Natural History (Rackham, Jones, & Eichholz)/Book 28
I. I should have finished describing the character of all things growing between heaven and earth, leaving only whatever is dug out of the ground itself, if dealing with remedies derived from plants and shrubs did not make me digress to the wider sphere of medicines obtained from the very living creatures that themselves are healed. Well then, shall I, who have described plants and forms of flowers, including many rare things that are difficult to find, say nothing about the benefits to man that are to be found in man himself, nothing about the other kinds of remedies that live among us, especially as life itself becomes a punishment for those who are not free from pains and diseases? Surely I must, and I shall devote all my care to the task, although I realize the risk of causing disgust, since it is my fixed determination to have less regard for popularity than for benefiting human life. Furthermore, my investigations will include foreign things and even outlandish customs; belief here can appeal only to authority, although I myself also, when choosing my detail, have striven to find views almost universally believed, and I have stressed careful research rather than abundance of material. One thing it is very necessary to point out: I have already described the natures of living creatures and the discoveries we owe to each (for they did no less good by discovering medicines than they do by supplying them). I am now showing what help is to be found in the creatures themselves. I did not entirely leave out this then; so although the new matter is different, it is yet intimately connected with the old.
II. But I shall begin with man seeking aid for himself out of himself, and at the outset there meet us a most baffling puzzle. The blood too of gladiators is drunk by epileptics as though it were a draught of life, though we shudder with horror when in the same arena we look at even the beasts doing the same thing. But, by Heaven!, the patients think it most effectual to suck from a man himself warm, living blood, and putting their lips to the to drain the very life, although it is not the custom of men to apply their mouths at all to the wounds even of wild beasts. Others seek to secure the leg-marrow and the brain of infants. Not a few among the Greeks have even spoken of the flavour of each organ and limb, going into all details, not excluding nail parings; just as though it could be thought health for a man to become a beast, and to deserve disease as punishment in the very process of healing. And, by Heaven!, well deserved is the disappointment if these remedies prove of no avail. To look at human entrails is considered sin; what must it be to eat them? Who was the first, Osthanes, to think of such devices as yours? For it is you who must bear the blame, you destroyer of human rights and worker of horrors; you were their first founder, in order, I suppose, to perpetuate your memory. Who first thought of chewing one by one human limbs? What soothsaying guided him? What origin could your medical practices have had? Who made magic potions more innocent than their remedies? Granted that foreigners and barbarians had discovered the rites, did the Greeks also make these arts their own? There is extant a treatise of Democritus stating that one complaint is more benefited by bones from the head of a criminal, and other complaints by those of a friend or guest. Moreover, Apollonius put in writing that to scrape sore gums with the tooth of a man killed by violence is most efficacious, and Meletos that the gall of a human being cures cataract. Artemon treated epilepsy with draughts of water drawn from a spring by night and drunk out of the skull of a man killed but not cremated. From the skull of a man hanged Antaeus made pills to cure the bites of a mad dog. Even quadrupeds too have been cured by remedies taken from a man; to cure flatulence in oxen their horns have been pierced and human bones inserted; for sick pigs wheat has been given which had remained for a whole night where a man had been killed or cremated. Far from me and my writings be such horrors. I shall speak not of sins but of aids, such as when will prove an effective remedy the milk of lying-in women, or human saliva, or contact with a human body, and the like. I do not indeed hold that life ought to be so prized that by any and every means it should be prolonged. You holding this view, whoever you are, will none the less die, even though you may have lived longer through foulness or sin. Wherefore let every man consider that first among the remedies for his soul is this: that of all the blessings given to man by Nature none is greater than a timely death, and herein the brightest feature is that each man can have the power to bestow it on himself.
III. Of the remedies derived from man, the first raises a most important question, and one never settled: have words and formulated incantations any effect? If they have, it would be right and proper to give the credit to mankind. As individuals, however, all our wisest men reject belief in them, although as a body the public at all times believes in them unconsciously. In fact the sacrifice of victims without a prayer is supposed to be of no effect; without it too the gods are not thought to be properly consulted. Moreover, there is one form of words for getting favourable omens, another for averting evil, and yet another for a commendation. We see also that our chief magistrates have adopted fixed formulas for their prayers; that to prevent a word's being omitted or out of place a reader dictates beforehand the prayer from a script; that another attendant is appointed as a guard to keep watch, and yet another is put in charge to maintain a strict silence; that a piper plays so that nothing but the prayer is heard. Remarkable instances of both kinds of interference are on record: cases when the noise of actual ill omens has ruined the prayer, or when a mistake has been made in the prayer itself; then suddenly the head of the liver, or the heart, has disappeared from the entrails, or these have been doubled, while the victim was standing. There has come down to us a striking example of ritual in that with which the Decii, father and son, devoted themselves; extant too is the plea of innocence uttered by the Vestal Tuccia when, accused of unchastity, she carried water in a sieve, in the year of the City six hundred and nine. Our own generation indeed even saw buried alive in the Cattle Market a Greek man and a Greek woman, and victims from other peoples with whom at the time we were at war. The prayer used at this ceremony is wont to be dictated by the Master of the College of the Quindecimviri, and if one reads it one is forced to admit that there is power in ritual formulas, the events of eight hundred and thirty years showing this for all of them. It is believed today that our Vestal virgins by a spell root to the spot runaway slaves, provided they have not left the City bounds, and yet, if this view is once admitted, that the gods hear certain prayers, or are moved by any form of words, the whole question must be answered in the affirmative. Our ancestors, indeed, reported such wonders again and again, and that, most impossible of all, even lightning can be brought by charms from the sky, as I have mentioned on the proper occasion.
IV. Lucius Piso in the first book of his Annals tells us that King Tullus Hostilius used the same sacrificial ritual as Numa, which he found in Numa's books, in an attempt to draw Jupiter down from the sky, and was struck by lightning because he made certain mistakes in the ceremony; many indeed assure us that by words the destinies and omens of mighty events are changed. During the digging of foundations for a shrine on the Tarpeian Hill there was discovered a human head. For an interpretation envoys were sent to Olenus of Cales, the most distinguished seer of Etruria. Perceiving that the sign portended glory and success, Olenus tried by questioning to divert the blessing to his own people. He first traced with his staff the outline of a temple on the ground iu front of him, and theu asked: 'Is this then, Romans, what you say? "Here will be the temple of Jupiter, All-good and Almighty; here we found the head?"' The Annals most firmly insists that the destiny of Rome would have passed to Etruria, had not the Roman envoys, forewarned by the seer's son, replied: 'Not exactly here, but it was in Rome that we say the head was found.' It is said that the same thing happened again when a clay four-horse chariot, designed for the roof of the same shrine, grew larger in the furnace, and once more in a similar way was the happy augury retained. Let these instances suffice to show that the power of omens is really in our own control, and that their influence is conditional upon the way we receive each. At any rate, in the teaching of the augurs it is a fundamental principle that neither evil omens nor any auspices affect those who at the outset of any undertaking declare that they take no notice of them; no greater instance of the divine mercy could be found than this boon. Again, in the actual laws of the Twelve Tables we find also these words: 'Whoever shall have bewitched the crops,' and in another place: 'whoever shall have cast an evil spell.' Verrius Flaccus cites trustworthy authorities to show that it was the custom, at the very beginning of a siege, for the Roman priests to call forth the divinity under whose protection the besieged town was, and to promise him the same or even more splendid worship among the Roman people. Down to the present day this ritual has remained part of the doctrine of the Pontiffs, and it is certain that the reason why the tutelary deity of Rome has been kept a secret is to prevent any enemy from acting in a similar way. There is indeed nobody who does not fear to be spellbound by imprecations. A similar feeling makes everybody break the shells of eggs or snails immediately after eating them, or else pierce them with the spoon that they have used. And so Theocritus among the Greeks, Catullus and quite recently Virgil among ourselves, have represented love charms in their poems. Many believe that by charms pottery can be crushed, and not a few even serpents; that these themselves can break the spell, this being the only kind of intelligence they possess; and by the charms of the Marsi they are gathered together even when asleep at night. On walls too are written prayers to avert fires. It is not easy to say whether our faith is more violently shaken by the foreign, unpronounceable words, or by the unexpected Latin ones, which our mind forces us to consider absurd, being always on the look-out for something big, something adequate to move a god, or rather to impose its will on his divinity. Homer said that by a magic formula stayed the haemorrhage from his wounded thigh; Theophrastus that there is a formula to cure sciatica; Cato handed down one to set dislocated limbs, Marcus Varro one for gout. The dictator Caesar, after one serious accident to his carriage, is said always, as soon as he was seated, to have been in the habit of repeating three times a formula of prayer for a safe journey, a thing we know that most people do today.
V. I should like to reinforce this part of my argument by adding an appeal to the personal feeling of the individual. Why on the first day of the year do we wish one another cheerfully a happy and prosperous New Year? Why do we also, on days of general purification, choose persons with lucky names to lead the victims? Why do we meet the evil eye by a special attitude of prayer, some invoking the Greek Nemesis, for which purpose there is at Rome an image of the goddess on the Capitol, although she has no Latin name? Why on mentioning the dead do we protest that their memory is not being attacked by us? Why do we believe that in all matters the odd numbers are more powerful, as is implied by the attention paid to critical days in fevers? Why at the harvest of the first-fruits do we say: 'These are old,' and pray for new ones to take their place? Why do we say 'Good health' to those who sneeze? This custom according to report even Tiberius Caesar, admittedly the most gloomy of men, insisted on even in a carriage, and some think it more effective to add to the salutation the name of the sneezer. Moreover, according to an accepted belief absent people can divine by the ringing in their ears that they are the object of talk. Attalus assures us that if on seeing a scorpion one says 'Two,' it is checked and does not strike. The mention of scorpions reminds me that in Africa nobody decides on anything without first saying 'Africa,' whereas among all other peoples a man prays first for the approval of the gods. But a when a table is ready it is a universal custom, we see, to take off one's ring, since it is clear that scrupulous actions, even without words, have their powers. Some people, to calm mental anxiety, carry saliva with the finger to behind the ear. There is even a proverb that bids us turn down our thumbs to show approval. In worshipping we raise our right hand to our lips and turn round our whole body, the Gauls considering it more effective to make the turn to the left. All peoples agree in worshipping lightning by clucking with the tongue. If during a banquet fires have been mentioned we avert the omen by pouring water under the table. It is supposed to be a most unlucky sign for the floor to be swept while a diner is leaving the banquet, or for a table or dumbwaiter to be removed while a guest is drinking. Servius Sulpicius, a noble Roman, has left an essay on why we should not leave the table; for in his day it was not the custom to have more tables than there were guests; for if a course or a table is recalled by a sneeze and nothing of it tasted afterwards, it is considered an evil portent, as is to eat nothing at all. These customs were established by those of old, who believed that gods are present on all occasions and at all times, and therefore left them to us reconciled even in our faults. Moreover, it has been remarked that a sudden silence falls on a banquet only when the number of those present is even, and that it portends danger to the reputation of each of them. Food also that fell from the hand used to be put back at least during courses, and it was forbidden to blow off, for tidiness, any dirt; auguries have been recorded from the words or thoughts of the diner who dropped food, a very dreadful omen being if the Pontiff should do so at a formal dinner. In any case putting it back on the table and burning it before the Lar counts as expiation. Medicines set down by chance on a table before being used are said to lose their efficacy.
To cut the nails on the market days at Rome in silence, beginning with the forefinger, is a custom many people feel binding on them; while to cut the hair on the seventeenth day of the month and on the twenty-ninth prevents its falling out as well as headaches. A country rule observed on most Italian farms forbids women to twirl their spindles while walking along the road, or even to carry them uncovered, on the ground that such action blights the hopes of everything, especially the hope of a good harvest. Marcus Servilius Nonianus, a leading citizen of Rome, who was not so long ago afraid of ophthalmia, used to tie round his neck, before he mentioned the disease himself or any one else spoke to him about it, a sheet of paper fastened with thread, on which were written the two Greek letters rho and alpha; Mucianus, three times consul, following the same observance, used a living fly in a white linen bag. Both avowed that by these remedies they themselves were kept free from ophthalmia. We certainly still have formulas to charm away hail, various diseases, and burns, some actually tested by experience, but I am very shy of quoting them, because of the widely different feelings they arouse. Wherefore everyone must form his own opinion about them as he pleases.
VI. Persons possessed of powers of witchcraft and of the evil eye, along with many peculiar characteristics of animals, I have spoken of when dealing with marvels of the nations; it is superfluous to go over the ground again. Of certain men the whole bodies are beneficent, for example the members of those families that frighten serpents. These by a mere touch or by wet suction relieve bitten victims. In this class are the Psylli, the Marsi, and the Ophiogenes, as they are called, in the island of Cyprus. An envoy from this family, by name Evagon, was at Rome thrown by the consuls as a test into a cask of serpents, which to the general amazement licked him all over. A feature of this family, if it still survives, is the foul smell of its members in spring. Their sweat also, not only their saliva, had curative powers. But the natives of Tentyris, an island on the Nile, are such a terror to the crocodiles that these run away at the mere sound of their voice. All these peoples, so strong their natural antipathy, can, as is well known, effect a cure by their very arrival, just as wounds grow worse on the entry of those who have ever been bitten by the tooth of snake or dog. The latter also addle the eggs of a sitting hen, and make cattle miscarry; so much venom remains from the injury once received that the poisoned are turned into poisoners. The remedy is for their hands to be first washed in water, which is then used to sprinkle on the patients. On the other hand, those who have once been stung by a scorpion are never afterwards attacked by hornets, wasps or bees. He may be less surprised at this who knows that moths do not touch a garment that has been worn at a funeral, and that snakes are with difficulty pulled out of their holes except with the left hand. One of the discoveries of Pythagoras will not readily deceive you: that an uneven number of vowels in given names portends lameness, blindness, or similar disability, on the right side, an even number of vowels the same disabilities on the left. It is said that difficult labour ends in delivery at once, if over the house where is the lying-in woman there be thrown a stone or missile that has killed with one stroke each three living creaturesa human being, a boar, and a bear. A successful result is more likely if a light-cavalry spear is used, pulled out from a human body without the ground being touched. The result indeed is the same if the spear is carried indoors. So too, as Orpheus and Archelaus write, arrows drawn out of a body and not allowed to touch the ground act as a love-charm upon those under whom when in bed they have been placed. Moreover, add these authorities, epilepsy is cured by food taken from the flesh of a wild beast killed by the same iron weapon that has killed a human being. Some men have healing powers confined to parts of their body. We have mentioned the thumb of King Pyrrhus and at this there used to be shown a shoulder blade of Pelops, which was stated to be of ivory. Many men even today have scruples about cutting hair from moles on the face.
