Near the sources of this river13 grows a purple flower, from which is obtained a purple dye, as good in quality as the Greek and of an even more brilliant hue. In the same district there is an animal about the size of a beetle, red as cinnabar, with very long feet, and a body as soft as that of a worm. It breeds on the trees which produce amber, eats their fruit and kills them, as the woodlouse destroys the vines in Greece. The Indians crush these insects and use them for dyeing their robes and tunics and anything else they wish.14 The dye is superior to the Persian.


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