Natural History (Rackham, Jones, & Eichholz)/Book 34
I. LET our next subject be ores, etc., of copper and bronze the metals which in point of utility have the next value; in fact Corinthian bronze is valued before silver and almost even before gold; and bronze is also the standard of payments in money as we have said: hence it is embodied in the terms denoting the pay of soldiers, the treasury paymasters and the public treasury, persons held in debt, and soldiers whose pay is stopped. We have pointed out for what a long time the Roman nation used no coinage except bronze; and by another fact antiquity shows that the importance of bronze is as old as the city: the fact that the third corporation established by King Numa was the Guild of Coppersmiths.
II. The method followed in mining deposits of copper and purifying the ore by firing is that which has been stated. The metal is also got from a coppery stone called by a Greek name cadmea, a kind in high repute coming from overseas and also formerly found in Campania and at the present day in the territory of Bergamo on the farthest confines of Italy; and it is also reported to have been recently found in the province of Germany. In Cyprus, where copper was first discovered, it is also obtained from another stone also, called chalcitis, copper ore; this was however afterwards of exceptionally low value when a better copper was found in other countries, and especially goldcopper, which long maintained an outstanding quality and popularity, but which for a long time now has not been found, the ground being exhausted. The next in quality was the Sallustius copper, occurring in the Alpine region of Haute Savoic, though this also only lasted a short time; and after it came the Livia copper in Gaul: each was named from the owners of the mines, the former from the friend of Augustus and the latter from his wife. Livia copper also quickly gave out: at all events it is found in very small quantity. The highest reputation has now gone to the Marius copper, also called Cordova copper; next to the Livia variety this kind most readily absorbs cadmea and reproduces the excellence of gold-copper in making sesterces and double-as pieces, the single as having to be content with its proper Cyprus copper. That is the extent of the high quality contained in natural bronze and copper.
III. The remaining kinds are made artificially, and will be described in their proper places, the most distinguished sorts being indicated first of all. Formerly copper used to be blended with a mixture of gold and silver, and nevertheless artistry was valued more highly than the metal; but nowadays it is a doubtful point whether the workmanship or the material is worse, and it is a surprising thing that, though the prices paid for these works of art have grown beyond all limit, the importance attached to this craftsmanship of working in metals has quite disappeared. For this, which formerly used to be practised for the sake of gloryconsequently it was even attributed to the workmanship of gods, and the leading men of all the nations used to seek for reputation by this method alsohas now, like everything else, begun to be practised for the sake of gain; and the method of casting costly works of art in bronze has so gone out that for a long time now not even luck in this matter has had the privilege of producing art.
Of the bronze which was renowned in early days, the Corinthian is the most highly praised. This is a compound that was produced by accident, when Corinth was burned at the time of its capture; and there has been a wonderful mania among many people for possessing this metalin fact it is recorded that Verres, whose conviction Marcus Cicero had procured, was, together with Cicero, proscribed by Antony for no other reason than because he had refused to give up to Antony some pieces of Corinthian ware; and to me the majority of these collectors seem only to make a pretence of being connoisseurs, so as to separate themselves from the multitude, rather than to have any exceptionally refined insight in this matter; and this I will briefly show. Corinth was taken in the third year of the 158th Olympiad, which was the 608th year [146 BC] of our city, when for ages there had no longer been any famous artists in metalwork; yet these persons designate all the specimens of their work as Corinthian bronzes. In order therefore to refute them we will state the periods to which these artists belong; of course it will be easy to turn the Olympiads into the years since the foundation of our city by referring to the two corresponding dates given above. The only genuine Corinthian vessels are then those which your connoisseurs sometimes convert into dishes for food and sometimes into lamps or even washing basins, without nice regard for decency. There are three kinds of this sort of bronze: a white variety, coming very near to silver in brilliance, in which the alloy of silver predominates; a second kind, in which the yellow quality of gold predominates, and a third kind in which all the metals were blended in equal proportions. Besides these there is another mixture the formula for which cannot be given, although it is man's handiwork; but the bronze valued in portrait statues and others for its peculiar colour, approaching the appearance of liver and consequently called by a Greek name 'hepatizon' meaning 'liverish,' is a blend produced by luck; it is far behind the Corinthian blend, yet a long way in front of the bronze of Acgina and that of Delos which long held the first rank.
IV. The Delian bronze was the earliest to become famous, the whole world thronging the markets in Delos; and hence the attention paid to the processes of making it. It was at Delos that bronze first came into prominence as a material used for the feet and framework of dining-couches, and later it came to be employed also for images of the gods and statues of men and other living things.
V. The next most famous bronze was the Aeginetan; and the island of Aegina itself became celebrated for it, though not because the metal copper was mined there but because of the compounding done in the workshops. A bronze ox looted from Aegina stands in the cattle-market at Rome, and will serve as a specimen of Aegina bronze, while that of Delos is seen in the Zeus or Jupiter in the temple a of Jupiter the Thunderer on the Capitol. Aegina bronze was used by Myron and that from Delos by Polyclitus, who were contemporaries and fellow-pupils; thus there was rivalry between them even in their choice of materials.
VI. Aegina specialized in producing only the upper parts of chandeliers, and similarly Taranto made only the stems, and consequently credit for manufacture is, in the matter of these articles, shared between these two localities. Nor are people ashamed to buy these at a price equal to the pay of a military tribune, although they clearly take even their name from the lighted candles they carry. At the sale of a chandelier of this sort by the instructions of the auctioneer (named Theon) selling it there was thrown in as part of the bargain the fuller Clesippus a humpback and also of a hideous appearance in other respects besides, the lot being bought by a woman named Gegania for 50,000 sesterces. This woman gave a party to show off her purchases, and for the mockery of the guests the man appeared with no clothes on: his mistress conceiving an outrageous passion for him admitted him to her bed and later gave him a place in her will. Thus becoming excessively rich he worshipped the lamp-stand in question as a divinity and so caused this story to be attached to Corinthian lampstands in general, though the claims of morality were vindicated by his erecting a noble tombstone to perpetuate throughout the living world for all time the memory of Gegania's shame. But although it is admitted that there are no lampstands made of Corintlnan metal, yet this name specially is commonly attached to them, because although Mummius's victory destroyed Corinth, it caused the dispersal of bronzes from a number of the towns of Achaia at the same time.
VII. In early times the lintels and folding doors of temples as well were commonly made of bronze. I find that also Gnaeus Octavius, who was granted a triumph after a sea-fight against King Perseus, constructed the double colonnade at the Flaminian circus which owing to the bronze capitals of its columns has received the name of the Corinthian portico, and that a resolution was passed that even the temple of Vests should have its roof covered with an outer coating of Syracusan metal. The capitals of the pillars in the Pantheon which were put up by Marcus [21 B.C.] Agrippa are of Syracusan metal. Moreover even private opulence has been employed in similar uses: one of the charges brought against Camillus [391 B.C.] by the quaestor Spurius Carvilius was that in his house he had doors covered with bronze.
VIII. Again, according to Lucius Piso dinner-couches and panelled sideboards and one-leg tables decorated with bronze were first introduced by Gnaeus Manlius at the triumph which he celebrated [187 B.C.] in the 567th year of the city after the conquest of Asia; and as a matter of fact Antias states that the heirs of Lucius Crassus the orator also sold a number of dinner couches decorated with bronze. It was even customary for bronze to be used for making the cauldrons on tripods called Delphic cauldrons because they used to be chiefly dedicated as gifts to Apollo of Delphi; also lamp-holders were popular suspended from the ceiling, in temples or with their lights arranged to look like apples hanging on trees, like the specimen in the temple of Apollo of the Palatine which had been part of the booty taken by Alexander the Great at the storming of Thebes and dedicated by him to the same deity at Cyme.
IX. But after a time this art in all places came to be usually devoted to statues of gods. I find that the first image of a god made of bronze at Rome was that dedicated to Ceres and paid for out of the property of Spurius Cassius who was put to death [485 BC] by his own father when trying to make himself king. The practice passed over from the gods to statues and representations of human beings also, in various forms. In early days people used to stain statues with bitumen, which makes it the more remarkable that they afterwards became fond of covering them with gold. This was perhaps a Roman invention, but it certainly has a name of no long standing at Rome. It was not customary to make effigies of human beings unless they deserved lasting commemoration for some distinguished reason, in the first case victory in the sacred contests and particularly those at Olympia, where it was the custom to dedicate statues of all who had won a competition; these statues, in the case of those who had been victorious there three times, were modelled as exact personal likenesses of the winnerswhat are called iconicae, portrait statues. I rather believe that the first portrait statues officially erected at Athens were those of the tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogeiton. This happened in the same year [510 BC] as that in which the Kings were also driven out at Rome. The practice of erecting statues from a most civilized sense of rivalry was afterwards taken up by the whole of the world, and the custom proceeded to arise of having statues adorning the public places of all municipal towns and of perpetuating the memory of human beings and of inscribing lists of honours on the bases to be read for all time, so that such records should not be read on their tombs only. Soon after a publicity centre was established even in private houses and in our own halls: the respect felt by clients inaugurated this method of doing honour to their patrons.
X. In old days the statues dedicated were simply clad in the toga. Also naked figures holding spears, made from models of Greek young men from the gymnasiumswhat are called figures of Achillesbecame popular. The Greek practice is to leave the figure entirely nude, whereas Roman and military statuary adds a breastplate: indeed the dictator Caesar gave permission for a statue wearing a cuirass to be erected in his honour in his Forum. As for the statues in the garb of the Luperci, they are modern innovations, lust as much as the portrait-statues dressed in cloaks that have recently appeared. Mancinus set up a statue of himself in the dress that he had worn when surrendered to the enemy. It has been remarked by writers that the poet Lucius Accius also set up a very tall statue of himself in the shrine of the Latin Muses, although he was a very short man. Assuredly equestrian statues are popular at Rome, the fashion for them having no doubt been derived from Greece; but the Greeks used only to erect statues of winners of races on horseback at their sacred contests, although subsequently they also erected statues of winners with two-horse or four-horse chariots; and this is the origin of our chariot-groups in honour of those who have celebrated a triumphal procession. But this belongs to a late date, and among those monuments it was not till the time of his late lamented Majesty Augustus that chariots with six horses occurred, and likewise elephants.