VII. I have however pointed out that the best of all safeguards against serpents is the saliva of fasting human being, but our daily experience may teach us yet other values of its use. We spit on epileptics in a fit, that is, we throw hack infections In a similar way we ward off witchcraft and the bad luck that follows meeting a person lame in the right leg. We also ask forgiveness of the gods for a too presumptuous hope by spitting into our bosom; the same reason again accounts for the custom, in using any remedy, of spitting on the ground three times by way of ritual thus increasing its efficacy, and of marking early incipient boils three times with fasting saliva. It is surprising, but easily tested, that if one is sorry for a blow, whether inflicted by hand or by a missile, and at once spits into the palm of the hand that gave the wound, the resentment of the victim is immediately softened. Corroborative evidence is often seen in draught animals; when the animal has been flogged to lameness, after the remedy of spitting has been tried, it at once resumes its pace. Some persons indeed add force to their blows in a similar way by spitting into the hand before making their effort. Let us therefore believe that lichens too and leprous sores are kept in check by continual application of fasting saliva, as is also ophthalmia by using saliva every morning as eye ointment, carcinomata by kneading earth apple a with saliva, and pains in the neck by applying fasting saliva with the right hand to the right knee and with the left hand to the left knee; let us also believe that any insect that has entered the ear, if spat upon, comes out. It acts as a charm for a man to spit on the urine he has voided; similarly to spit into the right shoe before putting it on, also when passing a place where one has run into some danger. Marcion of Smyrna, who wrote on the virtues of simples, tells us that the sea scolopendra bursts if spat upon, as do also bramble and other toads. Offlius says that serpents too burst if one spits into their open mouths, and Salpe that sensation in any numbed limb is restored by spitting into the bosom, or if the upper eyelids are touched with saliva. If we hold these beliefs, we should also believe that the right course, on the arrival of a stranger, or if a sleeping baby is looked at, is for the nurse to spit three times at her charge. And yet the baby is further under the divine protection of Fascinus, guardian not only of babies but of generals, a deity whose worship, part of the Roman religion, is entrusted to the Vestals; hanging under the chariots of generals at their triumphs he defends them as a physician from jealousy, and the similar physic of the tongue bids them look back, so that at the back Fortune, destroyer of fame, may be won over.
VIII. The bite of a human being is considered to be a most serious one. It is treated with ear wax, and (let no one be surprised) this, if applied locally at once, is also good for the stings of scorpions and for the bites of serpents, being more efficacious if taken from the ears of the sufferer. Hangnails too are said to be cured in this way; the bite of serpents by a human tooth ground to powder.
IX. The hair cut off first from a child's head, if tied round the affected part, is said to relieve attacks of gout, as does the application of the hair of all, generally speaking, who have not arrived at puberty. The hair of adult men also, applied with vinegar, is good for dog bites, with oil or wine for wounds on the head. If we believe it, the hair of a man torn from the cross is good for quartan ague; burnt hair is certainly good for carcinoma. The first tooth of a child to fall out, provided that it does not touch the ground, if set in a bracelet and worn constantly on a woman's arm, keeps pain away from her private parts. If the big toe is tied to the one next to it, swellings in the groin are relieved; if the two middle fingers of the right hand are lightly tied together with a linen thread, catarrhs and ophthalmia are kept away. Again, a stone voided by a sufferer from bladder trouble, if attached above the pubes, is said to relieve other similar patients as well as pains in the liver, and also to hasten childbirth. Granius adds that the stone is more effective for the last purpose if it has been cut out by an iron knife. If the man by whom a woman has conceived unties his girdle and puts it round her waist, and then unties it with the ritual formula: 'I bound, and I too will unloose,' then taking his departure, childbirth is made more rapid.
X. The blood let from any part of the patient himself makes, we are told by Orpheus and Archelaus, a very efficacious application for quinsy; efficacious too if applied to the mouth of those who have fainted in an epileptic fit, for they rise up immediately. Some say the big toes should be pricked and the drops of blood applied to the face, or that a virgin should touch it with her right thumb; hence their conclusion that epileptics should eat virgin meat. Aeschines the Athenian used the ash of excrements for quinsy, sore tonsils, sore uvula, and carcinomata.
This medicament he called botryon. Many kinds of illness are cleared up by the first sexual intercourse, or by the first menstruation; if they do not, they become chronic, especially epilepsy. Moreover, it is held that snake bites and scorpion stings are relieved by intercourse, but that the act does harm to the woman. They say that neither ophthalmia nor other eye troubles afflict those who, when they wash their feet, touch the eyes three times with the water they have used.
XI. We are assured that the hand of a person carried off by premature death cures by a touch scrofulous sores, diseased parotid glands, and throat affections; some however say that the back of any dead person's left hand will do this if the patient is of the same sex. A piece bitten off from wood struck by lightning by a person with hands thrown behind his back, if it is applied to an aching tooth, is a remedy we are told for the pain. Some prescribe fumigation of the tooth with a human tooth from one of the same sex, and to use as an amulet a dog-tooth taken from an unburied corpse. Earth taken out of a skull acts, it is said, as a depilator for the eyelashes, while any plant that has grown in the skull makes, when chewed, the teeth fall out, and ulcers marked round with a human bone do not spread. Some mix in equal quantities water from three wells, pour a libation from new earthenware, and give the rest to be drunk, at the rise of temperature, by sufferers from tertian ague. These also wrap up in wool and tie round the neck of quartan patients a piece of a nail taken from a cross, or else a cord taken from a crucifixion, and after the patient's neck has been freed they hide it in a hole where the sunlight cannot reach.
XII. Here are some lies of the Magi, who say that a whetstone on which iron tools have been often sharpened, if placed without his knowledge under the pillows of a man sinking from the effects of poisoning, actually makes him give evidence about what has been given him, where and when, but not the name of the criminal. It is certainly a fact that the victim of lightning, if turned upon the wounded side, at once begins to speak. Some treat affections of the groin by tying with nine or seven knots a thread taken from a web, at each knot naming some widow, and so attach it to the groin as an amulet. To prevent a wound's being painful they prescribe wearing as an amulet, tied on the person with a thread, the nail or other object that he has trodden on. Warts are removed by those who, after the twentieth day of the, month, lie face upwards on a path, gaze at the moon with hands stretched over their head, and rub the wart with whatever they have grasped. If a corn or callus is cut when a star is falling, they say that it is very quickly cured, and that applying to the forehead the mud obtained by pouring vinegar over a front door's hinges relieves headaches, as does also the rope used by a suicide if tied round the temples. Should a fish bone stick in the throat, they say that it comes out if the feet are plunged into cold water; if however it is another kind of bone, bits of bone from the same pot should be applied to the head; if it is a piece of bread that sticks, pieces from the same loaf must be placed in either ear.
XIII. Moreover, important remedies have been made by the profit-seeking Greeks even with human off-scouring from the gymnasia; for the scrapings from the bodies soften, warm, disperse, and make flesh, sweat and oil forming an ointment. This is used as a pessary for inflammation and contraction of the uterus. So used it is also an emmenagogue; it soothes inflammations of the anus and condylomata, likewise pains of the sinews, dislocations, and knotty joints. More efficacious for the same purposes are scrapings from the bath, and so these are ingredients of ointments for suppurations. But those that have wax salve in them, and are mixed with mud, are more efficacious only for softening joints, for warming and for dispersing, but for all other purposes they are less powerful. Shameless beyond belief is the treatment prescribed by very famous authorities, who proclaim that male semenis an excellent antidote to scorpion stings, holding on the other hand that a pessary for women made from the faeces of babies voided in the uterus itself is a cure for barrenness; they call it meconium. Moreover, they have scraped the very walls of the gymnasia, and these off-scourings are said to have great warming properties; they disperse superficial abscesses, and are applied as ointment to the sores of old people and children. as well as to excoriations and burns.
XLV. It would be all the less seemly to pass over the remedies that are in the control of a man's will. To fast from all food and drink, sometimes only from wine or meat, sometimes from baths, when health demands such abstinence, is held to be one of the most sovereign remedies. Among the others are physical exercise, voice exercises, anointing, and massage if carried out with skilled care; for violent massage hardens, gentle softens, too much reduces flesh and a moderate amount makes it. Especially beneficial however are walking, carriage rides of various kinds, horse riding, which is very good for the stomach and hips, a sea voyage for consumption, change of locality for chronic diseases, and self-treatment by sleep, lying down, and occasional emeties. Lying on the back is good for the eyes, on the face for coughs, and on either side for catarrhs. Aristotle and Fabianus tell us that dreaming is most common around spring and autumn, and especially when we lie on the back; when we lie on the face there are no dreams at all. Theophrastus says that quicker digestion results from lying on the right side, more difficult digestion from lying on the back. Sunshine too, best of remedies, we can administer to ourselves, we can the vigorous use of towels and scrapers. To bathe the head with hot water before the hot steam of the bath, and with cold water after it, is understood to be very healthful; so it is to drink cold water before a meal and at intervals during it, and to take a draught of the same before going to sleep, breaking your sleep, if you like, in order to drink. It should be observed that no animal except man likes hot drinks, which is evidence that they are unnatural. Experience plainly shows that it is good before sleeping to rinse the mouth with neat wine as a safeguard against offensive breath, and with cold water an uneven number of times in the morning to keep off toothache; that to bathe the eyes in vinegar and water prevents ophthalmia, and that general health is promoted by an unstudied variety of regimen. Hippocrates teaches that the habit of not taking lunch makes the internal organs age more rapidly; in this aphorism, however, he is thinking of remedies, not encouraging gluttony, for by far the greatest aid to health is moderation in food. L. Lucullus gave charge over himself to a slave to enforce control, and he, an old man who had celebrated a triumph, suffered the very deep disgrace of having his hand kept away from the viands even when feasting in the Capitol, with the added shame of obeying his own slave more readily than himself.
XV. Sneezing caused by a feather relieves a cold in the head, and sneezing and hiccough are relieved by touching with the lips, it is said, the nostrils of a mule. For sneezing Varro advises us to scratch the palm of each hand with the other; most people advise us to transfer the ring from the left hand to the longest finger of the right, and to dip the hands into very hot water. Theophrastus says that old people sneeze with greater difficulty than others.
XVI. Sexual intercourse was disapproved of by Democritus, as being merely the act whereby one human being springs from another. Heaven knows, the less indulgence in this respect the better. Athletes, however, when sluggish regain by it their activity, and the voice, when it has lost its clearness and become husky, is restored. It cures pain in the loins, dullness of vision, unsoundness of mind and melancholia.
XVII. To sit in the presence of pregnant women, or when medicine is being given to patients, with the fingers interlaced comb-wise, is to be guilty of sorcery, a discovery made, it is said, when Alemena was giving birth to Hercules. The sorcery is worse if the hands are clasped round one knee or both, and also to cross the knees first in one way and then in the other. For this reason our ancestors forbade such postures at councils of war or of officials, on the ground that they were an obstacle to the transaction of all business. They also forbade them, indeed, to those attending sacred rites and prayers; but to uncover the head at the sight of magistrates they ordered, not as a mark of respect, but (our authority is Varro) for the sake of health, for the habit of baring the head gives it greater strength. When something has fallen into the eye, it does good to press down the other; when water gets into the right ear, to jump with the left leg, leaning the head towards the right shoulder; if into the left ear, to jump in the contrary way; if saliva provokes a cough, for another person to blow on the forehead; if the uvula is relaxed, for another to hold up the top of the head a with his teeth; if there is pain in the neck, to rub the back of the knees, and to rub the neck for pain in the back of the knees; to plant the feet on the ground for cramp in feet or legs when in bed; or if the cramp is on the left side to seize with the right hand the big toe of the left foot and vice versa; to rub the extremities with pieces of fleece to step shivers or violent nose-bleeding; with linen or papyrus the tip of the genitals and the middle of the thigh to check incontinence of urine; for weakness of the stomach to press together the feet or dip the hands into very hot water. Moreover, to refrain from talking is healthful for many reasons. Maecenas Melissus, we are told, imposed a three-year silence on himself because of spitting of blood after convulsions. But if any danger threatens those thrown down, climbing, or prostrate, and as a guard against blows, to hold the breath is an excellent protection, a discovery which, I have stated, we owe to an animal. To drive an iron nail into the place first struck by the head of an epileptic in his fall is said to be deliverance from that malady. For severe pain in the kidneys, Loins or bladder, it is supposed to be soothing if the patient voids his urine while lying on his face in the tub of the bath. To tie up wounds with the Hercules knot makes the healing wonderfully more rapid, and even to tie daily the girdle with this knot is said to have a certain usefulness, for Demetrius wrote a treatise in which he states that the number four is one of the prerogatives of Hercules, giving reasons why four cyathi or sextarii at a time should not be drunk. For ophthalmia it is good to rub behind the ears, and for watery eyes the forehead. From the patient himself it is a reliable omen that, as long as the pupils of his eyes reflect an image, a fatal end to an illness is not to be feared.
XVIII. Our authorities attribute to urine also great power, not only natural but supernatural; they divide it into kinds, using even that of eunuchs to counteract the sorcery that prevents fertility. But of the properties it would be proper to speak of I may mention the following:the urine of children not yet arrived at puberty is used to counteract the spittle of the ptyas, an asp so called because it spits venom into men's eyes; for albugo, dimness, scars, argema, and affections of the eyelids; with flour of vetch for burns; and for pus or worms in the ear if boiled down to one half with a headed leek in new earthenware. Its steam too is an emmenagogue. Salpe would foment the eyes with urine a to strengthen them, and would apply it for two hours at a time to sunburn, adding the white of an egg, by preference that of an ostrich. Urine also takes out ink blots. Men's urine relieves gout, as is shown by the testimony of fullers, who for that reason never, they say, suffer from this malady. Old urine is added to the ash of burnt oyster-shells to treat rashes on the bodies of babies, and for all running ulcers. Pitted sores, burns, affections of the anus, chaps, and scorpion stings, are treated by applications of urine. The most celebrated midwives have declared that no other lotion is better treatment for irritation of the skin, and with soda added for sores on the head, dandruff, and spreading ulcers, especially on the genitals. Each person's own urine, if it be proper for me to say so, does him the most good, if a dog-bite is immediately bathed in it, if it is applied on a sponge or wool to the quills of an urchin that are sticking in the flesh, or if ash kneaded with it is used to treat the bite of a mad dog, or a serpent's bite. Moreover, for scolopendra bite a wonderful remedy is said to be for the wounded person to touch the top of his head with a drop of his own urine, when his wound is at once healed.
