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Vacuity - The quality or state of being vacuous, or not filled; emptiness; vacancy; as, vacuity of mind; vacuity of countenance.

"…For if the water contained in the vessel A B, should descend into the place of C D, there would remain Vacuity in A being there is no place for the air to come in …"

"…Also Vacuum is so abhorred by nature, that the world would sooner be pulled asunder than any Vacuity can be admitted…"


Vacuum - A space entirely devoid of matter (called also, by way of distinction, absolute vacuum); hence, in a more general sense, a space, as the interior of a closed vessel, which has been exhausted to a high or the highest degree by an air pump or other artificial means; as, water boils at a reduced temperature in a vacuum.

 "…Also Vacuum is so abhorred by nature, that the world would sooner be pulled asunder than any vacuity can be admitted.  And from this repugnancy of Vacuum procees almost the cause of all wonderful things, whih it may be I shall show in a book on this subject.  It is the force of Vacuum that makes heavy things ascend, and light things descend contrary to the rule of nature, so necessary it is that there can be nothing in the world without a body…"

"…Therefore we must think on another experiment, and make trial of it.  But this must be held for a rare and firm principle in Nature's shop, that the cause of wonders is because there can be no Vacuum…"


A plant of the genus Valleriana, of many species.

 "…Dioscorides accounts Christs Thorn, wild Hemp, and Valerian, hung up in the house, an Amulet against Witchcraft…"

"…Take three ounces of Labdanum, as much of Storax, one of Benjamin, an ounce and a half of Cloves, an ounce of Sanders, three of Champire, one of Lingnum Aloes, Calamus Aromaticus, and juice of Valerian,…"


"…  Casar de bello civili,  Also there is a kind of root, found by them that were with Valerius, which is called Chara, which mingled with milk releived a soldier that was hungry, and it was made up like to bread…"


Vapors - An old name for hypochondria, or melancholy; the blues.

"…If you would otherwise hinder the Vapors of the Wine, drink it well tempered with water…"


"…And surely the best and swiftest hunting dogs, as greyhounds, are long-headed, and sharp-snouted, as foxes are. Hesychius and Varinus call them dog-foxes…"


Marcus Terentius Varro, 116-c.27 BC, was the first universal scholar of the Roman civilization.From his reputed output of more than 600 volumes, the titles of only about 50 works are known. Of these, his treatise De Re Rustica (On Agriculture), which Vergil consulted when writing the Georgics, is preserved intact; approximately one-fourth remains from his important study De Lingua Latina (The Latin Language), long the basic source for Latin grammarians; and many fragments have survived from his Menippean Satires, as well as portions of Antiquitates Rerum Humanarum et Divinarum (History of Human and Divine Concerns), which the fathers of the Christian church used as a reference book on Roman religion.

"…Theophrastus and Varro write, "that mice also made the inhabitants of the island Gyarus to forsake their country," and the like is reported of Heraclea in Pontus, and of other places…"  

"…likewise we may cause Artichokes to bear a fuller fruit, as Varro shows…"


"…Then take a new earthen Vat, and fill it with dry Chaff well sifted, so that it will be without dust…"


"…This medicament is good for an army, for it is sweet, and so fills a man and quenches thirst.  We had this in an old scholiast, a manuscript upon the book of Heron, in the Vatican Library.  I saw the same composition in Philo, in his fifth book of wars, where he describes such like other things…"


"…The griping of the belly and guts, is healed by looking upon Geese and Ducks, and Vegetius writes, and Cosumella says, that if a Duck does but look upon a sick Horse, she heals him…"

"…  Vegetius teaches, what combustible matter must be used.  And he uses burning oil, hards, brimstone, bitumen…"

Venereal Disease    

"…A Salt may be made of Thapsia.  It is very good to remove the Stone in the bladder or kidneys, and to dissolve the Tartar, or viscous Concrescency.   To kill the Worms, and purge the blood.  To provoke sweat by being often taken, and is admirable in Venereal diseases…"

Venom \ Venomous         

"… Mountebanks make Venom thus;  Take black Hellebore, two ounces, Yew leaves, one ounce, Beech rind, glass, Quicklime, yellow Arsenic, of each one ounce and half…"

"… Simon Sethi says, that Deer flesh, that is caught in summer, is Poison, because then they feed on Adders and Serpents.  These are Venomous creatures, and by eating of them they grow thirsty..."

