§ 1.1.1 If the scientific investigation of any subject be the proper avocation of the philosopher, Geography, the science of which we propose to treat, is certainly entitled to a high place; and this is evident from many considerations. They who first ventured to handle the matter were distinguished men. Homer, Anaximander the Milesian, and Hecataeus, (his fellow-citizen according to Eratosthenes,) Democritus, Eudoxus, Dicaearchus, Ephorus, with many others, and after these Erastosthenes, Polybius, and Posidonius, all of them philosophers. Nor is the great learning, through which alone this subject can be approached, possessed by any but a person acquainted with both human and divine things, and these attainments constitute what is called philosophy. In addition to its vast importance in regard to social life, and the art of government, Geography unfolds to us the celestial phenomena, acquaints us with the occupants of the land and ocean, and the vegetation, fruits, and peculiarities of the various quarters of the earth, a knowledge of which marks him who cultivates it as a man earnest in the great problem of life and happiness.
§ 1.1.2 Admitting this, let us examine more in detail the points we have advanced. And first, [we maintain, ] that both we and our predecessors, amongst whom is Hipparchus, do justly regard Homer as the founder of geographical science, for he not only excelled all, ancient as well as modern, in the sublimity of his poetry, but also in his experience of social life. Thus it was that he not only exerted himself to become familiar with as many historic facts as possible, and transmit them to posterity, but also with the various regions of the inhabited land and sea, some intimately, others in a more general manner. For otherwise he would not have reached the utmost limits of the earth, traversing it in his imagination.
§ 1.1.3 First, he stated that the earth was entirely encompassed by the ocean, as in truth it is; afterwards he described the countries, specifying some by name, others more generally by various indications, explicitly defining Libya, Ethiopia, the Sidonians, and the Erembi (by which latter are probably intended the Troglodyte Arabians); and alluding to those farther east and west as the lands washed by the ocean, for in ocean he believed both the sun and constellations to rise and set. "Now from the gently-swelling flood profound The sun arising, with his earliest rays, In his ascent to heaven smote on the fields." (Iliad vii. 421). "And now the radiant sun in ocean sank, Dragging night after him o'er all the earth." (Iliad viii. 485). The stars also he describes as bathed in the ocean.
§ 1.1.4 He portrays the happiness of the people of the West, and the salubrity of their climate, having no doubt heard of the abundance of Iberia, which had attracted the arms of Hercules, afterwards of the Phoenicians, who acquired there an extended rule, and finally of the Romans. There the airs of Zephyr breathe, there the poet feigned the fields of Elysium, when he tells us Menelaus was sent thither by the gods: "Thee the gods Have destined to the blest Elysian isles, Earth's utmost boundaries. Rhadamanthus there For ever reigns, and there the human kind Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there, No biting winter, and no drenching shower, But Zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them, to refresh the happy race." [Od. iv. 563]
§ 1.1.5 The Isles of the Blest are on the extreme west of Maurusia, near where its shore runs parallel to the opposite coast of Spain; and it is clear he considered these regions also Blest, from their contiguity to the Islands.
§ 1.1.6 He tells us also, that the Ethiopians are far removed, and bounded by the ocean: far removed, — " The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those toward the west." [Od. i. 23] Nor was he mistaken in calling them separated into two divisions, as we shall presently show: and next to the ocean, — " For to the banks of the Oceanus, Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove, He journey'd yesterday." Speaking of the Bear, he implies that the most northern part of the earth is bounded by the ocean: "Only star of these denied To slake his beams in Ocean's briny baths." Iliad xviii. 489; [Od. v. 275.] Now, by the "Bear" and the "Wain," he means the Arctic Circle; otherwise he would never have said, "It alone is deprived of the baths of the ocean," when such an infinity of stars is to be seen continually revolving in that part of the hemisphere. Let no one any longer blame his ignorance for being merely acquainted with one Bear, when there are two. It is probable that the second was not considered a constellation until, on the Phoenicians specially designating it, and employing it in navigation, it became known as one to the Greeks. Such is the case with the Hair of Berenice, and Canopus, whose names are but of yesterday; and, as Aratus remarks, there are numbers which have not yet received any designation. Crates, therefore, is mistaken when, endeavouring to amend what is correct, he reads the verse thus: "οἷος δ᾽ ἄμμορός ἐστι λοετρῶν," replacing οἴη by οἶς, with a view to make the adjective agree with the Arctic Circle, which is masculine; instead of the Arctic Constellation, which is feminine. The expression of Heraclitus is far more preferable and Homeric, who thus figuratively describes the Arctic Circle as the Bear, — "The Bear is the limit of the dawn and of the evening, and from the region of the Bear we have fine weather." Now it is not the constellation of the Bear, but the Arctic Circle, which is the limit of the rising and the setting stars. By the Bear, then, which he elsewhere calls the Wain, and describes as pursuing Orion, Homer means us to understand the Arctic Circle; and by the ocean, that horizon into which, and out of which, the stars rise and set. When he says that the Bear turns round and is deprived of the ocean, he was aware that the Arctic Circle [always] extended to the sign opposite the most northern point of the horizon. Adapting the words of the poet to this view, by that part of the earth nearest to the ocean we must understand the horizon, and by the Arctic Circle that which extends to the signs which seem to our senses to touch in succession the most northern point of the horizon. Thus, according to him, this portion of the earth is washed by the ocean. With the nations of the North he was well acquainted, although he does not mention them by name, and indeed at the present day there is no regular title by which they are all distinguished. He informs us of their mode of life, describing them as "wanderers," "noble milkers of mares," "living on cheese," and "without wealth."
§ 1.1.7 In the following speech of Juno, he states that the ocean surrounds the earth. " For to the green earth's utmost bounds I go, To visit there the parent of the gods, Oceanus." Iliad xiv. 200. Does he not here assert that ocean bounds all its extremities, and does it not surround these extremities? Again, in the Hoplopoeia, he places the ocean in a circle round the border of Achilles' shield. Another proof of the extent of his knowledge, is his acquaintance with the ebb and flow of the sea, calling it "the ebbing ocean." Again, "Each day she thrice disgorges, and again Thrice drinks, insatiate, the deluge down." The assertion of thrice, instead of twice, is either an error of the author, or a blunder of the scribe, but the phenomenon is the same, and the expression soft-flowing, has reference to the flood-tide, which has a gentle swell, and does not flow with a full rush. Posidonius believes that where Homer describes the rocks as at one time covered with the waves, and at another left bare, and when he compares the ocean to a river, he alludes to the flow of the ocean. The first supposition is correct, but for the second there is no ground; inasmuch as there can be no comparison between the flow, much less the ebb of the sea, and the current of a river. There is more probability in the explanation of Crates, that Homer describes the whole ocean as deep-flowing, ebbing, and also calls it a river, and that he also describes a part of the ocean as a river, and the flow of a river; and that he is speaking of a part, and not the whole, when he thus writes: — "When down the smooth Oceanus impell'd By prosperous gales, my galley, once again, Cleaving the billows of the spacious deep, Had reach'd the Aeaean isle." He does not, however, mean the whole, but the flow of the river in the ocean, which forms but a part of the ocean. Crates says, he speaks of an estuary or gulf, extending from the winter tropic towards the south pole. Now any one quitting this, might still be in the ocean; but for a person to leave the whole and still to be in the whole, is an impossibility. But Homer says, that leaving the flow of the river, the ship entered on the waves of the sea, which is the same as the ocean. If you take it otherwise you make him say, that departing from the ocean he came to the ocean. But this requires further discussion.
§ 1.1.8 Perception and experience alike inform us, that the earth we inhabit is an island: since wherever men have approached the termination of the land, the sea, which we designate ocean, has been met with: and reason assures us of the similarity of those places which our senses have not been permitted to survey. For in the east the land occupied by the Indians, and in the west by the Iberians and Maurusians, is wholly encompassed [by water], and so is the greater part on the south and north. And as to what remains as yet unexplored by us, because navigators, sailing from opposite points, have not hitherto fallen in with each other, it is not much, as any one may see who will compare the distances between those places with which we are already acquainted. Nor is it likely that the Atlantic Ocean is divided into two seas by narrow isthmuses so placed as to prevent circumnavigation: how much more probable that it is confluent and uninterrupted! Those who have returned from an attempt to circumnavigate the earth, do not say they have been prevented from continuing their voyage by any opposing continent, for the sea remained perfectly open, but through want of resolution, and the scarcity of provision. This theory too accords better with the ebb and flow of the ocean, for the phenomenon, both in the increase and diminution, is everywhere identical, or at all events has but little difference, as if produced by the agitation of one sea, and resulting from one cause.
§ 1.1.9 We must not credit Hipparchus, who combats this opinion, denying that the ocean is every where similarly affected; or that even if it were, it would not follow that the Atlantic flowed in a circle, and thus continually returned into itself. Seleucus, the Babylonian, is his authority for this assertion. For a further investigation of the ocean and its tides we refer to Posidonius and Athenodorus, who have fully discussed this subject: we will now only remark that this view agrees better with the uniformity of the phenomenon; and that the greater the amount of moisture surrounding the earth, the easier would the heavenly bodies be supplied with vapours from thence.
§ 1.1.10 Homer, besides the boundaries of the earth, which he fully describes, was likewise well acquainted with the Mediterranean. Starting from the Pillars, this sea is encompassed by Libya, Egypt, and Phoenicia, then by the coasts opposite Cyprus, the Solymi, Lycia, and Caria, and then by the shore which stretches between Mycale and Troas, and the adjacent islands, every one of which he mentions, as well as those of the Propontis and the Euxine, as far as Colchis, and the locality of Jason's expedition. Furthermore, he was acquainted with the Cimmerian Bosphorus, having known the Cimmerians, and that not merely by name, but as being familiar with themselves. About his time, or a little before, they had ravaged the whole country, from the Bosphorus to Ionia. Their climate he characterizes as dismal, in the following lines: — " With clouds and darkness veil'd, on whom the sun Deigns not to look with his beam-darting eye, But sad night canopies the woeful race." [Od. xi. 15] and 19. He must also have been acquainted with the Ister, since he speaks of the Mysians, a Thracian race, dwelling on the banks of the Ister. He knew also the whole Thracian coast adjacent thereto, as far as the Peneus, for he mentions individually the Paeonians, Athos, the Axius, and the neighbouring islands. From hence to Thesprotis is the Grecian shore, with the whole of which he was acquainted. He was besides familiar with the whole of Italy, and speaks of Temese and the Sicilians, as well as the whole of Spain and its fertility, as we have said before. If he omits various intermediate places this must be pardoned, for even the compiler of a Geography overlooks numerous details. We must forgive him too for intermingling fabulous narrative with his historical and instructive work. This should not be complained of; nevertheless, what Eratosthenes says is false, that the poets aim at amusement, not instruction, since those who have treated upon the subject most profoundly, regard poesy in the light of a primitive philosophy. But we shall refute Eratosthenes more at length, when we have occasion again to speak of Homer.
§ 1.1.11 What we have already advanced is sufficient to prove that poet the father of geography. Those who followed in his track are also well known as great men and true philosophers. The two immediately succeeding Homer, according to Eratosthenes, were Anaximander, the disciple and fellow citizen of Thales, and Hecataeus the Milesian. Anaximander was the first to publish a geographical chart. Hecataeus left a work [on the same subject], which we can identify as his by means of his other writings.
§ 1.1.12 Many have testified to the amount of knowledge which this subject requires, and Hipparchus, in his Strictures on Eratosthenes, well observes, "that no one can become really proficient in geography, either as a private individual or as a professor, without an acquaintance with astronomy, and a knowledge of eclipses. For instance, no one could tell whether Alexandria in Egypt were north or south of Babylon, nor yet the intervening distance, without observing the latitudes. Again, the only means we possess of becoming acquainted with the longitudes of different places is afforded by the eclipses of the sun and moon." Such are the very words of Hipparchus.
§ 1.1.13 Every one who undertakes to give an accurate description of a place, should be particular to add its astronomical and geometrical relations, explaining carefully its extent, distance, degrees of latitude, and "climate." Even a builder before constructing a house, or an architect before laying out a city, would take these things into consideration; much more should he who examines the whole earth: for such things in a peculiar manner belong to him. In small distances a little deviation north or south does not signify, but when it is the whole circle of the earth, the north extends to the furthest confines of Scythia, or Keltica, and the south to the extremities of Ethiopia: there is a wide difference here. The case is the same should we inhabit India or Spain, one in the east, the other far west, and, as we are aware, the antipodes to each other.
§ 1.1.14 The [motions] of the sun and stars, and the centripetal force meet us on the very threshold of such subjects, and compel us to the study of astronomy, and the observation of such phenomena as each of us may notice; in which too, very considerable differences appear, according to the various points of observation. How could any one undertake to write accurately and with propriety on the differences of the various parts of the earth, who was ignorant of these matters? and although, if the undertaking were of a popular character, it might not be advisable to enter thoroughly into detail, still we should endeavour to include every thing which could be comprehended by the general reader.
§ 1.1.15 He who has thus elevated his mind, will he be satisfied with any thing less than the whole world? If in his anxiety accurately to portray the inhabited earth, he has dared to survey heaven, and make use thereof for purposes of instruction, would it not seem childish were he to refrain from examining the whole earth, of which the inhabited is but a part, its size, its features, and its position in the universe; whether other portions are inhabited besides those on which we dwell, and if so, their amount? What is the extent of the regions not peopled? what their peculiarities, and the cause of their remaining as they are? Thus it appears that the knowledge of geography is connected with meteorology and geometry, that it unites the things of earth to the things of heaven, as though they were nearly allied, and not separated. " As far as heaven from earth." Iliad viii. 16
§ 1.1.16 To the various subjects which it embraces let us add natural history, or the history of the animals, plants, and other different productions of the earth and sea, whether serviceable or useless, and my original statement will, I think, carry perfect conviction with it. That he who should undertake this work would be a benefactor to mankind, reason and the voice of antiquity agree. The poets feign that they were the wisest heroes who travelled and wandered most in foreign climes: and to be familiar with many countries, and the disposition of the inhabitants, is, according to them, of vast importance. Nestor prides himself on having associated with the Lapithae, to whom he went, "having been invited thither from the Apian land afar." So does Menelaus: — " Cyprus, Phoenicia, Sidon, and the shores Of Egypt, roaming without hope I reach'd; In distant Ethiopia thence arrived, And Libya, where the lambs their foreheads show With budding horns defended soon as yean'd." [Od. iv. 83.] Adding as a peculiarity of the country, "There thrice within the year the flocks produce." [Od. iv. 86.] And of Egypt: — "Where the sustaining earth is most prolific." And Thebes, "the city with an hundred gates, Whence twenty thousand chariots rush to war." Iliad ix. 383 Such information greatly enlarges our sphere of knowledge, by informing us of the nature of the country, its botanical and zoological peculiarities. To these should be added its marine history; for we are in a certain sense amphibious, not exclusively connected with the land, but with the sea as well. Hercules, on account of his vast experience and observation, was described as "skilled in mighty works." All that we have previously stated is confirmed both by the testimony of antiquity and by reason. One consideration however appears to bear in a peculiar manner on the case in point; viz. the importance of geography in a political view. For the sea and the earth in which we dwell furnish theatres for action; limited, for limited actions; vast, for grander deeds; but that which contains them all, and is the scene of the greatest undertakings, constitutes what we term the habitable earth; and they are the greatest generals who, subduing nations and kingdoms under one sceptre, and one political administration, have acquired dominion over land and sea. It is clear then, that geography is essential to all the transactions of the statesman, informing us, as it does, of the position of the continents, seas, and oceans of the whole habitable earth. Information of especial interest to those who are concerned to know the exact truth of such particulars, and whether the places have been explored or not: for government will certainly be better administered where the size and position of the country, its own peculiarities, and those of the surrounding districts, are understood. Forasmuch as there are many sovereigns who rule in different regions, and some stretch their dominion over others' territories, and undertake the government of different nations and kingdoms, and thus enlarge the extent of their dominion, it is not possible that either themselves, nor yet writers on geography, should be equally acquainted with the whole, but to both there is a great deal more or less known. Indeed, were the whole earth under one government and one administration, it is hardly possible that we should be informed of every locality in an equal degree; for even then we should be most acquainted with the places nearest us: and after all, it is better that we should have a more perfect description of these, since, on account of their proximity, there is greater reed for it. We see there is no reason to be surprised that there should be one chorographer for the Indians, another for the Ethiopians, and a third for the Greeks and Romans. What use would it be to the Indians if a geographer should thus describe Boeotia to them, in the words of Homer: — " The dwellers on the rocks Of Aulis follow'd, with the hardy clans Of Hyria, Schoenus, Scolus." Iliad ii. 496. To us this is of value, while to be acquainted with the Indies and their various territorial divisions would be useless, as it could lead to no advantage, which is the only criterion of the worth of such knowledge.
§ 1.1.17 Even if we descend to the consideration of such trivial matters as hunting, the case is still the same; for he will be most successful in the chase who is acquainted with the size and nature of the wood, and one familiar with the locality will be the most competent to superintend an encampment, an ambush, or a march. But it is in great undertakings that the truth shines out in all its brilliancy, for here, while the success resulting from knowledge is grand, the consequences of ignorance are disastrous. The fleet of Agamemnon, for instance, ravaging Mysia, as if it had been the Trojan territory, was compelled to a shameful retreat. Likewise the Persians and Libyans, supposing certain straits to be impassable, were very near falling into great perils, and have left behind them memorials of their ignorance; the former a monument to Salganeus on the Euripus, near Chalcis, whom the Persians slew, for, as they thought, falsely conducting their fleet from the Gulf of Malea to the Euripus; and the latter to the memory of Pelorus, who was executed on a like occasion. At the time of the expedition of Xerxes, the coasts of Greece were covered with wrecks, and the emigrations from Aeolia and Ionia furnish numerous instances of the same calamity. On the other hand, matters have come to a prosperous termination, when judiciously directed by a knowledge of the locality. Thus it was at the pass of Thermopylae that Ephialtes is reported to have pointed out to the Persians a pathway over the mountains, and so placed the band of Leonidas at their mercy, and opened to the Barbarians a passage into Pylae. But passing over ancient occurrences, we think that the late expeditions of the Romans against the Parthians furnish an excellent example, where, as in those against the Germans and Kelts, the Barbarians, taking advantage of their situation, [carried on the war] in marshes, woods, and pathless deserts, deceiving the ignorant enemy as to the position of different places, and concealing the roads, and the means of obtaining food and necessaries.
§ 1.1.18 As we have said, this science has an especial reference to the occupations and requirements of statesmen, with whom also political and ethical philosophy is mainly concerned; and here is an evidence. We distinguish the different kinds of civil government by the office of their chief men, denominating one government a monarchy, or kingdom, another an aristocracy, a third a democracy; for so many we consider are the forms of government, and we designate them by these names, because from them they derive their primary characteristic. For the laws which emanate from the sovereign, from the aristocracy, and from the people all are different. The law is in fact a type of the form of government. It is on this account that some define right to be the interest of the strongest. If, therefore, political philosophy is advantageous to the ruler, and geography in the actual government of the country, this latter seems to possess some little superiority. This superiority is most observable in real service.
§ 1.1.19 But even the theoretical portion of geography is by no means contemptible. On the one hand, it embraces the arts, mathematics, and natural science; on the other, history and fable. Not that this latter can have any distinct advantage: for instance, if any one should relate to us the wanderings of Ulysses, Menelaus, and Jason, he would not seem to have added directly to our fund of practical knowledge thereby, (which is the only thing men of the world are interested in,) unless he should convey useful examples of what those wanderers were compelled to suffer, and at the same time afford matter of rational amusement to those who interest themselves in the places which gave birth to such fables. Practical men interest themselves in these pursuits, since they are at once commendable, and afford them pleasure; but yet not to any great extent. In this class, too, will be found those whose main object in life is pleasure and respectability: but these by no means constitute the majority of mankind, who naturally prefer that which holds out some direct advantage. The geographer should therefore chiefly devote himself to what is practically important. He should follow the same rule in regard to history and the mathematics, selecting always that which is most useful, most intelligible, and most authentic.
§ 1.1.20 Geometry and astronomy, as we before remarked, seem absolutely indispensable in this science. This, in fact, is evident, that without some such assistance, it would be impossible to be accurately acquainted with the configuration of the earth; its climata, dimensions, and the like information. As the size of the earth has been demonstrated by other writers, we shall here take for granted and receive as accurate what they have advanced. We shall also assume that the earth is spheroidal, that its surface is likewise spheroidal, and above all, that bodies have a tendency towards its centre, which latter point is clear to the perception of the most average understanding. However we may show summarily that the earth is spheroidal, from the consideration that all things however distant tend to its centre, and that every body is attracted towards its centre of gravity; this is more distinctly proved from observations of the sea and sky, for here the evidence of the senses, and common observation, is alone requisite. The convexity of the sea is a further proof of this to those who have sailed; for they cannot perceive lights at a distance when placed at the same level as their eyes, but if raised on high, they at once become perceptible to vision, though at the same time further removed. So, when the eye is raised, it sees what before was utterly imperceptible. Homer speaks of this when he says, "Lifted up on the vast wave he quickly beheld afar. [Od. v. 393.] Sailors, as they approach their destination, behold the shore continually raising itself to their view; and objects which had at first seemed low, begin to elevate themselves. Our gnomons, also, are, among other things, evidence of the revolution of the heavenly bodies; and common sense at once shows us, that if the depth of the earth were infinite, such a revolution could not take place. Every information respecting the climata is contained in the "Treatises on Positions."
§ 1.1.21 Now there are some facts which we take to be established, viz. those with which every politician and general should be familiar. For on no account should they be so uninformed as to the heavens and the position of the earth, that when they are in strange countries, where some of the heavenly phenomena wear a different aspect to what they have been accustomed, they should be in a consternation, and exclaim, "Neither west Know we, nor east, where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun." [Od. x. 190.] Still, we do not expect that they should be such thorough masters of the subject as to know what stars rise and set together for the different quarters of the earth; those which have the same meridian line, the elevation of the poles, the signs which are in the zenith, with all the various phenomena which differ as well in appearance as reality with the variations of the horizon and arctic circle. With some of these matters, unless as philosophical pursuits, they should not burden themselves at all; others they must take for granted without searching into their causes. This must be left to the care of the philosopher; the statesman can have no leisure, or very little, for such pursuits. Those who, through carelessness and ignorance, are not familiar with the globe and the circles traced upon it, some parallel to each other, some at right angles to the former, others, again, in an oblique direction; nor yet with the position of the tropics, equator, and zodiac, (that circle through which the sun travels in his course, and by which we reckon the changes of season and the winds,) such persons we caution against the perusal of our work. For if a man is neither properly acquainted with these things, nor with the variations of the horizon and arctic circle, and such similar elements of mathematics, how can he comprehend the matters treated of here? So for one who does not know a right line from a curve, nor yet a circle, nor a plane or spherical surface, nor the seven stars in the firmament composing the Great Bear, and such like, our work is entirely useless, at least for the present. Unless he first acquires such information, he is utterly incompetent to the study of geography. So those who have written the works entitled "On Ports," and "Voyages Round the World," have performed their task imperfectly, since they have omitted to supply the requisite information from mathematics and astronomy.
§ 1.1.22 The present undertaking is composed in a lucid style, suitable alike to the statesman and the general reader, after the fashion of my History. By a statesman we do not intend an illiterate person, but one who has gone through the course of a liberal and philosophical education. For a man who has bestowed no attention on virtue or intelligence, nor what constitutes them, must be incompetent either to blame or praise, still less to decide what actions are worthy to be placed on record.
§ 1.1.23 Having already compiled our Historical Memoirs, which, as we conceive, are a valuable addition both to political and moral philosophy, we have now determined to follow it up with the present work, which has been prepared on the same system as the former, and for the same class of readers, but more particularly for those who are in high stations of life. And as our former production contains only the most striking events in the lives of distinguished men, omitting trifling and unimportant incidents; so here it will be proper to dismiss small and doubtful particulars, and merely call attention to great and remarkable transactions, such in fact as are useful, memorable, and entertaining. In the colossal works of the sculptor we do not descend into a minute examination of particulars, but look principally for perfection in the general ensemble. This is the only method of criticism applicable to the present work. Its proportions, so to speak, are colossal; it deals in the generalities and main outlines of things, except now and then, when some minor detail can be selected, calculated to be serviceable to the seeker after knowledge, or the man of business. We now think we have demonstrated that our present undertaking is one that requires great care, and is well worthy of a philosopher.
§ 1.2.1 No one can [justly] blame us for having undertaken to write on a subject already often treated of, unless it appears that we have done nothing more than copy the works of former writers. In our opinion, though they may have perfectly treated some subjects, in others they have still left much to be completed; and we shall be justified in our performance, if we can add to their information even in a trifling degree. At the present moment the conquests of the Romans and Parthians have added much to our knowledge, which (as was well observed by Eratosthenes) had been considerably increased by the expedition of Alexander. This prince laid open to our view the greater part of Asia, and the whole north of Europe as far as the Danube. And the Romans [have discovered to us] the entire west of Europe as far as the river Elbe, which divides Germany, and the country beyond the Ister to the river Dniester. The country beyond this to the Maeotis, and the coasts extending along Colchis, was brought to light by Mithridates, surnamed Eupator, and his generals. To the Parthians we are indebted for a better acquaintance with Hyrcania, Bactriana, and the land of the Scythians lying beyond, of which before we knew but little. Thus we can add much information not supplied by former writers, but this will best be seen when we come to treat on the writers who have preceded us; and this method we shall pursue, not so much in regard to the primitive geographers, as to Eratosthenes and those subsequent to him. As these writers far surpassed the generality in the amount of their knowledge, so naturally it is more difficult to detect their errors when such occur. If I seem to contradict those most whom I take chiefly for my guides, I must claim indulgence on the plea, that it was never intended to criticise the whole body of geographers, the larger number of whom are not worthy of consideration, but to give an opinion of those only who are generally found correct. Still, while many are beneath discussion, such men as Eratosthenes, Posidonius, Hipparchus, Polybius, and others of their stamp, deserve our highest consideration.
§ 1.2.2 Let us first examine Eratosthenes, reviewing at the same time what Hipparchus has advanced against him. Eratosthenes is much too creditable an historian for us to believe what Polemon endeavours to charge against him, that he had not even seen Athens. At the same time he does not merit that unbounded confidence which some seem to repose in him, although, as he himself tells us, he passed much of his time with first-rate [characters]. Never, says he, at one period, and in one city, were there so many philosophers flourishing together as in my time. In their number was Ariston and Arcesilaus. This, however, it seems is not sufficient, but you must also be able to choose who are the real guides whom it is your interest to follow. He considers Arcesilaus and Ariston to be the coryphaei of the philosophers who flourished in his time, and is ceaseless in his eulogies of Apelles and Bion, the latter of whom, says he, was the first to deck himself in the flowers of philosophy, but concerning whom one is often likewise tempted to exclaim, "How great is Bion in spite of his rags!" It is in such instances as the following that the mediocrity of his genius shows itself. Although at Athens he became a disciple of Zeno of Citium, he makes no mention of his followers; while those who opposed that philosopher, and of whose sect not a trace remains, he thinks fit to set down amongst the [great characters] who flourished in his time. His real character appears in his Treatise on Moral Philosophy, his Meditations, and some similar productions. He seems to have held a middle course between the man who devotes himself to philosophy, and the man who cannot make up his mind to dedicate himself to it: and to have studied the science merely as a relief from his other pursuits, or as a pleasing and instructive recreation. In his other writings he is just the same; but let these things pass. We will now proceed as well as we can to the task of rectifying his geography. First, then, let us return to the point which we lately deferred.
§ 1.2.3 Eratosthenes says that the poet directs his whole attention to the amusement of the mind, and not at all to its instruction. In opposition to his idea, the ancients define poesy as a primitive philosophy, guiding our life from infancy, and pleasantly regulating our morals, our tastes, and our actions. The [Stoics] of our day affirm that the only wise man is the poet. On this account the earliest lessons which the citizens of Greece convey to their children are from the poets; certainly not alone for the purpose of amusing their minds, but for their instruction. Nay, even the professors of music, who give lessons on the harp, lyre, and pipe, lay claim to our consideration on the same account, since they say that [the accomplishments which they teach] are calculated to form and improve the character. It is not only among the Pythagoreans that one hears this claim supported, for Aristoxenus is of that opinion, and Homer too regarded the bards as amongst the wisest of mankind. Of this number was the guardian of Clytemnestra, "to whom the son of Atreus, when he set out for Troy, gave earnest charge to preserve his wife," whom Aegisthus was unable to seduce, until "leading the bard to a desert island, he left him," and then "The queen he led, not willing less than he, To his own mansion." Ib. iii. 272. But apart from all such considerations, Eratosthenes contradicts himself; for a little previously to the sentence which we have quoted, at the commencement of his Essay on Geography, he says, that "all the ancient poets took delight in showing their knowledge of such matters. Homer inserted into his poetry all that he knew about the Ethiopians, Egypt, and Libya. Of all that related to Greece and the neighbouring places he entered even too minutely into the details, describing Thisbe as "abounding in doves," Haliartus, "grassy," Anthedon, the "far distant," Lilaea, "situated on the sources of the Cephissus," and none of his epithets are without their meaning." But in pursuing this method, what object has he in view, to amuse [merely], or to instruct? The latter, doubtless. Well, perhaps he has told the truth in these instances, but in what was beyond his observation both he and the other writers have indulged in all the marvels of fable. If such be the case the statement should have been, that the poets relate some things for mere amusement, others for instruction; but he affirms that they do it altogether for amusement, without any view to information; and by way of climax, inquires, What can it add to Homer's worth to be familiar with many lands, and skilled in strategy, agriculture, rhetoric, and similar information, which some persons seem desirous to make him possessed of. To seek to invest him with all this knowledge is most likely the effect of too great a zeal for his honour. Hipparchus observes, that to assert he was acquainted with every art and science, is like saying that an Attic eiresione bears pears and apples. As far as this goes, Eratosthenes, you are right enough; not so, however, when you not only deny that Homer was possessed of these vast acquirements, but represent poetry in general as a tissue of old wives' fables, where, to use your own expression, every thing thought likely to amuse is cooked up. I ask, is it of no value to the auditors of the poets to be made acquainted with [the history of] different countries, with strategy, agriculture, and rhetoric, and suchlike things, which the lecture generally contains.
§ 1.2.4 One thing is certain, that the poet has bestowed all these gifts upon Ulysses, whom beyond any of his other [heroes] he loves to adorn with every virtue. He says of him, that he "Discover'd various cities, and the mind And manners learn'd of men in lands remote." [Od. i 3.] That he was "Of a piercing wit and deeply wise." Iliad iii. 202. He is continually described as "the destroyer of cities," and as having vanquished Troy, by his counsels, his advice, and his deceptive art. Diomedes says of him, "Let him attend me, and through fire itself We shall return; for none is wise as he." Ib. x. 246. He prides himself on his skill in husbandry, for at the harvest [he says], "I with my well-bent sickle in my hand, Thou arm'd with one as keen." [Od. xviii. 367.] And also in tillage, "Then shouldst thou see How straight my furrow should be cut and true." Ib. xviii. 374. And Homer was not singular in his opinion regarding these matters, for all educated people appeal to him in favour of the idea that such practical knowledge is one of the chief means of acquiring understanding.
§ 1.2.5 That eloquence is regarded as the wisdom of speech, Ulysses manifests throughout the whole poem, both in the Trial, the Petitions, and the Embassy. Of him it is said by Antenor, "But when he spake, forth from his breast did flow A torrent swift as winter's feather'd snow." Iliad iii. 221. Who can suppose that a poet capable of effectively introducing into his scenes rhetoricians, generals, and various other characters, each displaying some peculiar excellence, was nothing more than a droll or juggler, capable only of cheating or flattering his hearer, and not of instructing him. Are we not all agreed that the chief merit of a poet consists in his accurate representation of the affairs of life? Can this be done by a mere driveller, unacquainted with the world? The excellence of a poet is not to be measured by the same standard as that of a mechanic or a blacksmith, where honour and virtue have nothing to do with our estimate. But the poet and the individual are connected, and he only can become a good poet, who is in the first instance a worthy man.
§ 1.2.6 To deny that our poet possesses the Graces of oratory is using us hardly indeed. What is so befitting an orator, what so poetical as eloquence, and who so sweetly eloquent as Homer? But, by heaven! you'll say, there are other styles of eloquence than those peculiar to poetry. Of course [I admit this]; in poetry itself there is the tragic and the comic style; in prose, the historic and the forensic. But is not language a generality, of which poetry and prose are forms? Yes, language is; but are not the rhetorical, the eloquent, and the florid styles also? I answer, that flowery prose is nothing but an imitation of poetry. Ornate poetry was the first to make its appearance, and was well received. Afterwards it was closely imitated by writers in the time of Cadmus, Pherecydes, and Hecataeus. The metre was the only thing dispensed with, every other poetic grace being carefully preserved. As time advanced, one after another of its beauties was discarded, till at last it came down from its glory into our common prose. In the same way we may say that comedy took its rise from tragedy, but descended from its lofty grandeur into what we now call the common parlance of daily life. And when [we find] the ancient writers making use of the expression "to sing," to designate eloquence of style, this in itself is an evidence that poetry is the source and origin of all ornamented and rhetorical language. Poetry in ancient days was on every occasion accompanied by melody. The song or ode was but a modulated speech, from whence the words rhapsody, tragedy, comedy, are derived; and since originally eloquence was the term made use of for the poetical effusions which were always of the nature of a song, it soon happened [that in speaking of poetry] some said, to sing, others, to be eloquent; and as the one term was early misapplied to prose compositions, the other also was soon applied in the same way. Lastly, the very term prose, which is applied to language not clothed in metre, seems to indicate, as it were, its descent from an elevation or chariot to the ground.
§ 1.2.7 Homer accurately describes many distant countries, and not only Greece and the neighbouring places, as Eratosthenes asserts. His romance, too, is in better style than that of his successors. He does not make up wondrous tales on every occasion, but to instruct us the better often, and especially in the Odyssey, adds to the circumstances which have come under his actual observation, allegories, wise harangues, and enticing narrations. Concerning which, Eratosthenes is much mistaken when he says that both Homer and his commentators are a pack of fools. But this subject demands a little more of our attention.
§ 1.2.8 To begin. The poets were by no means the first to avail themselves of myths. States and lawgivers had taken advantage of them long before, having observed the constitutional bias of mankind. Man is eager after knowledge, and the love of legend is but the prelude thereto. This is why children begin to listen [to fables], and are acquainted with them before any other kind of knowledge; the cause of this is that the myth introduces them to a new train of ideas, relating not to every-day occurrences, but something in addition to these. A charm hangs round whatever is new and hitherto unknown, inspiring us with a desire to become acquainted with it, but when the wonderful and the marvellous are likewise present, our delight is increased until at last it becomes a philtre of study. To children we are obliged to hold out such enticements, in order that in riper years, when the mind is powerful, and no longer needs such stimulants, it may be prepared to enter on the study of actual realities. Every illiterate and uninstructed man is yet a child, and takes delight in fable. With the partially informed it is much the same; reason is not all-powerful within him, and he still possesses the tastes of a child. But the marvellous, which is capable of exciting fear as well as pleasure, influences not childhood only, but age as well. As we relate to children pleasing tales to incite them [to any course] of action, and frightful ones to deter them, such as those of Lamia, Gorgo, Ephialtes, and Mormolyca. So numbers of our citizens are incited to deeds of virtue by the beauties of fable, when they hear the poets in a strain of enthusiasm recording noble actions, such as the labours of Hercules or Theseus, and the honours bestowed on them by the gods, or even when they see paintings, sculptures, or figures bearing their romantic evidence to such events. In the same way they are restrained from vicious courses, when they think they have received from the gods by oracles or some other invisible intimations, threats, menaces, or chastisements, or even if they only believe they have befallen others. The great mass of women and common people, cannot be induced by mere force of reason to devote themselves to piety, virtue, and honesty; superstition must therefore be employed, and even this is insufficient without the aid of the marvellous and the terrible. For what are the thunderbolts, the aegis, the trident, the torches, the dragons, the barbed thyrses, the arms of the gods, and all the paraphernalia of antique theology, but fables employed by the founders of states, as bugbears to frighten timorous minds. Such was mythology; and when our ancestors found it capable of subserving the purposes of social and political life, and even contributing to the knowledge of truth, they continued the education of childhood to maturer years, and maintained that poetry was sufficient to form the understanding of every age. In course of time history and our present philosophy were introduced; these, however, suffice but for the chosen few, and to the present day poetry is the main agent which instructs our people and crowds our theatres. Homer here stands pre-eminent, but in truth all the early historians and natural philosophers were mythologists as well.
§ 1.2.9 Thus it is that our poet, though he sometimes employs fiction for the purposes of instruction, always gives the preference to truth; he makes use of what is false, merely tolerating it in order the more easily to lead and govern the multitude. As a man "Binds with a golden verge Bright silver," so Homer, heightening by fiction actual occurrences, adorns and embellishes his subject; but his end is always the same as that of the historian, who relates nothing but facts. In this manner he undertook the narration of the Trojan War, gilding it with the beauties of fancy and the wanderings of Ulysses; but we shall never find Homer inventing an empty fable apart from the inculcation of truth. It is ever the case that a person lies most successfully, when he intermingles [into the falsehood] a sprinkling of truth. Such is the remark of Polybius in treating of the wanderings of Ulysses; such is also the meaning of the verse, "He fabricated many falsehoods, relating them like truths: "[Od. xix. 203.] not all, but many falsehoods, otherwise it would not have looked like the truth. Homer's narrative is founded on history. He tells us that king Aeolus governed the Lipari Islands, that around Mount Aetna and Leontini dwelt the Cyclopae, and certain Laestrygonians inhospitable to strangers. That at that time the districts surrounding the strait were unapproachable; and Scylla and Charybdis were infested by banditti. In like manner in the writings of Homer we are informed of other freebooters, who dwelt in divers regions. Being aware that the Cimmerians dwelt on the Cimmerian Bosphorus, a dark northern country, he felicitously locates them in a gloomy region close by Hades, a fit theatre for the scene in the wanderings of Ulysses. That he was acquainted with these people we may satisfy ourselves from the chroniclers, who report an incursion made by the Cimmerians either during his life-time or just before.
§ 1.2.10 Being acquainted with Colchis, and the voyage of Jason to Aea, and also with the historical and fabulous relations concerning Circe and Medea, their enchantments and their various other points of resemblance, he feigns there was a relationship between them, notwithstanding the vast distance by which they were separated, the one dwelling in an inland creek of the Euxine, and the other in Italy, and both of them beyond the ocean. It is possible that Jason himself wandered as far as Italy, for traces of the Argonautic expedition are pointed out near the Ceraunian mountains, by the Adriatic, at the Posidonian Gulf, and the isles adjacent to Tyrrhenia. The Cyaneae, called by some the Symplegades, or Jostling Rocks, which render the passage through the Strait of Constantinople so difficult, also afforded matter to our poet. The actual existence of a place named Aea, stamped credibility upon his Aeaea; so did the Symplegades upon the Planctae, (the Jostling Rocks upon the Wandering Rocks) and the passage of Jason through the midst of them; in the same way Scylla and Charybdis accredited the passage [of Ulysses] past those rocks. In his time people absolutely regarded the Euxine as a kind of second ocean, and placed those who had crossed it in the same list with navigators who had passed the Pillars. It was looked upon as the largest of our seas, and was therefore par excellence styled the Sea, in the same way as Homer [is called] the Poet. In order therefore to be well received, it is probable he transferred the scenes from the Euxine to the ocean, so as not to stagger the general belief. And in my opinion those Solymi who possess the highest ridges of Taurus, lying between Lycia and Pisidia, and those who in their southern heights stand out most conspicuously to the dwellers on this side Taurus, and the inhabitants of the Euxine by a figure of speech, he describes as being beyond the ocean. For narrating the voyage of Ulysses in his ship, he says, "But Neptune, traversing in his return From Ethiopia's sons, the mountain heights Of Solyme, descried him from afar." [Od. v. 282.] It is probable he took his account of the one-eyed Cyclopae from Scythian history, for the Arimaspi, whom Aristaeus of Proconnesus describes in his Tales of the Arimaspi, are said to be distinguished by this peculiarity.
§ 1.2.11 Having premised thus much, we must now take into consideration the reasons of those who assert that Homer makes Ulysses wander to Sicily or Italy, and also of those who denied this. The truth is, he may be equally interpreted on this subject either way, according as we take a correct or incorrect view of the case. Correct, if we understand that he was convinced of the reality of Ulysses' wanderings there, and taking this truth as a foundation, raised thereon a poetical superstructure. And so far this description of him is right; for not about Italy only, but to the farthest extremities of Spain, traces of his wanderings and those of similar adventurers may still be found. Incorrect, if the scene-painting is received as fact, his Ocean, and Hades, the oxen of the sun, his hospitable reception by the goddesses, the metamorphoses, the gigantic size of the Cyclopae and Laestrygonians, the monstrous appearance of Scylla, the distance of the voyage, and other similar particulars, all alike manifestly fabulous. It is as idle to waste words with a person who thus openly maligns our poet, as it would be with one who should assert as true all the particulars of Ulysses' return to Ithaca, the slaughter of the suitors, and the pitched battle between him and the Ithacans in the field. But nothing can be said against the man who understands the words of the poet in a rational way.
§ 1.2.12 Eratosthenes, though on no sufficient grounds for so doing, rejects both these opinions, endeavouring in his attack on the latter, to refute by lengthened arguments what is manifestly absurd and unworthy of consideration, and in regard to the former, maintaining a poet to be a mere gossip, to whose worth an acquaintance with science or geography could not add in the least degree: since the scenes of certain of Homer's fables are cast in actual localities, as Ilium, Pelion, and Ida; others in purely imaginary regions, such as those of the Gorgons and Geryon. "Of this latter class," he says, "are the places mentioned in the wanderings of Ulysses, and those who pretend that they are not mere fabrications of the poet, but have an actual existence, are proved to be mistaken by the differences of opinion existing among themselves: for some of them assert that the Sirenes of Homer are situated close to Pelorus, and others that they are more than two thousand stadia distant, near the Sirenussae, a three-peaked rock which separates the Gulfs of Cumaea and Posidonium." Now, in the first place, this rock is not three-peaked, nor does it form a crest at the summit at all, but a long and narrow angle reaching from the territory of Surrentum to the Strait of Capria, having on one side of the mountain the sanctuary of the Sirens, and on the other side, next the Gulf of Posidonium, three little rocky and uninhabited islands, named the Sirenes; upon the strait, is situated the Athenaion, from which the rocky angle itself takes its name.
§ 1.2.13 Further, if those who describe the geography of certain places do not agree in every particular, are we justified in at once rejecting their whole narration? Frequently this is a reason why it should receive the greater credit. For example, in the investigation whether the scene of Ulysses' wanderings were Sicily or Italy, and the proper position of the Sirenes, they differ in so far that one places them at Pelorus, and the other at Sirenussae, but neither of them dissents from the idea that it was some where near Sicily or Italy. They add thereby strength to this view, inasmuch as though they are not agreed as to the exact locality, neither of them makes any question but that it was some where contiguous to Italy or Sicily. If a third party should add, that the monument of Parthenope, who was one of the Sirens, is shown at Naples, this only confirms us the more in our belief, for though a third place is introduced to our notice, still as Naples is situated in the gulf called by Eratosthenes the Cumaean, and which is formed by the Sirenussae, we are more confident still that the position of the Sirenes was some where close by. That the poet did not search for accuracy in every minor detail we admit, but neither ought we to expect this of him; at the same time we are not to believe that he composed his poem without inquiring into the history of the Wandering, nor where and how it occurred.
§ 1.2.14 Eratosthenes "thinks it probable that Hesiod, having heard of the wanderings of Ulysses, and of their having taken place near to Sicily and Italy, embraced this view of the case, and not only describes the places spoken of by Homer, but also Aetna, the Isle of Ortygia, near to Syracuse, and Tyrrhenia. As for Homer, he was altogether unacquainted with these places, and further, had no wish to lay the scene of the wanderings in any well-known locality." What! are then Aetna and Tyrrhenia such well-known places, and Scyllaion, Charybdis, Circaion, and the Sirenussae, so obscure? Or is Hesiod so correct as never to write nonsense, but always follow in the wake of received opinions, while Homer blurts out whatever comes uppermost? Without taking into consideration our remarks on the character and aptitude of Homer's myths, a large array of writers who bear evidence to his statements, and the additional testimony of local tradition, are sufficient proof that his are not the inventions of poets or contemporary scribblers, but the record of real actors and real scenes.
§ 1.2.15 The conjecture of Polybius in regard to the particulars of the wandering of Ulysses is excellent. He says that Aeolus instructed sailors how to navigate the strait, a difficult matter on account of the currents occasioned by the ebb and flow. and was therefore called the dispenser of the winds, and reputed their king. In like manner Danaus for pointing out the springs of water that were in Argos, and Atreus for showing the retrograde movement of the sun in the heavens, from being mere soothsayers and diviners, were raised to the dignity of kings. And the priests of the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and Magi, distinguished for their wisdom above those around them, obtained from our predecessors honour and authority; and so it is that in each of the gods, we worship the discoverer of some useful art. Having thus introduced his subject, he does not allow us to consider the account of Aeolus, nor yet the rest of the Odyssey, as altogether mythical. There is a spice of the fabulous here, as well as in the Trojan War, but as respects Sicily, the poet accords entirely with the other historians who have written on the local traditions of Sicily and Italy. He altogether denies the justness of Eratosthenes' dictum, "that we may hope to discover the whereabout of Ulysses' wanderings, when we can find the cobbler who sewed up the winds in the leathern sack." "And [adds Polybius] his description of the hunt of the galeotes at Scylla, "'Plunged to her middle in the horrid den She lurks, protruding from the black abyss Her heads, with which the ravening monster dives In quest of dolphins, Dogfish, or of prey More bulky," [Od. xii. 95.] accords well with what takes place around Scyllaion: for the tunny-fish, carried in shoals by Italy, and not being able to reach Sicily, fall into [the Strait], where they become the prey of larger fish, such as dolphins, Dogfish, and other cetacea, and it is by this means that the galeotes (which are also called sword-fish) and dogs fatten themselves. For the same thing occurs here, and at the rising of the Nile and other rivers, as takes place when a forest is on fire. Vast crowds of animals, in flying from the fire or the water, become the prey of beasts more powerful than themselves."
§ 1.2.16 He then goes on to describe the manner in which they catch the sword-fish at Scyllaion. One look-out directs the whole body of fishers, who are in a vast number of small boats, each furnished with two oars, and two men to each boat. One man rows, the other stands on the prow, spear in hand, while the look-out has to signal the appearance of a sword-fish. (This fish, when swimming, has about a third of its body above water.) As it passes the boat, the fisher darts the spear from his hand, and when this is withdrawn, it leaves the sharp point with which it is furnished sticking in the flesh of the fish: this point is barbed, and loosely fixed to the spear for the purpose; it has a long end fastened to it; this they pay out to the wounded fish, till it is exhausted with its struggling and endeavours at escape. Afterwards they trail it to the shore, or, unless it is too large and full-grown, haul it into the boat. If the spear should fall into the sea, it is not lost, for it is jointed of oak and pine, so that when the oak sinks on account of its weight, it causes the other end to rise, and thus is easily recovered. It sometimes happens that the rower is wounded, even through the boat, and such is the size of the sword with which the galeote is armed, such the strength of the fish, and the method of the capture, that [in danger] it is not surpassed by the chase of the wild boar. From these facts (he says) we may conclude that Ulysses' wanderings were close to Sicily, since Homer describes Scylla as engaging in a pursuit exactly similar to that which is carried on at Scyllaion. As to Charybdis, he describes just what takes place at the Strait of Messina: "Each day she thrice disgorges," [Od. xii. 105.] instead of twice, being only a mistake, either of the scribe or the historian.
§ 1.2.17 The customs of the inhabitants of Meninx closely correspond to the description of the Lotophagi. If any thing does not correspond, it should be attributed to change, or to misconception, or to poetical licence, which is made up of history, rhetoric, and fiction. Truth is the aim of the historical portion, as for instance in the Catalogue of Ships, where the poet informs us of the peculiarities of each place, that one is rocky, another the furthest city, that this abounds in doves. and that is maritime. A lively interest is the end of the rhetorical, as when he points to us the combat; and of the fiction, pleasure and astonishment. A mere fabrication would neither be persuasive nor Homeric; and we know that his poem is generally considered a scientific treatise, notwithstanding what Eratosthenes may say, when he bids us not to judge poems by the standard of intellect, nor yet look to them for history. It is most probable that the line "Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne Athwart the fishy deep," [Od. ix. 82.] should be understood of merely a short distance, (for cruel storms do not blow in a right course,) and not of being carried beyond the ocean, as if impelled by favourable winds. "And," says Polybius, "allowing the distance from Malea to the Pillars to be 22,500 stadia, and supposing the rate of passage was the same throughout the nine days, the voyage must have been accomplished at the speed of 2500 stadia per diem: now who has ever recorded that the passage from Lycia or Rhodes to Alexandria, a distance of 4000 stadia, has been made in two days? To those who demand how it was that Ulysses, though he journeyed thrice to Sicily, never once navigated the Strait, we reply that, long after his time, voyagers always sedulously avoided that route."