XIX. Urine gives us symptoms of general health: if in the morning it is clear, becoming tawny later, the former means that coction is still going on, the latter that it is complete. A bad symptom is red urine, a bad one also when it bubbles, and the worst of all when it is very dark. Thick urine, in which what sinks to the bottom is white, means that there is pain coming on about the joints or in the region of the bowels; if it is green, that the bowels are diseased. Pale urine means diseased bile, red urine diseased blood. Bad urine also is that in which is to be seen as it were bran, and cloudiness. Watery, pale, urine also is unhealthy, but thick, foul-smelling urine indicates death, as does thin, watery urine from children. The Magi say that when making urine one must not expose one's person to the face of the sun or moon, or let drops fall on anyone's shadow. Hesiod advises us to urinate facing an object that screens, lest our nakedness should offend some deity. Osthanes assured people that protection against all sorcerers' potions is secured by letting one's own morning urine drip upon the foot.
XX. Some reported products of women's bodies should be added to the class of marvels, to say nothing from men; of tearing to pieces for sinful practices the limbs of stillborn babies, the undoing of spells by the menstrual fluid, and the other accounts given not only by midwives but actually by harlots. For example: that the smell of burnt woman's hair keeps away serpents, and the fumes of it make women breathe naturally who are choking with hysteria; this same ash indeed, from hair burnt in a jar, or used with litharge, cures roughness and itch of the eyes, as well as warts and sores on babies; that with honey it cures also wounds on the head and the cavities made by any kind of ulcer, with honey and frankincense, superficial abscesses and gout; that with lard it cures erysipelas and checks haemorrhage, and that when applied it cures also irritating rashes on the body.
XXI. As to the use of woman's milk, it is agreed that it is the sweetest and most delicate of all, very useful in long fevers and coeliac disease, especially the milk of a woman who has already weaned her baby. For nausea of the stomach, in fevers, and for gnawing pains, it is found most efficacious, also with frankincense for gatherings on the breasts. It is very beneficial to an eye that is bloodshot from a blow, in pain, or suffering from a flux, if it is milked straight into it, more beneficial still if honey is added and juice of narcissus a or powdered incense. For all purposes, moreover, a woman's milk is more efficacious if she has given birth to a boy, and much the most efficacious is hers, who has borne twin boys and herself abstains from wine and the more acrid foods. Mixed moreover with liquid white of eggs, and applied to the forehead on wool soaked in it, it checks fluxes of the eyes. But if a toad has squirted its fluid into the eye it is a splendid remedy; for the bite also of the toad it is drunk and poured in drops into the wound. It is asserted that one who has been rubbed with the milk of mother and daughter together never needs to fear eye trouble for the rest of his life. Affections of the ears also are successfully treated by the milk mixed with a little oil, or, if there is any pain from a blow, warmed with goose grease. If there is an offensive smell from the ears, as usually happens in illnesses of long standing, wool is put into them soaked in milk in which honey has been dissolved. When jaundice has left traces remaining in the eyes, the milk together with elaterium is dropped into them. A draught of woman's milk is especially efficacious against the poison of the sea-hare, of the buprestis, or, as Aristotle tells us, of dorycnium, and for the madness caused by drinking henbane. Combined with hemlock it is also prescribed as a liniment for gout; others make it up with the suint of wool and goose grease, in the form that is also used as an application for pains of the uterus. A draught also acts astringently upon the bowels, as Rabirius writes, and is an emmenagogue. The milk of a woman however who has borne a girl is excellent, but only for curing spots on the face. Lung affections also are cured by woman's milk, and if Attic honey is mixed with it and the urine of a child before puberty, a single spoonful of each, I find that worms a too are driven from the ears. The mother of a boy gives a milk a taste of which, they say, prevents dogs from going mad.
XXII. The saliva too of a fasting woman is judged to be powerful medicine for bloodshot eyes and fluxes, if the inflamed corners are occasionally moistened with it, the efficacy being greater if she has fasted from food and wine the day before. I find that a woman's breast-band tied round the head relieves headache.
XXIII. Over and above all this there is no limit to woman's power. First of all, they say that hailstorms and whirlwinds are driven away if menstrual fluid is exposed to the very flashes of lightning; that stormy weather too is thus kept away, and that at sea exposure, even without menstruation, prevents storms. Wild indeed are the stories told of the mysterious and awful power of the menstruous discharge itself, the manifold magic of which I have spoken of in the proper place. Of these tales I may without shame mention the following: if this female power should issue when the moon or sun is in eclipse, it will cause irremediable harm; no less harm if there is no moon; at such seasons sexual intercourse brings disease and death upon the man; purple too is tarnished then by the woman's touch. So much greater then is the power of a menstruous woman. But at any other time of menstruation, if women go round the cornfield naked, caterpillars, worms, beetles and other vermin fall to the ground. Metrodorus of Scepsos states that the discovery was made in Cappadocia owing to the plague there of Spanish fly, so that women walk, he says, through the middle of the fields with their clothes pulled up above the buttocks. In other places the custom is kept up for them to walk barefoot, with hair dishevelled and with girdle loose. Care must he taken that they do not do so at sunrise, for the crop dries up, they say, the young vines are irremedially harmed by the touch, and rue and ivy, plants of the highest medicinal power, die at once. I have said much about this virulent discharge, but besides it is certain that when their hives are touched by women in this state bees fly away, at their touch linen they are boiling turns black, the edge of razors is blunted, brass contracts copper rust and a foul smell, especially if the moon is waning at the time, mares in foal if touched miscarry, nay the mere sight at however great a distance is enough, if the menstruation is the first after maidenhood, or that of a virgin who on account of age is menstruating naturally for the first time. But the bitumen also that is found in Judea can be mastered only by the power of this fluid, as I have already stated, a thread from an fluid. infected dress is sufficient. Not even fire, the all-conquering, overcomes it; even when reduced to ash, if sprinkled on clothes in the wash, it changes purples and robs colours of their brightness. Nor are women themselves immune to the effect of this plague of their sex; a miscarriage is caused by a smear, or even if a woman with child steps over it. Lais and Elephantis do not agree in their statements about abortives, the burning root of cabbage, myrtle, or tamarisk extinguished by the menstrual blood, about asses' not conceiving for as many years as they have eaten grains of barley contaminated with it, or in their other portentous or contradictory pronouncements, one saying that fertility, the other that barrenness is caused by the same measures. It is better not to believe them. Bithus of Dyrrhachium says that a mirror which has been tarnished by the glance of a menstruous woman recovers its brightness if it is turned round for her to look at the back, and that all this sinister power is counteracted if she carries on her person the fish called red mullet. Many however say that even this great plague is remedial; that it makes a liniment for gout, and that by her touch a woman in this state relieves scrofula, parotid tumours, superficial abscesses, erysipelas, boils and eye-fluxes. Lais and Salpe hold that the bite of a mad dog, tertians, and quartans are cured by the flux on wool from a black ram enclosed in a silver bracelet; Diotimus of Thebes says that even a bit, nay a mere thread, of a garment contaminated in this way and enclosed in the bracelet, is sufficient. The midwife Sotira has said that it is a very efficacious remedy for tertians and quartans to smear with the flux the soles of the patient's feet, much more so if the operation is performed by the woman herself without the patient's knowledge, adding that this remedy also revives an epileptic who has fainted. Icatidas, the physician, assures us that quartans are ended by sexual intercourse, provided that the woman is beginning to menstruate. All are agreed that, if water or drink is dreaded after a dog-bite, if only a contaminated cloth be placed beneath the cup, that fear disappears at once, since of course that sympathy, as Greeks call it, has an all-powerful effect, for I have said that dogs begin to go mad on tasting that blood. It is a fact that, added to soot and wax, the ash of the flux when burnt heals the sores of all draught-animals, but menstrual stains on a dress can be taken out only by the urine of the same woman, that the ash, mixed with nothing but rose oil, if applied to the forehead, relieves headache, especially that of women, and that the power of the flux is most virulent when virginity has been lost solely through lapse of time. This also is agreed, and there is nothing I would more willingly believe, that if doorposts are merely touched by the menstrual discharge, the tricks are rendered vain of the Magi, a lying crowd, as is easily ascertained. I will give the most moderate of their promises: take the parings of a patient's finger nails and toe nails, mix with wax, say that a cure is sought for tertian, quartan or quotidian fever, and fasten them before sunrise on another man's door as a cure for these diseases. What a fraud if they lie! What wickedness if they pass the disease on! Less guilty are those of them who tell us to cut all the nails, throw the parings near ant holes, catch the first ant that begins to drag a paring away, tie it round the neck, and in this way the disease is cured.
XXIV. This is all the information it would be right for me to repeat, most of which also needs an apology from me. As the rest of it is detestable and unspeakable, let me hasten to leave the subject of remedies from man. Taking the other animals I shall try to find what is striking either in them or in their effects.
The blood of an elephant, particularly that of the male, checks all the fluxes that are called ivory shavings with Attic honey are said to remove dark spots on the face, and ivory dust whitlows. By the touch of the trunk headache is relieved, more successfully if the animal also sneezes. The right side of the trunk used as an amulet with the red earth of Lemnos is aphrodisiac. The blood too is good for consumption, and the liver for epilepsy.
XXV. Lion fat with rose oil preserves fairness of complexion and keeps the face free from spots; it also cures frostbite and swollen joints. The lying Magi promise those rubbed with this fat a readier popularity with peoples and with kings, especially when the fat is that between the brows, where no fat can be. Similar promises are made about the possession of a tooth, especially one from the right side, and of the tuft beneath the muzzle. The gall, used with the addition of water as a salve, improves vision, and if lion fat is added a slight taste cures epilepsy, provided that those who have taken it at once aid its digestion by running. The heart taken as a food cures quartans; the fat with rose oil cures quotidians. Wild beasts run away from those smeared with it, and it is supposed to protect even from treachery.
XXVI. They say that a camel's brain, dried and taken in vinegar, cures epilepsy, as does the gall taken with honey, this being also a remedy for quinsy; that the tail when dried is laxative, and that the ash of the burnt dung makes the hair curl. This ash applied with oil is also good for dysentery, as is a three-finger pinch taken in drink, and also for epilepsy. They say that the urine is very useful to the fullers, and for running ulcersit is a fact that foreigners keep it for five years, and use heminadoses as a purgativeand that the tail hairs plaited into an amulet for the left arm cure quartan fevers.
XXVII. The Magi have held in the highest admiration the hyena of all animals, seeing that they have attributed even to an animal magical skill and power, by which it takes away the senses and entices men to itself. I have spoken of its yearly change of sex and its other weird characteristics; now I am going to speak of all that is reported about its medicinal properties. It is said to be a terror to panthers in particular, so that a panther does not even attempt to resist an hyena; that a person carrying anything made of hyena leather is not attacked, and, marvellous to relate, if the skins of each are hung up opposite to one another the hairs of the panther fall off. When an hyena is running away from the hunter, any swerve it makes to the fight has for its object stepping in the man's tracks as he now goes in front. If it succeeds, the man is deranged and even falls off his horse. Should however the hyena swerve to the left, it is a sign of failing strength and a speedy capture; this will be easier however if the hunter tie his girdle with seven knots, and seven in the whip with which he controls his horse. The Magi go on to recommend, so cunning are the evasions of the fraudulent charlatans, that the hyena should be captured when the moon is passing through the constellation of the Twins, without, if possible, the loss of a single hair. They add that the skin of its head if tied on relieves headache; that the gall if applied to the forehead cures ophthalmia, preventing it altogether if an ointment is made of gall boiled down with three cyathi of Attic honey and one ounce of saffron, and that the same prescription disperses film and cataract. They say that clear vision is secured better if the medicament is kept till old, but it must be in a box of copper; the same is a cure for argema, scabbiness, excrescences and scars on the eyes, but opaqueness needs an ointment made with gravy from fresh roasted liver added to skimmed honey. They add that hyena's teeth relieve toothache by the touch of the corresponding tooth, or by using it as an amulet, and the shoulders relieve pains of the shoulders and arm muscles; that the animal's teeth (but they must be from the left side of the muzzle), wrapped in sheep skin or goat skin, are good for severe pains in the stomach, the lungs taken as food for coeliac disease, and their ash, applied with oil, for pain in the belly; that sinews are soothed by its spinal marrow with its gall and old oil, quartan fevers relieved by three tastes of the liver before the attacks, gout by the ash of the spine, with the tongue and right foot of a seal added to bull's gall, all being boiled together and applied on hyena skin. In the same disease the gall of the hyena (so they say) with the stone of Assos beneficial; adding that those afflicted with tremors, spasms, jumpiness, and palpitation, should eat a piece of the heart boiled, but the rest must be reduced to ash and hyena's brain added to make an ointment; that an application of this mixture or of the gall by itself removes hairs, those not wanted to grow again must first be pulled out; by this method unwanted eyelashes are removed; that for pains in the loins flesh of an hyena's loins should be eaten and used us an ointment with oil; that barrenness in women is cured by an eye taken in food with liquorice and dill, conception being guaranteed within three days. For night tenors and fear of ghosts one of the large teeth tied on with thread as an amulet is said to be a help. They recommend fumigation with such a tooth for delirium, and to tie one round in front of the patient's chest, adding fat from the kidneys, or a piece of liver, or of skin. A woman is guaranteed never to miscarry if, tied round her neck in gazelle leather, she wears white flesh from a hyena's breast, seven hyena's hairs, and the genital organ of a stag. A hyena's genitals taken in honey stimulate desire for their own sex, even when men hate intercourse with women; nay the peace of the whole household is assured by keeping in the home these genitals and a vertebra with the hide still adhering to them. This vertebra or joint they call the Atlas joint; it is the first. They consider it too to be one of the remedies for epilepsy. They add that burning hyena fat keeps serpents away; that the jawbone, pounded in anise and taken in food, relieves fits of shivering, and that fumigation with it is an emmenagogue. They lie so grossly as to declare that, if an upper tooth from the right side of the muzzle is tied to the arm of a man, his javelin will never miss its mark. They say too that the palate of a hyena, dried, and warmed with Egyptian alum, cures foul breath and ulcers in the month, if the mixture is renewed three times; that those however who carry a hyena's tongue in their shoe under the foot never have dogs bark at them; that if a part of the left side of the brain is smeared on patients' nostrils dangerous diseases are relieved, whether of man or quadruped; that the hide of the forehead averts the evil eye, and the flesh of the neck, whether eaten, or dried and taken in drink, is good for lumbago; that sinews from the back and shoulders should be used for fumigating painful sinews; that hairs from the muzzle, applied to a woman's lips, act as a love-charm; that the liver given in drink cures colic and stone in the bladder. But they add that the heart, taken either in food or in drink, gives relief from all pains of the body, the spleen from those of the spleen, the caul with oil from inflamed ulcers, and the marrow from pains of the spine and of tired sinews; that the kidney sinews taken with frankincense in wine restore fertility lost through sorcery; that the uterus with the rind of a sweet pomegranate given in drink is good for the uterus of women; that the fat from the loins, used in fumigation, gives even immediate delivery to women in difficult labour; that the spinal marrow used as an amulet is a help against hallucinations, and fumigation with the male organ against spasms, as well as ophthalmia; a that for ruptures and inflammations a help is the touch of an hyena's feet, which are kept for the purpose, of the left foot for affections on the right side, and of the right foot for affections on the left side; that the left foot, drawn across a woman in labour, causes death, but the right foot laid one her easy delivery. The Magi say that the membrane enclosing the gall, taken in wine or in the food, is of use in cardiac affections; that the bladder taken in wine relieves incontinence of urine, and the urine found in the bladder, drunk with oil, sesame, and honey added, relieves chronic acidity of the stomach; that the first or eighth rib, used in fumigation, is curative for ruptures, but the spinal bones are so for women in labour; the blood taken with pearl barley is good for colic, and if the doorposts are everywhere touched with this blood, the tricks of the Magi are made ineffective, for they can neither call down the gods nor speak with them, whether they try lamps, bowl, water, globe, or any other means; that to eat the flesh neutralizes the bites of a mad dog, the liver being still more efficacious. They add that the flesh or bones of a man found in the stomach of an hyena when killed relieve gout by fumigation; that if fingernails are found in them it is a sign of death for one of the hunters; that excrement or bones, voided when the beast is being killed, can prevail against the insidious attacks of sorcerers; that dung found in the intestines is, when dried, excellent for dysentery, and, taken in drink and applied with goose grease, gives relief anywhere in the body to the victims of noxious drugs; that for dog-bites, however, rubbing with the fat as ointment, and lying on the skin, are helpful; that on the other hand those rubbed with the ash of the left pastern bone, boiled down with weasel's blood, incur universal hatred, the same effect being produced by a decoction of the eye. Over and above all these things they assert that the extreme end of the intestine prevails against the injustices leaders and potentates, bringing success to petitions and a happy issue to trials and lawsuits if it is merely kept on the person; that the anus, worn as an amulet on the left arm, is so powerful a love-charm that, if a man but espies a woman, she at once follows him; that the hairs also of this part, reduced to ashes, mixed with oil, and used as ointment on men guilty of shocking effeminacy, make them assume, not only a modest character, but one of the strictest morality.