Venom of the Earth    

"…Says Pliny, by the root the fishermen of Campania use, called, round Birthwort.  Also called the Venom of the Earth.  This root they bruise, and mingle it with lime, and cast it to the sea.  The fish come to it with great delight, and are presently killed, and float on the water…"


"..Yes, even in Heaven itself, as Jupiter and Venus love all Planets save Mars and Saturn, Venus agrees with Mars, where no other plant agrees with him…"

 "…Athenaus says, this fish ( Aphya) is consecrated to Venus, because she also comes of the froth of the sea, whence she is called Aphrodite…"

"…  Salt also helps generation.  For it does not only heighten the pleasures of Venus, but also causes fruitfulness…"


"…The Doves, for a preservative against enchantments, first gather some little Bay tree boughs, and then lay them upon their nests, to preserve their young, so do the Kites use White Brambles, the turtles Swordgrass, the Crows Withy, the Lapwings Venus-hair, the Ravens Ivy, the hens Carrot, the Partridges Reed-leaves, the Blackbirds Myrtle, the larks grass, the Swans Park-leaves, the Eagle uses Maidenhair, or the stone Etites for the same purpose…"


"…Moreover, I read that liquid Alom, as the ancients report, will stand out against fire.  For wood smeared with Alom, and Verdigrease, whether they be posts or beams, so they have a crust made about them, will not burn with fire…"

"…Then take a little Verdigrease, Tin calcined, and of the Firestone, powder all these with Sal Gemma, and common salt, and Salt Ammoniac.  Distill them, and pour the distilled liquor again upon the foeces, and distill it again, and do it again the third time. .."


"…If we bury a Peach stone in the ground, and take it up again seven days after (for in that time, the stone will open of itself) and then put into it some Vermillion, and bury it in the earth again, and afterward look carefully unto it, we shall thereby procure Vermillion colored peaches…"

"…And then when it begins to open, pluck out the Kernel, and write in it what you will, with Vermillion juice…"


"…Then he took Wool, and sometimes green leaves of the Vine, or of the Plane tree, and wrapped it about the Kernel .  Lest he should have set it without any covering about it, the Emots or such like Vermin should have gnawn it…"

"…For if the air does not breath upon it, it will be free from the Mice and such like Vermin.  And it is known, that Corn thus laid up, has been kept clean and sweet fifty years together…"

Vernish  /  Vernished           

Juniper Gum

"…Powder Juniper Gum, which Scriveners call Vernish, and add it to the rest,…"

"…But in compositions for arrows and darts, that they might burn the more vehemently,they put melted Vernish, Printers Oil, Petroleum, Turpentine…"


"…Wherefore, when Quail feed on Black Hellebour, they put those that feed on them into so great danger of their lives, that they swell and suffer convulsions, and are subject to Vertigo…"

 "…And when all is dissolved, mix the waters all together, and let it evaporate over a fire.  So in the bottom will remain the Magistery of Charabe.  It will take away scars in the face and cure the Vertigo…"


See: Succory

"… There is also a kind of Succory, called Verrucaria from the effect.  For if one eats it but once in Sallets, all the Warts will be gone from any  part of the body…"

Vervain  /  Vervine        

"…If you have a bitches's fecond membrane, or a hare's hairs, or dung, or Vervain, about you. .."

"…Figs may be kept in the leaves of Vervine without Putretude."


