Φεύγετε κανθαρίδες, λύκος ἄγριος αἷμα διώκει
“Cantharides1926 begone, a wild wolf seeks your blood.”1927

CHAP. 76.—THE LIMEUM: ONE REMEDY.

Limeum1928 is the name given by the Gauls to a plant, in a preparation of which, known to them as “deer’s1929 poison,” they dip their arrows1930 when hunting. To three modii of salivating mixture1931 they put as much of the plant as is used for poisoning a single arrow; and a mess of it is passed down the throat, in cases where oxen are suffering from disease, due care being taken to keep them fastened to the manger till they have been purged, as they are generally rendered frantic by the dose. In case perspiration supervenes, they are drenched all over with cold water.

CHAP. 77.—THE LEUCE, MESOLEUCON, OR LEUCAS: THREE REMEDIES.

Leuce,1932 a plant resembling mercurialis,1933 has received its255 name1934 from the circumstance that a white line runs through the middle of the leaf; for which reason also, some give it the name of “mesoleucon.”1935 The juice of this plant is curative of fistula, and the plant itself, bruised, is good for carcinomata. It is probably the same plant as that called “leucas,” so remarkably efficacious for the venom of all kinds of marine animals. Authors have not given a description of it, beyond telling us that the wild leucas has larger leaves than the other, and has properties more strongly developed: they state also that the seed of the cultivated kind is the more acrid of the two.

CHAP. 78.—THE LEUCOGRAPHIS: FIVE REMEDIES.

I have not found a description given by any writer of the leucographis;1936 a thing I am the more surprised at, as they tell us that it is good for the cure of spitting of blood, taken in doses of three oboli with saffron; as also that it is useful for cœliac affections, applied beaten up in water, and in cases of excessive menstruation. They state also that it enters into the composition of ophthalmic preparations, and that it fills up ulcers on the more tender parts of the body with new flesh.

CHAP. 79. (12.)—THE MEDION: THREE REMEDIES.

The medion1937 has leaves like those of the cultivated seris,1938 a stem three feet in length, and a large, round, purple flower, at its extremity. The seed is diminutive, and the root half a foot in length: it grows upon umbrageous, sheltered rocks. The root, taken in doses of two drachmæ with honey, arrests the catamenia, the electuary being used for some days. The seed, too, is administered in wine for a similar purpose.

CHAP. 80.—THE MYOSOTA OR MYOSOTIS: THREE REMEDIES.

The myosota1939 or myosotis is a smooth plant, throwing out256 from a single root numerous hollowed stems, of a somewhat reddish colour; and bearing at the lower extremities swarthy, narrow, oblong leaves, sharp on the back, arranged in pairs at regular distances, and springing from delicate branches attached with axils to the main stems. The flower is blue, and the root, a finger in length, is provided with numerous filaments like hairs. This plant possesses certain septic and ulcerating properties, and hence is used for the cure of fistula of the eye. The Egyptians say that if upon the morning of the twenty-eight day of their month Thoth, a day which generally falls in our month of August, a person rubs himself with the juice of this plant before speaking to any one, he will be sure to have no diseases of the eyes all that year.

CHAP. 81.—THE MYAGROS: ONE REMEDY.

The myagros1940 is a ferulaceous plant, with leaves like those of madder: the seed is of an oily nature—indeed, an oil is extracted from it. Ulcerations of the mouth are cured by rubbing them with the juice of this plant.

CHAP. 82.—THE NYMA: ONE REMEDY.

The plant called “nyma”1941 bears three long leaves, like those of endive: applied to scars, it restores the skin to its natural colour.

CHAP. 83.—THE NATRIX: ONE REMEDY.

“Natrix”1942 is the name of a plant, the root of which, when taken out of the ground, has just the rank smell of the he-goat. It is used in Picenum for the purpose of keeping away from females what with a singular credulity they call by the name of “Fatui.”1943 For my own part, however, I should think that257 persons requiring to be treated with such medicaments as these, must be labouring under a sort of mental hallucination.

CHAP. 84.—ODONTITIS: ONE REMEDY.

Odontitis1944 is a sort of hay-grass,1945 which throws out from a single root numerous, small, jointed stems, of a triangular form and of a swarthy hue. At the joints there are small leaves, somewhat longer than those of the polygonos;1946 and in the axils formed by these leaves is the seed, similar to barley in appearance. It has a purple, diminutive flower, and is found growing in meadows.1947 A handful of the stems, boiled in astringent wine, is used for the cure of tooth-ache,1948 the decoction being retained for some time in the mouth.

CHAP. 85.—THE OTHONNA: ONE REMEDY.

The othonna1949 is a Syrian plant, resembling rocket in appearance; its leaves are pierced with numerous holes, and its flower resembles that of saffron, for which reason some persons have given it the name of “anemone.” The juice of this plant is employed in ophthalmic preparations; it is slightly pungent, of a warming nature, and astringent as it dries. It acts as a detergent upon cicatrizations, films on the eyes, and all impediments of the sight. Some say that the plant is washed and dried, and then divided into lozenges.

CHAP. 86.—THE ONOSMA: ONE PROPERTY.

The onosma1950 has leaves some four fingers in length, lying upon the ground, and indented like those of the anchusa:1951 it has neither1952 stem, blossom, nor seed. A pregnant woman, they say, if she eats of this plant, or even walks over it, will be sure to miscarry.

258

CHAP. 87.—THE ONOPORDON: FIVE REMEDIES.

The onopordon,1953 it is said, has strongly carminative effects upon asses, when they eat of it. It acts as a diuretic and as an emmenagogue, arrests diarrhœa, and disperses abscesses and suppurations.

CHAP. 88.—THE OSYRIS: FOUR REMEDIES.

The osyris1954 bears small, swarthy, flexible branches, covered with dark leaves like those of flax. The seed, which grows upon the branches, is black at first, but afterwards changes its colour and turns red. Cosmetics1955 for females are prepared from these branches. A decoction of the roots, taken in drink, is curative of jaundice. The roots, cut in pieces before the seed ripens, and dried in the sun, act astringently upon the bowels: gathered after the seed has ripened, and boiled in pottage, they are curative of defluxions of the abdomen: they are taken also by themselves, bruised in rain water.

CHAP. 89.—THE OXYS: TWO REMEDIES.

The oxys1956 is a plant with three leaves; it is given for derangement of the stomach, and patients eat it who are suffering from intestinal hernia.1957

CHAP. 90.—THE POLYANTHEMUM OR RATRACHION: THREE REMEDIES.

The polyanthemum,1958 by some persons called “batrachion,”1959 by virtue of its caustic properties has an excoriating effect upon scars, and restores the skin to its proper colour. It heals white morphew1960 also.

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CHAP. 91.—THE POLYGONOS, POLYGONATOS, TEUTHALIS, CARCINETHRON, CLEMA, OR MYRTOPETALOS, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS SANGUINARIA OR ORIOS: FOUR VARIETIES OF IT: FORTY REMEDIES.

The Greeks give the name of “polygonos”1961 to the plant known to us as “sanguinaria.”1962 It is but little elevated above the ground, has leaves like those of rue, and resembles grass in appearance. The juice of it, injected into the nostrils, arrests hæmorrhage: taken with wine, it has a similar effect upon bleeding at any other part of the body, as also spitting of blood. Those who distinguish several kinds of polygonos, make this to be the male1963 plant, and say that it is so called from the large number of seeds, or else from its numerous branches. Some call it “polygonatos,”1964 from the number of its joints, others, again, “teuthalis,” and others, “carcinethron,” “clema,” or “myrtopetalos.”

There are some authorities to be found, however, who say that this is the female plant, and that the male is more diminutive, less swarthy, and more jointed, with a seed protruding beneath all the leaves. However this may be, these plants are of an astringent, cooling nature. The seed is laxative, and, taken in large doses, acts as a diuretic, and arrests defluxions; indeed, if there is no defluxion, it is of no use taking it. For burning heats of the stomach, the leaves are applied topically; and they are used, in the form of a liniment, for pains in the bladder, and for erysipelas. The juice is used as an injection for suppurations of the ears, and by itself, for pains in the eyes. It is administered, also, in fevers, tertian and quartan fevers more particularly, in doses of two cyathi, just before the paroxysms come on; as also in cases of cholera, dysentery, and derangement of the stomach.

There is a third kind, which grows on the mountains, and is known as “orios,”1965 similar to a delicate reed in appearance, and260 having but a single stem, with numerous joints running into one another; the leaves of it are similar to those of the pitch-tree, and the root is never used. This variety, however, is not so efficacious as those already mentioned, and, indeed, is used exclusively for sciatica. A fourth kind is known as the wild1966 polygonos: it is a shrub, almost a tree in fact, with a ligneous root, a red trunk like that of the cedar, and branches resembling those of spartum,1967 a couple of palms in length, and with three or four dark-coloured, knotted joints. This kind, also, is of an astringent nature, and has a flavour like that of the quince. It is either boiled down in water to one third, or else dried and powdered for sprinkling upon ulcerations of the mouth and excoriations: it is chewed, also, for affections of the gums. It arrests the progress of corrosive ulcers and of all sores of a serpiginous nature, or which cicatrize with difficulty, and is particularly useful for ulcerations caused by snow. Herbalists employ it also for quinzy, and use it as a chaplet for head-ache; for defluxions of the eyes, they put it round the neck.

In cases of tertian fever, some persons pull it up with the left hand, and attach it as an amulet to the body; the same, too, in cases of hæmorrhage. There is no plant that is more generally kept by them in a dry state than the polygonos.

CHAP. 92.—THE PANCRATIUM: TWELVE REMEDIES.

The pancratium is called by some the “little squill,”1968 in preference: it has leaves like those of the white lily, but longer and thicker, and a root composed of a large, red, bulb. The juice of it, taken with meal of fitches, relaxes the bowels, and acts as a detergent upon ulcers: for dropsy, and diseases of the spleen, it is administered with honey. Some persons boil it till the water becomes sweet; the water is then poured off, and the root is pounded and divided into tablets, which261 are dried in the sun and used for ulcerations of the head, and other affections which require detergents. It is sometimes given for cough, a pinch in three fingers in wine, and, in the form of an electuary, for pains in the side or peripneumony.

It is administered, also, in wine, for sciatica, griping pains in the bowels, and retardations of the catamenia.

CHAP. 93.—THE PEPLIS, SYCE, MECONION, OR MECON APHRODES: THREE REMEDIES.

The peplis,1969 known by the various names of “syce,”1970 “meconion,” and “mecon aphrodes,” is a shrub-like plant, springing from a single, diminutive, root. The leaves of it resemble those of rue, but are a little larger; the seed, which lies beneath the leaves, is round, and smaller than that of the white poppy. It is ordinarily gathered in vineyards, at harvest-time, and is dried with the seed on, receivers being placed beneath to catch it as it falls. This seed, taken in drink, purges the bowels, and carries off bile and pituitous secretions: one acetabulum, taken in three heminæ of hydromel, is a middling dose. It is sprinkled also upon meat and other articles of food, as a laxative medicine.

CHAP. 94.—THE PERICLYMENOS: FIVE REMEDIES.

The periclymenos1971 is also a shrub-like plant, with two whitish, soft, leaves, arranged at intervals. At the extremity, among the leaves, is the seed, hard, and very difficult to pluck. It grows in ploughed fields and hedges, entwining around every object from which it can gain support. The seed is dried in the shade, pounded, and divided into lozenges. These lozenges are left to dissolve, in three cyathi of white wine, for a period of thirty days, and are given for diseases of the spleen; the volume of which is gradually diminished either by discharges of bloody urine, or else by alvine evacuation, the effects of the medicament being perceptible at the end of ten days. The leaves, boiled, act as a diuretic, and are useful for hardness of breathing. Taken in drink, in manner above-mentioned,262 they facilitate delivery, and bring away the afterbirth.

CHAP. 95.—PELECINON: ONE REMEDY.

We have already1972 spoken of pelecinon as growing in corn-fields, a plant which throws out a number of shoots from thin stems, and has leaves like those of the chick-pea. The seed, which is contained in pods of a curved shape, like diminutive horns and three or four in number, is similar to gith1973 in appearance, bitter, and an excellent stomachic. It is used as an ingredient in antidotes.1974

CHAP. 96.—POLYGALA: ONE REMEDY.

Polygala1975 is a palm in height, with leaves like those of the lentil at the extremity of the stem. It has an astringent taste; taken in drink, it increases the milk in nursing women.

CHAP. 97.—POTERION, PHRYNION, OR NEURAS: FOUR REMEDIES.

Poterion,1976 or, as some call it, “phrynion” or “neuras,”1977 throws out numerous branches, is shrivelled and prickly, and covered with a thick down. The leaves of it are small and round; the branches long, soft, thin, and flexible; and the blossom elongated, and of a grass-green colour. The seed is never used, but it has a pungent flavour and a powerful smell: the plant is found growing upon moist, watery, elevations. The roots are two or three in number, some two cubits in length, sinewy, white, and firm. It is dug up in autumn, and the stem yields a juice like gum, when cut. The root is said to be of wonderful efficacy as an application for the cure of wounds, more particularly of the sinews, even when severed. A decoction of it is also taken, with honey, for relaxations of the sinews, and for weakness or wounds of those parts.

263

CHAP. 98.—THE PHALANGITIS, PHALANGION, OR LEUCACANTHA: FOUR REMEDIES.

The phalangitis1978 is by some called “phalangion,” and by others “leucanthemum,”1979 or, as I find it written in some copies, “leucacantha.”1980 Its branches are diminutive, never less than two in number, and running in contrary directions: the blossom is white, and similar to the flower of the red lily; the seed dark and broad, resembling the half of a lentil, but much thinner; and the root slender and of a grass-green colour. The leaves, blossoms, or seed of this plant are employed for the cure of wounds inflicted by scorpions, serpents, and the phalangium,1981 and for the removal of griping pains in the bowels.

CHAP. 99.—THE PHYTEUMA: ONE PROPERTY.

As for the phyteuma,1982 I think it a mere loss of time to describe it, it being only used as an ingredient in philtres.

CHAP. 100.—THE PHYLLON: ONE PROPERTY.

The Greeks give the name of “phyllon”1983 to a plant which grows among the rocks, in mountainous spots. The female plant is of a more grass-green colour than the other, with a thin stem, a diminutive root, and a round seed, like that of the poppy. This last kind ensures the conception of issue of the same sex; while the male plant, differing only in the seed, which resembles the olive at its first appearance, ensures the conception of male issue. They are both taken in wine.

264

CHAP. 101.—THE PHELLANDRION: TWO REMEDIES.

The phellandrion1984 grows in marshy spots, and has a leaf like that of parsley: the seed of it is taken in drink for calculi and affections of the bladder.

CHAP. 102. THE PHALARIS: TWO REMEDIES.

The phalaris1985 has a long thin stem, like a reed, with a drooping flower at the extremity; the seed is like that of sesame.1986 This plant, too, taken with milk and honey, in wine or vinegar, breaks urinary calculi, and is curative of diseases of the bladder.

CHAP. 103.—THE POLYRRHIZON: FIVE REMEDIES.

The polyrrhizon1987 has leaves like those of myrtle, and numerous roots. These roots are pounded and administered in wine, for injuries inflicted by serpents: they are useful, also, for cattle.

CHAP. 104.—THE PROSERPINACA: FIVE REMEDIES.

The proserpinaca,1988 a common plant enough, is an excellent remedy for the sting of the scorpion. Powdered and mixed with brine and oil, in which the mæna1989 has been preserved, it is an excellent cure, they say, for quinzy.1990 It is also stated that, however fatigued a person may be, to the extent even of losing his voice, he will be sure to be refreshed, by putting this plant beneath his tongue; and that if it is eaten, a vomit will be the result, productive of good effects.

265

CHAP. 105.—RHACOMA: THIRTY-SIX REMEDIES.

Rhacoma1991 is imported from the regions situate beyond Pontus.1992 The root of it is similar to black costus,1993 but smaller and somewhat redder, inodorous, and of a hot, astringent flavour; when pounded, it yields a colour like that of wine,1994 but inclining to saffron. Applied topically, it reduces abscesses and inflammations, and heals wounds: used with raisin wine, it allays defluxions of the eyes; with honey, ecchymosis; and with vinegar, livid marks upon the skin. Reduced to powder, it is sprinkled upon malignant ulcers, and is given internally for spitting of blood, in doses of one drachma, in water. For dysentery and cœliac affections, if unattended with fever, it is administered in wine; but if there is fever, in water. It is pounded more easily when it has been steeped in water the night before. A decoction of it is given, in doses of two drachmæ, for ruptures, convulsions, contusions, and falls with violence.

In cases of pains in the chest, a little pepper and myrrh is added. When the stomach is deranged, it is taken in cold water; and the same in cases of chronic cough, purulent expectorations, liver complaint, affections of the spleen, sciatica, diseases of the kidneys, asthma, and hardness of breathing. Pounded and taken in doses of three oboli, in raisin wine, or used in the form of a decoction, it cures irritations of the trachea: applied with vinegar, it acts as a detergent upon lichens. It is taken in drink, also, for flatulency, cold shiverings, chilly fevers, hiccup, gripings of the bowels, herpetic ulcerations, oppressions of the head, vertigo attended with melancholy, lassitude accompanied with pain, and convulsions.

CHAP. 106.—THE RESEDA: TWO REMEDIES.

In the vicinity of Ariminum, there is a well-known plant called “reseda:”1995 it disperses abscesses and all kinds of inflammations. Those who employ it for these purposes, add266 the following words: “Reseda,1996 allay this disease! knowest thou not, knowest thou not, what chick it is that has torn up these roots? Let it have nor head nor feet!”1997 This formula is repeated thrice, the party spitting on the ground each time.

CHAP. 107.—THE STŒCHAS: THREE REMEDIES.

The stœchas1998 grows only in the islands of that name.1999 It is an odoriferous plant, with leaves like those of hyssop, and of a bitter taste. Taken in drink, it promotes menstruation, and allays pains in the chest. It forms an ingredient, also, in antidotes.

CHAP. 108.—THE SOLANUM, BY THE GREEKS CALLED STRYCHNON: TWO REMEDIAL PROPERTIES.

The solanum,2000 according to Cornelius Celsus,2001 is called “strychnon” by the Greeks; it is possessed of repercussive and refrigerative properties.

CHAP. 109.—SMYRNION: THIRTY-TWO REMEDIES. SINON: TWO REMEDIES.

Smyrnion2002 has a stem like that of parsley, but larger leaves, and growing principally about the young shoots, which are numerous. From the midst of these shoots the leaves make their appearance, unctuous, and bending towards the ground. This plant has a medicinal smell, penetrating to a certain degree, and agreeable: the colour of it is a pale yellow, and the stems bear rounded umbels like those of dill,2003 with a round, black seed, which dries at the beginning of summer. The root, also, is odoriferous, of an acrid, pungent flavour, soft and juicy, black on the outer coat and pale within. The smell of it partakes very much of the nature of that of myrrh, to267 which, in fact, it owes its name: it grows in localities of a stony nature, or covered with humus. Its medicinal properties are warming and resolvent.

The leaves and root are used as a diuretic and as an emmenagogue; the seed arrests diarrhœa; and the root, applied topically, disperses abscesses and suppurations, provided they are not inveterate, and reduces indurated tumours. It is useful, also, for injuries inflicted by the phalangium and by serpents, taken in wine, with the addition of cachrys,2004 polium,2005 or melissophyllum;2006 the dose, however, must be taken a little at a time only, for otherwise it acts as an emetic, a reason for which it is sometimes administered with rue. The seed or root is curative of cough, hardness of breathing, and diseases of the thoracic organs, spleen, kidneys, and bladder; the root, too, is used for ruptures and convulsions. This plant facilitates delivery, and brings away the afterbirth; it is also given, in combination with crethmos,2007 in wine, for sciatica. It acts as a sudorific and carminative, for which reason it is used to disperse flatulency of the stomach; it promotes, also, the cicatrization of wounds.

A juice is extracted from the root, which is very useful for female complaints, and for affections of the thoracic organs and viscera, possessing, as it does, certain calorific, digestive, and detergent properties. The seed, in particular, is given in drink for dropsy, external applications being made of the juice, and emollient poultices applied of the dried rind of the root. It is used, also, as a seasoning for food, boiled meat in particular, with the addition of honied wine, oil, and garum.2008

Sinon,2009 a plant with a flavour very like that of pepper, promotes the digestion, and is highly efficacious for pains in the stomach.

CHAP. 110.—TELEPHION: FOUR REMEDIES.

Telephion2010 resembles purslain in the stem and leaves. From268 the root of it there spring seven or eight small branches, covered with thick, fleshy leaves; it grows in cultivated spots, and among vines in particular. It is used as an application for freckles, being removed as soon as dry; it is employed, also, for white morphew,2011 being applied some six hours each night or day, and the treatment continued for about three months: after removing it, barley-meal should be applied. Telephion is healing, also, for wounds and fistulas.

