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On Airs, Waters, And Places   


number, and of a feeble kind, and bear a resemblance to the diseases
which prevail in regions exposed to hot winds. The women there are
very prolific, and have easy deliveries. Thus it is with regard to
them.
6. But such cities as lie to the west, and which are sheltered
from winds blowing from the east, and which the hot winds and the cold
winds of the north scarcely touch, must necessarily be in a very
unhealthy situation: in the first place the waters are not clear,
the cause of which is, because the mist prevails commonly in the
morning, and it is mixed up with the water and destroys its clearness,
for the sun does not shine upon the water until he be considerably
raised above the horizon. And in summer, cold breezes from the east
blow and dews fall; and in the latter part of the day the setting
sun particularly scorches the inhabitants, and therefore they are pale
and enfeebled, and are partly subject to all the aforesaid diseases,
but no one is peculiar to them. Their voices are rough and hoarse
owing to the state of the air, which in such a situation is
generally impure and unwholesome, for they have not the northern winds
to purify it; and these winds they have are of a very humid character,
such being the nature of the evening breezes. Such a situation of a
city bears a great resemblance to autumn as regards the changes of the
day, inasmuch as the difference between morning and evening is
great. So it is with regard to the winds that are conducive to health,
or the contrary.
7. And I wish to give an account of the other kinds of waters,
namely, of such as are wholesome and such as are unwholesome, and what
bad and what good effects may be derived from water; for water
contributes much towards health. Such waters then as are marshy,
stagnant, and belong to lakes, are necessarily hot in summer, thick,
and have a strong smell, since they have no current; but being
constantly supplied by rain-water, and the sun heating them, they
necessarily want their proper color, are unwholesome and form bile; in
winter, they become congealed, cold, and muddy with the snow and
ice, so that they are most apt to engender phlegm, and bring on
hoarseness; those who drink them have large and obstructed spleens,
their bellies are hard, emaciated, and hot; and their shoulders,
collar-bones, and faces are emaciated; for their flesh is melted
down and taken up by the spleen, and hence they are slender; such
persons then are voracious and thirsty; their bellies are very dry
both above and below, so that they require the strongest medicines.
This disease is habitual to them both in summer and in winter, and
in addition they are very subject to dropsies of a most fatal
character; and in summer dysenteries, diarrheas, and protracted
quartan fevers frequently seize them, and these diseases when
prolonged dispose such constitutions to dropsies, and thus prove
fatal. These are the diseases which attack them in summer; but in
winter younger persons are liable to pneumonia, and maniacal
affections; and older persons to ardent fevers, from hardness of the
belly. Women are subject to oedema and leucophlegmasiae; when pregnant
they have difficult deliveries; their infants are large and swelled,
and then during nursing they become wasted and sickly, and the lochial
discharge after parturition does not proceed properly with the
women. The children are particularly subject to hernia, and adults
to varices and ulcers on their legs, so that persons with such
constitutions cannot be long-lived, but before the usual period they
fall into a state of premature old age. And further, the women
appear to be with child, and when the time of parturition arrives, the
fulness of the belly disappears, and this happens from dropsy of the
uterus. Such waters then I reckon bad for every purpose. The next to
them in badness are those which have their fountains in rocks, so that
they must necessarily be hard, or come from a soil which produces
thermal waters, such as those having iron, copper, silver, gold,
sulphur, alum, bitumen, or nitre (soda) in them; for all these are
formed by the force of heat. Good waters cannot proceed from such a

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