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{ Tag Archives } qualitas

Measure and proportion.

Vitruvius, De Architectura 1.2: Uti in hominis corpore e cubito, pede, palmo, digito ceterisque particulis symmetros est eurythmiæ qualitas, sic est in operum perfectionibus. As in the body of man the eurhythmy is of a symmetrical sort, from the forearm, the foot, the palm, the finger, and all the other small parts, so it is […]

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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 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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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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Pliny on mirrors.

Pliny on mirrors (Naturalis Historia 33.45): Plurimum refert concava sint et poculi modo an parmae Threcidicae, media depressa an elata, transversa an obliqua, supina an recta, qualitate excipientis figurae torquente venientes umbras. It matters greatly whether they are concave like a cup or like the Threx’s parma shield, whether they are lowered or raised in […]

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Pliny on poisonous water.

Pliny on dangerous water (Naturalis Historia 31.19): Et haec insidiosa condicio est, quod quaedam etiam blandiuntur aspectu, ut ad Nonacrim Arcadiae, omnino nulla deterrent qualitate. There is also this treacherous circumstance, that some [poisonous waters] may even be enticing in appearance, as at Nonacris in Arcadia; they do not deter with any distinctive quality at […]

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Pliny on alexanders.

Pliny on alexanders (Naturalis Historia 27.109): Odor murrae habet qualitatem, unde et nomen. The smell has a myrrhy quality, whence also its name. The name of the plant is smyrnion ‘alexanders‘, which is a Greek diminutive from σμύρνα smyrna ‘myrrh’. The scientific name of the plant is the same (Smyrnium). The English name appears to […]

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The bovine sound of earthquakes.

Pliny on earthquakes (Naturalis Historia 2.82): praecedit vero comitaturque terribilis sonus, alias murmuri similis, alias mugitibus aut clamori humano armorumve pulsantium fragori, pro qualitate materiae excipientis formaque vel cavernarum vel cuniculi, per quem meet Indeed, a terrifying noise goes before and along with it, sometimes a rumbling, sometimes like bellowing or human shouting or the […]

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Chance vs. design.

Cicero, in On the Nature of the Gods 2.37, considers the sun and stars. He then states, in a precursor to the infinite monkey theorem, that the works of Ennius are not at all likely to form from the fall of letters thrown in the air, and from this premise he continues: Isti autem quemadmodum […]

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