CHAP. 111.—THE TRICHOMANES. FIVE REMEDIES.

The trichomanes2012 is a plant that resembles the adiantum,2013 except that it is more slender and of a darker colour; the leaves of it, which are similar to those of the lentil, lie close together, on opposite sides, and have a bitter taste. A decoction of this plant, taken in white wine, with the addition of wild cummin, is curative of strangury. Bruised and applied to the head, it prevents the hair from falling off, and, where it has come off, restores it: pounded and applied with oil, it effects the cure of alopecy. The mere taste of it is provocative of sneezing.

CHAP. 112.—THE THALICTRUM: ONE REMEDY.

The thalictrum2014 has leaves like those of coriander, only somewhat more unctuous, and a stem resembling that of the poppy.2015 It is found growing everywhere, in champaign localities more particularly. The leaves, applied with honey, heal ulcers.

CHAP. 113.—THLASPI AND PERSICON NAPY: FOUR REMEDIES.

Of thlaspi there are two kinds; the first2016 of which has narrow leaves, about a finger in length and breadth, turned towards269 the ground, and divided at the point. It has a slender stem, half a foot in length, and not wholly destitute of branches; the seed, enclosed in a crescent-shaped capsule,2017 is similar to a lentil in shape, except that it has a jagged appearance, to which, in fact, it owes its name;2018 the flower is white, and the plant is found near footpaths and in hedges. The seed, which has an acrid flavour, carries off bile and pituitous secretions, by vomit and by alvine evacuation, the proper dose being one acetabulum. It is used, also, for sciatica, in the form of an injection, this treatment being persevered in until it has induced a discharge of blood: it acts also as an emmenagogue, but is fatal to the fœtus.

The other thlaspi, known by some as “Persicon napy,”2019 has broad leaves and large roots, and is also very useful as an injection for sciatica. Both plants are very serviceable for inguinal complaints; it being recommended that the person who gathers them should mention that he is taking them for diseases of the groin, for abscesses of all kinds, and for wounds, and that he should pluck them with one hand only.

CHAP. 114.—THE TRACHINIA: ONE PROPERTY.

What sort of plant the trachinia2020 is, the authorities do not state. I think that the assurance given by Democritus must be false: for it would be nothing less than a prodigy, for a plant, attached as an amulet, to consume the spleen in so short a time as three days.

CHAP. 115.—THE TRAGONIS OR TRAGION: FOUR REMEDIES.

The tragonis,2021 or tragion, grows nowhere but in the maritime districts of the Isle of Crete; it resembles the juniper in270 the seed, leaf, and branches. Its milky juice, which thickens in the form of a gum, or its seed, taken in drink, expels pointed weapons from the flesh. The plant, too, is pounded fresh and applied as a liniment with wine, or, dried and powdered, with honey. It increases the milk in nursing women, and is a sovereign remedy for diseases of the mamillæ.

CHAP. 116.—THE TRAGOS OR SCORPION: FOUR REMEDIES.

There is another plant also, called “tragos,”2022 or “scorpion” by some, half a foot in height, branchy, destitute of leaves, and bearing diminutive red clusters, with a seed like that of wheat, but pointed at the extremity: this too grows in maritime localities. Ten or twelve tops of the branches, bruised and taken in wine, are remedial in cases of cœliac affections, dysentery, spitting of blood, and excessive menstruation.

CHAP. 117.—THE TRAGOPOGON OR COME.

There is the tragopogon,2023 also, by some called “come;” a plant with a small stem, leaves like those of saffron, an elongated, sweet, root, and a large, swarthy calyx at the extremity of the stem. It grows in rugged soils, and is never used.

CHAP. 118.—THE AGES OF PLANTS.

Such, then, is all that I have hitherto been enabled to learn or discover, worthy of mention, relative to plants. At the close, of this subject, it seems to me that it will not be out of place to remind the reader, that the properties of plants vary according to their age. It is elaterium, as already stated,2024 that preserves its properties the longest of all. The black chamæleon2025 retains its virtues forty years, centaury not more than twelve, peucedanum2026 and aristolochia2027 six, and the wild vine one year—that is to say, if they are kept in the shade. I would remark, also, that beyond those animals which breed within the plants, there are none that attack the roots271 of any of those which have been mentioned by me; with the exception, indeed, of the sphondyle,2028 a kind of creeping insect,2029 which infests them all.

CHAP. 119.—HOW THE GREATEST EFFICACY IN PLANTS MAY BE ENSURED.

It is also an undoubted truth, that the virtues and properties of all roots are more feebly developed, when the fruit has been allowed to ripen; and that it is the same with the seed, when incisions have been previously made in the root, for the extraction of the juice. The efficacy, too, of all plants is impaired by making habitual use of them; and these substances, if employed daily, lose equally their good or bad properties, when required to be effectual. All plants, too, have more powerful properties, when grown in soils that are cold and exposed to the north-eastern blasts, or in dry localities.

CHAP. 120.—MALADIES PECULIAR TO VARIOUS NATIONS.

There are certain differences, also, by no means inconsiderable, in the predispositions of the various nations of the earth. I have been informed, for instance, that the people of Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Cilicia, are subject to tapeworm and maw-worm, while those of Thracia and Phrygia, on the other hand, are totally exempt from them. This, however, is less surprising than the fact that, although Attica and Bœotia are adjoining territories, the Thebans are troubled with these inflictions, while among the people of Athens they are unknown.

Considerations of this description lead me now to turn my attention to the nature of the animated beings themselves, and the medicinal properties which are inborn in them, the most assured remedies, perhaps, for all diseases.

For Nature, in fact, that parent of all things, has produced no animated being for the purpose solely of eating; she has willed that it should be born to satisfy the wants of others, and in its very vitals has implanted medicaments conducive to health. While she has implanted them in mute2030 and inanimate objects even, she has equally willed that these, the most invaluable272 aids of life, should be also derived from the life of another—a subject for contemplation, marvellous in the highest degree!2031

Summary.—Remedies, narratives, and observations, six hundred and two.

Roman authors quoted.—Caius Valgius,2032 Pompeius Lenæus,2033 Sextius Niger2034 who wrote in Greek, Julius Bassus2035 who wrote in Greek, Antonius Castor,2036 Cornelius Celsus.2037

Foreign authors quoted.—Theophrastus,2038 Apollodorus,2039 Democritus,2040 Aristogiton,2041 Orpheus,2042 Pythagoras,2043 Mago,2044 Menander2045 who wrote the “Biochresta,” Nicander.2046

Medical authors quoted.—Mnesitheus,2047 Timaristus,2048 Simus,2049 Hippocrates,2050 Chrysippus,2051 Diocles,2052 Ophelion,2053 Heraclides,2054 Hicesius,2055 Dionysius,2056 Apollodorus2057 of Citium, Apollodorus2058273 of Tarentum, Praxagoras,2059 Plistonicus,2060 Medius,2061 Dieuches,2062 Cleophantus,2063 Philistion,2064 Asclepiades,2065 Crateuas,2066 Petronius Diodotus,2067 Iollas,2068 Erasistratus,2069 Diagoras,2070 Andreas,2071 Mnesides,2072 Epicharmus,2073 Damion,2074 Tlepolemus,2075 Metrodorus,2076 Solo,2077 Lycus,2078 Olympias2079 of Thebes, Philinus,2080 Petrichus,2081 Micton,2082 Glaucias,2083 Xenocrates.2084

⁂ Before quitting the Botanical Books of Pliny, it is a duty both to our author and to the reader, to call attention to the illustrations of a few passages in this work, which will be found in the Textrinum Antiquorum, by Dr. James Yates, F.R.S., a book characterized by learning, equally profound and extensive, and the most indefatigable research: it being but recently, we are sorry to say, that we have been made acquainted with its valuable contents.

The following are selected as among the most useful and interesting results of his enquiries.

B. vi. c. 20 [V. ii. p. 36]. Dr. Yates is of opinion that Pliny has here mistranslated a passage of Aristotle, Hist. Anim. v. 19 and that he has mistaken the word βομβύκια, “cocoons,” for webs, similar to those of the spider, attached to the leaves of trees. Not understanding the original, he would seem to have given a distorted account of the simple operation of winding the threads from off the cocoons of the silkworm upon bobbins, by the hands of females; the threads upon which bobbins would be afterwards unwound for the manufacture of silken fabrics. See Notes 303 and 304 on the passage in question; also B. xi. c. 26.

B. viii. c. 74 [V. ii. p. 336]. For the word “Sororiculata,” Dr. Yates proposes to read “Soriculata,” and he suggests that the cloth thus called may have been a velvet or plush, which received its name from its resemblance to the coat of the field-mouse, “sorex,” the diminutive of which would be “soricula.”

B. xix. c. 2 [V. iv. p. 133] and c. 6 [p. 138], Dr. Yates expresses it as his opinion that the words “Carbasus” and “Carbasa” are derived from the oriental word Carpos, signifying “cotton,” and thinks that Pliny, in B. xix. c. 2, may have used the word by Catachresis, as meaning linen, in the same manner as the Latin poets repeatedly use the word “carbasa,” as signifying various kinds of woven textures. If this view be correct, the word “Carbasina” in B. xix. c. 6, will probably mean “awnings of274 woven material” generally, and not of fine linen, or cambric, as suggested in Note 856.

B. xix. c. 2 [V. iv. p. 134]. The genuineness of the passage which makes mention of the “Gossypium,” is questioned by Dr. Yates, who thinks it possible that it is an interpolation: such, however, if we may judge from the result of Sillig’s researches, does not appear to have been the case. If, on the other hand, the passage is genuine, Dr. Yates is of opinion that the statement is incorrect, and that cotton was not grown in Egypt. It seems just possible, however, that Pliny may have had in view the trees mentioned by him in B. xiv. c. 28.

B. xix. c. 4 [V. iv. p. 137, also p. 134, Note 837]. Dr. Yates has adduced a number of convincing arguments to prove that the “Byssus” of the ancients cannot have been cotton, but that in all probability it was a texture of fine flax. The passages of Pausanias, (B. v. c. 25, and B. vi. c. 26) in which “Byssus” is mentioned, would certainly seem to apply to flax, a product which is still cultivated near the mouth of the river Peneus, in ancient Elis. There is no doubt, however, that Philostratus, though perhaps erroneously, has used the word “Byssus” as meaning cotton.

275

BOOK XXVIII.

REMEDIES DERIVED FROM LIVING CREATURES.

CHAP. 1. (1.)—INTRODUCTION.

We should have now concluded our description of the various things2085 that are produced between the heavens and the earth, and it would have only remained for us to speak of the substances that are dug out of the ground itself; did not our exposition of the remedies derived from plants and shrubs necessarily lead us into a digression upon the medicinal properties which have been discovered, to a still greater extent, in those living creatures themselves which are thus indebted [to other objects] for the cure of their respective maladies. For ought we, after describing the plants, the forms of the various flowers, and so many objects rare and difficult to be found—ought we to pass in silence the resources which exist in man himself for the benefit of man, and the other remedies to be derived from the creatures that live among us—and this more particularly, seeing that life itself is nothing short of a punishment, unless it is exempt from pains and maladies? Assuredly not; and even though I may incur the risk of being tedious, I shall exert all my energies on the subject, it being my fixed determination to pay less regard to what may be amusing, than to what may prove practically useful to mankind.

Nay, even more than this, my researches will extend to the usages of foreign countries, and to the customs of barbarous nations, subjects upon which I shall have to appeal to the good faith of other authors; though at the same time I have made it my object to select no2086 facts but such as are established276 by pretty nearly uniform testimony, and to pay more attention to scrupulous exactness than to copiousness of diction.

It is highly necessary, however, to advertise the reader, that whereas I have already described the natures of the various animals, and the discoveries2087 due to them respectively—for, in fact, they have been no less serviceable in former times in discovering remedies, than they are at the present day in providing us with them—it is my present intention to confine myself to the remedial properties which are found in the animal world, a subject which has not been altogether lost sight of in the former portion of this work. These additional details therefore, though of a different nature, must still be read in connexion with those which precede.

CHAP. 2. REMEDIES DERIVED FROM MAN.

We will begin then with man, and our first enquires will be into the resources which he provides for himself—a subject replete with boundless difficulties at the very outset.2088

Epileptic patients are in the habit of drinking the blood even of gladiators, draughts teeming with life,2089 as it were; a thing that, when we see it done by the wild beasts even, upon the same arena, inspires us with horror at the spectacle! And yet these persons, forsooth, consider it a most effectual cure for their disease, to quaff the warm, breathing, blood from man himself, and, as they apply their mouth to the wound, to draw forth his very life; and this, though it is regarded as an act of impiety to apply the human lips to the wound even of a wild beast! Others there are, again, who make the marrow2090 of the leg-bones, and the brains of infants, the objects of their research!

Among the Greek writers, too, there are not a few who have enlarged upon the distinctive flavours of each one of the viscera and members of the human body, pursuing their researches to the very parings of the nails! as though, forsooth, it could277 possibly be accounted the pursuit of health for man to make himself a wild beast, and so deserve to contract disease from the very remedies he adopts for avoiding it. Most righteously, by Hercules! if such attempts are all in vain, is he disappointed of his cure! To examine human entrails is deemed an act of impiety;2091 what then must it be to devour them?

Say, Osthanes,2092 who was it that first devised these practices; for it is thee that I accuse, thou uprooter of all human laws, thou inventor of these monstrosities; devised, no doubt with the view that mankind might not forget thy name! Who was it that first thought of devouring each member of the human body? By what conjectural motives was he induced? What can possibly have been the origin of such a system of medicine as this? Who was it that thus made the very poisons less baneful than the antidotes prescribed for them? Granted that barbarous and outlandish tribes first devised such practices, must the men of Greece, too, adopt these as arts of their own?

We read, for instance, in the memoirs of Democritus, still extant, that for some diseases, the skull of a malefactor is most efficacious, while for the treatment of others, that of one who has been a friend or guest is required. Apollonius, again, informs us in his writings, that the most effectual remedy for tooth-ache is to scarify the gums with the tooth of a man who has died a violent death; and, according to Miletus, human gall is a cure for cataract.2093 For epilepsy, Artemon has prescribed water drawn from a spring in the night, and drunk from the skull of a man who has been slain, and whose body remains unburnt. From the skull, too, of a man who had been hanged, Antæus made pills that were to be an antidote to the bite of a mad dog. Even more than this, man has resorted to similar remedies for the cure of four-footed beasts even—for tympanitis in oxen, for instance, the horns have been perforated, and human bones inserted; and when swine have been found to be diseased,278 fine wheat has been given them which has lain for a night in the spot where a human being has been slain or burnt!

Far from us, far too from our writings, be such prescriptions2094 as these! It will be for us to describe remedies only, and not abominations;2095 cases, for instance, in which the milk of a nursing woman may have a curative effect, cases where the human spittle may be useful, or the contact2096 of the human body, and other instances of a similar nature. We do not look upon life as so essentially desirable that it must be prolonged at any cost, be it what it may—and you, who are of that opinion, be assured, whoever you may be, that you will die none the less, even though you shall have lived in the midst of obscenities or abominations!

Let each then reckon this as one great solace to his mind, that of all the blessings which Nature has bestowed on man, there is none greater than the death2097 which comes at a seasonable hour; and that the very best feature in connexion with it is, that every person has it in his own power to procure it for himself.2098

CHAP. 3. (2.)—WHETHER WORDS ARE POSSESSED OF ANY HEALING EFFICACY.

In reference to the remedies derived from man, there arises first of all one question, of the greatest importance and always attended with the same uncertainty, whether words, charms, and incantations, are of any efficacy or not?2099 For if such is the case, it will be only proper to ascribe this efficacy to man himself;2100 though the wisest of our fellow-men, I should remark, taken individually, refuse to place the slightest faith in these opinions. And yet, in our every-day life, we practically show, each passing hour, that we do entertain this belief,279 though at the moment we are not sensible of it. Thus, for instance, it is a general belief that without a certain form of prayer2101 it would be useless to immolate a victim, and that, with such an informality, the gods would be consulted to little purpose. And then besides, there are different forms of address to the deities, one form for entreating,2102 another form for averting their ire, and another for commendation.

We see too, how that our supreme magistrates use certain formulæ for their prayers: that not a single word may be omitted or pronounced out of its place, it is the duty of one person to precede the dignitary by reading the formula before him from a written ritual, of another, to keep watch upon every word, and of a third to see that2103 silence is not ominously broken; while a musician, in the meantime, is performing on the flute to prevent any other words being heard.2104 Indeed, there are memorable instances recorded in our Annals, of cases where either the sacrifice has been interrupted, and so blemished, by imprecations, or a mistake has been made in the utterance of the prayer; the result being that the lobe of the liver or the heart has disappeared in a moment, or has been doubled,2105 while the victim stood before the altar. There is still in existence a most remarkable testimony,2106 in the formula which the Decii, father and son, pronounced on the occasions when they devoted themselves.2107 There is also preserved the prayer uttered by the Vestal Tuccia,2108 when, upon being accused of incest, she carried water in a sieve—an event which took place in the year of the City 609. Our own age even has seen a man and a woman buried alive in the Ox Market,2109 Greeks by birth, or else natives of some other2110 country with which we280 were at war at the time. The prayer used upon the occasion of this ceremonial, and which is usually pronounced first by the Master of the College of the Quindecimviri,2111 if read by a person, must assuredly force him to admit the potency of formulæ; when it is recollected that it has been proved to be effectual by the experience of eight hundred and thirty years.

At the present day, too, it is a general belief, that our Vestal virgins have the power, by uttering a certain prayer, to arrest the flight of runaway slaves, and to rivet them to the spot, provided they have not gone beyond the precincts of the City. If then these opinions be once received as truth, and if it be admitted that the gods do listen to certain prayers, or are influenced by set forms of words, we are bound to conclude in the affirmative upon the whole question. Our ancestors, no doubt, always entertained such a belief, and have even assured us, a thing by far the most difficult of all, that it is possible by such means to bring down lightning from heaven, as already2112 mentioned on a more appropriate occasion.

CHAP. 4.—THAT PRODIGIES AND PORTENTS MAY BE CONFIRMED, OR MADE OF NO EFFECT.

L. Piso informs us, in the first Book of his Annals, that King Tullus Hostilius,2113 while attempting, in accordance with the books of Numa, to summon Jupiter from heaven by means of a sacrifice similar to that employed by him, was struck by lightning in consequence of his omission to follow certain forms with due exactness. Many other authors, too, have attested, that by the power of words a change has been effected in destinies and portents of the greatest importance. While they were digging on the Tarpeian Hill for the foundations of a temple, a human head was found; upon which deputies were sent to Olenus Calenus, the most celebrated diviner of Etruria. He, foreseeing the glory and success which281 attached to such a presage as this, attempted, by putting a question to them, to transfer the benefit of it to his own nation. First describing, on the ground before him, the outline of the temple with his staff—“Is it so, Romans, as you say?” said he; “here then must be the temple2114 of Jupiter, all good and all powerful; it is here that we have found the head”—and the constant asseveration of the Annals is, that the destiny of the Roman empire would have been assuredly transferred to Etruria, had not the deputies, forewarned by the son of the diviner, made answer—“No, not here exactly, but at Rome, we say, the head was found.”

It is related also that the same was the case when a certain four-horse chariot, made of clay, and intended for the roof of the same temple, had considerably increased while in the furnace;2115 and that on this occasion, in a similar manner, the destinies of Rome were saved. Let these instances suffice then to show, that the virtues of presages lie in our own hands, and that they are valuable in each instance according as they are received.2116 At all events, it is a principle in the doctrine of the augurs, that neither imprecations nor auspices of any kind have any effect upon those who, when entering upon an undertaking, declare that they will pay no attention whatever to them; a greater instance than which, of the indulgent disposition of the gods towards us, cannot be found.

And then besides, in the laws themselves of the Twelve Tables, do we not read the following words—“Whosoever shall have enchanted the harvest,”2117 and in another place, “Whosoever shall have used pernicious incantations”?2118 Verrius Flaccus cites authors whom he deems worthy of credit, to show that on the occasion of a siege, it was the usage, the first thing of all, for the Roman priests to summon forth the tutelary divinity of that particular town, and to promise him the same rites, or even a more extended worship, at Rome; and at the present day even, this ritual still forms part of the discipline of our pontiffs.282 Hence it is, no doubt, that the name2119 of the tutelary deity of Rome has been so strictly kept concealed, lest any of our enemies should act in a similar manner. There is no one, too, who does not dread being spell-bound by means of evil imprecations;2120 and hence the practice, after eating eggs or snails, of immediately breaking2121 the shells, or piercing them with the spoon. Hence, too, those love-sick imitations of enchantments which we find described by Theocritus among the Greeks, and by Catullus, and more recently, Virgil,2122 among our own writers. Many persons are fully persuaded that articles of pottery may be broken by a similar agency; and not a few are of opinion even that serpents can counteract incantations, and that this is the only kind of intelligence they possess—so much so, in fact, that by the agency of the magic spells of the Marsi, they may be attracted to one spot, even when asleep in the middle of the night. Some people go so far, too, as to write certain words2123 on the walls of houses, deprecatory of accident by fire.