XXVIII. Almost as legendary is the crocodile, in its nature a alsoI mean the famous one, which is amphibious; for there are two kinds of crocodiles. His teeth from the right jaw, worn as an amulet on the right arm, are (if we believe it) aphrodisiac, while the dog teeth, stuffed with frankincense (for they are hollow), drive away the intermittent fevers if the sick man can be kept for five days from seeing the person who fastened them on. It is said that pebbles taken from his belly have a similar power to check feverish shivers as they come on. For the same reason the Egyptians rub their sick with its fat. The other kind of crocodile is similar to this, though much smaller in size, living only on land and eating very sweet-scented flowers. Its intestines therefore are much in demand, being hued with fragrant stuff called crocodilea, which with leek juice makes a very useful salve for affections of the eyes, and to treat cataract or films. Applied also with cyprus oil crocodile removes blotches appearing on the face, with water indeed all those diseases the nature of which is to spread over the face, and it also clears the complexion. It removes freckles, pimples, and all spots; two-oboli doses are taken in oxymel for epilepsy, and a pessary made of it acts as an emmenagogue. The best kind is very shiny, friable, and extremely light, fermenting when rubbed between the fingers. It is washed in the same way as white lead. They adulterate it with starch or Cimoliau chalk, but mostly with the dung of starlings, which they catch and feed on nothing but rice. We are assured that there is no more useful remedy for cataract than to anoint the eyes with crocodile's gall and honey. They say that fumigation with the intestines and the rest of its body is of benefit to women with uterine trouble, as it is to wrap them up in a fleece impregnated with its steam. Ashes from burning the skin of either kind of crocodile, applied in vinegar to the parts in need of surgery, or even the fumes, cause no pain to be felt from the lancet. The blood of either kind, if the eyes are anointed with it, improves the vision and removes eye scars. The body itself, boiled without the head and feet, is eaten for sciatica and cures chronic cough, especially that of children, as well as lumbago. Crocodiles also have a fat, a touch of which makes hair fall out. Used as embrocation this protects from crocodiles, and is poured by drops into their bites. The heart, tied on in the wool of a black sheep, the firstborn of its mother, the wool having no other colour intermixed, is said to drive away quartan fevers.
XXIX. To these animals I will add others very like them and equally foreign, taking first the chamaeleon, thought by Democritus worthy of a volume to itself, each part of the body receiving separate attention. It afforded me great amusement to read an exposure of Greek lies and fraud. The chamaeleon is also as big as the crocodile just mentioned, differing only in the greater curve of the spine and in the size of its tail. People think it the most timid of animals, and that it is for this reason it continually changes its colour. Over the hawk family it has very great power, for as a hawk flies overhead, it is brought down to the chamaeleon, they say, and made an unresisting prey for other animals to tear. Democritus relates that its head and throat, if burnt on logs of oak, cause storms of rain and thunder, as does the liver if burnt on tiles. The rest of what he says is of the nature of sorcery, and although I think that it is untrue. I shall omit all, except where something must be refuted by being laughed at; examples are as follow. The right eye, plucked from the living animal and added to goat's milk, removes white ulcers on the eyes; the tongue, worn as an amulet, the perils of childbirth. The same eye, if in the house, is favourable to childbirth; if brought in, very dangerous. The tongue, taken from the living animal, controls the results of cases in the courts; the heart, tied on with black wool of the first shearing, overcomes quartan fevers. The right front foot, tied as an amulet to the left arm by hyena skin, is powerful protection against robbery and tenors of the night, and the right teat against fears and panic. The left foot however is roasted in a furnace with the plant that also is called chamaeleon, an unguent is added, and the lozenges thus made are stored away in a wooden vessel and, if we believe it, make the owner invisible to others. The right shoulder has power to overcome adversaries and public enemies, especially if a person throws away sinews of the same animal and treads on them. But as to the left shoulder, I am ashamed to repeat the grotesque magic that Democritus assigns to it; how any dreams you like be may sent to any person you like; how these dreams are dispelled by the right foot, just as the torpor caused by the right foot is dispelled by the left flank. In this way headache is cured by sprinkling on the head wine in which either side of a chamaeleon has been soaked. If sow's milk is mixed with the ash of the left thigh or foot, gout is caused by rubbing the feet with the mixture. It is practically a current belief that anointing the eyes for three days with the gall is a cure for opaqueness of the eye and cataract, that serpents run away if the gall is dropped into fire, that weasels run together when it is thrown into water, while hairs are removed from the body when it is rubbed therewith. Democritus relates that the same result comes from applying the liver with the lung of the bramble toad; that moreover the liver makes of no effect love charms and philtres, curing melancholy also if the juice of the herb helenium is drunk in a chamaeleon's skin; that the intestines and their content (although the animal lives without food) with the urine of apes, if smeared on the door of an enemy, brings on him the hatred of all men; that by its tail rivers and rushing waters are stayed and serpents put to sleep; that the tail also, if treated with cedar and myrrh and tied on to a twin palm-branch, divides the water struck with it, so that all within becomes plain. Would that Democritus had been touched with such a branch, seeing that he assures us that by it wild talk is restrained! It is clear that a man, in other respects of sound judgement and of great service to humanity, fell very low through his over-keenness to help mankind.
XXX. A similar animal is the scincosand indeed it has been styled the land crocodilebut it is paler, and with a thinner skin. The chief difference, however, between it and the crocodile is in the arrangement of the scales, which are turned from the tail towards the head. The Indian is the biggest scincos, next coming the Arabian. They import them salted. Its muzzle and feet, taken in white wine, are aphrodisiac, especially with the addition of satyrion and rocket seed, a single drachma of all three and two drachmae of pepper being compounded. One-drachma lozenges of the compound should be taken in drink. Two oboli of the flesh of the flanks by itself, taken in drink with myrrh and pepper in similar proportions, are believed to be more efficacious for the same purpose. It is also good for the poison of arrows, as Apelles informs us, if taken before and after the wound. It is also an ingredient of the more celebrated antidotes. Sextius says that more than a drachma by weight, taken in a hemina of wine, is a fatal dose, and that moreover the broth of a scincos taken with honey is antaphrodisiac.
XXXI. There is a kind of relationship between the crocodile and the hippopotamus, for they both live in the same river and both are amphibious. The hippopotamus, as I have related, was the discoverer of bleeding, and is most numerous above the prefecture of Sais. His hide, reduced to ash and applied with water, cures superficial abscesses; the fat and likewise the dung chilly agues by fumigation, and the teeth on the left side, if the gums are scraped with them, aching teeth. The hide from the left side of his forehead, worn as an amulet on the groin, is an antaphrodisiac; the same reduced to ash restores hair lost through mange. A drachma of a testicle is taken in water for snake bite. The blood is used by painters.
XXXII. The lynx too is a foreign animal, and has keener sight than any other quadruped. On the island of Carpathus all their nails, with the hide, make, it is said, a very efficacious medicine when reduced to ash by burning. They say that these ashes taken in drink by men check shameful conduct, and sprinkled on women lustful desire; that they also cure irritation of the skin and that the urine cures strangury. And so, as is said, the animal at once covers it with earth by scratching with his paws. This urine is also prescribed for pain in the throat.
XXXIII. Hitherto I have dealt with things foreign, but will now turn to the Roman world speaking first of remedies common to all animals and excellent in quality, such as milk and its uses. Mothers milk is for everybody the most beneficial. [It is very bad for women to conceive while nursing; their nurselings are called colostrati, the milk being thick like cheese. But colostra is the first milk given after delivery, and is thick and spongy.] But any woman's milk is more nourishing than any of hem kind the next being that of the goat; this perhaps is the origin of the story that Jupiter was nursed in this way. The sweetest milk after woman's is that of the camel, the most efficacious that of the ass. A big species or a big individual yields its milk more readily. Goat's milk is the most suited to the stomach, as the animal browses rather than grazes. Cow's milk is more medicinal, sheep's sweeter and more nourishing, although less useful for the stomach because of its greater richness. All spring milk, however, is more watery than that of summer, as is that from new pastures. The highest grade, however, is that of which a drop stays on the nail without falling off. Milk is less harmful when boiled, especially with sea pebbles. Cow's milk is the most relaxing, and any milk causes less flatulence when boiled. Milk is used for all internal ulcers, especially those of the kidneys, bladder, intestines, throat, and lungs, externally for irritation of the skin, and for outbursts of phlegm, but it must be drunk after fasting. And I have mentioned in my account of herbs, how in Arcadia cow's milk is drunk by consumptives, and by those in a decline or poor state of health. Cases too are quoted of patients who by drinking ass's milk have been freed from gout in feet or hands. To the various kinds of milk physicians have added another, named schiston, that is, divided. It is made in this way: milk, by preference goats milk, is boiled in new earthenware and stirred with fresh branches of a fig-tree, after adding as many cyathi of honey wine as there are heminae of milk. When it boils, to prevent its boiling over a silver cyathus of cold water is lowered into it so that none is spilled. Then taken off the fire it divides as it cools, and the whey separates from the milk. Some also boil down to one-third the whey itself, which is now very vinous indeed, and cool it in the open air. But the most efficacious way to drink it is a hemina at a time at intervals, five heminae in all on fixed days; it is better to take a drive afterwards. It is given for epilepsy, melancholia, paralysis, leprous sores, leprosy, and diseases of the joints. Milk is also injected for smarting caused by purges, or, for the swatting of dysentery, milk boiled down with sea pebbles or with barley gruel. For smarting intestines also cow's milk or sheep's is the more effective. Fresh milk too is injected for dysentery, and raw milk for colitis, uterus trouble, snake bite, swallowing pine-caterpillars, buprestis, the poison of Spanish fly or salamander, and cow's milk is specific when there has been taken in drink Colchicum, hemlock, doryenium, or sea hare, as ass's milk is for gypsum, white lead, sulphur, quicksilver, and constipation in fever. It also makes a very useful gargle for ulcerated throats, is drank by convalescents from weakening illness, said to be 'in a decline,' and also for fever which is without headache. To give to children before food a hemina of ass's milk, or failing that of goat's milk, and if the rectum smarted at stool, the ancients held to be one of their secrets. Better for orthopnoea than other remedies is whey of cow's milk with the addition of cress. The eyes also are bathed for ophthalmia with a hemina of milk to which have been added four drachmae of pounded sesame. Splenic diseases are cured by drinking goat's milk for three days without any other food, but the goats must fast for two days and then browse on ivy the third day. Drinking milk is generally bad for headache, complaints of the liver, spleen and sinews, for fevers, for giddiness except as a purge, and for a heavy cold, cough, and ophthalmia. Sheep's milk is very beneficial for tenesmus, dysentery, and consumption; there have been some who said that this milk is also the most wholesome for women.
XXXIV. The kinds of cheese I discussed when speaking of udders and the separate parts of animals. Sextius gives to cow's-milk cheese the same properties as he gives to that from mare's milk, which is called hippace. Beneficial to the stomach are those not salted, that is to say the fresh. Old cheeses bind the bowels and reduce flesh, being rather bad for the stomach; on the whole salty foods reduce flesh, soft foods make it. Fresh cheese with honey heals bruises, a soft cheese binds the bowels, and relieves gripes if lozenges of it are boiled in a dry wine and then roasted in a pan with honey. Coeliac affections are cured by the cheese that they call saprum, taken in drink after being pounded in wine with salt and dried sorb apples; carbuncles of the genitals by an application of pounded goat's-milk cheese. Sour cheese also with oxymel is applied in the bath alternately with oil to remove spots.
XXXV. From milk is also made butter, among barbarian tribes accounted the choicest food, one that distinguishes the rich from the lower orders. Mostly cow's milk is used (hence the name), but the richest comes from sheep'sit is also made from goat'sbut in winter the milk is warmed, while in summer the butter is extracted merely by shaking it rapidly in a tall vessel. This has a small hole to admit the air, made just under the mouth, which is otherwise completely stopped. There is added a little water to make the milk turn sour. The part that curdles most, floating on the top, is skimmed off, and with salt added is called oxygala; the rest they boil down in pots. What comes to the surface is butter, a fatty substance. The stronger the taste, the more highly is butter esteemed. When matured it is used as an ingredient for several mixtures. It is by nature astringent, emollient, flesh-forming, and cleansing.
XXXVI. Oxygala is made in yet another way, by adding sour milk to the fresh that it is wished to turn sour. It is very good for the stomach; of its properties I shall speak in the appropriate places.