§ 1.2.18 Such are the sentiments of Polybius; and in many respects they are correct enough; but when he discusses the voyage beyond the ocean, and enters on minute calculations of the proportion borne by the distance to the number of days, he is greatly mistaken. He alleges perpetually the words of the poet, "Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne; " but at the same time he takes no notice of this expression, which is his as well, "And now borne sea-ward from the river stream Of the Oceanus;" and this, "In the island of Ogygia, the centre of the sea," and that the daughter of Atlas dwells there. And the following concerning the Phaeacians, "Remote amid the billowy deep, we hold Our dwelling, utmost of all human kind, And free from mixture with a foreign race." These passages clearly refer to the Atlantic Ocean, but though so plainly expressed, Polybius slily manages to overlook them. Here he is altogether wrong, though quite correct about the wandering of Ulysses having taken place round Sicily and Italy, a fact which Homer establishes himself. Otherwise, what poet or writer could have persuaded the Neapolitans to assert that they possessed the tomb of Parthenope the Siren, or the inhabitants of Cumae, Dicaearchia, and Vesuvius [to bear their testimony] to Pyriphlegethon, the Marsh of Acherusia, to the oracle of the dead which was near Aornus, and to Baius and Misenus, the companions of Ulysses. The same is the case with the Sirenussae, and the Strait of Messina, and Scylla, and Charybdis, and Aeolus, all which things should neither be examined into too rigorously, nor yet [despised] as groundless and without foundation, alike remote from truth and historic value.
§ 1.2.19 Eratosthenes seems to have had something like this view of the case himself, when he says, "Any one would believe that the poet intended the western regions as the scene of Ulysses' wanderings, but that he has departed from fact, sometimes through want of perfect information, at other times because he wished to give to scenes a more terrific and marvellous appearance than they actually possessed." So far this is true, but his idea of the object which the poet had in view while composing, is false; real advantage, not trifling, being his aim. We may justly reprehend his assertion on this point, as also where he says, that Homer places the scene of his marvels in distant lands that he may lie the more easily. Remote localities have not furnished him with near so many wonderful narrations as Greece, and the countries thereto adjacent; witness the labours of Hercules, and Theseus, the fables concerning Crete, Sicily, and the other islands; besides those connected with Cithaerum, Helicon, Parnassus, Pelion, and the whole of Attica and the Peloponnesus. Let us not therefore tax the poets with ignorance on account of the myths which they employ, and since, so far from myth being the staple, they for the most part avail themselves of actual occurrences, (and Homer does this in a remarkable degree,) the inquirer who will seek how far these ancient writers have wandered into fiction, ought not to scrutinize to what extent the fiction was carried, but rather what is the truth concerning those places and persons to which the fictions have been applied; for instance, whether the wanderings of Ulysses did actually occur, and where.
§ 1.2.20 On the whole, however, it is not proper to place the works of Homer in the common catalogue of other poets, without challenging for him a superiority both in respect of his other [excellences] and also for the geography on which our attention is now engaged. If any one were to do no more than merely read through the Triptolemus of Sophocles, or the prologue to the Bacchae of Euripides, and then compare them with the care taken by Homer in his geographical descriptions, he would at once perceive both the difference and superiority of the latter, for wherever there is necessity for arrangement in the localities he has immortalized, he is careful to preserve it as well in regard to Greece, as to foreign countries. " They On the Olympian summit thought to fix Huge Ossa, and on Ossa's towering head Pelion with all his forests. " " And Juno starting from the Olympian height O'erflew Pieria and the lovely plains Of broad Emathia; soaring thence she swept The snow-clad summit of the Thracian hills Steed-famed, nor printed, as she pass'd, the soil, From Athos the foaming billows borne. " In the Catalogue he does not describe his cities in regular order, because here there was no necessity, but both the people and foreign countries he arranges correctly. "Having wandered to Cyprus, and Phoenice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians, and Sidonians, and Erembi, and Libya." Hipparchus has drawn attention to this. But the two tragedians where there was great necessity for proper arrangement, one where he introduces Bacchus visiting the nations, the other Triptolemus sowing the earth, have brought in juxta-position places far remote, and separated those which were near. "And having left the wealthy lands of the Lydians and Phrygians, and the sunny plains of the Persians and the Bactrian walls, and having come over the stormy land of the Medes, and the Happy Arabia." And the Triptolemus is just as inaccurate. Further, in respect to the winds and climates, Homer shows the wide extent of his geographical knowledge, for in his topographical descriptions he not unfrequently informs us of both these matters. Thus, "My abode Is sun-burnt Ithaca. Flat on the deep she lies, farthest removed Toward the west, while situate apart, Her sister islands face the rising day." [Od. ix. 25.] And, "It has a two-fold entrance, One towards the north, the other south." [Od. xiii.] 109, 111. And again, "Which I alike despise, speed they their course With right-hand flight towards the ruddy east, Or leftward down into the shades of eve." Iliad xii. 239. Ignorance of such matters he reckons no less than confusion. " Alas! my friends, for neither west Know we, nor east; where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun." [Od. x. 190.] Where the poet has said properly enough, "As when two adverse winds, blowing from Thrace, Boreas and Zephyrus," Iliad ix.5. Eratosthenes ill-naturedly misrepresents him as saying in an absolute sense, that the west wind blows from Thrace; whereas he is not speaking in an absolute sense at all, but merely of the meeting of contrary winds near the bay of Melas, on the Thracian sea, itself a part of the Aegean. For where Thrace forms a kind of promontory, where it borders on Macedonia, it takes a turn to the south-west, and projects into the ocean, and from this point it seems to the inhabitants of Thasos, Lemnos, Imbros, Samothrace, and the surrounding sea, that the west winds blow. So in regard to Attica, they seem to come from the rocks of Sciros, and this is the reason why all the westerly winds, the north-west more particularly, are called the Scirones. Of this Eratosthenes was not aware, though he suspected as much, for it was he who described this bending of the land [towards the south-west] which we have mentioned. But he interprets our poet in an absolute sense, and then taxes him with ignorance, because, says he, "Zephyr blows from the west, and off Spain, and Thrace does not extend so far." Does he then think that Homer was not aware that Zephyr came from the west, notwithstanding the careful manner in which he distinguishes its position when he writes as follows: "The east, the south, the heavy-blowing Zephyr, And the cold north-wind clear." (Odyssey v. 295). Or was he ignorant that Thrace did not extend beyond the Paeonian and Thessalian mountains. To be sure he was well acquainted with the position of the countries adjoining Thrace in that direction, and does he not mention by name both the maritime and inland districts, and tells us of the Magnetae, the Malians, and other Grecian [territories], all in order, as far as Thesprotis; also of the Dolopes bordering on Paeonia, and the Sellae who inhabit the territory around Dodona as far as the [river] Achelous, but he never mentions Thrace, as being beyond these. He has evidently a predilection for the sea which is nearest to him, and with which he is most familiar, as where he says, "Commotion shook The whole assembly, such as heaves the flood Of the Icarian deep." Iliad ii. 144.
§ 1.2.21 Some writers tell us there are but two principal winds, the north and south, and that the other winds are only a slight difference in the direction of these two. That is, (supposing only two winds, the north and south,) the south wind from the commencement of the summer quarter blows in a south-easterly direction; and from the commencement of the winter quarter from the east. The north wind from the decline of the summer, blows in a westerly direction, and from the decline of the winter, in a north-westerly direction. In support of this opinion of the two winds they adduce Thrasyalces and our poet himself, forasmuch as he mentions the north-west with the south, "From the north-west south," Iliad xi. 306, xxi. 334. and the west with the north, "As when two adverse winds, blowing from Thrace, Boreas and Zephyrus." Iliad ix. 5. But Posidonius remarks that none of those who are really acquainted with these subjects, such as Aristotle, Timosthenes, and Bion the astronomer, entertain so mistaken an opinion in regard to the winds. They say that the north-east (Caecias) blows from the commencement of summer, and that the southwest wind (Libs), which is exactly opposite to this, blows from the decline of winter. And again, the south-east wind (Eurus), which is opposite to the north-west wind (Argestes), from the commencement of winter. The east and west winds being intermediate. When our poet makes use of the expression "stormy zephyr," he means the wind which is now called by us the north-west; and by the "clear-blowing zephyr" our west wind; our Leuconotus is his Argestes-notus, or clearing south wind, for this wind brings but few clouds, all the other southern winds bringing clouds and rain, "As when whirlwinds of the west A storm encounter from the clearing south." Iliad xi. 305. Here he alludes to the stormy zephyr, which very frequently scatters the feathery clouds brought up by the Leuconotus, or, as it is called by way of epithet, the clearing south. The statements made by Eratosthenes in the first book of his Geography, require some such correction as this.
§ 1.2.22 Persisting in his false views in relation to Homer, he goes on to say, "He was ignorant that the Nile separated into many mouths, nay, he was not even acquainted with the name of the river, though Hesiod knew it well, for he even mentions it." In respect of the name, it is probable that it had not then been given to the river, and as to the mouths, if they were obscure and little known, will not every one excuse him for not being aware whether there were several or merely one? At that time, the river, its rising, and its mouths were considered, as they are at the present day, amongst the most remarkable, the most wonderful, and most worthy of recording of all the peculiarities of Egypt: who can suppose that those who told our poet of the country and river of Egypt, of Egyptian Thebes, and of Pharos, were unaware of the many embouchures of the Nile; or that being aware, they would not have described them, were it not that they were too generally known? "But is it not inconceivable that Homer should describe Ethiopia, and the Sidonians, the Erembi, and the Exterior Sea, — should tell us that Ethiopia was divided into two parts, and yet nothing about those things which were nearer and better known?" Certainly not, his not describing these things is no proof that he was not acquainted with them. He does not tell us of his own country, nor yet many other things. The most probable reason is, they were so generally known that they did not appear to him worth recording.
§ 1.2.23 Again, they are entirely wrong when they allege as a mark of Homer's ignorance, that he describes the island of Pharos as entirely surrounded by the sea. On the contrary, it might be taken advantage of as a proof that our poet was not unacquainted with a single one of the points concerning Egypt which we have just been speaking of: and thus we demonstrate it: — Every one is prone to romance a little in narrating his travels, and Menelaus was no exception to the rule. He had been to Ethiopia, and there heard much discussion concerning the sources of the Nile, and the alluvium which it deposited, both along its course, and also at its mouths, and the large additions which it had thereby made to the main-land, so as fully to justify the remark of Herodotus that the whole of Egypt was a gift from the river; or if not the whole, at all events that part of it below the Delta, called Lower Egypt. He had heard too that Pharos was entirely surrounded by sea, and therefore misrepresented it as entirely surrounded by the sea, although it had long ago ceased so to be. Now the author of all this was Homer, and we therefore infer that he was not ignorant concerning either the sources or the mouths of the Nile.
§ 1.2.24 They are again mistaken when they say that he was not aware of the isthmus between the sea of Egypt and the Arabian Gulf, and that his description is false, "The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those toward the west." [Od. i. 23.] Nevertheless he is correct, and the criticism of the moderns is quite out of place: indeed, there is so little truth in the assertion that Homer was ignorant of this isthmus, that I will venture to affirm he was not only acquainted with it, but has also accurately defined it. But none of the grammarians, not even the chiefs of their number, Aristarchus and Crates, have understood the words of our poet on this subject. For they disagree as to the words which follow this expression of Homer, "The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those towards the west," [Od. i. 23.] Aristarchus writing, "These towards the west, and those towards the east," and Crates, "As well in the west as also in the east. " However, in regard to their hypotheses, it makes no difference whether the passage were written this way or that. One of them, in fact, takes what he considers the mathematical view of the case, and says that the torrid zone is occupied by the ocean, and that on each side of this there is a temperate zone, one inhabited by us and another opposite thereto. And as we call the Ethiopians, who are situated to the south, and dwell along the shores of the ocean, the most distant on the face of the inhabited globe; so he supposed that on the other side of the ocean, there were certain Ethiopians dwelling along the shores, who would in like manner be considered the most distant by the inhabitants of the other temperate zone; and thus that the Ethiopians were double, separated into two divisions by the ocean. He adds, "as well in the west as also in the east," because as the celestial zodiac always corresponds to the terrestrial, and never exceeds in its obliquity the space occupied by the two Ethiopias, the sun's entire course must necessarily be within this space, and also his rising and setting, as it appears to different nations according to the sign which he may be in. He (Crates) adopted this version, because he considered it the more astronomical. But it would have maintained his opinion of the division of the Ethiopians into two parts, and at the same time have been much more simple, had he said that the Ethiopians dwelt on either side of the ocean from the rising to the setting of the sun. In this case what difference does it make whether we follow his version, or adopt the reading of Aristarchus, "These towards the west, and those towards the east? " which also means, that whether east or west, on either side of the ocean, Ethiopians dwell. But Aristarchus rejects this hypothesis. He says, "The Ethiopians with whom we are acquainted, and who are farthest south from the Greeks, are those described by the poet as being separated into two divisions. But Ethiopia is not so separated as to form two countries, one situated towards the west, the other towards the east, but only one, that which lies south of the Greeks and adjoins Egypt; but of this the poet was ignorant, as well as of other matters enumerated by Apollodorus, which he has falsely stated concerning various places in his second book, containing the catalogue of the ships."
§ 1.2.25 To refute Crates would require a lengthened argument, which here perhaps may be considered out of place. Aristarchus we commend for rejecting the hypothesis of Crates, which is open to many objections, and for referring the expression of the poet to our Ethiopia. But the remainder of his statement we must discuss. First, his minute examination of the reading is altogether fruitless, for whichever way it may have been written, his interpretation is equally applicable to both; for what difference is there whether you say thus — In our opinion there are two Ethiopias, one towards the east, the other to the west; or thus — For they are as well towards the east as the west? Secondly, He makes false assumptions. For admitting that the poet was ignorant of the isthmus, and that he alludes to the Ethiopia contiguous to Egypt, when he says, "The Ethiopians separated into two divisions;" [Od. i. 23.] what then? Are they not separated into two divisions, and could the poet have thus expressed himself if he had been in ignorance? Is not Egypt, nay, are not the Egyptians, separated into two divisions by the Nile from the Delta to Syene, "These towards the west, those towards the east? " And what else is Egypt, with the exception of the island formed by the river and overflowed by its waters; does it not lie on either side of the river both east and west? Ethiopia runs in the same direction as Egypt, and resembles it both in its position with respect to the Nile, and in its other geographical circumstances. It is narrow, long, and subject to inundation; beyond the reach of this inundation it is desolate and parched, and unfitted for the habitation of man; some districts lying to the east and some to the west of [the river]. How then can we deny that it is separated into two divisions? Shall the Nile, which is looked upon by some people as the proper boundary line between Asia and Libya, and which extends southward in length more than 10,000 stadia, embracing in its breadth islands which contain populations of above ten thousand men, the largest of these being Meroe, the seat of empire and metropolis of the Ethiopians, be regarded as too insignificant to divide Ethiopia into two parts? The greatest obstacle which they who object to the river being made the line of demarcation between the two continents are able to allege, is, that Egypt and Ethiopia are by this means divided, one part of each being assigned to Libya, and the other to Asia, or, if this will not suit, the continents cannot be divided at all, or at least not by the river.
§ 1.2.26 But besides these there is another method of dividing Ethiopia. All those who have sailed along the coasts of Libya, whether starting from the Arabian Gulf, or the Pillars, after proceeding a certain distance, have been obliged to turn back again on account of a variety of accidents; and thus originated a general belief that it was divided midway by some isthmus, although the whole of the Atlantic Ocean is confluent, more especially towards the south. Besides, all of these navigators called the final country which they reached, Ethiopia, and described it under that name. Is it therefore at all incredible, that Homer, misled by such reports, separated them into two divisions, one towards the east and the other west, not knowing whether there were any intermediate countries or not? But there is another ancient tradition related by Ephorus, which Homer had probably fallen in with. He tells us it is reported by the Tartessians, that some of the Ethiopians, on their arrival in Libya, penetrated into the extreme west, and settled down there, while the rest occupied the greater part of the sea-coast; and in support of this statement he quotes the passage of Homer, "The Ethiopians, the farthest removed of men, separated into two divisions."
§ 1.2.27 These and other more stringent arguments may be urged against Aristarchus and those of his school, to clear our poet from the charge of such gross ignorance. I assert that the ancient Greeks, in the same way as they classed all the northern nations with which they were familiar under the one name of Scythians, or, according to Homer, Nomades, and afterwards becoming acquainted with those towards the west, styled them Kelts and Iberians; sometimes compounding the names into Keltiberians, or Keltoscythians, thus ignorantly uniting various distinct nations; so I affirm they designated as Ethiopia the whole of the southern countries towards the ocean. Of this there is evidence, for Aeschylus, in the Prometheus Loosed, thus speaks: "There [is] the sacred wave, and the coralled bed of the Erythraean Sea, and [there] the luxuriant marsh of the Ethiopians, situated near the ocean, glitters like polished brass; where daily in the soft and tepid stream, the all-seeing sun bathes his undying self, and refreshes his weary steeds." And as the ocean holds the same position in respect to the sun, and serves the same purpose throughout the whole southern region, he therefore concludes that the Ethiopians inhabited the whole of the region. And Euripides in his Phaeton says that Clymene was given "To Merops, sovereign of that land Which from his four-horsed chariot first The rising sun strikes with his golden rays; And which its swarthy neighbours call The radiant stable of the Morn and Sun. " Here the poet merely describes them as the common stables of the Morning and of the Sun; but further on he tells us they were near to the dwellings of Merops, and in fact the whole plot of the piece has reference to this. This does not therefore refer alone to the [land] next to Egypt, but rather to the whole southern country extending along the sea-coast.
§ 1.2.28 Ephorus likewise shows us the opinion of the ancients respecting Ethiopia, in his Treatise on Europe. He says, "If the whole celestial and terrestrial globe were divided into four parts, the Indians would possess that towards the east, the Ethiopians towards the south, the Kelts towards the west, and the Scythians towards the north." He adds that Ethiopia is larger than Scythia; for, says he, it appears that the country of the Ethiopians extends from the rising to the setting of the sun in winter; and Scythia is opposite to it. It is evident this was the opinion of Homer, since he places Ithaca "Towards the gloomy region," that is, towards the north, but the others apart, "Towards the morning and the sun," by which he means the whole southern hemisphere: and again when he says, "speed they their course With right-hand flight towards the ruddy east, Or leftward down into the shades of eve." Iliad xii. 239. And again, "Alas! my friends, for neither west Know we, nor east, where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun." [Od. x. 190.] Which we shall explain more fully when we come to speak of Ithaca. When therefore he says, "For to the banks of the Oceanus, Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove, He journey'd yesterday," Iliad i. 423. we should take this in a general sense, and understand by it the whole of the ocean which washes Ethiopia and the southern region, for to whatever part of this region you direct your attention, you will there find both the ocean and Ethiopia. It is in a similar style he says, "But Neptune, traversing in his return From Ethiopia's sons the mountain heights Of Solyme, descried him from afar." [Od. v. 282.] which is equal to saying, "in his return from the southern regions," meaning by the Solymi, as I remarked before, not those of Pisidia, but certain others merely imaginary, having the same name, and bearing the like relation to the navigators in [Ulysses'] ship, and the southern inhabitants there called Ethiopians, as those of Pisidia do in regard to Pontus and the inhabitants of Egyptian Ethiopia. What he says about the cranes must likewise be understood in a general sense. " Such clang is heard Along the skies, when from incessant showers Escaping, and from winter's cold, the cranes Take wing, and over ocean speed away. Woe to the land of dwarfs! prepared they fly For slaughter of the small Pygmaean race." Iliad iii. 3. For it is not in Greece alone that the crane is observed to emigrate to more southern regions, but likewise from Italy and Iberia, from [the shores of] the Caspian, and from Bactriana. But since the ocean extends along the whole southern coast, and the cranes fly to all parts of it indiscriminately at the approach of winter, we must likewise believe that the Pygmies were equally considered to inhabit the whole of it. And if the moderns have confined the term of Ethiopians to those only who dwell near to Egypt, and have also restricted the Pygmies in like manner, this must not be allowed to interfere with the meaning of the ancients. We do not speak of all the people who fought against Troy as merely Achaeans and Argives, though Homer describes the whole under those two names. Similar to this is my remark concerning the separation of the Ethiopians into two divisions, that under that designation we should understand the whole of the nations inhabiting the sea-board from east to west. The Ethiopians taken in this sense are naturally separated into two parts by the Arabian Gulf, which occupies a considerable portion of a meridian circle, and resembles a river, being in length nearly 15,000 stadia, and in breadth not above 1000 at the widest point. In addition to the length, the recess of the Gulf is distant from the sea at Pelusium only three or four days' journey across the isthmus. On this account those who are most felicitous in their division of Asia and Africa, prefer the Gulf as a better boundary line for the two continents than the Nile, since it extends almost entirely from sea to sea, whereas the Nile is so remote from the ocean that it does not by any means divide the whole of Asia from Africa. On this account I believe it was the Gulf which the poet looked upon as dividing into two portions the whole southern regions of the inhabited earth. Is it possible, then, that he was unacquainted with the isthmus which separates this Gulf from the Egyptian Sea?
§ 1.2.29 It is quite irrational to suppose that he could be accurately acquainted with Egyptian Thebes, which is separated from our sea by a little less than 5000 stadia; and yet ignorant of the recess of the Arabian Gulf, and of the isthmus there, whose breadth is not more than 1000 stadia. Still more, would it not be ridiculous to believe that Homer was aware the Nile was called by the same name as the vast country [of Egypt], and yet unacquainted with the reason why? Especially since the saying of Herodotus would occur to him, that the country was a gift from the river, and it ought therefore to bear its name. Further, the best known peculiarities of a country are those which have something of the nature of a paradox, and are likely to arrest general attention. Of this kind are the rising of the Nile, and the alluvial deposition at its mouth. There is nothing in the whole country to which travellers in Egypt so immediately direct their inquiries, as the character of the Nile; nor do the inhabitants possess anything else equally wonderful and curious, of which to inform foreigners; for in fact, to give them a description of the river, is to lay open to their view every main characteristic of the country. It is the question put before every other by those who have never seen Egypt themselves. To these considerations we must add Homer's thirst after knowledge, and his delight in visiting foreign lands, (tastes which we are assured both by those who have written histories of his life, and also by innumerable testimonies throughout his own poems, he possessed in an eminent degree,) and we shall have abundant evidence both of the extent of his information, and the felicity with which he described objects he deemed important, and passed over altogether, or with slight allusion, matters which were generally known.
§ 1.2.30 These Egyptians and Syrians whom we have been criticising fill one with amazement. They do not understand [Homer], even when he is describing their own countries, but accuse him of ignorance where, as our argument proves, they are open to the charge themselves. Not to mention a thing is clearly no evidence that a person is not acquainted with it. Homer does not tell us of the change in the current of the Euripus, nor of Thermopylae, nor of many other remarkable things well known to the Greeks; but was he therefore unacquainted with them? He describes to us, although these men, who are obstinately deaf, will not hear: they have themselves to blame. Our poet applies to rivers the epithet of "heaven-sent." And this not only to mountain torrents, but to all rivers alike, since they are all replenished by the showers. But even what is general becomes particular when it is bestowed on any object par excellence. Heaven-sent, when applied to a mountain torrent, means something else than when it is the epithet of the ever-flowing river; but the force of the term is doubly felt when attributed to the Nile. For as there are hyperboles of hyperboles, for instance, to be "lighter than the shadow of a cork," "more timid than a Phrygian hare," to "possess an estate shorter than a Lacedemonian epistle;" so excellence becomes more excellent, when the title of "heaven-sent" is given to the Nile. The mountain torrent has a better claim to be called heaven-sent than other rivers, but the Nile exceeds the mountain torrents, both in its size and the lengthened period of its overflow. Since, then, the wonders of this river were known to our poet, as we have shown in this defence, when he applies this epithet to the Nile, it must only be understood in the way we have explained. Homer did not think it worth mentioning, especially to those who were acquainted with the fact, that the Nile had many mouths, since this is a common feature of numerous other rivers. Alcaeus does not mention it, although he tells us he had been in Egypt. One might infer the fact of its alluvial deposit, both From the rising [of the river] and what Homer tells us concerning Pharos. For his account, or rather the vulgar report concerning Pharos, that it was distant from the mainland a whole day's voyage, ought not to be looked upon as a downright falsehood. It is clear that Homer was only acquainted with the rising and deposit of the river in a general way, and concluding from what he heard that the island had been further removed in the time of Menelaus from the mainland, than it was in his own, he magnified the distance, simply that he might heighten the fiction. Fictions however are not the offspring of ignorance, as is sufficiently plain from those concerning Proteus, the Pygmies, the efficacy of charms, and many others similar to these fabricated by the poets. They narrate these things not through ignorance of the localities, but for the sake of giving pleasure and enjoyment. But [some one may inquire], how could he describe [Pharos], which is without water as possessed of that necessary? " The haven there is good, and many a ship Finds watering there from rivulets on the coast." [Od. iv. 358.] [I answer, ] It is not impossible that the sources of water may since have failed. Besides, he does not say that the water was procured from the island, but that they went thither on account of the safety of the harbour; the water was probably obtained from the mainland, and by the expression the poet seems to admit that what he had before said of its being wholly surrounded by sea was not the actual fact, but a hyperbole or fiction.
§ 1.2.31 As his description of the wanderings of Menelaus may seem to authenticate the charge of ignorance made against him in respect to those regions, it will perhaps be best to point out the difficulties of the narrative, and their explanation, and at the same time enter into a fuller defence of our poet. Menelaus thus addresses Telemachus, who is admiring the splendour of his palace: "After numerous toils And perilous wanderings o'er the stormy deep, In the eighth year at last I brought them home. Cyprus, Phoenicia, Sidon, and the shores Of Egypt, roaming without hope, I reach'd, In distant Ethiopia thence arrived, And Libya." [Od. iv. 81.] It is asked, What Ethiopians could he have met with on his voyage from Egypt? None are to be found dwelling by our sea, and with his vessels he could never have reached the cataracts of the Nile. Next, who are the Sidonians? Certainly not the inhabitants of Phoenicia; for leaving mentioned the genus, he would assuredly not particularize the species. And then the Erembi; this is altogether a new name. Our contemporary Aristonicus, the grammarian, in his [observations] on the wanderings of Menelaus, has recorded the opinions of numerous writers on each of the heads under discussion. It will be sufficient for us to refer to them very briefly. They who assert that Menelaus went by sea to Ethiopia, tell us he directed his course past Cadiz into the Indian Ocean; with which, say they, the long duration of his wanderings agrees, since he did not arrive there till the eighth year. Others, that he passed through the isthmus which enters the Arabian Gulf; and others again, through one of the canals. At the same time the idea of this circumnavigation, which owes its origin to Crates, is not necessary; we do not mean it was impossible, (for the wanderings of Ulysses are not impossible,) but neither the mathematical hypothesis, not yet the duration of the wandering, require such an explanation; for he was both retarded against his will by accidents in the voyage, as by [the tempest] which he narrates five only of his sixty ships survived; and also by voluntary delays for the sake of amassing wealth. Nestor says [of him], "Thus he, provision gathering as he went, And gold abundant, roam'd to distant lands." [Od. iii. 301.] [And Menelaus himself], "Cyprus, Phoenicia, and the Egyptians' land I wandered through." [Od. iv. 83.] As to the navigation of the isthmus, or one of the canals, if it had been related by Homer himself, we should have counted it a myth; but as he does not relate it, we regard it as entirely extravagant and unworthy of belief. We say unworthy of belief, because at the time of the Trojan War no canal was in existence. It is recorded that Sesostris, who had planned the formation of one, apprehending that the level of the sea was too high to admit of it, desisted from the undertaking. Moreover the isthmus itself was not passable for ships, and Eratosthenes is unfortunate in his conjecture, for he considers that the strait at the Pillars was not then formed, so that the Atlantic should by that channel communicate with the Mediterranean, and that this sea being higher than the Isthmus [of Suez], covered it; but when the Strait [of Gibraltar] was formed, the sea subsided considerably; and left the land about Casium and Pelusium dry as far over as the Red Sea. But what account have we of the formation of this strait, supposing it were not in existence prior to the Trojan War? Is it likely that our poet would make Ulysses sail out through the Strait [of Gibraltar] into the Atlantic Ocean, as if that strait already existed, and at the same time describe Menelaus conducting his ships from Egypt to the Red Sea, as if it did not exist. Further, the poet introduces Proteus as saying to him, "Thee the gods Have destined to the blest Elysian Isles, Earth's utmost boundaries." [Od. iv. 563.] And what this place was, namely, some far western region, is evident from [the mention of] the Zephyr in connexion with it: "But Zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them." [Od. iv. 567.] This, however, is very enigmatical.
§ 1.2.32 But if our poet speaks of the Isthmus of Suez as ever having been the strait of confluence between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea s, how much more credit may we attribute to his division of the Ethiopians into two portions, being thus separated by so grand a strait! And what commerce could he have carried on with the Ethiopians who dwelt by the shores of the exterior sea and the ocean? Telemachus and his companions admire the multitude of ornaments that were in the palace, "Of gold, electrum, silver, ivory." [Od. iv. 73.] Now the Ethiopians are possessed of none of these productions in any abundance, excepting ivory, being for the most part a needy and nomad race. True, [you say, ] but adjoining them is Arabia, and the whole country as far as India. One of these is distinguished above all other lands by the title of Felix, and the other, though not dignified by that name, is both generally believed and also said to be preeminently Blessed. But [we reply], Homer was not acquainted with India, or he would have described it. And though he knew of the Arabia which is now named Felix, at that time it was by no means wealthy, but a wild country, the inhabitants of which dwelt for the most part in tents. It is only a small district which produces the aromatics from which the whole territory afterwards received its name, owing to the rarity of the commodity amongst us, and the value set upon it. That the Arabians are now flourishing and wealthy is due to their vast and extended traffic, but formerly it does not appear to have been considerable. A merchant or camel-driver might attain to opulence by the sale of these aromatics and similar commodities; but Menelaus could only become so either by plunder, or presents conferred on him by kings and nobles, who had the means at their disposal, and wished to gratify one so distinguished by glory and renown. The Egyptians, it is true, and the neighbouring Ethiopians and Arabians, were not so entirely destitute of the luxuries of civilization, nor so unacquainted with the fame of Agamemnon, especially after the termination of the Trojan War, but that Menelaus might have expected some benefits from their generosity, even as the breastplate of Agamemnon is said to be "The gift Of Cinyras long since; for rumour loud Had Cyprus reached." Iliad xi. 20. And we are told that the greater part of his wanderings were in Phoenicia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, around Cyprus, and, in fact, the whole of our coasts and islands. Here, indeed, he might hope to enrich himself both by the gifts of friendship and by violence, and especially by the plunder of those who had been the allies of Troy. They however who dwelt on the exterior ocean, and the distant barbarians, held out no such encouragement: and when Menelaus is said to have been in Ethiopia, it is because he had reached the frontiers of that country next Egypt. But perhaps at that time the frontiers lay more contiguous to Thebes than they do now. At the present day the nearest are the districts adjacent to Syene and Philae, the former town being entirely in Egypt, while Philae is inhabited by a mixed population of Ethiopians and Egyptians. Supposing therefore he had arrived at Thebes, and thus reached the boundary-line of Ethiopia, where he experienced the munificence of the king, we must not be surprised if he is described as having passed through the country. On no better authority Ulysses declares he has been to the land of the Cyclops, although he merely left the sea to enter a cavern which he himself tells us was situated on the very borders of the country: and, in fact, wherever he came to anchor, whether at Aeolia, Laestrygonia, or elsewhere, he is stated to have visited those places. In the same manner Menelaus is said to have been to Ethiopia and Libya, because here and there he touched at those places, and the port near Ardania above Paraetonium is called after him "the port of Menelaus."
§ 1.2.33 When, after mentioning Phoenicia, he talks of Sidon, its metropolis, he merely employs a common form of expression, for example, "He urged the Trojans and Hector to the ships." (Iliad xiii.1) "For the sons of magnanimous Oeneus were no more, nor was he himself surviving; moreover, fair-haired Meleager was dead." "He came to Ida — and to Gargarus." Iliad viii.47 "He possessed Euboea, Chalcis, and Eretria." Iliad ii. 536. Sappho likewise [says], "Whether Cyprus, or the well-harboured Paphos." But he had some other cause besides this for mentioning Sidon immediately after having spoken of the Phoenicians: for had he merely desired to recount the nations in order, it would have been quite sufficient to say, "Having wandered to Cyprus, Phoenice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians." But that he might record his sojourn amongst the Sidonians, which was considerably prolonged, he thought it well to refer to it repeatedly. Thus he praises their prosperity and skill in the arts, and alludes to the hospitality the citizens had shown to Helen and Alexander. Thus he tells us of the many [treasures]of this nature laid up in store by Alexander. " There his treasures lay, Works of Sidonian women, whom her son, The godlike Paris, when he crossed the seas With Jove-begotten Helen, brought to Troy." Iliad vi. 289. And also by Menelaus, who says to Telemachus, "'I give thee this bright beaker, argent all, But round encircled with a lip of gold. It is the work of Vulcan, which to me The hero Phaedimus presented, king Of the Sidonians, when on my return Beneath his roof I lodged. I make it thine.'" [Od. xv. 115.] Here the expression, "work of Vulcan," must be looked upon as a hyperbole: in the same way all elegant productions are said to be the work of Minerva, of the Graces, or of the Muses. But that the Sidonians were skilful artists, is clear from the praises bestowed [by Homer] on the bowl which Euneos gave in exchange for Lycaon: "Earth Own'd not its like for elegance of form. Skilful Sidonian artists had around Embellish'd it, and o'er the sable deep Phoenician merchants into Lemnos' port Had borne it." Iliad xxiii.742.
§ 1.2.34 Many conjectures have been hazarded as to who the Erembi were: they who suppose the Arabs are intended, seem to deserve the most credit. Our Zeno reads the passage thus: — " I came to the Ethiopians, the Sidonians, and the Arabians." But there is no occasion to tamper with the text, which is of great antiquity; it is a far preferable course to suppose a change in the name itself, which is of frequent and ordinary occurrence in every nation: and in fact certain grammarians establish this view by a comparison of the radical letters. Posidonius seems to me to adopt the better plan after all, in looking for the etymology of names in nations of one stock and community; thus between the Armenians, Syrians, and Arabians there is a strong affinity both in regard to dialect, mode of life, peculiarities of physical conformation, and above all in the contiguity of the countries. Mesopotamia, which is a motley of the three nations, is a proof of this; for the similarity amongst these three is very remarkable. And though in consequence of the various latitudes there may be some difference between those who dwell in the north and those of the south, and again between each of these and the inhabitants of the middle region, still the same characteristics are dominant in all. Also the Assyrians and Arians have a great affinity both to these people and to each other. And [Posidonius] believes there is a similarity in the names of these different nations. Those whom we call Syrians style themselves Armenians and Arammaeans, names greatly like those of the Armenians, Arabs, and Erembi. Perhaps this [last] term is that by which the Greeks anciently designated the Arabs; the etymon of the word certainly strengthens the idea. Many deduce the etymology of the Erembi from ἔραν ἐμβαίνειν, (to go into the earth,) which [they say] was altered by the people of a later generation into the more intelligible name of Troglodytes, by which are intended those Arabs who dwell on that side of the Arabian Gulf next to Egypt and Ethiopia. It is probable then that the poet describes Menelaus as having visited these people in the same way that he says he visited the Ethiopians; for they are likewise near to the Thebaid; and he mentions them not on account of any commerce or gain, (for of these there was not much,) but probably to enhance the length of the journey and his meed of praise: for such distant travelling was highly thought of. For example, — " Discover'd various cities, and the mind And manners learn'd of men in lands remote." [Od. i. 3.] And again: "After numerous toils And perilous wanderings o'er the stormy deep, In the eighth year at last I brought them home." [Od. iv. 81.] Hesiod, in his Catalogue, writes, "And the daughter of Arabus, whom gracious Hermes and Thronia, descended from king Belus, brought forth." Thus, too, says Stesichorus. Whence it seems that at that time the country was from him named Arabia, though it is not likely this was the case in the heroic period.
§ 1.2.35 There are many who would make the Erembi a tribe of the Ethiopians, or of the Cephenes, or again of the Pygmies, and a thousand other fancies. These ought to be regarded with little trust; since their opinion is not only incredible, but they evidently labour under a certain confusion as to the different characters of history and fable. In the same category must be reckoned those who place the Sidonians and Phoenicians in the Persian Gulf, or somewhere else in the Ocean, and make the wanderings of Menelaus to have happened there. Not the least cause for mistrusting these writers is the manner in which they contradict each other. One half would have us believe that the Sidonians are a colony from the people whom they describe as located on the shores of the [Indian] Ocean, and who they say were called Phoenicians from the colour of the Erythraean Sea, while the others declare the opposite. Some again would transport Ethiopia into our Phoenicia, and make Joppa the scene of the adventures of Andromeda; and this not from any ignorance of the topography of those places, but by a kind of mythic fiction similar to those of Hesiod and other writers censured by Apollodorus, who, however, couples Homer with them, without, as it appears, any cause. He cites as instances what Homer relates of the Euxine and Egypt, and accuses him of ignorance for pretending to speak the actual truth, and then recounting fable, all the while ignorantly mistaking it for fact. Will anyone then accuse Hesiod of ignorance on account of his Hemicynes, his Macrocephali, and his Pygmies; or Homer for his like fables, and amongst others the Pygmies themselves; or Alcman for describing the Steganopodes; or Aeschylus for his Cynocephali, Sternophthalmi, and Monommati; when amongst prose writers, and in works bearing the appearance of veritable history, we frequently meet with similar narrations, and that without any admission of their having inserted such myths. Indeed it becomes immediately evident that they have woven together a tissue of myths not through ignorance of the real facts, but merely to amuse by a deceptive narration of the impossible and marvellous. If they appear to do this in ignorance, it is because they can romance more frequently and with greater plausibility on those things which are uncertain and unknown. This Theopompus plainly confesses in the announcement of his intention to relate the fables in his history in a better style than Herodotus, Ctesias, Hellanicus, and those who had written on the affairs of India.
§ 1.2.36 Homer has described to us the phenomena of the ocean under the form of a myth; this [art] is very desirable in a poet; the idea of his Charybdis was taken from the ebb and flow of the tide, and was by no means a pure invention of his own, but derived from what he knew concerning the Strait of Sicily. And although he states that the ebb and flow occurred thrice during the four and twenty hours, instead of twice, "(Each day she thrice disgorges, and each day Thrice swallows it") we must suppose that he said this not through any ignorance of the fact, but for tragic effect, and to excite the fear which Circe endeavours to infuse into her arguments to deter Ulysses from departing, even at a little expense of truth. The following is the language Circe makes use of in her speech to him: "Each day she thrice disgorges, and each day Thrice swallows it. Ah! well-forewarn'd beware What time she swallows, that thou come not nigh, For not himself, Neptune, could snatch thee thence." [Od. xii. 105.] And yet when Ulysses was ingulfed in the eddy he was not lost. He tells us himself, "'It was the time when she absorb'd profound The briny flood, but by a wave upborne, I seized the branches fast of the wild fig, To which bat-like I clung." And then having waited for the timbers of the wreck he seized hold of them, and thus saved himself. Circe, therefore, had exaggerated both the peril, and also the fact of its vomiting forth thrice a day instead of twice. However, this latter is a hyperbole which every one makes use of; thus we say thricehappy and thrice-miserable. So the poet, "Thrice-happy Greeks!" [Od. v. 306.] Again, "O delightful, thrice-wished for!" Iliad viii. 488. And again, "O thrice and four times." Iliad iii. 363. Any one, too, might conclude from the passage itself that Homer even here hinted at the truth, for the long time which the remains of the wreck lay under water, which Ulysses, who was all the while hanging suspended to the branches, so anxiously desired to rise, accords much better with the ebb and flow taking place but twice during the night and day instead of thrice. " Therefore hard I clench'd the boughs, till she disgorged again Both keel and mast. Not undesired by me They came, though late; for at what hour the judge, After decision made of numerous strifes Between young candidates for honour, leaves The forum, for refreshment's sake at home, Then was it that the mast and keel emerged." [Od. xii. 437.] Every word of this indicates a considerable length of time, especially when he prolongs it to the evening, not merely saying at that time when the judge has risen, but having adjudicated on a vast number of cases, and therefore detained longer than usual. Otherwise his account of the return of the wreck would not have appeared likely, if he had brought it back again with the return of the wave, before it had been first carried a long way off.
§ 1.2.37 Apollodorus, who agrees with Eratosthenes, throws much blame upon Callimachus for asserting, in spite of his character as a grammarian, that Gaudus and Corcyra were among the scenes of Ulysses' wandering, such an opinion being altogether in defiance of Homer's statement, and his description of the places as situated in the exterior ocean. This criticism is just if we suppose the wandering to have never actually occurred, and to be merely the result of Homer's imagination; but if it did take place, although in other regions, Apollodorus ought plainly to have stated which they were, and thus set right the mistake of Callimachus. Since, however, after such evidence as we have produced, we cannot believe the whole account to be a fiction, and since no other more likely places have as yet been named, we hold that the grammarian is absolved from blame.
§ 1.2.38 Demetrius of Skepsis is also wrong, and, in fact, the cause of some of the mistakes of Apollodorus. He eagerly objects to the statement of Neanthes of Cyzicus, that the Argonauts, when they sailed to the Phasis, instituted at Cyzicus the rites of the Idaean Mother. Though their voyage is attested both by Homer and other writers, he denies that Homer had any knowledge whatever of the departure of Jason to the Phasis. In so doing, he not only contradicts the very words of Homer, but even his own assertions. The poet informs us that Achilles, having ravaged Lesbos and other districts, spared Lemnos and the adjoining islands, on account of his relationship with Jason and his son Euneos, who then had possession of the island. How should he know of a relationship, identity of race, or other connexion existing between Achilles and Jason, which, after all, was nothing else than that they were both Thessalians, one being of Iolcos, the other of the Achaean Phthiotis, and yet was not aware how it happened that Jason, who was a Thessalian of Iolcos, should leave no descendants in the land of his nativity, but establish his son as ruler of Lemnos? Homer then was familiar with the history of Pelias and the daughters of Pelias, of Alcestis, who was the most charming of them all, and of her son " Eumelus, whom Alcestis, praised For beauty above all her sisters fair, In Thessaly to king Admetus bore," Iliad ii. 714. and was yet ignorant of all that befell Jason, and Argo, and the Argonauts, matters on the actual occurrence of which all the world is agreed. The tale then of their voyage in the ocean from Aeeta, was a mere fiction, for which he had no authority in history.
§ 1.2.39 If, however, the expedition to the Phasis, fitted out by Pelias, its return, and the conquest of several islands, have at the bottom any truth whatever, as all say they have, so also has the account of their wanderings, no less than those of Ulysses and Menelaus; monuments of the actual occurrence of which remain to this day elsewhere than in the writings of Homer. The city of Aea, close by the Phasis, is still pointed out. Aeetes is generally believed to have reigned in Colchis, the name is still common throughout the country, tales of the sorceress Medea are yet abroad, and the riches of the country in gold, silver, and iron, proclaim the motive of Jason's expedition, as well as of that which Phrixus had formerly undertaken. Traces both of one and the other still remain. Such is Phrixium, midway between Colchis and Iberia, and the Jasonia, or towns of Jason, which are everywhere met with in Armenia, Media, and the surrounding countries. Many are the witnesses to the reality of the expeditions of Jason and Phrixus at Sinope and its shore, at Propontis, at the Hellespont, and even at Lemnos. Of Jason and his Colchian followers there are traces even as far as Crete, Italy, and the Adriatic. Callimachus himself alludes to it where he says, "Aigleten Anaphe, Near to Laconian Thera." In the verses which commence, "I sing how the heroes from Cytaean Aeeta, Return'd again to ancient Aemonia." And again concerning the Colchians, who, "Ceasing to plough with oars the Illyrian Sea,
Near to the tomb of fair Harmonia,
Who was transform'd into a dragon's shape,
Founded their city, which a Greek would call
The Town of Fugitives, but in their tongue
Is Pola named." Some writers assert that Jason and his companions sailed high up the Ister, others say he sailed only so far as to be able to gain the Adriatic: the first statement results altogether from ignorance; the second, which supposes there is a second Ister having its source from the larger river of the same name, and discharging its waters into the Adriatic, is neither incredible nor even improbable.
§ 1.2.40 Starting from these premises, the poet, in conformity both with general custom and his own practice, narrates some circumstances as they actually occurred, and paints others in the colours of fiction. He follows history when he tells us of Aeetes and Jason also, when he talks of Argo, and on the authority of [the actual city of Aea], feigns his city of Aeaea, when he settles Euneos in Lemnos, and makes that island friendly to Achilles, and when, in imitation of Medea, he makes the sorceress Circe " Sister by birth of the all-wise Aeetes," [Od. x. 137.] he adds the fiction of the entrance of the Argonauts into the exterior ocean as the sequel to their wanderings on their return home. Here, supposing the previous statements admitted, the truth of the phrase "the renowned Argo," is evident, since, in that case, the expedition was directed to a populous and well-known country. But if, as [Demetrius] the Skepsian asserts, on the authority of Mimnermus, Aeetes dwelt by the Ocean, and Jason was sent thither far east by Pelias, to bring back the fleece, it neither seems probable that such an expedition would have been undertaken into unknown and obscure countries after the Fleece, nor could a voyage to lands desert, uninhabited, and so far remote from us, be considered either glorious or renowned. [Here follow the words of Demetrius.] "Nor as yet had Jason, having accomplished the arduous journey, carried off the splendid fleece from Aea, fulfilling the dangerous mission of the insolent Pelias, nor had they ploughed the glorious wave of the ocean." And again: "The city of Aeetes, where the rays of the swift sun recline on their golden bed by the shore of the ocean, which the noble Jason visited."
§ 1.3.1 Eratosthenes is guilty of another fault in so frequently referring to the works of men beneath his notice, sometimes for the purpose of refuting them; at others, when he agrees with them, in order to cite them as authorities. I allude to Damastes, and such as him, who even when they speak the truth, are utterly unworthy of being appealed to as authorities, or vouchers for the credibility of a statement. For such purposes the writings of trustworthy men should only be employed, who have accurately described much; and though perhaps they may have omitted many points altogether, and barely touched on others, are yet never guilty of wilfully falsifying their statements. To cite Damastes as an authority is little better than to quote the Bergaean, or Euemerus the Messenian, and those other scribblers whom Eratosthenes himself sneers at for their absurdities. Why, he even points out as one of the follies of this Damastes, his observation that the Arabian Gulf was a lake; likewise the statement that Diotimus, the son of Strombicus and chief of the Athenian legation, sailed through Cilicia up the Cydnus into the river Choaspes, which flows by Susa, and so arrived at that capital after forty days' journey. This particular he professes to state on the authority of Diotimus himself, and then expresses his wonder whether the Cydnus could actually cross the Euphrates and Tigris in order to disgorge itself into the Choaspes.
§ 1.3.2 However, this is not all we have to say against him. Of many places he tells us that nothing is known, when in fact they have every one been accurately described. Then he warns us to be very cautious in believing what we are told on such matters, and endeavours by long and tedious arguments to show the value of his advice; swallowing at the same time the most ridiculous absurdities himself concerning the Euxine and Adriatic. Thus he believed the Gulf of Issos to be the most easterly point of the Mediterranean, though Dioscurias, which is nearly at the bottom of the Pontus Euxinus, is, according to his own calculations, farther east by a distance of 3000 stadia. In describing the northern and farther parts of the Adriatic he cannot refrain from similar romancing, and gives credit to many strange narrations concerning what lies beyond the Pillars of Hercules, informing us of an Isle of Kerne there, and other places now nowhere to be found, which we shall speak of presently. Having remarked that the ancients, whether out on piratical excursions, or for the purposes of commerce, never ventured into the high seas, but crept along the coast, and instancing Jason, who leaving his vessels at Colchis penetrated into Armenia and Media on foot, he proceeds to tell us that formerly no one dared to navigate either the Euxine or the seas by Libya, Syria, and Cilicia. If by formerly he means periods so long past that we possess no record of them, it is of little consequence to us whether they navigated those seas or not, but if [he speaks] of times of which we know any thing, and if we are to place any trust in the accounts which have come down to us, every one will admit that the ancients appear to have made longer journeys both by sea and land than their successors; witness Bacchus, Hercules, nay Jason himself, and again Ulysses and Menelaus, of whom Homer tells us. It seems most probable that Theseus and Pirithous are indebted to some long voyages for the credit they afterwards obtained of having visited the infernal regions; and in like manner the Dioscuri gained the appellation of guardians of the sea, and the deliverers of sailors. The sovereignty of the seas exercised by Minos, and the navigation carried on by the Phoenicians, is well known. A little after the period of the Trojan War they had penetrated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and founded cities as well there as to the midst of the African coast. Is it not correct to number amongst the ancients Aeneas, Antenor, the Heneti, and all the crowd of warriors, who, after the destruction of Troy, wandered over the face of the whole earth? For at the conclusion of the war both the Greeks and Barbarians found themselves deprived, the one of their livelihood at home, the other of the fruits of their expedition; so that when Troy was overthrown, the victors, and still more the vanquished, who had survived the conflict, were compelled by want to a life of piracy; and we learn that they became the founders of many cities along the sea-coast beyond Greece, besides several inland settlements.
§ 1.3.3 Again, having discoursed on the advance of knowledge respecting the Geography of the inhabited earth, between the time of Alexander and the period when he was writing, Eratosthenes goes into a description of the figure of the earth; not merely of the habitable earth, an account of which would have been very suitable, but of the whole earth, which should certainly have been given too, but not in this disorderly manner. He proceeds to tell us that the earth is spheroidal, not however perfectly so, inasmuch as it has certain irregularities, he then enlarges on the successive changes of its form, occasioned by water, fire, earthquakes, eruptions, and the like; all of which is entirely out of place, for the spheroidal form of the whole earth is the result of the system of the universe, and the phenomena which he mentions do not in the least change its general form; such little matters being entirely lost in the great mass of the earth. Still they cause various peculiarities in different parts of our globe, and result from a variety of causes.