But it is not easy to say whether the outlandish and unpronounceable words that are thus employed, or the Latin expressions that are used at random, and which must appear ridiculous to our judgment, tend the most strongly to stagger our belief—seeing that the human imagination is always conceiving something of the infinite, something deserving of the notice of the divinity, or indeed, to speak more correctly, something that must command his intervention perforce. Homer2124 tells us that Ulysses arrested the flow of blood from a wound283 in the thigh, by repeating a charm; and Theophrastus2125 says that sciatica may be cured by similar means. Cato2126 has preserved a formula for the cure of sprains, and M. Varro for that of gout. The Dictator Cæsar, they say, having on one occasion accidentally had a fall in his chariot,2127 was always in the habit, immediately upon taking his seat, of thrice repeating a certain formula, with the view of ensuring safety upon the journey; a thing that, to my own knowledge, is done by many persons at the present day.

CHAP. 5.—A DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS USAGES.

I would appeal, too, for confirmation on this subject, to the intimate experience of each individual. Why, in fact, upon the first day of the new year, do we accost one another with prayers for good fortune,2128 and, for luck’s sake, wish each other a happy new year? Why, too, upon the occasion of public lustrations, do we select persons with lucky names, to lead the victims? Why, to counteract fascinations, do we Romans observe a peculiar form of adoration, in invoking the Nemesis of the Greeks; whose statue, for this reason, has been placed in the Capitol at Rome, although the goddess herself possesses no Latin name?2129 Why, when we make mention of the dead, do we protest that we have no wish2130 to impeach their good name?2131 Why is it that we entertain the belief that for every purpose odd numbers are the most effectual;2132—a thing that is particularly observed with reference to the critical days in fevers? Why is it that, when gathering the earliest fruit, apples, or pears, as the case may be, we make a point of saying—“This fruit is old, may other fruit be sent us that is new?” Why is it that we salute2133 a person when he sneezes, an observance which Tiberius Cæsar, they say, the most unsociable of men, as we all know, used to exact, when riding in his chariot284 even? Some there are, too, who think it a point religiously to be observed to mention the name as well of the person whom they salute.

And then, besides, it is a notion2134 universally received, that absent persons have warning that others are speaking of them by the tingling of the ears. Attalus2135 assures us, that if a person, the moment he sees a scorpion, says “Duo,”2136 the reptile will stop short, and forbear to sting. And now that I am speaking of the scorpion, I recall to mind that in Africa no one ever undertakes any matter without prefacing with the word “Africa;” while in other countries, before an enterprise is commenced, it is the practice to adjure the gods that they will manifest their good will.

In addition to this, it is very clear that there are some religious observances, unaccompanied by speech, which are considered to be productive of certain effects. Thus,2137 when we are at table, for instance, it is the universal practice, we see, to take the ring from off the finger. Another person, again, will take some spittle from his mouth and place it with his finger behind the ear, to propitiate and modify disquietude of mind. When we wish to signify applause, we have a proverb even which tells us we should press the thumbs.2138 When paying adoration, we kiss the right hand, and turn the whole body to the right: while the people of the Gallic provinces, on the contrary, turn to the left, and believe that they show mere devoutness by so doing. To salute summer lightning with clapping of the hands, is the universal practice with all nations. If, when eating, we happen to make mention of a fire that has happened, we avert the inauspicious omen by pouring water beneath the table. To sweep the floor at the moment that a person is rising from table, or to remove the table or tray,2139 as the case may be, while a guest is drinking, is looked upon as a most unfortunate presage. There is a treatise,285 written by Servius Sulpicius, a man of the highest rank, in which reasons are given why we should never leave the table we are eating at; for in his day it was not yet2140 the practice to reckon more tables than guests at an entertainment. Where a person has sneezed, it is considered highly ominous for the dish or table to be brought back again, and not a taste thereof to be taken, after doing so; the same, too, where a person at table eats nothing at all.

These usages have been established by persons who entertained a belief that the gods are ever present, in all our affairs and at all hours, and who have therefore found the means of appeasing them by our vices even. It has been remarked, too, that there is never a dead silence on a sudden among the guests at table, except when there is an even number present; when this happens, too, it is a sign that the good name and repute of every individual present is in peril. In former times, when food fell from the hand of a guest, it was the custom to return it by placing it on the table, and it was forbidden2141 to blow upon it, for the purpose of cleansing it. Auguries, too, have been derived from the words or thoughts of a person at the moment such an accident befalls him; and it is looked upon as one of the most dreadful of presages, if this should happen to a pontiff, while celebrating the feast of Dis.2142 The proper expiation in such a case is, to have the morsel replaced on table, and then burnt in honour of the Lar.2143 Medicines, it is said, will prove ineffectual, if they happen to have been placed on a table before they are administered. It is religiously believed by many, that it is ominous in a pecuniary point of view, for a person to pare his nails without speaking, on the market days2144 at Rome, or to begin at the forefinger2145 in doing so: it is thought, too,286 to be a preventive of baldness and of head-ache, to cut the hair on the seventeenth and twenty-ninth2146 days of the moon.

A rural law observed in most of the farms of Italy, forbids2147 women to twirl their distaffs, or even to carry them uncovered, while walking in the public roads; it being a thing so prejudicial to all hopes and anticipations, those of a good harvest2148 in particular. It is not so long ago, that M. Servilius Nonianus, the principal citizen at Rome,2149 being apprehensive of ophthalmia, had a paper, with the two Greek letters P and A2150 written upon it, wrapped in linen and attached to his neck, before he would venture to name the malady, and before any other person had spoken to him about it. Mucianus, too, who was thrice consul, following a similar observance, carried about him a living fly, wrapped in a piece of white linen; and it was strongly asserted, by both of them, that to the use of these expedients they owed their preservation from ophthalmia. There are in existence, also, certain charms against hail-storms, diseases of various kinds, and burns, some of which have been proved, by actual experience, to be effectual; but so great is the diversity of opinion upon them, that I am precluded by a feeling of extreme diffidence from entering into further particulars, and must therefore leave each to form his own conclusions as he may feel inclined.

CHAP. 6. (3.)—TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX OBSERVATIONS ON REMEDIES DERIVED FROM MAN. EIGHT REMEDIES DERIVED FROM CHILDREN.

We have already,2151 when speaking of the singular peculiarities of various nations, made mention of certain men of a monstrous nature, whose gaze is endowed with powers of fascination; and we have also described properties belonging to numerous animals, which it would be superfluous here to repeat. In some men, the whole of the body is endowed with remarkable properties, as in those families, for instance, which are a terror to serpents; it being in their power to cure persons when stung, either by the touch or by a slight suction of the wound. To this class belong the Psylli, the Marsi, and the people287 called “Ophiogenes”2152 in the Isle of Cyprus. One Euagon, a member of this family, while attending upon a deputation at Rome, was thrown by way of experiment, by order of the consuls, into a large vessel2153 filled with serpents; upon which, to the astonishment of all, they licked his body all over with their tongues. One peculiarity of this family—if indeed it is still in existence—is the strong offensive smell which proceeds from their body in the spring; their sweat, too, no less than their spittle, was possessed of remedial virtues. The people who are born at Tentyris, an island in the river Nilus, are so formidable2154 to the crocodiles there, that their voice even is sufficient to put them to flight. The presence even, it is well known, of all these different races, will suffice for the cure of injuries inflicted by the animals to which they respectively have an antipathy; just in the same way that wounds are irritated by the approach of persons who have been stung by a serpent at some former time, or bitten by a dog. Such persons, too, by their presence, will cause the eggs upon which a hen is sitting to be addled, and will make pregnant cattle cast their young and miscarry; for, in fact, so much of the venom remains in their body, that, from being poisoned themselves, they become poisonous to other creatures. The proper remedy in such case is first to make them wash their hands, and then to sprinkle with the water the patient who is under medical treatment. When, again, persons have been once stung by a scorpion they will never afterwards be attacked by hornets, wasps, or bees: a fact at which a person will be the less surprised when he learns that a garment which has been worn at a funeral will never be touched by moths;2155 that it is hardly possible to draw serpents from their holes except by using the left hand; and that, of the discoveries made by Pythagoras, one of the most unerring, is the fact, that in the name given to infants, an odd number of vowels is portentous of lameness, loss of eyesight, or similar accidents, on2156 the right288 side of the body, and an even number of vowels of the like infirmities on the left.

(4.) It is said, that if a person takes a stone or other missile which has slain three living creatures, a man, a boar, and a bear, at three blows, and throws it over the roof of a house in which there is a pregnant woman, her delivery, however difficult, will be instantly accelerated thereby. In such a case, too, a successful result will be rendered all the more probable, if a light infantry lance2157 is used, which has been drawn from a man’s body without touching the earth; indeed, if it is brought into the house it will be productive of a similar result. In the same way, too, we find it stated in the writings of Orpheus and Archelaüs, that arrows, drawn from a human body without being allowed to touch the ground, and placed beneath the bed, will have all the effect of a philtre; and, what is even more than this, that it is a cure for epilepsy if the patient eats the flesh of a wild beast killed with an iron weapon with which a human being has been slain.

Some individuals, too, are possessed of medicinal properties in certain parts of the body; the thumb of King Pyrrhus, for instance, as already2158 mentioned. At Elis, there used to be shown one of the ribs2159 of Pelops, which, it was generally asserted, was made of ivory. At the present day even, there are many persons, who from religious motives will never clip the hair growing upon a mole on the face.

CHAP. 7.—PROPERTIES OF THE HUMAN SPITTLE.

But it is the fasting spittle of a human being, that is, as already2160 stated by us, the sovereign preservative against the poison of serpents; while, at the same time, our daily experience may recognize its efficacy and utility,2161 in many other respects. We are in the habit of spitting,2162 for instance, as a preservative from epilepsy, or in other words, we repel contagion thereby:289 in a similar manner, too, we repel fascinations, and the evil presages attendant upon meeting a person who is lame in the right leg. We ask pardon of the gods, by spitting in2163 the lap, for entertaining some too presumptuous hope or expectation.2164 On the same principle, it is the practice in all cases where medicine is employed, to spit three times on the ground, and to conjure the malady as often; the object being to aid the operation of the remedy employed. It is usual, too, to mark a boil when it first makes its appearance, three times with fasting2165 spittle. What we are going to say is marvellous, but it may easily be tested2166 by experiment: if a person repents of a blow given to another, either by hand or with a missile, he has nothing to do but to spit at once into the palm of the hand which has inflicted the blow, and all feelings2167 of resentment will be instantly alleviated in the person struck. This, too, is often verified in the case of a beast of burden, when brought on its haunches with blows; for upon this remedy being adopted, the animal will immediately step out and mend its pace. Some persons, however, before making an effort, spit into the hand in manner above stated, in order to make the blow more heavy.2168

We may well believe, then, that lichens and leprous spots may be removed by a constant application of fasting spittle; that ophthalmia may be cured by anointing, as it were, the eyes every morning with fasting spittle; that carcinomata may be effectually treated, by kneading the root of the plant known as “apple of the earth,”2169 with human spittle; that crick in the neck may be got rid of by carrying fasting spittle to the right knee with the right hand, and to the left knee with the left; and that when an insect has got into the ear, it290 is quite sufficient to spit into that organ, to make it come out. Among the counter-charms too, are reckoned, the practice of spitting into the urine the moment it is voided, of spitting into the shoe of the right foot before putting it on, and of spitting while a person is passing a place in which he has incurred any kind of peril.

Marcion of Smyrna, who has written a work on the virtues of simples, informs us that the sea scolopendra will burst asunder if spit upon; and that the same is the case with bramble-frogs,2170 and other kinds of frogs. Opilius says that serpents will do the same, if a person spits into their open mouth; and Salpe tells us, that when any part of the body is asleep, the numbness may be got rid of by the person spitting into his lap, or touching the upper eyelid with his spittle. If we are ready to give faith to such statements as these, we must believe also in the efficacy of the following practices: upon the entrance of a stranger, or when a person looks at an infant while asleep, it is usual for the nurse to spit three times upon the ground; and this, although infants are under the especial guardianship of the god Fascinus,2171 the protector, not of infants only, but of generals as well, and a divinity whose worship is entrusted to the Vestal virgins, and forms part of the Roman rites. It is the image of this divinity that is attached beneath the triumphant car of the victorious general, protecting him, like some attendant physician, against the effects of envy;2172 while, at the same time, equally salutary is the advice of the tongue, which warns him to be wise in time,2173 that so Fortune291 may be prevailed upon by his prayers, not to follow, as the destroyer of his glory, close upon his back.

CHAP. 8.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE WAX OF THE HUMAN EAR.

The human bite is also looked upon as one of the most dangerous of all. The proper remedy for it is human ear-wax; a thing that we must not be surprised at, seeing that, if applied immediately, it is a cure for the stings of scorpions even, and serpents. The best, however, for this purpose, is that taken from the ears of the wounded person. Agnails, too, it is said, may be cured in a similar manner. A human tooth, reduced to powder, is a cure, they say, for the sting of a serpent.

CHAP. 9.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE HUMAN HAIR, TEETH, ETC.

The first hair, it is said, that is cut from an infant’s head, and, in fact, the hair of all persons that have not reached the age of puberty, attached to the limbs, will modify the attacks of gout. A man’s hair, applied with vinegar, is a cure for the bite of a dog, and, used with oil or wine, for wounds on the head. It is said, too, if we choose to believe it, that the hair of a man torn down from the cross, is good for quartan fevers. Ashes, too, of burnt human hair are curative of carcinomata. If a woman takes the first tooth that a child has shed, provided it has not touched the ground, and has it set in a bracelet, and wears it constantly upon her arm, it will preserve her from all pains in the uterus and adjacent parts. If the great toe is tied fast to the one next to it, it will reduce tumours in the groin; and if the two middle fingers of the right hand are slightly bound together with a linen thread, it will act as a preservative against catarrhs and ophthalmia. A stone, it is said, that has been voided by a patient suffering from calculi, if attached to the body above the pubes, will alleviate the pains of others similarly afflicted, as well as pains in the liver; it will have the effect, also, of facilitating delivery. Granius2174 adds, however, that for this last purpose, the stone will be more efficacious if it has been extracted with the knife. Delivery, when near at hand, will be accelerated, if the man by whom292 the woman has conceived, unties his girdle, and, after tying it round her, unties it, adding at the same time this formula, “I have tied it, and I will untie it,” and then taking his departure.

CHAP. 10.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE HUMAN BLOOD, THE SEXUAL CONGRESS, ETC.

The blood of the human body, come from what part it may, is most efficacious, according to Orpheus and Archelaüs, as an application for quinzy: they say, too, that if it is applied to the mouth of a person who has fallen down in a fit of epilepsy, he will come to himself immediately. Some say that, for epilepsy, the great toes should be pricked, and the drops of blood that exude therefrom applied to the face; or else, that a virgin should touch the patient with her right thumb—a circumstance that has led to the belief that persons suffering from epilepsy should eat the flesh of animals in a virgin state. Æschines of Athens used to cure quinzy, carcinoma, and affections of the tonsillary glands and uvula, with the ashes of burnt excrements, a medicament to which he gave the name of “botryon.”2175

There are many kinds of diseases which disappear entirely after the first sexual congress,2176 or, in the ease of females, at the first appearance of menstruation; indeed, if such is not the case, they are apt to become chronic, epilepsy in particular. Even more than this—a man, it is said, who has been stung by a serpent or scorpion, experiences relief from the sexual congress; but the woman, on the other hand, is sensible of detriment. We are assured, too, that if persons, when washing their feet, touch the eyes three times with the water, they will never be subject to ophthalmia or other diseases of the eyes.

CHAP. 11.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE DEAD.

Scrofula, imposthumes of the parotid glands, and throat diseases, they say, may be cured by the contact of the hand of a person who has been carried off by an early death: indeed there are some who assert that any dead body will produce the same effect, provided it is of the same sex as the patient, and293 that the part affected is touched with the back of the left hand.2177 To bite off a piece from wood that has been stuck by lightning, the hands being held behind the back, and then to apply it to the tooth, is a sure remedy, they say, for tooth-ache. Some persons recommend the tooth to be fumigated with the smoke of a burnt tooth, which has belonged to another person of the same sex; or else to attach to the person a dog-tooth, as it is called, which has been extracted from a body before burial. Earth, they say, taken from out of a human skull, acts as a depilatory to the eyelashes; it is asserted, also, that any plant which may happen to have grown there, if chewed, will cause the teeth to come out; and that if a circle is traced round an ulcer with a human bone, it will be effectually prevented from spreading.

Some persons, again, mix water in equal proportions from three different wells, and, after making a libation with part of it in a new earthen vessel, administer the rest to patients suffering from tertian fever, when the paroxysms come on. So, too, in cases of quartan fever, they take a fragment of a nail from a cross, or else a piece of a halter2178 that has been used for crucifixion, and, after wrapping it in wool, attach it to the patient’s neck; taking care, the moment he has recovered, to conceal it in some hole to which the light of the sun cannot penetrate.

CHAP. 12.—VARIOUS REVERIES AND DEVICES OF THE MAGICIANS.

The following are some of the reveries of magic.2179 A whetstone upon which iron tools have been frequently sharpened, if put, without his being aware of it, beneath the pillow of a person sinking under the effects of poison, will make him give evidence and declare what poison has been administered, and at what time and place, though at the same time he will not disclose the author of the crime. When a person has been struck by lightning, if the body is turned upon the side which has sustained the injury, he will instantly recover the power294 of speech—that is quite certain.2180 For the cure of inguinal tumours, some persons take the thrum of an old web, and after tying seven or nine knots in it, mentioning at each knot the name of some widow woman or other, attach it to the part affected. To assuage the pain of a wound, they recommend the party to take a nail or any other substance that has been trodden under foot, and to wear it, attached to the body with the thrum of a web. To get rid of warts, some lie in a footpath with the face upwards, when the moon is twenty days old at least, and after fixing their gaze upon it, extend their arms above the head, and rub themselves with anything within their reach. If a person is extracting a corn at the moment that a star shoots, he will experience an immediate cure,2181 they say. By pouring vinegar upon the hinges of a door, a thick liniment is formed, which, applied to the forehead, will alleviate headache: an effect equally produced, we are told, by binding the temples with a halter with which a man has been hanged. When a fish-bone happens to stick in the throat, it will go down immediately, if the person plunges his feet into cold water; but where the accident has happened with any other kind of bone, the proper remedy is to apply to the head some fragments of bones taken from the same dish. In cases where bread has stuck in the throat, the best plan is to take some of the same bread, and insert it in both ears.

CHAP. 13.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE HUMAN EXCRETIONS.

In Greece, where everything is turned to account, the owners of the gymnasia have introduced the very excretions2182 even of the human body among the most efficient remedies; so much so, indeed, that the scrapings from the bodies of the athletes are looked upon as possessed of certain properties of an emollient, calorific, resolvent, and expletive nature, resulting from the compound of human sweat and oil. These scrapings are used, in the form of a pessary, for inflammations and contractions of the uterus: similarly employed, they act as an emmenagogue, and are useful for reducing condylomata and inflammations of the rectum, as also for assuaging pains295 in the sinews, sprains, and nodosities of the joints. The scrapings obtained from the baths are still more efficacious for these purposes, and hence it is that they form an ingredient in maturative preparations. Such scrapings as are impregnated with wrestlers’ oil,2183 used in combination with mud, have a mollifying effect upon the joints, and are more particularly efficacious as a calorific and resolvent; but in other respects their properties are not so strongly developed.

The shameless and disgusting researches that have been made will quite transcend all belief, when we find authors of the very highest repute proclaiming aloud that the male seminal fluid is a sovereign remedy for the sting of the scorpion! In the case too, of women afflicted with sterility, they recommend the application of a pessary, made of the first excrement that is voided by an infant at the moment of its birth; the name they give it is “meconium.”2184 They have even gone so far, too, as to scrape the very filth from off the walls of the gymnasia, and to assert that this is also possessed of certain calorific properties. These scrapings are used as a resolvent for inflamed tumours, and are applied topically to ulcers upon aged people and children, and to excoriations and burns.

CHAP. 14.—REMEDIES DEPENDING UPON THE HUMAN WILL.