XXXVII. Of remedies common to animals the next in repute is fat, especially pig's fat, which to the men of old was not a little sacred. At any rate brides even today touch ritually the doorposts with it on entering their homes. Lard is matured in two ways, with salt or by itself; it is so much the more beneficial when matured. The name axungia (axlegrease) is the one adopted by the Greeks also in their writings. Nor is the cause of its properties a mystery, for the pig feeds on the roots of plants, so that there are very many uses even for its dung. Therefore I shall not speak of other grease than that of the pig. By far the more beneficial is that from a sow that has not littered, [but much snore excellent is that of boars]. Axle-grease then is used for softening, warming, dispersing, and cleansing. Certain medical men recommend for gout a mixture of it with goose grease, bull suet and suint; if however the pain should persist, they add wax, myrtle berries, resin, and pitch. Unsalted axle-grease is good for bums or frostbite; for chilblains add equal measures of barley-ash and gall nuts. It is also beneficial for chafed limbs, and relieves weariness and fatigue from a journey. Fresh axle-grease, three ounces in three cyathi of wine with honey added, is boiled down for chronic cough. Old grease taken in pills cures even consumption, but it must have matured without salt, for salt grease is not recommended at all except where cleansing is required and where there is no ulceration. Some boil down three ounces of axle-grease and of honey wine in three cyathi of wine to treat consumption, recommending that on every fourth day liquid pitch should be taken in egg. Poultices of it are applied to the sides, chest, and shoulders of consumptive patients, and so great is its power that even when fastened to the knees as an amulet the taste comes back to the mouth and they seem to be spitting it out. Fat from a sow that has not littered is used with very great advantage by women as a cosmetic, but for itch any kind is good, mixed with a third part of beef suet and pitch, all being warmed together. Unsalted axle-grease used as a pessary nourishes the foetus when there is the threat of a miscarriage. Mixed with white lead or litharge lard gives to scars the colour of the surrounding skin, and with sulphur cleans scabrous nails. It cures too the falling-out of hair, and with a quarter of a gall nut sores on the head of women; as a fumigant it is good for eyelashes. It is also given to consumptives, in doses of one ounce with a hemina of old wine boiled down until of the whole three ounces remain; some add also a little honey. With lime it is applied to superficial abscesses, also to boils and to indurations of the breasts. It cures ruptures, sprains, cramps, and dislocations; with white hellebore corns, chaps, and callosities; and parotid swellings with pounded earthenware that has contained salted food, the same being also good for scrofulous sores. Rubbing in the bath with this fat removes irritation and pimples, and administered in yet another way it is good for gout: mixed with old oil, crushed sarcophagus stone, and cinquefoil pounded in wine, or with lime, or with ash. A special plaster too is made of 75 denarii by weight of lard mixed with 100 of litharge, very useful for inflamed ulcers. They also think it useful to treat such sores with boar's grease, and to apply it with resin to those that spread. The men of old used lard in particular for greasing the axles of their vehicles, that the wheels might revolve more easily, and in this way it received its name. So also with that rust of the wheels it made a useful medicament for affections of the anus and of the male genitals. The old physicians valued most the fat taken from the kidneys: removing the veins they rubbed it briskly with rain water, boiled it down several times in new earthenware, and then finally stored it away. It is agreed that when salted it has increased power of softening, warming, and dispersing, and that it is more useful when washed with wine. Masurius tells us that the men of old gave the palm to wolf's fat; that, he said, was why new brides were wont to smear with it the door-posts to keep out all evil drugs.
XXXVIII. Corresponding to fat in other animals is suet in ruminants; used in other ways it is of no less potency. All suet is prepared by taking out the veins, washing in seawater or salt water, and then pounding in a mortar with frequent sprinklings of seawater. Afterwards it is boiled until all smell disappears, and then by continual exposure to the sun it is bleached to a shining white. All suet from the kidneys is highly valued. But if stale suet is being put to use, it is recommended first to melt it, then wash it several times in cold water, and then to melt it after pouring on it wine with the most fragrant bouquet. They boil it in the same way again and again, until all the rankness disappears. Many recommend that in this way should be prepared the fat in particular of bulls, lions, panthers, and camels. Their use will be given in the appropriate places.
XXXIX. The various marrows too are all in use. All marrow is emollient, filling, drying, and warming. The most highly valued is that of deer, next of calves, and then of goats, male and female. Marrow is prepared before autumn; it should be fresh, washed, dried in the shade, then passed melted through a sieve, strained through a linen cloth, and then stored away in an earthenware vessel in a cool place.
XL. But of all the parts common to animals gall by far the most efficacious. Its nature is warming, pungent, dissolvent, extractive, and dispersive. That of the smaller animals is understood to be more delicate, and so is thought to be more useful for eye medicaments. Bull's gall is particularly potent, staining even bronze and basins with a golden colour. All gall is prepared when fresh by tying with stout thread the mouth of the gall bladder, steeping it for half an hour in boiling water, then drying it out of the sun, and storing away in honey. That of horses alone is condemned as a poison. Therefore the sacrificial flamen is not allowed to touch a horse, although at the public sacrifices at Rome a horse is even offered as a victim.
XLI. Moreover the blood of horses has a corrosive power; the blood of mares also, except that of virgin animals. It cleans out ulcers and eats away their lips. Fresh bull's blood indeed is reckoned one of the poisons, except at Aegira. For there the priestess of Earth, when about to prophesy, drinks bull's blood before she goes down into the eaves. So strong is that famous sympathy I speak of that it sometimes becomes active under the influence of religions awe or of a place. Drusus, tribune of the people, is reported to have drunk goat's blood because he wished, by his pallor, to accuse his enemy Q. Caepio of having poisoned him, and so to arouse hatred against him. So great is the power of he-goats' blood that iron tools cannot in any other way be hardened to a finer edge, and roughness is smoothed more thoroughly by it than by a file. Accordingly blood cannot be included among the remedies common to animals, and so each kind of blood will be discussed according to its effects.
XLII. For I shall arrange remedies according to each malady, serpents' bites requiring very full treatment. Nobody is unaware that deer are their deadly enemies, in that they drag any they may find from their holes and eat them. Not only, however, when whole and alive are they the enemy of serpents; the parts of their body are so also. The fumes from their horns when burnt, as I have said, keep serpents away; but if the topmost bones of a stag's neck have been burnt, serpents are said to assemble. The skins of the same animal make a bed in which one may sleep without fear of snakes, and the rennet taken in vinegar prevents being bitten; if it is merely handled, in fact, on that day no serpent strikes. A stag's testicles dried, or the dried male organ, are in wine a salutary drink; so is that stomach which is called centipellio. Serpents keep away from those who have about them merely a stag's tooth, or have been rubbed with the marrow or suet of stag or fawn. As I have already pointed out, to sovereign remedies is preferred the rennet of a young stag cut from his mother's uterus. Stag's blood, if with it are burnt on a lentisk-wood fire dracontion, cunilago and anchusa, is said to collect serpents together; then they scatter, it is said, if in place of blood pyrethrum is added. In my Greek authorities I find mentioned an animal that they call ophion, smaller than a stag and like it only in its hair, which is found nowhere save in Sardinia. I believe that it is extinct today, and therefore I give no remedies from it. The brain and blood of a wild boar is another approved protection against serpents, as is its liver preserved and taken in wine with rue, likewise the fat with honey and resin, and given in the same way boar's liver and the fibre only of the gall-bladder, the dose being four denarii by weight, or the brain taken in wine. The horn or hair of she-goats, when burnt, is said to keep serpents away, and the ash from the horn, whether taken in drink or applied, to be efficacious for their bites; as are also draughts of their milk with taminian grapes, or of their urine with squill vinegar; so too an application of goat cheese with marjoram, or of goat suet with wax. Thousands of remedies besides from the goat are given in prescriptions, as will be pointed out; ibis is surprising to me, because it is said never to be free from fever. The potency of the wild-goatgoats are a very numerous species, as I have said is greater, but a he-goat too has a potency of its own. Democritus also holds that if a goat is the only one at a birth he supplies more efficacious remedies. An application also of she-goat's dung boiled down in vinegar is approved treatment for snake bite, and so is the ash of fresh dung boiled down in wine; speaking generally, slow convalescents from snake bite recover best in a goat's stable. Those who want more efficacious treatment apply immediately as a plaster a slaughtered she-goat's belly cut open, including any dung found inside. Others fumigate with fresh kid-meat, not taking away the hair, and with the same fumes drive snakes away. They also use a fresh kid-skin for the wound, or the flesh and dung of a horse fed by pasture and the rennet of a hare in vinegar; the same for scorpions and the shrewmouse. It is said that rubbing with hare's rennet protects froth being stung or bitten. Those stung by a scorpion are helped by she-goat's dung, more efficaciously if it is boiled down in vinegar; the fat and broth of the decoction, if drunk, helps those too who have swallowed a buprestis. Moreover, if anyone says in the ear of an ass that he has been stung by a scorpion, the mischief, it is said, at once passes over into the animal, all venomous creatures run away from an ass's burning lung, and those stung by a scorpion are benefited by fumigation with the dung of a calf.
XLIII. Wounds made by the bite of a mad dog some cut round into the quick and apply veal, giving to drink veal broth, or else axle-grease pounded with lime, or he-goat's liver, an application of which is said to keep off entirely the dread of water. Approved treatment is also she-goat's dung applied in wine, and to drink a decoction of the dung of badger, cuckoo and swallow. For the other beast-bites dried goat's cheese with marjoram is applied and recommended to be taken in drink; to human bites is applied boiled beet boiled veal being more efficacious, if it is not taken off before the fifth day.
XLIV. Sorceries are said to be counteracted by a wolf's preserved muzzle, and for this reason they hang one up on the gates of country houses. The same effect is supposed to be given by the whole fur from a wolf's neck, the legs included, for so great is the power of the animal that, besides what I have already stated, his footprints when trodden on by horses make them torpid.
XLV. Those who have swallowed quicksilver find a remedy in lard. By drinking ass's milk poisons are neutralized, especially if henbane has been swallowed, or mistletoe, hemlock, sea-hare, opocarpathum, pharicum, dorycnium, or if milk has done harm by curdling, for there is poison in the first coagulation of it. I shall give many other uses of ass's milk, but it should be remembered to use it when fresh, or nearly fresh and warmed, for no milk loses its power more rapidly. The bones too of the ass, crushed and boiled, are given for the poison of the sea-hare. All these remedies are more efficacious from the wild ass. About wild horses the Greeks have not written, because Greek lands did not breed them, but it must be inferred that all remedies from them are more potent than from the tame animal. By mare's milk are neutralized the poison of the sea-hare and arrow poisons. The Greeks had not the urus or the bison to try out, although the Indian jungles swarm with wild cattle. All the same remedies from them, however, it is reasonable to believe, are proportionally more efficacious. So cow's milk too is said to neutralize all poisons, especially those mentioned before, and if ephemerum has gone down the throat or Spanish fly administered, and to expel by vomiting all the noxious substances; goat broth also to act in the same way on Spanish fly. Those poisons however that cause fatal ulceration are relieved by veal-suet or beef-suet. But for leeches swallowed in drink butter, with vinegar warmed by hot iron, is a remedy, butter even by itself being beneficial against poisonink, for if one has no oil butter is a good substitute. It and honey together cure the bites of millipedes. Tripe broth and also veal suet are thought to neutralize the poisons mentioned above, especially however aconite and hemlock. Fresh goat-cheese is a remedy for those who have taken mistletoe in drink, as is goat's milk for Spanish fly, and with Taminian grapes for swallowing ephenserum. Goat's blood boiled with the marrow is taken for arrow poison, kid's for the other poisons, kid's rennet for mistletoe, white chamaeleon and bull's blood, for which another remedy is hare's rennet in vinegar; for the stingray however, and for the stings or bites of all sea creatures, hare's rennet or that of a kid or lamb, the dose being a drachma by weight in wine. Hare's rennet is also an ingredient of antidotes against poisons. The moth too that flutters to the lamplight is counted among noxious drugs; an antidote is goat's liver, as is its gall for sorcerer's potions made from the field weasel. At this point I shall return to the various kinds of diseases.
XLVI. Bear's grease mixed with ladanum and adiantum prevents the hair from falling out, and cures mange, and scanty eyebrows, if mixed with the lamp-black from lamp wicks and the soot that collects in their nozzles. Mixed with wine it cures dandruff. Good too for the last is the ash of deer's horn in wine, good also to prevent verniin from breeding in the hair, likewise goat's gall with Cimolian chalk and vinegar, the mixture being allowed to dry a little on the head; sow's gall too, and the urine of a bull. If indeed it should be old, with the addition of sulphur it also cures dandruff. It is thought that a thicker growth of hair and prevention of greyness are given by an ass's genital organ reduced to ash; this should be pounded with oil iu a leaden mortar, and applied after shaving the head. They also think that thicker hair is encouraged by applying the urine of a young ass. Nard is mixed with it because of its nastiness. For mange is applied warmed bull's gall with Egyptian alum. Running sores on the head are healed efficaciously by bull's urine, also by stale human urine with the addition of cyclamen and sulphur, more efficaciously however by the gall of a calf, which warmed with vinegar also removes nits. For sores on the head calf's suet pounded with salt is very useful. Fox fat is also recommended, but especially cats' dung applied with an equal quantity of mustard; goat's horn, ground to powder or reduced to ash, a he-goat's being better, with the addition of soda, tamarisk seed, butter, and oil, the head being first shaved; this treatment is wonderful for preventing loss of hair, just as goat's meat, reduced to ash and applied with oil, darkens the eyebrows. Goat's milk is said to remove nits, the dung with honey to replace hair lost by mange, likewise the hoofs reduced to ash and added to pitch. Hare's flesh reduced to ash, with oil of myrtle, prevents hair from falling out. Headache is relieved by drinking the water left after an ox or ass has drunk, and also, if we care to believe it, by the genital organ of a male fox fastened round the head, and by a deer's horn reduced to ashes and applied in vinegar, rose oil, or iris oil.
XLVII. To eye fluxes is applied beef suet boiled with oil; scabrous eyes are smeared with the same and deer's born reduced to ash, but the tips by themselves are thought to be more efficacious. Cataract is benefited by applying round the eyes the excrement of a wolf, dimness by smearing them with its ash and Attic honey, also with bear's gall, and epinyctis with wild boar's fat and rose oil. The ash of an ass's hoof smeared on the eyes with the same ass's milk removes scars and albugo. The marrow from the right front leg of an ox, pounded and added to soot, eyelashes, affections of the eyelids and of the corners of the eyes (the soot for this purpose is prepared as for a calliblepharum, best from a papyrus wick and sesame oil, the soot being wiped off with feathers into a new vessel), very efficiently however it prevents the hairs once pulled out there from growing again. From the gall of a bull with white of egg are made eye-salves, and dissolved in water they are applied for four successive days. Calf suet with goose-grease and juice of ochnum is very good for affections of the eyelids. Calf marrow, with equal weights of wax and of oil or rose-oil, with an egg added, is applied to indurations of the eyelids. Eye fluxes are relieved by an application in warm water of soft cheese made from goat's milk, or, if there is swelling, in honey; in both cases there should be fomentation with warm whey. Dry ophthalmia is cured by taking the small loins of pork, burning, pounding, and then placing them on the eyes. She-goats are said never to suffer from ophthalmia, because of certain herbs they eat, and likewise gazelles; for this reason it is recommended that at the new moon their dung should be swallowed, coated with wax. Since they see equally well at night, it is thought that those who have no night vision (the Greeks call them nyctalopes) are cured by the blood of a he-goat, but also by the liver of a she-goat boiled down in a dry wine. Some smear the eyes with the gravy from a she-goat's roasted liver, or with its gall; they prescribe its meat as a food, and fumigation of the eyes with the steam that arises from the cooking; they also consider it important for the animal to have been of a red colour. They also wish the eyes to be fumigated with the steam of the liver boiled in a clay pot; some say that it should he roasted. The gall indeed of goats is employed in many ways; with honey for dimness; with a third part of white hellebore for opaqueness of the lens; with wine for sears, albugo, dimness, pterygia, and argema; but with cabbage juice for affections of the eyelids, the hairs being first pulled out, and the application being left to dry; with human milk for rupture of the eye-coats. For all purposes preserved gall is thought to be more efficacious. Goat's dung with honey is a not unvalued ointment for eye fluxes, or the marrow for eye pains, or a hare's lung, and for dimness its gall with raisin wine or honey. Wolf's fat also or pig's marrow is prescribed as an ointment for ophthalmia. But it is said that those who carry a fox's tongue in a bracelet will never suffer from ophthalmia.