"… We read in the roman histories, that there was at Rome, in the temple of ghe goddess Vesta, and of Minerva, at Athens, and of Apollo, at Delphi, a perpetual fire kindled…"

Vestal Nuns   

"…But this seems to be false.  For I remember that I have read in many authors, that this Perpetual Fire was always kept so by the Vestal Nuns, that it should never go out. .."

Vetches / Vitches            

"… If you temper it with dew, that in the month of May is found on Vetches leaves, it will grow most hard…"

"… Peas or Vitches to be timely ripe…"


Vial - A small bottle, usually of glass; a little glass vessel with a narrow aperture intended to be closed with a stopper; as, a vial of medicine.

"…And setting the vessel under it, you shall have the mositure of it drop forth, and the Calx will resolve into water.  Put this into a glass Vial, and let the water evaporate in Balneo…"

 "…And in our time, about the year 600, in the island Nesis, that stands in Naples, there was a Marble Sepulchre of some Roman found, and that being opened, a Vial was found with it, in which there was a candle…"

 Vindex, Julius    

 "…And Julius Vindex, that asserter of liberty from Nero, made this the only bawd to procure him and executorship.  They smoke themselves with Cumine, who disfigure their faces, to counterfeit holiness and mortification of their body…"


"…Sow the seed of a White Garden Vine, and that which comes of it, will be a Black Wild Vine, and so the seed of a Black Garden Vine will bring forth a White Garden Vine, as Theophrastus teaches…"

"…Then he took Wool, and sometimes green leaves of the Vine, or of the Plane tree, and wrapped it about the Kernel .  Lest he should have set it without any covering about it, the Emots or such like Vermin should have gnawn it…"


"…After the Vintage, at such time as the earth is used to be rid away from the roots of Vines, you must uncover the roots of so many Vines as in your opinion wll make enough Wine to serve your turn…"

"…But they take their Grapes presently after the time of Vintage, and make special choice of those Grapes that are without any bruise or blemish, and they shut up th mouth of the vessels very close, and overlay them with Morter…"

 Vintager \ Vintners      

"…Though all Vintners say the contrary.  That the water will run forth by the  Tongue, and that the Wine will stay within …"

"…Because often country people and Vintagers use deceit, and bring wine mingled with water, to be sold to the merchant…"


"… Or put a boy of Cork into a glass Viol, with a broad mouth, that turns himself about the needle equally balanced.  And about the Glass vessel, make the Alphabet, that the man turning round about may give the answers…"


"…It is a thing to be noted in a Bur, that a flower grows within the roughness and prickles of it, which does not show itself, but conceives and brings forth feed within itself, much like as Weasels and Vipers do…"

Virgil  \ (Vergil)                  

The great Roman poet Vergil (also spelled Virgil) was born Publius Vergilius Maro on Oct. 15, 70 BC in Andes, a village near Mantua in northern Italy. Vergil spent his childhood on his father's farm and was educated at Cremona, Milan, and then Rome, where he studied rhetoric. There he met poets and statesmen who were to play an important part in his life. When civil war broke out in 49 BC, he retired to Naples where he studied philosophy with the Epicurean Siro.

"… Pliny and Virgil say, that Wasps and Hornets both, are generated of the flesh of dead Horses…"

"…You may find many things in Theocritus and Virgil, of this kind ( Enchantment)…"


"…For the He-goat are so lecherous, that in the madness of their lust, they will set upon Virgins, and by force ravish them. Herodotus in second book, writes of a He-goat, that had to do with a woman openly, and in the sight of many men standing by…"

 "…Bruise Hemlock, and lay a Caraplasm thereof with Vinegar to women's breasts, and it will stay them that they shall not increase, especially in Virgins…"


"…  Thales Milerius used a Harp, against the Plague, which could be of no other Wood than the Vine-tree…"


Vinegar - A sour liquid used as a condiment, or as a preservative, and obtained by the spontaneous (acetous) fermentation, or by the artificial oxidation, of wine, cider, beer, or the like.