It would be the less becoming then for me to omit all mention of the remedies which depend upon the human will. Total abstinence from food or drink, or from wine only, from flesh, or from the use of the bath, in cases where the health requires any of these expedients, is looked upon as one of the most effectual modes of treating diseases. To this class of remedies must be added bodily exercise, exertion of the voice,2185 anointings, and frictions according to a prescribed method: for powerful friction, it should be remembered, has a binding effect upon the body, while gentle friction, on the other hand, acts as a laxative; so too, repeated friction reduces the body, while used in moderation it has a tendency to make flesh. But the most beneficial practice of all is to take walking296 or carriage2186 exercise; this last being performed in various ways. Exercise on horseback is extremely good for affections of the stomach and hips, a voyage for phthisis,2187 and a change of locality2188 for diseases of long standing. So, too, a cure may sometimes be effected by sleep, by a recumbent position in bed, or by the use of emetics in moderation. To lie upon the back is beneficial to the sight, to lie with the face downwards is good for a cough, and to lie on the side is recommended for patients suffering from catarrh.

According to Aristotle and Fabianus, it is towards spring and autumn that we are most apt to dream; and they tell us that persons are most liable to do so when lying on the back, but never when lying with the face downwards. Theophrastus assures us that the digestion is accelerated by lying on the right side; while, on the other hand, it is retarded by lying with the face upwards. The most powerful, however, of all remedies, and one which is always at a person’s own command, is the sun: violent friction, too, is useful by the agency of linen towels and body-scrapers.2189 To pour warm water on the head before taking the vapour-bath, and cold water after it, is looked upon as a most beneficial practice; so, too, is the habit of taking cold water before food, of drinking it every now and then while eating, of taking it just before going to sleep, and, if practicable, of waking every now and then, and taking a draught. It is worthy also of remark, that there is no living creature but man2190 that is fond of hot drinks, a proof that they are contrary to nature. It has been ascertained by experiment, that it is a good plan to rinse the mouth with undiluted wine, before going to sleep, for the purpose of sweetening the breath; to rinse the mouth with cold water an odd number of times every morning, as a preservative against tooth-ache; and to wash the eyes with oxycrate, as a preventive of ophthalmia. It has been remarked also, that the general health is improved by a varying regimen, subject to no fixed rules.


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(5.) Hippocrates informs us that the viscera of persons who do not take the morning meal2191 become prematurely aged and feeble; but then he has pronounced this aphorism, it must be remembered, by way of suggesting a healthful regimen, and not to promote gluttony; for moderation in diet is, after all, the thing most conducive to health. L. Lucullus gave charge to one of his slaves to overlook him in this respect; and, a thing that reflected the highest discredit on him, when, now an aged man and laden with triumphs, he was feasting in the Capitol even his hand had to be removed from the dish to which he was about to help himself. Surely it was a disgrace for a man to be governed by his own slave2192 more easily than by himself!

CHAP. 15. (6.)—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM SNEEZING.

Sneezing, provoked by a feather, relieves heaviness in the head; it is said too, that to touch the nostrils of a mule with the lips, will arrest sneezing and hiccup. For this last purpose, Varro recommends us to scratch the palm, first of one hand and then of the other; while many say that it is a good plan to shift the ring from off the left hand to the longest finger of the right, and then to plunge the hands into hot water. Theophrastus says, that aged persons sneeze with greater difficulty than others.

CHAP. 16.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE SEXUAL CONGRESS.

Democritus spoke in condemnation of the sexual congress, as2193 being merely an act through which one human being springs from another; and really, by Hercules! the more rarely it is used the better. Still however, athletes, we find, when they become dull and heavy, are re-established by it: the voice, too, is restored by it, when from being perfectly clear, it has degenerated into hoarseness. The congress of the sexes is a cure also for pains in the loins, dimness of the eyesight,2194 alienation of the mental difficulties, and melancholy.

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CHAP. 17.—VARIOUS OTHER REMEDIES.

To sit by a pregnant woman, or by a person to whom any remedy is being administered, with the fingers of one hand inserted between those of the other, acts as a magic spell; a discovery that was made, it is said, when Alcmena2195 was delivered of Hercules. If the fingers are thus joined, clasping one or both knees, or if the ham of one leg is first put upon the knee of the other, and then changed about, the omen is of still worse signification. Hence it is, that in councils held by generals and persons in authority, our ancestors forbade these postures, as being an impediment to all business.2196 They have given a similar prohibition also with reference to sacrifices and the offering of public vows; but as to the usage of uncovering the head in presence of the magistrates, that has been enjoined, Varro says, not as a mark of respect, but with a view to health, the head being strengthened2197 by the practice of keeping it uncovered.

When anything has got into the eye, it is a good plan to close the other; and when water has got into the right ear, the person should hop about on the left foot, with the head reclining upon the right shoulder, the reverse being done when the same has happened to the left ear. If the secretion of the phlegm produces coughing, the best way of stopping it is for another person to blow in the party’s face. When the uvula is relaxed, another person should take the patient with his teeth by the crown,2198 and lift him from the ground; while for pains in the neck, the hams should be rubbed, and for pains in the hams the neck. If a person is seized in bed with cramp in the sinews of the legs or thighs, he should set his feet upon the ground: so, too, if he has cramp on the left side, he should take hold of the great toe of the left foot with the right hand, and if on the right side, the great toe of the right foot with the left hand. For cold shiverings or for excessive bleeding at the nostrils, the extremities of the body should be well rubbed with sheep’s wool. To arrest incontinence of urine, the extremities of the generative organs should299 be tied with a thread of linen or papyrus, and a binding passed round the middle of the thigh. For derangement of the stomach, it is a good plan to press the feet together, or to plunge the hands into hot water.

In addition to all this, in many cases it is found highly beneficial to speak but little; thus, for instance, Mæcenas Melissus,2199 we are told, enjoined silence on himself for three years, in consequence of spitting blood after a convulsive fit. When a person is thrown from a carriage, or when, while mounting an elevation or lying extended at full length, he is menaced with any accident, or if he receives a blow, it is singularly beneficial to hold the breath; a discovery for which we are indebted to an animal, as already2200 stated.

To thrust an iron nail into the spot where a person’s head lay at the moment he was seized with a fit of epilepsy, is said to have the effect of curing him of that disease. For pains in the kidneys, loins, or bladder, it is considered highly soothing to void the urine lying on the face at full length in a reclining bath. It is quite surprising how much more speedily wounds will heal if they are bound up and tied with a Hercules’ knot:2201 indeed, it is said, that if the girdle which we wear every day is tied with a knot of this description, it will be productive of certain beneficial effects, Hercules having been the first to discover the fact.

Demetrius, in the treatise which he has compiled upon the number Four, alleges certain reasons why drink should never be taken in proportions of four cyathi or sextarii. As a preventive of ophthalmia, it is a good plan to rub the parts behind the ears, and, as a cure for watery eyes, to rub the forehead. As to the presages which are derived from man himself, there is one to the effect that so long as a person is able to see himself reflected in the pupil of the patient’s eye, there need be no apprehension of a fatal termination to the malady.

CHAP. 18.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE URINE.

The urine,2202 too, has been the subject not only of numerous300 theories with authors, but of various religious observances as well, its properties being classified under several distinctive heads: thus, for instance, the urine of eunuchs, they say, is highly beneficial as a promoter of fruitfulness in females. But to turn to those remedies which we may be allowed to name without impropriety—the urine of children who have not arrived at puberty is a sovereign remedy for the poisonous secretions of the asp known as the “ptyas,”2203 from the fact that it spits its venom into the eyes of human beings. It is good, too, for the cure of albugo, films and marks upon the eyes, white specks2204 upon the pupils, and maladies of the eyelids. In combination with meal of fitches, it is used for the cure of burns, and, with a head of bulbed leek, it is boiled down to one half, in a new earthen vessel, for the treatment of suppurations of the ears, or the extermination of worms breeding in those organs: the vapour, too, of this decoction acts as an emmenagogue. Salpe recommends that the eyes should be fomented with it, as a means of strengthening the sight; and that it should be used as a liniment for sun scorches, in combination with white of egg, that of the ostrich being the most effectual, the application being kept on for a couple of hours.

Urine is also used for taking out ink spots. Male urine cures gout, witness the fullers for instance,2205 who, for this reason, it is said, are never troubled with that disease. With stale urine some mix ashes of calcined oyster-shells, for the cure of eruptions on the bodies of infants, and all kinds of running ulcers: it is used, too, as a liniment for corrosive sores, burns, diseases of the rectum, chaps upon the body, and stings inflicted by scorpions. The most celebrated midwives have pronounced that there is no lotion which removes itching sensations more effectually; and, with the addition of nitre,2206 they prescribe it for the cure of ulcers of the head, porrigo, and cancerous sores, those of the generative organs in particular. But the fact is, and there is no impropriety in saying so, that every person’s own urine is the best for his own case, due301 care being taken to apply it immediately, and unmixed with anything else; in such cases as the bite of a dog, for instance, or the quill of a hedge-hog entering the flesh, a sponge or some wool being the vehicle in which it is applied. Kneaded up with ashes, it is good for the bite of a mad dog, and for the cure of stings inflicted by serpents. As to the bite of the scolopendra, the effects of urine are said to be quite marvellous—the person who has been injured has only to touch the crown of his head with a drop of his own urine, and he will experience an instantaneous cure.

CHAP. 19.—INDICATIONS OF HEALTH DERIVED FROM THE URINE.

Certain indications of the health are furnished by the urine. Thus, for example, if it is white at first in the morning and afterwards high-coloured, the first signifies that the digestion is going on, the last that it is completed. When the urine is red, it is a bad sign; but when it is swarthy, it is the worst sign of all. So, too, when it is thick or full of bubbles, it is a bad sign; and when a white sediment forms, it is a symptom of pains in the region of the viscera or in the joints. A green-coloured urine is indicative of disease of the viscera, a pale urine of biliousness, and a red urine of some distemper in the blood. The urine is in a bad state, too, when certain objects form in it, like bran or fine clouds in appearance. A thin, white, urine also is in a diseased state; but when it is thick and possessed of an offensive smell, it is significant of approaching death: so, too, when with children it is thin and watery.

The adepts in magic expressly forbid a person, when about to make water, to uncover the body in the face of the sun2207 or moon, or to sprinkle with his urine the shadow of any object whatsoever. Hesiod2208 gives a precept, recommending persons to make water against an object standing full before them, that no divinity may be offended by their nakedness being uncovered. Osthanes maintains that every one who drops some urine upon his foot in the morning will be proof against all noxious medicaments.

CHAP. 20. (7.)—FORTY-ONE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE FEMALE SEX.

The remedies said to be derived from the bodies of females302 closely approach the marvellous nature of prodigies; to say nothing of still-born infants cut up limb by limb for the most abominable practices, expiations made with the menstrual discharge, and other devices which have been mentioned, not only by midwives but by harlots2209 even as well! The smell of a woman’s hair, burnt, will drive away serpents, and hysterical suffocations, it is said, may be dispelled thereby. The ashes of a woman’s hair, burnt in an earthen vessel, or used in combination with litharge, will cure eruptions and prurigo of the eyes: used in combination with honey they will remove warts and ulcers upon infants; with the addition of honey and frankincense, they will heal wounds upon the head, and fill up all concavities left by corrosive ulcers; used with hogs’ lard, they will cure inflammatory tumours and gout; and applied topically to the part affected, they will arrest erysipelas and hæmorrhage, and remove itching pimples on the body which resemble the stings of ants.

CHAP. 21.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM WOMAN’S MILK.

As to the uses to which woman’s milk has been applied, it is generally agreed that it is the sweetest and the most delicate of all, and that it is the best2210 of remedies for chronic fevers and cœliac affections, when the woman has just weaned her infant more particularly. In cases, too, of sickness at stomach, fevers, and gnawing sensations, it has been found by experience to be highly beneficial; as also, in combination with frankincense, for abscesses of the mamillæ. When the eyes are bloodshot from the effects of a blow, or affected with pain or defluxion, it is a very good plan to inject woman’s milk into them, more particularly in combination with honey and juice of daffodil, or else powdered frankincense. In all cases, however, the milk of a woman who has been delivered of a male child is the most efficacious, and still more so if she has had male twins; provided always she abstains from wine and food of an acrid nature. Mixed with the white of an egg in a liquid state, and applied to the forehead in wool, it arrests303 defluxions of the eyes. If a frog2211 has spirted its secretions2212 into the eye, woman’s milk is a most excellent remedy; and for the bite of that reptile it is used both internally and externally.

It is asserted that if a person is rubbed at the same moment with the milk of both mother and daughter, he will be proof for the rest of his life against all affections of the eyes. Mixed with a small quantity of oil, woman’s milk is a cure for diseases of the ears; and if they are in pain from the effects of a blow, it is applied warm with goose-grease. If the ears emit an offensive smell, a thing that is mostly the case in diseases of long standing, wool is introduced into those organs, steeped in woman’s milk and honey. While symptoms of jaundice are still visible in the eyes, woman’s milk is injected, in combination with elaterium.2213 Taken as a drink, it is productive of singularly good effects, where the poison of the sea-hare, the buprestis,2214 or, as Aristotle tells us, the plant doryenium2215 has been administered; as a preventive also of the madness produced by taking henbane. Woman’s milk also, mixed with hemlock, is recommended as a liniment for gout; while some there are who employ it for that purpose in combination with wool-grease2216 or goose-grease; a form in which it is used as an application for pains in the uterus. Taken as a drink, it arrests diarrhœa, Rabirius2217 says, and acts as an emmenagogue; but where the woman has been delivered of a female child, her milk is of use only for the cure of face diseases.

Woman’s milk is also a cure for affections of the lungs; and, mixed with the urine of a youth who has not arrived at puberty, and Attic honey, in the proportion of one spoonful of each, it removes singing in the ears, I find. Dogs which have once tasted the milk of a woman who has been delivered of a male child, will never become mad, they say.

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CHAP. 22.—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE SPITTLE OF FEMALES.

A woman’s fasting spittle is generally considered highly efficacious for bloodshot eyes: it is good also for defluxions of those organs, the inflamed corners of the eyes being moistened with it every now and then; the result, too, is still more successful, if the woman has abstained from food and wine the day before.

I find it stated that head-ache may be alleviated by tying a woman’s fillet2218 round the head.

CHAP. 23.—FACTS CONNECTED WITH THE MENSTRUAL DISCHARGE.

Over and above these particulars, there is no limit to the marvellous powers attributed to females. For, in the first place, hailstorms, they say, whirlwinds, and lightning2219 even, will be scared away by a woman uncovering her body while her monthly courses are upon her. The same, too, with all other kinds of tempestuous weather; and out at sea, a storm may be lulled by a woman uncovering her body merely, even though not menstruating at the time. As to the menstrual discharge itself, a thing that in other respects, as2220 already stated on a more appropriate occasion, is productive of the most monstrous effects, there are some ravings about it of a most dreadful and unutterable nature. Of these particulars, however, I do not feel so much shocked at mentioning the following. If the menstrual discharge coincides with an eclipse of the moon or sun, the evils resulting from it are irremediable; and no less so, when it happens while the moon is in conjunction with the sun; the congress with a woman at such a period being noxious, and attended with fatal effects to the man. At this period also, the lustre of purple is tarnished by the touch of a woman: so much more baneful is her influence at this time than at any other. At any other time, also, if a woman strips herself naked while she is menstruating, and walks round a field of wheat, the caterpillars, worms, beetles, and other vermin, will fall from off the ears of corn. Metrodorus of Scepsos tells us that this discovery was first made in Cappadocia; and that, in consequence of such multitudes of cantharides305 being found to breed there, it is the practice for women to walk through the middle of the fields with their garments tucked up above the thighs.2221 In other places, again, it is the usage for women to go barefoot, with the hair dishevelled and the girdle loose: due precaution must be taken, however, that this is not done at sun-rise, for if so, the crop will wither and dry up. Young vines, too, it is said, are injured irremediably by the touch of a woman in this state; and both rue and ivy, plants possessed of highly medicinal virtues, will die instantly upon being touched by her.

Much as I have already stated on the virulent effects of this discharge, I have to state, in addition, that bees, it is a well-known fact, will forsake their hives if touched by a menstruous woman; that linen boiling in the cauldron will turn black, that the edge of a razor will become blunted, and that copper vessels will contract a fetid smell and become covered with verdigrease, on coming in contact with her. A mare big with foal, if touched by a woman in this state, will be sure to miscarry; nay, even more than this, at the very sight of a woman, though seen at a distance even, should she happen to be menstruating for the first time after the loss of her virginity, or for the first time, while in a state of virginity. The bitumen2222 that is found in Judæa, will yield to nothing but the menstrual discharge; its tenacity being overcome, as already stated, by the agency of a thread from a garment which has been brought in contact with this fluid. Fire itself even, an element which triumphs over every other substance, is unable to conquer this; for if reduced to ashes and then sprinkled upon garments when about to be scoured, it will change their purple tint, and tarnish the brightness of the colours. Indeed so pernicious are its properties, that women themselves, the source from which it is derived, are far from being proof against its effects; a pregnant woman, for instance, if touched with it, or indeed if she so much as steps over it, will be liable to miscarry.

Laïs and Elephantis2223 have given statements quite at variance, on the subject of abortives; they mention the efficacy306 for that purpose of charcoal of cabbage root, myrtle root, or tamarisk root, quenched in the menstrual discharge; they say that she-asses will be barren for as many years as they have eaten barley-corns steeped in this fluid; and they have enumerated various other monstrous and irreconcileable properties, the one telling us, for instance, that fruitfulness may be ensured by the very same methods, which, according to the statement of the other, are productive of barrenness; to all which stories it is the best plan to refuse credit altogether. Bithus of Dyrrhachium informs us that a mirror,2224 which has been tarnished by the gaze of a menstruous female, will recover its brightness if the same woman looks steadily upon the back of it; he states, also, that all evil influences of this nature will be entirely neutralized, if the woman carries the fish known as the sur mullet about her person.

On the other hand, again, many writers say that, baneful as it is, there are certain remedial properties in this fluid; that it is a good plan, for instance, to use it as a topical application for gout, and that women, while menstruating, can give relief by touching scrofulous sores and imposthumes of the parotid glands, inflamed tumours, erysipelas, boils, and defluxions of the eyes. According to Laïs and Salpe, the bite of a mad dog, as well as tertian or quartan fevers, may be cured by putting some menstruous blood in the wool of a black ram and enclosing it in a silver bracelet; and we learn from Diotimus of Thebes that the smallest portion will suffice of any kind of cloth that has been stained therewith, a thread even, if inserted and worn in a bracelet. The midwife Sotira informs us that the most efficient cure for tertian and quartan fevers is to rub the soles of the patient’s feet therewith, the result being still more successful if the operation is performed by the woman herself, without the patient being aware of it; she says, too, that this is an excellent method for reviving persons when attacked with epilepsy.

Icetidas the physician pledges his word that quartan fever may be cured by sexual intercourse, provided the woman is just beginning to menstruate. It is universally agreed, too, that when a person has been bitten by a dog and manifests a dread of water and of all kinds of drink, it will be quite sufficient to put under his cup a strip of cloth that has been dipped in307 this fluid; the result being that the hydrophobia will immediately disappear. This arises, no doubt, from that powerful sympathy which has been so much spoken of by the Greeks, and the existence of which is proved by the fact,2225 already mentioned, that dogs become mad upon tasting this fluid. It is a well-known fact, too, that the menstruous discharge, reduced to ashes, and applied with furnace soot and wax, is a cure for ulcers upon all kinds of beasts of burden; and that stains made upon a garment with it can only be removed by the agency of the urine of the same female. Equally certain it is, too, that this fluid, reduced to ashes and mixed with oil of roses, is very useful, applied to the forehead, for allaying head-ache, in women more particularly; as also that the nature of the discharge is most virulent in females whose virginity has been destroyed solely by the lapse of time.

Another thing universally acknowledged and one which I am ready to believe with the greatest pleasure, is the fact, that if the door-posts are only touched with the menstruous fluid all spells of the magicians will be neutralized—a set of men the most lying in existence, as any one may ascertain. I will give an example of one of the most reasonable of their prescriptions—Take the parings of the toe-nails and finger-nails of a sick person, and mix them up with wax, the party saying that he is seeking a remedy for a tertian, quartan, or quotidian fever, as the case may be; then stick this wax, before sunrise, upon the door of another person—such is the prescription they give for these diseases! What deceitful persons they must be if there is no truth in it! And how highly criminal, if they really do thus transfer diseases from one person to another! Some, of them, again, whose practices are of a less guilty nature, recommend that the parings of all the finger-nails should be thrown at the entrance of ant-holes, the first ant to be taken which attempts to draw one into the hole; this, they say, must be attached to the neck of the patient, and he will experience a speedy cure.

CHAP. 24. (8.)—REMEDIES DERIVED FROM FOREIGN ANIMALS: THE ELEPHANT, EIGHT REMEDIES.