XI. The custom of erecting memorial chariots with two horses in the case of those who held the office of praetor and had ridden round the Circus in a chariot is not an old one; that of statues on pillars is of earlier date, for instance the statue of honour of Gaius Maenius who had vanquished the Old Latins to whom the Roman nation gave by treaty a third part of the booty won from them. It was in the same consulship that the nation, after defeating the people of Antium, had fixed on the platform the beaked prows of ships taken in the victory over the people of Antium, in the 416th year of the city of Rome; and similarly the statue to Gaius Duillius, who was the first to obtain a naval triumph over the [260 BC] Carthaginiansthis statue still stands in the forum and likewise that in honour of the prefect of markets Lucius Minucius outside the Triplets Gate, defrayed by a tax of one-twelfth of an as per head. I rather think this was the first time that an honour of this nature came from the whole people; previously it had been bestowed by the senate: it would be a very distinguished honour had it not originated on such unimportant occasions. In fact also the statue of Attus Navius stood in front of the senate-housewhen the senate-house was set on fire at the funeral of Publius Clodius the base of the statue was burnt with it; and the statue of Hermodorus of Ephesus the interpreter of the laws drafted by the decemvirs, [451-450 BC] dedicated at the public cost, stood in the Assembly-place of Rome. There was different motive and another reasonan important onefor the statue of Marcus Horatius Codes, which has survived even to the present day; it was erected because he had single-handed barred the enemy's passage of the Bridge on Piles. Also, it does not at all surprise me that statues of the Sibyl stand near the Beaked Platform though there are three of themone restored by Sextus Pacuvius Taurus, aedile of the plebs, and two by Marcus Messalla. I should think these statues and that of Attus Navius, all erected in the period of Tarquinius Priscus, were the first, [616-579 BC] if it were not for the statues on the Capitol of the kings who reigned before him, among them the figures of Romulus and Tatius without the tunic, as also that of Camillus on the Beaked Platform. Also there was in front of the temple of the Castors an equestrian statue of Quintus Marcius Tremulus, wearing a toga; he had twice vanquished the Samnites, and by taking Anagni delivered the nation from payment of war-tax. Among the very old statues are also those at the Platform of Tullus Cloelius, Lucius Roscius, Spurius Nautius, and Gaius Pulcinius, all assassinated by the people of Fidenae when on an embassy to them. It was the custom for the state to confer this honour on those who had been wrongfully put to death, as among others Publius Junius and Titus Coruncanius, who had been killed by Teuta the Queen of the Illyrians. It would seem not to be proper to omit the fact noted by the annals that the statues of these persons, erected in the forum, were three feet in height, showing that this was the scale of these marks of honour in those days. I will not pass over the case of Gnaeus Oetavius also, because of a single word that occurs in a Decree of the Senate. When King Antiochus IV said he intended to answer him, Octavius with the stick he happened to be holding in his hand drew a line all round him and compelled him to give his answer before he stepped out of the circle. And as Octavius was killed while on this embassy, the senate ordered a statue to be erected to him 'in the spot most eyed' and that statue stands on the Platform. We also find that a decree was passed to erect a statue to a Vestal Virgin named Taracia Gaia or Fufetia 'to be placed where she wished,' an addition that is as great a compliment as the fact that a statue was decreed in honour of a woman. For the Vestal's merits I will quote the actual words of the Annals: 'because she had made a gratuitous present to the nation of the field by the Tiber.'
XII. I also find that statues were erected to Pythagoras and to Alcibiades, in the corners of the Place of Assembly, when during one of our Samnite Wars Pythian Apollo had commanded the erection in some conspicuous position of an effigy of the bravest man of the Greek race, and likewise, one of the wisest man; these remained until Sulla the dictator made the Senate-house on the site. It is surprising that those illustrious senators of ours rated Pythagoras above Socrates, whom the same deity had put above all the rest of mankind in respect of wisdom, or rated Alcibiades above so many other men in manly virtue, or anybody above Themistocles for wisdom and manly virtue combined.
The purport of placing statues of men on columns was to elevate them above all other mortals; which is also the meaning conveyed by the new invention of arches. Nevertheless the honour originally began with the Greeks, and I do not think that any person ever had more statues erected to him than Demetrius of Phalerum had at Athens, inasmuch as they set up 360, at a period when the year did not yet exceed that number of days, statues however the Athenians soon shattered in pieces. At Rome also the tribes in all the districts set up statues to Marius Gratidianus, as we have stated, and likewise threw them down again at the entrance of Sulla.
XIII. Statues of persons on foot undoubtedly held the field at Rome for a long time; equestrian statues also however are of considerable antiquity, and this distinction was actually extended to women with the equestrian statue of Cloelia, as if it were not enough for her to be clad in a toga, although statues were not voted to Lucretia and Brutus, who had driven out the kings owing to whom Cloelia had been handed over with others as a hostage should have held the view that her statue and that of Codes were the first erected at the public expensefor it is probable that the monuments to Attus and the Sibyl were erected by Tarquin and those of the kings by themselveswere it not for the statement of Piso that the statue of Cloelia also was erected by the persons who had been hostages with her, when they were given back by Porsena, as a mark of honour to her; whereas on the other hand Annius Fetialis states that an equestrian figure which once stood opposite the temple of Jupiter Stator in the forecourt of Tarqninius Superbus's palace was the statue of Valeria, daughter of Publicola, the consul, and that she alone had escaped and had swum across the Tiber, the other hostages who were being sent to Porsena having been made away with by a stratagem of Tarquin.
XIV. Lucius Piso has recorded that, in the second consulship of Marcus Aemilius and Gaius Popilius, the censors Publius Cornelius Scipio and Marcus Popilius caused all the statues round the forum of men who had held office as magistrates to be removed excepting those that had been set up by a resolution of the people or the Senate, while the statue which Spurius Cassius, who had aspired to monarchy, had erected in his own honour before the temple of the Earth was actually melted down by cesisors: obviously the men of those days took precautions against ambition in the matter of statues also. Some declamatory utterances made by Cato during his censorship are extant protesting against the erection in the Roman provinces of statues to women; yet all the same he was powerless to prevent this being done at Rome also: for instance there is the statue of Cornelia the mother of the Graechi and daughter of the elder Scipio Africanus. This represents her in a sitting position and is remarkable because there are no straps to the shoes; it stood in the public colonnade of Metellus, but is now in Octavia's Buildings.
XV. The first statue publicly erected at Rome by foreigners was that in honour of the tribune of the people Gaius Aelius, for having introduced a law against Sthennius Stallius the Lucanian who had twice made an attack upon Thuril; for this the inhabitants of that place presented Aelius with a statue and a crown of gold. The same people afterwards presented Fabricius with a statue for having rescued them from a state of siege; and various races successively in some such way placed themselves under Roman patronage, and all discrimination was so completely abrogated that even a statue of Hannibal may be seen in three places in the city within the walls of which he alone of its national foes had hurled a spear.
XVI. That the art of statuary was familiar to Italian Italy also and of long standing there is indicated by the statue of Hercules in the Cattle Market said to have been dedicated by Evander, which is called 'Hercules Triumphant,' and on the occasion of triumphal processions is arrayed in triumphal vestments; and also by the two-faced Janus, dedicated by King Numa, which is worshipped as indicating war and peace, the fingers of the statue being so arranged as to indicate the 355 days of the year, and to betoken that Janus is the god of the duration of time. Also there is no doubt that the so-called Tuscanic images scattered all over the world were regularly made in Etruria. I should have supposed these to have been statues of deities only, were it not that Metrodorus of Scepsis, who received his surname from his hatred of the very name of Rome, reproached us with having taken by storm the city of Volsinii for the sake of the 2000 statues which it contained. And it seems to me surprising that although the initiation of statuary in Italy dates so far back, the images of the gods dedicated in the shrines should have been more usually of wood or terracotta right down to the conquest of Asia which introduced luxury here. What was the first origin of representing likenesses in the round will be more suitably discussed when we are dealing with the art for which the Greek term is plastic, as that was earlier than the art of bronze statuary. But the latter has flourished to an extent passing all limit and offers a subject that would occupy many volumes if one wanted to give a rather extensive account of itfor as for a completely exhaustive account, who could achieve that?
XVII. In the aedileship of Marcus Scaurus there were 3000 statues on the stage in what was only a temporary theatre. Mummius after conquering Achaia filled the city with statues, though destined not to leave enough at his death to provide a dowry for his daughterfor why not mention this as well as the fact that excuses it? A great many were also imported by the Luculli. Yet it is stated by Mucianus who was three times consul that there are still 3000 statues at Rhodes, and no smaller number are believed still to exist at Athens, Olympia and Delphi. What mortal man could recapitulate them all, or what value can be felt in such information? Still it may give pleasure just to allude to the most remarkable and to name the artists of celebrity, though it would be impossible to enumerate the total number of the works of each, inasmuch as Lysippus is said to have executed 1500 works of art, all of them so skilful that each of them by itself might have made him famous; the number is said to have been discovered after his decease, when his heir broke open his coffers, it having been his practice to put aside a coin of the value of one gold denarius out of what he got as reward for his handicraft for each statue.
The art rose to incredible heights in success and afterwards in boldness of design. To prove its success I will adduce one instance, and that not of a representation of either a god or a man: our own generation saw on the Capitol, before it last went up in flames burnt at the hands of the adherents of Vitellius, in the shrine of Juno, a bronze figure of a hound licking its wound, the miraculous excellence and absolute truth to life of which is shown not only by the fact of its dedication in that place but also by the method taken for insuring it; for as no sum of money seemed to equal its value, the government enacted that its custodians should be answerable for its safety with their lives.
XVIII. Of boldness of design the examples are innumerable. We see enormously huge statues devised, what are called Colossi, as large as towers. Such is the Apollo on the Capitol, brought over by Marcus Lucullus from Apollonia, a city of Pontus, 45 ft. high, which cost 500 talents to make; or the Jupiter which the Emperor Claudius dedicated in the Campus Martius, which is dwarfed by the proximity of the theatre of Pompey; or the 60 ft. high statue at Taranto made by Lysippus. The remarkable thing in the case of the last is that though it can be moved by the hand, it is so nicely balanced, so it is said, that it is not dislodged from its place by any storms. This indeed, it is said, the artist himself provided against by erecting a column a short distance from it to shelter it on the side where it was most necessary to break the force of the wind. Accordingly, because of its size, and the difficulty of moving it with great labour, Fabius Verrucosus left it alone when he transferred the Heracles from that place to the Capitol where it now stands. But calling for admiration before all others was the colossal Statue of the Sun at Rhodes made by Chares of Lindus, the pupil of Lysippus mentioned above. This statue was 105 ft. high; and, 66 years after its erection, was overthrown by an earthquake, but even lying on the ground it is a marvel. Few people can make their arms meet round the thumb of the figure, and the fingers are larger than most statues; and where the limbs have been broken off enormous cavities yawn, while inside are seen great masses of rock with the weight of which the artist steadied it when he erected it. It is recorded that it took twelve years to complete and cost 300 talents, money realized from the engines of war belonging to King Demetrius which he had abandoned when he got tired of the protracted siege of Rhodes. There are a hundred other colossal statues in the same city, which though smaller than this one would have each of them brought fame to any place where it might have stood alone; and besides these there were five colossal statues of gods, made by Bryaxis.
