that, " if one offer sacrifice holding in his hand the polished Jasper,
colour of the Spring, he rejoiceth the hearts of the gods, and they
shall satiate his thirsty land with showers ; for this stone brings
down rain upon the parched-up fields." Pliny quotes as a sample of the
impudence of the Magi, the assertion contained in the book dedicated to
Mithridates by Zachalias the Babylonian, that the gem Haematites was
not merely good for the eyes and the liver, but gave success to those
having petitions to kings, and also the victory in lawsuits and trials.
Here he seems to allude to Orpheus (670), who makes Helenus offer this
auxiliary to Ajax when proceeding to the contest for the armour of
Achilles, the acceptance of which would have ensured him complete
success, and even the acquiescence of Pallas, patroness of his rival.
Again the Achates from India was good against venomous spiders and
scorpions, and " for many other great wonders." The vermilion-coloured
made athletes invincible; perhaps the reason why the design of Hercules
strangling the Nemean lion is so often found upon this kind.
by the authority of Galen, its efficacy was undisputed even in 1609.
De Boot testifies that in his own practice he has observed effects
scarcely credible from the application of the Red Jasper in cases of
hemorrhage, and mentions the prevailing belief that a Green Jasper
engraved with the figure of a scorpion, when the sun was entering that
sign, was a sure preservative against the formation of the stone in