Such then are the remedies from human beings which may with any degree of propriety be described, and many of those with the leave and good-will of the reader. The rest are308 of a most execrable and infamous nature, such, in fact, as to make me hasten to close my description of the remedies derived from man: we will therefore proceed to speak of the more remarkable animals, and the effects produced by them. The blood of the elephant, the male in particular, arrests all those defluxions known by the name of “rheumatismi.” Ivory shavings, it is said, in combination with Attic honey, are good for the removal of spots upon the face: with the sawdust, too, of ivory, hangnails are removed. By the touch of an elephant’s trunk head-ache is alleviated, if the animal happens to sneeze at the time more particularly. The right side of the trunk attached to the body with red earth of Lemnos, acts powerfully as an aphrodisiac. Elephant’s blood is good for consumption and the liver for epilepsy.

CHAP. 25.—TEN REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE LION.

Lion’s fat, mixed with oil of roses, protects the skin of the face from all kinds of spots, and preserves the whiteness of the complexion; it is remedial also for such parts of the body as have been frozen by snow, and for swellings in the joints. The frivolous lies of the magicians assert that persons who are anointed with lion’s fat, will more readily win favour with kings and peoples; more particularly when the fat has been used that lies between the eyebrows of the animal—a place, in fact, where there is no fat to be found! The like effects they promise also from the possession of a lion’s tooth, one from the right side in particular, as also the shaggy hairs that are found upon the lower jaw. The gall, used as an ointment in combination with water, improves the eyesight, and, employed with the fat of the same animal, is a cure for epilepsy; but a slight taste only must be taken of it, and the patient must run immediately after swallowing it, in order to digest it. A lion’s heart, used as food, is curative of quartan fevers, and the fat, taken with oil of roses, of quotidian fevers. Wild beasts will fly from persons anointed with lion’s fat, and it is thought to be a preservative even against treacherous practices.

CHAP. 26.—TEN REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE CAMEL.

A camel’s2226 brains, dried and taken in vinegar, are a cure, they309 say, for epilepsy: the same, too, with the gall, taken with honey; which is a remedy also for quinzy. A camel’s tail dried it is said, is productive of diarrhœa, and ashes of burnt camel’s dung, mixed with oil, make the hair curl. These ashes applied topically, are very useful for dysentery, as also taken in drink, the proper dose being a pinch in three fingers at a time; they are curative also of epilepsy. Camel’s urine it is said, is very useful to fullers, and is good for the cure of running sores. Barbarous nations, we are told, are in the habit of keeping it till it is five years old, and then taking it as a purgative, in doses of one semisextarius. The hairs of the tail, it is said, plaited and attached to the left arm, are a cure for quartan fevers.

CHAP. 27.—SEVENTY-NINE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE HYÆNA.

But of all animals, it is the hyæna that has been held in the highest admiration by the magicians, who have gone so far as to attribute to it certain magical virtues even, and the power of alluring2227 human beings and depriving them of their senses. Of its change of sex each year, and other monstrous peculiarities2228 in its nature, we have spoken already;2229 we will now proceed to describe the medicinal virtues that are ascribed to it.

The hyæna, it is said, is particularly terrible to panthers; so much so, indeed, that they will not attempt to make the slightest resistance to it, and will never attack a man who has any portion of a hyæna’s skin about him. A thing truly marvellous to tell of, if the hides of these two animals are hung up facing one another, the hair will fall from off the panther’s skin! When the hyæna flies before the hunter, it turns off on the right, and letting the man get before it, follows in his track; should it succeed in doing which, the man is sure to lose his senses and fall from his horse even. But if, on the other hand, it turns off to the left, it is a sign that the animal is losing strength, and that it will soon be taken. The easiest method, however, of taking it, they say, is for the hunter to tie his girdle with seven knots, and to make as many knots in the310 whip with which he guides his horse. In addition to all this, so full of quirks and subtleties are the vain conceits of the magicians, they recommend the hyæna to be captured while the moon is passing through the sign of Gemini, and every hair of it to be preserved, if possible. They say, too, that the skin of the head is highly efficacious, if attached to a person suffering from head-ache; that the gall, applied to the forehead, is curative of ophthalmia; and that if the gall is boiled down with three cyathi of Attic honey and one ounce of saffron, it will be a most effectual preservative against that disease, the same preparation being equally good for the dispersion of films on the eyes and cataract. If, again, this preparation is kept till it is old, it will be all the better for improving the sight, due care being taken to preserve it in a box of Cyprian copper: they assert also, that it is good for the cure of argema, eruptions and excrescences of the eyes, and marks upon those organs. For diseases2230 of the crystalline humours of the eyes, it is recommended to anoint them with the gravy of hyæna’s liver roasted fresh, incorporated with clarified honey.

We learn also, from the same sources, that the teeth of the hyæna are useful for the cure of tooth-ache, the diseased tooth being either touched with them, or the animal’s teeth being arranged in their regular order, and attached to the patient; that the shoulders of this animal are good for the cure of pains in the arms and shoulders; that the teeth, extracted from the left side of the jaw, and wrapped in the skin, of a sheep or he-goat, are an effectual cure for pains in the stomach; that the lights of the animal, taken with the food, are good for cœliac affections; that the lights, reduced to ashes and applied with oil, are also soothing to the stomach; that the marrow of the back-bone, used with old oil and gall, is strengthening to the sinews; that the liver, tasted thrice just before the paroxysms, is good for quartan fevers; that the ashes of the vertebræ, applied in hyæna’s skin with the tongue and right foot of a sea-calf and a bull’s gall, the whole boiled up together, are soothing for gout; that for the same disease hyæna’s gall is advantageously employed in combination with stone of Assos;2231 that for cold shiverings, spasms, sudden fits of starting, and palpitations of the311 heart, it is a good plan to eat some portion of a hyæna’s heart cooked, care being taken to reduce the rest to ashes, and to apply it with the brains of the animal to the part affected; that this last composition, or the gall applied alone, acts as a depilatory, the hairs being first plucked out which are wanted not to grow again; that by this method superfluous hairs of the eyelids may be removed; that the flesh of the loins, eaten and applied with oil, is a cure for pains in the loins; and that sterility in females may be removed by giving them the eye of this animal to eat, in combination with liquorice and dill, conception within three days being warranted as the result.

Persons afflicted with night-mare and dread of spectres, will experience relief, they say, by attaching one of the large teeth of a hyæna to the body, with a linen thread. In fits of delirium too, it is recommended to fumigate the patient with the smoke of one of these teeth, and to attach one in front of his chest, with the fat of the kidneys, or else the liver or skin. They assert also that a pregnant woman will never miscarry, if she wears suspended from her neck, the white flesh from a hyæna’s breast, with seven hairs and the genitals of a stag, the whole tied up in the skin of a gazelle. The genitals, they say, eaten with honey, act as a stimulant upon a person, according to the sex, and this even though it should be the case of a man who has manifested an aversion to all intercourse with females.

Nay, even more than all this, we are assured that if the genitals and a certain joint of the vertebræ are preserved in a house with the hide adhering to them, they will ensure peace and concord between all members of the family; hence it is that this part is known as the “joint of the spine,”2232 or “Atlantian2233 knot.” This joint, which is the first, is reckoned among the remedies for epilepsy.

The fumes of the burnt fat of this animal will put serpents to flight, they say; and the jawbone, pounded with anise and taken with the food, is a cure for shivering fits. A fumigation made therewith has the effect of an emmenagogue; and such are the frivolous and absurd conceits of the professors of the magic art, that they boldly assert that if a man attaches to312 his arm a tooth from the right side of the upper jaw, he will never miss any object he may happen to aim at with a dart. The palate, dried and warmed with Egyptian alum,2234 is curative of bad odours and ulcers of the mouth, care being taken to renew the application three times. Dogs, they say, will never bark at persons who have a hyæna’s tongue in the shoe beneath the sole of the foot. The left side of the brain, applied to the nostrils, is said to have a soothing effect upon all dangerous maladies either in men or beasts. They say, too, that the skin of the forehead is a preservative against all fascinations; that the flesh of the neck, whether eaten or dried and taken in drink, is good for pains in the loins; that the sinews of the back and shoulders, used as a fumigation, are good for pains in the sinews; that the bristles of the snout, applied to a woman’s lips, have all the effect of a philtre; and that the liver, administered in drink, is curative of griping pains and urinary calculi.

The heart, it is said, taken with the food or drink, is remedial for all kinds of pains in the body; the milt for pains in the spleen; the caul, in combination with oil, for inflammatory ulcers; and the marrow for pains in the spine and weakness in the sinews. The strings of the kidneys, they say, if taken with wine and frankincense, will restore fruitfulness, in cases where it has been banished through the agency of noxious spells; the uterus, taken in drink with the rind of a sweet pomegranate, is highly beneficial for diseases of the uterus; and the fat of the loins, used as a fumigation, removes all impediments to delivery, and accelerates parturition. The marrow of the back, attached to the body as an amulet, is an effectual remedy for fantastic illusions,2235 and the genitals of the male animal, used as a fumigation, are good for the cure of spasms. For ophthalmia, ruptures, and inflammations, the feet, which are kept for the purpose, are touched; the left feet for affections on the right side of the body, and the right feet for affections on the left. The left foot, if laid upon the body of a woman in travail, will be productive, they say, of fatal effects; but the right foot, similarly employed, will facilitate delivery. The vesicle which has contained the gall, taken in wine or with the food, is313 beneficial for the cardiac disease; and the bladder, taken in wine, is a good preservative against incontinence of urine. The urine, too, which is found in the bladder, taken with oil, sesame, and honey, is said to be useful for diseases of long standing.

The first rib and the eighth, used as a fumigation, are said to be useful for ruptures; the vertebræ for women in travail; and the blood, in combination with polenta,2236 for griping pains in the bowels. If the door-posts are touched with this blood, the various arts of the magicians will be rendered of no effect; they will neither be able to summon the gods into their presence nor to converse with them, whatever the method to which they have recourse, whether lamps or basin, water or globe,2237 or any other method.

The flesh of the hyæna, taken as food, is said to be efficacious for the bite of a mad dog, and the liver still more so. The flesh or bones of a human being which have been found in the belly of a slain hyæna, used as a fumigation, are said to be remedial for gout: but if among these remains the nails are found, it is looked upon as a presage of death to some one among those who have captured it. The excrements or bones which have been voided by the animal at the moment when killed, are looked upon as counter-charms to magic spells. The dung found in the intestines is dried and administered in drink for dysentery; and it is applied to all parts of the body with goose-grease, in the form of a liniment, in the case of persons who have received injury from some noxious medicament. By rubbing themselves with the grease, and lying upon the skin, of a hyæna, persons who have been bitten by dogs are cured.

On the other hand, the ashes of the left pastern-bone, they say, boiled with weasel’s blood, and applied to a person’s body, will ensure universal hatred; a similar effect being equally produced by the eye when boiled. But the most extraordinary thing of all is, their assertion that the extremity of the rectum of this animal is a preservative against all oppression on the part of chiefs and potentates, and an assurance of success in all petitions, judgments, and lawsuits, and this, if a person only carries it about him. The anus, according to them, has so powerful an effect as a philtre, that if it is worn on the left arm, a woman will be sure to follow the wearer the moment314 he looks at her. The hairs, too, of this part, reduced to ashes, and applied with oil to the body of a man who is living a life of disgraceful effeminacy, will render him not only modest, they assure us, but of scrupulous morals even.

CHAP. 28.—NINETEEN REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE CROCODILE.

For fabulous stories connected with it the crocodile may challenge the next place; and, indeed for cunning, the one2238 which lives both upon land and in the water is fully its equal: for I would here remark, that there are two varieties of this animal. The teeth of the right jaw of the amphibious crocodile, attached to the right arm as an amulet, acts as an aphrodisiac, that is, if we choose to believe it. The eye-teeth of the animal, filled with frankincense—for they are hollow—are a cure for periodical fevers, care being taken to let the patient remain five days without seeing the person who has attached them to his body. A similar virtue is attributed to the small stones which are found in the belly of this animal, as being a check to the cold shiverings in fevers, when about to come on; and with the same object the Ægyptians are in the habit of anointing their sick with the fat of the crocodile.

The other kind of crocodile2239 resembles it, but is much inferior in size: it lives upon land only, and among the most odoriferous flowers; hence it is that its intestines are so greatly in request, being filled as they are with a mass of agreeable perfumes. This substance is called “crocodilea,” and it is looked upon as extremely beneficial for diseases of the eyes, and for the treatment of films and cataract, being applied with leek-juice in the form of an ointment. Applied with oil of cyprus,2240 it removes blemishes growing upon the face; and, employed with water, it is a cure for all those diseases, the nature of which it is to spread upon the face, while at the same time it restores the natural tints of the skin. An application of it makes freckles disappear, as well as all kinds of spots and315 pimples; and it is taken for epilepsy, in doses of two oboli, in oxymel. Used in the form of a pessary it acts as an emmenagogue. The best kind of crocodilea, is that which is the whitest, friable, and the lightest in weight: when rubbed between the fingers it should ferment like leaven. The usual method is to wash it, as they do white lead. It is sometimes adulterated with amylum2241 or with Cimolian earth, but the most common method of sophistication is to catch the crocodiles and feed them upon nothing but rice. It is recommended as one of the most efficient remedies for cataract to anoint the eyes with crocodile’s gall, incorporated with honey. We are assured also that it is highly beneficial for affections of the uterus to make fumigations with the intestines and rest of the body, or else to envelope the patient with wool impregnated with the smoke.

The ashes of the skin of either crocodile, applied with vinegar to such parts of the body as are about to undergo an incision, or indeed the very smell of the skin when burning, will render the patient insensible to the knife. The blood of either crocodile, applied to the eyes, effaces marks upon those organs and improves the sight. The body, with the exception of the head and feet, is eaten, boiled, for the cure of sciatica, and is found very useful for chronic coughs, in children more particularly: it is equally good, too, for the cure of lumbago. These animals have a certain fat also, which, applied to the hair, makes it fall off; persons anointed with this fat are effectually protected against crocodiles, and it is the practice to drop it into wounds inflicted by them. A crocodile’s heart, attached to the body in the wool of a black sheep without a speck of any other colour, due care too being taken that the sheep was the first lamb yeaned by its dam, will effectually cure a quartan fever, it is said.

CHAP. 29.—FIFTEEN REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE CHAMÆLEON.

To these animals we shall annex some others that are equally foreign, and very similar in their properties. To begin then with the chamæleon, which Democritus has considered worthy to be made the subject of an especial work, and each part of which has been consecrated to some particular purpose—This book, in fact, has afforded me no small amusement, revealing316 as it does, and exposing the lies and frivolities of the Greeks.—In size, the chamæleon resembles the crocodile last mentioned, and only differs from it in having the back-bone arched at a more acute angle, and a larger tail. There is no animal, it is thought, more2242 timid than this, a fact to which it owes its repeated changes of colour.2243 It has a peculiar ascendancy over the hawk tribe; for, according to report, it has the power of attracting those birds, when flying above it, and then leaving them a voluntary prey for other animals. Democritus2244 asserts that if the head and neck of a chamæleon are burnt in a fire made with logs of oak, it will be productive of a storm attended with rain and thunder; a result equally produced by burning the liver upon the tiles of a house. As to the rest of the magical virtues which he ascribes to this animal, we shall forbear to mention them, although we look upon them as unfounded;2245 except, indeed, in some few instances where their very ridiculousness sufficiently refutes his assertions.

The right eye, he says, taken from the living animal and applied with goats’ milk, removes diseases of the crystalline humours of the eyes; and the tongue, attached to the body as an amulet, is an effectual preservative against the perils of child-birth. He asserts also that the animal itself will facilitate parturition, if in the house at the moment; but if, on the other hand, it is brought from elsewhere, the consequences, he says, will be most dangerous. The tongue, he tells us, if taken from the animal alive, will ensure a favourable result to suits at law; and the heart, attached to the body with black wool of the first shearing, is a good preservative against the attacks of quartan fever.

He states also that the right fore-paw, attached to the left arm in the skin of the hyæna, is a most effectual preservative against robberies and alarms at night; that the pap on the right side is a preventive of fright and panics; that the left foot is sometimes burnt in a furnace with the plant which also has the name of “chamæleon,”2246 and is then made up, with some unguent, into lozenges; and that these lozenges, kept in317 a wooden vessel, have the effect, if we choose to believe him, of making their owner invisible to others; that the possession, also, of the right shoulder of this animal will ensure victory over all adversaries or enemies, provided always the party throws the sinews of the shoulder upon the ground and treads them under foot. As to the left shoulder of the chamæleon, I should be quite ashamed to say to what monstrous purposes Democritus devotes it; how that dreams may be produced by the agency thereof, and transferred to any person we may think proper; how that these dreams may be dispelled by the employment of the right foot; and how that lethargy, which has been produced by the right foot of this animal, may be removed by the agency of the left side.

So, too, head-ache, he tells us, may be cured by sprinkling wine upon the head, in which either flank of a chamæleon has been macerated. If the feet are rubbed with the ashes of the left thigh or foot, mixed with sow’s milk, gout, he says, will be the result. It is pretty generally believed, however, that cataract and diseases of the crystalline humours of the eyes may be cured by anointing those organs with the gall for three consecutive days; that serpents may be put to flight by dropping some of it into the fire; that weasels may be attracted by water into which it has been thrown; and that, applied to the body, it acts as a depilatory. The liver, they say, applied with the lungs of a bramble-frog, is productive of a similar effect: in addition to which, we are told that the liver counteracts the effects of philtres; that persons are cured of melancholy by drinking from the warm skin of a chamæleon the juice of the plant known by that name; and that if the intestines of the animal and their contents—we should bear in mind that in reality the animal lives without food2247—are mixed with apes’ urine, and the doors of an enemy are besmeared with the mixture, he will, through its agency, become the object of universal hatred.

We are told, too, that by the agency of the tail, the course of rivers and torrents may be stopped, and serpents struck with torpor; that the tail, prepared with cedar and myrrh, and tied to a double branch of the date-palm, will divide waters that are smitten therewith, and so disclose everything318 that lies at the bottom—and I only wish2248 that Democritus himself had been touched up with this branch of palm, seeing that, as he tells us, it has the property of putting an end to immoderate garrulity. It is quite evident that this philosopher, a man who has shown himself so sagacious in other respects, and so useful to his fellow-men, has been led away, in this instance, by too earnest a desire to promote the welfare of mankind.

CHAP. 30.—FOUR REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE SCINCUS.

Similar in appearance to the preceding animals is the scincus,2249 which by some writers has been called the land crocodile; it is, however, whiter in appearance, and the skin is not so thick. But the main difference between it and the crocodile is in the arrangement of the scales, which run from the tail towards the head. The largest of these animals is the Indian scincus, and next to it that of Arabia; they are brought here salted. The muzzle and fat of the scincus, taken in white wine, act as an aphrodisiac; when used with satyrion2250 and rocket-seed more particularly, in the proportion of one drachma of each, mixed with two drachmæ of pepper; the whole being made up into lozenges of one drachma each, and so taken in drink. The flesh from the flanks, taken internally in a similar manner, in doses of two oboli, with myrrh and pepper, is generally thought to be productive of a similar effect, and to be even more efficacious for the purpose. According to Apelles, the flesh of the scincus is good for wounds inflicted by poisoned arrows, whether taken before or after the wound is inflicted: it is used as an ingredient, also, in the most celebrated antidotes. Sextius tells us, that, taken in doses of more than one drachma, in one semisextarius of wine, the flesh is productive of deadly results: he adds, too, that a broth prepared from it, taken with honey, acts as an antaphrodisiac.

CHAP. 31.—SEVEN REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE HIPPOPOTAMUS.

Between the crocodile, too, and the hippopotamus there is a certain affinity, frequenting as they do the same river, and being both of them of an amphibious nature. The hippopotamus319 was the first inventor of the practice of letting blood, a a fact to which we have2251 made allusion on a previous occasion: it is found, too, in the greatest numbers in the parts above the præfecture of Saïs.

The hide, reduced to ashes and applied with water, is curative of inflamed tumours, and the fat, as well as the dung, used as a fumigation, is employed for the cure of cold agues. With the teeth of the left side of the jaw, the gums are scarified for the cure of tooth-ache. The skin of the left side of the forehead, attached to the groin, acts as an antaphrodisiac; and an application of the ashes of the same part will cause the hair to grow when lost through alopecy. The testes are taken in water, in doses of one drachma, for the cure of injuries inflicted by serpents. The blood is made use of by painters.

CHAP. 32.—FIVE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE LYNX.

