Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 418: 334-335

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Book XXX

cyathus, the daily dose being one spoonful until convalescence, or the ash of snails taken in wine;

XXVII. for epilepsy wool-grease with a morsel of myrrh, diluted with two cyathi of wine, a piece the size of a hazel nut being taken in drink, after the bath, or the testicles of a ram dried and pounded, half a denarius by weight being taken in a hemina of water or of ass’s milk; to drink wine is forbidden for five days before and after. Very highly praised also is the blood of sheep, taken by the mouth, the gall of sheep, especially of a lamb, with honey, a sucking puppy taken in wine and myrrh after the head and feet have been cut off, the excrescence on the leg of a she-mule taken in three cyathi of oxymel, the ash of a spotted lizard from overseas taken in vinegar, the coat of a spotted lizard, which it casts in the same way as a snake, taken in drink. Some have also given in drink the lizard itself, gutted with a reed and dried, others in food the lizard roasted on wooden spits. It is worth while knowing how, when cast, the winter skin is hastily taken from the lizard, which otherwise devours it, for no living creature, they say, shows greater spite in cheating man, for which reason its namea has been turned into a term of abuse. They note in the summer time its nest, which is in the cornices over doors and windows, or in vaults or tombs. Over against the nest in the beginning of spring they place cages like weelsb woven with split reeds, the narrow neck of which gives the creature actual delight, as thereby it casts off more easily the encumbrance of its covering, but when this has been left no return is possible. No remedy for epilepsy is preferred to this. A good one too is a weasel’s brain dried and taken in drink, or a

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938