Italy also was fond of making colossal statues. At all events we see the Tuscanic Apollo in the library of the Temple of Augustus, 50 ft. in height measuring from the toe; and it is a question whether it is more remarkable for the quality of the bronze a or for the beauty of the work. Spurius Carvilius also made the Jupiter that stands in the Capitol, after defeating the Samnites in the war which they fought under a most solemn oath; the metal was obtained from their breastplates, greaves and helmets, and the size of the figure is so great that it can be seen from the temple of Jupiter Latiaris. Out of the bronze filings left over Carvilius made the statue of himself that stands at the feet of the statue of Jupiter. The Capitol also contains two much admired heads dedicated by the consul Publius Lentulus, one made by Chares above-mentioned and the other by Prodicus, who is so outdone by comparison as to seem the poorest of artists. But all the gigantic statues of this class have been beaten in our period by Zenodorus with the Hermes or Mercury which he made in the community of the Arverni in Gaul; it took him ten years and the sum paid for its making was 40,000,000 sesterces. Having given sufficient proof of his artistic skill in Gaul he was summoned to Rome by Nero, and there made the colossal statue, 106 ft. high, intended to represent that emperor but now, dedicated to the sun after the condemnation of that emperor's crimes, it is an object of awe. In his studio we used not only to admire the remarkable likeness of the clay model but also to marvel at the frame of quite small timbers which constituted the first stage of the work put in hand. This statue has shown that skill in bronze-founding has perished, since Nero was quite ready to provide gold and silver, and also Zenodorus was counted inferior to none of the artists of old in his knowledge of modelling and chasing. When he was making the statue for the Arverni, when the governor of the province was Dubius Avitus, he produced facsimiles of two chased cups, the handiwork of Calamis, which Germanicus Caesar had prized highly and had presented to his tutor Cassius Salanus, Avitus's uncle; the copies were so skilfully made that there was scarcely any difference in artistry between them and the originals. The greater was the eminence of Zenodorus, the more we realize how the art of working bronze has deteriorated.
Owners of the figurines called Corinthian are usually so enamoured of them that they carry them about with them; for instance the orator Hortensius was never parted from the sphinx which he had got out of Verres when on trial; this explains Cicero's retort when Hortensius in the course of an altercation at the trial in question said he was not good at riddles. 'You ought to be,' said Cicero, 'as you keep a figurine in your pocket.' The emperor Nero also used to carry about with him an Amazon which we shall describe later, and a little before Nero, the ex-consul Gaius Cestius used to go about with a sphinx, which he had with him even on the battlefield. It is also said that the tent of Alexander the Great was regularly erected with four statues as tent-poles, two of which have now been dedicated to stand in front of the temple of Mars the Avenger and two in front of the Royal Palace.
XIX. An almost innumerable multitude of artists have been rendered famous by statues and figures of smaller size; but before them all stands the Athenian Pheidias, celebrated for the statue of Olympian Zeus, which in fact was made of ivory and gold, although he also made figures of bronze. He flourished in the 83rd Olympiad, about the 300th year of our city, at which same period his rivals were Alcamenes, Critias, Nesiotes and Hegias; and later, in the 87th Olympiad there were Hagelades, Callon and the Spartan Gorgias, and again in the 90th Olympiad Polycleitus, Phradmon, Myron, Pythagoras, Scopas and Perellus. Of these Polycleitus had as pupils Argius, Asopodorus, Alexis, Aristides, Phryno, Dino, Athenodorus, and Demeas of Clitor; and Myron had Lycius. In the 95th Olympiad flourished Naucydes, Dinomenes, Canachus and Patroclus; and in the 102nd Polycles, Cephisodotus, Leochares and Hypatodorus; in the 104th. Praxiteles and Euphranor; in the 107th Aetion and Therimachus. Lysippus was in the 113th, the period of Alexander the Great, and likewise his brother Lysistratus, Sthennis, Euphron, Sophocles, Sostratus, Ion and Silaniona remarkable fact in the case of the last named being that he became famous without having had any teacher; he himself had Zeuxiades as his pupiland in the 121st Eutychides, Euthycrates, Laippus, Cephisodotus, Timarchus and Pyromachus. After that the art languished, and it revived again in the 156th Olympiad, when there were the following, far inferior it is true to those mentioned above, but nevertheless artists of repute: Antaeus, Callistratus, Polycles of Athens, Callixenus, Pythocles, Pythias and Timocles.
After thus defining the periods of the most famous artists, I will hastily run through those of outstanding distinction, throwing in the rest of the throng here and there under various heads. The most celebrated have also come into competition with each other, although born at different periods, because they had made statues of Amazons; when these were dedicated in the Temple of Artemis of Ephesus, it was agreed that the best one should be selected by the vote of the artists themselves who were present; and it then became evident that the best was the one which all the artists judged to be the next best after their own: this is the Amazon by Polycleitus, while next to it came that of Pheidias, third Cresilas's, fourth Cydon's and fifth Phradmon's.
Pheidias, besides the Olympian Zeus, which nobody has ever rivalled, executed in ivory and gold the statue of Athene that stands erect in the Parthenon at Athens, and in bronze, besides the Amazon mentioned above, an Athene of such exquisite beauty that it has been surnamed the 'Fair.' He also made the Lady with the Keys, and another Athene which Aemilius Paulus dedicated in Rome at the temple of Today's Fortune, and likewise a work consisting of two statues wearing cloaks which Catulus erected in the same temple, and another work, a colossal statue undraped; and Pheidias is deservedly deemed to have first revealed the capabilities and indicated the methods of statuary.
Polycleitus of Sicyon, a pupil of Hagelades, made a statue of the 'Diadumenos' or Binding his Haira youth, but soft-lookingfamous for having cost 100 talents, and also the 'Doryphoros' or Carrying a Speara boy, but manly-looking. He also made what artists call a 'Canon' or Model Statue, as they draw their artistic outlines from it as from a sort of standard; and he alone of mankind is deemed by means of one work of art to have created the art itself! He also made the statue of the Man using a Body-scraper ('Apoxyomenos') and, in the nude, the Man Attacking with Spear, and the Two Boys Playing Dice, likewise in the nude, known by the Greek name of Astragalizontes and now standing in the forecourt of the Emperor Titusthis is generally considered to be the most perfect work of art in existenceand likewise the Hermes that was once at Lysimachea; Heracles; the Leader Donning his Armour, which is at Rome; and Artemon, called the Man in the Litter. Polycleitus is deemed to have perfected this science of statuary and to have refined the art of carving sculpture, just as Pheidias is considered to have revealed it. A discovery that was entirely his own is the art of making statues throwing their weight on one leg, although Varro says these figures are of a square build and almost all made on one model.
Myron, who was born at Eleutherae, was himself also a pupil of Hagelades; he was specially famous for his statue of a heifer, celebrated in some well-known sets of versesinasmuch as most men owe their reputation more to someone else's talent than to their own. His other works include Ladas and a 'Diseobolos' or Man Throwing a Discus, and Perseus, and The Sawyers, and The Satyr Marvelling at the Flute and Athene, Competitors in the Five Bouts at Delphi, the All-round Fighters, the Heracles now in the house of Pompey the Great at the Circus Maximus. Erinna in her poems indicates that he even made a memorial statue of a tree-cricket and a locust. He also made an Apollo which was taken from the people of Ephesus by Antonius the Triumvir but restored to them by his late lamented Majesty Augustus in obedience to a warning given him in a dream. Myron is the first sculptor who appears to have enlarged the scope of realism, having more rhythms in his art than Polycleitus and being more careful in his proportions. Yet he himself so far as surface configuration goes attained great finish, but he does not seem to have given expression to the feelings of the mind, and moreover he has not treated the hair and the pubes with any more accuracy than had been achieved by the rude work of olden days.
Myron was defeated by the Italian Pythagoras of Reggio with his All-round Fighter which stands at Delphi, with which he also defeated Leontiscus; Pythagoras also did the runner Astylos which is on show at Olympia; and, in the same place, the Libyan as a boy holding a tablet; and the nude Man Holding Apples, while at Syracuse there is his Lame Man, which actually makes people looking at it feel a pain from his ulcer in their own leg, and also Apollo shooting the Python with his Arrows, a Man a playing the Harp, that has the Greek name of The Honest Man given it because when Alexander took Thebes a fugitive successfully hid in its bosom a sum of gold. Pythagoras of Reggio was the first sculptor to show the sinews and veins, and to represent the hair more carefully.
There was also another Pythagoras, a Samian, who began as a painter; his seven nude statues now at the temple of Today's Fortune and one of an old man are highly spoken of. He is recorded to have resembled the above mentioned Pythagoras so closely that even their features were indistinguishable; but we are told that Sostratus was a pupil of Pythagoras of Reggio and a son of this Pythagoras' sister.
Lysippus of Sicyon is said by Duris not to have been the pupil of anybody, but to have been originally a copper-smith and to have first got the idea of venturing on sculpture from the reply given by the painter Eupompus when asked which of his predecessors he took for his model; he pointed to a crowd of people and said that it was Nature herself, not an artist, whom one ought to imitate. Lysippus as we have said was a most prolific artist and made more statues than any other sculptor, among them the Man using a Body-scraper which Marcus Agrippa gave to be set up in front of his Warm Baths and of which the emperor Tiberius was remarkably fond. Tiberius, although at the beginning of his principate he kept some control of himself, in this case could not resist the temptation, and had the statue removed to his bedchamber, putting another one in its place at the baths; but the public were so obstinately opposed to this that they raised an outcry at the theatre, shouting 'Give us back the Apoxyomenos'Man using a Body-scraperand the Emperor, although he had fallen quite in love with the statue, had to restore it. Lysippus is also famous for his Tipsy Girl playing the Flute, and his Hounds and Huntsmen in Pursuit of Game, but most of all for his Chariot with the Sun belonging to Rhodes. He also executed a series of statues of Alexander the Great, beginning with one in [356-323 BC] Alexander's boyhood. The emperor Nero was so delighted by this statue of the young Alexander that he ordered it to be gilt; but this addition to its money value so diminished its artistic attraction that afterwards the gold was removed, and in that condition the statue was considered yet more valuable, even though still retaining scars from the work done on it and incisions in which the gold had been fastened. The same sculptor did Alexander the Great's friend Hephaestio, a statue which some people ascribe to Polycleitus, although his date is about a hundred years earlier; and also Alexander's Hunt, dedicated at Delphi, a Satyr now at Atheus, and Alexander's Squadron of Horse, in which the sculptor introduced portraits of Alexander's friends consummately lifelike in every ease. After the conquest of Macedonia this was removed to Rome by Metellus; he also executed Four-horse Chariots of various kinds. Lysippus is said to have contributed greatly to the art of bronze statuary by representing the details of the hair and by making his heads smaller than the old sculptors used to do, and his bodies more slender and firm, to give his statues the appearance of greater height. He scrupulously preserved the quality of `symmetry' (for which there is no word in Latin) by the new and hitherto untried method of modifying the squareness of the figure of the old sculptors, and he used commonly to say that whereas his predecessors had made men as they really were, he made them as they appeared to be. A peculiarity of this sculptor's work seems to be the minute finish maintained in even the smallest details.