To foreign countries, also, belongs the lynx, which of all quadrupeds is possessed of the most piercing sight. It is said that in the Isle of Carpathus a most powerful medicament is obtained by reducing to ashes the nails of the lynx, together with the hide; that these ashes, taken in drink, have the effect of checking abominable desires in men; and that, if they are sprinkled upon women, all libidinous thoughts will be restrained. They are good too for the removal of itching sensations in any part of the body. The urine of the lynx is a remedy for strangury; for which reason the animal, it is said, is in the habit of rooting up the ground and covering it the moment it is voided.2252 It is mentioned, too, that this urine is an effectual remedy for pains in the throat. Thus much with reference to foreign animals.

CHAP. 33. (9.)—REMEDIES FURNISHED IN COMMON BY ANIMALS OF THE SAME CLASS, WHETHER WILD OR TAME. FIFTY-FOUR MEDICINAL USES OF MILK, WITH OBSERVATIONS THEREON.

We will now return to our own part of the world, speaking, first of all, of certain remedies common to animals in general, but excellent in their nature; such as the use of milk, for example. The most beneficial milk to every creature is the mother’s2253 milk. It is highly dangerous for nursing women to320 conceive: children that are suckled by them are known among us as “colostrati,”2254 their milk being thick, like cheese in appearance—the name “colostra,”2255 it should be remembered, is given to the first milk secreted after delivery, which assumes a spongy, coagulated form. The most nutritive milk, in all cases, is woman’s milk, and next to that goats’ milk, to which is owing, probably, the fabulous story that Jupiter was suckled by a goat.2256 The sweetest, next to woman’s milk, is camels’ milk; but the most efficacious, medicinally speaking, is asses’ milk. It is in animals of the largest size and individuals of the greatest bulk, that the milk is secreted with the greatest facility. Goats’ milk agrees the best with the stomach, that animal browsing more than grazing. Cows’ milk is considered more medicinal, while ewes’ milk is sweeter and more nutritive, but not so well adapted to the stomach, it being more oleaginous than any other.

Every kind of milk is more aqueous in spring than in summer, and the same in all cases where the animal has grazed upon a new pasture. The best milk of all is that which adheres to the finger nail, when placed there, and does not run from off it. Milk is most harmless when boiled, more particularly if sea pebbles2257 have been boiled with it. Cows’ milk is the most relaxing, and all kinds of milk are less apt to inflate when boiled. Milk is used for all kinds of internal ulcerations, those of the kidneys, bladder, intestines, throat, and lungs in particular; and externally, it is employed for itching sensations upon the skin, and for purulent eruptions, it being taken fasting for the purpose. We have already2258 stated, when speaking of the plants, how that in Arcadia cows’ milk is administered for phthisis, consumption, and cachexy. Instances are cited, also, of persons who have been cured of gout in the hands and feet, by drinking asses’ milk.

To these various kinds of milk, medical men have added another, to which they have given the name of “schiston;”2259321 following being the usual method of preparing it. Goats’ milk, which is used in preference for the purpose, is boiled in a new earthen vessel, and stirred with branches of a fig-tree newly gathered, as many cyathi of honied wine being added to it as there are semisextarii of milk. When the mixture boils, care is taken to prevent it running over, by plunging into it a silver cyathus measure filled with cold water, none of the water being allowed to escape. When taken off the fire, the constituent parts of it divide as it cools, and the whey is thus separated from the milk. Some persons, again, take this whey, which is now very strongly impregnated with wine, and, after boiling it down to one third, leave it to cool in the open air. The best way of taking it, is in doses of one semisextarius, at stated intervals, during five consecutive days; after taking it, riding exercise should be used by the patient. This whey is administered in cases of epilepsy, melancholy, paralysis, leprosy, elephantiasis, and diseases of the joints.

Milk is employed as an injection where excoriations have been caused by the use of strong purgatives; in cases also where dysentery is productive of chafing, it is similarly employed, boiled with sea pebbles or a ptisan of barley. Where, however, the intestines are excoriated, cows’ milk or ewes’ milk is the best. New milk is used as an injection for dysentery; and in an unboiled state, it is employed for affections of the colon and uterus, and for injuries inflicted by serpents. It is also taken internally as an antidote to the venom of cantharides, the pine-caterpillar, the buprestis, and the salamander. Cows’ milk is particularly recommended for persons who have taken colchicum, hemlock, dorycnium,2260 or the flesh of the sea-hare; and asses’ milk, in cases where gypsum, white-lead, sulphur,2261 or quick-silver, have been taken internally. This last is good too for constipation attendant upon fever, and is remarkably useful as a gargle for ulcerations of the throat. It is taken, also, internally, by patients suffering from atrophy, for the purpose of recruiting their exhausted strength; as also in cases of fever unattended with head-ache. The ancients held it as one of their grand secrets, to administer to children, before taking food, a semisextarius of asses’ milk, or for want of that, goats’ milk; a similar dose, too, was given to children troubled322 with chafing of the rectum at stool. It is considered a sovereign remedy for hardness of breathing, to take cows’ milk whey, mixed with nasturtium. In cases of ophthalmia, too, the eyes are fomented with a mixture of one semisextarius of milk and four drachmæ of pounded sesame.

Goats’ milk is a cure for diseases of the spleen; but in such case the goats must fast a couple of days, and be fed on ivy-leaves the third; the patient, too, must drink the milk for three consecutive days, without taking any other nutriment. Milk, under other circumstances, is detrimental to persons suffering from head-ache, liver complaints, diseases of the spleen, and affections of the sinews; it is bad for fevers, also, vertigo—except, indeed, where it is required as a purgative—oppression of the head, coughs, and ophthalmia. Sows’ milk is extremely useful in cases of tenesmus, dysentery, and phthisis; authors have been found too, to assert that it is very wholesome for females.

CHAP. 34.—TWELVE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM CHEESE.

We have already2262 spoken of the different kinds of cheese when treating of the mamillæ and other parts of animals. Sextius attributes the same properties to mares’ milk cheese that he does to cheese made of cows’ milk: to the former he gives the names of “hippace.” Cheese is best for the stomach when not salted, or, in other words, when new cheese is used. Old [salted] cheese has a binding effect upon the bowels, and reduces the flesh, but is more wholesome to the stomach [than new salted cheese]. Indeed, we may pronounce of aliments in general, that salt meats reduce the system, while fresh food has a tendency to make flesh. Fresh cheese, applied with honey, effaces the marks of bruises. It acts, also, emolliently upon the bowels; and, taken in the form of tablets, boiled in astringent wine and then toasted with honey on a platter, it modifies and alleviates griping pains in the bowels.

The cheese known as “saprum,”2263 is beaten up, in wine, with salt and dried sorb apples, and taken, in drink, for the cure of cœliac affections. Goats’ milk cheese, pounded and applied to the part affected, is a cure for carbuncle of the generative organs; sour cheese,2264 also, with oxymel, is productive of a similar effect. In the bath it is used as a friction, alternately with oil, for the removal of spots.

323

CHAP. 35.—TWENTY-FIVE REMEDIES DERIVED FROM BUTTER.

From milk, too, butter is produced; held as the most delicate food among barbarous2265 nations, and one which distinguishes2266 the wealthy from the multitude at large. It is mostly made from cows’ milk, and hence its name;2267 but the richest butter is that made from ewes’ milk. There is a butter made also from goats’ milk; but previously to making it, the milk should first be warmed, in winter. In summer it is extracted from the milk by merely shaking it to and fro in a tall vessel, with a small orifice at the mouth to admit the air, but otherwise closely stopped, a little water2268 being added to make it curdle the sooner. The milk that curdles the most, floats upon the surface; this they remove, and, adding salt to it, give it the name of “oxygala.”2269 They then take the remaining part and boil it down in pots, and that portion of it which floats on the surface is butter, a substance of an oily nature. The more2270 rank it is in smell, the more highly it is esteemed. When old, it forms an ingredient in numerous compositions. It is of an astringent, emollient, repletive, and purgative nature.

324

CHAP. 36.—OXYGALA: ONE REMEDY.

Oxygala, too, is prepared another way, sour milk being added to the fresh milk which is wanted to curdle. This preparation is extremely wholesome to the stomach: of its properties we shall have occasion2271 to speak in another place.

CHAP. 37.—THE VARIOUS USES OF FAT AND OBSERVATIONS UPON IT, FIFTY-TWO IN NUMBER.

Among the remedies common to living creatures, fat is the substance held in the next highest esteem, that of swine in particular, which was employed by the ancients for certain religious purposes even: at all events, it is still the usage for the newly-wedded bride, when entering her husband’s house, to touch the door-posts with it. There are two methods of keeping hogs’ lard, either salted or fresh; indeed, the older it is, the better. The Greek writers have now given it the name of “axungia,”2272 or axle-grease, in their works. Nor, in fact, is it any secret, why swine’s fat should be possessed of such marked properties, seeing that the animal feeds to such a great extent upon the roots of plants—owing too, to which, its dung is applied to such a vast number of purposes. It will be as well, therefore, to promise, that I shall here speak only of the hog that feeds in the open field, and no other; of which kind it is the female that is much the most useful—if she has never farrowed, more particularly. But it is the fat of the wild boar that is held in by far the highest esteem of all.

The distinguishing properties, then, of swine’s-grease, are emollient, calorific, resolvent, and detergent. Some physicians recommend it as an ointment for the gout, mixed with goose-grease, bull-suet, and wool-grease: in cases, however, where the pain is persistent, it should be used in combination with wax, myrtle, resin, and pitch. Hogs’ lard is used fresh for the cure of burns, and of blains, too, caused by snow: with ashes of burnt barley and nutgalls, in equal proportions, it is employed for the cure of chilblains. It is good also for excoriations of the limbs, and for dispelling weariness and lassitude arising from long journeys. For the cure of chronic cough, new lard is boiled down, in the proportion of three ounces to three325 cyathi of wine, some honey being added to the mixture. Old lard too, if it has been kept without salt, made up into pills and taken internally, is a cure for phthisis: but it is a general rule not to use it salted in any cases except where detergents are required, or where there are no symptoms of ulceration. For the cure of phthisis, some persons boil down three ounces of hogs’ lard and honied wine, in three cyathi of ordinary wine; and after swathing the sides, chest, and shoulders of the patient with compresses steeped in the preparation, administer to him, every four days, some tar with an egg: indeed, so potent is this composition, that if it is only attached to the knees even, the flavour of it will ascend to the mouth, and the patient will appear to spit it out,2273 as it were.

The grease of a sow that has never farrowed, is the most useful of all cosmetics for the skin of females; but in all cases, hogs’ lard is good for the cure of itch-scab, mixed with pitch and beef-suet in the proportion of one-third, the whole being made lukewarm for the purpose. Fresh hogs’ lard, applied as a pessary, imparts nutriment to the infant in the womb, and prevents abortion. Mixed with white lead or litharge, it restores scars to their natural colour; and, in combination with sulphur, it rectifies malformed nails. It prevents the hair also from falling off; and, applied with a quarter of a nutgall, it heals ulcers upon the head in females. When well smoked, it strengthens the eyelashes. Lard is recommended also for phthisis, boiled down with old wine, in the proportion of one ounce to a semisextarius, till only three ounces are left; some persons add a little honey to the composition. Mixed with lime, it is used as a liniment for inflamed tumours, boils, and indurations of the mamillæ: it is curative also of ruptures, convulsions, cramps, and sprains. Used with white hellebore, it is good for corns, chaps, and callosities; and, with pounded earthenware2274 which has held salted provisions, for imposthumes of the parotid glands and scrofulous sores. Employed as a friction in the bath, it removes itching sensations and pimples: but for the treatment of gout there is another method of preparing it, by mixing it with old oil, and adding pounded sarcophagus2275 stone and cinquefoil bruised in wine, or else with lime326 or ashes. A peculiar kind of plaster is also made of it for the cure of inflammatory ulcers, seventy-five denarii of hogs’ lard being mixed with one hundred of litharge.

It is reckoned a very good plan also to anoint ulcers with boars’ grease, and, if they are of a serpiginous nature, to add resin to the liniment. The ancients used to employ hogs’ lard in particular for greasing the axles of their vehicles, that the wheels might revolve the more easily, and to this, in fact, it owes its name of “axungia.” When hogs’ lard has been used for this purpose, incorporated as it is with the rust of the iron upon the wheels, it is remarkably useful as an application for diseases of the rectum and of the generative organs. The ancient physicians, too, set a high value upon the medicinal properties of hogs’ lard in an unmixed state: separating it from the kidneys, and carefully removing the veins, they used to wash and rub it well in rain water, after which they boiled it several times in a new earthen vessel, and then put it by for keeping. It is generally agreed that it is more emollient, calorific, and resolvent, when salted; and that it is still more useful when it has been rinsed in wine.

Massurius informs us, that the ancients set the highest value of all upon the fat of the wolf: and that it was for this reason that the newly-wedded bride used to anoint the door-posts of her husband’s house with it, in order that no noxious spells might find admittance.

CHAP. 38.—SUET.

Corresponding with the grease of the swine, is the suet2276 that is found in the ruminating animals, a substance employed in other ways, but no less efficacious in its properties. The proper mode of preparing it, in all cases, is to take out the veins and to rinse it in sea or salt-water, after which it is beaten up in a mortar, with a sprinkling of sea-water in it. This done, it is boiled in several waters, until, in fact, it has lost all smell, and is then bleached by continual exposure to the sun; that of the most esteemed quality being the fat which grows about the kidneys. In case stale suet is required for any medicinal purpose, it is recommended to melt it first, and then to wash it in cold water several times; after which, it must again be melted with a sprinkling of the most aromatic wine that can be procured,327 it being then boiled again and again, until the rank smell has totally disappeared.

Many persons recommend that the fat of bulls, lions, panthers, and camels, in particular, should be thus prepared. As to the various uses to which these substances are applied, we shall mention them on the appropriate occasions.

CHAP. 39.—MARROW.

Common too, to all these animals, is marrow; a substance which in all cases is possessed of certain emollient, expletive, desiccative, and calorific properties. The most highly esteemed of all is deer’s marrow, the next best being that of the calf, and then that of the goat, both male and female. These substances are prepared before autumn, by washing them in a fresh state, and drying them in the shade; after which they are passed through a sieve, and then strained through linen, and put by in earthen pots for keeping, in a cool spot.

CHAP. 40.—GALL.

But among the substances which are furnished in common by the various animals, it is the gall, we may say, that is the most efficacious of all. The properties of this substance are of a calorific, pungent, resolvent, extractive, and dispersive nature. The gall of the smaller animals is looked upon as the most penetrating; for which reason it is that it is generally considered the most efficacious for the composition of eye-salves. Bull’s gall is possessed of a remarkable degree of potency, having the effect of imparting a golden tint to the surface of copper even and to vessels made of other metals. Gall in every case is prepared in the following manner: it is taken fresh, and the orifice of the vesicle in which it is contained being tied fast with a strong linen thread, it is left to steep for half an hour in boiling water; after which it is dried in the shade, and then put away for keeping, in honey.

That of the horse is condemned, being reckoned among the poisons only. Hence it is that the Flamen2277 of the Sacrifices is not allowed to touch a horse, notwithstanding that it is the328 custom to immolate one2278 of these animals at the public sacrifices at Rome.

CHAP. 41.—BLOOD.

The blood, also, of the horse is possessed of certain corrosive properties; and so, too, is mare’s blood—except, indeed, where the animal has not been covered—it having the effect of cauterizing the margins of ulcers, and so enlarging them. Bull’s blood too, taken fresh, is reckoned2279 among the poisons; except, indeed, at Ægira,2280 at which place the priestess of the Earth, when about to foretell coming events, takes a draught of bull’s blood before she descends into the cavern: so powerful, in fact, is the agency of that sympathy so generally spoken of, that it may occasionally originate, we find, in feelings of religious awe,2281 or in the peculiar nature of the locality.

Drusus,2282 the tribune of the people, drank goats’ blood, it is said; it being his object by his pallid looks to suggest that his enemy, Q. Cæpio, had given him poison, and so expose him to public hatred. So remarkably powerful is the blood of the he-goat, that there is nothing better in existence for sharpening iron implements, the rust produced by this blood giving them a better edge even than a file. Considering, however, that the blood of all animals cannot be reckoned as a remedy in common, will it not be advisable, in preference, to speak of the effects that are produced by that of each kind?

CHAP. 42.—PECULIAR REMEDIES DERIVED FROM VARIOUS ANIMALS, AND CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO THE MALADIES. REMEDIES AGAINST THE POISON OF SERPENTS, DERIVED FROM THE STAG, THE FAWN, THE OPHION, THE SHE-GOAT, THE KID, AND THE ASS.

We will therefore classify the various remedies, according to the maladies for which they are respectively used; and, first of all, those to which man has recourse for injuries inflicted by329 serpents. That deer are destructive to those reptiles2283 no one is ignorant; as also of the fact that they drag them from their holes when they find them, and so devour them. And it is not only while alive and breathing that deer are thus fatal to serpents, but even when dead and separated limb from limb. The fumes of their horns, while burning, will drive away serpents, as already2284 stated; but the bones, it is said, of the upper part of a stag’s throat, if burnt upon a fire, will bring those reptiles together. Persons may sleep upon a deer’s skin in perfect safety, and without any apprehension of attacks by serpents; its rennet too, taken with vinegar, is an effectual antidote to the stings of those reptiles; indeed, if it has been only touched by a person, he will be for that day effectually protected from them. The testes, dried, or the genitals of the male animal, are considered to be very wholesome, taken in wine, and so are the umbles, generally known as the “centipellio.”2285 Persons having about them a deer’s tooth, or who have taken the precaution of rubbing the body with a deer or fawn’s marrow, will be sure to repel the attacks of all serpents.

But the most effectual remedy of all is thought to be the rennet of a fawn that has been cut from the uterus of the dam, as already2286 mentioned in another place. Deer’s blood, burnt upon a fire of lentisk wood, with dracontium,2287 cunilago,2288 and alkanet, will attract serpents, they say; while, on the other hand, if the blood is removed and pyrethrum2289 substituted for it, they will take to flight.

I find an animal mentioned by Greek writers, smaller than the stag, but resembling it in the hair, and to which they give the name of “ophion.”2290 Sardinia, they say, is the only country that produces it; I am of opinion, however, that it is now extinct, and for that reason I shall not enlarge upon its medicinal properties.

(10.) As a preservative against the attacks of serpents, the brains and blood of the wild boar are held in high esteem: the liver also, dried and taken in wine with rue; and the fat,330 used with honey and resin. Similar properties are attributed to the liver of the domesticated boar and the outer filaments, and those only, of the gall, these last being taken in doses of four denarii; the brains also, taken in wine, are equally effectual. The fumes of the burning horns or hair of a she-goat will repel serpents, they say: the ashes, too, of the horns, used either internally or externally, are thought to be an antidote to their poison. A similar effect is attributed to goats’ milk, taken with Taminian2291 grapes; to the urine of those animals, taken with squill vinegar; to goats’ milk cheese, applied with origanum;2292 and to goat suet, used with wax.

In addition to all this, as will be seen hereafter, there are a thousand other remedial properties attributed to this animal; a fact which surprises me all the more, seeing that the goat, it is said, is never free from fever.2293 The wild animals of the same species, which are very numerous, as already2294 stated, have a still greater efficacy attributed to them; but the he-goat has certain properties peculiar to itself, and Democritus attributes properties still more powerful to the animal when it has been the only one yeaned. It is recommended also to apply she-goat’s dung, boiled2295 in vinegar, to injuries inflicted by serpents, as also the ashes of fresh dung mixed with wine. As a general rule, persons who find that they are recovering but slowly from injuries inflicted by a serpent, will find their health more speedily re-established by frequenting the stalls where goats are kept. Those, however, whose object is a more assured remedy, attach immediately to the wound the paunch of a she-goat killed for the purpose, dung and all. Others, again, use the flesh of a kid just killed, and fumigate it with the singed hair, the smell of which has the effect of repelling serpents.

For stings of serpents, as also for injuries inflicted by the scorpion and shrew-mouse, some employ the skin of a goat newly killed, as also the flesh and dung of a horse that has been out at pasture, or a hare’s rennet in vinegar. They say, too, that if a person has the body well rubbed with a hare’s rennet, he will never receive injury from venomous animals. When a person has been stung by a scorpion, she-goat’s dung,331 boiled with vinegar, is considered a most efficient remedy: in cases too, where a buprestis has been swallowed, bacon and the broth in which it has been boiled, are highly efficacious. Nay, what is even more than this, if a person applies his mouth to an ass’s ear, and says that he has been stung by a scorpion, the whole of the poison, they say, will immediately pass away from him and be transferred to the animal. All venomous creatures, it is said, are put to flight by a fumigation made by burning an ass’s lights. It is considered an excellent plan too, to fumigate persons, when stung by a scorpion, with the smoke of burnt calves’ dung.

