Wednesday’s Wondrous Water 3

This is the third installment of the Paradoxagraphus Florentinus, a text which provides a list of miraculous waters from the ancient world. Here’s the first, and the second.

 27 “In Alliphanos in Italy there is a deep reservoir from which water is seen but if someone lets a line down into it, he does not touch the water but is hindered by some divine force, as Isigonos records.”

᾿Εν δὲ ᾿Αλλιφάνῳ τῆς ᾿Ιταλίας φρεάτιόν ἐστι βαθύ, οὗ τὸ μὲν ὕδωρ βλέπεται, ἡλίκον δὲ ἄν τις χαλάσῃ σχοινίον, οὐκ ἐφάπτεται τοῦ ὕδατος, ἀλλ’ ὑπό τινος θείου κωλύεται, ὥς φησιν ᾿Ισίγονος.

28 There is a pond in Italy near Cumae and when the leaves or fruit from the trees that are nearby fall they immediately become invisible while they shrink.”

῎Αουερνός ἐστι λίμνη ἐν ᾿Ιταλίᾳ περὶ Κούμας, εἰς ἣν τὰ ἐκ τῆς περικειμένης ὕλης ἐμπίπτοντα φύλλα ἢ κάρφη ἀφανῆ γίνεται βυθιζόμενα παραχρῆμα.

29 “Aristotle records that in Carthage there is a spring gentler than olive oil. They hide it so that no one may secretly approach it.”

᾿Αριστοτέλης ἱστορεῖ κατὰ Καρχηδόνα κρήνην εἶναι ἐλαίου προσηνεστέραν· ἂν δὲ μή τις ἁγνὸς προσίῃ, ἐκλείπειν αὐτήν.

30 “Near Gela in Sicily there is a lake called Silla, extremely small, which hurls those who bathe in it onto dry land as if from an instrument, as Aristotle says.”

Περὶ Γέλαν τῆς Σικελίας ἔστι λίμνη Σίλλα καλουμένη, ἐλαχίστη τὸ μέγεθος, ἥτις τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ λουομένους εἰς τὸ ξηρὸν ἐκρίπτει ὡς ἀπ’ ὀργάνου τινός, ὥς φησιν ᾿Αριστοτέλης.

31 “Along the Eridanos river there is a pond around the Elektryan islands which has warm water but has a heavy smell and no animal will taste from it.”

Παρὰ τὸν ᾿Ηριδανὸν ποταμὸν ἔστι λίμνη κατὰ τὰς ᾿Ηλεκτρίδας νήσους, ὕδωρ ἔχουσα θερμόν, ὀσμὴν δὲ βαρεῖαν, ἀφ’ ἧς οὐδὲν ζῷον γεύεται.

32 “The lake near Abdêra which is called Kusteiros is one which they claim that Xerxes’ army drank dry.”

Τὴν κατὰ ῎Αβδηρα λίμνην Κύστειρον καλουμένην φασὶ τὸ Χέρξου στράτευμα πῖνον ἀναξηρᾶναι.

33 “Hieronymos records that in the land of the Nabataians of Arabia there is a bitter lake in which there are no fish and no other of the animals who live under water. Bricks of asphalt are taken from it by the people who live nearby.”

῾Ιερώνυμος ἱστόρησεν ἐν τῇ Ναβαταίων χώρᾳ τῶν ᾿Αράβων εἶναι λίμνην πικράν, ἐν ᾗ οὔτε ἰχθῦς οὔτε ἄλλο τι τῶν ἐνύδρων ζῴων γίνεσθαι· ἀσφάλτου δὲ πλίνθους ἐξ αὐτῆς αἴρεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἐπιχωρίων.

34 “Puthermos claims, if someone hurls a cup into the eddies of the Strumôn river, then he will find it in the lake near Apollonia

Πύθερμός φησιν, ἐάν τις σκύφον εἰς τὰς τοῦ Στρυμόνος ποταμοῦ δίνας ἐμβάλῃ, τοῦτον εὑρήσειν ἐν τῇ περὶ ᾿Απολλωνίαν λίμνῃ.

35 “Phaethôn says that there is a river on the Bosporos that is so cold that none of the animals are able to abide its chill.”

†Φαέθων† φησὶ τὸν ἐν Βοσπόρῳ ποταμὸν οὕτως εἶναι ψυχρόν, ὥστε μηδὲν τῶν ζῴων ὑπομένειν αὐτοῦ τὴν ψυχρότητα.

Wednesday’s Wondrous Water

The Paradoxagraphus Florentinus: Mirabilia de aquis is a text of “amazing stories” about bodies of water. [Here’s a site that seems to have stalled out but whose aim was to translate the remaining paradoxes]. Little is known about its authorship or audience. There are 43 sections. Here are the first 11. Some of the language is odd and I made no effort to look up the place names. So, if you have any corrections or suggestions, please share them.

1 “There is a spring in Potnia near Thebes and when horses drink from it they go insane, as Isigonos claims in the second book of his On Unbelievable Things

Κρήνη ἐν Ποτνίαις περὶ Θήβας, ἐξ ἧς οἱ ἵπποι πίνοντες μαίνονται, ὡς ἱστορεῖ ᾿Ισίγονος ἐν δευτέρῳ ἀπίστων.

