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OIL
was very extensively used in ancient times. Apart from its use as an article of food and for burning in lamps, it served to anoint the body after the bath and in the paloestra. The oil most used was that obtained by means of olive presses from the olive tree, which seems to have been transplanted from Syria to Greece and thence to Italy. The best olive oil produced among the Greek states was that of Attica; here the olive tree was considered a gift of the national goddess Athene, who by means of it had obtained the victory in her contest with Poseidon for the possession of the country. Here also the olive tree was under the special protection of the State; no one was allowed to cut down olive trees on his own plot of land, except for specified purposes, and then only a specified number. Moreover many olive trees standing on private ground were regarded as the property of the goddess of the State, and it was therefore forbidden on pain of death to cut them down. They were under the special control of the Areopagus, which had them inspected from time to time by certain officials, and they were farmed out by the State [Lysias, Or. ix]. Part of the oil thus obtained had to be sold by the farmer to the State at a fixed price; this was only used for festive purposes, especially to be distributed in prizes to the victors in the Panathenaic contests (Pindar, Nem. x 35]. In Italy the olive tree, which spread thence to France and Spain, grew so well that the Italian oil, especially from the neighbourhood of the South Italian cities Venafrum and Tarentum, and that from the Sabine country, was considered the finest in the world and so met with a ready sale abroad. The best kind was considered to be oil from unripe olives, especially the first from the press [Pliny, N. H. xv 1-34]. The manufacture of fragrant oils and ointments, of which the ancients made a far more extensive use than ourselves, was very important. There was a very large number of preparations of this kind which were used for embrocations of the person, pomades for the hair of the head and beard, for perfuming the dress, bath-water and the like. They were prepared, some by a cold method, some by a hot, by mixing oils pressed for the most part from fruits, such as the oil of olives, nuts, and almonds, with the volatile oils derived from native or oriental vegetable substances. The most expensive kinds were brought from the East, the birthplace of this manufacture, as, for example, the much-prized nardinum, pressed from the flowers of the Indian and Arabian grass nardus [Pliny, N. H. xiii 1-25]. For preserving them vessels of stone were preferred, especially those of alabaster [ib. Section 19]. To meet the demand, vast perfume manufactories existed everywhere in abundance.
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gutter splint
gutter splint
PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint