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- (rare) A stone supposed to be taken from the stomach of a swallow, with purported magical or medicinal properties.
- 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 4, member 1, subsection iv:
- In the belly of a swallow, there is a stone found, called chelidonius, “which, if it be lapped in a fair cloth, and tied to the right arm, will cure lunaticks, mad men, make them amiable and merry.”
- 1915, George Frederick Kunz, The Magic of Jewels and Charms, p.172:
- According to Thomas de Cantimpré the swallow-stone is a talisman for merchants and tradesmen. The merits of the chelidonius, as this stone was called, were fully recognized in Saxon England and are given due prominence in an Anglo-Saxon medical treatise, dating form the first half of the tenth century.
- 1923, Lynn Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science, vol.IV, p.421:
- while he discusses the chelidonius, he says nothing of extracting it so soon and describes the colors of its two varieties as black and red, and so does Bartholomew later on.
magical stone taken from a swallow’s stomach
- of, belonging to, coloured like, or pertaining to the swallow
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