“the Inakhos is a river in Argos…near it grows a plant called kunoura [‘dog’s tail] which is similar to rue and which women, when they want to abort a fetus without danger, steep in wine and then place on their navels.”
13 “Herakleides says that there is a lake among the Sauromati which does not support any birds; any bird which approaches dies because of a smell. For this reason, indeed, [other lakes?] seem to be birdless throughout Italy.”
18 “There is a river Perinthos in Thrace where the city Perinthos is too. If anyone drinks from it, their internal organs swell [or develop tumors?]. The reason for this is that the drops from the Gorgon’s head flowed into it after it was carried off by Perseus.”
19 “Among the Kelainai of Phrygia there is a river Marsyas. When that one somehow hears an aulos, it crashes greatly; if it is a kithara, it flows in silence, since the the aulos-player Marsyas drowned in it.”
20 “The river Tauromenios is in Sicily near the city of the same name. When that river hears thunder, it is frightened and retreats into the earth; but when the thunder stops, it rushes back from the earth again like a spring.”
14 “Similarly, near Kosê there is a spring which, if you place a container filled with wine in it until it covers the mouth then it is more bitter than vinegar right away according to the same author.”
17 “Ktêsias records that in Aithiopia there is a stream which is similar in color to cinnamon. When people drink from it they change their minds so much that they admit to things which were done secretly.”
[Note: the Greek in the epigram below is a little strange. I am not sure I have it right.]
24 “Among the Kleitorians of Arkadia they say there is a spring and when people drink from it they hate wine. Next to this this kind of epigram is placed
Hick, with flocks, at midday thirst weighs down on you
As you come through the farthest part of Kleitoros;
Take a drink from this spring. And rest your whole flock
Among the water nymphs here.
But don’t put your skin to bathe, so that the smell
might not cause you pain when you are in drunken pleasure.
Avoid my vine-hating spring where Melampous*,
Once he washed of the madness of harsh Proitos**
Cut off every disgrace in secret, when they came from Argos
to the mountains of steep Arkadia.”
Textual variations: ἀρτεμέας for ἀργαλέης; for ἔβαψεν for ἔκοψεν
*Melampous was a seer who dealt with the king Proitos in either Argos or Pylos. The references to “vine-hating” and “washing” recall the story of Melampous cleansing the women of the city of madness inspired by Dionysus. Hence, the water makes people hate wine. This epigram appears in a supplement to the Greek Anthology and Vitruvius
25 “Aristôn the peripatetic philosopher says that there is a spring of water in Kios and when people drink from it they lose their senses in their mind. And he adds that there is this kind of an epigram for it.
“Sweet is the offering of the cool drink which this spring
Offers up. But whoever drinks of it is a stone in his mind.”
“Hence, as Aratus believes that we must begin with Zeus, we think that it is right to begin with Homer. For, truly, just as what he says about the ocean, which he says is the source and the force of every river and stream, so too does Homer furnish the model and origin for every type of eloquence. No one has exceeded him for sublimity in the large themes or quiet sense in the personal ones. At the same time he is ebullient and terse, joyful and severe, a source of wonder for his expansions and his brevity—preeminent by far for both his poetic and rhetorical mastery.”
Igitur, ut Aratus ab Iove incipiendum putat, ita nos rite coepturi ab Homero videmur. Hic enim, quem ad modum ex Oceano dicit ipse 〈omnium〉 amnium fontiumque cursus initium capere, omnibus eloquentiae partibus exemplum et ortum dedit. Hunc nemo in magnis rebus sublimitate, in parvis proprietate superaverit. Idem laetus ac pressus, iucundus et gravis, tum copia tum brevitate mirabilis, nec poetica modo sed oratoria virtute eminentissimus.
Callimachus, Hymn to Apollo 2.108-112
“Envy spoke surreptitiously into Apollo’s ears:
“I don’t love the singer who doesn’t sing as wide as the sea”
Apollo then kicked Envy with his foot and said this:
“The flowing of the Assyrian river is huge, but it carries a great deal
Of trash from the earth and hauls garbage with its water.
The bees do not carry water from just anywhere to Demeter
But only that which is clean and unmixed and flows down
From a sacred fountain, a little stream from a high peak.”