CHAP. 43.—REMEDIES FOR THE BITE OF THE MAD DOG. REMEDIES DERIVED FROM THE CALF, THE HE-GOAT, AND VARIOUS OTHER ANIMALS.

When a person has been bitten by a mad dog, it is the practice to make an incision round the wound to the quick, and then to apply raw veal to it, and to make the patient take either veal broth or hogs’ lard, mixed with lime internally. Some persons recommend a he-goat’s liver, and maintain that if it is applied to the wound the patient will never be attacked with hydrophobia. She-goat’s dung, too, is highly spoken of, applied with wine, as also the dung of the badger, cuckoo, and swallow, boiled and taken in drink.

For bites inflicted by other animals, dried goats’ milk cheese is applied with origanum and taken with the drink; and for injuries caused by the human2296 teeth, boiled beef is applied; veal, however, is still more efficacious for the purpose, provided it is not removed before the end of four days.

CHAP. 44.—REMEDIES TO BE ADOPTED AGAINST ENCHANTMENTS.

The dried muzzle of a wolf, they say, is an effectual preservative against the malpractices of magic; and it is for this reason that it is so commonly to be seen fastened to the doors of farm-houses. A similar degree of efficacy, it is thought, belongs to the skin of the neck, when taken whole from the animal. Indeed, so powerful is the influence of this animal, in addition to what we have already2297 stated, that if a horse332 only treads in its track, it will be struck with torpor2298 in consequence.

CHAP. 45.—REMEDIES FOR POISONS.

In case where persons have swallowed quicksilver,2299 bacon is the proper remedy to be employed. Poisons are neutralized by taking asses’ milk; henbane more particularly, mistletoe, hemlock, the flesh of the sea-hare, opocarpathon,2300 pharicon,2301 and dorycnium:2302 the same, too, where coagulated milk2303 has been productive of bad effects, for the biestings,2304 or first curdled milk, should be reckoned as nothing short of a poison.2305 We shall have to mention many other uses to which asses’ milk is applied; but it should be remembered that in all cases it must be used fresh, or, if not, as new as possible, and warmed, for there is nothing that more speedily loses its virtue. The bones, too, of the ass are pounded and boiled, as an antidote to the poison of the sea-hare. The wild ass2306 is possessed of similar properties in every respect, but in a much higher degree.

Of the wild horse2307 the Greek writers have made no mention, it not being a native of their country; we have every reason to believe, however, that it has the same properties as the animal in a tame state, but much more fully developed. Mares’ milk effectually neutralizes the venom of the sea-hare and all narcotic poisons. Nor had the Greeks any knowledge from experience of the urus2308 and the bison,2308 although in India the forests are filled with herds of wild oxen: it is only reasonable,333 however, to conclude that all their medicinal properties must be much more highly developed than in the animal as found among us. It is asserted also, that cows’ milk is a general counter-poison, in the cases above-mentioned, more particularly, as also where the poison of ephemeron2309 has settled internally, or cantharides have been administered; it acting upon the poison by vomit. Broth, too, made from goats’ flesh, neutralizes the effects of cantharides, in a similar manner, it is said. To counteract the corrosive poisons which destroy by ulceration, veal or beef-suet is resorted to; and in cases where a leech has been swallowed, butter is the usual remedy, with vinegar heated with a red-hot iron. Indeed, butter employed by itself is a good remedy for poisons, for where oil is not to be procured, it is an excellent substitute for it. Used with honey, butter heals injuries inflicted by millepedes. The broth of boiled tripe, it is thought, is an effectual repellent of the above-mentioned poisons, aconite and hemlock more particularly; veal-suet also has a similar repute.

Fresh goats’ milk cheese is given to persons who have taken mistletoe, and goats’ milk itself is a remedy for cantharides. Taken with Taminian2310 grapes, goats’ milk is an antidote to the effects of ephemeron. Goats’ blood, boiled down with the marrow, is used as a remedy for the narcotic2311 poisons, and kids’ blood for the other poisons. Kid’s rennet is administered where persons have taken mistletoe, the juice of the white chamæleon,2312 or bull’s blood; for which last, hare’s rennet in vinegar is also used by way of antidote. For injuries inflicted by the pastinaca,2313 and the stings or bites of all kinds of marine animals, hare’s rennet, kid’s rennet, or lamb’s rennet is taken, in doses of one drachma, in wine. Hare’s rennet, too, generally forms an ingredient in the antidotes for poisons.

The moth that is seen fluttering about the flame of a lamp is generally reckoned in the number of the noxious substances: its bad effects are neutralized by the agency of goat’s liver. Goat’s gall, too, is looked upon as an antidote to venomous334 preparations from the field weazel.2314 But we will now return to the other remedies, classified according to the various diseases.

CHAP. 46. (11.)—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE HEAD, AND FOR ALOPECY.

Bears’ grease,2315 mixed with ladanum2316 and the plant adiantum,2317 prevents the hair from falling off; it is a cure also for alopecy and defects in the eyebrows, mixed with the fungus from the wick of a lamp, and the soot that is found in the nozzle. Used with wine, it is good for the cure of porrigo, a malady which is also treated with the ashes of deer’s horns in wine: this last substance also prevents the growth of vermin in the hair. For porrigo some persons employ goat’s gall, in combination with Cimolian chalk and vinegar, leaving the preparation to dry for a time on the head. Sow’s gall, too, mixed with bull’s urine, is employed for a similar purpose; and when old, it is an effectual cure, with the addition of sulphur, for furfuraceous eruptions. The ashes, it is thought, of an ass’s genitals, will make the hair grow more thickly, and prevent it from turning grey; the proper method of applying it being to shave the head and to pound the ashes in a leaden mortar with oil. Similar effects are attributed to the genitals of an ass’s foal, reduced to ashes and mixed with urine; some nard being added to render the mixture less offensive. In cases of alopecy the part affected is rubbed with bull’s gall, warmed with Egyptian alum. Running ulcers of the head are successfully treated with bull’s urine, or stale human urine, in combination with cyclaminos2318 and sulphur: but the most effectual remedy is calf’s gall, a substance which, heated with vinegar, has also the effect of exterminating lice. Veal suet, pounded with salt and applied to ulcers of the head, is a very useful remedy: the fat, too, of the fox is highly spoken of, but the greatest value is set upon cats’ dung, applied in a similar manner with mustard.

Powdered goats’ horns, or the horns reduced to ashes, those of the he-goat in particular, with the addition of nitre, tamarisk-seed, butter, and oil, are remarkably effectual for preventing the hair from coming off, the head being first shaved for the purpose. So too, the ashes of burnt goats’ flesh, applied335 the eye-brows with oil, impart to them a black tint. By using goats’ milk, they say, lice may be exterminated; and the dung of those animals, with honey, is thought to be a cure for alopecy: the ashes, too, of the hoofs, mixed with pitch, prevent the hair from coming off.

The ashes of a burnt hare, mixed with oil of myrtle, alleviate head-ache, the patient drinking some water that has been left in the trough after an ox or ass has been drinking there. The male organs of a fox, worn as an amulet, are productive, if we choose to believe it, of a similar effect: the same, too, with the ashes of a burnt deer’s horn, applied with vinegar, rose oil, or oil of iris.

CHAP. 47.—REMEDIES FOR AFFECTIONS OF THE EYES.

For defluxions2319 of the eyes, beef suet, boiled with oil, is applied to the parts affected; and for eruptions of those organs, ashes of burnt deer’s horns are similarly employed, the tips of the horns being considered the most effectual for the purpose. For the cure of cataract, it is reckoned a good plan to apply a wolf’s excrements: the same substance, too, reduced to ashes, is used for the dispersion of films, in combination with Attic honey. Bear’s gall, too, is similarly employed; and for the cure of epinyctis, wild boar’s lard, mixed with oil of roses, is thought to be very useful. An ass’s hoof, reduced to ashes and applied with asses’ milk, is used for the removal of marks in the eyes and indurations of the crystalline humours. Beef marrow, from the right fore leg, beaten up with soot, is employed for affections of the eyebrows, and for diseases of the eyelids and corners of the eyes. For the same purpose, also, a sort of calliblepharon2320 is prepared from soot, the best of all being that made from a wick of papyrus mixed with oil of sesame; the soot being removed with a feather and caught in a new vessel prepared for the purpose. This mixture, too, is very efficacious for preventing superfluous eyelashes from growing again when once pulled out.

Bull’s gall is made up into eye-salves2321 with white of egg,336 these salves being steeped in water and applied to the eyes for four days successively. Veal suet, with goose-grease and the extracted juice of ocimum, is remarkably good for diseases of the eye-lids. Veal marrow, with the addition of an equal proportion of wax and oil or oil of roses, an egg being added to the mixture, is used as a liniment for indurations of the eye-lids. Soft goats’ milk cheese is used as an application, with warm water, to allay defluxions of the eyes; but when they are attended with swelling, honey is used instead of the water. In both cases, however, the eyes should be fomented with warm whey. In cases of dry ophthalmia, it is found a very useful plan to take the muscles2322 lying within a loin of pork, and, after reducing them to ashes, to pound and apply them to the part affected.

She-goats, they say, are never affected with ophthalmia, from the circumstance that they browse upon certain kinds of herbs: the same, too, with the gazelle. Hence it is that we find it recommended, at the time of new moon, to swallow the dung of these animals, coated with wax. As they are able to see, too, by night, it is a general belief that the blood of a he-goat is a cure for those persons affected with dimness of sight to whom the Greeks have given the name of “nyctalopes.”2323 A similar virtue is attributed to the liver of a she-goat, boiled in astringent wine. Some are in the habit of rubbing the eyes with the thick gravy2324 which exudes from a she-goat’s liver roasted, or with the gall of that animal: they recommend the flesh also as a diet, and say that the patient should expose his eyes to the fumes of it while boiling: it is a general opinion, too, that the animal should be of a reddish colour. Another prescription is, to fumigate the eyes with the steam arising from the liver boiled in an earthen jar, or, according to some authorities, roasted.

Goats’ gall is applied for numerous purposes: with honey, for films upon the eyes; with one-third part of white hellebore, for cataract; with wine, for spots upon the eyes, indurations of the cornea, films, webs, and argema; with extracted juice of cabbage, for diseases of the eyelids, the hairs being first pulled out, and the preparation left to dry on the parts affected;337 and with woman’s milk, for rupture of the coats of the eye. For all these purposes, the gall is considered the most efficacious, when dried. Nor is the dung of this animal held in disesteem, being applied with honey for defluxions of the eyes. The marrow, too, of a goat, or a hare’s lights, we find used for pains in the eyes; and the gall of a goat, with raisin wine or honey, for the dispersion of films upon those organs. It is recommended also, for ophthalmia, to anoint the eyes with wolf’s fat or swine’s marrow: we find it asserted, too, that persons who carry a wolf’s tongue, inserted in a bracelet, will always be exempt from ophthalmia.

CHAP. 48.—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES AND AFFECTIONS OF THE EARS.

Pains and diseases of the ears are cured by using the urine of a wild boar, kept in a glass vessel, or the gall of a wild boar, swine, or ox, mixed with castor-oil and oil of roses in equal proportions. But the best remedy of all is bull’s gall, warmed with leek juice, or with honey, if there is any suppuration. Bull’s gall too, warmed by itself in a pomegranate rind, is an excellent remedy for offensive exhalations from the ears: in combination with woman’s milk, it is efficacious as a cure for ruptures of those organs. Some persons are of opinion that it is a good plan to wash the ears with this preparation in cases where the hearing is affected; while others again, after washing the ears with warm water, insert a mixture composed of the old slough of a serpent and vinegar, wrapped up in a dossil of wool. In cases, however, where the deafness is very considerable, gall warmed in a pomegranate rind with myrrh and rue, is injected into the ears; sometimes, also, fat bacon is used for this purpose, or fresh asses’ dung, mixed with oil of roses: in all cases, however, the ingredients should be warmed.

The foam from a horse’s mouth is better still, or the ashes of fresh horse dung, mixed with oil of roses: fresh butter too is good; beef-suet mixed with goose-grease; the urine of a bull or she-goat; or fullers’ lant, heated to such a degree that the steam escapes by the neck of the vessel. For this purpose also, one third part of vinegar is mixed with a small portion of the urine of a calf, which has not begun to graze. They apply also to the ears calf’s dung, mixed with the gall of that animal338 and sloughs of serpents, care being taken to warm the ears before the application, and all the remedies being wrapped in wool. Veal-suet, too, is used, with goose-grease and extract of ocimum; or else veal marrow, mixed with bruised cummin and injected into the ears. For pains in the ears, the liquid ejected by a boar in copulation is used, due care being taken to receive it before it falls to the ground. For fractures of the ears, a glutinous composition is made from the genitals of a calf, which is dissolved in water when used; and for other diseases of those organs, foxes’ fat is employed, goat’s gall mixed with rose-oil warmed, or else extracted juice of leeks: in all cases where there is any rupture, these preparations are used in combination with woman’s milk. Where a patient is suffering from hardness of hearing, ox-gall is employed, with the urine of a he or she-goat; the same, too, where there is any suppuration.

Whatever the purpose for which they are wanted, it is the general opinion that these substances are more efficacious when they have been smoked in a goat’s horn for twenty days. Hare’s rennet, too, is highly spoken of, taken in Aminean2325 wine, in the proportion of one third of a denarius of rennet to one half of a denarius of sacopenum.2326 Bears’ grease, mixed with equal proportions of wax and bull-suet, is a cure for imposthumes of the parotid glands: some persons add hypocisthis2327 to the composition, or else content themselves with employing butter only, after first fomenting the parts affected with a decoction of fenugreek, the good effects of which are augmented by strychnos. The testes, too, of the fox, are very useful for this purpose; as also bull’s blood, dried and reduced to powder. She-goats’ urine, made warm, is used as an injection for the ears; and a liniment is made of the dung of those animals, in combination with axle-grease.

CHAP. 49.—REMEDIES FOR TOOTH-ACHE.

The ashes of deer’s horns strengthen loose teeth and allay tooth-ache, used either as a friction or as a gargle. Some persons, however, are of opinion that the horn, unburnt and reduced to powder, is still more efficacious for all these purposes. Dentifrices are made both from the powder and the ashes. Another339 excellent remedy is a wolf’s head, reduced to ashes: it is a well-known fact, too, that there are bones generally found in the excrements of that animal; these bones, attached to the body as an amulet, are productive of advantageous effects. For the cure of tooth-ache, hare’s rennet is injected into the ear: the head also of that animal, reduced to ashes, is used in the form of a dentifrice, and, with the addition of nard, is a corrective of bad breath. Some persons, however, think it a better plan to mix the ashes of a mouse’s head with the dentifrice. In the side of the hare there is a bone found, similar to a needle in appearance: for the cure of tooth-ache it is recommended to scarify the gums with this bone. The pastern-bone of an ox, ignited and applied to loose teeth which ache, has the effect of strengthening them in the sockets; the same bone, reduced to ashes, and mixed with myrrh, is also used as a dentifrice. The ashes of burnt pig’s feet are productive of a similar effect, as also the calcined bones of the cotyloïd cavities in which the hip-bones move. It is a well-known fact, that, introduced into the throat of beasts of burden, these bones are a cure for worms, and that, in a calcined state, they are good for strengthening the teeth.

When the teeth have been loosened by a blow,2328 they are strengthened by using asses’ milk, or else ashes of the burnt teeth of that animal, or a horse’s lichen, reduced to powder, and injected into the ear with oil. By lichen2329 I do not mean the hippomanes, a noxious substance which I purposely forbear to enlarge upon, but an excrescence which forms upon the knees of horses, and just above the hoofs. In the heart2330 of this animal there is also found a bone which bears a close resemblance to the eye-teeth of a dog: if the gums are scarified with this bone, or with a tooth taken from the jaw-bone of a dead horse, corresponding in place with the tooth affected, the pain will be removed, they say. Anaxilaüs assures us that if the liquid which exudes from a mare when covered, is ignited on the wick of a lamp, it will give out a most marvellous representation2331 of horses’ heads; and the same with reference340 to the she-ass. As to the hippomanes, it is possessed of properties so virulent and so truly magical, that if it is only thrown into fused metal2332 which is being cast into the resemblance of an Olympian mare, it will excite in all stallions that approach it a perfect frenzy for copulation.

Another remedy for diseases of the teeth is joiners’ glue, boiled in water and applied, care being taken to remove it very speedily, and instantly to rinse the teeth with wine in which sweet pomegranate-rind has been boiled. It is considered, also, a very efficacious remedy to wash the teeth with goats’ milk, or bull’s gall. The pastern-bones of a she-goat just killed, reduced to ashes, and indeed, to avoid the necessity for repetition, of any other four-footed beast reared in the farm-yard, are considered to make an excellent dentifrice.

CHAP. 50. (12.)—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE FACE.

It is generally believed that asses’ milk effaces wrinkles in the face, renders the skin more delicate, and preserves its whiteness: and it is a well-known fact, that some women are in the habit of washing their face with it seven2333 hundred times daily, strictly observing that number. Poppæa, the wife of the Emperor Nero, was the first to practise this; indeed, she had sitting-baths, prepared solely with asses’ milk, for which purpose whole troops of she-asses2334 used to attend her on her journies.2335 Purulent eruptions on the face are removed by an application of butter, but white lead, mixed with the butter, is an improvement. Pure butter, alone, is used for serpiginous eruptions of the face, a layer of barley-meal being powdered over it. The caul of a cow that has just calved, is applied, while still moist, to ulcers of the face.

The following recipe may seem frivolous, but still, to please the women,2336 it must not be omitted; the pastern-bone of a white steer, they say, boiled forty days and forty nights, till it is341 quite dissolved, and then applied to the face in a linen cloth, will remove wrinkles and preserve the whiteness of the skin. An application of bull’s dung, they say, will impart a rosy tint to the cheeks, and not crocodilea2337 even is better for the purpose; the face, however, must be washed with cold water, both before and after the application. Sun-burns and all other discolorations of the skin, are removed by the aid of calves’ dung kneaded up by hand with oil and gum; ulcerations and chaps of the mouth, by an application of veal or beef-suet, mixed with goose-grease and juice of ocimum. There is another composition, also, made of veal-suet with stag’s marrow and leaves of white-thorn, the whole beaten up together. Marrow, too, mixed with resin, even if it be cow marrow only, is equally good; and the broth of cow-beef is productive of similar effects. A most excellent remedy for lichens on the face is a glutinous substance prepared from the genitals of a male calf, melted with vinegar and live sulphur, and stirred together with the branch of a fig-tree: this composition is applied twice a day, and should be used quite fresh. This glue, similarly prepared from a decoction of honey and vinegar, is a cure for leprous spots, which are also removed by applying a he-goat’s liver warm.

Elephantiasis, too, is removed by an application of goats’ gall; and leprous spots and furfuraceous eruptions by employing bull’s gall with the addition of nitre, or else asses’ urine about the rising of the Dog-star. Spots on the face are removed by either bull’s gall or ass’s gall diluted in water by itself, care being taken to avoid the sun or wind after the skin has peeled off. A similar effect is produced, also, by using bull’s gall or calf’s gall, in combination with seed of cunila and the ashes of a deer’s horn, burnt at the rising of Canicula.

Asses’ fat, in particular, restores the natural colour to scars and spots on the skin caused by lichen or leprosy. A he-goat’s gall, mixed with cheese, live sulphur, and sponge reduced to ashes, effectually removes freckles, the composition being brought to the consistency of honey before being applied. Some persons, however, prefer using dried gall, and mix with it warm bran, in the proportion of one obolus to four oboli of honey, the spots being rubbed briskly first. He-goat suet, too, is highly342 efficacious, used in combination with gith, sulphur, and iris; this mixture being also employed, with goose-grease, stag’s marrow, resin, and lime, for the cure of cracked lips. I find it stated by certain authors, that persons who have freckles on the skin are looked upon as disqualified from taking any part in the sacrifices prescribed by the magic art.

CHAP. 51.—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE TONSILLARY GLANDS, AND FOR SCROFULA.

Cow’s milk or goat’s milk is good for ulcerations of the tonsillary glands and of the trachea. It is used in the form of a gargle, warm from the udder or heated, goat’s milk being the best, boiled with mallows and a little salt. A broth made from tripe is an excellent gargle for ulcerations of the tongue and trachea; and for diseases of the tonsillary glands, the kidneys of a fox are considered a sovereign remedy, dried and beaten up with honey, and applied externally. For quinzy, bull’s gall or goat’s gall is used, mixed with honey. A badger’s liver, taken in water, is good for offensive breath, and butter has a healing effect upon ulcerations of the mouth. When a pointed or other substance has stuck in the throat, by rubbing it externally with cats’ dung, the substance, they say, will either come up again or pass downwards into the stomach.

