Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 330: 340-341

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Pliny: Natural History

opaca silva quae numquam die ac nocte eodem loco visitur, in Lydia quae vocantur Calaminae non ventis solum sed etiam contis quo libeat inpulsae, multorum civium Mithridatico bello salus. sunt et in Nymphaeo parvae, Saliares dictae, quoniam in symphoniae cantu ad ictus modulantium pedum moventur. in Tarquiniensi lacu magno Italiae duae nemora circumferunt, nunc triquetram figuram edentes nunc rotundam conplexu ventis impellentibus, quadratam numquam.

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XCVII. Celebre fanum habet Veneris Paphos, in cuius quandam aream non impluit, item in Nea, oppido Troadis, circa simulacrum Minervae, in eodem 211et relicta sacrificia non putrescunt.

XCVIII. iuxta Harpasa oppidum Asiae cautes stat horrenda uno digito mobilis, eadem, si toto corpore inpellatur, resistens. in Taurorum paeninsula in civitate Parasino terra est qua sanantur omnia vulnera. at circa Asson Troadis lapis nascitur quo consumuntur omnia corpora; sarcophagus vocatur. duo sunt montes iuxta flumen Indum quorum1 alteri natura ut ferrum omne teneat, alteri ut respuat; itaque si sint clavi in calciamento, vestigia avelli in altero non posse, in altero sisti. Locris et Crotone pestilentiam numquam fuisse nec ullo terrae motu laboratum adnotatum est, in Lycia vero semper a terrae motu quadraginta

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Book II

Cutilia which is never to be seen in the same place by day and by night, the islands in Lydia named the Reed Islands which are not only driven by the winds, but can be punted in any direction at pleasure with poles, and so served to rescue a number of the citizens in the Mithridatic war. There are also small islands at Nymphaeuma called the Dancing Islands, because they move to the foot-beats of persons keeping time with the chanting of a choral song. On the great lake of Tarqainii in Italy two islands float about carrying woods, their outline as the winds drive them forward now forming the shape of a triangle and now of a circle, but never a square.

XCVII. Paphos possesses a famous shrine ofLocal earth marvels. Venus on a certain court in which rain does not fall, and the same in the case round an image of Minerva at the town of Nea in the Troad; in the same town also sacrifices left over do not go bad.

XCVIII. Near the town of Harpasa in Asia stands a jagged rock that can be moved with one finger, but that also resists a push made with the whole body. On the peninsula of Tauri in the state of Parasinum there is some earth which heals all wounds. But in the neighbourhood of Assos in the Troad a stone is produced that causes all bodies to waste away; it is called the Flesh-eater. There are two mountains near the river Indus, the nature of one of which is to hold all iron and that of the other to reject it; consequently if a man has nails in his shoes, on one of the mountains at each step he is unable to tear his foot away from the ground and on the other he cannot set it down on the ground. It is recorded that at Locri and Croton there has never been a plague or earthquake, and that in Lycia an

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938