in water sufficed. At the outset a few drops of a weak solution were to
be poured into the eye through a glass tube ; should this treatment not
prove effective, the solution was to be made thicker and thicker, until
at last it had to be dipped out on the point of the tube. If ground to
a fine powder in a mortar, hematite cured spitting of blood and all
ulcers. Galen advises great care in judging of the quality and
strength of the powder, which was to be poured on or spread over the
sore, but in his own case he admits that he trusted to his sense of
taste to determine its quality.48
as quoted by Pliny distinguishes five kinds of hematite, each one of
which possessed special medicinal virtues. The best was the Ethiopie,
which was a valuable ingredient in lotions for the eyes, and for burns.
The second kind was called androdamus and came from Africa; this was
very black, and was exceedingly hard and heavy, whence its name
"conqueror of man"; it was reputed to attract silver, brass and iron.
If rubbed with a moistened whetstone it gave forth a red juice, and
was considered to be a specific for bilious disorders. The third kind
was brought by the Arabs; this gave scarcely any juice when rubbed with
the whetstone, but occasionally a little of a yellowish hue, and was
useful for burns and for all bilious disorders. The fourth kind was
called elatite in its natural state and melitite when burned; and the
fifth appears to have contained an admixture of schist. These shared
in the general virtues of the hematite, three grains of whose powder,
when taken in oil, would cure all blood diseases.49
the cause of the friendship between Hector and Dolon was the latter's
ownership of a hematite is asserted in the Greek Orphic poem "Lithica."
This statement must
" Claudii Galeni, " Opera omnia," ed. Kuhn, Lipsiae, 1826, vol. xii, pp. 195, 196; De simplic. med., lib. vii, cap. 2.
* Plinii, " Hietoria Naturalis," lib. xxxvi, cap. 38.