Scrofulous sores are dispersed by applying the gall of a wild boar or of an ox, warmed for the purpose: but it is only when the sores are ulcerated that hare’s rennet is used, applied in a linen cloth with wine. The ashes of the burnt hoof of an ass or horse, applied with oil or water, is good for dispersing scrofulous sores; warmed urine also; the ashes of an ox’s hoof, taken in water; cow-dung, applied hot with vinegar; goat-suet with lime; goats’ dung, boiled in vinegar; or the testes of a fox. Soap,2338 too, is very useful for this purpose, an invention of the Gauls for giving a reddish2339 tint to the hair. This substance is prepared from tallow and ashes, the best ashes for the purpose being those of the beech and yoke-elm: there are two kinds of it, the hard soap and the liquid, both of them much used by the people of Germany, the men, in particular, more than the women.

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CHAP. 52.—REMEDIES FOR PAINS IN THE NECK.

For pains in the neck, the part should be well rubbed with butter or bears’ grease; and for a stiff neck, with beef suet, a substance which, in combination with oil, is very useful for the cure of scrofula. For the painful cramp, attended with inflexibility, to which people give the name of “opisthotony,” the urine of a she-goat, injected into the ears, is found very useful; as also a liniment made of the dung of that animal, mixed with bulbs.

In cases where the nails have been crushed, it is an excellent plan to attach to them the gall of any kind of animal. Whitlows upon the fingers should be treated with dried bull’s gall, dissolved in warm water. Some persons are in the habit of adding sulphur and alum, of each an equal weight.

CHAP. 53.—REMEDIES FOR COUGH AND FOR SPITTING OF BLOOD.

A wolf’s liver, administered in mulled wine, is a cure for cough; a bear’s gall also, mixed with honey; the ashes of the tips of a cow’s horn; or else the saliva of a horse, taken in the drink for three consecutive days—in which last case the horse will be sure to die, they say.2340 A deer’s lights are useful for the same purpose, dried with the gullet of the animal in the smoke, and then beaten up with honey, and taken daily as an electuary: the spitter2341 deer, be it remarked, is the kind that is the most efficacious for the purpose.

Spitting of blood is cured by taking ashes of burnt deer’s horns, or else a hare’s rennet in drink, in doses of one-third of a denarius, with Samian earth and myrtle-wine. The dung of this last animal, reduced to ashes and taken in the evening, with wine, is good for coughs that are recurrent at night. The smoke, too, of a hare’s fur, inhaled, has the effect of bringing off from the lungs such humours as are difficult to be discharged by expectoration. Purulent ulcerations of the chest and lungs, and bad breath proceeding from a morbid state of the lungs, are successfully treated with butter boiled with an equal quantity of Attic honey till it assumes a reddish hue, a spoonful of the mixture being taken by the patient every morning: some persons, however, instead of honey prefer using larch-resin for the purpose. In cases where there are344 discharges of blood, cow’s blood, they say, is good, taken in small quantities with vinegar; but as to bull’s blood, it would be a rash thing to believe in any such recommendation. For inveterate spitting of blood, bull-glue is taken, in doses of three oboli, in warm water.

CHAP. 54. (13.)—REMEDIES FOR AFFECTIONS OF THE STOMACH.

Ulcerations of the stomach are effectually treated with asses’ milk2342 or cows’ milk. For gnawing pains in that region, beef is stewed, with vinegar and wine. Fluxes are healed by taking the ashes of burnt deer’s horns; and discharges of blood by drinking the blood of a kid just killed, made hot, in doses of three cyathi, with equal proportions of vinegar and tart wine; or else by taking kid’s rennet, with twice the quantity of vinegar.

CHAP. 55.—REMEDIES FOR LIVER COMPLAINTS AND FOR ASTHMA.

Liver complaints are cured by taking a wolf’s liver dried, in honied wine; or by using the dried liver of an ass, with twice the quantity of rock-parsley and three nuts, the whole beaten up with honey and taken with the food. The blood, too, of a he-goat is prepared and taken with the food. For persons suffering from asthma, the most efficient remedy of all is the blood of wild horses2343 taken in drink; and next to that, asses’ milk boiled with bulbs, the whey being the part used, with the addition of nasturtium steeped in water and tempered with honey, in the proportion of one cyathus of nasturtium to three semi-sextarii of whey. The liver or lights of a fox, taken in red wine, or bear’s gall in water, facilitate the respiration.

CHAP. 56.—REMEDIES FOR PAINS IN THE LOINS.

For pains in the loins and all other affections which require emollients, frictions with bears’ grease should be used; or else ashes of stale boars’ dung or swine’s dung should be mixed with wine and given to the patients. The magicians, too, have added to this branch of medicine their own fanciful devices. In the first place of all, madness in he-goats, they say, may be effectually calmed by stroking the beard; and if the beard is cut off, the goat will never stray to another flock.

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To the above composition they add goats’ dung, and recommend it to be held in the hollow of the hand, as hot as possible, a greased linen cloth being placed beneath, and care being taken to hold it in the right hand if the pain is on the left side, and in the left hand if the pain is on the right. They recommend also that the dung employed for this purpose should be taken up on the point of a needle made of copper. The mode of treatment is, for the patient to hold the mixture in his hand till the heat is felt to have penetrated to the loins, after which the hand is rubbed with a pounded leek, and the loins with the same dung annealed with honey. They prescribe also for the same malady the testes of a hare, to be eaten by the patient. In cases of sciatica they are for applying cow-dung warmed upon hot ashes in leaves: and for pains in the kidneys they recommend a hare’s kidneys to be swallowed raw, or perhaps boiled, but without letting them be touched by the teeth. If a person carries about him the pastern-bone of a hare, he will never be troubled with pains in the bowels, they say.

CHAP. 57.—REMEDIES FOR AFFECTIONS OF THE SPLEEN.

Affections of the spleen are alleviated by taking the gall of a wild boar or hog in drink; ashes of burnt deer’s horns in vinegar; or, what is best of all, the dried spleen of an ass, the good effects being sure to be felt in the course of three days. The first dung voided by an ass’s foal—a substance known as “polea”2344 by the people of Syria—is administered in oxymel for these complaints; a dried horse tongue, too, is taken in wine, a sovereign remedy which, Cæcilius Bion tells us, he first heard of when living among the barbarous nations. The milt of a cow or ox is used in a similar manner; but when it is quite fresh, the practice is to roast or boil it and take it with the food. For pains in the liver a topical application is made by bruising twenty heads of garlick in one sextarius of vinegar, and applying them in a piece of ox bladder. For the same malady the magicians recommend a calf’s milt, bought at the price set upon it and without any haggling, that being an important point, and one that should be religiously observed. This done, the milt must be cut in two lengthwise, and attached346 to the patient’s shirt,2345 on either side; after which, the patient must put it on and let the pieces fall at his feet, and must then pick them up, and dry them in the shade. While this last is doing, the diseased liver of the patient will gradually contract, they say, and he will eventually be cured. The lights, too, of a fox are very useful for this purpose, dried on hot ashes and taken in water; the same, too, with a kid’s milt, applied to the part affected.

CHAP. 58. (14.)—REMEDIES FOR BOWEL COMPLAINTS.

To arrest looseness of the bowels, deer’s blood is used; the ashes also of deer’s horns; the liver of a wild boar, taken fresh and without salt, in wine; a swine’s liver roasted, or that of a he-goat, boiled in five semisextarii of wine; a hare’s rennet boiled, in quantities the size of a chick-pea, in wine, or, if there are symptoms of fever, in water. To this last some persons add nut-galls, while others, again, content themselves with hare’s blood boiled by itself in milk. Ashes, too, of burnt horse-dung are taken in water for this purpose; or else ashes of the part of an old bull’s horn which lies nearest the root, sprinkled in water; the blood, too, of a he-goat boiled upon charcoal; or a decoction made from a goat’s hide boiled with the hair on.

For relaxing the bowels a horse’s rennet is used, or else the blood, marrow, or liver of a she-goat. A similar effect is produced by applying a wolf’s gall to the navel, with elaterium;2346 by taking mares’ milk, goats’ milk with salt and honey, or a she-goat’s gall with juice of cyclaminos,2347 and a little alum—in which last case some prefer adding nitre and water to the mixture. Bull’s gall, too, is used for a similar purpose, beaten up with wormwood and applied in the form of a suppository; or butter is taken, in considerable doses.

Cœliac affections and dysentery are cured by taking cow’s liver; ashes of deer’s horns, a pinch in three fingers swallowed in water; hare’s rennet, kneaded up in bread, or, if there is any discharge of blood, taken with polenta;2348 or else boar347’s dung, swine’s dung, or hare’s dung, reduced to ashes and mixed with mulled wine. Among the remedies, also, for the cœliac flux and dysentery, veal broth is reckoned, a remedy very commonly used. If the patient takes asses’ milk for these complaints, it will be all the better if honey is added; and no less efficacious for either complaint are the ashes of asses’ dung taken in wine; or else polea, the substance above2349-mentioned. In such cases, even when attended with a discharge of blood, we find a horse’s rennet recommended, by some persons known as “hippace;” ashes of burnt horse-dung; horses’ teeth pounded; and boiled cows’ milk. In cases of dysentery, it is recommended to add a little honey; and, for the cure of griping pains, ashes of deer’s horns, bull’s gall mixed with cummin, or the flesh of a gourd, should be applied to the navel. For both complaints new cheese made of cows’ milk is used, as an injection; butter also, in the proportion of four semi-sextarii to two ounces of turpentine, or else employed with a decoction of mallows or with oil of roses. Veal-suet or beef-suet is also given, and the marrow of those animals is boiled with meal, a little wax, and some oil, so as to form a sort of pottage. This marrow, too, is kneaded up with bread for a similar purpose; or else goats’ milk is used, boiled down to one half. In cases, too, where there are gripings in the bowels, wine of the first running2350 is administered. For the last-named pains, some persons are of opinion that it is a sufficient remedy to take a single dose of hare’s rennet in mulled wine; though others again, who are more distrustful, are in the habit of applying a liniment to the abdomen, made of goats’ blood, barley-meal, and resin.

For all defluxions of the bowels it is recommended to apply soft cheese, and for cœliac affections and dysentery old cheese, powdered, one cyathus of cheese being taken in three cyathi of ordinary wine. Goats’ blood is boiled down with the marrow of those animals for the cure of dysentery; and the cœliac flux is effectually treated with the roasted liver of a she-goat, or, what is still better, the liver of a he-goat boiled in astringent wine, and administered in the drink, or else applied to the navel with oil of myrtle. Some persons boil down the liver in three sextarii of water to half a sextarius, and then add rue to it.348 The milt of a he or she-goat is sometimes roasted for this purpose, or the suet of a he-goat is incorporated in bread baked upon the ashes; the fat, too, of a she-goat, taken from the kidneys more particularly, is used. This last, however, must be taken by itself and swallowed immediately, being generally recommended to be taken in water moderately cool. Some persons, too, boil goats’ suet in water, with a mixture of polenta, cummin, anise, and vinegar; and for the cure of cœliac affections, they rub the abdomen with a decoction of goats’ dung and honey.

For both the cœliac flux and dysentery, kid’s rennet is employed, taken in myrtle wine in pieces the size of a bean, or else kid’s blood, prepared in the form of a dish known by the name of “sanguiculus.”2351 For dysentery an injection is employed, made of bull glue dissolved in warm water. Flatulency is dispelled by a decoction of calf’s dung in wine. For intestinal affections deer’s rennet is highly recommended boiled with beef and lentils, and taken with the food; hare’s fur, also reduced to ashes and boiled with honey; or boiled goat’s milk, taken with a small quantity of mallows and some salt; if rennet is added, the remedy will be all the more effectual. Goat suet, taken in any kind of broth, is possessed of similar virtues, care being taken to swallow cold water immediately after. The ashes of a kid’s thighs are said to be marvellously efficacious for intestinal hernia; as also hare’s dung, boiled with honey, and taken daily in pieces the size of a bean; indeed, these remedies are said to have proved effectual in cases where a cure has been quite despaired of. The broth too, made from a goat’s head, boiled with the hair on, is highly recommended.

CHAP. 59.—REMEDIES FOR TENESMUS, TAPEWORM, AND AFFECTIONS OF THE COLON.

The disease called “tenesmus,” or in other words, a frequent and ineffectual desire to go to stool, is removed by drinking asses’ milk or cows’ milk. The various kinds of tapeworm2352 are expelled by taking the ashes of deer’s horns in drink. The bones349 which we have spoken2353 of as being found in the excrements of the wolf, worn attached to the arm, are curative of diseases of the colon, provided they have not been allowed to touch the ground. Polea, too, a substance already mentioned,2354 is remarkably useful for this purpose, boiled in grape juice:2355 the same too with swine’s dung, powdered and mixed with cummin, in a decoction of rue. The antler of a young stag, reduced to ashes and taken in wine, mixed with African snails, crushed with the shells on, is considered a very useful remedy.

CHAP. 60. (15.)—REMEDIES FOR AFFECTIONS OF THE BLADDER, AND FOR URINARY CALCULI.

Diseases of the bladder, and the torments attendant upon calculi, are treated with the urine of a wild boar, or the bladder of that animal taken as food; both of them being still more efficacious if they have been thoroughly soaked first. The bladder, when eaten, should be boiled first, and if the patient is a female, it should be a sow’s bladder. There are found in the liver of the wild boar certain small stones,2356 or what in hardness resemble small stones, of a white hue, and resembling those found in the liver of the common swine: if these stones are pounded and taken in wine, they will expel calculi, it is said. So oppressed is the wild boar by the burden of his urine,2357 that if he has not first voided it, he is unable to take to flight, and suffers himself to be taken as though he were enchained to the spot. This urine, they say, has a consuming effect upon urinary calculi. The kidneys of a hare, dried and taken in wine, act as an expellent upon calculi. We have already2358 mentioned that in the gammon of the hog there are certain joint-bones; a decoction made from them is remarkably useful for urinary affections. The kidneys of an ass, dried and pounded, and administered in undiluted wine, are a cure for diseases of the bladder. The excrescences that grow on horses’ legs, taken for forty days in ordinary wine or honied wine, expel urinary calculi. The ashes, too, of350 a horse’s hoof, taken in wine or water, are considered highly useful for this purpose; and the same with the dung of a she-goat—if a wild goat, all the better—taken in honied wine: goats’ hair, too, is used, reduced to ashes.

For carbuncles upon the generative organs, the brains and blood of a wild boar or swine are highly recommended: and for serpiginous affections of those parts, the liver of those animals is used, burnt upon juniper wood more particularly, and mixed with papyrus and arsenic;2359 the ashes, also, of their dung; ox-gall, kneaded to the consistency of honey, with Egyptian alum and myrrh, beet-root boiled in wine being laid upon it; or else beef. Running ulcers of those parts are treated with veal-suet and marrow, boiled in wine, or with the gall of a she-goat, mixed with honey and the extracted juice of the bramble.2360 In cases where these ulcers are serpiginous, it is recommended to use goats’ dung with honey or vinegar, or else butter by itself. Swellings of the testes are reduced by using veal-suet with nitre, or the dung of the animal boiled in vinegar. The bladder of a wild boar, eaten roasted, acts as a check upon incontinence of urine; a similar effect being produced by the ashes of the feet of a wild boar or swine sprinkled in the drink; the ashes of a sow’s bladder taken in drink; the bladder or lights of a kid; a hare’s brains taken in wine; the testes of a male hare grilled; the rennet of that animal taken with goose-grease and polenta;2361 or the kidneys of an ass, beaten up and taken in undiluted wine.

The magicians tell us, that after taking the ashes of a boar’s genitals in sweet wine, the patient must make water in a dog kennel, and repeat the following formula—“This I do that I may not wet my bed as a dog does.” On the other hand, a swine’s bladder, attached to the groin, facilitates the discharge of the urine, provided it has not already touched the ground.

CHAP. 61.—REMEDIES FOR DISEASES OF THE GENERATIVE ORGANS AND OF THE FUNDAMENT.

For diseases of the fundament, a sovereign remedy is bear’s gall, mixed with the grease; to which some persons are in the351 habit of adding litharge and frankincense. Butter, too, is very good, employed with goose-grease and oil of roses. The proportions in which they are mixed will be regulated by the circumstances of the case, care being taken to see that they are of a consistency which admits of their being easily applied. Bull’s gall upon lint is a remarkably useful remedy, and has the effect of making chaps of the fundament cicatrize with great rapidity. Swellings of those parts are treated with veal suet—that from the loins in particular—mixed with rue. For other affections, goats’ blood is used, with polenta. Goats’ gall too, is employed by itself, for the cure of condylomata, and sometimes, wolf’s gall, mixed with wine.

Bears’ blood is curative of inflamed tumours and apostemes upon these parts in general; as also bulls’ blood, dried and powdered. The best remedy, however, is considered to be the stone which the wild ass2362 voids with his urine, it is said, at the moment he is killed. This stone, which is in a somewhat liquefied state at first, becomes solid when it reaches the ground: attached to the thigh, it disperses all collections of humours and all kinds of suppurations: it is but rarely found, however, and it is not every wild ass that produces it, but as a remedy it is held in high esteem. Asses’ urine too, used in combination with gith, is highly recommended; the ashes of a horse’s hoof, applied with oil and water; a horse’s blood, that of a stone-horse in particular; the blood, also, of an ox or cow, or the gall of those animals. Their flesh too, applied warm, is productive of similar results; the hoofs reduced to ashes, and taken in water or honey; the urine of a she-goat; the flesh of a he-goat, boiled in water; the dung of these animals, boiled with honey; or else a boar’s gall, or swine’s urine, applied in wool.

Riding on horseback, we well-know, galls and chafes the inside of the thighs: the best remedy for accidents of this nature is to rub the parts with the foam which collects at a horse’s mouth. Where there are swellings in the groin, arising2363 from ulcers, a cure is effected by inserting in the sores three horse-hairs, tied with as many knots.

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CHAP. 62. (16.)—REMEDIES FOR GOUT AND FOR DISEASES OF THE FEET.

For the cure of gout, bears’ grease is employed, mixed in equal proportions with bull-suet and wax; some persons add to the composition, hypocisthis2364 and nut-galls. Others, again, prefer he-goat suet, mixed with the dung of a she-goat and saffron, or else with mustard, or sprigs of ivy pounded and used with perdicium,2365 or with flowers of wild cucumber. Cow-dung is also used, with lees of vinegar. Some persons speak highly in praise of the dung of a calf which has not begun to graze, or else a bull’s blood, without any other addition; a fox, also, boiled alive till only the bones are left; a wolf boiled alive in oil to the consistency of a cerate; he-goat suet, with an equal proportion of helxine,2366 and one-third part of mustard; or ashes of goats’ dung, mixed with axle-grease. They say, too, that for sciatica, it is an excellent plan to apply this dung boiling2367 hot beneath the great toes; and that, for diseases of the joints, it is highly efficacious to attach bears’ gall or hares’ feet to the part affected. Gout, they say, may be allayed by the patient always carrying about with him a hare’s foot, cut off from the animal alive.

Bears’ grease is a cure for chilblains and all kinds of chaps upon the feet; with the addition of alum, it is still more efficacious. The same results are produced by using goat-suet; a horse’s teeth powdered; the gall of a wild boar or hog; or else the lights of those animals, applied with their grease; and this, too, where the soles are blistered, or the feet have been crushed by a substance striking against them. In cases where the feet have been frozen, ashes of burnt hare’s fur are used; and for contusions of the feet, the lights of that animal are applied, sliced or reduced to ashes. Blisters occasioned by the sun are most effectually treated by using asses’ fat, or else beef-suet, with oil of roses. Corns, chaps, and callosities of the feet are cured by the application of wild boars’ dung or swine’s dung, used fresh, and removed at the end of a couple353 of days. The pastern-bones of these animals are also used, reduced to ashes; or else the lights of a wild boar, swine, or deer. When the feet have been galled by the shoes, they are rubbed with the urine of an ass, applied with the mud formed by it upon the ground. Corns are treated with beef-suet and powdered frankincense; chilblains with burnt leather, that of an old shoe, in particular; and injuries produced by tight shoes with ashes of goat-skin, tempered with oil.

The pains attendant upon varicose veins are mitigated by using ashes of burnt calves’ dung, boiled with lily roots and a little honey: a composition which is equally good for all kinds of inflammations and sores that tend to suppurate. It is very useful, also, for gout and diseases of the joints, when it is the dung of a bull-calf that is used more particularly. For excoriations of the joints, the gall of a wild boar or swine is applied, in a warm linen cloth: the dung, also, of a calf that has not begun to graze; or else goat-dung, boiled in vinegar with honey. Veal-suet rectifies malformed nails, as also goat-suet, mixed with sandarach. Warts are removed by applying ashes of burnt calves’ dung in vinegar, or else the mud formed upon the ground by the urine of an ass.

CHAP. 63.—REMEDIES FOR EPILEPSY.

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