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Ibis - A fowl of the genus Tantalus,and grallic order, a native of Egypt. The bill is long, subulated,and somewhat crooked; the face naked,and the feet have four toes palmated at the base. This fowl was much valued by the Egyptians for destroying serpents. It is said by Bruce not now to inhabit Egypt, but to be found in Abyssinia. The ibis of the Egyptians is a species of the genus Scolopax. It was anciently venerated either because it devoured serpents, or because the marking of its plumage resembled one of the phases of the moon,or because it appeared in Egypt with the rising of the Nile.

"…The Egyptians say, they never learned of men to minister Clysters, but the bird Ibis, which uses it to herself or the looseness of her body. And of the same bird also they learned their diet, to eat largely at the waxing and sparingly at the waning of the Moon…"

"…The eagle is killed with Comfrey.  The Ibis with the gall of hyena…"


(probably 'Mongoose')

"…The Indian Rat, called Ichneumon, does harness himself with some of the Lote-tree and so fights against the asp…"

Ides Of March       

Ides - In the ancient Roman calendar, eight days in each month; the first day of which fell on the 13th of January, February, April, June, August, September, November and December, and on the 15th of March, May, July,and October. The ides came between the calends and the nones, and were reckoned backwards. This method of reckoning is still retained in the chancery of Rome,and in the calendar of the breviary.

"…This if you practise before the Calends of March, or between the Nones and the Ides of March, you shall have your purpose…"

"…It  ( Broom)  is broken and pulled from the Ides of May, until the Ides in June.  This it the time when it is ripe…"

Igne revererationsis        

"…How to Extract a Magistery of Gems, Coral and Pearl.  Beat the gems, and set them in Igne revererationsis, until they be Calcined…"

"… Distil the Lemons with their peels and juice.  Reserve the water, and dry the rest in the Sun, if the season permits.  Or do it in an oven.  Put them in a pot close luted, and Calcine it in Igne reverberationis…"

Ilium / Illium (Trillium)   

Trillium, wood lily, wake-robin -- (any liliaceous plant of the genus Trillium having a whorl of three leaves at the top of the stem with a single three-petalled flower) .

See:   Wakerobin

"…In like manner Winter-cress or Ilium, and Pennyroyal, though they begin to wither being gathered, yet if you hang them upon a stick about the time of the Solstice, the will for a time florish…"


Immersion - . The act of immersing, or the state of being immersed; a sinking within a fluid.

"…and now that we may not further protract our speech, we shall from ancient examples show how fruit by Immersion into several things, may be long kept from putretude. .."


"…Because the corrosive Salts in them, are not perfectly and absolutely dissolved into water.  Wherefore you must learn by continual solution and Immistion, so to Distil them, that the whole substance of the Salt may be melted…"


Imposture - The act or conduct of an impostor; deception practiced under a false or assumed character; fraud or imposition; cheating.

"…The Imposture is discovered by the easy dissolving of it in water. .."


Inclination - The act or state of bending downward; inclination; as, declination of the head.

 "… Geber defines it thus, Distillation is the elevation of moist vapors in a proper vessel.  But we will declare the true definition of it elsewhere.  He makes three sorts of it, by Ascent, by Descent, and by Filtration.  But I say, by Ascent, by Descent, and by Inclination, which is a middle between the both, and is very necessary…"


Incubation - A sitting on eggs for the purpose of hatching young; a brooding on, or keeping warm, (eggs) to develop the life within, by any process.

"… But Aristotle says that bird Eggs and Eggs of forefooted beasts are ripened by the Incubation of the Dam..."


Index - That which guides, points out, informs, or directs; a pointer or a hand that directs to anything, as the hand of a watch, a movable finger on a gauge, scale, or other graduated instrument.