"…Then dry it well, and put it into an earthen glazed pot with a large mouth, and pour into it three or four gallons of the best and sharpest Vinegar…"

"…The flesh may be dyed to last so long, or to be soon washed out.  If you will have it soon washed off, steep the shells of Walnuts, and of Pomegranates in Vinegar, four or five days…"


Violet - Any plant or flower of the genus Viola, of many species. The violets are generally low, herbaceous plants, and the flowers of many of the species are blue, while others are white or yellow, or of several colors, as the pansy (Viola tricolor).

"…  Violets and Gilliflowers blow first in the Spring…"

 "…For Theophrastus records, that Violets, Roses, and Gilli-flowers, if they be not well heeded, in three years will wax white, and the experience thereof I myself have plainly seen…"


"…And I myself have often compounded a preservative against poison, of Dragon-herbs, the Dragon-fish, Vipers, and the stone Ophites, being led therein by the likeness of things…"

"…If Fiddle strings be made of Serpents, especially of Vipers, for being put on a Harp and played on, if women with child be present, they suffer Abortion, and Vipers are wont to do as much by meeting them, as many write…"


"…and you shall put your Loadstone under the table, and stir it there, the Virtue of it will pass from this body like a spirit penetrating the solid table…"

"…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.  But when I tried all these things, I found them to be false.  For not only breathing and belching upon the Loadstone after eating Garlic, did not stop its Virtues…"


'…and Visruvius is also of the same mind, to cut or lop trees in the waning of the moon, that being cut in season, they may last long without rottenness…"


"… Zonaras the Greek, writes in the third Tome of histories, that Anastasius moved sedition against Vitalianus a Thracian, and he got those of Mysia, and the Scythians to stand with him…"


"…How without a Glass or representation of any other thing, an image may seem to hang in the air…One Vitellio describes the business after this fashion…"

"… Vitellio describes a certain compositon of a burning-glass, made of diverse Sphaeral Sections.  But what he writes he proves not, nor does he understand what he says…"


"…But always provided that they are not laid near tender and Fugacious fruit, for they will Vitiate them by their Acid vapor, and Putrify Grapes if they are near them…"

"…But Apuleius says a heap of Barley is better.  But you must always mind to repose each kind in its proper continent and place.  Because if diverse kinds be occluded together, they Vitiate sooner…"


Sulphuric acid; called also oil of vitriol. A sulphate of any one of certain metals, as copper, iron, zinc, cobalt. So called on account of the glassy appearance or luster. So called because first made by the distillation of green vitriol

"…So that no part of the gross and earthly substance shall remain int it, he may easily obtain his purpose by Coppresse or Vitriol…"

"…Also of vinegar and Gold Litharge, there is made a decoction very good to dye the hair yellow as gold.  Some there are, that draw out a strong water with fire, out of Saltpeter, Vitriol, Salt Ammoniac, and Cinaber, whereas the hairs dyed, will be presently yellow…"


 "…Then mix with it five ounces of Tin Calcined, and Cinnabaris of a most bright color.  And so stirring them about for three hours, let them stand a while.  When this is done, add moreover three ounces of Vitrified Tin…"


".. Vitruvius says, that the Larch tree wood will not burn, or kindle by itself, but like a stone in the furnace, will make no coals, but burn very slowly…"

 "… Vitruvius teaches us how they  (water instruments) were made, but so obscurely and mystically, that what he says is very little understood. .."

Vomit \ Vomiting    

Vomit - To eject the contents of the stomach by the mouth; to puke; to spew.

"…When they ( Snails) stick fast to Briars and shrubs, for they trouble the belly and the stomach, and cause Vomiting.    Dioscorides.…"

"…For Goats eat Black Hellebour, that is given them when the young leaves come first out, their Milk drank will make one Vomit, and causes loathing and nauseating of the stomach.…"

Vulnerary Potions    

 "…There are certain Potions called Vulnerary Potions, because, being drunk, they cure wounds…"


"…Some animals are killed by things that smell very sweet to us.   Vultures by Unguents, and black Beetles by Roses…."


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