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On Airs, Waters, And Places   


those who are of a humid temperament, and with women; but it is most
inimical to the bilious; for they become much parched up, and
ophthalmies of a dry nature supervene, fevers both acute and
chronic, and in some cases melancholy; for the most humid and watery
part of the bile being consumed, the thickest and most acrid portion
is left, and of the blood likewise, when these diseases came upon
them. But all these are beneficial to the phlegmatic, for they are
thereby dried up, and reach winter not oppressed with humors, but with
them dried up.
11. Whoever studies and observes these things may be able to foresee
most of the effects which will result from the changes of the seasons;
and one ought to be particularly guarded during the greatest changes
of the seasons, and neither willingly give medicines, nor apply the
cautery to the belly, nor make incisions there until ten or more
days be past. Now, the greatest and most dangerous are the two
solstices, and especially the summer, and also the two equinoxes,
but especially the autumnal. One ought also to be guarded about the
rising of the stars, especially of the Dogstar, then of Arcturus,
and then the setting of the Pleiades; for diseases are especially
apt to prove critical in those days, and some prove fatal, some pass
off, and all others change to another form and another constitution.
So it is with regard to them.
12. I wish to show, respecting Asia and Europe, how, in all
respects, they differ from one another, and concerning the figure of
the inhabitants, for they are different, and do not at all resemble
one another. To treat of all would be a long story, but I will tell
you how I think it is with regard to the greatest and most marked
differences. I say, then, that Asia differs very much from Europe as
to the nature of all things, both With regard to the productions of
the earth and the inhabitants, for everything is produced much more
beautiful and large in Asia; the country is milder, and the
dispositions of the inhabitants also are more gentle and affectionate.
The cause of this is the temperature of the seasons, because it lies
in the middle of the risings of the sun towards the east, and
removed from the cold (and heat), for nothing tends to growth and
mildness so much as when the climate has no predominant quality, but a
general equality of temperature prevails. It is not everywhere the
same with regard to Asia, but such parts of the country as lie
intermediate between the heat and the cold, are the best supplied with
fruits and trees, and have the most genial climate, and enjoy the
purest waters, both celestial and terrestrial. For neither are they
much burnt up by the heat, nor dried up by the drought and want of
rain, nor do they suffer from the cold; since they are well watered
from abundant showers and snow, and the fruits of the season, as might
be supposed, grow in abundance, both such as are raised from seed that
has been sown, and such plants as the earth produces of its own
accord, the fruits of which the inhabitants make use of, training them
from their wild state and transplanting them to a suitable soil; the
cattle also which are reared there are vigorous, particularly
prolific, and bring up young of the fairest description; the
inhabitants too, are well fed, most beautiful in shape, of large
stature, and differ little from one another either as to figure or
size; and the country itself, both as regards its constitution and
mildness of the seasons, may be said to bear a close resemblance to
the spring. Manly courage, endurance of suffering, laborious
enterprise, and high spirit, could not be produced in such a state
of things either among the native inhabitants or those of a
different country, for there pleasure necessarily reigns. For this
reason, also, the forms of wild beasts there are much varied. Thus
it is, as I think, with the Egyptians and Libyans.
13. But concerning those on the right hand of the summer risings
of the sun as far as the Palus Maeotis (for this is the boundary of
Europe and Asia), it is with them as follows: the inhabitants there
differ far more from one another than those I have treated of above,

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