" Index of the Poles "

 "…It is a common opinion among Seamen, that Onions and Garlic are at odds with the Loadstone.  And Steersmen, and such as tend the Mariners Card are forbidden to eat Onions or Garlic, lest they make the Index of the Poles drunk…"

Indian Dog   

See:   Mastiff, Hircan-Dog

"…This is called by some a Mastiff, by others a Warrior, or a Hircan-Dog. Aristotle calls them Indian-dogs, and says, they are generated of a Dog and a Tygre…"


"…Which is otherwise called the Indian-hen, being mixed of a cock and a Pea (hen), though the shape of it is more like the Pea then the Cock…"

Indian Mais   

Indian Mais - Indian corn (Bot.), a plant of the genus Zea (Z. Mays); the maize, a native of America.

"…Of the Indian Mais, heavy bread is made and not pleasant at all, very dry and earthy next to millet.  Like to this is bread called Exsergo, that is also void of nutrimental juice…"

Infernal Oil  

"…An Oil will will come forth that will burn wonderfully, that some deservedly call it Infernal Oil…"

Infuse / Infusion                   

Infuse - To pour (a liquid) into something…

"…Add as much more Mint and Wormwood, and put them into the oil.  Mingle them and stir them well. But cover the pot lest any dirt should fall in.  And let them stand for three days, and Infuse…"

"…apply a plaster of the powder to the place, the pain will presently cease, to the admiration of the beholders.   Mistletoe of the Oak, Infused in Wine, and drunk, does the same…"


Inoculate - To bud; to insert the bud of a tree or plant in another tree or plant, for the purpose of growth on the new stock. All sorts of stone fruit, apples,pears, &c. may be inoculated.

"…But it is best to Engraff it by Inoculation, by clapping the bud of the one upon the bud of the other…"

"…I pierced the Vine with a Wimble, even unto the very Marrow, and put into it certain ointments fit for such an effect.  (It will suffice, if you put them with the rine.)  And this I did in diverse parts of the Vine.  Here and there about the whole body of the Vine.  And that about Grafting time by Inoculation…"


Inquisition - . The act of inquiring; inquiry; search; examination; inspection; investigation.   A court or tribunal for the examination and punishment of heretics, fully established by Pope Gregory IX. in 1235. Its operations were chiefly confined to Spain, Portugal, and their dependencies, and a part of Italy.

"…Because when prisons are shut, eggs are not stopped by the Papal Inquisition, and no fraud is suspected to be in them, I will show you how letters may be writ on the upper shell and white of an egg also…"


Inveterate - . Old; long-established. Firmly established by long continuance; obstinate; deep-rooted; of long standing; as, an inveterate disease; an inveterate abuse.

"…That I have used with admirable success, when they  ( Tetters ) were Inveterate…"


"…P lato in Ione writes, that Empedocles called this stone Magnes, but Lucretius from the country of Magnesia…"

 "…And thus you may hang a great many Needles in a chain in the air.   Plato knew this virtue, for he speaks of it in Ione…"


Iris - The plant is named after the rainbow goddess, 'Iris,' from the beauty and variety of colours in the flowers of the genus. From ancient times the stately Iris stood as a symbol of power and majesty - it was dedicated to Juno and was the origin of thesceptre, the Egyptians placing it on the brow of the Sphinx and on the sceptre of their kings, the three leaves of its blossoms typifying faith, wisdom and valour

"…Take a great glass Receiver, and fill the third part almost of it with Aqua Vita.  Put into it Lavender flowers, Jasmine, Roses, Orange and Lemon flowers.  Then add roots of Iris, Cypress, Sanders, Cinnamon, Storax, Labdanum, Cloves, Nutmegs, Calamus Aromaticus, with a little Musk, Amber and Civit. Fill the glass, and stop it well. .."

 "…How to make sweet balls….Take one ounce of Cyprian Powder, and Benjamin of the best mixture, which is brought out of Turkey. Half an ounce of Clover.  A sufficient quantity of Illyrian Iris…."


(Chemical Symbol Fe.) Element No. 26 of the periodic system; Atomic weight 55.85. A magnetic silver-white metal of high tensile strength ductile and malleable. Melting point of pure iron about 2795°F.