§ 1.3.4 He points out as a most interesting subject for disquisition the fact of our finding, often quite inland, two or three thousand stadia from the sea, vast numbers of muscle, oyster, and scallop-shells, and salt-water lakes. He gives as an instance, that about the sanctuary of Ammon, and along the road to it for the space of 3000 stadia, there are yet found a vast amount of oyster shells, many salt-beds, and salt springs bubbling up, besides which are pointed out numerous fragments of wreck which they say have been cast up through some opening, and dolphins placed on pedestals with the inscription, Of the delegates from Cyrene. Herein he agrees with the opinion of Strato the natural philosopher, and Xanthus of Lydia. Xanthus mentioned that in the reign of Artaxerxes there was so great a drought, that every river, lake, and well was dried up: and that in many places he had seen a long way from the sea fossil shells, some like cockles, others resembling scallop shells, also salt lakes in Armenia, Matiana, and Lower Phrygia, which induced him to believe that sea had formerly been where the land now was. Strato, who went more deeply into the causes of these phenomena, was of opinion that formerly there was no exit to the Euxine as now at Byzantium, but that the rivers running into it had forced a way through, and thus let the waters escape into the Propontis, and thence to the Hellespont. And that a like change had occurred in the Mediterranean. For the sea being overflowed by the rivers, had opened for itself a passage by the Pillars of Hercules, and thus, much that was formerly covered by water, had been left dry. He gives as the cause of this, that anciently the levels of the Mediterranean and Atlantic were not the same, and states that a bank of earth, the remains of the ancient separation of the two seas, is still stretched under water from Europe to Africa. He adds, that the Euxine is the most shallow, and the seas of Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia much deeper, which is occasioned by the number of large rivers flowing into the Euxine both from the north and east, and so filling it up with mud, whilst the others preserve their depth. This is the cause of the remarkable sweetness of the Euxine Sea, and of the currents which regularly set towards the deepest part. He gives it as his opinion, that should the rivers continue to flow in the same direction, the Euxine will in time be filled up [by the deposits], since already the left side of the sea is little else than shallows, as also Salmydessus, and the shoals at the mouth of the Ister, and the desert of Scythia, which the sailors call the Breasts. Probably too the sanctuary of Ammon was originally close to the sea, though now, by the continual deposit of the waters, it is quite inland: and he conjectures that it was owing to its being so near the sea that it became so celebrated and illustrious, and that it never would have enjoyed the credit it now possesses had it always been equally remote from the sea. Egypt too [he says] was formerly covered by sea as far as the marshes near Pelusium, Mount Casius, and the Lake Sirbonis. Even at the present time, when salt is being dug in Egypt, the beds are found under layers of sand and mingled with fossil shells, as if this district had formerly been under water, and as if the whole region about Casium and Gerrha had been shallows reaching to the Arabian Gulf. The sea afterwards receding left the land uncovered, and the Lake Sirbonis remained, which having afterwards forced itself a passage, became a marsh. In like manner the borders of the Lake Moeris resemble a sea-beach rather than the banks of a river. Every one will admit that formerly at various periods a great portion of the mainland has been covered and again left bare by the sea. Likewise that the land now covered by the sea is not all on the same level, any more than that whereon we dwell; which is now uncovered and has experienced so many changes, as Eratosthenes has observed. Consequently in the reasoning of Xanthus there does not appear to be any thing out of place.
§ 1.3.5 In regard to Strato, however, we must remark that, leaving out of the question the many arguments he has properly stated, some of those which he has brought forward are quite inadmissible. For first he is inaccurate in stating that the beds of the interior and the exterior seas have not the same level, and that the depth of those two seas is different: whereas the cause why the sea is at one time raised, at another depressed, that it inundates certain places and again retreats, is not that the beds have different levels, some higher and some lower, but simply this, that the same beds are at one time raised, at another depressed, causing the sea to rise or subside with them; for having risen they cause an inundation, and when they subside the waters return to their former places. For if it is so, an inundation will of course accompany every sudden increase of the waters of the sea, [as in the spring-tides, ] or the periodical swelling of rivers, in the one instance the waters being brought together from distant parts of the ocean, in the other, their volume being increased. But the risings of rivers are not violent and sudden, nor do the tides continue any length of time, nor occur irregularly; nor yet along the coasts of our sea do they cause inundations, nor any where else. Consequently we must seek for an explanation of the cause either in the stratum composing the bed of the sea, or in that which is overflowed; we prefer to look for it in the former, since by reason of its humidity it is more liable to shiftings and sudden changes of position, and we shall find that in these matters the wind is the great agent after all. But, I repeat it, the immediate cause of these phenomena, is not in the fact of one part of the bed of the ocean being higher or lower than another, but in the upheaving or depression of the strata on which the waters rest. Strato's hypothesis evidently originated in the belief that that which occurs in rivers is also the case in regard to the sea; viz. that there is a flow of water from the higher places. Otherwise he would not have attempted to account for the current he observed at the Strait of Byzantium in the manner he does, attributing it to the bed of the Euxine being higher than that of the Propontis and adjoining ocean, and even attempting to explain the cause thereof: viz. that the bed of the Euxine is filled up and choked by the deposit of the rivers which flow into it; and its waters in consequence driven out into the neighbouring sea. The same theory he would apply in respect to the Mediterranean and Atlantic, alleging that the bed of the former is higher than that of the latter, in consequence of the number of rivers which flow into it, and the alluvium they carry along with them. In that case there ought to be a like influx at the Pillars and Calpe, as there is at Byzantium. But I waive this objection, as it might be asserted that the influx was the same in both places, but owing to the interference of the ebb and flow of the sea, became imperceptible.
§ 1.3.6 I rather make this inquiry: — If there were any reason why, before the outlet was opened at Byzantium, the bed of the Euxine (being deeper than either that of the Propontis or of the adjoining sea) should not gradually have become more shallow by the deposit of the rivers which flow into it, allowing it formerly either to have been a sea, or merely a vast lake greater than the Palus Maeotis? This proposition being conceded, I would next ask, whether before this the bed of the Euxine would not have been brought to the same level as the Propontis, and in that case, the pressure being counterpoised, the overflowing of the water have been thus avoided; and if after the Euxine had been filled up, the superfluous waters would not naturally have forced a passage and flowed off, and by their commingling and power have caused the Euxine and Propontis to flow into each other, and thus become one sea? no matter, as I said above, whether formerly it were a sea or a lake, though latterly certainly a sea. This also being conceded, they must allow that the present efflux depends neither upon the elevation nor the inclination of the bed, as Strato's theory would have us consider it.
§ 1.3.7 We would apply the same arguments to the whole of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, and account for the efflux of the former, not by any [supposed] difference between the elevation and inclination of its bed and of that of the Atlantic, but attribute it to the number of rivers which empty themselves into it. Since, according to this supposition, it is not incredible that, had the whole of the Mediterranean Sea in times past been but a lake filled by the rivers, and having overflowed, it might have broken through the Strait at the Pillars, as through a cataract; and still continuing to swell more and more, the Atlantic in course of time would have become confluent by that channel, and have run into one level, the Mediterranean thus becoming a sea. In fine, the Physician did wrong in comparing the sea to rivers, for the latter are borne down as a descending stream, but the sea always maintains its level. The currents of straits depend upon other causes, not upon the accumulation of earth formed by the alluvial deposit from rivers, filling up the bed of the sea. This accumulation only goes on at the mouths of rivers. Such are what are called the Stethe or Breasts at the mouth of the Ister, the desert of the Scythians, and Salmydessus, which are partially occasioned by other winter-torrents as well; witness the sandy, low, and even coast of Colchis, at the mouth of the Phasis, the whole of the coast of Themiscyra, named the plain of the Amazons, near the mouths of the Thermodon and Iris, and the greater part of Sidene. It is the same with other rivers, they all resemble the Nile in forming an alluvial deposit at their mouths, some more, some less than others. Those rivers which carry but little soil with them deposit least, while others, which traverse an extended and soft country, and receive many torrents in their course, deposit the greatest quantity. Such for example is the river Pyramus, by which Cilicia has been considerably augmented, and concerning which an oracle has declared, "This shall occur when the wide waters of the Pyramus have enlarged their banks as far as sacred Cyprus." This river becomes navigable from the middle of the plains of Cataonia, and entering Cilicia by the defiles of the Taurus, discharges itself into the sea which flows between that country and the island of Cyprus.
§ 1.3.8 These river deposits are prevented from advancing further into the sea by the regularity of the ebb and flow, which continually drive them back. For after the manner of living creatures, which go on inhaling and exhaling their breath continually, so the sea in a like way keeps up a constant motion in and out of itself. Any one may observe who stands on the sea-shore when the waves are in motion, the regularity with which they cover, then leave bare, and then again cover up his feet. This agitation of the sea produces a continual movement on its surface, which even when it is most tranquil has considerable force, and so throws all extraneous matters on to the land, and "Flings forth the salt weed on the shore." Iliad ix. 7. This effect is certainly most considerable when the wind is on the water, but it continues when all is hushed, and even when it blows from land the swell is still carried to the shore against the wind, as if by a peculiar motion of the sea itself. To this the verses refer — " O'er the rocks that breast the flood Borne turgid, scatter far the showery spray," Iliad iv. 425. and, "Loud sounds the roar of waves ejected wide." Iliad xvii. 265.
§ 1.3.9 The wave, as it advances, possesses a kind of power, which some call the purging of the sea, to eject all foreign substances. It is by this force that dead bodies and wrecks are cast on shore. But on retiring it does not possess sufficient power to carry back into the sea either dead bodies, wood, or even the lightest substances, such as cork, which may have been cast out by the waves. And by this means when places next the sea fall down, being undermined by the wave, the earth and the water charged with it are cast back again; and the weight [of the mud] working at the same time in conjunction with the force of the advancing tide, it is the sooner brought to settle at the bottom, instead of being carried out far into the sea. The force of the river current ceases at a very little distance beyond its mouth. Otherwise, supposing the rivers had an uninterrupted flow, by degrees the whole ocean would be filled in from the beach onwards, by the alluvial deposits. And this would be inevitable even were the Euxine deeper than the sea of Sardinia, than which a deeper sea has never been sounded, measuring, as it does, according to Posidonius, about 1000 fathoms.
§ 1.3.10 Some, however, may be disinclined to admit this explanation, and would rather have proof from things more manifest to the senses, and which seem to meet us at every turn. Now deluges, earthquakes, eruptions of wind, and risings in the bed of the sea, these things cause the rising of the ocean, as sinking of the bottom causes it to become lower. It is not the case that small volcanic or other islands can be raised up from the sea, and not large ones, nor that all islands can, but not continents, since extensive sinkings of the land no less than small ones have been known; witness the yawning of those chasms which have ingulfed whole districts no less than their cities, as is said to have happened to Bura, Bizone, and many other towns at the time of earthquakes: and there is no more reason why one should rather think Sicily to have been disjoined from the main-land of Italy than cast up from the bottom of the sea by the fires of Aetna, as the Lipari and Pithecussan Isles have been.
§ 1.3.11 However, so nice a fellow is Eratosthenes, that though he professes himself a mathematician, he rejects entirely the dictum of Archimedes, who, in his work "On Bodies in Suspension," says that all liquids when left at rest assume a spherical form, having a centre of gravity similar to that of the earth. A dictum which is acknowledged by all who have the slightest pretensions to mathematical sagacity. He says that the Mediterranean, which, according to his own description, is one entire sea, has not the same level even at points quite close to each other; and offers us the authority of engineers for this piece of folly, notwithstanding the affirmation of mathematicians that engineering is itself only one division of the mathematics. He tells us that Demetrius intended to cut through the Isthmus of Corinth, to open a passage for his fleet, but was prevented by his engineers, who, having taken measurements, reported that the level of the sea at the Gulf of Corinth was higher than at Cenchreae, so that if he cut through the isthmus, not only the coasts near Aigina, but even Aigina itself, with the neighbouring islands, would be laid completely under water, while the passage would prove of little value. According to Eratosthenes, it is this which occasions the current in straits, especially the current in the Strait of Sicily, where effects similar to the flow and ebb of the tide are remarked. The current there changes twice in the course of a day and night, like as in that period the tides of the sea flow and ebb twice. In the Tyrrhenian sea the current which is called descendent, and which runs towards the sea of Sicily, as if it followed an inclined plane, corresponds to the flow of the tide in the ocean. We may remark, that this current corresponds to the flow both in the time of its commencement and cessation. For it commences at the rising and setting of the moon, and recedes when that satellite attains its meridian, whether above [in the zenith] or below the earth [in the nadir]. In the same way occurs the opposite or ascending current, as it is called. It corresponds to the ebb of the ocean, and commences as soon as the moon has reached either zenith or nadir, and ceases the moment she reaches the point of her rising or setting. [So far Eratosthenes.]
§ 1.3.12 The nature of the ebb and flow has been sufficiently treated of by Posidonius and Athenodorus. Concerning the flux and reflux of the currents, which also may be explained by physics, it will suffice our present purpose to observe, that in the various straits these do not resemble each other, but each strait has its own peculiar current. Were they to resemble each other,. the current at the Strait of Sicily would not change merely twice during the day, (as Eratosthenes himself tells us it does,) and at Chalcis seven times; nor again that of Constantinople, which does not change at all, but runs always in one direction from the Euxine to the Propontis, and, as Hipparchus tells us, sometimes ceases altogether. However, if they did all depend on one cause, it would not be that which Eratosthenes has assigned, namely, that the various seas have different levels. The kind of inequality he supposes would not even be found in rivers only for the cataracts; and where these cataracts occur, they occasion no ebbing, but have one continued downward flow, which is caused by the inclination both of the flow and the surface; and therefore though they have no flux or reflux they do not remain still, on account of a principle of flowing which is inherent in them; at the same time they cannot be on the same level, but one must be higher and one lower than another. But who ever imagined the surface of the ocean to be on a slope, especially those who follow a system which supposes the four bodies we call elementary, to be spherical. For water is not like the earth, which being of a solid nature is capable of permanent depressions and risings, but by its force of gravity spreads equally over the earth, and assumes that kind of level which Archimedes has assigned it.
§ 1.3.13 To what we cited before concerning the sanctuary of Ammon and Egypt, Eratosthenes adds, that to judge from appearances, Mount Casius was formerly covered by sea, and the whole district now known as Gerra lay under shoal water touching the bay of the Erythraean Sea, but was left dry on the union of the [Mediterranean] Sea [with the ocean]. A certain amphibology lurks here under this description of the district lying under shoal water and touching the bay of the Erythraean Sea; for to touch both means to be close to, and also to be in actual contact with, so that when applied to water it would signify that one flows into the other. I understand him to mean, that so long as the strait by the Pillars of Hercules remained closed, these marshes covered with shoalwater extended as far as the Arabian Gulf, but on that passage being forced open, the Mediterranean, discharging itself by the strait, became lower, and the land was left dry. On the other hand, Hipparchus understands by the term touching, that the Mediterranean, being over-full, flowed into the Erythraean Sea, and he inquires how it could happen, that as the Mediterranean flowed out by this new vent at the Pillars of Hercules, the Erythraean Sea, which was all one with it, did not flow away too, and thus become lower, but has always retained the same level? and since Eratosthenes supposes the whole exterior sea to be confluent, it follows that the Western Ocean and the Erythraean Sea are all one; and thus [remarks Hipparchus] as a necessary consequence, the sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the Erythraean Sea, and that also which is confluent with it, have all the same level.
§ 1.3.14 But, Eratosthenes would reply, I never said that, in consequence of the repletion of the Mediterranean, it actually flowed into the Erythraean Sea, but only that it approached very near thereto: besides, it does not follow, that in one and the self-same sea, the level of its surface must be all the same; to instance the Mediterranean itself, no one, surely, will say it is of the same height at Lechaion and at Cenchreae. This answer Hipparchus anticipated in his Critique; and being aware of the opinion of Eratosthenes, was justified in attacking his arguments. But he ought not to have taken it for granted, that when Eratosthenes said the exterior sea was all one, he necessarily implied that its level was every where the same.
§ 1.3.15 Hipparchus rejects as false the [account] of the inscription on the dolphins "by the delegates from Cyrene," but the reason he assigns for this is insufficient, viz. that though Cyrene was built in times of which we have record, no one mentions the oracle, as being situated on the sea-shore. But what matters it that no historian has recorded this, when amongst the other proofs from which we infer that this place was formerly on the sea-shore, we number this of the dolphins which were set up, and the inscription, "by the delegates from Cyrene?" Hipparchus agrees that if the bottom of the sea were raised up, it would lift the water with it, and might therefore overflow the land as far as the locality of the oracle, or more than 3000 stadia from the shore; but he will not allow that the rising would be sufficient to overflow the Island of Pharos and the major portion of Egypt, since [he says] the elevation would not be sufficient to submerge these. He alleges that if before the opening of the passage at the Pillars of Hercules, the Mediterranean had been swollen to such an extent as Eratosthenes affirms, the whole of Libya, and the greater part of Europe and Asia, must long ago have been buried beneath its waves. Besides, he adds, in this case the Euxine would in certain places have been connected with the Adriatic, since in the vicinity of the Euxine, [near to its source,) the Ister is divided in its course, and flows into either sea, owing to the peculiarities of the ground. To this we object, that the Ister does not take its rise at all in the vicinity of the Euxine, but, on the contrary, beyond the mountains of the Adriatic; neither does it flow into both the seas, but into the Euxine alone, and only becomes divided just above its mouths. This latter, however, was an error into which he fell in common with many of his predecessors. They supposed that there was another river in addition to the former Ister, bearing the same name, which emptied itself into the Adriatic, and from which the country of Istria, through which it flowed, gained that appellation. It was by this river they believed Jason returned on his voyage from Colchis.
§ 1.3.16 In order to lessen surprise at such changes as we have mentioned as causes of the inundations and other similar phenomena which are supposed to have produced Sicily, the islands of Aeolus, and the Pithecussae, it may be as well to compare with these others of a similar nature, which either now are, or else have been observed in other localities. A large array of such facts placed at once before the eye would serve to allay our astonishment; while that which is uncommon startles our perception, and manifests our general ignorance of the occurrences which take place in nature and physical existence. For instance, supposing any one should narrate the circumstances concerning Thera and the Therasian Islands, situated in the strait between Crete and the Cyrenaic, Thera being itself the metropolis of Cyrene; or those [in connexion with] Egypt, and many parts of Greece. For midway between Thera and Therasia flames rushed forth from the sea for the space of four days; causing the whole of it to boil and be all on fire; and after a little an island twelve stadia in circumference, composed of the burning mass, was thrown up, as if raised by machinery. After the cessation of this phenomenon, the Rhodians, then masters of the sea, were the first who dared to sail to the place, and they built there on the island a sanctuary to the Asphalian Neptune. Posidonius remarks, that during an earthquake which occurred in Phoenicia, a city situated above Sidon was swallowed up, and that nearly two-thirds of Sidon also fell, but not suddenly, and therefore with no great loss of life. That the same occurred, though in a lighter form, throughout nearly the whole of Syria, and was felt even in some of the Cyclades and the Island of Euboea, so that the fountains of Arethusa, a spring in Chalcis, were completely obstructed, and after some time forced for themselves another opening, and the whole island ceased not to experience shocks until a chasm was rent open in the earth in the plain of Lelanto, from which poured a river of burning mud.
§ 1.3.17 Many writers have recorded similar occurrences, but it will suffice us to narrate those which have been collected by Demetrius of Skepsis. Apropos of that passage of Homer: — "And now they reach'd the running rivulets clear, Where from Scamander's dizzy flood arise Two fountains, tepid one, from which a smoke Issues voluminous as from a fire, The other, even in summer heats, like hail For cold, or snow, or crystal stream frost-bound: "Iliad xxii. 147. this writer tells us we must not be surprised, that although the cold spring still remains, the hot cannot be discovered; and says we must reckon the failing of the hot spring as the cause. He goes on to relate certain catastrophes recorded by Democles, how formerly in the reign of Tantalus there were great earthquakes in Lydia and Ionia as far as the Troad, which swallowed up whole villages and overturned Mount Sipylus; marshes then became lakes, and the city of Troy was covered by the waters. Pharos, near Egypt, which anciently was an island, may now be called a peninsula, and the same may be said of Tyre and Clazomenae. During my stay at Alexandria in Egypt the sea rose so high near Pelusium and Mount Casius as to overflow the land, and convert the mountain into an island, so that a journey from Casius into Phoenicia might have been undertaken by water. We should not be surprised therefore if in time to come the isthmus which separates the Egyptian sea from the Erythraean Sea, should part asunder or subside, and becoming a strait, connect the outer and inner seas, similarly to what has taken place at the strait of the Pillars. At the commencement of this work will be found some other narrations of a similar kind, which should be considered at the same time, and which will greatly tend to strengthen our belief both in these works of nature and also in its other changes.
§ 1.3.18 The Piraeus having been formerly an island, and lying πέραν, or off the shore, is said to have thus received its name. Leucas, on the contrary, has been made an island by the Corinthians, who cut through the isthmus which connected it with the shore [of the mainland]. It is concerning this place that Laertes is made to say, "Oh that I possessed Such vigour now as when in arms I took Nericus, continental city fair." Here man devoted his labour to make a separation, in other instances to the construction of moles and bridges. Such is that which connects the island opposite to Syracuse with the mainland. This junction is now effected by means of a bridge, but formerly, according to Ibycus, by a pier of picked stones, which he calls elect. Of Bura and Helice, one has been swallowed by an earthquake, the other covered by the waves. Near to Methone, which is on the Hermionic Gulf, a mountain seven stadia in height was cast up during a fiery eruption; during the day it could not be approached on account of the heat and sulphureous smell; at night it emitted an agreeable odour, appeared brilliant at a distance, and was so hot that the sea boiled all around it to a distance of five stadia, and appeared in a state of agitation for twenty stadia, the heap being formed of fragments of rock as large as towers. Both Arne and Mideia have been buried in the waters of Lake Copais. These towns the Poet in his Catalogue thus speaks of; "Arne claims a record next for her illustrious sons, Vine-bearing Arne. Thou wast also there Mideia." Iliad 2.507. It seems that several Thracian cities have been submerged by the Lake Bistonis, and that now called Aphnitis. Some also affirm that certain cities of Trerus were also overwhelmed, in the neighbourhood of Thrace. Artemita, formerly one of the Echinades, is now part of the mainland; the same has happened to some other of the islets near the Achelous, occasioned, it is said, in the same way, by the alluvium carried into the sea by that river, and Hesiod assures us that a like fate awaits them all. Some of the Aetolian promontories were formerly islands. Asteria, called by Homer Asteris, is no longer what it was.
"There is a rocky isle
In the mid-sea, between Samos the rude
And Ithaca, not large, named Asteris. It hath commodious havens, into which
A passage clear opens on either side." [Odyssey 4.844] There is no good anchorage there now. Neither is there in Ithaca the cavern, nor yet the sanctuary of the nymphs described to us by Homer. It seems more correct to attribute this to change having come over the places, than either to the ignorance or the romancing of the poet. This however, being uncertain, must be left to every man's opinion.
§ 1.3.19 Myrsilus tells us that Antissa was formerly an island, and so called because it was opposite to Lesbos, then named Issa. Now, however, it forms one of the towns of Lesbos. Some have believed that Lesbos itself has been disjoined from Mount Ida in the same way as Prochytas and Pithecussa from Misenum, Capreae from the Athenaion, Sicily from Rhegium, and Ossa from Olympus. Many changes similar to these have occurred elsewhere. The river Ladon in Arcadia ceased for some time its flow. Duris informs us that the Rhagae in Media gained that appellation from chasms made in the ground near the Caspian Gates by earthquakes, in which many cities and villages were destroyed, and the rivers underwent various changes. Ion, in his satirical composition of Omphale, has said of Euboea, "The light wave of the Euripus has divided the land of Euboea from Boeotia; separating the projecting land by a strait."
§ 1.3.20 Demetrius of Callatis, speaking of the earthquakes which formerly occurred throughout the whole of Greece, states that a great portion of the Lichadian Islands and of Kenaion were submerged; that the hot springs of Aedepsus and Thermopylae were suppressed for three days, and that when they commenced to run again those of Aedepsus gushed from new fountains. That at Oreus on the sea-coast the wall and nearly seven hundred houses fell at once. That the greater part of Echinus, Phalara, and Heraclaea of Trachis were thrown down, Phalara being overturned from its very foundations. That almost the same misfortune occurred to the Lamians and inhabitants of Larissa; that Scarpheia was overthrown from its foundations, not less than one thousand seven hundred persons being swallowed up, and at Thronium more than half that number. That a torrent of water gushed forth taking three directions, one to Scarphe and Thronium, another to Thermopylae, and a third to the plains of Daphnus in Phocis. That the springs of [many] rivers were for several days dried up; that the course of the Sperchius was changed, thus rendering navigable what formerly were highways; that the Boagrius flowed through another channel; that many parts of Alope, Cynus, and Opus were injured, and the castle of Oeum, which commands the latter city, entirely overturned. That part of the wall of Elateia was thrown down; and that at Alponus, during the celebration of the games in honour of Ceres, twenty-five maidens, who had mounted a tower to enjoy the show exhibited in the port, were precipitated into the sea by the falling of the tower. They also record that a large fissure was made [by the water] through the midst of the island of Atalanta, opposite Euboea, sufficient for ships to sail in; that the course of the channel was in places as broad as twenty stadia between the plains; and that a trireme being raised [thereby] out of the docks, was carried over the walls.
§ 1.3.21 Those who desire to instill into us that more perfect freedom from [ignorant] wonder, which Democritus and all other philosophers so highly extol, should add the changes which have been produced by the migrations of various tribes: we should thus be inspired with courage, steadiness, and composure. For instance, the Western Iberians, removed to the regions beyond the Euxine and Colchis, being separated from Armenia, according to Apollodorus, by the Araxes, but rather by the Cyrus and Moschican mountains. The expedition of the Egyptians into Ethiopia and Colchis. The migration of the Heneti, who passed from Paphlagonia into the country bordering on the Adriatic Gulf. Similar emigrations were also undertaken by the nations of Greece, the Ionians, Dorians, Achaians, and Aeolians; and the Aenians, now next neighbours to the Aetolians, formerly dwelt near Dotium and Ossa, beyond the Perrhaebi; the Perrhaebi too are but wanderers here themselves. Our present work furnishes numerous instances of the same kind. Some of these are familiar to most readers, but the migrations of the Carians, the Treres, the Teucrians, and the Galatae or Gauls, are not so generally known. Nor yet for the most part are the expeditions of their chiefs, for instance, Madys the Scythian, Tearko the Ethiopian, Cobus of Trerus, Sesostris and Psammeticus the Egyptians; nor are those of the Persians from Cyrus to Xerxes familiar to every one. The Kimmerians, or a separate tribe of them, called the Treres, have frequently overrun the countries to the right of the Euxine and those adjacent to them, bursting now into Paphlagonia, now into Phrygia, as they did when, according to report, Midas came to his death by drinking bull's blood. Lygdamis led his followers into Lydia, passed through Ionia, took Sardis, but was slain in Cilicia. The Kimmerians and Treres frequently made similar incursions, until at last, as it is reported, these latter, together with [their chief] Cobus, were driven out by Madys, king of the "Scythians." But enough has been said in this place on the general history of the earth, as each country will have a particular account.
§ 1.3.22 We must now return to the point whence we digressed. Herodotus having observed that there could be no such people as Hyperborean, inasmuch as there were no Hypernotii, Eratosthenes calls this argument ridiculous, and compares it to the sophism, that there are no epichaerekaki, inasmuch as there are no epichaeragathi; [adding] perhaps there are Hypernotii; since at all events in Ethiopia Notus does not blow, although lower down it does. It would indeed be strange, since winds blow under every latitude, and especially the southern wind called Notus, if any region could be found where this latter was not felt. On the contrary, not only does Ethiopia experience our Notus, but also the whole country which lies above as far as the equator. If Herodotus must be blamed at all, it is for supposing that the Hyperboreans were so named in consequence of Boreas, or the north wind, not blowing upon them. The poets are allowed much licence in their modes of expression; but their commentators, who endeavour always to give us the correct view, tell us that the people who dwelt in the extreme north, were styled Hyperboreans. The pole is the boundary of the northern winds, and the equator of the southern; these winds have no other limit.
§ 1.3.23 Eratosthenes next finds fault with the writers who fill their narrative with stories evidently feigned and impossible; some as mere fable, but others as history, which did not deserve mention. In the discussion of a subject like his, he should not have wasted his time about such trifles. Such is the way in which this writer completes the First Book of his Memoirs.
§ 1.4.1 IN his Second Book Eratosthenes endeavours to correct some errors in geography, and offers his own views on the subject, any mistakes in which we shall endeavour in our turn to set right. He is correct in saying that the inductions of mathematics and natural philosophy should be employed, and that if the earth is spheroidal like the universe, it is inhabited in all parts; together with some other things of this nature. Later writers do not agree with him as to the size of the earth, nor admit his measurement. However Hipparchus, when noting the celestial appearances for each particular locality, adopts his admeasurements, saying that those taken for the meridian of Meroe, Alexandria, and the Dnieper, differ but very slightly from the truth. Eratosthenes then enters into a long discussion concerning the figure of the globe, proving that the form of the earth together with the water is spheroidal, as also the heavens. This however we imagine was foreign to his purpose, and should have been disposed of in the compass of a few words.
§ 1.4.2 After this he proceeds to determine the breadth of the habitable earth: he tells us, that measuring from the meridian of Meroe to Alexandria, there are 10,000 stadia. From thence to the Hellespont about 8100. Again; from thence to the Dnieper, 5000; and thence to the parallel of Thule, which Pytheas says is six days' sail north from Britain, and near the Frozen Sea, other 11,500. To which if we add 3400 stadia above Meroe in order to include the Island of the Egyptians, the Cinnamon country, and Taprobane, there will be in all 38,000 stadia.
§ 1.4.3 We will let pass the rest of his distances, since they are something near, — but that the Dnieper is under the same parallel as Thule, what man in his senses could ever agree to this? Pytheas, who has given us the history of Thule, is known to be a man upon whom no reliance can be placed, and other writers who have seen Britain and Ierne, although they tell us of many small islands round Britain, make no mention whatever of Thule. The length of Britain itself is nearly the same as that of Keltica, opposite to which it extends. Altogether it is not more than 5000 stadia in length, its outermost points corresponding to those of the opposite continent. In fact the extreme points of the two countries lie opposite to each other, the eastern extremity to the eastern, and the western to the western: the eastern points are situated so close as to be within sight of each other, both at Kent and at the mouths of the Rhine. But Pytheas tells us that the island [of Britain] is more than 20,000 stadia in length, and that Kent is some days' sail from France. With regard to the locality of the Ostimii, and the countries beyond the Rhine, as far as Scythia, he is altogether mistaken. The veracity of a writer who has been thus false in describing countries with which we are well acquainted, should not be too much trusted in regard to unknown places.
§ 1.4.4 Further, Hipparchus and many others are of opinion that the parallel of latitude of the Dnieper does not differ from that of Britain; since that of Byzantium and Marseilles are the same. The degree of shadow from the gnomon which Pytheas states he observed at Marseilles being exactly equal to that which Hipparchus says he found at Byzantium; the periods of observation being in both cases similar. Now from Marseilles to the centre of Britain is not more than 5000 stadia; and if from the centre of Britain we advance north not more than 4000 stadia, we arrive at a temperature in which it is scarcely possible to exist. Such indeed is that of Ierne. Consequently the far region in which Eratosthenes places Thule must be totally uninhabitable. By what guesswork he arrived at the conclusion that between the latitude of Thule and the Dnieper there was a distance of 11,500 stadia I am unable to divine.
§ 1.4.5 Eratosthenes being mistaken as to the breadth [of the habitable earth], is necessarily wrong as to its length. The most accurate observers, both ancient and modern, agree that the known length of the habitable earth is more than twice its breadth. Its length I take to be from the [eastern] extremity of India to the [westernmost] point of Spain; and its breadth from [the south of] Ethiopia to the latitude of Ierne. Eratosthenes, as we have said, reckoning its breadth from the extremity of Ethiopia to Thule, was forced to extend its length beyond the true limits, that he might make it more than twice as long as the breadth he had assigned to it. He says that India, measured where it is narrowest, is 16,000 stadia to the river Indus. If measured from its most prominent capes it extends 3000 more. Thence to the Caspian Gates, 14,000. From the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates, 10,000. From the Euphrates to the Nile, 5000. Thence to the Canopic mouth, 1300. From the Canopic mouth to Carthage, 13,500. From thence to the Pillars at least 8000. Which make in all 70,800 stadia. To these [he says] should be added the curvature of Europe beyond the Pillars of Hercules, fronting the Iberians, and inclining west, not less than 3000 stadia, and the headlands, including that of the Ostimii, named Cabaion, and the adjoining islands, the last of which, named Uxisama, is distant, according to Pytheas, a three days' sail. But he added nothing to its length by enumerating these last, viz. the headlands, including that of the Ostimii, the island of Uxisama, and the rest; they are not situated so as affect the length of the earth, for they all lie to the north, and belong to Keltica, not to Iberia; indeed it seems but an invention of Pytheas. Lastly, to fall in with the general opinion that the breadth ought not to exceed half the length, he adds to the stated measure of its length 2000 stadia west, and as many east.
§ 1.4.6 Further, endeavouring to support the opinion that it is in accordance with natural philosophy to reckon the greatest dimension of the habitable earth from east to west, he says that, according to the laws of natural philosophy, the habitable earth ought to occupy a greater length from east to west, than its breadth from north to south. The temperate zone, which we have already designated as the longest zone, is that which the mathematicians denominate a continuous circle returning upon itself. So that if the extent of the Atlantic Ocean were not an obstacle, we might easily pass by sea from Iberia to India, still keeping in the same parallel; the remaining portion of which parallel, measured as above in stadia, occupies more than a third of the whole circle: since the parallel drawn through Athens, on which we have taken the distances from India to Iberia, does not contain in the whole 200,000 stadia. Here too his reasoning is incorrect. For this speculation respecting the temperate zone which we inhabit, and whereof the habitable earth is a part, devolves properly on those who make mathematics their study. But it is not equally the province of one treating of the habitable earth. For by this term we mean only that portion of the temperate zone where we dwell, and with which we are acquainted. But it is quite possible that in the temperate zone there may be two or even more habitable earths, especially near the circle of latitude which is drawn through Athens and the Atlantic Ocean. After this he returns to the form of the earth, which he again declares to be spheroidal. Here he exhibits the same churlishness we have previously pointed out, and goes on abusing Homer in his old style. He proceeds:
§ 1.4.7 "There has been much argument respecting the continents. Some, considering them to be divided by the rivers Nile and Tanais, have described them as islands; while others suppose them to be peninsulas connected by the isthmuses between the Caspian and the Euxine Seas, and between the Erythraean Sea and Ecregma." He adds, that this question does not appear to him to be of any practical importance, but rather, as Democritus observed, a bone of contention for angry litigants. Where there are no precise boundary marks, columns, or walls, as at Colyttus and Melite, it is easy for us to say such a place is Colyttus, and such another Melite, but not so easy to show the exact limits: thus disputes have frequently arisen concerning certain districts; that, for instance, between the Argives and Lacedemonians concerning [the possession of] Thyrea, and that between the Athenians and Boeotians relative to Oropus. Further, in giving names to the three continents, the Greeks did not take into consideration the whole habitable earth, but merely their own country and the land exactly opposite, namely, Caria, which is now inhabited by the Ionians and other neighbouring tribes. In course of time, as they advanced further and daily became acquainted with new countries, this their division came to be general." I take this last part first, and (to use Eratosthenes' own words, not those of Democritus) willing to pick my bone of contention, inquire, whether they who first made the division of the three continents were the same persons as those who first desired to distinguish their own land from that of the Carians opposite, or whether they were only acquainted with Greece, Caria, and some few other adjoining countries, and not with Europe, Asia, or Africa; but that others who followed them, and were able to write a description of the habitable earth, were the real authors of the division into three continents. How did he know that these were not the men who made this division of the habitable earth? And he who divided the earth into three parts, giving to each portion the name of "continent," could he not form in his mind a just idea of that taken as a whole, which he had so parcelled out. But if indeed he were not acquainted with the whole habitable earth, but merely made a division of some part thereof, pray what portion of that part did he denominate Asia, or Europe, or simply continent? Such talk is altogether nonsense.
§ 1.4.8 The reasoning of Eratosthenes, however, is still more absurd, when he declares that he sees no advantage in being acquainted with the exact boundaries of countries, and then cites the example of Colyttus and Melite, which prove just the contrary of his assertion. Surely if a want of certainty respecting the boundaries of Thyrea and Oropus gave rise to war, a knowledge of the limits of different districts must be of practical importance. Will he tell us that the boundaries of districts, or the limits of kingdoms, may be of some service, but when applied to continents it is carrying the matter too far. We reply, it is of equal consequence here. Suppose a dispute between two powerful princes, one claiming the possession of Asia and the other of Africa, to which of these should Egypt, I mean the country called Lower Egypt, appertain. Will any one paws over such cases on account of their rarity? By no means. It is acknowledged by every one that the limits of each continent ought to be defined by some notable boundary, indicated by the configuration of the whole habitable earth. In following out this principle, we should not be very particular if they who determine boundaries by the rivers leave some districts undefined, since the rivers do not reach from sea to sea, nor leave the continents altogether as islands.
§ 1.4.9 At the close of the book Eratosthenes blames the system of those who would divide all mankind into Greeks and Barbarians, and likewise those who recommended Alexander to treat the Greeks as friends, but the Barbarians as enemies. He suggests, as a better course, to distinguish them according to their virtues and their vices, "since amongst the Greeks there are many worthless characters, and many highly civilized are to be found amongst the Barbarians; witness the Indians and Ariani, or still better the Romans and Carthaginians, whose political system is so beautifully perfect. Alexander, considering this, disregarded the advice which had been offered him, and patronized without distinction any man he considered to be deserving." But we would inquire whether those men who thus divided the human race, abandoning one portion to contempt, and exalting to dignity the other, were not actuated to this because they found that on one side justice, knowledge, and the force of reason reigned supreme, but their contraries on the other. Alexander did not disregard the advice tendered him, but gladly embraced and followed it, respecting the wisdom of those who gave it; and so far from taking the opposite course, he closely pursued that which they pointed out.
§ 2.1.1 IN the Third Book of his Geography Eratosthenes furnishes us with a chart of the habitable earth. This he divides into two portions, by a line running from east to west parallel to the equator. He makes the Pillars of Hercules the boundary of this line to the west, and to the east the farthest ridges of those mountains which bound India on the north. From the Pillars he draws the line through the Strait of Sicily, and the southern extremities of Peloponnesus and Attica, to Rhodes and the Gulf of Issos. He says, "Through the whole of this distance the line mentioned is drawn across the sea and adjacent continents; the whole length of the Mediterranean as far as Cilicia extending in that direction. Thence it runs nearly in a straight line along the whole chain of the Taurus to India. The Taurus continuing in a straight line from the Pillars divides Asia through its whole length into two halves, north and south. So that both the Taurus and the sea from the Pillars hither lie under the parallel of Athens."
§ 2.1.2 He then declares that the ancient geographical chart wants revision; that in it the eastern portion of the Taurus is made to run too far north, India itself being also too much drawn in the same direction. One proof which he offers in support of this is, that the most southern extremities of India are under the same latitude as Meroe, as attested by many, both from astronomical observations and the temperature of the climate. From thence to the most northerly point by the mountains of the Caucasus, there are 15,000 stadia, according to Patrocles, a writer whom we are bound to believe, both on account of his worth, and the vast amount of his geographical attainments. Now since the distance from Meroe to the parallel of Athens is nearly the same, the most northerly points of India next to the Caucasian mountains ought to be under the same degree of latitude.
§ 2.1.3 But there is another method (says Eratosthenes) of proving this. The distance from the Gulf of Issos to the Euxine, proceeding in a northerly direction towards Amisus and Sinope, is about 3000 stadia, which is as much as the supposed extent of the mountains [of the Taurus]. The traveller who directs his course from Amisus due east, arrives first at Colchis, then at the high lands by the Hyrcanian Sea, afterwards at the road leading to Bactra, and beyond to the Scythians; having the mountains always on the right. The same line drawn through Amisus westward, crosses the Propontis and Hellespont. From Meroe to the Hellespont there are not more than 18,000 stadia. The distance is just the same from the southern extremity of India to the land of Bactria, if we add to the 15,000 stadia of that country the 3000 which its mountains occupy in breadth.
§ 2.1.4 Hipparchus tries to invalidate this view of Eratosthenes, by sneering at the proofs on which it rests. Patrocles, he says, merits little credit, being contradicted by the two writers Deimachus and Megasthenes, who say that the distance taken from the southern ocean, is in some places 20,000, in others 30,000 stadia; that in this assertion they are supported by the ancient charts, and he considers it absurd to require us to put implicit faith in Patrocles alone, when there is so much testimony against him; or that the ancient charts should be corrected; but rather that they should be left as they are until we have something more certain on the subject.
§ 2.1.5 This argument, I think, is in many instances unfounded. Eratosthenes availed himself of the statements of many writers, although Hipparchus alleges he was solely led by Patrocles. Who then are the authors of the statement that the southern extremity of India is under the same parallel as Meroe; and who are they who estimate the distance from Meroe to the parallel passing through Athens? Or who, again, were those who asserted that the whole breadth occupied by the mountains was equal to the distance from Cilicia to Amisus? Or who made known that, travelling from Amisus, the course lay in a straight line due east through Colchis, the [sea of] Hyrcania, so on to Bactria, and beyond this to the eastern ocean, the mountains being always on the right hand; and that this same line carried west in a straight line, traverses the Propontis and the Hellespont? These things Eratosthenes advances on the testimony of men who had been on the spot, and from the study of those numerous memoirs which he had for reference in that noble library which Hipparchus himself acknowledges to be gigantic.
§ 2.1.6 Besides, the credibility of Patrocles can be proved by a variety of evidence — the princes who confided to him so important trusts — the authors who follow his statements — and those, too, who criticise them, whose names Hipparchus has recorded. Since whenever these are refuted, the credit of Patrocles is by so much advanced. Nor does Patrocles appear to state any thing improbable when he says that the army of Alexander took but a very hasty view of every thing [in India], but Alexander himself a more exact one, causing the whole country to be described by men well acquainted with it. Which description he says was afterwards put into his hands by Xenocles the treasurer.
§ 2.1.7 Again, in the second volume of his Commentaries, Hipparchus accuses Eratosthenes of himself throwing discredit on the statement of Patrocles, on account of his differing with Megasthenes, as to the length of India on its northern side; Megasthenes stating the length at 16,000 stadia, and Patrocles at 1000 less. Being biassed by a certain Itinerary, Eratosthenes was led to reject them both on account of this discrepancy, and to follow the Itinerary. If then merely the difference of 1000 stadia is sufficient to cause the authority of Patrocles to be rejected, how much more should this be the case when we find a difference of 8000 stadia between his statement and that of two writers who agree perfectly in theirs, that the breadth of India is 20,000 stadia, while he gives only 12,000!
§ 2.1.8 We reply, that [Eratosthenes] did not object [to the statement of Patrocles] merely because it differed [from that of Megasthenes], but because the statement of this latter as to the stadia was confirmed by the Itinerary, an authority of no mean importance. There is nothing wonderful in this, that though a certain statement may be credible, another may be more credible; and that while in some instances we follow the former, in others we may dissent from it on finding a more trust-worthy guide. It is ridiculous to say that the greater the difference of one writer from others, the less he should be trusted. On the contrary, such a rule would be more applicable in regard to small differences; for in little particulars the ordinary observer and the man of great ability are equally liable to err. On the other hand, in great matters, the ordinary run of men are more like to be deceived than the man of superior talent, to whom consequently in such cases greater deference is paid.
§ 2.1.9 Generally speaking, the men who hitherto have written on the affairs of India, were a set of liars. Deimachus holds the first place in the list, Megasthenes comes next, while Onesicritus and Nearchus, with others of the same class, manage to stammer out a few words [of truth]. Of this we became the more convinced whilst writing the history of Alexander. No faith whatever can be placed in Deimachus and Megasthenes. They coined the fables concerning men with ears large enough to sleep in, men without any mouths, without noses, with only one eye, with spider-legs, and with fingers bent backward. They renewed Homer's fable concerning the battles of the Cranes and Pygmies, and asserted the latter to be three spans high. They told of ants digging for gold, of Pans with wedge-shaped heads, of serpents swallowing down oxen and stags, horns and all; meantime, as Eratosthenes has observed, reciprocally accusing each other of falsehood. Both of these men were sent ambassadors to Palimbothra, — Megasthenes to Sandrocottus, Deimachus to Allitrochades his son; and such are the notes of their residence abroad, which, I know not why, they thought fit to leave. Patrocles certainly does not resemble them; nor do any other of the authorities consulted by Eratosthenes contain such absurdities.
§ 2.1.10 If the meridian of Rhodes and Byzantium has been rightly determined to be the same, then that of Cilicia and Amisus has likewise been rightly determined; many observations having proved that the lines are parallel, and that they never impinge on each other.
§ 2.1.11 In like manner, that the voyage from Amisus to Colchis, and the route to the Caspian, and thence on to Bactra, are both due east, is proved by the winds, the seasons, the fruits, and even the sun-risings. Frequently evidence such as this, and general agreement, are more to be relied on than the measurement taken by means of instruments. Hipparchus himself was not wholly indebted to instruments and geometrical calculations for his statement that the Pillars and Cilicia lie in a direct line due east. For that part of it included between the Pillars and the Strait of Sicily he rests entirely on the assertion of sailors. It is therefore incorrect to say that, because we cannot exactly determine the duration of the longest and shortest days, nor the degree of shadow of the gnomon throughout the mountainous region between Cilicia and India, that therefore we are unable to decide whether the line traced obliquely on the ancient charts should or should not be parallel, and consequently must leave it unreformed, keeping it oblique as the ancient charts have it. For in the first place, not to determine any thing is to leave it undetermined; and to leave a thing undetermined, is neither to take one view of the matter nor the other: but to agree to leave it as the ancients have, that is to take a view of the case. It would have been more consistent with his reasoning, if he had told us to leave Geography alone altogether, since we are similarly unable to determine the position of the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the mountains of Thrace, Illyria, and Germany. Wherefore should we give more credit to the ancient writers than to the modern, when we call to mind the numerous errors of their charts which have been pointed out by Eratosthenes, and which Hipparchus has not attempted to defend.
§ 2.1.12 But the system of Hipparchus altogether teems with difficulties. Reflect for an instant on the following absurdity; after admitting that the southern extremity of India is under the same degree of latitude as Meroe, and that the distance from Meroe to the Strait of Byzantium is about 18,000 stadia, lie then makes the distance from the southern extremity of India to the mountains 30,000 stadia. Since Byzantium and Marseilles are under the same parallel of latitude, as Hipparchus tells us they are, on the authority of Pytheas, and since Byzantium and the Dnieper have also the same meridian, as Hipparchus equally assures us, if we take his assertion that there is a distance of 3700 stadia between Byzantium and the Dnieper, there will of course be a like difference between the latitude of Marseilles and the Dnieper. This would make the latitude of the Dnieper identical with that of Keltica next the Ocean; for on proceeding 3700 stadia [north of Marseilles ], we reach the ocean.
§ 2.1.13 Again, we know that the Cinnamon Country is the most southerly point of the habitable earth. According to Hipparchus's own statement, the latitude of this country, which marks the commencement of the temperate zone, and likewise of the habitable earth, is distant from the equator about 8800 stadia. And since he likewise says that from the equator to the parallel of the Dnieper there are 34,000 stadia, there will remain a distance of 25,200 stadia between the parallel of the Dnieper (which is the same as that which passes over the side of Keltica next the Ocean) to that which separates the torrid from the temperate zone. It is said that the farthest voyages now made north of Keltica are to Ierne, which lies beyond Britain, and, on account of its extreme cold, barely sustains life; beyond this it is thought to be uninhabitable. Now the distance between Keltica and Ierne is estimated at not more than 5000 stadia; so that on this view they must have estimated the whole breadth of the habitable earth at 30,000 stadia, or just above.
§ 2.1.14 Let us then transport ourselves to the land opposite the Cinnamon Country, and lying to the east under the same parallel of latitude; we shall there find the country named Taprobane. This Taprobane is universally believed to be a large island situated in the high seas, and lying to the south opposite India. Its length in the direction of Ethiopia is above 5000 stadia, as they say. There are brought from thence to the Indian markets, ivory, tortoise-shells, and other wares in large quantities. Now if this island is broad in proportion to its length, we cannot suppose that the whole distance, inclusive of the space which separates it from India, is less than 3000 stadia, which is equal to the distance of the southern extremity of the habitable earth from Meroe, since the [southern] extremities of India and Meroe are under the same parallel. It is likely there are more than 3000 stadia, but taking this number, if we add thereto the 30,000 stadia, which Deimachus states there are between [the southern extremity of India] and the country of the Bactrians and Sogdians, we shall find both of these nations lie beyond the temperate zone and habitable earth. Who will venture to affirm such to be the case, hearing, as they must, the statement made both by ancients and moderns of the genial climate and fertility of northern India, Hyrcania, Aria, Margiana, and Bactriana also? These countries are all equally close to the northern side of the Taurus, Bactriana being contiguous to that part of the chain which forms the boundary of India. A country blessed with such advantages must be very far from uninhabitable. It is said that in Hyrcania each vine produces a metrete of wine, and each fig tree 60 medimni of fruit. That the grains of wheat which fall from the husk on to the earth spring up the year following; that bee-hives are in the trees, and the leaves flow with honey. The same may be met with in the part of Media called Matiana, and also in Sacasena and Araxena, countries of Armenia. In these three it is not so much to be wondered at, since they lie more to the south than Hyrcania, and surpass the rest of the country in the beauty of their climate; but in Hyrcania it is more remarkable. It is said that in Margiana you may frequently meet with a vine whose stock would require two men with outstretched arms to clasp it, and clusters of grapes two cubits long. Aria is described as similarly fertile, the wine being still richer, and keeping perfectly for three generations in unpitched casks. Bactriana, which adjoins Aria, abounds in the same productions, if we except olives.