Lysippus left three sons who were his pupils, the celebrated artists Laippus, Boddas and Euthycrates, the last pre-eminent, although he copied the harmony rather than the elegance of his father, preferring to win favour in the severely correct more than in the agreeable style. Accordingly his Heracles, at Delphi, and his Alexander Hunting, at Thespiae, his group of Thespiades, and his Cavalry in Action are works of extreme finish, and so are his statue of Trophonius at the oracular shrine of that deity, a number of Four-horse Chariots, a Horse with Baskets and a Pack of Hounds. Moreover Tisicrates, another native of Sicyon, was a pupil of Euthycrates, but closer to the school of Lysippusindeed many of his statues cannot be distinguished from Lysippus's work, for instance his Old Man of Thebes, his King Demetrius (Pohorcetes), and his Peucestes, the man who saved the life of Alexander the Great and so deserved the honour of this commemoration.
Artists who have composed treatises recording these matters speak with marvellously high praise of Telephanes of Phocis, who is otherwise unknown, since he lived at ... in Thessaly where his works have remained in concealment, although these writers' own testimony puts him on a level with Polycleitus, Myron and Pythagoras. They praise his Larisa, his Spintharus the Five-bout Champion, and his Apollo. Others however are of opinion that the cause of his lack of celebrity is not the reason mentioned but his having devoted himself entirely to the studios established by King Xerxes and King Darius.
Praxiteles although more successful and therefore more celebrated in marble, nevertheless also made some very beautiful works in bronze: the Rape of Persephone, also The Girl Spinning and a Father Liber or Dionysus, with a figure of Drunkenness and also the famous Satyr, known by the Greek title Peribostos meaning 'Celebrated,' and the statues that used to be in front of the Temple of Happiness, and the Aphrodite, which was destroyed by fire when the temple of that goddess was burnt down in the reign of Claudius, and which rivalled the famous Aphrodite, in marble, that is known all over the world; also A Woman Bestowing a Wreath, A Woman Putting a Bracelet on her Arm, Autumn, Harmodius and Aristogeiton who slew the tyrant the last piece carried off by Xerxes King of the Persians but restored to the Athenians by Alexander [331 BC] the Great after his conquest of Persia. Praxiteles also made a youthful Apollo called in Greek the Lizard-Slayer because he is waiting with an arrow for a lizard creeping towards him. Also two of his statues expressing opposite emotions are admired, his Matron Weeping and his Merry Courtesan. The latter is believed to have been Phryne and connoisseurs detect in the figure the artist's love of her and the reward promised him by the expression on the courtesan's face. The kindness also of Praxiteles is represented in sculpture, as in the Chariot and Four of Calamis he contributed the charioteer, in order that the sculptor might not be thought to have failed in the human figure although more successful in representing horses. Calamis himself also made other chariots, some with four horses and some with two, and in executing the horses he is invariably unrivalled: butthat it may not be supposed that he was inferior in his human figureshis Alcmena is as famous as that of any other sculptor.
Alcamenes a pupil of Pheidias made marble figures, and also in bronze a Winner of the Five Bouts, known by the Greek term meaning Highly Commended, but Polycleitus's pupil Aristides made four-horse and pair-horse chariots. Amphicrates is praised for his Leaena; she was a harlot, admitted to the friendship of Harmodius and Aristogeiton because of her skill as a harpist, who though put to the torture by the tyrants till she died refused to betray their plot to assassinate them. Consequently the Athenians wishing to do her honour and yet unwilling to have made a harlot famous, had a statue made of a lioness, as that was her name, and to indicate the reason for the honour paid her instructed the artist to represent the animal as having no tongue.
Bryaxis made statues of Asclepius and Seleucus, Boedas a Man Praying, Baton an Apollo and a Hera, both now in the Temple of Concord at Rome. Cresilas did a Man Fainting from Wounds, the expression of which indicates how little life remains, and the Olympian Pericles, a figure worthy of its title; indeed it is a marvellous thing about the art of sculpture that it has added celebrity to men already celebrated. Cephisodorus made the wonderful Athene at the harbour of Athens and the almost unrivalled altar at the temple of Zeus the Deliverer at the same harbour, Canachus the naked Apollo, surnamed Philesius, at Didyma, made of bronze compounded at Aegina; and with it he made a stag so lightly poised in its footprints as to allow of a thread being passed underneath its feet, the 'heel' and the 'toes' holding to the base with alternate contacts, the whole hoof being so jointed in either part that it springs back from the impact. He also made a Boys Riding on Racehorses. Chaereas did Alexander the Great and his father Philip, Ctesilaus a Man with a Spear and a Wounded Amazon, Demetrius Lysimache who was a priestess of Athene for 64 years, and also the Athene called the Murmuring Athenethe dragons on her Gorgon's head sound with a tinkling note when a harp is struck; he likewise did the mounted statue of Simon who wrote the first treatise on horsemanship. Daedalus (also famous as a modeller in clay) made Two Boys using a Body-Scraper, and Dinomenes did a Protesilaus and the wrestler Pythodemus. The statue of Alexander Paris is by Euphranor; it is praised because it conveys all the characteristics of Paris in combinationthe judge of the goddesses, the lover of Helen and yet the slayer of Achilles. The Athene, called at Rome the Catuliana, which stands below the Capitol and was dedicated by Quintus Lutatius Catulus, is Euphranor's, and so is the figure of Success, holding a dish in the right hand and in the left an ear of corn and some poppies, and also in the temple of Concord a Leto as Nursing Mother, with the infants Apollo and Artemis in her arms. He also made four-horse and two-horse chariots, and an exceptionally beautiful Lady with the Keys, and two colossal statues, one of Virtue and one of Greece, a Woman Wondering and Worshipping, and also an Alexander and a Philip in four-horse chariots. Eutychides did a Eurotas, in which it has frequently been said that the work of the artist seems clearer than the water of the real river. The Athene and the King Pyrrhus of Hegias are praised, and his Boys Riding on Racehorses, and his Castor and Pollux that stand before the temple of Jupiter the Thunderer; and so are Hagesias's Heracles in our colony of Parium, and Isidotus's Man Sacrificing an Ox. Lycius who was a pupil of Myron did a Boy Blowing a Dying Fire that is worthy of his instructor, also a group of the Argonauts; Leochares an Eagle carrying off Ganymede in which the bird is aware of what his burden is and for whom he is carrying it, and is careful not to let his claws hurt the boy even through his clothes, and Autolycus Winner of the All-round Bout, being also the athlete in whose honour Xenophon wrote his Banquet and the famous Zeus the Thunderer now on the Capitol, of quite unrivalled merit, also an Apollo crowned with a Diadem; also Lyciscus, the Slave-dealer, and a Boy, with the crafty cringing look of a household slave. Lycius also did a Boy Burning Perfumes. There is a Bull-calf by Menaechmus, on which a man is pressing his knee as he bends its neck back; Menaechmus has written a treatise about his own work. The reputation of Naucydes rests on his Hermes and Man throwing a Disc and Man Sacrificing a Ram, that of Naucerus on his Wrestler Winded, that of Niceratus on his Asclepius and his Goddess of Health, which are in the Temple of Concord at Rome. Pyromachus has an Alcibiades Driving a Chariot and Four; Polycles made a famous Hermaphrodite, Pyrrhus, a Goddess of Health and Athene, Phanis, who was a pupil of Lysippus, a Woman Sacrificing. Styppax of Cyprus is known for a single statue, his Man Cooking Tripe, which represented a domestic slave of the Olympian Pericles roasting inwards and puffing out his cheeks as he kindles the fire with his breath; Silanion cast a metal figure of Apollodorus, who was himself a modeller, and indeed one of quite unrivalled devotion to the art and a severe critic of his own work, who often broke his statues in pieces after he had finished them, his intense passion for his art making him unable to be satisfied, and consequently he was given the surname of the Madmanthis quality he brought out in his statue, the Madman, which represented in bronze not a human being but anger personified. Silanion also made a famous Achilles, and also a Superintendent Exercising Athletes; Strongylion made an Amazon, which from the remarkable beauty of the legs is called the Eucnemon, and which consequently the emperor Nero caused to be carried in his retinue on his journeys. The same sculptor made the figure rendered famous by Brutus under the name of Brutus's Boy because it represented a favourite of the hero of the battles at Philippi. Theodorus, who constructed the Labyrinth at Samos, cast a statue of himself in bronze. Besides its remarkable celebrity as a likeness, it is famous for its very minute workmanship; the right hand holds a file, and three fingers of the left hand originally held a little model of a chariot and four, but this has been taken away to Palestrina as a marvel of smallness: if the team were reproduced in a picture with the chariot and the charioteer, the model of a fly, which was made by the artist at the same time, would cover it with its wings. Xenocrates, who was a pupil of Tisicrates, or by other accounts of Euthycrates, surpassed both of the last mentioned in the number of his statues; and he also wrote books about his art.
Several artists have represented the battles of Attalus and Eumenes against the Gauls, Isigonus, Pyromachus, Stratonicus and Antigonus, who wrote books about his art. Boethus did a Child Strangling a Goose by hugging it, although he is better in silver. And among the list of works I have referred to all the most celebrated have now been dedicated by the emperor Vespasian in the Temple of Peace and his [AD. 75] other public buildings; they had been looted by Nero, who conveyed them all to Rome and arranged them in the sitting-rooms of his Golden Mansion.
Besides these, artists on the same level of merit but of no outstanding excellence in any of their works are: Ariston, who often also practised chasing silver, Callides, Ctesias, Cantharus of Sicyon, Dionysius, Diodorus the pupil of Critias, Deliades, Euphorion, Eunicus and Hecataeus the silver chasers, Lesbocles, Prodorus, Pythodieus, Polygnotus, who was also one of the most famous among painters, similarly Stratonicus among chasers, and Critias's pupil Scymnus.
