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Aetites – Eagle Stone, Geode
Lapis Aetites: 'Stone with a Child': Lapis Erodialis: Lapis Aquileius
Ortus Sanitatis, Beck, 1517
Conradi Gesneri de Rerum Fossilium Lapidum et Gemmarum, 1565
Aldrovandi, Musaeum metallicum, 1648
Metallotheca Vaticana Opus Posthuman, 1719
Gemmarum et lapidum historia Tollius 1647
Pliny listed several types:
1. Small, soft, African Eagle Stone, with soft white or yellow clay. It is very soft, and is regarded as Feminine (this is the Geode of Dioscorides);
2. a type from Cyprus, larger than the African, soft, easily crumbled containing sand and fine pebbles;
3. a type called Taphinsius, from the island of Taphus, which is white, round, and very soft;
4. a hard Eagle Stone from Arabia which is red and hard, and said to be masculine. it contains a reddish stone, and was much commended by Dioscorides.
'Aetites stone when shaken sends out a sound as if it were pregnant with another stone. It prevents miscarriage when the wombs are slippery, tied around the left arm. At the time of delivery take it from the arm and tie it around the thigh and she shall bring forth without pain. It exposes a thief if it is put into the bread offered him, for he that stole is not able to swallow down the things chewed. They say that Aetites boiled together with meat will betray a thief, for he who stole shall not be able to swallow that which was boiled with it. Pounded into small pieces and used in a wax ointment made of cyprinum, gleucinum or any of those things that warm, it helps epilepsy considerably.'
-'Take the stone which is called Aetites, and it is called of some Aquileus, because the Eagles put these in their nests. It is of purple colour, and it is found nigh the banks of the ocean sea, and sometimes in Persia, and it containeth always another stone in it, which soundeth in it when it is moved. It is said of ancient Philosophers that this stone, hanged up in the left shoulder, getteth love between Husband and Wife. It is profitable to women great with child; it preventeth untimely birth; it mitigates the peril of child birth, and it is said to be good to them that have the Falling Sickness. And as the men of Chaldea say, if the Poison be in thy meat, if the aforesaid stone be put in, it letteth that the meat may be swallowed down, and I did see that this last was examined sensibly of one of our brethren'.
From the Lexion of Alchemy, Rulundus, 1612:
There are several species of Eagle Stone:
1. the 'Pregnant Stone' of Dioscorides (which is a stone within a stone, and is considered best);
2. the Geode, filled with white or saffron colored clay-earth (found in Saxony);
3. the Third species is filled with water, and 'perspires in a warm place'; it is called Enydros: it is 'always perfectly round; it is white, and of little weight, but when moved water is seen to flow within like the liquid in Eggs' (Pliny);
4. a Fourth type is filled with sand and small pebbles;
5. a Fifth type is full of Chelonitis;
6. filled with White Lime.
It is called Aetites, Aetou Lithos, Lapis Erodialis, Aquileius, Enydros, Lapis Aquilae, and Eagle Stone in English.
They were said to be found in Eagles nests in Germany, Africa, Egypt, Arabia and Saxony, among other places. It was said the Eagle never makes a nest without it.
It is white or greyish colored stone, sometimes reddish white, about the size of a peach. It is heavy and hollow, usually with another stone within which was called Callimus.
Several types were recognised: 1. Male, round, very hard and hollow, and when shaken there is the sound of a stone within it which is hard and red; 2. Female, hollow, containing a white clay or earthy substance within, but not as hard as the former. It is easily broken. This is called Aegyptite and Geodes Gemma of Dioscorides; 3. A third kind contains water within it, is smooth and white, and it sweats. This was called Enydros; 4. The fourth kind is similar to the first, is bigger, and easily broken. It contains sand or gravel within; 5. A fifth kind has a stone like Chelonite or Toad Stone within, almost like Turtle shell; 6. The next is round and white and has a beautiful crystal within or white flint.
When bound to the arm or stomach it prevents miscarriage, and retains the child in the womb. But being bound to the thigh it promotes Labor. It was said that it must be removed as soon as Labor was facilitated or it may draw down the womb (ie. cause prolapse). It was also applied to the thigh for Hysteria ('rising of the womb').
Hung around the neck, it is good for the Heart, Heart pain and Melancholy, Fluxes, Pleurisy and Ruptures (Hernia).
The second type (Lapis Geodes) has the same virtues, but also clears the sight and helps inflammations.