§ 2.1.15 That there are cold regions in the high and mountainous parts of these countries is not to be wondered at; since in the [more] southern climates the mountains, and even the tablelands, are cold. The districts next the Euxine, in Cappadocia, are much farther north than those adjoining the Taurus. Bagadania, a vast plain, situated between the mountains of Argaeus and Taurus, hardly produces any fruit trees, although south of the Euxine Sea by 3000 stadia; while the territory round Sinope, Amisus, and Phanaroea abounds in olives. The Oxus, which divides Bactriana from Sogdiana, is said to be of such easy navigation that the wares of India are brought up it into the sea of Hyrcania, and thence successively by various other rivers to the districts near the Euxine.
§ 2.1.16 Can one find any fertility to compare with this near to the Dnieper, or that part of Keltica next the ocean, where the vine either does not grow at all, or attains no maturity. However, in the more southerly portions of these districts, close to the sea, and those next the Bosphorus, the vine brings its fruit to maturity, although the grapes are exceedingly small, and the vines are covered up all the winter. And in the parts near the mouth of the Palus Maeotis, the frost is so strong that a general of Mithridates defeated the barbarians here in a cavalry engagement during the winter, and on the very same spot in a naval fight in summer, when the ice was thawed. Eratosthenes furnishes us with the following inscription, which he found in the sanctuary of Aesculapius at Panticapaion, on a brazen vase which had been broken by the frost: — "If any one doubts the intensity of our winter's cold, let him believe when he sees this vase. The priest Stratius placed it here, not because he considered it a worthy offering to the god, but as a proof of the severity of our winter." Since therefore the provinces we have just enumerated [are so superior in climate, that they] cannot be compared with the countries surrounding the Bosphorus, nor even the regions of Amisus and Sinope, (for every one will admit that they are much superior to these latter,) it would be idle to compare them with the districts near the Borysthenes and the north of Keltica; for we have shown that their temperature is not so low as Amisus, Sinope, Byzantium, and Marseilles, which are universally acknowledged to be 3700 stadia south of the Dnieper and Keltica.
§ 2.1.17 If the followers of Deimachus add to the 30.000 stadia the distance to Taprobane and the boundaries of the torrid zone, which cannot be reckoned less than 4000 stadia, they will then remove Bactria and Aria from their actual localities and place them 34,000 stadia from the torrid zone, a distance equal to that which Hipparchus states to be between the equator and [the mouth of] the Dnieper, and the two countries will therefore be removed 8800 stadia north of [the mouth of] the Dnieper and Keltica; for there are reckoned to be 8800 stadia from the equator to the parallel of latitude which separates the temperate from the torrid zone, and which crosses the Cinnamon Country. We have proved that the regions not more than 5000 stadia north of Keltica, as far as Ierne, are scarcely habitable, but their reasoning leads to the conclusion that there is another circle fitted for the habitation of man, although 3800 stadia north of Ierne. And that Bactra is still farther north than the mouth of the Caspian or Hyrcanian Sea, which is distant about 6000 stadia from the recess of the Caspian and the mountains of Armenia and Media, and which appears to be the most northerly point of the whole coast as far as India, with a sea navigable to India all the way, as Patrocles, who had the government of these regions, affirms. Now Bactriana stretches 1000 stadia farther north. Beyond this the Scythians occupy a much larger territory, bounded by the Northern Ocean: here they dwell, though to be sure theirs is a nomade life. But we ask how they could exist here at all, supposing even Bactra to be beyond the limits of the habitable globe. The distance from the Caucasus to the Northern Sea through Bactra would be rather more than 4000 stadia. This being added to the number of stadia north of Ierne above-mentioned, will give us the whole amount of uninhabitable land from Ierne northward 7800 stadia, and even omitting the 4000 stadia altogether, those parts of Bactriana next the Caucasus will still be 3800 stadia farther north than Ierne, and 8800 farther north than Keltica, and [the mouth] of the Dnieper.
§ 2.1.18 Hipparchus narrates that at the Dnieper and [the north of] Keltica, during the whole of the summer nights there is one continued twilight from sun-set to sun-rise, but at the winter solstice the sun never rises more than nine cubits above the horizon. He adds that this phenomenon is yet more remarkable in regions 6300 stadia north of Marseilles, (these regions he supposes to be peopled by Kelts, but I believe are inhabited by Britons, and 2500 stadia north of Keltica,) where the sun at the winter solstice rises only six cubits above the horizon. That at 9100 stadia north of Marseilles it only rises four cubits, and not so much as three in the countries beyond, and which I consider much farther north than Ierne. However, Hipparchus, on the authority of Pytheas, places them south of Britain, and says that the longest day there consists only of 19 hours; while in countries where the sun rises but four cubits above the horizon, and which are situated 9100 stadia north of Marseilles, the day has 18 hours. Consequently [according to his hypothesis] the most southerly parts of Britain must be north of these regions. They must therefore be under the same parallel, or almost the same, as the parts of Bactriana next to the Caucasus, which I have shown are, according to the followers of Deimachus, 3800 stadia farther north than Ierne. Now if we add this to the number between Marseilles and Ierne, we shall get 12,500 stadia. But who ever made known to us that, in those parts, I mean, in the vicinity of Bactra, this was the duration of the longest day, or the height which the sun attains in the meridian at the winter solstice? All these things are patent to the eyes of every man, and require no mathematical investigation; therefore they certainly would have been mentioned by numerous writers both amongst the ancients who have left us histories of Persia, and by the later writers too, who have carried them down to our own time. How, too, would their fertility, which I have described above, harmonize with such a latitude? The facts here advanced are sufficient to give an idea of the learned manner in which Hipparchus attempts to controvert the reasoning of Eratosthenes by mere petitiones principii.
§ 2.1.19 Again, Eratosthenes wished to show the ignorance of Deimachus, and his want of information concerning such matters, as proved by his assertion that India lies between the autumnal equinox and winter tropic. Also in his blaming Megasthenes, where he says that in the southern parts of India the Greater and Lesser Bear are seen to set, and the shadows to fall both ways; assuring us that such is not the case in India. These assertions, says Eratosthenes, arise from the ignorance of Deimachus. For it is nothing else than ignorance to suppose that the autumnal equinox is not equally distant from the tropics with the vernal; since in both equinoxes the sun rises at the same point, and performs a similar revolution. Further, [he continues, ] the distance from the terrestrial tropic to the equator, between which, according to Deimachus himself, India is situated, has been proved by measurement to be much less than 20,000 stadia, consequently his own statements prove that my assertion is correct, and not his. For supposing India to be twenty or thirty thousand stadia [in breadth] it could not be contained in the given space, but if my estimate be taken it is simple enough. It is another evidence of his want of information, to say that the two Bears are not seen to set, or the shadows to fall both ways, in any part of India, since 5000 stadia south of Alexandria both of these phenomena are observable. Thus reasons Eratosthenes; whom Hipparchus again criticises in the same mistaken way. First he substitutes [in the text of Deimachus] the summer in place of the winter tropic; then he says that the evidence of a man ignorant of astronomy ought not to be received in a mathematical question; as if Eratosthenes in the main had actually been guided by the authority of Deimachus. Could he not see that Eratosthenes had followed the general custom in regard to idle reasoners, one means of refuting whom is to show that their arguments, whatever they may be, go only to confirm our views.
§ 2.1.20 It is by assuming as a fact that the southern extremity of India is under the same parallel as Meroe, a thing affirmed and believed by most writers, that we shall be best able to show the absurdities of the system of Hipparchus. In the first book of his Commentaries he does not object to this hypothesis, but in the second book he no longer admits it; we must examine his reasons for this. He says, "when two countries are situated under the same parallel, but separated by a great distance, you cannot be certain that they are exactly under the same parallel, unless the climata of both the places are found to be similar. Now Philo, in his account of a voyage by sea to Ethiopia, has given us the clima of Meroe. He says that at that place the sun is vertical forty-five days before the summer solstice, he also informs us of the proportion of shadow thrown by the gnomon both at the equinoxes and solstices. Eratosthenes agrees almost exactly with Philo. But not a single writer, not even Eratosthenes, has informed us of the clima of India; but if it is the case, as many are inclined to believe on the authority of Nearchus, that the two Bears are seen to set in that country, then certainly Meroe and the southern extremity of India cannot be under the same parallel." [Such is the reasoning of Hipparchus, but we reply, ] If Eratosthenes confirms the statement of those authors who tell us that in India the two Bears are observed to set, how can it be said that not a single person, not even Eratosthenes, has informed us of any thing concerning the clima of India? This is itself information on that point. If, however, he has not confirmed this statement, let him be exonerated from the error. Certain it is he never did confirm the statement. Only when Deimachus affirmed that there was no place in India from which the two Bears might be seen to set, or the shadows fall both ways, as Megasthenes had asserted, Eratosthenes thereupon taxed him with ignorance, regarding as absolutely false this two-fold assertion, one half of which, namely, that concerning the shadows not falling both ways, Hipparchus himself acknowledged to be false; for if the southern extremity of India were not under the same parallel as Meroe, still Hipparchus appears to have considered it south of Syene.
§ 2.1.21 In the instances which follow, Hipparchus, treating of these subjects, either asserts things similar to those which we have already refuted, or takes for granted matters which are not so, or draws improper sequences. For instance, from the computation [of Eratosthenes] that the distance from Babylon to Thapsacus is 4800 stadia, and thence northward to the mountains of Armenia 2100 stadia more, it does not follow that, starting from the meridian of that city, the distance to the northern mountains is above 6000 stadia. Besides, Eratosthenes never says that the distance from Thapsacus to these mountains is 2100 stadia, but that a part thereof has never yet been measured; so that this argument [of Hipparchus], founded on a false hypothesis, amounts to nothing. Nor did Eratosthenes ever assert that Thapsacus lies more than 4500 stadia north of Babylon.
§ 2.1.22 Again, Hipparchus, ever anxious to defend the [accuracy of the] ancient charts, instead of fairly stating the words of Eratosthenes concerning his third section of the habitable earth, wilfully makes him the author of an assertion easy of disproof. For Eratosthenes, following the opinion we before mentioned, that a line drawn from the Pillars of Hercules across the Mediterranean, and the length of the Taurus, would run due west and east, divides, by means of this line, the habitable earth into two portions, which he calls the northern and southern divisions; each of these he again essays to subdivide into as many smaller partitions as practicable, which he denominates sections. He makes India the first section of the southern part, and Ariana the second; these two countries possessing a good outline, he has been able not only to give us an accurate statement of their length and breadth, but an almost geometrically exact description of their figure. He tells us that the form of India is rhomboidal, being washed on two of its sides by the southern and eastern oceans [respectively], which do not deeply indent its shores, The two remaining sides are contained by its mountains and the river [Indus], so that it presents a kind of rectilinear figure. As to Ariana, he considered three of its sides well fitted to form a parallelogram; but of the western side he could give no regular definition, as it was inhabited by various nations; nevertheless he attempts an idea of it by a line drawn from the Caspian Gates to the limits of Carmania, which border on the Persian Gulf. This side he calls western, and that next the Indus eastern, but he does not tell us they are parallel to each other; neither does he say this of the other sides, one bounded by the mountains, and the other by the sea; he simply calls them north and south.
§ 2.1.23 Having in this manner but imperfectly traced the outlines of his second section, the third section, for various reasons, is still less exact. The first cause has been already explained, viz. that the line from the Caspian Gates to Carmania is not clearly defined, as the side of the section is common both to the third and second sections. Secondly, on account of the Persian Gulf interrupting the continuity of the southern side, as he himself tells us, he has been obliged to take the measured road running through Susa and Persepolis to the boundaries of Carmania and Persia, and suppose it straight. This road, which he calls the southern side, is a little more than 9000 stadia. He does not, however, tell us, that it runs parallel to the northern side. It is also clear that the Euphrates, which he makes the western boundary, is any thing but a straight line. On leaving the mountains it flows south, but soon shifts its course to the east; it then again pursues a southerly direction till it reaches the sea. In fact, Eratosthenes himself acknowledges the indirect course of this river, when he compares the shape of Mesopotamia, which is formed by the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates, to the cushion on a rower's bench. The western side bounded by the Euphrates is not entirely measured; for he tells us that he does not know the extent of the portion between Armenia and the northern mountains, as it has not been measured. By reason of these hinderances he states that he has been only able to give a very superficial view of the third section, and that his estimate of the distances is borrowed from various Itineraries, some of them, according to his own description, anonymous. Hipparchus therefore must be considered guilty of unfairness, for criticising with geometrical precision a work of this general nature. We ought rather to be grateful to a person who gives us any description at all of the character of such [unknown] places. But when he urges his geometrical objections not against any real statement of Eratosthenes, but merely against imaginary hypotheses of his own creation, he shows too plainly the contradictory bent of his mind.
§ 2.1.24 It is in this general kind of description of the third section that Eratosthenes supposes 10,000 stadia from the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates. This he again divides according to former admeasurements which he found preserved. Starting from the point where the Euphrates passes near to Thapsacus, he computes from thence to the place where Alexander crossed the Tigris 2400 stadia. The route thence through Gaugamela, the Lycus, Arbela, and Ecbatana, whither Darius fled from Gaugamela to the Caspian Gates, makes up the 10,000 stadia, which is only 300 stadia too much. Such is the measure of the northern side given by Eratosthenes, which he could not have supposed to be parallel to the mountains, nor yet to the line drawn from the Pillars of Hercules through Athens and Rhodes. For Thapsacus is far removed from the mountains, and the route from Thapsacus to the Caspian Gates only falls in with the mountains at that point. Such is the boundary on the northern side.
§ 2.1.25 Thus, says Eratosthenes, we have given you a description of the northern side; as for the southern, we cannot take its measure along the sea, on account of the Persian Gulf, which intercepts [its continuity], but from Babylon through Susa and Persepolis to the confines of Persia and Carmania there are 9200 stadia. This he calls the southern side, but he does not say it is parallel to the northern. The difference of length between the northern and southern sides is caused, he tells us, by the Euphrates, which after running south some distance shifts its course almost due east.
§ 2.1.26 Of the two remaining sides, he describes the western first, but whether we are to regard it as one single straight line, or two, seems to be undecided. He says, — From Thapsacus to Babylon, following the course of the Euphrates, there are 4800 stadia; from thence to the mouth of the Euphrates and the city of Teredon, 3000 more; from Thapsacus northward to the Gates of Armenia, having been measured, is stated to be 1100 stadia, but the distance through Gordyaea and Armenia, not having yet been measured, is not given. The eastern side, which stretches lengthwise through Persia from the Red Sea towards Media and the north, does not appear to be less than 8000 stadia, and measured from certain headlands above 9000, the rest of the distance through Paraetacena and Media to the Caspian Gates being 3000 stadia. The rivers Tigris and Euphrates flowing from Armenia towards the south, after having passed the Gordytaean mountains, and having formed a great circle which embraces the vast country of Mesopotamia, turn towards the rising of the sun in winter and the south, particularly the Euphrates, which, continually approaching nearer and nearer to the Tigris, passes by the rampart of Semiramis, and at about 200 stadia from the village of Opis, thence it flows through Babylon, and so discharges itself into the Persian Gulf. Thus the figure of Mesopotamia and Babylon resembles the cushion of a rower's bench. — Such are the words of Eratosthenes.
§ 2.1.27 In the Third Section it is true he does make some mistakes, which we shall take into consideration; but they are nothing like the amount which Hipparchus attributes to him. However, we will examine his objections. [In the first place,] he would have the ancient charts left just as they are, and by no means India brought more to the south, as Eratosthenes thinks proper. Indeed, he asserts that the very arguments adduced by that writer only confirm him the more in his opinion. He says, "According to Eratosthenes, the northern side of the third section is bounded by a line of 10,000 stadia drawn from the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates, the southern side from Babylon to the confines of Carmania is a little more than 9000 stadia. On the western side, following the course of the Euphrates, from Thapsacus to Babylon there are 4800 stadia, and thence to the outlets of the river 3000 stadia more. Northward from Thapsacus [to the Gates of Armenia] is reckoned 1100 stadia; the rest has not been measured. Now since Eratosthenes says that the northern side of this Third Section is about 10,000 stadia, and that the right line parallel thereto drawn from Babylon to the eastern side is computed at just above 9000 stadia, it follows that Babylon is not much more than 1000 stadia east of the passage of [the Euphrates] near Thapsacus."
§ 2.1.28 We answer, that if the Caspian Gates and the boundary line of Carmania and Persia were exactly under the same meridian, and if right lines drawn in the direction of Thapsacus and Babylon would intersect such meridian at right angles, the inference would be just. For then the line [from the common frontier of Carmania and Persia] to Babylon if produced to the meridian of Thapsacus, would appear to the eye equal, or nearly equal, to that from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus. Consequently, Babylon would only be east of Thapsacus in the same proportion as the line drawn from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus exceeds the line drawn from the frontier of Carmania to Babylon.Eratosthenes, however, does not tell us that the line which bounds the western coast of Ariana follows the direction of the meridian; nor yet that a line drawn from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus would form right angles with the meridian of the Caspian Gates. But rather, that the line which would form right angles with the meridian, would be one which should follow the course of the Taurus, and with which the line drawn from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus would form an acute angle. Nor, again, does he ever say that a line drawn from Carmania to Babylon would be parallel to that drawn [from the Caspian Gates ] to Thapsacus; and even if it were parallel, this would prove nothing for the argument of Hipparchus, since it does not form right angles with the meridian of the Caspian Gates.
§ 2.1.29 But taking this for granted, and proving, as he imagines, that, according to Eratosthenes, Babylon is east of Thapsacus rather more than 1000 stadia, he draws from this false hypothesis a new argument, which he uses to the following purpose; and says, If we suppose a right line drawn from Thapsacus towards the south, and another from Babylon perpendicular thereto, a right-angled triangle would be the result; whose sides should be, 1. A line drawn from Thapsacus to Babylon; 2. A perpendicular drawn from Babylon to the meridian of Thapsacus; 3. The meridian line of Thapsacus. The hypotenuse of this triangle would be a right line drawn from Thapsacus to Babylon, which he estimates at 4800 stadia. The perpendicular drawn from Babylon to the meridian of Thapsacus is scarcely more than 1000 stadia; the same amount by which the line drawn [from the Caspian Gates ] to Thapsacus exceeds that [from the common frontier of Carmania and Persia] to Babylon. The two sides [of the triangle] being given, Hipparchus proceeds to find the third, which is much greater than the perpendicular aforesaid. To this he adds the line drawn from Thapsacus northwards to the mountains of Armenia, one part of which, according to Eratosthenes, was measured, and found to be 1100 stadia; the other, or part unmeasured by Eratosthenes, Hipparchus estimates to be 1000 stadia at the least: so that the two together amount to 2100 stadia. Adding this to the [length of the] side upon which falls the perpendicular drawn from Babylon, Hipparchus estimated a distance of many thousand stadia from the mountains of Armenia and the parallel of Athens to this perpendicular, which falls on the parallel of Babylon.From the parallel of Athens to that of Babylon he shows that there cannot be a greater distance than 2400 stadia, even admitting the estimate supplied by Eratosthenes himself of the number of stadia which the entire meridian contains; and that if this be so, the mountains of Armenia and the Taurus cannot be under the same parallel of latitude as Athens, (which is the opinion of' Eratosthenes,) but many thousand stadia to the north, as the data supplied by that writer himself prove. But here, for the formation of his right-angled triangle, Hipparchus not only makes use of propositions already overturned, but assumes what was never granted, namely, that the hypotenuse subtending his right angle, which is the straight line from Thapsacus to Babylon, is 4800 stadia in length. What Eratosthenes says is, that this route follows the course of the Euphrates, and adds, that Mesopotamia and Babylon are encompassed as it were by a great circle formed by the Euphrates and Tigris, but principally by the former of these rivers. So that a straight line from Thapsacus to Babylon would neither follow the course of the Euphrates, nor yet be near so many stadia in length. Thus the argument [of Hipparchus] is overturned. We have stated before, that supposing two lines drawn from the Caspian Gates, one to Thapsacus, and the other to the mountains of Armenia opposite Thapsacus, and distant therefrom, according to Hipparchus's own estimate, 2100 stadia at the very least, neither of them would be parallel to each other, nor yet to that line which, passing through Babylon, is styled by Eratosthenes the southern side [of the third section]. As he could not inform us of the exact length of the route by the mountains, Eratosthenes tells us the distance between Thapsacus and the Caspian Gates; in fact, to speak in a general way, he puts this distance in place of the other; besides, as he merely wanted to give the length of the territory between Ariana and the Euphrates, he was not particular to have the exact measure of either route. To pretend that he considered the lines to be parallel to each other, is evidently to accuse the man of more than childish ignorance, and we dismiss the insinuation as nonsense forthwith.
§ 2.1.30 There, however, are some instances in which one may justly accuse Eratosthenes. There is a difference in dissecting limb by limb, or merely cutting off portions [indiscriminately], (for in the former you may only separate parts having a natural outline, and distinguished by a regular form; this the poet alludes to in the expression, "Cutting them limb from limb;" whereas in regard to the latter this is not the case,) and we may adopt with propriety either one or other of these plans according to the time and necessity. So in Geography, if you enter into every detail, you may sometimes be compelled to divide your territories into portions, so to speak, but it is a more preferable way to separate them into limbs, than into such chance pieces; for thus only you can define accurately particular points and boundaries, a thing so necessary to the geographer. When it can be done, the best way to define a country is by the rivers, mountains, or sea; also, where possible, by the nation or nations [who inhabit it], and by its size and configuration. However, in default of a geometrical definition, a simple and general description may be said always to answer the purpose. In regard to size, it is sufficient to state the greatest length and breadth; for example, that the habitable earth is 70,000 stadia long, and that its breadth is scarcely half its length. And as to form, to compare a country to any geometrical or other well-known figure. For example, Sicily to a triangle, Spain to an ox-hide, or the Peloponnesus to a plane-leaf. The larger the territory to be divided, the more general also ought its divisions to be.
§ 2.1.31 [In the system of Eratosthenes], the habitable earth has been admirably divided into two parts by the Taurus and the Mediterranean Sea, which reaches to the Pillars. On the southern side, the limits of India have been described by a variety of methods; by its mountains, its river, its seas, and its name, which seems to indicate that it is inhabited only by one people. It is with justice too that he attributes to it the form of a quadrilateral or rhomboid. Ariana is not so accurately described, on account of its western side being interwoven with the adjacent land. Still it is pretty well distinguished by its three other sides, which are formed by three nearly straight lines, and also by its name, which shows it to be only one nation. As to the Third Section of Eratosthenes, it cannot be considered to be defined or circumscribed at all; for that side of it which is common to Ariana is but ill defined, as before remarked. The southern side, too, is most negligently taken: it is, in fact, no boundary to the section at all, for it passes right through its centre, leaving entirely outside of it many of the southern portions. Nor yet does it represent the greatest length of the section, for the northern side is the longest. Nor, lastly, can the Euphrates be its western boundary, not even if it flowed in a right line, since its two extremes do not lie under the same meridian. How then is it the western rather than the southern boundary? Apart from this, the distance to the Seas of Cilicia and Syria is so inconsiderable, that there can be no reason why he should not have enlarged the third section, so as to include the kingdoms of Semiramis and Ninus, who are both of them known as Syrian monarchs; the first built Babylon, which he made his royal residence; the second Ninus, the capital of Syria; and the same dialect still exists on both sides of the Euphrates. The idea of thus dismembering so renowned a nation, and allotting its portions to strange nations with which it had no connexion, is as peculiarly unfortunate. Eratosthenes cannot plead that he was compelled to do this on account of its size, for had it extended as far as the sea and the frontiers of Arabia Felix and Egypt, even then it would not have been as large as India, or even Ariana. It would have therefore been much better to have enlarged the third section, making it comprehend the whole space as far as the Sea of Syria; but if this were done, the southern side would not be as he represents it, nor yet in a straight line, but starting from Carmania would follow the right side of the sea-shore from the Persian Gulf to the mouth of the Euphrates; it would then approach the limits of Mesene and Babylon, where the isthmus commences which separates Arabia Felix from the rest of the continent. Traversing the isthmus, it would continue its course to the recess of the Arabian Gulf and Pelusium, thence to the mouth of the Nile at Canopus. Such would be the southern side. The west would be traced by the sea-shore from the [river's] mouth at Canopus to Cilicia.
§ 2.1.32 The fourth section would consist of Arabia Felix, the Arabian Gulf, and the whole of Egypt and Ethiopia. Its length bounded by two meridians, one drawn through its most western point, the other through its most eastern; and its breadth by two parallels through its most northern and southern points. For this is the best way to describe the extent of irregular figures, whose length and breadth cannot be determined by their sides. In general it is to be observed, that length and breadth are to be understood in different ways, according as you speak of the whole or a part. Of a whole, the greater distance is called its length, and the lesser its breadth; of a part, that is to be considered the length which is parallel to the length of the whole, without any regard whether it, or that which is left for the breadth, be the greater distance. The length of the whole habitable earth is measured from east to west by a line drawn parallel to the equator, and its breadth from north to south in the direction of the meridian; consequently, the length of any of the parts ought to be portions of a line drawn parallel to the length of the whole, and their breadth to the breadth of the whole. For, in the first place, by this means the size of the whole habitable earth will be best described; and secondly, the disposition and configuration of its parts, and the manner in which one may be said to be greater or less than another, will be made manifest by thus comparing them.
§ 2.1.33 Eratosthenes, however, measures the length of the habitable earth by a line which he considers straight, drawn from the Pillars of Hercules, in the direction of the Caspian Gates and the Caucasus. The length of the third section, by a line drawn from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus, and of the fourth, by one running from Thapsacus through Heroopolis to the country surrounded by the Nile: this must necessarily be deflected to Canopus and Alexandria, for there is the last mouth of the Nile, which goes by the name of the Canopic or Heracleotic mouth. Whether therefore these two lengths be considered to form one straight line, or to make an angle with Thapsacus, certain it is that neither of them is parallel to the length of the habitable earth; this is evident from what Eratosthenes has himself said concerning them. According to him the length of the habitable earth is described by a right line running through the Taurus to the Pillars of Hercules, in the direction of the Caucasus, Rhodes, and Athens. From Rhodes to Alexandria, following the meridian of the two cities, he says there cannot be much less than 4000 stadia, consequently there must be the same difference between the latitudes of Rhodes and Alexandria. Now the latitude of Heroopolis is about the same as Alexandria, or rather more south. So that a line, whether straight or broken, which intersects the parallel of Heroopolis, Rhodes, or the Gates of the Caspian, cannot be parallel to either of these. These lengths therefore are not properly indicated, nor are the northern sections any better.
§ 2.1.34 We will now return at once to Hipparchus, and see what comes next. Continuing to palm assumptions of his own [upon Eratosthenes], he goes on to refute, with geometrical accuracy, statements which that author had made in a mere general way. "Eratosthenes," he says, "estimates that there are 6700 stadia between Babylon and the Caspian Gates, and from Babylon to the frontiers of Carmania and Persia above 9000 stadia; this he supposes to lie in a direct line towards the equinoctial rising, and perpendicular to the common side of his second and third sections. Thus, according to his plan, we should have a right-angled triangle, with the right angle next to the frontiers of Carmania, and its hypotenuse less than one of the sides about the right angle! Consequently Persia should be included in the second section." To this we reply, that the line drawn from Babylon to Carmania was never intended as a parallel, nor yet that which divides the two sections as a meridian, and that therefore nothing has been laid to his charge, at all events with any just foundation. In fact, Eratosthenes having stated the number of stadia from the Caspian Gates to Babylon as above given, [from the Caspian Gates ] to Susa 4900 stadia, and from Babylon [to Susa ] 3400 stadia, Hipparchus runs away from his former hypothesis, and says that [by drawing lines from] the Caspian Gates, Susa, and Babylon, an obtuse-angled triangle would be the result, whose sides should be of the length laid down, and of which Susa would form the obtuse angle. He then argues, that "according to these premises, the meridian drawn from the Gates of the Caspian will intersect the parallel of Babylon and Susa 4400 stadia more to the west, than would a straight line drawn from the Caspian to the confines of Carmania and Persia; and that this last line, forming with the meridian of the Caspian Gates half a right angle, would lie exactly in a direction midway between the south and the equinoctial rising. Now as the course of the Indus is parallel to this line, it cannot flow south on its descent from the mountains, as Eratosthenes asserts, but in a direction lying between the south and the equinoctial rising, as laid down in the ancient charts." But who is there who will admit this to be an obtuse-angled triangle, without also admitting that it contains a right angle? Who will agree that the line from Babylon to Susa, which forms one side of this obtuse-angled triangle, lies parallel, without admitting the same of the whole line as far as Carmania? or that the line drawn from the Caspian Gates to the frontiers of Carmania is parallel to the Indus? Nevertheless, without this the reasoning [of Hipparchus] is worth nothing "Eratosthenes himself also states," [continues Hipparchus, ] "that the form of India is rhomboidal; and since the whole eastern border of that country has a decided tendency towards the east, but more particularly the extremest cape, which lies more to the south than any other part of the coast, the side next the Indus must be the same."
§ 2.1.35 These arguments may be very geometrical, but they are not convincing. After having himself invented these various difficulties, he dismisses them, saying, "Had [Eratosthenes] been chargeable for small distances only, he might have been excused; but since his mistakes involve thousands of stadia, we cannot pardon him, more especially since he has laid it down that at a mere distance of 400 stadia, such as that between the parallels of Athens and Rhodes, there is a sensible variation [of latitude]." But these sensible variations are not all of the same kind, the distance [involved therein] being in some instances greater, in others less; greater, when for our estimate of the climata we trust merely to the eye, or are guided by the vegetable productions and the temperature of the air; less, when we employ gnomons and dioptric instruments. Nothing is more likely than that if you measure the parallel of Athens, or that of Rhodes and Caria, by means of a gnomon, the difference resulting from so many stadia will be sensible. But when a geographer, in order to trace a line from west to east, 3000 stadia broad, makes use of a chain of mountains 40,000 stadia long, and also of a sea which extends still farther 30,000 stadia, and farther wishing to point out the situation of the different parts of the habitable earth relative to this line, calls some southern, others northern, and finally lays out what he calls the sections, each section consisting of divers countries, then we ought carefully to examine in what acceptation he uses his terms; in what sense he says that such a side [of any section] is the north side, and what other is the south, or east, or west side. If he does not take pains to avoid great errors, he deserves to be blamed, but should he be guilty merely of trifling inaccuracies, he should be forgiven. But here nothing shows thoroughly that Eratosthenes has committed either serious or slight errors, for on one hand what he may have said concerning such great distances, can never be verified by a geometrical test, and on the other, his accuser, while endeavouring to reason like a geometrician, does not found his arguments on any real data, but on gratuitous suppositions.
§ 2.1.36 The fourth section Hipparchus certainly manages better, though he still maintains the same censorious tone, and obstinacy in sticking to his first hypotheses, or others similar. He properly objects to Eratosthenes giving as the length of this section a line drawn from Thapsacus to Egypt, as being similar to the case of a man who should tell us that the diagonal of a parallelogram was its length. For Thapsacus and the coasts of Egypt are by no means under the same parallel of latitude, but under parallels considerably distant from each other, and a line drawn from Thapsacus to Egypt would lie in a kind of diagonal or oblique direction between them. But he is wrong when he expresses his surprise that Eratosthenes should dare to state the distance between Pelusium and Thapsacus at 6000 stadia, when he says there are above 8000. In proof of this he advances that the parallel of Pelusium is south of that of Babylon by more than 2500 stadia, and that according to Eratosthenes (as he supposes) the latitude of Thapsacus is above 4800 stadia north of that of Babylon; from which Hipparchus tells us it results that [between Thapsacus and Pelusium ] there are more than 8000 stadia. But I would inquire how he can prove that Eratosthenes supposed so great a distance between the parallels of Babylon and Thapsacus? He says, indeed, that such is the distance from Thapsacus to Babylon, but not that there is this distance between their parallels, nor yet that Thapsacus and Babylon are under the same meridian. So much the contrary, that Hipparchus has himself pointed out, that, according to Eratosthenes, Babylon ought to be east of Thapsacus more than 2000 stadia. We have before cited the statement of Eratosthenes, that Mesopotamia and Babylon are encircled by the Tigris and Euphrates, and that the greater portion of the Circle is formed by this latter river, which flowing north and south takes a turn to the east, and then, returning to a southerly direction, discharges itself [into the sea]. So long as it flows from north to south, it may be said to follow a southerly direction; but the turning towards the east and Babylon is a decided deviation from the southerly direction, and it never recovers a straight course, but forms the circuit we have mentioned above. When he tells us that the journey from Babylon to Thapsacus is 4800 stadia, he adds, following the course of the Euphrates, as if on purpose lest any one should understand such to be the distance in a direct line, or between the two parallels. If this be not granted, it is altogether a vain attempt to show that if a right-angled triangle were constructed by lines drawn from Pelusium and Thapsacus to the point where the parallel of Thapsacus intercepts the meridian of Pelusium, that one of the lines which form the right angle, and is in the direction of the meridian, would be longer than that forming the hypotenuse drawn from Thapsacus to Pelusium. Worthless, too, is the argument in connexion with this, being the inference from a proposition not admitted; for Eratosthenes never asserts that from Babylon to the meridian of the Caspian Gates is a distance of 4800 stadia. We have shown that Hipparchus deduces this from data not admitted by Eratosthenes; but desirous to controvert every thing advanced by that writer, he assumes that from Babylon to the line drawn from the Caspian Gates to the mountains of Carmania, according to Eratosthenes' description, there are above 9000 stadia, and from thence draws his conclusions.
§ 2.1.37 Eratosthenes cannot, therefore, be found fault with on these grounds; what may be objected against him is as follows. When you wish to give a general outline of size and configuration, you should devise for yourself some rule which may be adhered to more or less. After having laid down that the breadth of the space occupied by the mountains which run in a direction due east, as well as by the sea which reaches to the Pillars of Hercules, is 3000 stadia, would you pretend to estimate different lines, which you may draw within the breadth of that space, as one and the same line? We should be more willing to grant you the power of doing so with respect to the lines which run parallel to that space than with those which fall upon it; and among these latter, rather with respect to those which fall within it than to those which extend without it; and also rather for those which, in regard to the shortness of their extent, would not pass out of the said space than for those which would. And again, rather for lines of some considerable length than for any thing very short, for the inequality of lengths is less perceptible in great extents than the difference of configuration. For example, if you give 3000 stadia for the breadth at the Taurus, as well as for the sea which extends to the Pillars of Hercules, you will form a parallelogram entirely enclosing both the mountains of the Taurus and the sea; if you divide it in its length into several other parallelograms, and draw first the diagonal of the great parallelogram, and next that of each smaller parallelogram, surely the diagonal of the great parallelogram will be regarded as a line more nearly parallel and equal to the side forming the length of that figure than the diagonal of any of the smaller parallelograms: and the more your lesser parallelograms should be multiplied, the more will this become evident. Certainly, it is in great figures that the obliquity of the diagonal and its difference from the side forming the length are the less perceptible, so that you would have but little scruple in taking the diagonal as the length of the figure. But if you draw the diagonal more inclined, so that it falls beyond both sides, or at least beyond one of the sides, then will this no longer be the case; and this is the sense in which we have observed, that when you attempted to draw even in a very general way the extents of the figures, you ought to adopt some rule. But Eratosthenes takes a line from the Caspian Gates along the mountains, running as it were in the same parallel as far as the Pillars, and then a second line, starting directly from the mountains to touch Thapsacus; and again a third line from Thapsacus to the frontiers of Egypt, occupying so great a breadth. If then in proceeding you give the length of the two last lines [taken together] as the measure of the length of the district, you will appear to measure the length of one of your parallelograms by its diagonal. And if, farther, this diagonal should consist of a broken line, as that would be which stretches from the Caspian Gates to the embouchure of the Nile, passing by Thapsacus, your error will appear much greater. This is the sum of what may be alleged against Eratosthenes.
§ 2.1.38 In another respect also we have to complain of Hipparchus, because, as he had given a category of the statements of Eratosthenes, he ought to have corrected his mistakes, in the same way that we have done; but whenever he has any thing particular to remark, he tells us to follow the ancient charts, which, to say the least, need correction infinitely more than the map of Eratosthenes. The argument which follows is equally objectionable, being founded on the consequences of a proposition which, as we have shown, is inadmissible, namely, that Babylon was not more than 1000 stadia east of Thapsacus; when it was quite clear, from Eratosthenes' own words, that Babylon was above 2400 stadia east of that place; since from Thapsacus to the passage of the Euphrates where it was crossed by Alexander, the shortest route is 2400 stadia, and the Tigris and Euphrates, having encompassed Mesopotamia, flow towards the east, and afterwards take a southerly direction and approach nearer to each other and to Babylon at the same time: nothing appears absurd in this statement of Eratosthenes.
§ 2.1.39 The next objection of Hipparchus is likewise false. He attempts to prove that Eratosthenes, in his statement that the route from Thapsacus to the Caspian Gates is 10,000 stadia, gives this as the distance taken in a straight line; such not being the case, as in that instance the distance would be much shorter. His mode of reasoning is after this fashion. He says, "According to Eratosthenes, the mouth of the Nile at Canopus, and the Cyaneae, are under the same meridian, which is distant from that of Thapsacus 6300 stadia. Now from the Cyaneae to Mount Caspius, which is situated close to the defile leading from Colchis to the Caspian Sea, there are 6600 stadia, so that, with the exception of about 300 stadia, the distance from the meridian of the Cyaneae to that of Thapsacus, or to that of Mount Caspius, is the same: and both Thapsacus and Mount Caspius are, so to speak, under the same meridian. It follows from this that the Caspian Gates are about equi-distant between Thapsacus and Mount Caspius, but that the distance between them and Thapsacus is much less than the 10,000 stadia mentioned by Eratosthenes. Consequently, as the distance in a right line is much less than 10,000 stadia, this route, which he considered to be in a straight course from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus, must have been a circumbendibus." To this we reply, that Eratosthenes, as is usual in Geography, speaks of right lines, meridians, and parallels to the equator, with considerable latitude, whereas Hipparchus criticizes him with geometrical nicety, as if every line had been measured with rule and compass. Hipparchus at the same time himself frequently deciding as to right lines and parallels, not by actual measurement, but mere conjecture. Such is the first error of this writer. A second is, that he never lays down the distances as Eratosthenes has given them, nor yet reasons on the data furnished by that writer, but from mere assumptions of his own coinage. Thus, where Eratosthenes states that the distance from the mouth of the [Thracian Bosphorus ] to the Phasis is 8000 stadia, from thence to Dioscurias 600 stadia, and from Dioscurias to Caspius five days' journey, (which Hipparchus estimates at 1000 stadia,) the sum of these, as stated by Eratosthenes, would amount to 9600 stadia. This Hipparchus abridges in the following manner. From the Cyaneae to the Phasis are 5600 stadia, and from the Phasis to the Caspius 1000 more. There fore it is no statement of Eratosthenes that the Caspius and Thapsacus are under the same meridian, but of Hipparchus himself. However, supposing Eratosthenes says so, does it follow that the distance from the Caspius to the Caspian Gates, and that from Thapsacus to the same point, are equal.
§ 2.1.40 In the second book of his Commentaries, Hipparchus, having again mooted the question concerning the mountains of the Taurus, of which we have spoken sufficiently, proceeds with the northern parts of the habitable earth. He then notices the statement of Eratosthenes concerning the countries situated west of the Euxine, namely, that the three [principal] headlands [of this continent], the first the Peloponnesian, the second the Italian, the third the Ligurian, run from north [to south], enclosing the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian gulfs. After this general exposition, Hipparchus proceeds to criticise each point in detail, but rather on geometrical than geographical grounds; on these subjects, however, the number of Eratosthenes' errors is so overwhelming, as also of Timosthenes the author of the Treatise on the Ports, (whom Eratosthenes prefers above every other writer, though he often decides even against him,) that it does not seem to be worth my time to review their faulty productions, nor even what Hipparchus has to say about them; since he neither enumerates all their blunders, nor yet sets them right, but only points out how they falsify and contradict each other. Still any one might certainly object to the saying of Eratosthenes, that Europe has but three headlands, and considering as one that which terminates by the Peloponnesus, notwithstanding it is broken up into so many divisions. In fact, Sounion is as much a promontory as Laconia, and not very much less south than Malea, forming a considerable bay, and the Thracian Chersonesus and Sounion form the Gulf of Melas, and likewise those of Macedonia. Added to this, it is manifest that the majority of the distances are falsely stated, thus arguing an ignorance of geography scarcely credible, and so far from requiring geometrical demonstration that it stands out prominent on the very face of the statements. For example, the distance from Epidamnus to the Thermaic Gulf is above 2000 stadia; Eratosthenes gives it at 900. So too he states the distance from Alexandria to Carthage at 13,000 stadia; it is not more than 9000, that is, if, as he himself tells us, Caria and Rhodes are under the same meridian as Alexandria, and the Strait of Messina under the same as Carthage, for every one is agreed that the voyage from Caria to the Strait of Sicily does not exceed 9000 stadia. It is doubtless permissible in very great distances to consider as under one and the same meridian places which are not more east and west of each other than Carthage is west of the Strait; but an error of 3000 stadia is too much; and when he places Rome under the same meridian as Carthage, notwithstanding its being so far west of that city, it is but the crowning proof of his extreme ignorance both of these places, and likewise of the other countries farther west as far as the Pillars of Hercules.
§ 2.1.41 Since Hipparchus does not furnish a Geography of his own, but merely reviews what is said in that of Eratosthenes, he ought to have gone farther, and corrected the whole of that writer's mistakes. As for ourselves, it is only in those particulars where Eratosthenes is correct (and we acknowledge that he frequently errs) that we have thought it our duty to quote his own words, in order to reinstate them in their position, and to defend him when he could be acquitted of the charges of Hipparchus; never failing to break a lance with the latter writer whenever his objections seemed to be the result of a mere propensity to find fault. But when Eratosthenes is grossly mistaken, and the animadversions of Hipparchus are just, we have thought it sufficient in our Geography to set him (Eratosthenes) right by merely stating facts as they are. As the mistakes were so continual and numerous, it was better not to mention them except in a sparse and general manner. This principle in the details we shall strive to carry out. In the present instance we shall only remark, that Timosthenes, Eratosthenes, and those who preceded them, were but ill acquainted with Iberia and Keltica, and a thousand times less with Germany, Britain, and the land of the Getae and Bastarnae. Their want of knowledge is also great in regard to Italy, the Adriatic, the Euxine, and the countries north of these. Possibly this last remark may be regarded as captious, since Eratosthenes states, that as to distant countries, he has merely given the admeasurements as he finds them supplied by others, without vouching for their accuracy, although he sometimes adds whether the route indicated is more or less in a right line. We should not therefore subject to a too rigorous examination distances as to which no one is agreed, after the manner Hipparchus does, both in regard to the places already mentioned, and also to those of which Eratosthenes has given the distance from Hyrcania to Bactria and the countries beyond, and those from Colchis to the Sea of Hyrcania. These are points where we should not scrutinize him so narrowly as [when he describes] places situated in the heart of our continent, or others equally well known; and even these should be regarded from a geographical rather than a geometrical point of view. Hipparchus, at the end of the second book of his Commentaries on the Geography of Eratosthenes, having found fault with certain statements relative to Ethiopia, tells us at the commencement of the third, that his strictures, though to a certain point geographical, will be mathematical for the most part. As for myself, I cannot find any geography there. To me it seems entirely mathematical; but Eratosthenes himself set the example; for he frequently runs into scientific speculations, having little to do with the subject in hand, and which result in vague and inexact conclusions. Thus he is a mathematician in geography, and in mathematics a geographer; and so lies open to the attacks of both parties. In this third book, both he and Timosthenes get such severe justice, that there seems nothing left for us to do; Hipparchus is quite enough.
§ 2.2.1 WE will now proceed to examine the statements made by Posidonius in his Treatise on the Ocean. This Treatise contains much geographical information, sometimes given in a manner conformable to the subject, at others too mathematical. It will not, therefore, be amiss to look into some of his statements, both now and afterwards, as opportunity occurs, taking care to confine ourselves within bounds. He deals simply with geography, when he tells us that the earth is spheroidal and the universe too, and admits the necessary consequences of this hypothesis, one of which is, that the earth contains five zones.
§ 2.2.2 Posidonius informs us that Parmenides was the first to make this division of the earth into five zones, but that he almost doubled the size of the torrid zone, which is situated between the tropics, by bringing it beyond these into the temperate zones. But according to Aristotle the torrid zone is contained between the tropics, the temperate zones occupying the whole space between the tropics and the arctic circles. Both of these divisions Posidonius justly condemns, for the torrid zone is properly the space rendered uninhabitable by the heat. Whereas more than half of the space between the tropics is inhabited, as we may judge by the Ethiopians who dwell above Egypt. The equator divides the whole of this space into two equal parts. Now from Syene, which is the limit of the summer tropic, to Meroe, there are 5000 stadia, and thence to the parallel of the Cinnamon region, where the torrid zone commences, 3000 stadia. The whole of this distance has been measured, and it may be gone over either by sea or land; the remaining portion to the equator is, if we adopt the measure of the earth supplied by Eratosthenes, 8800 stadia. Therefore, as 16,800 is to 8800, so is the space comprised between the tropics to the breadth of the torrid zone. If of the more recent measurements we prefer those which diminish the size of the earth, such as that adopted by Posidonius, which is about 180,000 stadia, the torrid zone will still only occupy half, or rather more than half, of the space comprised between the tropics; but never an equal space. [Respecting the system of Aristotle, Posidonius farther says, ] "Since it is not every latitude which has Arctic Circles, and even those which do possess them have not the same, how can any one determine by them the bounds of the temperate zones, which are immutable?" Nothing however is proved [against Aristotle] from the fact that there are not Arctic Circles for every latitude, since they exist for all the inhabitants of the temperate zone, on whose account alone the zone receives its name of temperate. But the objection that the Arctic Circles do not remain the same for every latitude, but shift their places, is excellent.
§ 2.2.3 Posidonius, who himself divides the earth into zones, tells us that "five is the number best suited for the explanation of the celestial appearances, two of these are periscii, which reach from the poles to the point where the tropics serve for Arctic Circles; two more are heteroscii, which extend from the former to the inhabitants of the tropics, and one between the tropics, which is called amrphiscius, but for matters relative to the earth, it is convenient to suppose two other narrow zones placed under the tropics, and divided by then into two halves, over which [every year] for the space of a fortnight, the sun is vertical." These zones are remarkable for being extremely arid and sandy, producing no vegetation with the exception of silphium, and a parched grain somewhat resembling wheat. This is caused by there being no mountains to attract the clouds and produce rain, nor any rivers flowing through the country. The consequence is that the various species are born with woolly hair, crumpled horns, protruding lips, and wide nostrils; their extremities being as, it were gnarled. Within these zones also dwell the Ichthyophagi. He further remarks, that these peculiarities are quite sufficient to distinguish the zones in question: those which are farther south having a more salubrious atmosphere, and being more fruitful and better supplied with water.
§ 2.3.1 POLYBIUS supposes six zones: two situated between the poles and the arctic circles; two between the arctic circles and the tropics; and two between the tropics which are divided by the equator. However, it appears to me that the division into five zones accords best both with the order of external nature and geography. With external nature, as respects the celestial phenomena, and the temperature of the atmosphere. With respect to the celestial phenomena, as the Periscii and Amphiscii are thereby divided in the best possible manner, and it also forms an excellent line of separation in regard to those who behold the stars from an opposite point of view. With respect to the temperature of the atmosphere, inasmuch as looked at in connexion with the sun, there are three main divisions, which influence in a remarkable degree both plants, animals, and every other animated thing, existing either in the air, or exposed to it, namely, excess of heat, want of heat, and a moderate supply of heat. In the division into [five] zones, each of these is correctly distinguished. The two frigid zones indicate the want of heat, being alike in the temperature of their atmosphere; the temperate zones possess a moderate heat, and the remaining, or torrid zone, is remarkable for its excess of heat. The propriety of this division in regard to geography is equally apparent; the object of this science being to determine the limits of that one of the temperate zones which we inhabit. To the east and west, it is true, the boundaries are formed by the sea, but to the north and south they are indicated by the atmosphere; which in the middle is of a grateful temperature both to animals and plants, but on either side is rendered intemperate either through excess or defect of heat. To manifest this threefold difference, the division of the globe into five zones becomes necessary. In fact, the division of the globe, by means of the equator, into two hemispheres, the one northern, wherein we dwell, and the other southern, points to this threefold division, for the regions next the equator and torrid zone are uninhabitable on account of the heat, those next the poles on account of the cold, but those in the middle are mild, and fitted for the habitation of man. Posidonius, in placing two zones under the tropics, pays no regard to the reasons which influenced the division into five zones, nor is his division equally appropriate. It is no more than if he were to form his division into zones merely according to the [countries inhabited] by different nations, calling one the Ethiopian, another the Scythian and Keltic, and a third the Intermediate zone.
§ 2.3.2 Polybius, indeed, is wrong in bounding certain of his zones by the arctic circles, namely, the two which lie under them, and the two between these and the tropics. The impropriety of using shifting points to mark the limits of those which are fixed has been remarked before; and we have likewise objected to the plan of making the tropics the boundary of the torrid zone. However, in dividing the torrid zone into two parts [Polybius] seems to have been influenced by no inconsiderable reason, the same which led us to regard the whole earth as properly divided by the equator into two hemispheres, north and south. We at once see that by means of this division the torrid zone is divided into two parts, thus establishing a kind of uniformity; each hemisphere consisting of three entire zones, respectively similar to each other. Thus this partition will admit of a division into six zones, but the other does not allow of it at all. Supposing you cut the earth into two portions by a line drawn through the poles, you can find no sufficient cause for dividing the eastern and western hemispheres into six zones; on the other hand, five would be preferable. For since both the portions of the torrid zone, divided by the equator, are similar and contiguous to each other, it would seem out of place and superfluous to separate them; whereas the temperate and frigid zones respectively resemble each other, although lying apart. Wherefore, supposing the whole earth to consist of these two hemispheres, it is sufficient to divide them into five zones. If there be a temperate region under the equator, as Eratosthenes asserts, and is admitted by Polybius, (who adds, that it is the most elevated part of the earth, and consequently subject to the drenching rains occasioned by the monsoons bringing up from the north innumerable clouds, which discharge themselves on the highest lands,) it would be better to suppose this a third narrow temperate zone, than to extend the two temperate zones within the circles of the tropics. This supposition is supported by the statements of Posidonius, that the course of the sun, whether in the ecliptic, or from east to west, appears most rapid in tie region [of which we are speaking], because the rotations of that luminary are performed with a speed increased in proportion to the greater size of the circle.