XLVIII. Pain in the ears and ear affections are cured by the urine of a wild boar kept in a glass vessel, by the gall of a wild boar, pig, or ox, with citrus oil and rose oil in equal proportions, but best of all by warm bull's gall with leek juice, or with honey should there be suppuration, and for foul odour the gall by itself warmed in a pomegranate rind. Ruptures in this region are thoroughly healed by the gall with woman's milk. Some hold that for hardness of hearing also the ears should be rinsed out with this wash, others add serpents' slough and vinegar (they insert the mixture on wool), the ears being first rinsed with warm water, or, if the hardness of hearing amounts to deafness, they pour in bull's gall with myrrh and rue warmed in pomegranate rind, also fat bacon; or fresh ass's dung with rose oil is inserted in drops, all being warmed. More useful is the foam of a horse, or fresh horse-dung reduced to ash and mixed with rose-oil, fresh butter, beef suet with goose grease, she-goat's or bull's urine, or that used by fullers, stale, and warmed until the steam rises up the neck of the jar (a third part of vinegar is added and little myrrh), the dung, mixed with the gall, of a calf that has not tasted grass added to the slough of snakes, the ears being first warmed; these medicaments are inserted into the ears on wool. Beneficial is also veal suet, with goose grease and juice of ocimum; the marrow of a calf mixed with rounded cummin and poured into the ear; and for tar pains the seminal fluid of a hog, caught as it drips from a sow before it can touch the ground; for fractures of the ears the glue made from the genitals of calves and melted in water; for other affections the fat of foxes, goat's gall with warm rose-oil or with leek juice, or, if any part of the ear has been ruptured, with woman's milk; if there is hardness of hearing, ox gall with the urine of a goat, male or female, or if there is pus. But whatever the use may be, it is thought that these remedies are more efficacious if they ate smoke-dried for twenty days in a goat's horn. Another approved treatment is a third of a denarius of hare's rennet and half a denarius of sacopenium in Ammincan wine. Parotid swellings are reduced by bear's grease with an equal weight of wax and bull suet (some add hypocisthis), and an application of butter by itself after previous fomentation with a decoction of fenugreek, more efficaciously with the addition of strychnos. Beneficial also are the testicles of foxes and bull's blood dried and pounded, she-goat's urine warmed and poured by drops into the ear, and an application of she-goat's dung with axle-grease.
XLIX. Loose teeth are made tight by the ash of deer's horn, which relieves their pain, whether used as dentifrice or in a mouth wash. Some consider more efficacious for all the same purposes the unburnt horn ground to powder. Dentifrices are made in either way. A grand remedy too is a wolf's head reduced to ash. It is certain that bones are generally found in the excrements of wolves. Used as an amulet these have the same effect, and hare's rennet relieves toothache if poured through the ear. Hare's head reduced to ash makes a dentifrice, and with nard added corrects a bad odour from the mouth. Some prefer to add as well ash from the burnt heads of mice. There is found in the flank of a hare a bone like a needle, with Which they recommend aching teeth to be scraped. The ignited pastern bone of an ox, applied to teeth that are loose and aching, tightens them; the ash of the same with myrrh makes a dentifrice. The bones also of pigs' feet, when burnt, have the same effect, as have the bones from the sockets round which the hipbones move. It is well known that by these, when inserted into the throat of draught cattle, worms are cured, that by them, when burnt, teeth are tightened, as they are, when loosened through a blow, by ass's milk, by the ash of an ass's teeth, or by the lichen of a horse poured with oil through the ear. This lichen is not the same as hippomanes, which being pernicious on several grounds I omit, but an excrescence on the knees of homes and above their hoofs. Moreover, in the heart of horses is found a bone like very large canine teeth; with this they prescribe the painful tooth to be scraped, or with the tooth, corresponding to the place of the aching tooth, extracted from the jawbone of a dead horse. Anaxilaus has informed us that the fluid coming from mares when covered, if ignited on lamp wicks, shows weird appearances of horses' heads, and similarly with asses. But hippomanes has such virulent and magical properties that, added to the molten bronze for a figure of an Olympian mare, it maddens any stallions brought near with a raving sexual lust. Teeth are also healed by workman's glue boiled down in water, applied, and shortly after taken off, the teeth immediately to be rinsed in wine in which the rind of sweet pomegranates has been boiled. It is also thought efficacious to rinse the teeth in goat's milk or bull's gall. The ash from a freshly-killed she-goat's pastern bones makes a popular dentifrice, and, so that I need not repeat myself, the same is true of nearly all female farm quadrupeds.
L. It is thought that ass's milk removes wrinkles from the face, making the skin white and soft, and it is well known that some women every day bathe their cheeks in it seven times, keeping carefully to that number. Poppaea, wife of the Emperor Nero, began this custom, even preparing her bathtubs with the milk, and for this purpose she was always attended by troops of she-asses. Pituitous eruptions on the face are removed by the application of butter, the addition of white-lead being an improvement, but spreading sores by unmixed butter with a sprinkling of barley meal on top, and ulcers on the face by the membrane, still moist, that follows the birth of a calf. The following recipe may seem a trifle, but to satisfy the women I must not omit it: the pastern bone of a white bull-calf, boiled for forty days and nights until it melts to a jelly, and applied on a linen cloth, gives whiteness to the skin and smoothes away wrinkles. They say that bull's dung brings a rosy colour to the cheeks, though it is better to rub them with crocodilea, but before and after they must be bathed with cold water. Brick-red spots and discolorations of the skin are removed by calf dung kneaded by hand with oil and gum, sores and cracks in the mouth by veal suet or beef suet with goose grease and juice of ocimum. There is yet another compound, veal suet with deer's marrow and white-thorn leaves pounded together. The same effect is given by marrow with resin, even if it is cow marrow, and by the broth from cow beef. An excellent cure for facial lichens is the gluey substance made from the genitals of calves, dissolved in vinegar with native sulphur, stirred up with a fig branch and applied fresh twice a day, and the same boiled down in honey and vinegar for leprous sores, which are also removed by a warm application of he-goat's liver, as is leprosy by goat's gall. Moreover, leprous sores and scurf are removed by bull's gall with soda, or at the rising of the Dog-star by ass's urine; spots on the face by the gall of either animal broken up in water without addition; after the skin has come away sun and winds must be avoided. A similar effect is also obtained by bull's gall or veal gall, with the seed of cunila, and the ash of deer's horn burnt at the rising of the lesser Dog-star. By ass suet their natural colour is restored to scars, especially to those removed by he-goat's gall mixed with cheese, native left by lichen or leprous sores. Freckles too are sulphur, and sponge ash; the consistency of the mixture should be that of honey. Some have preferred to use matured gall, mixing one obolus of warm bran and four oboli of honey, the spots being first rubbed. An efficacious mixture is also he-goat's suet with melanthium, sulphur, and iris; for cracks in the lips the suet with goose grease, deer's marrow, resin, and lime. I find in my authorities that those with freckles are debarred from assisting at magic ritual.
LI. Cow's milk or goat's is helpful for ulcerated tonsils or trachea. It is used as a gargle, of the usual warmth, either newly milked or heated. Goat's milk is more useful, boiled down with mallow and a little salt. For ulceration of the tongue or trachea a remedy is a gargle of tripe broth, while for tonsils are specific dried fox kidneys pounded with honey and applied, and for quinsy bull's or goat's gall with honey, or badger's liver in water. Butter remedies offensive breath and ulcerated mouth. If a pointed thing or anything else sticks in the throat, external rubbing with cat's dung is said either to bring it up or to make it pass down. Scrofulous sores are dispersed by a warm application of wild-boar's gall or ox gall (but hare's rennet, on a linen cloth with wine, is applied only when there is ulceration) or by the ash of the hoof of ass or horse applied in oil or water, the urine heated, the ash of an ox's hoof in water, the hot dung in vinegar, goat suet with lime or dung boiled in vinegar, or a fox's testicles. Soap is also good, an invention of the Gallic provinces for making the hair red. It is made from suet and ash, the best from beech ash and goat suet, in two kinds, thick and liquid, both being used among the Germans, more by men than by women.
LII. For pains in the neck it should be rubbed with butter or bear's grease, and for stiffness with beef suet, which with oil is good for scrofulous sores. The rigid cramp, called opisthotonus, is relieved by she-goat's urine poured into the ears or by an application of the dung with bulbs, crushed nails by binding round them the gall of any animal, and whitlows by dried bull's gall dissolved in hot water. Some add sulphur and alum, all the ingredients being of equal weight.
LIII. Cough is cured by wolf's liver in warmed wine, by bear's gall mixed with honey, by the tips of the horns of ox or cow reduced to ash, by the saliva of a horse taken for three days (they say that the horse dies), by a deer's lung dried in smoke with the gullet, then pounded in honey and taken daily as an electuary, the species of deer more efficacious for this purpose being the subulo. Spitting of blood is cured by the ash of deer's horn, and by hare's rennet, the dose being one third part of a denarius, with Samian earth and myrtle wine. hare's dung reduced to ash and taken in wine in the evening cures night coughs, and inhaling the smoke of burning hare's fur brings up difficult expectorations. Purulent ulceration of the chest or lungs, and foul breath from the lungs, are very effectively relieved by butter boiled with an equal measure of Attic honey until it turns red, the dose being a spoonful taken in the morning; some instead of honey have preferred to add larch resin. For spitting of blood it is said to be beneficial to drink ox or cow blood, a moderate amount taken in vinegar. But to trust recommendations of bull's blood is hazardous; bull glue, however, in threeoboli doses is taken with warm water for chronic spitting of blood.
LIV. An ulcerated stomach is cured by drinking ass's milk or cow's milk; gnawings of the stomach by beef boiled in a mixture of vinegar and wine; catarrhs by the ash of deer's horn; spitting of blood by fresh kid's-blood taken hot, in doses up to three cyathi, with an equal amount of strong vinegar, or by one part of kid's rennet with two parts of vinegar;
LV. pains of the liver by dried wolf's liver in honey wine; by dried ass's liver, with two parts of rock parsley and three nuts, pounded in honey and taken in food, and by he-goat's blood made suitable for food. For asthma, effective above all things is to drink the blood of wild horses, next to drink warm ass's milk, or cow's milk boiled, the part drunk being the whey only, with the addition for every three heminae of a cyathus of white cress steeped in water and then tempered with honey. A fox's liver or lung also in dark wine, or bear's gall in water, loosens the breath passage.
LVI. Pains in the loins and all other complaints needing emollients should be treated by rubbing with bear's grease, or the ash of wild boar's or pig's dried dung should be sprinkled in a draught of wine. [The Magi too add their usual lies: first of all, that the madness of he-goats is soothed if their beard is stroked, and if it is cut off, they do not stray to another herd.] For sciatica they apply cow-dung heated in leaves over hot embers. With this dung they mix goat's dung, prescribing that as much as it can contain should be held hot in the hollow of the hand, a linen cloth soaked in oil being placed underneath; if the left side aches the medicament should be held in the right hand, and vice versa; the dung for this purpose, they say, must be taken up with the point of a bronze needle. The treatment is continued until the warmth is felt to have reached the loins; afterwards they rub the hand with pounded leek, the loins also with the dung itself and honey. For this pain they also recommend sufferers to swallow a hare's testicles. For pain in the kidneys they prescribe the kidneys of a hare to be swallowed raw, or if boiled at least not to be touched by a tooth. Bowel pain indeed never, they say, afflicts those who carry about them the pastern bone of a hare.
LVII. The spleen is relieved by wild boar's or pig's gall taken by the mouth, by ash of deer's horn in vinegar, but most efficaciously by matured ass's spleen, with the result that benefit is felt within three days. The first dung passed by an ass's foal, called polea, is administered by the Syrians in oxymel. There is also administered in wine as a sovereign remedy the dried tongue of a horse, as Caecilius Bion reports that he learnt from foreigners. Spleen of ox or cow is administered in a similar way; if fresh it is roasted or boiled and taken in food. There are also applied for pains in the spleen twenty crushed heads of garlic in the bladder of an ox with a sextarius of vinegar. For the same purpose the Magi recommend a calf's spleen to be bought at the price asked, without any haggling, attention to this also affecting the efficacy of the ritual. This spleen should be divided lengthwise and attached to the patient's tunic on both sides. As he puts it on, the patient should allow the spleen to fall to his feet, then pick it up and dry in the shade. At the same time as this happens, the diseased spleen of the patient is said to shrink, and he himself to be freed from his complaint. Beneficial too is fox lung dried on embers and taken in water, and kids' spleen applied locally.