I will now run through the artists who have made works of the same class, such as Apollodorus, Androbulus and Asclepiodorus, Aleuas, who have done philosophers, and Apellas also women donning their ornaments, and Antignotus also Man using a Body-scraper and the Men that Slew the Tyrant, above-mentioned, Antimachus, Athenodorus who made splendid figures of women, Aristodemus who also did Wrestlers, and Chariot and Pair with Driver, figures of philosophers, of old women, and King Seleucus; Aristodemus's Man holding Spear is also popular. There were two artists named Cephisodotus; the Hermes Nursing Father Liber or Dionysos when an Infant belongs to the elder, who also did a Man Haranguing with Hand Upliftedwhom it represents is uncertain. The later Cephisodotus did philosophers. Colotes who had co-operated with Pheidias in the Olympian Zeus made statues of philosophers, as also did Cleon and Cenchramis and Cailicles and Cepis; Chalcosthenes also did actors in comedy and athletes; Daippus a Man using a Scraper; Daiphron, Damocritus and Daemon statues of philosophers. Epigonus, who copied others in almost all the subjects already mentioned, took the lead with his Trumpet-player and his Weeping Infant pitifully caressing its Murdered Mother. Praise is given to Eubulus's Woman in Admiration and to Eubulide's Person Counting on the Fingers. Micon is noticed for his athletes and Menogenes for his chariots and four. Niceratus, who likewise attempted all the subjects employed by any other sculptor, did a statue of Alcibiades and one of his mother Demarate, represented as performing a sacrifice by torch-light. Tisicrates did a pair-horse chariot in which Piston afterwards placed a woman; the latter also made an Ares and a Hermes now in the Temple of Concord at Rome. No one should praise Perillus, who was more cruel than the tyrant Phalaris, for whom he made a bull, guaranteeing that if a man were shut up inside it and a fire lit underneath the man would do the bellowing; and he was himself the first to experience this torturea cruelty more just than the one he proposed. Such were the depths to which the sculptor had diverted this most humane of arts from images of gods and men! All the founders of the art had only toiled so that it should be employed for making implements of torture! Consequently this sculptor's works are preserved for one purpose only, so that whoever sees them may hate the hands that made them. Sthennis did a Demeter, a Zeus and an Athene that are in the Temple of Concord at Rome, and also Weeping Matrons and Matrons at Prayer and Offering a Sacrifice. Simon made a Dog and an Archer, the famous engraver Stratonicus some philosophers and each of these artists made figures of hostesses of inns. The following have made figures of athletes, armed men, hunters and men offering sacrifice: Baton, Euchir, Glaucides, Heliodorus, Hicanus, Jophon, Lyson, Leon, Menodorus, Myagrus, Polycrates, Polyidus, Pythocritus, Protogenes (who was also, as we shall say later, one of the most famous painters), Patrocles, Pollis and Posidonius (the last also a distinguished silver chaser, native of Ephesus), Periclymenus, Philo, Symenus, Timotheus, Theomnestus, Tiniarchides, Timon, Tisias, Thraso.
But of all Callimachus is the most remarkable, because of the surname attached to him: he was always unfairly critical of his own work, and was an artist of never-ending assiduity, and consequently he was called the Niggler, and is a notable warning of the duty of observing moderation even in taking pains. To him belongs the Laconian Women Dancing, a very finished work but one in which assiduity has destroyed all charm. Callimachus is reported to have also been a painter. Cato in his expedition to Cyprus sold all the statues found there except one of Zeno; it was not the value of the bronze nor the artistic merit that attracted him, but its being the statue of a philosopher: I mention this by the way, to introduce this distinguished instance also.
In mentioning statuesthere is also one we must not pass over in spite of the sculptor's not being knownthe figure, next to the Beaked Platform, of Heracles in the Tunic, the only one in Rome that shows him in that dress; the countenance is stern and the statue expresses the feeling of the final agony of the tunic. On this statue there are three inscriptions, one stating that it had been part of the booty taken by the general Lucius Lucullus, and another saying that it was dedicated, in pursuance of a decree of the Senate, by Lucullus's son while still a ward, and the third, that Titus Septimius Sabinus as curule sedile had caused it to be restored to the public from private ownership. So many were the rivalries connected with this statue and so highly was it valued.
XX. But we will now turn our attention particularly to the various forms of copper, and its blends. In the case of the copper of Cyprus 'chaplet copper' is made into thin leaves, and when dyed with ox-gall gives the appearance of gilding on theatrical property coronets; and the same material mixed with gold in the proportion of six scruples of gold to the ounce makes a very thin plate called pyropus, 'fire-coloured' and acquires the colour of fire. Bar copper also is produced in other mines, and likewise fused copper. The difference between them is that the latter can only be fused, as it breaks under the hammer, whereas bar copper, otherwise called ductile copper, is malleable, which is the case with all Cyprus copper. But also in the other mines, this difference of bar copper from fused copper is produced by treatment; for all copper after impurities have been rather carefully removed by fire and melted out of it becomes bar copper. Among the remaining kinds of copper the palm goes to bronze of Campania, which is most esteemed for utensils. There are several ways of preparing it. At Capua it is smelted in a fire of wood, not of charcoal, and then poured into cold water and cleaned in a sieve made of oak, and this process of smelting is repeated several times, at the last stage Spanish silver lead being added to it in the proportion of ten pounds to one hundred pounds of copper: this treatment renders it pliable and gives it an agreeable colour of a kind imparted to other sorts of copper and bronze by means of oil and salt. Bronze resembling the Gampanian is produced in many parts of Italy and the provinces, but there they add only eight pounds of lead, and do additional smelting with charcoal because of their shortage of wood. The difference produced by this is noticed specially in Gaul, where the metal is smelted between stones heated red hot, as this roasting scorches it and renders it black and friable. Moreover they only smelt it again once whereas to repeat this several times contributes a great deal to the quality. It is also not out of place to notice that all copper and bronze fuses better in very cold weather.
The proper blend for making statues is as follows, and the same for tablets: at the outset the ore is melted, and then there is added to the melted metal a third part of scrap copper, that is copper or bronze that has been bought up after use. This contains a peculiar seasoned quality of brilliance that has been subdued by friction and so to speak tamed by habitual use. Silver-lead is also mixed with it in the proportion of twelve and a half pounds to every hundred pounds of the fused metal. There is also in addition what is called the mould-blend of bronze of a very delicate consistency, because a tenth part of black lead is added and a twentieth of silver-lead; and this is the best way to give it the colour called Grircanic after the Greek. The last kind is that called pot-bronze, taking its name from the vessels made of it; it is a blend of three or four pounds of silver-lead with every hundred pounds of copper. The addition of lead to Cyprus copper produces the purple colour seen in the bordered robes of statues.
XXI. Things made of copper or bronze get covered with copper-rust more quickly when they are kept rubbed clean than when they are neglected, unless they are well greased with oil. It is said that the best way of preserving them is to give them a coating of liquid vegetable pitch. The employment of bronze was a long time ago applied to securing the perpetuity of monuments, by means of bronze tablets on which records of official enactments are made.
XXII. Copper ores and mines supply medicaments in a variety of ways: inasmuch as in their neighbourhood all kinds of ulcers are healed with the greatest rapidity; yet the most beneficial is cadmea. This is certainly also produced in furnaces where silver is smelted, this kind being whiter and not so heavy, but it is by no means to be compared with that from copper. There are however several varieties; for while the mineral itself from which the metal is made is called cadmea, which is necessary for the fusing process but is of no use for medicine, so again another kind is found in furnaces, which is given a name indicating its origin. It is produced by the thinnest part of the substance being separated out by the flames and the blast and becoming attached in proportion to its degree of lightness to the roof-chambers and side-walls of the furnaces, the thinnest being at the very mouth of the furnace, which the flames have belched out; it is called 'smoky cadmea' from its burnt appearance and because it resembles hot white ash in its extreme lightness. The part inside is best, hanging from the vaults of the roof-chamber, and this consequently is designated 'grape-cluster cadmea,' this is heavier than the preceding kind but lighter than those that followit is of two colours, the inferior kind being the colour of ash and the better the colour of pumiceand it is friable, and extremely useful for making medicaments for the eyes. A third sort is deposited on the sides of furnaces, not having been able to reach the vaults because of its weight; this is called in Greek 'plaeitis,' 'caked residue,' in this case by reason of its flatness, as it is more of a crust than pumice, and is mottled inside; it is more useful for itch-scabs and for making wounds draw together into a scar. Of this kind are formed two other varieties, onychitis which is almost blue outside but inside like the spots of an onyx or layered quartz, and ostracitis shell-like residue which is all black and the dirtiest of any of the kinds; this is extremely useful for wounds. All kinds of cadmea (the best coming from the furnaces of Cyprus) for use in medicine are heated again on a fire of pure charcoal and, when it has been reduced to ash, if being prepared for plasters it is quenched with Amminean wine, but if intended for itch-scabs with vinegar. Some people pound it and then burn it in earthenware pots, wash it in mortars and afterwards dry it. Nymphodorus's process is to burn on hot coals the most heavy dense piece of cadmea that can be obtained, and when it is thoroughly burnt to quench it with Chian wine, and pound it, and then to sift it through a linen cloth and grind it in a mortar, and then macerate it in rainwater and again grind the sediment that sinks to the bottom till it becomes like white lead and offers no grittiness to the teeth. Iollas' method is the same, but he selects the purest specimens of native cadmea.
XXIII. The effect of cadmea is to dry moisture, to heal lesions, to stop discharges, to cleanse inflamed swellings and foul sores in the eyes, to remove eruptions, and to do everything that we shall specify in dealing with the effect of lead.
Copper itself is roasted to use for all the same purposes and for white-spots and scars in the eyes besides, and mixed with milk it also heals ulcers in the eyes; and consequently people in Egypt make a kind of eye-salve by grinding it in small mortars. Taken with honey it also acts as an emetic, but for this Cyprian copper with an equal weight of sulphur is roasted in pots of unbaked earthenware, the mouth of the vessels being smeared round with oil; and then left in the furnace till the vessels themselves are completely baked. Certain persons also add salt, and some use alum instead of sulphur, while others add nothing at all, but only sprinkle the copper with vinegar. When burnt it is pounded in a mortar of Theban stone, washed with rainwater, and then again pounded with the addition of a larger quantity of water, and left till it settles, and this process is repeated several times, till it is reduced to the appearance of cinnabar; then it is dried in the sun and put to keep in a copper box.
XXIV. The slag of copper is also washed in the same way, but it is less efficacious than copper itself. The flower of copper also is useful as a medicine. It is made by fusing copper and then transferring it to other furnaces, where a faster use of the bellows makes the metal give off layers like scales of millet, which are called the flower. Also when the sheets of copper are cooled off in water they shed off other scales of copper of a similar red huethis scale is called by the Greek word meaning husk and by this process the flower is adulterated, so that the scale is sold as a substitute for itthe genuine flower is a scale of copper forcibly knocked off with bolts into which are welded cakes of the metal, specially in the factories of Cyprus. The whole difference is that the scale is detached from the cakes by successive hammerings, whereas the flower falls off of its own accord. This another finer kind of scale, the one knocked off from the down-like surface of the metal, the name for which is 'stomoma.'
XXV. But of all these facts the doctors, if they will permit me to say so, are ignorantthey are governed by names: so detached they are from the process of making up drugs, which used to be the special business of the medical profession. Nowadays whenever they come on books of prescriptions, wanting to make up some medicines out of them, which means to make trial of the ingredients in the prescriptions at the expense of their unhappy patients, they rely on the fashionable druggists' shops which spoil everything with fraudulent adulterations, and for a long time they have been buying plasters and eye-salves ready made; and thus is deteriorated rubbish of commodities and the fraud of the druggists' trade put on show.
