Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A stone mentioned by various Greek and Latin authors, the word designating Several quite different things. It is impossible to identify with certainty any one of the various substances, some of which were unquestionably fabulous, to which the name ophites was given by Orpheus, Dioscorides, Pliny, and other classic writers. Pliny distinguishes two kinds of ophite, the hard and the soft. The former may have been some variety of granite; the latter, a variety of serpentine, perhaps the Tuscan gabbro or ophiolite. From a very early time, various rounded stones or petrifactions, more or less egg-shaped in form, and called by various names, ovum anguinum, ophites, serpent-stone, adderhead, Druidical bead, etc., have been held in high veneration, and endowed with extraordinary virtues. The ovum anguinum described by Pliny would appear from his description to have been a fossil echinoderm. Glass spindle-whorls, which are known to have been in use within the past four hundred years, have been sold at a recent day as the true ovum anguinum; and fossil echinoderms have also been within a few years treasured as Druidical relics and regarded as possibly possessing a portion, at least, of the virtues attributed by the ancients to the ophites.
- n. Plural form of ophite.
“It is a representative example of the combination of neo-tectonic evolution under conditions of sea shelf formation on ancient structures resulting from island arcs (Oligocene-Quaternary) with a foundation of transformed oceanic crusts (ophites).”
“Pantagruel soon knew the cause of it, having discovered a small cylinder or roller that joined the gates over the threshold, and, turning like them towards the wall on a hard well-polished ophites stone, with rubbing and rolling caused that harmonious murmur.”
“About the church are six hundred pillars of marble, porphyry, and ophites.”
“The ftone the rock is fanned ofi is a granite of greeniih colour, fpotted with Mack, liko die ophites of the antieirts. ..”
Internet Archive: Topographia hibernica : or The topography ofIreland, antient and modern. Giving a complete view of the civil and ecclesiastical state of that kingdom; with its antiquities, natural curiosities, trade, manufactures, extent and population
“For this here was wholly in compartments of precious stones, all in their natural colours: one of red jasper, most charmingly spotted; another of ophites; a third of porphyry; a fourth of lycophthalmy, a stone of four different colours, powdered with sparks of gold as small as atoms; a fifth of agate, streaked here and there with small milk-coloured waves; a sixth of costly chalcedony or onyx-stone; and another of green jasper, with certain red and yellowish veins.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘ophites’.
I'm especially fond of ones written by Charles Sanders Peirce.
Looking for tweets for ophites.