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or unwillingly.* The Ibis is a bird entirely white, tall, with black feet, rough legs, and a long and horny beak : its wings have no feathers but are bare, resembling those of the bat. Its size is about that of the hen or the crow.

But the greatest evil that arises from the Nile is occasioned by the evaporation, which produces a noxious atmosphere. So that I think it may be safely affirmed that Egypt is the only country producing the plague, from which it is carried into other regions. The Nile in the winter time flows very slowly, and the water has a very disagreeable smell ; and especially about the mouths of the Nile, where there are many marshes called Bucolia. Our geography of Egypt is by no means accurate or sufficiently minute ; it contains much mistake and deficiency: we barely know from Heliodorus and Russel,t that there are fenny places there. For there are low grounds receiving the overflowings of the Nile, and lakes of unfathomable depth in the middle, and terminating in marsh about their banks. For what the shores are to the seas, the marshes are to these lakes. There also the Egyptian robbers have their republic, for they make use of the water instead of a wall; moreover there is a large quantity of reed in the marsh which answers them for a fortification. In Egypt also, the lepra and Elephantiasis (species of the leprosy) and other destructive diseases take their rise : Maundrell, Thevenot and Prosper Alpinust affirm that the leprosy has raged in Egypt in their own times, and that they have seen men labouring under it. Pliny affirms that it arises in Egypt alone and that it is common there. Lucretius says the same thing in the following lines from lib. VI.,

* Strabo, in Geograph. lib. xvi. says, all the Egyptians worship certain animals, in common; as, of quadrupeds, the cow, the dog, the cât; of birds, the hawk and the ibis, of water animals, the lapidotus piscis and the oxyrynchus. See the form of the ibis in Jac. de Wilde, Sign. Antig. No. 13. Dapper's Beschr. von Afrika, p. 120. J. R. Forster's Indische Zoologie, auf der Christen Kupfertafel. This bird is entirely unknown in our country, and has no name in Europe. Confer Aldrovandi Orrith lib. xx. cap. 3. pag. 312.

+ Heliodori Aethopion lib. i. Russel's natural history of Aleppo, p: 49. 50. Conf. Goquet de l'origine des Loix, des Arts, et des Sciences et de leurs progres ches les anciens peuples. T. II. liv. 3. ch. 2.

# Thevenots Voyage au Levant p. i. lib. ii. cap. 80. Prosper Alpinus de Medicina Ægyptiorum lib. i. p. 14. Conf. Schillingiä сommentationes de lepra. Dapper's Besch. von Afrika p. 127-129.

Est elephas morbus, qui propter flumina Nili,

Nascitur Aegypto in media nec præterea usquam. Dioscorides and Avicenna, indeed, contend that this disease arises from the Egyptian beer, but this appears to be a mistake, although Scaliger to excuse Dioscorides refers it to the acidity of the beer. The whole cause is rather to be referred to the varying atmosphere, as Galen also thinks. * Indeed, in Alexandria many contract the disease from the united cause, of the manner of living and the heat of the climate. In Germany and other countries this disease is very uncommon, and among the Scythians who live principally on milk, it has scarcely ever appeared. But in Alexandria it is produced by the manner of living For they eat boiled flour and lentils, shell fish and other salt food, and some of them, the flesh of the ass, and other things which produce gross and phlegmatick humours, whence, when the air is warm, the motion of the humours is directed towards the surface. Indeed, Egypt is generally represented as the native place of this disease, from which it afterward spread into other countries. The Israelites carried the leprosy into Palestine, whence Moses prescribed peculiar laws respecting it.t And nothing appears to me more evident, than that it was this disease with which Job was afflicted. I

* De curat. ad Glauc. lib, ji.

сар. . 10.

of Levit. xii. # Conf. Michaelis 36te Arabische Frage an die Reisenden und dessen Anmerkung zu Heob ii. 7. Mead on the most important diseases mentioned in the S.S. Chap. i.