Both scale however and flower of copper are burnt in earthenware or copper pans and then washed, as described above, to be applied to the same purposes; the scale also in addition removes fleshy troubles in the nostrils and also in the anus and dullness of hearing if forcibly blown into the ears through a tube, and, when applied in the form of powder, removes swellings of the uvula, and, mixed with honey, swellings of the tonsils. There is a scale from white copper that is far less efficacious than the scale from Cyprus; and moreover some people steep the bolts and cakes of copper beforehand in a boy's urine when they are going to detach the scale, and pound them and wash them with rainwater. It is also given to dropsical patients in doses of two drains in half a sextarius of honey-wine; and mixed with fine flour it is applied as a liniment.
XXVI. Great use is also made of verdigris. There are several ways of making it; it is scraped off the stone from which copper is smelted, or by drilling holes in white copper and hanging it up in casks over strong vinegar which is stopped with a lid; the verdigris is of much better quality if the same process is performed with scales of copper. Some people put the actual vessels, made of white copper, into vinegar in earthenware jars, and nine days later scrape them. Others cover the vessels with grape-skins and scrape them after the same interval, others sprinkle copper filings with vinegar and several times a day turn them over with spattles till the copper is completely dissolved. Others prefer to grind copper filings mixed with vinegar in copper mortars. But the quickest result is obtained by adding to the vinegar shavings of coronet copper. Rhodian verdigris is adulterated chiefly with pounded marble, though others use pumice-stone or gum. But the adulteration of verdigris that is the most difficult to detect is done with shoemakers' black, the other adulterations being detected by the teeth as they crackle when chewed. Verdigris can be tested on a hot fire-shovel, as a specimen that is pure keeps its colour, but what is mixed with shoemakers' black turns red. It is also detected by means of papyrus previously steeped in an infusion of plant-gall, as this when smeared with genuine verdigris at once turns black. It can also be detected by the eye, as it has an evil green colour. But whether pure or adulterated, the best way is to wash it and when it is dry to burn it on a new pan and keep turning it over till it becomes glowing ashes; and afterwards it is crushed and put away in store. Some people burn it in raw earthenware vessels till the earthenware is baked through; some mix in also some male frankincense. Verdigris is washed in the same way as cadmea. Its powerfulness is very well suited for eye-salves and its mordant action makes it able to produce watering at the eyes; but it is essential to wash it off with swabs and hot water till its bite ceases to be felt.
XXVII. Hierax's Salve is the name given to an eye-salve chiefly composed of verdigris. It is made by mixing together four ounces of gum of Hammon, two of Gyprian verdigris, two of the copperas called flower of copper, one of misy and six of saffron; all these ingredients are pounded in Thasian vinegar and made up into pills, that are an outstanding specific against incipient glaucoma and cataract, and also against films on the eyes or roughnesses and white ulcerations in the eye and affections of the eyelids. Verdigris in a crude state is used as an ingredient in plasters for wounds also. In combination with oil it is a marvellous cure for ulcerations of the mouth and gums and for sore lips, and if wax is also added to the mixture it cleanses them and makes them form a cicatrix. Verdigris also eats away the callosity of fistulas and of sores round the anus, either applied by itself or with gum of Ilammon, or inserted into the fistula in the manner of a salve. Verdigris kneaded up with a third part of turpentine also removes leprosy.
XXVIII. There is also another kind of verdigris called from the Greek worm-like verdigris, made by grinding up in a mortar of true cyprian copper with a pestle of the same metal equal weights of alum and salt or soda with the very strongest white vinegar. This preparation is only made on the very hottest days of the year, about the rising of the Dog-star. The mixture is ground up until it becomes of a green colour and shrivels into what looks like a cluster of small worms, whence its name. To remedy any that is blemished, the urine of a young boy to twice the quantity of vinegar that was used is added to the mixture. Used as a drug, worm-verdigris has the same effect as santerna which we spoke of as used for soldering gold; both of them have the same properties as verdigris. Native worm-verdigris is also obtained by scraping a copper ore of which we shall now speak.
XXIX. Chalcitis, copper-stone, is the name of an ore, that from which copper also, besides cadmea, is obtained by smelting. It differs from cadmea because the latter is quarried above ground, from rocks exposed to the air, whereas chalcitis is obtained from underground beds, and also because chalcitis becomes immediately friable, being of a soft nature, so as to have the appearance of congealed down. There is also another difference in that chalcitis contains three kinds of mineral, copper, and sori, each of which we shall describe in its place; and the veins of copper in it are of an oblong shape.
The approved variety of chalcitis is honey coloured, and streaked with fine veins, and is friable and not stony. It is also thought to be more useful when fresh, as when old it turns into sori. It is used for growths in ulcers, for arresting haemorrhage and, in the form of a powder, for acting as an astringent on the gums, uvula and tonsils. and, applied in wool, as a pessary for affections of the uterus, while with leek juice it is employed in plasters for the genitals. It is steeped for forty days in vinegar in an earthenware jar, covered with dung, and then assumes the colour of saffron; then an equal weight of cadmea is mixed with it and this produces the drug called psoricon or cure for itch. If two parts of chalcitis are mixed with one of cadmea this makes a stronger form of the same drug, and moreover it is more violent if it is mixed in vinegar than if in wine; and when roasted it becomes more effective for all the same purposes.
XXX. Egyptian sori is most highly commended, being far superior to that of Cyprus and Spain and Africa, although some people think that Cyprus son is more useful for treatment of the eyes; but whatever its provenance the best is that which has the most pungent odour, and which when ground up takes a greasy, black colour and becomes spongy. It is a substance that goes against the stomach so violently that with some people the mere smell of it causes vomiting. This is a description of the sori of Egypt. That from other sources when ground up turns a bright colour like adsy, and it is harder; however, if it is held in the cavities and used plentifully as a mouthwash it is good for toothache and for serious and creeping ulcers of the mouth. It is burnt on charcoal, like chalcitis.
XXXI. Some people have reported that misy is made by burning mineral in trenches, its fine yellow powder mixing itself with the ash of the pine wood burnt; but as a matter of fact though got from the mineral above mentioned, it is part of its substance and separated from it by force, the best kind being obtained in the copper-factories of Cyprus, its marks being that when broken it sparkles like gold and when it is ground it has a sandy appearance, without earth, unlike chalcitis. A mixture of misy is employed in the magical purification of gold. Mixed with oil of roses it makes a useful infusion for suppurating ears and applied on wool a serviceable plaster for ulcers of the head. It also reduces chronic roughness of the eyelids, and is especially useful for the tonsils and against quinsy and suppurations. The method is to boil 16 drains of it in a twelfth of a pint of vinegar with honey added till it becomes of a viscous consistency: this makes a useful preparation for the purposes above mentioned. When it is necessary to make it softer, honey is sprinkled on it. It also removes the callosity of fistulous ulcers when the patients use it with vinegar as a fomentation; and it is used as an ingredient in eye-salves, arrests haemorrhage and creeping or putrid ulcers, and reduces fleshy excrescences. It is particularly useful for troubles in the sexual organs in the male, and it checks menstruation.
XXXII. The Greeks by their name for shoemakers'-black have made out an affinity between it and copper: they call it chalcanthon, 'flower of copper'; and there is no substance that has an equally remarkable nature. It occurs in Spain in wells or pools that contain that sort of water. This water is boiled with an equal quantity of pure water and poured into wooden tanks. Over these are firmly fixed cross-beams from which hang cords held taut by stones, and the kind clinging to the cords in a cluster of glassy drops has somewhat the appearance of a bunch of grapes. It is taken off and then left for thirty days to dry. Its colour is an extremely brilliant blue, and it is often taken for glass; when dissolved it makes a black dye used for colouring leather. It is also made in several other ways: earth of the kind indicated is hollowed into trenches, droppings from the sides of which form icicles in a winter frost which are called drop-flower of copper, and this is the purest kind. Bat some of it, violet with a touch of white, is called lonchotoa, 'lance-headed.' It is also made in pans hollowed in the rocks, into which the slime is carried by rainwater and freezes, and it also forms in the same way as salt when very hot sunshine evaporates the fresh water let in with it. Consequently some people distinguish in twofold fashion between the mined flower of copper and the manufactured, the latter paler than the former and as much inferior in quality as in colour. That which comes from Cyprus is most highly approved for medical employment. It is taken to remove intestinal worms, the dose being one dram mixed with honey. Diluted and injected as drops into the nostrils it clears the head, and likewise taken with honey or honey-water it purges the stomach. It is given as a medicine for roughness of the eyes, pain and mistiness in the eyes, and ulceration of the mouth. It stops bleeding from the nostrils, and also haemorrhoidal bleeding. Mixed with henbane seed it draws out splinters of broken bones; applied to the forehead with a swab it arrests running of the eyes; also used in plasters it is efficacious for cleansing wounds and gatherings of ulcers. A mere touch of a decoction of it removes swellings of the uvula, and it is laid with linseed on plasters used for relieving pains. The whitish part of it is preferred to the violet kinds for one purpose, that of being blown through tubes into the ears to relieve ear-trouble. Applied by itself as a liniment it heals wounds, but it leaves a discoloration in the scats. There has lately been discovered a plan of sprinkling it on the mouths of bears and lions in the arena, and its astringent action is so powerful that they are unable to bite.
XXXIII. The substances called by Greek names meaning 'bubble' and 'ash' are also found in the furnaces of copper works. The difference between them is that bubble is disengaged by washing but ash is not washed out. Some people have given the name of 'bubble' to the substance that is white and very light in weight, and have said that it is the ashes of copper and cadmea, but that ash is darker and heavier, being scraped off the walls of furnaces, mixed with sparks from the ore and sometimes also with charcoal. This material when vinegar is applied to it gives off a smell of copper, and if touched with the tongue has a horrible taste. It is a suitable ingredient for eye medicines, remedying all troubles whatever, and for all the purposes for which 'ash' is used; its only difference is that its action is less violent. It is also used as an ingredient for plasters employed to produce a gentle cooling and drying effect. It is more efficacious for all purposes when it is moistened with whie.