LVIII. Binding to the bowels are stag's blood, stag's horn reduced to ash, wild boar's liver taken in wine, unsalted and fresh, the same liver roasted, pig's liver, he-goat's liver boiled down to one fifth in wine, hare's rennet of the size of a chick-pea in wine, or if there is fever, in watersome add a gall-nut, others are content with hare's blood by itselfboiled milk, horse dung reduced to ash in a draught of water, the root of an old horn of a bull reduced to ash and sprinkled on a draught of water, he-goat's blood boiled down over charcoal, the juice, taken by the mouth, of goat's skin boiled down with the hair on, horse rennet and goat's blood, marrow, or liver. The bowels are loosened by wolf's gall applied to the navel with elaterium, or by draughts of mare's milk, or of goat's milk with salt and honey, by she-goat's gall with juice of eyclamen and a little alumsome prefer to add both soda and waterbull's gall pounded with wormwood and used in the form of a lozenge as a suppository, and by large doses of butter. Those with coeliac disorder or dysentery are benefited by cow's liver, a three-finger pinch of the ash of deer's horn taken in a draught of water, by hare's rennet kneaded in bread, but in pearl barley if blood is brought away, and by ash of wild boar's, pig's, or hare's dung sprinkled on a draught of warm wine. It is also reported that veal broth is a popular remedy to relieve sufferers from coeliac disorder or dysentery. Ass's milk makes a more beneficial draught with the addition of honey, the dung, reduced to ash and taken in wine, is no less efficacious for either complaint, poke too, which I mentioned just now, horse's rennet, that some call hippace, even if blood is brought away, or the dung ash and crushed teeth of the same animal, a health-giving powder, and taken with boiled cow's milk. For dysentery is prescribed the addition of a little honey, and if there are griping pains to apply to the navel the ash of deer's horn or bull's gall mixed with cnmmin, and the fleshy parts of a gourd. New cheese made from cow's milk is injected for both complaints, so also four heminae of butter with two ounces of terebinth resin, or with a decoction of mallows, or with rose oil. There is administered also veal suet, beef suet, or the marrow (they are boiled with a little flour and wax, and with oil, so that to drink the mixture is possible, and the marrow is also kneaded in bread), and goat's milk boiled down to one half; if there is also griping, proiropum is added. It is thought by some that a sufficient remedy for griping is even a single dose of hare's rennet taken in warm wine; more careful people also apply as embrocation to the belly goat's blood with barley meal and resin. For all fluxes from the belly an application of soft cheese is recommended, but matured cheese powdered a is used for coeliac disorders and dysentery, the dose being a cyathus of cheese in three cyathi of ordinary wine. A decoction of goat's blood with goat's marrow is beneficial for dysentery, roasted she-goat's liver for coeliac complaints, or, better still, that of a he-goat boiled down in dry wine and drunk, or applied to the navel in myrtle oil. Some boil it down from three sextarii of water to one hemina with rue added. They also use the roasted spleen of a she-goat or he-goat with the suet of a he-goat in bread baked over hot ashes, the best suet being from the kidneys of a she-goat, which should be swallowed by itself, and be immediately followed by a draught of moderately cold water. Some prescribe also a decoction of the suet in water, made into a stew with other ingredientspearl barley, cummin, dill, and vinegar. They also rub the belly of sufferers from coeliac disorders with a decoction of honey and goat's dung. For both complaints they also use kid's rennet, of the size of a bean, taken in myrtle wine, or kid's blood made into a food, called 'blood pudding.' They also inject into dysentery patients bull glue dissolved in hot water. Flatulence is dispersed by calf dung boiled down in wine. Disorders of the intestines are greatly benefited by a decoction of deers' rennet with lentils and beet, and so taken in food, by the ash of hare's fur boiled down with honey, by a draught of goat's milk boiled down with mallows with the addition of a little salt; if goat's rennet too is added the beneficial effects will be much greater. The same is the effect of goat's suet in some kind of stew, to be immediately followed by a draught of cold water. A kid's hams also reduced to ash are said to be wonderfully healing to intestinal rupture, and the dung of a hare, boiled down with honey and taken daily in doses the size of a bean, to be so beneficial as they have cured desperate cases. Highly recommended also is the broth of a goat's head with the fur still on.
LIX. Tenesmus, that is a frequent and ineffectual desire to go to stool, is removed by drinking ass's milk, or cow's milk. Worms are expelled by ash of deer's horn, taken in drink. The bones that I have said are found in the excrements of a wolf, tied on to the arm as an amulet without touching the earth, are a cure for colitis. Polea also, mentioned above, is of great benefit if boiled down in sapa, likewise too powdered pig's dung and cummin in the water of a decoction of rue, and young deer's horn reduced to ash, mixed with African snails pounded with their shells and taken in a draught of wine.
LX. The tortures of stone in the bladder are relieved by the urine of a wild boar and by his bladder itself taken as food; both remedies are more efficacious if first thoroughly smoked. The bladder should be eaten boiled, and be a sow's if the patient is a woman. There are also found in the liver of these animals little stones, or hard substances like stones, white, and like those found in the liver of the common pig. These, crushed and taken in wine, are said to expel stone. His own urine is such a burden to the boar himself that unless he has voided it he is not strong enough for flight, and is overcome as if spellbound. It is said that the urine dissolves the stone. Stone is also expelled by a hare's kidneys, dried and taken in wine. In the ham joints of pigs I have said there are bones the broth from which is beneficial for urinary disorders. The kidneys of an ass, dried, pounded, and given in neat wine, cure complaints of the bladder. The excrescences on the legs of horses, taken for forty days in wine or honey wine, expel stone. Beneficial too is the ash of a horse's hoof in wine or water, the dung also in honey wine of she-goats, that of wild goats being more efficacious, the ash also of goat's hair, while for carbuncles on the privates are used the brains and blood of a wild boar or pig. Creeping sores however in the same part are cured by the burnt liver of these animals, best if the fire is of juniper wood, mixed with paper and orpiment, by their dung reduced to ash, by ox gall with Egyptian alum and myrrh, kneaded to the consistency of honey, moreover by an application of beet boiled in wine, also by beef; but running ulcers by beef suet with the marrow of a calf boiled down in wine, by goat's gall with honey and blackberry juice, even if the sores are spreading. They say that goat's dung too with honey or vinegar is beneficial, and also butter by itself. Swelling of the testicles is reduced by veal suet with the addition of soda, or by calf's dung boiled down in vinegar. Incontinence of urine is checked by a wild-boar's bladder, if eaten roasted, by the ash of a wild-boar's or pig's hoofs sprinkled on a drink, by the bladder of a sow burnt and taken in drink, of a kid also, or by its lung, by the brain of a hare in wine, by a hare's roasted testicles, or the rennet, with goose grease in pearl barley, or by the kidneys of an ass pounded in neat wine and drunk. The Magi recommend that, after drinking in sweet wine a boar's genital organ reduced to ash, the patient should make water in a dog's bed and add a prayer, that he may not himself make water, as a dog does, in his own bed. On the other hand, the bladder of a pig is diuretic, if, without touching the ground, it is applied to the pubic part.
LXI. Complaints of the anus are greatly benefited by bear's gall and bear's fat; some add litharge and frankincense. Beneficial too is butter with goose grease and rose oil; the quantities are determined by circumstances; the mixture must be easy to apply. Greatly beneficial too is bull's gall in scraps of linen; it makes chaps to cicatrize. Swellings in that part of the body are reduced by veal suet, especially by that from the groin, with rue; other complaints are cured by goat's blood with pearl barley, condylomata by goat's gall by itself, or by wolf's gall in wine. Superficial and other abscesses in any part are dispersed by bear's blood, and likewise by bull's dried and powdered. The finest remedy, however, is said to be the stone which the wild ass is reported to pass in his urine when he is being killed; more fluid than it at first, it grows thick when on the ground. This stone fastened to the thigh as an amulet disperses all inflamed swellings and clears away any suppuration. It is found, however, rarely and not always in the wild ass, but it is wonderfully famous as a remedy. Beneficial also is the urine of an ass with melanthium, a horse's hoof reduced to ash and applied with oil and water, the blood of a horse, especially of a stallion, and the blood or gall of an ox or cow. Beef too has the same effect if applied hot, the ash of the hoof in water or honey, the urine of she-goats, the flesh too of he-goats boiled down in water or their dung boiled down with honey, a boar's gall, and a pigs' urine applied on wool. It is well known that riding on a horse chafes and galls the inner side of the thighs; most useful for all such troubles is to rub on the groin the foam from the mouth of a horse. The groin also swells because of sores; the remedy is to tie within the sore three horse hairs with three knots.
LXII. Gout is benefited by bear's grease and bull suet with an equal weight of wax as well; to which some add hypocisthis and gall nut. Others prefer he-goat suet with the dung of a she-goat and with saffron, mustard, pounded stalks of ivy, and perdicium or the blossom of wild cucumber. Highly praised also is ox dung with lees of vinegar and the dung of a calf that has not yet tasted grass, or, by itself, the blood of a bull, a fox boiled down alive until only the bones remain, or a wolf boiled alive in oil as though to make a wax-salve, he-goat's suet with an equal quantity of helxine, a third part of mustard, calcined goat's dung and axle-grease. Moreover, to put a burning-hot poultice of this dung under the big toes is said to be excellent for sciatica, and bear's gall very useful for diseases of the joints, as are also the feet of a hare worn as an amulet, while gouty pains are alleviated by a hare's foot, cut off from the living animal, if the patient carries it about continuously on the person. Chilblains and all chaps on the feet are healed by bear's grease, more efficaciously with the addition of alum, by goat suet, by a horse's teeth ground to powder, by the gall and fat of a wild boar or pig, by the lung applied to them even if they are chafed or broken by a knock, but if they are frost bites, by a hare's fur reduced to ash; if they are broken, by the lung of the same animal cut up or reduced to ash. Sunburns are most beneficially treated by ass suet, and also by suet of an ox or cow with rose oil. Corns, chaps, and calluses are cured by an application of fresh wild-boar's dung, or pig's, taken off on the third day, by their pastern bones reduced to ashes, by the lung of wild boar, pig, or deer; chafing from shoes by the application of an ass's urine with the mud made by it; corns by beef suet with powdered frankincense; chilblains, however, by burnt leather, if from an old shoe so much the better, sores from footwear by the ash of goat leather in oil. The pains of varicose veins are alleviated by the ash of calf's dung boiled down with the bulbs of a lily, with the addition of a little honey, and so are all inflamed places that threaten to suppurate. The same preparation is good for gout and diseases of the joints, especially if it is taken from a male calf, for chafed joints the gall of wild boars or of pigs applied in a heated linen cloth, the dung of a calf that has not tasted grass, also the dung of goats boiled down in vinegar with honey. Scabrous nails are cured by veal suet, also by goat suet mixed with sanderach. Warts however are removed by the ash of calf's dung in vinegar, or by the urine with its mud of an ass.
LXIII. For epilepsy it is beneficial to eat a bear's testes or to take those of a wild boar in mare's milk or water, likewise wild-boar's urine in oxymel, with increased efficacy if it has dried in his bladder. There are also given the testicles of pigs dried and pounded in sow's milk, abstinence from wine preceding and following for ten days. There are also given the lungs of a hare preserved in salt, with a third part of frankincense, taken in white wine for thirty days; likewise a hare's rennet, an ass's brain in hydromel, first smoked on burning leaves, half an ounce a day for five days, or an ass's hoofs reduced to ash and two spoonfuls taken in drink for a whole month, likewise his testes preserved in salt and sprinkled on drink, preferably on ass's milk, or on water. The odour of the afterbirth of she-asses, especially if they have had a male foal, inhaled on the approach of a fit, repels it. There are some who recommend eating with bread the heart of a black jackass in the open air on the first or second day of the moon, some the flesh, others drinking for forty days the blood diluted with vinegar. Certain people mix an ass's urine with smithy water in which hot iron has been dipped, and use the same draught to treat delirious raving. To epileptics is also given mare's milk to drink, the excrescence on a horse's leg taken in oxymel; there is given too goat's flesh roasted on a funeral pyre, as the Magi would have it, goat suet boiled down with an equal weight of bull's gall stored in the gall bladder without touching the earth, and taken in water with the patient standing upright. The disease itself is detected by the fumes of burnt goat's horn or deer's horn. Rubbing with the urine of an ass's foal mixed with nard is said to be beneficial to the planet-struck.
LXIV. Jaundice is cured within two days by deer's horn reduced to ash, by the blood of an ass, likewise by the dung of an ass's foal, the first to pass afterbirth, of the size of a bean and taken in wine. The first dung too of a young colt, administered in a similar way, has the same effect.
LXV. For broken bones a sovereign remedy is the ash of the jawbone of a wild boar or of a pig; likewise boiled bacon-fat, tied round the fracture, heals with marvellous rapidity. For broken ribs however the highest praise is given to goat's dung in old wine; it opens, extracts, and completely heals.
LXVI. Fevers are kept away by the flesh of deer, as I have said, those indeed which return at fixed intervals by the salted right eye of a wolf worn as an amulet if we are to believe the Magi. There is a kind of fever called amphemerinos. It is said that he is freed from this who drinks three drops of blood from an ass's ear in two heminae of water. For quartans the Magi prescribe the excrement of a cat with the claw of a horned owl worn as an amulet, and to prevent a relapse the amulet should not be removed before the seventh periodic return. Who pray could have made this discovery? What sort of combination is this? Why was an owl's claw chosen rather than anything else? Some more moderate people have prescribed the salted liver of a cat killed when the moon is on the wane, to be taken in wine before the access of a quartan. The Magi also apply to the toes and fingers ox or cow dung reduced to ash and sprinkled with children's urine. They use the heart of a hare as an amulet, and give hare's rennet before each access. There is also given with honey fresh goat's cheese with the whey carefully pressed out.
LXVII. A remedy for melancholia is calf's dung boiled down in wine. Victims of lethargy are amused by applying to the nostrils in vinegar the excrescence on the leg of an ass, by the fumes from goat's horns or goat's hair, and by wild boar's liver; accordingly it is also administered to the comatose. Consumptives are benefited by wolf's liver in thin wine, by the lard of a sow fed on herbs, and by ass's flesh taken in its gravy. This treatment for the complaint is very popular in Achaia. The smoke also from dried dung of an ox fed on green fodder, inhaled through a reed, is said to be beneficial, or the burnt tip of the horn of an ox, the dose being two spoonful, with the addition of honey, swallowed in pills. It is held by not a few authorities that by she-goat's suet in groat porridge consumption and cough are cured, or by fresh suet melted with honey wine, an ounce of suet added to a cyathus of wine and stirred with a spray of rue. An authoritative writer assures us that a despaired-of consumptive has recovered by being treated with a cyathus of mountain-goat suet and the same amount of the milk. Some have written that pig's dung reduced to ash, taken in misinwine, has proved of value, or the lung of a stag, especially a subulo, dried in smoke and pounded in wine.
LXVIII. Good for dropsy is urine from the bladder of a wild boar given little by little in the drink, that being more beneficial which has dried up with its bladder, the ash of bull's dung especially but also that of oxenherd animals I mean; it is called bolbitonthree spoonfuls in a hemina of honey wine, cow dung for women, bull dung for men (the Magi have made a sort of mystery of this distinction), the dung of a bull calf applied locally, ash of calf dung with staphylinus seed in equal proportions taken in wine, and goat's blood with goat's marrow. That of a he-goat is considered more beneficial, especially if he has browsed on lentisk.
