Visu

strabo

Visu deinde plurimum potuit Strabo nomine, quem superspexisse per centum triginta quinque milia passuum Varro significat, solitumque exeunte a Carthagine classe Punica numerum navium manifestissime ex Lilybaetana specula notare. Cicero tradit Iliadam omnem ita subtiliter in membranis scriptam, ut testa nucis clauderetur. Callicrates formicas ex ebore sic scalpsit, ut portio earum a ceteris cerni nequiverit. Apollonides perhibet in Scythia feminas nasci, quae bitiae vocantur: has in oculis pupillas geminas habere et perimere visu si forte quem iratae aspexerint. hae sunt et in Sardinia.
(Solinus, Collectanea Rerum Mirabilium 1.99-101)

The sharpest eyesight was that of one Strabo, who according to Varro could look over a distance of 135 miles. When the Punic fleet left the harbor of Carthage, he could always report the exact number of ships from the watchtower at Lilybaeum*. Cicero mentions that the entire Iliad was written on parchment in such tiny letters, that it could be enclosed in a nut shell. Callicrates carved ivory ants so small that some of them could not be distinguished from real ones. Apollonides claims that in Scythia there is a race of women called bitiae, who have pupils in each eye, and who kill with their sight if they happen to cast an angry look on someone. These can be found in Sardinia as well.

* in Sicily.

(tr. David Bauwens)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s