XXXIV. Cyprus ash is the best. It is produced when cadmea and copper ore are melted. The ash in question is the lightest part of the whole substance produced by blasting, and it flies out of the furnaces and adheres to the roof, being distinguished from soot by its white colour. Such part of it as is less white is an indication of inadequate firing; it is this that some people call 'bubble.' But the redder part selected from it has a keener force, and is so corrosive that if while it is being washed it touches the eyes it causes blindness. There is also an ash of the colour of honey, which is understood to indicate that it contains a large amount of copper. But any kind is made more serviceable by washing; it is first purified with a strainer of cloth and then given a more substantial washing, and the rough portions are picked out by the fingers. When it is washed with wine it is particularly powerful. There is also some difference in the kind of wine used, as when it is washed with weak wine it is thought to be less serviceable for eye-salves, and at the same time more efficacious for running ulcers or for ulcers of the mouth that are always wet and more useful for all the antidotes for gangrene. An ash called Lanriotis is also produced in furnaces in which silver is smelted; but the kind said to be most serviceable for the eyes is that which is formed in smelting gold. Nor is there any other department in which the ingenuities of life are more to be admired, inasmuch as to avoid the need of searching for metals experience has devised the same utilities by means of the commonest things.
XXXV. The substance called in Greek antispodos substitute ash is the ash of the leaves of the fig-tree or wild fig or myrtle together with the tenderest parts of the branches, or of the wild olive or cultivated olive or quince or mastic and also ash obtained from unripe, that is still pale, mulberries, dried in the sun, or from the foliage of the box or mock-gladiolus, or bramble or turpentine-tree or cenanthe. The same virtues have also been found in the ash of bull-glue or of linen fabrics. All of these are burnt in a pot of raw earth heated in a furnace until the earthenware is thoroughly baked.
XXXVI. Also 'smegma' is made in copper forges by adding additional charcoal when the copper has already been melted, and thoroughly fused, and gradually kindling it; and suddenly when a stronger blast is applied a sort of chaff of copper spurts out. The floor on which it is received ought to be strewn with charcoal-dust.
XXXVII. Distinguished from smegma is the substance in the same forges called by the Greeks diphryx, from its being twice roasted. It comes from three different sources. It is said to be obtained from a mineral pyrites which is heated in furnaces till it is smelted into a red earth. It is also made in Cyprus from mud obtained from a certain cavern, which is first dried and then gradually has burning brushwood put round it. A third way of producing it is from the residue that falls to the bottom in copper furnaces; the difference is that the copper itself runs down into crucibles and the slag forms outside the furnace and the flower floats on the top, but the supplies of diphryx remain behind. Some people say that certain globules of stone that is being smelted in the furnaces become soldered together and round this the copper gets red hot, but the stone itself is not fused unless it is transferred into other furnaces, and that it is a sort of kernel of the substance, and that what is called diphryx is the residue left from the smelting. Its use in medicine is similar to that of the substances already described; to dry up moisture and remove excrescent growths and act as a detergent. It can be tested by the tonguecontact with it ought immediately to have a parching effect and impart a flavour of copper.
XXXVIII. We will not omit one further remarkable thing about copper. The Servilian family, famous in our annals, possesses a bronze as piece which it feeds with gold and silver and which consumes them both. Its origin and nature are unknown to me, but I will put down the actual words of the elder Messala on the subject. The family of the Servilii has a holy coin to which every year they perform sacrifices with the greatest devotion and splendour; and they say that this coin seems to have on some occasions grown bigger and on other occasions smaller, and that thereby it portends either the advancement or the decadence of the family.
XXXIX. Next an account must be given of the mines and ores of iron. Iron serves as the best and the worst part of the apparatus of life, inasmuch as with it we plough the ground, plant trees, trim the trees that prop our vines, force the vines to renew their youth yearly by ridding them of decrepit growth; with it we build houses and quarry rocks, and we employ it for all other useful purposes, but we likewise use it for wars and slaughter and brigandage, and not only in hand-to-hand encounters but as a winged missile, now projected from catapults, now hurled by the arm, and now actually equipped with feathery wings, which I deem the most criminal artifice of man's genius, inasmuch as to enable death to reach human beings more quickly we have taught iron how to fly and have given wings to it. Let us therefore debit the blame not to Nature, but to man. A number of attempts have been made to enable iron to be innocent. We find it an express provision included in the treaty granted by Porsena to the Roman nation after the expulsion of the kings that they should only use iron for purposes of agriculture; and our oldest authors have recorded that in those days it was customary to write with a bone pen. There is extent an edict of Pompey the Great dated in his third consulship at the time of the disorders accompanying the death of Clodius, prohibiting the possession of any weapon in the city.
XL. Further, the art of former days did not fail to provide a more humane function even for iron. When the artist Aristonidas desired to represent the madness of Athamas subsiding in repentance after he had hurled his son Learchus from the rock, he made a blend of copper and iron, in order that the blush of shame should be represented by rust of the iron shining through the brilliant surface of the copper; this statue is still standing at Rhodes. There is also in the same city an iron figure of Heracles, which was made by Alcon, prompted by the endurance displayed by the god in his labours. We also see at Rome goblets of iron dedicated in the temple of Mars the Avenger. The same benevolence of nature has limited the power of iron itself by inflicting on it the penalty of rust, and the same foresight by making nothing in the world more mortal than that which is most hostile to mortality.
XLI. Deposits of iron are found almost everywhere, and they are formed even now in the Italian island of Elba, and there is very little difficulty in recognizing them as they are indicated by the actual colour of the earth. The method of melting out the veins is the same as in the case of copper. In Cappadocia alone it is merely a question whether the presence of iron is to be credited to water or to earth, as that region supplies iron from the furnaces when the earth has been flooded by the river Cerasus but not otherwise. There are numerous varieties of iron; the first difference depending on the kind of soil or of climatesome lands only yield a soft iron closely allied to lead, others a brittle and coppery kind that is specially to be avoided for the requirements of wheels and for nails, for which purpose the former quality is suitable; another variety of iron finds favour in short lengths and in nails for soldiers' boots; another variety experiences rust more quickly. All of these are called stricturae, 'edging ores,' a term not used in the case of other metals; it is, as assigned to these ores, derived from stringere aciem, 'to draw out a sharp edge.' There is also a great difference between smelting works, and a certain knurl of iron is smelted in them to give hardness to a blade, and by another process to giving solidity to anvils or the heads of hammers. But the chief difference depends on the water in which at intervals the red hot metal is plunged; the water in some districts is more serviceable than in others, and has made places famous for the celebrity of their iron, for instance Bambola and Tarragona in Spain and Como in Italy, although there are no iron mines in those places. But of all varieties of iron the palm goes to the Seric, sent us by the Seres with their fabrics and skins. The second prize goes to Parthian iron; and indeed no other kinds of iron are forged from pore metal, as all the rest have a softer alloy welded with them. In our part of the world, in some places the lode supplies this good quality, as for instance in the country of the Norici, in other places it is due to the method of working, as at Sulmona, and in others, as we have said, it is due to the water; inasmuch as for giving an edge there is a great difference between oil whetstones and water whetstones, and a finer edge is produced by oil. It is the custom to quench smaller iron forgings with oil, for fear that water might harden them and make them brittle. And it is remarkable that when a vein of ore is fused the iron becomes liquid like water and afterwards acquires a spongy and brittle texture. Human blood takes its revenge from iron, as if iron has come into contact with it, it becomes the more quickly liable to rust.
XLII. We will speak in the appropriate place about the lodestone and the sympathy which it has with iron. Iron is the only substance that catches the infection of that stone and retains it for a long period, taking hold of other iron, so that we may sometimes see a chain of rings; the ignorant lower classes call this 'live iron,' and wounds inflicted with it are more severe. This sort of stone forms in Biscaya also not in a continuous rocky stratum like the genuine lodestone alluded to but in a scattered pebbly formation or 'bubbling'that is what they call it. I do not know whether it is equally useful for glass founding, as no one has hitherto tested it, but it certainly imparts the same magnetic property to iron. The architect Timochares had begun to use lodestone for constructing the vaulting in the Temple of Arsinoe at Alexandria, so that the iron statue contained in it might have the appearance of being suspended in mid air; but the project was interrupted by his own death and that of King Ptolemy who had ordered the work to be done in honour of his sister.
XLIII. Iron ore is found in the greatest abundance of all metals. In the coastal part of Biscaya washed by the Atlantic there is a very high mountain which, marvellous to relate, consists entirely of that mineral, as we stated in our account of the lands bordering on the Ocean.
Iron that has been heated by fire is spoiled unless it is hardened by blows of the hammer. It is not suitable for hammering while it is red hot, nor before it begins to turn pale. If vinegar or alum is sprinkled on it it assumes the appearance of copper. It can be protected from rust by means of lead acetate, gypsum and vegetable pitch; rust is called by the Greeks 'antipathia,' natural opposite to iron. It is indeed said that the same result may also be produced by a religious ceremony, and that in the city called Zeugma on the river Euphrates there is an iron chain that was used by Alexander the Great in making the bridge at that place, the links of which [331 BC] that are new replacements are attacked by rust although the original links are free from it.
XLIV. Iron supplies another medicinal service besides its use in surgery. It is beneficial both for adults and infants against noxious drugs for a circle to be drawn round them with iron or for a pointed iron weapon to be carried round them; and to have a fence of nails that have been extracted from tombs driven in in front of the threshold is a protection against attacks of nightmare, and a light prick made with the point of a weapon with which a man has been wounded is beneficial against sudden pains which bring a pricking sensation in the side and chest. Some maladies are cured by cauterization, but particularly the bite of a mad dog, inasmuch as even when the disease is getting the upper hand and when the patients show symptoms of hydrophobia they are relieved at once if the wound is cauterized. In many disorders, but especially in dysenteric cases, drinking water is heated with red-hot iron.
XLV. The list of remedies even includes rust itself, and this is the way in which Achilles is stated to have cured Telephus, whether he did it by means of a copper javelin or an iron one; at all events Achilles is so represented in painting, knocking the rust off a javelin with his sword. Rust of iron is obtained by scraping it off old nails with an iron tool dipped in water. The effect of rust is to unite wounds and dry them and staunch them, and applied as a liniment it relieves fox-mange. They also use it with wax and oil of myrtle for scabbiness of the eyelids and pimples in all parts of the body, but dipped in vinegar for erysipelas and also for scab, and, applied on pieces of cloth, for hangnails on the fingers and whitlows. Applied on wool it arrests women's discharges and for recent wounds it is useful diluted with wine and kneaded with myrrh, and for swellings round the anus dipped in vinegar. Used as a liniment it also relieves gout.
XLVI. Scale of iron, obtained from a sharp edge or point, is also employed, and has an effect extremely like that of rust only more active, for which reason it is employed even for running at the eyes. It arrests haemorrhage, though it is with iron that wounds are chiefly made! And it also arrests female discharges. It is also applied against troubles of the spleen, and it cheeks haemorrhoidal swellings and creeping ulcers. Applied for a brief period in the form of a powder it is good for the eyelids. But its chief recommendation is its use in a wet plaster for cleaning wounds and fistulas and for eating out every kind of callosity and making new flesh on bones that have been denuded. The following are the ingredients: six obols of bee-glue, six drains of Cimolo earth, two drams of pounded copper, two of scale of iron, ten of wax and a pint of oil. When it is desired to cleanse or fill up wounds, wax plaster is added to these ingredients.