§ IX. Whether Egypt produces a greater quantity of

corn than Palestine. Let no one infer, because Strabo* affirms that Egypt abounds in corn, that on that account it is to be preferred to Palestine. For who will pronounce that region the most happy and desirable, which possesses no other advantages of nature than a supply of corn ? But even in this respect Palestine surpasses, both in the productiveness and quality of its corn. In the Biblet we are informed that the Tyrians received their corn not from Egypt, which was more convenient for them, but from Palestine. Which however I freely concede might have been done for different reasons; and therefore I will not urge this argument. For the Egyptians in their early ages were very negligent in their commerce with foreigners, wanting a port, Alexandria being not yet built, and the navigation of the Nile being very dangerous on account of its cataracts, according to Abulfeda, Homer, and Neibuhr. I For there is a cataract extending twelve stadia, confined by craggy rocks into a narrow pass, very rough and turbulent. The water of the river being driven violently against these rocks, is turned by these obstacles into a contrary direction, where remarkable whirlpools are formed ; and the resistance is so often repeated, that the whole surface is covered with foam : so that those that approach are overwhelmed with amazement. For the river is there precipitated in so violent a'd so accelerated a manner, that its rapidity seems to be equal to that of an arrow. At the overflowing of the Nile, when the rocks are covered and the roughness destroyed by the rise of the water, it sometimes happens that boatmen taking advantage of contrary winds, may descend the cataract,

Georg. lib. xvii. + Conf. Ezech. xxvii. 17. Ezr. iii. 7. Acts xii. 20.

# Conf. Wood's Essay on the original genius of Homer, page 125. Diodori Siculi Bibl. Hist. lib. i. page 20. Niebuhr's Reisebeschreibung nach Arabien, T. I. p. 56. etc.

but there is no possibility of ascending, for the force of the water baffles all the skill of the human mind. Neibuhr* ? classic author, on this subject, describes the harvests of Palestine as very large and profitable ; for, says he, the crop that is overflowed by river water is of less value than that which is watered by the rain; whence according to exact computation you will find that twenty bushels of wheat, of the former kind, is equal to only fifteen of the latter, the flower of which is also much superior. The Hebrews were of the opinion, that it was very honourable to them to have a large increase, but that it was a great disgrace to have an unproductive harvest. Whence in Isa. lxi. 7, a large and abundant harvest is opposed to their former disgrace. No one will deny that the soil of Palestine is peculiarly suited to the production of corn, when he is informed that it requires very little labour in its culture, and produces a very large increase. By the word corn, in this place, I mean principally wheat and barley, of which

inds of grain it produces the greatest abundance, although it is not deficient in the production of others. Consult Isa. xxviii. 25, where the principal kinds of corn are mentioned. Indeed this place appears to be misunderstood by most interpreters ; permit me therefore to add a few words for the illustration of it. That it is not customary for the husbandman to sow the same kind of grain in the same place every year, but rather to vary it, is clearly understood from this place. We find in this text 1739 710 he hath made plain the face thereof, which seems difficult to interpreters, whence Clericus and Vitringa omit it in their commentaries. Others understand this as having reference to harrowing ; which opinion Paulsen has adopted it for he has said in explanation of this place, that the ground must first be harrowed, before the seed can be sown, for

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Beschreibung von Arabien, p. 152. Ex quo, locus Deut. xi. 10. est explir candus.

+ In Seiner Abhandl. v. dem Ackerbau der Morgenländ.

the rapid winds, which in our country, scatter the grain, are not found in the oriental regions. But in this thing, that very learned man greatly errs, for all who have visited those countries, affirm with one voice, that the winds are much more severe there, than they are with us. Therefore if I may be allowed to give my opinion, harrowing is not at all intended in this verse, mention of which is made in the former verse : for if the Prophet had intended to repeat what he had said before, I think he would certainly have employed the verb 770, which signifies to harrow : whence nothing appears to me more plain than that the expression to make plain the face thereof, has another meaning. I think in this place rollers are referred to, with which the eastern people used to level their lands. Their use is unknown in our country, but they are found in England made of stone. The roller is a stone cylinder so constructed as to turn round, which writers on agriculture recommend for levelling threshing floors. Cato* says, in this manner prepare the floor for threshing corn : let the ground be carefully dug up, let the lees of oil be sprinkled over it: and then let the clods be broken into small pieces by the roller or the pounding instrument: when it becomes hardened the ants will not be troublesome, nor will the rain produce mud. Columella advances the same in these words:

Tum quoque procisso riguoque inspersa novali
Ocima comprimite, et gravibus densate cylindris,
Exurat sata ne resoluti pulveris æstus,
Parvulus aut pulex irrepens dente lacessat,
Neu fornica rapax populari semina possit.

From which words it appears that they were of great convenience and advantage. For the earth is hardened by them, the clods are broken, and the moles are destroyed.

** Cap. 129. Columella in hortulo lib. x.

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