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{ Tag Archives } 1st century

The true cure.

Pseudo-Quintilian (Declamatio Maior 14.9): Illa vera sunt remedia, quæ fugatis morbis causisque languoris postea non sentiuntur, et ea tantum innocenter dabuntur, quæ potentiæ suæ qualitate consumpta desinunt, cum profuerunt. Real cures are those which are no longer felt after the diseases and the causes of weakness have been driven out; and only those which stop […]

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A liquor never brewed.

Pliny on how pearls are formed (Naturalis Historia, 9.54): Has ubi genitalis anni stimularit hora, pandentes se quadam oscitatione impleri roscido conceptu tradunt, gravidas postea eniti, partumque concharum esse margaritas pro qualitate roris accepti. When the birthing season of the year stimulates these creatures, it is said that they, opening themselves wide with a kind […]

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Pliny on leeks.

Pliny on leeks (Naturalis Historia 19.33): insigne quod, cum fimo lætoque solo gaudeat, rigua odit. et tamen proprietate quadam soli constant It is notable that while [the leek] enjoys manure and rich soil, it despises well-watered ground—and yet they endure it, when a certain distinctive property is in the soil. This one was difficult for […]

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Pyramids at Heracleopolis.

Pliny on the Labyrinth at Heracleopolis (Naturalis Historia 36.19) praeterea templa omnium Aegypti deorum contineat superque Nemesis XL aediculis incluserit pyramides complures quadragenarum ulnarum senas radice ἀρούρας optinentes. Additionally, it would contain temples of all the gods of Egypt, and of Nemesis as well; among its forty shrines it would have included many pyramids, each […]

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Pliny on soapstone.

Pliny on the stone of Siphnos (Naturalis Historia 36.44): In Siphnos lapis est, qui cavatur tornaturque in vasa vel coquendis cibis utilia vel ad esculentorum usus, quod et in Comensi Italiæ lapide viridi accidere scimus, sed in Siphnio singulare quod excalfactus oleo nigrescit durescitque natura mollissimus; tanta qualitatum differentia est. In Siphnos there is a […]

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On poison in the shade of walnut trees.

Pliny on the dangers of being in the shade (Naturalis Historia 17.18): Iam quaedam umbrarum proprietas: iuglandum gravis et noxia, etiam capiti humano omnibusque iuxta satis. Now there is a certain distinctive property to some shades: that of walnut trees is unwholesome and harmful, both to human life, and to anything else close enough. He […]

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Pliny on Rhodopis' pyramid.

Pliny on Rhodopis’ pyramid (Naturalis Historia 36.17): Hæc sunt pyramidum miracula, supremumque illud, ne quis regum opes miretur, minimam ex iis, sed laudatissimam, a Rhodopide meretricula factam. These are the marvels of the pyramids, and the greatest of all—lest anyone marvel at the riches of kings—is that the smallest but most admired of them was […]

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Emotions of Cicero.

Cicero on those judging his emotional state (Ad Atticum 12.40): Quam bene, nihil ad rem, sed genus scribendi id fuit quod nemo abiecto animo facere posset. How good it was is not the point, but the style of writing was that which no one with a depressed mind could have made. He criticizes them, stating […]

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Cicero on untimely deaths.

Cicero on untimely deaths (Philippica 2.46): Etenim, si abhinc annos prope viginti hoc ipso in templo negavi posse mortem immaturam esse consulari, quanto verius non negabo seni! Indeed, if nearly twenty years ago—in this very temple—I said there could be no such thing as death being premature for someone who has been consul, how much […]

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Pliny on Egyptian dyeing.

Pliny on Egyptian dyeing (Naturalis Historia 35.42): Mirumque, cum sit unus in cortina colos, ex illo alius atque alius fit in veste accipientis medicamenti qualitate mutatus, nec postea ablui potest. And amazingly, while there may be only one color in the vat, one color after another is made out of it in the cloth; it […]

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