"…Take a great or small circle, as you would have your glass, and here and there cut off two part of the circumference, one to the quantity of a Pentagon, the other of a Hexagon, as is clear in the Mathematicks. Let the arch of Pentagon be made hollow with some table, or Iron, that it may exactly receive it into it, and may seem to be cut out of it…"

"…They take the melted glass out with an Iron.  With their Blast they frame an empty Pillar.  They open it on one side with their Tongs, and while it is red hot they lay it upon a plain plate of Iron, that is equally made…"

Iron Crows    

Crow - . A bar of iron with a beak, crook, or claw; a bar of iron used as a lever; a crowbar.

"…And his engines were Iron bars, the greatest part whereof lay backward.  And by reason of those Iron Crows, it is manifest itcould be done in no other ways…"


Isaac - the son of Abraham and father of Jacob according to the account in Genesis.

"… Isaac says, that a peacock killed will be kept two days, and three in winter, that the hard flesh of it may grow soft.   Haliabas hangs them up three days, hanging stones to their feet.   Savanrola hangs them up ten days without weights.  Simeon Sethi says, that partridge newly killed are not to be ate, but after a day or two, that they may lose ther hardness…"


Isatis - A genus of herbs, some species of which, especially the Isatis tinctoria, yield a blue dye similar to indigo; woad.

See: Guado

"… But the Ancients dyed their bodies of diverse colors.  Partly, for ornament, partly, for terror.  As Ceasar writes of the Britans going to war.  For they pained themselves with wood.   Theophrastus calls it Isatis, and we call it Guado…"


"… Isigonus and Memphodorus say, there are some families in Africa, that Bewitch with their tongue the very woods.  Which if they do but admire somewhat earnestly, or if they praise fair trees, growing corn, lusty children, good horses, or fat sheep, they presently wither, and die of a sudden, from no other cause or harm…"

"…The same Isigonus says, there are among Lriballians and Illyrians, certain men, who have two pupils in each eye, and do Bewitch most deadly with them…"


Isinglass - A popular name for mica, especially when in thin sheets.

"…If it should happen that we want a letter Seal, we must do thus.  Take Isinglass, and dissolve it in water…"

"…Put the Isinglass to the fire, and melt it, pour it upon the Seal.  After three hours, when it is cold, take it away, and let it dry.  For the Seal when it is dry, will be drawn less equally…"


"… As Isiodore affirms. And the Drone is called Fucus quafi Fagos, because he eats that which he never labored for…"

"...Ovid and Virgil both, mention the dog Lycisca, which, as Isiodore writes, are generated of wolves and dogs coupling together…"


Ivory - The hard, white, opaque, fine-grained substance constituting the tusks of the elephant. It is a variety of dentine, characterized by the minuteness and close arrangement of the tubes, as also by their double flexure.

"…Also with the decoction of Ivory, one may make the face like Ivory.   Melanthium makes the face beautiful.   Dioscorides…"

 "…The Arabian-Stone is like the spotted Ivory.  Burned, it is good for Dentifrices.  Also of Pumex-Stone very profitable Dentifrices were made.   Pliny…"


Ivy - A plant of the genus Hedera (H. helix), common in Europe. Its leaves are evergreen, dark, smooth, shining, and mostly five-pointed; the flowers yellowish and small; the berries black or yellow. The stem clings to walls and trees by rootlike fibers.

"…The fruit of White Ivy will make feed barren, but the fruit of Arsemery will make it fertile, which fruit is a small grain, like to Millet .."

"…There is a kind of spider which destroys the Hart, except presently they eat Wild Ivy, and whensoever they light upon any poisonous food, they cure themselves with the Artichoke, and against serpents they prepare and arm them selves with Wild Parsnip, so do the Ring-doves, Coughs, and Blackbirds use Bay leaves…"


"...Oppianus in his Ixeutica says, that there is a bird known well enough, called Theocronus, which is generated of a male hawk, and a female eagle. .."


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