Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 418: 368-369

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Book XXX

goose grease put in them with juice of ocimum. On prickly plants are grubs which are rough and downy. These worn by babies as an amulet are said to effect an immediate recovery when part of their food sticks in the throat.

XLVIII. Sleep is induced by wool grease with aRemedies for sleep. morsel of myrrh diluted in two cyathi of wine, or else with goose grease and myrtle wine, by the cuckoo bird in a piece of hare’s fur worn as an amulet, or by a heron’s beak worn as an amulet on the forehead in a piece of ass’s hide. It is thought too that the beak of the heron by itself rinsed in wine has the same effect. Sleep is kept away, on the contrary, by a dried bat’s head worn as an amulet.

XLIX. A lizard drowned in a man’s urine is antaphrodisiacAphrodisiacs, etc. to him who passed it, buta the Magi claim that it is a love-philtre. Antaphrodisiac too are snails, and pigeon’s dung taken with oil and wine. Aphrodisiac for men are the right parts of a vulture’s lung, worn as an amulet in a piece of crane’s skin; aphrodisiac also are the yolks of five pigeons’ eggs mixed with a denarius by weight of pig fat and swallowed in honey, sparrows or their eggs in food, or the right testicle of a cock worn as an amulet in a piece of ram’s-skin. They say that rubbing with ibis ash, goose grease and iris oil prevent miscarriage when there has been conception; that desire on the contrary is inhibited if a fighting cock’s testicles are rubbed with goose grease and worn as an amulet in a ram’s skin, as it also is if with a cock’s blood any cock’s testicles are placed under the bed. Women unwilling to conceive are forced to do so by hairs from the tail of a she-mule, pulled out during the animal copulation and entwined during the human.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938