Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

securities. But unless the metallic wealth had increased in a prodigious degree, that remarkable rise in the prices of other commodities could not have been experienced, which is noticed by all writers. As, among other instances, we know that the house of Marius *, at Misenum, was purchased by Cornelia for 75,000 drachmas t, and a few years after sold to Lucullus for 500,200 drachmastThe fortunes of private individuals may be judged of by a few select notices to be found in contemporary authors. Crassus is said to have possessed, in lands, bismillies , besides money, slaves, and household furniture, estimated at as much more | Seneca is related to have possessed termillies : Pallas, the freedman of Claudius, an equal sum. Lentulus, the augur, quatermillies**. C.C. Claudius Isidorus, although he had lost a great part of his fortune in the civil wars, left, by his will, 4116 slaves, 3600 yoke of oxen, 257,000 head of other cattle, and, in ready money, H. S, sex centies + .

The emperors were possessed of wealth in a proportion commensurate with their superior rank and power. Augustus obtained, by the testamentary dispositions of his friends, quaterdecies millies † . Tiberius left at his death vigesies a septies millies & S, which Caligula lavished away in a single year.

The expenses of the government, and the debts and credits of the most eminent individuals, seem to have been on the same colossal scale. Vespasian, at his accession, estimated the money which the maintenance of the commonwealth required at L. 322,916,660.

* Plutarch in Mario.

+ L. 2421 : 17:6 Sterling. L. 16,152: 5:10 Sterling. & L. 1,614,583 : 6:8 Sterling. || Though Crassus had several silver mines, and estates of great value, which were profitably managed, yet his revenues from those sources are represented as inconsiderable, when compared with those he derived from his slaves. He had a large number of them, whom he educated, who were taught to become readers, amanuenses, book-keepers, stewards, and cooks. Besides this, he made interest of his money, at a high rate, receiving for the use of it one per cent. at the end of each month. It is recorded, as a saying of his, “ that no man could be accounted rich who was not able to maintain an army out of his own revenues.” It would seem, that when he was desirous to form a powerful party in the state, he could be occasionally as profuse as he was habitually avaricious ; for on one occasion he gave an entertainment to the populace, who were seated at 10,000 tables, and at another time gave them a supply of bread-corn for three months. Plutarch, Life of M. Crassus.

L 2,421,875 Sterling. ** L. 3,229,166 Sterling. ++ L. 484,375 Sterling.

## L. 32,291,666 Sterling, SSL. 21,796,875 Sterling,

The debts of Milo amounted to H. G. septengenties *. Julius Cæsar, before he held any office, owed 1300 talents. When, after his prætorship, he set out for Spain, he is reported to have said, “ Bis millies et quingenties sibi deesse, ut nihil haberet;" that is, that he was L. 2,0018,000 worse than nothing. When he first entered Rome, at the beginning of the civil war, he took out of the treasury to the amount of L. 1,095,000 Sterling, and brought into it, at the end of that war, L. 4,843,000. He is reported to have purchased the friendship of Curio, at the commencement of the civil contests, by a bribe of L. 484,370; and that of the Consul L. Paulus, the colleague of Marcellus, by one of L. 279,500 +.

Anthony, on the ides of March, when Cæsar was killed, owed L. 320,000, which he paid before the kalends of April, and squandered of the public money more than L. 5,600,000 1.

Many other instances might be found of vast masses of wealth being collected, of large debts being contracted, and of prodigious sums being expended, either on public occasions, or in private indulgences of the dress, the tables, or the furniture of the Romans, just after the acquisition of universal empire. At that period the treasure, which had been acquired by conquest, had not been generally in the hands of numerous individuals, nor had much of it been consumed by the friction, which the practice, soon after extended, of converting large quantities of it into coined money, necessarily occasioned.—Jacob on the Precious Metals.

On the Origin and Composition of Basalt. Basalt, like granite, appears composed of several different minerals, and has not derived its existence from the fusion of granite or any other known rock. With the view of testing in some degree the accuracy of this opinion, Leonhard requested of the celebrated chemist C. G. Gmelin, who has published so interesting an account of the composition of Phonolite or Clinkstone, to examine basalt in the same manner as he had phonolite. Leonhard, in his great work on Trap-rocks, now in the press, tells us that Gmelin readily agreed to undertake the analysis, and had already communicated to him the following examination of basalt.