§ 2.3.3 Posidonius blames Polybius for asserting that the region of the earth, situated under the equator, is the highest, since a spherical body being equal all round, no part can be described as high; and as to mountainous districts, there are none under the equator, it is on the contrary a flat country, about the same level as the sea; as for the rains which swell the Nile, they descend from the mountains of Ethiopia. Although advancing this, he afterwards seems to adopt the other opinion, for he says that he fancies there may be mountains under the equator, around which the clouds assembling from both of the temperate zones, produce violent rains. Here is one manifest contradiction; again, in stating that the land under the equator is mountainous, another contradiction appears. For they say that the ocean is confluent, how then can they place mountains in the midst of it? unless they mean to say that there are islands. However, whether such be the fact does not lie within the province of geography to determine, the inquiry would better be left to him who makes the ocean in particular his study.
§ 2.3.4 Posidonius, in speaking of those who have sailed round Africa, tells us that Herodotus was of opinion that some of those sent out by Darius actually performed this enterprise; and that Heraclides of Pontus, in a certain dialogue, introduces one of the Magi presenting himself to Gelon, and declaring that he had performed this voyage; but he remarks that this wants proof. He also narrates how a certain Eudoxus of Cyzicus, sent with sacrifices and oblations to the Corean games, travelled into Egypt in the reign of Euergetes II.; and being a learned man, and much interested in the peculiarities of different countries, he made interest with the king and his ministers on the subject, but especially for exploring the Nile. It chanced that a certain Indian was brought to the king by the [coast]-guard of the Arabian Gulf. They reported that they had found him in a ship, alone, and half dead: but that they neither knew who he was, nor where he came from, as he spoke a language they could not understand. He was placed in the hands of preceptors appointed to teach him the Greek language. On acquiring which, he related how he had started from the coasts of India, but lost his course, and reached Egypt alone, all his companions having perished with hunger; but that if he were restored to his country he would point out to those sent with him by the king, the route by sea to India. Eudoxus was of the number thus sent. He set sail with a good supply of presents, and brought back with him in exchange aromatics and precious stones, some of which the Indians collect from amongst the pebbles of the rivers, others they dig out of the earth, where they have been formed by the moisture, as crystals are formed with us. [He fancied that he had made his fortune], however, he was greatly deceived, for Euergetes took possession of the whole treasure. On the death of that prince, his widow, Cleopatra, assumed the reins of government, and Eudoxus was again despatched with a richer cargo than before. On his journey back, he was carried by the winds above Ethiopia, and being thrown on certain [unknown] regions, he conciliated the inhabitants by presents of grain, wine, and cakes of pressed figs, articles which they were without; receiving in exchange a supply of water, and guides for the journey. He also wrote down several words of their language, and having found the end of a prow, with a horse carved on it, which he was told formed part of the wreck of a vessel coming from the west, he took it with him, and proceeded on his homeward course. He arrived safely in Egypt, where no longer Cleopatra, but her son, ruled; but he was again stripped of every thing on the accusation of having appropriated to his own uses a large portion of the merchandise sent out. However, he carried the prow into the market-place, and exhibited it to the pilots, who recognised it as being come from Gades. The merchants [of that place] employing large vessels, but the lesser traders small ships, which they style horses, from the figures of that animal borne on the prow, and in which they go out fishing around Maurusia, as far as the Lixus. Some of the pilots professed to recognise the prow as that of a vessel which had sailed beyond the river Lixus, but had not returned. From this Eudoxus drew the conclusion, that it was possible to circumnavigate Libya; he therefore returned home, and having collected together the whole of his substance, set out on his travels. First he visited Dicaearchia, and then Marseilles, and afterwards traversed the whole coast as far as Gades. Declaring his enterprise everywhere as he journeyed, he gathered money sufficient to equip a great ship, and two boats, resembling those used by pirates. On board these he placed singing girls, physicians, and artisans of various kinds, and launching into open sea, was carried towards India by steady westerly winds. However, they who accompanied him becoming wearied with the voyage, steered their course towards land, but much against his will, as he dreaded the force of the ebb and flow. What he feared actually occurred. The ship grounded, but gently, so that it did not break up at once, but fell to pieces gradually, the goods and much of the timber of the ship being saved. With these he built a third vessel, closely resembling a ship of fifty oars, and continuing his voyage, came amongst a people who spoke the same language as that some words of which he had on a former occasion committed to writing. He further discovered, that they were men of the same stock as those other Ethiopians, and also resembled those of the kingdom of Bogus. However, he abandoned his [intended] voyage to India, and returned home. On his voyage back he observed an uninhabited island. well watered and wooded, and carefully noted its position. Having reached Maurusia in safety, he disposed of his vessels, and travelled by land to the court of Bogus. He recommended that sovereign to undertake an expedition thither. This, however, was prevented on account of the fear of the [king's] advisers, lest the district should chance to expose then to treachery, by making known a route by which foreigners might come to attack them. Eudoxus, however, became aware, that although it was given out that he was himself to be sent on this proposed expedition, the real intent was to abandon him on some desert island. He therefore fled to the Roman territory, and passed thence into Iberia. Again, he equipped two vessels, one round and the other long, furnished with fifty oars, the latter framed for voyaging in the high seas. the other for coasting along the shores. He placed on board agricultural implements, seed, and builders, and hastened on the same voyage, determined, if it should prove too long, to winter on the island he had before observed, sow his seed. and leaving reaped the harvest, complete the expedition he had intended from the beginning.
§ 2.3.5 "Thus far," says Posidonius, "I have followed the history of Eudoxus. What happened afterwards is probably known to the people of Gades and Iberia;" "but," says he, "all these things only demonstrate more clearly the fact, that the inhabited earth is entirely surrounded by the ocean." "By no continent fettered in, But boundless in its flow, and free from soil." Posidonius is certainly a most strange writer; he considers that the voyage of the Magus, related by Heraclides, wants sufficient evidence, and also the account given by Herodotus of those sent out [to explore] by Darius. But this Bergaean nonsense, either the coinage of his own brain, or of some other story-teller, in whom he trusts, he pretends to be worthy of our belief. But in the first place, what is there credible in this tale of the Indian missing his way? The Arabian Gulf, which resembles a river, is narrow, and in length is from 5000 to 10,000 stadia up to its mouth, where it is narrowest of all. It is not likely that the Indians in their voyage out would have entered this Gulf by mistake. The extreme narrowness of the mouth must have warned them of their error. And if they entered it voluntarily, then there was no excuse for introducing the pretext of mistake and uncertain winds. And how did they suffer all of themselves but one to perish through hunger? And how was it that this surviver was able to manage the ship, which could not have been a small one either, fitted as it was for traversing such vast seas? What must have been his aptitude in learning the language of the country, and thus being able to persuade the king of his competence, as leader of the expedition? And how came it that Euergetes was in want of such guides, so many being already acquainted with this sea? How was it that he who was sent by the inhabitants of Cyzicus to carry libations and sacrifices, should forsake his city and sail for India? How was it that so great an affair was intrusted to him? And how came it that on his return, after being deprived of every thing contrary to expectation, and disgraced, a yet larger cargo of goods was intrusted to him? And when he had again returned into Ethiopia, what cause induced him to write down the words, or to inquire whence came the portion of the prow of the boat? For to learn that it was a ship of some sailing from the west, would have been no information to him, as he himself would have to sail from the west on his voyage back. When, on his return to Alexandria, he was detected in having appropriated to himself much of the merchandise, how came it that he was not punished, but allowed to go about interrogating the pilots, and exhibiting his bit of prow? And that one of these fellows actually recognised the relic, is it not delicious! Eudoxus too believed it, this is still richer; and inspired by the hope, hastens home, and then starts on a voyage beyond the Pillars of Hercules! But he could never have left Alexandria without a passport, still less after having stolen the royal property. To set sail on the sly was impossible, as the port and every other exit was kept by a numerous guard, which still exists, as we very well know who have lived in Alexandria for a long time, although it is not so strict since the Romans have had possession, but under the kings the guards were infinitely more alert. But allowing that he reached Gades, that he there constructed ships, and sailed thence with quite a royal fleet, when his vessel was shattered, by what means was he able to construct a third boat in a desert land? And when, being again on his voyage, he found that the Ethiopians of the West spoke the same language as those of the East, how came it that he, so proud of his travelling propensities, forgot the completion of his voyage, when he must have had so good an expectation that there was but little now left unexplored, but relinquishing these prospects, set his mind on the expedition being undertaken by Bogus? How did he become acquainted with the snare spread for him by that king? And what advantage would have accrued to Bogus by making away with the man, rather than by dismissing him? When Eudoxus learned the plot against himself, what means had he to escape to safer quarters? It is true that not one of these situations was actually impossible, but still they were difficult circumstances, such as one rarely escapes from by any prosperous fortune. However, he always came off with good luck, notwithstanding he was never out of danger. Besides this, how did it happen, that having escaped from Bogus, he was not afraid to sail round Africa a second time, with all the requisites for taking up his abode on the island? All this too closely resembles the falsehoods of Pytheas, Euhemerus, and Antiphanes. They however may be pardoned; for their only aim was that of the juggler. But who can forgive a demonstrator and philosopher, and one too striving to be at the head of their order? it is really too bad!
§ 2.3.6 However, he is right in attributing to earthquakes and other similar causes, which we also have enumerated, the risings, slips, and changes which at various periods come over the earth. He did well, too, in citing the opinion of Plato, "that the tradition concerning the Island of Atlantis might be received as something more than a mere fiction, it having been related by Solon on the authority of the Egyptian priests, that this island, almost as large as a continent, was formerly in existence, although now it had disappeared." Posidonius thinks it better to quote this than to say, "He who brought it into existence can also cause it to disappear, as the poet did the wall of the Achivi." He (Posidonius) is also of opinion that the emigration of the Cimbrians and other kindred races from their native territory, was gradual, and occasioned by the inundation of the sea, and by no means a sudden movement. He supposes that the length of the inhabited earth is about 70,000 stadia, being the half of the whole circle on which it is taken; so that, says he, starting from the west, one might, aided by a continual east wind, reach India in so many thousand stadia.
§ 2.3.7 Next he undertakes to find fault with those who gave to the continents their present division, instead of marking them out by lines drawn parallel to the equator, by which means the different animals, plants, and temperatures would have been distinguished, according as they approached the frigid or the torrid zones; so that each continent would have formed a kind of zone. Afterwards, however, he overturns and gives up altogether this view, bestowing every commendation on the existing system, and thus making his argument altogether worthless and of no avail. In fact, the various arrangements [of a country] are not the result of premeditation, any more than the diversities of nations or languages; they all depend on circumstances and chance. Arts, forms of government, and modes of life, arising from certain [internal] springs, flourish under whatever climate they may be situated; climate, however, has its influence, and therefore while some peculiarites are due to the nature of the country, others are the result of institutions and education. It is not owing to the nature of the country, but rather to their education, that the Athenians cultivate eloquence, while the Lacedemonians do not; nor yet the Thebans, who are nearer still. Neither are the Babylonians and Egyptians philosophers by nature, but by reason of their institutions and education. In like manner the excellence of horses, oxen, and other animals, results not alone from the places where they dwell, but also, from their breeding. Posidonius confounds all these distinctions. In praising the division of the continents as it now stands, he advances as an argument the difference between the Indians and the Ethiopians of Libya, the former being more robust, and less dried by the heat of the climate. It is on this account that Homer, who includes them all under the title of Ethiopians, describes them as being separated into two divisions, "These eastward situate, those toward the west." [Od. i, 23. [Crates], to support his hypothesis, supposes another inhabited earth, of which Homer certainly knew nothing; and says that the passage ought to be read thus, "towards the descending sun," viz. when having passed the meridian, it begins to decline.
§ 2.3.8 First, then, the Ethiopians next Egypt are actually separated into two divisions; one part being in Asia, the other in Libya, otherwise there is no distinction between them. But it was not on this account that Homer divided the Ethiopians, nor yet because he was acquainted with the physical superiority of the Indians, (for it is not probable that Homer had the slightest idea of the Indians, since, according to the assertion of Eudoxus, Euergetes was both ignorant of India, and of the voyage thither,) but his division rather resulted from the cause we formerly mentioned. We have shown that as for the alteration of Crates, it makes no difference whether it be read so or not. Posidonius, however, says that it does make a difference, and would be better altered into "towards the descending [sun]." But in what can this be said to differ from "towards the west," since the whole section of the hemisphere west of the meridian is styled "the west," not only the mere semicircle of the horizon. This is manifested by the following expression of Aratus, "Where the extremities of the west and east blend together." Phaenom. v. 61. However, if the reading of Posidonius be preferable to that of Crates, any one may likewise claim for it a superiority over that of Aristarchus. So much for Posidonius. There are, however, many particulars relating to Geography, which we shall bring under discussion; others relating to Physics, which must be examined elsewhere, or altogether disregarded; for he is much too fond of imitating Aristotle's propensity for diving into causes, a subject which we [Stoics] scrupulously avoid, simply because of the extreme darkness in which all causes are enveloped.
§ 2.4.1 POLYBIUS, in his Chorography of Europe, tells us that it is not his intention to examine the writings of the ancient geographers, but the statements of those who have criticised them, such as Dicaearchus, Eratosthenes, (who was the last of those who [in his time] had laboured on geography,) and Pytheas, by whom many have been deceived. It is this last writer who states that he travelled all over Britain on foot, and that the island is above 40,000 stadia in circumference. It is likewise he who describes Thule and other neighbouring places, where, according to him, neither earth, water, nor air exist, separately, but a sort of concretion of all these, resembling marine sponge, in which the earth, the sea, and all things were suspended, thus forming, as it were, a link to unite the whole together. It can neither be travelled over nor sailed through. As for the substance, he affirms that he has beheld it with his own eyes; the rest, he reports on the authority of others. So much for the statements of Pytheas, who tells us, besides, that after he had returned thence, he traversed the whole coasts of Europe from Gades to the Tanais.
§ 2.4.2 Polybius asks, "How is it possible that a private individual, and one too in narrow circumstances, could ever have performed such vast expeditions by sea and land? And how could Eratosthenes, who hesitates whether he may rely on his statements in general, place such entire confidence in what that writer narrates concerning Britain, Gades, and Iberia?" says he, "it would have been better had Eratosthenes trusted to the Messenian rather than to this writer. The former merely pretends to have sailed into one [unknown] country, viz. Panchaea, but the latter, that he has visited the whole of the north of Europe as far as the ends of the earth; which statement, even had it been made by Mercury, we should not have believed. Nevertheless Eratosthenes, who terms Euhemerus a Bergaean, gives credit to Pytheas, although even Dicaearchus would not believe him." This argument, "although even Dicaearchus would not believe him," is ridiculous, just as if Eratosthenes ought to take for his standard a writer whom Polybius is himself for ever complaining of. The ignorance of Eratosthenes respecting the western and northern portions of Europe, we have before remarked. But both he and Dicaearchus must be pardoned for this, as neither of them were personally familiar with those localities. But how can one excuse Polybius and Posidonius? especially Polybius, who treats as mere hearsay what Eratosthenes and Dicaearchus report concerning the distances of various places; and many other matters, about which, though he blames them, he is not himself free from error. Dicaearchus states that there are 10,000 stadia from the Peloponnesus to the Pillars, and something above this number from the Peloponnesus to the recess of the Adriatic. He supposes 3000 stadia between the Peloponnesus and the Strait of Sicily; thus there would remain 7000 between the Strait of Sicily and the Pillars. "I will not inquire," says Polybius, "whether the statement concerning the 3000 stadia is correct or not, but 7000 stadia is not the correct measure [from the Strait of Messina to the Pillars of Hercules], whether taken along the sea-shore, or right across the sea. The coast closely resembles an obtuse angle, one side reaching to the Strait of Sicily, the other to the Pillars, the vertex being Narbonne. Now let a triangle be constructed, having for its base a right line drawn through the sea, and its sides forming the aforementioned angle. The side reaching from the Strait of Sicily to Narbonne is above 11,200 stadia, while the other is below 8000. Now the greatest distance from Europe to Libya, across the Tyrrhenian sea, is not above 3000 stadia, and across the Sea of Sardinia it is less still. But supposing that it too is 3000 stadia add to this 2000 stadia, the depth of the bay at Narbonne as a perpendicular from the vertex to the base of the obtuseangled triangle. It will, then, be clear even to the geometrical powers of a child, that the entire coast from the Strait of Sicily to the Pillars, does not exceed by more than 500 stadia the right line drawn across the sea; adding to these the 3000 stadia from the Peloponnesus to the Strait of Sicily, the whole taken together will give a straight line above double the length assigned by Dicaearchus; and, according to his system, you must add in addition to these the stadia at the recess of the Adriatic."
§ 2.4.3 True, dear Polybius, (one might say,) this error [of Dicaearchus] is manifested by the proof which you yourself have given when you inform us that from the Peloponnesus to Leucas there are 700 stadia; from thence to Corcyra the same number; and the same number again from Corcyra to the Ceraunian Mountains; and from the Ceraunian Mountains to Iapygia, following the coast of Illyria on the right, 6150 stadia. But the statement of Dicaearchus, that the distance from the Strait of Sicily to the Pillars is 7000 stadia, and also your view of the matter, are both of them equally incorrect. For almost every one is agreed that the distance measured straight across the sea is 12,000 stadia, and this coincides with the received calculation of the length of the inhabited earth, which is estimated at above 70,000 stadia; the western portion of this from the Gulf of Issos to the extreme western point of Iberia is little less than 30,000 stadia, and is thus calculated: from the Gulf of Issos to Rhodes 5000 stadia; from thence to Cape Salmonium, which forms the eastern extremity of Crete, 1000; the length of Crete to Criu-metopon above 2000; thence to Cape Pachynus in Sicily 4500, and from Pachynus to the Strait of Sicily above 1000 stadia; the run from the Strait to the Pillars 12,000 and lastly, from the Pillars to the extremity of the said promontory of Iberia, about 3000 stadia. In addition to this, the perpendicular is not correct, supposing it true that Narbonne lies under almost the same parallel as Marseilles, and that this latter place is under the same parallel as Byzantium; which is the opinion of Hipparchus. Now the line drawn across the sea lies under the same parallel as the Strait [of the Pillars] and Rhodes; and the distance from Rhodes to Byzantium, which both lie under the same meridian, is estimated at about 5000 stadia; to which the above-mentioned perpendicular ought to be equal. But since they say that from the recess of the Galatic Gulf, the greatest distance across the sea from Europe to Libya is 5000 stadia, it seems to me that either there is some error in this statement, or that at this point Libya must incline very much to the north, and so come under the same parallel as the Pillars. Polybius is likewise mistaken in telling us that this said perpendicular terminates close to Sardinia; for instead of being lose to Sardinia, it is far west thereof, having almost the whole of the sea of Liguria between it and that island. Besides this he makes the length of the sea-coast too great; but this [error] is not so considerable [as the two preceding].
§ 2.4.4 After this Polybius proceeds to set right the mistakes of' Eratosthenes. In this he is sometimes successful; at others his corrections are for the worse. For example, Eratosthenes gives 300 stadia from Ithaca to Corcyra; Polybius makes it above 900. From Epidamnus to Thessalonica Eratosthenes allows 900 stadia; Polybius says above 2000. In these instances he is correct. But where Eratosthenes states that from Marseilles to the Pillars there are 7000 stadia, and from the Pyrenees [to the same place] 6000, and Polybius alters this to more than 9000 from Marseilles, and little less than 8000 from the Pyrenees, he is quite mistaken, and not so near to the truth as Eratosthenes. For all are now agreed that, barring the indirectness of the roads, the whole length of Iberia is not more than 6000 stadia from the Pyrenees to its western limits; notwithstanding Polybius gives 8000 stadia for the length of the river Tagus, from its source to its outlets, and this in a straight line without any reference to its sinuosities, which in fact never enter into the geographical estimate, although the sources of the Tagus are above 1000 stadia from the Pyrenees. His remark is quite correct, that Eratosthenes knew little about Iberia, and on this account sometimes makes conflicting statements concerning it. He tells us, for example, that the portion of this country situated on the seacoast as far as Gades is inhabited by Galatae, who possess western Europe as far as Gades; nevertheless, in his account of Iberia he seems quite to have forgotten this, and makes no mention of these Galatae whatever.
§ 2.4.5 Again, however, Polybius makes an incorrect assertion, in stating that the whole length of Europe is unequal to that of Africa and Asia taken together. He tells us "that the entrance at the Pillars corresponds in direction to the equinoctial west, and that the Tanais flows from the summer rising, consequently the length of Europe is less than that of Asia and Africa taken together by the space between the summer rising and the equinoctial rising, since Asia occupies the eastern portion of the northern semicircle. Now, in addition to the obscurity which Polybius throws over subjects which might have been simply stated, it is false that the river Tanais flows from the summer rising. For all who are acquainted with these localities inform us that this river flows from the north into the Maeotis, so that the mouth of the river lies under the same meridian as that of the Maeotis; and so in fact does the whole river as far as is known.
§ 2.4.6 Equally unworthy of credit is the statement of those who tell us, that the Tanais rises in the vicinity of the Danube, and flows from the west; they do not remember that between these are the Dniester, the Dnieper, and the Bog, all great rivers, which flow [into the Euxine Sea]; one runs parallel to the Danube, the other two to the Tanais. Now if at the present day we are ignorant of the sources both of the Dniester, and also of the Dnieper and Bog, the regions farther north must certainly be still less known. It is therefore a fictitious and idle assertion, that the Tanais crosses these rivers, and then turns northward on its way to discharge itself into the Maebtis, it being well known that the outlets to this river are in the most northern and eastern portions of the lake. No less idle is the statement which has also been advanced. that the Tanais, after crossing the Caucasus, flows northward and then turns towards the Maeotis. No one, however, [with the exception of Polybius, ] made this river flow from the east If such were its course, our best geographers would never have told us that its direction was contrary to that of the Nile, and, so to speak, diametrically opposite thereto, as if the course of both rivers lay under the same meridian.
§ 2.4.7 Further, the length of the inhabited earth is measured on a line parallel with the equator, as it is in this direction that its greatest length lies: in the same way with respect to each of the continents, we must take their length as it lies between two meridians. The measure of these lengths consists of a certain number of stadia, which we obtain either by going over the places themselves, or roads or ways parallel thereto. Polybius abandons this method, and adopts the new way of taking the segment of the northern semicircle comprised between the summer rising and the equinoctial rising. But no one ought to calculate by variable rules or measures in determining the length of fixed distances: nor yet should he make use of the phenomena of the heavens, which appear different when observed from different points, for distances which have their length determined by themselves and remain unchanged. The length of a country never varies, but depends upon itself; whereas, the equinoctial rising and setting, and the summer and winter rising and setting, depend not on themselves, but on our position [with respect to them]. As we shift from place to place, the equinoctial rising and setting, and the winter and summer rising and setting, shift with us; but the length of a continent always remains the same. To make the Tanais and the Nile the bounds of these continents, is nothing out of the way, but it is something strange to employ for this purpose the equinoctial rising and the summer rising.
§ 2.4.8 Of the many promontories formed by Europe, a better description is given by Polybius than by Eratosthenes; but even his is not sufficient. Eratosthenes only names three; one at the Pillars of Hercules, where Iberia is situated; a second at the Strait of Sicily, and containing Italy; the third terminated by the Cape of Malea, comprising all the countries situated between the Adriatic, the Euxine, and the Tanais. The two former of these Polybius describes in the same manner as Eratosthenes, but the third, which is equally terminated by the Cape of Malea and Cape Sounion, [he makes to] comprehend the whole of Greece, Illyria, and some portion of Thrace. [He supposes] a fourth, containing the Thracian Chersonesus and the countries contiguous to the Strait, betwixt Sestos and Abydos. This is occupied by the Thracians. Also a fifth, about the Kimmerian Bosphorus and the mouth of the Maeotis. Let us allow [to Polybius] his two former [promontories], they are clearly distinguished by unmistakeable bays; the first by the bay between Calpe and the Sacred Promontory where Gades is situated, as also by the sea between the Pillars and Sicily; the second by the latter sea and the Adriatic, although it may be objected that the extremity of Iapygia, being a promontory in itself, causes Italy to have a double cape. But as for the remaining [promontories of Polybius], they are plainly much more irregular, and composed of many parts, and require some other division. So likewise his plan of dividing [Europe] into six parts, similar to that of the promontories, is liable to objection. However, we will set to rights each of these errors separately, as we meet with them, as well as the other blunders into which he has fallen in his description of Europe, and the journey round Africa. For the present we think that we have sufficiently dwelt on those of our predecessors whom we have thought proper to introduce as testimonies in our behalf, that both in the matter of correction and addition we had ample cause to undertake the present work.
§ 2.5.1 AFTER these criticisms on the writers who have preceded us, we must now confine our attention to the fulfilment of our promise. We start with a maxim we laid down at the commencement, that whoever undertakes to write a Chorography, should receive as axioms certain physical and mathematical propositions, and frame the rest of his work in accordance with, and in full reliance on, these principles. We have already stated [our opinion], that neither builder nor architect could build house or city properly and as it ought to be, unless acquainted with the climax of the place, its position in respect to celestial appearances, its shape, magnitude, degree of heat and cold, and similar facts; much less should he [be without such information] who undertakes to describe the situation of the various regions of the inhabited earth. Represent to the mind on one and the same plane-surface Iberia and India with the intermediate countries, and define likewise the west, the east, and the south, which are common to every country. To a man already acquainted with the arrangement and motions of the heavens, and aware that in reality the surface of the earth is spherical, although here for the sake of illustration represented as a plane, this will give a sufficiently exact idea of the geographical [position of the various countries], but not to one who is unacquainted with those matters. The tourist travelling over vast plains like those of Babylon, or journeying by sea, may fancy that the whole country stretched before, behind, and on either side of him is a plane-surface; he may be unacquainted with the counterindications of the celestial phenomena, and with the motions and appearance of the sun and stars, in respect to us. But such facts as these should ever be present to the mind of those who compose Geographies The traveller, whether by sea or land, is directed by certain common appearances, which answer equally for the direction both of the unlearned and of the man of the world. Ignorant of astronomy, and unacquainted with the varied aspect of the heavens, he beholds the sun rise and set, and attain the meridian, but without considering how this takes place. Such knowledge could not aid the object he has in view, any more than to know whether the country he chances to be in may be under the same latitude as his own or not. Even should he bestow a slight attention to the subject, on all mathematical points he will adopt the opinions of the place; and every country has certain mistaken views of these matters. But it is not for any particular nation, nor for the man of the world who cares nothing for abstract mathematics, still less is it for the reaper or ditcher, that the geographer labours; but it is for him who is convinced that the earth is such as mathematicians declare it to be, and who admits every other fact resulting from this hypothesis. He requests that those who approach him shall have already settled this in their minds as a fact, that they may be able to lend their whole attention to other points. He will advance nothing which is not a consequence of these primary facts; therefore those who hear him, if they have a knowledge of mathematics, will readily be able to turn his instructions to account; for those who are destitute of this information he does not pretend to expound Geography.
§ 2.5.2 Those who write on the science of Geography should trust entirely for the arrangement of the subject they are engaged on to the geometers, who have measured the whole earth; they in their turn to astronomers; and these again to natural philosophers. Now natural philosophy is one of the perfect sciences. The "perfect sciences" they define as those which, depending on no external hypothesis, have their origin, and the evidence of their propositions, in themselves. Here are a few of the facts established by natural philosophers. The earth and heavens are spheroidal. The tendency of all bodies having weight, is to a centre. Further, the earth being spheroidal, and having the same centre as the heavens, is motionless, as well as the axis which passes through both it and the heavens. The heavens turn round both the earth and its axis, from east to west. The fixed stars turn round with it, at the same rate as the whole. These fixed stars follow in their course parallel circles; the principal of which are, the equator, the two tropics, and the arctic circles. While the planets, the sun, and the moon, describe certain oblique circles comprehended within the zodiac. Admitting these points in whole or in part, astronomers proceed to treat of other matters, [such as] the motions [of the stars], their revolutions, eclipses, size, relative distance, and a thousand similar particulars. On their side, geometers, when measuring the size of the entire earth, avail themselves of the data furnished by the natural philosopher and astronomer; and the geographer on his part makes use of those of the geometer.
§ 2.5.3 The heavens and the earth must be supposed to be divided each into five zones, and the celestial zones to possess the same names as those below. The motives for such a division into zones we have already detailed. These zones may be distinguished by circles drawn parallel to the equator, on either side of it. Two of these will separate the torrid from the temperate zones, and the remaining two, the temperate from the frigid. To each celestial circle there shall be one corresponding on earth, and bearing the same name, and likewise zone for zone. The [two] zones capable of being inhabited, are styled temperate. The remaining [three] are uninhabitable, one on account of the heat, the others because of the extreme cold. The same is the case with regard to the tropical, and also to the arctic circles, in respect of those countries for which arctic circles can be said to exist. Circles on the earth are supposed, corresponding to those in the heavens, and bearing the same name, one for one. As the whole heaven is separated into two parts by its equator, it follows that the earth must, by its equator, be similarly divided. The two hemispheres, both celestial and terrestrial, are distinguished into north and south. Likewise the torrid zone, which is divided into two halves by the equator, is distinguished as having a northern and southern side. Hence it is evident that of the two temperate zones, one should be called northern, the other southern, according to the hemisphere to which it belongs. The northern hemisphere is that containing the temperate zone, in which looking from east to west, you will have the pole on your right hand, and the equator on the left, or, in which, looking south, the west will be on the right hand, and the east on the left. The southern hemisphere is exactly the contrary to this. It is clear that we are in one or other of these hemispheres, namely, the north; we cannot be in both: "Broad rivers roll, and awful floods between, But chief the ocean." [Od. xi.] 156, 157. And next is the torrid zone. But neither is there any ocean in the midst of the earth wherein we dwell, dividing the whole thereof, nor yet have we any torrid region. Nor is there any portion of it to be found in which the climata are opposite to those which have been described as characterizing the northern temperate zone.
§ 2.5.4 Assuming these data, and availing himself likewise of astronomical observations, by which the position of every place is properly determined, whether with respect to the circles parallel to the equator, or to those which cut these latter at right angles, in the direction of the poles, the geometer measures the region in which he dwells, and [judges of the extent of] others by comparing the distance [between the corresponding celestial signs]. By this means he discovers the distance from the equator to the pole, which is a quarter of the largest circle of the earth; having obtained this, he has only to multiply by four, the result is the [measure of the] perimeter of the globe. In the same manner as he who takes the measures of the earth, borrows the foundation of his calculations from the astronomer, who himself is indebted to the natural philosopher, so in like manner the geographer adopts certain facts laid down as established by the geometer, before setting forth his description of the earth we inhabit; its size, form, nature, and the proportion it bears to the whole earth. These latter points are the peculiar business of the geographer. He will next enter on a particular description of every thing deserving notice, whether on land or sea; he will likewise point out whatever has been improperly stated by those who have preceded him, especially by those who are regarded as chief authorities in these matters.
§ 2.5.5 Let it be supposed that the earth and sea together form a spheroidal body, and preserve one and the same level in all the seas. For though some portions of the earth may be higher, yet this bears so small a relation to the size of the whole mass, as need not be noticed. The spheroid in consequence is not so minutely exact as one might be made by the aid of a turner's instrument, or as would answer the definition of a geometer, still in general appearance, and looked at roughly, it is a spheroid. Let the earth be supposed to consist of five zones, with (1.) the equatorial circle described round it, (2.) another parallel to this, and defining the frigid zone of the northern hemisphere, and (3.) a circle passing through the poles, and cutting the two preceding circles at right angles. The northern hemisphere contains two quarters of the earth, which are bounded by the equator and the circle passing through the poles. Each of these [quarters] should be supposed to contain a four-sided district, its northern side being composed of one half of the parallel next the pole; its southern, by the half of the equator; and its remaining sides, by [two] segments of the circle drawn through the poles, opposite to each other, and equal in length. In one of these quadrilaterals (which of them is of no consequence) the earth that we inhabit is situated, surrounded by sea, and similar to an island. This, as we said before, is evident both to our senses and to our reason. But should any one doubt thereof, it makes no difference so far as Geography is concerned, whether you suppose the portion of the earth we inhabit to be an island, or only admit what we know from experience, viz. that whether you start from the east or west, you may sail all round it. Certain intermediate spaces may have been left [unexplored], but these are as likely to be occupied by sea, as uninhabited lands. The object of the geographer is to describe known countries; those which are unknown he passes over equally with those beyond the limits of the inhabited earth. It will therefore be sufficient for describing the contour of the island we have been speaking of, if we join by a right line the utmost points which, up to this time, have been explored by voyagers along the coast on either side.
§ 2.5.6 Let it be supposed that this island is contained in one of the above quadrilaterals; we must obtain its apparent magnitude by subtracting our hemisphere from the whole extent of the earth, from this take the half, and from this again the quadrilateral, in which we state our earth to be situated. We may judge also by analogy of the figure of the whole earth, by supposing that it accords with those parts with which we are acquainted. Now as the portion of the northern hemisphere, between the equator and the parallel next the [north] pole, resembles a vertebre or joint of the back-bone in shape, and as the circle which passes through the pole divides at the same time the hemisphere and the vertebre into two halves, thus forming the quadrilateral; it is clear that this quadrilateral to which the Atlantic is adjacent, is but the half of the vertebre; while at the same time the inhabited earth, which is an island in this, and shaped like a chlamys or soldier's cloak, occupies less than the half of the quadrilateral. This is evident from geometry, also from the extent of the surrounding sea, which covers the extremities of the continents on either side, compressing them into a smaller figure, and thirdly, by the greatest length and breadth [of the earth itself]. The length being 70,000 stadia, enclosed almost entirely by a sea, impossible to navigate owing to its wildness and vast extent, and the breadth 30,000 stadia, bounded by regions rendered uninhabitable on account either of their intense heat or cold. That portion of the quadrilateral which is unfitted for habitation on account of the heat, contains in breadth 8800 stadia, and in its greatest length 126,000 stadia, which is equal to one half of the equator, and larger than one half the inhabited earth; and what is left is still more.
§ 2.5.7 These calculations are nearly synonymous with those furnished by Hipparchus, who tells us, that supposing the size of the globe as stated by Eratosthenes to be correct, we can then subtract from it the extent of the inhabited earth, since in noting the celestial appearances [as they are seen] in different countries, it is not of much importance whether we make use of this measure, or that furnished by later writers. Now as the whole circle of the equator according to Eratosthenes contains 252,000 stadia, the quarter of this would be 63,000, that is, the space from the equator to the pole contains fifteen of the sixty divisions into which the equator itself is divided. There are four [divisions] between the equator and the summer tropic or parallel passing through Syene. The distances for each locality are calculated by the astronomical observations. It is evident that Syene is under the tropic, from the fact that during the summer solstice the gnomon at mid-day casts no shadow there. As for the meridian of Syene, it follows very nearly the course of the Nile from Meroe to Alexandria, a distance of about 10,000 stadia. Syene itself is situated about mid-way between these places, consequently from thence to Meroe is a distance of 5000 stadia. Advancing 3000 stadia southward in a right line, we come to lands unfitted for habitation on account of the heat. Consequently the parallel which bounds these places, and which is the same as that of the Cinnamon Country, is to be regarded as the boundary and commencement of the habitable earth on the south. If, then, 3000 stadia be added to the 5000 between Syene and Meroe, there will be altogether 8000 stadia [from Syene] to the [southern] extremity of the habitable earth. But from Syene to the equator there are 16,800 stadia, (for such is the amount of the four-sixtieths, each sixtieth being equivalent to 4200 stadia,) and consequently from the [southern] boundaries of the habitable earth to the equator there are 8800 stadia, and from Alexandria 21,800. Again, every one is agreed that the voyage from Alexandria to Rhodes, and thence by Caria and Ionia to the Troad, Byzantium, and the Dnieper, is in a straight line with the course of the Nile. Taking therefore these distances, which have been ascertained by voyages, we have only to find out how far beyond the Dnieper the land is habitable, (being careful always to continue in the same straight line,) and we shall arrive at a knowledge of the northern boundaries of our earth. Beyond the Dnieper dwell the Roxolani, the last of the Scythians with which we are acquainted; they are nevertheless more south than the farthest nations we know of beyond Britain. Beyond these Roxolani the country is uninhabitable on account of the severity of the climate. The Sauromati who live around the Maeotis, and the other Scythians as far as the Scythians of the East, dwell farther south.
§ 2.5.8 It is true that Pytheas of Marseilles affirms that the farthest country north of the British islands is Thule; for which place he says the summer tropic and the arctic circle is all one. But he records no other particulars concerning it; [he does not say] whether Thule is an island, or whether it continues habitable up to the point where the summer tropic becomes one with the arctic circle. For myself, I fancy that the northern boundaries of the habitable earth are greatly south of this. Modern writers tell us of nothing beyond Ierne, which lies just north of Britain, where the people live miserably and like savages on account of the severity of the cold. It is here in my opinion the bounds of the habitable earth ought to be fixed. If on the one hand the parallels of Byzantium and Marseilles are the same, as Hipparchus asserts on the faith of Pytheas, (for he says that at Byzantium the gnomon indicates the same amount of shadow as Pytheas gives for Marseilles,) and at the same time the parallel of the Dnieper is distant from Byzantium about 3800 stadia, it follows, if we take into consideration the distance between Marseilles and Britain, that the circle which passes over the Dnieper traverses Britain as well. But the truth is that Pytheas, who so frequently misleads people, deceives in this instance too. It is generally admitted that a line drawn from the Pillars of Hercules, and passing over the Strait [of Messina ], Athens, and Rhodes, would lie under the same parallel of latitude. It is likewise admitted, that the line in passing from the Pillars to the Strait of Sicily divides the Mediterranean through the midst. Navigators tell us that the greatest distance from Keltica to Libya, starting from the bottom of the Galatic Bay, is 5000 stadia, and that this is likewise the greatest breadth of the Mediterranean. Consequently from the said line to the bottom of the bay is 2500 stadia; but to Marseilles the distance is rather less, in consequence of that city being more to the south than the bottom of the bay. But since from Rhodes to Byzantium is about 4900 stadia, it follows that Byzantium must be far north of Marseilles. The distance from this latter city to Britain is about the same as from Byzantium to the Dnieper. How far it may be from Britain to the island of Ierne is not known. As to whether beyond it there may still be habitable lands, it is not our business to inquire, as we stated before. It is sufficient for our science to determine this in the same manner that we did the southern boundaries. We there fixed the bounds of the habitable earth at 3000 stadia south of Meroe (not that these were its exact limits, but because they were sufficiently near); so in this instance they should be placed about the same number of stadia north of Britain, certainly not more than 4000. It would not serve any political purpose to be well acquainted with these distant places and the people who inhabit them; especially if they are islands whose inhabitants can neither injure us, nor yet benefit us by their commerce. The Romans might easily have conquered Britain, but they did not care to do so, as they perceived there was nothing to fear from the inhabitants, (they not being powerful enough to attack us,) and that they would gain nothing by occupying the land. Even now it appears that we gain more by the customs they pay, than we could raise by tribute, after deducting the wages of the soldiers necessary for guarding the island and exacting the taxes. And the other islands adjacent to this would be still more unproductive.
§ 2.5.9 If, then, to the distance between Rhodes and the Dnieper be added four thousand stadia north of the latter place, the whole would come to 12,700 stadia; and since from Rhodes to the southern limit of the habitable earth there are 16,600 stadia, its total breadth from north to south would be under 30,000 stadia. Its length from west to east is stated at 70,000 stadia, the distance being measured from the extremities of Iberia to those of India, partly over the land and partly across the sea. That this length is contained within the quadrilateral aforesaid, is proved by the proportion borne by these parallels to the equator. Thus the length of the habitable earth is above twice its breadth. It has been compared in figure to a chlamys, or soldier's cloak, because if every part be carefully examined, it will be found that its breadth is greatly diminished towards the extremities, especially in the west.
§ 2.5.10 We have now been tracing upon a spherical surface the region which we state to be occupied by the habitable earth; and whoever would represent the real earth as near as possible by artificial means, should make a globe like that of Crates, and upon this describe the quadrilateral within which his chart of geography is to be placed. For this purpose, however, a large globe is necessary, since the section mentioned, though but a very small portion of the entire sphere, must be capable of properly containing all the regions of the habitable earth, and presenting an accurate view of them to all those who wish to consult it. Any one who is able will certainly do well to obtain such a globe. But it should have a diameter of not less than ten feet: those who cannot obtain a globe of this size, or one nearly as large, had better draw their chart on a planesurface, of not less than seven feet. Draw straight lines, some parallel, for the parallels [of latitude], and others at right angles to these; we may easily imagine how the eye can transfer the figure and extent [of these lines] from a plane-surface to one that is spherical. What we have just observed of the circles in general, may be said with equal truth touching the oblique circles. On the globe it is true that the meridians of each country passing the pole have a tendency to unite in a single point, nevertheless on the planesurface of the map, there would be no advantage if the right lines alone which should represent the meridians were drawn slightly to converge. The necessity for such a proceeding would scarcely ever be really felt. Even on our globe itself the tendency of those meridians (which are transferred to the map as right lines) to converge is not much, nor any thing near so obvious as their circular tendency.
§ 2.5.11 In what follows we shall suppose the chart drawn on a plane-surface; and our descriptions shall consist of what we ourselves have observed in our travels by land and sea, and of what we conceive to be credible in the statements and writings of others. For ourselves, in a westerly direction we have travelled from Armenia to that part of Tyrrhenia which is over against Sardinia; and southward, from the Euxine to the frontiers of Ethiopia. Of all the writers on Geography, not one can be mentioned who has travelled over a wider extent of the countries described than we have. Some may have gone farther to the west, but then they have never been so far east as we have; again, others may have been farther east, but not so far west; and the same with respect to north and south. However, in the main, both we and they have availed ourselves of the reports of others, from which to describe the form, the size, and the other peculiarities of the country, what they are and how many, in the same way that the mind forms its conceptions from the information of the senses. The figure, colour, and size of an apple, its scent, feel to the touch, and its flavour, are particulars communicated by the senses, from which the mind forms its conception of an apple. So in large figures, the senses observe the various parts, while the mind combines into one conception what is thus seen. And in like manner, men eager after knowledge, trusting to those who have been to various places, and to [the descriptions of] travellers in this or that country, gather into one sketch a view of the whole habitable earth. In the same way, the generals perform every thing, nevertheless, they are not present every where, but most of their success depends on others, since they are obliged to trust to messengers, and issue their commands in accordance with the reports of others. To pretend that those only can know who have themselves seen, is to deprive hearing of all confidence, which, after all, is a better servant of knowledge than sight itself.
§ 2.5.12 Writers of the present day can describe with more certainty [than formerly] the Britons, the Germans, and the dwellers on either side of the Danube, the Getae, the Tyrigetae, the Bastarnae, the tribes dwelling by the Caucasus, such as the Albanians and Iberians. We are besides possessed of a description of Hyrcania and Bactriana in the Histories of Parthia written by such men as Apollodorus of Artemita, who leave detailed the boundaries [of those countries] with greater accuracy than other geographers. The entrance of a Roman army into Arabia Felix under the command of my friend and companion Aelius Gallus, and the traffic of the Alexandrian merchants whose vessels pass up the Nile and Arabian Gulf to India, have rendered us much better acquainted with these countries than our predecessors were. I was with Gallus at the time he was prefect of Egypt, and accompanied him as far as Syene and the frontiers of Ethiopia, and I found that about one hundred and twenty ships sail from Myos-hormos to India, although, in the time of the Ptolemies, scarcely any one would venture on this voyage and the commerce with the Indies.
§ 2.5.13 Our first and most imperative duty then, both in respect to science and to the necessities of the man of business, is to undertake to lay down the projection of the different countries on the chart in as clear a style as possible, and to signify at the same time the relation and proportion they bear to the whole earth. For such is the geographer's peculiar province. It belongs to another science to give an exact description of the whole earth, and of the entire vertebre of either zone, and as to whether the vertebre in the opposite quarter of the earth is inhabited. That such is the case is most probable, but not that it is inhabited by the same race of men as dwell with us. And it must therefore be regarded as another habitable earth. We however have only to describe our own.
§ 2.5.14 In its figure the habitable earth resembles a chlamys, or soldier's cloak, the greatest breadth of which would be indicated by a line drawn in the direction of the Nile, commencing from the parallel of the Cinnamon Country, and the Island of the Egyptian Exiles, and terminating at the parallel of Ierna; and its length by a line drawn from the west at right angles to the former, passing by the Pillars of Hercules and the Strait of Sicily to Rhodes and the Gulf of Issos, then proceeding along the chain of the Taurus, which divides Asia, and terminating in the Eastern Ocean, between India and the Scythians dwelling beyond Bactriana. We must therefore fancy to ourselves a parallelogram, and within it a chlamys-shaped figure, described in such a manner that the length of the one figure may correspond to the length and size of the other, and likewise breadth to breadth. The habitable earth will therefore be represented by this kind of chlamys. We have before said that its breadth is marked out by parallels bounding its sides, and separating on either side the portions that are habitable from those that are not. On the north [these parallels] pass over Ierna, and on the side of the torrid zone over the Cinnamon Country. These lines being produced east and west to the opposite extremities of the habitable earth, form, when joined by the perpendiculars falling from their extremities, a kind of parallelogram. That within this the habitable earth is contained is evident, since neither its greatest breadth nor length project beyond. That in configuration it resembles a chlamys is also clear, from the fact that at either end of its length, the extremities taper to a point. Owing to the encroachments of the sea, it also loses something in breadth. This we know from those who have sailed round its eastern and western points. They inform us that the island called Taprobana is much to the south of India, but that it is nevertheless inhabited, and is situated opposite to the island of the Egyptians and the Cinnamon Country, as the temperature of their atmospheres is similar. On the other side the country about the embouchure of the Hyrcanian Sea is farther north than the farthest Scythians who dwell beyond India, and Ierna still more so. It is likewise stated of the country beyond the Pillars of Hercules, that the most western point of the habitable earth is the promontory of the Iberians named the Sacred Promontory. It lies nearly in a line with Gades, the Pillars of Hercules, the Strait of Sicily, and Rhodes; for they say that the horologes accord, as also the periodical winds, and the duration of the longest nights and days, which consist of fourteen and a half equinoctial hours. From the coast of Gades and Iberia ......... is said to have been formerly observed. Posidonius relates, that from the top of a high house in a town about 400 stadia distant from the places mentioned, he perceived a star which he believed to be Canopus, both in consequence of the testimony of those who having proceeded a little to the south of Iberia affirmed that they could perceive it, and also of the tradition preserved at Cnidus; for the observatory of Eudoxus, from whence he is reported to have viewed Canopus, is not much higher than these houses; and Cnidus is under the same parallel as Rhodes, which is likewise that of Gades and its sea-coast.
§ 2.5.15 Sailing thence, Libya lies to the south. Its most western portions project a little beyond Gades; it afterwards forms a narrow promontory receding towards the east and south, and becoming slightly broader, till it touches upon the western Ethiopians, who are the last of the nations situated below Carthage, and adjoin the parallel of the Cinnamon Country. They, on the contrary, who sail from the Sacred Promontory, towards the Artabri, journey northwards, having Lusitania on the right hand. The remaining portion forms an obtuse angle towards the east as far as the extremities of the Pyrenees which terminate at the ocean. Northward and opposite to this are the western coasts of Britain. Northward and opposite to the Artabri are the islands denominated Cassiterides, situated in the high seas, but under nearly the same latitude as Britain. From this it appears to what a degree the extremities of the habitable earth are narrowed by the surrounding sea.
§ 2.5.16 Such being the configuration of the whole earth, it will be convenient to take two straight lines, cutting each other at right angles, and running the one through its greatest length, and the other through its breadth. The former of these lines will represent one of the parallels, and the latter one of the meridians. Afterwards we must imagine other lines parallel to either of these respectively, and dividing both the land and sea with which we are acquainted. By this means the form of the habitable earth will appear more clearly to be such as we have described it; likewise the extent of the various lines, whether traced through its length or breadth, and the latitudes [of places], will also be more clearly distinguished, whether north or south, as also [the longitudes] whether east or west. However, these right lines should be drawn through places that are known. Two have already been thus fixed upon, I mean the two middle [lines] running through its length and breadth, which have been already explained, and by means of these the others may easily be determined. These lines will serve us as marks to distinguish countries situated under the same parallel, and otherwise to determine different positions both in respect to the other portions of the earth, and also of the celestial appearances.
§ 2.5.17 The ocean it is which principally divides the earth into various countries, and moulds its form. It creates bays, seas, straits, isthmuses, peninsulas, and capes; while rivers and mountains serve to the same purpose. It is by these means that continents, nations, and the position of cities are capable of being clearly distinguished, together with those various other details of which a chorographical chart is full. Amongst these latter are the multitude of islands scattered throughout the seas, and along every coast; each of them distinguished by some good or bad quality, by certain advantages or disadvantages, due either to nature or to art. The natural advantages [of a place] should always be mentioned, since they are permanent. Advantages which are adventitious are liable to change, although the majority of those which have continued for any length of time should not be passed over, nor even those which, although but recent, have yet acquired some note and celebrity. For those which continue, come to be regarded by posterity not as works of art, but as the natural advantages of the place; these therefore it is evident we must notice. True it is, that to many a city we may apply the reflection of Demosthenes on Olynthus and its neighbouring towns: "So completely have they vanished, that no one who should now visit their sites could say that they had ever been inhabited!" Still we are gratified by visiting these and similar localities, being desirous of beholding the traces of such celebrated places, and the tombs of famous men. In like manner we should record laws and forms of government no longer in existence, since these are serviceable to have in mind, equally with the remembrance of actions, whether for the sake of imitating or avoiding the like.
