sand, others earth, sand and small stones. The stone in Taphiusa aetites is called callimus and not tenerius according to Pliny.33 Paeantides and gemonides found in Macedonia near the monument of Tiresias, cissites found in Egypt near Copton and gasidane from the Medos and Erbil are all names for white aetites. Paeantides is so called because it stops labor pains, gemonidesu because it appears to become pregnant and produce another stone, cissites because it conceives. We are ignorant of the actual meaning of the name gasidane but
since the mineral is said to conceive and to have loose parts within
itself which are detected by shaking we know that it is aetites. Paeantides has the appearance of glacial water, gasidane, a swan or colored flowers. Cissites is white and does not differ in color from aetites which
is often this color. Different writers have described these varieties
of geodes in many ways. Since some of them are angular they obviously
differ from aetites just as belemnites that contains an earth is distinguished by form from gaeodes. Nevertheless one cannot exclude them from the class of aetites since
the latter may be angular when compressed. We cannot ascertain from
Pliny whether they were angular or not and the writers he has copied
have said nothing concerning the form of these stones. Some have been
described more carefully than others. All the stones mentioned so far
are those that Theophrastus and Mutianus believed to be distinct
geodes dry and certain ones are astringent. A geode will purge matter
which may cover the eyes and when mixed with water and used as a salve
it reduces inflammation of the breast and testes. When it contained
small pebbles the Greeks believed that it would keep the fetus in place
and prevent miscarriage if fastened to the left forearm of a pregnant
woman and when bound to her left thigh would reduce labor pains and
permit a painless delivery. Pliny writes, however, that it is
effiacious only when it has been newly taken from the earth.
is a variety of geode. The name comes from the water it contains. It is
always round, smooth and very white but will sway back and forth when
moved. Inside it is a liquid just as in an egg, as Pliny, our Albertus
and others believed, and it may even drip water. Liquid bitumen,
sometimes with a pleasant odor, is found enclosed in rock just as in a
vase.35 Belemnites and geodes contain earth as I have mentioned.
Samius lapis is
found enclosed in the Samian earth that artisans use to polish their
work. Dioscorides states that the best is white and sometimes
includes under geodes hollow nodules of chalcedony and carbonate
minerals, usually calcite with or without crystal lined interiors and
ironstone concretions. Most of the earth and sand filled geodes belong
to this latter group. Undoubtedly vugs which had weathered intact from
veins were included here. One may assume that Agricola did not believe
the myth universally accepted at that time, that aetites gave birth to young.
34 A more correct form would be geminides.
may be a reference to light hydrocarbons sometimes found in vesicles in
igneous rocks that have traversed bituminous sediments.