* L. 565,104 Sterling.

+ It is remarked by Pliny (book xxxiii. cap. 3), that the city of Rome never possessed so much money as at the beginning of the war between Cæsar and Pompey.

See Adam's Roman Antiquities, 9th edit. p. 461, from whence, as far as regards Rome, the facts are selected, and where the evidence on which each of them rests is pointed out.

Analysis of Basalt, by Professor C. G. Gmelin. The analysis was conducted in the same way as that of phonolite.

Basalt from Stetten, a Conical Basaltic Rock in Hegau. 100 parts of the gelatinizing mass 100 parts of the not gelatinizing contains

mass contains Silica,

35.741
Silica,

48.500 Alumina, 11.121 Lime,

17.395 Oxidulated Iron, 16.015 Magnesia,

13.131 Oxide of Manganese, 1.487 Alumina,

6.792 Lime, 11.914 Oxide of Iron,

9.383 Strontian,

0.112 Oxide of Manganese, 0.436 Magnesia,

10.434 Natron, 3.264

95.637 Potash,

1.204 Water,

6.530

[ocr errors]

97.822
Contents of the analyzed Basalt,

gelatinizing mass,
not gelatinizing,

10.162 grains.
6.254
3.908

Contents of the Basalt altogether,

Silica,
Alumina,
Lime,
Strontian,
Magnesia,
Oxidulated Iron,
Oxide of Manganese,
Potash,
Soda,
Water,

40.64

9.57 14.02

0.07 11.47 13.35 1.10 0.74 2.01 4.01

The mass which does not gelatinize yields, when what appears to be magnetic iron is abstracted from the oxidulated oxide of iron,

[blocks in formation]

This result does not agree precisely with that of any other mineral, with respect to the component parts, but it approaches, in some measure, to anorthite, a species of felspar discovered by G. Rose. Anorthite is entirely decomposed by concentrated muriatic acid. It likewise contains a considerable quantity of magnesia, but what particularly deserves notice is, that no other fossil containing much magnesia gelatinizes with acid. The quantity of silica and lime in that part of basalt which gelatinizes with acids, agrees completely with that contained in anorthite. But, on the other hand, anorthite contains a far greater quantity of aluminous earth, considerably less magnesia, and no alkali. On the whole, it appears that that part of basalt which gelatinizes with acids, is the regular mass from which the various crystals are developed, that occur so frequently in basalt. For example, it is easy to perceive, that in consequence of the disappearance of magnesia, Labrador felspar, that universal component part of dolerite and syenite, as well as of many meteoric stones, stilbit so frequent in basalt, as well as chabasie, prehnite and arragonite, will be found in the mass.

The portion which does not gelatinize has nearly the same component parts as augite.

The analysis of basalt from Hohenstoffeln in Hegau is not yet quite completed. The proportion of the gelatinizing part to that which does not gelatinize is = 6.197:3.303, and it deserves to be noticed, that it approaches very nearly to the basalt from Stetten,

100 parts of the gelatinizing portion contains,—
Silica,

35.13
Alumina,

12.24 Oxidulated Oxide of Iron, 15.30 Oxide of Manganese,

1.70 Lime,

8.08 Magnesia,

13.07 Soda,

3.05 Potash,

1.91 Water,

4.59

98.17

Without doubt that part which does not gelatinise is completely analogous in its composition to the basalt from Stetten.

The gelatinous portion of basalt from Sternberg near Urach, has likewise the greatest analogy in its composition with the preceding. In this basalt the portion that gelatinizes is very remarkable: its proportion to that which does not gelatinize 100.14. 100 parts of the gelatinizing mass consists of

Silica,
Alumina,
Oxide of Iron,
Oxide of Manganese,
Lime,
Magnesia,
Soda,
Potash,
Water,

36.94 10.58 13.34

0.30 14.18 11.04 3.30 2.46 3.59

95.73

Basalt from the vicinity of Wezlar. This basalt exhibits a very distinct decomposition on its surface, consisting of two to four lines of bluish-grey, and where the decomposition has proceeded farther, of a light yellow.colour. In this instance, the decomposed part, as well as that which is undecomposed, requires examination. Of the former, a part of that which was most completely decomposed was employed. The principal result was anticipated, as might be expected, namely, that the decomposition diminished the relative proportion of the gelatinizing mass.

« AnteriorContinuar »