§ 2.5.18 Continuing our former sketch, we now state that the earth which we inhabit contains numerous gulfs, formed by the exterior sea or ocean which surrounds it. Of these there are four principal. The northern, called the Caspian, by others designated the Hyrcanian Sea, the Persian and Arabian Gulfs, formed by the [Southern] Sea, the one being nearly opposite to the Caspian, the other to the Euxine; the fourth, which in size is much more considerable than the others, is called the Internal and Our Sea. It commences in the west at the Strait of the Pillars of Hercules, and continues in an easterly direction, but with varying breadth. Farther in, it becomes divided, and terminates in two gulfs; that on the left being called the Euxine Sea, while the other consists of the seas of Egypt, Pamphylia, and Issos. All these gulfs formed by the exterior sea, have a narrow entrance; those of the Arabian Gulf, however, and the Pillars of Hercules are smaller than the rest. The land which surrounds these, as before remarked, consists of three divisions. Of these, the configuration of Europe is the most irregular. Libya, on the contrary, is the most regular; while Asia holds a middle place between the two. In all of these continents, the regularity or irregularity of form relates merely to the interior coasts; the exterior, with the exception of the gulfs be fore mentioned, is unindented, and, as I have stated, resembles a chlamys in its form; any slight differences being of course overlooked, as in large matters what is insignificant passes for nothing. Since in geographical descriptions we not only aim at portraying the configuration and extent of various places, but also their common boundaries, we will remark here, as we have done before, that the coasts of the Internal Sea present a greater variety in their appearance than those of the Exterior [Ocean]; the former is also much better known, its climate is more temperate, and more civilized cities and nations are here than there. We are also anxious to be informed where the form of government, the arts, and whatever else ministers to intelligence, produce the greatest results. Interest will always lead us to where the relations of commerce and society are most easily established, and these are advantages to be found where government is administered, or rather where it is well administered. In each of these particulars, as before remarked, Our Sea possesses great advantages, and here therefore we will begin our description.
§ 2.5.19 This gulf, as before stated, commences at the Strait of the Pillars; this at its narrowest part is said to be 70 stadia. Having sailed down a distance of 120 stadia, the shores widen considerably, especially to the left, and you behold a vast sea, bounded on the right by the shore of Libya as far as Carthage, and on the opposite side by those of Iberia and Keltica as far as Narbonne and Marseilles, thence by the Ligurian, and finally by the Italian coast to the Strait of Sicily. The eastern side of this sea is formed by Sicily and the straits on either side of it. That next Italy being 7 stadia [in breadth], and that next Carthage 1500 stadia. The line drawn from the Pillars to the lesser strait of 7 stadia, forms part of the line to Rhodes and the Taurus, and intersects the sea under discussion about its middle; this line is said to be 12,000 stadia, which is accordingly the length of the sea. Its greatest breadth is about 5000 stadia, and extends from the Galatic Gulf, between Marseilles and Narbonne, to the opposite coast of Libya. The portion of the sea which washes Libya is called the Libyan Sea; that surrounding the land opposite is designated by the respective names of the Iberian, the Ligurian, and the Sardinian Seas, while the remaining portion as far as Sicily is named the Tyrrhenian sea. All along the coast between the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian Seas, there are numerous islands, the largest of which are Sardinia and Cyrnus, always excepting Sicily, which is larger and more fertile than any of our islands. The remainder are much smaller. Of this number are, in the high sea, Pandataria and Pontia, and close to the shore Aethalia, Planasia, Pithecussa, Prochyta, Capriae, Leucosia, and many others On the other side of the Ligurian shore, and along the rest of the coast as far as the Pillars, there are but few islands; the Gymnasiae and Ebusus are of this number. There are likewise but few islands along the coasts of Libya and Sicily. We may mention however Cossura, Aegimurus, and the Lipari Islands, likewise called the Islands of Aeolus.
§ 2.5.20 After Sicily and the straits on either side of it, there are other seas, for instance, that opposite the Syrtes and the Cyrenaic, the Syrtes themselves, and the sea formerly called the Ausonian, but which, as it flows into and forms part of the Sea of Sicily, is now included under the latter name. The sea opposite to the Syrtes and the Cyrenaic is called the Libyan Sea; it extends as far as the Sea of Egypt. The Lesser Syrtes is about 1600 stadia in circumference. On either side of its mouth lie the islands of Meninx and Kerkina. The Greater Syrtes is (according to Eratosthenes) 5000 stadia in circuit, and in depth 1800, from the Hesperides to Automala, and the frontier which separates the Cyrenaic from the rest of Libya. According to others, its circumference is only 4000 stadia, its depth 1500 stadia, and the breadth at its mouth the same. The Sea of Sicily washes Italy, from the Strait of Rhegium to Locris, and also the eastern coast of Sicily from Messene to Syracuse and Pachynus. On the eastern side it reaches to the promontories of Crete, surrounds the greater part of Peloponnesus, and fills the Gulf of Corinth. On the north it advances to the Iapygian Promontory, the mouth of the Ionian Sea, the southern parts of Epirus, as far as the Ambracic Gulf, and the continuation of the coast which forms the Corinthian Gulf, near the Peloponnesus. The Ionian Sea forms part of what we now call the Adriatic. Illyria forms its right side, and Italy as far as the recess where Aquileia is situated, the left. The Adriatic stretches north and west; it is long and narrow, being in length about 6000 stadia, and its greatest breadth 1200. There are many islands situated here opposite the coasts of Illyria, such as the Absyrtides, Cyrictica, and the Libyrnides, also Issa, Tragurium, the Black Corcyra, and Pharos. Opposite to Italy are the Islands of Diomede. The Sea of Sicily is said to be 4500 stadia from Pachynus to Crete, and the same distance to Taenarus in Laconia. From the extremities of Iapygia to the bottom of the Gulf of Corinth the distance is less than 3000 stadia, while from Iapygia to Libya it is more than 4000. In this sea are the Islands of Corcyra and Sybota, opposite the coasts of Epirus; and beyond these, opposite the Gulf of Corinth, Cephallenia, Ithaca, Zacynthus, and the Echinades.
§ 2.5.21 Next to the Sea of Sicily, are the Cretan, Saronic, and Myrtoan Seas, comprised between Crete, Argia, and Attica. Their greatest breadth, measured from Attica, is 1200 stadia, and their length not quite double the distance. Within are included the Islands of Cythera, Calauria, Aigina, Salamis, and certain of the Cyclades. Adjacent to these are the Aegean Sea, the Gulf of Melas, the Hellespont, the Icarian and Carpathian Seas, as far as Rhodes, Crete, Cnidus, and the commencement of Asia. [In these seas] are the Cyclades, the Sporades, and the islands opposite Caria, Ionia, and Aeolia, as far as the Troad, namely, Cos, Samos, Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos; likewise on the Grecian side as far as Macedonia and the borders of Thrace, Euboea, Scyros, Peparethus, Lemnos, Thasos, Imbros, Samothrace, and numerous others, of which it is our intention to speak in detail. The length of this sea is about 4000 stadia, or rather more, its breadth about 2000. It is surrounded by the coast of Asia above mentioned, and by those of Greece from Sounion northwards to the Thermaic Gulf and the Gulfs of Macedonia, and as far as the Thracian Chersonesus.
§ 2.5.22 Here too is the strait, seven stadia in length, which is between Sestos and Abydos, and through which the Aegean and Hellespont communicate with another sea to the north, named the Propontis, and this again with another called the Euxine. This latter is, so to speak, a double sea, for towards its middle are two projecting promontories, one to the north, on the side of Europe, and the other opposite from the coast of Asia, which leave only a narrow passage between them, and thus form two great seas. The European promontory is named Criu-metopon; that of Asia, Carambis. They are distant from each other about 2500 stadia. The length of the western portion of this sea from Byzantium to the outlets of the Dnieper is 3800 stadia, its breadth 2000. Here is situated the Island of Leuca. The eastern portion is oblong and terminates in the narrow recess in which Dioscurias is situated. In length it is 5000 stadia, or rather more, and in breadth about 3000. The entire circumference of the Euxine is about 25,000 stadia. Some have compared the shape of its circumference to a Scythian bow when bent, the string representing the southern portions of the Euxine, (viz. the coast, from its mouth to the recess in which Dioscurias is situated; for, with the exception of Carambis, the sinuosities of the shore are but trifling, so that it may be justly compared to a straight line,) and the remainder [of the circumference representing] the wood of the bow with its double curve, the uppermost very much rounded, the lower more in a straight line. So this sea forms two gulfs, the western much more rounded than the other.
§ 2.5.23 To the north of the eastern Gulf of the Pontus, is the Lake Maeotis, whose perimeter is 9000 stadia or rather more. It communicates with the Euxine by means of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, and the Euxine with the Propontis by the Thracian Bosphorus, for such is the name given to the Strait of Byzantium, which is four stadia in breadth. The length of the Propontis from the Troad to Byzantium is stated to be 1500 stadia. Its breadth is about the same. It is in this sea that the Island of the Cyziceni is situated, with the other islands around it.
§ 2.5.24 Such and so great is the extent of the Aegean Sea towards the north. Again, starting from Rhodes, the [Mediterranean] forms the seas of Egypt, Pamphylia, and Issus, extending in an easterly direction from Cilicia to Issus, a distance of 5000 stadia, along the coasts of Lycia, Pamphylia, and the whole of Cilicia. From thence Syria, Phoenicia, and Egypt surround the sea to the south and west as far as Alexandria. The Island of Cyprus is situated in the Gulfs of Issos and Pamphylia, close to the Sea of Egypt. The passage between Rhodes and Alexandria from north [to south] is about 4000 stadia; sailing round the coasts it is double this distance. Eratosthenes informs us that, although the above is the distance according to some mariners, others avow distinctly that it amounts to 5000 stadia; while he himself, from observations of the shadows indicated by the gnomon, calculates it at 3750. That part of the Mediterranean Sea which washes the coasts of Cilicia and Pamphylia together with the right side of the Euxine, the Propontis, and the sea-coast beyond this as far as Pamphylia, form a kind of extensive Chersonesus, the isthmus of which is also large, and reaches from the sea near Tarsus to the city of Amisus, and thence to Themiscyra, the plain of the Amazons. In fact the whole region within this line as far as Caria and Ionia, and the nations dwelling on this side the Halys, is entirely surrounded by the Aegean and the aforementioned parts of the Mediterranean and Euxine Seas. This is what we call Asia properly, although the whole continent bears the same name.
§ 2.5.25 To speak shortly, the southernmost point of Our Sea is the recess of the Greater Syrtes; next to this Alexandria in Egypt, and the mouths of the Nile; while the most northerly is the mouth of the Dnieper, or if the Maeotis be considered to belong to the Euxine, (and it certainly does appear to form a part of it,) the mouth of the Tanais. The Strait at the Pillars is the most westerly point, and the most easterly is the said recess, in which Dioscurias is situated; and not, as Eratosthenes falsely states, the Gulf of Issos, which is under the same meridian as Amisus and Themiscyra, and, if you will have it so, Sidene as far as Pharnacia. Proceeding thence in an easterly direction to Dioscurias, the distance by sea is above 3000 stadia, as will be seen more plainly in my detailed account of those countries. Such then is the Mediterranean.
§ 2.5.26 We must now describe the countries which surround it; and here we will begin from the same point, whence we commenced our description of the sea itself. Entering the Strait at the Pillars, Libya, as far as the river Nile, is on the right hand, and to the left, on the other side of the Strait, is Europe, as far as the Tanais. Asia bounds both these continents. We will commence with Europe, both because its figure is more varied, and also because it is the quarter most favourable to the mental and social ennoblement of man, and produces a greater portion of comforts than the other continents. Now the whole of Europe is habitable with the exception of a small part, which cannot be dwelt in, on account of the severity of the cold, and which borders on the Hamaxoeci, who dwell by the Tanais, Maeotis, and Dnieper. The wintry and mountainous parts of the habitable earth would seem to afford by nature but a miserable means of existence; nevertheless, by good management, places scarcely inhabited by any but robbers, may be got into condition. Thus the Greeks, though dwelling amidst rocks and mountains, live in comfort, owing to their economy in government and the arts, and all the other appliances of life. Thus too the Romans, after subduing numerous nations who were leading a savage life, either induced by the rockiness of their countries, or want of ports, or severity of the cold, or for other reasons scarcely habitable, have taught the arts of commerce to many who were formerly in total ignorance, and spread civilization amongst the most savage. Where the climate is equable and mild, nature herself does much towards the production of these advantages. As in such favoured regions every thing inclines to peace, so those which are sterile generate bravery and a disposition to war. These two races receive mutual advantages from each other, the one aiding by their arms, the other by their husbandry, arts, and institutions. Harm must result to both when failing to act in concert, but the advantage will lie on the side of those accustomed to arms, except in instances where they are overpowered by multitudes. This continent is very much favoured in this respect, being interspersed with plains and mountains, so that every where the foundations of husbandry, civilization, and hardihood lie side by side. The number of those who cultivate the arts of peace, is, however, the most numerous, which preponderance over the whole is mainly due to the influence of the government, first of the Greeks, and afterwards of the Macedonians and Romans. Europe has thus within itself resources both for war [and peace]. It is amply supplied with warriors, and also with men fitted for the labours of agriculture, and the life of the towns. It is likewise distinguished for producing in perfection those fruits of the earth necessary to life, and all the useful metals. Perfumes and precious stones must be imported from abroad, but as far as the comfort of life is concerned, the want or the possession of these can make no difference. The country likewise abounds in cattle, while of wild beasts the number is but small. Such is the general nature of this continent.
§ 2.5.27 We will now describe separately the various countries into which it is divided. The first of these on the west is Iberia, which resembles the hide of an ox [spread out]; the eastern portions, which correspond to the neck, adjoining the neighbouring country of Gaul. The two countries are divided on this side by the chain of mountains called the Pyrenees; on all its other sides it is surrounded by sea; on the south, as far as the Pillars, by Our Sea; and thence to the northern extremity of the Pyrenees by the Atlantic. The greatest length of this country is about 6000 stadia, its breadth 5000.
§ 2.5.28 East of this is Keltica, which extends as far as the Rhine. Its northern side is washed by the entire of the British Channel, for this island lies opposite and parallel to it throughout, extending as much as 5000 stadia in length. Its eastern side is bounded by the river Rhine, whose stream runs parallel with the Pyrenees; and its southern side commencing from the Rhine, [is bounded] partly by the Alps, and partly by Our Sea; where what is called the Galatic Gulf runs in, and on this are situated the far-famed cities of Marseilles and Narbonne. Right opposite to the Gulf on the other side of the land, lies another Gulf, called by the same name, Galatic, looking towards the north and Britain. It is here that the breadth of Keltica is the narrowest, being contracted into an isthmus less than 3000 stadia, but more than 2000. Within this region there is a mountain ridge, named Mount Cemmenus, which runs nearly at right angles to the Pyrenees, and terminates in the central plains of Keltica. The Alps, which are a very lofty range of mountains, form a curved line, the convex side of which is turned towards the plains of Keltica, mentioned before, and Mount Cemmenus, and the concave towards Liguria and Italy. The Alps are inhabited by numerous nations, but all Keltic with the exception of the Ligurians, and these, though of a different race, closely resemble them in their manner of life. They inhabit that portion of the Alps which is next the Apennines, and also a part of the Apennines themselves. This latter mountain ridge traverses the whole length of Italy from north to south, and terminates at the Strait of Sicily.
§ 2.5.29 The first parts of Italy are the plains situated under the Alps, as far as the recess of the Adriatic and the neighbouring places. The parts beyond form a narrow and long slip, resembling a peninsula, traversed, as I have said, throughout its length by the Apennines; its length is 7000 stadia, but its breadth is very unequal. The seas which form the peninsula of Italy are, the Tyrrhenian sea, which commences from the Ligurian, the Ausonian, and the Adriatic.
§ 2.5.30 After Italy and Keltica, the remainder of Europe extends towards the east, and is divided into two by the Danube. This river flows from west to east, and discharges itself into the Euxine Sea, leaving on its left the entire of Germany commencing from the Rhine, as well as the whole of the Getae, the Tyrigetae, the Bastarni, and the Sauromati, as far as the river Tanais, and the Lake Maeotis, on its right being the whole of Thrace and Illyria, and in fine the rest of Greece. Fronting Europe lie the islands which we have mentioned. Without the Pillars, Gadeira, the Cassiterides, and the Britannic Isles. Within the Pillars are the Gymnesian Islands, the other little islands of the Phoenicians, the Marseillais, and the Ligurians; those fronting Italy as far as the islands of Aeolus and Sicily, and the whole of those along Epirus and Greece, as far as Macedonia and the Thracian Chersonesus.
§ 2.5.31 From the Tanais and the Maeotis commences [Asia] on this side the Taurus; beyond these is [Asia] beyond the Taurus. For since this continent is divided into two by the chain of the Taurus, which extends from the extremities of Pamphylia to the shores of the Eastern Sea, inhabited by the Indians and neighbouring Scythians, the Greeks naturally called that part of the continent situated north of these mountains [Asia] on this side the Taurus, and that on the south [Asia] beyond the Taurus. Consequently the parts adjacent to the Maeotis and Tanais are on this side the Taurus. The first of these is the territory between the Caspian Sea and the Euxine, bounded on one side by the Tanais, the Exterior Ocean, and the Sea of Hyrcania; on the other by the isthmus where it is narrowest from the recess of the Euxine to the Caspian. Secondly, but still on this side the Taurus, are the countries above the Sea of Hyrcania as far as the Indians and Scythians, who dwell along the said sea and Mount Imaus. These countries are possessed on the one side by the Maeotae, and the people dwelling between the Sea of Hyrcania and the Euxine as far as the Caucasus, the Iberians and Albanians, viz. the Sauromatians, Scythians, Achtaeans, Zygi, and Heniochi: on the other side beyond the Sea of Hyrcania, by the Scythians, Hyrcanians, Parthians, Bactrians, Sogdians, and the other nations of India farther towards the north. To the south, partly by the Sea of Hyrcania, and partly by the whole isthmus which separates this sea from the Euxine, is situated the greater part of Armenia, Colchis, the whole of Cappadocia as far as the Euxine, and the Tibaranic nations. Further [west] is the country designated on this side the Halys, containing on the side of the Euxine and Propontis the Paphlagonians, Bithynians, Mysians, and Phrygia on the Hellespont, which comprehends the Troad; and on the side of the Aegean and adjacent seas Aeolia, Ionia, Caria, and Lycia. Inland is the Phrygia which contains that portion of Gallo-Graecia styled Galatia, Phrygia Epictetus, the Lycaonians, and the Lydians.
§ 2.5.32 Next these on this side the Taurus are the mountaineers of Paropamisus, and various tribes of Parthians, Medes, Armenians, Cilicians, with "the Lycaonians," and Pisidians. After these mountaineers come the people dwelling beyond the Taurus. First amongst these is India, a nation greater and more flourishing than any other; they extend as far as the Eastern Sea and the southern part of the Atlantic. In the most southerly part of this sea opposite to India is situated the island of Taprobana, which is not less than Britain. Beyond India to the west, and leaving the mountains [of the Taurus] on the right, is a vast region, miserably inhabited, on account of the sterility of its soil, by men of different races, who are absolutely in a savage state. They are named Arians, and extend from the mountains to Gedrosia and Carmania. Beyond these towards the sea are the Persians, the Susians, and the Babylonians, situated along the Persian Gulf, besides several smaller neighbouring states. On the side of the mountains and amidst the mountains are the Parthians, the Medes, the Armenians, and the nations adjoining these, together with Mesopotamia. Beyond Mesopotamia are the countries on this side the Euphrates; viz. the whole of Arabia Felix, bounded by the entire Arabian and Persian Gulfs, together with the country of the Scenitae and Phylarchi, who are situated along the Euphrates and in Syria. Beyond the Arabian Gulf and as far as the Nile dwell the Ethiopians and Arabians, and next these the Egyptians, Syrians, and Cilicians, both those styled Trachiotae and others besides, and last of all the Pamphylians.
§ 2.5.33 After Asia comes Libya, which adjoins Egypt and Ethiopia. The coast next us, from Alexandria almost to the Pillars, is in a straight line, with the exception of the Syrtes, the sinuosities of some moderately sized bays, and the projection of the promontories by which they are formed. The side next the ocean from Ethiopia up to a certain point is almost parallel to the former; but after this the southern portions become narrowed into a sharp peak, extending a little beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and giving to the country something the figure of a trapezium. Its appearance, both by the accounts of other writers, and also the description given to ourselves by Cnaeus Piso, who was governor of this province, is that of a panther's skin, being dotted over with habitations surrounded by parched and desert land: these habitations the Egyptians call Auases. This continent offers besides several other peculiarities, which may be said to divide it into three distinct portions. Most of the coast next us is very fertile, more especially about the Cyrenaic and the parts about Carthage, as far as Maurusia and the Pillars of Hercules. Next the ocean it is likewise tolerably fitted for the habitation of man; but not so the centre of the country, which produces silphium; this for the most part is barren, rugged, and sandy; and the same is the case with regard to the whole of Asia lying under the same right line which traverses Ethiopia, the Troglodytic, Arabia, and the part of Gedrosia occupied by the Ichthyophagi. The people inhabiting Libya are for the most part unknown to us, as it has rarely been entered, either by armies or adventurers. But few of its inhabitants from the farther parts come amongst us, and their accounts are both incomplete and not to be relied on. The sum of what they say is as follows. Those which are most southern are called Ethiopians. North of these the principal nations are the Garamantes, the Pharusians, and the Nigritae. Still farther north are the Gaetuli. Close to the sea, and adjoining it next Egypt, and as far as the Cyrenaic, dwell the Marmaridae. Above the Cyrenaic and the Syrtes are the Psylli and Nasamones, and certain of the Gaetuli; and after them the Asbystae and Byzacii, as far as Carthage. Carthage is vast. Adjoining it are the Numidae ;of these people the tribes best known to us are called the Masylies and the Masuaesylii. The most westerly are the Maurusians. The whole land, from Carthage to the Pillars of Hercules, is fertile. Nevertheless it abounds in wild beasts no less than the interior; and it does not seem improbable that the cause why the name of Nomades, or Wanderers, was bestowed on certain of these people originated in their not being able anciently to devote themselves to husbandry on account of the wild beasts. At the present day, when they are well skilled in hunting, and are besides assisted by the Romans in their rage for the spectacle of fights with beasts, they are both masters of the beasts and of husbandry. This finishes what we have to say on the continents.
§ 2.5.34 It now remains for us to speak of the climata. Of these too we shall give but a general description, commencing with those lines which we have denominated elementary, namely, those which determine the greatest length and breadth of the [habitable earth], but especially its breadth. To enter fully into this subject is the duty of astronomers. This has been done by Hipparchus, who has noted down (as he says) the differences of the heavenly appearances for every degree of that quarter of the globe in which our habitable earth is situated, namely, from the equator to the north pole. What is beyond our habitable earth it is not however the business of the geographer to consider. Nor yet even in regard to the various parts of the habitable earth must too minute and numerous differences be noticed, since to the man of the world they are perplexing; it will suffice to give the most striking and simple of the statements of Hipparchus. Assuming, as he does himself after the assertion of Eratosthenes, that the circumference of the earth is 252,000 stadia, the differences of the [celestial] phenomena will not be great for each [degree] within the limits between which the habitable earth is contained. Supposing we cut the grand circle of the earth into 360 divisions, each of these divisions will consist of 700 stadia. This is the calculation adopted by [Hipparchus] to fix the distances, which [as we said] should be taken under the before-mentioned meridian of Meroe. He commences at the regions situated under the equator, and stopping from time to time at every 700 stadia along the whole length of the meridian above mentioned, proceeds to describe the celestial phenomena as they appear from each. But the equator is not the place for us to start from. For even if there be there a habitable region, as some suppose, it forms a habitable earth to itself, a narrow slip enclosed by the regions uninhabitable on account of the heat; and can be no part of our habitable earth. Now the geographer should attend to none but our own habitable earth, which is confined by certain boundaries; on the south by the parallel which passes over the Cinnamon Country; on the north by that which passes over Ierna. But keeping in mind the scheme of our geography, we have no occasion to mark all the places comprehended within this distance, nor yet all the celestial phenomena. We must however commence, as Hipparchus does, with the southern regions.
§ 2.5.35 He tells us that the people who dwell under the parallel of the Cinnamon Country, which he places at 3000 stadia south of Meroe, and 8800 [north] of the equator, live nearly at equal distances between the equator and the summer tropic which passes by Syene; for Syene is 5000 stadia [north] of Meroe. They are the first for whom the whole [constellation] of the Lesser Bear is comprised within the Artic Circle, and to whom it is always visible. For the bright and most southern star, at the tip of the tail, is here contained within the Arctic Circle, and appears to touch the horizon. The Arabian Gulf lies eastward parallel to the said meridian. Its egress into the Exterior Ocean is [in the same latitude as] the Cinnamon Country, the place where anciently they used to hunt the elephants. The parallel of the Cinnamon Country on the one side passes a little south of Taprobana, or perhaps over its southern extremity; and on the other side over the most southern parts of Libya.
§ 2.5.36 At Meroe and Ptolemais in the Troglodytic the longest day consists of thirteen equinoctial hours. These cities are at nearly equal distances between the equator and Alexandria, the preponderance on the side of the equator being only 1800 stadia. The parallel of Meroe passes on one side over unknown countries, and on the other over the extremities of India. At Syene, and at Berenice, which is situated on the Arabian Gulf and in the Troglodytice, at the summer solstice the sun is vertical, and the longest day consists of thirteen equinoctial hours and a half, and the whole of the Greater Bear appears within the Arctic Circle, with the exception of his thighs, the tip of his tail, and one of the stars composing his body. The parallel of Syene traverses on one side the portion of Gedrosia occupied by the Ichthyophagi, and India; and on the other side the countries situated south of Cyrene by rather less than 5000 stadia.
§ 2.5.37 In all the countries situated between the tropic and the equatorial circle, the shadows fall [alternately] on either side, north and south. In those which are north of Syene and beyond the summer tropic the shadows at mid-day fall to the north. The former are called amphiscii, the latter heteroscii. There is also another method of determining what places are under the tropic, which we spoke of in our observations on the zones. The soil is sandy, arid, and produces nothing but silphium, while more to the south the land is well irrigated and fertile.
§ 2.5.38 In the countries situated about 400 stadia south of the parallel of Alexandria and Cyrene, where the longest day consists of fourteen equinoctial hours, Arcturus passes the zenith, slightly declining towards the south. At Alexandria at the time of the equinox the proportion which the gnomon bears to the shadow is as five to seven. Thus they are south of Carthage 1300 stadia, that is, admitting that in Carthage at the time of the equinox the proportion which the gnomon bears to the shadow is as eleven to seven. This parallel on the one side passes by Cyrene and the regions 900 stadia south of Carthage as far as the midst of Maurusia; and on the other side through Egypt, Coelosyria, Upper Syria, Babylonia, Susiana, Persia, Carmania, Upper Gedrosia, and India.
§ 2.5.39 At Ptolemais in Phoenicia, and at Sidon and Tyre, the longest day consists of fourteen hours and a quarter. These cities are north of Alexandria by about 1600 stadia, and north of Carthage about 700. In the Peloponnesus, and about the middle of Rhodes, at Xanthus in Lycia, or a little to the south of this place, and at 400 stadia south of Syracuse, the longest day consists of fourteen and a half equinoctial hours. These places are distant from Alexandria 3640 stadia. . . . This parallel, according to Eratosthenes, passes through Caria, Lycaonia, Cataonia, Media, the Caspian Gates, and India next the Caucasus.
§ 2.5.40 In the parts of the Troad next Alexandria in Amphipolis, Apollonia in Epirus, the countries just south of Rome and north of Neapolis, the longest day consists of fifteen hours. This parallel is distant from that of Alexandria in Egypt 7000 stadia to the north, above 28,800 stadia north of the equator, and 3400 stadia from the parallel of Rhodes; it is south of Byzantium, Nicaae, and Marseilles 1500 stadia. The parallel of Lysimachia is a little to the north, and according to Eratosthenes passes through Mysia, Paphlagonia, Sinope, Hyrcania, and Bactra.
§ 2.5.41 About Byzantium the longest day consists of fifteen and a quarter equinoctial hours; the proportion borne by the gnomon to the shadow at the summer solstice, is as 120 to 42, minus one-fifth. These places are distant from the middle of Rhodes about 4900 stadia, and 30,300 from the equator. Sailing into the Euxine and advancing 1400 stadia to the north, the longest day is found to consist of fifteen and a half equinoctial hours. These places are equi-distant between the pole and equatorial circle; the arctic circle is at their zenith, the star in the neck of Cassiopeia is within this circle, the star forming the right elbow of Perseus being a little more to the north.
§ 2.5.42 In regions 3800 stadia north of Byzantium the longest day consists of sixteen equinoctial hours; the constellation Cassiopeia being brought within the arctic circle. These regions are situated around [the mouth of] the Dnieper and the southern parts of the Maeotis, at a distance from the equator of 34,100 stadia; and the northern part of the horizon during almost all the summer nights is illuminated by the light of the sun; a certain degree of light continuing from sunset to sunrise. For the summer tropic is distant from the horizon only the half and the twelfth part of a sign [of the zodiac], and this therefore is the greatest distance of the sun below the horizon at midnight. With us when the sun is at this distance from the horizon before sunrise and after sunset, the atmosphere is enlightened to the east and west respectively. In the winter the sun when at the highest is nine cubits above the horizon. These places, according to Eratosthenes, are distant from Meroe rather more than 23,000 stadia, for he says that [from the parallel of Meroe] to the Hellespont there are 18,000 stadia, and thence to the Dnieper 5000 more. In regions distant 6300 stadia from Byzantium, and north of the Maeotis, the sun during the winter time is, when highest, six cubits [above the horizon]. The longest day consists of seventeen hours.
§ 2.5.43 The countries beyond this which border upon the regions uninhabitable on account of their cold, have no interest to the geographer. He who desires to learn about them, and the celestial phenomena which Hipparchus has described, but which we pass over as being too much in detail for our present undertaking, must seek for them in that author. The statements of Posidonius concerning the periscii, the amphiscii, and the heteroscii are likewise too detailed. Still we must touch on these points sufficiently to explain his view, and to point out how far such matters are serviceable in geography, and how far not. The terms made use of refer to the shadows cast from the sun. The sun appears to the senses to describe a circle parallel to that of the earth. Of those people for whom each revolution of the earth produces a day and a night, the sun being carried first over, then under, the earth, some are denominated amphiscii, others heteroscii. The amphiscii are the inhabitants of countries in which when a gnomon is placed perpendicularly on a plane surface, the shadow which it casts at mid-day, falls first to one side then to the other, as the sun illumines first this side, then that. This however only occurs in places situated between the tropics. The heteroscii are those amongst whom the shadow always falls to the north, as with us; or to the south, as amongst those who inhabit the other temperate zone. This occurs in all those regions where the arctic circle is less than the tropic. Where however it becomes the same as or greater than the tropic, this shows the commencement of the periscii, who extend thence to the pole. In regions where the sun remains above the horizon during an entire revolution of the earth, the shadow must evidently have turned in a complete circle round the gnomon. On this account he named them periscii. However they have nought to do with geography, inasmuch as the regions are not habitable on account of the cold, as we stated in our review of Pytheas. Nor is there any use in determining the size of this uninhabitable region, [it is enough to have established] that those countries, having the tropic for their arctic circle, are situated beneath the circle which is described by the pole of the zodiac in the diurnal] revolution of the earth, and that the distance between the equator and the tropic equals four-sixtieths of the great circle [of the earth].
§ 3.1.1 HAVING thus given a general view of Geography, it will now be proper to describe each separate country in detail, as we engaged to do. We fancy that the method which we have adopted in the division of our subject, up to this point, has been correct; and we now re-commence with Europe and the various countries into which it is divided, on the same principles as formerly, and induced by the same reasons.
§ 3.1.2 The first division of this continent towards the west is Iberia, as we before stated. The greater part of this country is but little fitted for habitation; consisting chiefly of mountains, woods, and plains covered with a light meagre soil, the irrigation of which is likewise uncertain The part next the north, which borders on the ocean, is extremely cold, and besides its rugged character, has no communication or intercourse with other [countries], and thus to dwell there is attended with peculiar hardship. Such is the character of this portion; on the other hand, almost the whole of the south is fertile, especially what is beyond the Pillars [of Hercules]. This however will be shown more in detail, but we must first describe the figure and extent [of the country].
§ 3.1.3 In shape it resembles a hide stretched out in length from west to east, the forepart towards the east, its breadth being from north to south. Its length is about 6000 stadia; the greatest breadth is 5000; while there are parts considerably less than 3000, particularly in the vicinity of the Pyrenees, which form the eastern side. This chain of mountains stretches without interruption from north to south, and divides Keltica from Iberia. The breadth both of Keltica and Iberia is irregular, the narrowest part in both of them from the Mediterranean to the [Atlantic] Ocean being near the Pyrenees, particularly on either side of that chain; this gives rise to gulfs both on the side of the Ocean, and also of the Mediterranean; the largest of these are denominated the Keltic or Galatic Gulfs, and they render the [Keltic] isthmus narrower than that of Iberia. The Pyrenees form the eastern side of Iberia, and the Mediterranean the southern from the Pyrenees to the Pillars of Hercules, thence the exterior [ocean] as far as the Sacred Promontory. The third or western side runs nearly parallel to the Pyrenees from the Sacred Promontory to the promontory of the Artabri, called [Cape] Nerium. The fourth side extends hence to the northern extremity of the Pyrenees.
§ 3.1.4 We will now commence our detailed account, beginning from the Sacred Promontory. This is the most western point not only of Europe, but of the whole habitable earth. For the habitable earth is bounded to the west by two continents, namely, the extremities of Europe and Libya, which are inhabited respectively by the Iberians and the Maurusians. But the Iberian extremity, at the promontory we have mentioned, juts out beyond the other as much as 1500 stadia. The region adjacent to this cape they call in the Latin tongue Cuneum, which signifies a wedge. The promontory which projects into the sea, Artemidorus (who states that he has himself been at the place) compares to a ship; three little islands, [he says, ] each having a small harbour, contribute to give it this form; the former island resembling the beak of the ship, and the two latter the beams on each side of the ship's bows. [He adds] that there is no sanctuary of Hercules shown there, as Ephorus falsely states, nor yet any altar [to him] nor to any other divinity; but in many parts there are three or four stones placed together, which are turned by all travellers who arrive there, in accordance with a certain local custom, and are changed in position by such as turn them incorrectly. It is not lawful to offer sacrifice there, nor yet to approach the place during the night, for it is said that then the gods take up their abode at the place. Those who go thither to view it stay at a neighbouring village over-night, and proceed to the place on the morrow, carrying water with them, as there is none to be procured there.
§ 3.1.5 It is quite possible that these things are so, and we ought not to disbelieve them. Not so however with regard to the other common and vulgar reports; for Posidonius tells us the common people say that in the countries next the ocean the sun appears larger as he sets, and makes a noise resembling the sound of hot metal in cold water, as though the sea were hissing as the sun was submerged in its depths. The statement [of Artemidorus] is also false, that night follows immediately on the setting of the sun: it does not follow immediately, although certainly the interval is short, as in other great seas. For when he sets behind mountains the agency of the false light continues the day for a long period; over the sea the twilight is shorter, still darkness does not immediately supervene. The same thing may be remarked in large plains. The image of the sun is enlarged on the seas at its rising as well as at its setting, because at these times a larger mass of exhalations rises from the humid element; and the eye looking through these exhalations, sees images refracted into larger forms, as observed through tubes. The same thing happens when the setting sun or moon is seen through a dry and thin cloud, when those bodies likewise appear reddish. Posidonius tells us that, having himself passed thirty days at Gades, during which time he carefully observed the setting of the sun, he is convinced of the falsity of Artemidorus's account. This latter writer tells us, that at the time of its setting the sun appears a hundred times larger than its ordinary size, and that night immediately succeeds. If we attend to his account, we cannot believe that he himself remarked this phenomenon at the Sacred Promontory, for he tells us that no one can approach during the night; therefore they cannot approach at sunset, since night immediately supervenes thereupon. Neither did he observe it from any other part of the coast washed by the ocean, for Gades is upon the ocean, and both Posidonius and many others testify that there such is not the case.
§ 3.1.6 The sea-coast next the Sacred Promontory forms on one side the commencement of the western coast of Spain as far as the outlet of the river Tagus; and on the other forms the southern coast as far as the outlet of another river, named the Ana. Both of these rivers descend from the eastern parts [of Spain]; but the former, which is much larger than the other, pursues a straight course towards the west, while the Ana bends its course towards the south. They enclose an extent of country peopled for the most part by Kelts and certain Lusitanians, whom the Romans caused to settle here from the opposite side of the Tagus. Higher up, the country is inhabited by the Carpetani, the Oretani, and a large number of Vettones. This district is moderately fertile, but that which is beyond it to the east and south, does not give place in superiority to any part of the habitable earth with which it may be compared, in the excellence of its productions both of land and sea. This is the country through which the river Baetis flows. This river takes its rise from the same parts as the Ana and the Tagus, and is between these two in size. Like the Ana, the commencement of its course flows towards the west, but it afterwards turns to the south, and discharges itself at the same side of the coast as that river. From this river the country has received the name of Baetica; it is called Turdetania by the inhabitants, who are themselves denominated Turdetani, and Turduli. Some think these two names refer to one nation, while others believe that they designate two distinct people. Of this latter opinion is Polybius, who imagines that the Turduli dwell more to the north than the Turdetani. At the present day however there does not appear to be any distinction between them. These people are esteemed to be the most intelligent of all the Iberians; they have an alphabet, and possess ancient writings, poems, and metrical laws six thousand years old, as they say. The other Iberians are likewise furnished with an alphabet, although not of the same form, nor do they speak the same language. Their country, which is on this side the Ana, extends eastward as far as Oretania, and southward along the sea-coast from the outlets of the Ana to the Pillars. But it is necessary that I should enter into further particulars concerning this and the neighbouring places, in order to illustrate their excellence and fertility.
§ 3.1.7 Between this coast, where the Baetis and Ana discharge themselves, and the extremities of Maurusia, the Atlantic Ocean forms the strait at the Pillars [of Hercules] by which it is connected with the Mediterranean. Here is situated Calpe, the mountain of the Iberians who are denominated Bastetani, by others Bastuli. Its circumference is not large, but it is so high and steep as to resemble an island in the distance. Sailing from the Mediterranean into the Atlantic, it is left on the right hand. At a distance of 40 stadia from this [mountain] is the considerable and ancient city of Carteia, formerly a marine arsenal of the Iberians. Some assert that it was founded by Hercules; of this number is Timosthenes, who tells us it was anciently called Heraclaea, and that vast walls and ship-sheds are still shown.
§ 3.1.8 Next to these is Mellaria, where they make salted provisions. After this the city and river of Belo. Here the merchandise and salted provisions for Tingis in Maurusia are principally shipped. There was a city named Zelis near to Tingis, but the Romans transferred it to the opposite coast [of Spain], and having placed there in addition some of the inhabitants of Tingis, and sent over also some of their own people, they then gave to the city the name of Julia Joza. Beyond this is Gadeira, an island separated from Turdetania by a narrow strait, and distant from Calpe about 750 stadia, or, as others say, 800. This island has nothing to distinguish it above others, but owing to the boldness of its people in their expeditions by sea, and their friendship with the Romans, has attained to that pitch of good fortune, that although situated at the farthest extremities of the earth, it possesses a greater celebrity than any other island. But we will describe it when we come to speak of the other islands.
§ 3.1.9 Next after [Cadiz ] is the port of Menestheus, and the estuary near to Asta and Nebrissa. These estuaries are valleys filled by the sea during its flood-tides, up which you may sail into the interior, and to the cities built on them, in the same way as you sail up a river. Immediately after are the two outlets of the Baetis. The island embraced by these mouths has a coast of a hundred stadia, or rather more according to others. Hereabouts is the Oracle of Menestheus, and the tower of Caepio, built upon a rock and washed on all sides by the sea. This is an admirable work, resembling the Pharos, and constructed for the safety of vessels. For the mud carried out by the river forms shallows, and sunken rocks are also scattered before it, so that a beacon was greatly needed. Thence sailing up the river is the city of Ebura and the sanctuary of Phosphorus, which they call Lux Dubia. You then pass up the other estuaries; and after these the river Ana, which has also two mouths, up either of which you may sail. Lastly, beyond is the Sacred Promontory, distant from Gadeira less than 2000 stadia. Some say that from the Sacred Promontory to the mouth of the Ana there are 60 miles; thence to the mouth of the Baetis 100; and from this latter place to Gadeira 70.
§ 3.2.1 TURDETANIA lies above the coast on this side the Ana, and is intersected by the river Baetis. It is bounded on the west and north by the river Ana; on the east by certain of the Carpetani and the Oretani; on the south by those of the Bastetani who inhabit the narrow slip of coast between Calpe and Gadeira, and by the sea beyond as far as the Ana. The Bastetani whom I have mentioned, together with the people on the other side the Ana, and many of the places adjacent, belong to Turdetania. The size of this country in its length and breadth does not exceed two thousand stadia, still it contains a vast number of towns; two hundred, it is said. Those best known are situated on the rivers, estuaries, and sea; but the two which have acquired the greatest name and importance are, Corduba, founded by Marcellus, and the city of the Gaditanians. The latter for its naval importance, and its alliance with the Romans; and the former on account of its fertility and extent, a considerable portion of the Baetis flowing by it; in addition to this it has been from its commencement inhabited by picked men, whether natives or Romans; and it was the first colony planted by the Romans in these parts. After this city and that of the Gaditanians, Hispalis is the most noted. This also is a Roman colony. Commerce is still carried on here, although at the present moment the city of Baetis though not so finely built, is outshining it, on account of the honour it has received from the soldiers of Caesar taking up their quarters there.
§ 3.2.2 After these are Italica, and Ilipa, situated on the Baetis; farther on are Astygis, Carmo, and Obulco; and besides these Munda, Ategua, Urso, Tukkis, Julia, and Aegua, where the sons of Pompey were defeated. None of these places are far from Corduba. Munda is in some sort regarded as the metropolis of the whole district. This place is distant from Carteia 1400 stadia, and it was here that Cnaeus fled after his defeat, and sailing thence landed on a rocky height overlooking the sea, where he was murdered. His brother Sextus, having escaped from Corduba, after carrying on the war for a short time in Spain, caused a revolt in Sicily. Flying thence into Asia he was seized at Miletus by the generals of Antony, and executed. Amongst the Kelts the most famous place is Conistorgis. Upon the estuaries is Asta, in which the Gaditani mostly hold their assemblies; it is opposite the sea-port of the island, at a distance of not more than 100 stadia.
§ 3.2.3 A vast number of people dwell along the Baetis; and you may sail up it almost 1200 stadia from the sea to Corduba, and the places a little higher up. The banks and little islets of this river are cultivated with the greatest diligence. The eye is also delighted with groves and gardens, which in this district are met with in the highest perfection. As far as Hispalis, which is a distance of not less than 500 stadia, the river is navigable for ships of considerable size; but for the cities higher up, as far as Ilipas, smaller vessels are employed, and thence to Corduba river-boats. These are now constructed of planks joined together, but they were formerly made out of a single trunk. Above this to Castlon the river is no longer navigable. A chain of mountains, rich in metal, runs parallel to the Baetis, approaching the river sometimes more, sometimes less, towards the north. There is much silver found in the parts about Ilipas and Sisapo, both in that which is called the old town and the new. There are copper and gold about the Cotinae. These mountains are on the left as you sail up the river; on the right there is a vast and elevated plain, fertile, full of large trees, and containing excellent pasturage. The Ana is likewise navigable, but not for vessels equally large, nor yet so far up. It is also bordered by mountains containing metal, and extends as far as the Tagus. Districts which contain metals must, of necessity, be rugged and poor, as indeed are those adjoining Carpetania, and still more those next the Keltiberians. The same is the case with Baeturia, the plains of which, bordering on the Ana, are arid.
§ 3.2.4 Turdetania, on the other hand, is marvellously fertile, and abounds in every species of produce. The value of its productions is doubled by means of exportation, the surplus products finding a ready sale amongst the numerous ship-owners. This results from its rivers and estuaries, which, as we have said, resemble rivers, and by which you may sail from the sea to the inland towns, not only in small, but even in large-sized skiffs. For the whole country above the coast, and situated between the Sacred Promontory and the Pillars, consists of an extended plain. Here in many places are hollows running inland from the sea, which resemble moderately-sized ravines or the beds of rivers, and extend for many stadia. These are filled by the approach of the sea at high tide, and may be navigated as easily, or even more so than rivers. They are navigated much the same as rivers the sea, meeting with no obstacle, enters like the flow of a river at flood-tide. The sea comes in here with greater force than in the other places; for being forced from the wide ocean into the narrow strait, formed by the coast of Maurusia and Iberia, it experiences recoils, and thus is borne full into the retiring parts of the land. Some of these shallows are left dry as the tide ebbs, while others are never destitute of water; others again contain islands, of this kind are the estuaries between the Sacred Promontory and the Pillars, where the tide comes in with more violence than at other places. Such a tide is of considerable advantage to sailors, since it makes the estuaries both fuller and more spacious, frequently swelling them to a breadth of eight stadia, so that the whole land, so to speak, is rendered navigable, thus giving wonderful facility both for the export and import of merchandise. Nevertheless there is some inconvenience. For in the navigation of the rivers, the sailors run considerable danger both in ascending and descending, owing to the violence with which the flood-tide encounters the current of the stream as it flows down. The ebb-tides are likewise the cause of much damage in these estuaries, for resulting as they do from the same cause as the flood-tides, they are frequently so rapid as to leave the vessel on dry land; and herds in passing over to the islands that are in these estuaries are sometimes drowned [in the passage] and sometimes surprised in the islands, and endeavouring to cross back again to the continent, are unable, and perish in the attempt. They say that certain of the cattle, having narrowly observed what takes place, wait till the sea has retired, and then cross over to the main-land.
§ 3.2.5 The men [of the country], being well acquainted with the nature of these places, and that the estuaries would very well answer the same purpose as rivers, founded cities and other settlements along them the same as along rivers. Of this number are Asta, Nebrissa, Onoba, Ossonoba, Maenoba, besides many others. The canals which have been cut in various directions are also found useful in the traffic which is carried on between place and place, both amongst the people themselves and with foreigners. The conflux of water at the flood-tides is also valuable, as rendering navigable the isthmuses which separate the different pieces of water, thus making it possible to ferry over from the rivers into the estuaries, and from the estuaries into the rivers. Their trade is wholly carried on with Italy and Rome. The navigation is excellent as far as the Pillars, (excepting perhaps some little difficulties at the Strait,) and equally so on the Mediterranean, where the voyages are very calm, especially to those who keep the high seas. This is a great advantage to merchant-vessels. The winds on the high seas blow regularly; and peace reigns there now, the pirates having been put down, so that in every respect the voyage is facile. Posidonius tells us he observed the singular phenomenon in his journey from Iberia, that in this sea, as far as the Gulf of Sardinia, the south-east winds blow periodically. And on this account he strove in vain for three whole months to reach Italy, being driven about by the winds against the Gymnesian islands, Sardinia, and the opposite coasts of Libya.
§ 3.2.6 Large quantities of corn and wine are exported from Turdetania, besides much oil, which is of the first quality; also wax, honey, pitch, large quantities of the kermesberry, and vermilion not inferior to that of Sinope. The country furnishes the timber for their shipbuilding. They have likewise mineral salt, and not a few salt streams. A considerable quantity of salted fish is exported, not only from hence, but also from the remainder of the coast beyond the Pillars, equal to that of Pontus. Formerly they exported large quantities of garments, but they now send the [unmanufactured] wool, which is superior even to that of the Coraxi, and remarkable for its beauty. Rams for the purpose of covering fetch a talent. The stuffs manufactured by the Saltiatae are of incomparable texture. There is a superabundance of cattle, and a great variety of game: while, on the other hand, of destructive animals there are scarcely any, with the exception of certain little hares which burrow in the ground, and are called by some leberides. These creatures destroy both seeds and trees by gnawing their roots. They are met with throughout almost the whole of Iberia, and extend to Marseilles, infesting likewise the islands. It is said that formerly the inhabitants of the Gymnesian islands sent a deputation to the Romans soliciting that a new land might be given them, as they were quite driven out of their country by these animals, being no longer able to stand against their vast multitudes. It is possible that people should be obliged to have recourse to such an expedient for help in waging war in so great an extremity, which however but seldom happens, and is a plague produced by some pestilential state of the atmosphere, which at other times has produced serpents and rats in like abundance; but for the ordinary increase of these little hares, many ways of hunting have been devised, amongst others by wild cats from Africa, trained for the purpose. Having muzzled these, they turn them into the holes, when they either drag out the animals they find there with their claws, or compel them to fly to the surface of the earth, where they are taken by people standing by for that purpose. The large amount of the exports from Turdetania is evinced by the size and number of their ships. Merchant vessels of the greatest size sail thence to Dicaearchia and Ostia, a Roman port; they are in number nearly equal to those which arrive from Libya.