2 “In Clazomenae, as that aforementioned Isigonos records, there is a spring which changes the color of the hair of all the animals who drink of it.”

Κρήνη ἐν Κλαζομεναῖς, ἀφ’ ἧς τὰ θρέμματα πίνοντα τὴν ἐρέαν χρωματίνην ποιεῖ, ὡς ἱστορεῖ ὁ προειρημένος ᾿Ισίγονος.

3 “There is a spring in India which spits up anyone who swims into it onto the land as if from a machine, according to the historian Ktêsias.”

Κρήνη ἐν ᾿Ινδοῖς, ἣ τοὺς κολυμβῶντας ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἐκβάλλει ὡς ἀπ’ ὀργάνου, ὡς ἱστορεῖ Κτησίας.

4 “In Krete there is a channel for water and when people cross it even though it is raining they make it through without getting wet for the entire distance which the channel extends.”

᾿Εν Κρήτῃ ὀχετὸς ὕδατός ἐστιν, ὃν οἱ διαβαίνοντες ὕοντος τοῦ Διὸς ἄβροχοι διαβαίνουσιν, ἐφ’ ὅσον ἐν τῷ ὀχετῷ εἰσιν.

5 “Among the Persians they claim that a spring filled with olive oil appeared suddenly to Alexander.”

᾿Εν Πέρσαις φασὶν ᾿Αλεξάνδρῳ φανῆναι κρήνην ἐλαίου πληρουμένην αὐτομάτως.

6 “Near Kilikia there is a certain pooling of water in which birds and unthinking animals who are soaked in it and drowned come back to life again.”

Παρὰ Κιλικίᾳ φασὶν ὕδατος εἶναι σύστημά τι ἐν ᾧ τὰ πεπνιγμένα τῶν ὀρνέων καὶ τῶν ἀλόγων ζῴων ἐμβραχέντα ἀναζῆν.

7 “Along a road in Syracuse there is a stream which is neither large nor carries a lot of water; but when a great mob comes to the place and there is a great sound it provides endless water, as Aristotle says.”

᾿Εν τῇ ἐπὶ Συρακουσῶν ὁδῷ κρήνη ἐστὶν οὐ μεγάλη οὐδὲ ὕδωρ πολὺ ἔχουσα· ὄχλου δὲ ἐπελθόντος εἰς τὸν τόπον καὶ ψόφου γινομένου παρέχει ὕδωρ ἄφθονον, ὥς φησιν ᾿Αριστοτέλης.

8 “In Paliakoi there is a spring which hurls water up six cubits high, making an impression that it is about to wash over the bordering places. But on the whole it doesn’t splash over anything. The people who live there swear their greatest oaths on this spring, as Isigonos records in the second book of his On Unbelievable Things.”

Κρήνη ἐν Παλικοῖς, ἥτις εἰς ὕψος ἀναρρίπτει τὸ ὕδωρ πηχέων ἕξ, ἔμφασιν ποιοῦσα μέλλειν κατακλύζειν τοὺς ὑποκειμένους τόπους· καθόλου δὲ οὐχ ὑπερεκχεῖται οὐδέν. ἐπὶ ταύτης οἱ ἐπιχώριοι τοὺς ὑπὲρ τῶν μεγίστων ὅρκους ποιοῦνται, ὡς ἱστορεῖ ᾿Ισίγονος ἐν δευτέρῳ ἀπίστων.

9 “Around the Skotoussa in Thessaly there is a little thing of a spring which heals all the wounds of unthinking animals. If someone breaks wood a little and throws it in after splitting it, it will be repaired. Thus the water is like glue, as Isigonos claims.”

Περὶ Σκοτοῦσσαν τῆς Θεσσαλίας κρηνίδιόν ἐστι μικρόν, ὃ τὰ ἕλκη πάντα θεραπεύει καὶ τῶν ἀλόγων ζῴων· εἰς ὃ ἐάν τις ξύλον μὴ λίαν συντρίψας, ἀλλὰ σχίσας ἐμβάλῃ, ἀποκαθίσταται· οὕτως κολλῶδες ἔχει τὸ ὕδωρ, ὥς φησιν ᾿Ισίγονος.

10 “Among the Lousoi in Arkadia Aristotle says that there is a certain spring in which mice are indigenous and they make their life there by swimming in it.”

᾿Εν Λούσοις τῆς ᾿Αρκαδίας φησὶν ᾿Αριστοτέλης κρήνην τινὰ εἶναι, ἐν ᾗ μῦς χερσαίους γίνεσθαι, καὶ τούτους κολυμβᾶν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τὴν δίαιταν ποιουμένους.

11 “Isigonos claims that there is a spring in Athamia from which the water is cold but on its top is so hot that if someone were to pour it over kindling it would immediately catch on fire”

Φησὶν ᾿Ισίγονος ἐν ᾿Αθαμᾶσι κρήνην εἶναι, ἧς τὸ μὲν ὕδωρ ψυχρὸν ὑπάρχειν, τὸ δ’ ὑπὲρ αὐτὸ οὕτως θερμὸν ὑπάρχειν, ὥστε, ἄν τις ὑπερθῇ φρύγανα, παραχρῆμα ἐξάπτεσθαι.

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