LXIX. There is applied for erysipelas bear's fat, especially that on the kidneys, fresh dung of calves or cattle, dried goat's cheese with leek, scrapings of deer's skin rubbed off with pumice and pounded in vinegar. For inflamed itch the foam of a horse or the ash of his hoof; for pituitous eruptions ass's dung reduced to ash with butter; for black pimples dried goat's cheese in honey and vinegar, applied in the bath, no oil being used, for pustules pig's dung reduced to ash and applied in water, or the ash of deer's horn,
LXX. for dislocations the freshdung of wild boar or of pig, or of calves, the fresh foam of a boar with vinegar, the dung of a goat with honey, an application of beef, and for swellings pig's dung warmed in an earthen pot and beaten up with oil. All indurations of the body are best removed by an application of wolf's fat. In the case of sores that need to break the most beneficial application is ox dung warmed on hot cinders or goat's dung boiled down in wine or vinegar, for boils beef suet with salt, or if there is pain melted with oil without salt, similarly with goat suet;
LXXI. for burns bear's grease with lily roots, dried dung of wild boar or of pig, the ash of pig's bristles from plasterers' brushes beaten up with pig fat, the ash of the pastern bone of bull or cow with wax and deer marrow, bull's gall, hare's dung; but the dung of she-goats is said to heal without a scar. The finest glue is made from the ears and genitals of bulls, and there is no better remedy for burns, but it is more adulterated than any other, a decoction being made from any old skins and even from shoes. The most reliable glue comes from Rhodes, which is used by painters and physicians. The Rhodian too is the more approved the whiter it is; the dark and wood-like is rejected.
LXXII. It is thought that for pains in the sinews, even if pus is present there, the most beneficial remedy is a decoction of goat's dung in vinegar with honey. Strains and injuries from a blow are treated with wild-boar's dung collected in spring and dried; the same remedy is also good for charioteers who have been dragged along, or wounded by a wheel, or bruised in any way, even if the dung is applied while fresh. There are some who think it more beneficial to boil the dung in vinegar. Moreover, they assure us that this dung, reduced to powder and taken in drink, is curative of ruptures and sprains; for falls from vehicles it should be taken in vinegar. The more recent authorities reduce it to ash and take in water, saying that even the Emperor Nero used to refresh himself with this draught, since he was ready even by this means to distinguish himself in the three-horse chariot-race. They think that the next most efficacious dung is that of pigs.
LXXIII. Bleeding is stayed by deer's rennet in vinegar, by hare's also, by the latter reduced to ash with the fur, also by the application of ass's dung reduced to ashthe effect is more powerful if the ass is male, vinegar mixed with the ash, and wool used for the application to any haemorrhage, horse dung being similarly used, by the head and thighs, or dung, of calves, reduced to ash and applied in vinegar, also by the ash in vinegar of goat's horn or dung. The sanies, however, exuding from he-goat's liver when cut up is more efficacious, as is the liver of goats of either sex, reduced to ash and taken in wine or applied to the nostrils in vinegar, or the leather of a he-goat, but only that of a wine bottle, reduced to ash and with an equal weight of resin, by which remedy bleeding is stayed and the wonnd closed. Kid's rennet also in vinegar and kid's thighs burnt to ash are reported to be similarly effective.
LXXIV. Ulcers on the shins or shanks arc healed by bear's grease mixed with ruddle, but spreading ulcers by wild boar's gall with resin and white lead, by the jawbones of wild boars or pigs reduced to ash, by the application of dried pigs'-dung, also by goat's dung, kneaded in vinegar and warmed. The other kinds of sores are cleansed and filled up by butter, by the ash of deer's horn or by deer's marrow, by bull's gall with cyprus oil or he-goat's dung. To wounds inflicted with iron is applied pigs' dung, either fresh or dried and powdered. Injected into phagedaenic ulcers and fistulas is bull's gall with juice of leek or woman's milk, or else dried blood with the herb cotyledon. Cancerous sores are treated with hare's rennet and an equal weight of caper sprinkled in wine, gangrenes by bear's gall applied with a feather, spreading ulcers by the ash of ass's hoofs sprinkled over them. Flesh is eaten away by the corrosive action of horse's blood and by the ash of dried horse-dung, but the ulcers coming under the class they call phagedaenic by the ash of ox-hide with honey. Veal prevents fresh wounds from swelling. Foul ulcers and those called malignant are healed by dung of ox or cow with honey, or by the ash of calf's dung in woman's milk, fresh wounds inflicted with iron by melted bull's glue, which is taken off on the third day. Ulcers are cleansed by dry goat's-cheese in vinegar and honey, while spreading ulcers are checked by goat suet with wax, and the addition of pitch and sulphur makes the cure complete. In a similar way malignant ulcers are improved by the ash of a kid's thighs in woman's milk, and for carbuncles are used a sow's brains, roasted and applied.
LXXV. For itch in men the best cure is the marrow of the ass, or ass's urine applied with its own mud, butter likewise, which with warm resin also benefits itch in draught animals, bull glue melted in vinegar and with lime added, goat gall with the ash of alum; ox or cow dung is good for bovae, whence comes the name of the disease. Itch in dogs is cured by the fresh blood of ox or cow, applied again when it is dry, and on the following day washed off with lye ash.
LXXVI. Thorns and similar objects are extracted by a cat's excrements, also by a she-goat's in wine, by any kind of rennet but especially by hare's with powdered frankincense and oil, or else with an equal weight of mistletoe, or with bee glue. Black scars are brought back to the original colour by ass's suet, and made fainter by warmed calf's gall. Physicians add myrrh, honey and saffron, and keep in a bronze box; some add to the mixture flower of bronze.
LXXVII. The purgings of women are aided by bull's gall applied as a pessary in unwashed woolOlympias, a woman of Thebes added suint and sodaby ash of deer's horn taken in drink, and uterine troubles by an application also of this, and by twooboli pessaries of bull's gall and poppy juice. It is beneficial also to fumigate the uterus with deer's hair. It is reported that hinds, when they realise that they are pregnant, swallow a little stone which, found in their excrements or in the uterusfor it is found there alsoprevents miscarriage if worn as an amulet. There are also found in the heart and in the uterus little bones that are very useful to women who are pregnant or in child-bed. But about the pumice-like stone which in a similar way is found in the uterus of cows I have spoken when dealing with the nature of oxen. The uterus is softened by an application of wolf's fat, pains there by wolf's liver, but to have eaten the flesh of the wolf is beneficial for women near delivery, or at the beginning of labour the near presence of one who has eaten it, so much so that sorceries put upon the woman are counteracted. But for such a person to enter during delivery is a deadly danger. The hare is also of great use to women. The uterus is benefited by the dried lung taken in drink, fluxes by the liver taken in water with Samian earth, the afterbirth is eased by hare's rennetthe bath must be avoided the day beforeby the rennet applied also with saffron and leek juice; a pessary of it in raw wool brings away a dead foetus. If the uterus of the hare is taken in food, it is believed that males are conceived; that the same result is obtained by eating its testicles and rennet; that the foetus of a hare, taken from its uterus, brings a renewed fertility to women who are passed child-bearing. But the sanies of a hare is given by the Magi even to the male partner that conception may occur, and likewise to a maiden nine pellets of hare's droppings to make the breasts permanently firm. They also use for this purpose the rennet with honey as liniment, and the blood to prevent hairs plucked out from growing again. For inflation of the uterus it is beneficial to make with oil a liniment of wild boar's dung or pig's. More efficacious is the dried dung reduced to powder to sprinkle in the drink, even if the woman is suffering the pains of pregnancy or childbirth. By drinking sow's milk with honey wine childbirth is eased, while taken by itself it refills the drying breasts of nursing mothers. These swell less if rubbed round with a sow's blood. If they are painful they are soothed by drinking ass's milk, which taken with the addition of honey is also beneficial for the purgings of women. Ulcerations also of the uterus are healed by the dried suet of the same animal, which applied in raw wool as a pessary softens uterine indurations, while by itself either fresh or dried suet, applied in water, acts as a depilatory. Dried ass's spleen, applied in water to the breasts, produces an abundant supply of milk, and used in fumigation corrects displacement of the uterus. Fumigation with ass's hoofs hastens delivery, so that even a dead foetus is extracted; only then is the treatment applied, for it kills a living infant. Ass's dung applied fresh is said to be a wonderful reliever of fluxes of blood, as is also the ash of the same dung, an application which is also beneficial to the uterus. By horse's foam, applied for forty days before they first grow, hairs are prevented, also by a decoction of deer's horns, which is more beneficial if the horns are new. It is beneficial to wash out the uterus with mare's milk. But if the foetus is felt to be dead, it is expelled by taking in fresh water the excrescence from the leg of a mare, also by fumigation with the hoof or the dried dung. An injection of butter stays prolapsus of the uterus. A hardened uterus is opened by ox gall mixed with rose oil, with an external application of terebinth resin on unwashed wool. They say that prolapsus of the uterus is corrected also by fumigation with the dung of an ox, that delivery is aided, and conception also, by drinking cow's milk. It is certain that sterility may result from sufferings at childbirth. This kind of barrenness, we are assured by Olympias of Thebes, is cured by bull's gall, serpents' fat, copper rust and honey, rubbed on the parts before intercourse. Calf's gall also, sprinkled on the uterus during menstruation just before intercourse, softens even indurations of the bowels checks the flow if rubbed on the navel, and is generally beneficial to the uterus. The amount of gall prescribed is a denarius by weight; this and a third part of poppy juice, with as much almond oil as seems to be called for. The mixture is laid on unwashed wool. A bull-calf's gall beaten up with half the quantity of honey is stored away for uterine complaints. If women about the time of conception eat roasted veal with aristolochia, they are assured that they will bring forth a male child. A calf's marrow, boiled down in wine and water with calf's suet and applied to an ulcerated uterus, is beneficial, as is the fat of foxes with the excrement of cats, the last being applied with resin and rose oil. It is thought that to fumigate the uterus with goat's horn is very beneficial. The blood of wild she-goats with sea palm acts as a depilatory, while of other she-goats the gall softens callus of the uterus if sprinkled on it, and after a menstruation causes conception; such an application also acts as a depilatory; after the hairs are pulled out it is kept on for three days. Midwives assure us that a flux, however copious, is stayed by drinking the urine of a she-goat, or if an application is made of her dung. The membrane that covers the newborn offspring of she-goats, kept fill dry and taken in wine, brings away the afterbirth. To fumigate the uterus with the hairs of kids is thought to be beneficial, and it is so for a flux of blood if kid's rennet is taken in drink, or applied locally with seed of hyoscyamus. Osthanes says that if the loins of a woman are rubbed thoroughly with the blood of a tick from a black wild-bull, she will be disgusted with sexual intercourse, and also with her love if she drinks the urine of a he-goat, nard being added to disguise the foul taste.
LXXVIII. For babies nothing is more beneficial than butter, either by itself or with honey, especially when they are troubled with teething, sore gums, or ulcerated mouth. The tooth of a wolf tied on as an amulet keeps away childish terrors and ailments due to teething, as does also a piece of wolf's skin. Indeed the largest teeth of wolves tied as an amulet even on horses are said to give them unwearied power of speed. Hare's rennet applied to the mothers' breasts checks the diarrhoea of babies. Ass's liver mixed with a moderate amount of panaces and let drip into the mouth protects babies from epilepsy and other diseases; the treatment, it is prescribed, should continue for forty days. Ass's hide laid on babies keeps them free from fears. The first teeth of horses to fall out make the cutting of teeth easy for babies who wear them as an amulet, a more efficacious one if the teeth have not touched the ground. Ox spleen in honey is administered internally and externally for painful spleen; for running sores with honey ... a calf's spleen boiled in wine, beaten up, and applied to little sores in the mouth. The brain of a she-goat, passed through a golden ring, is given drop by drop by the Magi to babies, before they are fed with milk, to guard them from epilepsy and other diseases of babies. Restless babies, especially girls, are quietened by an amulet of goat's dung wrapped in a piece of cloth. Rubbing the gums with goat's milk or hares' brains makes easy the cutting of teeth.
LXXIX. Cato thought that to take hare as food is soporific, and a popular belief is that it also adds charm to the person for nine days, a flippant pun, but so strong a belief must have some justification. According to the Magi the gall of a she-goatshe must be an animal sacrificedinduces sleep if applied to the eyes or placed under the pillow. Sweats are checked by rubbing the body with myrtle oil and ash of goat's horn.
LXXX. Aphrodisiacs are: an application of wild-boar's gall, pig's marrow swallowed, or an application of ass's suet mixed with a gander's grease; also the fluid that Virgil too describes as coming from a mare after copulation, the testicles of a horse, dried so that they may be powdered into drink, the right testis of an ass taken in wine, or a portion of it worn as an amulet on a bracelet; or the foam of an ass after copulation, collected in a red cloth and enclosed, as Osthanes tells us, in silver. Salpe prescribes an ass's genital organ to be plunged seven times into hot oil, and the relevant parts to be rubbed therewith, Dalion the ash from it to be taken in drink, or the urine of a bull after copulation to be drunk, or the mud itself made by it applied to the pubic parts. On the other hand antaphrodisiac for men is an application of mouse's dung. Intoxication is kept away by the roasted lung of a wild boar or pig, taken in food the same day on an empty stomach, or the lung used may be that of a kid.
LXXXI. In addition, wonderful things are reported of the same animals: that if a horse casts his shoe, as often happens, and some one picks it up and puts it away, it is a cure of hiccoughs in those who remember where they have put it; that a wolf's liver is like a horse's hoof; that horses burst themselves which, carrying a rider, follow the tracks of wolves; that there is a kind of quarrelsome force in the pastern bones of pigs; that if, in case of fire, a little dung is brought out of the stables, sheep and oxen are more easily pulled out and do not run back; that the flesh of he-goats does not taste strong if on the day they are killed they have eaten barley bread or drunk diluted laser; that no meat, salted when the moon is on the wane, is eaten by maggots. So much care has been taken to leave nothing out, that I find that a deaf hare fattens more quickly, and that there are also medicines made for animals: it is prescribed that if draught cattle suffer from haemorrhage, there should be injected pig's dung in wine; and that for the diseases of oxen suet, native sulphur, and a decoction of wild garlic, should all be pounded and given in wine, or else fox fat; that horse flesh thoroughly boiled and taken in drink cures the diseases of pigs, while those of all quadrupeds are cured by a she-goat boiled whole with the hide and a bramble toad; that chickens are not touched by foxes if they have eaten dried fox-liver, or if the cocks have trodden the hens wearing a piece of fox skin round their necks; similarly with a weasel's gall; that the oxen in Cyprus eat human excrement to cure themselves of colic; that the hoofs of oxen are not chafed underneath if the bases of their horns are first rubbed with liquid pitch; that wolves do not enter a field if one is caught, his legs broken, a knife driven into the body, the blood sprinkled a little at a time around the boundaries of that field, and the body itself buried in that place at which the dragging of it began; or if the share, with which that year the first furrow of that field was cut, is knocked from the plough and burnt on the hearth of the Lares where the family assemble, a wolf will harm no animal in that field so long as the custom is kept up. We will now turn to animals in a peculiar class by themselves, which are not either tame or wild.