§ 3.2.7 Such is the wealth of the inland part of Turdetania, and its maritime portions are found fully to equal it in the richness of their sea-productions. In fact, oysters and every variety of shell-fish, remarkable both for their number and size, are found along the whole of the exterior sea, but here in particular. It is probable that the flow and ebb tides, which are particularly strong here, contribute both to their quantity and size, on count of the great number of pools and standing waters which they form. The same is the case with regard to all kinds of cetacea, narwhals, whales, and physeteri, which when they blow [up the water from their snouts] appear to observers from a distance to resemble a cloud shaped like a column. The congers are quite monstrous, far surpassing in size those of our [sea]; so are the lampreys, and many other fish of the same kind. It is said that in Carteia there are kerukae and cuttle-fish which would contain as much as ten cotylae. In the parts more exterior there are lampreys and congers weighing 80 minae, and polypesa talent, also teuthidae two cubits in length, with other fish in proportion. Shoals of rich fat tunny are driven hither from the sea-coast beyond. They feed on the fruit of a species of stunted oak, which grows at the bottom of the sea, and produces very large acorns. The same oaks grow in large numbers throughout the land of Iberia, their roots are of the same size as those of the full-grown oak, although the tree itself never attains the height of a low shrub. So great is the quantity of fruit which it produces, that at the season when they are ripe, the whole coast on either side of the Pillars is covered with acorns which have been thrown up by the tides: the quantity however is always less on this side the Pillars [than on the other]. Polybius states that these acorns are ejected [by the sea] as far as [the shores of] Latium, unless, he adds, Sardo and the neighbouring districts also produce them. The tunny-fish become gradually thinner, owing to the failure of their food, as they approach the Pillars from the outer sea. This fish, in fact, may be regarded as a kind of sea-hog, being fond of the acorn, and growing marvellously fat upon it; and whenever acorns are abundant, tunny-fish are abundant likewise.
§ 3.2.8 Of the various riches of the aforenamed country, not the least is its wealth in metals: this every one will particularly esteem and admire. Of metals, in fact, the whole country of the Iberians is full, although it is not equally fertile and flourishing throughout, especially in those parts where the metals most abound. It is seldom that any place is blessed with both these advantages, and likewise seldom that the different kinds of metals abound in one small territory. Turdetania, however, and the surrounding districts surpass so entirely in this respect, that however you may wish, words cannot convey their excellence. Gold, silver, copper, and iron, equal in amount and of similar quality, not having been hitherto discovered in any other part of the world. Gold is not only dug from the mines, but likewise collected; sand containing gold being washed down by the rivers and torrents. It is frequently met with in arid districts, but here the gold is not visible to the sight, whereas in those which are overflowed the grains of gold are seen glittering. On this account they cause water to flow over the arid places in order to make the grains shine; they also dig pits, and make use of other contrivances for washing the sand, and separating the gold from it; so that at the present day more gold is procured by washing than by digging it from the mines. The Galatae affirm that the mines along the Kemmenus mountains and their side of the Pyrenees are superior; but most people prefer those on this side. They say that sometimes amongst the grains of gold lumps have been found weighing half a pound, these they call paloe; they need but little refining. They also say that in splitting open stones they find small lumps, resembling paps. And that when they have melted the gold, and purified it by means of a kind of aluminous earth, the residue left is electrum. This, which contains a mixture of silver and gold, being again subjected to the fire, the silver is separated and the gold left [pure]; for this metal is easily dissipated and fat, and on this account gold is most easily melted by straw, the flame of which is soft, and bearing a similarity [to the gold], causes it easily to dissolve: whereas coal, besides wasting a great deal, melts it too much by reason of its vehemence, and carries it off [in vapour]. In the beds of the rivers the sand is either collected and washed in boats close by, or else a pit is dug to which the earth is carried and there washed. The furnaces for silver are constructed lofty, in order that the vapour, which is dense and pestilent, may be raised and carried off. Certain of the copper mines are called gold mines, which would seem to show that formerly gold was dug from them.
§ 3.2.9 Posidonius, in praising the amount and excellence of the metals, cannot refrain from his accustomed rhetoric, and becomes quite enthusiastic in exaggeration. He tells us we are not to disbelieve the fable, that formerly the forests having been set on fire, the earth, which was loaded with silver and gold, melted, and threw up these metals to the surface, forasmuch as every mountain and wooded hill seemed to be heaped up with money by a lavish fortune. Altogether (he remarks) any one seeing these places, could only describe them as the inexhaustible treasuries of nature, or the unfailing exchequer of some potentate; for not only, he tells us, is this land rich itself, but riches abound beneath it. So that amongst these people the subterraneous regions should not be regarded as the realms of Pluto, but of Plutus. Such is the flourished style in which he speaks on this subject, that you would fancy his turgid language had been dug from a mine itself. Discoursing on the diligence of the miners, he applies to them the remark [of Demetrius Phalareus, who, speaking of the silver mines of Attica, said that the men there dug with as much energy as if they thought they could grub up Plutus himself. He compares with these the activity and diligence of the Turdetani, who are in the habit of cutting tortuous and deep tunnels, and draining the streams which they frequently encounter by means of Egyptian screws. As for the rest, they are quite different from the Attic miners, whose mining (he remarks) may be justly compared to that enigma, What I have taken up I have not kept, and what I have got I have thrown away. Whereas the Turdetanians make a good profit, since a fourth part of the ore which they extract from the copper mines is [pure] copper, while from the silver mines one person has taken as much as a Euboean talent. He says that tin is not found upon the surface, as authors commonly relate, but that it is dug up; and that it is produced both in places among the barbarians who dwell beyond the Lusitanians and in the islands Cassiterides; and that from the Britannic Islands it is carried to Marseilles. Amongst the Artabri, who are the last of the Lusitanians towards the north and west, he tells us that the earth is powdered with silver, tin, and white gold, that is, mixed with silver, the earth having been brought down by the rivers: this the women scrape up with spades, and wash in sieves, woven after the fashion of baskets. Such is the substance of what [Posidonius] tells us concerning the mines [of Iberia].
§ 3.2.10 Polybius, speaking of the silver mines of New Carthage, tells us that they are extremely large, distant from the city about 20 stadia, and occupy a circuit of 400 stadia, that there are 40,000 men regularly engaged in them, and that they yield daily to the Roman people [a revenue of] 25,000 drachmae. The rest of the process I pass over, as it is too long, but as for the silver ore collected, he tells us that it is broken up, and sifted through sieves over water; that what remains is to be again broken, and the water having been strained off, it is to be sifted and broken a third time. The dregs which remain after the fifth time are to be melted, and the lead being poured off, the silver is obtained pure. These silver mines still exist; however they are no longer the property of the state, neither these nor those elsewhere, but are possessed by private individuals. The gold mines, on the contrary, nearly all belong to the state. Both at Castlon and other places there are singular lead mines worked. They contain a small proportion of silver, but not sufficient to pay for the expense of refining.
§ 3.2.11 Not far from Castlon is the mountain in which they report that the [river] Baetis takes its rise. They call it silver mountain on account of the silver mines which it contains. Polybius asserts that both the Ana and this river have their sources in Keltiberia, notwithstanding they are separated from each other by a distance of 900 stadia; [this we are to attribute to] the Keltiberians having increased in power, and having consequently conferred their name on the surrounding country. It appears the ancients knew the Baetis under the name of the Tartessus, and Gades with the neighbouring islands under that of Erythia; and it is thought that we should understand in this sense the words of Stesichorus concerning the pastoral poet Geryon, that he was born "almost opposite to the renowned Erythia, in a rocky cave near to the abundant springs of the silver-bedded river Tartessus." They say that on the piece of land enclosed between the two outlets of this river there formerly stood a city named, like the river, Tartessus, and that the district was called Tartessis, which the Turduli now inhabit. Eratosthenes likewise tells us that the [country] near to Calpe was called Tartessis, and also Erythia the Fortunate Island. This Artemidorus contradicts, and says that it is as false as his other statements, that the Sacred Promontory is distant from Gades five days' sail, when in fact they are [distant from each other] not more than 1700 stadia. Likewise that the tide ceased at this point, whereas it passes round the whole circuit of the habitable earth. That it is easier to pass from the northern parts of Iberia into Keltica, than to proceed thither by sea; with many other things which he asserted on the faith of that charlatan Pytheas.
§ 3.2.12 Our poet [Homer] being very explicit, and possessing great experience, gives one cause to believe that he was not unfamiliar with these localities. Of this any one may be convinced who will examine carefully what has been written on these points, both the incorrect [comments], and likewise those which are better and more truthful. One amongst these incorrect ideas is, that he considered [Tartessis] to be the farthest country towards the west, where, as he himself expresses it, "The radiant sun in ocean sank, Drawing night after him o'er all the earth." Iliad viii. 485. Now, since it is evident that night is ominous, and near to Hades, and Hades to Tartarus, it seems probable that [Homer], having heard of Tartessus, took thence the name of Tartarus to distinguish the farthest of the places beneath the earth, also embellishing it with fable in virtue of the poetic licence. In the same way, knowing that the Cimmerians dwelt in northern and dismal territories near to the Bosphorus, he located them in the vicinity of Hades; perhaps also on account of the common hatred of the Ionians against this people. For they say that in the time of Homer, or a little before, the Cimmerians made an incursion as far as Aeolia and Ionia. Always drawing his fables from certain real facts, his Planetae are modelled on the Cyaneae. He describes them as dangerous rocks, as they tell us the Cyaneaean rocks are, [and] on which account [in fact] they are called Symplegades. He adds to this [the account of] Jason's navigating through the midst of them. The Straits of the Pillars and Sicily, likewise, suggested to him the fable of the Planetae. Thus, even according to the worst comments, from the fiction of Tartarus any one might gather that Homer was acquainted with the regions about Tartessus.
§ 3.2.13 Of these facts, notwithstanding, there are better proofs. For instance, the expeditions of Hercules and the Phoenicians to this country were evidence to him of the wealth and luxury of the people. They fell so entirely under the dominion of the Phoenicians, that at the present day almost the whole of the cities of Turdetania and the neighbouring places are inhabited by them. It also seems to me that the expedition of Ulysses hither, as it took place and was recorded, was the foundation both of his Odyssey and Iliad, which he framed upon facts collected into a poem, and embellished as usual with poetical mythology. It is not only in Italy, Sicily, and a few other places that vestiges of these [events] occur; even in Iberia a city is shown named Odysseia, also a sanctuary of Minerva, and a myriad other traces both of the wandering of Ulysses and also of other survivors of the Trojan War, which was equally fatal to the vanquished and those who took Troy. These latter in fact gained a Cadmean victory, for their homes were destroyed, and the portion of booty which fell to each was exceedingly minute. Consequently not only those who had survived the perils [of their country], but the Greeks as well, betook themselves to piracy, the former because they had been pillaged of every thing; the latter, on account of the shame which each one anticipated to himself: "The shame That must attend us, after absence long Returning unsuccessful, who can bear?" Iliad ii. 298. In the same way is related the wandering of Aeneas, of Antenor, and of the Heneti; likewise of Diomedes, of Menelaus, of Ulysses, and of many others. Hence the poet, knowing of similar expeditions to the extremities of Iberia, and having heard of its wealth and other excellencies, (which the Phoenicians had made known,) feigned this to be the region of the Blessed, and the Plain of Elysium, where Proteus informs Menelaus that he is to depart to: "But far hence the gods Will send thee to Elysium, and the earth's Extremest bounds; there Rhadamanthus dwells, The golden-haired, and there the human kind Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there, No biting winter, and no drenching shower, But zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them to refresh the happy race." [Od. iv. 563.] Now the purity of the air, and the gentle breathing of the zephyr, are both applicable to this country, as well as the softness of the climate, its position in the west, and its place at the extremities of the earth, where, as we have said, he feigned that Hades was. By coupling Rhadamanthus with it, he signifies that the place was near to Minos, of whom he says, "There saw I Minos, offspring famed of Jove; His golden sceptre in his hand, he sat Judge of the dead." [Od. xi. 567.] Bohn's edition. Similar to these are the fables related by later poets; such, for instance, as the expeditions after the oxen of Geryon, and the golden apples of the Hesperides, the Islands of the Blessed they speak of, which we know are still pointed out to us not far distant from the extremities of Maurusia, and opposite to Gades.
§ 3.2.14 I repeat that the Phoenicians were the discoverers [of these countries], for they possessed the better part of Iberia and Libya before the time of Homer, and continued masters of those places until their empire was overthrown by the Romans. This also is an evidence of the wealth of Iberia: in the expedition of the Carthaginians under Barcas, they found, according to historians, that the people of Turdetania used silver goblets and casks. One might guess too that it was on account of this great opulence that the men of the country, and their chiefs in particular, were styled long-lived. Wherefore Anacreon thus sings, "Neither would I desire the horn of Amalthea, nor to reign over Tartessus one hundred and fifty years." Herodotus too has preserved the name of the king, whom he calls Arganthonius. The passage of Anacreon must therefore either be understood [of this king], or some other like him; or else more generally thus, "nor to reign for a lengthened period in Tartessus." Some writers are of opinion that Tartessus is the present Carteia.
§ 3.2.15 The Turdetani not only enjoy a salubrious climate, but their manners are polished and urbane, as also are those of the people of Keltica, by reason of their vicinity [to the Turdetani], or, according to Polybius, on account of their being of the same stock, but not to so great a degree, for they live for the most part scattered in villages. The Turdetani, on the other hand, especially those who dwell about the Baetis, have so entirely adopted the Roman mode of life, as even to have forgotten their own language. They have for the most part become Latins, and received Roman colonists; so that a short time only is wanted before they will be all Romans. The very names of many of the towns at present, such as Pax Augusta amongst the Keltici, Augusta-Emerita amongst the Turduli, Caesaraugusta amongst the Keltiberians and certain other colonies, are proof of the change of manners I have spoken of. Those of the Iberians who adopt these new modes of life are styled togati. Amongst their number are the Keltiberians, who formerly were regarded as the most uncivilized of them all. So much for these.
§ 3.3.1 STARTING again from the Sacred Promontory, and continuing along the other side of the coast, we come to the gulf near the Tagus, afterwards Cape Barbarium, and near to this the outlets of the Tagus, which may be reached by sailing in a straight course for a distance of 10 stadia. Here are estuaries, one of them more than 400 stadia from the said tower, on a part of which Laccaea is situated. The breadth of the mouth of the Tagus is about 20 stadia, its depth is so great as to be capable of navigation by vessels of the greatest burden. At the flood-tide the Tagus forms two estuaries in the plains which lie above it, so that the plain is inundated and rendered navigable for a distance of 150 stadia. In the upper estuary an island is formed about 30 stadia in length, and nearly equal in breadth, which is fertile, and has excellent vines. The island lies near to Moro, a city happily situated on a mountain close to the river, and about 500 stadia from the sea. The country surrounding it is very fine, and the ascent [of the Tagus] for a considerable way practicable for vessels of a large size, the remainder is performed in riverboats. Above Moro it is navigable for a yet longer distance. Brutus, surnamed the Gallician, made use of this city as a military station, when fighting against the Lusitanians, whom he subdued. On the sides of the river he fortified Olysipo, in order that the passage up the river and the carriage of necessaries might be preserved unimpeded. These therefore are the finest cities near the Tagus. The river contains much fish, and is full of oysters. It takes its rise amongst the Keltiberians, and flows through the [country of the] Vettones, Carpetani, and Lusitani, towards the west; to a certain distance it runs parallel with the Ana and Baetis, but parts from them as they decline towards the southern coast.
§ 3.3.2 Of those who dwell above the aforesaid mountains, the Oretani are the most southern, extending in part as far as the sea-coast on this side the Pillars. Next these towards the north are the Carpetani, then the Vettones and Vaccaei, through whose [country] the Douro flows as it passes Acontia, a city of the Vaccaei. The Gallicians are the last, and inhabit for the most part a mountainous country: on this account they were the most difficult to subdue, and furnished his surname to the conqueror of the Lusitanians; in fact, at the present day the greater part of the Lusitanians are beginning to call themselves Gallicians. The finest cities of Oretania are Castulo and Oria.
§ 3.3.3 North of the Tagus is Lusitania, the principal of the nations of Iberia, and the one which has most frequently encountered the arms of the Romans. On the southern side this country is bounded by the Tagus, on the west and north by the ocean, on the east by the well-known nations of the Carpetani, the Vettones, the Vaccaei, the Gallicians, and by others not worthy to be mentioned on account of their insignificance and obscurity. On the other hand, certain historians of the present day give the name of Lusitanians to all of these nations. To the east the Gallicians border on the nation of the Astures and Keltiberians, the others [border] on the Keltiberians. In length Lusitania is 3000 stadia; its breadth, which is comprised between the eastern side and the opposite seacoast, is much less. The eastern part is mountainous and rugged, while the country beyond, as far as the sea, consists entirely of plains, with the exception of a few inconsiderable mountains. On this account Posidonius remarks that Aristotle was not correct in supposing that the ebb and flow of the tide was occasioned by the sea-coast of Iberia and Maurusia. For Aristotle asserted that the tides of the sea were caused by the extremities of the land being mountainous and rugged, and therefore both receiving the wave violently and also casting it back. Whereas Posidonius truly remarks that they are for the most part low and sandy.
§ 3.3.4 The country which we are describing is fertile, and irrigated by rivers both large and small, all of which flow from the eastern parts parallel with the Tagus: most of them are navigable and full of gold dust. After the Tagus, the most noted rivers are the Mondego and the Vouga, which are navigable but for a short distance. After these is the Douro, which flows from afar by Numantia, and many other colonies of the Keltiberians and Vaccaei; it is capable of being navigated in large vessels for a distance of nearly 800 stadia. Besides these there are other rivers, after which is the [river] of Lethe, which some call the Limaea, others the Belio, it likewise rises amongst the Keltiberians and Vaccaei. After this is the Baenis, (some call it the Minius,) by far the largest river of Lusitania, being navigable for a distance of 800 stadia. Posidonius says this too rises amongst the Cantabrians. An island lies before its outlet, and two moles affording anchorage for vessels. A natural advantage [of this country] well deserving of commendation is, that the banks of the rivers are so lofty as to be capable of containing the entire of the water raised by the high tides of the sea, without either being overfilled, or overflowing the plains. This was the limit of Brutus's expedition. Beyond there are many other rivers parallel to those I have named.
§ 3.3.5 The Artabri are the last of the people [on this coast]. They inhabit the promontory called Nerium, which is the boundary [of Iberia] on its western and northern sides. Around it dwell the Keltici, a kindred race to those who are situated along the Ana. They say that these latter, together with the Turduli, having undertaken an expedition thither, quarrelled after they had crossed the river Lima, and, besides the sedition, their leader having also died, they remained scattered there, and from this circumstance the river was called the Lethe. The Artabri have besides many cities established round the Gulf, which mariners and those familiar with the places designate as the Port of the Artabri. At the present day the Artabri are denominated the Arotrebae. About thirty different nations occupy the country between the Tagus and the Artabri. Notwithstanding the fertility of the country in corn, cattle, gold, silver, and numerous other similar productions, the majority of its inhabitants, neglecting to gain their subsistence from the ground, passed their lives in pillage and continual warfare, both between themselves and their neighbours, whom they used to cross the Tagus [to plunder]. To this the Romans at length put a stop by subduing them, and changing many of their cities into villages, besides colonizing some of them better. The mountaineers, as was natural, were the first to commence this lawless mode of life: for living but scantily, and possessing little, they coveted the goods of others, who being obliged to repulse them, of necessity relinquished their proper employments, and instead of pursuing agriculture took up arms. Thus it happened that their country, being neglected, became barren notwithstanding its natural advantages, and inhabited by bandits.
§ 3.3.6 The Lusitanians are reported to be clever in laying ambushes, sharp, swift of foot, light, and easily disciplined as soldiers. The small shield they make use of is two feet in diameter, its outer surface concave, and suspended by leather thongs; it neither has rings nor handles. They have in addition a poignard or dagger. Their corselets are for the most part made of linen; a few have chain-coats and helmets with triple crests, but the others use helmets composed of sinews. The infantry wear greaves, each man is furnished with a number of javelins; some also use spears pointed with brass. They report that some of those who dwell near to the river Douro imitate the Lacedemonians in anointing their bodies with oil, using hot air-baths made of heated stones, bathing in cold water, and taking but one tidy and frugal meal a day. The Lusitanians are frequent in the performance of sacrifice; they examine the entrails, but without cutting them out of the body; they also examine the veins of the side, and practise augury by the touch. They likewise divine by the entrails of captive enemies, whom they first cover with a military cloak, and when stricken under the entrails by the haruspex, they draw their first auguries from the fall [of the victim]. They cut off the right hands of their prisoners, and consecrate them to the gods.
§ 3.3.7 All the mountaineers are frugal, their beverage is water, they sleep on the ground, and wear a profuse quantity of long hair after the fashion of women, which they bind around the forehead when they go to battle. They subsist principally on the flesh of the goat, which animal they sacrifice to Mars, as also prisoners taken in war, and horses. They likewise offer hecatombs of each kind after the manner of the Greeks, described by Pindar, "To sacrifice a hundred of every [species]." They practise gymnastic exercises, both as heavy-armed soldiers, and cavalry, also boxing, running, skirmishing, and fighting in bands. For two-thirds of the year the mountaineers feed on the acorn, which they dry, bruise, and afterwards grind and make into a kind of bread, which may be stored up for a long period. They also use beer; wine is very scarce, and what is made they speedily consume in feasting with their relatives. In place of oil they use butter. Their meals they take sitting, on seats put up round the walls, and they take place on these according to their age and rank. The supper is carried round, and whilst drinking they dance to the sound of the flute and trumpet, springing up and sinking upon the knees. In Bastetania the women dance promiscuously with the men, each holding the other's hand. They all dress in black, the majority of them in cloaks called saga, in which they sleep on beds of straw. They make use of wooden vessels like the Kelts. The women wear dresses and embroidered garments. Instead of money, those who dwell far in the interior exchange merchandise, or give pieces of silver cut off from plates of that metal. Those condemned to death are executed by stoning; parricides are put to death without the frontiers or the cities. They marry according to the customs of the Greeks. Their sick they expose upon the highways, in the same way as the Egyptians did anciently, in the hope that some one who has experienced the malady may be able to give them advice. Up to the time of [the expedition of] Brutus they made use of vessels constructed of skins for crossing the lagoons formed by the tides; they now have them formed out of the single trunk of a tree, but these are scarce. Their salt is purple, but becomes white by pounding. The life of the mountaineers is such as I have described, I mean those bordering the northern side of Iberia, the Gallicians, the Asturians, and the Cantabrians, as far as the Vascons and the Pyrenees. The mode of life amongst all these is similar. But I am reluctant to fill my page with their names, and would fain escape the disagreeable task of writing them, unless perchance the Pleutauri, the Bardyetae, the Allotriges, and other names still worse and more out of the way than these might be grateful to the ear of some one.
§ 3.3.8 The rough and savage manners of these people is not alone owing to their wars, but likewise to their isolated position, it being a long distance to reach them, whether by sea or land. Thus the difficulty of communication has deprived them both of generosity of manners and of courtesy. At the present time, however, they suffer less from this both on account of their being at peace and the intermixture of Romans. Wherever these [influences] are not so much experienced people are harsher and more savage. It is probable that this ruggedness of character is increased by the barrenness of the mountains and some of the places which they inhabit. At the present day, as I have remarked, all warfare is put an end to, Augustus Caesar having subdued the Cantabrians and the neighbouring nations, amongst whom the system of pillage was mainly carried on in our day. So that at the present time, instead of plundering the allies of the Romans, the Coniaci and those who dwell by the sources of the Ebro, with the exception of the Tuisi, bear arms for the Romans. Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus Caesar, carried out his intention of placing a military force of three legions in these parts, by which means he has not only preserved peace, but introduced amongst some of them a civil polity.
§ 3.4.1 WHAT remains [to be described] of Iberia, is the seacoast of the Mediterranean from the Pillars to the Pyrenees, and the whole of the inland country which lies above. The breadth of this is irregular, its length a little above 4000 stadia. It has been remarked that the sea-coast is above 2000 stadia, and they say that from Mount Calpe, which is near the Pillars, to New Carthage, there are 2200 stadia. This coast is inhabited by the Bastetani, also called the Bastuli, and in part by the Oretani. Thence to the Ebro the distance is nearly as great. This [region] is inhabited by the Edetani. On this side the Ebro to the Pyrenees and the Trophies of Pompey there are 1600 stadia. It is peopled by a small portion of the Edetani, and the rest by a people named the Indicetes, divided into four cantons.
§ 3.4.2 Commencing our particular description from Calpe, there is [first] the mountain-chain of Bastetania and the Oretani. This is covered with thick woods and gigantic trees, and separates the sea-coast from the interior. In many places it also contains gold and other mines. The first city along the coast is Malaca, which is about as far distant from Calpe as Calpe is from Gades. It is a market for the nomad tribes from the opposite coast, and there are great stores of salt-fish there. Some suppose it to be the same as Maenaca, which tradition reports to be the farthest west of the cities of the Phocaei; but this is not the case, for Maenaca, which was situated at a greater distance from Calpe, is in ruins, and preserves traces of having been a Grecian city, whereas Malaca is nearer, and Phoenician in its configuration. Next in order is the city of the Exitani, from which the salted fish bearing that name takes its appellation.
§ 3.4.3 After these comes Abdera, founded likewise by the Phoenicians. Above these places, in the mountains, the city of Odysseia is shown, containing a sanctuary of Athena, according to the testimony of Posidonius, Artemidorus, and Asclepiades the Myrlean, a man who taught literature in Turdetania, and published a description of the nations dwelling there. He says that in the sanctuary of Athena were hung up spears and prows of vessels, monuments of the wanderings of Ulysses. That some of those who followed Teucer in his expedition settled among the Gallicians; and that two cities were there, the one called Hellenes, the other Amphilochi; but Amphilochus having died, his followers wandered into the interior. He adds, that it is said, that some of the followers of Hercules, and certain also of the inhabitants of Messene, settled in Iberia. Both he and others assert that a portion of Cantabria was occupied by Laconians. Here is the city named Opsicella, founded by Ocela, who passed into Italy with Antenor and his children. Some believe the account of the merchants of Gades, asserted by Artemidorus, that in Libya there are people living above Maurusia, near to the Western Ethiopians, named Lotophagi, because they feed on the leaves and root of the lotus without wanting to drink; for they possess [no drink], being without water. These people they say extend as far as the regions above Cyrene. There are others also called Lotophagi, who inhabit Meninx, one of the islands situated opposite the Lesser Syrtes.
§ 3.4.4 No one should be surprised that the poet, in his fiction descriptive of the wanderings of Ulysses, should have located the majority of the scenes which he narrates without the Pillars, in the Atlantic. For historical events of a similar character did actually occur near to the places, so that the other circumstances which he feigned did not make his fiction incredible; nor [should any one be surprised] if certain persons, putting faith in the historical accuracy and extensive knowledge of the poet, should have attempted to explain the poem of Homer on scientific principles; a proceeding undertaken by Crates of Mallos, and some others. On the other hand, there have been those who have treated the undertaking of Homer so contemptuously, as not only to deny any such knowledge to the poet, as though he were a ditcher or reaper, but have stigmatized as fools those who commented on his writings. And not one either of the grammarians, or of those skilled in the mathematics, has dared to undertake their defence, or to set right any mistakes in what they have advanced, or any thing else; although it seems to me possible both to prove correct much that they have said, and also to set right other points, especially where they have been misled by putting faith in Pytheas, who was ignorant of the countries situated along the ocean, both to the west and north. But we must let these matters pass, as they require a particular and lengthened discussion.
§ 3.4.5 The settlement of the Grecians amongst these barbarous nations may be regarded as the result of the division of these latter into small tribes and sovereignties, having on account of their moroseness no union amongst themselves, and therefore powerless against attacks from without. This moroseness is remarkably prevalent amongst the Iberians, who are besides crafty in their manner, devoid of sincerity, insidious, and predatory in their mode of life; they are bold in little adventures, but never undertake any thing of magnitude, inasmuch as they have never formed any extended power or confederacy. If they had had but the will to assist each other, neither could the Carthaginians by making an incursion have so easily deprived them of the greater part of their country, nor before them the Tyrians, then the Kelts, now called the Keltiberians and Berones, nor after these the brigand Viriathus, and Sertorius, nor any others who desired power. On this account the Romans, having carried the war into Iberia, lost much time by reason of the number of different sovereignties, having to conquer first one, then another; in fact, it occupied nearly two centuries, or even longer, before they had subdued the whole. — I return to my description.
§ 3.4.6 After Abdera is New Carthage, founded by Asdrubal, who succeeded Bareas, the father of Hannibal. It is by far the most powerful city of this country, being impregnable, and furnished with a noble wall, harbours, and a lake, besides the silver mines already mentioned. The places in the vicinity have an abundance of salted fish, and it is besides the great emporium of the sea merchandise for the interior, and likewise for the merchandise from the interior for exportation. About midway along the coast between this city and the Ebro, we meet with the outlet of the river Sucro, and a city bearing the same name. It rises in a mountain belonging to the chain which overlooks Malaca, and the regions around Carthage, and may be forded on foot; it is nearly parallel to the Ebro, but not quite so far distant from Carthage as from the Ebro. Between the Sucro and Carthage are three small towns of the people of Marseilles, not far from the river. Of these the best known is Hemeroscopium. On the promontory there is a sanctuary to Diana of Ephesus, held in great veneration. Sertorius used it as an arsenal, convenient to the sea, both on account of its being fortified and fitted for piratical uses, and because it is visible from a great distance to vessels approaching. It is called Dianium, from Diana. Near to it are some fine iron-works, and two small islands, Planesia and Plumbaria, with a sea-water lake lying above, of 400 stadia in circumference. Next is the island of Hercules, near to Carthage, and called Scombraria, on account of the mackerel taken there, from which the finest garum is made. It is distant 24 stadia from Carthage. On the other side of the Sucro, going towards the outlet of the Ebro, is Saguntum, founded by the Zacynthians. The destruction of this city by Hannibal, contrary to his treaties with the Romans, kindled the second Punic war. Near to it are the cities of Cherronesus, Oleastrum, and Cartalia, and the colony of Dertossa, on the very passage of the Ebro. The Ebro takes its source amongst the Cantabrians; it flows through an extended plain towards the south, running parallel with the Pyrenees.
§ 3.4.7 The first city between the windings of the Ebro and the extremities of the Pyrenees, near to where the Trophies of Pompey are erected, is Tarraco; it has no harbour, but is situated on a bay, and possessed of many other advantages. At the present day it is as well peopled as Carthage; for it is admirably suited for the stay of the prefects, and is as it were the metropolis, not only of [the country lying] on this side the Ebro, but also of a great part of what lies beyond. The near vicinity of the Gymnesian Islands, and Ebusus, which are all of considerable importance, are sufficient to inform one of the felicitous position of the city. Eratosthenes tells us that it has a naval station, but Artemidorus contradicts this, and affirms that it scarcely possesses an anchorage.
§ 3.4.8 The whole coast from the Pillars up to this place wants harbours, but all the way from here to Emporium, the countries of the Leetani, the Lartolaeetae, and others, are both furnished with excellent harbours and fertile. Emporium was founded by the people of Marseilles, and is about 4000 stadia distant from the Pyrenees, and the confines of Iberia and Keltica. This is a very fine region, and possesses good ports. Here also is Rhode, a small town of the Emporitae, but some say it was founded by the Rhodians. Both here and in Emporium they reverence the Ephesian Diana. The cause of this we will explain when we come to speak of Massalia. in former times the Emporitae dwelt on a small island opposite, now called the old city, but at the present day they inhabit the mainland. The city is double, being divided by a wall, for in past times some of the Indiceti dwelt close by, who, although they had a separate polity to themselves, desired, for the sake of safety, to be shut in by a common enclosure with the Greeks; but at the same time that this enclosure should be two-fold, being divided through its middle by a wall. In time, however, they came to have but one government, a mixture of Barbarian and Greek laws; a result which has taken place in many other [states].
§ 3.4.9 A river flows near to it, which has its sources in the Pyrenees; its outlet forms a port for the Emporitae, who are skilful workers in flax. Of the interior of their country some parts are fertile, others covered with spartum, a rush which flourishes in marshes, and is entirely useless: they call this the Iugarium Plain. There are some who inhabit the Pyrenean mountains as far as the Trophies of Pompey, on the route which leads from Italy into Ulterior Iberia, and particularly into Baetica. This road runs sometimes close to the sea, sometimes at a distance therefrom, particularly in the western parts. From the Trophies of Pompey it leads to Tarraco, through the Iugarium Plain, the Betteres, and the plain called in the Latin tongue [the plain] of Marathon, on account of the quantity of fennel growing there. From Tarraco [the road runs] towards the passage of the Ebro at the city of Dertossa; from thence having traversed the city of Saguntum, and Setabis, it follows a course more and more distant from the sea, till it approaches the Plain of Spartarium, which signifies the Plain of Rushes. This is a vast arid plain, producing the species of rush from which cords are made, and which are exported to all parts, but particularly to Italy. Formerly the road passed on through the midst of the plain, and [the city of] Egelastae, which was both difficult and long, but they have now constructed a new road close to the sea, which merely touches upon the Plain of Rushes, and leads to the same places as the former, [viz.] Castlon, and Obulco, through which runs the road to Corduba and Gades, the two greatest emporia [of Iberia]. Obulco is distant about 300 stadia from Corduba. Historians report that Caesar came from Rome to Obulco, and to his army there, within the space of twenty-seven days, when about to fight the battle of Munda.
§ 3.4.10 Such is the whole sea-coast from the Pillars to the confines of the Iberians and Kelts. The interior of the country lying above, and included between the mountains of the Pyrenees and the northern side [of Iberia], as far as the Astures, is principally divided by two mountain chains; the one of these is parallel to the Pyrenees, and takes its commencement from the country of the Cantabri, terminating at the Mediterranean. This is called the Idubeda. The second, springing from the middle [of this first], runs towards the west, inclining however to the south and the sea-coast towards the Pillars. At the commencement it consists of bare hills, but after traversing the Plain of Spartarium, falls in with the forest lying above Carthage, and the regions round Malaca. It is named Orospeda. The river Ebro flows between the Pyrenees and Idubeda, and parallel to both these mountains. It is fed by the rivers and other waters carried down from [the mountains]. Situated on the Ebro is the city of Caesar Augusta, and the colony of Celsa, where there is a stone bridge across the river. This country is inhabited by many nations, the best known being that of the Iaccetani. Commencing at the foot of the Pyrenees, it widens out into the plains, and reaches to the districts around Ilerda and Osca, [cities] of the Ilergetes not far distant from the Ebro. It was in these cities, and in Calaguris, a city of the Gascons, as well as those of Tarraco and Hemeroscopium, situated on the coast, that Sertorius sustained the last efforts of the war, after being ejected from the country of the Keltiberians. He died at Osca, and it was near to Ilerda that Afranius and Petreius, Pompey's generals, were afterwards defeated by divus Caesar. Ilerda is distant 160 stadia from the Ebro, which is on its west, about 460 from Tarraco, which is on the south, and 540 from Osca, which lies to the north. Passing through these places from Tarraco to the extremities of the Vascons who dwell by the ocean, near Pompelon and the city of Oeaso situated on the ocean, the route extends 2400 stadia, to the very frontiers of Aquitaine and Iberia. It was in the country of the Iaccetani that Sertorius fought against Pompey, and here afterwards Sextus, Pompey's son, fought against the generals of Caesar. The nation of the Vascons, in which is Pompelon, or Pompey's city, lies north of Iaccetania.
§ 3.4.11 The side of the Pyrenees next Iberia is covered with forests containing numerous kinds of trees and evergreens, whilst the side next Keltica is bare: in the midst [the mountains] enclose valleys admirably fitted for the habitation of man. These are mainly possessed by the Kerretani, a people of the Iberians. The hams they cure are excellent, fully equal to those of the Cantabrians, and they realize no inconsiderable profit to the inhabitants.
§ 3.4.12 Immediately after passing Idubeda, you enter on Keltiberia, a large and irregular country. It is for the most part rugged, and watered by rivers, being traversed by the Ana, the Tagus, and many other of the rivers which flow into the western sea, but have their sources in Keltiberia. Of their number is the Douro, which flows by Numantia and Serguntia. The Baetis rises in Orospeda, and after passing through Oretania, enters Baetica. The Berones inhabit the districts north of the Keltiberians, and are neighbours of the Conish Cantabrians. They likewise had their origin in the Keltic expedition. Their city is Varia, situated near to the passage of the Ebro. They are adjacent to the Bardyitae, now called the Bardyli. To the west [of the Keltiberians] are certain of the Astures, Gallicians, and Vaccaei, besides Vettones and Carpetani. On the south are the Oretani, and the other inhabitants of Orospeda, both Bastetani and Edetani, and to the east is Idubeda.
§ 3.4.13 Of the four divisions into which the Keltiberians are separated, the most powerful are the Aruaci, situated to the east and south, near to the Carpetani and the sources of the Tagus. Their most renowned city is Numantia. They showed their valour in the war of twenty years, waged by the Keltiberians against the Romans; for many armies of the Romans, together with their generals, were destroyed; and in the end the Numantians, besieged within their city, endured the famine with constancy, till, reduced to a very small number, they were compelled to surrender the place. The Lusones are also situated to the east, and likewise border on the sources of the Tagus. Segeda and Pallantia are cities of the Aruaci. Numantia is distant from Caesar Augusta, situated as we have said upon the Ebro, about 800 stadia. Near to Segobriga and Bilbilis, likewise cities of the Keltiberians, was fought the battle between Metellus and Sertorius. Polybius, describing the people and countries of the Vaccaei and Keltiberians, enumerates Segesama and Intercatia amongst their other cities. Posidonius tells us that Marcus Marcellus exacted of Keltiberia a tribute of 600 talents, which proves that the Keltiberians were a numerous and wealthy people, notwithstanding the little fertility of their country. Polybius narrates that Tiberius Gracchus destroyed 300 cities of the Keltiberians. This Posidonius ridicules, and asserts that to flatter Gracchus, Polybius described as cities the towers such as are exhibited in the triumphal processions. This is not incredible; for both generals and historians easily fall into this species of deception, by exaggerating their doings. Those who assert that Iberia contained more than a thousand cities, seem to me to have been carried away in a similar manner, and to have denominated as cities what were merely large villages; since, from its very nature, this country is incapable of maintaining so many cities, on account of its sterility, wildness, and its out-of-the-way position. Nor, with the exception of those who dwell along the shores of the Mediterranean, is any such statement confirmed by the mode of life or actions of the inhabitants. The inhabitants of the villages, who constitute the majority of the Iberians, are quite uncivilized. Even the cities cannot very easily refine the manners [of their inhabitants], as the neighbouring woods are full of robbers, waiting only an opportunity to inflict injury on the citizens.
§ 3.4.14 Beyond the Keltiberians to the south are the inhabitants of Orospeda and the country about the Sucro, the Sidetani, [who extend] as far as Carthage, and the Bastetani and Oretani, [who extend] almost as far as Malaca.
§ 3.4.15 All the Iberians, so to speak, were peltastae, furnished with light arms for the purposes of robbery, and, as we described the Lusitanians, using the javelin, the sling, and the sword. They have some cavalry interspersed amongst the foot-soldiers, the horses are trained to traverse the mountains, and to sink down on their knees at the word of command, in case of necessity. Iberia produces abundance of antelopes and wild horses. In many places the lakes are stocked. They have fowl, swans, and birds of similar kind, and vast numbers of bustards. Beavers are found in the rivers, but the castor does not possess the same virtue as that from the Euxine, the drug from that place having peculiar properties of its own, as is the case in many other instances. Thus Posidonius tells us that the Cyprian copper alone produces the cadmian stone, copperas-water, and oxide of copper. He likewise informs us of the singular fact, that in Iberia the crows are not black; and that the horses of Keltiberia which are spotted, lose that colour when they pass into Ulterior Iberia. He compares them to the Parthian horses, for indeed they are superior to all other breeds, both in fleetness and their ease in speedy travelling.
§ 3.4.16 Iberia produces a large quantity of roots used in dyeing. In olives, vines, figs, and every kind of similar fruit trees, the Iberian coast next the Mediterranean abounds, they are likewise plentiful beyond. Of the coasts next the ocean, that towards the north is destitute of them, on account of the cold, and the remaining portion generally on account of the apathy of the men, and because they do not lead a civilized life, but pass their days in poverty, only acting on the animal impulse, and living most corruptly. They do not attend to ease or luxury, unless any one considers it can add to the happiness of their lives to wash themselves and their wives in stale urine kept in tanks, and to rinse their teeth with it, which they say is the custom both with the Cantabrians and their neighbours. This practice, as well as that of sleeping on the ground, is common both among the Iberians and Kelts. Some say that the Gallicians are atheists, but that the Keltiberians, and their neighbours to the north, [sacrifice] to a nameless god, every full moon, at night, before their doors, the whole family passing the night in dancing and festival. The Vettones, the first time they came to a Roman camp, and saw certain of the officers walking up and down the roads for the mere pleasure of walking, supposed that they were mad, and offered to show them the way to their tents. For they thought, when not fighting, one should remain quietly seated at ease.
§ 3.4.17 What Artemidorus relates concerning the adornment of certain of their women, must likewise be attributed to their barbarous customs. He says that they wear iron collars having crows fixed to them which bend over the head, and fall forward considerably over the forehead. When they wish they draw their veil over these crows, so as to shade the whole face: this they consider an ornament. Others wear a tympanium surrounding the occiput, and fitting tight to the head as far as the ears, turning over [and increasing] little by little in height and breadth. Others again make bald the front of the head, in order to display the forehead to greater advantage. Some twist their flowing hair round a small style, a foot high, and afterwards cover it with a black veil. Of singularities like these many have been observed and recorded as to all the Iberian nations in common, but particularly those towards the north not only concerning their bravery, but likewise their cruelty and brutal madness. For in the war against the Cantabrians, mothers have slain their children sooner than suffer them to be captured; and a young boy, having obtained a sword, slew, at the command of his father, both his parents and brothers, who had been made prisoners and were bound, and a woman those who had been taken together with her. A man being invited by a party of drunken [soldiers] to their feast, threw himself into a fire. These feelings are common both to the Keltic, Thracian, and Scythian nations, as well as the valour not only of their men, but likewise of their women. These till the ground, and after parturition, having put their husbands instead of themselves to bed, they wait upon them. Frequently in their employment they wash and swathe their infants, sitting down by some stream. Posidonius tells us that in Liguria, his host Charmoleon, a man who came from Marseilles, related to him, that having hired some men and women to dig his land, one of the women was seized with the pains of labour, and going to a little distance from where they were at work, she brought forth, and returned immediately to her work, for fear she might lose her pay. He observed that she was evidently working in considerable pain, but was not aware of the cause till towards evening, when he ascertained it, and sent her away, having given her her wages. She then carried her infant to a small spring, and having washed it, wrapped it up in as good swaddling clothes as she could get, and made the best of her way home.
§ 3.4.18 Another practice, not restricted to the Iberians alone, is for two to mount on one horse, so that in the event of a conflict, one may be there to fight on foot. Neither are they the only sufferers in being tormented with vast swarms of mice, from which pestilential diseases have frequently ensued. This occurred to the Romans in Cantabria, so that they caused it to be proclaimed, that whoever would catch the mice should receive rewards according to the number taken, and [even with this] they were scarcely preserved, as they were suffering besides from want of corn and other necessaries, it being difficult to get supplies of corn from Aquitaine on account of the rugged nature of the country. It is a proof of the ferocity of the Cantabrians, that a number of them having been taken prisoners and fixed to the cross, they chanted songs of triumph. Instances such as these are proofs of the ferocity of their manners. There are others which, although not showing them to be polished, are certainly not brutish. For example, amongst the Cantabrians, the men give dowries to their wives, and the daughters are left heirs, but they procure wives for their brothers. These things indicate a degree of power in the woman, although they are no proof of advanced civilization. It is also a custom with the Iberians to furnish themselves with a poison, which kills without pain, and which they procure from a herb resembling parsley. This they hold in readiness in case of misfortune, and to devote themselves for those whose cause they have joined, thus dying for their sake.
§ 3.4.19 Some, as I have said, state that this country is separated into four divisions; others, into five. It is not easy to state any thing precisely on these points, both on account of the changes which the places have undergone, and by reason of their obscurity. In well-known and notable countries both the migrations are known, and the divisions of the land, and the changes of their names, and every thing else of the same kind. Such matters being the common topics with everybody, and especially with the Greeks, who are more talkative than any other people. But in barbarous and out-of-the-way countries, and such as are cut up into small divisions, and lie scattered, the remembrance of such occurrences is not nearly so certain, nor yet so full. If these countries are far removed from the Greeks [our] ignorance is increased. For although the Roman historians imitate the Greeks, they fall far short of them. What they relate is taken from the Greeks, very little being the result of their own ardour in acquiring information. So that whenever any thing has been omitted by the former there is not much supplied by the latter. Add to this, that the names most celebrated are generally Grecian. Formerly the name of Iberia was given to the whole country between the Rhone and the isthmus formed by the two Galatic gulfs; whereas now they make the Pyrenees its boundary, and call it indifferently Iberia or Hispania; others have restricted Iberia to the country on this side the Ebro. Still earlier it bore the name of the Igletes, who inhabited but a small district, according to Asclepiades the Myrlean. The Romans call the whole indifferently Iberia and Hispania, but designate one portion of it Ulterior, and the other Citerior. However, at different periods they have divided it differently, according to its political aspect at various times.
§ 3.4.20 At the present time some of the provinces having been assigned to the people and senate of the Romans, and the others to the emperor, Baetica appertains to the people, and a praetor has been sent into the country, having under him a quaestor and a lieutenant. Its eastern boundary has been fixed near to Castlon. The remainder belongs to the emperor, who deputes two lieutenants, a praetor, and a consul. The praetor with a lieutenant administers justice amongst the Lusitanians, who are situated next Baetica, and extend as far as the outlets of the river Douro, for at the present time this district is called Lusitania by the inhabitants. Here is [the city of] Augusta Emerita. What remains, which is [indeed] the greater part of Iberia, is governed by the consul, who has under him a respectable force, consisting of about three legions, with three lieutenants, one of whom with two legions guards the whole country north of the Douro, the inhabitants of which formerly were styled Lusitanians, but are now called Gallicians. The northern mountains, together with the Asturian and Cantabrian, border on these. The river Melsus flows through the country of the Asturians, and at a little distance is the city of Nougat, close to an estuary formed by the ocean, which separates the Asturians from the Cantabrians. The second lieutenant with the remaining legion governs the adjoining district as far as the Pyrenees. The third oversees the midland district, and governs the cities inhabited by the togati, whom we have before alluded to as inclined to peace, and who have adopted the refined manners and mode of life of the Italians, together with the toga. These are the Keltiberians, and those who dwell on either side of the Ebro, as far as the sea-coast. The consul passes the winter in the maritime districts, mostly administering justice either in [the city of] Carthage, or Tarraco. During the summer he travels through the country, observing whatever may need reform. There are also the procurators of the emperor, men of the equestrian rank, who distribute the pay to the soldiers for their maintenance.
§ 3.5.1 OF the islands which are situated in front of Iberia, two named the Pityussae, and two the Gymnasiae, (also called the Baleares,) are situated on the sea-coast between Tarraco and [the river] Sucro, on which Saguntum is built. The Pityussae are situated farther in the high seas and more to the West than the Gymnasiae. One of the Pityussae is called Ebusus, having a city of the same name. This island is 400 stadia in circumference, and nearly equal in its breadth and length. The other, [named] Orpheus, is situated near to this, but is desert, and much smaller. The larger of the Gymnasiae contains two cities, Palma, and Polentia; the latter lying towards the east, the former towards the west. The length of this island is scarcely less than 600 stadia, its breadth 200; although Artemidorus asserts it is twice this size both in breadth and length. The smaller island is about 70 stadia distant from Polentia; in size it is far surpassed by the larger island, but in excellence it is by no means inferior, for both of them are very fertile, and furnished with harbours. At the mouths of these however there are rocks rising but a little out of the water, which renders attention necessary in entering them. The fertility of these places inclines the inhabitants to peace, as also the people of Ebusus. But certain malefactors, though few in number, having associated with the pirates in those seas, they all got a bad name, and Metellus, surnamed Balearicus, marched against them. He it was who built the cities. But owing to the great fertility of the country, these people have always had enemies plotting against them. Although naturally disposed to peace, they bear the reputation of being most excellent slingers, which art they have been proficient in since the time that the Phoenicians possessed the islands. It is said that these were the first who introduced amongst the men [of the Baleares] the custom of wearing tunics with wide borders. They were accustomed to go into battle naked, having a shield covered with goat-skin in their hand, and a javelin hardened by fire at the point, very rarely with an iron tip, and wearing round the head three slings of black rush, hair, or sinew. The long sling they use for hitting at far distances, the short one for near marks, and the middle one for those between. From childhood they were so thoroughly practised in the use of slings, that bread was never distributed to the children till they had won it by the sling. On this account Metellus, when he was approaching the islands, spread pelts over the decks as a shelter from the slings. He introduced into the country 3000 Roman colonists from Spain.
§ 3.5.2 In addition to the fruitfulness of the land, noxious animals are rarely to be met with. Even the rabbits, they say, were not indigenous, but that a male and female having been introduced by some one from the opposite continent, from thence the whole stock sprung, which formerly was so great a nuisance that even houses and trees were overturned, [being undermined] by their warrens, and the inhabitants were compelled, as we have related, to resort for refuge to the Romans. However, at the present day the facility with which these animals are taken, prevents them from doing injury, consequently those who possess land cultivate it with advantage. These [islands] are on this side of what are called the Pillars of Hercules.
§ 3.5.3 Near to them are two small islands, one of which is called the Island of Juno: some call these the Pillars. Beyond the Pillars is Gades, concerning which all that we have hitherto remarked is, that it is distant from Calpe about 750 stadia, and is situated near to the outlet of the Baetis. Notwithstanding there is much can be said about it. For its inhabitants equip the greatest number of ships, and the largest in size, both for our sea, and the exterior [ocean], although the island they inhabit is by no means large, nor yet do they possess much of the mainland, nor are masters of other islands. They dwell for the most part on the sea, only a few staying at home or passing their time in Rome. Still, in amount of population, their city does not seem to be surpassed by any with the exception of Rome. I have heard that in a census taken within our own times, there were enumerated five hundred citizens of Gades of the equestrian order, a number equalled by none of the Italian cities excepting that of the Patavini. However, notwithstanding their vast number, its inhabitants possess an island, in length not much above 100 stadia, and in some places only one stadium in breadth. Originally the city in which they dwelt was extremely small, but Balbus the Gaditanian, who received the honours of a triumph, added another to it which they call the New Town. These two form the city of Didyme, which is not above twenty stadia in circumference. In it, however, they are not pressed for room, because few live at home, the majority passing their lives on the sea, some too dwelling on the opposite continent, and particularly on a little island adjacent on account of its excellence. They have such a liking for this place as almost to have made it a rival city to Didyme. However, few in comparison inhabit either this or the sea-port which Balbus constructed for them on the opposite continent. Their city is situated in the western parts of the island. Near to it is the sanctuary of Saturn, which terminates [Gades to the west], and is opposite the smaller island. The sanctuary of Hercules is on the other side, to the east, where the island approaches nearest to the mainland, being only separated therefrom by a strait of a stadium [in breadth]. They say that this sanctuary is twelve miles from the city, thus making the number of miles and the number of [Hercules'] labours equal: but this is too great, being almost equal to the length of the island. Now the length of the island runs from west to east.
