21. In Arcadia is the well-known town of Clitor, in whose territory is a cave with running water which makes people who drink of it abstemious. At this spring, there is an epigram in Greek verses inscribed on stone to the effect that the water is unsuitable for bathing, and also injurious to vines, because it was at this spring that Melampus cleansed the daughters of Proetus of their madness by sacrificial rites, and restored those maidens to their former sound state of mind. The inscription runs as written below:
- Swain, if by noontide thirst thou art opprest
- When with thy flocks to Cleitor's bounds thou'st hied,
- Take from this fount a draught, and grant a rest
- To all thy goats the water nymphs beside.
- But bathe not in't when full of drunken cheer,
- Lest the mere vapour may bring thee to bane;
- Shun my vine-hating spring—Melampus here
- From madness once washed Proetus' daughters sane,
- And all th' offscouring here did hide, when they
- From Argos came to rugged Arcady.
22. In the island of Zea is a spring of which those who thoughtlessly drink lose their understanding, and an epigram is cut there
- This stone sweet streams of cooling drink doth drip,
- But stone his wits become who doth it sip.
23. At Susa, the capital of the Persian kingdom, there is a little spring, those who drink of which lose their teeth. An epigram is written there, the significance of which is to this effect, that the water is excellent for bathing, but that taken as drink, it knocks out the teeth by the roots. The verses of this epigram are, in Greek, as follows:
- Stranger, you see the waters of a spring
- In which 't is safe for men their hands to lave;
- But if the weedy basin entering
- You drink of its unpalatable wave,
- Your grinders tumble out that self-same day
- From jaws that orphaned sockets will display.
24. There are also in some places springs which have the peculiarity of giving fine singing voices to the natives, as at Tarsus in Magnesia and in other countries of that kind. Then there is Zama, an African city, which King Juba fortified by enclosing it with a double wall, and he established his royal residence there. Twenty miles from it is the walled town of Ismuc, the lands belonging to which are marked off by a marvellous kind of boundary. For although Africa was the mother and nurse of wild animals, particularly serpents, yet not one is ever born in the lands of that town, and if ever one is imported and put there, it dies at once; and not only this, but if soil is taken from this spot to another place, the same is true there. It is said that this kind of soil is also found in the Balearic Islands. The above mentioned soil has a still more wonderful property, of which I have learned in the following way.
25. Caius Julius, Masinissa's son, who owned all the lands about that town, served with Caesar the father. He was once my guest. Hence, in our daily intercourse, we naturally talked of
26. This great variety in different things is a distribution due to nature, for even the human body, which consists in part of the earthy, contains many kinds of juices, such as blood, milk, sweat, urine, and tears. If all this variation of flavours is found in a small portion of the earthy, we should not be surprised to find in the great earth itself countless varieties of juices, through the veins of which the water runs, and becomes saturated with them before reaching the outlets of springs. In this way, different varieties of springs of peculiar kinds are produced, on account of diversity of situation, characteristics of country, and dissimilar properties of soils.
27. Some of these things I have seen for myself, others I have found written in Greek books, the authorities for these writings being Theophrastus, Timaeus, Posidonius, Hegesias, Herodotus, Aristides, and Metrodorus. These men with much attention and endless pains showed by their writings that the peculiarities of sites, the properties of waters, and the characteristics of countries are conditioned by the inclination of the heaven. Following their investigations, I have set down in this book what I thought sufficient about different kinds of water, to make it easier, by means of these directions, for people to pick out springs from which they can conduct the water in aqueducts for the use of cities and towns.
28. For it is obvious that nothing in the world is so necessary for use as water, seeing that any living creature can, if deprived of grain or fruit or meat or fish, or any one of them, support life by using other foodstuffs; but without water no animal nor any proper food can be produced, kept in good condition, or prepared.
1. SPRING should be tested and proved in advance in the following ways. If they run free and open, inspect and observe the physique of the people who dwell in the vicinity before beginning to conduct the water, and if their frames are strong, their complexions fresh, legs sound, and eyes clear, the springs deserve complete approval. If it is a spring just dug out, its water is excellent if it can be sprinkled into a Corinthian vase or into any other sort made of good bronze without leaving a spot on it. Again, if such water is boiled in a bronze cauldron, afterwards left for a time, and then poured off without sand or mud being found at the bottom of the cauldron, that water also will have proved its excellence.
