Fantastic Friday: Giant Grain, Easy Labor, and Sheep Without Bile

Apollonios the Paradoxographer is credited with a text of 51 anecdotes usually dated to the 3rd or 2nd century BCE.  Some of these translations are pretty rough, so suggestions and corrections are welcome.

Apollonios Paradoxographus, Historiae Mirabiles 27-32

28“Aristotle, in his On Animal Matters, says that wax [?] when it develops in ears, once it becomes bitter [when they are about to die] becomes sweat after long illnesses. This, he says, has been observed as occurring on many occasions. He has provided the reason for this occurrence in his Natural Problems.”

28 ᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τοῖς ζωϊκοῖς· ὁ ῥύπος, φησίν, ἐν τοῖς ὠταρίοις γιγνόμενος, πικρὸς ὤν, [ὅταν τελευτᾶν μέλλωσιν] ἐν ταῖς μακραῖς νόσοις γλυκὺς γίνεται. τοῦτο δέ, φησίν, παρα-τετήρηται ἐπὶ πολλῶν γιγνόμενον. ἀποδέδωκεν δὲ καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν τοῦ γιγνομένου ἐν τοῖς φυσικοῖς προβλήμασιν.

29“Theophrastos in his work On planting writes that if wombs descend, they should be doused in water mixed with birth-wort for many days.”

29 Θεόφραστος ἐν τῇ περὶ φυτῶν πραγματείᾳ· ἐὰν αἱ μῆτραι, φησίν, προπέσωσιν, ἀριστολοχίᾳ ἐν ὕδατι βεβρεγμένῃ καταντλείσθωσαν πλείονας ἡμέρας.

30“Aristoxenos the scholar says that people who are suffering quartan fever can use woolly grape ground up with olive oil and blended together [?] before taking it to get rid of the sickness”

30 ᾿Αριστόξενος δὲ ὁ μουσικὸς <τοὺς> τεταρταΐζοντας τὴν ἑλξίνην φησὶν βοτάνην μετὰ ἐλαίου τριβομένην καὶ συγχριομένην πρὸ τῆς λήψεως ἀπολύειν τοῦ πάθους.

31“Theophrastos in his work On Plants says that sheep which graze on wormwood in the Black Sea region do not have bile.”

31Θεόφραστος, ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν· τὰ πρόβατα, φησίν, τὰ ἐν τῷ Πόντῳ τὸ ἀψίνθιον νεμόμενα οὐκ ἔχει χολήν.

32“Theophrastos in his work On Plants says that among the Indians there is no vetch, nor fig, nor chick-pea.”

32Θεόφραστος, ἐν τῷ περὶ φυτῶν, ἐν ᾿Ινδοῖς μὴ γίνεσθαι μήτε ἐρέβινθον μήτε φακὸν μήτε κύαμον.

33“Theophrastos, book 7 of his On Plants says that there is grain of such great breeding in certain villages in Baktria that is has the size of an olive pit.”

33 Ετι Θεόφραστος, ἐν τῷ ζ′ περὶ φυτῶν, τῆς Βακτριανῆς [ὁδοῦ] ἔν τισι κώμαις πυρὸν γίγνεσθαι οὕτως εὐγενῆ, ὥστε πυρῆνος ἐλαίας τὸ μέγεθος ἴσχειν.

34“The same philosopher says that in Olynthos and Kêrinthos the earth, when mixed with grain, makes it seem to be of a better kind.” [?]

34 ῾Ο αὐτὸς φιλόσοφος· ἐν ᾿Ολύνθῳ καὶ Κηρίνθῳ γῆ μιγνυμένη, φησί, τῷ σίτῳ εὐγενέστερον ποιεῖ φαίνεσθαι τοῦτον.

35“This is also among those things that have been observed that pregnant women when they are near their husbands constantly give birth easily and without suffering. Aristotle claims this in the 14th book of his inquiries.”

35 Τῶν παρατετηρημένων ἔστιν δὲ καὶ τοῦτο, τὰς ἐγκύους τῶν γυναικῶν συνεχῶς πλησιαζούσας τοῖς ἀνδράσιν εὐκόπως καὶ ἀκακοπαθήτως τίκτειν. εἴρηκεν δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ᾿Αριστοτέλης ἐν τῇ ιδ′ τῶν ἱστοριῶν.

Grazing sheep from the Bodleian Library (MS. Bodley 764, Folio 35v)

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