XLVII. The next topic is the nature of lead, of which there are two kinds, black and white. White lead (tin) is the most valuable; the Greeks applied to it the name cassheros, and there was a legendary story of their going to islands of the Atlantic ocean to fetch it and importing it in platted vessels made of osiers and covered with stitched hides. It is now known that it is a product of Lusitania and Gallaecia found in the surface-strata of the ground which is sandy and of a black colour. It is only detected by its weight, and also tiny pebbles of it occasionally appear, especially in dry beds of torrents. The miners wash this sand and heat the deposit in furnaces. It is also found in the goldmines called 'alutiae,' through which a stream of water is passed that washes out black pebbles of tin mottled with small white spots, and of the same weight as gold, and consequently they remain with the gold in the bowls in which it is collected, and afterwards are separated in the furnaces, and fused and melted into white lead. Black lead does not occur in Gallaecia, although the neighbouring country of Biscaya has large quantities of black lead only; and white lead yields no silver, although it is obtained from black lead. Black lead cannot be soldered with black without a layer of white lead, nor can white be soldered to black without oil, nor can even white lead be soldered with white without some black lead. Homer testifies that white lead or tin had a high position even in the Trojan period, he giving it the name of cassiteros. There are two different sources of black lead, as it is either found in a vein of its own and produces no other substance mixed with it, or it forms together with silver, and is smelted with the two veins mixed together. Of this substance the liquid that melts first in the furnaces is called stagnum; the second liquid is argentiferous lead, and the residue left in the furnaces is impure lead which forms a third part of the vein originally put in; when this is again fused it gives black lead, having lost two-ninths in bulk.
XLVIII. When copper vessels are coated with stagnum the contents have a more agreeable taste and the formation of destructive verdigris is prevented, and, what is remarkable, the weight is not increased. Also, as we have said, it used to be employed at Brindisi as a material for making mirrors which were very celebrated, until even servant-maids began to use silver ones. At the present day a counterfeit stagnum is made by adding one part of white copper to two parts of white lead; and it is also made in another way by mixing together equal weights of white and black lead: the latter compound some people now call 'silver mixture.' The same people also give the name of tertiary to a compound containing two portions of black lead and one of white; its price is 20 denarii a pound. It is used for soldering pipes. More dishonest makers add to tertiary an equal amount of white lead and call it 'silver mixture,' and use it melted for plating by immersion any articles they wish. They put the price of this last at 70 denarii for 1 lb.: the price of pure white lead without alloy is 80 denarii, and of black lead 7 denarii.
The substance of white lead has more dryness, whereas that of black lead is entirely moist. Consequently white lead cannot be used for anything without an admixture of another metal, nor can it be employed for soldering silver, because the silver melts before the white lead. And it is asserted that if a smaller quantity of black lead than is necessary is mixed with the white, it corrodes the silver. A method discovered in the Gallic provinces is to plate bronze articles with white lead so as to make them almost indistinguishable from silver; articles thus treated are called 'incoctilia.' Later they also proceeded in the town Alesia to plate with silver in a similar manner, particularly ornaments for horses and pack animals and yokes of oxen; the distinction of developing this method belongs to Bordeaux. Then they proceeded to decorate two-wheeled war-chariots, chaises and four-wheeled carriages in a similar manner, a luxurious practice that has now got to using not only silver but even gold statuettes, and it is now called good taste to subject to wear and tear on carriages ornaments that it was once thought extravagant to see on a goblet!
It is a test of white lead when melted and poured on papyrus to seem to have burst the paper by its weight and not by its heat. India possesses neither copper nor lead, and procures them in exchange for her precious stones and pearls.
XLIX. Black lead which we use to make pipes and sheets is excavated with considerable labour in Spain and through the whole of the Gallic provinces, but in Britain it is found in the surface-stratum of the earth in such abundance that there is a law prohibiting the production of more than a certain amount. The various kinds of black lead have the following namesOviedo lead, Capraria lead, Oleastrum lead, though there is no difference between them provided the slag has been carefully smelted away. It is a remarkable fact in the case of these mines only that when they have been abandoned they replenish themselves and become more productive. This seems to be due to the air infusing itself to saturation through the open orifices, just as a miscarriage seems to make some women more prolific. This was recently observed in the Salutariensian mine in Baetica, which used to be let at a rent of 200,000 denarii a year, but which was then abandoned, and subsequently let for 255,000. Likewise the Antonian mine in the same province from the same rent has reached a return of 400,000 sesterces. It is also remarkable that vessels made of lead will not melt if they have water put in them, but if to the water a pebble or quarter-as coin is added, the fire burns through the vessel.
L. In medicine lead is used by itself to remove scars, and leaden plates are applied to the region of the loins and kidneys for their comparative chilly nature to check the attacks of venereal passions, and the libidinous dreams that cause spontaneous emissions to the extent of constituting a kind of disease. It is recorded that the pleader Calvus used these plates to control himself and to preserve his bodily strength for laborious study. Nero, whom heaven was pleased to make emperor, used to have a plate of lead on his chest when singing songs fartissimo, thus showing a method for preserving the voice. For medical purposes lead is melted in earthen vessels, a layer of finely powdered sulphur being put underneath it; on this thin plates are laid and covered with sulphur and stirred up with an iron spit. While it is being melted, the breathing passages should be protected during the operation, otherwise the noxious and deadly vapour of the lead furnace is inhaled: it is hurtful to dogs with special rapidity, but the vapour of all metals is so to flies and gnats, owing to which those annoyances are not found in mines.
Some people during the process of smelting mix lead-filings with the sulphur, and others use lead acetate in preference to sulphur. Another use of lead is to make a washit is employed in medicinepieces of lead with rainwater added being ground against themselves in leaden mortars till the whole assumes a thick consistency, and then water floating on the top is removed with sponges and the very thick sediment left when dry is divided into tablets. Some people grind up lead filings in this way and some also mix in some lead ore; but others use vinegar, others wine, others grease, others oil of roses. Some prefer to grind the lead with a stone pestle in a stone mortar, and especially one made of Thebes stone, and this process produces a drug of a whiter colour. Calcined lead is washed like antimony and cadmea. It has the property of acting as an astringent and arresting haemorrhage and of promoting cicatrisation. It is of the same utility also in medicines for the eyes, especially as preventing their procidence, and for the cavities or excrescences left by ulcers and for fissures of the anus or haemorrhoids and swellings of the anus. For these purposes lead lotion is extremely efficient, while for creeping or foul ulcers ash of calcined lead is useful; and the benefit they produce is on the same lines as in the case of sheets of papyrus. The lead is burnt in small sheets mixed with sulphur, in shallow vessels, being stirred with iron rods or fennel stalks till the molten metal is reduced to ashes; then after being cooled off it is ground into powder. Another process is to boil lead filings in a vessel of raw earth in furnaces till the earthenware is completely baked. Some mix with it an equal amount of lead acetate or of barley and grind this mixture, in the way stated in the case of raw lead, and prefer the lead treated in this way to the Cyprus slag.
LI. The dross of lead is also utilized. The best is that which approximates in colour most closely to yellow, containing no remnants of lead or sulphur, and does not look earthy. This is broken up into small fragments and washed in mortars till the water assumes a yellow colour, and poured off into a clean vessel, and the process is repeated several times till the most valuable part settles as a sediment at the bottom. Lead dross has the same effects as lead, but to a more active degree. This suggests a remark on the marvellous efficacy of human experiment, which has not left even the dregs of substances and the foulest refuse untested in such numerous ways!
LII. Slag is also made from lead in the same way as from Cyprus copper; it is washed with rain water in linen sheets of fine texture and the earthy particles are got rid of by rinsing, and the residue is sifted and then ground. Some prefer to separate the powder with a feather, and to grind it up with aromatic wine.
LIII. There is also molybdaeaa (which in another place we have called galena); it is a mineral compound of silver and lead. It is better the more golden its colour and the less leaden: it is friable and of moderate weight. When boiled with oil it acquires the colour of liver. It is also found adhering to furnaces in which gold and silver are smelted; in this case it is called metallic sulphide of lead. The kind most highly esteemed is produced at Zephyrium. Varieties with the smallest admixture of earth and of stone are approved of; they are melted and washed like dross. It is used in preparing a particular emollient plaster for soothing and cooling ulcers and in plasters which are not applied with bandages but which they use as a liniment to promote cicatrisation on the bodies of delicate persons and on the more tender parts. It is a composition of three pounds of sulphide of lead and one of wax with half a pint of oil, which is added with solid lees of olives in the case of an elderly patient. Also combined with scum of silver and dross of lead it is applied warm for fomenting dysentery and constipation.
LIV. 'Psimithium' also, that is cerussa or lead of acetate, is produced at lead-works. The most highly spoken of is in Rhodes. It is made from very fine shavings of lead placed over a vessel of very sour vinegar and so made to drip down. What falls from the lead into the actual vinegar is dried and then ground and sifted, and then again mixed with vinegar and divided into tablets and dried in the sun, in summertime. There is also another way of making it, by putting the lead into jars of vinegar kept sealed up for ten days and then scraping off the sort of decayed metal on it and putting it back in the vinegar, till the whole of it is used up. The stuff scraped off is ground up and sifted and heated in shallow vessels and stirred with small rods till it turns red and becomes like sandarach, realgar. Then it is washed with fresh water till all the cloudy impurities have been removed. Afterwards it is dried in a similar way and divided into tablets. Its properties are the same as those of the substances mentioned above, only it is the mildest of them all, and beside that, it is useful for giving women a fair complexion; but like scum of silver, it is a deadly poison. The lead acetate itself if afterwards melted becomes red.
LV. Of realgar also the properties have been almost completely described. It is found both in goldmines and silver-mines; the redder it is and the more it gives off a poisonous scent of sulphur and the purer and more friable it is, the better it is. It acts as a cleanser, as a check to bleeding, as a calorific and a caustic, being most remarkable for its corrosive property; used as a liniment with vinegar it removes fox-mange; it forms an ingredient in eyewashes, and taken with honey it cleans out the throat. It also produces a clear and melodious voice, and mixed with turpentine and taken in the food, is an agreeable remedy for asthma and cough; its vapour also remedies the same complaints if merely used as a fumigation with cedar wood.
LVI. Orpiment also is obtained from the same substance. The best is of a colour of even the finest-coloured gold, but the paler sort or what resembles sandarach is judged inferior. There is also a third class which combines the colours of gold and of sandarach. Both of the latter are scaly, but the other is dry and pure, and divided in a delicate tracery of veins. Its properties are the same as mentioned above, but more active. Accordingly it is used as an ingredient in cauteries and depilatories. It also removes overgrowths of flesh on to the nails, and pimples in the nostrils and swellings of the anus and all excrescences. To increase its efficacy it is heated in a new earthenware pot till it changes its colour.