2. And if green vegetables cook quickly when put into a vessel of such water and set over a fire, it will be a proof that the water is good and wholesome. Likewise if the water in the spring is itself limpid and clear, if there is no growth of moss or reeds where it spreads and flows, and if its bed is not polluted by filth of any sort but has a clean appearance, these signs indicate that the water is light and wholesome in the highest degree.
1. I SHALL now treat of the ways in which water should be conducted to dwellings and cities. First comes the method of taking the level. Levelling is done either with dioptrae, or with water levels, or with the chorobates, but it is done with greater
2. But if the wind interposes, and constant motion prevents any definite indication by the lines, then have a groove on the upper side, five feet long, one digit wide, and a digit and a half deep, and pour water into it. If the water comes up uniformly to the rims of the groove, it will be known that the instrument is level. When the level is thus found by means of the chorobates, the amount of fall will also be known.
3. Perhaps some reader of the works of Archimedes will say that there can be no true levelling by means of water, because he holds that water has not a level surface, but is of a spherical form, having its centre at the centre of the earth. Still, whether water is plane or spherical, it necessarily follows that when the straightedge is level, it will support the water evenly at its extremities on the right and left, but that if it slopes down at one end, the water at the higher end will not reach the rim of the groove in the straightedge. For though the water, wherever poured in, must have a swelling and curvature in the centre, yet the extremities on the right and left must be on a level with each other. A picture of the chorobates will be found drawn at the end of the book. If there is to be a considerable fall, the conducting of the water will be comparatively easy. But if the course is broken by depressions, we must have recourse to substructures.
1. THERE are three methods of conducting water, in channels through masonry conduits, or in lead pipes, or in pipes of baked clay. If in conduits, let the masonry be as solid as possible, and let the bed of the channel have a gradient of not less than a quarter of an inch for every hundred feet, and let the masonry structure be arched over, so that the sun may not strike the water at all. When it has reached the city, build a reservoir with a distribution tank in three compartments connected with the reservoir to receive the water, and let the reservoir have three pipes, one for each of the connecting tanks, so that when the water runs over from the tanks at the ends, it may run into the one between them.
2. From this central tank, pipes will be laid to all the basins and fountains; from the second tank, to baths, so that they may yield an annual income to the state; and from the third, to private houses, so that water for public use will not run short; for people will be unable to divert it if they have only their own supplies from headquarters. This is the reason why I have made these divisions, and also in order that individuals who take water into their houses may by their taxes help to maintain the conducting of the water by the contractors.
3. If, however, there are hills between the city and the source of supply, subterranean channels must be dug, and brought to a level at the gradient mentioned above. If the bed is of tufa or other stone, let the channel be cut in it; but if it is of earth or sand, there must be vaulted masonry walls for the channel, and the water should thus be conducted, with shafts built at every two hundred and forty feet.
4. But if the water is to be conducted in lead pipes, first build a reservoir at the source; then, let the pipes have an interior area corresponding to the amount of water, and lay these pipes from
5. The conducting of the water through lead pipes is to be managed as follows. If there is a regular fall from the source to the city, without any intervening hills that are high enough to interrupt it, but with depressions in it, then we must build substructures to bring it up to the level as in the case of channels and conduits. If the distance round such depressions is not great, the water may be carried round circuitously; but if the valleys are extensive, the course will be directed down their slope. On reaching the bottom, a low substructure is built so that the level there may continue as long as possible. This will form the “venter,” termed *koli/a by the Greeks. Then, on reaching the hill on the opposite side, the length of the venter makes the water slow in swelling up to rise to the top of the hill.
6. But if there is no such venter made in the valleys, nor any substructure built on a level, but merely an elbow, the water will break out, and burst the joints of the pipes. And in the venter, water cushions must be constructed to relieve the pressure of the air. Thus, those who have to conduct water through lead pipes will do it most successfully on these principles, because its descents, circuits, venters, and risings can be managed in this way, when the level of the fall from the sources to the city is once obtained.
7. It is also not ineffectual to build reservoirs at intervals of 24,000 feet, so that if a break occurs anywhere, it will not completely ruin the whole work, and the place where it has occurred
8. But if we wish to spend less money, we must proceed as follows. Clay pipes with a skin at least two digits thick should be made, but these pipes should be tongued at one end so that they can fit into and join one another. Their joints must be coated with quicklime mixed with oil, and at the angles of the level of the venter a piece of red tufa stone, with a hole bored through it, must be placed right at the elbow, so that the last length of pipe used in the descent is jointed into the stone, and also the first length of the level of the venter; similarly at the hill on the opposite side the last length of the level of the venter should stick into the hole in the red tufa, and the first of the rise should be similarly jointed into it.