§ 3.5.4 Pherecydes appears to have given to Gades the name of Erythia, the locality of the myths concerning Geryon: others suppose it to have been the island situated near to this city, and separated from it by a strait of merely one stadium. This they do on account of the excellence of its pasturage. For the milk of the cattle which feed there does not yield any whey, and they are obliged to mix it with large quantities of water when they make cheese on account of its richness. After fifty days the beasts [pasturing there] would be choked unless they were let blood. The pasturage of the country is dry, but it fattens wonderfully: and it is thought that from this the myth concerning the oxen of Geryon took its rise. The whole sea-shore however is possessed in common.
§ 3.5.5 Concerning the foundation of Gades, the Gaditanians report that a certain oracle commanded the Tyrians to found a colony by the Pillars of Hercules. Those who were sent out for the purpose of exploring, when they had arrived at the strait by Calpe, imagined that the capes which form the strait were the boundaries of the habitable earth, as well as of the expedition of Hercules, and consequently they were what the oracle termed the Pillars. They landed on the inside of the straits, at a place where the city of the Exitani now stands. Here they offered sacrifices, which however not being favourable, they returned. After a time others were sent, who advanced about 1500 stadia beyond the strait, to an island consecrated to Hercules, and lying opposite to Onoba, a city of Iberia: considering that here were the Pillars, they sacrificed to the god, but the sacrifices being again unfavourable, they returned home. In the third voyage they reached Gades, and founded the sanctuary in the eastern part of the island, and the city in the west. On this account some consider that the capes in the strait are the Pillars, others suppose Gades, while others again believe that they lie still farther, beyond Gades. There are also some who think that the Pillars are Calpe, and the mountain of Libya which is opposite, named Abilyx, and situated, according to Eratosthenes, amongst the Metagonians, a wandering race. Others fancy that they are two small islands near to the former, one of which is named the Island of Juno. Artemidorus speaks both of the Island of Juno and the sanctuary there, but makes no mention either of mount Abilyx, or the nation of the Metagonians. Some have transported hither the Planctae and the Symplgades, supposing them to be the Pillars, which Pindar calls the Gates of Gades, when he says that they were the farthest limits at which Hercules arrived. Dicaearchus, Eratosthenes, and Polybius, with most of the Grecians, represent the Pillars as being close to the strait, while the Iberians and Libyans place them at Gades, alleging that there is nothing at all resembling pillars close by the strait. Others pretend that they are the pillars of brass eight cubits high in the sanctuary of Hercules at Gades, on which is inscribed the cost of erecting that edifice; and that the sailors coming there on the completion of their voyage and sacrificing to Hercules, rendered the place so famous that it came to be regarded as the termination of the land and sea. Posidonius thinks this view the most probable of all, and looks upon the oracle and the several expeditions as a Phoenician invention. As for the expeditions, what matters it whether any one should vehemently deny or credit the account, as neither the one nor the other would be inconsistent with reason: but the assertion that neither the little islands, nor yet the mountains, bear much resemblance to pillars, and that we should seek for pillars, strictly so called, [set up] either as the termination of the habitable earth, or of the expedition of Hercules, has at all events some reason in it; it being an ancient usage to set up such boundary marks. As for instance the small column which the inhabitants of Rhegium erected by the Strait of Sicily, which is indeed a little tower; and the tower called after Pelorus, which is situated opposite to this small column; also the structures called altars of the Philaeni, about midway in the land between the Syrtes; likewise it is recorded, that a certain pillar was formerly erected on the Isthmus of Corinth, which the Ionians who took possession of Attica and Megaris when they were driven out of the Peloponnesus, and those who settled in the Peloponnesus, set up in common, and inscribed on the side next Megaris, "This is no longer Peloponnesus, but Ionia," and on the opposite, "This is Peloponnesus, not Ionia. " Alexander too erected altars as boundaries of his Indian campaign in those parts of the Indies he arrived at, which were situated farthest towards the east, in imitation of Hercules and Bacchus. That this custom existed, then, cannot be doubted.
§ 3.5.6 It is probable that the places themselves took the same name [as the monuments], especially after time had destroyed the boundary marks which had been placed there. For instance, at the present day the altars of the Philaeni no longer exist, but the place itself bears that designation. Similarly they say that in India neither the pillars of Hercules or Bacchus are to be seen, nevertheless certain localities being described and pointed out to the Macedonians, they believed that those places were the pillars in which they discovered any trace either of the adventures of Bacchus or Hercules. In the instance before us, it is not improbable that they who first [visited these regions], set up boundary marks fashioned by the hand of man, such as altars, towers, and pillars, in the most remarkable situations, to indicate the farthest distance they had reached, (and straits, the surrounding mountains, and little islands, are indubitably the most remarkable situations for pointing out the termination or commencement of places,) and that after these human monuments had decayed, their names descended to the places [where they had stood]; whether that were the little islands or the capes forming the strait. This latter point it would not be easy now to determine; the name would suit either place, as they both bear some resemblance to pillars; I say bear some resemblance, because they are placed in such situations as might well indicate boundaries. Now this strait is styled a mouth, as well as many others, but the mouth is at the beginning to those sailing into the strait, and to those who are quitting it at the end. The little islands at the mouth having a contour easy to describe, and being remarkable, one might not improperly compare to pillars. In like manner the mountains overlooking the strait are prominent, resembling columns or pillars. So too Pindar might very justly have said, "The Gaditanian Gates," if he had in mind the pillars at the mouth; for these mouths are very similar to gates. On the other hand, Gades is not in a position to indicate an extremity, but is situated about the middle of a long coast forming a kind of gulf. The supposition that the pillars of the sanctuary of Hercules in Gades are intended, appears to me still less probable. It seems most likely that the name was originally conferred not by merchants, but generals, its celebrity afterwards became universal, as was the case with the Indian pillars. Besides, the inscription recorded refutes this idea, since it contains no religious dedication, but a mere list of expenses; whereas the pillars of Hercules should have been a record of the hero's wonderful deeds, not of Phoenician expenditure.
§ 3.5.7 Polybius relates that there is a spring within the sanctuary of Hercules at Gades, having a descent of a few steps to fresh water, which is affected in a manner the reverse of the sea tides, subsiding at the flow of the tide, and springing at the ebb. He assigns as the cause of this phenomenon, that air rises from the interior to the surface of the earth; when this surface is covered by the waves, at the rising of the sea, the air is deprived of its ordinary vents, and returns to the interior, stopping up the passages of the spring, and causing a want of water, but when the surface is again laid bare, the air having a direct exit liberates the channels which feed the spring, so that it gushes freely. Artemidorus rejects this explanation, and substitutes one of his own, recording at the same time the opinion of the historian Silanus; but neither one or other of their views seems to me worth relating, since both he and Silanus were ignorant in regard to these matters. Posidonius asserts that the entire account is false, and adds that there are two wells in the sanctuary of Hercules, and a third in the city. That the smaller of the two in the sanctuary of Hercules, if drawn from frequently, will become for a time exhausted, but that on ceasing to draw from it, it fills again: while in regard to the larger, it may be drawn from during the whole day; that it is true it becomes lower, like all other wells, but that it fills again during the night when drawing ceases. [He adds] that the ebb tide frequently happening to occur during the period of its re-filling, gave rise to the groundless belief of the inhabitants as to its being affected in an opposite manner [to the tides of the ocean]. However it is not only related by him that it is a commonly believed fact, but we have received it from tradition as much referred to amongst paradoxes. We have likewise heard that there are wells both within the city and also in the gardens without, but that on account of the inferiority of this water, tanks are generally constructed throughout the city for the supply of water: whether likewise any of these reservoirs give any signs of being affected in an opposite manner to the tides, we know not. If such be the case, the causes thereof should be received as amongst phenomena hard to be explained. It is likely that Polybius may have assigned the proper reason; but it is also likely that certain of the channels of the springs being damped outside become relaxed, and so let the water run out into the surrounding land, instead of forcing it along its ancient passage to the spring; and there will of course be moisture when the tide overflows. But if, as Athenodorus asserts, the ebb and flow resemble the inspiration and expiration of the breath, it is possible that some of the currents of water which naturally have an efflux on to the surface of the earth, through various channels, the mouths of which we denominate springs and fountains, are by other channels drawn towards the depths of the sea, and raise it, so as to produce a flood-tide; when the expiration is sufficient, they leave off the course in which they are then flowing, and again revert to their former direction, when that again takes a change.
§ 3.5.8 I cannot tell how it is that Posidonius, who describes the Phoenicians as sagacious in other things, should here attribute to them folly rather than shrewdness. The sun completes his revolution in the space of a day and night, being a portion of the time beneath the earth, and a portion of the time shining upon it. Now he asserts that the motion of the sea corresponds with the revolution of the heavenly bodies, and experiences a diurnal, monthly, and annual change, in strict accordance with the changes of the moon. For [he continues] when the moon is elevated one sign of the zodiac above the horizon, the sea begins sensibly to swell and cover the shores, until she has attained her meridian; but when that satellite begins to decline, the sea again retires by degrees, until the moon wants merely one sign of the zodiac from setting; it then remains stationary until the moon has set, and also descended one sign of the zodiac below the horizon, when it again rises until she has attained her meridian below the earth; it then retires again until the moon is within one sign of the zodiac of her rising above the horizon, when it remains stationary until the moon has risen one sign of the zodiac above the earth, and then begins to rise as before. Such he describes to be the diurnal revolution. In respect to the monthly revolution, [he says] that the spring-tides occur at the time of the new moon, when they decrease until the first quarter; they then increase until full moon, when they again decrease until the last quarter, after which they increase till the new moon; [he adds] that these increases ought to be understood both of their duration and speed. In regard to the annual revolution, he says that he learned from the statements of the Gaditanians, that both the ebb and flow tides were at their extremes at the summer solstice: and that hence he conjectured that they decreased until the [autumnal] equinox; then increased till the winter solstice; then decreased again until the vernal equinox; and [finally] increased until the summer solstice. But since these revolutions occur twice in the four-and-twenty hours, the sea rising twice and receding twice, and that regularly every day and night, how is it that the filling and failing of the well do not frequently occur during the ebb and flow of the tide? or if it be allowed that this does often occur, why does it not do so in the same proportion? and if it does so in the same proportion, how comes it that the Gaditanians are not competent to observe what is of daily occurrence, while they are nevertheless competent to the observing of revolutions which occur but once in the year. That Posidonius himself credited these reports is evident from his own conjecture respecting the decrease and increase [of the sea] from solstice to solstice. However, it is not likely, being an observant people, that they should be ignorant of what actually occurred, whilst giving credit to imaginary phenomena.
§ 3.5.9 Posidonius tells us that Seleucus, a native of the country next the Erythraean Sea, states that the regularity and irregularity of the ebb and flow of the sea follow the different positions of the moon in the zodiac; that when she is in the equinoctial signs the tides are regular, but that when she is in the signs next the tropics, the tides are irregular both in their height and force; and that for the remaining signs the irregularity is greater or less, according as they are more or less removed from the signs before mentioned. Posidonius adds, that during the summer solstice and whilst the moon was full, he himself passed many days in the sanctuary of Hercules at Gades, but could not observe any thing of these annual irregularities. However, about the new moon of the same month he observed at Ilipa a great change in the reflux of the water of the Baetis, as compared with previous flood-tides, in which the water did not rise half as high as the banks, and that then the water poured in so copiously, that the soldiers there dipped their supply without difficulty, although Ilipa is about 700 stadia from the sea. He says, that the plains next the sea were covered by the tides to a distance of 30 stadia, and to such a depth as to form islands, while the basement of the sanctuary in the enclosure dedicated to Hercules, and the top of the mole in front of the harbour of Gades, were not covered higher than 10 cubits, as observed by actual soundings; but if any one should add the double of that for the occasional risings of the tide which occur, [neither] thus would he be able to estimate the violence with which the full force of the high tide rushes over the plains. Posidonius informs us that this violence [of the tide] is common to all the coasts of Spain on the Atlantic, but what he relates concerning the Ebro is unusual and peculiar to itself, for he says that it sometimes overflows after continued north winds, although there may have been neither rains nor snows. The cause of this [he supposes] to be the lake through which the Ebro flows, its waters being driven by the winds into the current of the river.
§ 3.5.10 The same writer mentions a tree at Gades, which had boughs reaching to the ground; its sword-shaped leaves often measuring a cubit long, and four fingers broad. Also that about Carthagena there was a tree whose thorns produced a bark from which most beautiful stuffs were woven. As for the tree [he saw] at Gades, we ourselves have observed a similar in Egypt, so far as the inclination of the boughs is concerned, but with a differently shaped leaf, and producing no fruit, which according to him the other did. In Cappadocia there are stuffs made from thorns, but it is not a tree which produces the thorn from which the bark is taken, but a low plant; he also tells us of a tree at Gades, from which if a branch be broken off a milk will flow, and if the root be cut a red fluid runs. Thus much for Gades.
§ 3.5.11 The Cassiterides are ten in number, and lie near each other in the ocean towards the north from the haven of the Artabri. One of them is desert, but the others are inhabited by men in black cloaks, clad in tunics reaching to the feet, girt about the breast, and walking with staves, thus resembling the Furies we see in tragic representations. They subsist by their cattle, leading for the most part a wandering life. Of the metals they have tin and lead; which with skins they barter with the merchants for earthenware, salt, and brazen vessels. Formerly the Phoenicians alone carried on this traffic from Gades, concealing the passage from every one; and when the Romans followed a certain ship-master, that they also might find the market, the shipmaster of jealousy purposely ran his vessel upon a shoal, leading on those who followed him into the same destructive disaster; he himself escaped by means of a fragment of the ship, and received from the state the value of the cargo he had lost. The Romans nevertheless by frequent efforts discovered the passage, and as soon as Publius Crassus, passing over to them, perceived that the metals were dug out at a little depth, and that the men were peaceably disposed, he declared it to those who already wished to traffic in this sea for profit, although the passage was longer than that to Britain. Thus far concerning Iberia and the adjacent islands.
§ 4.1.1 NEXT in order [after Iberia] comes Keltica beyond the Alps, the configuration and size of which has been already mentioned in a general manner; we are now to describe it more particularly. Some divide it into the three nations of the Aquitani, Belge, and Kelte. Of these the Aquitani differ completely from the other nations, not only in their language but in their figure, which resembles more that of the Iberians than the Galatae. The others are Galatae in countenance, although they do not all speak the same language, but some make a slight difference in their speech; neither is their polity and mode of life exactly the same. These writers give the name of Aquitani and Keltae to the dwellers near the Pyrenees, which are bounded by the Cevennes. For it has been stated that this Keltica is bounded on the west by the mountains of the Pyrenees, which extend to either sea, both the Mediterranean and the ocean; on the east by the Rhine, which is parallel to the Pyrenees; on the north by the ocean, from the northern extremities of the Pyrenees to the mouths of the Rhine; on the south by the sea of Marseilles, and Narbonne, and by the Alps from Liguria to the sources of the Rhine. The Cevennes lie at right angles to the Pyrenees, and traverse the plains for about 2000 stadia, terminating in the middle near Lugdunum. They call those people Aquitani who inhabit the northern portions of the Pyrenees, and the Cevennes extending as far as the ocean, and bounded by the river Garonne; and Keltae, those who dwell on the other side of the Garonne, towards the sea of Marseilles and Narbonne, and touching a portion of the Alpine chain. This is the division adopted by divus Caesar in his Commentaries. But Augustus Caesar, when dividing the country into four parts, united the Keltae to the Narbonnaise; the Aquitani he preserved the same as Julius Caesar, but added thereto fourteen other nations of those who dwelt between the Garonne and the river Loire, and dividing the rest into two parts, the one extending to the upper districts of the Rhine he made dependent upon Lugdunum, the other [he assigned] to the Belgae. However, it is the duty of the Geographer to describe the physical divisions of each country, and those which result from diversity of nations, when they seem worthy of notice; as to the limits which princes, induced by a policy which circumstances dictate, have variously imposed, it will be sufficient for him to notice them summarily, leaving others to furnish particular details.
§ 4.1.2 The whole of this country is irrigated by rivers descending from the Alps, the Cevennes, and the Pyrenees, some of which discharge themselves into the ocean, others into the Mediterranean. The districts through which they flow are mostly plains interspersed with hills, and having navigable streams. The course of these rivers is so happily disposed in relation to each other, that you may traffic from one sea to the other, carrying the merchandise only a small distance, and that easily, across the plains; but for the most part by the rivers, ascending some, and descending others. The Rhone is pre-eminent in this respect, both because it communicates with many other rivers, and also because it flows into the Mediterranean, which, as we have said, is superior to the ocean, and likewise passes through the richest provinces of Gaul. The whole of the Narbonnaise produces the same fruits as Italy. As we advance towards the north, and the mountains of the Cevennes, the plantations of the olive and fig disappear, but the others remain. Likewise the vine, as you proceed northward, does not easily mature its fruit. The entire of the remaining country produces in abundance corn, millet, acorns, and mast of all kinds. No part of it lies waste except that which is taken up in marshes and woods, and even this is inhabited. The cause of this, however, is rather a dense population than the industry of the inhabitants. For the women there are both very prolific and excellent nurses, while the men devote themselves rather to war than husbandry. However, their arms being now laid aside, they are compelled to engage in agriculture. These remarks apply generally to the whole of Transalpine Keltica. We must now describe particularly each of the four divisions, which hitherto we have only mentioned in a summary manner. And, first, of the Narbonnaise.
§ 4.1.3 The configuration of this country resembles a parallelogram, the western side of which is traced by the Pyrenees, the north by the Cevennes; as for the other two sides, the south is bounded by the sea between the Pyrenees and Marseilles, and the east partly by the Alps, and partly by a line drawn perpendicularly from these mountains to the foot of the Cevennes, which extend towards the Rhone, and form a right angle with the aforesaid perpendicular drawn from the Alps. To the southern side of this parallelogram we must add the sea-coast inhabited by the Massilienses and Salyes, as far as the country of the Ligurians, the confines of Italy, and the river Var. This river, as we have said before, is the boundary of the Narbonnaise and Italy. It is but small in summer, but in winter swells to a breadth of seven stadia. From thence the coast extends to the sanctuary of the Pyrenaean Venus, which is the boundary between this province and Iberia. Some, however, assert that the spot where the Trophies of Pompey stand is the boundary between Iberia and Keltica. From thence to Narbonne is 63 miles; from Narbonne to Nemausus, 88; from Nemausus through Ugernum and Tarusco, to the hot waters called Sextiae near Marseilles, 53; from thence to Antipolis and the river Var, 73; making in the total 277 miles. Some set down the distance from the sanctuary of Venus to the Var at 2600 stadia; while others increase this number by 200 stadia; for there are different opinions as to these distances. As for the other road, which traverses the [countries of the] Vocontii and Cottius, from Nemausus to Ugernum and Tarusco, the route is common; from thence [it branches off in two directions], one through Druentia and Caballio, to the frontiers of the Vocontii and the commencement of the ascent of the Alps, which is 63 miles; the other is reckoned at 99 miles from the same point to the other extremity of the Vocontii, bordering on the state of Cottius, as far as the village of Ebrodunum. The distance is said to be the same by the route through the village of Brigantium, Scingomagus, and the passage of the Alps to Ocelum, which is the limit of the country of Cottius. However, it is considered to be Italy from Scingomagus. And Ocelum is 28 miles beyond this.
§ 4.1.4 Marseilles, founded by the Phocaeans, is built in a stony region. Its harbour lies beneath a rock, which is shaped like a theatre, and looks towards the south. It is well surrounded with walls, as well as the whole city, which is of considerable size. Within the citadel are placed the Ephesium and the sanctuary of the Delphian Apollo. This latter sanctuary is common to all the Ionians; the Ephesium is a temple consecrated to Artemis of Ephesus. They say that when the Phocaeans were about to quit their country, an oracle commanded them to take from Diana of Ephesus a conductor for their voyage. On arriving at Ephesus they therefore inquired how they might be able to obtain from the goddess what was enjoined them. The goddess appeared in a dream to Aristarcha, one of the most honourable women of the city, and commanded her to accompany the Phocaeans, and to take with her a likeness of the sacred objects. These things being performed, and the colony being settled, the Phocaeans founded a sanctuary, and evinced their great respect for Aristarcha by making her priestess. All the colonies [sent out from Marseilles ] hold this goddess in peculiar reverence, preserving both the shape of the cult image [xoanon], and also every rite observed in the metropolis.
§ 4.1.5 The Massilians live under a well-regulated aristocracy. They have a council composed of 600 persons called timouchi, who enjoy this dignity for life. Fifteen of these preside over the council, and have the management of current affairs; these fifteen are in their turn presided over by three of their number, in whom rests the principal authority; and these again by one. No one can become a timouchus who has not children, and who has not been a citizen for three generations. Their laws, which are the same as those of the Ionians, they expound in public. Their country abounds in olives and vines, but on account of its ruggedness the wheat is poor. Consequently they trust more to the resources of the sea than of the land, and avail themselves in preference of their excellent position for commerce. Nevertheless they have been enabled by the power of perseverance to take in some of the surrounding plains, and also to found cities: of this number are the cities they founded in Iberia as a rampart against the Iberians, in which they introduced the worship of Diana of Ephesus, as practised in their father-land, with the Grecian mode of sacrifice. In this number too are Rhoa [and] Agatha, [built for defence] against the barbarians dwelling around the river Rhone; also Tauroentium, Olbia, Antipolis and Nicaea, [built as a rampart] against the nation of the Salyes and the Ligurians who inhabit the Alps. They possess likewise dry docks and armouries. Formerly they had an abundance of vessels, arms, and machines, both for the purposes of navigation and for besieging towns; by means of which they defended themselves against the barbarians, and likewise obtained the alliance of the Romans, to whom they rendered many important services; the Romans in their turn assisting in their aggrandizement. Sextius, who defeated the Salyes, founded, not far from Marseilles, a city which was named after him and the hot waters, some of which they say have lost their heat. Here he established a Roman garrison, and drove from the sea-coast which leads from Marseilles to Italy the barbarians, whom the Massilians were not able to keep back entirely. However, all he accomplished by this was to compel the barbarians to keep at a distance of twelve stadia from those parts of the coast which possessed good harbours, and at a distance of eight stadia where it was rugged. The land which they thus abandoned, he presented to the Massilians. In their city are laid up heaps of booty taken in naval engagements against those who disputed the sea unjustly. Formerly they enjoyed singular good fortune, as well in other matters as also in their amity with the Romans. Of this [amity] we find numerous signs, amongst others the statue of Diana which the Romans dedicated on the Aventine mount, of the same figure as that of the Massilians. Their prosperity has in a great measure decayed since the war of Pompey against Caesar, in which they sided with the vanquished party. Nevertheless some traces of their ancient industry may still be seen amongst the inhabitants, especially the making of engines of war and ship-building. Still as the surrounding barbarians, now that they are under the dominion of the Romans, become daily more civilized, and leave the occupation of war for the business of towns and agriculture, there is no longer the same attention paid by the inhabitants of Marseilles to these objects. The aspect of the city at the present day is a proof of this. For all those who profess to be men of taste, turn to the study of elocution and philosophy. Thus this city for some little time back has become a school for the barbarians, and has communicated to the Galatae such a taste for Greek literature, that they even draw contracts on the Grecian model. While at the present day it so entices the noblest of the Romans, that those desirous of studying resort thither in preference to Athens. These the Galatae observing, and being at leisure on account of the peace, readily devote themselves to similar pursuits, and that not merely individuals, but the public generally; professors of the arts and sciences, and likewise of medicine, being employed not only by private persons, but by towns for common instruction. Of the wisdom of the Massilians and the simplicity of their life, the following will not be thought an insignificant proof. The largest dowry amongst them consists of one hundred gold pieces, with five for dress, and five more for golden ornaments. More than this is not lawful. Caesar and his successors treated with moderation the offences of which they were guilty during the war, in consideration of their former friendship; and have preserved to the state the right of governing according to its ancient laws. So that neither Marseilles nor the cities dependent on it are under submission to the governors sent [into the Narbonnaise]. So much for Marseilles.
§ 4.1.6 The mountains of the Salyes incline gently from west to north in proportion as they retire from the sea. The coast runs west, and extending a short distance, about 100 stadia, from Marseilles, it begins to assume the character of a gulf at a considerable promontory near to certain stone quarries, and extending to the Aphrodisium, the headland which terminates the Pyrenees, forms the Galatic Gulf, which is also called the Gulf of Marseilles: it is double, for in its circuit Mount Setium stands out together with the island of Blascon, which is situated close to it, and separates the two gulfs. The larger of these is properly designated the Galatic Gulf, into which the Rhone discharges itself; the smaller is on the coast of Narbonne, and extends as far as the Pyrenees. Narbonne is situated above the outlets of the Aude and the lake of Narbonne. It is the principal commercial city on this coast. On the Rhone is Arelate, a city and emporium of considerable traffic. The distance between these two cities is nearly equal to that which separates them from the aforesaid promontories, namely, Narbonne from the Aphrodisium, and Arelate from the cape of Marseilles. There are other rivers besides which flow on either side of Narbonne, some from the Cevennes, others from the Pyrenees. Along these rivers are situated cities not far upriver for small vessels. The rivers which proceed from the Pyrenees, are the Ruscinon (Tet) and the Ilibirris (Tech); two cities are built on them, which bear respectively the same name as the rivers. There is a lake near to Ruscino, and a little above the sea a marshy district full of salt springs, which supplies "dug mullets," for whoever digs two or three feet and plunges a trident into the muddy water, will be sure to take the fish, which are worthy of consideration on account of their size; they are nourished in the mud like eels. Such are the rivers which flow from the Pyrenees between Narbonne and the Aphrodisium. On the other side of Narbonne the following rivers descend from the Cevennes into the sea. The Atax (Aude), the Orbis, and the Arauris. On the first of these latter is situated the strong city of Baetera, near to Narbonne; on the last Agatha, founded by the people of Marseilles.
§ 4.1.7 Of one marvel of this sea-coast, namely the "dug mullets," we have already spoken; we will now mention another, even more surprising. Between Marseilles and the outlets of the Rhone there is a circular plain, about 100 stadia distant from the sea, and about 100 stadia in diameter. It has received the name of Lithodes (the Stony Plain), from the circumstance of its being covered with stones the size of the fist, from beneath which an abundant herbage springs up for the pasturage of cattle. In the midst of it are water, saltsprings, and salt. The whole both of this district and that above it is exposed to the wind, but in this plain the black north, a violent and horrible wind, rages especially: for they say that sometimes the stones are swept and rolled along, and men hurled from their carriages and stripped both of their arms and garments by the force of the tempest. Aristotle tells us that these stones being cast up by the earthquakes designated brastai, and falling on the surface of the earth, roll into the hollow places of the districts; but Posidonius, that the place was formerly a lake, which being congealed during a violent agitation, became divided into numerous stones, like river pebbles or the stones by the sea-shore, which they resemble both as to smoothness, size, and appearance. Such are the causes assigned by these two [writers]; however, neither of their opinions is credible, for these stones could neither have thus accumulated of themselves, nor yet have been formed by congealed moisture, but necessarily from the fragments of large stones shattered by frequent convulsions. Aeschylus having, however, learnt of the difficulty of accounting for it, or having been so informed by another, has explained it away as a myth. He makes Prometheus utter the following, whilst directing Hercules the road from the Caucasus to the Hesperides: "There you will come to the undaunted army of the Ligurians, where, resistless though you be, sure am I you will not worst them in battle; for it is fated that there your darts shall fail you; nor will you be able to take up a stone from the ground, since the country consists of soft mould; but Jupiter, beholding your distress, will compassionate you, and overshadowing the earth with a cloud, he will cause it to hail round stones, which you hurling against the Ligurian army, will soon put them to flight!" Posidonius asks, would it not have been better to have rained down these stones upon the Ligurians themselves, and thus have destroyed them all, than to make Hercules in need of so many stones? As for the number, they were necessary against so vast a multitude; so that in this respect the writer of the myth seems to me deserving of more credit than he who would refute it. Further, the poet, in describing it as fated, secures himself against such fault-finding. For if you dispute Providence and Destiny, you can find many similar things both in human affairs and nature, that you would suppose might be much better performed in this or that way; as for instance, that Egypt should have plenty of rain of its own, without being irrigated from the land of Ethiopia. That it would have been much better if Paris had suffered shipwreck on his voyage to Sparta, instead of expiating his offences after having carried off Helen, and having been the cause of so great destruction both amongst the Greeks and Barbarians. Euripides attributes this to Jupiter: "Father Jupiter, willing evil to the Trojans and suffering to the Greeks, decreed such things."
§ 4.1.8 As to the mouths of the Rhone, Polybius asserts that there are but two, and blames Timaeus for saying five. Artemidorus says that there are three. Afterwards Marius, observing that the mouth was becoming stopped up and difficult of entrance on account of the deposits of mud, caused a new channel to be dug, which received the greater part of the river into it. This he gave to the people of Marseilles in recompense for their services in the war against the Ambrones and Toygeni. This canal became to them a source of much revenue, as they levied a toll from all those who sailed up or down it: notwithstanding, the entrance [to the river] still continues difficult to navigate, on account of its great impetuosity, its deposits, and the [general] flatness of the country, so that in foul weather you cannot clearly discern the land even when quite close. On this account the people of Marseilles, who wished by all means to inhabit the country, set up towers as beacons; they have even set up a sanctuary of Diana of Ephesus on a piece of the land, which the mouths of the rivers have formed into an island. Above the outlets of the Rhone is a salt-lake which they call Stomalimne. It abounds in shell and other fish. There are some who enumerate this amongst the mouths of the Rhone, especially those who say that it has seven mouths. But in this they are quite mistaken; for there is a mountain between, which separates the lake from the river. Such then is the disposition and extent of the coast from the Pyrenees to Marseilles.
§ 4.1.9 The [coast] which extends from this [last city] to the river Var, and the Ligurians who dwell near it, contains the Massilian cities of Tauroentium, Olbia, Antipolis, Nicaea, and the sea-port of Augustus Caesar, called Forum Julium. which is situated between Olbia and Antipolis, and distant from Marseilles about 600 stadia. The Var is between Antipolis and Nicaea; distant from the one about 20 stadia, from the other about 60; so that according to the boundary now marked Nicaea belongs to Italy, although it is a city of the people of Marseilles, for they built these cities [as a defence] against the barbarians who dwelt higher up the country, in order to maintain the sea free, as the barbarians possessed the land. For this [region] is mountainous and fortified by nature, leaving however a considerable extent of plain country near Marseilles; but as you proceed towards the east the country is so hemmed in by the mountains, as scarcely to leave a sufficient road for passage by the sea-shore. The former districts are inhabited by the Salyes, the latter by the Ligurians, who border on Italy, of whom we shall speak afterwards. It should here be mentioned, that although Antipolis is situated in the Narbonnaise, and Nicaea in Italy, this latter is dependent on Marseilles, and forms part of that province; while Antipolis is ranked amongst the Italian cities, and freed from the government of the Marseillese by a judgment given against them.
§ 4.1.10 Lying off this narrow pass along the coast, as you commence your journey from Marseilles, are the Stoechades islands. Three of these are considerable, and two small. They are cultivated by the people of Marseilles. Anciently they contained a garrison, placed here to defend them from the attacks of pirates, for they have good ports. After the Stoechades come [the islands of] Planasia and Lero, both of them inhabited. In Lero, which lies opposite to Antipolis, is a heroon of Lero. There are other small islands not worth mentioning, some of them before Marseilles, others before the rest of the coast which I have been describing. As to the harbours, those of the seaport and Marseilles are considerable, the others are but middling. Of this latter class is the port Oxybius, so named from the Oxybian Ligurians. — This concludes what we have to say of this coast.
§ 4.1.11 The country above this is bounded principally by the surrounding mountains and rivers. Of these the Rhone is the most remarkable, being both the largest, and capable of being navigated farther than any of the others, and also receiving into it a greater number of tributaries; of these we must speak in order. Commencing at Marseilles, and proceeding to the country between the Alps and the Rhone, to the river Durance, dwell the Salyes for a space of 500 stadia. From thence you proceed in a ferry-boat to the city of Caballio; beyond this the whole country belongs to the Cavari as far as the junction of the Isara with the Rhone; it is here too that the Cevennes approach the Rhone. From the Durance to this point is a distance of 700 stadia. The Salyes occupy the plains and mountains above these. The Vocontii, Tricorii, Icomi, and Medylli, lie above the Cavari. Between the Durance and the Isara there are other rivers which flow from the Alps into the Rhone; two of these, after having flowed round the city of the Cavari, discharge themselves by a common outlet into the Rhone. The Sulgas, which is the third, mixes with the Rhone near the city of Vindalum, where Cnaeus Aenobarbus in a decisive engagement routed many myriads of the Kelts. Between these are the cities of Avenio, Arausio, and Aeria, which latter, remarks Artemidorus, is rightly named aerial, being situated in a very lofty position. The whole of this country consists of plains abounding in pasturage, excepting on the route from Aeria to Avenio, where there are narrow defiles and woods to traverse. It was at the point where the river Isara and the Rhone unite near the Cevennes, that Quintus Fabius Maximus Aemilianus, with scarcely 30,000 men, cut to pieces 200,000 Kelts. Here he erected a white stone as a trophy, and two temples, one to Mars, and the other to Hercules. From the Isara to Vienne, the metropolis of the Allobroges, situated on the Rhone, the distance is 320 stadia. Lugdunum is a little above Vienne at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. The distance by land [from this latter city] to Lugdunum, passing through the country of the Allobroges, is about 200 stadia, and rather more by water. Formerly the Allobroges engaged in war, their armies consisting of many myriads; they now occupy themselves in cultivating the plains and valleys of the Alps. They dwell generally in villages, the most notable of them inhabiting Vienne, which was merely a village, although called the metropolis of their nation; they have now improved and embellished it as a city; it is situated on the Rhone. So full and rapid is the descent of this river from the Alps, that the flow of its waters through Lake Lemannus may be distinguished for many stadia. Having descended into the plains of the countries of the Allobroges, and Segusii, it falls into the Arar, near to Lugdunum, a city of the Segusii. The Arar rises in the Alps, and separates the Sequani, the Aedui, and the Lincasii. It afterwards receives the Doubs, a navigable river which rises in the same mountains, still however preserving its own name, and consisting of the two, mingles with the Rhone. The Rhone in like manner preserves its name, and flows on to Vienne. At their rise these three rivers flow towards the north, then in a westerly direction, afterwards uniting into one they take another turn and flow towards the south, and having received other rivers, they flow in this direction to the sea. Such is the country situated between the Alps and the Rhone.
§ 4.1.12 The main part of the country on the other side of the Rhone is inhabited by the Volcae, surnamed Arecomisci. Their naval station is Narbonne, which may justly be called the emporium of all Gaul, as it far surpasses every other in the multitude of those who resort to it. The Volcae border on the Rhone, the Salyes and Cavari being opposite to them on the other side of the river. However, the name of the Cavari has so obtained, that all the barbarians inhabiting near now go by that designation; nay, even those who are no longer barbarians, but follow the Roman customs, both in their speech and mode of life, and some of those even who have adopted the Roman polity. Between the Arecomisci and the Pyrenees there are some other small and insignificant nations. Nemausus is the metropolis of the Arecomisci; though far inferior to Narbonne both as to its commerce, and the number of foreigners attracted thither, it surpasses that city in the number of its citizens; for it has under its dominion four and twenty different villages all well inhabited, and by the same people, who pay tribute; it likewise enjoys the rights of the Latin towns, so that in Nemausus you meet with Roman citizens who have obtained the honours of the aedile and quaestorship, wherefore this nation is not subject to the orders issued by the praetors from Rome. The city is situated on the road from Iberia to Italy; this road is very good in the summer, but muddy and overflowed by the rivers during winter and spring. Some of these streams are crossed in ferry-boats, and others by means of bridges constructed either of wood or stone. The inundations which destroy the roads are caused by the winter torrents, which sometimes pour down from the Alps even in summer-time after the melting of the snows. To perform the route before mentioned, the shortest way is, as we have said, across the territory of the Vocontii direct to the Alps; the other, along the coast of Marseilles and Liguria, is longer, although it offers an easier passage into Italy, as the mountains are lower. Nemausus is about 100 stadia distant from the Rhone, situated opposite to the small town of Tarascon, and about 720 stadia from Narbonne. The Tectosages, and certain others whom we shall mention afterwards, border on the range of the Cevennes, and inhabit its southern side as far as the promontory of the Volcae. Respecting all the others we will speak hereafter.
§ 4.1.13 But the Tectosages dwell near to the Pyrenees, bordering for a small space the northern side of the Cevennes; the land they inhabit is rich in gold. It appears that formerly they were so powerful and numerous, that dissensions having arisen amongst them, they drove a vast multitude of their number from their homes; and that these men associating with others of different nations took possession of Phrygia, next to Cappadocia, and the Paphlagonians. Of this those who are now called the Tectosages afford us proof, for [Phrygia contains] three nations, one of them dwelling near to the city of Ancyra, being called the Tectosages; the remaining two, the Trocmi and Tolistobogii. The resemblance these nations bear to the Tectosages is evidence of their having immigrated from Keltica, though we are unable to say from which district they came, as there does not appear to be any people at the present time bearing the name of Trocmi or Tolistobogii, who inhabit either beyond the Alps, the Alps themselves, or on this side the Alps. It would seem that continual emigration has drained them completely from their native country, a circumstance which has occurred to many other nations, as some say that the Brennus, who led an expedition to Delphi, was a leader of the Prausi; but we are unable to say where the Prausi formerly inhabited. It is said that the Tectosages took part in the expedition to Delphi, and that the treasures found in the city of Tolosa (Tolosse) by the Roman general Caepio formed a portion of the booty gained there, which was afterwards increased by offerings which the citizens made from their own property, and consecrated in order to conciliate the god. And that it was for daring to touch these that Caepio terminated so miserably his existence, being driven from his country as a plunderer of temples, and leaving behind him his daughters, who, as Timagenes informs us, having been wickedly violated, perished miserably. However, the account given by Posidonius is the more credible. He tells us that the wealth found in Tolosa amounted to somewhere about 15,000 talents, a part of which was hidden in the chapels, and the remainder in the sacred lakes, and that it was not coined [money], but gold and silver in bullion. But at this time the sanctuary of Delphi was emptied of these treasures, having been pillaged by the Phocians at the period of the Sacred war and supposing any to have been left, it would have been distributed amongst many. Nor is it probable that the Tectosages returned home, since they came off miserably after leaving Delphi, and owing to their dissensions were scattered here and there throughout the country; there is much more likelihood in the statement made by Posidonius and many others, that the country abounding in gold, and the inhabitants being superstitious, and not living expensively, they hid their treasures in many different places, the lakes in particular affording them a hiding place for depositing their gold and silver bullion. When the Romans obtained possession of the country they put up these lakes to public sale, and many of the purchasers found therein solid masses of silver. In Tolosa there was a sacred sanctuary, held in great reverence by the inhabitants of the surrounding country, and on this account loaded with riches, inasmuch as there were many who offered gifts, and no one dared to touch them.
§ 4.1.14 Tolosa is situated upon the narrowest part of the isthmus which separates the ocean from the sea of Narbonne; the breadth of the [isthmus], according to Posidonius, being less than 3000 stadia. The perfect similarity maintained throughout this country both in respect to its rivers, and to the exterior and interior sea, appears to us worthy of especial notice, as we have said before. This, on reflection, will prove to be one main cause of the excellence of this country, since the inhabitants are enabled mutually to communicate, and to procure from each other the necessaries of life; this is peculiarly the case at the present time, when on account of their leisure from war they are devoting themselves to agriculture and the pursuits of social life. In this we are persuaded that we behold the work of Providence; such a disposition of these regions not resulting from chance, but from the thought of some [intelligence]. The Rhone, for instance, is navigable to a considerable distance for vessels of heavy burden, which it is capable of transmitting through various districts of the country by means of other rivers which fall into it, and are likewise fitted for the navigation of large vessels. To the Rhone succeeds the Arar, and into this latter river falls the Doubs; thence the merchandise is carried by land to the river Seine; whence it is transported to the ocean and the [countries of the] Lexovii and Caleti, the distance thence to Britain being less than a day's journey. The navigation of the Rhone being difficult on account of the rapidity of its current, the merchants prefer to transport in waggons certain of their wares, which are destined for the Arverni, and the river Loire, notwithstanding the vicinity of the Rhone in some places, but the road being level and the distance not far, (about 800 stadia,) they do not make use of water carriage on account of the facility of the transport by land, from thence the merchandise is easily conveyed by the Loire. This river flows from the Cevennes into the ocean. From Narbonne the voyage to the Aude is short, but the journey by land to the river Garonne longer, being as much as 700 or 800 stadia. The Garonne likewise flows into the ocean. Such is what we have to say concerning the inhabitants of the Narbonnaise, who were formerly named Kelts. In my opinion the celebrity of the Kelts induced the Grecians to confer that name on the whole of the Galatae; the vicinity of the Massilians may also have had something to do with it.
§ 4.2.2 WE must now speak of the Aquitani and the fourteen Galatic nations pertaining to them, situated between the Garonne and the Loire, some of which extend to the river Rhone and the plains of the Narbonnaise. Generally speaking, the Aquitani may be said to differ from the Galatic race, both as to form of body and language, resembling more nearly the Iberians. They are bounded by the Garonne, and dwell between this river and the Pyrenees. There are above twenty nations which bear the name of Aquitani, small and obscure, the major part of them dwelling by the ocean, and the remainder in the interior and by the extremities of the Cevennes, as far as the Tectosages. This district, however, being too small, they added to it the territory between the Garonne and the Loire. These rivers are nearly parallel with the Pyrenees, and form with them two parallelograms, bounded on the remaining sides by the ocean and the mountains of the Cevennes. Both of these rivers are navigable for a distance of about 2000 stadia. The Garonne, after being augmented by three other rivers, discharges itself into the [ocean] between the [country] of the Bituriges, surnamed the Vivisci, and that of the Santoni; both of them Gallic nations. The Bituriges are the only foreign people who dwell among the Aquitani without forming a part of them. Their emporium is Burdegala, situated on a creek formed by the outlets of the river. The Loire discharges itself between the Pictones and the Namnetae. Formerly there was an emporium on this river named Corbilon, mentioned by Polybius when speaking of the fictions of Pytheas. "The Marseillese, [says he, ] when interrogated by Scipio at their meeting, had nothing to tell about Britain worth mentioning, nor yet had the people of the Narbonnaise, nor those of Corbilon; notwithstanding these were the two principal cities of the district, Pytheas alone dared to forge so many lies [concerning that island]." Mediolanium is the capital of the Santoni. The part of Aquitaine next the ocean is for the most part sandy and meagre, producing millet, but barren of all other fruits. Here is the gulf which, with that on the coast of Narbonne, forms the isthmus. Both these gulfs go by the name of the Galatic gulf. The former gulf belongs to the Tarbelli. These people possess the richest gold mines; masses of gold as big as the fist can contain, and requiring hardly any purifying, being found in diggings scarcely beneath the surface of the earth, the remainder consisting of dust and lumps, which likewise require but little working. In the interior and mountainous parts [of Aquitaine] the soil is superior; for instance, in the district near the Pyrenees belonging to the Convenae, which name signifies people assembled from different countries to dwell in one place. Here is the city of Lugdunum, and the hot springs of the Onesii, which are most excellent for drinking. The country of the Auscii likewise is fine.
§ 4.2.2 The nations between the Garonne and the Loire annexed to the Aquitani, are the Elui, who commence at the Rhone. After these the Vellaei, who were formerly comprehended amongst the Arverni, but now form a people to themselves. After these Arverni come the Lemovices, and Petrocorii, and after them the Nitiobriges, the Cadurci, and the Bituriges, surnamed Cubi. Along the ocean we meet with the Santoni, and Pictones, the former dwelling by the Garonne, as we have stated, and the latter by the Loire. The Ruteni and the Gabales are in the vicinity of the Narbonnaise. The Petrocorii and Bituriges-Cubi possess excellent ironworks, the Cadurci linen-factories, and the Ruteni silvermines: the Gabales likewise possess silver-mines. On certain amongst the Aquitani the Romans have conferred the rights of Latin cities; such for instance as the Auscii, and the Convenae.
§ 4.2.3 The Arverni are situated along the Loire. Nemossus, their metropolis, is built on the same river. This river having flowed past Cenabum, an emporium of the Carnutes, situated about the middle of its course, discharges itself into the ocean. A great proof of the former power of the Arverni, is the fact of the frequent wars which they sustained against the Romans, sometimes with armies of 200,000 men, and sometimes with double that number, which was the amount of their force when they fought against divus Caesar under the command of Vercingetorix. Before this they had brought 200,000 men against Maximus Aemilianus, and the same number against Domitius Aenobarbus. Their battles with Caesar took place, one in Gergovia, a city of the Arverni situated on a lofty mountain, the birth-place of Vercingetorix; the other, near to Alesia, a city of the Mandubii, who border on the Arverni; this city is likewise situated on a high hill, surrounded by mountains, and between two rivers. Here the war was terminated by the capture of their leader. The battle with Maximus Aemilianus was fought near the confluence of the Isara and the Rhone, at the point where the mountains of the Cevennes approach the latter river. That with Domitius was fought lower down at the confluence of the Sulgas and the Rhone. The Arverni extended their dominion as far as Narbonne and the borders of Marseilles, and exercised authority over the nations as far as the Pyrenees, the ocean, and the Rhine. Luerius, the father of Bituitus who fought against Maximus and Domitius, is said to have been so distinguished by his riches and luxury, that to give a proof of his opulence to his friends, he caused himself to be dragged across a plain in a car, whilst he scattered gold and silver coin in every direction for those who followed him to gather up.
§ 4.3.1 NEXT in order after Aquitaine and the Narbonnaise, is that portion [of Gaul] extending as far as the Rhine from the river Loire, and the Rhone, where it passes by Lugdunum: in its descent from its source. The upper regions of this district from the sources of the Rhine and Rhone, nearly to the middle of the plains, pertain to Lugdunum; the remainder, with the regions next the ocean, is comprised in another division which belongs to the Belgae. We will describe the two together.
§ 4.3.2 Lugdunum itself, situated on a hill, at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone, belongs to the Romans. It is the most populous city after Narbonne. It carries on a great commerce, and the Roman prefects here coin both gold and silver money. Before this city, at the confluence of the rivers, is situated the sanctuary dedicated by all the Galatae in common to Augustus Caesar. The altar is splendid, and has inscribed on it the names of sixty people, and images of them, one for each, and also another great altar. This is the principal city of the nation of the Segusiani who lie between the Rhone and the Doubs. The other nations who extend to the Rhine, are bounded in part by the Doubs, and in part by the Arar. These two rivers, as said before, descend from the Alps, and, falling into one stream, flow into the Rhone. There is likewise another river which has its sources in the Alps, and is named the Seine. It flows parallel with the Rhine, through a nation bearing the same name as itself, and so into the ocean. The Sequani are bounded on the east by the Rhine, and on the opposite side by the Arar. It is from them that the Romans procure the finest salted-pork. Between the Doubs and Arar dwells the nation of the Aedui, who possess the city of Cabyllinum, situated on the Arar and the fortress of Bibracte. The Aedui are said to be related to the Romans, and they were the first to enter into friendship and alliance with them. On the other side of the Arar dwell the Sequani, who have for long been at enmity with the Romans and Aedui, having frequently allied themselves with the Germans in their incursions into Italy. It was then that they proved their strength, for united to them the Germans were powerful, but when separated, weak. As for the Aedui, their alliance with the Romans naturally rendered them the enemies of the Sequani, but the enmity was increased by their contests concerning the river which divides them, each nation claiming the Arar exclusively for themselves, and likewise the tolls on vessels passing. However, at the present time, the whole of it is under the dominion of the Romans.
§ 4.3.3 The first of all the nations dwelling on the Rhine are the Helvetii, amongst whom are the sources of that river in Mount Adula, which forms part of the Alps. From this mountain, but in an opposite direction, likewise proceeds the Adda, which flows towards Cisalpine Gaul, and fills lake Larius, near to which stands [the city of] Como; thence it discharges itself into the Po, of which we shall speak afterwards. The Rhine also flows into vast marshes and a great lake, which borders on the Rhaeti and Vindelici, who dwell partly in the Alps, and partly beyond the Alps. Asinius says that the length of this river is 6000 stadia, but such is not the case, for taken in a straight line it does not much exceed half that length, and 1000 stadia is quite sufficient to allow for its sinuosities. In fact this river is so rapid that it is difficult to throw bridges across it, although after its descent from the mountains it is borne the remainder of the way through level plains; now how could it maintain its rapidity and vehemence, if in addition to this level channel, we suppose it also to have long and frequent tortuosities? Asinius likewise asserts that this river has two mouths, and blames those who say that it has more. This river and the Seine embrace within their tortuosities a certain extent of country, which however is not considerable. They both flow from south to north. Britain lies opposite to them; but nearest to the Rhine, from which you may see Kent, which is the most easterly part of the island. The Seine is a little further. It was here that divus Caesar established a dock-yard when he sailed to Britain. The navigable portion of the